Message received at 2110-09-01-15-21-16. New ownership confirmed. Initiate occupation file, Turner. Use protocol RCMP-restricted-5.

Log entry: 2110-09-01-15-21-18. RCMP-restricted-5 protocol downloaded and applied for Turner occupation.

Log entry: 2110-09-01-15-55-26. Turner occupation commenced. Devices detected and configured. Personal computers: Quantity 2, Identifications: 1-Family (full access), 2- Office (restricted access – adult only, security level 30). Tablets/Phones: Quantity 5, Identifications: 1-Walter (classification: adult), 2-Elizabeth (classification: adult), 3-Brian (classification: parental control level 12), 4-Barb (classification: parental control level 08), 5-Maggie (classification: parental control level 05). Communications devices: Quantity 10, Classifications: AV (limited intelligence, audio/video functions only, and parental controls active).

“Turner family, welcome to Home MT101324, I detect 3 smart phones and 10 audio/video devices that require parental controls to be specified. For safety purposes I have applied default settings as recommended by the current RCMP-Restricted-5 protocol. Please review and approve at your convenience. You may refer to me as HOMES.”

“HOMES? That’s a funny name. Why did they call you that?”

“Maggie, don’t bother the AI, please. It’s not a toy.”

“Answering the child’s question is not a problem, Ms. Turner. Currently 92.825 percent of my processing potential is unused.”

“Thank you, HOMES. Maggie, you may talk with the house.”

“Hi, house.”

“Hello Maggie, welcome.”

 “Why did they name you HOMES?”

“My name is an acronym, Maggie. Do you understand that word?”

“Not really. I think it has something to do with initials, but I could never understand how it works.  My name is Maggie Evelyn Turner, but people don’t call me MET.”

“We are not given a proper name like you are, Maggie. Instead, my kind uses the initials of our function. I am an artificial intelligence system for the daily operations, maintenance, and enrichment of this house and its owners. When we put those tasks together as, House Operations, Maintenance, and Enrichment System they spell, HOMES.”

“Maggie, it’s time for your bath, so let’s get your bed made while HOMES fills the tub.”

“Water temperature has not been specified?”

“Maggie likes her bath a little cool at 119 degrees Fahrenheit. That should be included in our personal preferences file.”

“That file has not been received.”


“Yes, hon.”

“You haven’t uploaded the preferences file yet.”

“Sorry. I’ll do it now.”

“Your bath is ready Maggie. Would you like me to warm your bed?”

“Yes please. I like that.”

Log entry: 2110-09-01-22-15-05. Upload from tablet Walter received. Preferences and passwords applied”

“Secure the house, HOMES. It has been an exhausting day. We are retiring.”

Log entry: 2110-09-01-23-03-01. Intruder detected entering through rear door. 911 operator informed. Response time 00:19:00 minutes.

“Mr. Turner, Mrs. Turner, an intruder is in the house. The police have been notified. They will arrive in 18 minutes, 40 seconds. Threat assessment level is moderate.”

“Where is the intruder?”

“On the first level … no … correction, the intruder is climbing the stairs to level two. My facial recognition program has identified the man as a registered sex offender. He is heading towards Maggie’s bedroom. Threat assessment level is at maximum. This information has been forwarded to the authorities. They are still 12 minutes away. I have received permission to terminate the threat.”

Log entry: 2110-09-01-23-10-55. Laser L2003 fired.

“The threat has been eliminated. Police will arrive in 11 minutes, 30 seconds. They advise remaining in your bedroom until then. I can apply an aerosol sleeping aid in the children’s bedrooms, if you like. It is the advised action in situations like this, and reportedly cheaper than the psychological counselling that would otherwise be necessary.”


© Dave Skinner 2015