by Elegant Butler-Chapter One: A Question in Need of An Answer-

Bryce Lynch finished the light but healthy breakfast the hospital had provided him. While a nurse helped him onto his wheelchair and into the bathroom for the regular morning routine, an orderly removed the sweat-dampened bedsheets and replaced them with fresh ones, then removed the fourth ignored and browning banana from the bedside table and placed it in the trash container that was a part of her work cart.

"Do you want to get back into bed for a bit?" The nurse asked as she wheeled Bryce back into the room.

Bryce shook his head. "I'd like to visit Jenny if that's possible," he said. When the nurse didn't answer, he went on. "Please. I need to know if she's okay."

"Dr. Frewer will explain everything when she arrives," the nurse told him.

"Then back into bed is fine for now," Bryce decided.

Dr. Frewer was in her late fifties. A woman of middling height with light brown eyes and bluish grey hair, she had worked in the medical center for five years, having spent her previous years working for the World Health Organization and as a medic for the British Army.

She entered the room with a smile while the nurse was removing the bandages from Bryce's shoulder.

"I'm sorry if this hurts," the nurse said as she cleaned Bryce's shoulder with a gauze pad that had been treated with wound cleaner.

Bryce gritted his teeth for the briefest of moments and turned to Dr. Frewer.

"How is Jenny?" he asked.

"I can only tell you that she is alive and conscious," Dr. Frewer said. "You'll see her in a few days. I'm prescribing a six month period of recovery for you at the Harrisburg Center."

"When you say 'you'," Bryce asked, "you mean…"

"Seven of you survived," Dr. Frewer told him. "You, Miss Wilcox, and five others. We've spoken to both your parents and your employers. Tomorrow a counselor from the Center will come and talk to each of you privately. They will give you a brief overview of the place."

The nurse finished changing the bandages on Bryce's shoulder. She removed the bedcovers from his wounded leg and began to clean and change the dressing on that wound as well.

Bryce grimaced as he saw the stitches that marred his knee as well as the staples that ran down front of his lower leg.

"Don't worry about that," Dr. Frewer told him. "We've already arranged your visit for the next phase in your surgeries. And the Center you're going to has staff that are trained physical therapists, so you and the others who suffered injury will be getting regular care."

"When is Bryce coming back?" Edison asked Murray. "I know it won't be for a few weeks…"

"He's not coming back for six months," Murray told him. When Edison opened his mouth to protest, he put a hand up and continued."Dr. Frewer has prescribed a stay at a recovery center. Cheviot and Bryce's parents are all in agreement. Dr. Frewer says that Bryce and the other former hostages all need to deal with what's happened to them."

"When do they leave," Edison asked.

"In a few days," Murray said. "Cheviot wants you to do a story on the center. As a follow-up to the hostage rescue story. He spoke to the man who runs it and he says he'll be glad to give you a tour and do an interview as long as you agree not to, as he put it, pester the guests. Though he says he won't stop you from interviewing anyone who volunteers."

"What's the name of the place again?" Edison asked.

"The Harrisburg Center," Murray replied.

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