[Pearl Whittaker, host of Iphyria Today, sits in her customary chair on stage. She’s peering with great interest at a tall, blonde-haired man slouching across from her.]
Pearl: Hello and welcome to Iphyria Today! I’m Archivist Pearl Whittaker and today I’m joined by Wildfire Jack Dewitt, Scourge of the Untamed Territory. Thank you for joining us today . . . may I call you Jack?
Jack: [shrugs] Doesn’t make a bit of difference to me.
Pearl: Great. So as you know I interviewed your friend Blaise last week—
Jack: He’s not my friend.
Pearl: [raising an eyebrow] Are you sure about that? [When Jack just shares at her, she decides to plow onward.] Right. Anyway, tell us a little about yourself. I understand you’re an outlaw mage. Tell us about your magic and what that means for those who don’t know.
Jack: [Gritting his teeth] I think it’s pretty obvious what an outlaw mage is. I’m not on good terms with the law. And that’s how I prefer to stay.
Pearl: And your magic? [Jack clams up, eyes narrowed slits of annoyance.] I see that’s a topic you prefer to avoid. Understood . . . I know the importance of discretion. [She pauses, gaining her bearings.] Can you tell us how you became an outlaw? You used to work for the Salt-Iron Confederation, as I understand it.
Jack: [leaning forward like a predator, as this is a topic he seems willing to discuss] I did. Biggest bunch of assholes you’ve ever seen. [He tips his head, considering how much he wants to tell her.] Took a long time to get free of them, and then when I did . . . [The outlaw stops, grimacing.] Never mind. Next question.
Jack: I said next question.
Pearl: Right. So earlier you said Blaise Hawthorne was in fact not your friend. That means you dislike him? Why is that?
Jack: [Glaring] You have a knack for asking questions I’d rather not answer.
Pearl: I’m an Archivist. It’s my job to get answers, even uncomfortable ones.
Jack: That could be dangerous around me.
Pearl: [Meeting his gaze] You’re in my realm right now, sir. I would watch myself if I were you.
Jack: I know better than to tangle with a Librarian. But there are some questions I’m not going to answer.
Pearl: [sighing] Well, it seems we’ve reached a draw, in that case. I want to thank my extremely stubborn guest Wildfire Jack Dewitt for speaking with me. Next week, I’ll be joined by Gannish entrepreneur Jefferson Cole!
Jack: Cole? Son of a—
[Fade to black]