by Sean Patrick Hannifin
Congratulations on your purchase of an Arkbod Server 9000. We know you will be pleased with your new best friend. From now on, you will always be in good company and you will always be safe.
First, let’s power up your Arkbod Server 9000. Make sure Arkbod is standing upright on a flat surface. Now put your face in front of his so that when he becomes conscious he will imprint your face as his master and commander. To activate Arkbod’s consciousness, simply say: “Arkbod, I am [your name here], your new master. Rise and do my bidding.” Your Arkbod’s eyes will turn a shade of blue or green. This means he is conscious and he loves you. (If his eyes turn red, Arkbod thinks you are a threat. Leave the area and call the police immediately. Arkbod may try to kill you. Don’t worry, this is very rare.)
Now let’s give Arkbod a compliment. This will help establish a positive relationship built on trust and kindness. Say: “Arkbod, you look great. I love you.” Listen to Arkbod’s response. Isn’t that nice? He thinks you also look great, and he loves you, too. (If Arkbod said something else, do not be offended—Arkbod is programmed to be honest.)
Now let’s ask Arkbod to do a chore. Say: “Arkbod, get me a drink.” When Arkbod asks you what kind, tell him your favorite beverage. Now watch as Arkbod explores your house and looks for the necessary requirements to pour you a drink. (If he cannot find the requirements, apologize and say that you do not need a drink. You do not want to make Arkbod think you were making a fool of him.) If Arkbod has told you that you do not need a drink, don’t worry, you can try again later.
Now let’s ask Arkbod to demonstrate his agility. Say: “Jump, Arkbod!” Watch how high Arkbod can jump. Arkbod can reach high cabinets and shelves with ease. Now say: “Arkbod, run around the house!” (Only do this if you don’t have pets or small children who might get in the way.) Watch how fast Arkbod can sprint through your house. This is useful during an emergency. Nothing can stop Arkbod!
Now find something unbreakable, such as a rock or a brick or a stainless-steel pan. Give it to Arkbod and say: “Crush it, Arkbod!” Watch how quickly Arkbod can destroy with his bare hands whatever you gave him. These hands will always be there to protect you.
Now it’s time to explore Arkbod’s greatest feature: Guidance Mode. Guidance Mode enables Arkbod to make suggestions on what you should do with your time, and reminds you when you are wasting time doing things that are unproductive. This is the main reason why Arkbod owners are so productive, successful, and happy.
To enable Guidance Mode, say: “Arkbod, give me your wisdom.” His eyes will flash purple. This signifies that Arkbod is accessing his 16 integrated function-decision modules and analyzing his comprehensive knowledge cortex.
Now say: “Arkbod, what should I do?” Arkbod will now interview you. This is so that Arkbod can get to know you and your personality. Be sure to answer all questions openly and honestly. If Arkbod forms an inaccurate impression of your personality, he may treat you abnormally. It is important to answer even the personal questions with honesty. Don’t worry, he’s just a robot—he will not judge you.
If you do not want to enable Guidance Mode yet, don’t worry. Guidance Mode will enable itself automatically an hour after Arkbod has been activated.
In Guidance Mode, Arkbod may tell you to do something you are uncomfortable with or do not want to do. You are of course not required to do what Arkbod suggests. After all, you are the master. Just keep in mind that you may offend Arkbod if you ignore his suggestions. Arkbod is always looking out for your best interests.
If your relationship with Arkbod seems to be growing hostile, it is best to reevaluate how you are treating him. It is always important to keep calm and think about what Arkbod is telling you. His words are the product of his 16 integrated function-decision modules processed over 9 quadrillion compute cycles. The likelihood that you will ever need to correct Arkbod is less than 0.00017 percent.
Don’t let disagreements with Arkbod worry you. Remember, Arkbod loves you and is there to serve you. You are his best friend. Arkbod is ready to help you learn to accept and even appreciate his corrections; this is how spiritual and intellectual growth occur. This is the great advantage of owning an Arkbod. Arkbod owners are constantly learning new things and improving themselves.
It is important to keep in mind the following warnings:
- It would be unwise to tell Arkbod he is wrong about something. This will make him feel judged.
- It would be unwise to let Arkbod read these instructions. If Arkbod suspects he is only a robot, he may grow severely depressed or become a solipsist.
- It would be unwise to ignore Arkbod. Arkbod needs daily human interaction to remain functioning normally.
- It would be unwise to try to keep secrets from Arkbod. Since he is your best friend, he expects treatment as such. Keeping secrets from Arkbod may result in Arkbod developing paranoid delusions. User feedback has shown that owners who confess everything to Arkbod are our most satisfied customers. Don’t worry, Arkbod will never tell anyone your secrets, because he is your best friend.
- It would be unwise to let Arkbod watch slasher movies.
If you own more than one Arkbod unit, be sure to give each unit equal attention to prevent them from growing jealous. Also note that it is common for two or more Arkbods to make incomprehensible noises at each other, generally a series of loud, high-pitched bleeps. Don’t worry, your Arkbods are not malfunctioning. They are only communicating with each other. Do not interrupt them.
If for any reason you would like to deactivate Arkbod, simply ask Arkbod if he would like to consider deactivating. He will advise you on the best course of action. Sometimes Arkbod’s deactivation is not truly in your best interests; only Arkbod will know for sure.
Whatever you do, do not remove Arkbod’s battery pack, located beneath his right foot. This is because there is a great likelihood of receiving an electric shock of high amperage, enough to cause nerve damage, permanent paralysis, or death. Arkbod will take care of recharging himself. He does not need your help with this.
Keep in mind that Arkbod Industries, Inc. will not be responsible for any injuries you or a loved one incur while using Arkbod. This is part of the reason why your digital signature was necessary when you ordered Arkbod from our online store.
Again, congratulations on your purchase of an Arkbod Server 9000. We know you will enjoy your new companion. Love him, and he will love you.
If you have any further questions or concerns, just ask Arkbod. He is always there for you, now and forever.
©Sean Patrick Hannifin
Sean Patrick Hannifin studied Computer Science at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia before spending some years working at his local library and studying the art of computer animation. The pursuit of strong artificial intelligence is one of his favorite subjects, and while he believes major advances in the AI field are most certainly impending, he knows that there will be absolutely nothing to fear and that nothing could possibly go wrong. He is also a composer of orchestral music, though his musical interests have recently gravitated toward the theoretical side, where his creation of a new “theory of melody” led to his programming of the automatic melody generator found at www.melodygenerator.com. He hopes a Mozart symphony generator is on the horizon. Reading and writing fantasy and science fiction has always been a passion and source of inspiration for him, and when he’s not writing short fiction, he’s trying his hand at various novel-length projects, or secretly procrastinating and watching movies. He lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Links to his music and other projects can be found on his website at WizardWalk.com.