In The Name of Lynch

-Chapter 14: Searches and Meetings-

Max Headroom was elated.

For a quarter of a century, after his creator/'mother'/best friend Bryce had been placed in stasis, Max had gone into a kind of funk. Then, last night, he'd heard Bryce's voice. And it had not come from the Cat9 program that Bryce had been linked to for as long as Max could recently recall.

Instead it had come from what Max thought of as Outer Air. The place where Edison and his kind dwelt.

Overjoyed that Bryce was awake again after so long, he had instantly bombarded Bryce with a million questions.

Bryce cheerfully deflected Max's inquiries. "Later, Max. Right now I need a favor."

"Of course," Max drawled.

"Good. You can tell Edison this was a small payback for the two million favors I did for him," Bryce said as he had turned to Jenny. "You got a name for that last one?"

Jenny had given the first name to him. It was Marlene.

"Just the name Marlene and the fact that she was adopted out from Ovu-Vat about 25 years ago," Max said in a tone of stern cheerfulness. "No location. Not even a hint."

Bryce and Jenny had run out of the studio then to get to the airport.

"Fine," Max had called to the empty room as the door closed. "No problem! It shouldn't take too long! What am I supposed to do when I find her?"

The room remained silent.

"Oh well..." Max shrugged this computer-generated shoulders and started looking. "You could've at least put the needle into a haystack before you made me look for it instead of dropping it into a pile of more needles!"

Just a day and a half later, Bryce was being shaken awake by Jenny.

"Wake up, kiddo," she told him playfully. "We're at Hobart."

Bryce opened his eyes, removing the seatbelt from around his waist at the same time. Jenny, who'd taken the aisle seat, was already pulling down their bags.

"My equipment had better not be damaged," Bryce said, not pleased that they had forced him to check his tech with the larger bags rather than allow him to carry it with him in the cabin.

"I'm sure it's fine," Jenny told him as they hurried down the ramp to the terminal. "And you did have it insured."

"While I'm sure the insurance will pay for the physical equipment, it won't replace the programs or the hundreds of hours it took me to create them."

"I know you better than that, Bryce Lynch," Jenny scolded. "Those hundreds of hours consisted of about ten minutes of hyper-genius programming with the rest of it being you playing with your pet parrot. Who, I am sorry to tell you, died four years ago of old age."

"Shame," Bryce admitted. "Tess was a good pet. For Tesseract, in case you were wondering."

"Curious," Jenny remarked, raising an eyebrow. "Never pegged you as a L'Engle fan. I wonder what other secrets you've been keeping."

"I'm nine hundred and seventy-one years..." Bryce began.

Jenny laughed aloud as she put a shushing finger on his lips and told him: "You are most definitely NOT the Doctor."

"How do you know?" Bryce asked, in a tone of mock seriousness. He was glad that she'd gotten the reference. Edison and the rest of the team would've just looked at him as if he were growing antlers.

"Because if you were, we would not have just spent twenty-seven hours cramped up in coach."

Reaching the baggage claim, they were both relieved to find everything in excellent condition.

They picked up the small car that Jenny had reserved.

"Family trip?" the gentlemen at the counter inquired, giving Jenny a friendly grin.

"Actually," Bryce interceded, "my fiancee and I have been apart for a quarter century while I've been in cryogenic hibernation and we're just on this little trip so I can stretch my legs and do a little sight-seeing."

The counterman's jaw dropped nearly a foot and stayed there for several moments until Bryce gave a 'just-kidding' wink which had all three of them laughing.

Jenny shook her head with a chuckle. "I almost forgot about your weird sense of humor," she told him as the counterman handed her the keys to the rental car.

Ten minutes later, they were driving to the ferry to Tasmania.

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