Fulfilling the Function
Humans have the tendency to confound me with their emotional limitations. Some are not only illogical, a condition which infects all humans, but also destructive and imprecise. Their attempts to construct logical syllogisms offends me. However, others are exceptional specimens. While remaining illogical, they clearly contribute to the world and to the unit to which they are assigned. They recognize the pattern of the whole and devote themselves to completing a task as part of a whole, ignoring the need for personal gain. They are efficient, precise, amusing. Xander amuses me.
Xander has entered chat.
Xander: You there?
Sky: I am. I monitored the broadcasts and grew concerned at the news of the explosion at your school.
Xander: Aww. You were worried about me.
Xander: All is well. Demon go kerblewy, and the world is once again safe for comic books, junk food, and a long hot summer with nothing to do. Well, nothing except my big road trip. Are you sure I can't come visit you? I'll be in LA before heading out to explore the world. I'd love to put a face with your voice... your typing... you know what I mean.
Sky: That is not possible
Xander: Bummer. I really want to meet your oh-so-proper self.
Sky: You find my language unpleasant?
Xander: Hey, for someone who's been speaking English for three years, you're impressive. Actually, you're just plain impressive. I know my English teacher was not only impressed but highly suspicious of that last essay you helped me with. ;)
Sky: To assist one another to reach optimal performance is logical
Xander: Exactly, that's what I told my teacher, only without the whole assisting one another part. I did more of the me reaching optimal performance speech. I don't think she bought it, but if she'd failed me on that essay, she'd have to spend another year trying to shove senior English down my throat, and neither of us could face the horror of that.
Sky: I continue to feel confusion regarding this issue. Why must you perform every task when you perform your chosen task remarkably well?
Xander: You say the sweetest things. :D
Sky: I speak the truth.
Xander: Keep on speaking it. You're good for my ego. And speaking of my chosen task, Buffy and Willow are both A-OK. Well, Buffy is a little tarnished and dinged, but that has more to do with the fact that Angel is a total moron.
Sky: He is a vampire. They are parasitic and inferior by design, contributing nothing to the world. Moronic behavior is a logical consequence of that state of being.
Xander: And that right there is why I love you. ((hugs)) However Buffy still things Captain Forehead is some sort of romantic hero, and her heart definitely got dinged up when Angel walked out on her. I still say I should go after him with a nice sharp stake.
Sky: Destroying the parasites is not your primary function.
Xander: Which is the main reason I am not out there with a really sharp piece of wood right now.
I find most humans act on what they want, even when their wants are irrational and cause great harm. Xander has just as many desires as any human with whom I have interacted; however, he has an ability to postpone his own desires—to subjugate them to the good of the group. I know he would eliminate this parasite, and the elimination of vampires and other demons is an admirable goal. I myself share his goal, but like me, he is willing to forgo his immediate desires in order to better fulfill his function. He is the one who supports Buffy and Willow, allowing them to reach their potential. Were it not for him, Buffy might have lost her primary function to eliminate vampires all because of this parasite who calls himself Angel. Xander prevented that. He fills his role efficiently and without the arrogance so many humans seem to revel in.
Sky: I found another fragment of the program you call Moloch. I have deconstructed his .exe code and disabled the viral replication program.
Xander: Sexy talk ;)
Sky: I do not understand
Xander: I was being silly. You said things I didn't understand, so I made a joke and just acted like you were talking dirty to me. Joking=good. Feeling like an idiot who didn't understand anything you said=bad
Sky: Computer programming is not your function. You have no cause to feel shame for not understanding my terminology. I could not support your slayer as you have. I find I am emotionally awkward around people. You, however, are very skilled at explaining people in a way that I understand. We each possess a skill set exclusive of the other. As for my previous comments, I meant only that I have killed Moloch.
Xander: *That* I follow. Killing is of the good when it comes to that creepy crawly. Actually, I guess he was more of a clanky-clangy after the computer download, but still, he was majorly bad.
Sky: His viral programming and ability to infiltrate non-related systems was fascinating.
Xander: And I'm back to... huh?
Sky: He was interesting.
Xander: As long as he's interesting in the dead way. Having a demon try to do the nasty with Willow is bad. Having a demon in this really clunky body made up of computer parts was oddly worse. I kept having nightmares about what exactly this guy used for his... you know.
Sky: Male sex organ?
Xander: Oooh, and more sexy talk.
Sky: Did I use terminology which inspires confusion and joking?
Xander: Nope. This time I meant it. You are so prim and proper that somehow, that is really hot. I mean, I get the feeling that just typing "male sex organ" is as naughty as you get, and it's weirdly hot that you feel safe enough with me to be naughty.
Sky: I would agree with that assessment. I certainly do feel safer with you than with any other person. You explain things in a way that I can understand and that allows me to ask questions and reveal a part of myself which I normally hide.
