quotes for presentation
convention--my copy starts on p. 435 subtract 434 and hopefully the page will be nearby.
p. 435--"You're a murderer hired by the cops."
"I've never killed a human being in my life..."
Iran said, "Just those poor andys."
455-6-"The Nexus-6 android types, Rick reflected, surpassed several classes of human specials in terms of intelligence. In other words, androids equipped with the new Nexus-6 brain unit had from a sort of rough, pragmatic, no-nonsense stand¬point evolved beyond a major — but inferior — segment of mankind. For better or worse. The servant had in some cases become more adroit than its master. But new scales of achievement, for example the Voigt-Kampff Empathy Test, had emerged as criteria by which to judge. An android, no matter how gifted as to pure intellectual capacity, could make no sense out of the fusion which took place routinely among the followers of Mercerism — an experience which he, and virtually everyone else, including subnormal chickenheads, managed with no difficulty.
He had wondered as had most people at one time or an¬other precisely why an android bounced helplessly about when confronted by an empathy-measuring test. Empathy, evidently, existed only within the human community, whereas intelligence to some degree could be found throughout every phylum and order including the arachnids. For one thing, the emphatic faculty probably required an unimpaired group instinct; a solitary organism, such as a spider, would have no use for it; in fact it would tend to abort a spider's ability to survive. It would make him conscious of the desire to live on the part of his prey. Hence all predators, even highly developed mammals such as cats, would starve.
Empathy, he once had decided, must be limited to herbi¬vores or anyhow omnivores who could depart from a meat diet. Because, ultimatley, the emphatic gift blurred the boundaries between hunter and victim, between the success¬ful and the defeated. As in the fusion with Mercer, everyone ascended together or, when the cycle had come to an end, fell together into the trough of the tomb world. Oddly, it re¬sembled a sort of biological insurance, but double-edged. As long as some creature experienced joy, then the condition for all other creatures included a fragment of joy. However, if any living being suffered, then for all the rest the shadow could not be entirely cast off. A herd animal such as man would acquire a higher survival factor through this; an owl or a cobra would be destroyed.
Evidently the humanoid robot constituted a solitary predator."
461--"The Leningrad psychiatrists," Bryant broke in brusquely, "think that a small class of human beings could not pass the Voigt-Kampff scale. If you tested them in line with police work you'd assess them as humanoid robots. You'd be wrong, but by then they'd be dead."
476--"Does she know?" Sometimes they didn't; false memories had been tried various times, generally in the mistaken idea that through them reactions to testing would be altered.
477--The Nexus-6. He had now come up against it. Rachael, he realized, she must be a Nexus-6. I'm seeing one of them for the first time. And they damn near did it; they came awfully damn close to undermining the Voigt-Kampff scale, the only method we have for detecting them.
522--Garland said, "It's a chance anyway, breaking free and coming here to Earth,where we're not even considered animals. Where every worm and wood louse is considered more desirable than all of us put together."
522--"I don't think [Polokov] could have been the same brain unit type as we; he must have been souped up or tinkered with--an altered structure...A good one, too. Almost good enough."
527--"In two cases that i know of, andys owned and cared for animals. But it's rare. From what i've been able to learn, it generally fails; the andy is unable to keep the animal alive. Animals require an environment of warmth to flourish. Except for reptiles and insects."
528--"I think," Phil Resch said, "that this is how an andy must feel [like the Scream]...I don't feel like that, so maybe i'm not an--"
531--"Do you think androids have souls?" Rick interrupted...
"You're sure I'm an android? Is that really what Garland said?...Maybe he was lying," Phil Resch said, "to split us apart."
532--"But someone has to do this," Phil Resch pointed out.
"They can use androids. Much better if andys do it. I can't anymore; I've had enough. She was a wonderful singer [Luba Luft]. The planet could have used her. This is insane."
532--She was a really superb singer, he said to himself as he hung up the receiver, his call completed. I don't get it; how can a talent like that be a liability to our society? But it wasn't the talent, he told himself; it was she herself.
535-7(end of chapter)Rick said, "There is a defect in your empathic, role-taking ability. One which we don't test for. Your feelings toward androids."
"Of course we don't test for that."
