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   `Guest, do you have a name?' Par asked.

  

   `Yeah. It's "Guest--#0".'

  

   `You got any other names?'

  

   There was a long pause.

  

   Electron typed, `I guess not.'

  

   `Any other names besides dickhead that is?'

  

   Electron sent a `whisper'--a private message--to Phoenix telling him

   not to tell Par his identity.

  

   `OK. Sure,' Phoenix whispered back. To show he would play along with

   whatever Electron had in mind, Phoenix added a sideways smiley face at

   the end: `:-)'.

  

   Par didn't know Electron and Phoenix were whispering to each other. He

   was still waiting to find out the identity of Guest. `Well, speak up,

   Guest. Figured out who you are yet?'

  

   Electron knew Par was on the run at the time. Indeed, Par had been on

   the run from the US Secret Service for more than six months by the

   beginning of 1990. He also knew Par was highly paranoid.

  

   Electron took aim and fired.

  

   `Hey, Par. You should eat more. You're looking underFED these days.'

  

   Par was suddenly silent. Electron sat at his computer, quietly

   laughing to himself, halfway across the world from Par. Well, he

   thought, that ought to freak out Par a bit. Nothing like a subtle hint

   at law enforcement to drive him nuts.

  

   `Did you see THAT?' Par whispered to Phoenix. `UnderFED. What did he

   mean?'

  

   `I dunno,' Phoenix whispered back. Then he forwarded a copy of Par's

   private message on to Electron. He knew it would make him laugh.

  

   Par was clearly worried. `Who the fuck are you?' he whispered to

   Electron but Guest 0 didn't answer.

  

   With growing anxiety, Par whispered to Phoenix, `Who IS this guy? Do

   you know him?'

  

   Phoenix didn't answer.

  

   `Because, well, it's weird. Didn't you see? FED was in caps. What the

   fuck does that mean? Is he a fed? Is he trying to give me a message

   from the feds?'

  

   Sitting at his terminal, on the other side of Melbourne from Electron,

   Phoenix was also laughing. He liked Par, but the American was an easy

   target. Par had become so paranoid since he went on the run across the

   US, and Electron knew just the right buttons to push.