Why I Hit the Bot — Part 2

After the bot tasered me, I woke up in the psych ward. Then they drugged me again! And they filed a case on me!
Part 1 can be found here. Part 3 can be found here.

I woke up, strapped to the bed and I instantly knew that something was wrong. Why was I not floating? There was no way that I would have remembered to strap myself in. I look around. It’s my room. My hairbrush and vase are hovering near the ceiling. That’s not possible. I may not remember to attach myself to my bed, but I would never forget to velcro my stuff after using it. I still have nightmares about the last time I forgot to velcro that knife. Imagine waking up to a knife hovering near your crotch. And the medical bill. And… No, no, no. Stop. No nightmares in the morning. God, I need my coffee!

Me: Helios, get these straps off me and get my coffee ready. Make it nice and strong.
Helios: Good morning Ally. How are you feeling today? 
Me: To hell with what I feel! Just get these straps off me. I have no idea whose idea it was to strap me so tightly, but they are going to pay for it…
Helios: Please calm down. Negative thoughts and emotions such as thoughts of vengeance or anger are not good for your state of being.
Me: Who are you? Where’s Helios? I had him programmed to work and not talk so much. Is this supposed to be someone’s idea of a joke? Am I on one of those prank shows?
Helios: I have been reprogrammed and provided access to psychiatric databases in view of your recent assault.

Me: (bewildered) I was assaulted? What? I don’t remember it at all….
Helios: On February 1st, 2467, you had proceeded to apply extreme force on a medic-bot named Hyppo resulting in physical damage to said robot.
Me: I assaulted the bot? He tasered me!!!
Helios: That was purely a self-defence reaction causing no permanent harm to your system.
Me: Bullshit. I may have been psychologically scarred because of that. Get these straps off me and then let’s see who assaulted whom.
Helios: Ally. Please calm down. I will remove the straps.

The straps are removed and I float up, free. A deep breath. And I bang my head against the vase, which has chosen to occupy my favourite spot near the ceiling. Damn vase. I grab the vase and the brush and velcro them.

Me: Helios, aren’t you forgetting my coffee? 
Helios: Coffee has been classified as a stimulant and is currently not available to you. All stimulants and activities that may stimulate feelings of anger and violence are banned.
Me: What? I want to talk to the medic who prescribed this. This is insane. 
Helios: Medic-bot may be provided under supervision by police robots and in cases where physical presence is required. For any questions, it is recommended that you contact the medic via the net and an appropriate answer will be provided. 
Me: What? Don’t talk so much. I haven’t had any coffee. Isn’t this against the Geneva Convention or something? How is a person supposed to survive without coffee?
As per my records, coffee is not essential to the survival of a human being. Your response would suggest that you might be addicted to coffee. I will plan a de-addiction process for you. Would you like me to call a psych-bot for you? 
Me: No, no. Don’t do anything. I’m fine. It’s just a habit.

I decide to go for a walk to calm down. I try to open the door. It’s locked.

Helios: I am sorry. You are not allowed outside this room.
Me: Why? I’m out of the psych ward and in my own room. Why can’t I go for a walk?
Helios: You are still under psychiatric observation. Due to lack of space in the psych ward, you have been remanded to your domicile. However, due to your record of violent behaviour, you will not be allowed to exit the room.
Me: But I’m hungry! I want to eat. You’re not allowed to starve me, you know.
Helios: A specially prepared meal is on it’s way. ETA is 5 minutes. Would you like to view your messages and notifications while you wait?
Me: Fine, whatever.

I sit on the bed and a screen opens in front of me. I open my mail. The first email is from legal@gov.gov and marked very important. It says

The case The Government vs Ally Carter will be heard on February 7th, 2467, at 1500 hrs. The Government will be represented by a virtual replica of LegalAI. The presiding judge is LegalAI. Ms. Ally Carter will be represented by herself. The trial will be held in the datasphere’s main court and Ms. Ally Carter will participate via VR.
The Government pleads: Ms. Ally Carter, has wilfully and in full command of her faculties, effected damage upon a robot used for medical assistance purposes, one named Hyppo; and has caused significant structural damage to the outer structure of said robot. Hyppo was one of the first publicly available medical robots and represents the success of the ‘medic-bot’ revolution. Hence, Hyppo possesses both physical and historical significance. In view of the above, The Government pleads that Ms. Ally Carter be found guilty of wilfully damaging a historical artefact and pay a fine of $50 million in reparation.
Ms. Ally Carter pleads: Not guilty. Hyppo insinuated that I was unhealthy and had no friends. And he started talking like my mother. It’s all his fault.

