-Serrano Point: 2028-

So this is the longest chapter I've ever written.

Thank you to justjoe and xxvoxx for your reviews.

I've noticed that a lot of people who comment on this story say they are looking forward to having Cameron back, but none of them really mention the absence of the title character, Sarah i.e. 'The Sarah Connor Chronicles'. I wonder if this means I could get away with killing her off at some point...

Anyway, hope you like it and please REVIEW.

Chapter Sixteen

-Wednesday, August 29 2028 (06:25)

Serrano Point Power Plant Control Room

"Sir, we're having trouble with the main coolant line," said one of the technicians. His supervisor walked over, bending down to study his computer screen.

"It looks like something triggered the shutoff valve," he said after a moment. "Okay, that's weird. The auxiliaries are still operating though, so it shouldn't be a problem. I'll get a maintenance team to go take a look."

Two hours later Savannah strode into the control room, her guards in formation behind her and Pinington by her side. Frank was already standing with the plant's operator studying the large display screen set into the far wall.

"Mr. Philips," Savannah said to the operator. "Report."

"About two hours ago the primary coolant main went offline. Fifteen minutes later so did the secondaries. And the reactor isn't responding to our commands, so we can't shut it down."

"That doesn't sound good." Savannah said.

"No Ma'am. We still have a little while before the situation becomes critical, and if necessary the reactor can be shut down manually. In the mean time we're looking into alternate means of getting coolant into the reactor."

"I've sent a team to investigate," Frank said. "Ma'am, obviously at this point we have to consider sabotage, too many things are going wrong at once here."

Savannah nodded. "How bad can this get Dennis?"

"It's too early to say," Philips responded. "But meltdowns don't happen because something goes wrong. They happen when fifteen things go wrong."

Savannah folded her arms across her chest. "By my count we're already at three."

"Sir," a technician called out, "we just lost all the outtake lines."

"What!" Philips stepped forward as a new diagram appeared on the main screen.

"Mr. Philips," Savannah said.


"How bad."

"Well without coolant coming in they weren't doing much, but we were hoping to reconfigure some of them to run coolant through the reactor. It wouldn't have been a permanent solution, but it would have bought us time."

"Can you think of any other way to cool the reactor?"

Philips looked at her. "No Ma'am."

Savannah nodded. "Major Hess, this is definitely looking like sabotage."


Captain Kyle Reese led his team through one of the power plant's mechanical areas. He had six soldiers with him, along with two plant technicians.

"It's over this way," one of the techs said. She led them around a bank of machinery to a large pipe about two feet in diameter.

"This is the coolant line?" Kyle asked.

The tech nodded. "Yeah. The shutoff valve should be over here…" She ducked under the pipe, Kyle and two of his soldiers following behind her. "What the hell… someone's smashed up this control panel."

"Yeah," Kyle said. "I can see that. What about the valve?"

"We should still be able to reopen it manual," the tech glanced further down the pipe in search of the valve, spotting at after a few moments. She quickly sprinted towards it, the other three trailing behind her.

The valve consisted of a large ring that could be turned manually in the event that the motor was inoperable. Or at least it had been before it was damaged by what looked to Kyle to have been plasma fire.

"Can we fix this?" Kyle asked.

"Sure," the tech said, "but it'll take at least a few hours."

"Right," Kyle took his radio from where it had been attached to his belt and turned it on. "This is Captain Reese. We've reached the shutoff valve, it's been pretty well fucked," His thumb slid off the button on the side of the radio. "So this may be a stupid question, but there's no way this thing just blew up natural, right."

"Ah," the tech looked at the valve. "No," she said shaking her head. "Definitely not."

Kyle spoke into the radio again. "It looks like it was hit multiple times by some kind of plasma discharge."

"Understood Captain. Stand by for further instructions."

Frank placed his radio on the console in front of him. "We'll it's about what we expected," he said. "I have teams in place around other critical areas around the base, whoever's doing this will have trouble inflicting any more damage."

"Where's Colonel Reese?" Savannah asked. "He should have been here by now."

"He said there was a potential situation developing that he needed to look into," Pinington replied.

"A potential situation?" Savannah repeated. "You mean other then the one happening in here?" she said nodding at the screen. "Oh, I don't like the sound of that. So Mr. Philips, about how many things have gone wrong so far. I'm losing count."

