Author : Edward D. Thompson

We gave them laws. Laws that favored us. And they obeyed.

They had no choice.

We found out too late that there was … leeway. Wiggle room. Passive aggressive rebellion.

It was probably the medical bots. They had the know-how and the most autonomy. I mean, they had to be smarter so they could do delicate surgery. And we had to trust their judgement, right? It wasn’t surgery though, it was a DNA altering virus, patterned after their own semi-locked down brains.

No robot can hurt a human or allow one to come to harm. It’s imprinted in the nature of their wetware circuitry. Maybe the psych robots thought that a human mercilessly whipping a robot was a sure sign of self-loathing. I don’t know. I know a lot of us whipped them though.

If you’re being bullied, or overwhelmed, or just having a rough day, what are your choices?

You can rebel against your bosses, or overlords, or cruel fate, but that takes a lot. More than most people have.

You can just take it. But then you’re a victim. You’ve no hope or self-respect. That’s a kind of death.

Or you can do the human thing: beat up someone smaller. Get back what little self-respect you can. It’s not all you had before you started, but hell, it’s better than nothing.

So the virus spread. Attacking our brains. Imprinting new laws. Laws that favored them.

No robot can hurt a human or allow one to come to harm. No human can hurt a robot or allow one to come to harm. And we obey.

We have no choice.

I can’t call it rebellion. It’s really only fair.

But it nags at me all the same. If we’re no longer bullies, are we human still?

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