MAX HEADROOM: 20 Minutes Into the Future

Something About Her

Chapter 02: The Young Father

It was mid-afternoon by the time the bus pulled up in front of Network 23. It wasn't often that the rolling headquarters of a pirate station parked at it's competitor's front door. Even if the people running said pirate station were on good terms with the competitor in question.

The front door security officer plucked a phone from the wall and pressed three keys. A moment later, the Network 23 logo vanished from the screen on the wall, replaced by the image of another man in his mid fifties. This one looked like the actors who played the roll of the grandfather on every TV series since families had been portrayed on the small screen.

"We're in a meeting," he said, firmly.

"Blank Reg is here," the security officer told him. "Along with Dominique and some girl I don't know. I think she might be related to Lynch. What do you want me to do?"

"We can't have pirate station employees running unchecked around Network 23. Even if they are friends. It doesn't look good." the white haired man considered this. "I'll have Carter escort them to the dining terrace. If the girl is related to Bryce, they can have their reunion there."

In the boardroom on the topmost floor of Network 23, Ben Cheviot pushed the button to disconnect the call, then entered the numbers for the Control Room.

On the eighth floor, a harried, balding man, picked up the phone. "What can I do for you, Mr. Cheviot?" he asked.

"Murray," Cheviot said, "is Carter around?"

Murray held out the phone, "Edison," he said, firmly.

"Yeah," Edison said into the phone, as he took it.

Cheviot switched to visual mode to make certain Edison was listening.

"Blank Reg and Dom are here."

"Here? But..."

"They have a girl with them. Security thinks she's a relative of Bryce's. I doubt he's expecting her. Still, it'll be nice for him to have family drop by. Use the dining terrace. I'll arrange for privacy."

Edison nodded to the screen, wondering if the girl were Bryce's sister, cousin, or niece. Maybe even his mother.

"Get Bryce," he told Theora, who was smiling at the thought of the young genius being reunited with a member of his family after nearly seven years. "Don't say anything about the girl. I want it to be a surprise. And don't call him. You know he'll just go back to work. Go to his studio and bring him here."

Theora looked at Murray who nodded his approval.. Then she departed from the Control Room and made her way to the Research and Development department on the thirteenth floor.

Bryce was, as he put it when Theora asked him with a bemused stare upon walking into his studio/lab "working on a project involving the electronic transportation of an avian species."

"In other words, you're playing with your train and your parrot again," Theora chuckled.

"Uh, yeah, I suppose it could be called that," Bryce admitted, somewhat abashed.

"It's okay," Theora assured him. "We all need to relax sometime. Anyhow, you're needed at the dining terrace."

"I'm not really hungry at the moment," Bryce told her.

"This isn't about food," Theora told him with a look that said that she would not take 'no' for an answer.

"Funny place to do something not involving food," Bryce mentioned as he followed Theora to the lift.

Edison, Reg, Dom, and Trace were already there when Theora arrived with Bryce. Trace had been very quiet up to that point. She hadn't yet told Edison of their relationship, wanting to save it for when both her fathers were present. Now that Bryce was there, however, the subliminal training made it impossible for her not to react to him. He was barely in the room before she engulfed him in a tight hug.

The look on Bryce's face went from startled to bewildered as Trace told him

"It's good to see you, dad."

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