Highlights for Altered Carbon

Rich people do this. They have the power and they see no reason not to use it. Men and women are just merchandise, like everything else.

There were no protests — you can’t argue with a robot.

What had possessed Bancroft to outfit me for summer with the scrambled weather systems that Bay City had so far exhibited was beyond me.

Shopping is physical interaction, exercise of decision-making capacity, sating of the desire to acquire, and an impulse to more acquisition, a scouting urge. It’s so basically flicking human when you think about it.

I spent most of the journey feeling sorry for the girl, and worrying at the Catholic madness like a dog with a bone. This woman’s stack was utterly undamaged. Financial considerations aside, she could be brought back to life on the spin of a disc. On Harlan’s World she’d be temporarily re-sleeved for the court hearing, albeit probably in a synthetic, and once the verdict came down there’d be a Victim Support supplement from the state added to whatever policy her family already held. Nine cases out of ten that was enough money to ensure re-sleeving of some sort. Death, where is thy sting?

Women are the race, Tak. No two ways about it. Male is just a mutation with more muscle and half the nerves. Fighting, fucking machines.

And make no mistake about this: being taken seriously, being considered dangerous marks the difference, the ONLY difference in their eyes, between players and little people. Players they will make deals with. Little people they liquidate.

Like Bancroft, MacIntyre had been a man of power, and like all men of power, when he talked of prices worth paying, you could be sure of one thing. Someone else was paying.

“The human eye is a wonderful device,” I quoted from Poems and Other Prevarications absently. “With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice.”

Kawahara grew up in Fission City, dealing anti-radiation drugs to the families of fuel rod workers.

All I had now was the gravity pull of mission time, the cold dawn and the sound of the waves on the shore.

See, the thing is, they’re looking for borderline psychopathic tendencies. That’s why they do most of their recruiting from the military in the first place.

The old-style yakuza were funny about that sort of thing.

‘How shall I explain the dying that was done?
Shall I say that each one did the math, and wrote
The value of his days
Against the bloody margin, in an understated hand?
They will want to know
How was the audit done?
And I shall say that it was done,
For once,
By those who knew the worth
Of what was spent that day.’

‘Told you not to go there, didn’t I pal. Now look at you. Earth.’ He spat and disappeared, leaving the echoes of his voice. ‘It’s a shithole. Got to get to the next screen.’

Get to the next screen.

It was about Jimmy de Soto, clawing his own eye out in the mud and fire at Innenin, and the millions like him throughout the Protectorate, painfully gathered assemblages of individual human potential, pissed away into the dung-heap of history. For all these, and more, someone was going to pay.

The original draft of the plan had called for the ninja copy of me to stay at Ortega’s apartment until the Ryker copy had disappeared with Miriam Bancroft.

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