When Louise Miller had first wanted reporting job, she had been looking for excitement, intrigue, and political mischief. She had found it, though that had been in her own office, so she didn't report any of it. Most of it. The parts that would lose her the job.
That fact didn't bother her too much. By the time she had gotten the job, she was more interested in writing. Going out into the field was a necessary part of that, but not, in her opinion, exciting. One of the first skills she had learned was the ability to have a speech flow straight from her ear to her paper without interrupting her thought process. Most of the time it meant she could pay more attention to body language and remember that, coming back to the words later. The rest of the time, when she was just a recording device, the skill allowed her to work on writing the article. Those days were mind-numbingly boring, but at least she always got her story done early on them.
Today was one of those days. It wasn't that Louise thought Captain Hammer was boring, exactly, but she'd slept with the man. If you'd spent twenty-four hours with him - and she had, since her mother had not raised her to be that sort of girl, even if she rarely saw the problem - you could predict just about everything about him, if you were honest. He would gesticulate strongly and proudly, insult a lot of people without anyone noticing - Except Penny, who's about to break up with him, Louise allowed - and overall, take more credit than his due. She would write his speech, quote a few of the better lines, puff him up as the public expected, and be done with it.
She was about halfway done with that article by the time she knew she wouldn't need it.
Her notebook had been in shorthand up to that point, but she'd lost the skill of writing that way anything but reflexively, and this was too interesting to just forget. She used the cheat she hadn't used since middle school, and skipped the vowels.
"Lk t ths ppl mzng hw shpll shw p fr th slghtr," it read. She wrote little notes to herself along with it, ray that freezes at back, used on Cap Ham - her lips twitched - labcoat man monologues, then an arrow pointing to where she'd put his text.
Her pen ran across the paper, and the shorthand came back to her as he took out a giant, distracting death ray, fire at ceiling, intimidate, none hurt
She still wrote names as abbreviations rather than her normal shorthand so they'd jump out from the page when she skimmed it, and she wrote him down as Dr. Horibl
He paused mid-monologue on how the world would Burn to lean over to her, "Yeah, it's two r's" - she rewrote - "H, O, R, R, yeah, right." - and was done with the full word before he leaned away again. Burn
turned lethal on Cap Ham
hesitated. She hoped she could get that in the story, knew it probably wouldn't fit. Too brief a thing before he turned around to see the freeze ray fail, too few witnesses, and too much of a sympathy break for such a short story - and it would be, barely a few minutes of action before Captain Hammer woke and -
(Louise realized, upon putting her notes together, that he was finishing his accidentally insulting song while giving Dr. H the finger. She thought it appropriate, though again not something that she could find a place for in the story.)
Cap Ham grab death ray, misfire, Ham run, Dr. H stand, triumph, then sad, Penny dead
Louise had dropped the pen and called for an ambulance. She did this before attempting to interview Dr. Horrible, though she knew before half of the phone call was over that Penny was gone.
She never got that interview. Her story ended up being front-page stuff rather than something on page six, regardless.
Though almost no one noticed, she also wrote Penny's obituary. Fantastic life, even if the only other person who seemed to care about it was now part of the Evil League of Evil.
Louise stared at her notes a moment and sighed.
Just another one of those things that didn't fit into the story.