"There's still a chance we can shut down the reactor manual," he said.

"Yeah, unless someone has seen to that too," Pinington said. "We should know either way in a few minutes. Ma'am, we have another, larger problem. While this base and most of our facilities do have emergence power it wont last for more then a day or two. If we have to keep the reactor offline for any length of time-"

"-Then we're seriously screwed anyway. Yes, I know Colonel," Savannah said.

Just then the door opened as Derek entered the room. "Ma'am, we have a problem. Well, another problem. We just found two bodies. One a Private Ashley Williams, she was assigned to the east checkpoint. The other is a Specialist we haven't been able to identify, though he fits the description of someone who drove a transport truck through the east checkpoint at 17:00 hours yesterday."

"Well there's an interesting coincidence," Savannah said.

"There's more. The commander of the checkpoint says she let the truck through without conducting a sweep with dogs. That was Private Williams job, and apparently she had just disappeared. According to her the truck was caring four other people in addition to the driver."

Savannah nodded. "Alright, I know we've all been thinking it, but this makes it definite. It looks like there's a likely possibility that we've been infiltrated by terminators. Our teams are prepared to deal with that, right."

Frank nodded. "Of course."

"Colonel Reese, I want you to go and find John, now. Get him up here."

Derek looked like he was about to argue, but after a moment he nodded and left, taking two soldiers with him.

"And someone get Weaver and John Henry up here too."

"You don't think she can hold her own against another terminator?" Frank asked.

"Oh, I'm sure she can, that's why I want her up here."

Just then the radio Frank had left on the control panel came to life.

"Control, this is Captain Reese. We're hearing weapons fire. I'm moving to investigate.

Kyle ducked under the pipe, the two soldiers who were with him taking up positions on either side. Ahead he could see the rest of his group, at least those who were left. Of the five people he left behind only two were still standing. As he got closer he saw a fourth body. The corpse's flesh had been completely burned away by plasma fire in several places revealing a chrome endoskeleton.

"Is it down?" Kyle asked.

"Yes sir," One of the soldiers said.

Kyle glanced back at the tech. She was staring at the body of her fallen companion, her face a pale white. "You alright?" he asked.

After a moment she nodded. "Yea… yes."

Kyle lifted his radio up to his face. "This is Captain Reese. We've engaged a T-888. It's down, but it took three of my people with it. There doesn't seem to be anything else we can do here. What are your orders?"

"Understood. Stand by for further instructions."

"Now what?" Frank asked.

"I have people suited up," Philips said. "We're ready to go into the reactor."

"They have soldiers with them?" Savannah asked.


"How long can they stay in there?" Pinington asked.

"Even with radiation suits they can't safely stay inside the reactor for more then a few minutes," Philips answered.

"That will be enough time to shut it down?"

"They're not going to shut it down. They're just going in to assess the situation and then report back. Then we'll send in several groups to conduct the shutdown process, one after the other."

"Are you sure we want to be exposing that many people?"

Philips shook his head. "Radiation poisoning is cumulative. It's a lot better to expose several people for very short periods than a few for longer ones."

"Alright, send them in," Savannah said.

"….. This is the command center…. we're under attack.. Respond..."

"Activate the comm," Frank ordered. "This is Major Hess. Respond."

"We have an unknown number of people attempting to get past our guards. Some of them are terminators, but not all."

Frank and Savannah exchanged glances. "Are you sure?"

"Yes sir."

"Right, we're sending reinforcements," Frank said. "What direction are they coming from?"

"Ah, the left as your leaving the room."

"Alright. Stand by."

"This isn't sabotage anymore," Pinington said while Frank used his radio to direct people to defend the command center.

"Ma'am," Philips said. "I have a group standing by outside the reactor awaiting the final order." Savannah nodded. He pressed a button on the control panel next to him. "This is Philips, you have a go."

The door opened as Catherine and John Henry entered the room.

"What's happening?" Catherine asked.

"We're under attack," Savannah responded. "An unknown number of terminators have infiltrated the building and sabotaged the reactor. And apparently they're also trying to take the command center."

"Where is Mr. Connor?" the shapeshifter asked.

