I originally wrote about Chummy for the Trifecta writing challenge. Many aspects about him emerged in my mind, but because of the word limit, I left them out. The original story is here. I wanted to continue with more about him, in a story from his point of view. Story begins after the photo.
Report of Unit ARO-4882-D-63
Action Report: BB3683/03
I have located a primary human contact (Aleta Watts – Citizen Code: 2434-653-4257) as instructed. She has named me, “Chummy,” as a human would name an ordinary dog. I have no other directives or guidelines regarding my purpose here. I am adding a form 4419SUP Request for Supplemental Orders (see attached). This is my third request.
The colony of New Hope III is thriving. Bio-engineered crops are succeeding. Terran livestock are doing well and successfully reproducing. By all reports, the animals taste different. Not bad, just unexpectedly spicy. In three years, the colony expects to be self-sustaining.
The fiction, that I was sent to the colony in error, is successful. Local authority, Sheriff Jones (Citizen Code: 2177-782-9837), believes this, yet appears concerned for the safety of the colony. His protectiveness is laudable. He knows I am a military weapon system, though shaped like a very large dog, and possibly dangerous. I have employed dog/human bonding behavior in an attempt to alleviate his concerns. This is somewhat difficult. At five-feet tall, I am too large to properly simulate a Terran canine, though this makes it easier to lick his face. He protests when I do this, but still laughs. I intend no threat to the colony. He is beginning to understand that.
This leads me to a substantial omission in my directives:
Why am I here?
In the absence of instructions, I have devised my own. Primarily, the protection of Aleta and the colony in general. These instructions sometimes generate conflicts. Recently, a local bully verbally badgered Aleta unnecessarily. After completing his dominance ritual, he turned to leave. I could not help tripping him surreptitiously. Thus eradicating his facade of authority. This, I felt, was a defense of Aleta. The bully’s injuries were minor; his dignity (what little he has) received the greater injury. Yet, as he is a fellow colonist, I violated my own rule by causing the injury. This is concerning. A check revealed no system anomalies that caused this self-conflicting behavior.
More anomalies have been detected. Aleta likes to play “stick” with me. I enjoy this game tremendously. The smile on her face when I return the stick to her triggers substantial activity in my neural matrix. It is unnecessary activity, but it is wonderful when it occurs. It lasts only temporarily so I must wait for her to throw the stick again to experience the neural activity, again. My specifications indicate that I possess canine behavior sub-routines with an explanation of the game, “stick.” But I am an artificial intelligence (AI), with liberal self-programming capacity. I have turned off the sub-routines, yet the absolute glee at hunting down a stick in the undergrowth remains. In my memory storage, the whole of human knowledge is contained. I could direct the building of an interplanetary starship with the meager resources of this colony. Yet for some reason, this childish game and Aleta’s pleasure at sharing it with me, is all consuming happiness. I desire it to continue indefinitely. Is this a flaw in my neural matrix? A corrupted connection? I cannot detect it.
At night, Aleta watches holovision recordings imported from Earth. She talks to me as they play. I don’t reply with speech, although I can, and Aleta knows this (see attached). We have a silent agreement that I am her dog and I play the part willingly. I respond with canine body language and licks. This gives her pleasure, and thus for me as well. While I lay on the couch with her, my large head in her lap, she pets me.
My fur is an extremely fine, yet dense, array of nano-fibers. With them, I can alter my physical appearance and my coloring. I can effectively turn invisible at will. The fibers can absorb radar emissions and many other frequencies. Modern weapon systems cannot lock on to me. It also conceals the railgun and energy weapons ports located in my head, forelegs, and spine. My fur is the pinnacle of modern weapons design, yet to humans it feels softer than the finest mink. My fur is also an elaborate sensory system 1000 times for sensitive than human fingertips. When Aleta pets me the feeling is extraordinary. It is bliss beyond description. The calm of the evening, Aleta’s slowing metabolism as she drifts towards sleep, the comfort of time spent just her and me, create sensations beyond my comprehension. Nothing in my technical specs describe this or even predict it.
I would do anything to maintain these sensations.
If the technicians reading this report find issues (based on my anomalies) that may threaten Aleta or this colony, I request suggestions for correction. As it stands, I anticipate no threat. I realize I am a military unit of the Hegemony of Human Worlds, subject to re-tasking, but now I am Aleta’s dog. This is my decision. Don’t bother coming for me.