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   `You did. You borrowed that shovel of mine. And if you don't give it

   back I'm a gonna come round and get it myself. And you won't like it.

   Now, when you gonna give me that shovel back?'

  

   `Damn it! I don't have your goddamn shovel!'

  

   `Give me my shovel!'

  

   `Stop calling me! I've never had your friggin' shovel. Let me be!'

   Click.

  

   Nine in the morning. Eight at night. Two a.m. There would be no peace

   for Mr McKenny until he admitted borrowing that shovel from a boy half

   his age and half a world away.

  

   Sometimes Anthrax pranked closer to home. The Trading Post, a weekly

   rag of personals from people selling and buying, served as a good

   place to begin. Always the innocent start, to lure them in.

  

   `Yes, sir, I see you advertised that you wanted to buy a bathtub.'

   Anthrax put on his serious voice. `I have a bathtub for sale.'

  

   `Yeah? What sort? Do you have the measurements, and the model number?'

   And people thought phreakers were weird.

  

   `Ah, no model number. But its about a metre and a half long, has feet,

   in the shape of claws. It's older style, off-white. There's only one

   problem.' Anthrax paused, savouring the moment.

  

   `Oh? What's that?'

  

   `There's a body in it.'

  

   Like dropping a boulder in a peaceful pond.

 

                            [ ]

  

   The list on System X had dial-up modem numbers, along with usernames

   and password pairs for each address. These usernames were not words

   like `jsmith' or `jdoe', and the passwords would not have appeared in

   any dictionary. 12[AZ63. K5M82L. The type of passwords and usernames

   only a computer would remember.

  

   This, of course, made sense, since a computer picked them out in the

   first place. It generated them randomly. The list wasn't particularly

   user-friendly. It didn't have headers, outlining what each item

   related to. This made sense too. The list wasn't meant to be read by

   humans.

  

   Occasionally, there were comments in the list. Programmers often

   include a line of comment in code, which is delineated in such a way

   that the computer skips over the words when interpreting the commands.

   The comments are for other programmers examining the code. In this

   case, the comments were places. Fort Green. Fort Myers. Fort Ritchie.

   Dozens and dozens of forts. Almost half of them were not on the

   mainland US. They were in places like the Philippines, Turkey,

   Germany, Guam. Places with lots of US military presence.

  

   Not that these bases were any secret to the locals, or indeed to many

   Americans. Anthrax knew that anyone could discover a base existed