-Max Headroom: 20 Minutes Into The Future-


-Chapter 08-

Bryce waited for his adversary to appear. He felt a combination of fear and impatience as he stood there in the plain white field. He wondered for a moment if Freddy had sensed his plan. But as he stood there, he heard the same song he'd heard before.

"One- Two- Freddy's coming for you. Three- Four- better lock your door…"

Bryce turned and saw Freddy standing there, looking as casual as ever.

"Rather bland, isn't it?" Freddy said, waving his gloved hand to indicate the nothingness that surrounded them. "Shall I paint it blood red?"

Bryce smiled. "I'd rather you didn't," he said. "But if you want, I can offer you a more colorful alternative."

Freddy raised an eyebrow as the whiteness was replaced by an inexplicable array of neon-like interlinking patterns.

"Hmph," he scoffed, as Bryce backed away, slowly. He advanced toward the young genius with a triumphant gleam in his eyes.

Bryce continued to back away, fear still apparent in his eyes, as Freddy wiggled his glove, tauntingly. Then, he circled back.

Freddy circled with Bryce, the two combatants sizing each other up. Then Bryce smiled

as he pulled a remote from his pocket and clicked it. A glass cage appeared around Freddy, trapping him within it.

Freddy waved a hand, intending to make the wall before him disappear. This was his domain, after all. It was never a problem with him to make doors and walls vanish or at the very least noncorporeal.

This wall, however, did not budge. Freddy banged on it, and tried to cut through it with his claws. It did him no good.

Bryce smiled at Freddy, a look of triumph in his eyes.

"Welcome to cyberspace," he told the man who had twice tried to kill him. "Enjoy your stay."

He backed away, until he seemed to cross an imaginary line, which Freddy had been too busy to notice the first time. Then he vanished from sight, leaving Freddy alone in his transparent prison.

Edison watched in worry as Bryce sat there, wondering if the young genius would ever wake up.

Then Bryce reached up and removed the goggles. He moved quickly, disconnecting the portable unit from the telecine machine before Freddy could figure a way out of the prison.

"So, what do we do with this thing?" Edison asked, indicating the computer that Freddy was now trapped inside of.

"We put it somewhere safe," Bryce replied as he stood up and turned to face Edison.

Edison thought about it, then had an idea. "We'll bury it," he decided. "Someplace where no one will ever find it."

"Yeah," Bryce agreed.

They got the portable unit out to Edison's car. Edison started the car and drove it to a place just beyond the Fringes, stopping along the way to buy a pair of shovels.

When he got there, he turned to Bryce to ask him to help him dig a hole to put the computer into and smiled ruefully as he saw that Bryce was fast asleep.

"Sleep well, kid," he said as he got out of the car and began to dig.

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