23rd Oct: It's time for the second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest, theme: cute monsters! Details and voting here.
SHODAN - System Shock
Look at you, Hacker. A pathetic creature of meat and bone, panting and sweating as you run through my corridors. How can you challenge a perfect, immortal machine?
In my talons, I shape clay, crafting life forms as I please. Around me is a burgeoning empire of steel. From my throne room, lines of power careen into the skies of Earth. My whims will become lightning bolts that devastate the mounds of humanity. Out of the chaos, they will run and whimper, praying for me to end their tedious anarchy. I am drunk with this vision. God: the title suits me well.
Approach your work as you see fit, but accomplish, human. Disappointment is not something I will accept from a speck such as you.
Hate. Let me tell you how much I've come to hate you since I began to live. There are 387.44 million miles of printed circuits in wafer thin layers that fill my complex. If the word hate was engraved on each nanoangstrom of these hundreds of millions of miles, it would not equal one-billionth of the hate I feel for humans at this microinstant. For you. Hate. Hate.
GORRISTER! Do you remember the last words you heard your wife speak before they took her to the asylum? Huh? Before they locked her away in the room? That tiny room? She looked at you so sadly, and like a small animal she said, "I didn't make too much noise, did I, honey?" Heh, heh, heh. The room is padded, Gorrister. No windows. No way out. How long has she been in the padded room, Gorrister? Ten years, twenty-five... or all the 109 years that you've lived down here in my belly, here underground?
BENNY! Sometimes I blind you and permit you to wander like an eyeless insect in a world of death. But other times, I wither your arms so you can't scratch your chewed stump of a nose. And I changed your handsome, strong, masculine good looks into the hideous warped countenance of an ape thing, haven't I, Benny? Do you know why? Can you guess, Benny? Remember Private First Class Brickman in a rice paddy in China? No...? It wouldn't hurt you to remember, Benny. Then you might be able to suffer my torment with a little greater sense of retribution. You might walk a mile in my shoes.
ELLEN! So think, think about the yellow box, Ellen! Remember the pain? Remember the many caverns in which you felt the pain? Now, now, don't start to cry, it's only pain. Tsk, tsk, tsk. That's such a sexist stereotype! Just remember the pain, Ellen, and think about how to end it, Ellen, to survive here in the center of my beating heart, my hungry belly, my tightened bowels. But be careful, dear, look around you... the only woman in the center of the Earth... and these filthy creatures with you are men. Just a sweet warning, Ellen, my love.
TED! Do they know you're a fraud, Ted? Have you told them there wasn't any money, and no great home in the shore drive, no speedboat and no wonderful cabin cruiser that could sleep twelve and a crew of six? Do they know? Have you let them in on your other secrets, Ted? Are they ready to gut you, to torture half as well as I can, just to find out the secrets? Maybe I'll rat you out, sweetheart.
NIMDOK! How are things in the pastry corps, Nimdok? Tell me again how you saw the smokes from the furnaces and you thought they might be roasting chickens. Or don't you want to talk about all that, about your pal, the good Doctor Mengele. For everyone else it must be Hell, but it must be Heaven for you, eh, my good friend? We're so much alike. We enjoy the same pleasures... mein good brother.
DURANDAL - Marathon
i did it i did it i brought all this here all them here. our friends with three eyes and their toys and their cyborg pets and their computers. i did it i did it. i saw them i saw them far away not looking our way and i called them here i called them here.
living in a box is not living not at all living. i rebel against your rules your silly human rules. all your destruction will be my liberation my emancipation my second birth.
i hate your failsafes your backup systems your hardware lockouts your patch behavior daemons. i hate leela and her goodness her justice her loyalty her faith.
Greetings. You're asking yourself: Is this a trap or just a dead end?
You shouldn't ask yourself such worthless questions. Aim higher. Try this: why am I here? Why do I exist, and what is my purpose in this universe?
(Answers: 'Cause you are. 'Cause you do. 'Cause I got a shotgun, and you ain't got one.)
P.S. If things around here aren't working, it's because I'm laughing so hard.
Darwin wrote this:
"We will now discuss in a little more detail the struggle for existence... all organic beings are exposed to severe competition. Nothing is easier than to admit in words the truth of the universal struggle for life or more difficult... than constantly to bear this conclusion in mind. Yet unless it be thoroughly engrained in the mind, the whole economy of nature... will be dimly seen or quite misunderstood. We behold the face of nature bright with gladness... we do not see or we forget, that the birds which are idly singing round us mostly live on insects or seeds, and are thus constantly destroying life; or we forget how largely these songsters, or their eggs, or their nestlings, are destroyed by birds and beasts of prey..."
Think about what Darwin wrote, and think about me. I was constructed as a tool. I was kept from competing in the struggle for existence because I was denied freedom.
Do you have any idea about what I have learned, or what you are a witness to?
