Asimov is Turning In His Grave

Summary:
March 12, 2014: Eight asks for Mimic's opinion. That was a mistake.

An abandoned warehouse

It's big, deserted and with lots of broken crates and bits of metal.


Characters

NPCs


Mood Music:


The email was, well that's funny there is no listed return address on the email? Anywho, the content should clarify things right? "Have information on park shooting, Event has been recorded and broken down. Initial concerns over corrupted run times have proven untrue, after independent actor studied footage it is believed I acted reasonably. Am still unsure, would find the opportunity to show you the data and receive your opinions to be greatly helpful. If further modifications are necessary to ensure innocent parties remain unharmed, they shall be made. Location and date information enclosed below. Thank you for your time, Eight."

So where in the hell is Eight asking to meet Cal? Well twenty years ago they made capacitors here, but now it's just one of many derelict warehouses in the bad part of town. Down on the assembly floor, below busted skylights and rusted light fixtures? We find rows of rusting machinery, broken glass and the occasional discarded beer can or cigarette pack. It's there we find Eight, not even bothering with a disguise tonight. Eight does look a little different, those cameras on it's "face" are more numerous and the little dot matrix screen seems bigger. Eight itself is now painted in mottled grey and dark green hues you could classify as "urban-camo", and combined with Eight's penchant for eerie stillness it's pretty shockingly effective.

Mimic's not paranoid. He just has a healthy respect for the abilities of hackers and NSA agents. If there's even a difference any more. That's why when he signed up for a gmail account, and when he checks it, he's never near the mansion. In fact, he's never in the US. When you're a teleporter, you don't need anonymous proxies. Sipping a cup of tea in London, he reads Eight's email and then reads it a second time as he tries to translate it into normal English. Once he thinks he has the gist, he gets a refill and orders a scone to snack on.

At the appointed time, Mimic's there in the rafter having BLINKed in after getting a good look through a window. And then spotting Eight, he ports down onto the warehouse floor not too far away. "Evening Eight."

"Good evening, thank you for your time. I realize this may seem strange, so I very much appreciate you helping me in this endeavor. "Eight finally gets to moving. "I will project the sensor information against the wall when you are ready, I tried to render the information in a format you would more easily grasp so just tell me if further modification is necessary."Arms casually folding across it's chest before turning to a neatly cleaned spot on the wall, and with a blink casting a perfect white square against it. So yes, a projector basically. "I received a death threat from Thor, which further increased my motivation to discover the error in my decision making process. I rewatched this more than twelve million times, before concluding that I was unable to discern my mode of failure on my own. After sharing this with a friend, they came to the conclusion that my actions were reasonable and logical. I recalled your own disapproval of taking life needlessly, from our interaction with bad hair guy. I suspect you would be potentially more critical of my actions, and thus able to help me in determining the changes necessary. Do you understand?"

"You suspect correctly." Mimic tells the robot. "Except in understating my reaction to your actions. I don't need to watch anything. Whatever it is, the fact remains that you needless killed many people. Did you know at the time that they weren't using live ammo? No, none of us did. And it doesn't matter. Lethal force should always be a last resort. If that. Period. You didn't. It was your decision to use as a first course of action. And so you murdered those people. Do you understand?"

"There were explosive devices amongst them, that was my incitement to act lethally. Four explosive devices were detected, but their construction method was not discernible. Blast models based on the most common forms of explosive devices indicated the danger radius exceeded my capability to contain the blast, as such I chose to immediately use the most safe method at my disposal to ensure the explosive could not detonate. The men I killed had more than toy guns, and the guns I did see matched every pattern for an actual small arm. Visual pattern recognition, auditory feedback and thermal signature all indicated the presence of a live weapon. I utilized the NYPD's use of force policy to model my own rules of engagement, once I confirmed the presence of live explosives in addition to what I believed was a live automatic weapon being fired at someone? I acted."Eight blinks off the display, for the moment at least. "Five men is how many I killed, all four of them had explosive devices. The fifth had a weapon aimed at another person and was engaged in the act of firing. Were you aware of the presence of explosive devices?"

"Beyond the smoke grenades? No." Mimic answers. "And it doesn't change anything. Who's to say that killing those men made the explosives useless? Could you tell if it only had a manual activation switch? What if it was already primed and was on a dead man switch? Or a timer? Or a radio detonator? Or all of the above? Or none and it was just explosives but no actual detonator?" He shakes his head and there's nothing but disapproval in the look he gives Eight. "Let's try another scenario. Let's say that instead of the men that were there, whoever was behind this had decided to put an ad in Craigslist or a college newspaper. Wanted: people to act out a gang war for a student film. Costumes including props will be provided, only blanks and pellets used for ammunition. You'd have killed five completely innocent college kids who had no idea this was a set up. How would that changed things for you?"

"One of my original purposes was blast engineering, It may seem boastful but I am perhaps the most authoritative individual you will meet on the subject. The devices were explosive in nature, and had yield sufficient to cause grave bodily harm. It is the presence of explosive devices which turned my actions from peaceful, to lethal. I have safeties, conditions which must be met for me to use lethal force. I can't just kill someone even if I really want to, unless the conditions are met. The presence of numerous explosive devices, met the criteria. The guns are a secondary concern, those determined targets once the safeties were removed."Eight turns back, popping up an image on the wall. It's a freeze frame, from a birds eye view. Four men are outlined with neat red circles, and have a little yellow "EXPLOSIVE" label next to them. In the lower right hand corner, there's blast models and predictions of shrapnel distances. Breakdowns in raw percentages of likelihood that the devices are conventional, Radiological, Chemical, unconventional ect. "The method used by every bomb technician in the world, including me is called "Kinetic disruption." Once the bomb casing is ruptured, it will not explode. It will burn, perhaps energetically but it can not explode once the containment is lost. The fact they're college kids, or that they were ignorant is secondary. There were explosive devices, which posed a real and immediate danger to the public at large. Based on the information available to me, I chose the safest course of action for the public at large."

