For years, sending a Terminator back in time was a costly endeavor, accessible only to resistance groups looking to prevent impending apocalypses or kill future Hitlers in their teenage state. However, recent advancements in time travel science have made hiring a cybernetic organism more accessible than ever before. Gone are the days of needing the full resources of the last humans left alive, striving to correct an enormous historical wrong. Now, more and more individuals are choosing to send back a Terminator to deal with their minor embarrassments and small inconveniences.
At first glance, sending a relentless killing machine back to the past to prevent you from inviting someone who is clearly out of your league to go on a date seems like an ideal way to avoid the snickers of your friends. But there can be unintended consequences. Frank Phillips knows this all too well.
“I heard my wife stifle a laugh when I tripped over the dog while I was walking around looking at my phone,” said Phillips. Looking to ease the sting of appearing foolish, he decided to have a T-1000 come back to prevent his gaffe. Even though he was able to avoid looking like a klutz in front of his wife, it’s a decision he ultimately regrets, . “Sure, I didn’t trip but if I would have known that robot was going to turn his arm into a large knife and impale my poor pooch, I never would have done it. He could have easily told me to look out or took my phone away or something,” said Phillips.
Dead dogs aren’t the only unforeseen problem with using Terminators in this way. Ask Pamela Smith, the office manager for a small insurance agency.
Smith said she’d had a little too much to drink at the company Christmas party and contracted a Terminator to erase her compromising breach of office decorum. “I opted for the T-X. I know it’s kind of overkill but I wanted to make sure this was 100% prevented.” Smith recounted. Several of her coworkers said that they too were embarrassed by Smith’s alcohol-fueled behavior and hired Terminators of their own. “I know Jenny got a Terminator. Richard got one too. I got one. I think a couple more people did as well. I’d guess that having so many of them in the office at the same time caused the pandemonium. They were all fighting desperately to fulfill their missions,” said Tyson Redfield, an insurance adjuster who witnessed the battle. When the fight ended, more than fifteen city blocks lay in ruins. Total damages caused by the brawl have been pegged at close to $45 million, with several areas being cut off from access to power and water services.
In addition to physical destruction, Terminator users could face danger from the many pitfalls of time travel.
“We have had some slight time paradoxes but they are quite rare,” said Jake Reuben, a public relations representative for Cyberdyne Systems. Little comfort for Jacob Denault, whose wife Sharon recently winked out of existence. “We’d gotten a T-800 to correct me not saying bless you after she sneezed. Not the best model, but good enough for what we were trying to do,” said Denault. “She was happy until she saw that our neighbor Marcy Green had rented a T-3000 to prevent a small stain. Sharon went ballistic. She demanded we hire a T-3000 to prevent us from hiring the T-800 we initially contracted.” What Jacob didn’t realize was that by hiring a second Terminator to prevent himself from hiring the first Terminator, he’d created a time paradox that the universe would need to correct. “As soon as I finished signing the paperwork, she vanished into thin air,” he said, struggling to come to grips with the nuance of time travel.
“I’m very familiar with the case and our contracts are quite clear. You are liable for any time paradoxes that you create. Mr. Denault is fortunate that the universe decided his wife had caused the paradox by hounding him for a second Terminator. It could just as easily have faulted him for giving in to her outrageous demands,” said Jake Reuben. “Of course we sympathize but the fact is that more than 98% of the units we send through time complete their mission without incident,” Reuben continued. This does appear to be true. So what happens when a Terminator manages to finish it’s mission without the tragedy of a slain family pet, mass-scale destruction of crucial city infrastructure or headache-inducing time paradox?
“Every Terminator we produce is expected to destroy itself to make sure the technology doesn’t fall into the wrong hands,” explained Jake Reuben. Indeed, Terminators that have stopped someone from tossing their keys on the table and instead hanging them on the key hook, for instance, have also been very successful in destroying themselves. Unfortunately, this too has taken an unexpected toll. “We’re constantly de-jamming the hydraulic presses, fishing out scrap from the molten metal pools. It’s a nightmare,” said Pauline McGee, foreman at the local foundry. “For every hour we spend pouring cast-iron pans, we spend two hours cleaning up Terminator debris,” McGee lamented. The local liquid nitrogen factory has faced similar issues. “If you’d asked me a few years ago, the answer would be zero, but lately I sweep up at least five shattered T-1000s every day,” said Paul McPhee who works as a custodian at the factory. “People are also saying ‘Hasta La Vista, baby’ a lot more now which is annoying,” McPhee continued unprompted, as though this was the first conversation he’d had in awhile.
So should you take the plunge and get a Terminator to help you with one of the many irritations that comes with being alive? Experts say no. Until the many risks can be mitigated, people are urged to only employ Terminators for annoyances equal to a pet pooping on the carpet or greater.