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From: "Roy C. Lackey" 
Subject: Re: (urth) Marble
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 2002 22:56:04 -0600

Crush quotes and writes:
>Roy asserts:
>The hand was custom made to look like
>that of an old woman, in anticipation of the need; she couldn't afford to
>get new hands for every stage of aging:
>Crush responds:
>I'm amazed that a mantaeon that could barely afford to feed its staff could
>afford prosthetics for its sibs at all. Furthermore, you run with a very
>self-confident and spiritually-minded crowd if most the women you know
>prefer to have "old hands" even when they're ninety.

The fact remains that, regardless of who paid for the parts, Rose was
"largely prosthetic" when she died. All things feminine were deliberately
and actively covered up by the Chapter--literally. Female vanity had
absolutely no place in the life of a sibyl. It didn't matter if her hands
looked old.

>In response to Crush's query, "Do you really believe that technology
>existed?," Roy answers:
>Absolutely. Tarsier made custom chem bodies for the Ayuntamiento,  plus,
>quote below.
>"Digital arms and legs? That sort of thing?" Blood leaned forward,
>interested. "There aren't too many of those around any more."
>    "She got them some years ago; before I was born, really. There was some
>disease requiring amputations." It occurred to Silk that he should know
>about Maytera Rose's history--about the histories of all three sibyls--than
>he did. "They were still easily found then, from what she says." (LS1: 7)
>Crush responds:
>Oh, no. Not at all. Potto says in LS4:1
>"As we aged, Cousin Tarsier made us new bodies *out of chems*."
>This statement horrifies Mint who asks, "What became of the chems?" To
>minds?" and then, "You got this body from another person. And-and changed
>to look like you? You must have. Did he consent to any of that?"
>So Tarsier *customIZED* chem bodies but he had no ability to build them
>scratch. If he didn't, I doubt Rose could.

I didn't say he built them from scratch--no need to reinvent the wheel. But
he did extensive customization. Lemur's body could do everything from glow
in the dark to making the skin of his arm crawl with moving magnetic fields.
If Tarsier had the know-how to make chem bodies look like the original bio
bodies, then obviously the technology existed to make a chem arm look like
an old woman's, which was the question you asked. I don't think anyone has
ever suggested that Rose made her own prosthetics.

>The quote you offer does not stipulate *where* the digital arms and legs
>came from, but Xiphias' came from chems and so did the Ayuntamiento's.
>Blood's comment causes Silk to realize how unlikely it was that Rose would
>have digital prosthetics, and that there must be an interesting tale there.

The fact remains that the Ayuntamiento had no problem at all getting parts
for chems. As Lemur told Crane and Silk: "We're nursed by devoted chems, and
the machines that maintain us in life are maintained by chems. They love us,
and we love them. We promise them immortality, and we will deliver it: a
never-ending supply of replacement parts." (LS2: 12) It is only in recent
decades that prosthetics became hard to find, just as Rose had told Silk;
even when Silk was a boy, chem servants were much more common.

>So the reason replacement parts for Marble were hard to find was that
>*female chems* were hard to find. And, of course, the chem parts that were
>available were snatched up by bios.

Blood evidently had no problem finding parts for female chems. He told Silk,
just before Silk left his house, (LS1: 7): "You tell Maytera Rose that if
she's interested in getting another leg or something, and can raise the
gelt, I might be able to help her out."

>For these reasons and others, if find the passage you originally quoted
>troubling. Do you remember where you read it?

Which passage? I gave textual citations for each passage I quoted in these
"Marble" posts.



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