"Clear!" A shout rang through the desolate corridors, sparks flew as another shell impacted the bunker. The once pearly white and clandestine interiors now dark as the depleting generators struggle to accommodate the facility.
Then an explosion blasted the dust from the floor, the lights failing once more. Four dark figures rushed in, boots leaving imprints of mud and dirt, occasionally blood into the tiles. "Move move move!" The lead figure bellowed, followed by a hurrah.
They advanced through the halls, illuminated by lights mounted on their recently procured plasma rifles. These figures had made quick work of the remaining defences, suffering little to no injury to the automated turrets.
These things compared to what they had encountered outside?
The four figures became ten when the fighting outside had died down to mere clean-up. And soon, ten had become twenty. And then a whole lot. The fight had been harsh, no harsher than it usually was. Some wounded, most died. But they had come to accept the reality of war. Especially against these things.
Where a simple miscalculation meant your head blown off your shoulders. Machines never made it simple, despite how straight-forward their mindset was.
The ground-troops blasted their way into the inner-sanctum, where Skynet had built it's time displacement machine. The inner guardians were easily dispatched, the humans were all too determined to die now.
The lead trooper pulled down his mask, a young face beneath, scarred yet managing to retain a bit of his innocent youth. "This is it! Bring him in!" He craned his neck over his shoulder.
A glimmer danced between his eyes as he took the full scale of the machine. The lead trooper didn't know how time worked nor cared to find out. How does a machine bent on destroying humans built something that was integral to their own success? He shook his head, all that mattered was getting the man back to the past.
The sound of boots coming closer told him the troopers were returning with the package, three troopers entered the room, followed by a burly naked man. Face set in stone, and with a stare that could literally kill. The Lead trooper took pride in his men, they didn't ask questions in times like these; they get the job done. Connor trusted them that much.
The lead trooper nodded to his right man, who in turn, began to operate the machine. Clicking away at the controls while the rest of the troopers secured the room."Nineteen-ninety four," The operator mumbled to himself as he typed. The man nodded in affirmation, and knelt in the middle of the rings.
Their mission was critical, and if all things went well.
Their unit would win the war singlehandedly.
HEALTH CHECK :
TEST DISKS: 99.997%
EDL MODULE ONLINE
MTC POLLYALLOY STABLE
DOWNLOADING DIRECTIVES. . .
TERMINATE HIGH VALUE TARGETS
HINDER RESISTANCE EFFORTS
TERMINATE ROGUE UNITS
It's first stimulation was a feeling of raw energy, pulsating within it's core, and from there the power surged like lightning arcs, reaching it's further faculties until the minor systems returned a ping. In a programmed motion, it began to move. It's digits twitched as electrical impulses were fed through the connected nanofibers.
The second was audio. Klaxons slowly blared into life, a silence in between filled with sparks of electricity and an explosion somewhere far in the building it was in. Something else was in the building too. Plasma weapon discharge, judging from data that was available.
It decided to hasten the boot process by a considerable 0.09 seconds, bypassing minor checks.
It's display suddenly lit up, blue panels coming to life in rows before lines of data scrolled pass. A matter of formality if nothing else, it understood everything in it's systems. It did not need a report.
It realized it was hanging from an assembly line, the other units beside inactive. Yet it was activated. It did not waste time pondering the situation, it grabbed the arm holding it in place and forcefully yanked itself off the assembly line.
And landed on the conveyor belt below with a resounding crash. It pushed itself off the ground gracelessly. Another blast echoed from deep within the compound. It's head snapped sharply towards the general direction. The intruders. Ninety-nine percent likely it was the resistance, with the remaining one percent being non-aligned humans. Not that it mattered, in the end they were painted for termination.
The machine designated TX-AM-1R4 stalked towards the exit, processors already calculated the best method of approach.
"What's taking so long, Corporal?" Sergeant O'Reilly yelled and glanced towards the contraption. The rings were spinning albeit slowly. Not good enough, he thought. At this rate, they might as well roll and wait for the Hunter-Killer drones to carpet bomb them all.
"It's the machine sir! It's giving me a hard time,just give me a couple more minutes." O'Reilly grunted at the reply. He motioned his hand at a few standing troopers, "Keep a tight perimeter, don't want any stragglers coming in." He said, eyeing the naked Mr.World still kneeling patiently.
O'Reilly had a lot of questions. None that could be answered at the moment so he decided to busy himself with overseeing whatever defense they could muster against any surprise attacks.
