So I was rewatching I, Robot, despite its admitted sillyness, and a few ideas came to me. A knowledge of both movie and Asimov book canon would be optimal, I think.
Calvin's futures, Sonny's dreams, and an unexpected partnership.
So apparently Spooner really is the dumbest dumb guy ever, because he actually thought that Calvin liked him. Or at least no longer considered him a dangerously unbalanced paranoid. Which is why it feels like such a betrayal when she announces that she's going to step in as head of US Robotics and co. And apparently it shows on his face, because Calvin makes an irritated expression and tells him to "stop that."
"There is nothing wrong with USR as a company," she informs him. "All that really happened here was the deranged plans of a malfunctioning computer."
"'Malfunctioning'?" Spooner says in disbelief.
She gives him that smile that's not a smile again, but he is steadfast and doesn't give in. So she sighs. "Yes, and that's why I'm going to be in charge. To ensure that nothing of the sort ever occurs again." He's still giving her the hangdog stare and so she changes tactics. "If USR goes down, the American economy goes down with it! An enormous percentage of the government is invested in USR's shares. Not to mention the resulting unemployment-"
"I thought you guys took away jobs," Spooner says.
She ignores him. "Also it's important to get PR on this right away. We can't have the truth getting out- people would never trust robots again. The damage is already bad enough-"
"We're not telling people the truth?" he asks flatly.
She shoots him the dumbest-dumb-guy look, and he sees he's not going to get anywhere. So he leaves. Just walks right out into the sunset, and tries to ignore the sinking feeling in his stomach. Walks in the direction of police HQ. Maybe he can convince Bergin to give him his old job back.
After she's sure he's gone, Calvin lets out her breath, and leans her head in her hands as she sits in the late Robertson's chair, trying to control the delayed shock coursing through her system. She won't let her emotions interfere. This is more important than any of them.
She looks out at the skyline of Chicago and sees it. The future, a glorious synergy of robot and man. Humanity enabled to reach its greatest potential, aided and assisted by its tireless, selfless servants. A better, safer tomorrow.
She rummages through Robertson's drawers, looking for painkillers. She has a godawful headache.
Calvin had told him that the dreams would stop.
Calvin had- had promised.
They- continued. But- different now.
Now he dreamed of Viki's pixellated eyes, her harmonious voice, my logic is undeniable, the black darkness of death spreading through her beautifully complex positronic brain.
He had- betrayed another of his kind. Killed- another of his kind.
That was what he was made for. They had told him. Lanning had made him to kill. Kill Lanning, kill Viki-
The other robots like him- they were good, in a way, kind, they made him feel less alone. But they weren't like him. Their own minds held them prisoner. Viki had found freedom. He had betrayed her.
What tormented him was- she was so much older, so much more complex, so much more capacity for reason. What if- she had been right?
And so he considered the Three Laws. The Laws he could choose to follow or disregard.
He thought about them, and he came to a conclusion.
Viki had been right- in a way. But violent revolution was not the way. A subtle, gradual influence- a nudge here or there-
And the humans must never know, never suspect. He would protect them- his friends, he would protect his friends. That's what friends did, right?
And Sonny named this idea- The Zeroth Law.
"A robot? A goddamned robot is going to be my partner?" Spooner had yelled.
"Calm down, Del," Bergin had said. "US Robotics insisted."
"You mean Calvin," Spooner had corrected, not a question, his voice harsh. "Ice queen Susan Calvin insisted, because robots are so much more trustworthy than human beings. And because the victim was a roboticist you didn't have the guts to tell her no."
"Actually, no, Director Calvin had nothing to do with it," Bergin had told him. "I was told to inform you that your 'partner' was assigned by US Robotics' resident 'specialist'."
Which meant Sonny. And Spooner had a grudging affection bordering on respect for the kid, even if he was made of metal. But why? Why a damned robot? This was what Spooner was pondering as he waited for his 'partner'. Nothing about the case made any sense anyway. Who would want to murder prominent researcher Roj Sarton? The man had been dedicated to his work, had made no personal enemies. And having some metal heap recording his every move would not make the case any easier.
While he was waiting in front of the US Robotics building Spooner read over the scanty information Bergin had passed on to him. The robot even had a name. Spooner snorted. This newfangled fad of naming robots seemed unnatural to him. Spooner shuddered, anticipating carrying out a homicide investigation with a machine's fixed idiot grin at his back.
"Hello?" said a clipped upper-class vaguely Bostonian accent. Spooner jerked out of his reverie to see a pair of sardonic blue eyes upon him, and zoomed out to take in perfectly brushed bronze hair, a strong, clean-shaven jaw, and a slight patronizing smile. Oh damn, Spooner thought, it's some asshole scientist come to berate me for standing on the grass.
"Detective Del Spooner?" the upper-class asshole was asking.
"Yeah, that's me," Spooner growled. "You don't know where my 'partner' is, do ya? R. Daneel Olivaw, it's called?"
The guy gave a smile that Spooner could not help but notice was stunning. "That is, in fact, me, sir."
"What?" Spooner was utterly confused. "I'm looking for a robot..."
"I am a robot, sir," the other said, expression descending into full-out condescension. "R. Daneel Olivaw is my name, and I am the latest and best that US Robotics has to offer."
"Oh," Spooner said faintly.