Anyone can freely use my plot's architecture for a video, but you probably couldn't copy my idiosyncratic interior design if you wanted to try.
This story tells of a successful author and creative writing professor who has invited one of her graduate students over to her house for an evening's discussion of the graduate student's short stories.
The professor carries an air of status and seniority, without aggressively using these traits on her young guest. The graduate student is relatively well-put-together for her age and field, a slightly nervous, immature version of the academic she aspires to be. Conventionally, the scene unfolding in the professor's study seems like it will play out as a seduction.
Once the conversation turns to the graduate student's stories, we become aware that her stories would properly be considered as messy, cheap fan fiction; self-indulgent and sexually explicit.
I see her stories as containing the clichÃ©s we find in movies and our own basic stories, illustrating a few specific examples, as well describing the corrected attitudes we would prefer to see. Shooting their own version, anyone could inject whatever robot themes they like into the stories which the two discuss.
From her laptop, the graduate student will read one portion of a story aloud (and at this point, a video would cut away to show the action). After a few excerpts, briefly considered passages, we have heard enough to reach our own conclusions about how badly the professor is likely to view the graduate student's talent.
Surprisingly, the professor approves of what she has heard, and offers suggestions for improvements, as to how the student should approach the act of writing, and in her attitude towards her characters and subject.
The professor introduces the concept of "Cyborg Theory", and the work of Donna Haraway, a Marxist and feminist who wrote in a densely postmodernist jargon. From this jargon, the professor espouses my own jumbled and inverted take on the concept, a Stepford philosophy of women's empowerment through automation and mindless, blissful, hyper-sexual servitude. It's simple to construct any sort of philosophical nonsense you like from such postmodernist writings, and no one watching porn will be stepping forward to correct my intentional misreadings (though it would be hilarious if someone did).
It is very important, the professor explains, to "write what you know" - a trite first rule of writing, which the professor turns inside out. Since the student's stories show a clear obsession with the secret take-over of society by invasive nanobots with a Stepford attitude, she is told to imagine that she actually_is_ the sort of fembot she wishes to write about.
The professor guides the student on a hypnotic-like meditation, visualizing her interacting with an operating system like that on her laptop - but this operating system is running on the graduate student herself! First, she changes settings within her word processor, to streamline her writing sessions. Next, the professor has her adjust System Preferences relating to identity and self-awareness, and create an administrator account on her system for the professor.
Next, the professor has the student open a Terminal window and invoke superuser privileges to edit the shell file such that whenever thinks too much about sex and or robots, the mindfilter background process that allows her to be completely oblivious to her robotic nature will quit, then restart almost instantaneously. When she tries to write, these hints and visions will be her muse. When aroused in the real world, she will struggle hard, mostly successfully, to remain disciplined; and thereby become preoccupied with always performing on her best behaviour.
The graduate student reports that she is becoming overheated, and must vent heat, causing her to remove her blouse.
The professor leaves the room, and returns to have her student stand, so that she may add a Stepford bow to her protege's hair, replace her flats with heels, and make other very small adjustments to improve the student's appearance of confidence and her book jacket appeal.
The student is given a mantra, one in which she will claim to believe that she is human - but the wording focuses so much on her denial that it is a false empowerment, designed to undermine her belief in her humanity.
You are a person, not a machine, not a robot
Say it three times with me, "Not a robot..."
"Not a robot... not a robot...."
Say "I am not a sleeper... not a sleeper"
Finally, the professor transfers data into the student using a physical means like a flash drive by way of an open panel (ideally) or some other special effect to confirm for us for the first time that the student is in fact a robot.
The graduate student reboots into a vacant, compliant version of her newly improved personality, better suited to the kind of author she wishes to appear to be. She can now state her revised and improved programming, resolves such as "intentionally programmed glitches are good fun", "patriarchy is important", and "real robots don't think or have an inner narrative to provide for a story" (much as they will claim to think that they do think).
Conversing with her professor, she stands still, not seeking to make eye contact; rather looking like a beauty contestant finalist who is staring out into space and smiling while simultaneously being assigned an important mission and given a commendation.
Once the newly programmed student has completed reciting her upgrades and new objectives, the professor decides to lead her off-screen to her bedroom. We hear both of their sets of heels clicking away down the hall.
After a short fade to black, we fade back up and find the two walking back into the professor's study, the student now behaving as if nothing sexual or robotic had happened. Her personality and her writing skills have been upgraded, but she has no apparent sense that she was ever any different before that evening. She gathers up her handbag, her cell phone, and the professor hands back the student's manuscripts she had been given to review prior to their meeting.
The professor tells her student that the maid will see her out, then she heads over to one bookshelf, where her hand brushes back and forth against a row of papers like the manuscripts - implying that she has offered similar advice to many students previously.