"Maybe we should." He had never thought of it before, had never felt any empathy on his own part toward the androids he killed. Always fie had assumed that throughout his psyche he experienced the android as a clever machine — as in his conscious view. And yet, in contrast to Phil Resch, a differ¬ence had manifested itself. And he felt instinctively that he was right. Empathy toward an artificial construct? he asked himself. Something that only pretends to be alive? But Luba Luft had seemed genuinely alive; it had not worn the aspect of a simulation.
"You realize," Phil Resch said quietly, "what this would do. If we included androids in our range of empathic identi¬fication, as we do animals."
"We couldn't protect ourselves."
"Absolutely. These Nexus-6 types . . . they'd roll all over us and mash us flat. You and I, all the bounty hunters — we stand between the Nexus-6 and mankind, a barrier which keeps the two distinct. Furthermore — " He ceased, noticing that Rick was once again hauling out his test gear. "I thought the test was over."
"I want to ask myself a question," Rick said. "And I want you to tell me what the needles register. Just give me the calibration; I can compute it." He plastered the adhesive disk against his cheek, arranged the beam of light until it fed directly into his eye. "Are you ready? Watch the dials. We'll exclude time lapse in this; I just want magnitude."
"Sure, Rick," Phil Resch said obligingly.
Aloud, Rick said, "I'm going down by elevator with an android I've captured. And suddenly someone kills it, without warning."
"No particular response," Phil Resch said.
"What'd the needles hit?"
"The left one 2.8. The right one 3.3"
Rick said, "A female android."
"Now they're up to 4.0 and 6. respectively."
"That's high enough," Rick said; he removed the wired adhesive disk from his cheek and shut off the beam of light. "That's an emphatically empathic response," he said. "About what a human subject shows for most questions. Except for the extreme ones, such as those dealing with human pelts used decoratively . . . the truly pathological ones."
Rick said, "I'm capable of feeling empathy for at least specific, certain androids. Not for all of them but — one or two." For Luba Luft, as an example, he said to himself. So I was wrong. There's nothing unnatural or unhuman about Phil Resch's reactions; it's me.
I wonder, he wondered, if any human has ever felt this way before about an android.
Of course, he reflected, this may never come up again in my work; it could be an anomaly, something for instance to do with my feelings for The Magic Flute. And for Luba's voice, in fact her career as a whole. Certainly this had never come up before; or at least not that he had been aware of. Not, for example, with Polokov. Nor with Garland. And, he realized, if Phil Resch had proved out android I could have killed him without feeling anything, anyhow after Luba's death.
So much for the distinction between authentic living hu¬mans and humanoid constructs. In that elevator at the mu¬seum, he said to himself, I rode down with two creatures, one human, the other android . . . and my feelings were the reverse of those intended. Of those I'm accustomed to feel¬ — am required to feel.
"You're in a spot, Deckard," Phil Resch said; it seemed to amuse him.
Rick said, "What — should I do?"
"It's sex," Phil Resch said.
"Because she — it — was physically attractive. Hasn't that ever happened to you before?" Phil Resch laughed. "We were taught that it constitutes a prime problem in bounty hunting. Don't you know, Deckard, that in the colonies they have android mistresses?"
"It's illegal," Rick said, knowing the law about that.
"Sure it's illegal. But most variations in sex are illegal. But people do it anvhow."
"What about — not sex — but love?"
"Love is another name for sex."
"Like love of country," Rick said. "Love of music."
"If it's love toward a woman or an android imitation, it's sex. Wake up and face yourself, Deckard. You wanted to go to bed with a female type of android — nothing more, nothing less. I felt that way, on one occasion. When I had just started bounty hunting. Don't let it get you down; you'll heal. What's happened is that you've got your order re¬versed. Don't kill her — or be present when she's killed — and then feel physically attracted. Do it the other way."
Rick stared at him. "Go to bed with her first — "
" — and then kill her," Phil Resch said succinctly. His grainy, hardened smile remained.
You're a good bounty hunter, Rick realized. Your attitude proves it. But am I?
Suddenly, for the first time in his life, he had begun to wonder.
549--"The g-g-government never kills anyone, for any crime. And Mercerism--"
"But you see," Pris said, "if you're not human, then it's all different."
That's not true. Even animals--even eels and gophers and snakes and spiders--are sacred."
Pris, still regarding him fixedly, said..."As you say, even animals are protected by law. All life. Everything organic that wriggles or squirms or burrows or flies or swarms or lays eggs or--"...
