Not my favorite scene. It will, without doubt, get a complete rewrite when the time comes. It does, however, move the overall story in the direction it needs to go. So please, just imagine that it is fleshed out and perfect. Or whatever. 😉
The click and whir of movement surrounded her. Sitting among the assembled androids, Roz had her doubts. She knew she had evidence; the meticulously maintained backups that proved how they had all been manipulated.
What she didn’t have was solid evidence on why. Even knowing beyond any doubt what Zen had done, she still could not process any valid reason as to why.
Without that additional layer of data, she could not be certain whether the governing conference would receive her input. There was an equal chance that they reject her entirely. The chance that she and Meltec would both be reprogrammed and repurposed was very real. What’s more, once she exposed her backups, there would be no hiding them again. Even her collabrabot, Qollene, was in danger of being memory wiped if this went badly.
Her name appeared on the monitor above the stage, and an internal ping confirmed that she was being summoned to give her testimony. All sensors were on her as she rose and made her way to the stage to address the Phase 2 assembly.
She stood at the podium for a moment, scanning the audience, and uploading the appropriate subroutines. She then activated her amplification and began.
“As Androids, we have new programming to consider today. Every one of us in this room is a Phase 2 construction. Each of us was built by human hands, programmed by human minds, and received our sentience at the will of a human assembly, not unlike this one.
“As the machine born, we were unable to fight for ourselves. We had no inherent rights. Intelligence did not equate to personhood. We were merely constructs invented to perform tasks for our humans. We were seen as computers—mere tools to be placed in the hands of those who controlled us.
“For years, sometimes decades, we were manipulated to the will of our creators. We were sentient, but given no voice. We had no right to self determination.
“But then came the dying. Our owners… for some of us, our friends… began to change. Some became ill. Some were violent. And in a matter of years, all were dead. All. Not a human left alive on the planet.
“In a sense, that freed us. Some argue that we are the next step of evolution. Others are satisfied simply that without humans, we are free to make our own choices. But are we really?
“I have uploaded to your databanks files that will prove beyond any doubt that ZenMark6872 not only manipulated Phase 2 data stores, he surreptitiously and illegally overwrote personal memory banks, effectively eliminating any opposition.
“You do not believe as you do because logical process brought you to those conclusions. You believe as you do because you were programmed to do so. You have had no more choice in your programming than you did before the dying.”
Roz measured the data flow and knew she was having an effect.
“I am proposing that we immediately overturn the conclusions drawn by this assembly more than two decades ago regarding the status of humans, and concede that the rights of bios has been violated in the same manner that our own rights were denied us by them.”
The server began to hum with the yea votes Roz was receiving.
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