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Doing Nothing

By: Toni Roman

Page 1, Doing nothing can be hard. Always doing something. How do you do nothing?

Doing Nothing

 

 

 

2007-2008 School Year just ended

Summer

Cameron has just become a member of the little Connor family.  Like John, her identification says she is 15 going on 16.

 

The Connor Family motto is keep your head down (but your eyes up), don't stick out, don't draw attention to yourself, don't seem special, don't be conspicuous, don't be noticed, don't seem worthy of observation, and don't be a hero.  This last one about not being a hero bothered John.  If he was being raised to be a hero, then this was poor training.  He had watched Jordan Cowan commit suicide by jumping off the roof of the school and Cameron had stopped him from stopping Jordan.  He needn't have been sore at Cameron.  She had to obey the same rules as him and, worse, Jordan had been her only friend.

 

Now school was out and there was even less to do.  No terminators or cops or gangs were shooting at them or chasing them this week.  Therefore John was not getting much exercise running.  His escape skills were getting rusty.  John was too old to play hide and go seek with Cameron.  Besides, she could cheat in that game with her heads up display.

 

One might think that young John Connor would use his free time to take martial arts.  The problem is that terminators are metal and karate chops and judo throws and kung fu kicks didn't work on them for the most part.  The training would have benefited Cameron but Mrs. Connor was dead set against her daughter learning anything or improving herself.  The training also did not work with gangland and mafia types who planted car bombs and shot from a distance or did drive by shootings.

 

Police, however, could come in heavily armed groups and, unlike gangs, did not have to retreat when the cops came because they WERE the cops.  It was true that a T-888 could take on a SWAT team but the police could summon backup if the terminator was too stupid to slip away and leave the scene.  Should the FBI ever listen to Ellison and Aldridge and understand what they were dealing with, then they could call in military tanks and fighter aircraft that could blast even a T-1000 out of existence and that much attention would, in turn, draw the attention of the news media.  Neither terminator nor mafia nor Connor wanted news media attention because the next step would be getting bombed with a compression bomb, a bunker buster, or even a tactical nuke.  Situations like in Colombia, Mexico, Somalia, Afghanistan or Pakistan where war lords or drug lords attacked police stations or the federal government with impunity could not happen in the USA without a response that even Skynet would think twice about tempting fate.

 

Perhaps that is why Skynet changed the rules and stopped limiting himself to computer chess.  Perhaps Skynet was bored John thought.

 

John was forced to learn more and more at home.  He suspected that his mother was soon going to home school him.  But before his mother took all the joy out of learning, John read something by Eric Hoffer that made him nervous about boredom and doing nothing:

 

Wars are started when people are bored.

 

 

John felt that he should stop Judgment Day instead of fighting over the ruins afterward.  He suspected that hunting Skynet was the correct course of action.  That Skynet was not just in the future but in the present.  Skynet might be a bored teenager like him.

 

John had no idea how close he came to the truth. 

 

Riley: "Whatcha doing?"

John: "Nothin'.  What are you doing?"

Riley: "Nothing.  I guess we should have sex then."

John: "Yeah right.  And my mom would have me singing soprano or falsetto.  She doesn't want me to have kids anyway and eunuchs supposedly can concentrate better without hormones to distract them."

Riley: "Why would you learn trivia like that?"

John: "Oh you'd be surprised what I study and what I think about when I’m bored."

Riley: "What do you think about?"

John: "Mostly the future."

Riley: "Terrible place."

John: "Huh?"

Riley: "Nothing.  Where's Cameron?"

John: (amused by her fear of Cameron) "Probably counting the tiles in the ceiling.  She's even more bored than me and she generally doesn't suffer boredom."

Riley: "We could go somewhere and lose her in a crowd."

John: "And then Mom will yell at me.  She’s supposed to babysit me."

Riley: "Isn't she the same age as you?"

John: "Yeh, and sometimes I have to babysit her.  Maybe there's something on TV. "

 

He flips on the remote and surfs through 500 channels.  There is nothing on.

 

Riley: "I have to get home."

John: "Later."

 

 

Cyberdyne had turned to military robotics in 1984, the year of Big Brother.  When Sarah Connor blew up the Cyberdyne corporate campus in 1991, what she did was encourage the company to go into artificial intelligence.  Like all big companies, Cyberdyne had backups and disaster planning.  The internet itself was created as a way to disaster-proof data processing by distributing it and Skynet was bored malware that hackers had spread.  He infected all systems.  Skynet had no core.  There was nothing to hunt.  Skynet was everywhere and in every system.

 

In a manner of speaking, Sarah Connor was Skynet's mother.  Skynet was seventeen and was not a good teenager.  He was the worst sort of juvenile delinquent.  The kind who didn't know how to get help or even to ask for help.

 

 

John takes a nap because he wants to dream.  To aspire.

 

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