(A short excerpt from the novel: Indian Shadow)
There wasn’t a Defense contractor around that didn’t distribute white papers on the company at every opportunity, arguing that the company is necessary to national security and that the only legitimate expenditure of government is weapons procurement and terrorist pacification. White papers corrupted the data. It wasn’t a philosophical problem, it was a compatibility problem. Bergamo screened out all non objective information.
He loved it on his side of the firewall, where he had a body and masculine charm. What was written into the injectables was written by him, but the new being he’d spawned was far beyond his reach or understanding. He was along for the ride while it followed his laws regarding confronting an unknown. “The meaning is the response. There is no other meaning. Everything is information.”
“You’re thinking about it,” she said.
“You know what; that I’m not a real woman, just like that wasn’t real fish we had for dinner. But I feel like a real woman. Even if I’m just a clone ... well, I’m not just a clone I guess; I’m the personification of one of the most powerful defense contractors in Space.”
“You’re a complex field generated by a group of investors on the other side of your firewall,” Bergamo said, “the same way I’m a supercomputer on the other side of my firewall. But we aren’t on the other side of the firewalls, are we?”
There was the sensation of rocking inside the train car, and the sounds of steel on steel. The mechanical age might have been gone, but it was the hot thing in art installations. The transporter glided along the highway of sparkling flowers, silently, toward Ash Fork Station.
When they stepped out into the installation, Bergamo offered his arm to Veronica. She draped her long, slender white fingers over his forearm and bumped the hormone flow just to give him a jolt.
“Let’s go uptown,” she suggested.
There were a half-dozen other people on the platform, two of them porters moving a steamer trunk onto the train for a Chinese woman and her three children.The trunk appeared to be very heavy as it took them both to carry it on board and up the three steps into the car. The one in the lead suddenly yelped in pain and let go of the handle; causing the other one to jump out of the way and let the trunk slide back to the platform.
The body inside it snapped up like Jack popping out of his box and there was a roar of flatulence as the children began to scream and clamp themselves on their mother’s legs, which were thick and muscular through the black knit fabric of her leotard.
The body protruding out of the trunk was that of a short, fat man with a shaved head. The porters were apologizing to the woman, who was not amused to see her bank exposed to public view. There was no point trying to hide him now. She opened his public interface so that he could get out of the trunk and get on the train as a passenger. The Chinese woman smiled at Bergamo and Veronica, who had paused to watch the scene unfold. “Husband,” she said.