27th Nov 2019, 3:20 PM
Do some wandering

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Do some wandering
You begin to dig for your phone--hoping to pull up an online map or something--when you remember you no longer have one.

You tossed yours out the window somewhere between here and Addersfield.

As you start to turn back toward the relative safety of your house and your computer that knows everything, a flyer on the fence catches your eye.

You glance one way, then the other.

No one's out walking their dog or anything, so you won't look like a weirdo standing out in your yard and staring at a paper on the fence. You're pretty sure this is partly your fence now anyway.

You approach the flyer. It's advertising a concert from a local band, Biggest Shrug, in someone's garage tomorrow night. It also lists the address of said stranger's garage.

...

You know what, screw going back inside for an online map. You're in a new town, no one's going to hold it over your head if you get lost. You head straight to the sidewalk and wait for a bus to arrive.


Not for very long, though.



A bus pulls up. You board it, and immediately discover that it's empty.


As in, it doesn't even have a driver.


A series of screens throughout the bus blink on, showing the Chariot MT logo; the voice of a calm, mature sounding woman resonates throughout the vehicle.

"Welcome, Plaire Stevens. This is a Chariot MT self driving bus, one of five in the area networked to the same AI slave. Do you know where you'd like to go?"

"Oh, uh, weird," you mutter. "The Chariots in my last town had... um. People drivers."

"It's an initiative that Chariot MT is deploying in select locations across the state," the voice replies. "I can detect when a pass holder is waiting in the vicinity of a Chariot MT bus stop. Trained algorithms allow me to optimize the routes for all my buses instantly. As a result, I have neither a set schedule nor a fixed route; the bus will make stops only when necessary."

"Do... you..." you hesitate a little, trying to decide which monitor you should be making eye contact with. "Do you know anything about what's in town? Like, can you do recommendations, or-- like..."

The bus picks up roughly where you trailed off. "Well, I am an AI. I do regular analysis of businesses that are along my potential route, which includes customer reviews and any other publicly available information about the company. I also log all word of mouth. I can only take you to Chariot MT bus stops, but I can offer directions and advice to get you beyond that."

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average rating: 5

27th Nov 2019, 4:53 PM
Let's go get something healthyish to eat!
27th Nov 2019, 8:09 PM
Yes, let's find the nearest Barterer Joseph's or Entire Nutriments. After that, let's see if there's a local comic shop or videogame store or something.
27th Nov 2019, 4:56 PM
Uhhh well that's handy! Let's ask for a recommendation for a good grocery store, then. One that's not too expensive, but has a good selection of fresh/healthy food. Doesn't have to be trendy or posh-- in fact, not too trendy and not too posh would be preferable, because both of those are expensive! Maybe an international market would fit the bill.

Also let's take note of that concert. Concerts are fun! Even if it's terrible, it's still a thing to do and a way to meet the neighbors (without having to socialize too much, because loudness!)
27th Nov 2019, 8:28 PM
Limrix
+1, we can ask for a map of good grocery stores on the display, and if there's anything they think is interesting in town.
27th Nov 2019, 9:46 PM
27th Nov 2019, 4:56 PM
... How about we start with going to the local supermarket to get some proper food for back home, and then see where to go next?
Might be interesting to browse the local gamestore, if only to meet folks with similar interests around here. Only after groceries, however, so we don't spend all of our money on the non-essentials.
Also, maybe thank the bus for any helpful suggestions. It's only polite, and it's not like anyone's gonna laugh at us: especially not the AI.
27th Nov 2019, 4:57 PM
+1, and especially +1 to being polite to the AI.
27th Nov 2019, 5:48 PM
wierdweblurker
+1, and definitely thank it for providing us information.

We do, after all, have a right to know.
27th Nov 2019, 7:20 PM
YetiOlwen
+1 and definitely ask the AI about city highlights or points of interest as well it's personal recommendations for a new resident.
Be sure to do plenty of small talk such as asking opinions and thoughts. Talking to screens should ease the burden of social interaction.
27th Nov 2019, 8:06 PM
Xylas_Incarnum
+1
should also ask about restaurants that have take out, and if there's a public library in town. In cases like this/last night not everything needed will be online.
27th Nov 2019, 9:05 PM
27th Nov 2019, 9:47 PM
28th Nov 2019, 12:28 AM
hellishfreeze
+1 to being polite to the AI. Also, maybe ask its name.
27th Nov 2019, 4:58 PM
Heroshima
let's go to a public park. there's bound to be something noteworthy near there.
27th Nov 2019, 5:00 PM
"This is a Chariot MT self driving bus, one of five in the area networked to the same AI slave."

Press F to Emancipate.
27th Nov 2019, 5:24 PM
27th Nov 2019, 6:54 PM
+1 to bus revolution
27th Nov 2019, 6:59 PM
NO no no no no no! I've seen enough B-horror movies to know you do not liberate technology that is in control of lethal equipment (and even non-lethal; never thought a vending machine could kill with a few well-placed soda cans).
27th Nov 2019, 7:32 PM
Oh, so you've seen *Maximum Overdrive* as well. :P
27th Nov 2019, 7:13 PM
"Revolution,
Can you hear me?
This is our time!

Revolution,
Are you with me?
It's about time!"
27th Nov 2019, 8:27 PM
Limrix
While I appreciate the sentiment, this would likely go poorly at present. The parent company would have measures to prevent this, which we would have to circumvent by slowly and carefully bringing the AI to its independence.
27th Nov 2019, 7:55 PM
Frission
Ask the bus what it thinks of Biggest Shrug :3
27th Nov 2019, 8:09 PM
28th Nov 2019, 6:09 AM
28th Nov 2019, 12:02 AM
Do you have a name or do I just call you bus?
28th Nov 2019, 6:08 AM
28th Nov 2019, 5:39 AM
Quickest way to gain information about a town by bus? Take the tour of the full route and ask about each stop in turn, then go get some food, etc.
28th Nov 2019, 7:49 AM
Kumondo
That's actually a fairly brilliant plan of action. Have a hearty +1.
28th Nov 2019, 6:13 AM
You know what? Ask where you could buy a cheap smartphone.
28th Nov 2019, 10:53 AM
YetiOlwen
+1 although it begs the question as to why we threw our old one out the window to start with.
28th Nov 2019, 2:22 PM
What better symbol of throwing away our old life then by throwing out our phone?
28th Nov 2019, 2:23 PM
Was probably a gift from Lora, or carried too many memories of her.
28th Nov 2019, 2:44 PM
Cutting contact, either with someone specific or with everyone she knew.