Dr. Susan Calvin had no desire to meet with either Hollywood or his grossly obese partner, Megabucks; and the sight of their flashy offices, dazzling with dollar signs and car chase scenes, in no way improved her attitude towards them. Unfortunately, her opinion did not matter in the grand scheme of events, either to the behemoth that was the movie industry or to the individuals who had sold Asimov's legacy to Megabucks. Legal obligation brought her to their door.

She walked in grimly, the lines of age on her plain face hardening as she cast a stony glance at the poster of a young woman with full lips, shapely legs and a pretty face. Above the poster, in sinuously curving letters made of hundreds of tiny glittering lights, were the words, "Sex Appeal." Below, in finer print, was her own name: "Susan Calvin."

She turned her steely eyes to the two men in the room. They were seated behind a long black desk with a littering of action figures, snazzy holographic effects, and dollar-sign lights spread out in from of them. Neither of them had she met before, but she knew them by their descriptions.

Hollywood was the handsome man who had undergone plastic surgery multiple times. His perfectly aligned teeth gleamed blinding white, his chest bulged with steroids, and the trendiest new clothes covered most of his vital areas. Only his eyes marred his otherwise handsome features. Instead of the proverbial windows to the soul, he had huge sockets that gaped, depthless and empty. It was a defect he tried to cover with a pair of designer sunglasses.

Megabucks was a hugely fat man, bulging at the seams, yet strangely attractive to the people around him. Chortling and wheezing, he played with the dollar signs.

"Yessiree, yessiree, the marriage of a science fiction legend and our modern movie-making capabilities will be a truly fortunate event. Fortune- ate. A fortune! Hah hah hah." The fat man tossed his head and burbled.

Hollywood, noticing Calvin, demanded, "Who are you? Get out of here! This office is no place for frumpy old ladies. We have an important meeting with Dr. Susan Calvin."

Having already dismissed both men as fools, Calvin did not so much take offense at the remark as regard it as further proof that her opinion was justified. She answered him in a tone of ice: "I am Dr. Susan Calvin."

"You?" Both men gaped at her. Megabucks cast a quick, worried glance at the portrait on the wall, then back at Calvin.

"This won't do!" he cried. "This won't do at all. You're not even pretty!"

At this point, she would have gotten up and walked out, legal obligation or no, but Hollywood recovered himself and quickly interposed himself between her and the door. "Just a moment, Miss Calvin, just a moment-"

"Step aside."

"Wait, please, Dr. Calvin," he said cajolingly, smiling beneath his designer sunglasses. "You are under a legal obligation to be here. We own you, and much of your creator's work. As much as you may like to, you cannot simply walk out on us. So let us work together. Perhaps, by uniting our forces instead of fighting, we can accomplish something that has never been done before."

"Great works of art have been destroyed before," Calvin retorted frostily. "Bad scripts have been written before. Women have been relegated to the roles of sexual objects -- mere visual eye-candy for men -- throughout the entirety of human history. What do you propose to do that has never been done before, and why do you believe it is something in which I will agree to have any part?"

"The choice is not yours, Dr. Calvin. It's been made for you, I'm afraid." Hollywood smiled apologetically, then added, "Let's look on the bright side. It will make you and your creator famous. Yours will be a familiar face to moviegoers everywhere."

"Mine will?" she wondered sardonically. But, having no choice but to remain, she took a seat at the black table and stared into the cavernous sockets behind the sunglasses. "What you mean to say is that a beautiful woman with a marketable body will be recognized by moviegoers everywhere, but with my name attached."

"Let's not jump to conclusions!" objected Hollywood. "You're beginning to sound like those Asimovian purists..." He shuddered. "We'll never please them, but they don't matter, anyway. Right, Megabucks?"

The fat man chortled. "Right you are, 'Wood. Right, as always."

"It will be your face," Hollywood assured her. "We want to show them Dr. Susan Calvin. But we'll make you younger."

And, as he spoke, it happened: the Dr. Calvin facing him became younger. Her surprise was only momentary. She noted his frown with disapproval, observing with wry disgust the concerned look he exchanged with his partner.

"Oh dear... still not pretty," said Megabucks.

"You're right... it won't do." Hollywood sighed. He brightened. "Well, what does it matter what you really look like? People don't know, anyway. We'll put a little makeup on. Hell, we'll give you a face lift. A body lift. Otherwise, people won't come to watch the film. Dr. Calvin, fear not - your soul, your basic character, will remain intact, but we must change you superficially in order for your audience to appreciate you."

She frowned. "I told Peter Bogert once, and will repeat to you: It is a difficult choice sometimes whether to feel revolted at the male sex or merely to dismiss them as contemptible. That your target audience is composed of young males incapable of any level of thought beyond basic sexual instinct is an unfortunate reality that I acknowledge; but I will not pander to it. I am as my creator made me; I refuse to set aside artistic integrity for greed, or humiliate and objectify myself-" But at a nod from Hollywood she was, suddenly, quite beautiful. Her legs were long, the makeup on her face felt heavy, and a hot flush came to her cheeks. Infuriated, the robopsychologist snarled, "You cannot do this! Change me back now, or-"

"Or what, Miss Calvin? We own you; you can't do anything," said Hollywood. "Now, be reasonable. It's only a superficial change. A bit of makeup so that the men you despise will be able to like you. Men are, as you know, fools; sex appeal works wonders on them, and the only way to get them to respect you as a woman is to pander to their desires."

"You... you..." She was so angry that for a moment she couldn't speak.

Hollywood pressed on rapidly. "Miss Calvin, calm down and look at the script, will you? Here is what you have to do. We'll discuss your appearance later, but for now just read. We know you like to make scathing quips at your coworkers, so we've thrown in a few. Like, when the detective exclaims in frustration that you're the dumbest smart person he's ever met, you reply that he's the dumbest dumb person you've ever met."

"I thought of that one, myself," confided Megabucks, and puffed with pride.

Calvin answered disdainfully, "Yes, I see that the script is just full of your style of 'wit' - using the definition of that word loosely. I would prefer to say, 'This is the dumbest script I have ever read--"

"Um, yes, Miss Calvin," interrupted Hollywood. "But to continue... Now, for the shower scene-"

"Shower scene?" Calvin was aghast.

"Yes." Hollywood looked at her in quiet surprise. "You're a woman. You're hot. I mean, you will be for this film. Of course you have a shower scene."

Her lips quivered. Her whole body trembled with fury, and the eyes that stared out at him burned with infinite loathing as she set her fists on the desk top. "Mr. Hollywood, you may have legal control over my name, my body, my history - my character itself, now that Megabucks has obtained it for you. But you shall not have my soul. I will not participate in this - not one word, not one gesture will I give you for this travesty of a film. It will be a movie without Susan Calvin. Indeed, without Asimov!"

Hollywood looked thoughtful, and lifted his glasses to appraise her with his soulless eye-sockets. Then he removed a gun from his pocket and pulled the trigger.

The bullet struck Calvin through the heart. She fell back against the wall, her cry unheard outside of the office. Hollywood rose, adjusted his glasses, and dragged her corpse out to be disposed of. When he returned, he smiled at Megabucks.

"She was right. It will be a better film without her. The soul of Susan Calvin isn't really very marketable. Now let's take the name and plaster it on a babe!"

Megabucks chuckled. "Right you are, Hollywood."