Lev.DN......Index......Mail.....................Lev.UP, page 5.....(c) 2005 Lee Skidmore.....................................Lev.UP

background scene change as the bar shared its alternate porn channel with him. "Hey," 
subbed Eller, again. 
    The barnet had heard the sweet ring of his kidware hacked phone. When it wasn't 
able to find him in its active patronware files, the barnet guessed. Doing its job, it 
hacked what it thought was the appropriate pay-per-view onto Eller's personal net.
    "Ding. . . a-ling! ding-a-ling," sang Eller's phone. 
    Eller clic'd up privacy, level one, without the govware's help. Thankfully, he watched 
the porn.vid fade to forest. 
    "Chastity channel," wandered through Eller's mind. As he checked out the scene in 
the barnet, he put in an order. "A smoke and a soak." he subbed to the barnet, sounding 
unhappy as he noted that all too quickly it felt like he had never been gone from this 
place. Always sensitive to it's customer's moods, the barnet lowered Eller's lighting.
    Third chorus.
    "Yeah?" real.voice, bored,  fuzzy acting, Eller answered the phone. His voice was 
thick, sticky. Must be U tube sludge," thought Eller, as he waited for the reply.
      "Dumaurier." A command, however it was buffered. "Official Mail." It continued. 
Not waiting for him to make a get-mail selection, it said, "Legal message follows." The 
voiceware fairly purred at him. Generated to relax, and restrain the he-man in you, 
copnet fem-voice tailored for the majority.satistical.male was damned deceptively nice. 
      "Intense double-X stuff," thought Eller. He clicked fast forward. "Snuff Miranda,  
Let's hear it," said Eller to the insensitive phone.
      ". . . will attend your present location until cleared by official."
He had made it, somehow. All he had gotten was the standard copware punch-line.      
Eller clicked the phone's icon. It dumped the message while his legal channel lev'd up. 
He noticed that one of Scamware's latest top.tunes 'Doing Downtime 911' was playing in 
the background. 
    After exchanging amenities with his legal repware--the copware made his phone's 
nose take a sniff. It downloaded--through the no-hack protected cop channel--the 
real.time molecular signatures of his phone's surroundings. The phone's nose would then 
verify who, what and where he was. Not, he hoped, where he had been. The skin coat he 
had applied was almost, but not quite, all gone.
  "Never thought," thought Eller, " that I'd be thanking the triple damned, digital deity 
for this place."
    He relaxed as his luck seemed to be lev.up. The timing on the cop call had been 
perfect. He took a minute out to let the govware take a look around. Net data, as well as 
some personal image data popped up. Eller slowly looked around at the other barnet 
users. Nothing scary popped up. Just another evening in a barnet that catered to Angels, 
and other leaf lovers. Looking through the govware's eyes he was more than sure of it.  
Top.lev, that's what the govware that resided in Eller's body-only-files was, the best. A 
lifetime of trials ago he had been a poor, but driven kid, dumpster diving in the flooded 
areas around North Carolina's Silicone Triangle.
    Almost completely friendless, he was free from being in all the team wars on the 
kidsnet. He was free to be scrounging around tossed out dat-crystals, processor-neurals, 
uni-chips, or whatever else was to be found as a reward for his efforts.
    He had started mining ultra-pures just to play with the hardware. Its seeming 
simplicity an easy road to some sorely needed edge. As he slowly studied the code frozen 
in the hardware's RAMs, Eller found that hidden in the software was real power.
    Eller was a poor cowboy. But, two bits went a long way for a digital cowboy... 
    So, he learned. Learned about things that Net.Mom, didn't have on the
    One lingering, warm front, soaking, gray day, while extra deep diving, Eller
struck gold. As soon as he had gotten back home he started mapping out the
recoverable code in some strangely different crystals. Badly battered Pre-unification
American milspec programs took shape.

Lev.DN......Index......Mail.....................Lev.UP, page 5.....(c) 2005 Lee Skidmore......................................Lev.UP