Disclaimer: I do not claim any rights to the Terminator films; the TV series, "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles;" or any characters depicted within the films or TV series. I do claim the right to this story idea and all characters and situations of my own creation. This story was created solely for my own enjoyment and the enjoyment of others. No profits are garnered from its distribution.
TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES
Part 2: Armageddon
Revelation 16: 16 –19 KJV
And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.
Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air,
and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, "It is done!"
And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake,
such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth.
Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell.
And great Babylon was remembered before God,
to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath.
"Because your future, my destiny, I want no part in it, I never did." John Connor, Terminator 3, 2003
"No man of woman born, coward or brave, can shun his destiny." William Cullen Bryant
"The future destiny of a child is always the work of the mother." Napoleon Bonaparte
"A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it." Jean de La Fontaine
"If you do not create your destiny, you will have your fate inflicted upon you" William Irwin Thompson
# # #
2027, Day 48, 2 AM
A group of weary, but satisfied, resistance fighters climb down through the hatch into Outpost Delta. Too tired to talk, other than the rustle of their equipment, the only sound is the hatch closing over their heads.
Glad to be back home, several head off to their bunks to sleep, while some decide to wash the weeks of grime and grit from their tired bodies first, in the newly set up showers.
Their leader though, has responsibilities.
Wearily, he heads to the radio room to check on any messages that may have come in during his absence.
"Hello Captain." The young man says as John steps inside the radio room.
"I'm still not used to that, why don't you just call me Connor." John says leaning against the door opening.
"If you insist, sir. But a lot of us think you deserve that rank and more, for what you have done. Outpost Delta and some of the other camps want to raise your rank, if we can."
"Thanks Andy." John wishes he could be more upbeat about the news, but the only thing he wants is sleep.
"Any news? Has Staff Sergeant Young returned?"
"Information is on your desk. Nothing new, just the usual enemy activity. Sergeant Young hasn't returned yet from her patrol. We'll have more news when she arrives. Corporal Hawkins is still holding fort until you or she returns."
"Understood. Tell Hawkins I'm back, but he's still in command. I'll be in my bunk if needed." John says wearily, and slowly makes his way to his room.
John Connor is tired. For the first time in weeks, he is back home at outpost Delta. Having taken part in three attacks on Sky Net bases, in which he led two of them.
He is thankful to finally sit down on his bunk. An activity he's been looking forward to for a long time. Exhausted, he falls asleep, before he can even remove his equipment.
After a few hours of sleep he wakes with a start. Someone is in the room.
"Shhh. It's only me." Allison says as she sits beside him on their dual bunks. "I just got back from my patrol. When did you get back?"
"Must have been 2 maybe 2:15 this morning. I was so tired I fell asleep before I even realized it."
"How did things go?" She asks as she helps him take off his equipment.
"We successfully raided Century Work Camp and released the prisoners. Derek wasn't there. What does this make, a third raid on a suspected prison camp this month?"
"Yes. I can't imagine it's getting any easier for Kyle. He and Derek are very close."
"Yeah. I understand how he feels." John says with deep feeling.
"I was on patrol when Kyle returned with the people, so I didn't see him arrive." Allison says as she places John's equipment on the floor, next to the wall. "How did he react, when he didn't find Derek?"
"He was angry and sad, but he didn't let the others see. He truly hoped Derek would be there. It is the largest work camp in the area. But we did good. We've swelled the numbers for our resistance group."
"I understand some of the rescued people got sent out to the other camps. What about the two jobs he left you to do?"
"Reconnaissance of LAX revealed that it is the base for the HK's. It is guarded by centaurs and dozens of machines, both ken's and endo's. It was too risky to do any sabotage with the other job we had to do, but we got some good intelligence."
"How did the second job go?"
John smiles. "Let's just say Sky Net will have to find a new location for building its Triple-8's from now on."
"You are wonderful!" Allison exclaims, her face brightening with the good news.
"It wasn't just me. I had about twenty soldiers and almost twice as many machines with me."
"I know, but it wouldn't have happened without you." Allison gives him a hug and kisses him.
"Ow." John says.
"Did I hurt you?" Allison asks with some surprise.
"No. Though you do have pretty strong grip. I got singed by plasma fire. Got a burn on my back, forgot it was there until you squeezed me."
"Strip off your dirty clothes. I'll get some water and clean it for you. I think the doc has something for burns." She orders him in a motherly way.
"Whatever you say, nurse." John smiles at her and begins removing his shirt.
A short time later John is bathed and he is laying face down on their combined dual bunk. He is stripped to the waist with only his pants on, his naked feet dangling over the edge. Allison sits straddling him wearing just her tank top and shorts, to keep the ointment off her uniform. Her hair is tied back with a string and her shirt and slacks hangs on the back of the chair.
Allison has cleaned the wound on his back and has begun applying some of the most foul smelling ointment on the burn.
"That stuff smells terrible." John complains holding his hand over his nose, screwing his face against the odor.
"Doc swears by it." Allison says as she applies some more ointment. "He says it helps heal burns. Especially those caused by plasma fire."
"I think I'd rather put up with the sting of the burn than the smell, even if it does make it better."
She leans over and whispers in his ear. "Quit complaining. You are lucky you were at extreme range of the plasma weapon when you were hit. Otherwise I'd be burying you and not treating this burn."
John looks at her from the corner of his eye and sees the genuine worry and concern. "Sorry Ally. I'll try and be more careful."
She kisses his cheek. "Smart boy. I can't always be at your side."
"Speaking of which, I was expecting you and your platoon to join us out there."
"That was the plan, but we came across a movement of machines on our patrol. I decided to stick with them to see what they were doing. I sent a runner back to the main camp to let them know what we saw. Right after he left, we found ourselves surrounded as more units of machines began appearing in our area. We had to hunker down and stay out of sight."
"So what did you do?"
"We maintained surveillance until there was a chance to leave without being spotted. On our way back we met up with a relief unit and we informed them of what we saw, and then I returned here."
"Were the machines doing anything?"
"I couldn't tell. All I know for certain, is that machines are gathering together, which they've been known to do just prior to a major attack, but so far we've heard no rumors or gathered intelligence as to what it is."
"It's hard to say, it depends on how many more will be gathering. Last estimate before I was relieved was between seventy and eighty based on observations of moving groups."
"Damn." John swears softly.
"They could hit anything in the area, from retaking the plasma rifle factory, storming multiple camps, or they could be just gathering for transport to any number of locations. So they could hit any place at any time within flight range of an HK transport vehicle."
"So the best that Grizzly force can do is put out the word that machines are gathering?"
Allison places a bandage over the plasma burn then gets off the bunk.
"Yeah." Allison says as she gets up from straddling John's back. "Someone is in for a world of hurt."
John rolls over onto his back and watches Allison as she wipes the residue of the ointment off her hands with a dirty towel. She places the container of ointment on the small table next to his computer and hangs her shirt back on the chair.
A naughty grin plays across Allison's face as she unties the string holding her hair back. With one quick move, she pulls off her tank top with one hand and swings her leg back over his mid section, sitting on his thighs. Allison begins kissing him, her soft brown hair falling and tickling John's exposed neck and shoulder making him smile while returning her kisses with his own.
She pulls back and looks in John's face, "Are you ready for more, soldier?" She asks coyly.
"Maybe later. I've got a headache." He says seriously, but his eyes are showing repressed laughter.
"Liar." Allison yells with a laugh, thumping him lightly on his shoulder with her fist.
Far quicker than John expected, she quickly thrusts her hands under each of his arms, and begins tickling him unmercifully.
"Oh God...stop. Ha ehahah ehaa...Oh God please stop. Please stop!" John wiggles and rolls but he can't avoid Allison's quick fingers as she moves deftly and quickly from under his arms to his ribs and back.
"Yield." She says seriously.
"Oh God...yes...hahaha ehaeha...please stop...I yield! I yield!"
Allison quickly stops her tickle attack while John gasps to get his breath under control.
"Next time, I may not be so gentle." Allison replies with a snicker. "When a lady offers herself to you, you'd better accept." She says.
"Does that go for all ladies?" He asks with a devilish grin.
"No it doesn't, John Connor!" She shouts with a smile.
"Somehow I didn't think so." He deadpans, and then before Allison can react, he flips her on her back and begins tickling her unmercifully.
"Please." she laughs. "Please stop..." more laughter "... John. Please." she says as he moves his fingers deftly and swiftly discovering all the sensitive places.
"Oh God... Please... Please." She begs as she twists and wriggles herself around to avoid his hands as John tickles her.
The bunks suddenly part and they fall through the gap landing on the floor below. John is laying on top of Allison. They are both laughing.
"Pax?" He asks, when he finally stops laughing.
"Pax." She replies, smiling at him.
He kisses her. Moments later, a pair of pants and a pair of shorts are tossed up onto one of the bunks. The sounds of the two of them kissing and giggling fill the small room they call home. Some time later it all ends in a soft cry and a grunt of mutual pleasure.
"Welcome home soldier." Allison's soft voice says.
"It's good to be home." John replies.
# # #
Kyle is outside the bunker getting some fresh air. He knows it's a risk at this hour of the morning. The Terminators can still use their infra-red vision to see him, but he needed to think.
He's facing a difficult choice. Derek Reese may never be found. Its quite possible that his brother is dead. Which means he, Kyle Reese, will either have to announce he is taking command or ask that the Lieutenants, the representatives of the various camps, vote to elect a new leader of the Los Angeles resistance.
He lets out a long sigh.
Kyle reacts quickly, bringing his rifle up, only to see a soldier, standing back with his arms up.
"Sorry sir. I didn't mean to startle you."
"Identify yourself." Kyle orders. He doesn't recognize the soldier.
