MAX HEADROOM: 20 Minutes Into the Future

Something About Her

Chapter 03: A Bewildered Genius

"What?" Bryce asked, sounding very surprised. How could this young woman, who looked to be about two years older than he was, possibly be his daughter. Naive as he was, he was certain that child-making involved some kind of intense physical contact. That was something that hadn't taken place in his life. "How can you...?"

"Be your daughter?" Trace smiled. "I'm only a day insofar as my age is concerned. And..."

"A clone." Bryce guessed. "But that's illegal. Who would..."

"I'm not a clone," Trace countered. "Clones have only one parent. I have two."

"Your mother," Bryce took another guess. "Jenny?" He was wondering if Ned Grossberg, chairman of Network 66, was involved somehow.

"No," Trace told him. "I don't have a mother. My other father is..."

"Other father? So, you're a gene-splice, then?" Bryce inquired.

"So, if Bryce is one of your fathers," Theora asked. "Who is the other?"

"Edison Carter." Trace told them.

"Oh, boy," Murray groaned. "Look, I don't mean to be indelicate, but did anyone where you were born give you any idea as to why you were born?"

Trace shook her head. "All I know is that I was compelled to seek out my dad. Bryce."

"There's got to be a reason," Murray said. "People don't just do things like this just to see what would happen."

Theora cleared her throat and glanced at Bryce.

"Well, normal people don't." Murray corrected himself, earning a glare from Bryce. "I meant people of average intelligence."

"People smarter than you, you mean," Bryce said, softly.

"Enough, you two," Edison said. "Look..." he faltered.

"Trace Lynch-Carter," Trace reminded him.

"Trace," Edison asked. "Could you maybe use a different last name? If it leaked out that I had a kid with Bryce..."

"I'm not changing it," Trace told them. "I'm proud of being your daughter. And I'm proud of being Bryce's."

"She's definitely Bryce's," Murray muttered to Theora. "She's just as irritating as he is."

"I heard that, Murray," Trace and Bryce said in unison, adding credence to his words.

Theora, Reg, and Dom all laughed at this and were joined by the rest, including Murray, a moment later.

"Look, whatever the reason you were born was doesn't matter," Theora said. "You're welcome to stay with us."

"So, which of us is she going to stay with," Murray asked. "She needs to keep hidden, so her parentage won't be found out. Edison's right. Everything's above board here. But if a foreign audience with a different age of consent were to learn who her fathers are..."

"Edison would be labeled as a child molester," Reg realized.

"Network 23 would lose it's good reputation," Dom added.

"Excuse me, but I'm not a child," Bryce pointed out.

"Not in this country," Murray told him. "But in places like the United States, and such you are considered a minor at your age. So in their eyes, Edison would be a criminal and a pervert of the worst kind."

"Then I'll stay with Bryce," Trace decided.

"I think that's a great idea," Theora agreed. "Edison, Murray, and Reg can help expand the size of his studio. Then we'll get some furniture."

"Shouldn't we clear this with Cheviot first?" Bryce asked. "If she's going to be staying here, he does have a right to know."

"We'll tell him," Edison promised. "Just as soon as we install the furniture."

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