by Elegant Butler

Chapter One: Youngest Teacher at the Academy

It was the mark of a good plastic surgeon that Brandon Williams, nee Bryce Lynch, was not recognized by the staff at the Academy of Computer Sciences when he arrived on Thursday afternoon with his electronic job application and resume imbedded in his personal identity card..

It was Head Sysop Harding who was reviewing the new teacher applicants. Accepting the card, he scanned it with the reader attached to his terminal. After a few minutes he handed back the card.

"Your papers seem to be in order for the most part. However, I did find one discrepancy. It says here that you attended the Academy in the class of 2000. However, I checked my listing and there is no Brandon Williams listed." Harding said, looking Williams over with a stern expression.

"I did not attend under that name," Brandon told him. "However, as I have recently changed identities due to a life-threatening situation, I cannot reveal the name under which I attended. Suffice it to say, I was well-schooled by this academy and feel that I can provide the students with an excellent pod curriculum."

"I see," Harding told him. "So, Mr. Williams, how old are you exactly?"

"Seventeen as of October," Brandon admitted. "My wife turned seventeen in August. She has three children, two boys and a girl. Triplets. They'll be two in a fortnight."

Harding raised an eyebrow and whispered. "Lynch?"

Brandon nodded, inwardly scolding himself for his slip-up. Not very many people said 'fortnight' these days. "But tell no one," he warned. "Zik Zak, for personal reasons, wants me dead. I'd rather not discuss them. It's something I wish to keep in the past."

"What can I say?" Harding said, knowing that no other would fill the role so perfectly. "Welcome aboard. You may start work on this coming Monday."

Brandon and Head Sysop Sidney Harding shook hands.

"I look forward to it," Brandon told his new boss.

"We can give you a list of the students so that you can learn their strengths and weaknesses regarding study habits." Harding offered.

"No, thank you," Brandon replied as he shook his head. "I'd rather learn about them first hand. Parental observations are often flawed by over- or under- criticism."

"How very true," Harding agreed. "I believe you'll find your salary reasonable, and your insurance will cover your immediate family members as well as yourself."

"I hope the triplets will attend here one day," Brandon admitted. "Even if I am just their stepfather, I still think of myself as their only dad. It would make me so proud."

"You've changed," Harding told him.

"Took a journey through Hell to do it," Brandon said, shivering at the terrible memory. He closed his eyes and willed away the painful recollection. When he opened them, he was smiling again. "What's happened has happened. I can't change it. All I can do now is live the life I've been given. And I must admit that, though it's not an easy life, it's one I wouldn't trade for all the world."

"I'm glad you're happy," Harding said, sitting back down. "I'll see you on Monday."

Brandon smiled, turned, and walked out of the room.

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