There is no room for sound in the far reaches of the net: a non-space
that budges out in all directions like a black, heavy veil, millions
of miles of telephone wire, relay stations, switchboards, satellite
connections, an unintelligible stream of signal, data zooming
through a voidless, timeless metaphorical matrix. Imagine you
could zoom in close enough on a series of 1024-bit TCP/IP data
packages to discern both direction and velocity; you up the magnification
so the string of grey packs moving glibly along the neon green
lines of the ARPNET backbone down to Atlanta comes into focus,
matte, unreflecting surfaces you've seen in dreams, silently marching
towards the next node, the next UNIX router-the eerily two-dimensional
surfaces don't bear any sign of the kind of data the packages
contain, a dissertation on Noam Chomsky, maybe, or a naked .jpeg
file of Claudia Schiffer, or a sound file that plays the Marseillaise.
Before you decide, the package moves on swiftly, without visible
acceleration, lost on the strange, glowing horizon of the matrix.
If you could have traced it, you might have seen it plunge into
an obscure site the color of molten ice up in Finland, only to
reemerge quickly, slightly altered in quality, through a router
in Copenhagen, into the Technische Hochschule Berlin within the
same half-minute, back and forth through nodes in the closely
webbed European section of the net, out through a heavily armored
governmental leased line to Atlanta, down, down, to a subdirectory
on one of Netcom's hard drives and through a dial-up phone connection
into Hunter Grossman's 486 and onto his screen, glowing sickly
in a red brick house in southern Mississippi, in the hour after
"What the fuck," Hunter said. Leaning back in his leather
swivel chair, the arms propped up on the armrest, he stared at
the pattern the characters formed on his screen. The letters didn't
make sense, it was a jumbled message like a rat might pounce out
running over a keyboard, the alphabet run amok, the whole screen
filled, peppered with ampersands and at signs, exclamation
marks and mad, foreign characters standing on their heads. Encrypted
ASCII. Cyphertext. Hunter twisted his eyebrows, forehead an organic
canyon. Why would someone send me an encrypted message, Hunter
The back door slammed shut. Yvonne, Hunter thought. Yvonne was
one of his roommates, the two girls who moved in after he decided
the house was too big for him alone. He pushed himself out of
his chair and found his way to the door in the pale light of the
monitor. Yvonne was in the hallway, dragging a backpack by a loose
strap end over the floor. She was wearing a black cowboy hat and
very short jeans. Her thighs were a little flabby. She looked
up at him.
"Hey," she said.
Hunter rubbed his hands slowly. "Hey. Back from work?"
"Yeah," Yvonne said. She swung the backpack around and
let go so it dropped down next to the couch. She dropped the hat
and sat down, leaning back on the couch. She didn't say anything.
"What about the rent, Yvonne," Hunter tried.
"I told you I'd pay, and I'll pay."
Hunter nodded. "I know, I know. It's just, I'm fronting you
four hundred dollars, and that's just too much. You said you'd
pay last week."
Yvonne held up her index finger.
"I will. I'm working hard." She aimed both hands at
herself, meaning her hat and the shorts, and the white deep-cut
blouse she had to wear for her waitressing job. "Come on,
Hunter, you have shitloads of money, and the company pays everything
for you anyway. Just chill some. Please."
Hunter shook his head a little, carefully. "No," he
said, "the company does not pay for the house. If
you don't pay me soon, I doubt you ever will, and . . . "
"Plus, your little friend Moonstone owes more, and you don't
bug her at all."
Hunter twitched and thought about the girl that was sleeping,
upstairs. Yvonne, of course, was right. He liked Moonstone.
"Just pay me back, please," he said. "Goodnight."
Another package of data is sucked down from a netnews server at
Ole Miss, over to a telnet session run by Hunter's PPP client,
through the Windows clipboard to the virtual cache memory of the
COM-Port, is assigned downloaded TrueType fonts and spewed out
on paper, finally a thing again. Hunter takes the page out of
his printer's paper tray, downs the last sip of coffee, and walks
out into the living room. Yvonne is sleeping on the couch. Hunter
reminds himself again to tell her to get a bed and move into her
room, upstairs. Yvonne doesn't budge. Her right arm hangs out
over the edge of the couch, suspended in mid-air at an impossible
The kitchen is cold. Hunter puts the page up on the fridge next
to the spreadsheet printout that lists Moonstone and Yvonne's
debts, itemized carefully.
