Chapter Six: Search For A Friend (part one)

Blank Dominique lit her cigarette as she finished doing the budget for Big Time TV for that week.

"You know, Dom, we'd probably be able to buy twice as many videos if we didn't spend so much on your smoking habit," Blank Reg told her.

"Is that why you only wash your jeans twice a year?" Dom teased.

Their mutual laugh was cut short by a knock on the door of the pink microbus that housed the mobile pirate station.

"I'll get it," Reg said, going to the side door and looking out. He smiled when he saw Theora.

"Nice to see you again, love," he said. "Come on in. What can Dom and I do for you?"

Theora stepped inside. "I can't stay long," she said. "I'm looking for Bryce. He ran away this morning. I don't have all the details. I just know that he was hanging around World 1 earlier for some unknown reason."

"And he didn't go back there?" Reg suggested.

"I ran scan of the building. He wasn't there," Theora told them. "I also checked the Body Banks and the Medical Center. He isn't in any of those places. Thank God. So I came here. I was wondering if he'd become a Blank. Reg, if he's asking you to keep his location quiet, I'll respect that. Just tell me if he's safe."

"I wish I could, love," Reg told her. "I haven't seen him."

"Darn," Theora ran a hand through her hair in exasperation. "Reg, this is getting serious. We have to find Bryce."

"Dom and I will keep our eyes open," Reg promised. "If we hear anything, we'll contact you."

"Thanks, Reg," Theora said as she started back to the door.

"Hold on," Reg stopped her. "Where are you heading? We'll give you a lift."

"You're broadcasting," Theora replied, shaking her head. "I don't want to cut in on your air time."

"Ah, don't worry about it," Reg said, airily. "We don't get much more than eight viewers at this time of day."

"Okay, then," Theora said, "I just had an idea. Can you take me to Blank Bruno's place?"

"Sorry, love," Reg apologized as he shuffled through a few old albums. "He's a bit private. But maybe we can arrange for you both to meet elsewhere?"

"The Fresh Start," Theora suggested. "My brother's working there again."

Reg turned to the vu-screen "This is Blank Reg bringing you a moment of peace and quiet courtesy of Big Time TV." he said, switching the set to standby. He turned to another set and punched in Blank Bruno's vu-phone code.

"Reg," Bruno scolded. "You know that I don't do tech on Mondays."

"I'm sorry," Theora told him. "I asked him to call."

"You'll have to call back tomorrow. As I said…"

"Bryce is missing,"

Bruno's face fell. "Bryce? Lynch? Where did you last see him?"

"Our boss last saw him this morning," Theora told him. "Can we meet at The Fresh Start? I'll buy."

"I accept," Bruno said. "I'll try to think of a few places he might go. I'll meet you in five minutes."

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