"It's about as likely that an ape will prove to have a language ability as that there is an island somewhere with a species of flightless birds waiting for human beings to teach them to fly."   - Noam Chomsky
 
For many years it has been believed that the only reason why chimpanzees do not have a language ability is because they lack the ability to produce speech. After all, if the ability to learn language is innate in humans, wouldn't some possibly less evolved language acquisition device also be pre-programmed in the biologically closest animals to humans? Notable experiments involving primates Washoe, Koko and Nim Chimpsky have shown that chimps can learn to communicate using American Sign Language (ASL) and learn over 150 signs. Another chimp, Sarah was taught a visual language using plastic chips to represent nouns, adjectives, and verbs. However, these studies haven't shown that chimps can acquire a syntactical structure or have a sense of sequence. For this reason, linguists such as Noam Chomsky believe the chimpanzee's limited grammatical abilities are inadequate for natural language.

In The Soul Of Martha, A Beast by Terrel Miedaner, a chimpanzee named Martha has the ability to speak in English with humans. The chimp is participating in a court room demonstration to determine if her human like intelligence gives her the right to human like treatment. At the end of the demonstration, her master gives her a poisonous candy from which she dies while crying "why..why". Martha exhibits similar language abilities as chimps taught ASL, a small lexicon, repetitive single word utterances and limited syntax. However, Martha also shows spontaneous utterances initiated by her and not just in response to her teacher. Furthermore, Martha shows understanding of meaning and purpose when she asks "why" and self awareness as she realizes she is dying. Martha has an intelligence below that of normal human infants.

Likewise to The Soul Of Martha, A Beast, The Soul of the Mark III Beast is centered around the question should creatures exhibiting human like intelligence be treated the same as one would treat any other human infant or adult. The Mark III Beast is a robot which displays appropriate behaviours when in a state of contentment recharging at an electrical outlet or when in a state of alarm being destroyed by a hammer. Whether Martha or Mark III have a soul or not isn't a question of their spiritual essence but of how they are perceived and treated by human prejudice. Anything below a certain deciding characteristic is property. In both cases the deciding factor is species. Martha had shown to have an intelligence similar to a child at the two word stage of development, but if Martha were replaced by a human child and that human child were subject to experimentation and then put to death when outliving her usefulness it would be a horrific infanticide. 

Researchers need chimps to experiment on and likewise, robots as tools and workers should be property to be created and turned off when required. However, behaviours as exhibited by the Mark III are not necessary for property. They are necessary when trying to simulate or recreate life. It all depends on how they are to be used and treated and that would depend on the individual or what the society allows. In the story, Dirksten cannot will herself to kill the robot because of the way she perceives its behaviours just as she couldn't kill a mouse. Hunt on the other hand, has no problem destroying the robot as he had done before just as he would have no problem killing mice or chimps after having done that a few times too.

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Snatcher, Policenauts, Boktai, Zone of the Enders, Anubis and Metal Gear are registered trademarks of Konami Co. LTD. Konami is a registered trademark of Konami Co. LTD. All work presented here is but mere fan work.

Fan work by: Artemio Urbina 2001-2018