LOST AND ALONE

Chapter 4: Genius Found

Bryce simply couldn't make sense of anything that was happening to him. Where had the time gone? Why had he been taken away from Network 23? Who had take him? And what on earth was a rape kit?

The last question was the first one he got an answer for.

"My name is Dr. Jane Cooper," the doctor told him, "Once we get you settled in we'd like to do a rape kit. You have the right to refuse. However, if you do allow one it will help us to identify the person who took you from your home."

"What is a rape kit?" Bryce asked.

"It means that we would be doing an internal examination to find out if you've been penetrated without your consent while you were unconscious."

"Internal?" Bryce looked at her in confusion. "Surgical?"

"No, anal." the nurse replied without flinching. "We'd also want to do a genital examination to check for signs of molestation. I know it's uncomfortable to think about. And if you want we can wait until someone comes if you'd prefer to have a friend in the room with you. Given your unfamiliarity with what might have happened to you, that might be a good idea. Is there anyone I can call for you?"

Bryce thought it over. He knew they'd never believe him if he said he knew Cheviot, so instead he mentioned the one person at Network 23 they would probably be likely to call.

"Theora Jones."

"Theora," Murray said, holding the main phone in the control room. "You've got a call. Make it fast, you know our policy about personal communications."

"Thanks, Murray," Theora said getting up from her desk and heading over to the phone.

Murray returned to the desk where Edison and Max were arguing about another interruption to Edison's show.

"You should be looking for Bryce," Max complained. "Not doing sil- sil- silly reports about frogs."

"I want to, Max," Edison shot back. "Don't you think I want to! Cheviot's got this stupid Pets on Parade gig going and he wants me to front the damned thing!"

"Hello," Theora was saying on the phone in the meantime. "Yes, doctor? Yes, I'll take it."

Edison heard the word doctor and turned to face Theora just as she blurted out.

"Oh my god! Bryce!"

"You've found him?" Edison asked, hopefully.

Theora nodded. "Yes, Bryce. I'll come down. Do you want Edison and Murray there, too? Just me? Yes, I'll speak to the doctor. I'll be there in ten minutes." Theora listened for another several minutes, her heart breaking as Dr. Cooper explained the situation to her. By the time she disconnected the call her face was a mixture of grief and rage.

"I have to leave," she told Murray and Edison. "Bryce is in the medical center. He needs me."

"We'll come with you," Edison offered.

"Right now he doesn't want too many people there," Theora explained. "He's already upset and confused enough as it is. I'll let you know when he can have more visitors."

"Butů" Edison began.

Murray put a hand on his shoulder. "He's safe, Edison. Let's just let him be for the moment. We don't want to upset or panic him further by overcrowding him."

"You're right," Edison said, but he was far from liking it.

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