The open topped military wagon hurtled through the jungle at an alarming pace. Marvin Banks sat at the end of the vehicle and watched the world go by. He was making good time and would be at the landing site well ahead of schedule to see his vehicle return from space. He cracked open a beer and then signaled to one of the soldiers on board to send the journalist down to meet him. By moving the interview onto the truck he was able to save about 30 minutes that he could use meeting the Chinese dignitaries that had part funded his company.
The Journalist was a young, attractive girl with her hair worn straight back. She was slim and wore a knee length skirt and tight shirt. She held a clip board in her hand which was full of her notes and questions and all the soldiers eyes watched her as she moved from one end of the truck to the other. As she squeezed through the tangle of legs in front of her the truck hit a large mound in the center of the dirt track and sent her bouncing up and crashing in front of Marvin. Unembarrassed she got up and sat herself in front of him.
Marvin smiled at her as she got herself together. He was not the prettiest sight, quite over weight and had a very bad temper if he did not get what he wanted, still, as soon as pretty girls found out how much he was worth about 80 per cent found him more attractive. Marvin was not blind to the effect his money had on girls and many people had criticized him for flaunting it, criticisms he often laughed off because he wouldn’t change it for anything.
Getting the girls eye Marvin patted the spare space next to him, to welcome the girl to sit there. She quickly declined with a cold stare. She would not be looking for anything other than a few interesting points about what he was doing in China, and to get anything more out of her would take a lot of work. Marvin was never a person to give up though.
She cleared her throat and introduced herself.
“Tilly Spensor from tillyspensor.com, I am honored that you have let me come and interview you Marvin, shall we get straight down to business?”
Tilly had setup her own website and with it her own world of news that had quickly snow balled into a huge craze. She had a special ability when it came to reporting the news and knew exactly how to pitch her interviews to get to the raw facts. This interview was not going to be easy for Marvin. He was normally used to Chinese reporters who were controlled by the Chinese Government, and since they Government were putting plenty of money into the company, they would put great spin on the story to make Marvin seem like a hero who was leading the Chinese revolution. Tilly was from America, about 100 miles North of where Marvin grew up in the Texas and she would not be so generous. Given this situation Marvin still felt confident that he could break her professional front and win her over.
Marvin shifted in his seat until he was comfortable to listen to the first question.
“Your father controlled some of the largest oil fields in the world, and when he died and left you his fortune you went on a huge spending spree, investing mainly in space-age technologies. Do you think he would appreciate this reckless spending of his hard earned money?”
Marvin was not ready for such a personal question, most of the Chinese reporters asked him about his visions and the future of his company and he had a good routine of answers. This question was clearly meant to find flaws and Marvin realized what he had got himself into with this reporter, she was determined dent his image.
“My father, rest his soul, worked hard to deliver energy to the world, when the oil finally reached a point where it was not practical to extract it any more, my father had a crisis, a crisis that I still believe put him into an early grave. If he was still alive today to witness what I have turned his empire into I believe he would be very proud. Bringing cheap energy to the world was always my fathers vision and mining the Moon is the best way to do that.” Feeling happy that he handled the question well, Marvin sat back and took a sip of his beer.
The reporter looked down and picked her next question.
“Many people are concerned that an independent company should not have control of such an important commodity, NASA is developing its own missions and the US government will fund these missions to bring reliable energy back to the world, if countries sign contracts with you then you effectively control them countries. Should people be scared of this.”
“The control of this energy will not be controlled by a single person. What the U.S. Government is embarking in will mainly allow them to expand their borders and control effectively the world. If I mine the Moon too then countries will have an option about where their energy comes from. The free market economics will also ensure that customers are not paying too much for their energy.” Marvin felt like he was on a roll, this reporters attempt to unnerve him was not working.
“Mr Banks, why did you decide to work with the Chinese government even thought you have strong links within US politics?” As she said this she shifted her weight forward slightly, as if physically pointing out the probing question.
The nature of this question caught Marvin off guard. This was clearly a catch all situation for the young reporter, either he could admit that his dealings with the US Government were at a standstill which would prompt further questioning about his motives, or he could lie and suggest that he was just broadening his relationships with global partners which would suggest he was using the Chinese to support his plans, which was technically not too far from the truth.
Her actions thus far suggested she would see through and fraud answer so he was best to stick with the rehearsed answer.
“As previously stated, I believe that free market economics are in the best interest of the global consumer and by supporting the US and NASA then I would be going against my core beliefs.” This answer was perfect and he knew it, as it supported position as a “good guy” who was looking out for the customers best interests.
The reporter stared back coldly at this and looked down for her next question. “Mr Banks, could you explain your current acquisitions in the African industrial corporations if you are committed to Chinese development?” She smiled at Marvin as she probed as far as she could.
Marvin was shocked at this revelation. How did she find out about these deals? They were supposed to be secure, carried out under fake trading names that had no link back to him what so ever. “I have no idea what deals you are talking about, I think this interview is over now.”
Marvin stood up to shake the interviewers hand but as she stood up the truck bounced on the dirt road throwing her into him.
“I say… is this how you end every interview?” Marvin smirked at the girl that lay in his lap.
“No Mr Banks, I am sorry.” She immediately got up and seemed to mentally wipe herself down from any germs she picked up from touching Marvin. Rapidly she moved between the legs of the soldiers on the truck again towards the back, as far away from Marvin as possible.
Marvin could not decide whether to let her actions affect his thoughts. In the end he realised he had much more important things to concentrate on and put the thoughts of the “stuck up” reporter to the back of his mind.