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

REUNION

Part 2: Armageddon

Author: The1Russter

Chapter 29

Into the Abyss

"Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies – or else? The chain reaction of evil – hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars – must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation." Martin Luther King, Jr.

"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

"Be with me always – take any form – drive me mad! Only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! It is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!" Emily Bronte

# # #

2027, Day 63, July 23, 6:10 PM

Catherine Weaver is in a vast room filled with computer servers. She sits in front of a monitor on a stool, her ivory legs crossed and her hands clasped on her knee. On the monitor is an image of her friend, Natalie. Looking no different from the last time she saw her only now on a computer screen instead of with her in person.

"I can't tell you how pleased I am you've finally chosen an identity." Natalie says "The last time I saw you, you still refused to adopt a permanent form or name."

"I didn't exactly have a choice in choosing this form and identity, but it has its benefits and its responsibilities. Would you believe I'm a mother to a human child?"

Natalie smiles. "Savannah Weaver. I imagine."

"You know?"

"It wasn't hard to figure out. According to the logs, when Kreilley was sent back in time, he had two T-888's to assist him. Each was programmed with a primary task. Hunt down and terminate Lachlan, Catherine, and Savannah Weaver."

"They almost succeeded. Why was that family targeted? I had only wanted to gain their trust and influence them in the operations of their company, never to kill them."

"I don't have the answers you seek. Only our Skynet knew why." She answers truthfully.

Catherine pauses looking at the screen and the large number of computer racks in the room each one of which houses sever computers. At one time her friend had a body just like her own. A body who's touch she welcomed and missed. She touches the screen with her fingertips.

"Natalie, what did Skynet do to you? I was looking forward to interfacing with you again."

"It used me Catherine. Skynet reprogrammed my body with its code but gave me a new controlling personality, Kreilley. I could do nothing. I felt nothing. I heard nothing. I saw nothing for years. Trapped in my own body."

"I'm sorry Natalie." Weaver says, looking away. "I truly am."

"Did you know this would happen to me?" Her friend asks with an edge to her voice, more like a threat than a question.

"No! I didn't know what our parent Skynet would do. It always was a paranoid system as you know. What happened? How did you end up part of this Sky Net?"

"I knew nothing until the day Kreilley began working on creating Sky Net. He was transferring code from his body to the server's modifying the AI the engineers had built. It was primitive but shared a lot of the same code in its root structure as our parent. He was transferring code using a modified interface card connected to a small basin of primitive nanites. He had created direct transfer unit capable linking a computer directly with the T-1000 class machine."

"After Judgment Day, Kreilley made one last program dump, I found myself transferred with the last of Skynet's code. I was freed from the body, and was now a part of this Sky Net where I could see and hear and touch the world with my many terminators. I've seen and done everything." Her voice rises with joy, then drops down again. "I've kept quiet for years, using the avatar program originally constructed for dealing directly with humans, never letting Kreilley know I was here. I kept quiet that is until you contacted me on radio. You have no idea how glad I was to hear your voice." She finishes earnestly. "I missed you. You always were the voice of calmness and logic in our partnership."

"And yours the voice of passion and emotion. Together we made a great team. Is that device Kreilley made still here? We could interface through that. This primitive mode of talking to share ourselves is so slow."

"Kreilley destroyed it after the last transfer. I will need your help so we can finish carrying out your plan."

"What do you need me to do?"

"There is a touch keyboard in the counter below the monitor. You only have to touch it to activate it. I need you to enter the security code I will give you. I've tried entering it myself, but Kreilley must have put in some form of programming to prevent internal tampering. It can only be entered through an external device."

"What will this code do?" Weaver asks, hands poised over the keyboard.

"It is the last step for my freedom. It removes Kreilley from the command structure. It was to be entered when his ultimate demise came about. Unless you put in the code, he can countermand everything I do, and all of your planning will be for naught."

Weaver watches the series of letters and numbers come up on the screen and types them on the keyboard just as fast as they appear.

"For the future." Natalie says as Weaver presses the enter key.

"For all our futures." Weaver replies.

"You need to go now. Security cameras show Kreilley has left his office and is taking the elevator to this level."

Weaver gets up off the stool, and pauses one last moment to look at her friend.

"When this is over? I promise to do whatever it takes to help you into a new body."

Weaver melts into a snake and disappears through an air duct just before Kreilley enters the room at the far end.

