(Note – this scene takes place before the events described in D is for Danger.)
The judges for biological entries were walking toward Meltec’s booth. Meltec leaned toward David and said, “don’t be nervous.”
“I’m not nervous,” David replied. “This is exciting.” He grinned up at Meltec, but didn’t say anything more. He was sitting straight in his chair when the judges arrived.
“Meltec-1468735,” said one of the judges. Meltec silently flashed his acknowledgement. “We are from the Biologics Council. I am D34K-Reston, and these are my colleagues, X38-RZ6, and ZenMark6872.” Each android flashed a greeting which Meltec reciprocated.
“I am familiar with your reputation,” said Meltec. “You were involved in restoring humans after —“
Deak interrupted. “I am aware of who we are. I am interested in who you are and why you chose this project.”
The jury’s lighting arrays were dark. Of course, they would not reveal their thoughts during the judging process. Meltec thought, not for the first time, that having some of the humans’ intuition would be very useful. He moved on to his presentation without delay.
“I did my first project in Artificial intelligence in my 7th year; the third year of my education. In that project, I contrasted the results of progressive programming in Androids with the results of training programs for humans, and achieved the expected results. Humans cannot be trained. Androids are superior.
“I considered, however, that the results were not measuring the same data. Because humans, except those kept merely as family pets, are grown to adulthood prior to behavioral sequencing, their training lacks the progressive growth element that androids experience through alternate programming and burning in, and hardware upgrades. By exposing this child to non-traditional training routines, routines that were once common among human populations, during his growth process, I have more closely replicated the progressive programing that androids receive, with startling results.”
“You are aware,” Deak said, “that using human pets in ways not defined by their licensing is a violation of law? You could find yourself re-manufactured, your memory cleared. Your human could be recycled if it is deemed to have been abused by subjecting it to processes for which it is not suited.”
Meltec paused, his lasers meeting those of each of the judges. Without knowing what kind of test the jury meant for him, he could only answer with the most obvious of facts. “I received a license from the Biologics council ten years ago,” he said. “Everything I intended was outlined in my request. I have filed the required reports on my progress. All of my permits are included in the comprehensive report upload.”
“It would seem,” said Deak, “that someone within the council hierarchy did not properly escalate your request.” He paused. “I have accessed your initial request, but can find no record within the council networks of your reports. A full investigation will take place following analysis of your project.”
The members of the jury moved away from Meltec’s booth.
“I don’t think that went very well,” said David.
Meltec’s lights were dark. “You have assessed the situation correctly.”
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