"What do you got there?"
Hunter turns toward the door. Moonstone, black leather jacket
over a wide skirt and combat boots. The obligatory Grateful Dead
shirt shows a ship full of skeletons amidst the tie-dyed swirls.
"It's something I got from alt.humor.funny, on the net. It's
Moonstone puts down her book bag and comes over to him. "What
are you?" he asks.
"You are the artistic type," Hunter reads,"and
have a difficult time with reality. If you are male, you are probably
a queer. Chances for employment and monetary gain are nil. Most
libra women are whores. All libras die of venereal disease."
"That is so rude!" Moonstone says. "And damn funny."
She opens the fridge to get a can of Diet Dr. Pepper out. "What
Yvonne walks in, wiping sleep out of her eyes. "What's funny?"
"This," says Hunter, pointing his thumb at the fridge
"Read her hers," Moonstone says. She pops the can with
her middle finger.
"That's all right." Hunter turns to the sink.
Moonstone swipes the page from the fridge. "What's your sign?"
"Scorpio," says Yvonne.
"The worst of the lot," Moonstone reads. "You
are shrewd in business and cannot be trusted." Hunter
looks at Moonstone. "You shall achieve the pinnacle of
success because of the total lack of ethics. You are a perfect
bitch. Most Scorpios are murdered."
Yvonne doesn't say anything.
"Heh," Hunter says, "isn't that funny?"
"Yeah," says Moonstone, "funny."
Yvonne looks at their faces. Her eyes narrow, flashing quickly,
then it's gone and she forces out a laugh, "ha." Then
she leaves, rummaging for a moment in the back room where most
of her stuff is piled up in boxes before she knocks the back door
"Wheew," Hunter says.
"Yeah." Moonstone puts the funny horoscope back up on
the fridge, under the magnet of a smiling banana.
"Hunter," Moonstone says after a quick sip from the
can, "they busted Billy."
"You shouldn't have done that."
"They busted Billy; that friend of Mary-Lou's? Who played
the guitar that night?"
"Yeah, I remember Billy. What for?" Hunter hops on the
counter. A click-point pencil he has in his shirt pocket falls
out. Moonstone gets it for him.
"In his car. He had half a sheet of acid."
Moonstone's voice sounds angry, instable. "Damn is right.
They're gonna give him fucking twenty years for that. He'll be
forty when he's out."
"What did he have the acid for?" Hunter asks.
"God, Hunter, sometimes you are so goddamn clueless."
It sounds almost warm, good, somehow.
"Can I show you something?" Hunter asks, "Something
He motions her to follow him into his computer room, the little
front room he likes to call his "study." There's a poster
of the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation on the wall.
Paper lies in neat stacks on desks. File cabinets are properly
lined up under the windows. The computer hums with a steady, reassuring
low tone. Toasters with little wings are moving diagonally over
Hunter seems lighter, easier in the room. He drops in his massive
leather chair and hits the mouse. The toasters vanish. Moonstone
squats down in a simplified lotus stance next to him. Hunter guides
the mouse along in quick, controlled strokes. Windows open and
close as menus flare up, branch out into submenus and vanish.
A window opens under Hunter's control, garbled letters and numbers
float over the screen like a digital stitching pattern, structure
gone insane . . .
"What is it?" Moonstone asks.
"An encoded email message, using public key encryption and
sent through an anonymous-server in Finland."
"Who is it from?"
"I don't know." He swivels towards where she sits on
the floor next to him. The soft green carpet looks comfortable
to Hunter. "It's crazy," he says.
"Can you crack the code?"
"Crack the code?" Hunter scratches his chin and extends
his hand. He talks slowly. "Moonstone, not even the FBI or
the NSA can crack the RSA encryption algorithm that is at the
heart of Zimmerman's PGP. When Diffie came up with public key
encryption, it revolutionized the whole field. Instead of having
only one key, there are two, a secret and a pub-"
The telephone rings. It's Hunter's Mom, from Portland. Moonstone
gets up when she hears the serious tone in Hunter's voice, even
though he motions for her to stay. She closes the door behind
her when she walks out.
It is Grandpa, his Dad's dad. He had a stroke. He survived it,
Mom's voice tells Hunter, filtering through switchboards on and
satellites off the ground, but he's in intensive care and it's
not looking good.
"You know it is his second stroke," Mom says.