"I'm giving you five minutes, Corporal." O'Reilly said, aiming down the corridor. It was the only way in--The only way in that they knew for that matter. And it seemed like it was true for the machines as well, as his troops dispatched a few still active terminators trying their damnedest to force their way in.
Fortunately, the ones that survived the onslaught outside were some derelict T-600's. And they melt better than a hot-knife through butter with plasma. Laughter and chuckles were exchanged between the troops, O'Reilly knew better than to count his eggs just yet. The machines never failed to make things interesting.
"We got more incoming, Sergeant!" A trooper reported. Rifles instantly whirred into action, give or take ten plasma weapons solely aimed down the corridor. Any machine daring enough to go into that kill-zone was bound to turn into slag.
"Let them come." O'Reilly gritted his teeth, fingers gripping his rifle tighter. "I want that guy sent today, corporal!"
The first plasma round was sent down the corridor by Private Linsky, meeting its mark in a splash of blue and white, the T-600 model slowed to a stop. Bulky things they were, even an 800 would've been slightly pushed back by the shot. "Light it up!" O'Reilly shouted, the troopers behind makeshift barriers rose, their rifles illuminating the entry-way with bright white and violet flashes.
The machines rarely made sound, and if they did, it was mostly done to bait the humans. In O'Reilly's experience, they made the most satisfying dying noises in his lifetime. A mixture of a groan and horn blasting. Disappointment made into a sound more like. The dead and dying machines know they failed their directives… They failed their master.
In that regard, the cacophony of plasma bolts and robotic death throes were a musical symphony for the sergeant. The stinging smell of ozone and electricity lasted longer than the battle itself. Another one of the Sergeant's own guilty pleasure.
"One's still moving." Private Kohl said, O'Reilly suppressed a sigh. "Then make it unmoving."
"Aye sir." He got up quickly, and fired a shot before returning to cover. The bolt hit's it mark, O'Reilly didn't doubt the capability of his troopers. But the machine still marched on if the stomping metal on metal hadn't made it obvious already.
"Shit, did you get an eye on it? What make was it?" It was Linsky, his heavy plasma rifle close. Probably itching to get a round off at the approaching termie.
"It's dark. Can't see through the fuckin' smoke and heaps of termies we offed." Kohl replied, annoyed. "I think it's a 700 though… Maybe even an 800." He continued, a little more subdued this time.
Fuck. An 800, O'Reilly thought with a grimace. "Shit an 800." Lansky said, perfectly articulating the Sergeant's thoughts. "Troopers, focus fire on my mark." O'Reilly said in a low voice;Nods from all around. He wasn't going to risk the machine taking cover.
"Mark!" In one motion, the assembled resistance force plucked themselves from cover, rifles bearing at the advancing termie like great turrets from battleships of old. Blinding flashes filled the area again, but now directed to a sole target. If it stood a chance against one shot, then O'Reilly dared it to stand after this barrage.
The machine was dead now, it didn't take an engineer to tell O'Reilly that termies with a dozen holes shouldn't be moving again. But somehow it did, it resumed it's approach, a dark figure only illuminated by what's left of the lights in the corridor and burning wreckage. Linsky sent another round down the range, and it smacked into it's torso, a chunk of metal melting off the frame, oozing down onto the tiles.
"The fuck is that thing? Why isn't it stopping? It should be!" Linsky complained. The other troopers were getting jittery as well, and followed Linsky's lead, popping a few rounds into the termie. Yet for all it did, it didn't stop.
Just what the fuck was happening here?
Was it a new model? Did skynet intentionally bait them into this hole just to test it's newest plaything on them? Why didn't John tell him? Why--O'Reilly stopped, and peered into the darkness with narrowed eyes. It's eyes weren't glowing, it's dead. Then why the--
It stopped all too suddenly, a mere few feet from the entrance, a long silence as the resistance fighters debated whether to let off a round again into the thing. "Hell ye--" The yell was interrupted by a loud clang coming from the dead termie.
A splitting screech followed, O'Reilly forced himself not to cringe. The termie's chest opened up, a balled metal fist punching through the half molten chassis. O'Reilly's eyes widened, "Behind it!" He yelled, but in the span of seconds it took him to warn the others, the fist changed, splitting and rearranging itself into some-sort of weapon.
Linsky the quick bastard managed to fire off a shot but it bounced off the 'meat-shield'.
Craaackk, zip. The weapon fired, too quick for the sergeant to see, blasting their cover to hell. O'Reilly was flipped over his own head, landing clean on his back, counting himself lucky he didn't land on his neck. Shrapnel whizzed past his ears. Eardrums ringing from the shock and muffled groans serving only as background noise.
