In 2010, I posted the first story of what became an annual Valentine's Day story, with each new part posted close to Valentine's Day each year.
In preparation for 2013, I began writing that edition the previous summer and fall. It grew long and I posted the first half of it for Valentine's Day 2013. I wasn't happy with it. So I wrote a new story and posted it April of 2013. I loved it and in a rush of fresh ideas from my imagination following that new story, I wrote 3 additional parts for Valentine's Day. I realized right there I could no longer let it continue as an annual story, that it was time to turn the collection into it's own short story. This story, The Locket. I hope to post each new chapter every 6 to 8 weeks, with the last chapter being posted on or close to Valentine's Day 2015 in keeping with the theme this story began with in 2010.
Bringing the parts of the story together into a single short story will have its benefits and its drawbacks, but overall I think it will be best for the story. The story is the most important thing in this equation. Not you, not me, but the story. I always put the story ahead of what I want from the story, or you want from the story. The story, once it grows beyond those first few shaky lines of text, is its own being. It is what it is. Only through careful pruning and grafting, can I shape it into something that puts out good fruit, but I can't change the peach tree into an apple tree.
Please take the time to read and enjoy,
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Setting based on a deleted scene and the final minutes from S01E06 Dungeons and Dragons. Assume everything that you observed in the series before this scene occurred as shown.
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Derek lies resting on the kitchen table. His breathing is as steady as his heartbeat as he sleeps from a mild sedative administered half an hour ago by EMT Charley Dixon.
Having made his goodbyes with Sarah outside, Charley checks his patient one more time. He has to leave soon, with no idea how to explain his absence or his missing supplies to his superiors, but he's confidant he'll come up with something. It's not like others haven't come short on supplies for no reason.
Confidant that Derek Reese is as good as he'll be anywhere outside of a hospital, he decides to make his goodbyes with John. After speaking with Sarah, he may not have another chance to talk with John. He knows John is a great kid. Its hard for him to imagine John as a world leader and great general. To him John is just a kid, and maybe for him that's who he needs to be right now.
Charley enters the living room to find that John has already packed up the gear in their proper containers and has disposed of the bloody bandages and used materials. John was a quick learner and always very efficient at using the equipment. He had some idea John might become an EMT like himself, after he and Sarah had married, and John had grown up, but that dream was as empty as the dream of Sarah and him marrying.
He finds it hard to believe that John looks no different than he did just eight years ago when Sarah ran out on him. Time travel, a computer bent on world domination and machines from the future that look like hot eighteen year old girls. He shakes his head in disbelief, while John and Sarah seem to take it all in stride.
Charley sees John smile at him. There is so much he'd like to ask him, but where should he begin?
Cameron, terminators, and what did the girl call it?
"So a, uh, cybernetic organism over a hyper-alloy combat chassis?"
John smiles, "That's what she says."
Charley frowns, as a question forms in his mind. "She, ahh, that's kind of weird. Isn't it? Because she isn't really a she. Um, she's not really anything."
John just grins, and nods his head in a kind of an agreement.
"But I guess you get used to her, right? You end up looking at her like she's a normal girl."
"Normal?" John says with a hint of laughter in his voice as he shakes his head, "Nah, definitely not normal."
"But I, um, I, um, guess its easy to forget, what she is, the more she is around." Charley probes gently. He knows John, but this situation is so strange to Charley, so weird, that he has to be reassured.
"Are you asking if I like her, as um, like, like her?" John laughs nervously, shakes his head. "Nah, man come on. That's insane."
"Is it?" Charley sits down on sofa, ignoring the fact that its past time for him to go back to work or back home. "Don't forget, I used to see you down to the bike shop with that girl."
"What girl?" John asks. For himself, it might have only been several weeks since he and Charley worked on the motorcycle together, but so much has happened these last few weeks he can't remember any girl.
Charley gives John a knowing look. "The girl, down at the parts counter. The one with the tattoo right there." Charley points at the side of his neck with his right hand.
John grins bashfully finally remembering the girl. She must have been sixteen or eighteen and he just couldn't work up the nerve to ask her out.
"How many times did you and I go back for just the right brake pad?"
John laughs remembering all the stupid excuses and reasons he gave Charley for going back to that shop, only once he got there, he lost all his nerve and talked with the girl about brake pads again.
Sarah is standing outside watching John and Charley talk through the window. She can't hear what's being said. She smiles at first, then looks sad, realizing what was lost by not staying with Charley, of being whole, of being a family. But she couldn't stay. She couldn't put his life in danger.