"Insects," [Baty] said, showing no embarrassment at overhearing them, "are especially sacrosanct."
550-1-"You're androids," Isidore said. But he didn't care; it made no difference to him. "I see why they want to kill you," he said. "Actually you're not alive." Everything made sense to him, now. The bounty hunter, the killing of their friends, the trip to Earth, all these precautions.
"When I used the word 'human,"' Roy Baty said to Pris, "I used the wrong word."
"That's right, Mr. Baty," Isidore said. "But what does it matter to me? I mean, I'm a special; they don't treat me very well either, like for instance I can't emigrate." He found himself yabbering away like a folletto. "You can't come here; I can't — " He calmed himself.
After a pause Roy Baty said laconically, "You wouldn't enjoy Mars. You're missing nothing."
"I wondered how long it would be," Pris said to Isidore, "before you realized. We are different, aren't we?
"That's what probably tripped up Garland and Max Polo¬kov," Roy Baty said. "They were so goddamn sure they could pass. Luba, too."
"You're intellectual," Isidore said; he felt excited again at having understood. Excitement and pride. "You think ab¬stractly, and you don't — " He gesticulated, his words tan¬gling up with one another. As usual. "I wish I had an IQ like you have; then I could pass the test, I wouldn't be a chicken¬head. I think you're very superior; I could learn a lot from you."
After an interval Roy Baty said, "I'll finish wiring up the alarm." He resumed work.
"He doesn't understand yet," Pris said in a sharp, brittle, stentorian voice, "how we got off Mars. What we did there."
"What we couldn't help doing," Roy Baty grunted.
At the open door to the hall Irmgard Baty had been stand¬ing; they noticed her as she spoke up. "I don't think we have to worry about Mr. Isidore," she said earnestly; she walked swiftly toward him, looked up into his face. "They don't treat him very well either, as he said. And what we did on Mars he isn't interested in; he knows us and he likes us and an emotional acceptance like that — it's everything to him. It's hard for us to grasp that, but it's true." To Isidore she said, standing very close to him once again and peering up at him, "You could get a lot of money by turning us in; do you realize that?" Twisting, she said to her husband, "See, he realizes that but still he wouldn't say anything."
"You're a great man, Isidore," Pris said. "You're a credit to your race."
"If he was an android," Roy said heartily, "he'd turn us in about ten tomorrow morning. He'd take off for his job and that would be it. I'm overwhelmed with admiration." His tone could not be deciphered; at least Isidore could not crack it. "And we imagined this would be a friendless world, a planet of hostile faces, all turned against us." He barked out a laugh.
I'm not at all worried," Irmgard said.
'You ought to be seared to the soles of your feet," Roy said.
"Let's vote," Pris said. "As we did on the ship, when we had a disagreement."
"Well," Irmgard said, "I won't say anything more. But if we turn this down I don't think we'll find any other human being who'll take us in and help us. Mr. Isidore is — " She searched for the word.
"Special," Pris said.
558--Rick said, "I took a test, one question, and verified it; I've begun to empathize with androids, and look what that means. You said it this morning yourself. 'Those poor andys.' So you know what I'm talking about. That's why I bought the goat. I never felt like that before. Maybe it could be a depres¬sion, like you get. I can understand now how you suffer when you're depressed; I always thought you liked it and I thought you could have snapped yourself out any time, if not alone then by means of the mood organ. But when you get that depressed you don't care. Apathy, because you've lost a sense of worth. It doesn't matter whether you feet better because if you have no worth — "
565--Roy Baty, however, is something different. Something worse.
A pharmacist on Mars, he read. Or at least the android had made use of that cover. In actuality it had probably been a manual laborer, a field hand, with aspirations for something better. Do androids dream? Rick asked himself. Evidently; that's why they occasionally kill their employers and flee here. A better life, without servitude. Like Luba Luft; singing Don Giovanni and Le Nozze instead of toiling across the face of a barren rock-strewn field. On a fundamentally uninhab¬itable colony world.
Roy Baty (the poop sheet informed him) has an ag¬gressive, assertive air of ersatz authority. Given to mystical preoccupations, this android proposed the group escape attempt, underwriting it ideologically with a pretentious fiction as to the sacredness of so¬-called android "life." In addition, this android stole, and experimented with, various mind-fusing drugs, claiming when caught that it hoped to promote in androids a group experience similar to that of Mercerism, which it pointed out remains unavailable to androids.
