Fede was 18 when Tony got roo'd. He'd been prepping for early college admission with late-night com-classes, goggled in and finger-cramped over nasty circa-2009 C++ code examples while longing to toss it in for time to scan some flashy Java virii. Tony had been gone from his life for at least a couple years, five years his senior and a failure, as far as their folks saw it. Bailing out of a prestigious single-course curriculum at MIT, the rumor was that he'd crashed and burned on Pakistani kraft; carefully engineered cold cells delivering a prolonged payload of top-flight methamphetamines directly to the spongy flanges of his right hemisphere.Link (Thanks, Josh!
"Coulda been a genius" Fed's father had said when he'd said anything about Tony, which wasn't often. He had never said much, plugged in as he was basically 24/7 to a Grecko-Roman massively-multiplayer game world based out of a datahaven in the Balkan Islands. Fed's Dad had been an in-game Wizard, administering illegal betting and avatar trades through a Russian triumvirate. About the time Tony had washed out of MIT their Dad's game servers had been pulled by marketeers and put to use in a retro Furry MUD. Without the reassuring virtual community of brother-love Fed's Dad had simply faded away, dissapearing the same way Tony eventually had.