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My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Tuesday, March 25, 2003


Pac-Man cometh


>> Around Oahu

It was an aggressive virus, as Lily Ah Sun discovered when she rebooted her computer after the power came back on at the Honolulu Soap Co. Checking her e-mail, she clicked on the first one and then watched in horror as Pac-Man popped up and began to eat, one by one, every e-mail, both new and saved. In a panic, she tried to shut down the computer, but it refused, and Pac-Man's e-feast continued, moving next to chomp and devour every one of the files on her hard drive. All she could do was swear.

The same thing was happening at the Full Faith Fellowship Gospel Tabernacle office. Not the swearing, the e-carnage. Lily's co-best friend Fawn Nakamura, the office manager, opened an e-mail and Pac-Man turned into a cannibal, gobbling up files. Fawn shouted for Lindsay, the tabernacle techie.

"Unplug it!" she said, and Fawn did. But when they rebooted the machine, Pac-Man was there and still hungry. Lindsay slipped an anti-viral disc into the slot, but it got eaten.

The good news for both Lily and Fawn was that the big stuff, the business records, had been backed up on discs. But not the e-mails, including those that would have incriminated Victor Primitivo. Which was his intent when he sent a mole virus that would be routed through five other stops along the Web, each of which would alter the sender's address and destroy the original, finally arriving in Shauny Nakamura's e-mail. It scouted her hard-drive, then nuked it, wiping out everything, including every trace of the e-mails and photos he'd sent her over the past two months. It also identified e-mail addresses to which his e-mails had been forwarded, and sent the virus chasing after them. Fawn and Lily were the only ones Shauny had e-confided in.

At that moment Shauny was knocked out from a date rape drug and Primitivo was lifting her down from his Escalade at the ranch above Kahuku that his hunting club had rented for two weeks.

Club president Tets Nakajima was there to meet him. "She's a beauty," he said, pinching her thigh. "Excellent muscle tone. Should be a good one."

"Spirited is the word," Primitivo said, lifting the petite young woman over his shoulder. "Where do we put her?"

"With the others." He led the way.

Shauny had done a lot of stupid things today, but she had done one smart thing. She'd punched in Lily's phone number on her cell, as Lily had advised, just in case the guy got goofy. In the shuffling, the call button was depressed, and Lily's home answering machine had just recorded that brief conversation.




Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek.
His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin
with weekly summaries on Sunday.
He can be e-mailed at dchapman@midweek.com



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