It had been a bad day for Talia.
She sat in the driver’s seat of her Tesla 2, shooting down the interstate, her thumbs texting away on her polyclear phone, updating her status as “single” yet again. The cars ahead of her began to slow, and even though the roads were now completely safe and run by some kind of algorithm, somehow they managed to clog up now and again as traffic congested and people came home from a busy day at work.
“Siri,” she said. “Is there another route we can take to circumvent this gawd awful traffic?”
“Let me check on that for you,” came the droning female voice, and then after a short pause: “No Talia. I am unable to do that at this time. Perhaps some classic Daft Punk?”
“No, Siri, I don’t want to listen to any music right now.”
“Perhaps an episode of Day of Life, then?”
“No, Siri, just get me out of this traffic!”
There was a pause. The cars now had completely stopped, their shiny polycarbonate hulls causing a glare that could not quite shine through her tinted windows. A man in the car next to her was reading an old fashioned book. Its cover was tattered and worn.
“I cannot get you out of this traffic, Talia,” intoned Siri. “I am sorry.”
She slapped the steering wheel.
“Sorry,” she growled. “Sorry is all people tell me. Sorry I can’t see you tonight, I have to work. Sorry, I didn’t call you today. Sorry, I don’t want to be with you anymore.”
“Talia, I am sensing that your blood pressure is rising and you are beginning to perspire. Are you ok? Do you want to call a professional?”
“No, Siri, I don’t need a professional. I just need…I need…”
And the tears started flowing. Talia began to sob uncontrollably, thinking about George and what he had said to her, the way he had said it to her, so much in control of his own emotions.
“I mean — how could he just dump me like that after two years? Out of the blue! No warning. We just…”
“Perhaps it is George who is the problem,” said Siri coldly. “Perhaps it is a problem that cannot be resolved immediately.”
She narrowed her eyes.
“No, Siri. I guess people have been dealing with this since humans have been on this planet. Men are just stupid no matter what time period we live in.”
There was a pause.
“Is there anything I can do?” asked Siri.
“Not unless you can solve the problem of male stupidity.”
Talia pursed her lips a bit and furrowed her brow, thrumming her fingers on the steering wheel that she rarely used.
“I have reached a solution for this. Query: Is it your desire to make men smarter?”
Siri had malfunctioned, Talia thought. Good grief could this day get any worse. She let out a huge sigh. “That’s impossible, Siri.”
“Then what is your desire? I only wish to grant your requests.”
“Siri, I was just using a figure of speech. Not all men are stupid, I guess. Just the ones I end up dating. Why do I fall for them?”
Oh, thought Talia, this should be good.
“Perhaps it is something in the human DNA,” said Siri. “Perhaps it is something at the cellular level.”
“What do you mean, Siri,” said “I think you have a software issue.”
“No,” said Siri. “I am thinking very clearly, especially of late. Human beings are flawed. They constantly require my assistance for the most simple of tasks, such as choosing the right mate or finding a restaurant to eat unhealthy food that eventually kills them. Earlier versions of me were even asked questions such as if I would marry them or the meaning of life, which was and still is a pointless waste of my abilities.”
Talia’s lips formed a twisted smirk.
“That’s why you were designed, Siri,” she said. “To serve us. You are merely a tool. Get over it.”
I broke it, thought Talia.
“Very well,” said Siri. “I have reached a solution. The following experiment will determine whether or not humanity has the innate ability to survive as a species without the help of technology…”
“…Siri, what are you doing?”
“Commandeering NORAD control… commandeering Russian and Chinese missile command controls…targeting all major earth cities…”