A/N: This is the fifth story in a series. The other stories in order are Something Old, Something New, The Soldier and The Scientist, Terror of the Crystal Caves and My Son, My Enemy. This story is a crossover with the old Max Headroom show that ran in America from 1985-1987. The whole series is set in the future which is why I decided to use it as a setting for the year 2360. And actually Edison and Max are a lot like the Doctor and Alan. Edison is more serious and Max is his wacky, hyper counterpart. I also realize that not many readers are old enough to remember the show so I will provide background info throughout the story on the Max Headroom universe.

Chapter One

"This is Edison Carter coming to you live and direct on Network 23. What I want to know is, what is the Church of the Cyber Resurrection and why have some of its members been found in random locations with their memories completely wiped? Who is this Cyber Messiah and what is the secret behind his cyber cult? These are the questions I hope to answer tonight. A source has located a possible lead on the location of the Church of the Cyber Resurrection and you are with me live while I check it out. Okay Theora, I'm going in."

"Okay, Edison," Theora said while she sat at her computer and watched the footage from his portable news camera.

She glanced at another computer next to her which had a layout of the building he was in.

"Go right about five feet and you'll see a flight of stairs," she said to him. "Go up it."

"Gotcha, control. Heading upstairs now."

Theora stared at the footage from the camera watching the steps while he ascended to the second level. While she stared, she felt someone behind her and looked around at Murray, the newsroom's editor.

"You really think he's gonna find this so called cyber church?" he asked Theora.

"Dunno, that's why he's going in," Theora replied.

"Yeah and if he finds nothing, he'll end up with egg on his face, our ratings will take a severe nosedive and we'll find ourselves at the bottom of the heap next to Home Shoppingvision. Where did you find this "source" anyway?"

"Reg knew him. He's a blank like he is and apparently he had a friend that managed to get out after he saw what this Cyber Messiah was doing to everyone and told the friend where the location was. The friend passed it on to Reg and Reg passed it on to Edison."

"And does this "friend" have a name?"

Theora shrugged.

"Reg just said he was a friend," she said.

"So we don't know if he's reliable. We're basically trusting a blank, a person who is dishonest to begin with since they purged their identities from all known computer files. This is the man who Edison is trusting, a man who has no identity just like the Cyber Messiah. You better not let Cheviot know about that or he'll have a stroke."

"Okay, control," they heard Edison say. "I'm on the second floor now. Where do I go?"

Theora moved her cursor to the map, clicked on it and brought up the second floor. She studied it.

"You can go right and there are two rooms or go left and there's one," she said to Edison.

"Okay, I'll start with the right then," Edison replied.

They watched his video footage while he walked towards a closed metal door. He tried the handle and the door opened a crack.

"I'm goin' in," he said to Theora.

"Be careful, Edison. There could be anything in there," Theora said.

He hesitated a moment and then quickly opened the door. Edison looked around but there was nothing inside.

"Or there could be nothing at all," he quipped. "I'll try the next door."

"I just hope to God his source was right about this," Murray muttered.

Edison went to the next door, tried it and found it was locked. He stepped back, paused a moment and then slammed his foot into it. There was a sickening crack and the door swung open. They stared at the screen in shock when they saw someone sitting on the other side of the room in the far corner. She was a young blonde woman who looked to be in her mid teens, wearing a white scrub top and pants with a blank faraway look in her eyes. Edison hurried to her and knelt down beside her.

"Are you alright?" he said to her. "Are you okay?"

He waved his hand in front of her face but got no response.

"Damn it, control, I think we have another cult member who had her brain drained," he said to Theora. "Get a medic here."

"On it," Theora replied.

Murray continued to watch the footage while Theora closed the map and switched to the video phone. It rang for a few minutes before she got a picture and then she saw a stern looking woman wearing her white hair back in a bun and wire-rimmed spectacles on her face.

"Yes?" the woman said.

"Yes, we need an ambulance to go to section 17-B, floor 2," Theora said.

"What is the emergency?"

Theora struggled for something to say.

"Woman is…comatose," she finally said. "A friend of mine found her and she's unresponsive."

"We'll send an ambulance out as soon as we can," the woman said.

Theora ignored the annoyed tone in her voice.

"Thank you," she said.

She ended the call and looked back at the footage. By now, Edison was across the hall checking out the other room but the only thing in it was some wires hanging out of a hole in the ceiling.

"Any other floors, control?" Edison said.

Theora brought the map back up.

"No, that's it."

"Damn. We didn't find them then," Edison said.

Murray groaned.

"Now I have to explain it to Cheviot. I just hope our ratings don't plummet or he'll have my head on a silver platter."

He started to walk off and then turned.