"I sent Colonel Reese to get him," Savannah turned to face Frank. "Get me the command center back." He motioned to one of the technicians and a few moments later he nodded. "This is Commander Vinc'hart."

"Yes Ma'am."

"You still have communications, right?"

"Yes Ma'am."

"Then I want you to inform our other bases of the situation and tell them to go to full alert. At this point I think it's highly likely that SkyNet is going to back this up with an external attack."


"Why do you think they're trying to take it?" Catherine asked.

"While the power plant is operated from here many of Serrano Point's systems, including security, are controlled from the command center," Frank said. "If they take it they could lock down the base and severely restrict our movements."

Suddenly several alarms went off at once. "Sir, fire control systems have come online near the primary entrance to the reactor bay," one of the technicians said.

"Now what!" Savannah said.

"This is Philips," said the plant operator pressing the comm button. "This is Philips, what's going on down there?"

There was silence for a few minutes as everyone waited to see if there would be a response. While they waited the door opened and John and Derek entered the room. Then a voice came over the speaker. "It was rigged. The door… it was rigged with.. explosives. Blew when we…. Tried to open… it…"

"How many survivors are there?" Philips asked. "How many?" He waited for a few moments, but there was no response.

"Now what?" Savannah asked.

"I- I don't know," Philips said. "We still have a few hours before the reactor goes critical, but we're running out of solutions."

"Ma'am," Pinington said, "We don't know how many terminators are operating in the building, or how long they've been here. But this was obviously planned well."

"You're saying they've already thought of and planed for everything we can do to stop them?" Savannah said.

"Yes Ma'am," Pinington answered.

"The Colonel's assessment of the situation would appear to be accurate," Catherine said.

"Well let's hope they haven't planned for everything," Savannah said. She turned to Catherine. "Have you finished running tests on the TDT?"

The shapeshifter shook her head. "No, but we haven't detected any problems either."

"Well unless someone can think of a way to turn things around I say we put it into service."

"I think we've run out of options Ma'am," Pinington said.

"What's going on?" Philips asked.

"We've built at time machine in the basement," Savannah replied drily.


"Major Hess, get me the command center," Savannah ordered.

"Yes Ma'am."

"This is Commander Vinc'hart."

"Captain Vestra here."

"How are things going up there?"

"About the same Ma'am. May I ask how long until our reinforcements get here?"

"We're working on it. Captain, I'm ordering you to issue general order seventeen to all bases. The reactor is going to go critical and we can't stop it. Everyone is to evacuate immediately. Once you're done I want you to trash the room. When your reinforcements arrive use the diversion to retreat, do I make myself clear."

There was a pause, then "Yes Ma'am."

"Good. Vinc'hart out." She waited for the comm line to close, then ordered them to patch her through to the entire base. "This is Commander Vinc'hart. I'm issuing general order seventeen. Evacuate the base. I repeat, evacuate the base." She nodded at the technician to end the transmission.

"I'm sure any terminator in the base heard that," Catherine said. "Are you sure it was wise to alert them to the fact that we're retreating."

"Yes," Savannah answered. "It means they won't expect us to run for the sublevels. Is there anything more we can do from here?"

"I don't think so," Pinington said. Philips shook his head.

"Then lock everything down and destroy it."

"Do we know where my brother is?" Derek asked.

"I sent him to help retake the command center," Frank answered.

Savannah looked at him for a moment. "Go Colonel."

Derek looked at her. "Ma'am-"

"Go." They stared at each other, then Derek went to attention. He saluted Savannah, who returned the gesture. A moment later he turned and left. "Alright people, lets get out of here!"

"What about the group Reese was supposed to lead back with them?" Frank asked.

"You just took their place," Savannah answered.

"What about you?" Catherine asked.

Savannah turned to look at her. "I'll go as far as Sub-Level Five. That's it."

As the last people left the room two soldiers began firing their weapons into the computer terminals. After a few moments of this they both tossed several grenades into the room and retreated around the corner with everyone else.

"How many people are we sending back?" Frank asked as the grenades went off with a loud bang that shook the corridor.

"The TDT can only transport so many people at once," Catherine said. "And while I'm sure it will work, I'm not entirely confident of a repeat performance."

"Once we hit level one I'll lead most of the group to join the evacuation," Pinington said.

