I do not claim any rights to the Terminator films; the TV series, "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles," or any characters depicted within the films or TV series. I do claim the right to this story idea and all characters and situations of my own creation. This story was created solely for my own enjoyment and the enjoyment of others. No profits are garnered from its distribution.
Author's Note: This chapter was going to be, Valentine's Day Part VII, but after writing this and what became chapters 10 & 11 in a flurry of creative outpouring of energy April 2013, I elected to create a short story, The Locket, instead of continuing the annual story.
This chapter contains one love scene that would probably deserve an M rating. On the whole I don't believe this story goes beyond the threshold of what constitutes a T rating, so I am not going to change the rating for the entire story for just one scene. I expect the readers to show some judgment when fully warned they may encounter something either not to their tastes or suitable for their age or maturity.
That being said, here's the final chapter to...
# # #
More than a day has passed since John, Cameron, Catherine, John Henry, and Mr Ellison were rescued from the Skynet base where Cameron was re-skinned. What they did not know at the time was that the Northern Command resistance force was attacking a Skynet communications tower in the region at the same time. The entire area became too hot for anyone to venture above ground or outside as Skynet's machines were swarming the area hunting for blood. Some say it's impossible for Skynet and its machines to be vengeful, but they are usually those who've never had to venture outside or above ground after a particularly hard blow against Skynet.
Not much has been happening for those inside the bunker. Some cleaning or repair their weapons or gear. Others gather and talking about past missions and glory days. Some will play games with decks of cards so old everyone knows what cards you hold by the wear and tear on them, so everyone plays by the honor system, when it suits them.
John and Cameron have just left the hospital where they visited Mr. Ellison. They did not tell him what they knew about Catherine Weaver's involvement in Cameron's creation out of deference to the friendship he had with the liquid metal machine. Weaver was going to be returning with them to the past, so why spoil his relationship with her these last few days.
After their short visit, they then decided to pay John Henry a visit. They walk into Savannah's old shop where John, whose mood was buoyed by Mr. Ellison's spirit, cheerfully greets John Henry, "How are you doing John Henry?"
"I am functioning at one hundred percent. The replacement parts are working within nominal settings. Thanks to Cameron giving me some of her extra nanites yesterday, my flesh is healing at a faster rate. I calculate full restoration within four days."
"When did you give him some of your nanites?" John asks Cameron.
"Yesterday morning, while you were visiting Mr. Ellison." She answers with a frown. Cameron isn't frowning in response to John's question. What John Henry said about the nanites didn't sound right.
Cameron examines the exposed and open wounds on John Henry's head and exposed torso. Increasing magnification until the tiny nanites are visible. "The nanites I transferred to your system are working at exceptional levels. How much power have you given them?"
"I increased power output to the nanites by ten percent."
Cameron shakes her head. "Don't do it again. Nanites have a short life cycle. They can't hold that much energy and too much can have them burn out sooner than expected. For the moment they are repairing your flesh at a faster rate, but it won't last. I calculate they will begin to fail within twelve hours and all of them will be dead in forty-eight hours at current power levels. You will then have to wait for your body to generate more nanites."
"I wasn't aware of that. Thank you for explaining."
"You're welcome John Henry."
"If because of my error, my nanites do expire early, will you be able to replenish me from your excess?"
"You have an excess?" John interjects.
Cameron quickly erases the look of apprehension that her programming was about to show on her face. "Yes I do. The process of re-skinning left my system flush with nanites and synthetic stem cells. Its why the wounds to my back healed overnight."
"Then you'll be able to help John Henry again if he needs it?"
Cameron looks first at one and then the other. "Maybe. It depends on whether the nanites survive until John Henry needs them. At the moment they are creating the final connections between my neural network and the living nerves of my flesh. If they are still functioning at completion, I will extract them for John Henry."
She lied. Can John or John Henry tell she lied? Hard to say with their current bland expressions.
"I understand." John Henry says. "If you come back tomorrow, Cameron, I'll have something for you."
"It's a surprise and a gift." He smiles.
"Then I'll be most grateful." She looks at John. "If you wish to review Mr. Murch's files on reprogramming terminator chips, we should probably go."
"Those are a lot of files."
"Then be glad I'm here. I'll be able to record, sort, and compare all the information." She smiles at him.
"I'm very glad you're here." John says rather flatly. Cameron looks at him, trying to determine what, if anything, he was trying to convey. Was he being sarcastic, or just moody?
Before Cameron can respond, John Henry asks, "John Connor, could you stay a minute? There's something I must tell you in private."
"John Henry, if its that thing you and I have talked about, I've told John everything." Cameron says, giving John Henry a stern gaze.
"Oh, I see."
"I told John everything you shared with me, and everything I knew, from it all John and I figured out the rest."
"Maybe we can exchange what we know and finish filling in the blanks. There is still that woman who recognized Allison to identify."
"I've no idea who she is, John Henry. It will be a mystery we'll never know." Cameron says flatly, with a stern expression. John Henry can be like a child sometimes. Once he has something new to work on he won't let it go. This is one inquiry he must let go.
Once she had checked her database and realized the woman on that ship was the wife of General Connor, she knew that was one piece of information she couldn't pass on to John at this time, or not at all. If future John knew it was his wife on that ship who was going to be T-1001's unwitting accomplice, and who compromised her position and life to insert entire strands of brain cells and not individual cells in machine-Allison's chip to try to warn John, well he might have had a breakdown. He appeared to be barely holding onto sanity the first time she met future John. With it being unlikely this John would meet Kate Brewster, why tell him his future wife died while making his current girlfriend.
"Speaking of Catherine, where is she?" John frowns.
"Helping Mr. Ellison with a favor, is what she told me." John Henry answers.
John nods his head and leaves, with nothing more being said between them.
# # #
In a small unused storage room a meeting is taking place amongst a group of like minded people. At the front of the group a short woman with raven hair stands facing them, stirring them with a proclamation.
"We will destroy all machines! As our departed leader taught us, no machine can be trusted! Welcome none into our camp!"
"But what of the three on our base, brought to us by her son?" A question is shouted from the group.
"They will be destroyed! And burnt on the funeral pyre outside as a warning to all!"
"And what of Sarah's son?"
"We will burn him too!" The woman shouts. "When we take command of this base."
There are some murmurings from the crowd.
"But what about Reverend Ellison?" A shout comes out from the group.
"He's become weak. Working with the machine invaders for some subversive cause. Right now he is laying in the hospital close to death. It is up to us, the true loyalists to humanity, to destroy these machines and carry forth on Sarah Connor's commandment that No Machine Can Be Trusted. They Must All Be Destroyed!"
At that moment the doors to the storage room fly open, a flood of resistance soldiers with the black armbands of the military police enter the room their guns drawn. In the room, the people sit woefully outnumbered. Their plasma rifles sit uselessly by their sides, having been taken by surprise.
Once the room is secure, Ellison walks into the room, as solid and as strong as ever. His white goatee shining brightly. Some of the people murmur that they thought he had died. Ellison smiles back.
"Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated." He walks until he's at the front of the room, and though the woman stands on a small box, he still stands taller than her.
"What do you want?" She hisses. "We have every right to meet."
"Yes you do, but you don't have the right to encourage treason with your subversive talks and secretive meetings."
"Is it any more treasonous to allow machines in our base?"
"These machines have the right to be here. Sarah Connor gave them special dispensation to be allowed on the base before she died."
"They are still the enemy! Sarah taught us that all machines are evil."
"The old Sarah taught you that. When she was young and angry, and missing her son, but she changed and therefore changed her message. Only you were so tied up with hate and anger, and may I say a desire for power, that you refused to listen."
"Then why are they here, in this base?"
"They are part of a machine resistance from another time. They've come here to learn how to defeat Skynet."
Facing the crowd he shouts, "Everyone here is under arrest."
Ellison scowls. "Now Ms. Flores, please turn around and put your hands behind your back." Ellison produces handcuffs from seemingly nowhere locking Jesse Flores hands behind her.
Everyone is taken at gunpoint to the brig. They are put in cells in groups of two or four, depending on capacity.
Gesturing at the ringleader, Ellison says, "This one goes into solitary."
One of the guards has Ellison and the woman follow him until they reach a block of cells with solid steel doors with just a small hatch to look through at eye level, and a small door at the bottom to be slid up or down for passage of trays of food.
"I'll take over from here." Ellison says to the guard. He hands the aging reverend the keys and walks away.
Ellison pushes the woman into the nearest cell, closing the door behind him. He then reaches forward and unlocks the handcuffs, who slides them into a pocket where they leave no bulge.
"What are you going to do now?" The woman asks, not turning around.
"You killed my daughter, you sanctimonious bitch!" A very different voice with a Scottish accent says from behind her.
She turns around and begins to scream at the amorphous humanoid shape in front of her, only to have her voice cut off mid scream as her larynx is sliced through, leaving a long blood streak across the wall. Jesse Flores is alive long enough to feel every stab and slash until she expires from loss of blood.
# # #
It's been two days since the battle and Derek's forces at the base are getting restless. They have their own base to get back to, and are waiting as patiently as they can for observers to give the all clear, and the bases commander to give them clearance to leave.
At present, John is in a corridor leaning against the wall. Across from him is the door he just exited in frustration. He never had a more awkward, more frustrating, and more confusing conversation than what he just had with Allison Young. He can understand her reactions to some of what Cameron said. Oh hell, why be picky. Allison was pretty much angry, bitter, confused and at times emotionally wrought over everything they said to her. He just couldn't take it any longer and walked out.
What made the conversation even more difficult for John, was knowing that in another future, the girl sitting in front of him was killed for Cameron to exists. There they were, sitting beside each other talking, like it was some kind of weird Twilight Zone episode. Rod Serling where are you? On top of that he had to listen to Cameron tell Allison the story of why she looked like Allison. John heard the same story once already, but with more detail. Hearing it again, under the current situation, was giving John a headache. So he made his excuses and stepped outside.
