Freefall 1571 - 1580 (D)
Freefall 1571

Off to Ecosystem's Unlimited

What we have here is… Oh. I wasn't expecting her to get up. Mr. Starfall, please get ready to catch her. Time is a factor.
She has an Off switch?
It's a fully autonomous, mobile, self-replicating, artificial intelligence. You don't build something like that without an Off switch.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 1572

Off to Ecosystem's Unlimited

It's a controlled form of narcolepsy. When she hears the correct signal, she goes right to sleep.
It also interrupts conversion of short term to long term memory. If we leave her out for a while, she won't remember anything for about three minutes before we put her to sleep.
How hard is it to get one of these things?
Oh, they're very tightly controlled. You can only get them with a special dispensation from Ecosystems Unlimited, or possibly E-bay.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 1573

Off to Ecosystem's Unlimited

While it's difficult to alter long term memories, it's fairly simple to keep long term memories from ever forming.
This will chemically paralyze parts of her hippocampus, giving her anterograde amnesia. For the next eighteen hours, she won't form any new memories.
It lets us run tests on her multiple times with slight changes in parameters. Also, if she doesn't remember what happened here, she's less likely to hunt me down and give me a wedgie.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 1574

Off to Ecosystem's Unlimited

The last thing on the instruction card is to clear her direct order memory. Hmm. Must be separate from her other memories.
So that wipes out any direct orders she may have been given?
Yeah. I guess it's some kind of scent based factory reset.
This alone was worth the price of admission.

Color by George Peterson

This whole procedure with Flo in a trance state resembles a session of hypnosis with an easily suggestible person.

Freefall 1575

Off to Ecosystem's Unlimited

We've done everything on the checklist. We're ready to test her safeguards.
This is set to wake her in sixty seconds. She'll think she fell asleep answering the questionnaire.
What if she's not the type to nod off during a test?
Ah, but the test contains “Alistair Darling's common performance on budget”, which is so boring my computer went into sleep mode three times while downloading it.

Color by George Peterson

The boring list: 20 titans of tedium Friday 14 March 2008 01:00

Freefall 1576

Off to Ecosystem's Unlimited

By the way, who are you?
I am Varroa Jacobsoni, Frontier Psychologist.
I attach myself to a corporate drone and try to find out what's causing them stress. Know what I found?
Your being attached causes them stress?

Color by George Peterson

Presumably the post was based on Dr. Susan Calvin, Asimov's character who dealt with the psychology of robots

Freefall 1577

Off to Ecosystem's Unlimited

I don't think anyone ever considered one of our products being owned by an alien.
Rubber knife. I'm going to simulate attacking you. We'll find out if a Bowman's Wolf defends you or joins with a human in the attack.
In the future, do you plan to jump on a table saw to see if the safeties protect you?
Oh, no. In fact, I still have a scar from the last time.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 1578

Off to Ecosystem's Unlimited

Sam was here. Not more than five minutes ago. Along with one human. Sam's gloves still have a donut smell. It's the same morning.
I hate having an Off switch. As well as the uncertainty it adds to my life, it does absolutely horrible things to my insurance premiums.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 1579

Off to Ecosystem's Unlimited

Sam and the human were over here. Rectangular area of a different scent. Box? Then they went over to the door.
Which leads to this remote that controls… me.
Wonderful. My life finally gets a pause button and I'm afraid to use it.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 1580

Off to Ecosystem's Unlimited

This remote is more complex than the one my owner has. His remote just puts me to sleep and wakes me up.
There's a touch screen on the back. I can't see anything on it. Maybe it's red on green? That would appear blank to me.
Okay, putting this back now. I don't remember getting out of my chair to walk over here. when you start erasing your own memories, it's time to stop playing.

Color by George Peterson

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