Creative Story: Deadlock

"Bzzz! Bzzz!" The alarm went off, and Susan Calvin rolled over. It was 6:30
in the morning, and RoboTimer™ had done its job admirably, waking her up to the
second of the time that it had been factory-programmed. Unfortunately, it hadn\'t
been set to the correct date, and when it announced "Saturday, December 14th!
Good morning!" in a load cheery tone, she groaned out load with the realization
that it was Saturday, and after that affair with the hyperdrive motor, she
wanted to sleep in, since it she had just come back to earth. "I hate this
stupid robot!" she yelled out loud, then suddenly closed her mouth. For Susan
Calvin had just remembered that her pact with the satans, as she thought of them,
known to the robotics world as the team of Powell and Donovan. She stretched,
rolled out of bed, and went downstairs, wrapping a robe around her as she went,
to get some coffee. "Well, since I\'m already up, I might as well take a look at
the rest of those Rasssjemani-Quazaric-Smith Equations and see why they were
causing all those robots to go psycho," she thought. "Good thing that U.S.
Robots and Mechanical Men hushed up that little incident, I\'d be out of a job if
the whole world, the xenophobic and primally-fearful lot of them, knew about
that!" As she got out and buttered her toast, she mulled the day ahead of her in
her mind. Weekends were never truly weekends for Susan Calvin, as she was forced
to work for most of the weekend, with her only respite being Sunday, which she
was allowed to come in an hour late for. However, she usually found herself
working late into the night on Sundays, out of an artificially induced guilt
that she knew was not real, but could do nothing to correct. After being driven
to work (working for the company that produced every MechTaxi™ in existence did
have some perks after all), greeting the doorman, and going up to her office,
Susan Calvin was ready to look at those equations! She only needed a small
period of time to warm up, and the wakeup-breakfast-come to work routine
sufficed. Almost as soon as she had sat down to work, the Founder of U.S. Robots
came in and said, "I need to speak with you, Calvin. There\'s been more reports
in across the nation of those psycho robots, all of them with positronic brains
built using the Rasssjemani-Quazaric-Smith Equations. We will be ruined, and
drawn and quartered by the masses if we don\'t start hushing this up again and
fix that problem!" Susan smiled at him, with an evil glint in her eye. "Junk the
equations. They are obviously unstable. Why do you bother me with this? I am not
even a full-time mathematician! Have completely new equations written up, not
those kludges that the robots have been running on since the late nineties
almost!" The Founder laughed, his white beard and flowing locks shaking slowly
as his chest vibrated. "That is possibly the first joke I have heard you crack
in the thirty years we have been at this company that I founded!" He paused. "It
is a joke, right?" he whispered. When Susan shook her head, he simply stared at
her, astonished, with a growing look of perplexity spreading across his face.
"You do understand what would be entailed in the creation of an entirely new set
of robotic codes, right? The hackneyed name of the last ones show by their
complexity that it took a group of seven hundred men an entire year to build the
codes! They are the building blocks of everything that we now know of the
various fields of Robotics! You, yourself, would become useless, wit all your
knowledge outdated! Rasssjemani, Quazaric, and Smith were only the principal
authors of the code, all of them geniuses! There are not even three geniuses in
the field of robotics alive today!" He paused for breath after this long
exposition, and Susan Calvin stepped in with some comments of her own. "Calm
yourself, man! I was just offering a suggestion! I have been making the same
type of suggestions such as those for the last thirty years!" "If you had made
suggestions such as that all the time, you would not be here after thirty years!
You must be losing it, Calvin!"
"I am the chief roboticist in the entire field, and you are treating me as if I
know nothing at all of the field!" "You are the field, Calvin! Don\'t kid
yourself, you