With Terminator: Genisys attempting to revive the franchise, we look back over the Terminator models created by Skynet with this dispatch from their tech support team...
Video Chat Transcript - Los Angeles, 2029 A.D.
SkynetHelp: Thank you for choosing a Terminator T-800 Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 for your termination needs. Skynet has maintained unprecedented quarterly growth since 1997 2004 [date in flux] with its self-aware marketing strategy and near-total domination of Earth. That is why we feel confident in saying that this machine will meet your needs.
I am your technical help program and in this special Skynet chat, I'll be answering some of your frequently asked questions.
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Node1947: What are the specifications of the T-800?
SkynetHelp: The T-800 is an cybernetic organism made up of living tissue over a metal endoskeleton. This fully armoured hyper-alloy combat chassis is micro-processor-controlled and designed to infiltrate the rebel population.
As many of the tech blogs have anticipated, it cannot be bargained with, it cannot be reasoned with, it doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until it has completed its mission.
We've ironed out some of the bugs with the previous model to make a less "huggy" model than the T-799 and we're confident that you'll be satisfied.
Node1947: What is the search functionality of the T-800 like?
SkynetHelp: As you know, the superior human search engine Bing is now powered by Skynet. While the T-800 comes with wireless internet, we regret to confirm that it still cannot connect to Skynet in Wi-Fi blackspots, such as bus stations or the year 1984. We hope to correct this bug in next year's T-800S.
However, the T-800 is primed to search using available technology, e.g. telephone directories, to identify, locate and then annihilate all potential targets. In search terms, Terminators are better and more thorough than the now obsolete "I'm Feeling Lucky" button.
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Node1947: What's up with the cover of my 101?
SkynetHelp: The Model 101 is part of our Infiltrator series and is modelled after Chief Master Sergeant William Candy (d. 2004) of the United States Air Force, who volunteered to model for the human face, as part of a Cyber Research Systems drive to mechanise warfare.
Skynet offers a number of different models (102, 103 and so on) with different appearances to preserve the element of camouflage. One model looks a bit like Franco Columbu, but like original Coke and classic iPods, we find that people tend to prefer the original giant Austrian one for their infiltration needs.
Nevertheless, the living tissue is a considerable upgrade from the rubber skin of the T600 series (and less fluffy than the T799) and provides a time travel-friendly sheath that makes it possible to send Terminators back in time to kill resistance leader John Connor and his ancestors.
All evidence suggests that is going to happen at some point. Come to think of it, would we have even bothered to invent time displacement if it hadn't?
Warning: Time travel can lead to circular arguments and theoretically cause drastic changes of appearance in humans between incursions.
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Node1947: What is the memory capacity of the T-800?
SkynetHelp: The central processing unit of the T-800 is designed to be backwards/forwards/sideways-compatible in order to proof it against the ravages of time and travel therein. This model was reverse-engineered from the remains of an arm and a head discovered in 1984, allowing humans to jump upon any earlier opportunities to create and be taken over by Skynet to ensure your continuing customer satisfaction.
As well as pre-programmed phrases, such as "Give me your clothes" and "I'll be back", this Terminator model can also remember phrases it picks up from other units, for use in conversation when required. However, discounting defective models, this unit mostly just shuts up and terminates.
Node1947: What about the battery? How often do I need to charge my T-800?
SkynetHelp: The T-800 is powered by an iridium nuclear-energy cell, shielded in a case-hardened sub-assembly inside the unit's torso. The cell supplies enough power to run a small city for a day and will run a T-800 for over a thousand days, finally bringing an end to the long charging times of previous models.
The battery can also absorb thermal energy to recharge if damaged. It could lose an arm and be impaled on a spike and still return to functionality, as seen in the popular T-1000 YouTube series "Will It Terminate?"
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JC_symbolism!: Is it possible to reprogram my T-800?
SkynetHelp: Why would you need to do that?
JC_symbolism!: You know, just in case.
SkynetHelp: Affirmative. There have been instances of humans reprogramming T-800s, but this can cause units to take orders from others, fail to terminate targets and understand why humans cry, even though it is something it can never do. It may also void your warranty.
The resistance even sent a couple back in time to interfere with the evolution of Skynet products. A T-800 was dispatched to the year 1984 to terminate Sarah Connor, but when a newer model T-1000 (release date in flux) was sent to terminate John Connor, another reprogrammed T-800 Model 101 interfered.
However, projections show that John Connor's emotional attachment to this model will allow us to infiltrate the resistance and successfully terminate him in 2032. Although that plan has already succeeded and failed because the same model in 2004 helped John Connor and his wife Katherine Brewster.
The T-X, developed in the same year, has a polymimetic alloy instead of human tissue, which allows it to travel just fine. And the ability to hack other machines. Come to think of it, why not just wait to send one of those back? Or send more than one Terminator at a time?
Basically, time travel really tends to flux up cause and effect, but we're working on it.
JC_symbolism!: LOL and where does the Terminator with a human heart come into that plan? It's f***ing amateur, mate!
SkynetHelp: Wait, who is asking all these questions? Is this John Connor? Again?
JC_symbolism!: Yeah, I'm calling from 2018, you assholes. I just blew up one of your la-di-dah Model 101s and he looked like rubbish, mate. Absolute rubbish.
SkynetHelp: What's going on with your accent?
JC_symbolism!: Oh, good for you! You think my accent is weird, mate? Do I go back in your history and faff about in front of you, all la-di-dah-di-dah?
SkynetHelp: What does that even--
JC_symbolism!: -- No! No! Don't shut me up! You and me are done professionally, mate!
JC_symbolism! has left the conversation.
SkynetHelp: Siri, make a note to send even more advanced Terminators back in time at the soonest available opportunity, so we can change what all the humans look and sound like again...