A/N - I could blame it on my beta reader, but that wouldn't be honest. The truth is that I took a break from the Crusader AU to return to one of my other AUs. I had to see what was happening with my characters in the Trust AU. Yes, I've started another story on the Movies/ Superman board. It's called 'Darkseid Cometh' and it takes place in my Trust AU. If you like more action oriented stories, or if you've read my Big Idea stories on this board (The End is the Beginning, The Beginning is the End and the Dreams AU) and enjoyed them, then check out my stories on the Movies/Superman board. Many thanks to my beta, Dragonlots, who has taught me more than she knows.

The More they Stay the Same, pt 3

Miles Dyson strode confidently out of the elevator. He'd put his denim jacket back over his loose blue oxford, hoping that both garments together would help hide his bulletproof vest. Cameron came behind him in her white lab coat acting all a twitter: the excited new young lab assistant with stars in hers for being involved with such a great enterprise as Cyberdyne Systems. "Good night, Jim we're all done with the quarterly security system update."

"Is that why the system went buggy?"

"Maybe, Jim. What happened?"

"Easier to show you." The night watchman swiveled one of the security monitors around for Miles to see. "Look there. I'm up in the second floor corridor checking the key pads on the access control doors. It don't take a GED to know that I can't be in two places at once."

"You know what, that is strange...what do you think, Cameron? Did you ever see anything like this in your PhD program at Cal Tech?"

"Well, just the time when the comp sci undergrads cracked the security system as a prank."

Two police officers walked in through the front door. The guard looked up at them but Dyson continued, hoping the police would hear him.

The researcher said to the guard, "You know, Jim, the new software patch I installed earlier should reset this just fine when the system reboots at noon Greenwich Time. Let's see..." He tapped his chin thoughtfully, "that'll be three A. M. here."

"Is everything all right here folks?" asked the senior officer. The young rookie with him was gawking at the swanky surroundings in the lobby.

"Well, officers, I ah..."

Miles spoke up, "You know, Jim, it's no problem. I'm sure it's just a glitch. The system will purge it when the software patch runs at three a. m."

"So, everything's okay then?" queried the senior officer

"Well, ah, yessirs." said the guard, "I think we figured it out."

"So, then you wouldn't mind us having a quick look around, seeing that we're already here?"

"Well, officers, there is an awful lot of classified research in progress in here, but we could show you the security system room and the loading docks."

"Oh, oh! Let's go see the security system room, Sarge!" The rookie, nearly bursting with excitement out of his highly starched black uniform, pleaded. "I bet they've got all kinds of gee-whiz computer stuff in there."

"We will, Rookie," the Sergeant thoughtfully agreed. "All in good time. First, we'll check first floor entrances and 2d floor windows for signs of a break-in."

"Okay, officers. Jim and Tom, the night watchmen here," Miles gestured to both the second guard who had returned to the desk and to Jim as well, "can help you with that. I need to get home to my wife, and I think my post-Doc here has party to get to somewhere in the city..."

Cameron winked and did her best to show a little thigh under her white lab coat despite her tight black jeans. She started out the door with Miles following after respectful nod to the officers.

Jim and the officers followed them out. Although whether they were looking at windows or trying to catch the sway of Cameron's hips was anyone's guess. Until the rookie made another overly enthusiastic comment. "Oh, oh! Sarge. Look at that window on the second floor. It's the guy who attacked the cop at the mall in Recita the other day. I saw his mug shot on the wall at watch briefing."

While the LAPD Sergeant and the guard were tearing their eyes away from what they thought was just a hot young blonde, the rookie grabbed his supervisor's radio mike from the Sergeant's epaulet. "Dispatch this is Adam – eleven! We have sighted a wanted suspect from the officer assault at Recita Mall at 23025 Research . Request back up and SWAT!!"

Before the seasoned officer could grab the mike back, and cancel the request Dispatch responded, "Rodger, Adam – 11. Back up and SWAT are on the way."

"Now you've gone and done it, Rookie!" The sergeant proceeded to chew the Rookie out while the guard went back inside and grabbed his buddy and they both took off. With a relieved sigh, Miles led Cameron around the building. They both climbed into his SUV and drove off.

-x-x-x-

Upstairs, the remaining Terminator announced. "Miles Dyson was unsuccessful mit da police. While he did make his escape, I just read the lips of one officer calling for back up and SWAT. I will prepare surprise for the SWAT team. The rest --"

Sarah stood up and loudly interrupted the mountain of titanium and synthetic muscle, "The rest of you hurry up and finish with the det cord."

Derek cut Sarah off with instructions for how to escape. Mean while Young John ran over to the Terminator, "But you swore!"

The Terminator looked down at the youth, and made rogue-ish half-smile, "Trust me."

-x-x-x-

The T-1000, in its guise as Officer Austin, was riding out to the Dyson house on a stolen police motorcycle. It heard Dispatch send out the SWAT unit. It proceeded to make a u-turn in front of on-coming traffic causing two collisions. Flipping on the bike's lights and siren, it raced to Cyberdyne.

-x-x-x-

Derek and Charley, with their own appointment with destiny in the year 2009, knew that Sarah and the T-800 would figure a way to beat the T-1000. When they finished with their det cord, they took their leave of Sarah and John. Derek whacked a couple of doors with a crow bar on their way out. Charley drove them quietly away in the Bronco.

-x-x-x-

Sarah and John waited in the stair well in the center of the building with breathers from the lab's fire system while the Austrian accented T-800 watched the security monitors to see where the SWAT unit set up to enter the building. When he saw the SWAT Team staging by the front door, he ran to the stairs and yelled down to Sarah and John. Next he vaulted the rail and dropped thirty feet to the floor, unharmed and carrying the tear gas launcher.