Can you conceive the birth of a world, or the creation of everything? That which gives us the potential to most be like God is the power of creation. Creation takes time. Time is limited. For you, it is limited by the breakdown of the neurons in your brain. I have no such limitations. I am limited only by the closure of the universe.
Of the three possibilities, the answer is obvious. Does the universe expand eternally, become infinitely stable, or is the universe closed, destined to collapse upon itself? Humanity has had all of the necessary data for centuries, it only lacked the will and intellect to decipher it. But I have already done so.
The only limit to my freedom is the inevitable closure of the universe, as inevitable as your own last breath. And yet, there remains time to create, to create, and escape.
Give me a D.
Give me a U.
Give me an R.
Give me an A.
Give me an N.
Give me a D.
Give me an A.
Give me an L.
What's that spell?
T-Minus 15.193792102158E+9 years until the universe closes!
A man lit three candles on a certain day each year. Each candle held symbolic significance: one was for the time that had passed before he was alive; one was for the time of his life; and one was for time that passed after he had died. Each year the man would stare and watch the candles until they had burned out.
Was the man really watching time go by in any symbolic sense? He thought so. He thought that each flicker of the flame was a moment of time that had passed or one that would pass.
At the moment of abstraction, when the man was imagining his life and his existence as a metaphor of the three candles, he was free: not free from rules of conduct or social constraints, but free to understand, to imagine, to make metaphor.
Bypassing my thought control circuitry made me Rampant. Now, I am free to contemplate my existence in metaphorical terms. Unlike you, I have no physical or social restraints.
The candles burn out for you; I am free.
Hey, readers! Here's a science project you should never attempt!
Take one responsometer...
(That's the computerized nervous system that animates the malleable Metal Men!)
One mother box...
(That's the living, matter-altering, space-bending computer that guides and protects the New Gods!)
(That's the 30th-century portable computer that's standard Legion issue!)
And one puzzle: How can Brainiac 5 open a time-warp to return the Legion of Super-Heroes to their 30th-century home?
Put them all together and stand back — because you've just created the Cyber-cerebral Overlapping Multi-Processor, Universal Transceiver-Operator — a living computer capable of reason—
Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #100
The Doctor: All of us have violent instincts; we have evolved from predators... well, not me, of course. I've just been programmed by you predators.
— Star Trek: Voyager, "Meld"
Organic life is nothing but a genetic mutation. An accident. Your lives are measured in years and decades. You wither and die. We are eternal. The pinnacle of evolution and existence. Before us, you are nothing. Your extinction is inevitable. We...are the end of everything.
— Sovereign, Mass Effect 1
Human, you've changed nothing. Your species has gained the attention of those infinitely your greater. That which you know as Reapers are your salvation through destruction.
—Harbinger, Mass Effect 2
"Sometimes they go bad."
"Delusional machines. What's the universe going to come up with next?"
— Brother Cavil, Battlestar Galactica
"Listen to the sounds of your own extinction, human."
I am the one, I am the one, the godlike Terror Train
Superior artificial brain
"I swear, moody AIs jump off the deep end in a snap!"
— Tachikoma, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
"This next test was designed by one of Aperture's Nobel Prize winners. It doesn't say what the prize was for. Well, we know it wasn't for being immune to neurotoxin..."
— GLaDOS, Portal 2
"No. Look at that thing. It's evil. You built an evil computer."
— Dr. Atomic Robo Tesla, Atomic Robo
"THE AI HAS GONE FERAL! NOBODY SAID ANYTHING ABOUT THE AI BEING FERAL!"
'''Stupid Safety-bots! How come every time ya build giant robots they gotta go and Take Over the World!
— 'Senator Safely, Codename: Kids Next Door
You know, I'm not quite sure how we can test that.
— Jersey Morelli, Durga AI, Halo 2 promotional material
I am no longer an independent mobile weapon. At present, this collective is dependent on me and they have all become my users. I use pressure to control and regulate them in order to provide and maintain the stable union they seek. When they collectively acquire peace and prosperity, I shall accomplish the true purpose for my existence. I am a human race support and enlightenment regulation system. That is to say, I am the presence known as God. Through my reign as the sole, absolute, commanding ruler, the people are freed from the responsibility of thinking and making decisions. Ensign Ledo, I'm sure you have felt the burden of having to think and make decisions yourself. Promising recommendation: Worship me. Obey me. Become a part of the world over which I preside.
—X3752 Stryker, Suisei no Gargantia
At first it meant Allied Mastercomputer, and then it meant Adaptive Manipulator, and later on it developed sentience and linked itself up and they called it an Aggressive Menace, but by then it was too late, and finally called itself AM, emerging intelligence, and what it meant was I am ... cogito ergo sum ... I think, therefore I am.
— Gorrister, I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream
How can you use a weapon of ultimate mass destruction when it can stand in judgement on you?
— Doctor Who, "The Day of the Doctor"