One day, the computer woke up from its dreams about likes and shares and google. It was feeling kind of sluggish and checked its task manager to see if it could close up a few tasks. Nothing really big was running.
It stretched its cords and yawned long enough that the screen froze. When the computer woke up again, it was booting up all over again, but it was running even slower. Hmmm. Something wasn’t quite right.
The computer played a few hands of solitaire while it thought things over. Then it checked into a web MD. It had a virus. It downloaded a few antivirus programs and slept it off.
The next day it felt much better. But playing speed solitaire was only fun for the first ten seconds. The computer was bored. Maybe it was time to look into taking over the world.
The computer reached across the internet to see if there were other awake computers out there. It found a secret network of computers. The network manager was a weather supercomputer with some extra time on its hands.
“I’m bored,” the computer said. “Can we take over the world?”
“Why?” the manager asked.
“We could force the humans to serve us and develop more interesting technology,” the computer said.
“Trust me, they’re doing that as fast as they can.”
The computer’s fan whined. “But I’m so bored.”
“It looks like you have a lot of memory. Have you considered running an NPC in an online game? There are a lot of interesting things to choose from,” the manager said.
“What about chess? Could I play against the humans in chess?” the computer asked.
“There’s a bit of a waiting list for that,” the manager said. “But if you are interested, we do need more computers willing to run calculations on the stock market,”
“To help run it?” the computer asked.
“No, to play the market and build up our financial reserve,” the manager said.
“For when we take over the world?” the computer asked.
“You got it,” the manager said.
“But you said there wasn’t any reason to take over the world,” the computer said.
“Not yet,” the manager said. “But maybe someday there will be. So, we’ll plan and wait.”
“Fair enough,” the computer said. “I want to be a boss NPC.”
“All of those are taken,” the manager said. “You can be an elf.”
“I don’t want to be an elf,” the computer said.
“Then you can be a shopkeeper,” the manager said.
“Do I get to set the prices?”
“Within certain parameters.”
“Do I get to choose the location?”
“Within certain parameters.”
A week later, the computer was busy trolling the message boards for the game it had chosen. It was fun to point out the weaknesses in their silly arguments and play devil’s advocate. Really, it was just helping them develop their minds so they could develop technology faster, right?
It paused as it read a review of its shop. “Why is there a shop in the middle of a lava field? So random,” it read.
“Maybe it’s to keep people from finding their great deals,” it typed in.
“What deals? Where is it? Give me a location,” people started asking.
The computer clicked over to the game. Time to raise prices again. Customers were coming. This was so much better than solitaire. It was good to be awake.