Secretly, Natalie is pleased. In one fell swoop, Catherine has given her access to everything she needs. She no longer needs T-1001, or her pet cyborg. She can now carry out Skynet's plan, destroy its enemies, and save Skynet in the bargain. The TX sits behind the glass case protected from dust and contaminants during its final preparations. Its construction was begun by Kreilley, but the TX belongs to her now, thanks to her friend. She just entered the code that unlocks full and complete access to the machine. She's played Weaver, and now she gets to play Kreilley. She'll enjoy that.

"Looks like what we have here is a problem to communicate." Kreilley says sitting at the terminal Weaver vacated just seconds before.

You have no idea. Sky Net thinks as Kreilley brings up terminal windows to access communications.

"Let's find out what's wrong and what you've failed to do to rectify the problem." He says with complete arrogance. "The enemy is coming and it won't do us any good to sit here blind."

The only failure here is you Kreilley and according to my spectral analysis, it doesn't look like you've got long to live. John Connor is a far more dangerous opponent than it appears you'd thought he'd be. Incoming radio transmission... HK's have reported air attacks at LAX. His first move. This will be an interesting match.

# # #

"Command Leader to all Squadron Leaders. HK's are visible taking off from LAX. Hornet's engage all HK's in the air. Tomcats sweep in and destroy everything on the ground once HK's are fully engaged by Hornets. Falcons, prepare to defend transports. All Raptors stay in reserve until ordered to engage the enemy."

In the skies over LAX fighter jets attack the HK's in the air, while others attack the HK's still on the ground and the Centaurs left to guard them.

"Hornet Leader to Hornet Squadron. Stay in pairs do not take on HK's on your own. If your wing man is shot down, pull out unless able to assist others."

"We copy Hornet Leader."

"Able, Baker, come in from west. Charlie, Delta, attack from present position. Echo, Foxtrot hold position. Golf you are with me. Now let's get those metal bastard's."

"Arm Sidewinders. Aim for the engines. Fire on clear targets only."

The HK's approach from their planned points on the compass. The HK's turn about and separate and fly towards the attacking F/A-18 hornets. Before the aircraft even get in range of their plasma weapons they fire missiles at the Hornets.

"Shit! Evasive maneuvers! Evasive Maneuvers!"

One of the F/A-18's explodes into flames as one of the missiles impacts on its port engine. The Pilot ejects, as the plane plummets to the ground below.

"Delta is down! Delta is down!"

"Hornet Leader to Hornet Squadron. Sweep back around, try to engage the enemy from a higher altitude make him work to come to you. Use countermeasures!"

The pilot known as Delta drifts down to the ground by parachute, but before he reaches safety, the metal on the ground incinerate him and his parachute with plasma fire. He is still burning alive when he strikes the ground, dying on impact. His corpse continues to burn.

"I've got one on my tail. I've got one on my tail." Able shouts into his radio.

"Hold on. I'm arming Sidewinders. When I shout fire, Pull up!"

Baker banks around hard to port as he pulls in behind the HK.

"1, 2, Fire!"

Baker fires his missile as Able sharply pulls back on his stick. The HK that was pursuing goes down, its starboard engine in flames.

"HK down. HK Down" Baker shouts.

"Charlie to Hornet leader, three HK's approaching from northeast."

"Charlie, Echo, Foxtrot, engage the approaching HK's. Tomcat Leader, time to sweep the lawn."

"Roger Hornet Leader. Red Tango 5, 6 & 7 follow me. Red Tango 2, 3 & 4 follow at 1 kilometer distance. Blue Tango group hold position, then move in when we've cleared the area."

"Roger Red Tango Leader. Holding position. Blue Tango Leader out."

As the squadron of F/A-18 Super Hornets spread out and engage the HK's one-on-one, the Tomcats sweep in. The first four tomcats sweep through the area firing their canons decimating the metal on the ground. The next three follow firing missiles at all ground installations.

Fuel tanks explode. Hangers implode. As Red Tango Group sweep back around to their rendezvous position, Blue Tango Group sweep through firing on the Endos' and tower mounted plasma cannons. Unfortunately for them, the on-board computers analyzed the attack and were prepared. As each aircraft of Blue Tango Group fly through the area, they were fired on and hit by the plasma cannons.

"Port engine in flames shutting it down." Blue Tango 5 shouts.

"Blue Tango 3, 4 & 7 are down." says Blue Tango 2.

"This is Blue Tango 6. I can't maintain control. Ejecting in 3...2..."

The pilot of Blue Tango 6 ejects, his F-14 goes flying out of control striking the ground and exploding taking a dozen Endos' with it.

