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   arrived at the Telecommunications Intelligence Branch of the AFP at 8

   p.m. Precisely ten hours later, at 6 the next morning, Sergeant

   Costello relieved Apro, who knocked off for a good sleep. Apro

   returned again at 8 p.m. to begin the night shift.

  

   They were there all the time. Twenty-four hours a day. Seven days a

   week. Waiting and listening.

  

   It was too funny. Erik Bloodaxe in Austin, Texas, couldn't stop

   laughing. In Melbourne, Phoenix's side hurt from laughing so much.

  

   Phoenix loved to talk on the phone. He often called Erik, sometimes

   every day, and they spoke for ages. Phoenix didn't worry about cost;

   he wasn't paying for it. The call would appear on some poor sod's bill

   and he could sort it out with the phone company.

  

   Sometimes Erik worried a little about whether Phoenix wasn't going to

   get himself in a jam making all these international calls. Not that he

   didn't like talking to the Australian; it was a hoot. Still, the

   concern sat there, unsettled, in the back of his mind. A few times he

   asked Phoenix about it.

  

   `No prob. Hey, AT&T isn't an Australian company,' Phoenix would say.

   `They can't do anything to me.' And Erik had let it rest at that.

  

   For his part, Erik didn't dare call Phoenix, especially not since his

   little visit from the US Secret Service. On 1 March 1990, they burst

   into his home, with guns drawn, in a dawn raid. The agents searched

   everywhere, tearing the student house apart, but they didn't find

   anything incriminating. They did take Erik's $59 keyboard terminal

   with its chintzy little 300 baud modem, but they didn't get his main

   computer, because Erik knew they were coming.

  

   The Secret Service had subpoenaed his academic records, and Erik had

   heard about it before the raid. So when the Secret Service arrived,

   Erik's stuff just wasn't there. It hadn't been there for a few weeks,

   but for Erik, they had been hard weeks. The hacker found himself

   suffering withdrawal symptoms, so he bought the cheapest home computer

   and modem he could find to tide him over.

  

   That equipment was the only computer gear the Secret Service

   discovered, and they were not happy special agents. But without

   evidence, their hands were tied. No charges were laid.

  

   Still, Erik thought he was probably being watched. The last thing he

   wanted was for Phoenix's number to appear on his home phone bill. So

   he let Phoenix call him, which the Australian did all the time. They

   often talked for hours when Erik was working nights. It was a slack

   job, just changing the back-up tapes on various computers and making

   sure they didn't jam. Perfect for a student. It left Erik hours of

   free time.

  

   Erik frequently reminded Phoenix that his phone was probably tapped,

   but Phoenix just laughed. `Yeah, well don't worry about it, mate. What

   are they going to do? Come and get me?'

  

   After Erik put a hold on his own hacking activities, he lived

   vicariously, listening to Phoenix's exploits. The Australian called

   him with a technical problem or an interesting system, and then they

   discussed various strategies for getting into the machine. However,