Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Anari Effect

I feel like doing something different today, something to continue the creative streak I'm on, something to inspire me even further.
So, in that spirit I offer you...

The Anari Effect

Prologue…

“Dakota Mackenzie Anari, it is time to rise.”

A lump beneath the covers groaned in response.

“That is not an adequate reply. It is time to rise.”

“Go frag yourself.”

“I am unable to find meaning for the word frag. Please provide definition.” The female voice requested.

“Drop it. I’m up.” The covers flipped back and a naked woman sat up and squinted at the light coming in her window. “Who the hell programmed you to be such a nag?”

“Unknown.”

“Figures. What time is it?”

“It is currently six-thirty in the morning.”

“Great, one of the first smart homes in this city, and it’s an early riser. Dakota mumbled to herself as she padded into the bathroom. The shower turned on by itself, and she jumped back. “What the hell?”

“You wish to bathe, correct?”

“Yeah, but how did you know?”

“It is part of my programming.”

Dakota shook her head and stepped into the shower. “YOW! Does your programming tell you about hot water?!”

“Adjusting water temperature…will ten degrees warmer be sufficient?”

“Make it fifteen and I’ll be happier.” Dakota replied. Once the water warmed up, she asked, “Can you self-program this temperature for all my showers?”

“Temperature set.” The house replied.


After her shower, Dakota dressed and strolled into the kitchen. One glance around the room made her aware she hadn’t asked any questions when she saw the house originally.

“If I were a coffee maker, where would I be?” she mumbled as she opened the cupboards.

A small screen above the sink flickered to life and a woman’s visage appeared. She had short dark hair; a heart shaped face and wore a serious expression.

“Who are you?” Dakota asked her.

“I am the representation of this home’s computer, provided to you so that you might be more comfortable here.”

“A hologram?”

“That is correct.”

“Good enough. Now if you could just point out the coffee maker…”

“What is your flavour preference?”

“I take my coffee black, if that’s what you mean.”

The woman on the screen glanced to her left, and Dakota’s eyes followed. She was only slightly surprised to see a small panel slide up into the wall and a steaming mug waiting inside an alcove. It smelled good, and tasted even better.

With coffee in hand, Dakota toured the house to get a better look than she had the night before. A driver had picked her up from the airport, and gave her the key to the house, but had been very vague on just what the house could do. Dakota had only taken the time to lock up, strip and get into bed. Her preliminary information had revealed the house had interactive speech capabilities, but the pamphlet had only hinted at interactive gems yet to be discovered. Dakota assumed her new employers expected her to discover the home’s capabilities on her own.


The kitchen was spartan at first glance. The counters were a pseudo-marble, the sink a standard chrome, as was the stove and refrigerator. “I remember reading the manufacturer’s information for this house, but if I’m supposed to interact with you, what do I call you?”

“I have been designated as HnnA 36.”

“Hmm. You are familiar with my name, and the designer didn’t give you a human designation, so I’m going to call you Hanna.”

“That is acceptable.”

“So tell me, Hanna, what do I need to know about you?”

“Please specify the request.”

Dakota sighed heavily. “Very well, who designed you?”

A small screen in the dining room wall flickered to life, and Hanna’s hologram appeared. “I was designed by Wellington Coriolis and built by his private construction company. I am the only one of my kind recorded. I have a level of intelligence and programming that is unique to smart homes. I am … singular.”

“Almost sounds like bragging, Hanna.” Dakota smiled. “What can I expect?”

A moment after the question had been asked, one of the windows darkened and showed a picture, which then morphed into a local newscast.

“Impressive.”

The picture morphed again, but this time into a bar graph, that reflected the home’s various functions and requirements. Dakota had only a few heartbeats to study the window before Hanna’s face appeared in place of the graph. “You are about to have a visitor.”

“Dare I ask how you know?”

Hanna replied by showing a shot taken from the security camera at the front door, showing a man pushing the buzzer.

“He will hear you if you address him from here.” Hanna’s voice came from the ceiling.

“What can I do for you?” Dakota asked the man’s picture.

“Miss Anari, my name is Neil. Wells Corp has sent me to drive you to work today.”

“I’ll be right out.” Dakota turned back toward the kitchen, with an empty coffee cup that she didn’t remember draining. “I’m going to assume there’s a dishwasher here somewhere.”

The dishwasher door opened at a command from Hanna.

“Hmm. A super smart home, a mysterious and lucrative job, and a driver. I think I might like it here.”


More to come, stay tuned!

1 comment:

Kitchen Elixirs said...

More! More!