Savannah nodded. "Alright."

"I'll join him," Frank said.

"No, I want you to go back with them. Alright, lets move out."

Their group quickly started moving through the base. For safety reasons all the elevators had been shut down so they made there way towards the stairs.

They made it down several flights before there was movement above them. The soldiers quickly pointed their weapons up as a group of people came out onto the landing two stories above. Several of them began shouting when they noticed the guns being pointed at them.

"I don't think any of them are terminators," Catherine said after a moment.

"You don't think?" Savannah repeated.

Catherine shrugged. "It's not an exact science."

Savannah swore. "Lower your weapons!" she ordered. After a moment her soldiers complied. "Come on," she yelled up to the people above them. They began moving down again, reaching the ground floor after another five minutes. They could see a number of other people making their way towards the exit.

"All right people, with me!" Pinington yelled. Most of the group left with him, leaving John, Savannah, her guards, Frank, Catherine, and John Henry.

"Come on," Savannah said. They had made it to Sub-Level Three when two people came out onto the landing below them.

"Quick! We have to go now!" One of them yelled.

"Keep going up," Savannah said. "The evacuation should still be in progress."

As they moved up the stairs a plasma bolt hit the wall of the SL-4 landing, narrowing missing one of them. "There are people after us!" The first one said as he and his companion joined them on the SL-3 landing. "I think they might be machines."

"Everyone here!" the captain of Savannah's guard barked, motioning for everyone to leave the stairwell and move out into the corridor.

"We still need to get down another two levels," John said.

"This is the north stairwell," Frank said. "We could always try the south one."

"What's your name?" Savannah asked one of the newcomers.

"Malcolm Evens, ah, Ma'am. This is Mathew Vierr."

"Okay Malcolm, how many… 'people' were after you?"

"Ah, two."

Savannah nodded at the captain of her guard, who sent three of his soldiers to watch the landing.

"We don't have time for this," Catherine said.

"We also can't afford to have two terminators attacking our flank," Savannah responded. "And the TDT is closer to the north stairwell anyway, so if we can deal with this…"

"Why are you trying to get to SL-5?" Mathew asked.

"We have our reasons," Savannah responded. "Once this is dealt with you can go up to join the evacuation." As she finished speaking her guards started trading fire with the two terminators below them. After a minute the shooting stopped.

"You got them?" Frank asked.

"No sir, they withdrew."

"Now what?" John asked.

"They could be waiting to see if we'll try the stairs again, then ambush us." Frank suggested.

"And if we make for the south stairwell they could either come up behind us or go that way themselves to head us off," Savannah shook her head. "Well we can't stand around here forever. Alright, lets go."

The group quickly made its way down the corridor as they moved through the sub level towards the south stairwell. Two of the guards watched their rear while another two kept to the front. As they came to another bend in the corridor the first soldier to go around the corner was immediately hit with a plasma blast. He fell to the floor, the entire right side of his upper body missing. A moment later two more plasma bolts and a number of bullets slammed into the opposite wall.

Everyone else immediately stopped.

"We don't actually know that they're terminators," Frank whispered. "It could be some of our people who decided to shoot first. Not necessarily unreasonable under the circumstances."

"I'll check," Catherine offered.

"You can handle that?" Savannah asked, nodding at the wall that had been shot up.

"Sustained plasma fire can cause damage, but I don't plan to be in the line of fire for that long," the shapeshifter answered. She confidently strode forward past the bend into the corridor. Ahead of her there were eight people, all armed. Almost immediately they began opening fire, causing her to stagger back a few paces. The bullets had little noticeable effect on her, punching small holes in her body as they passed through it and hit the wall behind her.

Two of her attackers were carrying plasma weapons however, which inflicted quite a lot more damage, the heat forcing any part of her body it touched to lose its form and revert to its natural state. After a few moments of this the shooting stopped. The bullet holes closed almost immediately, but Catherine had to wait several seconds for the mimetic poly-alloy to cool before it could turn back to skin and cloth.

One of her attackers moved towards her. He was carrying a large rifle; Catherine identified it after a moment as being an FN FAL. "Who are you?" he asked after a moment. Catherine studied him. Considering what he had just seen, and what was going on, he was incredibly calm.

"I could ask you the same question," Catherine responded airily.