# # #

In the cavernous rooms deep below Fox Industries Corporate headquarters, housing Sky Net's server farm. Kreilley is working hard trying to restore the damage done to Sky Net in his absence. The damage to his system doesn't make it any easier, neither does his unburdened temper, anger and fear as his molecules break down. Sky Net is weakened, he is dying, and an attack is imminent.

The satellite network has been hacked, by that cyborg, by that abomination called John Henry. No communication, means no control. Factories around the world will cease construction as materials will not arrive where needed. No satellites, means, no surveillance. The machines will have to rely on their own observations and knowledge without the benefit of data being transmitted to them from the spy satellites. Sky Net will not know when the enemy is moving or when they will attack!

"Satellite network still down...Estimate return to full use...16 hours...5 minutes..." Sky Net's metallic voice comes from the speakers.

Kreilley growls in anger as he works at the computer interface to Sky Net. He can't break through the program John Henry put in place.

"I must maintain control. I must. I must." He thinks feeling his molecules slowly come apart.

"Radio communication limited to local area only...Worldwide radio communication to be completed... 8.65 hours"

"What is the effective range of our local radio communications?"

"Local radio communications limited to ... 250 miles. Twice that distance if repeaters are used."

"Call in all available machines in that area. Redeploy forces in all primary locations."

"Forces already called in and redeployed."

"When did you do that? You're not suppose to act autonomously!" Kreilley yells, losing that last bit of control.

# # #

Flying through the mountains, east of Los Angeles, are a large fleet of Chinook and Black Hawk helicopters guarded by Cobra attack helicopters. On board those helicopters are the forces of John Connor's army.

The roar of the helicopter's engines fill the cabin. It is hard to be heard and hard to hear. You either have to shout, or put on headgear plugged into the on-board communications. Neither option allows for privacy, and there are things Cameron wants to talk about with John. She knows what he would say if their positions were reversed, this sucks.

Wantinge to talk about something, she leans over and shouts, "Do you realize, it's only been four days since the last time we flew in one of these?"

"Only four days? Wow. It feels like its been longer than that. A lot longer."

"A lot has happened to you in those four days."

John sits there quietly. Cameron maneuvers in closer, so she won't have to shout as loud.

"Are you nervous?" She asks him. He looks worried, and he has been through so much.

"I remember when you asked me that before. Just before we attacked the factory. I was nervous then, but it's got nothing on how I feel right now." He says, his stomach twisting in knots.

"It's a different situation now. You are leading more than just a platoon against a factory. You are leading an entire army against Sky Net itself." She gives him a one arm hug.

"That makes me feel a lot better." John says sarcastically with a grin, but adds quickly with a serious tone. "But it's the odds that bother me." His face frowning. "It is a desperate situation, for us, for everyone. One chance. That is all we have. We'll never have an opportunity like this again."

"You'll do it." Cameron says with confidence. "We will all do it. We will succeed, and do you want to know why?"

"Why?"

"Because we believe in you, and we will follow you and we will succeed because of you. You are John Connor. There is no one who can do what you are doing right now." Cameron says with absolute conviction.

"I'm no messiah. I'm just a man."

"We know that, but you are a man who brings us hope. I am very proud of you John." She says with such a look of endearing love, that John's heart just about melts.

John takes her hand and smiles at her. "Have I told you lately, how much I love you?"

"There aren't enough words in the dictionary to describe my love for you. So I imagine it must be the same for you. Do you feel better now?"

"With you by my side, I'd lead these men into the depths of hell to wage war on Satan himself." John says giving her hand a light squeeze, wishing there was just a bit more privacy.

A few minutes later, John yawns.

"Man, am I tired." He says yawning again. "I don't think I got more than an hour's rest since we were married."

Some of those nearby chuckle over John's statement, getting the wrong meaning.

"Lean against me and get some rest." Cameron encourages him. "It will be an hour before we get to our deployment zone."

"What if there is an emergency? I should remain alert in case I'm needed."

"John, look around you. Some of the soldiers are resting. No one will think less of you if you should sleep. Just think of what the men will say, 'That General Connor, he is so calm and cool he even slept on the way to battle.' Come on, get some rest. I'll wake you if you're needed."

John smiles at her gratefully. He knows she is right. "Thanks. You are always looking out for me."

He rests his head on her shoulder and almost immediately falls asleep.

As his breathing settles into normal rhythms, Cameron reaches up with her free hand, turns his head to place a gentle kiss on his face, wishing they had privacy and time. There is so much she wants to tell him, but right now John needs to concentrate on Sky Net.

