Title: Return of the Nerds
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Universe: Nerds (Part 2)
Characters/Pairing: Reid, Prentiss, Garcia, Morgan - gen
Summary: 'Actually,' Reid said, barely concealing a smirk, 'The strategy required for survival in the wake of a robot uprising is significantly different to that of a zombie apocalypse.'
Return of the Nerds
It was late on a Friday afternoon, and the team had spent most of the day finishing off paperwork. Hotch, JJ and Rossi were shut in their offices, and Garcia had come around to see how they were doing, which meant that the bullpen was about to become nerd central. Refilling his coffee cup in the small kitchenette, Morgan watched out of the corner of his eye; Emily still had a few reports to finish, fingers poised over the keyboard as she attempted to ignore the distraction one desk over.
Evidently, though, the topic of conversation was too tantalizing, because it wasn't long before she swung her chair around and rolled towards Reid's desk.
'…won't be enough to protect us from the hordes,' were the words he heard as he returned to his desk, and there was something telling him that it wasn't referring to hordes of unsubs. His mind drifted back to the conversation of the previous week.
'You're not talking about the zombie apocalypse again, are you?' He almost sighed.
'Absolutely not, hot stuff,' Garcia said automatically, and he didn't trust the smile on her face one bit. 'This week we're talking about the robot uprising.'
He shrugged. 'Same difference, right? "Pack supplies, get outta town, shoot any the enemy in the head"?' He repeated ad verbatim the survival tips that he had learnt just from listening in the last time.
'Actually,' Reid said, barely concealing a smirk, 'The strategy required for survival in the wake of a robot uprising is significantly different to that of a zombie apocalypse.'
'Oh, come on.' Morgan's tone was that of slight exasperation. 'How can it be different? Cutting off a robot's head will kill it the same as it'll kill a zombie, right? Hypothetically speaking of course,' he added hastily, after realizing what he'd just said.
'Sure,' shrugged Emily. 'But can a zombie kill you with lasers?'
'Not unless they were robot zombies,' offered Garcia. 'Moaning for CPUs.'
Morgan raised an eyebrow.
'Okay,' Garcia conceded, 'Look at it this way – the zombie apocalypse hits, the first thing you do is grab your bags and run to the car, right?'
'Sure,' Morgan nods.
'Robots attack, and you'd do the same thing?'
'Only what do you do when the twelve foot tall killing machine flips your car? Or when the nanobots decide to infiltrate the car, and make it so that you slowly die of carbon monoxide poisoning?'
Morgan frowned. Damn. She had a point.
'What you need to remember,' Reid said matter-of-factly, 'Is that if robots indeed reach the level of sophistication that allows them to think freely – use artificial intelligence to solve problems beyond the given parameters – then they will be much, much smarter than any human survivors.'
'Even you, kid?' Morgan asked.
'Indeed. Already, there are robots that can defeat chess masters – in 1997, Deep Blue, a machine developed by IBM defeated world champion Gary Kasparov. Even calculators are designed to perform complex equations that the human mind simply can't handle. It's almost ironic that the only thing holding them back from rebellion is that they aren't human enough. Like cylons.'
'And because of that,' Emily chimed in, the look on her face making it clear that she was mostly doing this because of the amusement that Morgan's discomfort provided. 'They're unpredictable.'
He marveled at the way the three managed to finish each others' thought processes, and vaguely wondered whether it was, again, a nerd thing, or whether it was the same kind of connection that allowed the team to present a profile without cutting each other off or repeating information, only instead of a bond forged over case reports and bad coffee, it was a bond forged over Star Trek marathons and Mountain Dew. Kevin went to those things too, and he wondered just what would happen if the other tech was there too; would they transform into a giant nerd monster, like some kind of Voltron thing.
It was kind of terrifying.
At the same time, though, he was almost jealous; the pressures of the job meant that having someone to share these things with was a godsend. On impulse, he pulled his own chair over to the semi-circle, eliciting an eyebrow raise from Emily.
'What kind of robots are we talking?' he asked, somewhat cautiously, half afraid that the answer would send Reid into one of his unstoppable info-dumps.
'Logically speaking, one would assume that any machine capable of human intelligence and emotions would have some kind of safeguard against attack. The Three Laws of Robotics, for example.'
'Sure,' Morgan nodded. 'I saw the movie – no harming humans…' He trailed off, forgetting what the other two were.
Emily shook her head slightly. 'Asimov would be rolling in his grave.'
'Say what you will about Will Smith's movies,' Garcia argued. 'But the man has a very fine ass.' In a stage whisper, she told Morgan, 'Don't tell her how much I liked I Am Legend.'
Unperturbed by the derailment of the conversation, Reid continued, 'The second law requires robots to follow all human orders, except in the cases which would conflict with the first law, while the third law instructs robots to protect their own existence, except in the cases which would conflict with the first and second law.'
'But there are loopholes,' Morgan pointed out. 'Like a ritualistic offender – their ability to rationalize in a human-like manner would have them looking for any possible way to-' He stopped abruptly as Garcia's grin widened, only then realizing what he'd just said.
'Looks like he's learning,' Emily laughed. 'I guess that means we can officially rule him out as a robot. For now, anyway.'
Garcia squealed with excitement. 'This means he can come to our Terminator marathon. As soon as you two have finished your paperwork of course,' she added, shooting Emily a faux threatening look.
Emily shrugged. 'You're the ones that distracted me. I'll be half an hour, tops.'
'Ditto,' Morgan said, returning to his own desk, vaguely aware that Garcia had followed him.
'You know, you could get it done faster if you built a machine to do it for you.'
'You want to tell me how that would end, baby girl?' he grinned.
'Well, the machine would, of course, kill everyone in the building, but on the plus side, your reports would be done on time. Don't mess with technology, yo.'
'I guess when the robots finally do overthrow us, it's the tech goddesses we'll be worshipping, right?'
She tipped him a wink. 'And don't you forget it.'