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   temptation to collect vast numbers of cards and use them would be too

   great for the young Phoenix, Force tried to keep the exact location of

   the Citibank machine a secret. He knew that Phoenix might eventually

   find the Citibank system on his own, and there was little he could do

   to stop him. But Force was determined that he wouldn't help Phoenix

   get himself into trouble.

  

   The Citibank network had been a rich source of systems--something

   Force also kept to himself. The more he explored, the more he found in

   the network. Soon after his first discovery of the CitiSaudi system,

   he found a machine called CitiGreece which was just as willing to dump

   card details as its Saudi-American counterpart. Out of fifteen or so

   credit cards Force discovered on the system, only two appeared to be

   valid. He figured the others were test cards and that this must be a

   new site. Not long after the discovery of the CitiGreece machine, he

   discovered similar embryonic sites in two other countries.

  

   Force liked Phoenix and was impressed by the new hacker's enthusiasm

   and desire to learn about computer networks.

  

   Force introduced Phoenix to Minerva, just as Craig Bowen had done for

   Force some years before. Phoenix learned quickly and came back for

   more. He was hungry and, in Force's discerning opinion, very bright.

   Indeed, Force saw a great deal of himself in the young hacker. They

   were from a similarly comfortable, educated middle-class background.

   They were also both a little outside the mainstream. Force's family

   were migrants to Australia. Some of Phoenix's family lived in Israel,

   and his family was very religious.

  

   Phoenix attended one of the most Orthodox Jewish schools in Victoria,

   a place which described itself as a `modern orthodox Zionist'

   institution. Nearly half the subjects offered in year 9 were in Jewish

   Studies, all the boys wore yarmulkes and the school expected students

   to be fluent in Hebrew by the time they graduated.

  

   In his first years at the school, Phoenix had acquired the nickname

   `The Egg'. Over the following years he became a master at playing the

   game--jumping through hoops to please teachers. He learned that doing

   well in religious studies was a good way to ingratiate himself to

   teachers, as well as his parents and, in their eyes at least, he

   became the golden-haired boy.

  

   Anyone scratching below the surface, however, would find the shine of

   the golden-haired boy was merely gilt. Despite his success in school

   and his matriculation, Phoenix was having trouble. He had been

   profoundly affected by the bitter break-up and divorce of his parents

   when he was about fourteen.

  

   After the divorce, Phoenix was sent to boarding school in Israel for

   about six months. On his return to Melbourne, he lived with his

   younger sister and mother at his maternal grandmother's house. His

   brother, the middle child, lived with his father.

  

   School friends sometimes felt awkward visiting Phoenix at home. One of

   his best friends found it difficult dealing with Phoenix's mother,

   whose vivacity sometimes bordered on the neurotic and shrill. His

   grandmother was a chronic worrier, who pestered Phoenix about using

   the home phone line during thunderstorms for fear he would be

   electrocuted. The situation with Phoenix's father wasn't much better.

   A manager at Telecom, he seemed to waver between appearing