Her eyes dart to the old garage. Inside is the reminder of why she ran, dragging John with her. The machines. They never stop coming. Sarah is like the little Dutch boy sticking his fingers in the leaking dike. Just when you think you all the holes are stopped up, another leak appears. They stopped this hole, but it won't be long until water begins to pouring through again.
Back inside, Charley finally makes his goodbyes.
"Now, um," He looks at his watch, "I've got to go."
John nods his head and they both get up from the sofa.
"I just hope it isn't another eight years."
"It's only been a month."
Charley mentally struggles for a second. "Yeah, right. Well, um, I don't want to think to hard on that." He says while struggling to fathom time travel.
"Feels like a lot longer." John says reassuring his friend and mentor.
"Well, um hey!" They clasp hands and Charley pulls John into a hug. "Don't forget what she is. Okay?"
Charley picks up his bags and cases and walks out the room. Passing John he says, "Look after your mom."
Charley heads outside. Sarah meets him at the steps and takes a one of his cases to carry to the gate. She may not want him to come around again, but she can show him common courtesy. She owes him that much at the very least.
Cameron walks in the backdoor, saunters past the sleeping Derek Reese, and into the living room. Despite carving up the cyborg they captured, and burning its endoskeleton, Cameron looks as calm and serene as if she was just out for a stroll, not that John could imagine her doing that.
"Has Charley left?" She asks, before seeing him through the window climb into his truck. He gives Sarah a brief wave and drives off. In the distance she sees storm clouds begin to brew.
John looks at the cold almost flat expression on the cyborg's face. He knows what Cameron has been up to in the garage. The pungent odor of burnt metal and blood hangs around Cameron like a cloud. What could possibly happen for him to see Cameron as anything other than a machine?
"There's a storm coming." Cameron says, referring to the gathering clouds and gusty breeze outside.
John turns to look outside. Sarah and Charley are saying their final goodbyes. Beyond them, clouds are gathering on the horizon. John can't help but think of the greater storm surrounding them and who will he call on to be his companion, his friend, as the threat of Skynet surrounds him?
"I'm going to shower and change." Cameron announces.
John turns his head around quickly. She was still there, standing beside him, watching those same storm clouds rolling in. What was she thinking as she gazed upon those clouds? Can she draw comparisons between a simple thing as a thunderstorm and the shadow of Skynet that looms over them all?
"Sure. I'll stay here. Keep and eye on Derek," is all John says. They'll die. They will all die to keep me alive, and I will go alone into that storm unless we stop it.
Cameron turns and walks away, her long legs giving the appearance of equestrian strides. John watches her and realizes, she will survive. Cameron can survive anything. She would stay with me, right on to the end. And I don't have to like her, like her, for that to happen.
He hears his name called from the Kitchen. He walks in to find Derek in a semi-conscious state, acting out some dream or memory, and calling his name and Kyle's. Recalling his mom having dreams like that after Cyberdyne, John pulls up a chair and sits and talks to Derek, eventually bringing him out of his dream.
The front door closes sharply and Sarah walks in, hearing John talking in the Kitchen, she takes the hallway down to the mudroom and enters the kitchen from behind John.
"He was a soldier." John is saying, "And he was..."
John pauses seeing his mom enter the room."
"He was a hero." John says, his voice breaking, "He was a hero."
He gives his uncle's hand a squeeze and leaves, choking back the tears.
Sarah gives Derek a quick glance and follows John into the living room.
"You can't tell him." she says.
"I didn't! I won't." John shoots back.
She sees the deep haunted longing on Johns face.
"Does Cameron know?"
"What?" John scowls. "No. She doesn't know. She just rattled off Kyle's rank, commanding officer and unit, and serials number. And, um, that he disappeared in a mission."
Sarah, gives a curt nod to her head.
"Where's the tin-miss now?"
John looks at her sharply. That jibe again. His mom mostly uses it when Cameron is around, and he's seen the tiny front lines form around her eyes when Sarah says it. Cameron knows it's an insult, but does she feel the insult? And if Cameron can feel that, can she feel other things? He doesn't know, and he also doesn't know if we would want to know if she did.
"Shower. I think. I've got schoolwork." John answers his mother, with an edge to his voice as he marches off to his room. Mom can look after Derek.
Sarah looks after her son's departing back, worried of not ever being able to provide the kind of life John should have, while protecting him from life he will or might have. Cameron does not make things easier for her. If Sarah only understood why her son in the future would send Cameron of all possible machines to protect himself now.