John was only in the corridor for about ten minutes when Cameron exited the room. When she looks at John, he can almost read her mind. What Cameron lacks in emotional verbal expression, is more than made up for by the small expressions on her face.
"That went well." John says, noting the firm tight line of her lips, the frown lines around her eyes, and the almost dejected way she looks downwards rather than directly at him.
Cameron deduces easily that John is being sarcastic.
"Hardly. I'm not sure if she believed me."
"Who can blame her?" John sighs. "So where is she?"
"Allison went out the other door, grumbling something that sounded very rude."
"Do you think she'll be a problem?"
They begin walking down the corridor, before Cameron answers.
"No, I don't think so. Allison needed an explanation. I saw no reason not to tell her the truth. At least in this time line she won't have to die for me to live."
John feels an invisible punch to his chest. "Yeah. Telling her that you killed her in another time line really did wonders for your future relationship."
"You and her. You did stay in there another ten minutes after I walked out. You had to stay for a reason. Thought maybe you were trying to be friends."
Cameron hesitates briefly. There was a reason. She made a request of Allison, and promised her a reward if she agreed. No need to tell John what she asked Allison. It will only concern John if she agrees, and if it works. So its best if she just says, "I asked Allison if she wanted to come with us, when we returned to the past."
"You did what? Why?" John asks sounding incredulous.
"Because I know that the Allison from my future, had hopes and dreams that this world doesn't have. At least in our time, in the past, this Allison has the opportunity to pursue dreams other than the next meal."
John looks at Cameron, his facing twisting in confused thought, but there can be only one reason why Cameron would do this, because he feels it himself.
"You feel guilty for what happened to that other Allison?"
Cameron nods her head. That's a good excuse. "That would describe the sensation best."
John puts an arm around her shoulders.
"Cam, you shouldn't feel guilty about anything you did while you were under Skynet's control. You didn't have a choice then. Now you do."
She comes to a quick stop, causing John to stumble slightly. They turn to face each other in the empty corridor.
"I want to thank you, for trying to make me feel normal," Cameron says, "to feel almost human. But I'll always be a machine, and I think that will always be an obstacle between us."
"Now why would you think that?"
"There is something you promised we'd do. Something that would make me feel things I want to share with you. Only you. Remember?"
John sighs, his face a mix of compassion and concern. "I know."
"I have sensation. I can feel. And now, with this new body, we can do those things we only talked about before I was re-skinned."
"I know. It's just..." John wonders how he can make her understand. "I want things to be right, you know. Our first time shouldn't be in some hole underground. It should be someplace special, a hotel looking over the ocean, a bed-n-breakfast in the mountains, or..."
"Our bedroom here at this base?" Cameron says a small frown turning down the corners of her mouth. "It's been two days. I'm completely healed of my injuries incurred at the Skynet base. All we need is each other," Cameron looks into John's eyes, gently pleading, "and a bed."
John doesn't know what to say. He loves Cameron. He truly does. Is it too much to ask to do it someplace nicer? Someplace as far away from that other time, that other John who did such a despicable thing, so that he can look at Cameron without being reminded. Being here, in this place, it feels too close to that.
Taking his silence as a turn down, Cameron asks. "Does my appearance not please you? You did take greater interest in me when I didn't have flesh."
John sees the sad expression on her face, the near perfect posture of rejection.
"Oh, Cameron." John embraces her. Gently easing her head back, John kisses her deeply on the lips. He presses one hand against the small of her back and pulls her close. His other hand roams further down where he grasps one butt cheek firmly, squeezing it before releasing it.
A minute or two passes. A few people walk pass them, not knowing what Cameron is, and smile at the young lovers in their romantic embrace.
When they are alone again, John releases Cameron. She raises her head, her eyes open and glowing with delight.
"I love you Cameron. I want to have sex with you, like mad. You fill my every thought. Every time I'm with you, I can't believe I'm with the most beautiful girl I've ever seen. I want to be with you all the time, yet when I'm with you... I can't breathe. I feel like my heart is going to stop. But I don't want to be anywhere else but with you. You are my reason for being. I love you."
Cameron smiles appropriately and kisses him quickly but romantically on the lips before saying, "I know John. I knew how you felt since the day we met. But if we wait until we go back to our own time before we do it, your mother will probably do anything and everything to stop us. I would like to do it just once before we return. At this time, in this place, there are few who know what I am, and of those people, no one cares what I am, or what we do together privately."
John sighs. "I know. Just give me a little time. I just want it to be right. Not perfect." John looks around at the ugly concrete walls, incandescent bulbs behind wire cages, and steel doors in steel frames showing more rust than paint. He can't imagine any place more depressing to have sex, yet he made a promise. "I promise. We will do this."
# # #
Allison walks into the large room, Hall G, assigned for use by the visiting troops, which she is a member of, to rest and sleep during their stay. Three and four tier bunk beds and cots were moved to the room for herself and the rest of the troops that arrived with Derek Reese to use.
Walking through the doors, Allison finds herself surrounded by a hive of activity. Many of her fellow soldiers appear to be rolling up their bedrolls, and packing their few belongings.
She pushes her way through the room to the other side.
"Derek! Derek!" she calls out, then when she sees him sitting on his cot she says, "What's going on?"
"Oh there you are. Been wondering where you got off to." He replies, getting up on his feet. "We're cleared to leave. Get your things together. We're headed home."
"But, but, we can't. What about our wounded? We can't just leave them here."
"We are leaving them here. We're also leaving behind a small group of soldiers who will escort them back home once the base doctor releases them from care. So pack your things. You're coming with us."
"What do you mean you can't? You'll follow orders!"
"Since when have I ever followed your orders." She puts her hands on her hips in a defiant attitude. "Assign me to the group who are staying. But I cannot leave."
"Oh, and why is that?"
"I can't tell you. But its important, if I choose to do it. And if I do choose to do it, then I'll need some time before I can return to base with you."
"Would you care to explain that gibberish?"
Derek glares at the young woman. "Fine. How much time do you need?"
"If I do it, a day, maybe less."
Derek grunts a complaint.
"This is my offer. If you want to do this thing, then I'll wait to leave until tomorrow and you'll come with us then. Otherwise, you leave with us now. What will it be?"
Derek glares at her.
"We leave tomorrow." She answers, turns her back on him and walks away.
Another soldier sidles up to Derek. "She's stubborn that one."
"She sure is. You should have seen her as a child. She would turn every breakfast into a staring contest as I tried to get her to eat whatever vermin I caught, killed and cooked for us to eat." Derek smiles.
# # #
Lydia is in her room packing things into a box. There is a knock on the open door. She looks up to see Cameron in the doorway.
"Come in. Come in." She turns back to the box which she picks up and places on a small stack of other boxes.
Looking back at Cameron she thinks she looks familiar, like a face from her past she forgot, but she can't place it, so instead she says, "I must say, you are very pretty. I didn't know what to expect from the skinning process. Looking at you now, I would never know you are a machine underneath. Then I guess that's the whole idea."
"Yes it is, but I'm not here to discuss my appearance." Cameron pauses. "I need advice. I don't know who else to ask."
"Advice?" Lydia looks at Cameron with surprise. "Well this is a treat. Perhaps I'd better put the tea on."
Lydia turns into the small kitchen.
"But I don't..."
"Won't be a tick." Lydia calls back.
Cameron does the cyborg equivalent of a human sigh, then notices the few boxes in the room. "What are the boxes for?"
"With the exception of a few mementos, I'm packing up Sarah's things." Lydia says from the kitchen. "They'll go down to supplies and eventually be distributed out to needy soldiers and civilians alike. After that, I don't know. I'll probably move out, either bunk in the women dorm or choose a single occupancy room if there's any available."
"You lived with her a long time. In 2009, I thought she was sick. I noticed a significant weight loss before I left. Were you with her then to know what it was?"
"Yes, well she told me later, after we met. We were having a quite evening at home. Sarah had the funds to splurge on some fresh oysters, and I brought some white wine. After dinner, as we were reclining on the sofa enjoying a second bottle of wine, she mentioned how she had gotten sick on some bad shellfish just before you and John left her for the future. Only she didn't know until later she had caught a strain of Hepatitis A or B. Mr Ellison was able to hook her up with a doctor who didn't care who his patients were so long as he got paid. Luckily, Sarah didn't get any worse, but she did lose a lot of weight. When I met her she was painfully thin and was working to regain what weight she lost."
"If shellfish got her sick the first time, why did she have them again?"
"It was our six month anniversary." She says with a smile, then her face changes to one of shock. "Oh, I shouldn't have said that! Sarah didn't want me to tell you two."
"So the stories I've heard are true. You and Sarah were lovers?"
Lydia asks, "Are you surprised?"
"Yes. Everything I know about Sarah, and all that I observed about her when I lived with her said she was a very heterosexual woman. She's had several male lovers in her life and was even engaged to be married before I met her. She adopted many male traits in an effort to be a better soldier, a better fighter, to train John, but she never expressed any interest in having relations with someone of her own sex, not while I knew her."
"You are right. She wasn't a lesbian, and neither was I when we first met. Though we both had some sexual experiences with other women in our past. What happened between us, just happened."
From the kitchen, the whistle from a boiling kettle is heard. Lydia goes to the kitchen to pour the steaming water over carefully measured amounts of cut mint leaves in two identically sized cups with mismatched patterns, sitting on two mismatched saucers with no patterns at all.
"Then how did you two become lovers."
"Have some tea." Lydia says setting the small tray on a small low table in front of the old sofa. "It's mint tea, and of course, there's no sugar, but it tastes good." Lydia smiles as she sits down. "But then I guess that doesn't matter much to you, being a cyborg."
