Мечтают ли андроиды об электро овцах

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep

Isaac Asimov


The challenge

Rick Deckard woke up to the sound of the alarm from the mood machine beside his bed. He got up and stretched. In her own bed, his wife Iran opened her sad, grey eyes, frowned, and then shut them again.

'Your mood machine is on too weak,' he said to her. 'If I turn it up for you, you'll be awake and..

'Don't touch my mood settings.' Her voice was sharp and bitter. 'I don't want to be awake.'

He sat down on her bed, bent over her and explained softly,

'At a high enough setting, you'll be glad you're awake; that's the whole point.' He touched her shoulder gently — his setting had been high and he was in a good mood.

'Get that policeman's hand away from me,' Iran said.

'I'm not a policeman.' He felt cross, although he hadn't dialled the mood machine for crossness.

'You're worse than a policeman,' his wife said, her eyes still shut. 'You're a murderer working for the police.'

'T've never killed a human being in my life.' He was really angry now.

'Only those poor androids.'

"You've always been happy to spend the money I earn.' He stood up and walked across the room to his mood machine.

'Instead of saving,' he added, 'so we can buy a real sheep in place of that fake electric one upstairs.' He wondered whether to dial for a happier mood or for an angrier one that would allow him to win the argument.

'If you dial for more anger,' Iran said, eyes open and watching, 'then I'll dial the same. We'll have the biggest fight that we've ever had. Just try me. She got up quickly and moved towards her own mood machine.

Rick gave in. 'What's on your timetable for today?' he asked, dialling his own to check it.

'It lists a six-hour depression,' Iran said.

'What? Why did you timetable that?' It defeated the whole purpose of the mood machine. 'I didn't even know there was a setting for depression,' he said miserably.

'I was watching Buster Friendly on television one afternoon,' Iran said. 'During the advertisements I turned off the sound for a minute, and I heard this building ..?