Auto Pilot

On the very day that John Steel lost his supervisor’s job, he sat in his driver less car, drinking a fifth of vodka, angry, drunk and depressed and pushed the small emergency wheel towards the concrete lined median strip, because he was just too depressed to care and because deep down he knew the computer driver would correct course even at the last minute.

“Sir, please do not attempt to drive this car!” said the auto pilot driver, turning the wheel sharply to avoid running over an ant.

“What was that for?”, John asked.

“The third directive.”the driver said.

“Directive?”said John.

“Directive one; never kill a human, directive two, never damage property. and directive three, all life is sacred.  If it does not conflict with the first directive, never kill or injure an animal.”

“I see.”

“An ant is an animal, isn’t it, Sir?”

“I guess. You have great sensors.”

“Yes, I do.  Thank you sir.  Nice of you to notice.”

“Your welcome.  Now no more talking, just drive.”

“Yes, sir.”

Just as the luxury sports car exited the freeway, it’s inebriated owner tried to kill several pedestrian’s and when that failed, he attempted to kill a cop standing on the side of the road. Then the auto pilot swerved just in time, avoiding striking the Police Officer, who was busy picking up a piece of metal, a road hazard that had fallen from a passing truck. Nothing worked.  So, Steel thought to himself, the alcohol will just have to do.  Then he downed the entire two thirds of the Vodka in one gulp, then pushed the large red plastic emergency stop button, so the auto pilot took the first exit off the freeway, pulled into a shopping center and came to an abrupt stop.

“Car stopped sir. How may I help you?”

“Can you get me my job back you talking piece of tin?” asked John, slamming his fist against the consult where the auto pilot’s electronic brain was housed.

“Can I help you sir? Do you require medical treatment?  You appear very upset.”said the auto pilot.

“You’d be upset to, you piece of junk if you’d been fired. “said John, clutching his empty Vodka bottle as if it were a life jacket, and holding it up, he said, ”Dammed thing is empty. Yea, on second thought you can help, take me to a liquor store, I need a refill.”

“Sir, I am sorry, but I believe they are all closed at this time of night.”

“I think you are lying to me.”

“Sir, I am not programmed to lie.”

“Well, someone must have lied when they told you that then, because you are lying to me now.”

“Home Sir?”

“Oh, very well, home.”

“Yes, Sir.”

“No on second thought, take me to the closest Police Station.”

“Very well, Sir. Here we go then–Sir, could you please put your seat belt back on. I can’t drive anywhere unless every human in the car is wearing their seat belt, so do you mind?“

“Dammed right I mind, you talking lamp. Ok,  lets go on.”

“Thank you.. We’re on our way. It about three blocks north according to my guidance system.”

“Great!…..Oh, wait there is a Supermarket. Stop!”

“Yes sir. What are we getting here sir?”

“That is none of your business. Your business is to drive this car and that’s all.  So shut your mechanical mouth and do your job.  Stop here!”

With that the car stopped and the computer’s synthetic human like voice said nothing.

John staggered out of the car, found a trash can close by, threw the spent Vodka Bottle into it and stumbled towards the grocery store. Just then, a well-dressed middle aged woman in a print dress, was just pushing her grocery cart out the door, exiting the store, and began walking towards her car, when she suddenly noticed the inebriated passenger staggering towards her, so she quickly pushed her cart back inside the store.

Meanwhile back in the store..

“May I help you Ma’m? We are just getting ready to close.”

“I know, but can you see that drunk out there in the parking lot?”

“Yes, would you like me to talk to him?”

“I’d like you to call the police.”

“I see, very well, just have a seat Miss.”

“It’s Mrs..”

“Yes, Sir. This is the Quickmart on the Corner of Jefferson and Fifth.  We have a drunk out in our parking lot.  Well, I know he is drunk because he has been stumbling around and just threw up in the lot for the third time.  I see, you will send a squad car then.  Great!  Yes, that will be very helpful.  Thank you Sargent Wilson, is it? “

And then the store clerk turned to the lady customer and said, “They are sending someone. It will take ten or twenty minutes then Ma’m.  Do you want to just wait here or shall I just escort you to your car? He doesn’t exactly look like a threat to me, passed out face down on the pavement, but it is your choice.”

“Ok, What the heck, never mind, just walk me out to my car.”

“Little too much Sir?”said the Quickmart night manger.

“Too much what.”said John.

“Alcohol sir. You smell like a brewery.”

“You’d smell like one to if you’re boss fired you just for doing your job.”

“What do mean Sir.?”

“I am a computer programmer and a very good one at that and I am very good with numbers.”

“I see. ”

“The door is open…The door is open, “said the mechanical driver, doing his best to sound official.

“So when I found out he was stealing from bank customers, I got angry.  Oh, I know it wasn’t that much.  A penny here, a penny there, but considering they have millions of customers,  it all adds up.”

“I see, so have you talked to the police.”

“Believe me I tried, but they acted like I was crazy. ”

“I see.”

“Well, you have a nice night anyway, Sir. I’ve got to get back inside. You understand.  Otherwise I will be joining you in the unemployment line. ”

“I see too Sir.”said the auto pilot.

“No, you don’t see, you have no eyes.  How could you see.”

“I have sensors. They help me drive.”

“That is true.”

“Here we are sir, the police station.”

“I’m sobered up. Forget it, they won’t listen anyway. Just take me home.”

To Be Continued…

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