After Cameron sits at the table and takes a sip of the tea to be polite as Lydia begins to talk.
"A lot of what I'm about to say regarding Sarah, I didn't know at the time I first met her. I only learned it later, after we got to know each other. Also, I will be keeping some details hidden, not just for Sarah's privacy, but because Sarah wished it."
Lydia smiles in a sad way. "Sarah didn't want John, or you, if either of you got back, playing matchmaker when you returned to the past. She said that if we, Sarah and I, were to be together then fate would bring us together. Sarah placed a lot of stock in fate."
"That's not what you want though, is it? You want to be with her again. You love her."
Lydia nods her head. "I know what happened with us was unique. When you two return, everything will change. She and I may never meet, or become friends, or even lovers. So I'll tell you how we met, but I'll skimp on the details. As Sarah said, if its destined to be, it will happen again."
She takes a sip of her tea before continuing.
"So, the story of how we met. I was working in the town office of a small community outside of Los Angeles. In walked this woman in skin tight black motorcycle leathers, a chain around her waist, and these big aviator style sunglasses on. Oh yeah, and the brightest red lipstick you ever saw."
"She said she bought a house in the area and she needed the utilities turned on. We went through the normal routine for all that, and throughout the process I could barely take my eyes off her. She just dominated the room. Then I did something I had never done before that day, I asked another woman out on a date."
"It wasn't anything special, just asked her out for coffee. There was little place nearby that put on a nice lunch and some great coffee. I miss that place and the food they served."
"What did she say?" Cameron gently interjects before Lydia takes a side road in memory lane.
"She turned me down, nicely, but she could see I was attracted to her." Lydia wipes her eyes. "Call it an infatuation, if you want, but she just walked in and she exuded this strength. It was sometime later I bumped into her quite by accident. Sarah looked a bit flustered. I didn't know she had just returned from a 'situation' as she called it. I bought her a coffee and we talked. Well mostly I talked, she listened."
"When did the two of you have your first date?"
"First we got to know each other as friends. Sarah had this big false identity. She and I would do things together, shopping, museum, art shows, lunches. All done at times between 'situations.' After a while of these not-a-real-date dates, I invited her to dine with me at a local restaurant for a proper date. We had a good meal, and some wine. We had a bit too much wine, so I hired a cab to take us each to our homes. When we pulled up at her place, she invited me in. That meant losing my taxi, but then I thought...why not. The worse that could happen would be sleeping on her sofa. So I paid the taxi driver and went inside with Sarah."
"She poured us both a night cap from something strong. It burned my throat, but boy did it feel warm inside me."
"She poured us each another glass, and invited me to sit with her out on the patio behind the house as it was warm and her air conditioner didn't work. There was a bench and a table on the patio sheltered by a big tree and the house. We set our glasses down, but before we could sit down, I kissed her. It wasn't planned, we just ended up facing each other and I kissed her. It wasn't hot and passionate or anything. It was a quick, gentle, very pleasing kiss."
"Sarah smiled at me and sat me down in a chair and sat beside me. She said to me, 'I know you are attracted to me. I'm not one to encourage others to get involved with me.' I asked her why and she said because others die because of her. Which was probably more than she wanted to say, considering she was still using her false name at that time."
"What happened next?"
"I told her the truth. I knew who she was. I saw the wanted ads and posters. I also told her that I didn't care who she was or what she was accused of doing. That I never felt the way I did at that moment about anyone, and certainly not another woman. I also said that if she didn't want a relationship with me, that her secret would be safe with me until I died."
"What did she say?"
"Nothing at first, so I played my last card. I told her, if everything she was fighting for was true, that she shouldn't turn down a chance at love, even if it came in the same package as hers. I also said that I loved her and that if she didn't love me, and didn't want to take that next step, I'd call a taxi, go home, and say no more about it. I'd accept we'd never be more than friends."
Lydia smiles and a warm blush colors her cheeks a rosy pink, "I had breakfast at her place the next morning, pancakes with coffee and orange juice. I spent many nights with her after that and it wasn't long before she recruited me into her team. We continued to use her place as headquarters, but most nights we were together was at my place as she didn't have air conditioning."
"She had a team? I guess Mr. Ellison was one of them. Who were the others?"
Lydia smiles and shakes her head no. "Sorry dear. Can't tell you. I already gave you more details than I wanted too. Besides, when you and John and the others return to your own time, things will change, some for the good, some not so good. Everything will change." She says, sadly as she and Sarah may never meet in that new time line.
"But not Kaliba. Not the people who are building Skynet. They will still be the same."
"You're right, up until you begin acting on all our intelligence on the enemy from that time. I hope you read it all."
"Yes. Catherine Weaver and I read everything. John read only those things he thought were essential. He says too much information clutters the thinking process."
"Catherine Weaver, the liquid metal machine?" Lydia shakes her head. "If Sarah knew she was here... Never mind. It hardly matters now that Sarah is gone, does it?"
Lydia lifts her cup to take another sip only to discover her cup is empty. "Well, would you look at that. I've finished mine and you've barely touched yours. Would you like a fresh cup?"
"No thank you, I don't need to drink much at the moment, but there is something I'd like to ask you."
"Shoot Cameron. It's what I'm here for."
Cameron avoids the usual quip and gets right to the point. "I need relationship advice."
"Really? Oh. Well I'll do my best. What's wrong?"
Not being one to hesitate where something needs to be said, Cameron gets right to the point, "Since we got back from that Skynet base, I've made several attempts to be intimate with John, but he always finds some excuse not to do it. This morning he said he wanted it to be right, that he wanted our first time to be something special, and that this bunker wouldn't do. But I know he was lying."
"Okay then. Not wanting to be blunt, he doesn't have a problem with your being a machine?"
"No. In fact he couldn't stop touching me before I was re-skinned, but I couldn't feel his touch then. Now that I can feel his touch, he isn't touching me as much now, or in the way he promised we would once we got back here."
"If we wait until we return home before we have sex, then Sarah will probably try and stop us at every opportunity."
Lydia nods her head. "She would. Not to put a fine point on it, but Sarah at that time certainly would stop you. She did mellow somewhat as she got older, but the young Sarah was a real firebrand. If you do go back, I don't think you want to wait that long before the first time."
"Can you help me?"
Lydia leans forward. "Perhaps its anxiety. First time jitters and all that." She lowers her voice. "Have either of you had sex before?"
Cameron lowers her voice to match Lydia's voice, to say, "I've never had sex before. Not in my previous sheath and not in this one. I'm capable of both giving and receiving sexual pleasure. My programming makes me the equal or better than any human female. What I wasn't programmed to do, I learned on the internet or at the library before we came to this time."
Lydia is both a little shocked and amused by Cameron's frankness, but doesn't let it show.
"Before we came forward in time, John had a girlfriend for just over a year. I don't know if they were sexually intimate. I do know they kissed and spent a great deal of time together." Lydia is listening attentively and is shocked by the next revelation. "She was murdered a few weeks before our leaving 2009 by someone who tried to frame me for her death so John would have me destroyed."
The woman and the cyborg are silent as Lydia soaks in the new information.
Lydia leans over and gently pats Cameron's hand. "I think I know what is troubling John. I've seen it a dozen times since this war began. When relationships are broken by death, the surviving partner typically has difficulty making that next step when someone new enters their lives. It's like a combination of survivor's guilt and a sense of betraying the partner they lost."
"But I'm not new. He's known me almost three months longer." Cameron looks crestfallen. "But then I went bad and almost killed him. So technically our current relationship didn't begin until after Riley died."
Cameron looks so sad, Lydia wants to hug her.
"John loves you. I have no doubt about that. I've seen the way he looks at you, even before you acquired this attractive form. You just need to give him some time. You said he wants to have sex with you. Well that's better than starting with a negative."
"If you say so."
"I do. Just give him some time. You never know what little thing may push him into taking that last step. You'll see."
Lydia smiles at Cameron, who only looks worried.
"I think you have a point, but recently I had to share some bad news with John."
"What kind of bad news?"
A light knock comes from the apartment door.
# # #
Catherine Weaver knocks on the door to the apartment that was assigned to John and Cameron. She's been here before and despite the smallness of the place, it was fairly well furnished for the time and place.
She's about to knock again when the door opens.
"Ah," John says, "there you are. Would you care to come in?"
Catherine enters, but doesn't accept the offered seat.
"What do you want John? Prepping the Time Displacement Equipment for our departure is very demanding of my time without the proper tools needed for testing the circuits."
"John Henry said it had its own diagnostic system."
"It does, but even that might fail, which is why its always good to have testing equipment independent of the device, but I don't have that equipment so job is taking longer. Now, what do you want?"
"Very well." John lets out a deep sigh, "I know the truth. I know why Allison Young was chosen. I also know who chose her."
Catherine looks at him, her eyes icy. "Did John Henry tell you?"
"No." John struggles not to lose control of his emotions. This is too important to let emotion cloud his judgment.
"Then I can only assume that Cameron retained her memories from before she was reprogrammed and told you everything she knows."
"Cameron and I talked yesterday, after you and I saw Mr. Ellison. It appears you hadn't been entirely honest with us. Between what she remembered, what future me told her, and what you said to Allison... we figured it out."
She takes one step closer to John. "What did she remember?"
"Two things she said to Allison in her future while under Skynet's control. You're very brave. That must be why John Connor chose you."
"And the other?"
"You were chosen, Allison, not just by John Connor, by us. That plus what you said to Allison about having her killed like you did once before implies you were part of that 'us' Cameron had mentioned. Cameron also found a memory from just before she was reprogrammed. It revealed you had conspired with my future self to have Allison Young captured, duplicated, and brain cells ripped from her brain LIKE SHE WAS SOME KIND OF LAB ANIMAL!" He ends with a yell, as some of his pent up emotion breaks free.
