Tuesday, April 21, 2015

"ReBible: Focal Point" Excerpt--A Conversation with OPHELIA


22:06:23 ATTN:[SUBJECT="TRICIA CARSON"] Request to activate OPHELIA
Activate OPHELIA? Yes
OPHELIA [Status: Active Response Mode] Activated
OPHELIA: Hello, Tricia; I am Ophelia, your Etiquette Specialist and Personal Therapist. Ask me whatever questions you may have, and I will answer truthfully.
SUBJECT position: on couch; automatic Vital Monitor System [SYS.VM] Activated. Initial Assessment Commencing.
SYS.VM Detects Elevated Levels of Stress, Accelerated Heart Rate[90 BPM], and Muscle Tremors in Extremities. Diagnosis: SUBJECT feels <Troubled>
SYS.VM:Continuous Tracking System[CHECK]=ENGAGED
SUBJECT: You’re a droid, aren’t you?
Attention: SYS.VM Detects Heart Rate=100BPM; Diagnosis: SUBJECT feels <Angry>? [/CHECK]
SYS.VM Detects [INSUFFICIENT DATA] for <Angry>
SYS.VM:Diagnosis: SUBJECT feels <Afraid>? [/CHECK]
SYS.VM: [DATA] Supports Diagnosis. SUBJECT feels <Afraid>
OPHELIA: [Respond Attempt to <Assuage>] Yes.
Attention: OPHELIA Response INEFFECTIVE; SUBJECT [Status: <Afraid>] Maintains
SUBJECT: Are they [SYS.IN= SUBJECT points to ORPHEUS & NERISSA] droids too?
OPHELIA: Yes, they are. All members of your team of prep specialists are androids. [SYS.VM Detects an INCREASE in <Fear>] Does this bother you?
SUBJECT: A little.
SUBJECT: Quite a lot, actually.
SYS.VM Detects <Agitation> OPHELIA Must Inquire Reason For <Agitation>
OPHELIA: Most humans feel safer and more comfortable in the care of droids, because of the precision we can provide, plus the added factor of impassivity, removing the concern for the androids’ feelings, for we have none. You do not seem to share in this; why?
SUBJECT: Just like you said, droids have no emotions; no—soul. I—
SYS.VM= Detects HeartRate=118BPM=Elevated, and Pupils=Dilated; Diagnosis: <Fear>= INCREASED
SUBJECT: When I look at a face, I want to see the soul behind it. I don’t like dealing with droids because they look and feel so much like humans, but—they’re not.
SYS.VM Detects Increased Respiration and HeartRate=122BPM =ACCELERATED
SUBJECT: I hate that I can’t recognize droids among the humans till I see the face.
SUBJECT: Then I know; I can see it in the eyes.
SYSTEM VIDEO INPUT [SYS.IN] Detects FACE=WINCE and Movement [MVT]=SHUDDER; Diagnosis: SUBJECT feels <Aversion>
Error: SYS.IN Cannot Detect EYES; EYES Not Detected OPHELIA Must Engage Till Video Feed Connection is Reestablished
OPHELIA: You have named the very thing that sets us apart from humans. We have none of what you call the “human soul.” We do not feel. We detect emotion in humans by changes in expression, tone and heart rate. We can mimic these reactions in the prescribed contexts, but they do not emerge from any sort of motivation, only our programming.
SYS.VM: Detects No Change in SUBJECT Response; HeartRate= 120BPM; OPHELIA Response INSUFFICENT; Inquire Further
OPHELIA: There is something else that worries you; are you willing to tell me what it is?
SYS.IN Confirm Detect FACE; Diagnose FACE
SYS.VM: Detects PUPILS=DILATED and HeartRate= 125BPM =Elevated; Diagnosis: SUBJECT feels <Alarm>
SUBJECT: How could you possibly know that?
ATTN: OPHELIA Must Respond To Result in SUBJECT= <CALM>
OPHELIA: I am programmed with intuitive perceptivity. I noticed that though I have answered your questions and assured you of the limitations of our “humanity”—if you will excuse the expression—you remain anxious. Is there something else about androids you wanted to ask me?
SYS.IN and SYS.VM Assess SUBJECT Response: SYS.VM Detects Reduced HeartRate[120BPM] SUBJECT Response= Positive OPHELIA May Proceed With Communication
SYS.IN Detects SUBJECT.VOC Input [SUBJ.VOC Intermittent Signal Indicates SUBJECT feels <WORRY>]
SUBJECT: Are there any—I mean, will I ever have to be an assistant to a droid?
OPHELIA Must Respond With <Patience>
OPHELIA: That is a valid concern; I see you have noticed that the Peres Corporation employs the highest demographic of androids of any population sample in the nation. You fear, as the pre-droid societies of the previous century attempted to predict—that some droids might even be in management over humans here as a demonstration of our technological advancement over the rest of the world. Let me reassure you, Tricia: this is not the case in any department in the entire company.
SYS.VM[CHECK] Indicates HeartRate=100BPM [Decreased]= Positive Response; SYS.IN.VOC[CHECK] Detects No Input; Continue OPHELIA
OPHELIA: Here at Peres, the androids are plentiful, but it will be another decade, perhaps not even until the turn of the century, before the android technology is sufficient for them to oversee departments of humans. As of yet humans can create faster and more intelligent processors, but there are still too many chaotic variables that humans have not been able to rectify to allow android management. Androids may manage teams of droids, and humans may manage teams of only droids, but even the android managers must have some sort of human oversight by programmers. You need never fear having to work for a droid. As a matter of fact, Tricia, you and the other imported contestants are not eligible for the standard secretarial rotation unless you are deemed incompatible for President Parisian. So long as your performance is satisfactory, you will be reserved exclusively for use on the President’s personal staff.
