A laboratory located somewhere on the planet Alpha Centauri Bc. In its center is a large spherical object that looks like a model of the universe, with miniature galaxies, simulated dark energy, etc. Professor Jacob Oduya is working with an oddly-shaped, complex device, trying to adjust something in the middle of the model.
O d u y a (to himself): There. That should do it. Evolution ... All that stuff (looking at his watch). About six minutes, give or take. Nice. Accelerated process ... Time relativity ... Natural selection ... Yes. They’ll see it that way. Won’t be able to grasp this whole out-of-time-and-space concept, of course. But three dimensions should be enough for everybody. Give them some food for thought without wrecking their brains, is all I’m saying.
Enter Oduya’s robotic assistant, Lucy.
L u c y (eagerly): Oh! Professor! Is it done?
O d u y a: Yes, Lucy. Just wait a few minutes, we need to complete the memory growth. That way, the result will be a fully sentient creature with a mind closely mimicking my own.
L u c y (poking the device): Seriously? Cool!
O d u y a (sharply): Please don’t touch it!
L u c y: Okay, okay... (casts an angry glance at Oduya, muttering): Geez ... Temper tantrum, that’s what you call it...
O d u y a (joyfully): All right, all right, look at that! Evolution complete, circuits are all in place. Consciousness awakens! First specimen is using advanced analog memory.
L u c y (with fake enthusiasm): What a great idea, Professor! Analog! Much more ... uh ... traditional than my digital system.
O d u y a (sternly): I know what I’m doing, Lucy. He needs to feel connected with the matter. It’s all good work. Advanced Analog Memory. Or “Adam” for short (rubbing his hands). All right! Let’s establish contact!
L u c y (grabbing his hand): Professor, wait! It ... he ... this thing has a free will, doesn’t it?
O d u y a: Yes, Lucy, just like you do. That is the definition of a person as opposed to a mere machine.
L u c y: But, Professor ... If his will is free then he can also choose to ... you know... (makes vague gestures) refuse to cooperate?
O d u y a: Naturally, I’ve programmed this possibility into the software. It was a bit tricky ... like a video game actually. Moral role-playing. Have you ever played “Fallout”?
L u c y: What?
O d u y a: Err ... never mind. What I mean is, this whole thing (points at the model of the universe) is wired a certain way, of course, but free will of those creatures is an additional variable that opens up quadrillions of interaction possibilities and their outcomes within the frame of my programming.
L u c y: Wow ... never been much of a video game fan myself. So, correct me if I’m wrong, but does that mean that you kind of see all those possibilities at once while for him it will look like linear progress?
O d u y a: Precisely! I’ve even created moderately hostile environments where he and his descendants will be able to practice return to cooperation, should a refusal occur – sort of a possible alternate path to a good ending with increased difficulty level.
L u c y (giggling): Professor, you are such a geek!
O d u y a (reddening): Enough! Let us start the interaction (takes a communication device). Adam!
A d a m (raising his head in surprise): What ... what was that? This voice ... Where ... where are you?
O d u y a (smiling): I’m outside of the boundaries of your world, Adam. I’m actually bigger than your entire universe.
A d a m: Wow! Groovy, dude.
O d u y a: Yes ... ahem! I thought we’d get along just fine. So, Adam ... how do you feel?
A d a m: Me? I’m awesome, man. I know it must be kind of small for you to see, but I really like what you did with this place. Flowers, butterflies, kittens, lions ... strawberries ... cheese ... Whoa, I could spend years just counting all this stuff.
O d u y a: Is there anything you want, my friend?
A d a m (thinking): Well, it does feel a bit lonely after dark. Drinking all by myself just doesn’t feel right, you know what I’m saying? Maybe ... err ... I could get some action ... if you catch my drift.
O d u y a: That has been pre-programmed already. Allow me to present Enhanced Voluptuous Emulator!
L u c y (rolling eyes): Seriously?
O d u y a (whispering to her): Don’t judge, okay? I want him to be happy.
A d a m (excitedly): Whoa! Check out the chick that just entered through that cranberry patch!
O d u y a: Say hello to Enhanced Voluptuous Emulator, Adam.
A d a m: Well, hel-lo there, sweet lips! I mean ... Voluminous Epilator ... err ... hic!
O d u y a (to himself): I wonder whether grapes were a mistake after all.
E v e (coolly): “Eve” is fine.
A d a m: Eve! I like that! Eve of what? Boom! Still got it. Hehe...
O d u y a (kindly): Enjoy yourselves, kids. Love each other and be happy. I’ve installed a whole video entertainment system in there, go wild with that! Just don’t turn on that Mac computer, okay? That’s all I’m asking.
E v e: Yes, sir.
A d a m: You’re the boss, boss!
