I wanted to see A.I. ever since I was eight (Yes, I was a weird kid who would have enjoyed this movie at eight). Wasn't until a few days ago that I finally did, though. Among other things, I adore how the robot prostitute is one of the smartest and most human characters in the film. And this idea sprang into my head before the movie was even over.


Reasoning

"I think, therefore I am." ~Rene Descartes


The holding cell was dark and cramped, cold and damp. All things that a human would surely complain about.

The cell's current occupant, Gigolo Joe, took no notice of any of these things. With excellent night vision, previous experience with smaller spaces, and a switched-off thermometer plus through waterproofing, none of those things bothered him.

It didn't even really bother him as to why he was locked up in here. As he had expected, he was the one blamed for his client's murder, despite any protests he made to the contrary.

And in the rare case of a robot that turned on humans, there was only one course of action ever taken. So here he sat in this cell, waiting to be destroyed.

Said cell had been one designed to hold humans, not robots (unlike the cages used at flesh fairs). Not to mention the metal was old and rusty; even with his limited strength, if he pushed hard enough the door would easily give way.

At first this was just a causal observation, like noticing the day's weather or the color of a lady's soon to be removed dress. But then that thought started replaying in his head, feeding back in a loop.

How easy it would it would be to get up and leave…

There was no guard outside his cell, no human standing watch over him; they hadn't believed he needed one. Even though he was assumed to be guilty of murder, they trusted that he would be too cowed by their human presence to try to pull anything. Maybe once he would have been.

Gigolo Joe was not programmed to think of what could have been. Otherwise he might have wondered what would have happened had he never met a certain child Mecha…

It wasn't worth thinking about anyway. There was no reason for him to, just as there was no reason for him to consider breaking out an option.

Not even his built-in defensive system could drive him towards escape; that had been acting wonky ever since Manhattan. Oh, it had been in working order then, at least at first. When David had met his "other" and reacted violently as a result, his self preservation programming had kicked in then, driving him to run away from the perceived "danger". In a human, that reaction would have been called "fear".

The programming should have driven him to make a clean getaway, however; there had been every reason for him to, after all.

But there had been nothing compelling him to stay, to go back; nothing that he been programmed for.

Against whatever odds, though, that is what he did.

For a robot such as him, there was no reason escape should be so tempting. None save the promise of freedom, a promise humans thought robots to be uninterested in (as if it was a promise they would have had any intention of keeping).

Yet against all odds, escape is what he did.

There was no gauntlet of guards he had to bypass, no mad dash to the exit. He simply walked out the front door, acting like he had every right to do so. No one stopped him.

Outside the building he quickened his pace, focused not so much on where he was going as he was on just getting away. Only once he had fully lost himself in the labyrinth of the city did he pause before ducking into an alley to consider his next move.

He had just escaped from captivity. Obviously, they would try to hunt him down and recapture him. As long as he stayed on guard, though, he could potentially avoid them forever.

Except…

He lowered his shirt collar, revealing the implanted circuitry that lay just beneath. His license: proof that he was an official, registered lover Mecha; that he had a purpose, a reason for being.

As well as the homing device they had used to track him down. And could use again.

He had been aware about this previously, had known evasion to be as futile as it was impossible. He had done nothing about it, nothing to correct it.

Being Gigolo Joe was all he had ever known. All he had ever been.

But was it all he was capable of being?

Holding up the palm mirror, his grip enclosed around the implanted circuitry. Keeping both hands steady he ripped it out, using the same delicate but firm touch one took with a shy, skittish virgin.

Then he tossed it aside, sparing it as much second thoughts as a human would at scrapping an outdated appliance. The circuitry bounced into the gutter, dirty rain water sweeping it along into the sewer drain.

The sight made him think of other waters, of the ones he had last glimpsed David in. For a brief, illogical moment he wondered where these waters led, what their destination would be. Perhaps the pipes connected to the ocean, where they cast off their waters. Perhaps those pipes would carry the cast off part of him there as well. Perhaps the waters might reunite it someday with the child Mecha still out at sea.

As a lover model he knew nothing of sewer layouts or oceanic currents; as far as he was programmed to know, it was entirely possible.

His gaze shifted back to his little palm mirror. The corners of his mouth turned up in what on a human would be called a smile.

"Well, Joe, what shall you know?"


"…even the weariest river winds somewhere safe to sea." ~Algernon Charles Swinburne


And then Gigolo Joe went off and founded a secret society of robots that eventually evolved into the ones seen at the end of the film. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it.

Also, does anyone have a hard copy of Laurie E. Smith's fanfic "Fire from Heaven"? I heard it's amazing, but have been unable to find a working link to it.