[FIN]Short fic: Czerka Public Relations
A little piece I did for the Dueling Circle challenge over at kfm. I thought I'd have a little fun, and this is written with apologies to the TV show 'Shark'. :)
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“Come!” Bristom yelled out at the meek knock on the door. The Director of Czerka Lifeform Interactive Enhancement of Sublimity looked up as the new recruit peered carefully around the door and walked in. “I’m not going to bite, son. You can quit shaking. I was just reviewing your resume. It’s impressive.”
“Thank you, sir,” said Tarence.
“Is this all true? Recruits sometimes like to ‘enhance’ their resume a bit.” Bristom winked broadly.
“Everything, sir. The university can confirm I graduated at the top in public relations and my previous boss can confirm the communications work I did with them, if you’d like.”
“No, I was just testing you. You might be a little more honest than the lifeforms I usually see here, but I think you’ll work out just fine. Now, the first order of the day is to review the memos that are supposed to go out. Those idiots at the supposed top of the heap couldn’t write a memo if their lives depended on it. It’s up to us to keep their fancy butts out of trouble by writing Czerka-approved copy.”
“I’m not quite sure what you mean, sir.”
“Take this note. ‘We’re in deep bantha fodder with some of the Senators for taking some Kashyyyk furballs as slaves. Fix it and make us look good.’ Now, how would you deal with that, Tarence?”
“I’d write ‘Czerka recognizes the importance of all lifeforms. We take the accusation of slavery very seriously and will investigate fully. Any wrongdoing will be handled immediately.”
“Sure, that sounds good,” Bristom smiled, then his face darkened and he pounded on his desk. “Sounds good if you’re planning on the legal team working their butts off for the next 18 years and costing us a ton of credits! This is what you say instead: ‘Czerka disavows any knowledge of capturing any Wookiees, for profit or otherwise. However, we want to cooperate fully with the Senate, and if our employees see any slave activity, we will report it to you immediately.’ Of course, this memo won’t filter down to anyone below our Kashyyyk director.”
Tarence was stunned. “But that’s a lie, sir!”
“Truth is relative. Pick one that works—as long as it makes Czerka look good. Let’s move on to the Telos situation. We’re moving along on our plans to mine a bunch of those restoration zones and turn them into resorts. Of course, those crazy tree-hugging Ithorians want to let a bunch of flaming cannocks chomp everything in sight for the sake of ‘environmental restoration’. Now, the scientists have found that the Ithorian plan will probably work out better in the long run, but it’ll be terrible on our profits, and our stockholders will be none too pleased about that. So we have to come up with something to make the Senate see reason. What do you think?”
“How about this? ‘Czerka is committed to the restoration of the beauty of Telos. We will work with the Ithorians and scientists to make sure the environmental impact of our activities is positive.’”
“Are you frakin’ nuts? Why do you want to be that honest and get us in trouble when we can’t do that? Here’s what you do—send this memo to the Senators: ‘Czerka has numerous scientists, respected in the field, working on the Telos restoration project. Our impact studies show that our plan is vastly superior to the Ithorian plan and will cost the Republic less than half of what the Ithorians have quoted. Please join us for a dinner meeting so that we may share the profitability studies with you.’ Now, when they come to dinner, we’ll have the bribes waiting for them. It’ll be a beautiful night for Czerka shareholders, of whom I am one, I might add.”
“Sir, I’m beginning to think that our relationship may not work out as we had hoped.”
“Is that your way of saying you don’t want to work here after all? Not honest enough for your bleeding heart?”
“I’m sure the Senators, Wookiees, Telosians, and Ithorians will be very interested in what you’ve just said, sir,” Tarence held up a holodisc and played a snippet of their conversation. “I neglected to tell you that I haven’t left the Galactic News—I just report to a different boss.”
Bristom was apoplectic. “You didn’t tell the truth? No one lies to the Director of Czerka LIES! You set me up! I’ll write a memo denying everything we’ve talked about here!”
Tarence turned as he walked out of the room. “Good luck with that memo and ‘repairing Czerka’s image’. After reading it, I’m sure everyone will see you for exactly who you are.”
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