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   telephone company had taken an interest in the motel's phone system.

   Par had done a lot of poking and prodding of the telecommunications

   companies' computer systems from the motel phone, but he had done it

   anonymously. Perhaps BellSouth felt a little curious and just wanted

   to sniff about for more information. If that was the case, the law

   enforcement agencies probably didn't know that Par, the fugitive, was

   hiding in the motel.

  

   The atmosphere was becoming oppressive in the motel. Par became even

   more watchful of the people coming and going. He glanced out the front

   window a little more often, and he listened a little more carefully to

   the footsteps coming and going. How many of the guests were really

   just tourists? Par went through the guest list and found a man

   registered as being from New Jersey. He was from one of the AT&T

   corporations left after the break-up of Bell Systems. Why on earth

   would an AT&T guy be staying in a tiny hick town in North Carolina?

   Maybe a few Secret Service agents had snuck into the motel and were

   watching the chalet.

  

   Par needed to bring the paranoia under control. He needed some fresh

   air, so he went out for a walk. The weather was bad and the wind blew

   hard, whipping up small tornadoes of autumn leaves. Soon it began

   raining and Par sought cover in the pay phone across the street.

  

   Despite having been on the run for a few months, Par still called

   Theorem almost every day, mostly by phreaking calls through bulk

   telecommunications companies. He dialled her number and they talked

   for a bit. He told her about how the voltage was way off on the

   motel's PABX and how the phone might be tapped. She asked how he was

   holding up. Then they spoke softly about when they might see each

   other again.

  

   Outside the phone box, the storm worsened. The rain hammered the roof

   from one side and then another as the wind jammed it in at strange

   angles. The darkened street was deserted. Tree branches creaked under

   the strain of the wind. Rivulets rushed down the leeward side of the

   booth and formed a wall of water outside the glass. Then a trash bin

   toppled over and its contents flew onto the road.

  

   Trying to ignore to the havoc around him, Par curled the phone handset

   into a small protected space, cupped between his hand, his chest and a

   corner of the phone booth. He reminded Theorem of their time together

   in California, of two and a half weeks, and they laughed gently over

   intimate secrets.

  

   A tree branch groaned and then broke under the force of the wind. When

   it crashed on the pavement near the phone booth, Theorem asked Par

   what the noise was.

  

   `There's a hurricane coming,' he told her. `Hurricane Hugo. It was

   supposed to hit tonight. I guess it's arrived.'

  

   Theorem sounded horrified and insisted Par go back to the safety of

   the motel immediately.

  

   When Par opened the booth door, he was deluged by water. He dashed

   across the road, fighting the wind of the hurricane, staggered into his

   motel room and jumped into bed to warm up. He fell asleep listening to

   the storm, and he dreamed of Theorem.