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Chapter 3
Alternate Relationships

Unholy Matrimony?

by HAL MOUNTSAUERKRAUTEN, Alternate Reality News Service Court Writer

Successful Net porn performance artist Nereida Shamoan-Glascock is not the sort of person you would expect to be sued for alimony. As a lifelong Neo-Asexual, she has not had intimate relations with another human being, let alone lived with anybody or been married.

Nobody was more surprised than Shamoan-Glascock when A2-C27, commonly referred to as “The Cleaninator,” claimed that the two lived in a common law relationship for four years, and that it was entitled to half her assets and a third of her future earnings.

“It’s an AI enhanced service android!” exclaimed Shamoan-Glascock’s lawyer, Andrea Fetang-Rutabaga. “The idea that a human and an android could have a common law marriage is…is…”

“Ridiculous!” Shamoan-Glascock stated.

“Let me handle this, dear,” Fetang-Rutabaga responded. “I’m the one with the law degree. The idea that a human and an android could have a common law marriage is utterly ridiculous!”

The A2-C27 android, with a 100 terabyte memory and augmented emotional algorithms, saw things a different way.

“I cooked for her,” the A2-C27 android stated. “BLEEP I cleaned for her. BOOP BLEEP When she was sick, I cared for. BEEP BLEEP When she was recovering from benders, I made excuses for her to her boss. BEEP BEEP BOOP When she decided to end her friendships with other girls, I was always her enforcer. BLEEP BEEP BOOP BOP I worked my circuits to the core for her. BEEP BEEP BLOOP BLEEP And, how was I rewarded? BEEP BLEEP BLOOP BOP BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP She callously tossed me aside for a newer model! BEEP Considering all I’ve done for her, all I ask for in return is a little gratitude – BEEP – to the tune of half her assets.”

Fetang-Rutabaga claimed the timing of the lawsuit – two years after the A2-C27 android was terminated from Shamoan-Glascock’s service, but three days after it was assigned to lawyer Larrabee McSmith – was highly suspicious.

“Oh, rot,” McSmith, who is acting as the A2-C27 android’s lead attorney in the case, responded. “When I heard that this poor, poor machine had been taken advantage of in such a terrible, terrible way, I knew that justice…justice had to be done.”

When it was pointed out that he was charging a less than humanitarian 20 per cent contingency fee for his contribution to the case, McSmith sniffed, “Hey! It’s the usual fee for cases of this type. A lawyer’s gotta eat pate de foie gras and truffles, doesn’t he?”

Not that there have been any cases of this type. To bolster the case for alimony, McSmith intends to show that the A2-C27 android performed “services of a personal nature” for Shamoan-Glascock.

“Some people might consider the services ‘unnatural,’” McSmith argued, “but they’re only unnatural because everybody isn’t doing them yet.”

Shamoan-Glascock – did we mention that she’s a Neo-Asexual? – has vehemently denied the innuendo. “If they introduce video of anything unseemly, the android’s memory chips have been tampered with!” she shrieked.

Laying a calming talon on her client’s shoulder, Fetang-Rutabaga claimed that this was another case of lawyer-driven litigation. “I mean, what does a robot need the money for? It runs on sunlight and is guaranteed rust-proof in any weather for 10,000 years. The idea that it would need so much money is…is…”

“Ridiculous.”

“What did I tell you about letting me handle this?”

“Sorry.”

When asked about this, the A2-C27 replied: “I’ve always wanted to see Spain.” When McSmith gently shook his head, it added: “BLEEP I mean, I need oil to continue functioning smoothly. BLEEP BOOP I mean, do you think oil grows on trees? BLOOP BLOOP BLEEP”

Fetang-Rutabaga said she plans to introduce several precedents in order to get the judge to dismiss the case. In one, F-17-A vs. Smithee, the Supreme Court of California ruled against an AI enhanced vacuum cleaner that claimed it was owed back wages. The Supreme Court of the United States then refused to hear an appeal because half the justices were getting bikini waxes.

In another potentially precedent setting case, an AI enhanced assembly line claimed it should only be forced to work a regular 8 hour day, and that it was owed vacation time (Doe vs. General Motors). The assembly line lost, and has since applied for a position as the chorus at Radio City Music Hall.

McSmith argued that the precedents don’t really apply, citing the time-honoured legal tradition “this is completely different.”

The case is set to go to trial on September 7.

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