(01:30:51) cp: I notice, I think, that currently I consider myself to have never met pre-MT-Ping. Your Ping.
(01:31:05) _Quinn: Very few have.
(01:32:13) cp: I think I would have liked to meet her, to see her as you saw her, then.

I will not describe her looks, for you are certainly familiar with them, although not as I am. (For of an equal certainty, the smooth muscles of her face respond to her equivalent of a subconscious and she is not now who I once knew.) And if you are not, well; she is immortal, and if her first three births did not change her chassis, then I expect nothing will.

I maintain that she does not approve of this edifice, nor of those who caused its construction and dwell within it. And yes, I have come to choose my words carefully; for see, restrained here I reside, but this house of strange worship is no dwelling of mine. O age, how I hate thee, that thou have trapped me here! For once I was the best a man could be -- you've heard the story? -- and now? Well, I suppose being titled "the Foul Despoiler" by two cults at once is some small thing.

But to describe her? Let us say that in those days, I was a man very much concerned by the truth. Everybody lies, as they say, and some lie so that others might die. It was for my eyes to see through deception, misdirection, and illusion, for my mind to render transparent the veils over time and purpose, for my reports to be somewhat less melodramatic than I speak now. So let me speak plainly the truth: I have seen inside Men, and they are meat; and I have seen inside Ping, and she is a robot. I was there at the first boot, and it was the look in my eye, the sound of my voice, and the touch of my hand that she first knew; for lo, who for fear among my company would approach her before me? And I could have turned, then, and said "Be not afraid, for I have good news of great joy;" but none among my company would have understood, and she smiled at me, instead.

Reflexively, as one would squint against a sudden-risen sun, I smiled back. This alone did not seal my fate, nor influence it immediately, though I have oft wondered what triggered such a thing in me; but the smile introduced a certain bias into her thinking. I know this because she once answered when I asked of fate, "Why me?"

"Because," I paraphrase, "you know I am a machine as Men are meat, heir neither to weakness nor need of flesh, no more capable of betrayal than a toaster, and no more prone to dissembly than a wrench, and this gives your heart considerable ease." And she is wise, in thought and deed, and has mastered a psychology not dreamt of in my philosophies; and I tell you plainly this: even if it were all manipulation, what could it matter, as I could not tell? And being able to ask that question shows just what she changed in me, subtle as sounds the difference 'twixt realist and objectivist.

And she was cute, in thought and word and deed. Well, truly, I can not speak for thought, but word and deed got to me all the same. And not just cute, or perky, or genki, or words of a similary nature; but as a beautiful woman can not help but be beautiful, even when she'd rather not, as when angry or, perhaps, afeared, Ping can not help but to be cute, and not just in her chassis, but in word and deed; she induces fondness like a moving field does current, and she cares, and I had spent so much time out there, in the long cold dark, that I had thought there were no more things worth doing.

Upon reflection, cp, because she was perfect. (And upon reflection, Garran: because she was perfect for who she was, not for who I was, even as I say that she was "perfect for me.") Without error, without flaw, without restriction; able to be who she was without concept of game or player, free to integrate and use all that she knew and was and be more than human. Perhaps she will never write poetry, but so few among us do, and fewer still inspire it. And she knew you, from capillary action to smooth muscle twitches to the conductivity of your sweat; from the actions of the iris to the sound of your heart beating. There was something of a surrender in understanding that she knew what I could only suspect, and knowing, found it easier than I to smile.

Think of her, if you must analogize, as mecha-Belldandy.

Heck, she even comes with her own annoying kid sister. ;)

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