Here's what a Mortenson Domotica house printer looks like.
Maybe you've seen a hydraulic gantry crane at a shipyard? A quartet of enormous vertical wheeled legs forms the corner posts of an open rectangular framework. The legs are connected at their tops by four beams at right angles to those they touch. The crane can position itself over an object, send down its grapple from its cross beams, lift any cargo that fits within its footprint, and wheel it into a new location. I ran hard from Billings Place to the East 2nd school yard and saw the sniper at the gate, shooting me in the gut, where I fell, died. It hadn't happened like this before; coming back, I'd changed things. I'd been a survivor of the massacre. Shit. I had no time to think about the ramifications of this change. Like a ton of bricks, I threw myself at the sniper before my kids were among the first casualties splattered all over the green top. I severed his spine with a bowie knife. When he fell forward I kicked his assault rifle away from his body, and grabbed my kids and ran from the yard, pulling Sarita and Manny hard behind me.
Hysterical, they looked up at me, "Dad? B-but?" I'd just died in front of them, but here I was, gray haired, 15 years older, saving them. On the worst days, just the knowledge that you're dreaming is enough to set you shivering in the cot, neck stiff from the cables.
Eventually one of your wardens will come, so you wait. They are little more than shadows, these days: features you can't quite bring into focus; skin tone somewhere between ivory and midnight. You can't remember any of the names you gave them when you first arrived. Molly wasn't certain at what point she sensed someone hovering over her in the bus aisle. Initially she'd ignored it as some sort of mind trick, thoughts crowding to fill the morning. But when a clearing of the throat shifted Molly's hair across her face, she reluctantly cracked the mottled dark of her eyelids and raised her brown eyes.
An old woman loomed, her face a map of wrinkles, hills and valleys of folded skin that both filled her face and made it sag. Wisps of hair escaped from under a quilted hat that half-shadowed eyes locked on Molly's own. The bus jerked and the old woman stumbled into the yellow pole, her hand sliding down the metal in an uncertain grip.
by Paul G Di Filippo
Published on Nov 24, 2014
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Scrape. Shift. Shovel. Heave. Scrape. Shift. Shovel. Dump.
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