Max Headroom/Kuroshitsuji

To The Best of His Abilities

-Chapter One: His Butler - Rescuer-

As he headed home from visiting the Zik Zak Burger Bar near the Fringes, Bryce Lynch began to realize that he was being followed.

He picked up the pace a bit, to see if it was merely coincidence. Sure enough, the other person also began to pick up speed. Bryce broke into a run, his heart pounding as whoever was after him gave chase.

He was almost to Network 23 when he tripped over the curb and fell face down, his glasses falling from his face and onto a nearby storm drain.

He started to get up and reach for them when a booted foot kicked them into drain. At a disadvantage without them, Bryce scrambled backwards, trying to put some distance between himself and his assailant.

The boot that gotten rid of his glasses suddenly struck his abdomen, kicking him so roughly that he was thrown back to the ground, landing on his side. More kicks followed, striking every place except his head. Bryce suspected that this was to make sure he was fully alert during the attack.

Soon, mercifully, unconsciousness began to claim him.

~Is that a raven or a crow?~ he wondered, seeing the black-feathered bird that was perched on the stop sign. ~Aren't his feet uncomfortable on that sign? The edges must be a little sharp.~

~It is kind of you to be so concerned.~

~The pain must be causing me to hallucinate. Fun.~

~You are no more hallucinating than I am really a crow.~

~Well, at least that mystery is solved. Who are you, then?~

~My master calls me Sebastian,~ the not-crow said in his mind. ~

~Sebastian. I'm Bryce-~

~Lynch. Born on the Seventh of October in the Year 1988.~ Sebastian finished for him. ~Graduate of the Academy of Computer Sciences and Head of Research and Development, AKA Technology at Network 23. You also currently do freelance work for Network 23's most famous reporter Edison Carter.~

~And you are…?~

~Sebastian Michaelis. Butler to the Phantomhive Estate. Summoned by my master, the Earl Ciel Phantomhive in the year 1886. I can offer you deliverance from the man who is very close to killing you.~

~Are you a demon?~

~I am.~

~I'm really not certain about such an arrangement. I get to live a few more years, then you get my soul.~

~Actually, no.~ Sebastian said. ~I'm already contracted to Earl Phantomhive. I cannot request your soul unless he gives his blessing.~

~Then why are you offering to save me?~

~The Earl knows nothing of modern technology, and it is difficult for him to learn from those who are older and do not understand the minds of the young.~ Sebastian said. ~I want you to leave Network 23 and come to work for us, as a teacher to my young master. Choose quickly. You are about to die.~

~Yes,~ Bryce said. ~I will teach your young master what I know.~

Screams filled Bryce's ears. He was pretty sure, as he lay there gasping for breath that the crow which had been sitting on the stop sign was now pecking his attacker's eyes out.

He decided not to watch.

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