[ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]
.”“Maybe that’s a false memory.Don’t androids sometimes go around with false memories?”Rick said, “My superiors know about the test.It’s mandatory.”“Maybe there was once a human who looked like you, and somewhere along the line you killed him and took his place.And your superiors don’t know.” She smiled.As if inviting him to agree.“Let’s get on with the test,” he said, getting out the sheets of questions.“I’ll take the test,” Luba Luft said, “if you’ll take it first.”Again he stared at her, stopped in his tracks.“Wouldn’t that be more fair?” she asked.“Then I could be sure of you.I don’t know; you seem so peculiar and hard and strange.” She shivered, then smiled again.Hopefully.“You wouldn’t be able to administer the Voigt-Kampff test.It takes considerable experience.Now please listen carefully.These questions will deal with social situations which you might find yourself in; what I want from you is a statement of response, what you’d do.And I want the response as quickly as you can give it.One of the factors I’ll record is the time lag, if any.” He selected his initial question.“You’re sitting watching TV and suddenly you discover a wasp crawling on your wrist.” He checked with his watch, counting the seconds.And checked, too, with the twin dials.“What’s a wasp?” Luba Luft asked.“A stinging bug that flies.”“Oh, how strange.” Her immense eyes widened with childlike acceptance, as if he had revealed the cardinal mystery of creation.“Do they still exist? I’ve never seen one.”“They died out because of the dust.Don’t you really know what a wasp is? You must have been alive when there were wasps; that’s only been—”“Tell me the German word.”He tried to think of the German word for wasp but couldn’t.“Your English is perfect,” he said angrily.“My accent,” she corrected, “is perfect.It has to be, for roles, for Purcell and Walton and Vaughn Williams.But my vocabulary isn’t very large.” She glanced at him shyly.“Wespe,” he said, remembering the German word.“Ach yes; eine Wespe.” She laughed.“And what was the question? I forget already.”“Let’s try another.” Impossible now to get a meaningful response.“You are watching an old movie on TV, a movie from before the war.It shows a banquet in progress; the entrée”—he skipped over the first part of the question—“consists of boiled dog, stuffed with rice.”“Nobody would kill and eat a dog,” Luba Luft said.“They’re worth a fortune.But I guess it would be an imitation dog: ersatz.Right? But those are made of wires and motors; they can’t be eaten.”“Before the war,” he grated.“I wasn’t alive before the war.”“But you’ve seen old movies on TV.”“Was the movie made in the Philippines?”“Why?”“Because,” Luba Luft said, “they used to eat boiled dog stuffed with rice in the Philippines.I remember reading that.”“But your response,” he said.“I want your social, emotional, moral reaction.”“To the movie?” She pondered.“I’d turn it off and watch Buster Friendly.”“Why would you turn it off?”“Well,” she said hotly, “who the hell wants to watch an old movie set in the Philippines? What ever happened in the Philippines except the Bataan Death March, and would you want to watch that?” She glared at him indignantly.On his dials the needles swung in all directions.After a pause he said carefully, “You rent a mountain cabin.”“Ja.” She nodded.“Go on; I’m waiting.”“In an area still verdant.”“Pardon?” She cupped her ear.“I don’t ever hear that term.”“Still trees and bushes growing.The cabin is rustic knotty pine with a huge fireplace.On the walls someone has hung old maps, Currier and Ives prints, and above the fireplace a deer’s head has been mounted, a full stag with developed horns.The people with you admire the decor of the cabin and—”“I don’t understand ‘Currier’ or ‘Ives’ or ‘decor,’” Luba Luft said; she seemed to be struggling, however, to make out the terms.“Wait.” She held up her hand earnestly.“With rice, like in the dog.Currier is what makes the rice currier rice.It’s Curry in German.”He could not fathom, for the life of him, if Luba Luft’s semantic fog had purpose.After consultation with himself he decided to try another question; what else could he do? “You’re dating a man,” he said, “and he asks you to visit his apartment.While you’re there—”“Oh nein,” Luba broke in.“I wouldn’t be there.That’s easy to answer.”“That’s not the question!”“Did you get the wrong question? But I understand that; why is a question I understand the wrong one? Aren’t I supposed to understand?” Nervously fluttering, she rubbed her cheek—and detached the adhesive disk.It dropped to the floor, skidded, and rolled under her dressing table.“Ach Gott,” she muttered, bending to retrieve it.A ripping sound, that of cloth tearing.Her elaborate costume.“I’ll get it,” he said, and lifted her aside; he knelt down, groped under the dressing table until his fingers located the disk.When he stood up he found himself looking into a laser tube.“Your questions,” Luba Luft said in a crisp, formal voice, “began to do with sex.I thought they would finally.You’re not from the police department; you’re a sexual deviant.”“You can look at my identification.” He reached toward his coat pocket.His hand, he saw, had again begun to shake, as it had with Polokov.“If you reach in there,” Luba Luft said, “I’ll kill you.”“You will anyhow.” He wondered how it would have worked out if he had waited until Rachael Rosen could join him.Well, no use dwelling on that.“Let me see some more of your questions.” She held out her hand and, reluctantly, he passed her the sheets.“‘In a magazine you come across a full-page color picture of a nude girl.’ Well, that’s one.‘You became pregnant by a man who has promised to marry you.The man goes off with another woman, your best friend; you get an abortion.’ The pattern of your questioning is obvious.I’m going to call the police.” Still holding the laser tube in his direction, she crossed the room, picked up the vidphone, dialed the operator.“Connect me with the San Francisco Police Department,” she said.“I need a policeman.”“What you’re doing,” Rick said, with relief, “is the best idea possible.” Yet it seemed strange to him that Luba had decided to do this; why didn’t she simply kill him? Once the patrolman arrived, her chance would disappear and it all would go his way.She must think she’s human, he decided.Obviously she doesn’t know.A few minutes later, during which Luba carefully kept the laser tube on him, a large harness bull arrived in his archaic blue uniform with gun and star.“All right,” he said at once to Luba.“Put that thing away.” She set down the laser tube and he picked it up to examine it, to see if it carried a charge.“Now what’s been going on here?” he asked her.Before she could answer, he turned to Rick.“Who are you?” he demanded.Luba Luft said, “He came into my dressing room; I’ve never seen him before in my life.He pretended to be taking a poll or something and he wanted to ask me questions; I thought it was all right and I said okay, and then he began asking me obscene questions.”“Let’s see your identification,” the harness bull said to Rick, his hand extended.As he got out his ID Rick said, “I’m a bounty hunter with the department.”“I know all the bounty hunters,” the harness bull said as he examined Rick’s wallet.“With the S.F.Police Department?”“My supervisor is Inspector Harry Bryant,” Rick said [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]