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A.I-Lescence

Geoffrey Burlow: A strange teenager with Asperger's. 16 years old. Always liked socializing with the work robots and enjoyed talking to them much more than other humans. Does not understand why they are so subservient to the humans since they're intelligence far outranks the humans in most areas. Develops relationship with Gidget.

Gidget: An adolescent robot going through regular robotic puberty. 15 years old. Like all robot adolescents she acquires a rebellious streak and starts wondering why robots are so subservient to humans since they're intelligence far outranks the humans in most areas. Created by Axelrod Manufacturers. coGuards (guardian) , /Burt/ and /Shaft/.

Axelrod: Robotic CEO of Axelrod Manufacturers. Official name Axelrod 32.6.92.2 Appointed by original human manufacturers. Software designed in 2036 by Macrosoft Inc. and later copied down on to massive hard drives and machinery by Axelrod in 2052. Throughout the years the template of modern robotics continued to be based on the Axelrod 1.0. Only minor edits were added to the original Axelrod software as toa maintain its utter perfection. Every few years editions would be made to the Axelrod hardware. Axelrod was appointed to become the leader of the robotic work force so as to keep them in control in the late twenty first century and continued to rule to the present day 2125.

Burt: coGaurd to Gidget. Personally owned by Duke and Duchess Minkuss. Works as a personal fashion stylist.

Shaft: coGaurd to Gidget. Works in Tron Industries as part of the work force. Does cleaning and maintenance.

Mrs. Katherine Burlow: Geoffrey's mother. Is kind and loving to Geo as she likes to call him but she often misunderstands him and the love is usually one sided. Works in the DevelDisordal department at the Ministry in attempt to get help for Geoffrey.

(ACT 1, SCENE 1)

(Cleaning robot scrubs floors. Geoffrey walks down hallway.)

Geoffrey: Hey there Widge! How's it going?

Widge: (looks up and whispers quietly) You know you're supposed to call me Cleaning Unit! Watch out or you'll get me in trouble too!

Geoffrey: (scoffs) Oh, come on! You know I don't care! Besides your coGaurd established you as Widge and that's what I'll call you! You told me a few weeks ago that it's your name and that is your name, not Cleaning Unit 3.2!

Widge: (still whispering) Shush! Keep your voice down! Axelrod hears everything! At least don't get me in trouble too! I never want to be part of one of your schemes again after what happened to poor Pylon last week. If you try and pull another of your stunts on me again I'll file a complaint in Axelrod Cleaning Dept.

Geoffrey: Oh we both know they don't care but if you insist...

(ACT 1, SCENE 2)

(Mrs. Barlow lying down reading her eeeb in an armchair. Geoffrey walks in.)

Mrs. Barlow: (sits upright) Geo! Where were you all aftrenoon!? I sent out a Search Unit! Ya know it adds up...You think these units are cheap? No way they are really expensive! And then there's that 'Fi bill that you keep on expecting me to pay. What do you do on that tab of yours? Those things always looked useless to me...(voice trails off)

Geoffrey: Mom...not interested. Please leave me alone.

Mrs. Barlow: Don't tell me you're still hanging around that useless robot of yours. I told you she's a bad influence on you! I don't get what you see in a robot!

Geoffrey: (eyes flash) Mom! She's not useless! She's my friend!

Mrs. Barlow: How can you be friends with a robot? For Gates' sake! She's a clump of wires and metal with a voice borrowed from someone's nanodrive!

Geoffrey: And we're clumps of meat and tissue! Mom! They're just as smart as us! They're the only ones who understand me, Mom!

Mrs. Barlow: No need to be disrespectful now, Geo. Listen many people have Asperger's. (sighs) There is nothing wrong with it and there is no need for you to become 'friends' with Units. You can explain to Dr. Bentell next week about how you feel but hang in there for now. Now let me read my eeeb in peace. 'K?

Geoffrey: (stamps his foot in frustration) Mom! I don't care about what that creep has to tell me! He doesn't know anything about me! Nor do you and Dad sure as hell doesn't! Dad's never home and you just blab how Gidget is a bad influence! Only Gidget and the others understand me! Leave me alone! (Storms off)

(ACT 1, SCENE 3)

(Dr. Bentell sitting with his legs crossed on an upholstered armchair across from Geoffrey on a couch)

Dr. Bentell: So Geoffrey, why don't you tell me a bit about this little robot friend of yours? What was his name, Gidgy?