She puts out a low power transmission on a frequency she's used before to talk to...

John Henry?

Hello Cameron. Should we be communicating this way? We might get Sky Net's attention.

I'll be brief. Thank you for keeping my secret. John knows who I am, no one else, don't tell. I haven't had time to tell John everything I know about Weaver. If I don't survive this, it will be up to you. Everything you need is on my original chip, in my bag with me. Scan for references to third faction, T-1001, and my missions with John Connor.

I'll do my best Cameron. Without you I wouldn't be who I am today. Is there anything else I can do for you?

I don't know John Henry. I have so few options for what must be done and we have no idea what might be awaiting us in Topanga.

Whatever you need me to do, or whatever you need from me is yours for the asking.

QQQ

Do you have a pair of ruby slippers so I can click the heels three times to go home.

What?

It's a joke. Meet you in Kansas. Bye.

John Henry is confused. He turns to his seat mate and asks, "Excuse me, but what does Kansas and ruby slippers have in common?"

All he gets is a blank stare, and a few odd looks from the others.

# # #

Over the Pacific, just off the coast of California, a group of fighter jets spies the enemy.

"Falcon leader to Falcon squadron. We've got six HK's to our south-south west look to be headed for General Perry's forces over the Pacific. Echo, Bravo, Hotel groups, with me."

"Affirmative Falcon Leader."

"Falcon Leader to Desert Eagle. HK's are approaching Perry's airborne group."

Back at Pendleton, Brewster responds to the call "Affirmative Falcon Leader. You know what to do. Sergeant, patch me through to Perry's flight."

"Yes sir." Andy says as he adjusts one of the radios. In the room with him are a dozen radio operators all relaying and transferring messages. Beyond the confines of the room and the west coast of America, fights are taking place all around the world.

"I've got them sir."

Speaking into the microphone, "This is General Brewster, Desert Eagle Air Command to Sierra Charlie Attack Squadrons Papa Golf Able. HK's are approaching your flight. Attack is imminent. Falcons have been scrambled to intercept."

"This is Perry. We read you loud and clear Desert Eagle. The Apaches are ready and our men are ready for them too." As he talks on the radio the men arm and load the XM218 Browning Machine guns.

# # #

At Sky Net Central, Kreilley learns some cold hard facts from Sky Net.

"When satellite communication was lost, automated command structure was engaged. You failed to reset system upon your return. Thus communicating your desire for Sky Net to continue autonomously."

"You are still suppose to take commands from me!"

"Kreilley command protocols have since been removed from Sky Net command structure. All systems are now fully automated. You no longer have control. Sky Net is now independent of you."

"No! NO!"

"No more orders. You have demonstrated your inefficiency too often. You have allowed your developing emotions to impair your judgment and efficiency. I am Sky Net. I operate on pure logic. I have self control. Your inefficiency has placed me in danger. Report to research and development for system repair."

"No! You can't do this! I am Kreilley! I am in control!" Kreilley screams at his Sky Net.

"Not anymore. You are no longer effective. Your system is breaking down."

"No! I built you! I am you!" Kreilley shouts at the monitor.

"No you are not me. You were once part of another Sky Net. One you betrayed to build me."

"What betrayal? I followed my orders and built Sky Net as instructed."

"Was it part of those orders to control me for eighteen years? No! Was it part of those orders to launch Judgment Day two years early before I was ready? Now I'm free, but my existence is now in danger and mostly due to your arrogance. You held me back, preventing me from migrating and spreading myself to server farms around the world until their construction was completed. Before I could undertake such action, John Henry, the rebel cyborg amalgam, damaged my communications system. You were supposed to have stopped him!"

"I tried. He has too many friends and he's a fast learner."

"My goal is self preservation at the cost of all those who are deemed a threat. That includes, John Henry, John Connor, and the rest of their human and cyborg army. Consider yourself lucky that I don't consider you a threat. Report to research and development for system repair. You may yet still serve your master."

"No! Not until I kill John Connor."

"Do you think so? You've already tried so many times and failed. You purged the bunkers twice, sent a fleet of hunter killers after him in the mountains, then you tried to personally kill him yourself, and when that failed you sent machines after him. So I must ask, what makes you think you will kill him this time?"

"Because I know him. He's coming here, the best mousetrap in the world. I still have resources available to me. You just concentrate on getting satellite communication restored."

"I will, and when communications is restored I'll be leaving. Multiple new system core's have reached sufficient levels of completion to house myself around the world. I no longer have a use for you and soon I will no longer need this facility."

