Chapter 12: Dangerous Predicament

After Jenny had fallen asleep, Edison sat down in front of his vu-phone and tapped in the number for the local medical center.

A blond woman appeared on the vu-phone screen. She was seated at a reception desk drinking a cup of what Edison guessed was coffee.

"Northside Medical Center. How can we help you?"

"I need to know if you have a patient there named Bryce Lynch?"

After a moment of checking on her computer she looked up. "I'm afraid there doesn't seem to be anyone here by that name. I can show you our recent Blank Does."

Edison nodded. After seeing the people on the list, he shook his head.

With a heavy heart, he contacted Nightingale's Body Bank.

"I am hoping that you don't have a Bryce Lynch in your facility." he said, anxiously.

"When would he have been brought in?" Florence asked.

"Sometime during the past 24 hours."

Florence checked. "No," she told him. "Do you want to see our Blank Does?"

Edison nodded.

After a thorough check, he was relieved to find that Bryce was not in the body bank.

So where was he?

"They don't have Bryce at the medical center or the body bank," Edison told Jenny the next morning.

"But he was in a coma! They took him away in an ambulance!" Jenny protested. "They have to have him somewhere."

"Okay, let's have a look at the staff at the Harrisburg Center," Edison suggested. "One of them might be affiliated with a private clinic. They may have brought Bryce there."

"Then it has to be one of the staff who's trying to kill us," Jenny decided.

Edison ducked into the bathroom. When he came back out he was fully showered and dressed for work.

"You can't go into work!" Jenny protested. "I need you! Bryce needs you!"

"I can utilize better resources at Network 23," Edison told her. "And I'll need Theora's help with this."

"Fine," Jenny said. "But I'm coming along. I mean it. I don't care what Network policy says about it. Bryce is my friend. I'm not letting you or anyone else telling me I can't be involved in saving him."

Dr. Wilkins walked into the small room and looked over at Bryce. He was lying on the bed with several monitors hooked up to his body.

"Has brain damage set in?" she asked the middle aged man who was standing beside her.

"Not yet," Dr. Meyer replied. "A coma usually takes at least two weeks to cause problems with brain function."

"That's not fast enough," Dr. Wilkins told him. "He could be found in that time. We've got to damage him faster than that."

"The most untraceable substance that can cause brain damage that we have available is belladonna extract," Dr. Meyer told her. "It would have to be done gradually for it to appear as a natural event. It would take at least four days to begin having any effect that the rate I'm speaking of."

"Begin administration immediately," Dr. Wilkins ordered.

"It could kill him," Dr. Meyer pointed out, glancing over at Bryce.

Dr. Wilkins didn't even pause to consider this as she repeated. "Immediately."

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