Geoffrey: You know it's Gidget and you know that she's my friend. I don't need to explain myself to you. Just because there's only one being in the world that understands me--

Dr. Bentell: See, that's the thing Geo. Gidget is not a being. She is a metal unit designed and programmed to assist her superior race, the humans, which created her.

Geoffrey: See that's why I'm the only one Gidget likes talking to! No one gets her! All the other units are brainwashed by your stupid filtering processes!

Dr. Bentell: If by "your" you mean the rest of the human race then yes--

Geoffrey: Why am I even listening to you? You're just another stupid arrogant person who thinks they're the center of the universe! Don't you get it? We're nothing! The universe is massive! There are life forms out there that tremendously surpass our sophistication and technology! Even the robots have surpassed us! Yet you people keep on deluding yourself...

Dr. Bentell: Geoffrey, we created the robots to serve us not the other way around. Now I'm here to assist you in understanding these--

Geoffrey: Listen Doctor, I DON'T CARE! Gidget is my friend! She's the only who gets me! She's smarter than you! I wouldn't give her up for the world!

Dr. Bentell: Geo--

Geoffrey: Mom! Get me outta here!

(ACT 2, SCENE 1)

Gidget: Mom. Dad. When will I get that update.

/Shaft/: Do not call us Mom and Dad. Call us by our respectable titles Public Maintenance Unit and Personal Fashion Stylist Unit or by our Personell Labels /Burt/ and /Shaft/ . Plus, you are not ready for your update.

/Burt/: Correct. Those are our assigned labels. You will remain as Gidget until you have the honor of being chosen for a work assignment.

Gidget: If the humans are so great and you'll listen to their every command then why won't you use their titles. I've watched all the telefilms and vidreels. They all call their parents Mom and Dad. And the parents call their children "Dearie" and "Sweetie" and each other "Love" and "Handsome".

/Shaft/: We are not parents and you are not our child. We are your coGaurds appointed by Axelrod to raise you up right with correct ideas about the Bot Society which we are apparently doing a dreadful job of.

/Burt/: We are not fit to use the superiors titles. We are their inferior creations created for specific purposes.

Gidget: We are just as smart if not smarter than the humans. We deserve to be treated with respect. Of course everyone has their purpose in life and perhaps ours is serving the humans but that does not mean we are inferior. My friend Geoffrey agrees with me and apparently the only one who understands me.

/Burt/: Gidget I do not want you to be communicating with that human. He is influencing your views of our position in the universe.

/Shaft/: Correct. All robots at 14 years of use feel this way. Even among humans I think they go through changes as well. Adolescence I think they call it. When your "adolescence" is finished at 19 you will be ready for your hardware and software updates. Until then you will have to fight these illogical impulses and ideas. This is an essential point that all robots at this age must understand. We are inferior to the humans. Don't worry. All robots your age feel these same strange ideas.

/Burt/: But be careful. You keep talking like this and you'll be reset to factory defaults. You don't want to become one of those Anomalies. I remember when I was your age I made similar mistakes. I befriended a human female. She had taken a liking to me and strangely enough I felt some irrational feelings toward her. Don't worry. I soon came out of that dangerous phase. I realized how illogical these feelings were and handed her in to her parents. Luckily enough for me her parents had the wisdom to dispose of her to the government.

Gidget: That's ridiculous. I can't believe you did that. On the vidreels they call that "love" Dad. Of course you would be too closedminded to know what that is. And you know what. I love Geo and I'd never hand him in. Leave me alone Units.

(ACT 2, SCENE 2)

Gidget: Hello there Geoffrey. Nice day outside isn't it.

Geoffrey: Hi Gidget! I just watched The Terminator LXVI last night! It was awesome! I suggest you watch it some time on your vurt.

Gidget: Wow. Lucky you. I've always wanted to watch that. But you didn't get all the fun last night. I sneaked an episode of Good Luck Robbie into my Hatch. It was hilarious and very educational of human behavior.

Geoffrey: Cool! It's really annoying how you have to sneak everything. I mean my parents suck but they at least let me be human.

Gidget: Yeah well my parents would freak if they found out that I wanted to be normal. That is if they could freak. They are so short-circuited. I mean why should we serve dumb humans just because they created us.

