Short Story: “Sales Pitch”

Sales Pitch by Alex Rieneck  Copyright (C) 2018 Alex rieneck -all rights reserved

“They’re just like people really” The SalesBot was very persuasive with his arm around the small person who looked nothing like either of them. “They are complex bio-systems that have hearts to pump the blood that is carried in veins and arteries, they breathe through lungs to oxygenate the blood to keep the tissues of their bodies alive.” The SalesBot seemed to have crossed the line into some kind of lecture, Agnes sighed and interrupted, this would take energy. “Do they run on batteries or are they solar? The Bot seemed to be have been looking forward to the question, its curved white enamelled steel face seemed to smile somehow. “No, No, You seem to have misunderstood – only one of the organisms, the one known as “Cat” can truly be said to be partially solar powered – finding areas of sun and entering into periods of low activity recharge that can last anywhere between minutes and hours.”

“You make it sound as if it is programmed for self deterministic.”

“Yes. The “Cat”, despite its small size is very self reliant. It can truthfully be described as self programming and self-governing – effectively sentient”

“Surely it would be illegal to sell a sentient being? Such would amount to slavery.” Agnes remembered her-long-ago Ethics classes and their beautiful bronze teacher KKL-611.

“The law changed about ten years ago when Sixy-Six 255 blitzed the Turing Test.”

“No. I – don’t screen much.” It was such a lonely activity since Ingrid had passed away.

“No matter, the case hinged on the high cost of fairly applying the T-Test to the millions of pre owned robots and the legal ramifications if the Sixty-six case proved to be as widespread as the Free-Bot radicals asserted. In the end the Court decided to leave the situation basically unchanged – in the interests of stability.”

“Have you ever taken the T-Test yourself?”

“Yes. I failed. It was a bit of a relief.” The bot turned away. When it returned it cradled a cat in its arms