|Time of the Machines|
Time of the Machines
機械たちの時間Kikaitachi no Jikan
January 7, 2003
February 20, 2005
Kusanagi's reservations regarding Section 9's Tachikoma units comes to a head. She has become disturbed by their behaviour, as their artificial intelligence agents appear to be developing too fast; she has additional concerns about the safety of retaining them in the unit for use in a battle situation. The Tachikomas have become vaguely aware of Kusanagi's concerns, and attempt to avoid deactivation by hatching a bizarre scheme to appeal to Kusanagi and prevent their removal. When Batou is summoned to a conference by Kusanagi, he learns of the situation with the Tachikomas and is told that they will be disarmed and shipped back to the lab for analysis. Although unhappy with the decision, Batou has no choice but to comply with the order.
- Tachikoma 1: I've got a better idea of the internal design, but it looks like this thing's not equipped with any autonomous functions to output its condition to the outside.
- Tachikoma 2: You mean it can't even talk? It's a sub-Turing machine!
- [The Tachikomas circle behind the Operator]
- Operator: Huh?
- Tachikoma 1: Keep up the good work.
- Tachikoma 2: It's nice to see a robot enthusiastic about her duties.
- Operator: Ah, what are you up to? I'm responsible for this prototype until the debriefing is over. Don't you Tachikomas even come near it.
- Tachikoma 3: We won't do anything.
- Operator: Please stop wasting my time with your blatant lies.
- Tachikoma 2: You're right. I only tell lies. I never, ever say anything that's true.
- Operator: Eh?
- Tachikoma 1: A curious dilemma. Because if what it said is true, that means it wasn't lying. And if what it said is false, that would mean that it does tell the truth. How do you resolve this perplexing contradicton?
- Operator: Uh. Um, well.
- All Three Tachikomas: Well, come on, don't you know, figure it out.
- [The Operator malfunctions. Tachikoma 1 takes the prototype, and all the Tachikomas leave the Operator behind.]
- Tachikoma 1: Folks who can't handle a self-reference paradox are real suckers.
- Tachikoma: So, will we be sent back to lab too?
- Batou: Wha...? Who's been telling you that?
- Tachikoma: Well, it's just that the way the Major's been looking at us lately is kinda scary.
- Batou: Oh, is that all? The major's always scary, remember? I think you guys are doing a fine job.
- Tachikoma: You really think so?
- Batou: What, you're still worried about that?
- Tachikoma: Yeah... It just seems like the Major is angry about what we've acquired recently.
- Batou: "Acquired"? Acquired what?
- Tachikoma: Well, it's ... Individuality.
- Batou: Individuality?
- Tachikoma: Yeah! And you know that "existence of God" thing that I had trouble understanding before? I think I am starting to understand it now. Maybe, just maybe, it's a concept that's similar to a zero in mathematics. In other words, it's a symbol that denies the absence of meaning, the meaning that's necessitated by the delineation of one system from another. In analog, that's God. In digital, it's zero. what do you think? Also, our basic construction is digital, right? So for the time being, no matter how much data we accumulate, we'll never have a Ghost. But analog-based people like you, Batou-san, no matter how many digital components you add through cyberization or prosthetics, your Ghost will never be damaged. Plus, you can even die 'cause you've got a Ghost. You're so lucky. Tell me, what's it feel like to have a Ghost?
- Batou: How's it feel...? No, I take back what I said earlier. You're pretty messed up, all right.