As he entered his own office Rick heard the voice of his secretary, Ann Marsten, behind him. “Mr. Deckard, you know what happened to Mr. Holden? He got shot.” She followed after him into the stuffy, closed-up office and set the air-filtering unit into motion.
“Yeah,” he responded absently.
“It must have been one of those new, extra-clever andys the Rosen Association is turning out,” Miss Marsten said. “Did you read over the company’s brochure and the spec sheets? The Nexus-6 brain unit they’re using now is capable of selecting within a field of two trillion constituents, or ten million separate neural pathways.” She lowered her voice. “You missed the vidcall this morning. Miss Wild told me; it came through the switchboard exactly at nine.”
“A call in?” Rick asked.
Miss Marsten said, “ A call out by Mr. Bryant to the W.P.O. in Russia. Asking them if they would be willing to file a formal written complaint with the Rosen Association’s factory representative East.”
“Harry still wants the Nexus-6 brain unit withdrawn from the market?” He felt no surprise. Since the initial release of its specifications and performance charts back in August of 2020 most police agencies which dealt with escaped andys had been protesting. “The Soviet police can’t do any more than we can,” he said. Legally, the manufacturers of the Nexus-6 brain unit operated under colonial law, their parent autofactory being on Mars. “We had better just accept the new unit as a fact of life,” he said. “It’s always been this way, with every improved brain unit that’s come along. I remember the howls of pain when the Sudermann people showed their old T-I4 back in ’18. Every police agency in the Western Hemisphere clamored that no test would detect its presence, in an instance of illegal entry here. As a matter of fact, for a while they were right.” Over fifty of the T-I4 android as he recalled had made their way by one means or another to Earth, and had not been detected for a period in some cases up to an entire year. But then the Voigt Empathy Test had been devised by the Pavlov Institute working in the Soviet Union. And no T-I4 android — insofar, at least, as was known — had managed to pass that particular test.