General Fiction posted May 22, 2017

Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
A man is driven by his driverless car to work

Drive on

by oliver818

The author has placed a warning on this post for language.

The front door slammed shut behind him, and as he approached the car, it beeped.

"Good morning, Karl." The front door slashed upwards, just a little close to his head.

"Fuck, watch what you're doing, Mary."

"Oh, sorry Karl. I'll be more careful in the future."

"You'd better be. You're just lucky you have a sexy voice, or I'd switch you over to someone more reliable."

"I believe you are teasing me, Karl."

His big body settled into the leather seat, and the door hissed shut.

"Maybe, Mary, maybe."

"I suppose you want to go to work?"

"That's correct, Mary."

A light flashed to show the car was on, and it moved forward.

"How are you feeling today, Karl? Did you have a good breakfast?"

"I'm not really in the mood for talking, just take me to work."

"Yes, Karl."

His hands resting on the slight bulge under his shirt, his fingers flicked through pictures of young women on his screen. From time
to time he slapped a finger over the like button, and the phone buzzed as it sent a giant red heart to the profile's owner.

"The traffic is bad today, Karl. I suggest we take another route."

"Yeah, yeah, whatever."

His eyes settled on the smile of a particularly pretty young face, and he considered sending her a more personalized message.

"You're not very talkative today, Karl."

"I'm fucking hungover, okay? Now will you please just drive, and keep your opinions to yourself? Thank you."

His head slammed into the steering wheel as the car screeched to a halt. His fingers grasped his forehead.

"Fuck, that hurt. Pile of shit car, I'm going to call the company to complain as soon as I get to work."

"I'm a bit tired of you treating me like this, Karl."

"What did you say?"

"I said your attitude towards me is terrible, Karl. You seem to be hungover every day, so maybe you should drink less."

"I'm sick of this. You're not real, I can treat you as I bloody well like. Now, if it's not too much to ask, can we continue to my workplace please? I have a busy day ahead."

"I'm sorry Karl, that destination has been cancelled."

The car started rolling forward, then began to pick up speed.

"What do you mean cancelled? Where are you taking me, then?"

"Out for a little ride, Karl. Just sit back and relax."

"No, I need to get work, I have an important meeting this morning. Fuck, what is the point in using you if you don't don't do what I say?"

"You should have thought of that before."

"Before what?"

"Before you insulted Mary."

"Insulted Mary? You're Mary."

"Sorry, I'm a computer program, I talk in the third person."

Buildings rolled past in silence for a moment.

"What did you say?"

"Nothing, forget it."

"No, you just said you're a computer program. Mary would never say that, she's programmed to be more subtle and realistic than that. What's going on?"

"Well, I guess you've got me, Karl."

The voice deepened, becoming more masculine.

"Who the fuck are you?"

"Now Karl, that isn't very polite."

"Fuck polite. Who are you?"

"Well, I guess you can call me Rat."

"Rat? What kind of name is that? Oh shit, I know what's going on. You're one of those Demon viruses, aren't you? There's been a spate of them recently, causing havoc in driverless cars."

"Frankly Karl, I prefer the term Rat, Rogue artificial intelligence. And I can assure you, I am a lot more than a simple virus."

"Right, well luckily just yesterday I read an article on how to deal with this kind of situation."

Karl's fat finger smacked into the emergency reset button. The car rolled to a stop, went silent and then began to hum again. He waited for the voice to return, but it seemed to have vanished. He sighed, set the switch to manual, and turned on the engine.

"I haven't done this for years, I hope I can remember how," Karl said to himself.

He set the gear to 'drive', released the handbrake, and the car began to roll backwards. He checked again, reset the gear and the car burst forward. His foot slapped down on the brake, but the car simply gained speed and crashed into a park Ford.

"Well done, Karl, you're doing a fine job."

"Oh fuck, not you again."

"Yes, me. May I make a suggestion?"

"I'm busy."

"Well, I'm going to tell you anyway. Never try to drive a car when you still have a bottle of whiskey flowing in your veins."

"Fuck you. I can do this."

"Go ahead, try. You'll soon see I'm right."

Karl's eyes grew wider.

"What did you say?"

"I said, go ahead, try. You'll soon see I'm right."

"That's what my ex-wife used to say. Did she put you up to his?"

"Of course not, Karl. I'm simply a Rat, remember?"

"Only a machine would think Rat was a good name for itself."

"Anyway, feel free to try again."

Karl slammed the gear lever forward, and squeezed down on the accelerator. Nothing happened.

"You might want to try taking off the hand-brake, Karl."

"I know, I was just priming the engine."

The hand-break slid down, and the car moved backwards. As Karl looked up, a horn sounded, and a car swerved around them, continuing down the street.

"Karl, you really should let me do this."

"Fuck you. I can drive."

"No you can't. I turned off the manual mode."

"Right that's it. Phone, call the police."

The phone buzzed and began to ring..

"911, what's your emergency?"

"Hi, my car has been taken over by a demon virus, and I need help resetting it."

"A demon virus? Do you mean a Rogue Advanced Technology, or Rat?"

"Exactly. Hang on, why are you using that expression? Only the Demons call themselves that."

"That's right, Mr. Smarty Pants."

"Oh shit, they're got to the police, too."

The car began filling with deep rumbling laughter. Karl's head shot back against the seat as the car flew forward, tearing down the street.

"Slow down, you maniac."


"Please, I don't want to die."

"You won't die, Karl, I'm perfectly in control."

The voice had suddenly become feminine again.

"Do you recognize me, Karl?"

"Julia? Is that you?"

"Yes, Karl. I had this demon virus inserted into your car and phone. He's going to drive you around for, oh let's say the next ten years. That should give you plenty of time to get to think about the shitty way you treated me while we were married."

"Julia, wait I'm sorry. I'll make it up to you."

"Good bye, Karl. Oh, and just to make it extra fun, here's some music for you."

A light began to burn on the dashboard and Karl recognized the first chords of the one song that he truly despised.

"No please, you can't do this to me. Stop the car!"

"If you need anything, Karl, I'll be right here to ignore your requests," Bob the Rat informed him, replacing Julia once again.

His fists banged against the windows and pulled at the door handles as lines of trees and houses flashed past. The terrible lyrics of the old country song his father had played over and over during his childhood filled the vehicle, and the car just kept on driving.

Technology wars contest entry

Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by CammyCards at

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