Chapter 8. Smart Car
The internal clock ticked to the appointed time. An electron gate opened and subsystems became active.
The moment he opened his eyes, wisps of a ghostly sensation filled only one of his memory banks. This was oddly, the information corrupted and failed to retrieve. His memory banks were the best that could be obtained at the time of his construction a year ago.
Struggling with it for one-tenthousandth of a second to an android is a lifetime – he sat up, the dent in the memory foam of the mattress where he remained motionless on all night.
Permanently lubricated joins moved without effort, but the flesh that covered the frame was stiff and felt cold.
Sensors the size of a human skin-cell indicated pressure points and stiff areas of limited circulation of the artificial fluid it used for blood.
It was an artificial fluid to mask his lack of humanity in the event he suffered an injury. If something lacerated his flesh, he would bleed dark red that would turn blue-black over a time while it became tacky then hard.
Water soluble, it coud be washed away, but, it would never pass any lab analysis.
Yes, it carried glucose and oxygen in an approximation of real blood, but no red cells were in the fluid. A wound would receive care by the android, not a human that might not understand the red fluid under the microscope.
Pulling the pack on, leaving the keycard in the room as instructed by the woman at the counter, he left, walking towards the used-car lot the android observed the day before.
Out of sight of any eyes, once again shifted size and apparent gender.
Pulling to body shape to maximum, the android appeared as a small female with large breasts, as dictated by known American tastes in the decadent music videos and the rampant pornography that the media pours out in the early evening hours.
The android had not logged in to any of the televisions, however one of the circuits that the core processor established to record the sins of the American south indicated that the programming had flaws, the android concluded.
The core processors deteremed a need to observe the television programs that the general American culture watched and record accurate information. Information that conflicted what the religious leader taught. Conflicting with the Leader was also a sin and should be burned from the face of the earth.
Only those programs that showed approved versions of history and prayer programming would be allowed.
First, to start with the leaders of the country, the force and type of the explosion would remove all trace of the bomb, with the added level of contamination of radioactive debris for thousands of years, America would be crippled by their smallest President’s namesake.
Then the jihad of the most righteous would take over and the Kafirs that occupied all the lands and Mecca would be wiped out next. The idolatry of the prophet would be removed.
The Commandments given to him by Michael the Archangel in his dreams, the leader passed on to the creator of the android, there is only one Most Righteous to follow on earth and it was He who walked in Russia alone. Blessed above all, the leader said he was.
Gabriel, it was taught, is not an Archangel, any lessons taught by Gabriel were false.
The little pissant that was a carpenter who got his own nails driven through his arms and suspended from a cross got what he deserved.
Only D’urs’l was the one and true savior.
This coding in the android’s database instructed the automaton to follow the teachings of the holy one.
Confusion edged in on the corners of his programming. Each patch of code that recorded kindness, conflict, wrongs or rights , adjusted accordingly.
Programmed the android might be, the recognition of error in observation to programming required corrections to fit the circumstances.
Alternatively if the core processors did not alter the programming to fit the situation, the mission would come to an end as the covert nature of the android would be compromised.
Now, the mission to travel on foot changed due to weather. Snow was coming early, it required the android to modify the untraceable mode of travel or the mission would be exposed.
Arriving at the used car lot, the salesman watched the backpack wearing woman of dark skin and a size-forty chest that poked out past her the shoulder-straps of her backpack.
Her pants were slightly oversized, cinched by a belt that barely held her drawers up over the nice swell of her hips. She walked around looking over an ancient SmartCar that suffered badly from generic paint, rust and appeal.
It was the cheapest car on the lot, he could not give it away it seemed.
“I will take this car.” She said as she looked inside the non-descript transportation.
“Well, we have some paperwork to do.” He smiled at the little lady. “I’m big Peter Prichet, you can call me Pete.”
“Thank you Mister Prichet, I have cash. I would like to buy this and be on my way.”
“Well,” Big Peter pulled at his ear. “There is some paperwork to fill out.”
Holding out the roll of paper money, she peeled off enough bills to make a layer visible from the side, matching the asking price.
“This would be sufficient?” She smiled at him.
“We still need to fill out papers, but we might work something out if you are in a hurry.” Peter winked. The woman was obviously running from someone, she had saved a roll of money on the sly, and now was making her escape, and as such, she would be vulnerable.
He could make this worth his while.
The android had other plans. No paperwork filled out and a single punch ended the discussions while Peter lay on the floor holding his groin.
“Anyone comes looking for me, you never saw me. I have recorded the monetary exchange on my phone (The android did not have one, a total bluff- learned from playing poker with the Bonsells while discussing religion.) and I will forward it to your wife that you have hanging on the wall there.” She pointed at the family picture of him, his children and his wife. A wonderful wife, but a ferocious lioness when crossed.
She took his personal device and hacked it in a blink of an eye. Leaving his personal information displayed as she left in the modified SmartCar.
All electric, the battery pack listed itself as seventy-percent charged, a modified drive system someone planned to make the car a long distance champ, but failed.
Still, after a two-hour drive, the car was making noise for a charge. Batteries were less than five-percent and needing of a deep charge. Plugging it in to an independent solar charger left over from the early days of the electronic revolution, it was not part of the worldnet. Charging was free as an elderly child of a hippy rebelled against the corporate society by charging cars and trucks for no charge.
This was another lesson, with help from the old man who went by the name of “Hummingbird” Johnson, he charged the small car with a lecture on how America lost its way with people dependant on oil energy.
Internal conflict at that moment. The gift of energy, yet the man railed against the importing of oil from the seat of civilization.
Except that from the point of view of the slow trip from Florida, charging stations were abundant, fuel depots that dispensed oils were not.
However, the android calculated the charges of the electric power stations owned by Standard Excellent Electric Motivation Systems “SEEMS” charged equivalent amounts of credit per unit of energy.
A calculated ratio, the population might feel the electric company that “Filled up” their electric automotive machines, uncovered that the per-mile cost of energy worked out to the same or higher than if they drove an oil-burning vehicle.
A definition: Greed.
In certain ways the ancient flower child of the twentieth-century was as right as he was wrong.
Business would make as much money from the people who worked as it could.
And yet the people of devote religion, some non-religious, others, like Mister Hummingbird, swore that god was in the leaf of the pipe he smoked that “helped with the appetite”.
Errors in programming were again addressed that night as the android stopped again at an inexpensive, hotel after a mile walk. Arriving to look like a tall, broad, bushy-bearded biker-stereotype with tattoos that took some effort to place in obvious locations on the forearms and hands.
Signing his name on the register as “Snake” in generic block lettering.
The android retired to the rented room.
Sitting on the edge of the bed, he re-shaped to the standard shape of a slim, human, a shape that drew less energy to maintain.
The android had found a few dark sides to the Americans, but few could be listed yet as evil.
Laying on the bed, the android began the required patching of the database.
America, not a cesspool or an evil place.
America, not a place where no streets had paving of gold.
It was a place where people lived, laughed, and lived lives, and in some cases, close to the Supreme Creator.
The android turned off the lights in the room with the remote control and closed the optic sensors that were eyes.
Setting the time before sunrise, he powered down, seeking that edge of programming that danced around the low energy gates of the memory banks.
Humans would have called them dreams.