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"The point sticks in your head: physics rules. Virtue does not triumph unless the physics allows it."
- Larry Niven

Skitter  
  A small passenger vehicle, for two beings, which uses a steering bar. It is parked in a structure that parks and releases vehicles automatically.  

I especially like the name given to this small, two-seater vehicle. It contrasts with some of the heavily armored vehicles in this story. Since this is only a limited reference in the novel, the name is used to give some sense of how the vehicle moves.

He pocketed his book, slid down, and opened her door. His actions were a bit too brisk. The button tab on one of his green-striped sleeves caught a door handle.

Jedrik slipped into the passenger harness. Havvy slammed the door a touch too hard. Nervous. Good. He took his place at the power bar to her left, kept his profile to her when he spoke.

"Where?"

"Head for the apartment."

He activated the grapple tracks. The skitter jerked into motion, danced sideways, and slid smoothly down the driveway to the street.

As they emerged from the parking spire's enclosing shadows, even before the grapple released and Havvy activated the skitter's own power, Jedrik firmed her decision not to look back.

From The Dosadi Experiment, by Frank Herbert.
Published by Berkley Putnam in 1977
Additional resources -

The American Heritage dictionary defines skitter in this way: "To move rapidly along a surface, usually with frequent light contacts or changes of direction; skip or glide quickly"

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Dosadi Experiment
  More Ideas and Technology by Frank Herbert
  Tech news articles related to The Dosadi Experiment
  Tech news articles related to works by Frank Herbert

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