Machine Man
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SOURCE P17 V5/8.
Machine Man (serial)

V4← Final →V6

Date: Sun Mar 29 23:53:34 2009 +0000

Page 17.

“Oh,” Lola said. “I see.”

She walked in a circle around my prototype leg three times. She stopped beside the Clamp, the big pre-fab die stamp that had crushed my old leg, although she didn’t know that. The Clamp was gleaming clean. You didn’t leave machinery of that caliber idle just because some idiot managed to lose a limb in it. It was expensive as all get-out.

“That looks heavy,” she said.

“It’s about 180 pounds,” I admitted. “It tends to dent the floor.”

“How do you lift it?”

“I don’t. It walks by itself.”

Lola looked at me.

“That base rotates. It’s essentially a wheel, on a shifting multi-dimensional axis.” I wanted to tell her its top speed, but didn’t, in case she thought I was showing off

“Huh. And what’s this?” She pointed at a squat black box, protruding from one side.

“The processor. I’m not really happy with the positioning on that. It’s a little vulnerable.”

“What does it do?”

“Oh. You know. Basic monitoring and control. GPS. Data storage. Wi-fi.”

“Your leg has wi-fi?”

“Of course. Otherwise it couldn’t interface with the Google Maps API for path-finding.”

Lola looked at me blankly.

“You shouldn’t need to keep telling your leg where to step. You should tell it where you want to go, and let it figure out how to get you there. That’s basic encapsulation.”

Lola looked back at the leg. I don’t think she really understood encapsulation. But she liked my leg. She squatted, reached out, and touched it.

I cleared my throat. “What do you think?”

Her fingers ran over the chrome. “It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”

I felt myself flushing. “Thanks.”


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