Lev.DN.....Index.....Identity Crisis, page 13 (c)1996 Lee Skidmore.....Lev.UP

as was Du Quesne's place. It looked to Johnny to be more than a half mile. At least half of that was through the dunes. He would be warm enough when he got there.

Johnny rested, sitting on the last dune, feeling as if he had been walking through rubber cement for the last half-hour. He shook the compacted sand from his sneakers. Then he massaged sore toes rubbed red as he checked out the back of Du Quesne's. He clicked the blob into wide-spectrum record-mode before he left the dune.

Gorged on the enormous files of Du Quesne's homenet, the worm clicked open the mansion's rear gate, as it disarmed the rest of mansion. Johnny light-footed his way through some scraggly little oak trees, then dashed across a wide expanse of open lawn. He slipped up tight against the wall of the mansion. He listened for a moment, then took a furtive, twisting, glance through the sliding glass doors beside him. He jerked as a dark face peeked back at him.

"Geeze, talk about scaring yourself to death," he hissed quietly, rubbing his whip-lashed neck muscles, then carefully walked into the mirror-walled exercise room. Johnny padded quickly across the heavily cushioned floor. He paused at the open door, then stepped out into a loudly echoing, colonnaded, marble hallway. The sound of his step glued his foot in place. Still, it was one too many.

"Hey you," hit Johnny in the back, "are you ever in the wrong place." He spun around to see seven feet of body-builder bulldozing down on him, that said, "Don't you move or you're going to wish you'd never been born."

Johnny's long hours of hypno-reinforced physical training clicked in. Unconsciously, he selected the Tomoenage variation from judo. Johnny was a Sang-eo Ju-in. A Shark Master of the New United Koreas technique that took the best bite from all martial art techniques. He was a two-time runner up in the North Eastern, virtual, hand-to-hand combat championships.

The thick brute slammed his heavy hands onto Johnny's suddenly unresisting shoulders. Johnny's arms snapped up, his hands grabbing the floppy lapels of the brute's thick terry cloth robe.

Lev.DN.....Index.....Identity Crisis, page 13 (c)1996 Lee Skidmore.....Lev.UP