Age 13 or so.

Our download of 3l173 w4r35 completed (probably something along the lines of Linewars or Commander Keen 4), we're disconnecting the 1200 baud modem so our testing of the new game can go uninterrupted upon the return of my parents without having to pause and rush to conceal the physical evidence of our illicit modemming activities (the parents, strangely, never making the connection between the activity and the appearance of all the various softwares I was seen spending my high school afternoons mastering...)

I see by the red LEDs that the modem is still on... it remains on when I depress the power switch on front, at which point I also notice my friend coiling and putting away its power cord.

I back away. My friend looks at me, not understanding my sudden spooking. I point at the modem - he doesn't get it. I point at the transformer and cord in his hand.

He gets it, similarly backing away.

In the dimly-lit windowless basement, the enigmatic electric box glowers crimson with menace.

"Should we call a technician or an exorcist?"

It turns out that the modem was leeching enough power to fuel the lights from the phone cord. Or the serial cable. Or something. (shiver)

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