-Max Headroom: 20 Minutes Into The Future-


-Chapter 05-

Max watched Bryce from the vantage point of the hospital room's wall-mounted television set.

The young genius lie there, willing himself to stay awake. Twice now his mind had been invaded by the man who'd called himself Freddy. And he wasn't too keen on having another Freddy dream.

"You should get- get- get some sleep. Sleep." Max suggested.

"I can't," Bryce shook his head, sitting up. "I know it seems illogical. But I know that if I fall asleep, I'll die."

"You can't stay awake for the rest of your life," Max pointed out.

"I know," Bryce sighed, his voice full of fear and worry. "I just wish I could get this Freddy guy out of my head."

"There were a lot of teenagers who felt the same way," Theora told him as she walked into the room with a pile of papers. She sat down at the edge of the bed and handed Bryce a cup of coffee. "I want you to stay awake tonight, Bryce."

"You found something?" Bryce asked.

"Freddy Krueger was a child killer who went free because of a technicality in the law," Theora told him. "He was tracked down by a mob of angry townsfolk and burned alive."

"How did he survive?" Bryce asked.

"He didn't," Theora replied.

"I'm being stalked by some dead killer's ghost?" Bryce asked. He would have been skeptical if he hadn't met Freddy himself.

"You're not alone," Theora told him. "After Freddy died, he began to come back in people's dreams. With very few exceptions, his victims were teenagers. The early victims were the offspring of the people who had burned him alive. All of them died in their sleep under mysterious circumstances."

"Killed in their nightmares," Bryce realized.

"So it seems," Theora nodded.

"What else is known about Freddy Krueger?" Bryce asked.

"That's as far as I got," Theora told Bryce. "I rushed here as soon as I realized the danger you were in."

"D-d-danger? Danger?" Max asked.

Theora nodded. "And unfortunately we don't have a way to protect Bryce yet. All we can do at this point is to try to keep him awake, or at least wake him up when he appears to be having a nightmare. But we can't keep that up forever."

"So, Bryce is going to die?" Max asked, sounding fearful.

"Not if I can help it," Edison said from the doorway.

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