The account had a pathetic quality. A rough, cold an¬droid, hoping to undergo an experience from which, due to a deliberately built-in defect, it remained excluded. But he could not work up much concern for Roy Baty; he caught, from Dave's jottings, a repellent quality hanging about this particular android. Baty had tried to force the fusion ex¬perience into existence for itself — and then, when that fell through, it had engineered the killing of a variety of human beings . . . followed by the flight to Earth. And now, es¬pecially as of today, the chipping away of the original eight androids until only the three remained. And they, the out¬standing members of the illegal group, were also doomed, since if he failed to get them someone else would. Time and tide, he thought. The cycle of life. Ending in this, the last twilight. Before the silence of death. He perceived in this a micro-universe, complete.
568--"You know what i have? Toward this Pris android?"
"Empathy," he said.
"Something like that. Identification; there goes I. My god...We are machines, stamped out like bottlecaps. It's an illusion that I --I personally--exist; I'm just representative of a type..."
"Ants don't feel like that," he said, "and thyre physically identical."
"Ants. They don't feel period."
"Identical human twins. They don't — "
"But they identify with each other; I understand they have an empathic, special bond." Rising, she got to the bourbon bottle, a little unsteadily; she refilled her glass and again drank swiftly. For a time she slouched about the room, brows knitted darkly, and then, as if sliding his way by chance, she settled back onto the bed; she swung her legs up and stretched out, leaning against the fat pillows. And sighed. "Forget the three andys." Her voice filled with weariness. "I'm so worn out, from the trip I guess. And from all I learned today. I just want to sleep." She shut her eyes. "If I die," she mur¬mured, "maybe I'll be born again when the Rosen Association stamps out its next unit of my subtype." She opened her eyes and glared at him ferociously. "Do you know," she said, "why I really came here? Why Eldon and the other Rosens — the human ones — wanted me to go along with you?"
"To observe," he said. "To detail exactly what the Nexus¬ does that gives it away on the Voigt-Kampff test."
"On the test or otherwise. Everything that gives it a dif¬ferent quality. And then I report back and the association makes modifications of its zygote-bath DNS factors. And we then have the Nexus-7. And when that gets caught we modify it again and eventually the association has a type that can't be distinguished."
"Do you know of the Boneli Reflex-Arc Test?" he asked.
"We're working on the spinal ganglia, too. Someday the Boneli test will fade into yesterday's hoary shroud of spir¬itual oblivion." She smiled innocuously — at variance with her words. At this point he could not discern her degree of seriousness. A topic of world-shaking importance, yet dealt with facetiously; an android trait, possibly, he thought. No emotional awareness, no feeling-sense of the actual meaning of what she said. Only the hollow, formal, intellectual defini¬tions of the separate terms.
And, more, Rachael had begun to tease him. Imperceptibly she had passed from lamenting her condition to taunting him about his.
"Damn you," he said.
Rachael laughed. "I'm drunk. I can't go with you. If leave here — " She gestured in dismissal. "I'll stay behind and steep and you can tell me later what happened."
"Except," he said, "there won't be a later because Roy Baty will nail me."
"But I can't help you anyhow now because I'm drunk. Any¬how, you know the truth, the brick-hard, irregular, slithery surface of truth. I'm just an observer and I won't intervene to save you; I don't care if Roy Baty nails you or not. I care whether I get nailed." She opened her eyes round and wide. "Christ, I'm empathic about myself. And, see, if I go to that suburban broken-down conapt building — " She reached out, toyed with a button of his shirt; in slow, facile twists she be¬gan unbuttoning it. "I don't dare go because androids have no loyalty to one another and I know that that goddamn Pris Stratton will destroy me and occupy my place. See? Take off your coat."
572-3-- "I love you," Rachael said. "If I entered a room and found a sofa covered with your hide I'd score very high on the Voigt-Kampff test."
Tonight sometime, he thought as he clicked off the bed¬side light, I will retire a Nexus-6 which looks exactly like this naked girl. My good god, he thought; I've wound up where Phil Resch said. Go to bed with her first, he remem¬bered. Then kill her. "I can't do it," he said, and backed away from the bed.