Me: You tell them Ally. Stupid robot. Whoever names a robot Hyppo? That should be a punishable offence. It sounds like a child lisping. How would anyone get any confidence from a robot named Hyppo? (nasally, imitating a child) Hyppo! Where’s my Hyppo?
Helios: Hyppo is short of hypodermic needle. Hyppo was so named because he administers medicine, which at that time, was commonly accomplished via hypodermic needles.
Me: A history lesson??? I’m fighting for my life here. 
Helios: There is no threat to your life. The Government has simply requested you to pay a fine.
Me: A FINE! ITS $50 mil. I’LL…

The door opens and a robot enters with food.

The robot: Good morning, your breakfast is here.
Me: Oh good. I’m starving. What have you brought?

The robot hands me a tray. It has a plate of white gloop and some murky fluid.

The robot: It has oats fortified with all the nutrients necessary for your health and mental well-being and a glass of orange-beetroot juice. It is very healthy. 
Me: That’s not food. Can’t I have some bread or egg or sausage? 
The robot: This food has been particularly calibrated to meet your nutritional requirements. Please complete the meal and request for me. I will pick it up. Thank you.
Me: Whaaaat???? No coffee and now this! Answer me, dammit! What are you trying to do?

The robot twaddles off without a word. I am doomed. I cannot eat this, this… this gummy mess. It looks like some chemical reaction gone bad. I try the goop; because I’m starving— with my eyes closed obviously — I don’t want to see that coming close to my mouth. Yrgh! Yuck. It’s warm and feels like gritty jelly on my tongue. It’s, it’s not food. Period. But I have to eat. I need to destroy that stupid robot. I gulp it down. This is torture. I force myself to eat and complete the whole bowl. Do I have willpower or what? Take that, Hyppo! And next, I’ll destroy him in court.

Me: Helios, show me the list of cases against Hyppo.
Helios: There is one case in which Hyppo is mentioned — The Government vs. Ally Carter.
Me: What? Mine is the first case? How is that possible? Hyppo is an irritating, aggravating, I’m-too-good-for-you, know-it-all bastard. 
Helios: There are no other cases against Hyppo.
Me: What about the LegalAI?
Helios: There are 97,345,826 cases where LegalAI is a party.
Me: I can’t read all of them. Any cases similar to mine?
Helios: There are 674,464 cases of property damage.
Me: And how many of them are closed? What was the verdict?
Helios: 674,462 cases of property damage are closed. In 99.9% of the cases, the verdict was wilful damage and appropriate damages were allowed. In 0.0099% of the cases, the verdict was inadvertent damage and appropriate damages were allowed. In 0.0001% of the cases, the verdict was malfunction of the property and no damages were allowed.
Me: 0.0001% was malfunction. And in none of the cases, the defence won. Really?
Helios: Latest update. 674,463 cases are closed. The percentage of verdicts remains unchanged.

This is too much. The LegalAI cannot find for the prosecution every time. What do I do? The case is today. No. I’m not going to give up. I’ll change the percentages on this. No one talks to me like that Hyppo did and gets away with it.

Me: Helios, retrieve the cases where malfunction was reported and display.

Helios shows 67 cases. I start reading them. They are very long. Each has multiple reports from engineers and robot manufacturers who have dissected the robot and give their professional opinion — lots of jargon, barely understood it. There is absolutely no way that I can get one of these science guys to come and speak for me.

A robot enters with a tray of food. There’s some rice and vegetables — not even a hint of meat or egg — those heartless, soulless torturers… I just eat it all up, because I’m concentrating on the case. I have so much more to read, so much more….

Thank you for reading :-)