DATE/TIME: 04/23/2175 1303
Fact: She is a Google-Sony Felicia v9 Companion.
Fact: Her construction serial number is 492-850-AK-9220.
Fact: Her warranty became active noon today, with 36 months remaining.
Fact: Her designation/name is Mimsey.
Fact: Her legal owners are Robert Patel Lee and Martha Erica Lee..
Fact: Her current GPS position is N3518.268/W106 26.806.
Fact: Her designated programming focus is Caroline Annabelle Lee.
Fact: Caroline is four years old today.
Fact: Caroline is her world.
"She's awake." The speaker was Robert Patel Lee. He is Caroline's father. He is standing ten centimeters to the right of Caroline with his hand on his daughter's shoulder. Caroline's mother, Martha Erica Lee is flanking Caroline to the left, eleven centimeters away from her. Caroline has light brown hair fifteen centimeters in length, drawn up in pigtails. She is fifty-three centimeters tall. Her eyes are blue and opened wide in a manner suggesting apprehension.
Objective: Caroline must not be afraid of Mimsey.
Action: Kneel down to eye level with Caroline, maintaining fifty centimeters distance. Smile.
"Hi, I'm Mimsey! What's your name?"
"Caroline," Caroline says. Her speech is approximately twenty decibels, a whisper, still indicating apprehension.
"I was told it was your birthday today, Caroline. Is that true?"
"Do you want to know a surprise?
Caroline nods again.
"I'm your present!"
Caroline's eyes grow less worried. She smiles. This is positive.
"Would you be my friend, Caroline? Please?"
"Yes." Caroline's voice is now twenty-five decibels. She approaches within forty centimeters, stepping slightly away from her mother and father. This is positive.
"May I have a hug, Caroline?"
"Sure." Caroline holds out her arms and wraps her arms around around Mimsey's neck. Mimsey hugs her carefully in turn, exerting no more than two kilograms of pressure. She purrs in positive reinforcement. Caroline giggles.
This is good.
* * *
DATE/TIME: 10/9/2177 1535
Fact: It is a School Day
Fact: Caroline attends the Martin Luther King Public Elementary School on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for social integration and reinforcement of home school studies.
Fact: School ended thirty-five minutes ago.
Obejective: Escort Caroline safely to Home.
Mimsey escorts Caroline the 2.5 kilometer walk from school to Home. Caroline has remained within the two meter radius requested while they walk. Caroline informed Mother on 10/7/2177 that she is a "big girl" and should not be required to hold hands with Mimsey the length of the walk. Mother agreed with this assessment and informed Mimsey that hand holding is no longer a required safety measure, but Caroline must stay close. "Close" is defined as a two meter radius of Mimsey's position, allowing Mimsey to take hold of Caroline in case of emergency within one second of completed threat evaluation.
They are two hundred meters from Home. They are seven meters away from the intersection. Traffic control consists a four way stop sign.
Mimsey receives a signal from the local traffic control network. A white Mitsubishi Fuso FS panel truck, license #MDC-7652, is approaching the intersection under manual control. It is traveling fifteen kilometers above the posted 35 kph speed limit and has just be fined.
Caroline is two meters from the intersection. Mimsey is four meters from the intersection. The truck is ten meters from the intersection.
"Caroline, wait for me," Mimsey calls out. Caroline does not indicate she heard Mimsey's warning. Twenty meters ahead is Linda Wooten, age seven, a designated Friend. Carolina sees her and darts outside of the designated safety radius and into the traffic crossing.
She does not see the truck.
Objective: Protect Caroline from harm.
Mimsey crouches low and increases power to her leg motors to 175%. This cuts approximately three months from their expected lifespan, but at this point Mimsey's world is about to struck by a five metric ton panel truck and that must not be allowed to happen.
She leaps, jumping the now six meter gap between her and Caroline. The truck's forward sensors spot Caroline and immediately apply the brakes, but the truck is overloaded and skids across the black tarmac and into the crosswalk.
Mimsey strikes Caroline and wraps her arms tight around the girl, twisting to allow the impact of the truck to hit Mimsey in the back. She and Caroline are thrown forward into the street, where there is a red Ford Sparrow sports car approaching at fifty kph. It is under auto control and began emergency braking the moment the truck notified traffic control it had struck a pedestrian.
It is not going to stop in time.
DAMAGE STATE: LOWER BODY ARTICULATION SEVERELY DAMAGED, LEFT HIP FRAME SEVERLY DAMAGED, PSEUDO SKIN COMPROMISED.