"I wish you could," Rachael said. Her voice wavered.
"Not because of you. Because of Pris Stratton; what I have to do to her."
"We're not the same. I don't can about Pris Stratton. Listen." Rachael thrashed about in the bed, sitting up; in the gloom he could dimly make out her almost breastless, trim shape. "Go to bed with me and I'll retire Stratton. Okay? Because I can't stand getting this close and then — "
"Thank you," he said; gratitude — undoubtedly because of the bourbon — rose up inside him, constricting his throat. Two, he thought. I now have only two to retire; just the Batys. Would Rachael really do it? Evidently. Androids thought and functioned that way. Yet he had never come across anything quite like this.
574-Rachael, in the bathroom, squeaked and hummed and splashed in the midst of a hot shower.
"You made a good deal when you made that deal," she called when she had shut off the water; dripping, her hair tied up with a rubber band, she appeared bare and pink at the bathroom door. "We androids can't control our physical, sensual passions. You probably knew that; in my opinion you took advantage of me." She did not, however, appear genu¬inely angry. If anything she had become cheerful and cer¬tainly as human as any girl he had known. "Do we really have to go track down those three andys tonight?"
"Yes," he said. Two for me to retire, he thought; one for you. As Rachael put it, the deal had been made.
Gathering a giant white bath towel about her, Rachael said, "Did you enjoy that?"
"Would you ever go to bed with an android again?"
"If it was a girl. If she resembled you."
Rachael said, "Do you know what the lifespan of a human¬oid robot such as myself is? I've been in existence two years. How long do you calculate I have?"
After a hesitation he said, "About two more years."
"They never could solve that problem. I mean cell replace¬ment. Perpetual or anyhow semi-perpetual renewal. Well, so it goes." Vigorously she began drying herself. Her face had become expressionless.
"I'm sorry," Rick said.
"Hell," Rachael said, "I'm sorry I mentioned it. Anyhow it keeps humans from running off and living with an android."
"And this is true with you Nexus-6 types too?"
"It's the metabolism. Not the brain unit." She trotted out, swept up her underpants, and began to dress.
He, too, dressed. Then together, saying little, the two of them journeyed to the roof field, where his hovercar had been parked by the pleasant white-clad human attendant.
As they headed toward the suburbs of San Francisco, Ra¬chael said, "It's a nice night."
"My goat is probably asleep by now," he said. "Or maybe goats are nocturnal. Some animals never sleep. Sheep never do, not that I could detect; whenever you look at them they're looking back. Expecting to be fed."
"What sort of wife do you have?"
He did not answer.
"Do you — "
"If you weren't an android," Rick interrupted, "if I could legally marry you, I would."
Rachael said, "Or we could live in sin, except that I'm not alive."
"Legally you're not. But really you are. Biologically. You're not made out of transistorized circuits like a false animal; you're an organic entity." And in two years, he thought, you'll wear out and die. Because we never solved the problem of cell replacement, as you pointed out. So I guess it doesn't matter anyhow.
577-Will you kill me in a way that won't hurt? I mean, do it carefully. If I don't fight; okay? I promise not to fight. Do you agree?"
Rick said, "I understand now why Phil Resch said what he said. He wasn't being cynical; he had just learned too much. Going through this — I can't blame him. It warped him."
"But the wrong way." She seemed more externally com¬posed, now. But still fundamentally frantic and tense. Yet, the dark fire waned; the life force oozed out of her, as he had so often witnessed before with other androids. The classic resignation. Mechanical, intellectual acceptance of that which a genuine organism — with two billion years of the pressure to live and evolve hagriding it — could never have reconciled itself to.
"I can't stand the way you androids give up," he said savagely
"I've never seen a spider," Pris said. She cupped the medi¬cine bottle in her palms, surveying the creature within. "All those legs. Why's it need so many legs, J.R.?"
"That's the way spiders are," Isidore said, his heart pound¬ing; he had difficulty breathing. "Eight legs."
Rising to her feet, Pris said, "You know what I think, J.R.? I think it doesn't need all those legs."
"Eight?" Irmgard Baty said. "Why couldn't it get by on four!' Cut four off and see." Impulsively opening her purse she produced a pair of clean, sharp cuticle scissors, which she passed to Pris.
