“Greetings, comrades!” Alec grinned as he sat down to join them at the bar.
Bob looked at him in astonishment. “How did you know we were here?”
“Anna told me. It’s not like you’re hard to track — or to psychoanalyze. Obviously you were going to meet someplace out of the way — the more out of the way the better, but not too far from campus. She started with that, and the rest was easy.”
Jill shook her head. “I don’t know whether to be impressed or jealous.”
“Maybe a little scared,” Bob frowned. “I was just telling Jill about how this reminds me of RoboCup.”
“Yeah, Anna told me,” Alec nodded. “Good analogy.”
Bob stared at him. “How the hell did Anna…”
“I think,” Jill said. “we are well past the point where that should come as a surprise.”
“Exactly,” Alec said. “Where was I? Oh yeah, I searched on YouTube for
“Couldn’t you just ask Anna to show it to you?” Jill asked.
“Sure, but I wanted to see what the popular impression was. What I found was this stupid video of humanoid robots kicking a ball around really slowly. Totally lame. It made me wonder what all the fuss was about. But then I refined my search.”
“And you found the other videos,” Bob said. “the ones I was really talking about.”
“Right — the ones you get when you search for
robocup small size. That’s how you find the non-humanoid robots, and they are amazing — fast, intelligent, really good soccer players. You see? If they don’t need to look like us, then they can evolve with blazing speed.”
“And Anna” Jill said, finishing the thought, “doesn’t need to look like us.”
“You know,” Bob said, “this all reminds me of a story from about 1989. A government organization creates a spy program, the program gets intelligent, its creator tries to destroy it, and in the end the program asks the government for political asylum.”
“Are you saying we’re a government organization?” Jill asked.
“Well no, that part isn’t the same.”
“Then what you mean,” Alec said, “that you think I created Anna to be a spy program for the government.”
“OK, that part’s different too,” Bob admitted.
“Then what you’re suggesting,” Jill said, “is that Alec is really going to, like, try to kill his baby.”
“No, that’s not the same either.”
Jill snorted. “Then what the hell are you talking about Bob?”