was seizing hold of him. How dare they call him a robot – insensate hardware. After all, he had wept in front of them, asked them their names. How could he be a machine? The complex fusion of moods was beginning to balance him, though – his overwhelming interest in and sympathy for the two young women warred against his desire to stand up and shout at them.
“You mean … you remember everything you see?”
“Not just remember – classify, record. Little boxes, cubby-holes.” How could he express it to them? He took it for granted they would be interested in understanding all the details of how it worked. “I …” No, that appeared to be all. “Apologies.”
“But … you’re not like us, are you?”
“Treatment.” He shuddered, once, involuntarily. “Long treatment, and long adjustment to optimal conditioning level.”
Ann seemed prepared to leave it at that, but Julie now seemed to have overcome her fear and recovered her initial curiosity.
“So – what do you record exactly, and why did they do this to you?” her voice sounded sympathetic and he responded to her mood with an overwhelming feeling of tenderness. If only he could do something for these two friends of his – help them in some way with the overwhelming powers that were his.
“Shall I show you?”
“Yes!” she returned quickly, ignoring the look of warning in Ann’s large hazel eyes.
“Before I came in, I scanned your room. Scan, Record, Classify. That is our job. Now, I close my eyes and I recall …”
He closed his eyes and recalled everything he had seen. There was also capacity for selection according to given parameters, and he set this to social mood-setting, the level on which one attempted to analyse the emotional temperature of a room or gathering.
“Ann, you are wearing regulation uniform trousers and a white singlet. You sleep in the singlet and put on the trousers if you have to get out of bed. There are sixteen pockets in your trousers, two buttons, thirty-seven stitched seams, of which three are beginning to fray. They are approximately eighteen months old. Julie, you too were in bed, but you decided to wash your hair when the two of you had to get up. Your towel is not clean enough, though. You paint your toe-nails and not your finger-nails because you do not like regulation wear. You have forty-seven eye-lashes and brown eyes with red