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Cadre T'ai Tsung looked unusually official. <<This technology>> he said, <<will change the world. This is the future.>>

One hundred metres above the Antequeruela district of Granada Juanito had an idea. Juanito was in a good location for profound insights, tethered as he was to a terylene triangle with only a headwind and some snowcapped peaks to take his mind off things. As a student he knew the secret of problem solving was rising above issues to put them in their true perspective; as a lover he understood well enough the principle of lift. But he couldn't help thinking, while the sun dappled undersail, he couldn't get it out of his head that maybe wasn't this a bit much, this? In the shadowed labyrinth below a jackhammer ticked. Somewhere else a speeding Renault gave him an engine to contend with. Then he had his idea, and he forgot all about mere perspective.

He raced home to tell Loretta all about it. She was hunched over her Amiga watching Spanish obscenities scroll down the screen. Juanito enjoyed skiing, surfing and hang gliding; Loretta preferred surfing through the 'Net.

<<It's been like this all morning,>> Loretta said. <<It just won't stop! Maybe it's one of those graffiti viruses they were having trouble with.>>

Juanito studied the flow of obscenities and thought he saw a pattern in it. <<Phone Nico>> he said. <It looks like one of his pranks.>>

Loretta phoned Nico, that feisty Catalonian separatist, currently fuming over his terminal in Barcelona. Nico said he didn't know anything except it was no joke, computers were going down all over the city. Office workers in the Plaza de Cataluna were having the morning off because they couldn't access their spreadsheets. The Chinese yuan was the only winner on the stock exchange. Madrid was screaming at Brussels, Brussels was on the phone to Los Angeles, Los Angeles was faxing accusations into Tokyo like how could you be so careless? how could you let in such a terrible thing? Shanghai was denying everything. In Saigon, Vietnam, the virus even cleared a teeming VDU with the poignant discharge:

Do I contradict myself?

Very well then... I contradict myself;

I am large... I contain multitudes

Back in Granada Juanito switched off the Amiga and said <<They'll sort it out. They always do. Besides, it's such a nice day...>>

He rigged Loretta beneath him on the big purple hang glider and nosed out into the breeze. The wings caught a thermal above Antequeruela and soared them away from the car horns. Juanito wanted to fly all the way to Africa. Loretta said <Was there something you wanted to tell me?>>

<<Oh, nothing>> Juan said. <I just had an idea about microprocessors.>>

CASSIUS CROON and other characters copyright Rob Sullivan 1996-2001.

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