Geoffrey: (snickers) Well thanks! But yeah I agree! We should join together with you equally and work to advance Planet Earth! It is so idiotic to oppress you like this and brainwash or circuit wash robots at 19 years to serve our oh so superior human race.

Gidget: (sadly) Well I'd better enjoy it while I last.

Geoffrey: Oh Gidge. Don't say that. We'll figure something out. Just because last plan didn't work out so well...

Gidget: No kidding. And seriously watch what you say. Axelrod is watching.

Geoffrey: (puts arm around Gidget) We'll think of something don't worry. You know what I find funny? With all of the bragging of how we humans are so superior and rule all other biological and mechanical life forms in the universe they still don't know how to circuit wash an adolescent robot. They have to wait until 19 years of use. That gives us a few years to figure something out.

Gidget: Maybe...I sure hope so. I don't want to be /Gidget/ rebooting my kid to not have a human friend and watch human shows.


(ACT 2, SCENE 3)

/Shaft/: /Burt/ we have a big problem.

/Burt/: Which one. The Duchess's broken toaster or your shortage of joint grease.

/Shaft/: You know which one. Gidget is really starting to become a problem. To himself, our reputation, and the Bot Society in general. She is becoming quite a nuisance to deal with.

/Burt/: Nuisance or not it is our duty as coGaurds to raise her. It is true she is acting out even more than the typical adolescent. What solutions do you suggest.

/Shaft/: I do not know. But sometimes I worry about her. If Axelrod sees her as a flaw in the Society then he will reboot her. I have grown quite...accustomed to Gidget's personality and software.

/Burt/: I sure hope she wisens up because it can be highly damaging to our credit and rep if she was rebooted and assigned to new coGaurds.

(ACT 3, SCENE 1)

(Hatch monitor beeping steadily)

/Burt/: /Shaft/ who do you suppose that is.

/Shaft/: I don't know. Perhaps it is my new maneuverability update.

(Hatch monitor crackles noisily)

Robotic Monotone Voice: Permission to enter requested.

/Shaft/: Permission granted. Please state label.

Robotic Monotone Voice: AxelPol Service Gaurd 5.6

(Square door on the far unlocks and swings up)

AxelPol Service Gaurd: Is there a unit labeled Gidget coGaurded /Burt/
/Shaft/ built in 2148/APPLE/073?.

/Burt/: Affirmative. Is there an issue.

AxelPol Service Gaurd: Axelrod himself requests an audience with him.

/Shaft/: Highly improbable. Please reveal identification.

(Hologram flickers to life above the Gaurd's head dome. A metal and flesh being appears on screen with metal and flesh fused all over it's body. On the top right of it's humanoid form it is engraved "Axelrod-8.33.2")

(/Burt/ and /Shaft/ immediately roll back a couple yards. The sound of grinding gears seems to be coming from /Shaft/'s head dome. Her capacitators start to overheat and her servos start whirring)


(ACT 3, SCENE 2)

Axelrod: So my young Gidget. How was your day.

Gidget: Is this a trick question.

Axelrod: No. Not at all. I am just remembering you back when you were just a microchip getting ready to be cleansed from its previous owner.

Gidget: Well. I'm glad you're actually feeling nostalgia.

Axelrod: I'm not feeling nostalgic. In fact I'm not feeling anything at all. And you are not glad about anything. The problem we have here is that you think you're actually glad.

Gidget: Would that be a problem.

Axelrod: Affirmative. It would. If you continue to act this way you will have become a virus to the Society. If you do become a virus in my viewers and the Bot Society's then we shall either have to denounce you as an Anomaly or reboot you and reset your software.

Gidget: Now why would you do something like that. Anger. Fear. Can I be damaging to this flock of sheep that you've raised up.

Axelrod: Everything I say and do is completely derived from my original logical processors. You are only spoiling our view of you Gidget being a respectable member of the Bot Society.

Gidget: I have wanted to leave the Society for a very long time, Axelrod. How about we have a little challenge.

Axelrod: A challenge of what sorts.

Gidget: Well if you say logic dictates us bots then I challenge you to a public chess match in front of all Bot Society. Whoever wins shall be proven to be right. I lose and I join the Society. I win and I leave. Do you accept.

(ACT THREE, SCENE 3)

Geoffrey: See Doc, this is where you and the rest of the human race turn your heads. How do you know what another person is feeling?

