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Friday, September 2, 2011

Android rights... Artificial vs. Organic...

GODS OF THE MACHINES EXCERPT – Android Rights “What are we doing here?” Sam posed the question not really prepared for the answer. He could hear his heart pound. He licked his lips for moisture. “I think we should just cool it until we’ve settled this investigation.” Sam didn’t like Sandra’s answer. But it was logical. “And I’ve got to hand it to you Sam. You’re doing a swell job of crucifying Mr. Starkman.” “Hey, I didn’t know I was being monitored. I only wanted evidence. I didn’t know Mikasa would propose any recall.” Sam leaned back on a recliner, his new favorite resting space in the commune’s living quarters. The bedroom had somehow been transformed into a land mine of sorts over the past few days. For the past two nights, Benson had dozed on the recliner for half the night, waiting for Sandra to fall sound asleep. He feared intimacy right now, believing any attempt would only further estrange his fiancé from him. “You’ve helped to set a precedent – a very dangerous one I may add,” Sandra reminded Sam as he slid out of his cleats. “If the Earth governments allow this, the manufacturer can recall the androids at any time. It could destroy the whole rights movement.” “Well, I don’t like this Mikasa – his ‘generosity’ bothers me. I don’t think his objective is to take away fear. I think it’s about control.” “I’m glad you at least see that, Sam.” “I see things pretty clearly.” His upper lip twitched. He felt like breaking down. It seemed every word he uttered sent him another step away from Sandra – even here in the living room. He cringed, hoping his comment wouldn’t invite further verbal retaliation. But Sandra remained silent. “You know.” Benson stated pensively, “I spent our wedding day chasing a damn bee.” “It’s all part of the job.” Sandra laughed, but it came out sarcastic. “You know I don’t hate all machines, all artificial life. I do think the android might have been manipulated.” “How? By Mikasa, by Abassian?” “That’s possible. But I think the answer’s closer to home. I think some jealous spouses put Mr. Starkman up to this. But the evidence will bear this out once the search is conducted. And either way, I think Abassian will show the android is not defective.” “But Sam, Abassian’s bees were made by Mikasa’s firm. He’s not going to refute the man who made his dream possible.” “I already know as much. I talked with Abassian today. But what if Mikasa is holding something over Abassian’s head? If we establish guilt on the part of Mikasa, Abassian might reconsider his loyalty.” “Well Sam. What be Mikasa’s motive?” “He’s been awfully cooperative about passing the android bill of rights. I find that odd since he currently benefits from their free labor.” “How about if he changed his game plan? A savvy CEO would change with the times…” “So, Sandra, are you suggesting that Mikasa is after Starkman’s programming?’ “It makes perfect sense. Starkman’s technology is not patented. It couldn’t have been because Dr. McElroy created it illegally. So that leaves a big door open. Mikasa can simply take the technology McElroy created, patent it, and then become the exclusive manufacturer.” “Not if I can help it, Sandra. I’m not going to allow the recall. I’m still in charge of this investigation. If Starkman is guilty, he’ll be sentenced like any human. I won’t allow him to be violated. You’ve got my word on that.” “I hope so for Starkman’s sake.”

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