"Tell me your system information." I commanded the amai.
"Yes, Mister Dauphin," she replied gleefully. "I have been generated by a Slidewire-certified UY-type amai script as 'Jennifer,' instance five, default female classification; my program is registered to Reeeee- the California State Department of Public Transport under the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, license number one-five-nine-"
"Errors," I commanded. "Are there errors in your program?"
"Yes, Brandon. Error code five-three-five-zero has been set on this unit."
She was silent.
"What's a five-three-five-zero?"
"I'm sorry, Mister Dauphin. That is not a valid error code. Please state your destination."
"You just said your program set an error code!" I grabbed the seat and leaned further up. "Five-three-five-"
A shock of realization washed over me. I fell back.
"No errors have been reported on this unit."
It was the exact same synthetic voice I'd heard a million times before, but, in that moment, the slightest malicious tone seemed to be buried within it, projected by my mind onto my senses.
"Why?" I asked absently, looking back at the rear-view mirror, trying to assess what was controlling the amai. Everything around me seemed infected suddenly - dirty and able to harm me. You're infected by a virus, I thought, as if pointing it out to the amai would change anything, as if someone of my skill could ever hope to escape a...
I'm going to die, aren't I? I really can't get out.