The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion ‘My Last Days With Killer Robot3000,’ by Mike Pence

Copies of "So Help Me God," written by former vice president Mike Pence, are seen at a bookstore in Corte Madera, Calif., on Tuesday. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

He started to bring up the election, saying that people were angry, but his voice trailed off.

I told him he had to set that aside, and he responded quietly, “Yeah.”

I said, “Those people who broke into the Capitol might’ve been supporters, but they are not our movement.” For five years, we had both spoken to crowds of the most patriotic, law-abiding, God-fearing people in the country.

With genuine sadness in his voice, the president mused: “What if we hadn’t had the rally? What if they hadn’t gone to the Capitol?” Then he said, “It’s too terrible to end like this.”

Mike Pence’s new memoir, “So Help Me God”

“My Last Days With Killer Robot3000,” by Mike Pence

“Mike Pence,” everyone says. “Killer Robot3000 recklessly endangered your life, didn’t he?”

Follow Alexandra Petri's opinionsFollow

I shake my head. It is technically true in the most plodding, literal way that Killer Robot3000, a deadly robot programmed to kill, did exactly that, but I know better. Dangerous as it is, that is just how he says hello; I took his firing a deadly laser at me every time I approached for the friendly greeting it was. I know better than to think it was personal. Killer Robot3000 and I have always had nothing but deep respect for one another.

“I will pray for you, Killer Robot3000,” I told him.

He beeped at me in what I knew was a soulful way. “KILL! KILL!” he said, softly, although technically it was at the same volume he said anything. But there was an undeniable softness to it, the kind of undeniable softness that would have been denied by anyone hearing it except myself.


“Did you mean to ravage that city with your lasers, Killer Robot3000?” I asked.

Killer Robot3000 did not shake his head, but I could tell he wanted to. It was all the answer I needed.


I could tell that Killer Robot3000 was torn up inside about the sobering events of the previous weeks, where he had used his flamethrowers to set many people ablaze and his electric murder-wasp functionality to target many more. I could tell because he had that look in his eyes that only I could fully understand.

“I think Killer Robot3000 is turned off,” my aide said. “I don’t think you should read anything into the way he looks when he is not turned on.”

I shook my head, my eyes beginning to brim with tears. At that moment I felt such love for Killer Robot3000. He had told me everything with a single glance.


“Do you think I should run for president, Killer Robot3000?” I asked.

Killer Robot3000’s eyes flashed at me with their lasers, and I knew I had his endorsement. That was unmistakably what it was, what he did with the lasers.


“Oh, Mike Pence, whom I have always respected, even when we disagreed — do not pray for me,” Killer Robot3000 said. “I am a robot, and I lack a soul. I wish I had a soul like you, so that I could pray with you and be a better friend to you. But had I a spirit, would it not be too weighted with regret for all these things I’ve done? Yes, Mike Pence, you know better than anyone: Please put it in your book that I felt regret.”

Killer Robot3000 said that with his eyes. With his mouth he said, “KILL! KILL!”