-Chapter 15: Top Level Arguments-

Cheviot switched the screen in the boardroom over to the ratings data page as soon as Edison's interview with Bryce came to a close. His heart ached with guilt over the fact that he had allowed Parker access to Bryce. It was something he didn't want to think about.

"Looks like that little interview gave us a twenty point ratings increase," Edwards pointed out.

"I find that in poor taste," Cheviot pointed out.

"That coming from the man who suggested a live demonstration of blipverts," Ashwell remarked.

"Parker didn't kill Bryce," Cheviot said, weakly.

"No, he just raped him," Edwards clarified.

"Fate worse than death," Lauren said in the vocal equivalent of a shrug.

"Think the trial will bring in good ratings?" Edwards asked earning glares from the rest of the Board.

"And just... just... just what do you plan on doing with Bryce after the trial? Hm?" Max glitched from the same screen where the ratings page had just been. "You know you can't re-hire him if he's tried in our courts."

"I know," Cheviot admitted.

"So, why fire him?"

"I'm actually hoping the viewers will sentence Bryce to finish his teens at Westford," Cheviot admitted. "If Parker's attacks have affected him much as I think, I believe Bryce is going to need serious treatment to help him deal with what's happened."

"And what about after that?" Max inquired.

"Maybe I can't hire him back," Cheviot said. "But I'm not going to just abandon him when that time comes."

"No. You've already d- d- done that." Max retorted, vanishing from the screen with an angry scowl on his face and leaving the room in an uncomfortable silence as the ratings reappeared to the screen.

They didn't seem so important now.

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