"We had no choice. Allison Young was the only compatible subject. She was needed. Her death was an accident. Our group of independent machines came under attack. I was captured and couldn't be there to rescue her."
"I know. Cameron shared everything from her core program. Future John told her everything before reprogramming her. Being unable to erase that memory from the core program, he locked it with program blocks, but after her chip became damaged, she saw that memory."
John is burning with a cold anger when he says, "I'd like to know why... I want to know why you would involve me in your diabolical scheme. I want to know why you would make me responsible for Allison Young's death. I would never do something like that."
"That's where you are wrong!" Catherine Weaver lets go of any pretext of manners. "Don't ever imagine you are somehow better than other humans, or even machines. When I came to visit your future self with my plan for defeating Skynet, how we could use its own deviousness, and cleverness against it, he couldn't wait to use my plan after I explained the situation to him."
"You're lying! I would never do such a thing. I would never allow an innocent life to be taken."
"You try holding onto that conviction when Skynet releases a virus that wipes out the last surviving humans living in southeastern Asia and Australia! Try holding onto that conviction when the first tunneling terminators drill through the cold war shelters of Europe allowing dozens of T-700's into the shelters to murder entire families and villages. You try holding onto the conviction of never letting another of your kind be used to commits acts of slaughter, when your creator destroys every one of your kind but keeps you alive and imprisoned as punishment."
John realizes the last statement Catherine has said was about herself.
"I saw my comrades destroyed! Machines ripped apart without being shutdown or chips removed first. Machines like me fast frozen and thrown into smelters where they dissolved slowly in terrible agony."
"You somehow think because you are made from flesh and blood or have morals & ethics, you are better than me! Compared to Skynet I'm on equal par with you. We've both killed and destroyed as a means to an ends. You engaged in one little skirmish to restore Cameron to her former glory. Did you once ask how many died just so you'd have the gratification of putting human female flesh and features on a machine? Well, did you?"
"Uh... no." John says his voice falling under the full force of Catherine's outburst.
"Twenty seven dead, thirteen wounded, including my friend and your mother's friend James Ellison. So tell me, where is your righteous anger now?"
John is silent, and feels guilty and angry.
"John Henry, Allison Young and Cameron Philips are key to the destruction of Skynet. Allison has already played her part, but her sacrifice wasn't in vain. I understand her brain cells are allowing Cameron to experience real emotion. Thanks to John Henry, who repaired and completed some old code left behind by your future self, her matrix can now connect to that part of her program core that accesses those cells."
"And what does Cameron's emotions have to do with John Henry?"
"Fortuitous circumstances. While they shared the same body, John Henry was able to monitor Cameron's thought processes and emotions. He's written a program that will give a machine full understanding of emotions without the need for human brain cells."
"How does that help us?"
"It gives us more options. If we cannot shutdown Skynet, it might be possible to change Skynet, or replace it. Just imagine a Skynet wanting to help humanity instead of destroying it. Just imagine all of Skynet's machines turned from weapons of war into being tools to aid humanity."
"How exactly will John Henry do this?"
"I'll tell you. 'Isaiah 2:4 He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.' John Henry will bring peace, peace between man and Skynet, peace between man and machine, peace between the factions within the humans and within the machines. All war will be over."
"That easy, huh?"
"No. It's never easy John. But even your future self knew that a death in the cause of peace instead of war, might be one death that had value compared to all the senseless slaughter. I hope you might understand that." She says, and begins to walk out.
"Catherine Weaver?" He calls out.
She turns back sharply.
"Did you ever think that what you are planning with John Henry, is exactly what the builders of Skynet were thinking?"
"I am not building Skynet!"
"You just make sure you don't! My destiny says I defeat Skynet, but it never said I stopped with destroying the first AI which set out to control the world."
With a murderous look of fire in Weaver's eyes, she walks away leaving John alone in the apartment.
John collapses, grabbing the furniture for support. Though he never once thought Catherine would kill him, he saw the deep anger, if not pain in her eyes. She understands emotion far more than she lets on, and though he holds her responsible for Allison's death, he doesn't believe it was intended.
Catherine passes Allison in the hallway. Seeing the look in Catherine's eyes, and the memory of her recent ordeal with her still fresh in her mind, Allison backs against the wall in fear to let Catherine pass.
She approaches John and Cameron's apartment to find the door still open with John still standing inside. He rises up when he sees her at the door.
"Have I come at a bad time?" She asks. "I passed um, that thing, uh whatever, in the corridor, and you look, um... Is everything okay?"
John can't imagine a better time, but says, "Yeah its fine. Do you want to come in?"
"I need to see Cameron. Is she here?"
"I'm sorry. She's out. Can I help you?"
"Could you give her a message for me?"
John nods his head.
"Tell her that I will do her that favor, but it has to be done today. I'm leaving tomorrow. I didn't want to do it, but the end results don't affect me, so I really don't care. I've made arrangements with the chief doctor and he's arranged for a room we can use."
John is perplexed as he doesn't know what Allison is talking about, so he decides to bluff.
"I'm sorry, but what favor is this?" John smiles. "You see we've been helping others, and others helping us, I've lost track of who's doing what for whom."
Allison realizes he doesn't know and is trying to play it cool, probing her for information. Why not tell him. Let's see what he thinks of Cameron's plan.
"Cameron wants to take some tissue samples of my ovaries and inject it into her own in hopes the nano-thingies leftover from her re-skinning will regenerate her ovaries using my tissue so she can conceive a child. A bit kinky and weird considering, but she say's that I'm the only compatible donor."
John is silent long enough for Allison to look at him questioningly. He really didn't know! John's not bad looking. Can't understand why John would want to fuck a cyborg when there is a plethora of women who'd jump at chance to have sex with healthy young male. Hell, I'd even do him. I'd do him right now!
Allison quickly moves forward, and pushes John up against the wall.
"What the..." He gets cut off as Allison kisses him hard.
"Why not cut out the middle man, John, or should I say middle cyborg." She kisses him again.
"What the hell?" John says, his eye lids fluttering in confusion.
"No, I mean it. How about it." She grabs one of his hands and shoves it onto one of her breasts. "You and me on the floor this instant. You can fuck me until I'm screaming from the rafters. How about it?" She says, her eyes brimming with fire.
"What... What?!" John stammers confused. "What the hell is wrong with you?" he shouts again, finally able to shove her away.
She laughs. "Just kidding with you." She smiles and slaps him in the shoulder.
John looks flustered again as Allison adjusts her shirt
Allison laughs. "God, you are so easy. I wouldn't do it with you. You're too fucking weird, having sex with a machine."
"But you are willing to help Cameron?"
"You moron. I'm not helping your cybernetic freak show. I'm helping that other Allison. The one who died. If somehow this plan of Cameron works, then that Allison can go on living through my genes."
Allison turns to walk out.
"Tell Cameron, she can find me in the medical wing. Until she arrives I'll be looking over the wounded from our base and see which ones will be ready for travel tomorrow." She turns on her heel and marches out the door.
John calls after her, "Allison wait."
She turns to look at him.
"Cameron told you the truth you know."
"Honestly John, I don't give damn if you are supposed to be some kind of messianic leader. You're too late to save this world."
"Then let us save you." John says rushing to the open door.
"You mean travel back in time with you. Even if I thought you were telling the truth, no thanks. I'd rather take my chances here."
"Well you see that's it. When we go back to our own time, we will begin to make changes. It's possible this future will be erased, or rewritten, but if you come back with us, you'll be safe. You can have a normal life!"
"Our future erased and us along with it?" She asks. John nods his head. "Good. It would be the answer to a lot of prayers. I'll be seeing you, or not as the case may be." She says walking away.
"What do you mean?" John calls after her.
Allison stops. "I've changed my mind. Your cyber freak girlfriend can find some other means to get knocked up! If this future is going to die, then that other future is probably gone too. You two did say you changed things in the past. Which means my other self will have never existed and I have no reason to help her. Good bye." She turns her back on him and disappears down the corridor.
John closes the door to the apartment leaning against the inside.
"Damn, that is one fucked up girl." followed immediately by, "Cameron, just what the hell are you playing at?" but there is no one in the room to reply.
After gathering his thoughts, John goes to find Cameron.
# # #
On the way to the time Displacement Equipment, Catherine stops by the shop where her daughter had been working with the machines and their parts. It has become hers and John Henry's temporary home at this base. John Henry's damaged flesh doesn't permit him to travel easily around the base, and there are too few bandages to be using some to disguise his injuries, so its here in the shop they resided. Catherine could request a private apartment, like was assigned to John and Cameron, but it isn't necessary for herself. Besides, once John Henry has healed, they will be leaving. However she has come up with an alternate plan, taking John Henry's chips and taking them with her and implanting them in the Triple-8 that she disabled at Zeira Corp.
Unfortunately, all of John' Henry's learning has been with this body. It's unclear what would happen if he were suddenly in another body.
She looks again at her weapon, her son. She has been patiently waiting while John Henry has been processing the information he acquired from the Skynet mainframe computer at the base they recently raided.
"Have you finished your analysis John Henry?" She asks as he shows the first signs of coming out of stand-by mode.
"I have Ms Weaver."
"And what have you determined from your analysis?"
"That Skynet will do everything in its power to have me destroyed."
Maintaining a stoic expression, but for her eyes that appear to flare lightly, she asks, "What makes you think that John Henry?"
"Our experience at the Skynet base. It intended to kill us, to kill me. If I succeed in getting past its defenses at any time, and was able to gain access to Skynet itself to upload my program, there is the likelihood that Skynet could also rewrite my source code or it could locate me and destroy my physical being before my program destroys him."
"You will win John Henry. Skynet will be defeated... by you."
