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   the more powerful Amiga a few years later in 1989. She knew the boy

   was very bright. He used to read her medical textbooks, and computers

   were the future.

  

   Anthrax had always done well in school, earning distinctions every

   year from year 7 to year 10. But not in maths. Maths bored him. Still,

   he had some aptitude for it. He won an award in year 6 for designing a

   pendulum device which measured the height of a building using basic

   trigonometry--a subject he had never studied. However, Anthrax didn't

   attend school so much after year 10. The teachers kept telling him

   things he already knew, or things he could learn much faster from

   reading a book. If he liked a topic, he wandered off to the library to

   read about it.

  

   Things at home became increasingly complicated around that time. His

   family had struggled from the moment they arrived in Australia from

   England, when Anthrax was about twelve. They struggled financially,

   they struggled against the roughness of a country town, and, as

   Indians, Anthrax, his younger brother and their mother struggled

   against racism.

  

   The town was a violent place, filled with racial hatred and ethnic

   tension. The ethnics had carved out corners for themselves, but

   incursions into enemy territory were common and almost always resulted

   in violence. It was the kind of town where people ended up in fist

   fights over a soccer game. Not an easy place for a half-Indian,

   half-British boy with a violent father.

  

   Anthrax's father, a white Englishman, came from a farming family. One

   of five sons, he attended an agricultural college where he met and

   married the sister of an Indian student on a scholarship. Their

   marriage caused quite a stir, even making the local paper under the

   headline `Farmer Marries Indian Woman'. It was not a happy marriage

   and Anthrax often wondered why his father had married an Indian.

   Perhaps it was a way of rebelling against his dominating father.

   Perhaps he had once been in love. Or perhaps he simply wanted someone

   he could dominate and control. Whatever the reason, the decision was

   an unpopular one with Anthrax's grandfather and the mixed-race family

   was often excluded from larger family gatherings.

  

   When Anthrax's family moved to Australia, they had almost no money.

   Eventually, the father got a job as an officer at Melbourne's

   Pentridge prison, where he stayed during the week. He only received a

   modest income, but he seemed to like his job. The mother began working

   as a nurse. Despite their new-found financial stability, the family

   was not close. The father appeared to have little respect for his wife

   and sons, and Anthrax had little respect for his father.

  

   As Anthrax entered his teenage years, his father became increasingly

   abusive. On weekends, when he was home from work, he used to hit

   Anthrax, sometimes throwing him on the floor and kicking him. Anthrax

   tried to avoid the physical abuse but the scrawny teenager was little

   match for the beefy prison officer. Anthrax and his brother were quiet

   boys. It seemed to be the path of least resistance with a rough father

   in a rough town. Besides, it was hard to talk back in the painful

   stutter both boys shared through their early teens.

  

   One day, when Anthrax was fifteen, he came home to find a commotion at

   his house. On entering the house, Anthrax went to his parents'

   bedroom. He found his mother there, and she was very upset and