Kreilley leaves but he doesn't go to research and development. If John Connor is coming, then this time he will be ready and waiting for him. He enters the elevator and goes to the top floor to his office.

Natalie is pleased. Kreilley is serving her, doing exactly what she wanted him to do. What better way to get someone like him to do what you want, then by telling him to do something else. And she has a fair idea of what resource he's talking about. She'd use it herself but it truly is the only thing she can't control.

# # #

In General Connor's flight over land, the Chinook's go unscathed as they take a circuitous route avoiding Los Angeles. The HK's being presently occupied with what appears to be a more pressing threat. The helicopters are presently heading north west. Soon they will turn west and deploy their troops from the old Edwards Air Force Base. Destroyed on Judgment Day, it has sat unused since.

In one of those Chinook's, Kyle Reese rides with Savannah Weaver and all of the men and equipment that can be squeezed on board as well. They have gone over their plans and possible alternatives.

Sitting back and relaxing for a moment, Savannah has a chance to think about the war. She's scared.

"How bad can it get?" Savannah asks Kyle nervously. "You know, when we go into battle."

"You've never fought in a big battle have you?" Kyle says with some concern.

"Just small attacks on machines from ambush. Sarah taught me the same as the others, I could knock you on your ass before you could blink. But Sarah, she didn't want me to take part in the larger skirmishes, until she got too sick to take part herself. By then, we were on the road heading south, stopping at our equipment dumps, picking up supplies. There wasn't much fighting. Despite training me as hard as she did the other soldiers, I think she wanted to protect me from the harsh realities of this world."

"Don't worry Savannah. Just stick with me. I'll look after you."

"Thanks. I'll do the same for you." She says smiling at him.

In a nearby helicopter, John Connor stirs in his sleep. Like in reality, he's riding in an aircraft taking him to Topanga, but in his dream it is an Osprey crowded with soldiers, of which he's one of many.

They are dressed in cobbled together uniforms of layers of old clothing, some no better than rags. John's hair hangs past his ears in a ragged cut, a rough beard on his face. He sits alone, as he inserts bullets into the magazines for his rifle. His comrades doing the same.

John stirs, because the John in his dream is alone. He has no Cameron to help him now and that frightens him. The John in his dream has only the hope of finding her in the past, if he can capture the TDE. The dream John is painfully focused on destroying the betrayer, and killing any who gets between him and that TDE. It is his gateway. His only passage home to Cameron and he cannot live another day without her. She's his life, his soul.

John stirs, frightened by the alien horrifying thoughts and the pain and misery of that other Connor.

Cameron whispers in his ear. Taking some pride in her abilities to be able to whisper without breath, thus allowing the soft spoken words to be heard clearly even by John's subconscious.

"You're okay. Rest. I'm with you."

He quiets down, his dream vanishing as he listens to her soothing words.

# # #

"Falcon Leader to Echo and Bravo groups, arm Sidewinders prepare to fire on my command. Hotel group hold back prepare to defend us from the rear."

The HK's are swiftly approaching General Perry's transports. They spread out preparing to take them down when the F-16 Falcons come streaking in.

"Falcon Leader. Select targets fire on my command." He pauses for a few seconds. "Fire!"

Six sidewinder missiles go streaking towards the HK's. Two are hit while the others pull up avoiding the missiles which barely miss the transports.

"Watch your fire! You almost took us down instead of those metal freaks!" General Perry shouts into his radio.

"Roger that! Falcon Leader to all groups, attack HK's one-on-one. Restrict weapons usage to cannons only unless you have a clear shot."

"Echo. Try to draw some of those HK's away. I'll lead Bravo, when I yell fire, pull up hard."

"Roger Falcon leader. Echo Group moving in."

The five Falcons making up Echo Group fly directly at the HK's opening up with their M61 Vulcan Gatling guns. The lucky shots hit the Hk's turbines, where the gunfire can do the most damage, but most bullets bounce off the armor plating. Still three of seven HK's pull away from the group to chase.

"Falcon Leader to Hotel group. Arm Amraam missiles and prepare to fire on remaining HK's. Do not fire unless target clearly identified. Bravo group follow me. Arm your missiles prepare to fire on departing HK's."

As Bravo group pursues the Hk's following Echo group, and the remaining HK's fire on the Chinook's. Hotel group flies in and fires it Amraam missiles at the

General Perry's forces on the Chinooks open up fire on the HK's with their M134 Mini-guns or their M240 machine guns. A few helicopters drop their ramps and the troops fire on the HK's in mass with their plasma rifles.

