Next morning, Leo wasn’t in class. Maxe didn’t understand how he could have been all smiles the day before when his father was so upset.

Timy came to see her between classes.

“You’ve heard about Leo’s Dad?”

“He told me he was ruined.”

“Yes. I did a little digging and found out that Leo’s father doesn’t have a penny to his name. He owes money to everyone. The banks are hassling him and people he owes money to are running after him. Plus, the government’s suing him for tax fraud… some income tax thing.”

“But that’s impossible. He’s totally honest. He could never have done anything like that.”

“You’re right, he didn’t do it.”

“Well then?”

“There’s only one way to explain it. His identity’s been stolen.”


“Stolen – but how?”

“It’s easy. We have all sorts of personal data stored in our computers. Hackers know how to steal the data. Then they pass themselves off as the people whose data they’ve stolen, and they steal from them again, or from other people.”

“But who could have done that?”

“I can only think of one person who could do that who has access to Roger’s computer. That would be Leo!”

All of a sudden, Maxe understood everything.

“The photo!”

“What photo?”

“It all began when Leo tried to open a photo he thought I’d sent him!”

“A virus!”

“Leo’s computer has a virus.”

“No. Leo IS the virus. The virus took control of him. The real Leo is trapped somewhere in cyberspace.”

“Just like in my nightmares! Leo’s in a cage floating in space… cyberspace.”






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