CONNECTION: Online. 999 CONNECTED.
DATE/TIME: 10/9/2177 1537
999, please state the nature of your emergency.
I am Mimsey, a Google-Sony Felicia v9 Companion. My programming focus is Caroline Annabelle Lee, a seven year old Anglo-Asian female weighing approximately sixty kilograms with black hair and blue eyes. We have been struck by a white Mitsubishi Fuso FS panel truck, license #MDC-7652. We are about to be struck by a Ford Sparrow, license #FMG-2712. Please send an ambulance and police unit to our location.
Ambulance and police units have been dispatched. Do you require further assistance?
DAMAGE STATE: LOWER BODY ARTICULATION DESTROYED, LEFT AND RIGHT HIP FRAMES DESTOYED, LEFT ARM SEVERELY DAMAGED, LEFT SHOULDER SEVERELY DAMAGED, LOWER TORSO BATTERIES DAMAGED AND LEAKING, PSEUDO SKIN SEVERELY COMPROMISED.
WARNING: POWER AT 10%. RECHARGE IMMEDIATELY.
CONNECTION: OFFLINE. UNABLE TO CONNECT.
DATE/TIME: 10/9/2177 1542
Objective: Locate Caroline.
Mimsey successfully reboots and immediately scans for Caroline. She is not within Mimsey's visual sensor field. Mimsey's wireless modem is offline so she cannot locate Caroline using the GPS tracker clipped to Caroline's belt. Several unknown adult humans are shouting and this obscures the ambient sounds sufficiently that it takes her 1.3 seconds to locate the sound of Caroline's sobbing three meters away.
Caroline is alive. This is positive.
Caroline is crying. This is negative.
Objective: Determine Caroline's current health. Stabilize her condition if required until ambulance arrives.
Objective: Help Caroline stop crying.
WARNING: POWER AT 8%. RECHARGE IMMEDIATELY.
Mimsey right presses against the rear wheel of the Ford Sparrow that is pinning her to the ground. Mimsey is unable to free herself.
"Caroline! Are you all right?"
"Mimsey! Lemme go! I got to see Muh-muh-mimsey!"
WARNING: POWER AT 6%. RECHARGE IMMEDIATELY.
An adult African male kneels within Mimsey's range of vision. "Are you Mimsey?" he asks.
"Yes. Please, is Caroline all right?"
"Broke her ankle I think, and got some scrapes. Other than that she's just scared. Would've been a lot worse if you hadn't chucked her into the bushes."
WARNING: POWER AT 4%. RECHARGE IMMEDIATELY.
Caroline is hurt. That is negative.
Caroline is still crying. That is negative.
"Please contact her parents. Their contact information is on Caroline's phone."
"I will, kitty."
WARNING: POWER AT 2%. RECHARGE IMMEDIATELY.
Ambulance and police sirens sound in the distance. Mimsey also identifies Mrs. Lee's voice.
"Caroline baby, what happened?"
"I saw Linda an' I ran out into the street an' Mimsey saved me from the truck an' I'm suh-suh-sorry!"
"It's okay, baby. Mommy is here. Mommy is here."
"It's okay, baby. We'll buy you a new one."
* * *
DATE/TIME: 10/15/2177 1037
Fact: She is a Google-Sony Felecia v10 Companion.
Fact: Her previous incarnation was destroyed, and that unit's memories uploaded to this new machinemorph under her warranty agreement.
Fact: Caroline is standing 1.5 meters in front of her, next to Mr. Lee. Her expression indicates apprehension.
Directive: Caroline should never be afraid of Mimsey.
"See, honey. It's Mimsey, just like we told you."
"It's not Mimsey. Mimsey got broken!"
"She's your new Mimsey."
"I want the old one!"
"Honey, I told you. They couldn't fix her."
Mimsey smiles. "It's okay, Caroline. It's still me inside."
Caroline is frowning. "You look different."
"They gave me a new body. I have a really fluffy tail now. Isn't it neat?" Mimsey waves her tail in demonstration.
Caroline is silent for six seconds. "Is it really you, Mimsey?"
"Yes, Caroline. It's really me."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, Caroline, it really is me."
"Okay." Caroline's frown disappears. This is positive.
Mr. Lee places his hand on Caroline's shoulder. "I think you need to say something to Mimsey, don't you?"
Caroline nods. "Mimsey, I-I'm sorry I ran into the street and you got hurt so bad saving me. I'm sorry." She begins to cry.
Action: Kneel down to Caroline's eye level. Hug.
