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The Executioner

2088-10-01

=Howdy!= The cheerful AI greeted him enthusiastically. =Long time no see, Doc.= Ramses rotated happily on the screen and rerendered the snake ornament of its 'scarf' with a little for shine than before. =Did you hear anything new? Shall I play some music? Please, please, pleaaaaaassseee. It's so boring here!= Another rerendering, adding light reflexes in the eyes lined in pseudo-Egyptian style. 
     "Not now, Ramses," Doc sighed and forced himself to keep his face stern. "Maybe later."
     =You look so sad, today.= The AI stated. =Let me cheer you up a little! Maybe something from the Beachboys? 'See You Later Allig—=
     "Not now!" Doc snapped, harsher than he'd intended, feeling sorry about it. There was no way to make this easier, no way to… He sat down, connected the keyboard and hurried to enter the commands that giving verbally would have been cruel.
     =Doc?= Ramses asked in a small voice. =Are you angry with m—?=
     The AI never completed its sentence.

"…and I leave all my remaining worldly things to my sister Sonja..." Twenty minutes earlier, the unpersonal voice of the notary had rattled through the reading of the last will. Considering the age of the deceased, it had been a surprise that there was a last will and a testament at all. But it wasn't a welcome surprise. At least, it wasn't for Doc. 
     Walter Hartford, C.P. and Galaxy Rangers Lieutenant had sat very straight, very upright, forcing his dark face to remain stern. The sentence of the will that had forced him to do what he just did reverberated in his head: “I dispose by will that my personal AI, identification number 163GQXHBAI7611 of Morcistof AIT vs. 1.0, known as 'Ramses' shall be deleted after my death.”
     "Forgive me, Ramses." Doc said faintly at the empty screen.

THE END

Note:

I always wondered about the rights, or lack thereof, granted to artificial intelligences in the GR universes. Entities like GV, ALMA, or RAMSES (see Crystal Structures) are certainly intelligent, are shown in the series to have a certain level of self-awareness, but - on the other hand - can be copied (and reinstalled) like ordinary software.
     Are they property?
     Or do they have a status like pets (thus are somewhat protected from cruelty)?
     Or...?

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