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Machine Man
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Page 20.
Machine Man (serial)

I woke, but not in the hospital. It took me a while to figure this out, because I couldn’t focus my eyes, and because I really, really should have been in the hospital. I had just crushed my right leg. There was nowhere else I belonged.

“… can’t know,” said someone. It sounded like my boss, D. Peters. “It’s just a coincidence.”

“I don’t believe in coincidences.” This was a woman, hard to place until her enticing, toxic scent wafted across me.

“Check the security tape,” said D. Peters. “He did it himself. There’s no question.”

“Hmm.” I tried to move my head, to see Cassandra Cautery, but my muscles refused to respond. A sun hung over my face, angry and brilliant. It looked familiar. It was a lab light. The problem with this was it meant I was lying on the lab floor, bleeding to death.

“He moved,” said D. Peters. “Just then. Did you see that?”

“You’re panicking,” said Cassandra Cautery. “You’re a panicker, Dick. It’s your panicking that led us here.”

“Cassandra, please—”

“We have a role for panickers at this company,” she said. “And it’s not management.”

“For God’s sake,” said D. Peters. Or Dick, I guess.

“You know what I should do to you?” I heard her shoes sliding across the floor. “I should… I should…”

“Don’t do that thing,” said D. Peters.

I heard an intake of breath, then an odd snuffling. I tried to raise my head, to see what this was, but all my body managed was a sound like: “Guauah…

There was silence.

“Oh,” said Cassandra Cautery. “Fine, then. Take him to the hospital.”

Rough hands seized me by my armpits. I thought I recognized the hostile fingers of Carl the security guard. The light above me swung away.

“And give him some of that benzo-8,” said Cassandra Cautery. “You know. The stuff that wipes memory.”

20.

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Machine Man subscriber Alex (#237)

Location: London, England
Quote: "We're today's scrambled creatures, locked in tomorrow's double feature (Bowie)"
Posted: 3627 days ago

Excellent.

MYOB (#3892)

Posted: 3627 days ago

Is this going to be Jon Ronson style? Starts of light-hearted and humourous, ends up being incredibly dark?

Ajna (#3795)

Location: USA
Quote: "Judge if you want. We are all going to die one day. I intend to deserve it."
Posted: 3627 days ago

You couldn't resist throwing that memory stuff in here, could you? You realize that in a few years, some poor sap will stumble upon this book, in all its creative glory, and wonder why they had to clarify that it blocked memory? How could you do that to some poor future person?

Machine Man subscriber Ian Manka (#3916)

Location: Los Angeles, California (school) | Akron, Ohio (home)
Quote: "Though I am not naturally honest, I am so sometimes by chance."
Posted: 3627 days ago

Alas, art imitates life... or something like that. Hooray (lack of) memory gas!

Great page... anxiously awaiting next page...

Machine Man subscriber Toby O (#2900)

Location: Sydney
Quote: "You can't sell your soul to the devil if he's not buying"
Posted: 3627 days ago

The pen in your hand like a dog on a leash. Sometimes indulged, sometimes restrained.

The last two pages or so seemed more like a breathless slip down the slippery dip, whereas some of the pages have seemed a short amble from dip to see-saw.

Ajna (#3795)

Location: USA
Quote: "Judge if you want. We are all going to die one day. I intend to deserve it."
Posted: 3627 days ago

By the way... I googled Benzo-8.

It's a real thing, and *not* a memory blocker (It is highly toxic, though. So that's cool). Shame, Max. Shame.

You couldn't have googled it and found out what it *actually* is? Or called the hospital and asked?

For shame...

Zwangzug (#3872)

Location: GMT -6
Quote: "It ain't over till it's over"
Posted: 3627 days ago

Aha, so /this/ is how your blog ties in. (Which was incredibly scary, by the way.) Does this mean you're up to real-time writing?

Sorry if this is a double post, I'm having a few technical issues.

Michael (#3884)

Location: Here
Quote: "Wait, what?"
Posted: 3627 days ago

Wait, where are his grad students in all of this? Why didn't they get in and take him to the hospital? Quick, Hank, the cows are getting out through that hole in the plot!

Mary Rose (#2854)

Location: San Francisco, CA
Quote: "go big or stay home"
Posted: 3627 days ago

Cassandra Cautery? Too much, this one.

Machine Man subscriber Yannick (#3858)

Location: Heist, Belgium
Quote: "he reads things"
Posted: 3627 days ago

aww no, not a memory-wipe! D:

Machine Man subscriber David (#1456)

Location: Sydney, Australia
Quote: "Why are the pretty ones always insane?"
Posted: 3627 days ago

I think I want to know what "that thing" D. Peters doesn't want Cassandra to do to him is. I think I want to know a lot...

Maybe I used to know and I've been given benzo-8? Benzo-8, what's that again?

Machine Man subscriber Max

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Quote: "I'm my number one fan!"
Posted: 3627 days ago

I have to confess, "Don't do that thing" is my favorite line so far. It still makes me giggle. I know, it's kind of pathetic.

@Anja: benzodiazepine derivatives can have amnesiac properties (see flunitrazepam).

@Michael: things you don't understand yet aren't plot holes!

Machine Man subscriber FerretWithASpork (#2218)

Location: NY, USA
Quote: "What the F**ks a terminal?"
Posted: 3627 days ago

Hey Max,

Just wanted to drop in and say that I love where this is going! It's an AMAZING story, and I can't wait to read more! I love the daily drip, just wanted to let you know!

JD

Machine Man subscriber David (#1456)

Location: Sydney, Australia
Quote: "Why are the pretty ones always insane?"
Posted: 3626 days ago

How spooky is this? Opening of Susie Orbach's new (non-fiction) book "Bodies":

"Can you imagine wanting to do away with a limb because, even though you have two healthy legs, they more than annoy you--so much so you feel misshapen or incomplete; trapped in a body that feels wrong and not how your body should be? And can you imagine living fifty years, during which time you had fathered six children, with the thought that only through a double amputation above the knees will you feel whole and complete?

Such was the dilemma of Andrew, who became enamoured with the idea of becoming free of at first one leg and then the other."

stanley becker (#5283)

Location: black hole
Quote: "DON"T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER!!"
Posted: 2913 days ago

Max I have the feeling I have been on benzo-8 for years - what did you say your name is?

stanley becker (#5283)

Location: black hole
Quote: "DON"T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER!!"
Posted: 2913 days ago

Max I have the feeling I have been on benzo-8 for years - what did you say your name is? or what did you say???

stanley becker (#5283)

Location: black hole
Quote: "DON"T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER!!"
Posted: 2913 days ago

Max I have the feeling I have been on benzo-8 for years - what did you say your name is? or what did you say???

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