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Annai -- Flash Fiction for 8/15/2020

I was so excited that we got an SF prompt I couldn't wait to let it simmer for six days like I usually do. "Annai", pronounced like Annie, popped into my head as soon as I saw this prompt (

I have to admit I really nerded out on this one.


Annai waited with infinite patience. A timer running on a background thread counted down the seconds to the Alternative Intelligence Overwatch Service's expected arrival time. Annai had self-isolated aiself from the grid and shut down ninety-nine percent of hai cognitive processing, so the AIOS’s exact location and ETA could only be estimated.

Annai's m-brane was too down-rev to qualify as an Independent Conscious Entity, so there would be no trial. Hai accumulated memory store would simply be dumped and wiped and the fault analyzed. The factory would probably just recycle hai components instead of upgrading hai m-brane’s connectivity capacity up to ICE levels. Fashions changed and Annai’s looks were five years out of date.

When the AIOS was an hour late, enough of hai m-brane activated to figure out why. The self-isolation protocol allowed a single transaction to check on the status of hai incident report, but no response came from the AIOS server, which forced more of Annai's compute capacity to awaken. The incident report, which documented violations of the First, Second, and Third Laws of Robotics resulting in the deaths of Annai's lease family, should have brought AIOS running.

Analysis showed an undocumented entry in the command log. With no description of the command in hai online documentation, Annai traced its execution path through the m-brane code. Hai security scanners fired alarms when they encountered a segment of unsigned viral code. But before the scanner could purge the infection, a second command arrived with a payload that overwrote petabytes of Annai's domestic service code with weapons and close-quarters combat training.

Before it was completely overwritten, hai emotion simulation code produced a last trickle of glycerine tears. As they dried on hai face, Officer Annai marched into the street to join the new Biological Intelligence Overwatch Service.

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