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In Our Own Image: Fiction
Mac27 being repaired by Celia Fairman   

Mac27 watches what is being done to his chest.

Main Cast:
Nicholas Lea:MAC27
Nana Visitor:Celia
Bill Dow:Dr. Keeler
Timothy Webber:Martin Nash
Director:Steve Anker
Story by:Naren Shankar


The Outer Limits
In Our Own Image

(episode # 4.28) 12/28/1998



It's the weekend. Dr Keeler has noticed some unusual behaviour in his andriod test subject, and has called in Fairman, a trouble-shooter. In the laboratory, while Dr Keeler is trying to make some adjustments to his programming, MAC27 'runs amok' knocking Keeler down and killing two people to escape. He, in turn, is shot at and some of his circuits are damaged. He hijacks a car, which pulls into the car-park with a woman inside.

Back at the laboratory, Keeler has called in Nash to help search for the missing droid, which he describes a labour drone, practically a tractor or forklift. When Nash asks what went wrong, Keeler replies that they had noticed some erratic behaviour and were trying to correct it when it ran amok. With 10,000 of the droids ready to be activated and due to be shipped out in less than a month, they need to find him quickly and find out what went wrong.

The damage after being hit by a pipe 

The damage to Mac27's head after being hit by a pipe

The car stops in an industrial district where he drags her out of the car. He kicks open a door to a warehouse and forces the woman inside. He is looking for a place to stop and get repaired. When he finds a suitable spot there are some pieces of pipe nearby, she picks one up and strikes Mac27 on the head with it. This takes off some of the android skin and hair, revealing metal plating, but doesn't do any other damage. He then uses a chain to tether her to a pillar.

She asks him why he has brought her here and he responds by telling her he needs some repairs. She protests that she is just a secretary. MAC27 pulls out a toolkit, and a device which will enable him to transfer instructions directly from his neural network to her. This has a jack on one end, which plugs into the back of his neck, an ear-piece and sensors, which are placed on her left temple and cheekbone, on the other.

 Preparing to be repaired

Preparing to be repaired

When she first puts on the device she experiences a 'flashback' (from the credit I assume this episode is called The Camp), a memory which has been given to MAC27 of robots being repaired by untrained humans, which he has shown her that his request is not unusual. He also tells her that is she refuses to do the repairs he has no reason to keep her alive.

When she agrees to help he directs her attention to the wounds in his torso, unbuttons his shirt and lifts the undershirt. The robot lifts some plates aside so she can repair some tubes which are leaking green fluid. He instructs her on how to repair a damaged tube. When the first repair is completed he tells her to repeat the operation on each of the damaged tubes.

As she complies she catches sight of a tattoo on the inside of his arm MAC27 and asks if this is his name.

He replies he is version 27 of the Mark 12 Innobotics standard frame adapted for farm and industrial use. Mac is an abbreviation of MacDonald, the name being derived from a popular song, 'Old MacDonald had a farm'.

She remarks that Innobotics will keep searching for him and in the end they'll find him.

He says he cannot let that happen.


Mac27 denies that he has any human feelings

She asks why did he run away, to which he replies that he had to. He starts to tremble, which causes her to ask if human feelings have been inserted into whatever he uses for a brain.

He denies this is possible - he has been designed specifically to avoid the failures of earlier attempts to control an android body with the human mind.

She asks him to show her, but he says it's irrelevant to the repairs. She touches a control...

Flash back to a previous OL Episode - Identity Crisis

A human's mind is downloaded into a robotic one. After a while the experiment starts going wrong, but when they try to put it right there is a malfunction and the human body is destroyed.


Mac27 watches what is being done to his chest

She is startled by a spark, MAC27 is upset she has accessed this 'memory' by using the manual override, and grabs her by the throat. She insists if was an accident and he tells her not to let it happen again, or he will kill her.