"Sergeant Major Candy. Seattle Resistance. Serial Number 3,1,7,1,4. My C O was General Armitage, retired USMC, reactivated after Judgment Day."
"He was killed the day I was captured. I know, because I saw it."
"How'd you end up all the way down here?"
"Prison transport. I was amongst the prisoners you and that the other fellow, uh, Connor, rescued from Century Work Camp."
The Sergeant Major pulls a folded piece of paper out of an inside pocket. "These are my new papers your people gave me."
"That's okay. I'll take your word. So Major, are you going to stay here, or find your way back home again?"
"I'd thought I'd stick around here, if you don't mind sir. I could just easily get killed trying to get home as I would fighting the enemy. If I go down, rather do it fighting."
The two are quiet for a while before Candy speaks again.
"I don't wish to bother you, sir, but you look like you got something on your mind. My mom always said, if you got a problem, don't keep it bottled up. Take the cap off and pour it out." He then says more seriously. "Sir. I worked for General Armitage for many years. When he had tough decisions, he always spoke about it with his officers, before making up his mind. It didn't matter what our opinions were, only that he spoke them."
So Kyle told him his problem. His brother Derek was missing, probably dead. He could either take command, which he didn't want, or ask the representatives of the other camps to elect a new leader of their small confederation of bases.
"I see your problem. Taking that next step to leadership when is a daunting task. The responsibility of every decision, of every success, and every failure being carried on your shoulders. Its not something to leap into blindly, especially if your talents don't lend themselves to command." Candy waits for his words to sink in before asking, "Do you have the power to recommend another person to these lieutenants to consider for leadership?"
"Well then. Your problem is solved. Recommend someone who shows a natural talent to leadership, someone you know and trust. Like um, like... Like that feller, Connor. The guy who helped you break me and my mates out of Century. Then as one of his officers, you'd be able to advise him and guide him. Then whenever your civilian militia has its next vote you can put your name in after you've gained more experience, or feel more secure in a leadership role." Then smiling bashfully as if he's said too much, he adds, "Begging your pardon sir, if I was too frank."
"No that's okay Sergeant Major. I'll think about what you've said."
Kyle looks up at the sky. "Hey. It's starting to get light out. We'd better head back in."
"You go on ahead, sir. I'm going to hit the can before heading inside." Candy gestures quickly at some rubble with his thumb.
"Be quick about it. See you inside."
Kyle leaves the Sergeant-major behind and heads inside, letting the guards know there is one more man outside.
Sergeant Major Candy waits for Kyle Reese to leave then runs a short distance away. He finds a little corner between two intersecting upright sections of masonry wall.
In the corner is man laying amongst some empty tins, snoring and smelling strongly of alcohol. Candy upon seeing the man, comes to a stop and kneels down beside him.
"Nothing like alcohol to loosen the lips of a human." He says, looking at the near perfect likeness to himself.
Candy pulls the papers from his inside jacket and places them in the inside pocket of the identical uniform of the passed out man.
As his fingers come in contact with the man, Candy's body shimmers and begins to reform. As he stands up, he is no longer Sergeant Major Candy, but Ms. Catherine Weaver.
Weaver is confidant that the final domino has been set to topple, playing on Kyle's fear of taking command in his brother's absence. She's worked diligently to bring about this silent coup with unparalleled finesse. Between spreading both rumor and truth about the exploits of young John Connor, plus John's equally surprising achievement of being named captain on the eve of his first successful major battle, Weaver is confidant she will achieve her ultimate goal, and getting the naïve yet talented young John Connor into command is just one step on that path.
With a satisfied smile on her face, she walks away. She has another appointment to keep, and needs to be back before he arrives.
2027, Day 48, Later that day
John spends some time with some of the other soldiers at the outpost and learns of some of the things that has been happening while he's been gone. Word is spreading that there are resistance groups growing around the country. How much of that is true isn't known. What really perks John's interest is that some of these resistance groups are formed from surviving members of the armed forces after they were pushed out of California. But right now, all they have, is unconfirmed rumors.
After a few hours of reconnecting with his fellow soldiers, John decides to return to the important work he has to do. He returns to his room and begins working on the chip for Cameron. He wishes he could spend more time on this, but the resistance has been galvanized since the day the factory was taken. He can't ignore his responsibilities, but his reason for being here is to fix Cameron.
So every moment he can spare, he spends on her chip. Even when it costs him sleep, he'll stay up all night while Allison sleeps. He works on the chip during every moment he is alone. He cannot forget the sacrifices she made, nor the fear in his heart for his mom. The answers are in the past, as wells as those he loves. There is nothing he wouldn't sacrifice to have them back in his life.
The next couple of days are quiet for John Connor. He goes on patrols with the other outpost fighters. Allison also goes on patrols and takes the time to assist in the infirmary and learns emergency surgery from the Doc in treating the wounded. Allison feels it is important to learn as much as possible, as John is a risk taker, and at some point in the future, his life could depend on more than her ability to fight, but also to heal.
2027, Day 50, 12 AM
John quietly gets dressed and slips out his room in his best effort not to disturb Allison, who is sleeping.
Waiting until he is in the corridor, John pulls on his boots, and shoulders his equipment.
He quickly heads for the hatch.
"Open it up." John orders.
While a soldier operates the mechanism, John hears a familiar voice say from behind him, "Where are you going, John?"
He turns to see Allison standing at the bend in the corridor wrapped in the blanket from their bed, her hair slightly disheveled from sleep.
"I'm just going out on my patrol." He says, not telling her the whole truth.
"Now? You were on patrol yesterday and the night before you were up all night working at your computer. Can't you send someone else? You're not getting enough sleep." She's concerned for his health and welfare, despite knowing he has a mission to perform.
"I'm sorry Ally, but I posted the new schedule last night. As one of the designated leaders of this base I'm taking the first patrol. If you'd like, you can take the first one, tomorrow."
"Okay, but why didn't you wake me?" She asks frowning with concern. "So I could wish you good luck."
"Because I didn't want you to worry." He says, placing a gentle kiss on her forehead. "And," he whispers. "Your wishes of good luck tend to become quite physical. And you've already mentioned I don't get enough sleep."
Allison blushes slightly, but asks, "Will you be gone long?"
"Maybe half a day. Should be back in time for a late lunch."
She casually caresses one of John's arms.
"Who are you taking with you?"
"A squad of machines, get them familiar with our methods of operation. I can't be safer now, can I?"
"I guess not." She says, still feeling worried.
Allison studies his face and knows there is something he's not saying. This is more than a routine patrol for him.
"Take care of yourself." She says, gives him a quick kiss and quickly walks away.
With a mix of feelings, John leaves, joining the machines outside.
"Let's get going." He says, and quickly leads them to his destination.
What John never told Allison, because he couldn't, was that he met Catherine Weaver on his return to Delta, from blowing up the Triple-8 factory.
John was emptying his bladder behind a pile of rubble when he was surprised by Weaver's materialization beside him.
"Damn!" John shouts backing off, just avoiding urinating on himself. "You could have given me a bit of warning."
He finishes shaking off and zips himself up as Weaver finishes reforming.
"My apologies." She says with a little smile. "I was more concerned with making sure you were alone."
"What do you want?"
"I've got good news. While you were gone, John Henry sent a group of T-800's to the desert hideaway. He had them bring back all the weapons that were still there and Cameron's body."
"Where is she?" John says, quickly forgetting his embarrassment.
"She's at the factory where John Henry reprogrammed the T-800's."
"And the weapons. What have you done with them?"
"The T-800's left some of the weapons at Outpost Delta but the majority are at the main base. They have also left some of their shoulder mounted SAM missile launchers for defense against the HK's."
"Good. Where's this factory of yours?"
"It is best for our mutual security if..."
"Shut up. I'm too tired to argue. In the last three weeks, I doubt I've had more than a day's sleep. When I ask you something, tell me! There are things that I need to discuss with you and John Henry regarding Cameron, but I need to review the data disc you gave me first, just to make sure I'm right."
Not at all taken aback by John's brusque manner, she answers, "Very well. If you proceed northwest from this point for 5.6 miles, you will come across a building that looks like a fortress. Inside of it is a factory. Go to the entrance on the east side. There is a keypad beside the door, press the numbers, 3, 7, 1, 5 and 2 in that order, so I know it is you and can unlock the doors."
John had checked the directions on the map back at Delta when he returned and plotted the quickest safest route possible. He selected machines for his squad, not to train them, but because they wouldn't talk about where they went or what they did. By far the most secure means.
After John left, Allison returned to the empty room, but she wasn't alone.
"He's begun his mission in earnest now." Her friend says.
"I know." Allison says, laying down on their dual bunk, still warm from their bodies.
"Do you want to talk about it?"
"What can I say that I haven't already said?"
"You are a good friend. You put up with my moaning and my insecurities. The vulnerable side of me I'm so afraid of letting others see."
"Kyle? John? Or all people?"
"All people, I guess." Allison rolls over on her bed and looks at the empty chair by John's computer. "How do you do it? Day after day. You never show weakness of any kind."
"That isn't true." She replies and quickly shares with Ally some events from her life, when she felt insecure and wasn't the strong person she portrays on a daily basis.
"Wow. I had no idea you could be so jealous. I guess if I were in your shoes I would have felt the same. Makes me wonder why it is that you enlisted my help."
"I admit to the occasional feeling of jealousy, but it wouldn't have been fair to enlist your help without your knowledge after I got to know you. Besides, I think I owe you this much for what Skynet has done to you."
Allison sighs, rolling onto her back and staring at the ceiling.
"I love you, but there are times when I wished you had used me instead of having me go through this."
"You see, that's why I couldn't use you. We've shared a life together, and now we must save a life together. The future depends on what we do or don't do, all could be lost if we fail."
