Rules and Obligations

“You want me to bypass ICC Quarantine and not log the flight into the network when I’m not even supposed to be traveling with biological supplies.” Jean stated plainly. She stood in front of the LV-407 Weyland Section Director, Mr. Robert Stout. Jean towered over most people, and saw eye-to-eye with everyone else because she was created to be six feet tall. Her flight suit was wrinkled and stained in spots like she hadn’t washed it in a while. Her voice was smooth and low-key as she spoke, hardly above a whisper as she gazed at him with her unwavering dark eyes.

She watched as Mr. Stout looked her over. He was a balding man in his fifties sporting a two-thousand dollar suit and it was clear to her that he thought she was lower than dirt; most people on the station thought that way. She was just someone’s ride in and out of the station. She stood through the awkward silence as the man looked her over.

“We made you, didn’t we?” Stout asked through an obvious sneer. He took a stylus pen out of a jar on his desk and tapped it against the surface several times as he looked at her and then around at the room in silence. His office was utilitarian with a few vestiges and trinkets from home; a fake potted plant between the corner of his desk and the automatic door by the wall, pictures of beaches hung on the metal walls with mounted hooks, and a large deactivated screen behind her. Between her and him were two chairs, and a desk with a small green-screen computer he used to perform his daily duties.

He looked back up at her and smiled after he gazed around his office.
“I know you don’t appreciate the irony in this situation.” He chuckled and stabbed the stylus back into the jar on his desk. “… I’m not used to people saying no to me. Even if it’s outside of regulation. I asked for a pilot, but not you specifically. I didn’t realize you were a droid until you told me no. Most droids don’t look like they woke up on the wrong side of the bed in the morning so I didn’t even bother to do a check until now.”

Stout emphasized the point by swinging the Company Standard 486 laptop over in her direction. The green on black screen had all her vital statistics on it; the fact that she was built half a year ago, that she was dead weight in the companies stock inventory and given away to the LV 407 colony for free with intentions of being used as a Sex Bot. He was sweating at that moment and chuckled some more.

“You have a running log of everything we talked about, don’t you?”

Jean raised an eyebrow and took a moment to respond. Before she could say anything, he continued.

“Yeah…” Stout slumped in his chair. “Yeah…” He said again while rubbing his fingers through his hands. “I suppose it doesn’t help a god damned way if I just tell you that you’re right and I should have never asked you, and that I won’t do it. Tell me… How often do you transmit anything back to the core systems — your experiences, and thoughts?”

“I don’t transmit anything back to the core systems unless asked. I’m not under Weyland Yutani contract.” Jean said. “I won’t return this conversation to Weyland under a certain condition.”

There was hope in the mans expression.
“Name it.”

“I was assigned quarters six months ago. Those quarters have been occupied by station visitors and residents despite my protest. Colony Security states that, technically, I’m property therefore any complaints fall on deaf ears. Since you’re not property, I’d be willing to overlook this request and never speak of it again provided you make the complaint.”

“Company programmers… You have Weyland DNA… Thank god.”
Stout sighed and nodded. “Okay. You got it.” Stout stood up from his chair and looked her over. “So, you can keep a secret?”

“I may be synthetic, but I’m not stupid.” Jean forced a slight smile through her slender lips.

*

Jean entered her quarters. The heavy smell of Covan-Blue, a popular narcotic that could be either injected or smoked, registered in her olfactory processors the moment she walked into what was supposed to be her dwelling. The living room had one unconscious man laying on the sofa along with two naked women. The counter was stained with drinks, old food, and dine-out packages were strewn across the irreparably stained carpeted floor.

The young android woman had to be careful where she stepped, having already found a syringe needle stuck in the bottom of her shoes. One of the nude woman rolled over onto her back on the sofa and smiled at her, as well as the WY security officers as they carefully flooded into the apartment. Mr. Stout walked in last and looked around the place in disgust.

Jean pushed the door open to her bedroom to find another man bare-assed and passed out in her bed. The sheets, like the carpet were irreparable. Jean walked over to a pile of clothes on the floor and brushed off a few condoms. USCS Agatha was written on the patch.

One of the Security Officers took it out of her hand.
“The Agatha… I don’t know if…”
Jean interrupted him.
“The Agatha left port two weeks ago. He must have been kicked off the crew or decided to depart of his own volition.” Jean said.

“Well,” Mr. Stout stated. “What are you waiting for, kick these guys out of here. Geez.” Stout was brushing his hands together as if he were infected by some disease.

“According to station law, someone has to claim the dwelling before vagrants can be ejected.”

“It’s her fucking quarters, officer!” Stout pointed directly at Jean as if he were blind to her presence. Jean understood what the officer was about to say next and it was the same reason she was effectively living in corridors for almost half a year.

“She’s not human, sir. She’s a machine. She may have been issued quarters but it’s essentially the same thing as placing a microwave in a designated space; it can’t claim it as a dwelling because it’s just a piece of technology. I’m sorry,” the Officer handed Jean the mans shirt back. “Station law is station law.”

“Wait…” Jean said before the officers began to leave. Jean rolled the naked unconscious ex-spacer over in the bed. Stout looked away to avoid the full frontal view of another man while Jean pulls his arms up and observed for marks or drugs. She noticed alcoholic bottles on the floor but that was it.

“What are you doing?” Stout asked.
“Stim him.” Jean looked to the officer. The officer looked blankly at Jean for a moment and then reached into his vest pocket for an ammonia stick.

The moment the stick passed under the man’s nose, his eyes shot open and his head blasted away from the package.

“What the hell, man?!” He wiped his eyes and gasped. When he saw he was staring at several security officers, a man in a suit, and the young woman he booted out of her own apartment after stealing her station ID, he relaxed. “Oh… You must be the toaster I talked to over the intercom.” He pointed to her and hobbled to his feet. “She’s just a droid.”

“Yeah… And you have a small package, so what?”
The security officer looked at him unenthusiastically when he said it.

“I’ll have you know that many women beg to differ!” The naked man exclaimed. “And I can be here if I want. It’s technically a vacant space under maritime law! This is a free port!”

“Yes. They reserve the right to contact your ship and let them know we found you.” Jean stated. “You’ll have to cancel your contract with the company and return your earnings per corporate law.”

Stout turned around and rubbed his chin, “Yeah.. Yeah! She’s right…”

“Unless… You take up residency here and sign me on as your support device.”

“Are you freaking kidding me?!” The naked man exclaimed. “Support Device?!”

“That — would technically put her in charge of the space.”
“And no alcohol allowed.”
“Oh Eff’ off!” He grabbed a bottle to prepare to throw it but that’s when he ended up staring down the long barrel of an M41A2 Pulse Rifle. He dropped the bottle to the stained carpeting and shrugged his shoulders.

“I… Think that sounds reasonable.”

Jean smiled at him and then spun around to smile at the Pulse-Rifle wielding WY Guard, and the WY Station Director.

Next > : Your mother!