There is a lot of Leif in this Cyberpunk story, both in the character of Ramac, the injured operative who spends all his time plugged into the net looking for a carrier of the virus that can cure him, and in the character of Greye Sinclair, the twin who felt like half of a pair, grieving without being able to show it, for his brother.
Leif was physically and emotionally damaged by his military service and the end of his marriage, and came home to spend a lot of his time on the internet and playing combat games online. He was now half of a pair, having lost his wife, and felt alone and incomplete.
There are some poignant phrases in the story, such as this one from Chapter One:
"It is easier to feel for someone else than it is to grieve yourself?"
He wrote it as a statement but put a question mark at the end, probably intending to write, "Is it easier to feel . . . . " It's a revealing phrase as well.
Leif said that men were allowed only one emotion, anger, and thus he could not grieve or show his own emotions at the time he was writing this (and later), but he DID show other emotions; depression and apathy.
Although Leif talked to me quite a lot about this story in the summer of 2001, I don't know how he planned to go forward with the Greye Sinclair character and how it would eventually intersect with the story of Ramac. I wish I could remember more of what he told me, and I wish he had finished the book.
Writing can be very cathartic, and I think writing as much as he did of this story was helpful to him. When he got into school at KSU in August 2001, he began to find new contacts and reasons to live, and the novel fell by the wayside.
I urged him to finish it, and to be sure it was backed up, but he had lost the urgency of writing it as his own mind and body began to heal. Despite that, he knew the story had some power, both for him and potentially for others, and I think he was proud of it, which was one reason he posted it on the ZAON forum, but no one commented on it there, and that may have been a disappointment to him. Who knows? Perhaps if he'd had more encouragement from others who read it, he might have continued, though that would have surprised me, as writing was never one of Leif's preferred activities.
Regardless of all that, I'm glad to have this piece of his writing, and the few others I have.