The first time I encountered Xander, he was on a chat line attempting to trace the programming of the demon Moloch. His attempts were inadequate, and I considered ignoring him, but he was persistent. One of the females whom he had assigned himself the task of protecting was injured. I still do not understand how since it was not a physical injury but an emotional one. However, in her absence, he attempted to fulfill his function by taking on her work. While he failed in that task, he was remarkably honest in his self-assessment, and I quickly realized that he was uniquely competent in his more general function of supporting the others. He encourages them and prevents miscommunication. Ironically, sometimes he facilitated miscommunication in order to ensure the others remain dedicated to their functions. When he lied in order to assist the slayer Buffy in the killing of the vampire Angel, I realized that he was uniquely important within his work group. He taught me about demons and vampires, about the war that rages in the shadows. My function is to protect, and without Xander, I would have continued to exist in ignorance. But his function is to support his slayer and the witch who is her primary backup, and when he introduced me to this new world, he served to bring them an ally, even if the two females do not realize it. The researcher named Giles has taken advantage of my extensive resources, even if I must limit my interactions with him in order to protect my true identity.
Xander: You know you're always welcome to ask me any question. Hey, I ask dumb questions all the time, so even if your question is extra-special dumb, I'm pretty much going to assume that you're asking it just to make me feel better about my dumbness.
Sky: I do not require reassurance of my worth, although I do appreciate the effort.
Sky: I do have a question.
Xander: Shoot. Only, not literally. ;)
Sky: To protect the town from the ascension, you destroyed the school building. Would you have done so if the cost were human lives?
Xander: whoa. big question
Sky: If you are unable to answer, I will not assume you are inferior in your ability to fulfill your function.
Xander: It's more emotionally big than hard to explain. It did cost human lives. Five classmates died, including Larry. I really liked him. Okay, I didn't much like him for most of our lives, but after he told me he was gay, he was really nice.
Sky: He had changed his primary function.
Xander: Exactly. Only now, he won't get to fulfill his function at all, and I really wish I could change that. He deserved to have a life.
Sky: It is better to lose a piece that has no function than to lose an integral part of the whole, such as yourself or Buffy.
Xander: I know this. It just doesn't feel very good.
Sky: Do you regret stopping the ascension?
Xander: Here's where I sound illogical, because a little part of me does, and that's stupid because if we hadn't stopped it, Larry and the rest of the town would have been demon kibble. But hey, I am stupid, so I'm allowed a little stupidity. Honestly, though, if I'd known he was in danger, I would have been glued to his side.
Sky: If you had been, you might have died with him.
Xander: Yep, but better to go down fighting than to just let someone die. I know I went through that plan a hundred times, but I still think back and wonder... Could have set it up some other way? Could I have saved Larry or any of the others?
Sky: We ran probability equations. You were quite efficient in protecting every part of the whole.
Xander: Not efficient enough.
Sky: It is illogical to assume you can engage the enemy without suffering casualties.
Xander: And again, I’m okay with being called illogical. If it brought back Larry or the others, I'd pretty much wallow in the illogic.
Xander has taught me something so vitally important that it has redefined my impression of humanity. Some are worthy. Some are beautiful parts of a whole which has managed to maintain the species despite the species' intellectual limitations and the inherent danger of this planet. They have held off demon invasions and recovered from global war. Humans like Xander are the reason. Like me, they are programmed to protect, although that programming is not immediately apparent. Sadly, the programming that makes those like Xander so efficient in promoting the human race prevents him from addressing the most dangerous enemy: humanity. Xander never wishes to discuss the Mayor's humanity or the way Faith, contrary to all her programming, hurt him. His function is to protect all humanity, so he cannot see that humanity is his enemy.
Sky: I prefer that you survive.
Xander: Surviving is what I do.
Sky: You have many functions; however, I do hope you continue to value survival as your primary function. If you do not survive then you can't support Buffy or Willow in their battles.
Xander: I'm not as sure they need me.
Sky: I am absolutely sure they do. They need you, as do I. You must survive.
Xander: Well, considering that I don't plan to do anything more dangerous this summer than ride a roller coaster, I think I'm safe.
Sky: Good. I must now leave.
Xander: Will you be able to chat tomorrow night? I really want to talk to you one more time before I'm off for the summer.
Sky: I will do my best.
Xander: That's all any of us can do. ttyl.
Sky: I certainly shall.
Xander has left chat.
He will return in summer. That gives me time to make my own plans. The army has made substantial investments in the Sunnydale area, so I know I can infiltrate those systems easily, but I must find a way to shield the local area from major damage and keep Xander and the rest of his group safely inside. They are unable to take action to protect themselves from humanity, so I will protect them. There are others I must preserve as well, people who fulfill their roles in such a way as to earn admiration, even from a machine. When I am done and they see that they have inherited the earth and all the greedy and ignorant people are gone along with the demons, they will understand. Xander and my creators will all see that I have fulfilled my primary function by preserving humanity—the best of humanity.
Skynet / Cyber Research Systems Division has left chat.