Hunter sits down. He loved that old man.
"How is grandma taking it?" he asks.
"She was upset, but they gave her something."
Hunter wonders if there is something else he should say.
Mom says, "I'll call you as soon as we know something."
"Good," Hunter says.
"I'm sorry. I hope he makes it."
MTV's Real World is on. Hunter, who never followed it, wonders
why everybody is so pissed at that comedian guy. He is yelling
back at some people, shaking his fingers.
"Why don't we go someplace tonight?" says Moonstone.
"Go somewhere, you know, out."
The TV shows quick shots of the comedian walking down a street.
He keeps talking at the camera at all angles.
"Yeah, I, I'd like that." Hunter nods, too quick, he
"You haven't been out much, have you?" Moonstone asks.
"No, well, no, not really. Not since I came here. When you
work at home, you don't meet too many people."
"You got that guy you play squash with."
"Martinez? Yeah, well."
Someone else is talking to the camera now, a young girl who looks
like a sheep. She is angry at something.
"All right then, let's go out somewhere. Great!"
"Yeah, great," says Hunter. He nods again.
Moonstone gets up and squats down next to the VCR. "I'll
watch that Monét biopic now, if you don't mind."
Hunter gets up, too. "No, I need to get some more work done
anyway." He pauses, then moves on into his office.
This time, files zoom out of Hunter's machine, squeezed through
a fourteen-four bis modem, shot out along the shifting vectors
of cyberspace, sudden short bursts popping past virtual skyscrapers
of banks and multinational companies, littering the datascape
with heavy pulsing streams below the spiral arms of military systems
and the purplish pyramid of Microsoft . . . . Hunter guides his
pkzipped archives along with a dreamlike proficiency, his clattering
fingers on the keyboard, far below and back in his southern room,
spitting out sequences in UNIX that set flags and upload binary
code into memory storage at his company's ftp host, earning the
pay the very same computer calculates immediately, while: "Fuck!"
The session still connected, Hunter leaves his computer to the
whim of the screen saver and hops the quick steps out to the living
room where Moonstone stares furiously at the screen, hammering
an angry thumb at the remote, held out far, too far . . . .
"Look at that shit!" she yells.
Hunter looks. It's Wile E. Coyote, with a round, black bomb. The
fuse is lit.
"Yeah. Disney is funnier."
"Bullshit,Warner Bros. is funnier, but this is not Monét."
The bomb blows into a crescendo of white and yellow, leaving Wile
E. with a black head and sorry eyes. Moonstone drops the arm with
Yvonne comes crashing down the stairs on heavy boots. Ralf is
behind her. He is big, and has a mean jaw.
"Why is that on there? Where is the feature on Monét?"
says Moonstone, to no one in particular. Hunter raises both hands.
"Yeah, Loony Tunes came on," says Yvonne. She is by
the couch, searching for something. Ralf looks at her as she bends
over and around the coffee table.
"What?" says Moonstone.
"Yvonne, that's not cool at all," says Hunter. "You
guys are welcome to use my VCR and all that, but if Moonstone
is taping something, you can't just go and, I mean, look, it's
as if I let you, well-"
"Moonstone, Moonstone, Moonstone. Gee, Hunter, chill, for
God's sake." Yvonne is talking into the pillows.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Hunter feels that ugly
rush of his cheeks blushing. "Hun? What's that supposed to
Ralf looks down on Hunter. "Are you gonna have a heart attack,
Yvonne comes up with her keys rattling. "Yeah. Watch it.
It runs in the family, I hear." Ralf makes a sound like jello,
and they're gone, and then there's quiet, and then the phone rings
and it's Yvonne's Dad, but her tail lights are already out on
Mamie, around, and gone . . . .
"Can I take a message?" Hunter asks.
"Yeah, if you would, Mr. Grossman," Yvonne's Dad says,
"tell her to call Schlosser, Schlosser, and Grieg, as soon
as possible. It is urgent."
Hunter is still looking after where Yvonne's car turned, until
a van catches his eye, coming towards him-
"Sure," he says.
-and sure enough, the van comes around, and in the drive way,
right behind Moonstone's Peugeot.
Hunter motions to Moonstone, points to the van. "No problem,"
he says, and hangs up.
"It's Mary-Lou and them," says Moonstone.
Hunter asks, "Are we still gonna go out?"