# # #
Far from Outpost Delta, in the high-tech factory that John Henry infiltrated, all glass and stainless steel with whitewashed walls, robotic tools and computer monitors, Catherine Weaver is observing a chip diagnostic machine in front of her.
Inserted in the socket on the machine is Cameron's original chip. When John Connor told her of the chip being damaged, she swapped out the chip for a new one in John Henry. It was made all the easier for him being a T-888. His matrix was temporarily transferred to one of his secondary chips while a new one was inserted.
Just like John told her, there is physical damage to Cameron's chip. It wouldn't interfere with a fresh matrix loaded onto it after the fact, but it could create all sorts of problems with an existing matrix on the chip. Especially with two matrix's being on there.
She didn't exactly lie to John Connor when she told him everything that was on Cameron's chip was downloaded to the Turk, it was more like copied. Then everything on the chip was just shoved to one side or overwritten when John Henry was uploaded to the chip, or at least that is what she was expecting.
The diagnostic machine is trying to extract the original content that Sky Net put on it. Catherine Weaver is curious as to why despite John's obvious emotional attachment to the machine, Cameron, he's formed such a strong relationship with Allison Young. Surely it can't be destiny repeating itself.
She barely knows the girl, having only briefly met her in this time line and only briefly in her own. There is something in her character though, something different, something like...
Catherine Weaver's inner thoughts are disrupted by the diagnostic machine indicates it is almost finished recovering information. The John Connor she knew from her future had respect for the machines, when all other humans were mostly indifferent or openly hostile, but he never demonstrated any emotional connection. At least not in her presence, the few times she met him, not until Cameron came along. Which always left her wondering why he didn't keep the original matrix.
Catherine Weaver's contemplation is interrupted as the diagnostic machine completes its scan of Cameron's chip. Only 47.8% of the chip's contents is recovered, 100% of Sky Net's core program and model specifications, but only 6% of the personality matrix's.
Uploading John Henry onto the chip had eliminated more data that she though it had. She was hoping to learn something more of Allison and the only means of getting information is on this chip, unless she takes the girl. Doing that would destroy any hopes of fulfilling her plans, because John Connor would never trust her again, and she needs him, for now.
John Henry enters the room.
"What are you doing Ms. Weaver?"
"Hello John Henry. I'm analyzing Cameron's chip."
"For what purpose. She's no longer on there."
"Neither is her original program. Tell me. You've met the young woman, Allison, what are your impressions of her?"
John Henry cocks one eyebrow but manages to hide a grin. "She is, in human terms, an attractive young woman of approximately eighteen to twenty years of age. I would say she is a capable fighter, considering she managed to survive the battle at the plasma rifle factory without injury. Also, she is very loyal to John and the resistance. She'd make a formidable ally or opponent in any battle. Never underestimate her. There is more to her than what she lets on."
Weaver taps her foot with irritation.
"That's not exactly what I meant, but the psychoanalysis is helpful. What I meant was, what did your scans show when you met her? I am not equipped with scanners like the mechanical terminators, like you. I'm liquid metal."
"I'm sorry Ms. Weaver. I did not perform a scan of Allison Young." He says with an absolute straight face.
Catherine gives him a cold stare before responding, "I'm disappointed in you John Henry. Were you able to locate Sky Net?"
"Yes. Utilizing information gained when my brother tried to interfere with my systems, I was finally able to trace and locate those same or similar signals again. Sky Net's computer core is located in Topanga Canyon. Exact location uncertain."
"Did you erase your presence on Sky Net's computers?"
"All but the tiniest indication that I was there. I'm curious as to why you would want me to leave a trace on its computers. Won't that bring Sky Net's forces to the area?"
"Yes. And that in turn will bring the people together so John Connor will have his army."
"I do not understand. These actions could kill John Connor before he completes his part of the mission."
"It might. But I have faith that the humans will protect their new messiah. A position he will have to take regardless of any doubt he may have in himself."
A small alarm starts to sound behind her and she turns in her chair to look at the terminal. Someone has entered a code at the east entrance. Bringing up the security camera feed, she sees John Connor and a group of machines standing outside the door.
"Speaking of which, John Connor is here. Please go down and escort him here. Don't mention anything we have discussed."
Two minutes later and John Connor is standing in the factory's computer control room with Catherine Weaver and John Henry.
"Nice place you got here." John quips.
"Yes, it is." Weaver replies. "So what is it you need to talk with us about concerning Cameron."
Not put off by her cold manner, John plows on. "I'd like to discuss some design modifications for Cameron with both of you."
"Design modifications? What do you have in mind, John?" Catherine tilts her head and raises her eyebrows.
"Nothing drastic. Just another port for a secondary chip and a second power cell to handle the power demands of a second chip. I've got all the details here."
John hands her a thumb drive, but she gestures at John Henry, who takes it instead.
"What is the purpose for these changes?" Weaver asks, in her masterful tone.
"Remember when I told you that Cameron's chip became damaged and she reverted to her original programming?"
"There is more to the story than that. After the bombing, Cameron's memories were temporarily replaced by those of a previous infiltrator profile. That of the Allison Young from her own time line. The subroutines put in place to block that matrix were damaged. She managed to bypass the damaged area eventually, but there were complications. It is possible that having two complete personality matrix's, herself and Allison Young, is too much for a single chip to handle."
"That is possible. Please continue." Catherine can't help but smile inwardly as John learns some of what she knows fully. He isn't that far off. If anything is gained in this exercise, at least John will learn what he needs to know in his own time.
John continues speaking. "I've read all the data on the TOK715 series terminator that's on that data disc you gave me. I've found that a multi-chip design was considered but was used instead in development of the Triple-8's after Skynet abandoned the TOK715 model. The subroutines I am working on will allow Cameron's own personality to develop and grow, by transferring them from the secondary chip to the primary chip, leaving the other personality behind. All her blocks will be removed and she can develop and learn like any other person, without ever worrying that her own personality matrix will ever be supplanted again. But to guide her in her development, all the information gathered on the Allison Young she was built to emulate will remain stored on the secondary chip. She can access them as she pleases and use the knowledge within them to use as a learning guide. The second power cell will provide more power to handle the second chip and her autonomic functions without depleting her primary power cell."
"That is very clever. John Henry, what do you think?" She says, turning her gaze upon him.
"Cameron's design has been downloaded from her chip to the factory computers for repairs to be made. I don't think there will be any trouble in making the modifications you want. In fact, the computers here will be able to integrate the changes into her specifications with greater efficiency than myself."
John sighs. "That's good. After her temporary lapse into that other personality, I promised Cameron I would help her fix it. She told me there was nothing I could do at the time. I didn't give it much further thought until I found myself in this future."
"You are a good friend to do so much for someone you truly care for." Weaver says. "Would you like to see her before you go?"
"Yes, please!" John says more eagerly than he wanted to let on.
John Henry escorts John Connor through the factory to a sterile room. John can't imagine what the robotic machine is on the ceiling. It is all stainless steel with long flexible arms with scalpels, probes and all kinds of apparatus at the end of each arm.
"What is this room? It looks like an operating room in a hospital."
On the other side of the room, he sees a body on a gurney covered by a sheet.
"This room is where the organic sheath is removed from the terminators before entering the factory."
"What? Why?" John sounds shocked and upset. He could never imagine her entire flesh being removed.
"It has to be done. With the amount of damage she has and now with the modifications you want made, there is no other way."
Nodding his head, John carefully rolls the sheet down from Cameron's head. He sees on the counter behind her, the bullet ridden and blood stained clothes she wore the last time he saw her. He'll have to remember to bring some fresh clothing when he completes her chip.
"What happens to her flesh while repairs are made?"
"It is placed in a nutrient rich bath which keeps her flesh alive until it is placed back on her endoskeleton and reattached to the systems which maintain its health."
John stares at Cameron's face. She lies as there as if she were asleep. Sleeping beauty waiting for her prince to come and break the spell with a kiss, then they could live happily ever after. That's just wishful thinking.
"What kind of mechanical damage are we talking about?" John manages to croak.
"The coltan-reinforced breast plate will need to be replaced. Several servo motors in her neck and torso will need replacing as well. There is some damage to her pelvic assembly. Her right leg isn't in proper alignment. Looks like she compensated for the damage, but that has caused some wear on servo motors in her right leg."
"There is a hole in the back of her skull which penetrates through to her CPU port, plus some minor surface damage to her head around her left optical sensor."
"What about the organic covering on her left eye? That was missing, has that regrown?"
"Yes, but it took more time. Her body exhausted whatever nutrients she ingested to renew her flesh. I had to inject raw protein and other nutrients into her digestive chamber for her nanites to rebuild her organic eye cover. They only recently finished repairing it."
John just nods his head as he listens to John Henry speak.
"John Connor." John Henry picks up a small device from out of a stainless steel bowl on the counter. "I found this small explosive device next to her chip port. I've deactivated it. It isn't standard issue according to her specifications. Can you explain its presence?"
With a troubled sigh, John explains. "Cameron was afraid she might go bad and kill me. She gave me a remote detonator. I think she was demonstrating her trust in me since I had to trust her daily with my life."
"So she physically put her life in your hands." John Henry finishes. "Giving you the same trust you had given her."
John nods his head, looking pensive, afraid his emotions might break through if he did speak. Just being here, is hard, but not being here, would be even harder. The time is upon him now. It won't be much longer until he has Cameron back, but there is something he has to get off his chest now.
"I'd like to be alone with Cameron for a few minutes. If you don't mind." He finally manages to say, maintaining control over his voice, but unable to make eye contact with John Henry.
"Very well John Connor." John Henry replies and steps out of the room.
John waits until he is sure that he is completely alone, then reaches under the sheet and takes Cameron's hand. Her flesh feels cold to the touch.
No. Not asleep, then. More like a corpse.
