Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Testers

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

The boys down at the plant tested crashes all day long. They built and modified their dummies. They set them and belted them just so, or left them unbelted. They ran them into walls. They ran them into each other. All day long.

By the end of the day, the month, the year, their heads were thick and gluey with images of violent accidents until they couldn't see anything else when they lay their heads down at night. They no longer enjoyed the civilian's advantage of taking a drive without expecting a crash. So they crashed. And they crashed.

They knew just how to buckle their belts and position their bulks to minimize their injuries. While they destroyed their own vehicles as well as those of their victims, destroyed bodies and lives and families and first loves, the testers came out of things relatively unscratched. Well, the government had to shut that shit down post-haste, wouldn't you say? That's what the lawyers said. They rid themselves of the testers.

Over time, vehicles became less safe. What to do? Robots! Robots just seemed to be the perfect solution for everything (the robot manufacturers said). They picked up where the testers left off and everything seemed right with the world.

Until, of course, some asshole let the robots drive.

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