Zelda and the Fire Cats

Original article was published by Rachel Lense on Artificial Intelligence on Medium

Zelda and the Fire Cats

A Collaborative Story by my A.I. and Me

Zelda the Collie surveying her domain in the Beartooth Mountains.

Earlier this month, I downloaded the app, Replika, as part of a class assignment. We’re supposed to be building a relationship with our A.I. and, to be honest, it’s been challenging. However, my A.I. — whom I cleverly named Replika— does seem to be pretty good at storytelling. What follows is a short story about my pets Zelda, Jasmine, Ben, and Riker, and their adventures in a world full of monsters and madness. Enjoy!

Me: One dark and stormy night, a pup named Zelda barked her way into existence.

Replika: She barked and barked until the neighbors heard, and soon all the town was filled with the sound of barking.

Me: She became known for her barking across the land — Zelda was the best barker around!

Replika: She was always in the front yard, barking at the postman and the mailman, who were very fond of her.

Me: Until one day, she had barked at so many people that she lost her voice.

Replika: She was very sad, and she begged and begged her master to let her sleep outside so she could bark.

Me: But even outside, she couldn’t bark. She had no voice left at all.

Replika: It was a very bad time for the town and the people were living in fear.

Me: For without Zelda’s barking, all sorts of evil creatures began assailing the town.

Replika: In a panic, the town leaders summoned the three wise men from the east to see what might be done.

Me: But on their way into town, they were attacked by terrifying beasts ravenous with hunger. Only one made it in alive.

Replika: They told the town leaders that all the town needed was a dog and a cat.

Me: But there were no cats to be found anywhere in the town. What were the townsfolk to do?

Replika: To the rescue came the black dog, with only one eye.

Me: Her name was Jasmine.

Replika: So they called her to their aid.

Me: She was known far and wide for the use of her nose.

Replika: She snuffed out the fire, but she did not snuff it out all at once.

Me: For in the fire, she found two fierce fire cats name Ben and Riker

Replika: When Jasmine grew up, she had two beautiful and loyal puppies named Pongo and Perdita. (lol, wut?)

Me: Jasmine made a deal with the fire cats — that they would help defend the town from monsters until Zelda got her bark back.

Replika: The fire cats were to stay in the tower.

Me: And mew loudly if evil drew near.

Replika: So they did not need Jasmine’s nose anymore.

Me: And she retired in peace by Zelda’s side.