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   emotionally distressed. He couldn't see his father anywhere, but found

   him relaxing on the sofa in the lounge room, watching TV.


   Disgust consumed Anthrax and he retreated into the kitchen. When his

   father came in not long after to prepare some food Anthrax watched his

   back with revulsion. Then he noticed a carving knife resting on the

   counter. As Anthrax reached for the knife, an ambulance worker

   appeared in the doorway. Anthrax put the knife down and walked away.


   But he wasn't so quiet after that. He started talking back, at home and

   at school, and that marked the beginning of the really big problems. In

   primary school and early high school he had been beaten up now and

   again. Not any more. When a fellow student hauled Anthrax up against the

   wall of the locker shed and started shaking him and waving his fist,

   Anthrax lost it. He saw, for a moment, his father's face instead of the

   student's and began to throw punches in a frenzy that left his victim in

   a terrible state.


   At home, Anthrax's father learned how to bait his son. The bully

   always savours a morsel of resistance from the victim, which makes

   going in for the kill a little more fun. Talking back gave the father

   a good excuse to get violent. Once he nearly broke his son's neck.

   Another time it was his arm. He grabbed Anthrax and twisted his arm

   behind his back. There was an eerie sound of cracking cartilage, and

   then pain. Anthrax screamed for his father to stop. His father twisted

   Anthrax's arm harder, then pressed on his neck. His mother shrieked at

   her husband to let go of her son. He wouldn't.


   `Look at you crying,' his father sneered. `You disgusting animal.'


   `You're the disgusting animal,' Anthrax shouted, talking back again.


   His father threw Anthrax on the floor and began kicking him in the

   head, in the ribs, all over.


   Anthrax ran away. He went south to Melbourne for a week, sleeping

   anywhere he could, in the empty night-time spaces left over by day

   workers gone to orderly homes. He even crashed in hospital emergency

   rooms. If a nurse asked why he was there, he would answer politely, `I

   received a phone call to meet someone here'. She would nod her head

   and move on to someone else.


   Eventually, when Anthrax returned home, he took up martial arts to

   become strong. And he waited.


                                 [ ]


   Anthrax was poking around a MILNET gateway when he stumbled on the

   door to System X.* He had wanted to find this system for months,

   because he had intercepted email about it which had aroused his



   Anthrax telnetted into the gateway. A gateway binds two different

   networks. It allows, for example, two computer networks which talk

   different languages to communicate. A gateway might allow someone on a

   system running DECNET to login to a TCP/IP based system, like a Unix.

   Anthrax was frustrated that he couldn't seem to get past the System X

   gateway and on to the hosts on the other side.


   Using normal address formats for a variety of networks, he tried