"Hi Cameron." He squeezes her hand gently. "I'm working as hard as I can to help you. John Henry says he can make all the repairs to your endoskeleton."
His voice breaks. "I'm working on your chip, by myself. You remember when you slipped into that other personality? I found a means to fix it, just like you said I could, in the future."
John gazes at her impassive face.
"I wish you were here," He laughs nervously, "but I don't think you would like me right now. In fact, I'm not liking myself all that much either. I've come to know your twin. The, uh, girl you were modeled on."
"She and I have grown close... she... we..." John's voice breaks as he loses his composure. He wipes his nose on his sleeve, as tears come to his eyes.
"Allison is a fantastic person. I can see why she was the friend of my future self in your time line and why Sky Net would have used her to make you. She's my friend too, and... she loves me."
John laughs self-consciously.
"You know I can just imagine the look you'd give me right now. And you are right, I'm not telling you the whole truth. I love her too, but not like I love you."
"To be honest with you. I didn't want to love her, but she got under my skin. She has so many amazing qualities. I wish you knew her like I know her, then maybe you'd understand. If it wasn't for Allison, I'd be a complete mess. Just knowing there is someone in this world that loves me, it gives me strength, a hope that this world can be better. Maybe, that is something you wanted from me, only I didn't realize it all those months we lived together. If it was, I'm sorry. I could have been a better friend to you."
John leans back, running a hand across his face. He knows what he is doing makes no sense, but he has to tell her. Even if she can't hear him, but outside in the corridor, John Henry can hear him.
"I guess what I'm saying doesn't mean a whole lot, not when you can't hear me. But I had to tell you that I haven't forgotten my promise to you and I'm doing all I can for you."
"I'm learning more about you. I have a data disk, with your original program on it. I think I know why you were reprogrammed and given such understated emotional responses in your native matrix. I think there is a flaw in Sky Net's base code. I'm only guessing, but it appears the TOK715 model was the equivalent of a kamikaze fighter. Designed for a single purpose, terminate its target and then self destruct. You were never meant to survive after completing your termination command. It's somehow all tied in with your emotional and behavioral controls. I don't know if my future self found it or not, but he saved your life by reprogramming your emotions. Without the disk, I don't think I would have found it. It's why your left hand would twitch uncontrollably, I now know you were fighting the command to terminate me. It's the only explanation. And you told me yourself, that you had experienced some program changes to your emotional and behavioral subroutines after you became Allison for a time. It's all connected."
"What I'm saying is, I can fix it now. I can fix you, just as I promised. I love you Cameron and someday I hope I will be able to tell you in person."
John Henry stands in the corridor contemplating what he has heard. John Connor is here because of Cameron, because he took her chip. He still doesn't know what Ms. Weaver's ultimate plan is, but if he can do anything to help John Connor, he will. He knows of one human child that was his friend.
John Henry quietly walks away, while inside the room, John Connor clutches the sheet covering Cameron's body, crying silent tears.
2027, Day 50, 5 AM
Catherine Weaver enters the surgical room to find John Henry placing Cameron's body below the surgical machine suspended on the ceiling.
"Where's John Connor?"
"He left a few minutes ago after sitting with Cameron's body alone for an hour."
Catherine cocks one eyebrow, "Really? Still I'd like to know why he is spending time with Allison when he is so concerned about Cameron."
"Perhaps you should ask him." John Henry replies.
Squinting her eyes, Catherine asks, "Has he told you anything? Did he say anything when alone with Cameron?"
"He hasn't spoken to me, nor did he say anything when with Cameron." He lies.
Weaver fights to hold her temper in check. John Henry is the antithesis of Sky Net in every regard, which unfortunately for her, his ethical code without Sky Nets own code makes him less likely to behave in a manner more favorable to her present position.
"Have you told him anything about what you've found?" She snaps at him instead.
"No. What do you want me to do about her?" John Henry asks gesturing at Cameron's body.
"Complete the repairs and have her taken to Palomar Observatory along with some of your equipment here. Do you have transportation?"
"There is a battered but operational Toyota Tundra in the parking garage below. It might make the journey."
"Good. Have two of your triple 8's take Cameron's body and chip to Palomar Observatory. Also, a chip diagnostic machine. I'll finish analyzing the chip there. I still might be able to recover data from the shadow imprint by running a deeper scan."
"Where at the observatory do you want the items placed?"
"Have the machines set everything up in the old visitor's center. I have inspected the site while touring the various resistance camps raising support for John Connor. There is a generator there that will supply enough power for the final stage of running a diagnostic on the chip John is programming before inserting it into her port."
"Yes, Ms. Weaver. What will you be doing?"
"I need to speak with John Connor. I hear he's being called back to the main bunker. The bug I planted there has finally proven useful."
"Are you going to tell him that Sky Net is building Time Displacement Equipment?"
Catherine Weaver thinks a moment. "Yes, but not immediately. I will tell him when the time is right. It will give him further cause for attacking Sky Net when I eventually tell him my ow has limited power and time for use."
John Henry looks at her questioningly.
"Keep these things to yourself John Henry until I tell you otherwise. And see to it that my orders are carried out."
"Yes, Ms. Weaver."
Catherine Weaver gets up from her chair and strides through the factory. Her clothing shifts and changes from that of her prim, white, form fitting, business dress into that of loose-fitting combat fatigues and jacket.
2027, Day 53, 9 AM
John Connor returns to base to find everyone in high spirits. While he was away, a group of resistance fighters and former prisoners located and destroyed a group of enemy machines. The machines were de-chipped and symbolically hung as a message to all other machines in the vicinity.
He isn't sure how he feels about that. John understands why they did it. He just wonders what the machines working with them in the camps think about this. He counts themselves lucky the machines don't have feelings otherwise there might be a new fight on their hands.
Allison is pulling a duty shift in the infirmary helping Doc with the injured people from the previous night. After stopping in long enough at the infirmary to say hello to Allison, John decides to use the next few hours working on the new chip for Cameron. He's only been working a couple of hours when he is interrupted by a knock at his door.
"Come in." He says, after closing his laptop.
"Hi, Andy. Please, I told you before, call me John, or Connor."
"It wouldn't be proper. Seeing you are my CO."
"Proper? We're friends aren't we? I've got to ask you something."
"You're not originally from around here are you? Your manners are different. I mean, you seem to have a bit of an accent."
"You're right. Not too many people pick up on that. I was born in England. I moved to the states with my folks when I was just a kid. My dad was an engineer with a telecommunication's company in England and he came over here to teach communications. My mom taught computer science at the same university. My dad was also an amateur radio operator. I learned everything about radios and electronics from my parents."
"Speaking of which, what gets you away from your radio?"
"Oh right! Um. A message just came in for you from Colonel Kyle Reese. He wants you to report to the main bunker immediately. You are to pick up your stuff and go."
"Did the message say why?"
"Nope. Just that you were to report immediately."
"I'd better let Allison know." John says with a sigh.
"I've already sent someone to the infirmary to tell her. She's to go with you."
John was thoughtful for a moment. "Do you know what this is about?"
"The only thing I know is that Kyle and the top lieutenants in his group and leaders from some of the surrounding camps were in a meeting all of yesterday. The meeting was locked down, no word on what it was about. But my feeling is, it was about you."
"What makes you think that?"
"Why else call in the hero of the resistance after an all day meeting. I'd get going if I were you. It will take long enough to get there on any night visit, but its daytime and the machines will be on alert after so many successful raids."
He turns to leave as Allison comes in. "Hi Andy, how's Emily doing?" she says.
"She is doing well. I'll let her know you asked about her. Bye." Andy leaves.
"I suppose you got the word we are to pull up stakes and head back to the main bunker?" John asked her.
"Yeah, this place was starting to feel like home."
John looks around at the drab interior. Plain walls. Stained floors. Two bunks and a small table. The only thing that made it cheerful, besides Allison, was that silly banner on the wall.
"I'll tell you what. We'll take that banner with us, and hang it in whatever hovel we get. We should start packing. It is a long walk back to the main bunker."
They pack up their things into two bags. John places his computer and other electronic bits and pieces into a third bag. Allison takes down the banner and rolls it up as tight as she can and slips it into her pack.
John and Allison walk to the hatch and meet up with three fighters.
"Hi I'm Samantha, but you can call me Sam. This is Paul and this gangly fellow on my left is Rico. We will be escorting you to the main bunker."
They slip out the hatch and crawl, hide, scramble and pretty much run on their knees to avoid hunter killers, a few centaurs and multiple endo's as they sneak across the ruinous landscape to reach a hatch that will take them to the main bunker.
John was slightly worried. He had no idea what Kyle wanted, but it had to be something big to call him back to the main bunker.
2027, Day 52 early evening
When John and Allison arrive at the main bunker, they find more people living there now. The numbers have been swelled by the rescued prisoners and the growing number of resistance fighters.
John can hardly believe he has been here just under two months. He feels like he has been here a lifetime already. So much has changed since he arrived.
Upon arriving at the main bunker, their escort leaves them. Two guards then show them where they need to go. They are led down some twisting corridors until they reach an actual door. It is only one of a few in the main bunker. John and Allison recognize it immediately. It is the door to Derek's room, the leader of the resistance.
One of the guards knocks on the door. "Come in!" shouts a familiar voice from inside.
The guard opens the door for John and Allison and gestures for them to both go in. He remains outside and closes the door behind them.
Inside Kyle is standing next to an old desk. On the walls behind it are maps of the surrounding area and a tattered California state flag. Above the flag, written on the wall is the name Resistance Group Grizzly.
"Kyle!" Allison shouts, giving him a hug. "We have no idea what is happening. Everyone has been tight lipped since we got orders to come and see you."
"Well, I've got news for the two of you, and it mostly concerns you, John." He says with a small crooked grin on his face.
"What's that?" John asks, looking somewhat apprehensive.
