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   `I don't know,' Phoenix whispered to Par. `I'm sure he's not really a

   fed.'

  

   `Well, I am wondering about that comment,' Par whispered back.

   `UnderFED. Hmm. Maybe he knows something. Maybe it's some kind of

   warning. Shit, maybe the Secret Service knows where I am.'

  

   `You think?' Phoenix whispered to Par. `It might be a warning of some

   kind?' It was too funny.

  

   `Can you check his originating NUA?' Par wanted to know what network

   address the mystery guest was coming from. It might give him a clue as

   to the stranger's identity.

  

   Phoenix could barely contain himself. He kept forwarding the private

   messages on to Electron. Par was clearly becoming more agitated.

  

   `I wish he would just tell me WHO he was,' Par whispered. `Shit. It is

   very fucking weird. UnderFED. It's spinning me out.'

  

   Then Par logged off.

  

   Electron typed, `I guess Par had to go. <Grin>' Then, chuckling to

   himself, he waited for news on Gandalf's Deszip copy.

  

   If Pad and Gandalf hadn't kept their copy of Deszip, the Australians

   would be back to square one, beginning with a hunt for a system which

   even had Deszip. It was a daunting task and by the time Pad and

   Gandalf finally logged back into Altos, Phoenix and Electron had

   become quite anxious.

  

   `How did you go?' Phoenix asked. `Do you still have Deszip?'

  

   `Well, at first I thought I had forgotten which system I left it on

   ...'

  

   Electron jumped in, `And then?'

  

   `Then I remembered.'

  

   `Good news?' Phoenix exclaimed.

  

   `Well, no. Not exactly,' Gandalf said. `The account is dead.'

  

   Electron felt like someone had thrown a bucket of cold water on him.

   `Dead? Dead how?' he asked.

  

   `Dead like someone changed the password. Not sure why. I'll have to

   re-hack the system to get to the file.'

  

   `Fuck, this Deszip is frustrating,' Electron wrote.

  

   `This is getting ridiculous,' Phoenix added.

  

   `I don't even know if the copy is still in there,' Gandalf replied. `I

   hid it, but who knows? Been a few months. Admins might have deleted

   it.'

  

   `You want some help hacking the system again, Gand?' Phoenix asked.