-Chapter One: Love and Tragedy-

Jenny Wilcox was glad that she didn't get very many visitors in her studio at Network 66.

Seven and a half months pregnant, she thought quietly of Bryce Lynch, her counterpart at Network 66's rival, Network 23. Bryce was also the father of her child, something that even he was not aware of.

It wasn't that he had used her and left her. He'd never even touched her. As a prerequisite for graduating from ACS, students had been required to donate biological materials. This was done to ensure their genetic line was continued in case of their deaths. These materials were extracted with a syringe, then saved in cryostorage until needed.

Jenny had managed to talk those responsible for the storage unit into giving her some of Bryce's donation and had successfully impregnated herself with it. There was no scientific reason or logical reason for her to do so. She simply loved him and wanted his child.

Recently, she had begun to realize that just being mother to his child wasn't enough. She wanted him to share in the joys and responsibilities of having that child. She wanted to watch him play catch with his son, if it was a boy, or teach the little tyke to use a computer.

Tapping his number into her vu-phone, she rested an idle hand on her swollen belly, smiling as her baby kicked.

"Lynch," Bryce yawned. He looked at Jenny with a mystified expression. "What's with your abdominal area? That's some rather serious…"

"I'm pregnant," Jenny told him. "To save you the bother of asking, I've got another human being inside me and he or she is due to come out in a month and a half. Don't ask how, it's not something your delicate mind can handle. Also, it's yours."


"I bribed the storage facility to give me some of your genetic material from our graduate donations."

"I'll be there in five minutes. Meet me at the entrance to the car park."


"Bring warm clothes."

Jenny nodded. "Okay."

Bryce dressed quickly and ran to the Network 23 car park. He got into the nearest company car. He started it, paused for a split second, then drove to Network 66.

Jenny stared at the car as it pulled up. Before she could run, the driver's side window came down. She was astonished to see Bryce in the driver's seat.

"You stole a car?"

"No," Bryce assured her, "it's a company car. I'm an employee. Get in. We've got to get as far away from this town as we can. Once we're clear we'll set up shop. We can both work for our respective networks from a safe remote location."

"I'm cool with that," Jenny told him, getting into the passenger's seat. As soon as her door was closed, the two teen geniuses headed off, planning their destination along the way.

A man who was driving home exhausted from a triple work shift struck their car ten minutes later. Jolted awake by the crash, he found himself pinned in his own vehicle and called for an ambulance. As he blacked out from pain, he saw the two teens in the car he had hit. He couldn't tell if they were alive or dead.

"I'm sorry," he whispered, his heart broken by what he'd done. "Oh, God, I'm sorry."

Cheviot was sound asleep when his vu-phone went off. Groggily, he answered it and was surprised and alarmed to see a doctor on the line. "Has something happened, doctor?"

"It's about Bryce Lynch. Your employee?"

"Yes, he is. Is he ill? Has there been an accident in his lab?"

"There has been an accident. But not in his lab. I need you to come to the Southside Medical Center immediately."

Cheviot nodded, disconnected the call, and got dressed.

His wife woke and looked at him, sleepily. "What's wrong?"

"Bryce has been in an accident," he told her.

"How bad?" she asked, getting dressed herself. She hadn't ever met Bryce herself, but knew that Cheviot thought highly of him. At least as an employee.

"I don't know," Cheviot admitted. "You don't have to come, Danielle."

"Yes, I do," Danielle answered. "You might need emotional support if…"

"Let's not think about that."

At the same time that the Cheviots were getting dressed, Ned Grossberg was on the phone with the same doctor.

"What about Jenny?" he asked, his voice alarmed. "What kind of accident?"

"It was a car crash," the doctor said, regretfully. "You'd better come down at once. Southside Medical Center."

Grossberg disconnected, got dressed, and ran outside to his car.

Arriving at Southside, he ran into Cheviot in the lobby. "Why are you here?"

"Bryce was in an accident of some kind," Cheviot said, too tired and worried to think of their rivalry.

"They must've been together," Grossberg mused to himself.


"I said, our two heads of Research and Development must've gotten together for some reason. They were classmates at ACS, right?"

"So you think they were going to a class reunion at two in the morning?"

"Mr. Cheviot. Mr. Grossberg."

The two Network Presidents turned to face the bearded man who'd spoken to them.

"I'm Dr. Stephens," he said.

"How's Bryce?" Cheviot asked.

"How's Jenny?" Grossberg inquired at the same time.

"I'm sorry," Dr. Stephens replied. "They were both killed in the crash. Their car was sideswiped by a man who fell asleep at the wheel."

"Their car?" Grossberg asked

"Who was driving?" Cheviot inquired

"Bryce Lynch was," the doctor replied, "according to the paramedics. Now, if you two gentlemen and the lady would come this way…"

Grossberg and the Cheviots followed the doctor until they arrived at a large window. Through it they could see several incubators. In one of them was a tiny premature baby.

Cheviot and Grossberg exchanged glances, then stared at the tiny newborn.

"The child was removed from Miss Wilcox's womb moments after her body arrived here. A girl. Her due date according to the hospital records was to be in six weeks, so she's only just premature. She'll be able to come out of the incubator in two weeks. She's suffered no trauma or birth injuries."

"I can't believe Jenny hid this from me," Grossberg said in awe.

"What does this have to do with Bryce?" Cheviot inquired.

"We ran a DNA scan and determined that he was the father of this little girl."

"So she's a genius, right?" Cheviot asked.

"Her natural IQ level is off the charts according to the brain scan we did," Dr. Stephens replied. "Now, I need to get in touch with the grandparents. Do either of you have their contact information?"

Cheviot and Grossberg both shook their heads.

"They might have that information at ACS. They were both students there." Grossberg suggested after a moment.

"Thank you, Mr. Grossberg." Dr. Stephens said. "I'll leave you three alone. I'm sorry for your loss."

"Thank you, doctor," Grossberg said. "Oh, have Jenny's body laid to rest at Gladhand Meadows."

"Same for Bryce," Cheviot added.

"I'll see that that's done," Dr. Stephens promised as he left them at the window of the incubation room.

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