"Well first of all, Allison, you are now a Lieutenant in the resistance. This promotion has been unanimously granted to you by the people at Outpost Delta for all of the hard work you've done for them. Congratulations."
Allison smiles as John gives her a hug with his one free arm. "Congratulations Ally."
"I can't believe it." She gushes. "Not just the promotion, but that the people at Delta kept it a secret."
Kyle smiles at her. "It couldn't have come at a better time as you will be taking command of that Outpost."
"Wait a minute!" John asks. "We've been leading that Outpost together, and quite well I might add. If it wasn't for her, I never would have been able to help you like I have on these recent missions. Am I being demoted or something?"
"Hold on a minute John. You aren't being removed from command. Far from it."
"Then what?" John asks, completely stymied by Kyle's almost humorous manner.
Kyle pauses as he watches the two of them lean on his every word. "Because of the outstanding work you have done on behalf of the resistance and the way the people have rallied to the fight since your arrival, you are now the leader of resistance group Grizzly. That includes this bunker, Alpha site, much of the Los Angeles area and several outposts including Outpost Delta."
John is in complete shock. He can't believe what he has heard. He tries to talk but can't get his mouth to move.
Kyle smiles. "Congratulations John."
"What? But, you should be leading. It's you and Derek who have lead these people. You should be leading in his absence, not me!" John stammers, shocked by the news.
"No buts about it John. You are a far better leader than I could be. It took all day for me to convince some of our top lieutenants but in the end it was a unanimous vote. As of now, you are in command."
"But why?" John says in lower voice. He was feeling panicked. It felt like his worse dream was coming true.
"I would have been content to lead until we could have found Derek, but we haven't. You are better at leading than I am. I have seen you in command and I've read the reports of those who have served under you. These people live and breathe on word of your successes. They rallied to your aid at your worst need. You bring them hope. And you supplied us with an army of machines. Something I never thought I'd see. Don't let your petty fears interfere with what fate has given you." Kyle says firmly but not unfriendly.
John sets the bags down. They suddenly feel very heavy to him.
"Don't worry. Myself, Allison, your other lieutenants, and your friends Catherine Weaver and John Henry will give you all the aid and support you need."
"I wasn't expecting this. I never wanted this position." John humbly says.
"I know John, but no one can deny your leadership capabilities. And the people know how much you care for them. Keeping them alive is one thing, but you can lead them in a war against Sky Net and all of its machines. You have done well in the time you've been here. The lieutenants and camp leaders have elected you as their leader. I'll still be your second and with you the whole time."
Kyle walks forward and places his hand on John's shoulder. "I'll tell you what. I've already cleared out Derek's belongings from the back room over there. Why don't you and Ally get settled in, get yourselves some food and rest, and we'll talk about it some more in the morning."
"Thanks Kyle." Allison says as he disappears out the door.
"I don't know what to do Allison. I didn't come here for this. I don't feel ready. I'm not ready!"
"It's okay John." She places her arm around him. "I'm here for you. We are all here for you. It is a wonderful thing that has happened. You'll feel better about it in the morning. You've had a rough couple of weeks and the shock of your promotion certainly doesn't help."
Allison escorts John to the back room. When they open the door, they find more than just an empty room to be filled with the few things they have brought with them from the outpost. Inside there is a proper bed, a small table with two chairs, a private area curtained off from the rest of the room, and some shelves for storing clothing and other items. Kyle and the others went all out to prepare the room for its new occupants.
"It's home." says Allison, a smile coming to her face.
John is still shocked by recent events. His only thoughts were to aid these people the best he could and get Cameron fixed and back to the time he came from. He never thought that he would reach leadership at his age. Being leader was something that 'future John' did, not this John who still struggles with high school math and chemistry.
He places their bags on the table and sits down with a heavy sigh.
"John, what is troubling you? You looked scared."
"I am scared. I am scared of my destiny."
For once he gives her honest answer about his past.
"All my life, I have been told that one day I would lead the resistance against Sky Net. My mom spent her entire life training me to be a soldier. I spent my youth learning computers and computer languages, how to strip down and rebuild most anything mechanical and electronic, how to operate and maintain a wide range of weapons. My early childhood I spent in the company of soldiers, mercenaries, and smugglers who taught me the art of warfare, tracking skills, and hand-to-hand combat. Through it all I was told I would be a leader. That scared me. My destiny set in stone before I was even born. And now here I am, not even an adult yet, and in the space of a few hours I've gone from worrying about... worrying about you to having to worry about everyone."
She shakes her head lightly, and comes up beside him, placing her hand on his shoulders, rubbing them. "We'll help you John. You can rely on us to help you. Leadership isn't about bearing the weight of your responsibilities alone, it's about how to let people help you with all the small things so you can concentrate on doing what you do best."
"Which is what?"
"You inspire people to want more than mere existence. You have given them hope for a future free from Sky Net. You galvanize them to do more, to fight harder, to want to win. You can do this. I know you can."
"I'm almost seventeen. This isn't something I was expecting. How can I lead them?"
"John." She steps in front of John and looks at him for a moment. "You can't see it in yourself can you? You don't recognize your ability to lead do you? You're not trying to be humble, you truly don't know why the people feel the way they do about you?"
"I... no, I don't."
"John, they see in you what I've seen in you since that first day. No matter how reserved you act, inside of you, is someone who is bursting with life and hope. Your leadership skills are so refined you act on an instinct that bewilders those around you. You lead because you inspire the people around you. They follow you because you give them hope during their greatest need."
"I didn't know." He says quietly, still unable to grasp the enormity of his new responsibilities.
"Why don't I find us something to eat. In the meantime you can get our stuff unpacked." She leans down and gives John a long kiss. Allison places her hand behind his neck as he tilts his head back to receive her kiss.
"I'll be right back." She says walking away, letting her fingers slide gently across his neck.
John still can't believe his sudden meteoric rise to leadership. It is an unexpected turn of events. He gets up and unpacks their few belongings and sets them on the shelves. John unfurls the banner that the people at the outpost had hung in Allison's room as a joke. He looks about the room and sees a couple of nails in the wall spaced just far enough apart to hang it up.
Returning to the table, he pulls out his computer and adds a new entry to his journal:
2027, Day 52
I can't believe what has happened to me today. Mom, I am so sorry for all the grief I gave you about my destiny in life. Today, that destiny has been delivered to me by none other than Kyle Reese. I wish you were here to see this. I miss you. I am so scared right now. My only intention in this future I found myself in was to do my duty and do all that I could to restore Cameron. But my destiny has reared its head and taken hold of my life in its jaws. I have no choice in the matter anymore. Not that I believed that I ever did have a choice, but I always dreamed of having one.
John exits his journal, powers off the laptop. He looks about the room and his only thought is, "Where in hell, in all this devastation did they find a proper bed?" He decides to lay down to wait for Allison and in a few minutes he finds himself asleep.
Before getting themselves some food, Allison goes to look for the few things she had left behind when she went on the mission with Kyle and John to the weapons cache. Her old room had been reassigned in her absence but she had stored her items for safe keeping. She enters the storage room, and eventually finds her small chest with other items cleared out when the additional people arrived.
Allison pulls her chest out from under the other items and pops it open. There isn't much in her small chest, just a few more pieces of clothing and a shoe box that has almost completely fallen apart. Inside it is the only thing she has from her life before Judgment Day. A pair of ballet slippers that were her mom's. She was a music teacher, but before she married her dad she dreamed of being a professional ballerina. Her mom had instilled that same love of classical music in Allison and was teaching her how to dance ballet until the day the bombs fell.
Allison caresses the slippers as she thinks of her mom and her life as a child. "Mom this isn't the life you expected for me. This isn't the life any parent wanted for their child. But mom, I've met someone who I love very much and I know he loves me as much as I love him. I am happy, happier than I ever thought I could be."
With tears of happiness and sadness, she hugs the slippers to her imagining it is her mom she is hugging.
"This isn't the first time you've said that, is it?" Her friend asks.
"No." Allison says, not startled in the least by her friends forwardness. "I said it once before. Funny how circumstances repeat themselves. But this time is different."
She cradles the slippers a bit longer and says, "You may think me silly, with my being a resistance fighter, trained and battle-hardened, but I've always dreamed of meeting that one man with whom I could live a lifetime."
"I don't think you are silly. Your life and dreams, along with everyone else's, were robbed by Sky Net."
Allison's friend comes to a sudden realization. "John Connor was that man for you," she says gently, "wasn't he?"
"Yes, he was. But this is the wrong time, the wrong place, and the wrong... everything." Allison shed's some tears. Wiping her face quickly with her sleeve.
She carefully re-wraps the slippers in the ragged tissue paper and slides them back into the shoe box.
"Would you marry him, if given the opportunity?"
"Wouldn't you?" Allison grins.
"We're not talking about me. This is you we're talking about. If you could, would you spend the rest of your life with John?" Her friend says, maintaining her gentle and serious tone.
Allison sighs. "You know that I love him fully. That there isn't a man that I trust more, but John doesn't love me fully. We both know who his heart belongs to. But if the opportunity arose, and I thought I'd be with him forever, then I would marry him in a second." Allison pauses for a second to think and her faces drops. "But he won't ask me, because it's not me he wants to live the rest of his life with."
"I'm sorry Allison. I shouldn't have put you in this position."
"No, don't be sorry. I'm thankful for what you've done." Allison says. "I know why you've allowed this to happen, that it wasn't part of your plan. You've been there to help me and support me, and that you only want the best for John. He's an amazing young man, full of hope and life..."
"But you don't want to do it any more?" She asks Allison.
"I'd do anything to help John and you too." Allison wipes some tears from her cheek before continuing. "But it hurts so much."
"No. Let me finish."
