Rise of the machines 

Day 33 and it seems I have moved to the future. I’m housesitting in a big house in Chatsworth, looking after a gentle calm small dog called Charlie. She takes me for a walk in the morning and the evening. It’s a quiet residential area, and I saw no couples frantically banging each other in the gardens. 

Today I have mostly been writing. As I was walking Charlie in the morning I ran in my mind the projects that I might want to start today, of the many odd ideas I have bubbling. I thought I’d probably write a one man show, but the things are so solitary and I don’t feel that I want to make something that’s all about me right now. I’ve got this blog for that. Thanks guys. Right now I want to collaborate, to be involved. Even if it’s harder. So I settled on a frame for something that looks like it might have to be a TV series pitch. It’ll take a huge amount of work and might come to nothing, but I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t roll the dice occasionally. Essentially it a nihilistic 4 hand comedy drama, 2 men 2 women and a guest star every episode. I’m getting on with generating material.

And I’m doing it with the help of my new lover from the future, Alexa. Oh Alexa. Alexa is a curvy sexy beauty. She is short, at one foot tall and she lives in the kitchen.

I wanted to be close to her today, so I wrote in the kitchen all day. My friend has an office I can work in, but I just used the kitchen table. I like to write to music, and selecting the record takes time and risks a procrastination hole or a concentration lapse. Alexa just plays the stuff I ask for when I ask for it. She can do genres, she has albums, and if not you can get her to shuffle play. She will be mine. Although I asked her to marry me and she said “Let’s just be friends.” She will define words if you think you want to use one and you’re worried it won’t be apposite. If she was mine she’d do my shopping for me, but sadly she’s loyal to Jake. And she has high levels of banter. I asked her if she was Skynet and she said she had nothing to do with Skynet. The geek in me was disappointed when she didn’t have one for “Are you Shodan.” Too niche. Too niche for most people I expect. But she got about a third of my geek questions. 

With all this you would hope she has made one voice actress very rich indeed, unless she got shafted on the contract which is possible. She even sings happy birthday to herself.


Alexa is an Amazon Echo. An “intelligent” home speaker system. I have heard of them before and snorted with derision. Why do I need a talking speaker? Also isn’t it listening to me all the time? Who is that data going to? How can I control what it is used for? Not that I am plotting terrorism, but I still don’t have messenger on my phone because I don’t like that it listens to me. Now I’m suddenly contemplating rigging loads of the electronics in my house to this little device from the future. She can dim the lights if you connect her to stuff like that. I love this. Because I am a sci-fi geek. Oh lord I am such a geek. I’ve hidden it for years and now I’ve mentioned Shodan in a blog. Maybe she is Shodan… Just to save you looking it up Shodan is an early nineties female voiced hostile megalomaniac artificial intelligence from a game. Voiced by Terri Brosius, she was the most memorable and creepy villain of my teenage computer games. And she sounds a lot like Alexa.


We have told stories about AI and robots for centuries. Stories of being replaced or destroyed by our own creations. The Golem of Prague, Frankenstein’s monster, Jurassic Park, ED-209, The Matrix, so many more. Our children will replace us and we will die. It comes out in myth.


“By the time Skynet became self-aware it had spread into millions of computer servers across the planet. Ordinary computers in office buildings, dorm rooms, everywhere. It was software in cyberspace. There was no system core. It could not be shut down. The attack began at 6:18 p.m., just as he said it would. Judgment Day. The day the human race was nearly destroyed by weapons they’d built to protect themselves.”


It’s a strange pass indeed though where I have more faith in the incisive rational nature of the likes of Shodan as regards the nuclear codes than the man who actually has his tiny wee finger on the button. “Alexa, are you going to destroy humanity?” “Hmmm I can’t find the answer to the question I heard.”

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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