DOLLS AND DUDES – Chapter II

CHAPTER II

“Androids are going rogue throughout the city, abandoning their posts, some more violently than others.”  The screen cuts to footage of patients split open on operating tables, abandoned by Surgeons and hospital staff. 

“Walker/Talkers leaving the elderly unassisted. Highway and Airway Controllers abandoning their posts, causing chaos. The ACC is urging all owners of Androids gone AWOL to report them immediately. Although no information has been forthcoming on what exactly ACC is doing to resolve a situation which has clearly escaped their control.”

“This is unacceptable,you hear me?” Baxter turns off the news and turns towards the 12 people sitting around his boardroom table.

“I want immediate solutions. I want them now. Speak!” Baxter, runs ACC.  He has had a series of AI implants to boost his performance in the boardroom and in the bedroom. 

His main concern right now is the gargantuan Insurance payouts. Whether Androids are purchased privately or by a corporate entity, they need to be insured. The Respondeat superior, also known as the Master-Servant Rule, holds the employer liable for acts of employees, performed within the course of their employment. The responsibility lay with the superior for the acts of their subordinates and all Androids were classified and considered subordinates. 

“Why haven’t the rogue units been deactivated? Someone is going to pay dearly!”

“With your permission, Mr. Baxter, if I may speak. Well there’s a glitch and as a result of the virus, It is not possible to disable the rogue units remotely.”

“In that case you’ve nothing to contribute here, so why bother, Rickman?”

“Yes sir, however, we’ve isolated the virus which was diffused via our most recent remote upgrades. We’ve halted all further upgrades so as not to infect any more units. So you could say we have contained the situation Sir.” 

“Really, you think you’ve contained the situation,do you? Do you know how many units have gone rogue? A state of emergency has been declared.”

“We have a solution we think might work to collect the rogue units. Once we locate them, we’ll need to get close enough to use a powerful magnetic charge which will disable and shut down the units. These can then be taken back to the ACC labs for reconditioning.” 

The only way to tell an Android from a Human, other than their costumes, is to scan them.  The ACC plans to track the rogue Androids via their encoded ID’s.  

“I am a little perplexed.” I figure it’s time to put my two cents worth in.

“What might that be Boris?”

“Well you see, I happen to know that it’s not only the virus that is making them go awol. Kama 7, for example, he’s one of your units, which according to your records, is not infected, as there was no upgrade for this model. So how do you explain his act of violence. He tore a man apart limb by limb. Can an infected android pass the virus on to a non infected one?”

The room has turned into the quietest place on earth, a place where sound goes to die. 

Androids look, sound and move like humans, except for their outlandish costumes and makeup. They have an endless reserve of energy and need no sleep, water or food.  They are unaffected by climate changes, or life happenings, they never get sick or depressed. They make the perfect employee. They can tackle tasks which humans, even at peak performance, don’t have the physical or mental stamina for. 

We had a civil war on our hands and the enemy was far better equipped than we were.

Published by Maddalena Di Gregorio

“I kept always two books in my pocket, one to read, one to write in” Robert L. Stevenson

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