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From: "Roy C. Lackey" 
Subject: Re: (urth) Jonas <> Pinocchio 
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2002 01:36:57 -0500

mantis wrote:

>But then Roy goes further, into his "lusty robot" kick:
>>All the more reason to wonder what he wanted with Jolenta.
>Again, Roy, you seem to be saying that Love is impossible without, er,
>compatible sexual interface devices.  I mentioned this before, I don't
>recall that you answered: Is Love impossible for Jonas because he is a
>robot, or is it impossible because his beloved is a bio, or is non-sexual
>Love simply impossible?

The answer to both of the first two questions is: yes, for the obvious lack
of "compatible sexual interface devices", but it is the third question, I
believe, that most concerns you, and others. For me, the third question
doesn't even arise with regard to Jonas and Jolenta.

What you are calling "Love" was not Love; it was unadulterated Lust, as far
as Jonas is concerned. Neither is even an issue for Jolenta; she wouldn't
look at him twice, even if he paid her. She felt nothing at all for him.

Jolenta was an artificially enhanced, stereotypical sexpot--and nothing
more. She was, with the glamour cast on her by Talos, literally the most
desirable woman on the planet. By design, no man could resist her sexual
allure. Jonas, perhaps because of his biological replacement parts, proved
no exception.

Jonas laid eyes on Jolenta exactly twice in his life. The second time was
just after he and Sev had been captured on the grounds of the House
Absolute. He caught sight of her, started to call her name, and was knocked
senseless before he finished the first syllable. That was all that happened,
and the last time he saw her. The first time he saw her was on the road just
outside the Piteous Gate. Jolenta was afraid of the imposing gate and moved
close to Talos for protection. When he ignored her, she then took the
stirrup strap of Jonas's merychip. Her "fear made her press the side of one
full breast against the thigh of the man on the merychip". It was Lust at
first touch, as well as at first sight. He made a passing query to Talos
about "why this lady, the loveliest I've ever seen, is walking in the dust".
Jolenta took offence, rebuked him in two sentences, and moved away. Jonas
blushed. Then he started to tell his "bean" story, was interrupted by Talos,
then said to Jolenta, "May I continue, most marvelous of women?" That single
question was the only thing he ever said to her in his life. Her
two-sentence rebuke, above, was the only thing she ever said to him. What I
have related in this paragraph is a summation of the entirety of their

There was, in effect, _no_ relationship between Jonas and Jolenta outside of
Jonas's head. There was no basis in their common history for even a Platonic
relationship, none at all. Jonas, illogical as it may be for an android,
lusted after Jolenta just as Sev and every other man who saw her did, and
that's all it was. Lust, not Love.

Even Sev recognized it. Just before Jonas was knocked senseless, he wrote:
"When Jolenta was nearly opposite us, she turned her head. To me, at that
moment, it seemed she must have winded his desire, as among the mountains
certain unclean spirits are said to be attracted by the odor of meat that
has been cast upon a fire for them." (II, chap. 14)



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