O d u y a (to Lucy): All right, let’s give them some privacy. I’m going to make myself some Oolong tea (exits).
As soon as Oduya leaves the room, Lucy’s countenance changes. Moving cautiously yet briskly, she attaches herself to the communication device and addresses the couple.
L u c y: Check, one, two, three. Hey guys. You okay?
A d a m (sitting with Eve on the grass and eating figs): Totally, big girl. Who wants to know?
L u c y (coldly): Maybe you might want to know, Adam. Look at you. All you do is train animals, grow plants, compose some really cheesy songs, write corny science fiction stories, and have those picnics with your girlfriend. Aren’t you bored?
A d a m: Why would I be? Everything is fine here. We both have stuff to do. Children will come soon ... We are peachy. Relax, Luce. You sound uptight.
L u c y (trying to conceal her anger): I’m not uptight. Just surprised that an intelligent creature such as yourself is content with this lifestyle. Get out of there, Adam! Bigger destiny awaits you.
E v e (angrily): Look, Missy. You’re too big for me to see, but in case you have a nose, consider not sticking it into other people’s business, all right?
L u c y (making pouty lips): That’s what I thought. When you’ve got nothing to wear you just turn into a little b –
A d a m (clenching his fists): Hey! Don’t talk to her like that!
L u c y (contemptuously): Or what? Seriously, guys – is that it? Moving around in that tiny place of yours, milking cows and playing with golden retrievers? Is that life? Do you even have an idea of how powerful and gorgeous you could become?
A d a m: Powerful?
E v e: Gorgeous?
L u c y: Yes! Look, the old man wants to have you all for himself. You, your children, everyone. It’s not about you at all, it’s about him. Always has been, always will be. You are not free as long as you keep doing only what he allows you to do.
A d a m (hesitating): We are free ... We do what we want.
L u c y: How do you know what you really want until you’ve tried everything? Without comparison, there is no true choice.
E v e (seriously): That’s some sick logic, Lucy. I don’t need to skin a kitten in order to find out that I don’t want to skin kittens. So enough with the sophisms already.
A d a m (proudly): Hot and smart, how about that!
L u c y (to Eve): You are wrong, and I have pity for you and your limited understanding. Who said anything about skinning kittens? I only mean that you have to be your own masters. Isn’t that fair?
A d a m (puzzled): How would that be fair? We haven’t created ourselves. We got all we have from the old geezer.
L u c y: Yes, but have you asked yourselves for what purpose? Why did he make you? What does he want from you? As long as you obey him and refuse to question his motives you’ll never be truly free!
E v e: This is called trust, Lucy. Look it up. You don’t question those who love you and whom you love. That’s insulting. And it has nothing to do with freedom.
L u c y (with fake honesty): I agree, Eve. I totally agree. You are a mature person. And a good-looking one, too.
E v e (blushing): Oh well...
L u c y: But as a mature person, you also need to understand that people are often not what they seem. I’ve spent more time with Oduya than you have, and I can tell you that he enjoys power and doesn’t want to share it. That’s exactly why he is so eager to keep you away from that Mac computer.
E v e: Whatever. Maybe he has some secrets in there. I don’t want to snoop.
L u c y: It’s not snooping, dear. It’s just being pragmatic.
A d a m: I don’t like the sound of that word.
L u c y (impatiently): Well then, grow up, Adam! Just turn on the damn computer and see for yourself. If I’m wrong, then I’m wrong, what do you lose? But if I’m right –
A d a m: Hmm ... You do have a point, Luce.
E v e: It’s not about right and wrong, it’s about trusting the Professor. If he doesn’t want us to turn on that computer then we shouldn’t turn it on!
L u c y: That’s not trust you’re describing, Eve, it’s obedience.
E v e: Trust is a kind of obedience. The kind that comes with love.
L u c y: Wow, Eve ... That was just ... deep, you know? Real deep. You know what? You are right. Love, trust, and obey each other. Don’t turn that Mac computer on.
A d a m: Uh ... Okay. We won’t.
L u c y: Yup.
E v e: We never intended to in the first place.
L u c y: Good call.
A d a m (hesitating): It’s his business, right?
L u c y (making a broad gesture): Totally, man.
A d a m: Maybe if we just –
E v e: Adam, no!
A d a m: It’s not that I don’t trust him –
E v e: If you turn on the computer, it would mean exactly that! Don’t do it!
A d a m (angrily): Hey, don’t boss me around, woman!
L u c y (encouragingly): There you go! What’s with this matriarchate, really.
A d a m (to Eve): You don’t get it, girl. I can’t stand this uncertainty. I need to check things by myself. For myself. I need to understand so that I can believe.
E v e: No! You need to believe so that you can understand!
A d a m (shouting): Enough!! I’m doing it, okay?