How Skynet Conquered Humanity

We saw Terminator Salvation last weekend. As I mentioned in my post, it was an acceptable movie, with a few plot holes, but then it involves a story premise surrounding time travel and that makes it difficult to avoid holes.1 The movie once again made me question what a world-spanning evil computer/cyborg/machine-entity would be doing with devices and tactics so similar to what humans use.

I’ve thought for a while that a great idea for a science fiction short story would be to explore how a Skynet-esque machine intelligence would go about conquering humanity. I throw this out there for anyone who wants to write it. For example, how did Skynet survive the nuclear holocaust it unleashed? Where did it get its power from? How did it go about manufacturing all those nifty hunter-killers and terminators? There’s a lot of niggly details glossed over in the movies between Judgment Day and the industrial juggernaut of the 2018 Skynet.

So, if you were a machine bent on destroying humanity but at the same time preserving your own particular self, how would you do it?

1: The only time travel movie that I can recall getting it close to “right” is the latest Trek film. Somebody went back in time to change history and the history changed. Of course the same characters ended up doing the same things which goes to show that no matter how much the trek people mess with the time stream, it never alters. I think they need to start chanting the Ron Moore quote, “It’s not about plot; it’s about the characters”.

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