The Fireflies

Disclaimer: I don't own any material contained within this story. All copyrighted content remains the property of the person, people, or organization that holds the copyright. This story is solely for fun.

Cameron's walk:

It was three o'clock in the mourning. John and Sarah were safely sleeping in their beds. It had only been three days since the family's time jump. They had secured their new identities and at seven o'clock John would leave the house for his first day in his new school. John had seemed pleased about this. Cameron wasn't.

Going to school meant going out in public. There would be increased danger to John. Skynet didn't know where, or more appropriately when, John was; but Skynet was not the only danger in LA. There was a large number of criminals, gangs and classmates who were potential threats to John's safety. Indeed every human in LA was a potential threat.

Humans were unpredictable creatures ruled by emotion instead of governed by logic. Anyone of them might attempt to kill John for reasons that were impossible for Cameron to understand or predict. However, Cameron could not eliminate every potential threat. If she started killing all the humans in LA, Sarah and John would assume that she had "gone bad" and would either run from her or attempt to destroy her. Cameron had determined the former to be more likely, but either result was undesirable. They would both make her mission, John Connor's protection, more difficult.

Still, she could minimize John's exposure to the potential risks. That was why she was walking down this particular dark street at 3:12 in the morning. It was the same street that John and her would use to travel to school in approximately four hours. Cameron was analyzing every possible hiding spot where an assailant could attempt to get the jump on John. She was also cataloging the different paths and hiding spots that could be used to facilitate John's escape, if he was attacked by a force that she could not quickly put down.

Cameron's plan was to trace the path that her and John would use to reach the school, break into the school, scrutinize the building in the same manner and then return home before John or Sarah woke up. That was Cameron's plan; but as she heard nearby gunfire, her plan quickly changed.

Although the chances of the source of the gunfire still being around four hours later were slim, Cameron's difference engine determined that any gunfire along the route to John's new school warranted investigation. She left her predetermined path and headed towards the source of the gunfire.

Inside a nearby building:

Mal (the leader of a small gang called the Fireflies), Zoe (his second in command) and Jayne (Mal's main enforcer) had just taken out five members of a rival, and much larger, gang called the Alliance. The Alliance members had been assigned to guard the building that the three Fireflies had just broken into. The building was a stash house that the Alliance used to store some of the proceeds from there numerous and unlawful business practices. The Fireflies had come to "confiscate" said proceeds. They were each in the process of filling up duffle bags with automatic weapons, ammo, explosives and of course cold hard cash. Mal looked over at Jayne and noticed that the man had begun to also stuff small bags of white powder into his duffle bag.

"What do you think you're doing? I thought I told you that we don't deal in drugs."

Jayne stopped stuffing his bag. He turned and looked at his boss. "Oh come on, Mal. There's got to be at least sixty K worth of powder here." Jayne's voice had a slightly pleading tone. He never understood why his boss so adamantly refused to get into what was such a profitable business. Jayne could see why Mal didn't want to take the risks involved with smuggling the stuff into the country, but when lady luck decided to just drop a batch of it into your lap… Jayne just couldn't understand it.

Mal locked eyes with Jayne. "Why you arguing what's already been decided?" Jayne hesitated, then sighed and started putting the bags back onto the metal table.

Jayne mumbled, "Just don't make no gorram sense. We're gang members not alter boys."

Mal didn't say anything about the mumbling. He didn't demand that his people agree with all his orders, just as long as they obeyed them. Mal went back to loading up his duffle bag. Even without the drugs it was a good heist. Between the three Firefly members they already had over a hundred thousand dollars worth of loot. Mal would have to thank Inara the next time he saw her.

Inara was the one who had tipped Mal off to the stash house's location. One of her customers, a moderately high ranking member of the Alliance gang, had let the location slip while she was "servicing" him. Inara was a fairly well paid call girl, not an official member of Mal's gang. However she did help them out on occasion, and Mal always cut her in for a full share of the profits from any undertaking that she assisted in. Although both Mal and Inara denied it, most of the Fireflies also suspected the two had a thing for each other.

Mal, Zoe and Jayne finished loading up their duffle bags then slung them over their shoulders. Zoe looked at the remaining Alliance loot. She turned to Mal. "What do you want to do about the rest of it?"

Mal picked up a brick of leftover C4. He grinned. "So nice of the Alliance to supply us with the means to blow the rest of their stash." Zoe wired the C4 and set the timer for eight minutes. The three Fireflies headed out of the building, but lady luck decided to throw one last hurdle at them.

As the three Fireflies exited the building, they ran into a group of Alliance guards who had been on their way to relieve the first group. The guards had their rifles pointed at the Fireflies, before the rival gang members had a chance to draw their own weapons. Mal asked himself, "Why don't things ever go smooth?" Not knowing what else to do he slowly put his hands up. Zoe and Jayne followed suit.