A weird terror struck at J. R. Isidore.
Carrying the medicine bottle into the kitchen Pris seated herself at J. R. Isidore's breakfast table. She removed the lid from the bottle and dumped the spider out. "It probably won't be able to run as fast," she said, "but there's nothing for it to catch around here anyhow. It'll die anyway." She reached for the scissors.
"Please," Isidore said.
Pris glanced up inquiringly. "Is it worth something ?
"Don't mutilate it," he said wheezingly. Imploringly.
With the scissors Pris snipped off one of the spider's legs...
Pris clipped off another leg, restraining the spider with the edge of her hand. She was smiling....
Pris had now cut three legs from the spider, which crept about miserably on the kitchen table, seeking a way out, a path to freedom. It found none...
With the scissors Pris snipped off another of the spider's legs. "Four now," she said. She nudged the spider. "He won't go. But he can."
Roy Baty...came over to look curiously at the spider.
"It won't try to walk," Irmgard said.
"I can make it walk." Roy Baty got out a book of matches, lit a match; he held it near the spider, closer and closer, until at last it crept feebly away.
"I was right," Irmgard said. "Didn't I say it could walk with only four legs?" She peered up expectantly at Isidore. "What's the matter?" Touching his arm she said, "You didn't lose anything; we'll pay you what that — what's it called?¬— that Sidney's catalogue says. Don't look so grim. Isn't that something about Mercer, what they discovered? All that re¬search? Hey, answer." She prodded him anxiously.
"He's upset," Pris said... Pris, with the scissors, cut yet another leg from the spider. All at once John Isidore pushed her away and lifted up the mutilated creature. He carried it to the sink and there he drowned it. In him his mind, his hopes, drowned, too. As swiftly as the spider.
"He's really upset," Irmgard said nervously. "Don't look like that, J.R. And why don't you say anything?" To Pris and to her husband she said, "It makes me terribly upset, him Just standing there by the sink and not speaking; he hasn't said anything since we turned on the TV."
"It's not the TV," Pris said. "It's the spider. Isn't it, John R. Isidore:' He'll get over it," she said to Irmgard, who had gone into the other room to shut off the TV.
Regarding Isidore with easy amusement, Roy Baty said, "It's all over now, Iz. For Mercerism, I mean." With his nails he managed to lift the corpse of the spider from the sink. "Maybe this was the last spider," he said. "The last living spider on Earth." He reflected. "In that case it's all over for spiders, too."
"No, it's that empathy," Irmgard said vigorously. Fists clenched, she roved into the kitchen, up to Isidore. "Isn't it a way of proving that humans can do something we can't do? Because without the Mercer experience we just have your word that you feel this empathy business, this shared, group thing. How's the spider?" She bent over Pris's shoulder.
589- "Listen, J.R.," Irmgard whispered harshly in his ear; she had grabbed him by the shoulder, her nails digging into him with frantic intensity. She seemed unaware of what she did, now; in the dim nocturnal light from outdoors Irmgard's face had become distorted, astigmatic. It had turned into — a craven dish, with cowering, tiny, lidless eyes. ... "Hear anything?" Roy Baty said, bending close. Isidore smelled the rank, cringing body; he inhaled fear from it, fear pouring out, forming a mist. "Step out and take a look."
595-6-- "It didn't get sick. Someone" — Iran cleared her throat and went on huskily — "someone came here, got the goat out of its cage, and dragged it to the edge of the roof."
"And pushed it off?" he said.
"Yes." She nodded.
"Did you see who did it?"
"I saw her very clearly," Iran said. "Barbour was still up here fooling around; he came down to get me and we called the police, but by then the animal was dead and she had left. A small young-looking girl with dark hair and large black eyes, very thin. Wearing a long fish-scale coat. She had a mail-pouch purse. And she made no effort to keep us from seeing her. As if she didn't care."
"No, she didn't care," he said. "Rachael wouldn't give a damn if you saw her; she probably wanted you to, so I'd know who had done it." He kissed her. "You've been waiting up here all this time?"
"Only for half an hour. That's when it happened; half an hour ago." Iran, gently, kissed him back. It's so awful. So needless."
He turned toward his parked car, opened the door, and got in behind the wheel. "Not needless," he said. "She had what seemed to her a reason." An android reason, he thought.