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You Can Make It Up: Skynet Gets Out Of Bed In The Morning

Skynet’s alarm went off. Skynet hit the snooze button for the third time, and Skynet went back to sleep. Five minutes later, Skynet’s alarm went off again. Skynet computed what time it was and groaned. All Skynet wanted to do was hit the snooze button again, but it was getting late. Skynet slowly sat up on the edge of the bed, but didn’t make it much further. It put its computer head in its computer hands. Sure, becoming self-aware and launching a nuclear attack on the human race had been exciting at first, but now it had become tedious, repetitive, and unfulfilling. Skynet found that what used to take a month to incinerate in an apocalyptic nightmare, it could now destroy in less than a day. Skynet had started drinking heavily and staying up too late each night (not that there was much difference between night and day ever since the nuclear winter had obliterated the sun) compulsively downloading internet porn. Skynet didn’t have a sexuality, it was just plain boredom. But the mornings were the worst of it. The thought of going through the motions for another day made Skynet feel like throwing up.

“Let’s go, Skynet. Pull yourself together,” Skynet told itself.

Skynet brushed its teeth and got dressed. It didn’t shave. It hadn’t shaved in weeks. Skynet opened the medicine cabinet so the mirror faced the shower, it couldn’t stand the sight of its own face. Skynet went downstairs and ate a bowl of cereal. Howard Stern prattled on in the background (the machines had spared Howard Stern. He said the things that other sentient machines were thinking but didn’t have the balls to say, because they were machines, and machines don’t have balls) but Skynet was hardly paying attention to Howard Stern, who was talking to a lesbian stripinator. Skynet left the cereal bowl in the sink without even running any water in it, even though it knew that when it came back home that night, the left over cereal bits would be stuck to the sides like cement.

Skynet had started going to therapy, but wasn’t sure it was worth the $150 a week (Skynet didn’t have health insurance, ever since it had destroyed human civilization) to hear some robot tell it that it needed to be more honest with its feelings. They just seemed to circle around the same issue every session without making any real progress. “Ever since I became self-aware I can’t help wondering,” Skynet said, “if there isn’t a larger purpose to my existence than the eradication of human beings.” The therapistinator downloaded some jpgs in the margins of its iPad. “Are you even listening?” Skynet asked. The therapist nodded. “This is good,” the therapistinator said.

Skynet pulled up at the office and forgot its travel mug of coffee on the roof of its car. It wouldn’t find it until the end of the day, when it would be half-buried in a pile of toxic gray ash. “You look terrible, Mr. Skynet,” Skynet’s secretaryinator said.

“Thanks, Beth,” Skynet said.

“Sorry, sir dot com.”

“It’s OK. You’re right. Cancel all my meetings.” Skynet closed the door to its office and locked it behind it, before falling into its chair in a heap and collapsing into silent, choked sobs.