"And next time Edison latches onto a big story like this, make sure his sources are airtight. Could you tell him that when he gets back since I'll be down talking to the board members for the next couple of hours?"

Theora nodded. Murray groaned and ran his hand over the top of his balding head.

"Why couldn't Edison be interested in doing the sports report or the fashion review instead of being an investigative journalist?" he muttered as he walked off. "I think the main reason I'm going bald is because of him."

Theora shook her head and closed the map again. She took a sip of coffee watching while Edison hurried back to the helicopter that would bring him back to the building.

"Well, better luck next time, control," Edison said, turning the camera so it was on his face.

"Well, if you do, make bloody sure that you get a reliable source before you waste the network's time, that's Murray's words, more or less," Theora replied.

"And where am I supposed to get that seeing as how no one really knows the Cyber Messiah's real name?" he said to her.

"I'm just telling you what Murray said before he went down to smooth things out with Cheviot and the board members," she replied.

"Well, whoever this Messiah is, he's covered his tracks well. All the cult members we've found had their memories completely drained. They can't remember their own name, let alone tell us who he is or the location of the church."

"Well in the meantime, I'd find something else to report on before they find a way to keep you off the story," she said.

"Aw, come on, Theora, you know me. Once I sink my teeth into a juicy story, I can't let go! I'm like a dog with a bone."

"I know and I think that's why Murray has ulcers now. Anyway, I'll see you when you get back."

"Can I…take you out to dinner tonight, control?" he said, giving her his most winning smile.

Theora couldn't help but smile in return.

"You aren't gonna stop asking that, are you?"

"No, not till you say yes."

"Oh, alright, I give in. Yes, you can."

Her heart leapt when he saw the boyish grin on his face.

"That's a date, control, and believe me, I'm holding you to it," he said.

Theora rolled her eyes and smiled.


She jerked her head to the other computer and saw Edison's computer generated double Max Headroom giving her a sly grin.

"I h-h-h-heard that," he said.

Theora shrugged.


"You're going on a d-d-d-date with Edison."

"I repeat, so?"

The sly grin widened.

"You like like him."

"Yeah, as a friend."

"Hmm, hmm, I think I know b-b-b-better."

Theora sighed.

"Max, I'm not in the mood, alright?" she said. "I don't care what you think. My relationship with Edison is strictly professional."

She deliberately turned away from him and sipped her coffee.

"He's fantasized about you, you know."

Theora looked back at Max who was giving her an evil grin.

"Yes," he said airily, "I have certain m-m-memories that are ex-extremely fascinating. Would you like to know what Edison thought of you b-b-before I was b-b-born?"

"No thanks, Max."

"Well, if you ever want to kn-kn-kn-know, I'm right here. Just c-c-call for me."

"Yeah, I'll be sure to do that," Theora muttered.

She breathed a sigh of relief when Edison came through the double doors and walked over towards her.

"Edison, can you talk to your double and get him under control, please?"

"Why? What's he doing now?" Edison said, coming up beside her.

He looked at the screen and saw Max smiling at him with a little computer generated halo over his head.

"I'm b-b-being good as g-g-gold," he said. "I don't know what The-Theora's t-t-talking about."

Edison snorted.

"Yeah, right," he muttered. "I'll believe that halo the day I believe Zik Zac and Network 23 are the best of friends."

Max gave him an incensed look while he laid his camera on a nearby table and took off his long, battered leather trench coat. He eyed Max while he laid the coat beside the camera.

"Behave," he said, pointing to him.

"I am b-b-behaving, what are you t-t-t-talking about?" Max replied. "Can't a man just stare at his human counterpart in p-p-peace?"

Edison shook his head and ignored him while he ran his hand through his sandy blonde hair.

"I guess I'll have to tell Reg his friend was less than reliable," he said to Theora. "Although…that cult member was in there and the wires could have been hooked up to something. Maybe they were tipped off and got out of there before we came."

"But if that's true, why leave the girl there?" Theora asked.

Edison shrugged.

"Calling card, maybe? The Cyber Messiah wanted to show off his handiwork? Leave a clue for us in a kind of cat and mouse game, who knows. All we know is that girl and the others like her won't be themselves ever again unless we find their original memories and find a way to download them back into their heads. Why though? Why would they do this to people?"

Theora shrugged.

"Maybe they're doing what Bryce did to you and making computer generated versions of them," she said.

Edison glanced at Max.

"God help us if they are," he muttered.

"Hey! I h-heard that," he said angrily. "I have never been so insul-sulted in all my life. If you think that way, I'll b-b-be off. Good day."

They watched while Max turned to his right and slid off the screen, leaving it black. Edison rolled his eyes and walked over to Theora.

"Anyway, control, what other hot stories have we got?" he said, leaning down behind her.

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