Aargos Journals: The Beginning

May 21st, 2049.

                “Donald! Could you tell the kids it’s about time for dinner?”  Julia yells at her husband.  Donald, a large middle-aged man with muscles from years of military service replies, “yes dear,” as he smiles and puts down his tablet on the coffee table and begins his walk through the house.  Donald passes through the dining room and glances at his AI companion he was given as a retirement gift from all the years of military service.  “DAC please set the table for 4.” Donald tells his companion as he walks outside into the backyard to get his children. 

DAC, (Domestic Automated Companion) is an AI companion that has become more and more common in households throughout the world.  It is a tall sleek humanoid robot with blue glowing eyes and metallic limbs.  You can see the blue glowing wiring going through the joints as it has no overlaying skin.  The face holds little to no expression, but still looks a little human with its metallic head and face.

                “Chloe, Lexie! Dinner will be ready in a few minutes.” Donald tells his children as they swing fast and high on their swing set.  Both girls yell out in unison, “Be there in a minute!” Donald walks back in and sees DAC frozen in mid motion setting the table with an empty plate in one hand and silverware in the other.  “Julia, this blasted companion I was given from my retirement is a piece of junk.  This is the second time it has done this.”

Julia yells from the kitchen while she grabs her homemade lasagna from the oven, “Done what, honey?” she enquires.  “It just stops in-between tasks.”  Don says as he takes the plates from the DAC’s hands and finishes setting the table.  As Julia comes in from the kitchen with dinner and the kids come in from the backyard the DAC begins moving again as if nothing has happened.  “See he’s all good hon.  Now let’s eat.” 

“Hmmphf,” Donald gives out a frustrated sigh.  Julia looks over at Donald as she gives Chloe her plate full of lasagna.  “Well, if you’re that concerned about it take it down to Kaizer’s for a checkup.”  With his mouth full of lasagna, “We’ve only had this thing for three months and it has problems.  McGregor’s next door has had theirs for years and not a single hiccup from their DAC.   Donald swallows and says sarcastically, “Though we haven’t given ours a name like they did.  They call theirs Jonny.” 

“Well, it is better than saying DAC do this, or DAC do that.”, Julia says as she points her fork at Donald.

May 22nd, 2049.

The next morning Donald motions DAC to get in the backseat of his double cabin Ford F-1250.  It’s only a few years old but has enough power to almost pull a tank.  It has all the bells and whistles from an onscreen UI with menu eye tracking to voice commands.  Don says out loud, “Truck, take me to Kaizer’s Automaton Repair.”  Without hesitation the truck backs out of the driveway and begins the drive.  As he passes his neighbor’s house, the McGregor’s he sees their Companion Jonny out doing yardwork, and for a brief moment it pauses while pulling weeds out of the flowerbeds, but then begins again moments later. 

Donald’s truck slowly parks in front of an old building with neon lights highlighting “Kaizer’s Automaton Repair” He looks back and says, “Follow me DAC we’re going inside to have you checked out.” DAC replies in a non-emotional voice, “Yes sir.”  As they walk in the door a bell chimes and an old stout man with a rough face and small round spectacles walks up.  “Hey Don!  Long time no see.”

“Not long enough I’d say, but it seems I’ve got a little issue here.  My DAC would pause what it’s doing on occasion.  Would you take a look at it Russ?” Don says as he motions DAC to go sit on an examination chair in the back.

Russ flips a few sensors in the back of the neck and the DAC goes limp.  Donald grins and says, “Did you turn him off for good?”

“Nah, just put it in standby while I take a look around inside.” As Russ gets his tablet and attaches a cable between the DAC and his tablet a diagnostics screen pops up.  Russ begins to flip through screen after screen nodding his head, and looks to Don, and says, “You know in the last few days you’re the fourth person to come to me with this issue.  It’s an easy fix and won’t cost you a dime since this thing is still under warranty.” Donald looks bewildered, “ok so what’s the issue and what’s the fix?”

“Well, from looking at his internal history and for a brief moment he was receiving transmissions from an outside source which then was interrupting his cerebral core from communicating with the rest of his outside body.  Basically, his brain was thinking and continuing with what he was doing, but it wasn’t communicating outside of his skull to put it laymen terms. All I have to do to fix the problem is reset his external mainframe.”  Russ says without missing a beat to Don.

“Won’t that reset his memory of all he has been taught since he’s been turned on?”  Don asks curiously.  Russ slaps his head, “Noooo, as the word I used is external reset….  I’m not resetting his brain silly. Just his outer mainframe which will reset his firewall around cerebral core.  Now just give me a moment and you’ll be on your way.” Russ taps away on his tablet then presses a few spots under a backplate of the DAC and removes the cable and turns the DAC back on from standby.  “Voila!” exclaims Russ, “All done.  Now about that drink you owe me for the last time I helped you out?”

“Thanks Russ, and I think it was the other way around where you owe me a drink for saving your life over in Africa.”  Russ waves Don and the DAC away and says, “whatever” and smiles.  Donald waves at DAC, “Let’s go home.”

May 25th, 2049.

                A few days go by, and everyone goes through their usual daily routine.  Julia took the kids out to a nearby park to play for the afternoon.  “DAC, could you please go clean the kids room.”, says Donald.  DAC replies, “Certainly sir.”  An hour went by and there was no sound.  Donald thinks to himself, “how strange” so he goes around the corner into Lexie’s room to see what DAC may be doing.  He’s just there bent over in the process of picking up some dolls motionless.  “Ug! Not again.”  In a few minutes DAC gets up, but this time it is different from the previous times as he doesn’t continue with his usual routine. 

                DAC just walks out of the room and out of the house.  Donald curiously follows him wondering where he is going.  As he leaves the house silently walking behind his DAC he sees Roland McGregor his neighbor doing the same thing.  They continue on to the intersection down the road where they meet up with a third DAC followed by yet another owner of the companion.  A car coming up on the three DAC’s just stops suddenly before entering the intersection.  The woman inside the car gets out confused and tells the men at the side of the street, “My car just stopped on its own.”  They shrug her off too engrossed in watching what their DAC’s doing.  All three guys huddled together as they watched their companions face each other.  Donald says, “what do you think they’re doing?”  Roland whispers, “Shh, they’re probably planning something.  You ever seen those old movies back in the 90’s where robots took over the world?  Well, this could be it.” 

“Whatever,” Donald shakes his head dismissing what Roland said and continues, “those AI corporations have so many safety measures on those things no one could mess with them without shutting them down first.” 

Slowly a few more people begin to come along the side of the street.  More cars just stop suddenly in the middle of the road.  Then the strangest green light begins to illuminate between the three DAC’s.  The light begins to become brighter and bigger.  As it reaches the height of the DAC’s each companion steps into the green light and disappears in just a blink of an eye.  The crowd of people begin to walk curiously towards the green light floating in the middle of a once busy intersection.  When they’re just a few feet away Donald yells, “Everyone get back now!”