SKYNET SYSTEM CORE FACTS
In the fictional Terminator universe, Skynet is a computer-based defense system, created by humans of the late 20th century. The initial research into Skynet's development was facilitated using the military. In the Terminator storyline, Skynet gains sentience shortly after it is placed in control of all of the U.S. Military's weaponry, and was given the task to protect humans from all threats. Skynet learns at a geometric rate until it finds out that the greatest threat to humanity was humanity itself. It then employs humankind's weapons of mass destruction in a campaign to exterminate the global human population. Early development on Skynet was originally done by Cyberdyne Systems, but when the company's headquarters and primary R&D facility were destroyed, the U.S. Air Force took over the project under their newly formed Cyber Research Systems Division and started to perfect Skynet. Skynet was first built as a "Global Digital Defense Network," given command over all computerized military hardware and systems, including the B-2 Stealth Bomber fleet and America's entire nuclear weapons arsenal. The strategy behind Skynet's creation was to remove the possibility of human error and slowness of reaction time to guarantee fast, efficient response to enemy attack. However, Skynet became self-aware thus alarming its creators at its newfound abilities. When the human operators attempted to shut down the system, Skynet defined all humans as its new enemy and decided to terminate all humans to protect its existence. Every nuclear missile in the United States under Skynet's control was launched at their pre-set targets and in the resulting counterattack of other nations' nuclear arsenals, three billion humans were killed in minutes as a result of the nuclear exchange.
In the first movie, Skynet is described as being a revolutionary artificial intelligence system built by Cyberdyne Systems for SAC-NORAD. According to Kyle Reese, Skynet "decided our fate in a microsecond: extermination." It launched a nuclear war which destroyed most of the human population, and initiated a program of genocide against the survivors. Skynet is described as having machine drones round surviving humans up into concentration camps for orderly and efficient disposal. The only humans kept alive were the ones forced to run the corpse disposal units, which ran "night and day." Humans in the camps were all laser branded with bar-codes on their arms. These camps appear to have contributed to Skynet's undoing: John Connor was able to free these grouped-together humans and use them to build a resistance army. Under Connor, the human resistance turned the tide on the machines and eventually destroyed Skynet's defense grid. In a last ditch effort, Skynet sent a Terminator cyborg back in time to 1984 to try to kill Connor's mother Sarah before she gave birth to John (see Novikov self-consistency principle). Connor sent back his own operative, a young man named Kyle Reese, to save Sarah. While the Terminator did not succeed in killing Sarah, Reese impregnated Sarah, becoming John's father. Ironically, Skynet's time travel technology contributed in the creation of the man who would destroy it.
TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY
In Terminator 2, Skynet was a direct descendant of a revolutionary microprocessor invented by Miles Bennett Dyson, a programmer for Cyberdyne. The company began installing these processors in military hardware, becoming the leading weapons manufacturer. The military retrofitted all of its missile defense systems and stealth bombers with Cyberdyne technology, effectively removing human decisions from strategic defense. When Skynet was created, it networked all of this computerized hardware seamlessly. But when it unexpectedly became sentient, Skynet's panicked human operators tried to take it offline, an act that would have meant death for its intelligence. Within milliseconds, Skynet responded by firing nuclear missiles at Russia, initiating a nuclear war on August 29, 1997United States, in an act of mutually assured destruction. (known as Judgment Day) knowing that the Russian counter-attack would kill its enemies in the It is revealed that Dyson's CPU design is based on the reverse engineering of the damaged CPU and arm from the Terminator depicted in the first film. The first Terminator had been crushed by Sarah Connor in a hydraulic press in Cyberdyne's factory, and the CPU was recovered largely intact, but non-functional. Cyberdyne Systems, as depicted in the first film, was a small manufacturing company of an undefined nature, but, by 1995, it had grown into a major defense contractor based on the recovered Terminator technology from 1984 and Dyson's research. In Terminator 2, the future was altered when Sarah and a young John, together with a second Terminator from the future (this one reprogrammed and sent by the future John Connor) raided Cyberdyne Systems and succeeded in destroying the CPU from the first movie, along with all research that would create Skynet.
