Edison Carter was awakened by a flickering light that reflected on the walls of his apartment. At first he thought it was on fire. Scrambling to his feet, he soon saw that it was not his apartment burning but something outside. Hurrying to the window he saw, to his horror, that what was burning was Network 23.

"Bryce!" he cried out, pulling his clothes on and racing at breakneck speed to the Network.
Arriving, he saw the night shift crew standing out in the cold. Bryce was not among them.

"Where's Bryce?" he demanded.

Nobody answered.

He ran to the firefighters, demanding the same question.

"Please! He's on level thirteen! You have to get him!"

"Mr. Carter," the firefighter-in-charge said, firmly taking the anxious reporter aside. "I'm sorry. Level 13 is an inferno. If anyone was there, they're ashes by now."

"No..." Edison said, sitting down heavily on the bumper of the nearest fire truck with his head in his hands and his heart in his throat. "NO!"

Theora and Murray arrived a moment later, each having seen the same reflections on their apartment walls as Edison had seen on his. They scanned the crowd, also looking for Bryce. Their hearts sank as they saw Edison sitting on the truck bumper, sobbing.

"Bryce?" Theora asked weakly.

"Gone," Edison whispered, "Nothing but ashes. Oh, God, why? WHY?"

Theora and Murray held each other as they both wept.

Edison suddenly got to his feet. "I'm going to find out why." he vowed, darkly. "Even if it kills me."

Cheviot was awakened by the same flicker. Seeing his dreams literally going up in flames, he rushed to the burning network along with his wife.

"Gone," he said when he got there. "All that I've worked for gone. Just like that. All the shows, ratings, everything I'd planned for Network 23... just... gone."

Edison punched him in the mouth.

"Who gives a damn about your ratings, or the stupid network?" he said. "Bryce was just kill..."

"Bryce is fine, Edison," Cheviot said. "My grandson is in town and I asked... rather demanded... that Bryce show him around. And I made damned sure he couldn't get back into his studio until he did so."

"Sorry," Edison said, brightening considerably.

Cheviot's grandson wasn't the toddler or child that Edison and most of his team believed him to be. Rather he was seventeen, just a year older than Bryce.

When Cheviot had told him that someone named Bryce would be showing him around, he expected that his grandfather, possibly aware and disapproving of his homosexuality, was trying to fix him up with an attractive young woman. 'Bryce' was a unisex name after all.

When Jake Cheviot had met Bryce Lynch, therefore, he was so surprised that he felt an instant attraction to the young genius. One which his grandfather either approved of or did not notice.

"Are you paying attention to me?" Bryce asked as they sat in a Zik Zak Know Chow establishment, both finished with their burgers and sharing a large crunch fries.

"To you? Yes." Jake replied. "How can I not, your being as handsome as you are."

"Thanks, I guess," Bryce muttered. Out loud he added, "Still, that's hardly the point at this stage."

The next question Jake asked completely floored Bryce.

"Are you a virgin?"

"Am I a WHAT?"

"A virgin. You know. A guy who's never gotten any."

"Any what?" Bryce said, annoyed at how stupid this line of conversation was making him look.

"Sex." Jake explained. "Have you ever gotten laid? Shared your body with someone else?"

"If you're referring to mind transference that's not actually possible. It would cause a schizophren-"

"I'm not talking about your mind. I'm talking about taking another man's body into yours, or placing your body inside a woman's, if you prefer that."

"Is that even possible?" Bryce asked, starting to notice a reddish glow on the walls.

"I can show you how, if you..." Jake also noticed the glow. Turning he looked out the large window and saw the cause of it. "What in the name of Max Headroom?!"

Bryce turned. "Max!" he shrieked.

"Over here, Virgin!" Max called, smirking. Seeing the fire, he shook his head. "At least nobody was inside. On the other hand, I need a new crosshatch generator. I can hold out on this screen for an hour at most with no network to back me up."

"Not to worry," Bryce said. "there's a tech shop next door. I'm sure they'll have something."

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