Automatic Selection

In a world of connected devices, some viruses are more dangerous than others.


Clay felt his blissful night sputter and die in the morning reality of public transportation. “No, really–I don’t take the bus.”

Her jaw dropped open–but she kept the morning-after smile fastened to her face. “I thought you were joking. How else are we going to get there?”

Unsmiling, Clay looked into the open door of the bus. The mannequin driver turned toward the door, his plastic smile lighting up with the syllables: “Welcome to City AutoBus, your fully automated, completely safe rapid transit option. Your city thanks you for keeping the streets and sidewalks clean and clear!”

The edge of a wrinkle pushed into Clay’s forehead as he anticipated how this scene would play out. She was a nice girl–and she had been enthusiastically accommodating on their first date. “We walk.”

Her eyes widened as she made a sound of disgust. “You must be kidding. In these shoes?”

Available online. First published January 20, 2011 by