Diary of a Neobody – March 6th, 2112

Hello diary.

Sorry for missing my entry yesterday – I was out most of the evening with Grace and by the time I finally arrived home I decided I’d leave it and write today instead.  You haven’t had to wait all that long I suppose.  Besides, it was quite an important evening for me, so you’ll just have to live with it.

Though, I suppose, you don’t have to, since you’re not alive.  You’re not even a semi-sentient AI or program.  You’re just a book I use in lieu of my own text memory storage.

Why am I personifying you?

Oh nevermind, that’s a thought for another time.

After last week’s mostly-successful skiing outing, things have changed a bit at the office.  Everyone appreciated the trip and had a good time – Mr. Harris especially enjoyed himself, and I believe that he is the newest actual friend I have acquired.  Joseph and Grace spent a lot of the evening skiing together which, I’ll admit, wasn’t much of a surprise.  He’s spent most of the week being teased by the office women who want to know all about Grace, though, really, he doesn’t know much of her yet either.  I digress though.

Everyone has a strange look in their eye now when I talk to them.  I hate to describe it in those terms, but since it is completely indecipherable, I can do no better.  I think they’re reminded by the long strip of missing and scraped paint down my side.  It’s odd – despite my continued attempts to tell everyone that, even away from the emotional and moral constructions that are now a part of me, my most basic commandments order me to put the wellbeing of humans above that of myself.  I could have done nothing else in that situation.  Now that I think about it, it strikes me as unfair.  I would, I think, have done something similar in order to avoid hurting someone purely based on my emotions, and without the Asimovian laws that forbade any other course.  It also raises a difficult question – if I were, say, in a position to help a murderer, preventing their death – would Asimov force me to do it?

On the one hand, I am saving a human life, something engrained in my core.  And yet, if he then went on to kill again, I have, indirectly at least, harmed a human.  Would the ‘indirectly’ mean that I would be compelled to save him?  Would the possibility of him hurting others prevent me?  I honestly don’t know.  And really, I hope to never find out for sure.  Asimov’s laws aside, I don’t think either outcome would sit well with me now I’ve got the chip.

I really do go off topic sometimes, don’t I.  I think ‘rambling’ must be something to do with emotion.  Humans do it regularly, and now I do as well.  Maybe it’s like the stream of consciousness style of writing – I write down things as they come to my head because I ‘feel’ them, rather than planning them?  I’m not sure that even makes sense.

Though I do notice that I’ve done it again.

As I was originally saying; my side was stripped down to the metal, and my finger almost destroyed.  The finger was a quick enough job to fix – I visited my usual mechanist and he replaced it for a small charge on my repairs insurance.  Simple and easy.

Replacing the paint however proved to be more difficult.  I booked myself in for a retouch, and that was simple enough.  However, after it was arranged, I began to think about it.

Should I change?  Previously, I was painted shades of grey and blue, a standard production paint finish.  But that is no longer what, or who, I am.  I’ve progressed quite markedly from the standard production model of 2109.  Assorted parts have been replaced and upgraded as demanded and paid for by work and now, of course, my emotion chip has changed my behaviour completely.  I think I’m beginning to develop my own personality – nearly everyone in the office has commented on some kind of change.

So a blue and grey finish didn’t seem to fit me anymore.  In the end, I cancelled the appointment while I think it over.  Much as I dislike the scarred metal, I decided that it would be better to wait until I know what I want to do.

Which finally brings me to yesterday evening with Grace.

Having explained to her how I felt about my missing paint, and my overall look, she suggested something I hadn’t thought of.  My paint might not necessarily need changing, she said, because I could far more easily differentiate myself from my standardised production background.  In short, she took me clothes shopping.

To be honest, I had no idea what to expect.  However, my confusion was nothing compared to the looks I received from some of the people working in the assorted shops Grace dragged me to throughout the Whitewater building, the second time I’ve been there in as many weeks.  Last time I elicited odd reactions as the android going skiing, and now I was the android trying on suits.

I must admit, I felt strange.  No, sheepish is, I think, the better word.  It was unnervingly like being a dress-up doll; Grace certainly enjoyed herself.  However, I think that the final effect is quite striking.  I ended up with a pair of suits, shirts, and the assorted ephemera of a businessman’s outfit.  Grace suggested that I have the shoulders, elbows and knees adjusted so they don’t foul my joints, but barring one or two small snarls, they fit me perfectly.

I haven’t worn them outside the shop or my flat yet however.  I’m not entirely sure of the reaction I might garner.  Will people laugh?  Does it matter if they do?

I think I’m going to dress for work tomorrow.  If nothing else, it will hide my still-missing paint.