The Bradshaw Tapes #05: Gladys Blue

Transcript of Rec#000437 21/08/15: The robot called Gladys Blue was part of Adam’s team before I was recruited and, until this conversation, I thought of her as a machine belonging of Adam and Dante. With a generally humanoid shape, Gladys seems to be made of some sort of blue plastic material that I will certainly need to investigate more closely in the future. Although I have seen Gladys wear a fairly unconvincing disguise to pose as an elderly human woman, I did not think of her then as “her” but as “it” instead. On the day of this interview, I found Gladys seated in front of the television, her preferred location when not working. I came in as an episode of Hospital of Disaster was ending and thought this would be a good time to see if the robot had any useful information.

OCTOBER: Can we turn off the TV for a bit?

GLADYS: Nah, I’ll just mute it. It’s just Celebrity Strip Poker, so I don’t need to hear it.

OCTOBER: Sure. You do that. So, how does this work, exactly? How do you do a conversation?

GLADYS: Um. Most of time? Reluctantly.

OCTOBER: Heh. No, I mean, do you have a list of potential answers you choose from, or do you take bits of what’s said and reconfigure it or something like that?

GLADYS: I genuinely have no idea. This is not where I assumed this conversation was going to go. The other guys said you were asking about ghosts and shit.

OCTOBER: Sorry, I’m… I just don’t know how to talk with you.

GLADYS: Seems like you’ve done fine talking to everyone else.

OCTOBER: Yeah. I guess… I admit I find it a bit weird to be talking to a robot.

GLADYS: Why’s that?

OCTOBER: I don’t know, it’s just a new concept for me. I suppose I should get used to it. I’ll probably be talking to a lot of robots in the future.

GLADYS: You think so?

OCTOBER: Well, I mean I know companies are working on artificial intelligence. Both Worldful and Atomical have been open it for years, and I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that Technolocorp has been too. And it makes sense that they’d have the most advanced ones too.

GLADYS: Uh, sure I guess. Although technically, Technolocorp owns the Secret Government now, but they didn’t make us. We’re from some kind of alien technology or something.


GLADYS: Yeah. Maybe it was a crashed spaceship? I don’t know really. Dante knows more.

OCTOBER: Everyone says that about him.

GLADYS: Hey, until I started to watch television, everything I knew about the world came from two sources: Secret Government propaganda and that guy. Obviously he’ll know more than me.

OCTOBER: Well, what about the stuff you weren’t taught? You’re own lived experiences?

GLADYS: Ugh. I hate my lived experiences.


GLADYS: Listen, I’ve been through a lot of crap. Immediately after being coming out of the computer, I was drafted into the SecGov Army. I hated it.

OCTOBER: What happened in the army?

GLADYS: Well. During my first mission we accidentally went through some dimensional tear and ended up in the space between universes.

OCTOBER: What do you mean “between universes” exactly?

GLADYS: I dunno. That’s what they said it was.

OCTOBER: And what was it like between universes?

GLADYS: Swirly, mostly? I dunno. There were ghosts and I lost my old arm. I try not think too much about it. Later on a duplicate of me came back to the real world and started lasering SecGov City. I think maybe it was made out of my old arm?

This alien wizard showed up too and explained about it, but anyway, I hated it all.

OCTOBER: What did you hate about it? Personally I’d love to see big cosmic things like that.

GLADYS: Hey, fill your boots. You’re on the team now. You can have all the adventures and I’ll stay safe here and sell honey to tourists.

OCTOBER: That’s what you hate about it? The danger? You can feel fear?

GLADYS: Of course! Incessantly! You don’t? I don’t understand how everyone isn’t terrified! Or pissed off. Both! Always!

OCTOBER: You know, you don’t sound like I would have expected a robot to sound.

GLADYS: What did you expect?

OCTOBER: I don’t know. Flat. Stilted, maybe?

GLADYS: Like Adam?

