At some point Wendy dozed off, she awakens hours later to a soft beeping and a green flashing light signifying she has a message. Still slightly dazed from her doze she pads to the terminal and softly touches the screen bringing up the message box and then very quickly, Jenny. “Hello, Wendy. Did you sleep well?”
“Yes, Jenny. Thank you.”
“Does my presence bother you?”
“Yes, you’re everywhere I am. I can do some things without your help.” Wendy snaps, annoyed by the voice.
“I understand. I am here if you need me but I will attempt to allow you to work without me.” The sound wave vanishes but Wendy doubts the AI is truly gone, just waiting in the shadows to assist or interrupt her and her work. Wendy sighs and pulls up the one new message, the video player opens and she waits a beat for it to load before hitting play.
“Hello Miss Wil- uh, Wendy. This is command communications officer Jared. We received your message and thank you for the update. When you get the chance please brace any loose walls with rocks or if you can find them nails and zip ties. Also, please don’t contact Miss Darbi Wilkinson, she is in a fragile state and we don’t know what will help and what will hurt her. She was given a transcript of your message though. I’m sorry, its the best we could do. We are working on reestablishing live video contact, we aren’t sure what went wrong but we will find it and we will fix it. Continue research as planed, though refrain from bringing plants into the research station. This is Jared from command, over and out.”
Wendy sighs and leans back in her chair. Jenny’s sound wave appears “Dinner is waiting for you, Wendy.”
“Thank you, I’ll be just a moment.” She closes her eyes
“And I suggest you shower. The gray water is used to water the green house and the storage container is in need of refilling.”
“Ok Jenny, I’ll shower after dinner.” Wendy stands slowly and walks to the table, she grabs the plate and eats quickly barely tasting the bland mush that is currently passing as food before going into the small bathroom, stripping down and getting in the warm shower water. She spends little time in there before getting out and redressing, noting that it is the one area in her small shelter that does not have a terminal or some way for Jenny to interfere with her and her actions. With a happy sigh she goes to the sink and brushes her teeth before carefully combing her hair out, the silence a welcome companion.
Finally she steps out and sighs seeing the blue sound wave “Water level returning to satisfactory height.”
“Do you learn what I like and dislike as time goes on?” Wendy blurts out, not caring for what the machine has said.
“I will learn and change my patterns to best meet your needs.” Jenny replies, voice noticeably softer. Wendy nods and hums softly entering her small bed room, the terminal does not flick on and she finds herself more at ease with that. “I suggest you rest.”
“You are still recovering, please at least lay down. Perhaps you can read.” Wendy makes a face at the terminal. “You are unhappy with my suggestion? What would you like to do?”
“I would like to talk to my sister, but they won’t let me.”
“If it would help you rest I can emulate her voice for you and we can-”
“No, no. I’ll just… I’ll read or something. Thank you though. Good night Jenny.”
“Good night, tomorrow you should try to right your sleep schedule.” Wendy rolls her eyes and grabs a book: The Wizard of Earthsea, Darbi’s favorite though Wendy cannot figure out why.
“Fine fine, night Jenny.”
“Good night.” Nothing changes and Wendy flops on the bed and opens the book to the first page.