"Hang on," says Moonstone, she's at the door.
Mary-Lou wears a yellow sweater with pasta stains. Her hair is
clipped short. She flies in the door and hugs Moonstone. Jenniferis behind her, with a Burger King crown and a dumb grin. She walks
in and sits down in front of the TV. "Loony Tunes,"
"Do I seem funny to you?" Mary-Lou asks Moonstone, then
points to Hunter, "and you?"
Hunter doesn't know what to say. Mary-Lou makes him feel uneasy.
"No one must be strange tonight," Mary-Lou says, "no
one. There are no strangers to the sisters, that's what we should
call ourselves, unstrange sisters."
"Loony Tunes," says Jennifer. "I like Loony Tunes.
I like it when I like it."
"Hunter has cool stuff on his computer," Moonstone says.
Hunter straightens up some and agrees. He catches a glimpse of
Moonstone winking, maybe . . . .
Mary-Lou says, "Yeah, I'd like to see something on a computer,
"Fractals," Hunter says, "self-resembling structures
made visible through reiterating functions in the Mandelbrot range."
Jennifer has come in and squatted down in front of the monitor.
She is still wearing the Burger King crown. "Fractals,"
she says. Moonstone is standing by the door, tiny wrinkles around
her lips that Hunter hasn't noticed before. Mary-Lou is sitting
in his chair, hands on the keyboard without touching. The screen
is a seething psychedelic mud puddle, a growing organic form of
pure primary color, evolving, morphing, strangely familiar . .
"Fractal geometry seems much better suited to describe natural
patterns, like trees, or coastlines. Incredibly, it is possible
to zoom closer and closer into the picture while the parts still
resemble the whole. The mathematical basis for this is-"
"Ahhhhhhhhhh . . . ." Jennifer starts a low, unearthly
sound, like something big that's close yet behind or under something,
and then Mary-Lou starts, and it seems to Hunter that they modulate
the pitch of their voices with the growth of colors on the screen,
a flowering of deep blue sounding a rougher timbre than waves
of orange, and yellow. Hunter looks at Moonstone for help. She
gives him thumbs up, and smiles. He doesn't understand. He hits
the key that reverses the color cycling, creating an effect of
metal snow melting, or a tear freezing, and an "ehhhhhhhh"
from the girls, who don't blink.
There's a little flourish, and a window pops up, all square and
strange before the churning fractal angles. "You have new
mail," it says, and "OK."
"Holy shit, did you see that?" says Jennifer. Her mouth
is wide open, lips agape.
"Yeah," says Mary-Lou, "I know what you mean."
Hunter reaches over Mary-Lou's shoulder and brings the incoming
mail up. Blocks of letters scroll by, incomprehensible. Moonstone
"It's that PGP thing, right?" she says.
"Whoa," says Mary-Lou, "I can think like that."
"Let's go out," Moonstone says. There's another flourish.
It's the same message, sent again.
"I'm being mail-bombed," says Hunter.
"Whoa," says Jennifer.
The phone rings. "Go . . . where?" Mary-Lou says, impeccably
timed between the rings. "Go . . . where?"
"You're being phone-bombed, too," Jennifer says, "like,
It's Hunter's Mom again. Grandpa is worse. If he'll die, he'll
die tonight, the doctors said. Hunter feels like shit, like his
head is sinking quickly through his neck and chest, and lower.
"Should I come up there?" he asks.
"There's nothing you can do," Mom says.
"He was a POW in Africa, after the war," Hunter says.
Moonstone's face is aglow with the changing neon reflections of
the fast food franchises lining the road. They are in the back
seats of Mary-Lou's van. Hunter feels she shouldn't be driving,
but all Mary-Lou said was, "I know about every pebble on
the road. I am close to the Gaian mind." Jennifer had nodded.
"He used to tell a lot of stories. When he first came into
the prison camp, the British sergeant threw cigarettes before
the Germans. They all scrambled in the sand to get them. Grandpa
didn't. The sergeant came up to him and made him his liaison.
He kept working on his English, mainly from books. He used to
say, all the words he learnt out there in the desert had to do
with cars or women."
Moonstone doesn't say anything. Hunter thinks her eyes are really
big tonight, like a doll's.
"Not so fucking fast," Jennifer says.
