Journal Entry #67

I’m going to begin assembly with Mariimo’s PVC armature. The whole thing goes together with machine screws, so it should be fairly straightforward. I’m going to have to install her digital encoders during the process as well, seeing as they’re housed within the joints themselves. They have to be in place before each joint is screwed shut.

Journal Entry #68

Armature assembled. It looks like a skeleton splayed out on my workbench. I went ahead and installed her air compressor, compressed air storage tank, solenoid valve bank, and supercapacitor array as well. It’s important I get her core elements in place before I start layering pneumatic muscles and foam over everything.

Journal Entry #69

Mariimo’s pneumatic muscles have been installed, along with many, many meters of pneumatic tubing. The tubing runs along grooves and hollows in Mariimo’s armature, so as not to get tangled up in all those moving parts. Various wires, like the ones connected to her digital encoders, run along these grooves as well.

I like to keep things tidy.

Journal Entry #70

This would go a lot faster if I still had both my hands.

Journal Entry #71

I guess I forgot to mention the amputee thing, huh? I was in an accident about seven years ago that required a below-elbow amputation. Right hand. Non-dominant, thank goodness.

It does make getting work done more difficult. I’m fortunate to have access to a lot of automated manufacturing equipment. I wouldn’t be able to do a fraction of the work I do without it. Still, the actual hands-on work does tend to go slower than it would otherwise.

Whatever. I’m over it.

Journal Entry #72

I spent my morning zip-tying memory foam to Mariimo’s armature. It feels like assembling a robotic mattress. It’s going smoothly, though. At this rate, the last of her memory foam inserts should be fitted tightly in place by the end of the day.

I’m not gonna lie, the process is immensely satisfying. It feels like she’s finally beginning to take shape.

Journal Entry #73

I should clarify. I do wear a prosthesis. Nothing fancy, just a standard body powered split hook. It does make things significantly easier, though.

I’ve got a collection of several different hooks. Which one I choose depends on the task at hand. The canted hooks are good for detailed work, and I’ve got a couple lyre shaped hooks for handling bulkier objects. Both types come in a plain stainless steel version, as well as a version with a nitrile rubber grip for handling delicate or slippery items. I’ve also got a work hook for heavy-duty lifting and tooling, and a specialized soldering attachment for assembling circuit boards.

I made that last one myself.

Journal Entry #74

I suppose it’s a little ironic that a roboticist has what basically amounts to a hook for a hand. Advanced myoelectric arms are available. Five fingers. Full articulation. Responds to natural muscle movement.

I can afford it, too. I did afford it. It’s gathering dust in the basement as we speak. It’s an impressive piece of technology, to be sure. I just... can’t wear the thing.

It’s the sound. The vibration against my skin. That god-awful motorized screeching. It’s like nails on a chalkboard. A constant, irritating reminder that something is missing. I can’t handle it.

I don’t mind those types of sensations when they’re coming from say, the CNC milling machine. That’s different. That’s separate. But when it’s an extension of myself, when there’s no escape short of physically tearing it away from my body... that’s another story altogether.

It’s... anxiety inducing.

Journal Entry #75

Sorry, I need to vent. Writing about my amputation has me fixated on the accident. I’ve got no one I can talk to about things like this, so I’m just going to put it here.

I lost my hand in a traffic accident. I was sitting in the back seat. Right side. I was hanging my hand out the rear window, absentmindedly playing with the wind. My mom was in the front passenger seat. Dad was driving. We were t-boned by a truck at an intersection.

No one was at fault. The traffic light had malfunctioned. It should have defaulted to red in the event of a malfunction, but it didn’t. The bones in my hand and wrist were splintered. The soft tissue was pulp. It was prepped for amputation as soon as I got to the hospital.

I got off easy. My parents didn’t even make it to the hospital.

I still have nightmares about it. They’re not as frequent as they used to be, but I’m not sure I’ll ever be rid of them completely. Let’s just say it’s an unpleasant way to start one’s day.

I also got saddled with this fucking phantom pain. The perfect little reminder. Every time it flares up I get flashbacks. Panic attacks. Breakdowns. I live alone, so I have no choice but to just tough it out.

I should be happy. I’ll never need to work a day in my goddamn life. I’ve inherited a fortune. More arrives each month like clockwork. I live in a fucking mansion! I shouldn’t feel this way!

But no. I’m afraid of people, I’m afraid to leave the house, and there’s not a single person in this world I can confide in.

I’m so fucking lonely.

Journal Entry #76

I apologize for my previous entry. I should be keeping this journal more professional. I tend to keep things bottled up inside, and eventually the dam just... breaks.

It won’t happen again.

Journal Entry #77

Mariimo is fully assembled. I didn’t really document it that closely. I haven’t been feeling well. I’m going to take a break before I start programming.


About the author

Tyrel Pinnegar

Bio: Author of MARiiMO and Rabbit Hole.

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