Please welcome SFR author Eva Lefoy to the blog.
Must biorobotic androids have emotions to be lovable?
by Eva Lefoy
The short answer is yes. I say that because the psychological makeup of humans requires us to have relationships. Not just romantic ones, but all kinds of relationships. And as Jung would point out, every time we are in relationship with another, the other individual is mirroring back to us our own psyche. Or our own undealt-with garbage if you want to be perfectly honest.
An android that doesn’t have emotions can’t do that for us. Okay, I heard some of you shout “yay!” and I have to admit, there’s a certain allure there. Yep, a simple, plain, no-frills biorobotic lover who can’t get angry at us or mirror back our own crap would at times be a freakin godsend. But think about it. If nobody helps you deal with your crap, you’re basically left to do it yourself.
Yeah, counseling ain’t cheap. But it’s probably cheaper than an android!
The other answer is no and that should be painfully obvious to everyone who possess a smartphone, a laptop or a tablet they carry with them everywhere and guard with their lives. I ask you to take a little test if you don’t believe me telling you you’re hopelessly addicted – too close, enmeshed as the counselors would say, or even, co-dependent – on your device. Put it in the kitchen drawer with the oven mitts and leave it there for a week. Mm hm. I thought so. Your hands are already shaking at the thought!
But let’s look at this from the android’s perspective (even though only our human viewpoint matters). Is it fair that we demand robots to experience the same emotions we do? Should we bestow upon them the most confusing, troubling aspect of being human? The very things we wrestle with on a daily basis, never fully bringing under our complete control? I could see an android saying, ‘no thanks’ to that offer. But it seems the idea of mechanoids with emotions is never going to go away. Maybe because we’d have to admit to ourselves we’re becoming less human all the time?
Examples of androids with emotional capabilities:
In BLADE RUNNER it’s quite evident that the replicants – some of my favorite early biorobotic androids – have emotions.
It was a common recurring theme on STAR TREK such as the TOS episode Requim for Methuselah.
I’d even argue that C3PO in STAR WARS had emotions – testy ones, fright, the ability to lie… which is something that Kryton struggle with in RED DWARF.
In DOWNLOAD MY LOVE, I gave the story’s android hero emotions. They were dormant, but activated when he first saw Samantha Gold, the heroine. Luckily for him she hates mechanoids and his newfound heart is soundly broken.
In all these examples, not one of the mechanoids were given a choice about their emotions. They were simply programmed that way. I wonder if I should try to explain to them the reason we humans find those pesky emotions so useful…
Nah. That would just make us look too needy!
Security Core agent Everett is assigned a special case—protect the daughter of Simon Gold, the father of modern mechanoid life. To ensure her survival, Everett’s given a special EMO upgrade, and can experience love for the first time. He’s soon head over heels and the super-charged sexual attraction threatens to fry his circuits while he fights to stay one step ahead of the bad guys.
Samantha Gold detests her father’s work. She’s an off-the-grid back-to-lander who wants to keep life simple with her cows and her crops. When her father dies and inadvertently transfers a secret code to a hidden receptor in her brain, it’s only android Agent Everett who can protect her. Can she ever forgive her father for creating Everett—a man so perfect for her that he even loves her cows?
He couldn’t stand seeing her lip quiver, seeing her so sad and vulnerable. He did the only thing he could think to do to comfort her.
He lowered his head. “Sam,” he whispered, and kissed her.
She mewled into his mouth as his lips touched hers and he kissed her harder, his body morphing into heat.
He’d never felt this before—a surging need to possess, to claim a woman. A human woman. He remembered the upgrades. The Emo. He’d been programmed to fall in love with her because it would improve her chances of survival. Right now, the chance of her surviving the night without him fucking her up against the wall were slim. Very slim. He needed to get his head back in the game. He needed to focus on a plan to save her life. He needed to get rid of his solidly stiff penis currently sucking up too much electricity and making thinking difficult.
He popped his mouth off hers and gently pushed her panting form back. He ached. If he didn’t draw her back into his arms once more he’d die. Everett wasn’t sure exactly what it took to make an android die but didn’t want to find out. Engage brain. “Miss Gold…Samantha. I-I think you should go in the bedroom now and get some rest. You’ll need it. I’ll fetch you when it’s time to leave.”
She nodded vacantly and wandered toward the room as if in a stupor. He watched her go, and then slipped into the bathroom. Unzipping his pants, he grabbed the source of his concentration problems, gave it a clockwise turn and a good forceful yank. The penis came off and laid there warm and vibrating his hand. “Aahhh.” Sighing with relief he opened the medicine cabinet and stowed it on an empty shelf, then shut the door and went back to the main room where he sat with his head in his hands desperately trying to locate the Emo protocols and shut them down before he lost all touch with the reality he used to know.
The one that existed before he loved Samantha Gold.
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Eva Lefoy writes and reads all kinds of romance, and is a certified Trekkie. She’s also terribly addicted to chocolate, tea, and hiking. One of these days, she’ll figure out the meaning of life, quit her job, and go travel the galaxy. Until then, she’s writing down all her dirty thoughts for the sake of future explorers.