Civilian journalist for the Fleet Recorder
Home Planet: Picon
Photo credit: @LizzyF620 – used with kind permission
The daughter of a wartime journalist, Erika Venson found it easy to follow in her father’s footsteps. She went to Ovid College on Picon, receiving her undergraduate’s degree. From there, she applied to nearly every journalist position on Caprica, Libris, and Virgon. With her father’s reputation preceding her, not to mention her own thorough writing style, she landed a job with the Caprican Times. The editor in chief, an old associate of her father’s, had her report on entertainment news. Although it was not her dream job, she’d have rather cover politics or the brush fire conflicts on the poorer colonies; she took it and figured she would be able to report on what mattered to her later on. She enjoyed her job, covering the lives of actors and musicians, but she felt somewhat dissatisfied with her life. She felt complacent and loathed it, desiring to leave her mark in journalism like her father did during the First Cylon War.
While covering the entertainment scene, she started to hear disturbing rumors about an up and coming actor from Virgon. He was lauded by the media, yet there were inferences that he held a duplicitous nature away from the public and the limelight.
The actor was the figurehead for several social awareness movements on both Sagittaron and Aerelon. Despite this, there was word that he used his influence behind the scenes to scuttle any progress the movements might make. The reason was simple – he wasn’t actually interested in the causes themselves, just the publicity attached to them and the capital they would garner once he moved into politics like his father, who was the Virgon representative.
Venson dove into the mystery, compiling damning evidence and speaking to whistle-blowers. After countless hours of hunting down leads and writing and re-writing her article, she presented her findings to the entertainment editor. What she thought would be a slam dunk, front page story turned into nothing of the sort.
Stunned by what she found, Venson’s immediate boss turned it over to the editor in chief, who then called Venson into his office. She was aghast when the editor in chief, her father’s friend, told her point blank that they would not run the story, as he was friends with the Virgon representative and did not wish to embarrass him with the exposé. Venson stormed out of her boss’ office, furious.
What happened next would later shock the Caprican Times.
When she returned to her desk, Venson privately contacted the Aerelon Beacon and offered her story to them on a silver platter. Hesitant, the Beacon’s editor wanted proof that the article was legitimate, and Venson gladly offered to coordinate her sources with the rival paper. Convinced of the story’s veracity, the Beacon’s editor promised to run it on one condition – the editor wanted to know why she wanted the story published.
Venson responded, saying, “Because what’s happening is frakked up, it’s hurting real people, and needs to be set right.”
Several days later, the Aerelon Beacon ran the story, with Venson’s name in the byline. The scathing piece was picked up by all the colonial news agencies in short order. Suddenly, the actor’s home and his father’s offices were mobbed by the press, anxious to get a comment from either one of them.
Venson’s boss, nearly apoplectic with the turn of events, stalked over to her desk and demanded why she did it. With a slight smile, she spoke. “You told me that you wouldn’t run the story. You never said anything about not shopping it around.”
She was fired shortly after that, but not before she told her former boss he could go frak himself.
Venson did not stay unemployed for long. Despite being unofficially blacklisted from every major colonial newspaper, she got a job offer from the Aerelon Beacon. While the pay was a severe step down, the opportunity to do investigative journalism on her own terms was too good to pass up. She emigrated to Aerelon and went to work, building up her and the Beacon’s reputation. No longer was the Beacon a second rate paper, but a burgeoning news outlet worthy of praise.
When the Cylons attacked, she was on an undercover assignment on the Midsummer’s Dream. She was investigating allegations that a tech company, Gemma Software, was planning on resuming AI research, an area forbidden by Colonial law since the First Cylon War. Once the colonies were destroyed, she found that her job was now meaningless.
She subsequently spent her time drinking in the bar area while the small civilian fleet avoided the Cylon patrols. A glimmer of hope sparked when they were found by the Pegasus, but was extinguished just as quickly when the Colonial Fleet took everything of value from them and left them to die. Her despair worsened as she helplessly watched their small fleet dwindle to only a handful of ships after repeated Cylon attacks. However, it was not the Gods’ plan for them to die, as they were later discovered by the Orthrus. Unlike the horror visited upon them by the Pegasus, they were instead rescued.
With the recent reformation of the government, Venson has now found the will to become what her father was so long ago, a wartime reporter.