"Why John?" she asks, and there is no one there to answer her.
Quietly, she walks into the kitchen and looks upon the face of Derek Reese. He's asleep again. So much like his brother in appearance, yet different too.
Not wanting to leave him alone for too long, she retrieves a rifle from her stash and the cleaning supplies. Making space for herself at the dining table, Sarah begins to take apart the rifle to clean it. For her its a form of maintaining control, some sanity. If the guns are okay, then she'll be okay. Its her mantra.
John walks into the room. He came back realizing today of all days was not the time for him to be a dick, but seeing his mom sitting at the dining table cleaning the gun, well maybe now was not the time. He tries to leave as quietly as he came, but Sarah knew he was there. He barely has a chance to move when she embraces him, and he suddenly realizes, that he needs this too and hugs his mother.
Today has been hard for them both, and they've just manage to pull through it together.
Cameron sees them from the other room. They don't notice her, engaged as they are in their embrace.
Sarah's face looks sad, and so does John's. Cameron thinks a hug should bring some joy or happiness. Maybe the happiness is inside, when they are sad on the outside.
Cameron frowns. No one has ever hugged her.
Humans are afraid of her. Well, at least the humans who know what she is are afraid. Another machine wouldn't be afraid, but they wouldn't be curious about such things as hugging like she is. It would be a rare machine indeed that would like to be embraced by a human or would embrace human, for purposes other than killing the human. It would be rarer still to find two machines who would want to hug each other, or would find purpose in such an act.
Cameron knows she's different than the other machines. She knows that intrinsically. The T-800's, the T-850's and the T-888's all have the same software for observing and learning human behavior for the capacity of blending in better, but she's different.
John and Sarah are separating now. They are smiling. So the hug does make you feel happy. Cameron understands now. Happiness comes after the hug.
Cameron frowns, as only she can. She wishes someone would hug her, so she can feel what its like to be happy, but it's probably not as simple as that for her.
By the time John and Sarah go their separate ways, Cameron is back in her room. Alone.
S01E07 The Demon Hand follows this as is, with no additional material by me. Chapter 2 will be next. It will be based on Valentine's Day (part 1) posted on February 11, 2010. You may want to try reading ahead, but that story will be revised somewhat to make it fit in better with the continuity* of the series and the story I'm telling.
If you haven't caught on by reading the annual Valentine's Day stories, I'm attempting to write a story that adds on to the existing episodes without changing what we saw on on TV. At best I hope to entertain you, especially the romantics and the Jamerons, at worst I hope to add some embellishment, some deeper meaning perhaps, to what we've already experienced on TV without detracting too much from that experience.
* As we know, the creators of TSCC took some liberties with continuity regarding the passage of time in the series, and relating to when events took place in T1 & T2 despite clear and accurate reference materials besides the films themselves. When writing fanfics, its hard to ignore this disparity especially when the story ties into events in the series, and especially when those events are said to take place at a time of year which contradicts the base information from the films that preceded the story. So despite my best efforts, there may be times when continuity takes second place in order to weave my story in with established canon. I'll try not to disturb things too much, or at least not any more than the creators of TSCC. :) Things would have been easier if they didn't reference dates at all within the series except at the very beginning and at the very end.
Additional: Feb 27, 2013: After reading through the next chapters, I decided to write new material and edit them accordingly. I think it makes for a better order of events.
** In reviewing some episodes I've rediscovered some clear references to the current date. For example, when Cameron looks at the evidence box in The Demon Hand, there is a checkout sheet on the outside of the box revealing when various departments check the box in and out of evidence. The dates strongly suggest the events in Dungeons and Dragons took place in mid-October 2007. However, three episodes later and its John's Birthday, which means they covered a lot of weeks really quickly, because two episodes into Season 2 and two days after John's Birthday is November 16th. I thought maybe that could be explained by their using John's fake ID birthday date to celebrate, but then I uncovered a picture of the fake birth certificate used in registering John Baum for school and the date is in June. Sigh! Things would have been so much nicer if they never showed or mentioned specific dates at all, outside of the pilot and when Judgment day would happen. I much prefer John's birthday to be in February as set by T2. However, the dates, both shown and mentioned, offered a framework to set my chapters in and around. I've even managed to come up with a reason why John's Birthday is being celebrated November 14th despite police records showing it to be February 28th. So you have that to look forward too.
Posted: February 13, 2014