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The girl who was plugged in, is a refreshing, if tragic short story. It centres around the familiar if not often talked about concept of plugging the human brain into a computer, then using this computer/brain hybrid to control a different body. In the case of the girl who was plugged in, it is P. Burke. Philadelphia Burke, disfigured street girl, barely functional body, who is scooped up, taken from the jaws of death, and implanted with control nodes. She commands Delphi, a vat grown clone with no mind of her own; her brain just a relay, linked to P. Burke?s mind. Delphi is beauty incarnate. Graceful, blessed with the perfect frame. A starlet, newly born, with Burke?s mind controlling her; the two twined into one.

?Joe opens the sauna-cabinet like a big clamshell standing on end with a lot of funny business inside. Our girl shucks her shift and walks into it bare, totally unembarrassed. eager. She settles in face-forward, butting jacks into sockets. Joe closes it carefully onto her humpback. Clunk. She can?t see in there, or hear, or move. She hates this minute. But she loves what comes next!
Joe?s at his console and the lights on the other side of the glass wall come up. A room is on the other side, all fluff and kicky bits, a girly bedroom. In the bed is a small mound of silk with a rope of yellow hair hanging out.
The sheet stirs and gets whammed back flat.
Sitting up in the bed is the darlingest girl you?ve EVER seen. She quivers ? porno for angels. She sticks both her little arms straight up, flips her hair, looks around full of sleepy pazazz. Then she can?t resist rubbing her hands down over her minibreasts and belly. Because, you see, it?s the godawful P. Burke who is sitting there hugging her perfect girl-body, looking at you out of delighted eyes.?
The Ultimate Cyberpunk (The Girl Who Was Plugged In) p81.

The short story goes on the explore the life Delphi has, digging deep into notions of identity. Delphi eventually falls in love, with a guy who does not know what she truly is, who loves Delphi?s body and P. Burke?s mind, not knowing the two apart ? until he tries to elope with her, run away together. Then, the truth begins to unravel. How will he take it?

This is a fascinating insight into the human condition, and a poignant reminder to those of us planning this route or something like it, in actuality.


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