The girl has a decidedly unconventional appearance, yet is a first-rate beauty. Dade notices her lips, and in his imagination launches into a flurry of half-second video clips and art bites, all involving lips and kissing.

GIRL The gym is through there, and the cafeteria is through there.

MURPHY I'm sorry we had to move in your senior year.

In the OTV Studios security department, a phone rings, a man answers nervously.

Listen, I'm in big trouble, do you know anything about computers? Kawasaki, and if I don't get it in, he's gonna ask me to commit Hari Kari... (pause) Could you, uh, read me the number on the modem? DADE It's a little boxy thing, Norm, with switches on it...

Armed troops in black uniforms pour out of unmarked vans and swarm across a lawn in a middle class residential neighborhood. Two of the troops carry a battering ram to the front door of a white two-storey house. In position, their comrades point M-16s into first-floor windows, ready to be ambushed. An attractive woman in her thirties is making breakfast.

The view becomes a direct overhead of the buildings and streets of the city, which then metamorphoses (through animation) into chips and digital signals on a stylised computer board.

KATE Yeah, there's an Olympic size swimming pool up on the roof.

Across the roof, a dozen or so geeky looking kids are looking over the edge, apparently trying to get someone's attention.

Dade's screen dissolves into: ACID BURN DADE Unbelievable. Then the screen changes again: ACID BURN SEZ LEAVE B 4 U R EXPUNGED "The Outer Limits" suddenly flashes off.

The tape changer machines at OTV are swamped, sometimes fighting over the same tape. The message comes up on Dade's computer screen: I WILL SWAT U LIKE THE FLY U R More dueling tape changers, more half second video clips. I WILL SNAP YOUR BACK LIKE A TOOTHPICK As the duel continues, Dade types back a taunt of his own: MESS WITH THE BEST DIE LIKE THE REST One last from Acid Burn: YOU ARE TERMINATED Then his own computer confirms for him that the connection is terminated.

A three-second video clip rolls through his mind: it is a screaming woman being strangled in an old movie.