Chapter 13

"When will I hear more about the charges?" Jesse asked. Jesse and Sascha were sitting alone in the Office of Internal Affairs. It was the end of a long day for both of them. Jesse had formally presented the students who traveled Slovenia for two months their award from the president. During the photo session that followed, one of them had mentioned that she had found her calling in life. She would be traveling to Europe after graduation to work for Amnesty International on human rights cases.

"Probably after the news about the Slovenian crew dies down," Sascha replied, stretching his legs and his head on his arm. "It would be bad P.R. for a faculty member to throw down the gauntlet on the same day that the program had given a prestigious award for a successful trip. Even the critics can't say anything bad about this one."

"Except that the students should have left the work to the Slovenians."

"Ah, the old `They're taking our jobs' argument, applied in reverse! Maybe this will light a fire under some universities over there to do some honest investigation. With the exception of Fisk, hardly anybody knows what journalism is anymore."

"I saw Fisk speak at M.I.T. once. I remember thinking that he would make an excellent peace broker, because he knows the state of affairs so well that nobody could feed him any bullshit. But then I realized that brutal honesty and incisive critique are out of bounds when you're dealing with diplomats. They're trained in soft skills and polite chat, not in history."

Sascha laughed. "Don't worry, Jesse. We've got the next group of young journalists on the blocks right now, and our professors cite Fisk all the time. In a few years, our biggest problem will be how to keep the students on our waiting list from tearing our doors off their hinges."

"Here's hoping," Jesse said. "I'm going to head out, man. Thanks for the chat."

"Any time. Hey, let me know--"

Sascha's desk phone rang, interrupting his train of thought. He picked up the receiver and said, "Greene". He frowned, listening to the voice in the earpiece. "Yeah, he's here." Looking up at Jesse, he shrugged, looking puzzled. "Sure thing. I'll send him down. Bye."

"I guess you'll be finding out about those charges tonight," Sascha said.

"They want to talk to me now?" Jesse said, sounding incredulous.

"You got it. Room 290, ten minutes. Bring your badge."

Bring your badge. Jesse knew what that meant, and his heart sank. When a police officer was under investigation, his gun and shield were taken until his name was cleared. Around here, your badge was revoked and you were placed on administrative leave. This was Jesse's equivalent of being neutered.