The Story So Far: In "20 Minutes into Terror" Bryce Lynch and his classmates were taken hostage by a terrorist group called The Seventh Wave Anti-Television League". Many were killed. Many who survived were seriously wounded and it was decided that they would benefit from a stay at a trauma recovery center just outside town called the Harrisburg Center

Journey Down a Hard Road

Chapter 7: Games and Tears

The elevator doors had barely closed behind Jenny and Bryce when Susan pulled her away from Bryce.

"Where were you?" Susan demanded, angrily. "You're supposed to take care of me!"

"I told you," Jenny said, trying to be patient. Bryce could tell she was reaching the end of her tether. "I wanted to get Bryce so he could be here, too."

"No!" Susan shouted. "He doesn't need you! Little Ice Prince doesn't need anyone!"

"He needs me almost as much as you do right now," Jenny told her. "Maybe more in some ways."

"Hey, Bryce," Winston said from one of the dominoes tables. "Fancy a game?"

"Of dominoes?" Bryce rolled his eyes. "Really, what's the point? There's no logic to the game at all. It's just matching numbers."

"Exactly," Winston laughed. "An excellent way to relax."

Bryce frowned. How was he supposed to relax, he wondered, when simple sounds like thunder sent him into a state of near panic? He doubted that he would ever truly feel safe enough to relax again.

"How can you be so relaxed after what happened to us?" he demanded. "We almost died!"

"Who said I'm relaxed?" Winston asked him. "I'm just as anxious as you are. I'm just trying to find a way to take my mind off it."

"Why don't you go ahead, Bryce," Jenny suggested. "Play a game of dominoes with Winston. I know I asked you to play chess, but Susan's getting really agitated and I don't want a scene."

"Okay," Bryce agreed.

Jenny moved Bryce's wheelchair in place at the dominoes table where Winston sat.

"You think you'll win?" Winston asked, raising an eyebrow. "This is, after all, a game of skill, not logic."

"I think my skill is at least equal to yours," Bryce replied.

"We'll see about that," Winston set down the first domino. "Whatever happened to your graduation project, by the way? The artificial fly?"

"Cheviot swatted it," Bryce muttered. Second domino.

"I didn't quite catch that." Winston raised a brow as he set the third domino.

Bryce knew he had, but didn't argue. "I said," he repeated instead in a slightly louder voice, "Cheviot swatted my artificial fly."

Winston laughed at that. "Nice. Just proves how successful the project actually was."

"Maybe I should've made it a butterfly," Bryce wondered aloud. "People don't swat butterflies."

"There's always next time," Winston reassured him as he set another domino.

"Why would I build another electronic insect?" Bryce asked.

"To spy on the people who did this to us?" Winston suggested.

"They're already taken care of," Bryce reminded him.

"Do you really think those few who were there are the only members?" Winston asked. "Use your head, Bryce!"

"Do you really think I want to see any of that group again?" Bryce asked.

"None of us do," Winston said. "But we have to."

Bryce considered it. Winston did have a point. If they didn't find the hideout of the terrorist group and bring them to justice their Networks, jobs, and very lives would be at stake.

"You're right," he finally said. "We have to. But we need to do better than an electronic butterfly. We have to think smaller."

"What do you suggest, then? Nanites?"

"Brilliant!" Bryce laughed. "I'll contact Blank Bruno after we're done playing and have him get us the equipment we need. He used to work at ACS so he knows the names and addresses of their distributors."

"I was joking, Bryce," Winston said. "There's no way we can equip a nanite with a visual transmitter."

"You mean there's no way yet," Bryce told him. "Don't worry, I'll figure it out."

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