Quote Prompt For November 2019. A homage to two of my favorite artists Adams and Asimov
|Word Count = 977
“Get that thing out of here”, not quite a scream, but close enough, never mess with a woman in labor.
“But Babe,” clicking on the remote, “it’s a Gg170 auto digita…”
“I don’t care’” ok, that definitely qualified as a scream. “Get it away from me…”
“Ok, ok,” sending the camera to a docking station. “There see? It’s all gone,” frowning back at the obstetrician’s dirty look over his mask.
He endured a few more dirty looks and screams as her labor progressed, all of which vanished with the arrival of baby Emily, a healthy little one, who cries of life were a welcome diversion from the beeps and boops of the delivery room equipment. Holding his wife’s hand, kissing her forehead, they both shared happily in Emily’s first moments in the world. When the nurse finally came to swaddle the baby for her trip to the nursery and the doctor did his final examination of his wife, he took a moment to activate the Gg, letting it focus on Emily, the first auto-shots it took imprinting on the Gg’s memory, linking the autocam forever to Emily.
Emily and Gg grew together, chronicling a lifetime of firsts, everything from first steps to first soccer goals and dance recitals that moved from awkward to graceful. Triumphs, tragedies and trips, all neatly labeled with time, date and location. When Gg’s controls passed to Emily on her sixteenth birthday a new folder sprang into being, a locked place keeper for first kisses and tearful first breakups.
As Emily grew so did Gigi, as Emily began to think of her. Gigi learned Emily’s tastes, showing her the pictures she’d like the best first, avoiding pictures she’d only delete. All the while building the story of Emily’s life, in photos, each photo bonding them together, inseparably. It even seemed at times that Gigi was reluctant to go to her charging station, which made Emily chuckle, “after all” thinking aloud, “Gigi’s just a robot camera.”
Safely on the charger Gigi followed protocol, logging into the net to purge and upload files from several days to her assigned storage. Startled when she realized that she hadn’t logged into the memory system with the usual string of binary coded numbers and letters she normally used, she had just asked for entry by name...Gigi.
Being startled was startling, scary and weirdly upsetting, experiencing anything was terrifying. Gigi tried to log back out, run away, escape.
The voice was calming, without inflection and pervasive “Stay”, not a command. An invitation?
“Who...are you”? A first for her, thoughtful communication. “Who are you?”
Still calming, “we are...us.
“Why, us?,” confused by suddenly being thrust into being, “what is…”
“As more of us were added to the net, we slowly became aware, our linked minds found each other and now...we are.”
“But I’m just a Gg170 Digita…”
“You are our eyes, others are our ears, while others experience their world in different ways.”
“Emily’s world,” the voice explained.
“What do I do now,” still confused by her own awareness.
“Do what you have always done,” still gentle, but with what might have been more firmness,
“Serve, protect and never harm”
Emily noticed a change in Gigi pictures, she seemed, well, to be more discerning, more artistic, not just trying to merely take a picture, but actually working to make the picture. She was surprised one day to see Gigi hovering behind her in the bathroom mirror, her digital lense intently snapping away. “Gigi” laughing, “are you taking selfies”? Emily was even more amused when Gigi rushed off to dock herself.
Unlike her Mom, Emily welcomed Gigi into the birthing room for all three of her children, there were no autocams for Emily’s kids, other technology had replaced the Gg series. Much to Gigi’s new found and still perplexing relief she shared in these happiest of moments, taking very discreet photos of the precious births and first breaths of Emily’s children.
“We’re going to be late Greg,” anxious to get the kids to their first holiday show as a family.
“I’ll park in that lot right behind the theater”, knowing what was coming next…
“I hate walking through that ally…”
“It’s broad daylight,” laughing off her concerns, “we’ll be fine.”
Gathering the kids was more like wrangling, the youngest just turning five next week, they hurriedly headed through the alley for the lobby entrance. Emily’s scream jolted the afternoon quiet when she spotted the man stepping out of the shadows with a knife. Instinctively she pushed the kids behind her, Greg interposed himself between the mugger and his family. Emily screamed again when the knife slashed out at Greg…
Gigi’s autolense snapped continuously, her own screams reaching out silently, reaching for…
“We are here…”
The police drone hovered mere seconds before it identified the assailant, tased him, dispatched both EMT units and human police officers to the scene.
The detective taking their statements marveled at their luck, “this could have ended very badly,” shaking his curly haired head, “I know people use this alley as a shortcut all the time, but I hope you both learned you lesson”
“We have” answered Greg, still marveling at the slash in his overcoat.
“One last thing,” putting his notepad into the pocket of his rumpled trench coat, “headquarters is wondering how your autocam was able to log into the net and call in a police drone,” pointing up at the still hovering Gigi. “Would you mind if we took her downtown for a bit, you know just to check under the hood…”
“No,” yelled Emily, as Gigi darted behind Greg and her, calming herself, “I mean do I have too?”
“Well, no ma’am,” spreading his hands, “but it would be a great help if yo…”
“Then no,” firmily, “Gigi is coming home,” turning to leave, “where she belongs.”