Chapter Four: Secrets and Sacrifices

Bryce carefully implanted the embryo into the GroBag. As she had warned, Jenny was not with him. Larissa also was absent from this stage of things. This was no surprise since she had told Bryce from the beginning that this type of conception was frowned upon by the religion she followed.

She would help look after the baby after he or she was born. Bryce had named her godmother after all. But she would have nothing to do with it's wombs were not natural. The babies who were grown in them were not seen as soulless. But their souls were deemed spiritually under-developed and were believed to be in danger of corruption.

Bryce had a fundamental belief in God. But to Bryce, like many in the world where TV controlled the world rather than the church or the government, God was now barely more than a figurehead like King Eric, the last of Britain's noble family, who hardly anyone remembered and who cut ribbons at statue dedications.

Bryce watched for an hour. Then, satisfied that the implantation had taken hold, he cleaned up the area around the GroBag and made his way back to Network 23.

He had made it as far as the lift without any incidents. But that was not to last.

"Bryce," Cheviot said, sternly. "Would you accompany me to my office? I think we need to have a little talk."

Bryce followed his boss into the lift. There was nothing else he could do. He wondered what Cheviot was so angry about. Had the older man discovered the secret he harbored? Did he somehow know about the baby? Deciding not to give away any information, Bryce remained silent until they reached the executive level.

"Bryce," Cheviot said, once they were inside his office. "Tell me something. Why were you seen going in and out of a rival network several times this past weekend. And this morning?"

So, he didn't know about the baby. Bryce considered things very carefully. Cheviot would probably fire him if he refused to tell. On the other hand, if he did tell he could lose the baby. And he was not prepared to lose his son. Or daughter. And once the baby was securely in his arms he could come back to Network 23 and Cheviot would have to accept him and the baby as a package deal.

"I'd rather not say," was all that he said.

"Bryce," Cheviot said.

"I'm not betraying you," Bryce told him "If you can't believe that, then I'll pack my things."

"There's no need for you to pack," Cheviot told him. "Just stop going to World 1."

"I can't do that, sir," Bryce shook his head. "I can't tell you why I'm going, but I can't or rather I won't stop."

"Then, I suppose this is goodbye," Cheviot said.

"I suppose so," Bryce told him.

Bryce turned and headed for the door.

"Wait," Cheviot stopped him. "Bryce you're not an idiot. Don't act like one. Where are you going to sleep tonight? How will you eat?"

"I have some credits," Bryce explained. "As to my sleeping arrangements, that's private."

Bryce turned and departed leaving Cheviot sitting slack-jawed at his desk wondering if there was something illicit going on between Bryce and one of the staff at World 1.

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