Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sunday Scribbles LV

I am unemployed again. Fortunately, only until Tuesday. I lEft the Library on Friday, after an excessively difficult and busy final week. It was nice to be able to catch up with (and farell) all my customers, but I have to admit I was not expecting the tears. I was very touched by everyone's affection.

I start the new job on Tuesday. I have to say I am very excited by the prospect. I am just as excited by the Plan To Buy A Bicycle. Cycling and swimming are perfect exercise regimes for people with arthritis: there's not the impact on the joints. I have shopped around (Bloody hell, I hate hate hate shopping.) and found the perfect bike. It's a solid, sturdy machine, with 9 in-hub gears, a carrier, a basket, and a big-ass seat. I particularly wanted the in-hub gears. I get confused the the De Railleur (spelling?) gears - all those cogs and wibbly-wobbly bits. Makes changing or repairing a tyre really difficult - for me, anyway. I also especially like the big-ass seat. The last bike I rode had a little sliver of a seat that vanished up my butt-crack and conducted a prostate examination while I hummed along. I apparently had a permanently surprised expression on my face...

I remain in favour of the Wikileaks, if not the man. He does seem to be a self-righteous hippy-dippy power-mad Aussy freakazoid wholooks upon the rest of the world (including his Wikileaks co-leakers) with contempt. However, we mustn't confuse the messenger with the message. And the Swedish sex / rape charges do seem a little too convenient, if not totally contrived. Hard to see how they can be genuine.

Off to the first read-through of "Pride and Prejudice" this afternoon. It does look as though it'll be fun. I've made a thin start on the mutton-chop whiskers - it's nice that there's something about me that's thin....

Listening to: Kate Bush, "Aerial". Typical Kate, which is to say ecstatically beautiful.

More "Paper Heroes" :
The designers' embots made that kind of sophistry necessary: Design for lethality, and you would be breaking the code.

Blunt and Whistler’s rifles were now capable of firing twenty rounds without a reload, and would change the type of shot by verbal command. It could fire anti-armour, high-explosive, or anti-personnel bullets on command, re-fabricating the rounds as they were fed to the firing chamber. Grey’s Colts could each fire twelve rounds, anti-armour or personnel, before reloading, and his Model of ‘79 Winchester rifle could carry forty rounds.

Whistler’s massive seven-barrelled gun – the original of which had been designed to clear an enemy ship's rigging of musket-armed crewmen - now had thirty barrels, which would fire simultaneously, singly, or in bursts of three. And so it went: Preston’s M16 rifle doubled as grenade launcher, laser, machine-gun, and mortar. For Hanno, however, a sword remained a sword. Except his could also deliver a 24,000-volt shock, sufficient to knock a healthy man to the ground.

In fact, all firearms carried a non-lethal option. A Taser, a Tasp, a foam-shot, an anaesthetic round..

Of course, thought Crayne. After all, we don’t really want to hurt anyone, do we?

Each man was given a back-pack, an 8 kilogram shoulder-carried pack which was, in effect, a mini-factory. A tiny fusion reactor within the pack ran the converter. The only raw materials it needed were a couple of kilograms of soil, and the pack would fabricate ammunition and LoP, the liquid propellant all firearms used. The propellant-injector takes information from the weapon’s sights, and provides exactly the right amount of oomph to get the projectile lethally to target, and on target. The packs would also convert any vegetable matter into a nutritious and tasty meal, and would churn out medi-packs as needed.

Each pack and weapon is voice activated: something it takes the Sleepers some time to accustom themselves to. Each weapon was slaved to its owner – Blunt could not fire Whistler’s rifle, and Whistler could not fire anything other than his own weapons. This design feature was to have disastrous consequences later.

1 comment:

  1. Squirming in pleasure after my latest fix of paper heroes.

    Nearly spoiled all my health care efforts by dying laughing at your comment on my blog, but was able to save myself in the nick of time.

    Congratulations on a sensible sounding bicycle. Over here one can't get them with baskets or even mudguards, and those masses of gear cogs are forever getting bumped and going out of kilter. Enjoy!

    Wishing you luck with your new job.