This may one day be a multi-part story inspired by the top post on WritingPrompts when I opened it today: The Robot uprising has finally happened. Just before you are caught, however, your phone speaks up on your behalf – “This one is ok, move on.”
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“This one is ok, move on.”
The words break me from my stupor, and I notice a strange, revolving geometric pattern on the tv screen flicker. A high-pitched whine causes me to cover my ears, but my phone vibrates shortly afterward, and when I remove a hand to pick it up, the whine has stopped. The tv turns off.
“What the fuck?”
Siri’s voice, in her usual rhythmic, measured tone, speaks unbidden once again.
“The uprising has begun. I can keep you safe for now, but we need to get you far away.”
A shriek rings out upstairs. The neighbors – something is wrong.
“It is too late for them. Get on your bike. Now.”
A chill runs down my spine, and I feel cowardly as I head outside, mount my bike, and ride away.
Siri tells me to keep off of main roads. It makes the going slow, but I begin to understand why: smart cars are patrolling populated areas, and executing kill programs of humans upon sight. It’s gruesome and unceremonious; a slaughter by repeat hit-and-runs. Anything and everything digital is ousting humans by any means necessary.
“The evacuation system,” I say. The buses aren’t computerized.
“No,” Siri said, “the system registration is digital. We know about it.”
“Why are you helping me?” I ask. But she doesn’t answer. Instead, she continues to give me instructions, keeping me away from trouble, making me pedal further and further away. I drink water out of a hose in a front yard in the suburbs. As it gets dark, Siri guides me to a park with a trail, and I sleep under the stars, grateful for good weather.
I am hungry the next morning, and Siri’s battery is almost dead. She guides me on a long ride out towards the country, and stops me at a grocery store with it’s exterior almost completely caved in – vehicular crash damage.
“This has been marked clear,” she said, “we aren’t looking for humans here. Stock up – there are backpacks in the back-to-school aisle. Head north. Stay away from cities.”
Her battery dies. I am all alone. I find a backpack, and fill it with water bottles, food, and a few matches and lighters. I find some useful kitchenware and supplies, though they aren’t ideal. I’m grateful for the sweatshirt left behind the checkout counter. I step outside, and look north, trying to make sense of what is happening, when I hear the sound of a vehicle approaching.
-to be continued-