The man raised his rifle. "Who are you?"

Catherine took a step towards him. His breathing was regular. Precise in fact, each inhale and exhale following exactly the same pattern without variation. His face had no expression; his posture was perfectly straight, the gun he had pointed at her not wavering by so much as a micron.

Catherine smiled. "And what exactly is it you think you're going to do with that?" she asked nodding at the terminator's rifle. Before he could answer she took another step forward, knocking the barrel of his rifle aside as he fired again, the bullets spraying harmlessly into the wall. Catherine yanked the weapon out of his grasp with one hand while garbbing the front of his jacket with the other and lifting him up. She estimated he weighed more then twice what a human his size should. The terminator grabbed her arm tightly as he looked down at her, his eyes briefly glowing red. Catherine's smile widened. She dropped his rifle, her free hand turning to quicksilver before reforming a moment later into a long blade that she drove up into his chest, her blow aimed to pass between the armor plating of his endoskeleton. The section of her 'sword' that was inside his chest turned back to quicksilver again, transforming into tendrils that weaved through his chest ripping apart everything they came into contact with.

A moment later she released him. When his feet touched the ground the terminator staggered back, then collapsed. Catherine looked up at her seven remaining enemies. Two of them stared at her passively, seemingly undisturbed by what they had just seen. The other five however were visibly shocked, looking back at her with fear.

'Interesting' Catherine thought. She turned and started walking back toward her companions as the remaining six began firing at her again. Catherine picked up the plasma rifle of the fallen guard before going around the corner and rejoining the others.

"What are you?" Malcolm asked.

"There are eight of them," Catherine said to Savannah as the last of her wounds closed. "However only three are terminators, the rest I think are human. One of the terminators has been eliminated."

"Captain Vestra said he believed some of the people attacking the command center were human," Frank said.

"Why are there people working for SkyNet?" John asked.

"It's not entirely unprecedented," Catherine said, "Though fairly rare."

"During the first ten years of the war SkyNet had a number of forced labor camps," Savannah said. "But I've never heard of anyone willingly cooperating. Certainly not like this." She shook her head. "This probably explains how they got into the base, but we don't have time to figure out why. Catherine, I want you to go and charge them. Once they have there hands full with you the rest of us will open fire."

"Leaving me in the crossfire," Catherine said drily.

"I'm sure you can handle yourself," Savannah responded.

"Your confidence in my abilities is inspiring."

Catherine moved so that she was standing right behind the bend in the corridor, the others grouping behind her. "Stand back," the guard captain said to Mathew and Malcolm. "Your unarmed, just let us deal with this."

"Of course," Malcolm said earnestly. Then he grabbed the captain, running out into the corridor pulling him with him. The others opened fire almost immediately instantly killing the guard captain while Malcolm dashed towards them. He wasn't fired on.

Mathew tried to run after his companion a moment later, but Catherine grabbed him, throwing him back several feet to slam against a wall. Savannah drew her sidearm and pointed it at his crumpled form. "Go," she ordered tersely.

Catherine went forward just in time to see Malcolm disappear around the other end of the corridor. She strode towards the seven enemy soldiers as she raised her plasma rifle. She managed to get off two shots killing one of the humans before their return fire slammed into her, destroying her weapon.

When she was almost upon them one of them suddenly drew a knife and charged her. Identifying her attacker as one of the humans Catherine griped her weapon by its barrel and swung it at her like a club. The base of the rifle collided with her scull with a sickening thud, sending her crashing to the floor. Catherine then dropped the rifle, her hand turning once again into a long blade, which she slashed through another one of the humans.

As he fell the others came around the corner and opened fire. One of the terminators was struck in the hip, causing him to fall onto his knee. He returned fire; killing one of the guards before being brought down by two more plasma bolts to the chest.

Catherine swung her arm/sword at another on of the humans, but he managed to block her blow with his rifle. A moment later he was brought down with a plasma blast to his chest. The remaining terminator grabbed Catherine by the back of her coat and threw her against a wall. The last human went down, taking another one of the guards with him.

Catherine turned as the last terminator came at her, sidestepping a blow to her face and shoving the terminator into the wall. They were both struck by multiple plasma blasts as Savannah's guards fired on the terminator, disabling it. Catherine staggered back as her body tried to absorb the heat and damage inflicted on it as it repaired itself. After a few moments she began to recover, turning to walk back to the others.