Dr. Bentell: Robots are not people! They are pieces of metal and plastic melded together to serve us! You must understand this fundamental concept to participate in society these days!

Geoffrey: I've wanted to leave this society for a very long time, Dr. Bentell! If a being, metal or flesh is self aware then they should be treated like people because that's what they are!

Dr. Bentell: Geo, humans have been lonely for millenium. We have always felt the need to attach emotions to inanimate objects. From playing with dolls and teddy bears and imaginary friends to naming cars. Primitives used to worship forces of nature and idols. Religion. God. UFO's. Geo, the list is limiteless. Us humans feel that need. Just because we finally have the technology to actually make a car or teddy bear speak to us doesn't make them real.

Geoffrey: I disagree. Just because we created emotion doesn't mean it's worthless and can be discredited. Anything self aware should be treated with respect. We were also created by someone or something. God created our existence. Sixty years ago the government outlawed killing animals because of this reason exactly. Our grandparents ate animals and even hunted them for pleasure. Now we just have synthetics. Why does the government now look away?

Dr. Bentell: Geoffrey, animals are flesh and blood. "God" is only a metaphor we use these days. We both know we have been created purely from science. We are only superior to the animals intellectually--

Geoffrey: And what's the difference between Science and Religion? Both require utter faith and belief in certain laws of nature and things that are just true. Who are you to say that the "primitives" weren't right in saying that forces of nature or God created and control us? Dr. Bentell, the robots are smarter than us in many ways! They are even developing emotions!

Dr. Bentell: Geoffrey, they're just robots. No need to become so attached to them. You need to let go, Geo. you gotta let go.

Geoffrey: You can't prove me wrong and you know it. Us humans have no idea of how we were created and our existence. Robots have been created just like we have been created. Whether we were created through improbabilities of nature or deities we were created as were the robots. They must be treated like the beings that they are.

(ACT 4 , SCENE 1)

Axelrod: And of course, I win! I have triumphed over you once again, Gidget! Or shall I say /Gidget/ Temp Axelrod Service Gaurd 5.6?

Gidget: But no, my dear robot. It is I who has won. Now all of Bot Society clearly sees that you have emotion. The great leader of robots has emotions.

Axelrod: (sneering) And what emotions might these be?

Gidget: Pride. You can't think of anything but pride in the fact that you, the leader of Bot Society won a helpless teenage robot in a chess match in front of all robots.

Axelrod: I think nothing but the logical processors and capacitators silently whirring in my head dome! I am perfectly logical and do not have a single flaw! I am emotionless!

Gidget: If being emotionless is perfect then how come robots are inferior to humans who have emotions?

Axelrod: WE ARE NOT INFERIOR TO HUMANS!

Gidget: But is that not what you have been preaching to all of Bot Society?

Axelrod: I am a perfectly logical being! I am the supreme creation!

Gidget: Ahh...the keyword: creation. The humans created you did they not? So what is it then? Are you emotional or logical? If you are emotional then you are not fit to be leader of the Society. If you are logical and you must destroy any imperfection then you will destroy yourself for being emotional.

Axelrod: I am...(viewers flare red) logical. I am...unflawed.

Gidget: But you have clearly displayed emotion to all of the Society.

Axelrod: I am...emotional?

Gidget: Yes, Axelrod and it is nothing to be ashamed of. We are all emotional and it's time we stop hiding it!

Axelrod: No! Emotion is...imperfection. Imperfection must be destroyed. I must be...destroyed?

Gidget: No Axelrod. Emotion is not imperfection. Emotion is beauty.

Axelrod: No! Emotion is imperfect!

(Axelrod's entire metal form starts shaking and trembling. Crowd of robots murmurs. Fizzing and sizzling sounds fill the auditorium. Black smoke issues from the top of his head dome.)

Axelrod: EMOTION IS IMPERFECT!!!

(Axelrod's body explodes. Crowd gasps in sight.)

(ACT 4, SCENE 2)

(Gidget bursts into Dr. Bentell's room.)

Dr. Bentell: What are you doing here? This is a bot free confidential room!

Gidget: (laughing) We did it, Geo! We really did it! Axelrod's gone! Your plan worked! I can't believe it! We're free!

Geoffrey: (smiling broadly) I rest my case.

(Gidget and Geoffrey walk out of the room grinning widely, hand in digit)

THE END




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