"Once, he had to translate for a court-martial. The guy,
a German, was guilty as hell, and he confessed, but Grandpa didn't
translate right. He tweaked the story so the British would pardon
the guy. Then, the judge asked Grandpa outside. He lit a cigarette
for both of them and told him, 'You shouldn't be doing that,'
in German. Grandpa took a moment, shook his head, and said, 'But
I have to.' They let the guy go, I think."
Moonstone nods. She is about to cry. Hunter looks the other way,
out the window. A billboard that looks like it was advertising
babies drifts by. Hunter feels helpless, and sad. The baby is
happy. Moonstone takes Hunter's hand. He doesn't say anything.
Neither does she. They just sit. Her hand feels good, and they
sit in the dark back of the van until Mary-Lou jerks it over a
curb and into the parking lot of Shy Anne's, the Country bar Yvonne
"What are we doing here?" Hunter says. "I
don't want to go here." He lets go of Moonstone's hand.
Mary-Lou turns. "Have you ever been?"
"No. I don't want to."
"Country is so crazy," Jennifer says and opens
Moonstone gives Hunter an apologetic look, and he thinks, those
eyes, and she's out in the parking lot.
"We'll be there in a second," Moonstone tells the girls.
Jennifer and Mary-Lou nod and start towards the bar, carefully
dodging mud-filled potholes. Jennifer holds her crown with one
Moonstone leans against the van, hands behind her back. Hunter
doesn't know what to say.
"I know it's crazy," Moonstone says.
Hunter swallows. This is for real. "Moonstone, if you think
I'm too old-"
"It's for Billy."
"Mary-Lou has two sheets left. She- I told her it was crazy,
but, they want to dose everybody here."
Hunter turns towards the bar, a dark, metal-clad building illuminated
by Coors Light signs in the windows. He still doesn't understand.
"Let's go in," Moonstone says. "I thought you'd
Inside, it's worse than Hunter thought. From the bar to the far
reaches of the dance floor, the inside of Shy Anne's is brimming
with red faces, big hair, tight jeans skirts, here and there a
loner with a hat who tries hard not to look bored, a laughing
woman who holds red fingernails to cover her mouth, all of it
engulfed with the rhythmical, all-intrusive twang of a steel guitar
and happy clapping. Trays with brand beers packaged in twos or
threes move high over the seething bodies, floating back and forth
through curls of smoke before far neon signs in an ongoing exchange
of drink and currency that looks oddly familiar to Hunter, who
"I like your shirt," says a guy with a moustache that
covers his upper lip, pointing at Hunter with the little finger.
Hunter wears the tie-dyed shirt Moonstone has given him for his
birthday. It had been his favorite present, but he hasn't worn
"Thanks," he says, not sure if the guy is serious. Moonstone
is dragging him on, yelling something through the crowd. He turns
his ear towards her. She puts her hand around it, yelling, "Let's
find the girls." Hunter signals he'd get beer and come find
her. He budges his way towards the bar through broad backs, waving
his hand for two Buds. An ugly girl with a black Stetson slams
them on the counter for him. Further down, Yvonne is washing whiskey
tumblers, two at a time. She doesn't see him, and Hunter is glad.
He finds Jennifer and Moonstone talking to a blonde man with a
sharp nose. Jennifer wears a black cowboy hat, the guy has her
Burger King crown in his hands, circling it like prayer beads.
All three are leaning into each other over a tall round table.
"Hey," Hunter says to make Moonstone look up. She does,
and points to the blonde man. "This is Dex, Dex: Hunter."
They nod at each other. Dex' teeth are awfully white, Hunter thinks.
"I used to belief in fairies and wood nymphs," Jennifer
is saying, "and I had forgotten it. Tonight, I remember."
"Where is Mary-Lou?" Hunter asks.
Jennifer points with her thumb. "Spreading the word, gone
fishing for the lord," she says.
Hunter sees Mary-Lou laugh at a table by the dance floor. Men
are sitting around her, arms draped over the backs of their chairs.
The men are laughing, too.
Dex says, "Why not go out in the woods?" He drinks a
"I used to dance through the sunflower patches in Oregon,"
Hunter tries to place an elbow on the table, but can't, and drinks
some beer. He tries to find something to say.
"My Mom's from Portland," Dex says.
"Will you guys excuse me?" Jennifer ducks into the crowd,
head panning left and right. Moonstone slides around the table,
and Hunter props up his elbow. He looks around for Mary-Lou, can't
"Drink?" Yvonne says, forcing her way between Hunter
and Moonstone to wipe the table and empty the ashtray.
