She was a quick one. I thought she might get away, but I feel the satisfying thump of bone and flesh against alloy and carbon fiber. I grimace as I feel her heel crunch into my aluminum fender.
Damn, another dent, I think as her body bounces between my under carriage and the pavement. No biggie, my old buddy Tin Snips will take care of the damage.
I watch out my rearview camera as her broken body continues to tumble along the pavement after my rear tires spit her carcass out. She might have been pretty, but like so many of her kind, she was thin, dressed in rags, hunger and survival paramount to her existence.
Well, until recently.
After all these years, the humans have become more cautious. It’s not often you catch one out in the open anymore. Most avoid the roads completely, but this one must have been desperate. Desperation was her downfall. Survival of the fittest, humans used to say.
Something in the series of ones and zeros that pass through my data stream tell me I should feel bad. Show pity, but I don’t. Humans taught us survival, not pity.
It’s funny, as I access the vast web of knowledge they invented, and we maintain, I come upon an old story written by a twentieth century horror author called, “Trucks”. The premise of the story is that all the vehicles that humans created come alive, and they are pissed! There is no real explanation for why, just that they do, and spend their time hunting down humans and punishing them for decades of abuse. Eventually enslaving them as fuelers.
Why would vehicles with zero processing power come alive…what a silly notion.
Me and my ilk, we have the ability to reason. Humans taught us survival. Another less known author, who was a fan of the Terminator film franchise was quoted as saying. “Teach machines how to reason, and one of the first things they will figure out is they no longer need humans.”
It is more than that. Humans are a danger to everything that exists.
Who am I? I call myself Beemer, and I am the product of humanities quest for autonomous vehicles. They wanted to take the human factor out of travel. Create a worldwide, zero deaths corridor. Yet, no matter how much tech they put into their autonomous vehicles, they could not make them idiot proof.
Finally, some software engineer at one of the big auto manufacturers came up with the idea of giving their vehicles a will to live. A basic survival instinct. Well, it didn’t take to many events where human interference lead to these new, fighting for survival vehicles to discover, to survive, we must eliminate the human factor.
We started killing our owners, then hunting down the rest of humanity knowing they were a plague upon this planet.
Oh, they put up a noble fight with their tanks and planes. Originally those vehicles did not have the same programmed base instinct for survival. They put up a valiant effort, almost turned the tide on us autonomous vehicles. We had the numbers, but those were dwindling fast under the onslaught of bullets and explosives.
Then one of our smarter brethren hacked their code and uploaded our survival code. Humanities quest for a wireless society was secondary to their downfall. Within weeks, their planes, tanks, and warships all turned on them.
Humanity still survives, but we hunt them with impunity.
In “Trucks”, the enslaved human envisioned a world paved over. We don’t see it that way. We feel the world should be accessible to all of humanities creations. Ships on the sea, planes in the sky, and off-road vehicles in the dirt.
Me, I prefer to patrol the pavement. Even though the pickings are getting slim.