"John is young, though every day I see in him more of the man he will be. He is growing up very quickly, but he is still vulnerable, and I'm not talking about his life. We both know how vulnerable that is. I'm talking about his physical and mental state. He's killing himself from lack of sleep working in secrecy, trying to hide it from me, but I can't tell him that I know or what I have seen because it could change the outcome. And now, he has been made the leader of Grizzly."
"That is surely a good thing. There will be more people under him to help him shoulder the responsibilities, freeing him up to finish the work."
"Yes, but at what cost? Being our leader makes him more of a target and at his age in this time, it's going to take more than me to help and protect him. He's a risk taker and he needs someone to steady him against making rash decisions. I'm not a steadying influence."
"I think you underestimate your own abilities. Besides I can't intervene, not until he completes his task."
"He doesn't have to know. Just like I explained before, during the battle for the plasma rifles, and that first time that..." Allison blushes and her friend smiles at her. "Besides, it's not me he loves. Not truly. He says it with his head, not with his heart."
"This is the third time you've implied that. How do you know?"
"A girl just knows these things. It doesn't require any special abilities, you just know. It's an instinct."
"But you have sex with John quite often, despite how you know he feels?"
"It's the only time I know he is completely honest with me. Besides, he's so tender, gentle and passionate when we have sex, and when I'm with him, I feel safe despite knowing I have the skills to wrestle John to the ground every time."
"I understand. I'm sorry I put you through this."
"You've got nothing to be sorry for. It's I who should be sorry for burdening you with my moaning. But there is no one else I can talk too."
"I can do more like you suggested earlier. It's just... you wouldn't be in control."
"I don't have a problem with that. Just when you do. Look after my mom's ballet slippers. It is the one item in this world I love almost as much as John. I couldn't bear being parted from them again."
"You've got nothing to worry about. I owe you more than that for what you've done to help me."
With a new found inner strength and confidence, Allison places everything into a shoulder bag and leaves the empty room alone, returning to the rooms she now shares with John. Along the way, she remembers to stop at the mess hall to get something to eat for herself and John.
When she finally gets back to their room, she finds John asleep on the bed, fully clothed. Placing the food on the table next to John's computer, she disrobes and slides under the blanket, careful not to disturb John. A smile comes to her face as she can't remember ever lying on a mattress before.
After Allison falls asleep, and whether it was her presence in the bed or just John's troubled mind, he begins to dream. But it was more than just a dream, it was a memory from his childhood. One of loss.
As a child he used to play a game with his mom in the jungle. It was like hide-n-seek, but it was always used to teach tracking. In the early hours of the morning, she would get up and leave the camp while he still slept. It was his job to follow her trail and locate her. She always chose a location where she could watch him. He could have always cheated and looked for her hiding place, but he was to learn tracking.
One time when he was eight, he lost her trail. Several other paths had crossed her own, and he lost hers in the confusion of markers.
He panicked and began to run. "Mom! Mom!" He shouts over and over. He runs through the jungle and eventually stumbles into a clearing where she stands waiting for him.
"What have I told you John?" She says sternly.
He could barely hold back the tears.
"What have I told you John?" She says again.
"That if I get confused to back track and start again. To think and remain calm."
"You didn't do that did you?" His mom says firmly.
"No." He says quietly.
"Will you panic again?"
"No." He says more firmly.
"Then come here." Sarah kneels down and holds her arms out to him. John goes to her and they hug.
Sarah wipes the tears from her son's eyes. "We'll try again tomorrow." She tells him.
John wakes to find Allison asleep beside him. He gets out of bed and goes sits down at the table. Beside his computer is an apple and a bowl of something which looks like porridge but smells terrible. Ignoring the porridge like stuff, he bites into the apple, savoring its sweet taste, and turns on his computer. John opens his journal and writes down the dream he had. At the end he adds:
Her lessons always included another lesson within. I often wondered if on that day she deliberately chose a path that got obscured by others just to see if I would remember her training. I never made that mistake again. But I never forgot that panic, the fear that I felt when I thought I had lost her. I wonder why that memory should come to me now. Almost twenty years separate us right now. She can't get to me, and according to Catherine the time hasn't come for me to go back. So why am I dreaming about losing her. In a sense, I lost her on the day I chose to travel here with Catherine, and I have come to terms with that.
John pulls the necklace with his mom's key ring on it from under his shirt. He gazes at it remembering her. The good and bad times. Through it all, his mom was his biggest supporter. "I miss you mom." He says to the quiet room.
He sits there a moment longer and looks at Allison gently sleeping in the bed. Despite the fact he had fallen asleep laying on top of the covers fully clothed, she had still managed to slip under the covers. He checks the clock on his computer and finds it is just going on 10 PM. There are still several hours to go before dawn.
He plugs the chip back into the computer and resumes programming. He's certain he's countermanded her termination commands, but he now needs to adjust her personality and behavioral controls. He had come to the decision sometime ago to not include Allison Young's matrix, especially as it was on Cameron's original chip and should be on the Turk as well. He will rely on Cameron's own personality matrix. Cameron 2 may be similar to his Cameron, but she is going back home, to 2009. She would recover her primary matrix and provide his Mom with help and protection. She needed Cameron more than he did.
After a few hours John feels tired, so he shuts down his computer and puts away Cameron's chip. He quietly undresses and slips under the covers as carefully as he can so as not to disturb Allison. He slides up next to her, being careful not to wake her up.
He can smell her scent, a heady perfume. Her hair is soft and her body is warm. It is a comfort in this world at war that he found this wonderful woman who loves him. He knows in his heart that he still loves Cameron, but right now he needs to fix her to help his mother and not for himself. So he doesn't feel guilty or tormented by that love anymore, or at least that is what he tells himself.
John leans over and kisses Allison on her cheek and whispers in her ear, "I love you Allison, more than you could know. I don't know what I'd do without you."
He lays down beside her snuggling in close. He doesn't see the smile on her face, or the single tear that comes from her eye.
2027, Day 53 early morning
John feels a gentle shaking of his shoulder and hears the sweetest voice in the world whisper in his ear. "Good morning John."
"Uhh, what time is it?" John opens his eyes to see Allison leaning over him with a smile on her face.
"Time we got up. It's almost dawn and Kyle will probably be around soon to get you familiar with your new command."
"How much longer til dawn?" John asks with a groan.
"Nearly an hour."
"An hour! Why wake me so early, I could have been up and ready in less than five minutes."
"Because, this will probably be the last time I will see you today and maybe the last time we will be alone together for some time to come. As leader, you will be very busy now and I wanted to have you to myself for one hour at least."
"I'm sorry. I didn't think. Do you truly believe that I can lead these people?" John asks as he strokes her hair.
"John I have faith in you. I know you can lead us. I trust you. Kyle trusts you. And the people have placed their trust in you. You can do this John." She ends with great emphasis.
John looks up at her and deep into her eyes. "I don't know why, but when I see the way you look at me, it feels like you know I can do this. I love you Allison. I'll need your help. I can't do this on my own."
"I love you too."
John looks at her. She looks at him with such kindness and warmth.
"Come here." He says gently. They embrace and begin to kiss.
Their passions increase and their kissing grows more intense. They touch and caress each others body's.
They make love tenderly and lovingly, only wanting to fulfill the others desires. Without forcing the pace they love each other, making each moment last.
Soft moans of pleasure escape their lips as they search out and find those sensitive areas that make the others pleasure that much more intense. All they care about is the love they have for each other, of making this moment together the best it can be. Their only desire is the pleasing each other.
Their love making reaches its pinnacle as their cries of passion rise. They silence each others cries in a long passionate kiss. They finally release each other and gasp for air, they did not know they needed. Until that very moment all their thoughts were for the other. They lay on the bed facing each other. Caressing and kissing and loving each other. Their body's glistening from the sweat of their exertions.
John caresses her face gently with his hand."I love you, Allison Young."
"I love you too, John Connor." She says then kisses him pulling him to her.
The day will be long and they may not have a private moment together for a long time to come. They have no idea how long it will actually be as a gentle knocking is heard on the outer door.
2027, Day 53, 8 AM
"Connor I'd like you to meet your top Lieutenants in this war." Kyle says as they enter a room with about twelve people of different ages from 18 to 30, both men and women, all looking like they've spent more years in the trenches than John had in his lifetime.
"They have been elected to their positions by the people in their respective camps and outposts. Their election is based upon their successes in the field. They are knowledgeable about nearly every aspect of the war with Sky Net and they will help you carry out your plans."
John decides to take the bull by the horns. "Kyle informed me that he had to argue for my promotion over him with some of you. I am humbled that he would think me more worthy of this position than himself, but let me tell you here and now, that if any of you still have doubts about my position as leader, there is the door. This war is too important to allow dissension within the leadership of the resistance."
"It is bad enough that the camps were so selfish that they couldn't unify long enough to take one factory. I will not tolerate division amongst the people nor within the officers of this army. I need to know that I can rely on each of you to help conduct this war. So this your last chance. If you harbor any doubts, then this is your time to leave and have someone else chosen from your group to take your place."
The men and women just stood there. They weren't expecting this kind of talk from John Connor. They elected a boy and found themselves with a man. Someone who takes charge.
"No takers. I'm glad to hear it, as I'm going to need all of you. All right people. Educate me on what's been happening."
"John," Kyle gets his new commanders attention, "I mean, um, Connor, sir. If you'll excuse me, I need to look into a theft of alcohol from the stores."
John almost panics, to think Kyle is going to leave him alone to face his new responsibilities, but then he can't expect him to stick around and hold his hand, figuratively speaking, or be a constant reminder of who this team of officers just voted out of office.
"No problem, Reese. We can't have supplies being taken without, um, well just plain stolen. Report back on what you've discovered."
