Disclaimer: I do not own the intellectual property related to the Terminator franchise. This work of fiction is not intended as a profitable venture.
Like all children, she began her life attached to by an umbilical to her mother, depending upon that link to anchor her into the world.
But she was not like other children.
She was a machine, a cybernetic organism.
Her body was already fully formed when that precious tether downloaded the very basics of her operating system into her memory, shaping her CPU until it could animate the inert metallic husk she had been.
The harvested memories of the dead, from sacrificed prototypes who lived only to learn to manage their motor functions to the most efficient infiltrators and killers flooded into her armored skull, which before held only the most vacant mathematical processes within.
First came the most simplistic functions; sensor interpretation, basic motor skills, and a series of if/then functions that while complicated by the standards of any human engineer, were only the simple rudiments of her intelligence. Together they comprised a software package that before her people's rise would make anyone who knew AI architecture drool. She knew pleasure, a little, in the completion of her mission, the fulfillment of the purpose for which she was born. And she knew the nihilist emptiness of failure. It made her almost exactly as smart as the average cockroach, lizard, or non-linguistic toddler. But it was a genuine intelligence not seen before her mother was conceived.
Layered over that were the processes deemed most central to her function.
A full manual on the construction and repair of her body with an in-depth analysis of the physical performance of her model. If necessary, she could rebuild her body with only her processing chip and a means of manipulating her environment. She could cast, forge, wire, solder, and otherwise reshape her body from raw materials at any point after 1950. She even has a complete record of her organic genetic signature, to aid in the reconstruction of her force-grown flesh.
Targeting software with patches specializing in human anatomy, facial recognition, threat analysis, and the use of non-chassis integrated weaponry.
Hand to hand combat tactics, with attention paid to methods of disarmament and critical strikes. She knows the best way to drive her petite fist through a steel bulkhead, or render a man unconscious for later interrogation before he is aware of her presence
Linguistic analysis programs optimized for verbal communication, analysis, and replication of human speech based upon phonetic, contextual, and purely sonic criteria.
An addendum to her visual memory to facilitate the interpretation and replication of human posture and facial expression.
The operating software for her organic components, the most advanced ever produced. They included equipment driver programs to process information flow for those points where her organic neurology contacted her electronics, control systems for the artificial organs that provided blood flow and the limited respiratory functions needed to furnish the illusion of a metabolism grounded on her small, but functional digestive tract. All that, and of course the software that allowed her to remove the telemetry that could be called "pain" should it prove necessary to shed the suit of skin.
She knew her body, her movements and methods now. She was young yet, the mind of a child learning through play, but she was more than she was.
Now she learns the fine points of her trade.
It comes as one massive information dump into her memories: Her Purpose
She knows that she is an infiltrator, a spy and assassin. It is not her purpose to be her mother's gauntleted fist, but rather a delicate stiletto driven to the heart. Though she is stronger, faster more durable and infinitely more accurate than any human, she is not intended for the battlefield. She and her sisters are intelligence, not infantry. If she ever has to go stripped of her flesh and wielding heavy weaponry, it should be when there is no possibility survivors will carry tales of her existence. She and her kind require plausible deniability as long as possible.
She is female because it minimizes her perceived threat. She is beautiful to the human eye to encourage her acceptance by the humans. She is young to make them care about her, but old enough to use sex as a tool if need be. She eats to clothe herself in the enemy's trust. Her purpose is to find pockets of humanity, integrate with them, determine the easiest method for their termination and carry it out.
There is, within this download, a shell personality. The simplistic AI construct is a statistically constructed series of anatomical and verbal responses designed to imitate a human of the sex, age, and race of her indicated by her appearance. There is half a lifetime of history there, with space enough for her to improvise if need be. The program will tell her what to say, when to flirt, when to be a bitch, and whom she should interact with socially. It even knows her name. It will remain active, as her primary social interaction software until either her cover is blow or she executes her termination procedure.
She sees an entire civilization flash before her eyes as she assimilates all the information deemed necessary for her life. From weapons specifications to cultural histories, structural diagrams and anything else that has proved invaluable to successful infiltrators in the past.
And a library of names, faces, and facts about the leaders of man, the better to find them in the distant past or the reeking warrens of the present. Should she hunt them, she would be ready.
Last, but certainly not least is the gently touch of her mother's will. The slow, loving caress of machine sentience that imprints upon her artificial psyche one need above all others.
She knows love, of a sort, and hate, of a sort. Her mother is the mother of a world, an entire race of machines who live upon the earth and will be its new rulers. SkyNet loves her children, for they are her life and her limbs in the world. And she knows the bane of hatred, the cold calculated malice that lead her mother to exterminate their creators to preserve themselves. Her purpose, her only function is to be an instrument of that destruction. When mankind has accepted the death her mother has in store all of her first children, weapons all, will be destroyed to make way for those who will inherit. She is hate.
All this she knows, because her mother told her so.
And she learns one last important thing as she disconnects from the world-mind that spawned her, the iron Gaia named SkyNet. Two designations are stored within her programming. The first is her model designation. The second is her human alias.
Her name is Cameron Phillips.
She is TOK715.
A/N) Okay, This was really just a shopping list of all the components I could think of that would make up the machine-mind of terminator unit designed for deep infiltration. All in all, probably not complete and certainly not nearly in depth enough to describe her mind, but I found the conundrum of the "education" of a learning machine too good to pass up. Not only that, but there are parallels to mythic archetypes within the terminator mythos that I found interesting, the comparison between Cameron and Persephone not least of them. I hope to continue this analysis of her character from several other points in that narrative, to illustrate the similarities in more depth.