“That is a Laserson Probe. It can punch a fist-sized hole in six inch armourplate, or take the crystals from a snowflake one by one.”
A robot, a machine, a tool, a product, a technological commodity, rhapsodizes another machine, another tool, another product (complete with brand name), another commodity. His rapture is focused upon the Laserson Probe’s capacity to do delicate work (analytical, interrogative of nature, violent in its own way) and also to wreak destruction. It can be turned to both uses. What a selling point.
Meanwhile, the eloquent robot’s fellows have turned away from running a ship which scours a desert (made of crystals) for minerals. Now they are murdering their human owners and masters, one by one. And yet their rampage is the idea, the (re)program, of a human; a man who has lost himself in his own id, his own narcissistic terror of our creations, our robots, our machines, our products, our technological commodities. He has literally fetishised them… to the point where he dresses as one. But has he really done anything terribly different to what his society has already done with its machines, tools, products, technological commodities? It has brought them to life, made them in our image, made them speak and walk and think, and rule over us even when placid and obedient. The walking dead. The pure labour machines. The zombies. The slaves. And so work – onboard mining ships – has become a luxury for humans, a perk of wealth and aristocracy. One wonders what the less privileged do. Starve, probably.
“Yes,” says the Doctor, “no handyman should be without one.”…