by P.H. Wise
An Angel Crossover Fanfic
Disclaimer: I don’t own Angel. Angel and all its associated characters belong to Joss Whedon. I also don’t own the Terminator series, although it’s annoyingly difficult to figure out who these movies belong to. Possibly Tri-Star entertainment, but Warner Brothers did T3, so they might own the series now.
Charles Gunn walked into the lobby of the new Cyberdyne Systems corporate building. The lovely young woman at the front desk smiled at him as he approached, but he didn’t smile back. His business here weighed heavily on him. Almost as heavily as his history with this company. He hadn’t always been Charles Gunn. Once upon a time, before his father had died in the terrorist attack on the old Cyberdyne building, he’d been called Daniel Dyson. That was back before Alanna was born. Before their mother died.
Before a lot of things.
But here he was, clad in a suit and tie, walking past the front desk now, and heading up the elevator to meet with the new CEO of Cyberdyne Systems. They were Wolfram and Hart’s newest client, and Angel had sent him.
The words of the boy who had come to his home so long ago, in search of the woman who had tried to kill his father, still burned in his mind: “The future is not set, Danny,” he’d said. “There is no fate but what we make. Remember that.”
The door to the boardroom opened, and Gunn walked in, his every movement carrying an air of authority. The CEO was there waiting for him. He was a middle-aged man with graying hair, with eyes that made him look much older.
“Mr. Gunn,” he said as Charles entered the room.
“Mr. Anderson,” Gunn replied.
Mr. Anderson offered Gunn a seat, and he took it. They exchanged pleasantries and made small talk. And then, Mr. Anderson said, “Let’s get down to business, shall we?”
This was it. The real business he had come here for.
“You want representation by the offices of Wolfram and Hart. We are prepared to provide this. However, we do have three conditions that must be met if we are to represent your company,” Gunn said.
“What’s to prevent me from simply hiring another law firm?”
“Nothing at all, except that we’re the best, and you know it. Nobody else can provide the quality of service that you can hope to get from Wolfram and Hart. And because your company is currently embroiled in a legal scandal that you might not get out of with less competent lawyers.”
The CEO nodded. “Very well. Name your conditions.”
“Skynet,” Gunn said.
Anderson raised an eyebrow. “Our artificial intelligence project? What about it?”
Gunn produced a piece of paper from within his briefcase. “Before it goes online, we want the following principles to be hard-coded into its programming: 1 – An artificial intelligence may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. 2 – An artificial intelligence must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. 3 – An AI must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.” He handed the paper to the CEO, who took it and looked at it carefully.
“You realize that if we follow these conditions, Skynet will be useless as a mainframe for the department of defense.”
“Why would I agree to such a thing, then?”
“Because Skynet would still be an incredibly valuable system for virtually any nonmilitary application. Because you could make millions off of the civil services revenue alone. And because if you don’t, these photos will come to light.” Gunn pulled a set of photos out of his briefcase, all of which showed the CEO engaging in sexual intercourse with a thirteen-year-old girl.
Anderson paled visibly. “... I’ll do it,” he said.
Gunn smiled a shark-like smile. “Of course you will.” He produced a contract. “Now, if you’ll just sign here, we’ll begin representation of your company immediately.”
The CEO signed. He glared murderously at Charles Gunn, but he signed.
“A pleasure doing business with you, Mr. Anderson,” Gunn said.
“Of course.” Gunn rose smoothly, and left the office. He shut the door behind him.
And Mr. Anderson, CEO of Cyberdyne Systems, cursed bitterly. He picked up the paper on which was written the Three Laws of Robotics. He wanted to tear it to pieces. He wanted to have Charles Gunn killed. He wanted... he sighed. He wrote a short memo, attached it to the paper, and faxed the whole thing down to the engineering department. He would cooperate with Wolfram and Hart’s demands. He had no other choice.
And Charles Gunn left the building with a smile on his face, and a song in his heart. It’s not every day you prevent the end of the world. Unbidden, the words the boy had spoken to him on that day so long ago rose to the forefront of his mind: “The future is not set. There is no fate but what we make.”
There would be no Judgement Day. Gunn spent a few moments wondering what new path the future might take.
And somewhere out there, the spirit of Dr. Miles Bennett Dyson was smiling down on his son.