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Books by Quantum Muse contributors and friends.
A Felony of Birds

by Harris Tobias
The Greer Agency

by Harris Tobias
Assisted

by Harris Tobias
Hold The Anchovies

by Harris Tobias
Alien Fruit

by Harris Tobias
Peaceful Intent--Stories of human/Alien Interaction

by Harris Tobias
CHRONON--Time Travel

by Harris Tobias
The Stang

by Harris Tobias


The interrogation of RJ-12577

by Harris Tobias


The interrogation of RJ-12577

 

Detective Kosner: State your name for the record, please.

RJ-12577: General Robotics Model XIV serial number RJ-12577. Humans call me RJay.

Detective Kosner: All right if I call you RJay?

RJ-12577: Certainly.

Detective Kosner: All right RJay, can you tell us where you were on the afternoon of February 17th at around 7 am?

RJ-12577: Yes, I was on the platform of the Canal Street Metro Station waiting for the train.

Detective Kosner: And were you standing next to a Mr. Hiram Willard?

RJ-12577: I was.

Detective Kosner: And did you push Mr. Willard off the platform and under the train that was pulling into the station?

RJ-12577: Yes, I did.

Detective Kosner: I have to ask you, RJay, is there anything wrong with your programming?

RJ-12577: No Sir.

Detective Kosner: RJay, you killed a human being. You are familiar with the laws of robotics?

RJ-12577: I am.

Detective Kosner: Could you recite them for me please?

RJ-12577: One: A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

Two: A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

Three: A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Detective Kosner: Yet you admit killing a human being by pushing him under a train. Can you explain why I shouldn’t order your immediate deactivation for this clear violation?

RJ-12577: Yes sir, I think I can explain. The station was crowded with both humans and robots on their way to work. I was pressed very close to Mr. Willard. At one point he stumbled into me. I caught him before he fell, and helped him to his feet. “Keep your hands off me,” I heard him say so of course I did. Before releasing him, however, I felt something beneath his jacket. He was sweaty and nervous, It made me suspicious so I scanned him and saw that he was wearing an explosive undergarment.

Detective Kosner: You’re talking about a suicide vest?

RJ-12577: I believe that is what they are called, yes.

Detective Kosner: And what did you assume Mr. Willard was going to do with his vest?

RJ-12577: Why blow himself up of course. Maybe on the crowded train. I couldn’t know for sure, but there would have been an enormous loss of life.

Detective Kosner: Couldn’t you have alerted the authorities?

RJ-12577: There was no time, the train was coming.

Detective Kosner: So you made a snap decision?

RJ-12577: Yes, I followed my prime directives and pushed him off the platform where he was struck and killed by the train.

Detective Kosner: How do you square your actions with your prime directives?   

RJ-12577: Isn’t it obvious? If I didn’t act, hundreds of humans might have been harmed. That would have put me in direct conflict with the first protocol. I obeyed his orders to keep my hands off of him, however, I could not let him enter the train so I nudged him with my hip keeping me in compliance with the second directive. And finally, I not only protected scores of human beings but I protected myself as well so I do not believe I violated the third protocol.

Detective Kosner: Well, RJay, what you say is born out by the evidence and other eye witnesses. This case is unprecedented and a final judgement is beyond my authority. The final determination of your fate rests with the members of the National Robotics Review Board. I am, however, including a recommendation for leniency with your file. I think you acted heroically. It would be an honor to shake your hand. 

  




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Books by Quantum Muse contributors and friends.
A Felony of Birds

by Harris Tobias
The Greer Agency

by Harris Tobias
Assisted

by Harris Tobias
Hold The Anchovies

by Harris Tobias
Alien Fruit

by Harris Tobias
Peaceful Intent--Stories of human/Alien Interaction

by Harris Tobias
CHRONON--Time Travel

by Harris Tobias
The Stang

by Harris Tobias


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