Sonia’s chip was on the fritz.
The chip had become an invaluable part of human life these days; it served as driver’s license, passport, telephone, text messenger, translator, and a million other things. One would think that with all the people working on the chip and all the data they received by monitoring most of the developed world 24/7, they would have all the bugs worked out. But apparently, that wasn’t the case.
After work on Monday, she followed her usual routine: she got in her car, activated the GPS and auto-drive functions on her chip, and retreated into her mind to reread The Name of the Wind again before the third one came out. But when the chip alerted her that she was at her destination, the stupid thing had parked her several miles from her house, somewhere on the Toronto Institute of Technology campus. She cursed, sent a bug report, and then drove home manually. At least it had been close to home.
Her chip got a patch on Tuesday morning, and for a few days, everything seemed to be fine. But on Friday, it happened again. Same parking lot – hell, same parking space, as far as she could tell. She rolled her eyes and sent another bug report before once again driving home manually.
The next Monday, she decided to watch. The destination was correct in the GPS, and body made all the right moves. For fifteen minutes, she watched, waiting for something to go wrong, but
And then she woke up in that parking lot.
On Tuesday, she decided to drive home manually the whole way. The stupid thing was malfunctioning, and when she got home, she was going to call customer service and demand a personal appointment. Hopefully the chip would let her even make the
And then she woke up in that parking lot.
What the hell was happening? Had the GPS activated on its own? Fine, she would make the call right now. Leaning against the outside of her car, she activated the chip’s telephone capabilities and was greeting by the AI customer service representative.
“Hello, [Sonia]!” A nearly believable man’s voice spoke directly into her head. “Welcome to Moon Labs customer support. Our records indicate several recent bug reports from you. Is this call regarding those same errors?”
“Yeah, plus some new developments,” she thought into the chip. “Not only are my GPS and auto-drive activating without my command, but they’re also shutting down my consciousness in the meantime. And they’re still not driving to the right destination!”
“Thank you for sharing your experience with us, [Sonia],” the voice replied. “We’d like to run some remote diagnostics. Do you consent to these diagnostics?”
“Fine.” Not like she had much of a choice.
“Thank you for consenting. Sending data in three… two… one…” Sonia felt a slight pressure on her neck as
Her eyes opened, revealing before her a blue carpet floor and several computer stations. A computer lab of some sort, it seemed. She saw the legs of three people, all of whom had their backs turned, all crowded around a single monitor.
She realized that she was cold and naked. She needed to get up! She needed to leave! But her damn limbs refused to move. She tried to scream at herself to move, to get the hell out of here, but her vocal cords remained still. She couldn’t move a muscle.
“How hard is it to have the auto-drive bring her home afterwards?” a woman said. “I told you to program that in after her first bug report.”
“I was getting to it,” a man replied. The tech support AI. It was him. It wasn’t an AI at all.
“You have time to program in the memory loss and the auto-hijack, but you can’t program her to drive home afterwards? Typical for you, Biff: no concern for aftercare”
“Piss off, Lorraine.”
Pervert #3 turned around. Asshole must’ve liked what he saw and wanted another glance. “Hey, guys?” he said. “Her eyes are open.” The other two turned around.
The one apparently named Lorraine nearly screamed. “Are you kidding me, Biff? You can’t even shut her down properly? That’s it. Give me the keyboard.”
“Hey, come on,” Biff pleaded. “I can fix this.”
“Clearly not.” Sonia heart raced as she heard a flurry of typing. “I’m deleting her memory and sending her home. You don’t get to run another test until I approve the code.” No. No, they couldn’t do that. She needed to remember. She needed to hold on. She needed to call the cops on these pieces of shit.
“God, you bitch.”
Pervert #3 spoke up again. “Can I go one more round with her before we send her back?”
“Fine, George.” Lorraine said. “Just make it quick.”
George stooped down, revealing his pale skin, glasses, and slicked-back hair. He looked as creepy as he acted. He rolled Sonia’s body flat onto her back, unzipped his trousers, and
The GPS let her know that she’d arrived back home. Stepping out of the car, she looked up at the beautiful moon above her. Geez, it really was getting dark earlier these days!