Patterson sat next to Sparks in
Seaview's radio shack. Sparks wasn't the man's real name, but rather a
nickname that was traceable back to the early days of telegraphy. It had
been years since anyone had referred to him by his given name, which most
of the crew had forgotten long ago or had never known in the first place.
There were those who seriously doubted Sparks' Christian and surnames were
known even to Admiral Nelson, or for that matter, maintained in the
Institute's files. The man himself did nothing to dispel the mystery.
|| Patterson figured there were
probably some people on the planet who knew more about the Internet
and satellite, broadcast, high band, low band, in-between
band--whatever--communications systems, than Sparks. But he was
hard-pressed to imagine just who those people might be. Sparks' idea
of a good read was a technical manual on the latest encryption
device or some new ultra-narrow-band digital transmitter. Responding
to a question, he had once commented, "Novel? Oh yeah, I read one of