Max Headroom - 20 Minutes Into the Future

Secrets Best Unkept

"Shut up, Max," Bryce said, bitterly, as he did his best to hide the fact that he'd just been crying.

"Really? Is that any way to talk to a friend." Max inquired. "And what is that stuff?"

Bryce looked down at the needle he was holding. "It's nothing, Max," he said, gritting his teeth against the pain of the injection. "Don't worry about it. God, I wish it would last."

Max had been over everyone's records at Network 23, and he was positive that Bryce wasn't a diabetic. So what, he wondered, was in the injection that the young genius had just given himself.

Whatever it was, it didn't seem like it was working properly. Bryce had barely pulled the needle out of his arm before he slumped sideways off the bed and lie on the floor, twitching and grasping the blanket's edge with his trembling hands.

Realizing that this was probably not a good thing, Max raced to Murray's vu-screen.

"Bryce is in trouble," he said. "You'd better get up there pronto! He took this stuff and now he's having some kind of seizure or something."

"What stuff?" Murray asked, alarmed. Surely Bryce wasn't wasted. Why would someone with his intellect even think of doing drugs?

"I don't know," Max said. "Some kind of injection."

Murray wondered which drug Bryce had taken. He wondered how much. Was it an overdose? Was their young friend dying even as Murray rushed to his side?

Reaching Level 13, Murray ran into Bryce's studio and over to the now-shuddering teen.

"Bryce," he said, pulling the blanket on top of Bryce and wrapping him in it. "Hang on, Bryce. Max, tell Dr. Duncan we need him in here now."

"m'fine," Bryce muttered. "s'okay. Just lemme be. It's better like this."

"The hell it is," Murray said, angrily. "What the devil made you even think of taking this shit? What is it anyhow?"

"Just a few drops. Nothing to worry about…" Bryce said, sounding like it was something to be very worried about. "Bitter Angel s'all. Okay?"

As Bitter Angel was the angel dust what crack was to cocaine, Murray decided that 'nothing to worry about' was exactly the wrong description for the drug.

"No, it's not okay," Murray said as Dr. Duncan arrived. "Bitter Angel," he said. "I don't know how much. He says a few drops, but I don't know if I trust him under the circumstances."

Dr. Duncan frowned. "I can give him something for the side effects. But we need to get him to the medcenter for detox. Depending on how long he's been taking this, they might recommend psychological counseling."

"If they don't, I'm going to," Murray said. "Why would a kid as smart as him do something like this?"

"There are many reasons and I don't like any of them," Dr. Duncan replied as he freed one of Bryce's arms from the blanket and injected the new medicine into him while Murray called for an ambulance.

Bryce stopped twitching and lie still, breathing softly as they waited for the ambulance to arrive.

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