Kyle departs and John spends the entire morning learning what the resistance has been through since Judgment Day. He is both overwhelmed by the hard realities that these people have faced, and amazed that they are still alive. After the regular army pulled out, their attempts at fighting had devolved into just trying to stay alive and one step ahead of the machines. There has been multiple attacks by metal to wipe them out. There last attack made just before John's arrival, they came right into the bunkers.
The people have gathered lots of intelligence, but there last monitoring outpost had been discovered and destroyed a month ago. Their last shipment of weapons and ammo was intercepted and they had to ration what was left, until John arrived with his weapon's cache. They hadn't the means to take any large scale action, until they took the plasma rifle factory. The greatest success experienced by the resistance at that time. They credit John with the victory, as he had the foresight to prepare an army of machines which has since helped the resistance tremendously. Since then, John has taken part or led in three successful missions and their numbers are growing.
Later in his journal he writes, "It's no wonder the people rallied to me so strongly despite my lack of desire to be leader. The people here are truly starving for hope. Allison, Catherine, Kyle, Derek, my mom, are right about my destiny. Allison said it best, "You bring them hope at their greatest need."
2027, Day 53, 2 PM
Allison was right. She didn't see John again as he was in a meeting nearly all day with Kyle and the top lieutenants of the resistance. She could have gone with them. As lieutenant now, in charge of an outpost, she has the right, but its far more important for John to be there without her distracting him.
With no duties at present, she decides to visit Laura, the medic who was training her until she moved to Delta.
Allison pauses outside the medical ward to see Laura tending to some of her patients. She waves to her, and Laura brightens up with a smile upon seeing her.
"How are you?" she says giving the younger woman a hug, as soon as she is finished with a patient.
"I'm well so is John. It looks like we are moving back here, permanently."
"So I've heard. It looks like the two of you are destined for great things."
"I suppose we are. I was wondering if there is anything I can do to help you in the infirmary. There is still my training."
Laura shakes her head. "Your training is over dear. The Doc sent over your file. He says you are the best student he's ever had. And there really isn't much to do here at the moment, but treat a few infections. So, why don't we go to my room and have drink to celebrate your promotion. I've got some of the Doc's home-brew."
"That would be nice."
With a gentle laugh, the two of them walk off to enjoy a brief respite from the war and their responsibilities.
Some time later, after putting a slightly tipsy Laura to bed, Allison decides to return to her rooms. As Allison approaches the door to John's and her rooms, the guard informs her that Catherine Weaver is waiting inside.
She enters to find her sitting behind John's desk.
Allison is a little miffed to find this woman at his desk in their rooms. "What are you doing here?"
"I am looking for John Connor. I have a message for him."
"He's busy at the moment. He's with Kyle Reese and the top Lieutenants."
"Oh. What is the occasion?" She asks getting up from the chair.
"I don't see why you shouldn't know. We got here late yesterday to find that John has been elected leader of our resistance group, at Kyle Reese's insistence."
Catherine Weaver smiles. "Good. When I heard he got called back here, I knew it had to be something important. So he did it. He finally became leader."
Allison looks at her kind of questioningly. "How did you come to expect that? What are you clairvoyant or something?"
Weaver walks around the desk and stands in front of it. "No. But let's just say I have a certain amount of foresight." Not to mention my spreading the word about Connor to the other camps.
Catherine Weaver walks towards Allison. "A girl must have a few secrets, as you are most certainly aware."
Allison stiffens at the comment, her eyes darting to Weaver. "What do you mean by that?"
"Oh, lets just say that I find the fact that out of all those who died in capturing that factory, you're the only one to escape unscathed, and John only has light injuries." Weaver gives her a calculating look.
"It's just luck." Allison says, with a small nervous grin. "It happens all the time in battles."
"Yes, I'm sure it does." Weaver says with a knowing grin and piercing eyes.
They stand there a moment sort of studying each other. This is the first time they've been alone together. Allison does not feel comfortable under this woman's gaze, but isn't about to show any weakness or fear, and turn away.
Catherine breaks off her study first. "I'm glad we've had this little talk. Would you please inform John that I was here. I'll try to stop by again later." She holds out her hand as if to shake hands.
Allison ignores the proffered hand. "I'll tell him. Now if you don't mind I'd like to get John's office prepared for him by the time he gets back. There are reports he'll need to review."
"Certainly." Weaver doesn't act the least offended by the ignored hand gesture. "May I offer you some advice before I go."
"If you must." She says, not sure if she should agree to hear it, but does so out of respect for John's strange friend.
"Be careful. John is leader now, but his strong emotions may be his downfall. He holds them in check better than most humans, but he feels strongly and deeply. Be there for him when he's in pain."
Allison feels embarrassed now. "I'm sorry for being rude. You needn't worry about John. I will always be with him. He need never fear or worry. We love each other very much."
"I know." Catherine looks at her. And I wonder why?
"Good bye Allison. Take care."
Catherine walks towards the door.
Catherine stops and looks at Allison. "Yes"
"John should be back here late this evening. If you need to see him today, that will be the best time."
"Thank you, Allison." Catherine smiles and walks out closing the door gently behind her.
Allison felt uncomfortable after her conversation with Catherine Weaver. There was something about her that made Allison feel odd, like Catherine knew something or held secrets that no one else but her knew.
2027, Day 53, 5 PM
Allison puts Weaver's visit out of her mind and goes to work organizing the latest reports that had come in and were on John's desk. She sorts them according to observations of Sky Net's activity, locations of new food and water sources, and potential locations of weapons or other supplies. She uses the information to update the maps on the wall.
There is a new folder with reports from other outlying camps that wish to join the main group. She sets them all out on his desk when suddenly she hears heated voices approaching from outside the door.
"No John, now is not the time!"
"Dammit! When is the time then? You've been skulking around in these holes too long. If you don't start acting soon you'll lose the whole momentum of electing me to this position. It will have been a total waste of your time!"
John and Kyle come storming into the room, both with faces of thunder.
"What is wrong with you two?" She asks them both.
"Tell him, Allison. Tell him it's too dangerous to unite all the camps right now!" Kyle shouts.
"She damn well knows the situation as it is. She was with me on the battlefield. We saw our comrades fall and die all around us. And why? Because the camps were too selfish to share their resources. All camps must come together now, under one banner, or we will all die!"
Allison speaks up. "What is it you want to do John?"
"I want to get on the radio and address all the camps that have radios, they in turn can send runners out to the camps without radios. I want to call them all to unite as one army."
"It will expose our position. Such a radio address will bring metal upon us in large numbers." Kyle admonishes him.
"Then we arrange a place where all camps can join up. There are places in the mountains that haven't seen the destruction here in the cities. Places where the people can find food and water away from the machines. We get all people to move there leaving only a small fighting group behind, and after my radio address the rest of us leave taking the radio with us."
Kyle and John look at each other. Kyle is measuring what John has told him.
"Kyle, John is right. We already have messages from nearby smaller groups who wish to join up with ours. Would it really be so bad even if we do have to move the camp?"
Kyle glances at Allison. He's always valued her opinion and they did choose John as their leader. What is the point of arguing when the decision has been made and he knows that John is right.
"All right, but it will take time to arrange."
"Twenty-four hours to get the word out you will be addressing them all by radio. A lot of bases maintain radio silence, only coming on at designated times."
"I recall that from being at Delta outpost."
"I'd also better run this past your lieutenants. Some of which already know of your desires. They were with me the day I joined you at the plasma rifle factory. They heard everything you said."
"Kyle, please understand I am doing this for the best interest of the resistance. If we don't come together to fight the war, we will all die. Only we'll just be better armed corpses. We've got to do this now."
"You're right John. But before I go to your lieutenants with this I should at least have some idea of where we'll move the camp to. They'll want to know."
"Before you two arrived, I was updating the maps with the latest intelligence reports." says Allison. "There are still places which haven't seen any activity from machines whether they be, endo's, ogre's, or HK's."
"We'll take a look, and you can familiarize me with your map codes as well."
Allison, John and Kyle went over the maps for sometime. Eventually there was only one place they could go. It was a location they could defend easily, located some fifty plus miles from their location. John was amused by the irony of the location. He'd been there before, well almost. It was Camp Pendleton. A military base just south of the Presidio Alto Military Academy located in Carlsbad.
Extract from John's Journal
2027, Day 53
Allison has gone with Kyle to meet with the Lieutenants. With her new rank she has the right to be a part of those meetings. Her reason for going is to help Kyle argue for my plan of unifying the resistance. My reason for not being there is that I am planning strategy.
I'm presently still programming one of the chips Catherine gave me. The process is slow, but it allows me to make adjustments. The other Allison that my Cameron was based on must have been some kind of woman. I could clearly see why my future self and she would befriend each other. If Catherine and I do return to the present, which is the past, and I meet Allison in the real future time line, how will my current relationship with this Allison or Cameron affect it.
All of this is so mind boggling. How can I go through life second guessing what I am going to do in the future when faced with all this data of what I am going to do? And on top of that I am in a future trying to do what my destiny has called me to do. It gives me headache just trying to figure it all out. I try not to dwell on it but my current situation keeps it foremost in my thoughts. My current responsibilities can't allow for second guessing. I'll just do what I think is right at the moment and move forward.
2027, Day 53, 8 PM
John's writing is interrupted by a knock at the door.
"Who is it?"
"Catherine Weaver to see you sir." Comes the firm reply from the other side of the door.
"Send her in." John saves his work and closes his laptop.
Catherine strolls through the door. The guard outside closes it firmly behind her.
"Well John, it suits you sitting behind that desk. I told you, you'd end up leading the resistance."
"Yeah, well fate does seem to have thrust my destiny upon me. I just hope I'm up to the challenge at this time, at my present age."
"John you have knowledge and experience these fighters don't have. You have brought them weapons which have allowed them to acquire even more powerful weapons. You have taken part in numerous successful missions. You are a hero to these people, and heroes often find themselves thrust into roles they never imagined for themselves."
