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From: "James Wynn" 
Subject: (urth) RE: Marble
Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2002 10:13:00 -0600

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

Crush responds:
Perhaps I'm missing it -- the quote was:
"And, just to head off Crush, those hands Marble took from Rose *never*
belonged to any hypothetical martyred chem maid. Chem maids were made to
look like young female bios. **The prosthetic hands Marble took from Rose
are specifically described as looking like 'the bony blue-veined hands of an
elderly bio' ** ".

Of course the chem maid was hardly hypothetical. As I explain my linked
article, Hammerstone would *never* have believed Marble's "impersonation"
unless Moly had been a maid at the Sun St. cenoby. Right in front of him she
(as Moly) claims to have worked at the cenoby since before humans came to
the city. Hammerstone would have known if that were not true. So what
happened to Moly?

I'm not sure now whether you are saying that Rose's prosthetics came from a
chem originally and were customized or that they were built from scratch as
they were. I think the following passage eliminates the possibility of the
latter option. This takes place during a conversation between Silk and Horn.
Note that Rose with her prosthetics is not 100 yards away while this
conversation is taking place:
"This evening I was introduced to an elderly man who has a really
extraordinary artificial leg, Horn. He had to buy up five broken or worn-out
legs to build it, but it's an artificial leg such as the first settlers
had----a leg that might have been brought from the Short Sun Whorl. When he
showed it to me, I thought how marvelous it would be if we could only make
things like that now for **Maytera Rose and Maytera Marble**, and for all
the beggars who are blind or crippled. It would be marvelous to fly, too, of
course. I've always wanted to do it myself, and it may be that they are the
same secret. If we could build wonderful legs like that for the people who
need them, perhaps we could build wonderful wings as well for everyone who
wanted to have them."
So, based on this statement, two things seem (to me) indisputable:
1. That Rose's prosthetics were not of originally made for bios (as Xiphias'
2. That Silk could no more have considered feasible building new bio
prosthetics, than he would flying to the Sun

Since Rose's prosthetics must have come a chem originally, it *might* have
come from a "chem maid" (and probably did) even if you still deny it came
from Moly.

As to whether Rose's prosthetics were customIZED to look like that of a
decrepit old woman, well, Roy also said:
The fact remains that, regardless of who paid for the parts, Rose
was "largely prosthetic" when she died. All things feminine were
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....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.

Crush responds:
If "it didn't matter if her hand looked old", why did they go through the
trouble (and surely the expense) of *making it look old* so it would match
when she was ninety? Wouldn't it have been more economical to make it look
generic, mannequinish (which is the way I've imagined it)?  Regardless, the
question remains as to why they didn't at least make it look like a 50 year
old woman's hand rather than a ninety year old woman's.

If the sibyls acquired the parts from a readily available chem maid, it
explains why the poorest mantaeon on Viron could "afford" prosthetics for a

Roy goes on:
The fact remains that the Ayuntamiento had no problem at all getting parts
for chems...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.

Crush responds:
Exactly. And the greater abundance of chems explains why there was a greater
abundance of chem parts. The same rule for getting used replacement parts
for cars. Even now they can be had for a price.

But to believe that the ability to construct chem parts or human prosthetics
from scratch had been lost in the last 40 years suggests a technological
catastrophe that is unsupported by any text I can think of.

--- Crush


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