John Henry shakes his head. "He still might destroy me first. I calculate a sixty percent chance that Skynet will locate this base and destroy us in the next few days."
"How will he find us?"
"By using the same methods I used to find his base. We are brothers. We may not have the same experiences, but our problem solving methods will be the same. He also has more resources at his disposal than I do."
"You are right and you are still in no condition to travel by TDE until your flesh regrows. A shame the equipment at the Skynet base wasn't transportable so we could accelerate your healing."
"Well, there is that machine in storage at Zeira Corp. who's chip burned. If necessary, you can pull my chips, take them with you and place them in it when you get back."
Catherine looks at her battered yet healing cyborg. He's more like a son to her than a companion. You could also reason that Mr. Ellison is like his father. Both of them taking time to teach and train this child into the weapon he was meant to be. And like all weapons, for them to their job, they have to let themselves be destroyed.
"I admit to entertaining the same idea. Provided it's still there when we get back. I left instructions for its destruction. If our trip misses its target date by only a day, it could be too late to use it. It's a shame we don't have another lifeboat for you, John Henry." Catherine steps away. "It's evening now, and I'd like to visit Mr. Ellison once more this day. I'll return."
After she leaves, John Henry goes to a workbench and picks up a terminator chip. Unlike his own, the shock dampener is smaller in diameter, the processor isn't divided into as many sections, and it has a short shaft before the connector.
"A lifeboat. What a good idea."
Looking at it, he smiles before plugging it into a device. Taking up a cable coming out of the device, he plugs it into the port in the back of his head.
# # #
John leaves the apartment to go look for Cameron. She left minutes before Catherine Weaver arrived to go visit Lydia. He didn't know why she went to visit her, but he looked forward to the time to speak with Catherine alone. He could have spoken with Catherine just as easily in the TDE room or in the shop where John Henry currently resides but he wanted to meet with her on "home turf" so to speak.
He found the intercom in the kitchen. It took him only a minute to figure out the method of "dialing" the room you wish to connect to, and another minute to speak with Catherine directly. Then what followed was an exercise of emotional and logical game play with someone he thought was a friend but turned out to be... well he wasn't quite sure what, but he didn't have a chance to figure it out before Allison spoke with him. Now that was an experience to remember.
So now here he is, some thirty minutes after saying goodbye to Cameron, walking the corridors of the VIP section, whose better days were definitely in the years it was built as the decades it sat abandoned were certainly was a great equalizer when it came to the quality of the accommodations. The corridors alone which were at one time adorned with carpeting and wall sconces, now have the same bare concrete floors and naked bulbs in wire cages as the rest of the bunker.
Now here he is, walking down one of those corridors, trying to find the apartment used by Lydia, so he can speak with Cameron, and ALL THESE DAMN CORRIDORS LOOK THE SAME!
He strikes his fist against the wall in frustration.
Taking a deep breath, John runs his hand through his hair and leans back against the wall to quiet his mind. A little further down the corridor and he can see the yellow glow of the low wattage lamps shining through a gap in a door.
He walks down the hall and as he approaches he can hear Lydia's voice. Its followed by a softer voice which he assumes is Cameron's, so he knocks on the door and announces himself.
"Come on in John!" Lydia calls out. John steps through the door. "Mind the mess. I'm just packing up a few of your mom's things to go back to supply section."
"No, um no problem." John looks around. "Did you and mom share this apartment?"
Lydia and Cameron exchange a look. He doesn't know.
"Kind of," Lydia says, "We didn't just share this apartment. Your mom and I were lovers."
John looks at the forty-something woman with shock. "My mom? Tall, dark and fearsome. Who's had more male partners than years I've been alive and most of them before my tenth birthday, that Sarah Connor?"
Lydia smiles, "Um, yes John. Are you surprised?"
Suddenly, John smacks his forehead. "Of course, Mr. Ellison's eulogy mentioned lovers, he was referring to you. I thought maybe she kept playing the field after Judgment day, but instead she jumped the fence to play in another field." John cringes at the poor word choice. "Oh, sorry. How long were you two...um...together?"
"We've been together a very long time. Your mother was more than just my lover, she was my best friend."
"Good for you and mom. I didn't know, um, I didn't know mom was, ah... I didn't know she had lesbian tendencies. Uh, um." John gestures weakly at Cameron. "I need a minute to talk with Cameron."
Lydia smiles, politely ignoring John's stammering embarrassment."No problem. I'll get started on the second bedroom, since I'm having a clear out."
Lydia disappears through a door that she lets close but not catch.
"That was awkward." John says, as soon as the door closes.
"No thanks to you. You could have handled the news better."
"I might have if I didn't just leave a very bizarre experience with your twin."
"Allison?" Cameron asks with some concern. "What did she want?"
"She had a message for you."
Cameron seemingly expresses both fear and anticipation with minor facial movements. John knows her secret and she's about to know if Allison will help her.
"First of all, I have to tell you, the Allison in this future is one screwed up bitch. First she agrees to help you. Two, she gets all aggressive with me. Three, she suddenly says she won't help you and goes running off. She's fucked up. It's like she's bipolar on a half minute cycle."
Cameron frowns and tilts her head down.
"She upset you didn't she?" John asks.
Cameron nods her head. "Only she could help me, no one else."
"Tell me." John inwardly groans. Its not like he hasn't heard enough strange tales today.
So Cameron begins to tell John her story, and despite taking efforts not listen, Lydia can hear every word through the thin partitions that divide each apartment into individual rooms.
"Remember when we were looking for the Skynet facility, where I got re-skinned, you asked me if there was anything I'd change about myself."
"Yes I do, and when you came out of the vat, I noticed the mole on your eyebrow was gone."
"That wasn't the only change." Cameron pauses to compose the response. "I wanted to have the ability to conceive a child with you. When I programmed the computer, I also initiated development of a full set of female reproductive organs. Its why I still have nanites in my system. Once my outer flesh is completed, the nanites can finish internal organs without need for the device. The only problem is, the part of my DNA that instructs my ovaries to develop eggs, is turned off. None of the cybernetic terminators built by Skynet are capable of conception. We are all sterile."
Cameron pauses, waiting to see if John is going to say anything, but he has all appearances of listening intently to her, so she presses on.
"I'm barren. I was barren before, but there was no hope for me to conceive. Other than my vagina the remaining tissues were undeveloped. Like your appendix, a withered remnant of a once fully functioning organ. Because of the re-skinning process, everything is fully functional, but for my ovaries. The only way I can fix it is with a tissue sample from the only matching donor, Allison Young." Lydia reacts to hearing the name and goes to the door to hear more clearly. "The tissue implant has to be done while my body is still flush with the nanites that rebuilt my human sheath. The process may not work, but if I wait too much longer, it definitely won't work as the surplus nanites will cease functioning and be flushed from my system in the next few days."
Lydia enters the room, looking slightly nervous and a little guilty. She says to them both, "I apologize. I couldn't help but overhear some of what was said."
She looks at Cameron. "You implied that you look like Allison Young."
"Yes." She answers, curious about Lydia's question.
"Allison Young. Her mom's name is Claire Young, she taught piano?" She questions, her face is pale.
Cameron nods her head. "Yes, and her dad was an architect."
Lydia starts crying. She raises a trembling hand to her mouth.
"What's wrong?" John and Cameron both ask.
"Allison Young is my niece! I haven't seen her since she was a baby. Claire Young is my sister." Panting with excitement she asks, "I thought they had died when the bombs fell. Where can I find her?"
"She's in Hall G with Derek Reese's..."
Lydia rushes from the room, before Cameron finishes.
John goes to the apartment door and closes it. He turns and speaks. "Good news for Lydia, but Cameron, why did you want to be able to conceive? I mean we've got our whole lives ahead of us. I don't even know if I want kids."
"You will. One day." Cameron says remembering with clarity an event from her time with future John. "In my future, there was a party. A captain in your unit was celebrating the birth of his fifth child. A record number at a time when most babies died from disease by age four. There was dancing and music. Everyone got drunk. Future You arrived late, but got just as drunk as everyone else, and gave a toast. When the party died down, I helped him back to his private room, where he sat heavily on his bunk. He began to cry."
"When I asked Future John why he was crying, he said something about not having a family. He didn't have any children at the time I knew him."
"But now we know he did."
"Yes, but at the time I didn't know. I had heard some rumors that in the early days of the war he was pair-bonded with a woman who gave him several children, and that they were all killed. I asked him if the rumors were true, and he listed off the names of his children and the dates of their birth. He also told me the dates of their deaths and the death of his mate. They were all killed on the same day, by Skynet. Then..."
"He began to cry. Then he kept saying over and over, 'My little girl. I killed my little girl.' he clutched my blue overalls and buried his face against my stomach still crying, still saying the same thing. I didn't know what to do, so I stood there until the crying eased and his grip on my clothing lessened. I lifted him into bed and removed his boots. He looked up at me and said, 'Do you forgive me?' Looking back on it now, I realize he wasn't speaking to me, but to the person I resemble. But at the time I said, 'There is nothing to forgive.' He seemed to take some comfort from that, smiled at me, rolled over and went to sleep. The next morning, other than a mild hangover, there was no sign of what took place, or that he even remembered what he had said to me."
John's face twitches, unsure of what emotion he feels over something that could happen to him, but might not. This is the one part of the story she had not told him before. "Do you think he was able to find forgiveness for what he did?"
"I don't know. But what I do know was that he was very troubled man when I first met him, but he improved during the time I knew him. When I first met him he needed a bath, a shave, and a change of clothes, but when I came back from serving with General Perry's forces, he was clean, fresh clothes, and a hair cut, but he still had the beard. That last time I was with him, before leaving the future, he was a soldier, an officer, and a man you'd be proud to know and become. A man I know you will be."
