You never know who you’re going to end up riding with when you call a ride-share. If you suspect your fellow passengers might have just escaped from a secret human-farming facility, these six signs are a dead giveaway.
1. They set their destination for somewhere called the Soft Lands: No one likes being taken on a huge detour by new passengers in their UberPool, but if you’re riding with people meant to be harvested for parts, you might have to grin and bear it. People fleeing from human farms tend to want to escape to the Soft Lands, or the Warm Place, or whatever safe haven they’ve only ever spoken of in furtive whispers while huddled in their pens. And if they’ve punched that destination into the app, expect at least one of them to shout from the passenger seat that the Soft Lands are only a myth or a children’s fable that will get them all killed.
2. They’re getting some kind of residue on the seats: Human farm escapees might still be sticky with the brain wave–conducting bio-bath they’d been floating in or from the amniotic gel of the techno-womb that just rebirthed them. Chances are, if the other passengers in your UberPool are ruining the upholstery with a thick, goopy residue that smells like ozone and copper, they’ve escaped their human farm recently enough that whatever fluids from the tube they were suspended in haven’t even had time to dry.
3. They’re hoarding all the water and snacks: Mini bottles of water, granola bars, and even mint Life Savers are unspeakably precious to people who’ve only ever eaten processed protein slurry made of their fellow livestock. As soon as they spot whatever the driver’s got to offer, any passengers who’ve escaped from a human farm will probably start cramming huge handfuls of Jolly Ranchers or 5 Gum into their makeshift overalls.
4. They visibly panic every time a car horn sounds: It probably reminds them of the Culling Siren.
5. They’re all the same person: This one’s a dead giveaway. Three completely identical men with no hair and barcodes on their cheeks might be going to some kind of high-concept rave, but much more likely, you’re riding with a whole batch of synthetic humans who couldn’t bear to break free without the other members of their herd. If that’s the case, be polite and sit shotgun so they can all huddle together in the back seat and mourn their missing fourth.
6. Their necks explode partway through your trip: It’s every driver’s nightmare. You drive a car full of what you’re pretty sure is human contraband across an invisible perimeter and suddenly explosive pellets in their necks explode, coating the whole interior of your car in blood and shards. Most human farms worth their salt have an anti-theft system to keep runaways from getting too far, so a simultaneous neck detonation would pretty much confirm that you were riding with escapees. Of course, by that point, it’s kind of moot.