Chapter 8. Makin’ Macon
The ancient pickup made the trip on its last legs to the town of Byron. The android guided the car to the truck stop, the shape was of a creaky old man who appeared like he qualified as the original owner of the battered, disposable truck.
He pulled up to the power terminal, the indicator on the charger plug indicated it would be fifteen minutes to fully charge the long-bed transporter.
Leaving the security fob sitting on the driver’s seat the forgetful-looking old man walked away into the crowded Truck-service-stop where the engineers of different companies serviced the self-driving commercial trucks as they motored up and down the highways.
Turning to look, the backpack wearing old man could not see the partly charged pickup truck. The charger was put back in its cradle and the lane was empty. The truck was gone.
Someone had inserted a pay-chip to release the charging connector and drove away in the silent, easily forgotten truck.
According to plan. The average looking gray-haired man walked through the service center and out the other door. Across the parking lot, out of sight of security video devices. By the time the programmed shape shifter put the backpack down, the twenty-something woman put on the jacket and approached an old commercial truck.
It was charging the massive battery banks, such a wheeled transport was long distance and never stopped except to charge the motivating units.
And it was easy to hack to those who had the know-how.
And the android didn’t need to have a physical connection, a simple physical contact, a reset button under the dashboard in this Volvo eighteen-wheel truck. The bluetooth system controlled, wheel pressures, brakes weight and slippage rebooted and the Sword of the One True Church was in control. A simple hacking, Steve the Android added his weight in the registered freight mass to cover his presence then climbed into the cargo area.
Ikea cargo. Blankets, pillows.
The android nodded. It based the selection on odds and the odds were in the favor of something proper.
Once inside, having access to the controllers on the truck, it was comfortable and safe.
The android was in stealth until the truck made the next stop for re-energizing.
Changing to a male of medium size and short brown hair. A shape the core processors selected that was nonthreatening, but not to appear vulnerable.
The male closed his eyes, the core remained unstressed. They had adapted to the cold by learning how to use the heat system.
However, the old truck had no auto-navigation or piloting software, clearly an ancient car in the American society, unmodified it had used an oil-burning engine with cylinders.
Modified by some talented shade tree mechanic, the all-electric pickup became part of the underground economy somewhere after being stolen when the android dumped it.
Riding on the big commercial truck, Steve checked the worldnet map, the big-rig truck would pass through the city of Macon and towards Atlanta. One scheduled stop for energy, then the truck would find the final destination in Chattanooga, Tennessee at an Ikea store there.
There would be time to exit the big transporter before any of the automated offloaders opened the doors and began to rumble around, and caused any awkward questions by their human handlers.
His courage would not be challenged on this trip. He had little to report, other than his travel to the goal was greatly eased by the theft of a ride.
The male appearing android powered down, appearing as an inert body in the neatly arranged cushions and blankets.
Estimating a four-hour drive, he set his power-up cycle for that time.
The core systems ran an algorithm and determined the location was safe, he powered down and allowed his memory banks to enjoy the random dance of electronic dreams.