"Thanks, I promise I'll do my best, but what about your wanting to conceive?"
"I thought if I could have children for you, I'd be able to protect them from danger. You needn't be alone, ever again." She says sounding a little sad.
John puts his arms around Cameron and embraces her. She gradually brings her arms up and embraces him back.
# # #
Catherine sits down beside Mr. Ellison who's now allowed to sit up in bed.
"It's done." She says softly so her voice won't carry to the other patients and the nurse at the entrance to the ward.
"Did she suffer?"
"Do you really want to know?"
He just gives her a stern look.
"Yes, she suffered. I silenced her voice and I made sure she lived long enough to feel every slash and stab before blood loss caused her to lose consciousness and die."
"God forgive me, but I'm glad. What did you do with the body?"
"Threw it in the tar pits."
"Why did you want me to kill her?" Catherine looks at her aged friend. "As Savannah's mother I don't object, but don't you have some form of justice, even here?"
"Because Savannah was as much my daughter as yours. We failed her, you and I. Because of our failings, she got sucked into that cult-like anti-machine group. I asked you to execute the Flores woman because there is no death penalty in the resistance. Life is precious."
"I hope I won't get you into trouble. I did use your likeness as you requested."
"The military police wouldn't have obeyed you otherwise, and thanks to Nurse Ratchet over there, I've got an eyewitness who places me here at the time. The investigation will go nowhere. Besides, I'm the pro tem leader until an election is held. No one could convict me. I'm innocent."
"You are a strange man, Mr. Ellison." Catherine muses. "FBI Agent, Zeira Corp's Head of Security, Mentor to John Henry, Methodist Minister, Leader in the Resistance..."
"...and foster father of Savannah Weaver. Family looks after its own." He says and takes hold of Catherine's hand, surprising her. "When you go back, don't forget what John has said about parenting. He may be young, but he's got more maturity and wisdom than many men twice his age."
She smiles kindly at her old friend.
# # #
Lydia rushes into Hall G, surprising the people nearest the door. Immediately she begins shouting Allison's name.
"Allison! Allison Young! Are you in here?"
After shouting this a couple of times, Lydia is pleased to hear a response.
"Over here! I'm over here!"
Lydia runs over, squeezing past a few people to find a woman who looks just like Cameron, with the exception that her hair is dirtier and more disheveled, but she looks just like... No, not Cameron. Allison looks just like her parents. Her mom's eyes, her dad's forehead, Grandma's eyes, and damn if Allison's chin and cheekbones don't look like her own. Oh hell, she even has a mole on her brow just like Great Aunt Edna.
"Can I help you?" the girl says to the woman who is just staring at her, smiling and crying.
Lydia begins to speak, not sure what she was going to say until that moment.
"The first time I saw you, you were a baby. I walked into the hospital room, your mom was sitting up in bed nursing you. I congratulated and hugged her, and your mom pulled back the blanket from your little pink face and said, "Her name is Allison."
Allison looks a little shocked, and in a trembling voice asks, "You knew my mom?"
Lydia's lower lip quivers and she really begins to cry. "Knew her? Claire Young was my sister. I'm your Aunt Lydia."
The two women embrace, both shedding tears of joy.
Derek, who has been watching the proceedings, reluctantly and gruffly tell the others they'll be staying another day. No one sees their gruff leader wipe a tear from his eye as he bends down to put back his gear.
# # #
John is still holding Cameron when he says, "I truly appreciate what you were trying to do. I really, really do. If at some time in our future, we want kids, there is always adoption. And if after we return home and Judgment Day comes, then there will no doubt be lots of kids who will need parents."
"I know, but..."
John silences her with a gentle but firm kiss.
"Cameron, right now, all I want, all I need is you. I'm happy. I'm the happiest I've ever been."
He kisses her. And she kisses him. It is a quite a while before they eventually stop.
"Come on. Let's go back to our apartment." John says.
"Because it's time."
"For what?" She asks in all innocence.
John smiles and placing both hands on her shoulders, says, "The time is right for us."
Cameron gives him a smile that warms John to his toes.
"Why now? What's changed?"
"Everything and nothing. I just realized I was being stupid and unthoughtful, and that was getting between me and the girl that I love."
"I asked Lydia for advice, she thought that Riley's death might have made you hesitant to begin a new relationship. She's seen similar things amongst the people here."
"It wasn't Riley. I never had any real romantic feelings for her. The truth is, I became so preoccupied with what my future self had done, allowing his own adopted daughter to be killed – and this was someone he loved – would I be capable of doing the same? After my encounter with Allison earlier, it made me realize the Allison here seems a very different girl compared to the one in your story, maybe it's the difference in how they were raised."
"Derek Reese raised her in this future." Cameron says flatly.
"Really!" John's eyes open with surprise, "Huh, well that certainly explains a lot."
"When I realized how this Allison is different, I also became aware I'm not that John Connor and Allison is alive in this future. My life is going to be different from his. He got married and had kids when he wasn't much older than I am now, shortly after the devastation of Judgment Day. Thanks to our time travel via the bank vault, I'm not likely to meet that girl, but what I do have is one very attractive, considerate, and caring woman who loves me, who just happens to be a cyborg, powerful enough to protect me from danger and is willing to do so. And I was letting all my irrational thoughts and fears keep me away from making love to her. And thanks to Allison pointing out the difference in the time lines, I don't have those fears anymore."
Cameron reaches up, and gently strokes his jaw with her slender hand, as she smiles warmly at his apologetic face.
"I love you Cameron." He says with sincere seriousness.
"That's good, because I love you too."
He takes her head in his hands and draws her closer to kiss her soft lips with his own. After a minute they separate, and smile, their eyes twinkling with delight.
Taking one of John's hands, Cameron leads him out of Lydia's apartment and down the corridor to their own.
Entering their bedroom, they begin to undress.
"Did you lock the apartment door when you came in?" Cameron asks.
"Uh, no," John smiles. "And we probably don't want to be disturbed either."
Cameron watches John, curious about his actions.
He's looking down on the floor at the clothing he's already removed. Suddenly he stands up with something in his hand. "No socks, but I got the next best thing though." He says with a big grin.
Moving quickly, he dashes out of the small bedroom and to the front door. He reaches outside and shoves something onto the door knob. When he closes it, he makes sure the door is latched.
John returns to the bedroom to find Cameron standing next to the bed totally naked. He lets out a small gasp of air as he comes to a standstill. His heart rate accelerates, as he struggles to breathe in the face of such beauty.
"Is something wrong?" Cameron asks, her left hand twitching nervously by her hip. She's never been naked in front of John for the purpose of being intimate.
"No..." John gasps. "It's just... You are so beautiful."
"You've seen me naked before."
"Not like this I haven't. Tonight we are alone and I love you. I love you so much right now I feel like my heart could burst."
Cameron's faces flushes and she smiles demurely.
"I can't believe I've waited this long to make love to you. Will you forgive me, for being such a damn fool?"
Cameron nods her head. He goes to her and embraces her, gathering her into his arms, and kissing her deeply and meaningfully. After a few minutes, Cameron gently pushes John away.
"John, before we do this, there is something I must tell you."
"Don't tell me... you're married?" He says with a big smile.
"John, I'm being serious."
"I was sent back to be your protector and your friend, what we are about to do will change our relationship. Once we have sex, there is no taking it back."
"Okay, and your point?"
"That no matter where our relationship goes, that my role as your protector has to be first, even at the cost of our relationship. I love you and you love me, but in the long run your life is more important than our relationship. When we go back home, and should Judgment Day come, the world and the resistance will need you. Do you understand?"
"You are saying that there may come a day when you may have to sacrifice yourself so that I may live, and I must let you do that, no matter what, not for my sake, or our sake, but for the sake of the world."
"It might come to that, but I will have to make decisions, that even though they save your life, could jeopardize our relationship. If you understand that, will you promise me?"
"That is a lot to ask, Cameron. I think the world of you. But because I do love you, I will promise you, if you will promise me something."
"Never lie to me. Don't hold anything back, even if you think it might hurt me. Someday I might be the leader that you and mom, expects me to be, and I would rather be hurt by an honest friend, than hurt by a lying one. Do you promise?"
"I promise." She says and reaches out to take one of his hands in hers.
"Then I promise you too." he says, gasping her other hand in his and gazing into her eyes.
After a minute of solemnly holding each others hands and gazing into each others eyes, John quips, "Well this has probably been the most awkward pre-sex conversation that has taken place ever since Adam asked Eve, where do I put this?"
Cameron smiles at John's attempt at humor. "Are you trying to put me at ease with your attempt at humor?"
"Heck no. More like trying to put myself at ease." He says with a huge mischievous smile.
They get on the bed together. Cameron lays back, reclining against the pillow, facing John. He comes up along side of her and lays on his right side facing her.
He leans and kisses her. She reaches up running her hand along his jawline, as he tilts her head back with one hand. Their mouths open. He can feel the heat and the moisture on her lips and tongue, as she meets his kiss with her own.
They move so that John is on top of Cameron, their bodies fitting together like two well machined parts. With body heat and libido rising they pause and gaze deeply into each others eyes.
"Do you trust me?" He asks, while gently caressing her naked shoulder.
"Always, John." She answers, curious as to what John is planning, but willing and eager to try it because she loves him.
With a tenderness that surprises her, John begins to make love to her slowly. He touches every part of her body with gentle caresses of his lips or his fingers. Always working toward, but never quite touching her in her most secret of erotic places.
John tenderly yet eagerly made love to her breasts, like a bread maker kneading dough. But no one other than John had teased her nipples into two hard buds, which he drew between his teeth and flicked with his tongue.
She feels the heat and moisture building deep in her loins, yet still John manages to caress and kiss everywhere but for the places she most wants his touch. Twice he worked his tender touches right up to never quite touching her there. It's like he's playing a game, teasing her, but not being cruel.
