Machine Man
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SOURCE P21 V2/9.
Machine Man (serial)

V1← Final →V3

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

Page 21.

When I was fifteen, I was almost killed by a shirtless man in an Audi X3. He came around the corner of the suburban street I was crossing en route to school and accelerated toward me. I think he expected me to scurry out of the way. But I didn’t, because I was fifteen, and it was more important to me to appear tough to strangers than live. I think the shirtless man shared this philosophy, because his car jagged toward me. Its engine pitch rose into a scream. I was sure I was doing to die. If the vehicle had been anything less than a triumph of modern engineering, I would have. But at the last possible second—a second too late, in a different car—the Audi came to a smoking halt on the wrong side of the road.

He leaned out the window and screamed abuse. This was when I saw he was shirtless. He wore mirror shades and chunky jewellery and nothing else, as far as I could see. As he stabbed fingers in my direction, to emphasize points I couldn’t hear over his sound system, a watch that must have weighed five pounds flew around, dazzling when it caught the sunlight.

Eventually the shirtless man finished shouting and the Audi took off. I watched it slingshot around the next corner. If anyone had been coming, he would have killed them.

I hefted my bag. As I walked to school, it occurred to me that we had reached an important milestone, as a society. We had begun making better machines than people.


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