Lev.DN.....Index.....Identity Crisis, page 9 (c)1996 Lee Skidmore.....Lev.UP

to the homes at the end of the island where a million dollars only put a jingle in your pocket. Johnny pushed hard against the sliding doors of the subway car, forcing them open. He squeezed through the slender opening, and jumped from the barely moving train. He hit the grimy platform running for the parking lot. Johnny would have to use E-money to buy a train ticket. So, that route was out.

A lone figure leaned against a post behind a dirty, gray-painted, rivet-studded pillar at the edge of the platform. It watched Johnny as he pushed through the turnstile to the exit.

Johnny stopped in front of a vendo's menu to cover his casing of the parking lot. A GenChryMotToyo Scintilla, with the optional liquid-crystal chameleon paint-job, smoothed its way silently into an empty space at the far end of the lot. A pin-stripe suited stick of a man, with an expensive looking, razor-thin, board room model, brief-comp, got out. He hurried towards the entrance to the subway station. Johnny turned his attention back to the menu to wait for the executive to get into the station.

Just as the executive's warped image flashed past, a dark shadow slid across the reflections in the plexi-panel. A bent finger bearing a graduation ring from the metro police academy--that had the same year engraved on it as Johnny's--tapped the panel.

"I didn't think you were going to make it this easy."

Johnny turned slowly, ready, not defeated, and said, "How did you know I'd be here? I haven't even turned my blob on since I hit the subway, much less logged onto the net."

"Just a little luck, and years of working with you. Still, I was beginning to think I'd been wrong. Expected you to be here sooner," said Mallory.

"So? What now?"

"Well, I really didn't know what to think when I talked to you this morning, but after the team got to Shary's place, I had to think things over a bit."

"Yeah? Think about what?"

Lev.DN.....Index.....Identity Crisis, page 9 (c)1996 Lee Skidmore.....Lev.UP