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Snippet #2485100

located in Season 1, a part of The Walking Dead: Online, one of the many universes on RPG.

Season 1

"The End Begins"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Harper Hopkins Character Portrait: Nathan McDonald (NPC)
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Harper Hopkins

Harper didn't have a life. At least, she didn't feel like she did. She didn't really like socializing at work; too many snakes, not enough grass. All right, a few people were pretty cool; she got along with all the other reporters who'd shown up in Los Angeles at about the same time that she had, and the videographers had all been superb with her on shoots. When she couldn't swing editing her own news packages, the editors she'd work with were pretty great. She even got along with her assignment editor and her producer. All right, maybe there were more good people at WEND-TV than she'd really accounted for...

... except for the evening anchors, two older, Botox'ed clams who had been on the desk for way too long. George Geranos and Maxine Millner. Good God. Sour personalities. The entire sports department seemed to be made up of fine citizens from Douchebag City, from Chuck Cherry on the evening desk (even a douchebag name, for Christ's sake!) to the nameless intern chick who insisted on wearing low-cut dresses every day. Mostly those folks kept to themselves, like an inbred stable. Good riddance.

But the weirdest people were the folks competing to be on the desk, the reporters who had "been around for so long" and thought that Harper was a usurper encroaching on their birthright. The News Director, Steve Hilpin, saw fit to stick the Emmy-winning newcomer with plush assignments; after getting shot at in Iraq, taking a U.S. Senator to task for lying about having an illegitimate child, exposing a child sex ring in Atlanta, and a number of other intense stories she'd covered, he felt she'd earned the right to not have to prove herself in a top-market newsroom. Of course, that put her in an awkward position with other reporters who were prone to feelings of entitlement and jealousy.

She sipped her coffee while standing at her desk, looking at the most recent copy of the evening show's rundown. She always arrived at work close to 1, since she was working the nightside these days. Her stories would appear on the evening newscasts, both at 6 and at 11 pre-empting the late-night shows. It was a coveted schedule to have: show up at work by 1, lunch and dinner breaks as you could fit them in, and out by midnight, with the option to have a drink before hitting the hay and starting the cycle all over again.

Nathan, the videographer assigned to her for that day, sauntered over to the desk and held up two small bags of In-N-Out with one hand and a cup in the other. "Miss Hopkins, I owe you lunch today," he said with a goofy grin. "And we're going to need it. Today's a doozy."

Harper let out a little excited squeak as she opened her bag. Cheeseburgers were awesome. "Thanks for bringing lunch, remind me that I'm supposed to marry you someday," she quipped happily. She reached into the bag and took a satisfied bite out of her sandwich. "Good Lord, you know me so well." She took a sip of her soda and smiled. "Yeah, we've got quite a day ahead of us. I can't wait. I've been dying to do this story."

Several months prior, Harper had pitched the idea of talking to a leading anti-vaccination advocate, who also happened to be a porn-star-turned-B-movie-actress, about the veracity of her claims that vaccines caused her son to become autistic. After some digging, her producer found a doctor at UCLA Medical Center who could refute that claim. They still had yet to get the advocate herself to agree to an interview that wasn't constrained by a restrictive contract. What better way to force her to talk than by forcing her to defend herself?

A risky move, but considering recent outbreaks of infectious diseases that were supposed to be long-eradicated, the issue was becoming a growing concern in the public eye.

Harper flicked a lint roller over her sweater and plucked her bag and notepad from her desk. She crinkled up her food wrapper, tossed it in the wastebin, and looked to her videographer. "Ready when you are!"