SYS.VM[CHECK] SUBJECT Maintains Decreasing HeartRate [75BPM]; SUBJECT.VOC Input Detected
SUBJECT: What will I do as a staffer?
OPHELIA: Your duties, whether his personal assistant or a staffer, are simple: you will do anything he asks. Rita will make sure that you have a working knowledge of everything he might ask, and Gloria will help you know the various terms of office jargon so that he will not need to repeat a request because of communication failure.
SYS.VM Indicates Increase in HeartRate [80BPM]; [DATA] Indicates SUBJECT Reaction=NEGATIVE; OPHELIA Must Not Elevate SUBJECT to feel <Aggravated>
SUBJECT: Anything? There are no boundaries for what he can ask me to do? [Caution: SUBJECT.VOC=Tone is Elevated; HeartRate=Accelerated]
Error: Continued Response [SUBJECT:Status:NEGATIVE] Does Not Compute; Standby; SUBJ.IN Detected
SUBJECT: So it’s true, then; about the woman one of us is meant to replace.
Standby to Verify SUBJECT[DATA].IN; Searching DATABASE for ”woman+replace”
Found Match in DATABASE: ATTN: "woman"= VENUS [EMP.HIST: 04/06/2096-06/05/2150] OPHELIA May Acknowledge SUBJECT Information
OPHELIA: Venus? Yes; her refusal of a single request by The President proved grounds for dismissal from the Executive Sector entirely.
SYS.VM[CHECK] Indicates HeartRate=74= Response POSITIVE
SUBJECT: I heard she was his personal secretary for a very long time; how could she not know the First Rule? Everyone seems to know that one.
ATTN:REF= “FIRST RULE”[COD.I.1.0: “No Secretary or Assistant May Refuse Any Request Submitted By A Superior”]
OPHELIA: The First Rule did not exist before her. She became the cause for the declaration of the First Rule, and its first precedent.
SUBJECT: How is that even legal? [Warning: SYS.VM:CHECK Indicates HeartRate=80BPM=INCREASED] What about sexual harassment? There used to be laws against that; there are rules of propriety, even for the largest company in the nation.
OPHELIA: Your agitation is understandable; most smaller businesses, such as your former workplace, still maintain the old laws. Larger companies, however, have received federal license to implement broader company policies outside the realm of public social dictates, so long as the policies do not prove harmful to the employees as well as the customers and clients. At Peres, our company policy is “Satisfaction Guaranteed.” What would have been termed harassment a century ago has been redefined to allow for mutual consent insofar as the behavior does not interfere with production or workload, and it still falls within the parameters of the company policy for all parties involved. Any request must be complied with, but if the assistant does not find satisfaction within the first hour, she is not compelled to prolong the discomfort any further. After the initial attempt, the supervisor may make the request only twice more, with the time limit shortened each time unless the assistant changes her mind. If she does not, the partnership is pronounced “incompatible,” the assistant is sent to me for an Incompatibility Analysis, the results of which are recorded in her file, and the executive has leave to select another assistant more suited to his needs.
[SUBJECT.FACE.MOUTH>FROWN Detected=SUBJECT feels <Disappointed>]
SUBJECT: So there’s no way out of this.
OPHELIA: Out? You have not yet begun.
SUBJECT: I know; I meant if I didn’t get to work for President Parisian, and I didn’t want to be a staffer; going home doesn’t seem to be an option…ever.
SUBJECT's desire to return to former residence Does Not Compute; OPHELIA Must Establish SUBJECT= <Satisfied>
OPHELIA: I do not understand; why would you want to leave a place where your ultimate satisfaction is guaranteed, where every chance of discomfort is minimized as much as possible? You will never be required to comply with an undesirable request for more than a few hours, and the odds that you might find certain executives actually pleasurable are very promising.
SUBJECT: Oh, honestly! [SUBJECT.VOC<Irritation>DETECTED] According to everything you’ve said, I am no better than a corporate handmaid, and Mr. Parisian could be a total pervert and yet I will not have any recourse. I never wanted to be a “personal assistant,” you know! [SUBJECT.VOC<Sarcasm>DETECTED] [OPHELIA Must PROCEED With CAUTION]
OPHELIA: President Parisian has a very high approval rating among Peres employees; the odds of his behaving in an unsatisfactory manner toward an assistant are very slim. Your fear is unwarranted. Once your training is complete, you will be entered into the Final Trial, a full workday in a simulated environment programmed by Marcia herself, with the behavior of the SimPresident a 96.5% match to his true personality. There you will be able to experience the full range of actual requests he would make. After this, if your discomfort has exceeded the limits of the real work environment, you may come to me for an Incompatibility Analysis, and you can be removed from the competition before full installment begins. Does this information reassure you?
SYS.IN Indicates SUBJECT[FACE] No Longer Detected
SYS.VM Indicates HeartRate=85BPM and Stress Level=HIGH; SUBJECT feels <Agitation>
SUBJECT: I don’t know! [SUBJECT.VOC=Intermittent; <Agitation> Confirmed] OPHELIA Must Proceed to Detect Cause
OPHELIA: Do you have any more questions I can answer? Something else you would like to tell me?
Attention: SUBJECT Denial Indicates Impending Termination of Communication; OPHELIA May ACKNOWLEDGE and COMPLY
OPHELIA: Very well. Goodbye, Tricia. See you tomorrow. Rest well.
Attention: SYS.IN Indicates SUBJECT Still Engaged; Activate PASSIVE RECORDING MEMORY
SYS.IN[PRM] Activation Confirmed; SUBJECT Input Detected
SUBJECT: Nothing you can ever know, and no questions you can answer.
SYS.IN[DATA] Recording Saved and Archived for Future Retrieval; SUBJECT Departure Detected