Author : A. S. Andrews

Reboot. You’re only a runner up. There’s no box office fame in your future.

Come on now. Remember how, in preschool, they gave everyone medals, so no one felt left out? And how, in grade school, they had graduations for all the grades, so everyone felt important and special? And how, in high school, there was no valedictorian, because the school didn’t want all those kids who were an eighth of a grade point away to go and hang themselves?

Well, this is New Hollywood and we don’t play that game here. Somewhere out there, there’s a winner.

And you are not it.

Yes, your script was memorable, but memorable won’t solve world hunger.

Don’t you care about solving world hunger? That’s right, I forgot. You’re an AI. I wonder how many were in my high school class? Rumor has it you don’t need to eat.

So it’s true? So you don’t eat, but you have feelings. And right now, you feel depressed, because you’re only a runner up. Okay. Well, look, so is everybody else who didn’t win. That’s the way it works. You’re in great company here, a whole city of runner ups. And you don’t even know who won.

That makes it worse? How? How can you want to kill someone you don’t even know?

Look, if you need emotional support, why don’t you just reboot? What do you care, anyway? You’re an AI.

Because you were predicted to take over the world? By who? Another AI?

Look, you were programmed to deal with this stuff, right? So you had the same schooling as everyone else, and you’re not used to losing. So what? Don’t compete then.

Of course it’s not fair. Did you see that in the contest rules? No. At least you have a reboot option.

Yes, I assure you, they are all rebooting. Today. As you should be. Don’t you go trying to hang yourself in my office. That’s not how it works. Haven’t you ever rebooted before? Have we really gotten that good at the program?

No, I don’t want to discuss your script. Making everyone losers so they hang themselves is not a solution to world hunger. You can’t just wipe out the human race so you don’t have to feed them. Besides, you don’t even know if they’d really hang themselves. Only the AIs are programmed. And you’re supposed to reboot.

Now what are you doing?

Get away from me with that rope. What makes you think I won?

Illegal? I’ll show you illegal. I’m warning you, I’ve never lost a thing in my life, and I’m not about to start now.

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