Lev.DN.....Index.....Identity Crisis, page 5 (c)1996 Lee Skidmore.....Lev.UP

"Come on, come on," he nervously admonished the uncaring comnet.

"Yeah? Mallory here."

"Mal, you're crazy. Are you trying to give me a heart attack? What gives?"

"Johnny?" asked Mallory needlessly, "Are you out of your mind? We pulled your slug out of Terence Du Quesne about an hour ago."

"Yeah, right. Good joke, get over it, Okay? I over slept a little. I'll be in in a few minutes."

"Over slept? I'm at your place now with two uniforms waiting for you to come home."

"What do you mean my place? Isn't this joke going a little too far?"

"No joke. Listen up, Johnny. I helped bring in the body. I watched them pull the slug. I've seen the FedChip print out. Its yours. Nobody at the station is laughing about it. Except maybe Joey Mastin."

"What's going on? I haven't used my gun since qualifing. You know that."

"I wish I did. I really do. But, you know as well as I do that your slug will only fire from a gun ID locked to your hand. There isn't a hardware or software hacker around that can get a cop round to fire. Besides, you been handing out samples?"

"I don't know what can be hacked or can't anymore. . . Maybe they can break a nano-code." said Johnny, maybe they can. . . I don't care how it happened; it wasn't me."

"Have you checked your piece? Checked your extra rounds? How could they get your ID? How could they program a FedChip? How could they break your piece's code. Hey! Where are you?"

"Mal, that hurt, you know, that really hurt," he paused to take a shuddering sigh of a breath, then said, "I haven't checked my piece." Why should I. It hasn't been fired for weeks."

"Sorry, but on the surface it looks like you did it. Even if your piece says it didn't," said Mallory, as he listened to the hollow background sounds of Johnny getting his gun.

Lev.DN.....Index.....Identity Crisis, page 5 (c)1996 Lee Skidmore.....Lev.UP