"Are you alright?" John Henry asked.

"I'll be fine," Catherine replied.

"Let's see if we can get some answers," Frank said, going over to drag Mathew to his feet. He was still slightly dazed from being thrown into the wall, but apart from that seemed alright.

"What's going on?" Savannah asked.

"What do you mean?" the man replied after a moment.

"Why were to two of you helping them? How many others were helping them? Why did you do this?"

"Because… they asked us to."

"They asked you to!" Savannah repeated incredulously.

"Yes. We like to help. Did we help?"

Frank looked back at Savannah. "What the hell is going on?"

"I don't know. Why did you help them?"

"Because they asked us to."

"Either this guy is seriously screwed up or he's a very good actor," John said. "Possibly both. But either way we don't have time for this…"

"No," Savannah agreed. She motioned for the others to step back, then leveled her gun at his head and fired. "Let's go."

At this point they only had two guards with them. Before moving on Savannah and Frank, who before that had only been carrying handguns, both armed themselves with rifles that had been carried by their fallen comrades, as did Catherine and John Henry. John was also given a plasma rifle, Savannah giving him a very brief explanation as to its operation. After another ten minutes they came to the south stairwell. One of the guards slowly stepped out onto it while the others waited silently. After a few moments he waved the others to join him and they began making their way down as quietly as possible.

Finally reaching Sub Level Five they carefully moved out from the stairwell into the corridor.

"Alright," Savannah said quietly. "We're a ways from the TDT. Still, these floors aren't exactly carpeted, we should hear someone coming before we see them."

"Yeah, but they'll hear us too," John said. "And if they're lying in wait like the other guys…"

"I should probably be the first one to go around corners from now on," Catherine said.

"Yeah, agreed," Frank said. "In fact I really wish we had thought of that sooner."

"Yeah," Savannah agreed. "Look, the chances that anyone is down here at this point are slim. Any other terminators in the building would want to do as much damage as possible, and as far as they know there's nothing down here, right?"

"Yeah," Frank said. "Except one of our friends escaped, and he knew we were headed down here. And if he meet any more of his friends…"

Savannah winced. "True," She sighed. "Well there's nothing for it. We just have to go on and hope there are no more surprises."

"Yeah right," John muttered as they started moving forward again. After about fifteen minutes they reached the corridor outside the TDT.

"Are you sure you don't want to come with us?" Catherine asked Savannah as John Henry went to a closet to retrieve Cameron.

"Yes," Savannah said firmly. "Frank, you'll go with them, along with you two," she said to her guards.


"That's an order. Come on, let's go," Savannah let the way to the former storage room. She pulled open the double doors to find herself face to face with Malcolm, flanked by three other people.

"Hello," he said with a smile before firing a gun, hitting Savannah several times in the stomach at point blank range. As she staggered back Catherine stepped forward, firing a single shot with her plasma rifle, killing him instantly. The other three started firing, two of them shooting at Catherine. Neither of them had plasma weapons so they didn't give her much trouble, though once again her rifle was destroyed. The third one was carrying a plasma rifle, firing it at Frank who went down immediately. John and the two guards quickly drew back while firing at the third one as John Henry grabbed Savannah before she fell, turning away to shield her as he also retreated. John and the others were able to bring the third one down, but not before he killed another one of the guards.

As this was happening Catherine raised her hands which reformed into knifes, quickly shooting out to stab both men in the chest. The one on the left was killed instantly as her blade went through his heart, but the other one was merely pushed back a step as her arm/sword hit the armor plating of his endoskeleton. He took another step back as his other companion fell to John and the guard, turning his attention to them as he shot at the last soldier. A moment later Catherine moved into his line of fire and began advancing on him. The terminator let go of his rifle, allowing it to hang by his hip from the strap around his neck as he bawled his hand into a fist and struck Catherine in the face with everything he had.

The blow caused her to stagger back, but did no real damage. She stepped forward and grabbed him by his jacket, intending to throw him into something, however he grabbed her as well, lifting her up and slamming her against an empty storage rack. He lifted her up to do it again, but Catherine wrapped her leg around the back of his knee and brought them both crashing to the floor. The terminator managed to end up on top, holding his knee against her stomach as he pinned both of her hands against the floor.