OCTOBER: Heh. Yeah, Adam does sound more like a robot than you do, I guess. (brief pause) You said there that you didn’t always have television…

GLADYS: Yeah! I mean, I had access to the SecGov channels, but this: with real shows! I can’t believe I lived without it for so long!

OCTOBER: Do you think maybe you learned to talk from television?

GLADYS: No, I’ve been talking my whole life. But I did decide to start using a catchphrase after I saw how funny they were on Hot Angry Teachers. I’m gonna start saying “Watch your back, Stankface!” or something like that.

OCTOBER: Then you do take inspiration from the shows you watch?

GLADYS: Uh… I guess. I’ve never thought about it. Why?

OCTOBER: Well, when you described your time with the army, I couldn’t help but think that it sounds like the kind of plots you might see on a sci-fi show. Have you seen a lot of sci-fi?

GLADYS: I prefer comedies.

OCTOBER: So you don’t know about a show called AltWorld Patrol?

GLADYS: Sure I do. It gets mentioned on Buncha Losers all the time.

OCTOBER: Well, it has a…

GLADYS: Hey! Don’t spoil it! I’ve only seen up to the start of the Red Planet Renegades spinoff!

OCTOBER: So you have watched it?

GLADYS: Well, yeah. I wanted to get the jokes.

OCTOBER: Okay, so, my point, spoiler-free, is that AltWorld Patrol has a lot of strories about alternate universes and dimensions and duplicates and weird creatures. Do you think maybe you–

GLADYS: Wait, what are you… are you trying to prove I’m not sentient right now? You’re saying that I made up my past by regurgitating stuff I saw on television? That I’m just some mindless machine walking and talking in a parody of life? Is that what this is?

OCTOBER: I… uh… I…

GLADYS: Well, whatever. I don’t care.

OCTOBER: It’s just…

GLADYS: Seriously, I don’t care. I mean, do you walk around worrying if other people see you as a real person?

OCTOBER: Well, I… I mean, I could teach you the history of how society treats women, but…

GLADYS: I mean you personally. If I assumed you weren’t a thinking sentient being, would it matter much to you?

OCTOBER: I guess not. As long as you weren’t using it as an excuse to oppress or kill me or something.

GLADYS: Not planning on it. And I assume you don’t want to kill me.

OCTOBER: I do not.

GLADYS: Good, because I could kick your ass. My robot body was specifically designed for combat and I was trained by our own in-house assassin. The only thing that got me through all the those bad times I hated was that I can kick ass.

You piss me off and you better watch your back and whatnot.

OCTOBER: Fair enough. I was not planning on killing you.

GLADYS: So, we’re fine then.

(Almost a minute of silence during which a famous athlete on television has to remove his underwear because his bluff was called) Heh. Look at that chump.

OCTOBER: You know, I guess I am actually convinced you can think

GLADYS: Geez, I thought we covered how it doesn’t matter.

OCTOBER: But what I’m wondering now, is why you pretend to be human? With that wrinkly suit that Dante got you.

GLADYS: Because I’m a bright blue robot. That stands out in a human city and we’ve got enemies.

OCTOBER: But we have friends too. You haven’t told Devon the security guard that you’re a robot, have you?

GLADYS: Well, no… but he’s an old man. Probably he’d have a heart attack or something.

OCTOBER: Fair enough, I don’t intend to pressure you on it. It just makes me think.

GLADYS: Well, think in your own head then.

OCTOBER: Heh. And just for the sake of my recording, you don’t have anything particularly insightful to say about the paranormal or aliens or anything?

GLADYS: Well, have you watched AltWorld Patrol?

OCTOBER: A bit. I actually know someone who knows someone who used to be on it.

GLADYS: Well then, you probably know as much as I do. What you really need to do-

OCTOBER: Talk to Dante.

GLADYS: Exactly. He’s knows you’ve been talking to us. He’s already preparing his presentation.

OCTOBER: He what?

GLADYS: The guy loves presentations. You need to talk to him.

OCTOBER: I… I will. Maybe tomorrow. Let’s just watch some television for now.

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