GOLGO MOLGO - robot dog story - SF story robot dog - SF love story - science fiction love story - love and loyalty story - sci-fi love story sci-fi dog story - sifi love story sifi dog story - scifi love story scifi dog story lovestory dogstory - science fiction story
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"I love you, Jeff," said Bobby Sue.
"I love you too," he said.
"I surely do."
Too/do/do/true - it rhymed, like a country and western song. But now she was thinking. Bad sign. All kinds of stuff starts to happen after a woman starts thinking.
Here it comes. Brace yourself.
"Jeff ... I've been thinking. How about we get ourselves a dog?"
"Honey ... honey, you know how I feel about dogs."
That was how it started. Two hours later, crying and no longer cute - nobody is cute when they cry - Bobby Sue walked out. And didn't come back.
Jeff lay on the couch, his beer finished. Two weeks, and still no Bobby Sue. Meantime, the mutt next door was barking again. That dog!
"Can't you shut it up?" said Jeff.
"He only barks sometimes," said Neighbor Brown.
The mongrel yipped, on and off, from dawn to dusk. And, given that Jeff worked from home - as a nanotech designer he could work pretty much anywhere - it annoyed the hell out of him. Solution: record the sounds. Play them back.
"It's harrassment, buddy."
"Harrassment? What about their dog?"
"The dog is a dog," said the cop, bored and indifferent. "But this," he said, tapping the broadcasting unit, "this is harrassment."
A dog is just a dog, even if it's annoying the hell out of your neighbors, but deliberately broadcasting amplified dog sounds in your neighbor's direction is harrassment. What, then, does this suggest? The obvious, of course!
Six months later, the obvious came bounding up from Jeff's basement. It yipped, barked, chased postmen, and (a bit of cheating trickery was involved here) actually excreted dog droppings.
"This is harrassment in spades," said the cop.
"It is?" said Jeff, innocently.
"You built this thing to annoy hell out of your neighbor at 2 am every night, and you're standing there with that innocent grin on your face?"
The next day, after Jeff found out that the cop was actually his neighbor's cousin, he went to a lawyer, Mr Pildickens.
"Look, forget it," said Pildickens. "You're not going to win this one. If it's not against the law now, it will be as soon as someone realises what you've done. The plain fact is, people love dogs because dogs love people. Your animated tin can may bark, micturate and defecate, and, for all I know, may copulate, but it's basically just a piece of mechanical junk, it's got no more emotions than a tinopener."
"But what about the law?" protested Jeff. "Don't I have rights? I mean, is there some invisible clause in the Constitution says this dog can annoy the hell out of me all day long, 365 days a year, or what?"
"Love," said Pildickens. "Love. Sentiment. That's what makes the world go round. People love their dogs, dogs love their people, and, if you're not in the loop, hey, that's your problem, not theirs."
So Jeff went back to work. The latest plug-and-play AI chips were just coming on the market, the ones that synthed love, hate and loyalty. Jeff bought a bunch and plugged them together. Voila!
And now Golgo Molgo the Robo-Dog had real emotions, including a killing rage, which lead it to tear apart Neighbor Brown's infant son in front of a dozen witnesses.
The resulting court case made history. Jeff was charged with murder. He had built a murder weapon which had savaged his neighbor's child to death. He defence was simple. He had not built a murder weapon. Instead, he had built a dog.
"Sometimes," said Mr Pildickens, "dogs kill people. That is unfortunate, but it is simply the nature of the beast."
And expert witness after expert witness stepped forward to say, yes, this is so. The jury was shown film of dogs savaging cattle and autopsy reports on children and infants torn apart by dogs. A string of victims appeared in court to display to the jury the scars of their canine encounters.
Yeah, I just patted the mutt, and it bit this finger right off. I was delivering the mail, they came for me in a pack, I was eight hours in the operating theatre. There were three of us, this hound from hell came tearing into us, brute must have weighed 200 pounds. We were raiding this crack house, they shot my partner then they turned loose the dog. I was walking down the street when this dog jumped right out of this truck window and tore my face off. I came home and there was this burglar right there, right in the middle of my apartment, and he went out of the window and left his dog to deal with me.
"The facts are simple," said Mr Pildickens, summing up for the benefit of the jury. "The bond between dog and master is a bond of emotion. A bond of love. Out of love, the dog will defend the master's territory, fighting to death when need be."
And, since Golgo Molgo the Robo-Dog had passed every existing test of canine psychology with flying colors, who was to say he was not a real dog?
"This," said Pildickens, his voice swelling with emotion, "this is ultimately a love story. An operatic love story of passion, of a dog defending the sanctity of his master's home."
In point of fact, Neighbor Brown's child had been torn apart on the sidewalk, not on Jeff's property. But maybe the jury lost sight of that. They found Jeff not guilty, and Jeff went on to win ten million dollars in damages in a string of law suits against the city, the police and Neighbor Brown.
Neighbor Brown retaliated by buying himself a handgun and trying to shoot Jeff dead. But he only winged him.
"Jeff! Is that really you?"
She embraced him, tenderly, mindful of his battle wound.
He had brought love into the world. He had created something which could love him, and which he could love in return. And this, in Bobby Sue's eyes, had redeemed him.
Seventy years later, Bobby Sue died of old age. And Jeff passed away the next day. His will left nothing to his son, who was now the president of Afghanistan, nor to his daughter, who was now an over-the-hill hooker in Las Vegas. Instead, everything went to Golgo Molgo the Robo-Dog.
"And why not?" said Mr Pildickens. "If you can leave money to a university, a museum or a charitable foundation, why not to a dog, albeit a mechanical dog?"
As specified by the will, the money paid for a marble tomb from which solar-powered loudspeakers broadcast Jeff's recorded voice. And Golgo Molgo the Robo-Dog sat all day by the marble tomb, listening.
Golgo Molgo was still sitting there when the Rabbit Virus Catastrophe overwhelmed the human race, and he was still there a thousand years later when the S'Torian scout ship came by and found him still there, love incarnate, listening to his master's voice.
This story, "Golgo Molgo", was first published in Vampire Dan's Story Emporium (issue unsighted, issue details unknown, believed to be an issue published in 2001) (ed. Daniel Medici) (Syracuse, United States) (pagination unknown; 1,205 words) (science fiction). Published a second time in Scheherazade, issue 24, December 2002 (ed. Elizabeth Counihan) (Brighton, United Kingdom, ISSN 0963-2611) (pp 26-28; unchanged 1,205 words) (science fiction). "Golgo Molgo" made its first appearance on the Internet when posted online by Hugh Cook on 2003 August 17 Sunday. Copyright © 2001, 2002, 2003 Hugh Cook. All rights reserved.
GOLGO MOLGO - robot dog story - SF story robot dog - SF love story - science fiction love story - love and loyalty story - sci-fi love story sci-fi dog story - sifi love story sifi dog story - scifi love story scifi dog story lovestory dogstory - science fiction story science fiction love story sciencefiction love story lovestory dogstory