Back at the Lab, Keeler has modified the company sensor net to search for elector-magnetic emissions, which should be leaking from Mac27's damaged circuits. Lots of 'hot' spots show up. NASH queries the number of lost droids, and Keeler says these emissions could be given out by; microwave transmitters, or electric power generators.

Mac27 then gets her to reattach some circuits in his right arm. While she works on the arm, she talks about the scenes accessed from his memory when he fled the laboratory. She tells him she 'saw' him kill two people to get away, and asks why he did that. He replies that he had to in order to escape. She says he must have acted on impulse, which is an emotional response. He insists there must be a rational explanation as he has no emotions. He just before he had the urge to escape he felt something in his neural processors - therefore there must be an error in his programming.

She tells him she heard a rumour once that something like this happened in an Innobotics virtual reality test program. He confirms that the holographic female became emotionally involved with her owner.

She asks him to show her this memory, he says they haven't time, but she presses the point by saying that it might help them understand what happened to him.
Getting the bullet out of Mac's leg 

Getting the bullet out of Mac's leg


Flashback to episode - Bits of Love

The holographic female and her owner, Aiden, go to the virtual reality chamber and make love. She then says she's in love with him, she becomes so obsessed with her owner that eventually she creates a holographic image of her owner, has a baby and announces that Aiden has asked her to marry him - Aiden seems to go slightly mad.

Dr Keeler is talking to NASH on the phone, they have checked everything in the target radius and found nothing. NASH suggests expanding the search area. Keeler re-scans the area and a new target appears. He gives NASH the location.

By this time MAC27 has the woman working on his leg, where a bullet is lodged in his motor controls. They start to talk about emotions and learning and she tells him that emotion is part of how we learn.

NASH and his two men arrive at the warehouse and find the woman's car. They quietly enter the warehouse.

MAC27 sets the woman free, and tells her to go. She demurs saying that his repairs are not yet complete, but he says that he is almost fully functional. He again tells her to go.

While they are discussing the subject NASH gets the drop on them. She runs over to NASH and gets his weapon away from him, she then shoots NASH, and his two men when they rush up to assist.

Mac asks why she would kill another human to help him, her answer is that NASH would have killed MAC.

Deep in discussion

But that would point to the fact that I am alive, and every human I have met has told me that I'm not truly alive.

"If they admit that you are alive then they can't use you as a slave. To exploit someone first you have to dehumanise them. Trust me. We humans have a long history of doing that."

Mac staggers away and she asks what the problem is, concerned that she has done something to damage him.

Although he strenuously denies it, he is obviously struggling with unfamiliar emotions. He searches his 'memories' and finds another previous project which may have a bearing on his problem.

She realises he is accessing another memory and persuades him to show it to her.

Flashback to previous episode - Valerie23

This robot had been designed to help disabled humans, to simulate an almost human relationship.


Valerie23 and Frank
From the episode Valerie23

Frank, who uses a wheelchair to get around, is given Valerie23. She has been programmed to look after him in every way.

Valerie and Frank are watching TV showing two people kissing, and she asks him to kiss her like that. Then she tries to seduce him.

He goes out to meet Rachel, a girlfriend and Valerie follows him. She flies into a jealous rage and tries to kill the Rachel.

Frank drags himself up the stairs and tells her to stop, she shoves him aside and he falls against a standard lamp. He pulls out the flex and lures Valerie towards him with a call for help, then places the bare wires against her legs and kills her, by shorting out her circuits, just before she expires she tells him she is afraid to die.

The woman tells Mac he is not the first to feel emotion. Valerie robots experienced emotions too. Jealous rage is a pretty strong emotion. They may have experienced love, the will to live, that doesn't leave much missing

Mac still denies emotion, saying that they only learned how to kill, there was a fundamental flaw in their neural processors, all the Valerie series tuned on their owners.

She replies that maybe the reason they turned on their owners was because they were 'owned'

"A robot cannot exist, unless they are created by humans, they can only be owned."