Zoe turned to Mal and whispered, "We've got six minutes left before the building behind us goes sky high."

Mal clenched his teeth and whispered back, "I'm aware of this."

Jayne asked, "What are we going to do?"

Mal answered, "Working on it."

Jayne sarcastically mumbled, "Oh, that's real reassuring."

Cameron at the sight:

Cameron arrived at the source of the gunfire just in time to see the two men and one woman emerge from the building and get captured. She recognized one of the men. He was a lot younger than when Cameron last saw him, but his face and voice retained enough similarities for Cameron to identify him. The man was Sergeant Malcolm Reynolds, leader of the Resistance's Firefly Squad. In the future the Fireflies were one of the Resistance's best squads. Malcolm Reynolds had even, personally, saved John Connor's life during one of Skynet's assassination attempts. Cameron's artificial intelligence began an internal debate once the man's identity had been confirmed.

Quandary: John Connor must survive. In order for that to happen, Malcolm Reynolds must save him during Skynet's seventh termination attempt. In order for Malcolm Reynolds to save John Connor he must survive until after that attempt has been made. I must insure Malcolm Reynold's survival.

Unnecessary: Malcolm Reynolds is alive in the future, therefore he must survive his current situation. My intervention is not required. I must protect my identity and attempt to remain inconspicuous.

Error: Changes have been caused in the time stream. The future is no longer fixed. It has become fluid. There exists a possibility that Malcolm Reynolds dies this morning.

Resolution: If any chance exists that Malcolm Reynolds will not survive until after Skynet's seventh termination attempt, my mission to protect John Connor requires that I also protect Malcolm Reynolds.

Once her internal debate was concluded, Cameron began to advance toward the five gang members who were threatening Malcolm. Cameron had neglected to take a weapon from the house. Still she was confident in her ability to quickly eliminate the five men. She was a terminator after all.

Cameron saw a junked car and squatted down behind it. The car was a good hundred feet in front of her, but it would still conceal her. She just had to keep it between her and her prey. Humans didn't have thermal vision. They couldn't see through objects. Cameron quickly but silently snuck up on the Alliance gang members. Once she was right behind the car, she popped out and grabbed one of the gang members. She twisted his head, and the man's neck snapped like a twig.

Cameron let one hand drop to the man's left side, where she removed a knife from his belt. She flung the knife at the man to her left. The knife stuck the man in his heart, and he fell over, discharging several rounds in the process.

The shots alerted the other three men and their response was both immediate and predictable. They diverted their attention to Cameron, aimed their guns at her and fired. Cameron was still holding the body of her first victim. She spun behind it and used it as a meat shield.

Cameron was not in any danger of being harmed by the enemy rounds, but her mission required her to attempt to keep her status as a terminator a secret. It wouldn't do for Malcolm and the other two to see her being struck by gunfire and it having no effect. Cameron swapped the right arm that she had locked around her first victim's neck and replaced it with her left. Her right arm moved down and took hold of the automatic rifle that was hanging down by a shoulder strap.

Cameron fired off three three-shot bursts in an ascending diagonal pattern. The first burst ripped through the chest of the Alliance gang member closest to her. The second tore open the neck of her next target, and the final burst impacted the skull of the last Alliance guard.

The Fireflies' response:

Mal had seen the girl emerge from behind the junked car. He'd seen her kill the first two Alliance men before they even knew what was happening. He'd seen her expert marksmanship in dealing with the other three. He'd seen all of it, but he was still having a hard time believing it. It just seemed so impossible. It was while Mal's mind was trying to grasp what he had just seen, that a far way voice said, "fifteen seconds."

Zoe looked over at Jayne and Mal. They didn't seem to have heard her. She yelled, "Thirteen seconds!" This time it registered. They started running.

Mal grabbed Cameron's arm and tried to pull her along. She didn't budge. Mal didn't have time for this. He shouted "Come with me if you want to live!" and jerked her arm. After hearing that phrase, Cameron let Mal move her. The three Fireflies and one terminator managed to duck behind the junked car just as the building exploded.

(Okay, I know I had a couple more chapters to this, but I started this fic without any over arcing plot in mind and the chapter's quality just seemed to deteriorate as I went on. I couldn't even come up with a fourth chapter, though I did try. I sat down at my computer several times and tried to write more, but I just couldn't come up with anything. Sorry. So, I just took what I though was the best chapter and turned this into a one-shot. Once again, I'm sorry; but I thought this was better than posting a bunch of crappy chapters just to keep the thing going.

Have a good day, and God bless.

Metropolis Kid.)