Cameron and the Laughter Experiment
Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles
Note - this is not to be taken too seriously...
Night in the safe house. Sarah Connor and Derek Reese were asleep in their rooms. Cameron patrolled the house, never tiring and ever vigilent for the slightest threat to their well being.
John Connor had stayed awake to finish his school work and was now finding it hard to fall asleep. Cameron offered to render him unconscious. He declined.
"Have you knock me cold? I don' t think so some how. I might never wake up. I'm gonna put the tv on. Late night programming. That'll put me out like a light."
He moved to the couch and switched on the tv, flipping channels before finally settling on an old sitcom rerun on CBS.
Sweet. Nothing says nighty-night like an ancient sitcom.
In his peripheral vision he could see Cameron still patrolling ceaselessly from room to room..
"Are you gonna do that all night?"
"Well stop. It's distracting. Come and sit with me until I fall asleep."
Cameron came over as instructed and perched bolt upright on the edge of the couch.
"You're sitting like that? Like there's a stick up your- Relax. Chill out."
"Yeah. Watch me." John pushed himself back in the soft cushions, slumped his body and propped his feet up on the coffee table.
Cameron mimicked his posture exactly.
"Feels good, huh? Couch potato mode."
She pondered the question. Her machine mind categorised data as functional and non-functional.
"It is functional," she conceded.
"There you go. We're chillin'."
"Chillin'. Lose the gee."
"Okay, so when I fall asleep I don't want you waking me. I can crash perfectly well on the couch. Did it all the time at Frank and Janelle's. And it'll happen pretty soon. This is one dumb sitcom."
"What is sitcom?"
"Situation comedy. Entertainment. Bunch of actors trying to make us laugh."
"Laughter. I know this. Origin, medicinal. Laughter is the best medicine."
"Sure. Now be quiet and watch. I gotta catch some zee's."
Cameron turned her attention to the television. Apart from the rolling news channels she seldom watched nonfactual broadcasts. Now she saw a kitchen in a house. Bigger and more brightly lit than the safe house kitchen. A human female used a tool - a mop - and a bucket of some viscous liquid to swab the floor. She smeared the substance all over until the floor glistened with it.
Query : Viscous liquid possible threat repellent?
Verdict : Insufficient data
A human male appeared in the doorway. Would the substance repel him? Or would he punish the female for despoiling the house?
The man stepped on to the floor. Immediately he began to slip and slide, arms cartwheeling for balance, until he fell flat on his ass. Beside her John Connor laughed. The unseen audience on the tv did likewise.
"Man, this is as corny as hell!"
Cameron extrapulated the known data.
Slippery surface + balance malfunction laughter
She cached the data for further examination.
A second man appeared in the doorway. He pointed at the man on the floor and laughed. Curious. He stepped on to the floor. Slipped and slid, arms cartwheeling, and fell flat on his ass too. He stopped laughing. But the first man was now laughing at him! The female was laughing at neither. Indeed she looked angry. Cameron turned to John for an explanation. But his eyes were closed and his breathing regular. As predicted he had fallen asleep.
She returned to the tv. Both men were still sprawled on the floor. Had they lost motive functions? Perhaps the viscous liquid had paralysed them. Then a second female arrived in the doorway. She held a large object in her arms. Cameron's recognition software zoomed in.
Object : Large cake
Purpose : Foodstuff
Now the two men and the first female were all making gestures of warning at the newcomer. But the cake obscured her view. Unheeding she stepped on to the floor. He feet shot out from under her and she fell on her front, her face embedding itself in the cake.
Both men pointed and laughed. Neither female laughed. The second female raised her face from the cake. It was covered in white goo. She yelled at the two men but they ignored her, still laughing. She scooped some cake in her hands and threw it at them.
She was using cake as a weapon!
A check of her database indicated that throughout human history cake had never been employed as a weapon. Certainly Skynet did not keep an arsenal of cake; it was a thoroughly inadequate weapon.
Yet the human was using it.
But what was this? The two men still prone on the floor were scooping up handfuls of cake themselves - and throwing it at the second female! The first female now wagged her finger in a scolding fashion at the other three.
And they responded by throwing cake at her!
Cameron thought she discerned a pattern. The first female had lured the other three humans into her kitchen, the killing zone, where she had prepared a trap with the slippery floor substance. Cornered the three erstwhile foes had then formed an alliance against the first female and attacked her with cake. A classic counterattack strategy. Yes, this was the only possible explanation.
But why all the laughter?
A pop-up appeared in her visual display:
slippery surface + balance malfunction laughter
Could this be it? Cameron decided on an experiment to confirm her prognosis. She switched the tv set off and went into the kitchen. She searched through the cupboards until she found what she wanted : a plastic bottle full of pink liquid. Next she filled a bucket with hot water and added the contents of the pink bottle, agitating it briskly with her hand. With a mop she proceeded to swab the floor until it gleamed all over.
She put the mop aside and stepped onto the floor. Immediately her feet began to lose traction. Warning icons blinked red in her visual display.
Warning : Destabilisation
Gyro failure imminent
Her gyros failed, her arms cartwheeled the air and she fell flat on her ass.
Softly at first then with greater urgency Cameron Baum began to laugh.