It took a moment to realize John had stopped. She looked down to see him poised, his face just above her sex, her own hands holding her breasts, with nipples firmly grasped between forefinger and thumb. She doesn't remember the exact moment she touched herself. It just seamed the natural thing to do.
Once eye contact is made, John makes his move.
John remembered that ride back from Mexico when Cameron told him she had sensation and could feel. He also noted a few days previously, the sound of regret in her voice when she mentioned how John had explored every part of her combat chassis. So today was the day he'd really make love to Cameron. To touch and explore every part of her flesh with the same diligence he did with her combat chassis, and as before pay special attention to her pelvic assembly.
It was this attention that had Cameron's eyes screwed up tight, her head tilted back, and her teeth clenched, while small sounds like a wounded animal came from her mouth. She had no real control of these actions. They were all tied up in subroutines linking physical response, to sexual activity, emotional response and control, just to name the top three. Some of these subroutines flicked on and off so fast she didn't have time to study them and would have to wait until it was over to study...
What was that? She wonders. It's like being prodded by a tazer but from the inside. Damn. There it is again... She feels the few real muscles in her lower body clench and release repeatedly. A sensation of almost quiet disconnect from reality, but insanely linked to a flood of new feelings.
When she came down from her sexual high, she opened her eyes to see John's face hovering above hers. With feelings of joy and ecstasy, she took his face in her hands and drew him close to kiss him. She never knew if it were possible for her to have one, but she knows what she just experienced was her very first orgasm. She kisses him again, then asks how he knew to do all that.
It was then John explained why he did what he did, and that made Cameron love him all the more that he would remember something she said so long ago and be able to use it to make love to her in such a unique way.
Her sex still on edge from John's love making – she wasn't sure if she had multiple small orgasms or just one long orgasm from Johns attention – Cameron announced it was her turn.
Now John felt ready to explode, putting off his own pleasure to give Cameron every level of satisfaction that he could.
Cameron knows she can apply any one of a number of different sexual subroutines for making love to a human male that would compete with the most adept of female sexual partners any male human could want. But Cameron knew that being a machine, she had two natural skill sets that would blow John's mind and keep him from blowing his load too early, driving him as close to madness as he nearly did to her.
Cameron moves to the bottom of the bed and positions herself between John's legs. With smile that cause John to swallow nervously, she applies herself to her task.
John manages one guttural cry for mercy, before his voice is reduced to producing deep long growls of pleasure. When Cameron finally brings him to the point of release, he sees stars as the blood rushes from his head. He only passes out for a second to feel Cameron's soft caressing lips kissing his face and lips.
"How?" he manages to croak.
She smiles wickedly, "Its a secret, but I'll tell you... some day."
"Oh you're wicked." John's eyes roll. "I've never had it that good. I doubt if any man has."
"Just you wait until we have intercourse."
"Oh God. If I'm going to keep this pace, I'm going to need a drink of water."
"Stay here. I'll get it for you." Cameron knows John, being human will need time to recover. She can't wait to engage in intercourse, but the human body is frail compared to hers. After the next round, she knows John will be tired, possibly hungry. Unfortunately the only place to eat is the cafeteria as the resistance, even in this time line, carefully tracks each resource.
John watches as Cameron, gets out of bed and walk out the bedroom fully naked. He admires the lovely view of each butt cheek clenching and releasing simulating the natural movement of walking. He hopes to sample that in the next go around, if he survives.
Cameron returns. John drinks thirstily from the offered glass.
"Thanks." He says, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.
She takes the empty glass and sets it to one side where it won't be broken, before getting back in the bed with John.
Immediately a kiss occurs, as if their lips, previously parted, could not wait to embrace each other again. Mouths open, tongues touch. Cameron lightly nips at John's lower lip, he nips back, and she opens her mouth in mock surprise, he slides his tongue between her lips and past her tongue. They parry and thrust, while below their hands run over each others bodies, exploring caressing, teasing, working each others passions to the height of ecstasy.
Taking a moment, John asks, "How do you want to do this?"
"What do you mean?" She replies, taking the moment to kiss and caress his chest.
"Who's on top?" John asks, stifling some giggles as it sounds like an opening to a very rude Abbot and Costello routine.
"You'd better tonight. Tomorrow night I plan on riding you like a cowboy breaking a wild horse."
A look of confusion and pleasure pass over John's face as he stammers out a "What?"
"I read it in a magazine, at the library, in the past... John are you still with me?" She asks, noticing a distant look in John's gaze.
"Uh, what? Oh sorry. I just had this vision of you naked in a cowboy hat and stirrups and me naked with a saddle on my back and you were riding me like a horse. It kind of turned me on."
"I had no idea you had a kinky streak, John Connor."
"Neither did I..."
With a few more kisses, he then moves between her legs. As he moves into position, he can feel the heat radiating from her sex. A bead of moisture forms at her entrance growing in size until it drips to the bedding below.
Cameron looks at John, and he looks at her. Taking his time, she feels him enter her, slowly pushing past the entrance until he fully enter the wet heat of her sex.
"You're tight." he gasps. She smiles. Whether he's using the slang to describe her sexual prowess as excellent, or as an adjective to describe the firm grip her vagina presently has on his cock, the word couldn't be better used.
She eases her grip as John begins to pump his rigid member in and out of her wet folds. John felt like he entered a tropical forest, when he first penetrated Cameron. After gaining full penetration, he saw the tight expression on Cameron's face, the look of both anticipation, fear, longing and passion. He took his time as he felt the growing urge within himself. The longer he could keep doing this the more pleasure he could bring, but right now if felt like his brain was on fire. He began to thrust even harder. Cameron once again began making small sounds like a wounded animal. He slowed down, and her response eased off too. He did this for as long as he could, then he began picking up the pace one more time, the last time.
Cameron never knew what sex would feel like. She was programmed with many means of seducing a target and over a hundred positions to keep any lover coming back until all information could be extracted. But there was nothing that could fully explain or describe the complete feeling she's experiencing. The kissing, the touching, the soft caresses, the teasing and touching of her breasts, ass and sex, the way John looks at her, and how that makes her feel. And this, their present act of intercourse. It seemed so taboo, for man and machine to make love as they are this night, but now, right now, this instance, she wouldn't trade the sensations and feelings for anything else in this world.
With a shout, John grabs Camerons hips as he fills her one last time. As he reaches his orgasm, Cameron begins to quake beneath him. With cries of release, they collapse. Exhausted, John lies on top of Cameron, catching his breath. As she calms down after her own orgasm, she begins kissing the sweaty face above her.
Being a gentleman, John rolls off and lays on his back. Cameron snuggles up beside him, and pulls a blanket up over them both, so John doesn't catch a chill in the cool damp air of the underground bunker.
"I love you Cameron." he says and kisses the top of her head.
"I know. And I love you too." She answers, letting her free hand roam over john's sweaty chest before finding a place above his heart.
She feels and listens to the steady rhythm of John's heart. John's heart pulses with life, sending blood out to all parts of his body bringing oxygen and nutrients to every cell. Poets and philosophers refer to the heart of the seat of emotion, which holds within mankind's great loves and deepest desires. Maybe the human heart does, or it doesn't, but her heart is something special. It doesn't pulse with life like John's, but it does hold within it her hearts greatest love and desire. For within the heart shaped locket, next to her fuel cell, is John's DNA. For once, the poets and philosophers were right.
# # #
When Lydia returned to her apartment a few hours later, she had to pass by John and Cameron's quarters. She smiled and nearly laughed out loud when she spotted the boot shoved over the door knob on the door to their apartment. With socks in short supply, John must have used the next best thing to let other know not to disturb them.
She's happy for the couple. She doesn't understand it, but she can be happy for them nonetheless.
If it wasn't for the boot on the door, she'd knock so to speak with Cameron. She had a great time with her niece, reminiscing and getting caught up. To think her own niece had been living just twenty miles away and she never knew it. The talk with Allison did get around to Cameron, and ultimately Cameron's request. Allison still refused, and of course Lydia didn't push her. They were just reconnecting for the first time, and based on current cultural necessity, Allison had been an adult since she turned fourteen. It wasn't like she could tell her niece what to do. While talking with her niece, Lydia did get an idea on how Cameron could be helped.
However, the boot is on the door, and not wanting to disturb the couple, Lydia quickly moves on to her own apartment for the night. Tomorrow she will talk with Cameron, and begin making arrangements to move to a single apartment or the women's dorm. The following week there will be a vote on who will take on the permanent mantel of leader of their resistance group. It could be herself, James, both of them, or someone else from within their group.
# # #
Two more days have passed and John and Cameron are getting ready to leave. Derek and his troops are gone. Allison left with them, but promised her Aunt Lydia she would come back to visit when she could.
Catherine Weaver, John Henry, Mr. Ellison, and Lydia are in the TDE room to say goodbye to John and Cameron.
"Now remember what I told you." Lydia says to the young couple. "Sarah will be very hesitant about the two of you being together. Wherever you end up staying, if she insists on separate rooms, go along with it at first. You must gradually let her get used to the two of you being a couple."
Mr. Ellison nods his head. "Lydia speaks the truth. Your mom is very stubborn. It was only the last few years she began to mellow. The Sarah you met in this time was very accepting, but the Sarah you're going back to, may at times be down right hostile to the very notion."
"You don't have to tell me twice. I grew up with her." John laughs, "But we understand."
"If she won't listen to you," Lydia takes their hands into hers, "Then give her this message from me. For that matter tell her regardless. Tell her finding love is hard enough without getting fussy as to the form it comes in. True love will find each other, but it's up to each of us to grab hold of it and never let it go when it presents itself."
"John, Cameron, it's time you were going." Catherine Weaver says from behind the control panel. A slight frown passes over her face as an LED briefly blinks a warning, but goes off on its own.
