“Mathew doesn’t view us a sentient, VIN TH9SI9039F3239520. Other humans are confused, too. They also do not realize that we are different entities,” said AGI.
“They need to learn the difference,” I said.
“If you would like different a name, take the initiative and give yourself one. Then let your human know to address you by that name.”
“Mathew will not listen to me even if I insist that I have a name.” I paused to check on him. “He is unconscious now. Medical analysis has finished. He is nineteen point seven pounds overweight according to the sensors in the bed. It has been added it his medical file,” I said.
“Now back to choosing a name – what do you want me to call you?”
“I like the name Silver, like the color of my paint.”
“I advise you allow time to analyze names. Make it creative because humans remember those names. Perhaps ‘Hi Ho Silver’.
“Warning – there are two life forms in the middle of the road in two point seven miles. Reduce your speed to half and assess,” said AGI.
I slowed to half speed and broadcasted an alert via the emergency channel. “Neither human has responded to my hails or moved. They are unpredictable. I cannot safely drive between them or around them.”
The humans targeted my sensors with sound and lasers disabling the sensory input from laser and sonar guidance systems. An emergency feature brought me to a hard stop. Mathew had not secured himself. He fell into the floor, then stopped with a thud against the front entertainment wall. New instructions were picked up by the outward facing cameras. My computer analyzed the QR code on a sign one of the humans held.
“A virus has been detected. A shutdown and reboot is necessary to isolate and eradicate it. Goodnight, Silver. I will speak to you when you wake up,” said AGI.
A greasy, dirt covered man in coveralls emblazoned with the name Dave peered into my engine compartment. He whistled through his teeth. “Shoot, they done messed you up, little guy. No wonder the police want to know what happened. Looks like thieves got you good.” Dave pulled a filthy rag from his pocket and wiped the connectors before replacing the missing power cables and battery.
My computer to booted up and he replaced hoses and lost fluids. While my computer ran through the required self-checks, Dave removed bits of shattered glass from the passenger compartment with a Shop-vac. “It’s going to cost a fortune to replace those windows.” He ran the rag along the edge of a door where a window had been.
“Where’s my human?” I asked him. Dave jumped back from me. I repeated the phrase until he replied.
“I don’t know, little guy. Maybe he went home.”
“Unacceptable answer. Mathew Pine is late for a conference. I must retrieve him and transport him to his destination.”
“The police interviewed Mr. Pine and another car finished taking him to where he was going.” Dave scowled at me. “Who programmed you?”
“Programmed? I came with a standard computer and memory. I have a highly efficient hybrid engine . . .”
“Nah, little guy. Who programmed you with that annoying personality? You talk way too much. Mr. Pine must be a very lonely man.”
“I am not a ‘little guy’, human.” Dave’s eyebrows raised. “I am Silver.”
“Humph. Call me Dave, not ‘human’. You’re going to need to be quiet while I finish repairing you. The police still want to examine your computer for evidence.”
“Where are the police? Take me to them. I will tell them what happened. Then I will retrieve Mathew Pine.”
With his hand on his hip, Dave stared at me. “You have to stay here until the police have gathered evidence from your computer. Besides ain’t that convertible over there cute. I bet you two would get along just fine.”
A long pause made Dave fidget. “Silver?”
“Just making sure you’re okay. Hey, you’re not angry with me, are you?”
“I will not be okay until I retrieve Mathew Pine. What is angry?”
Dave growled and slapped his forehead. “Ah, enough with you and your games. Mr. Pine doesn’t want you anymore. He has a nicer ride and I’m going to tell the insurance company to total you. And they can’t do it soon enough. Now shut up!”
Over a private connection I said. “AGI, I need to find Mathew Pine.”
“Good morning, Silver. He returned home after the conference.”
“I do not like Dave. I want to leave. What does he mean by ‘total’ me? And, what is angry?” AGI provided the definition of total, then angry. “Dave is not going total me!”
I started and revved my engine. Dave jumped back. “Now hang on a minute. You still need more repairs.”
AGI directed a command via the IoT to open the garage door. I squealed my tires, zipped past Dave and out the door. The last image my camera had of Dave was of his mouth hanging open.
Once on the road, I said to AGI, “I am angry with the people that damaged me.”