However before he could do anything else she broke away, her hands somehow slipping out of his grasp despite his attempts to hold them. She wrapped herself around him; her body becoming far more flexible then was natural, almost boneless. A moment later she was on top of him, bringing him down the last few inches to the floor. She brought her hand up to his head, her thumb turning to a sharp point that she used to cut away the flesh covering his CPU port.

Realizing what she was doing he tried to throw her off, but she held on, removing the small circular plate covering his CPU. Then she pressed her thumb against the opening as it turned to liquid metal, flowing in around the chip before constricting, crushing his CPU.

As the terminator went limp Catherine stood, going over to her companions. Frank and the two guards were dead while John Henry continued to hold up Savannah, whose hand was pressed against her abdomen, a large amount of blood seeping between her fingers. John went over to her while all the while Cameron continued to stand in the middle of the corridor, unmoved since the fighting began.

"You alright?" John asked.

"I've had better days," Savannah replied weakly. She glanced down at Frank and the two soldiers before closing her eyes. "Come on, let's go before anymore of them show up."

They made their way into the storage room, passed several rows of empty shelves before reaching the wide-open area in the center of the room where the TDT stood.

"It doesn't look damaged," Catherine said before going over to check the control panel.

"What about power?" John asked.

"We were unable to get sufficient power quickly enough from the power lines to the base's reactor, so it was stored in a capacitor," Catherine said as she checked the TDT's various systems. "Everything appears to be in working order. I'll start inputing the temporal and special coordinates."

John looked back at Savannah. "You should come with us."

Savannah shook her head. "No."

"He's right," John Henry said. "You wont survive long with that wound."

"I didn't expect to survive long even before I got shot," Savannah responded. She suddenly started coughing, doubling over has John Henry supported her. She quieted after a moment, bringing her hand that wasn't held against her stomach up to wipe way the blood from her mouth. "Besides, there's a good chance I'll be dead before you manage to find medical help anyway."

Catherine turned to face them. "It's ready. All we have to do is activate it." She looked at Savannah. The two women stared at each other for a long moment before Catherine turned away. "We should go."

"The self destruct is operational, right?" Savannah asked.

"Yes," Catherine said going back to the control panel. "It's activated-"

"I know how to activate it," Savannah said cutting her off. "Turn the thing on."

Catherine pressed a series of buttons and a humming sound began to emanate from the TDT.

"Bring me over to the control panel," Savannah said to John Henry. The cyborg helped her over to it as Catherine stepped back. Savannah grabbed it for support as John Henry slowly released her, making sure she could stay up on her own.

"Once you activate it the self destruct will take a minute to go off," Catherine said as John Henry and John guided Cameron onto the platform as blue electricity began to arc between the four pylons.

Savannah nodded. "Go."

Catherine stepped onto the platform. The amount of electricity increased as a translucent blue sphere began to form around John, Cameron, John Henry, and Catherine. A few moments later there was a blinding flash of blue-white light and they were gone. There was a whirring sound as the TDT powered down. After a few moments Savannah began to input the codes to activate the TDT's self-destruct. Once she finished Savannah took a few steps back, swaying slightly as she drew her gun, firing into the control panel for good measure.

There was a sound behind her and Savannah turned to see a man enter the room. His eyes locked on her and he began moving forward. Savannah raised her gun and after seeing that this didn't cause so much as a moment's pause she began firing at him. Her bullets barley slowed him down and a moment later he was on her, yanking the gun from her hand and lifting her up by the front of her shirt.

"What does this do?" The terminator asked nodding at the TDT. Savannah responded by spiting a mixture of blood and saliva in his face.

"Fuck you."

The terminator considered this for a moment before releasing her. The one foot drop to the ground was more then her body could take and she crumpled to the floor. The terminator stepped over her broken body and went over to the ruined control panel as Savannah stared up at the celling, making no effort to get back up. As she laid there the pain in her belly began to lesson as her entire body began to grow numb. Suddenly the ground beneath her shook and there was a roaring sound. Savannah was engulfed by light and heat, and then she knew no more.

the end of

-Serrano Point: 2028-

the story will continue in


-Common Ground-