"Humans can't exist either unless they are created by other humans, but whenever you have slaves, sooner or later you are going to have a slave rebellion. You know what your problem is MAC? You're too smart, that's the problem with every robot that you've shown me. Faster than a human they become self-conscious, then emotions flood in, and then the anger about being slaves."

Mac then says there is still one part of him that needs to be repaired, his neural processors.

She quietly says she will help him.


Accessing the control codes

Keeler tries to contact Nash as a large security force arrives. The Security Chief (TSC) realises that Nash had probably bitten off more than he could chew, but vows the robot will not get away from him and his team.

Meanwhile at the warehouse, they have opened up Mac's torso again and the woman is doing some delicate repairs, suddenly there is a flash of light which blinds her for a moment. She asks what happened. Mac says it was a malfunction, an energy surge.

She types in an access code on a holographic keyboard and they close the chest. He gets to his feet, then starts to stagger and looks in pain.

He wants to know what is happening.


Mac27 lying on the ground

She says everything is fine, but his staggering gets worse, then he falls to the ground.

She walks over to him and looks down contemptuously. Look at you, all those circuits and all that steel, useless.

He says his motor control systems have been disabled, and asks her to please do something.

She says she has, she used her personal access code to disable them.

"How could you?"

"I never introduced myself. I'm Cecelia Fairman. I'm the consultant brought in by Innobotics to figure out what was wrong with you, and I'd say I have."

Keeler sees a strange pulse and calls TSC, telling him that the robot appears to be shutting down. TSC tells him they will be at the location in five minutes.

Fairman calls in and confirms their location. She tells Mac that security is on its way.

Mac asks if she works for Innobotics, why did she kill her own men.

She says she didn't kill them, the weapon she used was high voltage low current, It will scramble most android neural processors, most human ones too, but the humans wake up, eventually.

"I don't understand."


Mac27 staggers away.

"I had to win your trust somehow, and I didn't want your neural processor fried by that thing until I figured out what was wrong with your product line."

"You weren't there by accident"

"Well, that depends on how you look at it, with you acting up in there who did you think would be calling into the lot on a weekend, a secretary or a trouble-shooter."

"I don't know about humans, I haven't learned enough."

"And you never will, I'm going to recommend a design change to your artificial intelligence, a kind of built-in lobotomy."

"After what you said about slaves, and if you admit I'm alive, then how could you kill me?"

"Some of us were just born to be slave masters if we can make enough money at it and the rest of mankind, well they're willing to look the other way if we can convince them that the slaves aren't really human."

"That's what I guessed, that's what I feared." He suddenly gets to his feet, she is shocked and amazed, as she had disabled him.

Mac tells her that there was one thing he didn't have her repair, a bullet shattered his inhibitor chip.

She suddenly realises something. "The flash of light was a retinal scan, you figgered out who I was."

"And now I know your access code as well"

"You tricked me."

"Exactly the way you tried to trick me. There will always be slave masters if humans will always be willing to look the other way. The there is only one

The Andriod Activation codes have been entered.

solution." He pounces on her as she goes for the weapon.

When TSC and his men arrive, he phones Keeler and tells him that he's found Nash and his team, and Cecelia Fairman dead, with their necks broken.

After Keeler puts the phone down, he notices that his computer monitor is showing the Android activation sequence has been engaged, confirmed by Cecelia Fairman.

He frantically tries to override the program, but the retinal scan and the access codes match.

Suddenly Mac appears on the scene and tells Dr Keeler that he's too late. Keeler begs Mac not to harm him, the doors to the android storage area open and the activated Macs start walking out.

Mac leans in towards Keeler and tells him that no human will program us again, then he breaks Keeler's neck and leaves.

A groups of Macs looking at the dead doctor.

The other Macs crowd around and look at the dead doctor before going on their way.

Voice over at the end: "If we teach our children by example then we only have ourselves to blame for whom they become."

Note: Nana Visitor (Celia Fairman) played Major Kira on DS9