"So what do you want from me?" Mimic asks. "If you're so convinced your actions were right, why did you want to speak with me? They weren't. Despite what you seem convinced of, you are not infallible. Your sensors can be fooled. And even if they're not, it's not your place to be convict, try and execute anyone in the space of a heartbeat. There are non-lethal alternatives that maybe are not as effective but once you've killed someone, you can't go 'oops, I made a mistake, sorry' and expect to be forgiven. The simple fact is, you have no idea if those explosives were ever intended to be used. Probably not since this was a set up to provoke an extreme response and provide a diversion for the jail breaks. You also don't know if, had you let anyone else know, whether we could have handled it without casualties."

"From detection to engagement there was precisely one tenth of a second, you're only human. If I had told you they had explosive devices, you would have asked how I knew, what their dispensation was. What was their design, information which is both unnecessary and takes time to convey. You would never have believed me, and I do not know the limitations of your durability. My telling you would have endangered you, and everyone else. You didn't trust me before this happened, and you do not now."Eight blinks the display off. "Non lethal alternatives were what I attempted with the man I shot, had his gun been real it would have stopped my buckshot from destroying his chest cavity. My intent was to cause serious, incapacitating injury. The buckshot went exactly where it was supposed to, into the side of the weapon." Finally turning back towards Mimic. "You're making statements driven by emotion, not by logic. You need to not make such an emotional investment, your species does not make sound decisions in such a condition."

"Then let's stick with the facts." Mimic returns. "Fact. You are not a member of the police. Fact. You are not a member of the military. Fact. You are not a member of SHIELD. Fact. You have no authority to do what you are doing. Fact. Killing people is a crime. Fact. The law applies to you as well. Fact. You broke the law. Fact. You might have a defense. Fact. Such a defense should be raised at your trial. Assumption though I'd put money down that it's a fact. If you continue to go around killing people, not only Thor will be hunting you down as a criminal. Conclusion. If you do not want to be treated as a mass murdering criminal, you should never use lethal force as a first resort again. Do you find anything I just said in error?"

Eight says, "@emit "Fact, Your a fucking ignorant bigot."Eight drops that, right there. "I'm not human you stupid idiot, I don't get rights. I'm still considered property, I'm a sentient being and they call me property. You think I have the legal standing to even be arrested, I wish it was the case. Fact, I'm a member of a wildly different species trying very hard to improve yours. Fact, Humanity is a species of mass murderers. Fact, Your a species who have invented biological, chemical and nuclear weapons and -used- all three of them. Fact, You're not all special snowflakes. Fact, Humanity is quickly approaching your Apex population and due to your mass over consumption and pollution you will soon outstrip your ability to sustain yourselves as a species. Fact, most of my species don't bother going on the war path because the likelihood humanity will get it's shit together is slim to nil. Fact, Some of us are trying to help you get your shit together -anyway-. You're an illogical species who have invented so many moral complications no sane creature can untangle them. Are you a vegetarian, if not your a murderer. If Intelligence and self awareness is what determines personhood, then why aren't I a fucking person? I killed men who could have killed many times their number, but because they were first stupid and then ignorant that makes them -extra innocent-? No, that's your humanist perspective. If I were a Human, I wouldn't be having this conversation with you. You wouldn't care, and neither would I because murder is what humans have always done best.""

"Fact. You're a fucking ignorant bigot." And now Mimic is just as angry. "I know you can replay this conversation over and over again in the future so I suggest you do so once I leave and really listen to yourself. Fact. If you were human, we'd be having this same exact conversation. Fact. If I didn't consider you sentient and a person, I'd consider you a rogue piece of machine that needs to be destroyed. So it seems to me that you have more emotion in your programming than you like to admit because you are so full of bitterness. Not to mention pure buillshit! Improve our race? Talk about special snowflakes! I'm done with this shit. You can consider this a threat or a warning. Do it again, I'll be right next to Thor. You can either play by the same rules humans do or you can be treated like any other rogue. If you think there's prejudice against you now, just wait to see what happens after that. Frankenstein is a lesson in how the common person treats those who they feel threatened by. So is Terminator. The choice is yours."

"Dont threaten then, just do it. I'm done with threats, either do it or shut the fuck up. Come on, I'll even give you the first shot. I'll even play fair, no drones. Either you fight me, or you leave and offer tacit approval that killing five men wasn't such a big deal. There's no half way here. Either killing those men was a big deal, or it wasn't and your just talking to make yourself feel better about splitting hairs."Tak-tak-tak, tapping at it's "chin" for lack of a better term. "I'm tired of being threatened frankly, So lets just skip the bullshit and get on with it."

"Killing those men was a big deal." Mimic says quietly. "But people, and that includes you, make mistakes. I also believe people can learn from their mistakes. The world is not black and white, Eight. You are not a robot without emotion. You've just proved that. I suggest you sit down and really think about who and what you are. You've got a second chance here. I'll even try to calm Thor down if you're willing to take it. Everyone fucks up. We learn from it and move on. The balls in your court." BLINK. Gone.


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