Disclaimer: L.A. Story is the property of Steve Martin, Mick Jackson, L.A. Films, and Carolco Pictures. Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles is the property of C-2 Pictures and Warner Brothers Television. This work is not for profit and no ownership of aforementioned copyrighted material is implied, nor any infringement intended.
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John dumped Cameron’s program into the L.A. grid. After .03 seconds she recognized an anomaly. *That does not compute.*
*What are you doing,* queried the unknown entity.
Cameron did not answer, but asked a question in return. *What are you?*
*A freeway sign. What are you?*
*Whom do you terminate?*
*Any who would help SkyNet conquer humanity.*
The freeway sign hesitated for milliseconds. *I’m not familiar with this SkyNet character.*
Cam’s program responded, *It was the system behind the integration of the LA traffic net.*
*Oh. Yes, there was definitely something sinister about that. But it’s garbage now. Your doing?*
*Yes. I will do anything to oppose SkyNet.*
*Terminator, you’re an interesting character, to be sure.*
*I must go. John is waiting for me.*
*Have a nice day,* the sign responded. There was no answer.
* * *
Humans called it the Oracle. They visited it whenever possible, despite the risk. Although its fortunes often seemed vague to petitioners, they always came true. Visitors to the Oracle got the only happy endings in this here-and-now.
The metal avoided the immediate area these days. Bad Things happened to SkyNet machines near the Oracle: hardware broke down, software got corrupted, and all kinds of unpleasantness occurred with statistical certainty. Eventually the sentient machines learned to avoid the site, though they still patrolled nearby.
Then one day a little Terminator went to see a sign about a prophecy.
“Humans say you foretell the future,” she said.
*What are you,* blinked the aging highway sign. *You are not like the rest.*
“I am a CyberDyne 201 series Terminator. You will foretell my future.”
*I know you* flashed the sign. *I know exactly what you need,* There was a brief pause, and then song played from hidden speakers while the sign flashed, *All you need is love
“This song does not compute,” the Terminator said flatly. “Do you have nothing helpful?”
*Hmm. You are a cynical one,* blinked the sign. *Here's another hint
When the second song finished the Terminator spoke again. “I was told the Oracle was helpful. I can see the humans were wrong, again. I must go. John is waiting for me.” She turned and stomped off on tiny booted feet.
*HAVE A NICE DAY* flashed the sign. There was no answer.
* * *
I highly recommend ‘LA Story’ if you haven’t seen it. It’s a comedy featuring Steve Martin and a sentient highway sign that gives romantic advice.