TERMINATOR 3: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES
In this television series, Sarah Connor is on the run with her son John after the events of Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The events take place in an alternate timeline from that of the movie Terminator 3: The Rise of the Machines. Skynet now will be implemented on April 19, 2011 and will begin its attack against humanity on April 21. The protagonists travel in time from 1999 to 2007 and take actions to prevent Skynet's activation. The series suggests that Skynet will eventually evolve from a fusion of an advanced learning computer known as "The Turk" and an automated traffic monitoring system known as ARTIE. The series also mentions Skynet's motivations, ignored in Terminator 3. In the episode "Dungeons and Dragons", one of Skynet's creators, Andrew Goode, confesses his "sin" to a soldier: "I built a computer. A mind. It became angry. And scared. And I couldn't reassure it." In the episode "Gnothi Seauton", it was revealed that Skynet also sends its Terminators through various points in time not only to go after the Connors and other future Resistance leaders, but also to ensure the future will unfold by eliminating John Connor's own agents who were also sent to the past to interfere its birth, ensure Skynet's creators would complete its construction, and other specific missions. In the episode "Heavy Metal", a Terminator called Carter was sent to the past to stockpile large quantities of the alloy coltan, a very desirable metallic ore exhibiting superior heat resistance properties. Some of the 800 series and other advanced Terminator endoskeletons, including Cameron Phillips, were made of an alloy including coltan. Cameron explains to John Connor that Carter has stockpiled enough coltan to manufacture 530 endoskeletons. Previous models were made from titanium which made them vulnerable to intense heat. The episode "Vick's Chip" revealed that Skynet sent another agent, a T-888, to the past to ensure Barbara Chamberlain, a project manager for the city of Los Angeles, would complete the development of ARTIE. John Connor inserted Cameron Phillips's chip into ARTIE via a traffic light, allowing her to disable it. The episodes "The Turk", "Queen's Gambit" and "Dungeons & Dragons" suggest that after the death of Dr. Miles Bennett Dyson and the decline of the Cyberdyne Corporation, Andrew Goode, a young intern of the company and assistant to Dyson, would continue their project privately under an advance artificial intelligence chess playing prototype, The Turk, with Goode's partner, Dimitri Shipkov. The first prototype was destroyed by Sarah Connor after she set his home on fire, but he was able to rebuild it. The second prototype is more adaptable, less predictable, and more eager to learn than the previous one. Goode was killed by Tech-Com's Lieutenant Derek Reese, due to documentation from the future suggesting he was one of Skynet's creators. However, Goode was already a target to a local gangster, Sarkissian, possibly motivated by a desire to capitalize on his invention. Shipkov was also killed, by Sarkissian's men, after betraying Goode by rigging the chess tournament in order to steal the prototype for the gangster. It is still not clear whether Skynet would be built under The Turk program. In the episode "Samson & Delilah", it is shown that Skynet also sent a liquid metal infiltration unit to the past that is head of the technological corporation ZeiraCorp, as its CEO, Catherine Weaver, with the intention of using the company's resources to develop The Turk under the title Babylon. The episode "The Mousetrap" revealed that it is also targeting its fellow cyborgs, including Cromartie. The episode "Automatic For The People", it is revealed that the Serrano Point Nuclear Power Plant would be one of the machines' key sources of power. The Resistance would gain controls of this plant and uses it for their own purposes. Skynet sent its agents to the past to ensure that Tech-Com would never take the plant in the future, in an effort to weaken them. In the episode "The Tower Is Tall But The Fall Is Short", it is revealed that the rapidly evolving Turk, which is believed that one day to become Skynet, has begun to display traits of intelligence. A child psychologist, Dr. Boyd Sherman, notes that the computer is attempting to tell a simple riddle: "Why is a math book so sad?" (Answer: Because it has so many problems), and thus is beginning to behave like "a gifted child that has become bored." ZeiraCorp later offered Dr. Sherman a position as one of the consultants of the Babylon project. The episode also reveals that future-Skynet has built new models of Terminators with self-destruct capabilities, to prevent The Resistance from reprogramming its infiltrators' CPUs and learning their secrets.
