Lev.DN......Index......Mail.....................Lev.UP, page 13.....(c) 2005 Lee Skidmore...................................Lev.UP

"Virtual corps come and go, but I owe my soul to the TelCo store." 
                           --The New, New VR Net Kids, Super Oldies Re-pix Re-mix. 

As the hardware cops entered Phara's they scanned the scene. Black flags emitting short 
streamers of electric-blue sparks popped up, scattered through the nearly treeless scene 
that was all that was left of the copware logged forest. A flag popped up next to Eller. 
Another next to Phara. 
    They watched wistfully as the un-flagged barflies took off while they still had the 
chance. Eller settled back onto the redwood bar stool, then ordered another round while 
he still had the chance. Phara clicked on the VR masked door in the giant log. Safely 
behind the bar, she went over to the pick-up-order-here. She returned with Eller's 
smoke-n-soak along with a bubbly, sparkling, lime green drink that was erupting, 
impossibly, forever overflowing, splashing to the floor in blazing  red-orange hissing 
blobs. After she slapped the drinks down, Phara waved to the approaching cop, and said, 
"Hey, show-stopper copper, what can I get you? Now that I don't have to worry about 
making a living tonight."
    Eller stiffened. He really hoped she wouldn't get the cop too angry. He was sure that 
the cop was going to be real happy to be harassed by a fem he couldn't touch. "But, look 
here we have a professional risk taker e-z access. Oh! And, he's a Realie sympathizer 
too!" Thought Eller, thinking the cops thought's for him.
  The uniformed bulk laughed, slipped into place next to Eller, and boomed, "Give me 
one of those Spacer imports you got cached for the real high fliers, Ms. Encore!"  The 
big blue cop turned, eyed Eller hard for emphasis, then said, "Flying kind of low tonight 
aren't we Mr. Dumaurier? What are you doing so far away from home hanging around 
with a crowd of Creter's?"
  Swelling visibly, Eller opened on rock, scrolled to clicon "My Girl" with Dolby-full-
delay as he looked over at Phara who was taking her time getting back with the hyper-
expensive no-grav processed brew. 
    A real big smile split the cop's face as he pix'd up a VR image of an Angel very 
familiar to Eller. He said, "Better run a memory check, Mr. Smooth Dude." While he 
watched for Phara to flare up, the cop ran some sexysoft loaded with a VR image of 
Eller and Florie.  
    "Too bad it's such a jazzy job," thought Eller, as he sat there, forced to watch the 
display. Phara decided to keep playing it mad. She did quite a good job considering the 
barnet's VR was still lev down. Audio lev.up with voiceware adding big-brag, Eller 
boasted to the cop, "You aren't hurting me with that. What's the matter? Jealous?"
    The cop's contrast went lev.up, and his brightness went lev.down. From darkly 
shadowed sockets the cop's eyes bore down on Eller. Voiceware ZeroK, the cop said, 
"Well, it doesn't look like you'll be playing that game around here any longer."
    Since the cop's bass boost was still rumbling around in his head, Eller let the cop 
continue without protest, "as much as you like to play games, it's too bad you're not 
better at it." 
    The cop ran a sports net VR of Eller's last competition. The cop let it float over the 
bar, for everyone--especially Phara--to see. Eller visibly fumed as the worst ride of his 
life played out, one more time. Eller squirmed as his stormboard finally wallowed to a 
stop. The dust thrown up by the stormboard as it had furrowed across the littered field, 
settled, extinguishing the spectacular nine-layer deep LCD paint-job, killing his 
sponsoring shareholders' holos that had been reflecting from it. "Probably to their great 
relief," thought Eller. 
    Badly acting deeply-thoughtful, the cop mused, "Just a duster punk trying to be a 
hero. Once a duster, always a duster. Right Ms. Encore?"

Lev.DN......Index......Mail.....................Lev.UP, page 13.....(c) 2005 Lee Skidmore..................................Lev.UP