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Page 40.
Machine Man (serial)

I made it to Lola’s table without crushing anything. “Hi,” I said. I was very happy to see her again. She was right: I had been at the lab too long. I had forgotten what it felt like to interact with people for the pleasure of it.

“Hi.” Her cheeks reddened. Cafe patrons were staring. “Have a seat.”

“I’m already in one.” I concentrated. The Contours settled; pistons retracted. This still left me towering above the table, but not as much.

Lola’s mouth formed an O. I felt proud, to have caused that O. “Did you… have any trouble getting here?”

“No. Well.” I reconsidered. “Actually, I almost killed some people. It’s the first time the Contours have been in a real-world environment. It’s highlighted a few issues.”

“Contours?”

“This model leg I’m wearing. I have others.” Lola inhaled. “Well—when I say legs, I mean transports. Most are tracks. One is a kind of drill.”

“Why is one a kind—”

“I don’t know.” I laughed. I felt giddy. “The company gave me carte blanche and I got carried away.”

Lola’s eyes stopped on my fingers. I had meant to keep that hand out of sight. But I was nervous and it had started fiddling with a salt shaker. My index finger was curled around the shaker three times. It was made of rubber. Actually, it was a black hydrocarbon polymer over titanium, silicon, and more copper than you might expect. But to Lola, it would have looked like a long, flexible, black rubber sausage.

I put my hand back under the table. Lola looked at me through her eyelashes. When she spoke, her voice was low and throaty. “Charlie… what have you done to your fingers?”

“Well,” I said. “You know.”

“Show me.”

I glanced around, but the nearby customers had returned to their food, or pretended to. I placed my hand on the table.

Lola Banks sat rigid. She didn’t seem to be breathing. “Could you show me your legs?”

“Yes, of course. Come back to Better Future and I’ll show you the collection.” But I could see from her expression that this was not what she meant.

“Privately,” she said.

40.

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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: 5493 days ago

Privately... Lola wants to see if certain other appendages looked like Charlie's fingers. Draw your own conclusions.
Hey-oh!

Achem... anyways, not what I expected when we learned of Charlie's new fingers... so they don't have joints? They can coil around things like snakes? Or act like the prehensile tails of monkeys?

I'm getting more and more puzzled by my mental image of Charlie... :/

Machine Man subscriber Craig Barron (#1276)

Location: Leeds, UK.
Quote: "“Trust Elizabeth to get upset over a donut.”"
Posted: 5493 days ago

Cool its gunna get sexy!

Ajna (#3795)

Location: USA
Quote: "Judge if you want. We are all going to die one day. I intend to deserve it."
Posted: 5493 days ago

He's replaced his legs and his hand(s)... So the question is...

Has he made the ultimate human sacrifice in exchange for what those late-night "enzyte" and "extenze" commercials promise?

Machine Man subscriber Electrichead (#3898)

Location: Toronto
Posted: 5493 days ago

So how come it's just a few fingers from that arm and not the whole arm?

Machine Man subscriber Justin (#3965)

Location: USA
Quote: "It has been my experience that certain men get ahead during the time that others waste. - Henry Ford"
Posted: 5493 days ago

That's what I was wondering.

Machine Man subscriber tim (#3234)

Location: chattanooga, TN, USA
Quote: """
Posted: 5493 days ago

I think the page would have ended appropriately with a: *bong chiki wao wah*

I don't know what to say about the story's development. Of course, we're only 40 pages in which is usually just character development in a normal novel. It's the fact that it's been like 2 months or whatever makes me wonder if the story is going to go anywhere. At least now we have sex... which will do for now.

Tommy Mandel (#2554)

Location: nYc
Quote: ""Hah," she said."
Posted: 5493 days ago

I forgot - is Lola Banks the evil lawyer, or the Prosthetics Expert from the Hospital? (I know I could find out, but maybe the fact that I'm wondering means it should have been reiterated somewhere closer to where we are now, in suitably subtle MB fashion.

Machine Man subscriber M.I.Minter (#347)

Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
Quote: "When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading."
Posted: 5493 days ago

awwww I wanted to say bow chicka wo wow...damn you TIM! DAMN YOU TO HELL!!!! ARRRRRULUGH

Abgrund (#3357)

Location: Atlantis
Quote: ""Redeem your mind from the hockshops of authority." - Ayn Rand"
Posted: 5493 days ago

I don't think there's any use in trying to have a mental image of Charlie now. He's gone modular. Next time, he might be a helicopter.

Machine Man subscriber gstein42 (#585)

Location: 127.0.0.1
Quote: "That's not change! That's more of the same!"
Posted: 5492 days ago

@M.I.Minter: same :/

@Tommy: 90% sure she's the prosthetics expert

@Tim: "At least now we have sex... which will do for now" <- best comment so far

Machine Man subscriber Yannick (#3858)

Location: Heist, Belgium
Quote: "he reads things"
Posted: 5492 days ago

Oh boy!

Machine Man subscriber tim (#3234)

Location: chattanooga, TN, USA
Quote: """
Posted: 5492 days ago

I can't believe we're left with the eyelash thing and the very maxbarian and sultry 'private' line. Where's the coin slot for this thing? We need to keep this ride moving.

Good job Maxy.

btw, I'm rooting for Lola to be a rogue cyborg looking for better parts.

Machine Man subscriber Toby O (#2900)

Location: Sydney
Quote: "vote with your wallet"
Posted: 5491 days ago

how do i get a hex nut next to my name?

Machine Man subscriber Max

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Quote: "I'm my number one fan!"
Posted: 5491 days ago

@Toby O
> how do i get a hex nut next to my name?

An excellent question! You buy a copy. Machine Man owners get the nut.

stanley becker (#5283)

Location: black hole
Quote: "DON"T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER!!"
Posted: 4779 days ago

I'm guessing but is the "O" a signal from Lola to other Machine People? Surely sexual intercourse or even pleasure are anachronistic throwbacks to the endocrinally cortical pre-Machine era - Machine Logic has no need for the reproductive constitution of the earlier species - facscimilation will be a wholly logical process controlled by Machine precision with nothing left to chance [ie., no more biodiversity] only the best Machines will be reproduced in the coming world of Machine Eugenics Lastly a word from Big Brother "Artificial Intelligence Uber Alles"

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