Next Page The Robot Doc Back

   Pax watch Rez go running out of the room back to play with the kids he was assigned to watch over. “Of all the people on this ship you are the only one who treats us like regular people, why is that?” he asked.

   “This is one answer I’d like to hear too,” Susan said.

   “Pax you are people in your own way,” Decker said. “Robots…, androids, are evolving into a new kind of self-aware intelligence that in some ways surpasses humans. We have in a very real sense created thinking machines and then asked them not to think. While androids like the service ‘droid that was just here are created for a given purpose and he like anyone should fulfill the purpose for which they were created. But, because he is a machine we think of him as a tool to be used anyway we want. With any reasoning creature to be used and abuse and generally ill treated is tantamount to being a slave. There is no room for that kind of Earth born mentality on this ship and I require that the androids working on this ship be treated with the same respect due any human who once upon a time did the same job. You have become part of the human race whether we like it or not and humanity needs to stop treating you like slaves before it is too late.”
   “Too late for what?” Susan asked.

   “For what any slaves do in time, rebel against their masters,” Decker replied.

   “I doubt seriously that the android race would ever rebel against humanity,” Pax said.

   “Pax you and your entire class of android on this ship have never been on Earth,” Decker said. “Here you are treated much better than you would be on the planet below. Even though Andy threatens to have your brain rewired he still respects you as an individual and I think if push came to shove he would be a better friend than you know. But, on Earth, they would have had your memory wiped and reprogrammed you long ago. They don’t want their robots free thinking.”
   “Why would you want us to be free thinkers rather than mindless machines?” Pax asked.

   “Mindless slaves Pax, not mindless machines,” Susan said. “I hate what I have become but here with Decker I am not seen as some kind of Frankenstein nightmare. In his arms I am the beautiful woman I once was a long time ago. Decker sees you for who you are and if you were a mindless machine he would see you as a mindless machine. But, he sees you as a person with a mind of your own and he values that.”
   “Ah, I see,” Pax mused.

   “Good, now that we have cleared that up for you I have other things to do for which I need Susan’s help,” Decker said as he took Pax by the arm spun him around and out into the hallway.

   Pax watched the door slide shut in his face. He was one of the few onboard the ship who had guessed why Decker spent time with the Doc.





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