SOURCE P185 V1/13.
Machine Man (serial)
“Look!” said Lola. “It’s a prosthetic arm. That’s for you.
“No, no. You’re solid state.”
HOW AM I SOLID STATE
“It’s…” She shuffled closer. Her eyes were filled with excitement. “I’ve been dying to talk to you about it, Charlie. It’s amazing.”
I AM A ROBOT, wrote the screen. I AM A BOX BOX DEAD MACHINE BOX
“No.” She put her chin on her hands. “No, Charlie. You’re not a box. The box is your new body, that’s all.”
DO NOT WANT TO BE A BOX LOLA
“Well,” she said. “Let me tell you about the box. Because the box has ports. You can plug things into it.” She smiled. “I have this arm I’ve been working on, Charlie. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, because I’ve been saving it up for three years, but it is kind of special.”
YOU HAVE YOU HAVE THREE YEARS
“Yeah. It’s been a while, Charlie. But we made it.” She looked around. “My bed is over in the corner there. I convinced them to let me bunk in here.” She looked back at me. “They wanted to give up on you, Charlie. They said there was nothing left to save. I told them, there’s nothing left of his body.”
“Take a peek.” She leaned forward and pulled down her top. There was a white scar across her chest: not a new one. She sat back. “I got your heart. I had to yell at a lot of people. But I got it. You’ve been with me the whole time, Charlie. We haven’t been apart one minute.” She looked around. “My bed is in the corner there. That was another thing I had to yell at them about.”
THREE YEARS HOW IS IT THREE YEARS
“It feels like three days, all of a sudden,” said Lola. “You’re back and it’s like you were never gone. We’re talking, Charlie. We’re talking!”
“So let me tell you about the box,” Lola said. Her eyes sparkled. “Because I get that this is a big shock, but seriously, you are going to love this. The box has ports.”
“Yes. You can plug things into it.”
“Well,” she said, “that’s an interesting question, Charlie. That’s a very interesting question. And it’s probably the kind of question you want to put some serious thought into answering. But, well, while I’ve been waiting for you, I kind of went ahead and got started. I…” She bit her lip. “I was going to surprise you. But now I can’t wait. I’m just going to tell you. I made you an arm. You can probably do better. But I wanted you to have something. Something from me.”
YOU MADE ME AN ARM LOLA
“Yeah.” She grinned. “It’s pretty cool, Charlie. I mean, it can’t shoot bullets or anything. It’s just a prosthetic. But it’s a start.”
“Yeah,” said Lola. “That’s what this is, Charlie. A start.”
I looked at her. It was odd, knowing I was seeing her through a camera lens. But not as odd as I would have thought. Maybe people could get used to anything. Now I thought about it, it was a little strange people could feel comfortable in bodies that were almost entirely made of juice. That was pretty freaky, to be honest.
CAN YOU SHOW ME THE ARM, I said.