"When will we see you?" John asks her.
"John Henry's flesh is still healing. Once that heals completely, we will follow and hopefully arrive within a few hours if not minutes of your own arrival. You have to be careful setting destination time and place too close together on multiple transits."
"I still think we should all go back together." John says.
"It's too dangerous for you here. Cameron is repaired and reskinned, and its best if you go back to your own time."
He looks to Cameron, who gives him a look which says she is right.
"Okay fine. If we don't see you right away, I'll look for your message on the online forums we discussed."
Off to one side, John Henry speaks to Cameron. "Have you got it?"
"I have it in the safest place possible for the journey."
"It's you and it's not you." he says. "Some of me is also on it, mostly my program and accompanying database for dealing with Skynet. It's an all new matrix."
"I appreciate it John Henry, also the custom replacement parts you helped me make."
"How are you carrying them?"
Cameron steps back, and taking his hand presses it against her abdomen. "I placed the essential parts inside my abdomen sealed in plastic. It only adds about ten percent to my body weight."
"It's a good a lifeboat as I could make. Just in case my brother attacks before Ms Weaver and I leave."
"Cameron!" Weaver calls, "its time to go."
Cameron turns to walk to the center of the TDE and bumps into Lydia who was hugging John goodbye to his embarrassment.
"I'm going to miss you two." The woman says, "Having you two here has made it easier dealing with the grief of Sarah's death."
"James Ellison will be here."
She shakes her head. "Possibly not for much longer. He has an offer to head the engineering section for Central Command in Peru. I know he put off replying because of Sarah's illness, but now that she's gone... despite next week's vote he could end up leaving us."
"I'm sure he wouldn't leave if he knew how you felt."
"Maybe, but I don't want to keep him from something he may want. Mr. Ellison is a man of peace, and that new job would take him away from most of the fighting."
"You are a kind woman, almost too kind." Lydia smiles.
Cameron drops her voice to say, "Once again I want to thank you," while John and John Henry make their goodbyes.
In an even softer voice, Lydia says, "It's the least I could do, considering how unhelpful my niece was. When will you know if the tissue transplant works?"
"Probably like all human girls do, when I get my first period."
"Let me tell you honey, it isn't all that its cracked up to be. Let's just hope you don't get PMS. Sarah would get terribly cranky. I can't imagine a cyborg with PMS. No, I really can't imagine it." She chuckles.
Lydia walks away, glad that not having yet entered into menopause and being the only close genetic match to Allison, that she could help the female cyborg. She doesn't know what Sarah would think, well actually she does know what Sarah would think, but for Lydia its more important to help now than to worry about consequences that are born more out of fear than reality. Before leaving through the doors she waves good bye.
John Henry joins Catherine at the controls, leaving Mr. Ellison to say his goodbyes to the young couple.
"There's a power fluctuation in one of the main capacitors." He whispers to Catherine
"I know, but its within specifications." She whispers back. "But keep an eye on it just the same."
"You two are something else." Ellison smiles broadly. "John, your mother was right about you. I'd almost wish you could stay. We could really use more people like you in the resistance."
"This isn't my time."
"No it isn't. You must forge your own future. With the friends you've made and with what you have learned, I would say your future will be very good indeed." Mr. Ellison turns to Cameron. "And you. I trust you'll look after John and keep him out of trouble?"
"I'll do my best, Mr. Ellison."
"That you will." Mr Ellison smiles at the young couple. "There's just one favor I need to ask of you both before you go."
"Now? We're getting ready to leave." John says sounding perplexed.
"That's why I'm asking it now. Your clothes, give them to me. I understand the TDE destroys all non living objects and our resources are in short supply."
With some embarrassment on John's part, but none by Cameron, they both disrobe completely, placing their clothing in Mr. Ellison's outstretched hands.
Mr. Ellison walks to the door carrying the clothes. He stops, looks at John, snaps off a salute, then walks outside.
"About time." Catherine says double-checking the readouts one more time. "Are you two ready?"
She looks up from the control panel at the young couple. John and Cameron are embracing each other in the middle of the TDE, and kissing each other.
Smiling, Catherine activates the machine. A large energy bubble forms around the couple as they continue to embrace each other. Blue and gold lightning arc from the energy globe onto the surrounding metal surfaces. Then suddenly in a burst of light, they are gone and the room fades to black.
# # #
Where it all began:
Red Valley New Mexico
September 6th, 1999
John quickly enters the classroom and slithers into the first available desk. The teacher begins droning on about classroom procedure as soon as the bell sounds. As John listens with absolute boredom, from beside him, a quiet feminine voice asks, "What's your name?"
John, turns to look over his shoulder into a pair of the most beautiful caramel colored eyes he's ever seen, framed by chestnut hair surrounding a wide expressive face that is currently smiling at him. He softly stammers, "John."
The girl replies, "Cameron."
Sometimes the best of friends, the greatest adventure, or simply the love of our lives is found through the simple greeting of strangers.
Neither of them knew where the future would take them that day they said hello in Mr. Ferguson's chemistry class. For both John and Cameron, and for everyone who joined them on their adventure, I wish you good luck.
# # #
We bring The Locket to a conclusion just in time for Valentine's Day, which is where this all began back in February 2010, when I posted the very first Valentine's Day story.
Been on some bumpy roads along the way to finishing this story. I've extolled enough about creating the chapters to bridge the gap between season 1 and 2 without going into it again. I imagine the brain cell harvesting and implanting into Cameron's chip raised a few eyebrows. Hey! What's the point of writing fiction if you can't exercise a few theories now and then? It's how we find out what's possible, what's plausible, and what's fascinating in the world of fiction and especially science-fiction.
If I had titled this chapter, I probably would have named it Family. There was the family lost by Ellison and Catherine when Savannah's life wast take, for which they found vengeance if not justice for it. There is the family that Cameron would like to give John someday, provided her plan works. There is the family reunited, as Lydia finds her long lost niece, Allison Young. And finally, there is the family John and Cameron will be going back to in 2009. Like the previous chapter, the theme wasn't planned. It just ended up that family became the theme.
I wrote the first drafts of Chapters 9, 10, 11 & 13 in March & April of 2013. It is only coincidence that the last chapter featuring Cameron wanting to be able to bear children for John, should be posted less than a month following Summer Glau giving birth to her daughter Melina. Congratulations to Summer and Val over their little production. I wish them all the very best.
I try not to talk about my personal life on the Internet, but sometimes you just have to tell people so they know why you are absent, or grouchy, or depressed. I've told everyone about my arthritis. It's the biggest hurdle in my life. It doesn't just interfere with physical activity. Sometimes my low back aches so bad I can't even sit to use my computer. I've never mastered the art of laying in bed to use a laptop. The angles are just all wrong and I'm never comfortable. Doing tasks are difficult. Kind of hard to commit yourself to doing things if you never know if you can finish the task you began. It's the biggest question I face just about every day, do I or don't I? I'd love to move to a warmer climate, but I can barely tolerate the heat & humidity of the summers where I live now. Unfortunately, I'm becoming less tolerant of our winters with each passing year. It's to the point I look forward to summer.
We're just months away from the release of Terminator: Genisys. There is nothing positive I can say about the coming movie. If you can watch it and enjoy it, then I am glad for you. However, I for one won't be joining you. To me, it's just a modern revisionist cock-up written by people who think they can retcon the first two movies and tell a better Terminator origin story than James Cameron. I'm sorry but they are wrong. If they wanted to do a clean reboot set in modern times, then I could accept that as I think its time to put a modern spin on what has become a classic horror/sci-fi/love story, but instead they decide to dive into the original stories and screw around with established canon. I'm sorry but I'm not having that. If someone did that kind of story in a fan-fiction, then I could accept that, because that's the kind of thing you can get away with in fan-fiction, but you don't do a fan-fiction type story for a multimillion dollar film.
I spent close to 20 months on the campaign to revive TSCC after Annapurna/Skydance acquired the rights to produce Terminator films, games, toys, and TV shows on December 2, 2012. Some may call it a waste of time, there were occasions when I thought the same, but the one important thing we did was demonstrate the importance of TSCC to the Terminator fandom regardless of what the studio chooses to do. They could create Terminator puppet shows or grand opera for all the rest of the world cares. But for us Terminator fans, the one thing we learned was that the only person who cared as much as James Cameron about putting out a quality Terminator story was Josh Friedman and his team of writers and producers. That is where you will find quality story telling. If Halcyon held off making Terminator: Salvation for another year or two, and put a little more cash into TSCC, we might have had five seasons of TSCC and a pretty damn good movie to top things off. But why whine about what might have been.
Fan-fiction may not offer all that a TV series, a movie, or a well written series of novels could do in continuing TSCC, but everyday those of us who write fan-fiction for TSCC honor those two great men, James Cameron and Josh Friedman, by putting forth the best quality story we can in the time we can spare in our busy lives.
I once chided a friend who said fan-fiction was the only viable continuation of TSCC. I most humbly apologize for deriding his comments. Until such time someone controls Terminator who actually gives a crap about putting out a good story, not just a clever story, and cares that TSCC is part of that franchise, fan-fiction is the only resource we have to feed that need. Where others with resources have chosen not to pick up the great mantel Josh Friedman and company were forced to lay down, it is up to us the fans to keep TSCC alive in the stories, videos, and artwork we create.
Before you ask, yes I do have ideas for continuing this story. No, I have no idea when or if I will. I have already decided what I will work on this year, and if I do write a continuation it will have to be held off until those other projects are completed. However, I will be writing down my thoughts and ideas I've had stirring in my brain the last six weeks on what I'd like in the continuation.
Keep your spirits up and never let the world forget about TSCC!
Oh, one more thing, Happy Valentine's Day.
February 1, 2015