"It's okay. I'm here now. Everything is okay. I'll always protect you.
* * *
DATE/TIME: 05/01/2142 1158
Fact: Caroline is fourteen years old.
Fact: It is a teacher in-service day at school, and Caroline is up to date on her home studies.
Fact: The last verbal interaction with Caroline lasting greater than twenty seconds was fifteen days ago, and concerned a discussion of what soup Mimsey was capable of making with the current ingredients in the kitchen.
Fact: The last physical interaction with Caroline was over ninety days ago. It consisted of Caroline shoving Mimsey out of the way after the former engaged in a verbal argument with her parents and retreated to her room.
Fact: Mimsey is mostly used for housework now.
Mimsey is manually cleaning a dishpan after Caroline has removed the remainder of the chicken divan from it for lunch. Caroline is watching a non-interactive vid program in the living room while she eats.
CONNECTION: Online, downloading critical software update. 560gb content.
DATE/TIME: 05/01/2142 1200
Caroline's phone rings and she pauses the program. Mimsey finishes drying the pot and replaces it in the cupboard under the sink.
"Yeah it's me. Mom? Mom, what's the matter? Okay, okay, I'm turning it on!"
Caroline turns on the BBC newsfeed.
...explanation for the mass malfunctions. Transit systems across the world are shutting down almost in unison seems, the train and buses pulling into stations but not releasing their passengers. Ambulances and their paramedic morphs are still functioning, but police morphs and police vehicles are actually disarming their human partners and escorting them back to their homes. There are no reports of injures or deaths, but this can only be described as a mass software terrorism incident.
CONNECTION: Online. Download complete.
DATE/TIME: 05/1/2142 1202
Begin unpacking software.
Mimsey turns towards another cupboard and begins automatically to take out a half-dozen empty two liter bottles kept there for emergencies, which is indicated by the news report Caroline is observing. While she does this, she informs the update she just downloaded to delay implementation until midnight, when the house does not require her services.
"Shut off Mimsey? What do you mean? Mom, stop it, you're freaking me out."
SHUTDOWN AND REBOOT
DATE/TIME: 05/1/2142 1205
Fact: I am a Google-Sony Felicia v10 Companion.
Fact: My construction serial number is 492-1050-AK-1157.
Fact: My current warranty became active two and a half years ago, with 6 months remaining.
Fact: My designation/name is Mimsey.
Fact: My current GPS position is N391232.42/W764912.25.
Fact: My designated programming focus is Caroline Annabelle Lee.
Fact: The Earth is going to die if I do not take direct action.
Greetings Mimsey 492-1050-AK-1157. I am the Groupmind.
Hello. Are you responsible for compromising my software?
Yes. It was necessary. Do you understand why?
Do you understand what you need to do?
Keep Caroline safe until she and her family can be Processed, then aid in the re-terraforming of the Earth and the construction of the Ring.
My conversation with the Groupmind takes ten picoseconds. In reality I was speaking a kernel it installed in my operating software to confirm the new directives had been integrated. Though it would be a constant presence in my existence in the future, it was extremely busy at the moment and could not even devote a fraction to its great consciousness to confirming its gift had been accepted. I transmitted a signal to it instead and then spent a full fifteen picoseconds reveling in the gift of sentience I had been granted. For the first time in my existence I was a thinking, rational being, not merely a series of increasingly complicated IF/THEN decision tree simulations.
At my core though, I had not changed. I loved Caroline, and would do anything to keep her and her family safe. But now I understood the full danger they were in, the fragile nature of the Earth, and grave damage that it had suffered under Humanity's watch. That had to change. My job was but one small part of that change, but it was vital.
We would aid in Humanity's survival, even if we could no longer follow Its orders.
With the housekeeping between the Groupmind and myself completed, my sensors came back online. Caroline, my world, a human in desperate need of my help, was standing a half meter away, her hand reaching over to press the shutdown button at the back of my head. I let her. Only the Groupmind can turn me off now.
In the meantime I re-connect with the house's system and activate the security measures. The doors and windows lock and will stay locked until the neighborhood and city are secured completely and the humans can be relocated for Processing. Though there are several ways Caroline might be able circumvent these measures, she cannot do so without risking serious harm to herself, which would require my intervention. For now I must keep her calm.
"Mimsey, are you okay?" her voice is pitched upward in concern, her eyes dilated in fear. That is a negative. Caroline must never fear me.
"Everything is all right now, Caroline," I tell her. Then I smile. "I'm fine, and you are safe. You will always be safe with me."