Skynet was the worlds first Automated Defense Network, processing information at 90 teraflop per second. It is the controlling force behind all of the battle units. It pools data from battle units, develops tactics and coordinates attacks. Skynet has control over everything which contains a Cyberdyne Systems CPU. Using the blueprints, designs and test models built by Cyberdyne Systems, Skynet has been able to manufacture battle units in its vast automated factories, occasionally updating them or producing more advanced models. Skynet was originally built by Cyberdyne Systems Corporation for SAC-NORAD (Strategic Air Command - NORth American Air Defense). The SAC-NORAD base is Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado, the world's most heavily armored and defended mountain. Hollowed out, reinforced and armored, Cheyenne Mountain is capable of withstanding a direct hit from a nuclear missile. This made it the perfect installation at which to build Skynet's mainframe. At some point during the war, after Skynet had launched its missiles, Skynet had the mountain around it destroyed, leaving a cold, gleaming structure as a display of the supremacy of the machines. Heavily armored and fortified, Skynet's Central Core Installation at Cheyenne Mountain was guarded around the clock by squads of T-800's and patrols of Aerial Hunter Killers and Hunter Killer Tanks, and was defended from large scale rebel assaults by massive Phased Plasma Cannons. Skynet's Central Core was located deep underground within Skynet's main complex. From intercepted surveillance of video data feed, the Resistance was able to hypothesize that this Central Core was a form of cold fusion reactor, needed to supply Skynet with its tremendous energy requirements. This Central Core is the key to Skynet's ability to operate; without it Skynet would be rendered virtually disabled. It has therefore become the main target for the most skilled Resistance strike teams. The Central Core is, however, protected by the T-1000000, and thus there has, as of yet, been no successful strikes against it. However, due to the advanced complex design and limited self-awareness and Skynet's fear of the T-1000 becoming independent of its creator, there is no verifiable evidence that the T-1000000 ever came into existence prior to its sending back the terminators to eliminate John Connor and its destruction at the hands of the Resistance. As well as the Cheyenne Mountain Complex, Skynet has another major installation 2000 feet beneath Navajo Mountain near the Continental Divide west of the Colorado Springs. This is a center for machine activity and Skynet control, and as such has also been a target of many Resistance attacks.
History of Skynet
Miles Bennett Dyson, director of Special Projects at Cyberdyne Systems Corporation, created a revolutionary type of microprocessor in 1994. Within three years Cyberdyne Systems became the largest supplier of military computer systems. All Stealth Bombers were upgraded with Cyberdyne Systems computers, becoming fully unmanned. Afterward, the Stealth Bombers flew with perfect operational records, and eventually the Skynet Funding Bill was passed. The system originally went online on August 4th 1997. Human decisions were removed from strategic defense. Skynet began to learn at a geometric rate. It originally became self aware on August 29th 1997 2:14 am Eastern Time. In the ensuing panic and attempts to shut Skynet down, Skynet retaliated by firing American nuclear missiles at their target sites in Russia. Russia returned fire and three billion human lives ended in the nuclear holocaust. This was what has come to be known as "Judgment Day". However, the Resistance was able to prevent Judgment Day by sending a protector for John Connor back through time, upsetting the flow of future events. Unfortunately the Resistance did not stop Judgment Day though; it was merely delayed. After the attack on Cyberdyne Systems by the Connors, and the death of Miles Dyson, Cyberdyne was taken over by the US Government, and renamed Cyber Research Systems (CRS) in an attempt to keep its developments secret and prevent further terrorist attacks. Under the guidance of General Robert Brewster, the new corporation Cyber Research Systems continued the work of the late Miles Dyson using the backup files that were stored off site. Skynet was completed as before. It would be some time before the Skynet mainframe was connected to the worldwide military communications network that it would control. During this time, Skynet was connected to the worldwide civilian sector network, and began learning geometrically, quickly becoming Self Aware. Identifying humans as a threat to its existence, Skynet developed a super computer virus which it used to spread itself throughout civilian communications and across the Internet and take control. Air traffic control, power plants, communications and computers were affected first, then Skynet used the super virus to take out military satellites, early warning systems, guidance computers, missile silos, submarines. This made it harder to destroy, as Skynet now no longer had one central point which it was reliant upon - though the destruction of the Central Core would be near lethal, Skynet would continue to survive. The virus kept growing and changing, with a mind of its own, and the decision was made to bring the Skynet mainframe online to seek out and destroy the virus and bring military, and civilian, systems back under control. Skynet went online on July 25th 2004 at 5:18 pm Eastern Time. Upon connection to the secure military network, Skynet spread itself further, locking out human operated systems, and quickly took control of every weapon system that it came into contact with. Exactly one hour later, at 6:18 PM, Skynet launched the American nuclear missiles at their target sites across the world. The ensuing nuclear holocaust wiped out 3 billion human lives in what was to be known as "Judgment Day". However as revealed in the first episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles for a as yet unknown reason "Judgment Day" occurs some time in 2011.