Saturday, September 27, 2008

Robot Killings part 2 by Humphrey Erm

Roy Griswold was pleased that he had gotten a new office at the station. The room was newly redecorated with a red leather couch, a fine crafted mahogany desk, a file cabinet storing the old case files and an up to date computer. Except for the red color of the couch it was as if Roy had never left the force.

He took out one of the files from the cabinet and recovered the digital file from the shared hard disk. Several pictures appeared at the double click of the main folder. The majority consisted of several mechanical entities collapsed on the ground, un-functional. Had Roy not known better he would have said it was like they had the life drained from them.

There was a knock at the door.

"Come on in, the door isn't locked,"

Inside came the policewoman from the day before, same red hair and same uniform. He noticed that only a select few of the officers wore them. The others wore roughly the same uniforms that he wore when he was still a rookie cop. Not wanting to ask this immediately he asked her what her business was entering his office.

"I have been assigned as your assistant for this case as well as personal chauffeur. I was told to come here to inform you of that as well as await further instruction from you," she responded promptly.

Roy was speechless at this. A young female rookie cop was never this polite or concise when he was part of the force. He wondered what the new disciplinary measures of the police station were.

"Well, I have been curious about the different uniforms you and your colleagues wear. Whats the difference between the red and blue uniforms? Are they different ranks, divisions...?" Roy asked swirling his hands while saying it as if he was physically arranging his words to be told.
"The different uniforms are there to differentiate between the human officers and the robotic ones, blue being human and red being robot," the robot responded.

Roy looked at the newly discovered robot. He wasn't shocked about the idea of robots working alongside humans due to the fact they have done it now for 30 years. He was shocked about the fact that he didn't notice she was one.

"Really now? I never would have sure are nicer made than the ones during my time," Roy stated trying to pass it of as a compliment.
"Recent studies have shown that human respond more positive towards sentient beings with human appearance. Thus the majority of service applicable jobs using robots have opted to use a new line of us with a new silicon based skin and facial animatronics. The fact that you couldn't tell that I was one shows the effectiveness of the new design"
"Wow, well," Roy stammered, he's never had such a long and distinct conversation with a machine before. Then again, he never really bothered to get to know one. "But whats the point making you wear different uniforms then? If people see you are wearing red uniforms don't they know you are robots?"
"This has never been addressed as a problem in my 10 years of service, whether with myself or others"
"The company where we derive from have hypothesized that you as humans don't really pay attention as long as we are made attractive enough for your eyes"

Roy's eyes immediately rose from looking at her chest to her 'eyes' at this remark. The robot continued.

"The uniforms are more for use amongst the police, so we can tell apart from each others in order to avoid confusion"
"Well, I suppose thats good to know," Roy chuckled nervously to himself. "Now I wont ask you if I can get you anything to eat"
"Good sir, I'm glad. That would have been a serious waste of food if you would have purchased some for my use"
"Umm, yeah, exactly..."
"But I do appreciate the offer sir!" and then she did something Roy had never seen a robot do before: 'she' smiled.
"Well, if you're going to work with me now I'll need to know your name,"
"My serial number is 044, but I have been given the name 'Ida' sir,"
"Well then Ida, I assume you know the nature of the last case I worked on"
"No sir. Those files were written in a now defunct program and have not yet been copied into our current one due to the initial idea of it being solved"
"Oh, and you haven't read the paper files either because they were just now brought here from the safe?"
"That is correct sir"
"Well, I'll bring you up to speed then"

To be Continued

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