In The Name of Lynch


Robin Lynch found his son out by the lake where he had nearly drowned. He was grateful that his son was neither alone nor in danger. When he'd learned that Bryce had gone to the lake after hearing of his mother's death, he had been rather alarmed.

Bryce and Jenny were on the safe side, sitting on the dock and watching a family of wattlebirds that were nesting in a nearby Eucalyptus tree.

"I wasted so much time," Bryce told his wife. "I spent so many years frozen in that stupid capsule. But even worse, I wasted time not seeing them when I was awake at ACS and Network 23. Why didn't I call her then? Why?"

"Man was born to second guess himself," Jenny said, softly. "It will forever be our lot in life. And you know as well as I that if you hadn't gone into cryostasis you would have died when you really were seventeen."


"Bryce, look at those birds." Robin heard Jenny tell his son, "Do you hear how they sing when there are so few in their nests? How they're still happy even though their older sons and daughters, brothers and sisters have long since flown?"

"Yes, Jen, but I..."

"I think they're not happy in spite of the fact that the others have left the nest. I think they're happy because of it. Because of the fact that their loved ones have made nests of their own. They know that there will be children. And yes, Bryce, we can have children. The women of my family have always been late entering the change. My grandmother had my Aunt Linda when she was fifty-four years old."

"I wouldn't even know where to start," Bryce confessed.

Robin rolled his eyes at this and stifled a chuckle.

"We may have started last night," Jenny admitted.

"So that's how.." Bryce considered this for a moment.

"Well, how did you think?"

"Cloning," Bryce explained.

"Cloning was made illegal in 2003, Bryce," Jenny said.

"I thought that was because of the population overbalance," Bryce shrugged.

"Well, Mister Oh-So-Smart Seventeen-Year-Old-For-Twenty-Five-Years," Robin said, in a tone that was both amused and sad at the same time, "just where did you think you came from?"

Bryce considered every bit of science fact and fiction he could think of. Anything that could save him from the embarrassment of admitting he'd been a bit foolish. Finally he said, brightly, "Arisia?"

"Arisia," Jenny groaned. She knew Bryce was avoiding talking about his mother's passing. "Really? Okay... this is getting ridiculous. What in the name of Network television made you think you were an Arisian?"

"My good looks, luck, and extraordinary intelligence?"

"You forgot your excessive ego," Robin said, smirking, though he was still suffering inside.

Robin didn't want his son upset in a place where he could easily take his own life. He wasn't sure how Bryce would handle the pain. The discoveries of the lighter emotions of love and lust had been happy surprises. But Bryce had never dealt with emotional pain before. He was grateful for Jenny's method of distracting Bryce from the pain of his mother's death. It was something they would have to talk about, father and son, but not in this place.

"Indeed," Jenny said. "Okay, Bryce. Raise your dominant hand."

"Yeah, yeah..." Bryce said.

"Do you see a Lens on it?"

"Well... not really..."

"Right. You're not an Arisian. Not a Lensman of any kind, not the Doctor, and since I might as well nip this line of thought in the bud before it forms and gets out of hand, although your ego and intelligence practically do need two heads, you are also, thank God, NOT ZAPHOD BEEBLEBROX!"

"Are you sure about that last one?" Bryce joked. "we both had parrot cages and..."

"...and you used yours to put a parrot in, not to hide a second head."

"Why am I even entertaining a silly conversation like this?" Bryce asked nobody in particular in a calm and reflective tone of voice.

"Son," Robin said, amusedly to Bryce. "I think perhaps I should've warned you that being in love will make you do and say the silliest things ever. In fact only one thing will make you sound more ridiculous than being a husband."

"What's that, then?" Bryce inquired.

"You'll find out," Robin said.

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