-Chapter Four-

Bryce recovered slowly but steadily from his appendectomy. After about two and half months, he seemed to be back to normal. The lingering pain in his midsection was gone, and he was able to fully concentrate on his work once more.

The rest of the team were happy about Bryce s recovery. But Theora was a bit concerned. There was something different about the young genius. She couldn t quite put her finger on it, but the difference seemed familiar somehow. It was something she d seen before. Something that reminded her of similar changes in another person who was close to her.

She called Bryce s studio to inform him that Edison was on his way to get help with his current report. Bryce was not at his computer. At first she thought he d gone out to one of the vending machines to get a snack. Then, she heard him throwing up in the bathroom. She turned off the vu-phone and contacted Edison.

Cancel your request and find out what s wrong with Bryce? It sounds to me like he s not feeling too hot.

Throwing up? Edison guessed.

Sounds like it, Theora confirmed.

I ll get on it right away, Edison said. Tell Murray to expect a possible delay in the show. Bryce comes first.

I ll do that, but I doubt he ll be happy.

Who gives a crap if Murray s happy? Edison said, too quickly to stop himself as Murray walked into the viewing range of Theora s screen.

Well, I do, Murray muttered. What s up?

Bryce is sick, Theora explained.

I bet something got left inside when they did that surgery, Murray said. That s why I hate those places. They always make mistakes like that.

If it were something forgotten inside, there would ve been side-effects a long time ago, Theora said. I m betting its food poisoning. Probably from one of the vending machines. They really ought to replace the snacks in those more often.

By the time Edison had reached the Research and Development department, Bryce had finished being sick. The young genius washed his face and headed back to his computer. He was half-way there when Edison stopped him.

You really ought to take the day off if you re not feeling well, the reporter said, firmly.

I ll be fine, Bryce assured him. My stomach always settles back down around eleven or so.

Then this has happened before?

Fourth day this week, Bryce admitted. No need for concern. It always goes away by eleven or noon at the latest.

Now I m concerned, Theora told Murray. She had realized where she had seen Bryce s changes in mood and behavior. It had been in her sister-in-law, Winnie when she was expecting. Turning her attention back to her vu-screen she contacted Edison. Edison. Please, take Bryce to Dr. Duncan, he said. Have him do an ultrasound on his abdomen. If what I suspect is true, and there is a way it could be, we have to act quickly.

What is it that you suspect? Murray asked, after Theora had disconnected the call.

I think that Bryce might just be pregnant. Theora told him.

That s Murray stopped as he recalled the report Edison had done shortly before Bryce s surgery. The report on Ovu-Vat. I hope he isn t. The last thing I need is a miniature Bryce Lynch.

Bryce isn t so bad, Theora admonished.

Not so bad? Murray exclaimed. I m still waiting for him to lock all my TV sets to some of his favorite music videos.

The zipping incident was months ago, Theora pointed out. And Cheviot has forgiven him.

Where are we going? Bryce was asking Edison at about the same time that Theora was telling Murray that Bryce wasn t all that bad.

Dr. Duncan s office, Edison told him. Theora says you should get an ultrasound. Sounds like she thinks they left something in you when they took out your appendix.

They walked down the corridor from the lift and into Dr. Duncan s office. The receptionist looked up. The doctor is with Mr. Cheviot right now. He ll just be a few minutes. Please sit down and wait.

Bryce stumbled into the bathroom, instead, and threw up again.

I ll get the doctor, the receptionist decided.

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