Chapter 12: Games and Warnings

"Bryce, what happened?" Riku asked as Bryce sat down huffily, leaning on the pole of the basketball hoop.

"Cheviot fired me," Bryce complained. "Edison said that wouldn't happen. I think Cheviot set it all up so he could fire me."

"I doubt that," T-Bone pointed out. "He's chairman of the board there, right?"

"Yeah. So?" Bryce looked angrily off into the distance.

"Well, your 'plot' suggestion seems rather complex," Riku pointed out. "Since when have you ever heard of a chairman of the board who had the brains to figure out complex ideas?"

Bryce felt a bit of his anger leave him. Riku had a point. Maybe Cheviot didn't set him up. "But why would he just throw me to the wolves if he doesn't hate me?"

"Who's throwing whom to the wolves?" Laura asked as she came out to join them. "A few of us saw that slap. You're a hero with a few of them. Most of us have spent our lives wishing we could slap the chairman of a major television network."

"I'm not proud of it," Bryce admitted. "I may have jumped the gun. But what I can't figure out is why Cheviot would fire me. It's bad enough that I'll probably be tried by Network 66. But now I've got nobody in my corner."

"Maybe you won't be tried by Network 66," Laura pointed out. "After all, now that you are no longer employed by Network 23, you can be tried in their courts. Right?"

Bryce's eyes widened at this. Could Cheviot have really fired him in an attempt to save his life. Would it work? Even if he was no longer employed there, would his having been a past employee still disqualify him for an appearance on 'You The Jury'? Why would Cheviot take such a risk, he wondered.

The answer came the next day when Jenny showed up at Westford. She didn't announce herself or stay long. Instead, she watched for Bryce near the fence.

Bryce, Riku, T-Bone and Vincent walked onto the basketball court. Vincent was carrying a ball. Jenny thought about calling out, but decided to watch a bit first. She'd never seen Bryce try out any type of sports and was curious to see how he would do.

"We're not going easy on you just because you're a tech," Vincent warned Bryce. "So it's me and T-Bone against you and Riku. Game ends at 50 points. You can't dribble the ball for more than three minutes before you either shoot or pass to your teammate. Got it?"

"Got it," Bryce nodded.

Jenny leaned against a lamppost and watched the game. Bryce wasn't a natural as was obvious by the fact that he wasn't very good at receiving or passing the ball at the three minute marks, but he wasn't a disaster at it either, as he managed to score four points for himself and Riku as well as assisting Riku for another six before the other team managed to get possession of the ball.

Bryce tried to get it back, but ended up stumbling and falling near the fence. Jenny realized this was as good an opportunity as any to speak to him.

"Not bad," she complimented him.

"Jenny. What are you doing here?" Bryce asked.

"I can't be seen here talking to you like this. But I had to warn you about what Network 66 is planning if they end up being the ones to try your case," Jenny sounded very upset. "It's not Grossberg's idea. He tried to talk them out of it. Bryce our courts are going to seek the death penalty."

"That explains it," Bryce realized. "That's why Cheviot dismissed me so I could be tried by Network 23."

"I hope his idea works, for your sake." Jenny said, worriedly.

"You gonna play or flirt?" Riku called. "Come on, let's go."

"Thanks, Jenny," Bryce told her, returning to the game.

Jenny watched a few more minutes, then hurried away.

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