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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tales of the Cypherpunk 20 Rev B


A blue-eyed, blond-haired young woman lay naked on a pallet. Her arms and legs were spread like DaVinci's pornography, or, she would have said, in a 大 (dai) pose.

The body was sliced open from collar to belly and spread open, revealing the bloody mess within. The flesh of her limbs was pinned back by stainless steel clamps. Calves, thighs, and arches seeped blood slowly onto the wrinkled blue plastic she lay on. The eyes were dead and glassy dull, but her heart still whirred smoothly.

The mechanic held a squirming grey sack in his glove. It was an isosceles triangle with slick polymer mounts at each end. He lowered it into a pool of blood between stainless clamps and flaps of fat that were part of a delicate thigh. His right hand flitted to engage and lock couplings, forming a liquidproof seal between structure and actuator. The smaller end connected to a web of cables that bent the knee. The wider end was anchored to the femur just below a peach and pudgy, bloody hip. It was an hydraulic quadriceps with pressure ratings that would make engineers from an earlier era blush.

But they were all long dead, O C.

Three tubes freshlain from the abdomen connected in an instant and then the mechanic was sealing the flesh. The gaping hole became a thin red line, then a sheen of sealant.

Hydraulic biceps. Replacement kneecaps. Controllers in clear plastic sacs nestled between the hip blades and what was left of the small intestine.

Servos that had been installed over the course of a decade were tossed aside. EM induction auxiliary pumps buttressed the new main pump, installed in what would have been a womb. Her body had many empty places. Over the course of three more hours, the vivisection reversed itself. The pallet's concavity was flushed with antiseptic. Blood swirled down drains.

Betty came to slowly. The mechanic was hosing her off with sticky smelling stuff. She cautiously lifted an arm and popped off the IV. He sprayed her face.

"Pffft 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F. Good to go?"
"Yeah. I didn't see any more atrophy while I was in there."
"Good. I owe you..?"
"17.5 mega basis. I took it."
"How much was that in cash?"
"4 thou shares."

The alcohol base boiled away, leaving her clean and fluoride-scented.


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