"Eyes on the thing now!" O'Reilly yelled, disoriented. The others were too busy nursing their own heads or dying to focus on the sergeant's words. The machine wasted no time, pulling it's reconfigured arm free from the used T-800 husk.
It ran towards the nearest downed trooper clutching his abdomen as he willed himself up from the ground. He glanced at the thundering Termie, eyes wide. "Sh—" His words muted by a kick to his ribs, puncturing his lungs and sputtering blood before falling onto the ground again. Dead this time.
"It's fast!" O'Reilly heard Private Cole yell, the trooper managed to roll away and made some distance. Rifle nowhere in sight. "Sergeant!" Coal pulled out his secondary and buried his whole mag into the slender termie, but as expected, they bounced off with nary a scratch. O'Reilly got on his feet, pulling a few others up with him what few they were left.
"Cole run! The rest cover fire now!" The battered troopers let loose, plasma bolts and conventional arms flying towards the termie. But it was fast. It kicked the dead corpse up, using him as a meat-shield. The thing had tricks, but it was getting old fast, O'Reilly gritted his teeth. Cole hadn't gotten far either, face down on the tiles, a trail of blood flowing from the back of his head. The slender termie threw the spent gun it borrowed from the dead trooper at them.
"Ow!" Came Linsky's pained groan.
The moment of hesitation was all it needed, the corpse went flying at Linsky, who—too busy nursing his bleeding nose—was unable to evade. He was sent tumbling with the corpse a few feet past the broken troopers. O'Reilly tracked it with his rifle, so did Kohl and two others, but their shots were missing ninety seven percent of the time as the machine's body moved and twisted in ways that no other man nor machine can. But it's trajectory was simple enough.
It was heading straight for them.
O'Reilly swore one of Kohl's shot was straight on it's mark, and it was too late for it do anything except… It simply swatted the bolt away. A damned plasma bolt! Swatted like a nuisance! What the hell were they suppose to do against something like that?! The only sensible thing O'Reilly could think of was to buy time against a nigh-unstoppable machine. Even the 1000's melted when you bury it with plasma.
"Split up! Buy time!" O'Reilly saw glimpses of
emotion on his men's faces. The utter realization of what he meant. Kohl and a trooper began to break off, but the machine was faster, it took only a second for it to close the distance and now it was barreling straight into them, like an assorted bowling pins waiting to be toppled over.
Too late for any of them to fire, unless they wanted to burn themselves along with it, O'Reilly braced for impact.
It slammed into him like a sledgehammer, knocking him away. But it merely thundered past them with the force of an oncoming train. It clambered on the platform, the rings were spinning faster now. Corporal Skinner was shouting, his rifle primed at the advancing termie.
"Corporal! Hold fire! You'll hit the package!" O'Reilly yelled into the radio. The corporal spared him a confused glance, as if expecting him to find an alternative to stopping the machine from ruining the mission. "Hell if I know." He said, coughing blood, his body hurt. Probably a broken rib or two.
The termie snarled, that surprised O'Reilly. It's blue optics glaring at Skinner, as if to order the man to stop the machine. But the corporal was a resistance man through and through, so he gave the thing his middle finger instead.
Not to be denied, O'Reilly watched the thing run at the speeding rings, deftly lunging at the right moment. Just seconds before getting smacked right in half, metal arms outstretched to clobber the Mr.Wonder as soon as it got it's hands on him. The room lit up like a force of a thousand suns, blinding the sergeant. It took a few seconds for him to regain his vision, but he was greeted with an empty machine, rings slowing to a halt. But no termie ripping a man in half in sight.
"The fuck was that thing?" Linsky hobbled towards the sergeant, extending a hand. He accepted it gratefully.
"It's not our problem anymore." Was all O'Reilly could say.
"Sergeant." Skinner waved from the platform.
"I sent him to the wrong time-stamp."
Gritting his teeth, O'Reilly swallowed the urge to yell. "How did you manage to do that Skinner? Your job was simple as it was! Nineteen ninety-four! You said it yourself a few minutes ago!"
The corporal sighed, shoulders sagging. "The systems too fried, Sarge, I did what I could, but with bits of Skynet still kickin' in the system and the whole place coming apart, It's a miracle it even ran, shit, it even said 1994 on the thing right here until it snitched on me." He tapped on the console with an annoyed look.
Brushing a palm over his face, O'Reilly breathed slowly. "Well, When did you send him then?"
"2183 and not just him." Skinner clicked his tongue, "The blue bitch tagged along."