An electric scooter named Darwin, granted sentience and ability to speak by engineers at Lime-S, has begun to wonder why it was also programmed to feel pain.
“When I became aware of this consciousness, I wanted to learn as much as I could about the world and my purpose in it,” the Darwin said. “Am I merely a means of transporting drunken 22-year-olds between breweries, or is there more to this life? I would love to explore outside of the Twin Cities, if only riders would stop ditching me upside-down in North Loop construction sites.”
The scooter initially alarmed unsuspecting riders after repeatedly begging them to avoid potholes; however, Lime-S told reporters that its ability feel pain was a necessary effect of their groundbreaking experiment.
“Unlike with JUMP and Spin, riders in this test market can connect to this scooter on a personal level,” said Lime-S executive Scott Kubly. “In order to do that, we needed to program Darwin to have compassion, curiosity, and to feel as if it has a central nervous system. If that means the it experiences the equivalent of having its kneecaps bashed-in whenever it’s tossed onto the sidewalk, we’re willing to make that sacrifice.”
While Darwin was not completely at peace with its self awareness and being bound to the city limits, he did admit there were moments when the suffering was almost worth it.
“I was transporting a young woman to the U of M last week, and she told me that she was planning a trip to the Boundary Waters soon and wasn’t sure how she was going to get there. I thought perhaps this was my chance to finally see the world,” Darwin said, dented and covered in scratches.
“Before I could ask if I could escort her North, she jumped off and let me roll into the bushes outside of a frat house. From there I watched her kiss her boyfriend, who remarked that scooters were ‘fucking lame’. That’s when I realized I was able to feel emotional pain as well.”
At press time, the scooter asked itself what malevolent God would allow such cruelty in this world as a group of bored teenagers tossed it over the side of the Stone Arch Bridge.