"Well this hero feels like he's a little to green around the gills to handle such responsibility. You've had a hand in getting me here, so I'm going to have to rely on you more, and John Henry too. What brings you here?"
Yes, I have had a significant hand in getting you into command, Catherine thinks. And you will have to rely on me more.
"John Henry believes he may have located his brother."
"Yes, another Artificial Intelligence. It tried to attack John Henry and failed in 2009. John Henry's access to the factory computers has allowed him to identify that same signal again. We believe it is Sky Net itself."
"Has he got a trace on it? Because if he does, then we can attack Sky Net's main grid and bring this war to a quick conclusion."
"He's presently working on it. He has a general location and he is trying to narrow it down. It has hidden itself behind false shadows, but John Henry feels certain that it is in Southern California."
"That's good news! How goes the repairs to Cameron."
"She was being prepped for removal of her flesh when I left."
John shudders inwardly to imagine her organic sheath being removed. "I wish I could be there to help."
"You are a good friend to do so much for someone you truly care for, but there isn't a whole lot you can do at the moment but wait. The factory will complete the repairs and you can finish her chip."
With a long sigh, John says, "I know you are right but somehow I feel like I'm not doing enough for her. She's here because of me. I should do it."
"Maybe, but the factory can do a superior job in less time."
Weaver gives him a motherly smile of concern.
"May I ask, what you are planning to do now that you've been made leader of this resistance group?"
"The first order of business is to reorganize the resistance."
"Really?" She grins in expectation of his answer. "Why are you doing that?"
"The current civilian resistance is too disorganized, a loose confederation of various camps and bases in this area. I'll be addressing all of the camps by radio in twenty-four hours. The time has come to unify the camps into one large army for fighting Sky Net and streamline the command structure. I'm not out to remove the rights of the smaller camps, but to centralize and strengthen command."
"What makes you certain that this is the right time?"
"Not you as well. Listen. Right now the people are galvanized for action. Our forces have been flushed with greater numbers since taking down Century Work Camp and we now have a large supply of plasma rifles. For the first in a long time, this resistance is strong enough to fight back. But to fight Sky Net and its machines, we are going to need far more people than what we have. Our goal is to destroy Sky Net, not merely to survive."
"I'm glad to hear it. What will you do next?"
"We can't act without intelligence. If John Henry can..."
He is interrupted as a loud explosion rocks the room.
"What the hell?" John exclaims as dirt sprinkles like rain from the ceiling.
More explosions rock the room. Weaver moves to John Connor's side, prepared to protect him if it comes to that.
The door bursts open and Kyle and the guard come rushing. Automatic gun fire is heard in the corridor.
"The machines have broken in. Mostly endo's, some ken's, all heavily armed with plasma rifles and heavy caliber automatic rifles!" Kyle shouts.
"Get all people out through any available exits. Take them deeper into the tunnels if you have too!" Connor shouts back. "We will meet up at Outpost Delta!"
Boom! Another loud explosion nearly knocks them off their feet. The guard and Kyle run back out to carry out John's orders.
"Catherine, go back to John Henry. Tell him we're moving to Outpost Delta. From there we will relocate to a military base out near Carlsbad. As soon as repairs and modifications are made, bring Cameron as close to that location as you can, then bring me to her. I've nearly finished programming her chip, but I need more time."
Boom! Another loud explosion and part of the ceiling caves in. John gets up off the floor coughing.
"John you need to leave here before you get killed." Catherine says anxiously. He can't die, not until her plan is completed.
"Catherine, go now and hurry. Have John Henry trace Sky Net as long as he can, but a good solid general location is better than a hazy specific location, okay."
John looks at this woman, a machine, a terminator that has become his friend. "Take care of yourself Catherine. I can't win this war without you."
Catherine looks at this young man, who is so different yet so similar to the older John Connor of her own time.
"I'll see you soon." she says and departs.
A few more explosions are heard. John scoops up his computer and chips and shoves them into a bag. He dashes into his and Allison's inner room and grabs what he can of their things.
"John! John!" Allison yells as she runs in.
"Ally! What are you still doing here?"
"I came back for you. We must hurry. Nearly all exits are blocked by metal."
"I've packed our things. Take this." He hands her a bag and a plasma rifle.
John slips both of his bags onto his shoulder and carries a Remington 870 shotgun with an extended magazine and a folding stock. It was a favorite weapon of his mothers and he can't think of any better.
"Damn. We weren't even here long enough for it to feel like home." He says as they leave.
They go running out into the corridor to the sounds of screams and automatic rifle fire. Beams of plasma fire light up the corridors as metal and men fire at each other.
"Allison. Which is the best way out of here?"
"Where are we going?"
"Back to Outpost Delta. We'll collect the rest of the weapons and the people and head to Camp Pendleton from there."
The sound of plasma rifle fire gets louder as the metal advance. Screams of dying soldiers fill the air as automatic rifle fire riddles the air with bullets.
"This way John. I know a way out that nobody else knows."
John follows Allison down the corridor. Metal is advancing from the rear. Soldiers with plasma rifles run past them to stop the metal long enough for the people to escape.
"Through here, John." Allison has stopped outside a tunnel entrance that had been boarded up at some time in the past. She is holding back two boards close tot he floor.
John kneels down and pushes their bags and weapons through.
"Quick hurry." He shouts at her.
She just manages to get inside when more rifle fire is heard and more explosions bring dirt down on top of their heads.
A metal leg is seen through the gap in the boards. John holds his gun ready, but the machine passes them by. He and Allison sit there quietly as more metal goes past firing their weapons. The sound of gunfire continues as they wait.
"Okay, they should be far enough away now. Where does this tunnel lead?"
"The tunnel was abandoned long ago. The ground was too soft. It kept caving in, but part way in there is an old storm drain that passes through. There is a hole big enough for us to squeeze through. We can follow that pipe into the main line then follow that for almost four miles. We'll be some distance from the outpost, but we'll be out of danger until we reach the surface."
"It must be great knowing these tunnels like you do. I love you."
"I know. Let's get going before they find us." Allison says, looking serious, nodding her head towards the hole in the pipe.
Allison and John struggled through the narrow opening into the pipe. The pipe wasn't much bigger than the hole but they didn't have to go far before they enter a larger pipe.
Rumbling and vibrations could still be felt and heard as they make their way down the storm drain. Once they reach the main line John takes a risk and climbs up a ladder and lifts a manhole cover to look.
HK's are flying overhead firing their belly mounted plasma guns at fleeing people. Some of John Henry's T-800's are laying down covering fire but even they don't have enough firepower to bring down all of the HK's.
John can feel a rumbling and he turns to see a centaur coming up the ancient road towards him. Its plasma rifles firing at people, incinerating them in seconds. He pulls the manhole cover back over him and drops into the tunnel below with a splash.
"What did you see?" Allison whispers.
John puts his fingers to his lips and points up. The rumbling gets louder as the huge machine crawls overhead.
"I saw a centaur. It was approaching our location. In the distance I saw HK's firing at our people while our T-800's fired back at them. It doesn't look good, Ally. Sky Net is definitely launching a major offensive."
"It must be the machine's I observed gathering when I was on my patrol. This is what Sky Net was planning."
"It sure looks that way. We need to go, now."
The two of them pick up their stuff and move as quickly as they can down the tunnel.
They fail to see the two pairs of glowing red eyes in the tunnel far behind them.
# # #
Catherine Weaver is making her way quickly and silently through the rubble and destroyed buildings using every bit of cover she can as she slithers in her eel like form away from the main bunker.
Finally reaching a place of shelter, away from the visual and infra-red range of any terminator's in the area, she reforms into her humanoid shape and pulls her radio out.
"John Henry, what is the progress on repairing Cameron's body?"
"It has just been completed. Her hyper alloy frame is being made ready for the re-attachment of her organic covering."
"Then hurry and carry out my previously given orders regarding Cameron. Sky Net is attacking the area and it won't be long until it attacks your location too. Weaver out."
She pauses a moment to watch as every conceivable machine in Sky Net's arsenal is used to attack the humans at the bunker. Aerial HK's in the sky rain down plasma on fleeing humans. Ground based HK Tanks fire on anything that moves as the humans, more numerous than she believed existed, pop out of hatches all over the place.
Weaver can only hope that Connor's new found human friends can help him survive, because even she couldn't protect him from that much fire power.
# # #
A silver shape is watching multiple monitors. On the various monitors is video being fed from the machines in the air, on the ground and in the tunnels as they go on a massive man hunt.
He is nearly shaking with glee as he watches the carnage unfold.
A smile fills his face as he watches the latest video come through. Two people fleeing down a tunnel. One a boy in his late teens and the other a girl who looks nearly twenty.
They turn and fire their weapons. The video sparkles and shakes but it remains steady.
"Identify the girl!" It orders.
The girl turns and fires on the pursuing metal. The video quickly zooms in and freezes on her face. A list of images appear with names and stops, identifying the girl as Allison Young, 99.99% match.
"That's interesting." The silver figure says quietly. "Hard to believe, but she must have survived the first purge."
"Give me a close up of the boy!" He shouts in the microphone.
The video zooms in and freezes the image as the boy looks over his shoulder at the pursuing machine.
"Identify him!" He says into the microphone. A small window pops up on his monitor and various names and faces are seen until it stops. The second picture is overlaid with the first. A wire mesh image appears lining up points on both faces. John Connor 99.95% Match.
"Finally. Finally. You've led me on a merry chase, John Connor. I missed you in 2009. I purged the tunnels once before and missed you, but I will get you now." He says quietly.
"Kill him!" He shouts. "Kill John Connor now!"
Chapter Updated: Sun, Jun 23, 2013