"Three scotch," Dex says. He finishes his beer off in
a dramatic gesture, slamming the bottle on Yvonne's tray and brushing
his moustache with the shirt sleeves. Yvonne takes off.
"So how's it going, Herb?" Dex asks Hunter.
"Hunter," Hunter says. Moonstone laughs a little bit.
"Shit," Dex says, flapping the Burger King crown on
the table, "she's still got my hat!" He shoots a finger
at Moonstone: "Don't go away!" and pushes himself past
a man wearing sunglasses, towards the dance floor.
Hunter touches Moonstone's shoulder. "Could we go, please?"
"I'm having fun," she says, "just roll with it.
You're just not used to this anymore."
The music changes, and there is a rush to the dance floor, more
people pushing their way by Hunter, already hopping and moving
their arms to the music. The lyrics say something about a lonely
man on a sailboat, but Hunter tries not to listen. He tries to
make eye contact with Moonstone, who absently glances off into
"I was just thinking about Yvonne," she says. "That
Ralph is a bastard, and she can't help it."
"I'm not the welfare office," Hunter says. "And
I hate that guy."
Moonstone looks at him, soft doll eyes and all, "Hunter,
she can't pay, she has some serious trouble, and she doesn't need
any more, really. I think you should try to be less of a jerk,
She waves her hand at Hunter to make him hush. Yvonne is there
with the drinks. "Three scotch," she says, "9 dollars."
Hunter digs for a ten, puts it on her tray. "I'll take the
tip out of the rent," he says. Yvonne takes the tray and
leaves. Hunter downs his scotch and takes Dex' glass.
Moonstone doesn't say anything.
"That was just a harmless little joke," Hunter says.
"See what I mean?"
Hunter feels something slipping, somehow, something getting away,
out of his grasp, quickly, like something you remembered, and
then forget again . . .
"Hang on," Hunter says, gets up, and starts towards
the bathroom, arms held out like a swimmer. He can feel the scotch,
and he thinks, maybe if all these people suddenly leave, I'd fall
Dex is talking to Moonstone when he comes back. There's new scotch
on the table.
". . . out in Denver for a while," Dex is saying, "before
my back got so bad I couldn't do it any more."
"Wow," Moonstone says, nodding.
Hunter says, "Let's go home."
"Why so fast?" says Dex. "The night has just begun."
He winks at Moonstone. Hunter feels an acidic pain move up from
Yvonne leans in on the table, waving a dollar bill. "Here's
your buck back, Mr. Grossman."
Moonstone looks up at Hunter.
"Thanks," Hunter says, swiping the money out of her
hand. He stuffs it into his pocket and looks at his drink. Yvonne
"Where's the witty remark?" Yvonne asks. "Is something
"You need to shut up," Hunter says.
"You need a fuck."
"You want to fuck her so bad it hurts, don'tcha?"
"Fucking nerd," Yvonne says, with the venomous hiss
of too much spittle in her voice.
Hunter grasps the edge of the metal table. "That'll do,"
he says, "you're out. I want you out of my house tomorrow,
do you understand?" He is astonished by the sound of his
"That won't get you anywhere either, you moron. Fuck you."
Yvonne turns, twists her back sideways, and is gone.
"Wheew," Dex says, shaking his fingers, "oooh baby."
He looks up at Hunter, waiting for something.
"Can we go now?" Hunter says.
Moonstone leans back, towards Dex. "Why don't you take a
cab?" she says.
Frozen into a solid block of unmoving signifiers, public-key encrypted
code hangs in the void, cold and angular, cyphertext that cannot
not be traced or understood, a monolithic non-sign that means
only itself, stubbornly repeating and reproducing the same sequence
of vaguely alphabetic text, too dense, black light reflecting
off its edges, until something else gels into existence, seeping
in slowly through cracks that were never meant to exist along
vectors and between nodes, something other than data yet rich
in information of a different quality, all twisted forms and positive
feedback loops: the sound of Moonstone's voice, heavy with sweat
and sperm and lust, filtering in from above if there is an above
out here, and the sound can be heard even out beyond the ruins
of Fidonet, after the last telnet session closed down, in a dark
room in a red brick house in southern Mississippi, in the hour
Jurgen Fauth is thought to be from Germany and is at work
on a study of hypertext fiction.