By Axel Ingleson

-Chapter Two-

What were you thinking? Murray demanded of Bryce as soon as the elevator doors opened just inside the entrance to the helipad.

I only wanted to test the vidicam I developed, Bryce explained. Is that really so hard to understand?

What s hard to understand is why you couldn t simply take it someplace safe and test it under controlled conditions.

I had a controller, Bryce pointed out.

That s not what I meant, and you know it, Murray grumbled.

The kid s a natural, Murray, Edison stated, matter-of-factly.

Don t encourage him, Murray warned.

I think that s exactly what we should do, Murray, suggested.

You re not planning on retiring? Murray was aghast at such a possibility.

Not for a while, Edison reassured him. But my time will come. And when it does, I d like to know someone I can trust will be ready to take over.

He s sixteen, Edison, Murray pointed out.

Only for two more weeks, Bryce pointed out.

Seventeen is still too young to be a reporter, Murray reminded them.

Oh, come on, Murray, Edison insisted. He s got talent. You heard his report. He might be a little raw in some places, but he s better than I was in the beginning.

I don t feel comfortable with it, Murray said. The answer is no.

At least we know the vidicam works, Bryce shrugged. I m going to head back up to my studio. I ve got a couple of things left to take care of for Cheviot.

Bryce stepped off the lift one level up from his studio and headed for the staircase.

We ll talk in an hour, Edison told him.

Okay with me, Bryce called back as the door to the stairwell swung shut.

As the doors to the lift slid closed, Murray turned to Edison. I really wish you wouldn t get his hopes up like that.

Murray, he s got talent.

One good presentation doesn t make a star reporter.

No, but it is a good springboard to launch a career from.


I ll take him under my wing for now, Edison promised. He ll be well protected.

I know I m going to regret this, but okay. As long as you swear you ll keep him out of trouble.

The doors opened onto the Control level and the two men stepped out.

Bryce okay? Theora asked.

He s fine, Edison reassured her.

For now, Murray grumbled.

What do you mean?

I ve talked Murray into giving Bryce a position as a field reporter, Edison explained. Bryce loves the idea. But Murray isn t so sure it s a good idea.

Will you be able to live with yourself when he gets killed? Murray asked.

He won t, Edison assured both Murray and Theora. I promised to protect him, and I will.

So, what s his next report? Theora asked. You can t expect him to take on something tame now that he s confronted someone like the Bureau Burner.

He ll take what s available, Murray said, firmly. We don t make things up just for ratings. He can go work at Breakthru TV if he wants to do that.

I m sure Bryce has enough integrity to stick with doing honest reports.

Murray was watching the list of available reports when he spotted one that caught his attention. He contacted Bryce.
You want an assignment?

What ve you got?

Big fire. Since you handled the last report involving fire so well, I thought you might be able to handle this one.

I m as good as there, Bryce said, grabbing his vidicam as he made his way to the helipad.

You didn t tell them where the fire was, Theora told Murray as she watched Bryce and Edison depart on her Control monitor.

Martinez knows the location. I transmitted it to him. Murray said, sounding doubtful.

What s wrong?

Nothing, Murray said. I just wanted to see how Bryce would handle a crisis.

Where is that fire, Murray? Theora asked, worriedly.

Murray frowned.


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