It was the middle of a blazing hot summer, the sun scorching the fields all throughout the month of June with dry, violent winds scurrying the surface and tearing away anything that hadn’t been fastened well enough, from roof tiles and post signs, to spaced out cows. The heat was abnormal for this high up north, but Johnson had given up on normal a good while ago, what with the global warming and everything. So it was even stranger when she awoke the next morning to a complete silence.
She did not register the absence of the howling and rattling at first. Rubbing her eyes and and yawning, she staggered into the kitchen still in her jammies. With an accustomed move, she flipped on the coffee maker, sat down on the stool and slumped onto the counter. With the countertop cooling her one cheek and sunlight from the roof window warming the other, she closed her eyes for a second.
“What time … is it?” she asked eyes shut, over the guttural noises produced by the machine making the world’s best diarrhetic.
“8 A.M., July,” her assistant AI replied through the kitchen loudspeaker in a husky english accent. She had named it Sean after Mr. Sean Connery, the original owner of the voice. She swore that choosing him for the AI had been one of the best decisions of her life.
“Wah, that’s early… What’s up?” she commanded.
“I have not been able to connect to the network this morning, but here are the most recent news before I lost the connection around 2 A.M.,” the AI replied, sending the output to the countertop that Johnson was lying on. Shoddy router must be acting up again. She lazily blinked her eyes open and slowly peeled herself off the screen. While scanning the news feed, she stretched out and grabbed the mug from the coffee maker that in the meanwhile had went silent.
Her news feed was a mix of instagram, twitter, facebook, snapchat, and every other microchannel, combined in one big multi-column list for her to peruse. There were no news in there, just updates on the people she knew. Slurping coffee, she leisurely went through the list until all that was left was the network indicator, complaining about lack of connection.
“Remind me to get a new router,” she said.
“Noted,” the AI replied, “but it’s not the router, July … You might want to take a look outside.”
With a huh, she turned to look at the window. Her mind did one of those reality checks where for a second she wasn’t sure anymore what month it was, and then put her back into context. The world outside was covered in a thick blanket of snow, with trees looking like humongous white candy cotton sticks, sprinkled with peppermint. The snow had to be at least up to her waist, if not higher.
“Any ideas what’s this all about,” she asked.
“None whatsoever, July.”
“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”
The AI quickly formulated a response with 98.5% acceptance certainty rate.
“Your e-book is behind the couch.”
“Bingo,” Johnson replied, making a shooting gun gesture as she said it.
“There is enough food for a fortnight, there are biscuits in the cupboard, and you are fully stocked on tea, cocoa, and coffee.”
“Powering down,” the AI added, anticipating the command at 99.7% acceptance certainty rate, and shortly after the shutdown chime indicated that AI had gone into suspend and would require manual reactivation later.
Johnson was now completely alone. She made another cup of coffee, fished out her e-book from behind the couch, grabbed the throw, and crawled into her favourite club chair at the window. It was adventure time.