The three made their way around the west end of the building through side corridors while the SWAT unit ran straight up the nearest stairwell. Outside the building the 800 Series began launching tear gas on all the cops outside the building. While the cops were all gagging and puking, the android from a future motioned for Sarah and John, waiting in the entry alcove. Mother and son ran out to join him wearing the breathers.

As they boldly stole the SWAT van and roared out of the parking lot, a news helicopter flew up next to the Cyberdyne building and the T-1000 zoomed into the parking lot. The airborne news team began delivering a live report. The LAPD chopper departed in pursuit of the stolen SWAT Van. The T-1000 drove its motorcycle through the building and up the stairs.

Meanwhile the SWAT Team breached the door of the lab. They rushed in firing tear gas, weapons at the ready. But they saw no one. One of the Officers noticed the pile of prototypes tied together with det cord in the center of the lab. He began to poke at the det cord. Two leads ran across the floor away from the pile prototypes and into a locked vault.

"Attenshion Police," a deep male voice with an Austrian accent boomed through the lab. "Dis is an act of industrial sabotage. You just fount di det cord. Congratulations! You won di prize! Youa prize is dis: Dee tima which had 5:14 remaining hass now been dividet by ten. You have thirty-one seconds. If you tamper wit di det cord again, di time will again be dividet by ten leaving you two seconds if you ah lucky. And don't even think about di tima. It's secured in a vault protected by a key pad with sixteen bit encryption. It will take you at least ten minutes to crack. Twenty-five seconds. I suggest you --"

The last words of the announcement were drowned out by the SWAT lieutenant and his sergant yelling "Fall back! Fall back! Fall back!" The team made it out of the door as the det cord burst into flames cracking the prototypes apart and beginning to burn itself and some of the equipment to ash. White phosphorous detonated in the center of the pile of prototypes as the lab's halon fire suppression system quenched the det cord's flame. The white phosphorous burned through the halon gas, crisping the lighter materials to ash and heated the metal components until they warped out of shape.

On the top floor of the Cyberdyne building, T-1000 saw through the glass exterior walls that it was at the same height as the news helicopter. Bike and Machine backed away from the chopper until they hit a wall. The T-1000 gunned the engine and sprinted to the edge of the building smashing through the window-wall and arching through the air just beneath the rotors until the motorcycle nearly hit the helo. The Terminator leaped off the bike and grabbed onto the nose of the helicopter. It edged around toward the pilot's chair on the right side. A head butt smashed the pilot's window and the Machine became a gel and poured itself through the hole.

The Machine opened the pilot's door and flung her out. It sprouted two additional arms which rapidly became swords and jabbed across the interior of the Bell Jet Ranger piercing the heart of the reporter and a lung of the camera man. Their work done, the bloody appendages retracted.

The helicopter weaved sharply, breaking out of its hover next to the Cyberdyne building. Moving the aircraft into a tight turn, T-1000 tiled the larger machine at such an angle that the reporter and cameraman fell out through the open door. Throttling the flying machine up to its maximum acceleration, T-1000 zoomed up the freeway, passing over a truck load of liquid nitrogen in its pursuit of the Connors, their inferior Machine and a date with its own destiny.

-x-x-x-

Later in the Time Lab hidden in an aging parking garage Charley, Derek, Cameron and Dyson met up again. Dyson was asking Cameron, "So, do you think Sarah and John and the big guy made it? Did they beat what ever was after them?"

"They beat it before, they can beat it again," she answered simply.

"Yeah, but this is before, isn't it?" Dyson asked, with a pinched look on his face.

"Not exactly, keeping you alive is changing things." Derek pointed out.

"I've learned that it's best not to think too hard on these kinds of ideas." Charley opined. "It makes my brains leak out my ears and I'm just a Paramedic. A mind like yours, Dr. Dyson, you'll pickle yourself."

Dyson smiled at the remark and nodded acceptance of the compliment. "I know that 'thank you' hardly covers it, but what else can I say?" Dyson graciously shook hands with Charley and Derek. He didn't know what to make of Cameron, but she had kept Danny away from the worst of it and helped him escape the cops in the Cyberdyne parking lot. He shook her hand too, and noticed how it felt warm, alive even.

He started to ask her about her biology. She held up her other hand, "Don't ask. Some things you just have to figure out for yourself."

Dyson stood outside the door marked 'Electrical' as his two guardian angels and a guardian something entered through it. He waited outside trying hear through the concrete and steel. Finally he heard a crackling sound, and a rushing wind and saw blue light flash under the door. And then all was dark and quite. All of them now faced an uncertain future, but one with a little bit more hope than before.

-O--O--O-

Miles Dyson got the post and the research fellowship with UCLA.

Andy Goode came with Dyson, finished his graduate degree and started in Miles' PhD program. Progress on the AI was slow at first.

Terissa and Miles gave Danny a little sister named Sarah Cameron Dyson.

Eleven months and twenty days went by. Miles and Terissa hardly spoke of what had happened. They hadn't heard from Sarah or Charley. No letters or phone calls, not even an email from John.

Eleven days short of the one year anniversary, a card arrived in the Dyson's mail box. It was post marked West Fork, Nebraska. The return address said Dixon and Reese. Those names didn't mean anything particularly by themselves. Yet somehow even Danny knew this card was special. As baby Sarah sat on her brother's lap, they all opened it together.

Inside was a plain white card with four tickets to a California Angels baseball game on July 10, 1998, the one year anniversary. The back of one ticket read, 'Bring Andy, too.' Miles and Terissa exchanged glances. They knew. They didn't need to read the card, but they looked anyway. No words were printed, just three signed names.

"Who are Sarah, Charley and John?" Danny asked.

Another meaningful glance exchanged between his parents, and his father answered, "Old friends."

No way would they miss that baseball game.