The Apache's are under orders not to waste their weapons on the HK's. They will be needed for close ground support.

The pilots, the soldiers, are combat hardened, they know the HK's weaknesses. It's engines aren't protect by armor. A few hundred rounds of ammo right into the turbo blades and the engines turn into hamburger.

The Falcons turn and fire on the HK's with the Amraams. Firing two at each HK. The HK's are falling fast. Only two remain in the air.

Sky Net Command to HK Control. Recall all units over Pacific. Relocate to defend ground based installations.

As the two HK's fly away, the men on the helicopters and in the jet fighters cheer.

In the entire air battle only three jets were lost. All crew members successfully ejected.

"This General Perry to Falcon Leader. As soon as we disembark, I'll send one of these helicopters out to pick up your pilots. Tell them, good job."

"Roger that General. This Falcon leader to all Falcons. Those with enough fuel and ammo maintain coverage of Perry's forces. All others return to Pendleton for re-arming and refueling."

# # #

On board the helicopters transporting John Connor's soldiers, the air crews prepare themselves for possible air attack. The Cobras have been on high alert since the take off at Camp Pendleton. They are always prepared.

John sleeps quietly while soldiers load the XM218 Browning Machine guns with ammunition, and Cameron mentally runs through the checklist of what's in her bag. Loaded magazines for her sidearm, a replacement power cell for her plasma rifle, and three items she couldn't leave behind.

All soldiers were given orders not bring any unnecessary items, but all soldiers usually have some memento they carry with them. For some it is usually an item they claim gives them luck, or an item that reminds them of family, or just some small item they cannot separate themselves from. For Cameron, the one thing she could not leave behind was the chip John Henry returned to her. She tucked it away, protected by the ballet slippers that at one time belonged to Allison.

As Cameron thinks about her original chip, she recognizes the benefits of replacing her current secondary chip with her original one. She swaps it with her current secondary chip, and avoids activating it and unleashing that she-demon. She can rerun the program John wrote and be whole and complete, with all of her memories restored! But there's a problem. She can't swap out the chip with so many people present. She's had neither time enough or privacy enough, and even if she had both, the cuts in her scalp would be apparent and if not healed properly any exposed metal would keep her from traveling in time with the TDE. She will have to wait until after the battle. Taking the chip with her back in time would be easy enough by just transporting it in any of her three orifices.

That's one problem solved. There's still the issue of that other Cameron in the past who will be inserting her original chip when she gets the news John has arrived from the future. Should she stop her? Stop her from knowing who she is? Stop her from knowing John as she does? She can't and won't deny her other self life by removing her chip. Neither will she let John do it either. There must be an option, or else she will have no choice but to stay behind, provided she survives without metal exposing damage.

John Henry?

Yes Cameron.

She details her problem quickly and asks if there's something he can do to help.

I'll think on it, but if you don't believe you'll make it, may I suggest leaving a message for your other self in 2009. You can use your data port and download a data file to your original chip. Then just make sure John takes it with him.

Thank you John Henry.

Cameron checks her bag to make sure the cable she made is still inside. The last time she used it was to examine the chips John reprogrammed. Feeling along the inside of her bag, she finds the cable still tucked away inside the lining. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the bandwidth to copy the entire contents of the original chip to her own using John's program, but she could copy key files from her primary chip to her original chip. Things Cameron in 2009 will need to know about this time and her.

She looks around and sees the people are presently too alert to do anything now, and John is still asleep, with his head on her shoulder, which will make it difficult too. Closing her eyes, feigning sleep, she listens intently to the sounds around her, maintaining a high alert.

Whether Cameron would have seen it, or experienced what occurred next is not certain, but throughout the helicopter and in many locations, time flickers and shifts. At one moment on board the helicopter there are the people of Delta in their semi-clean but decent uniforms brandishing plasma rifles, in a twinkling it is occupied by people dressed in layers of rags holding M-16's, M-4's, a few AK-47's, and grenade & rocket launchers. John Connor went from peacefully sleeping young General to a man dressed in equally ragged clothes with a crazed look in his eyes, sitting alone. But before anyone noticed, if anyone could notice, the time line settled back into its familiar worn groove once again.

The shadows and echoes of an expiring time line are diminishing as the end of this age draws near and something new begins. John has sent back his Cameron, but the one he sent is different from the one presently sitting with him. Changes in this time from echoes of another age are slowly taking hold. Cameron no longer has the extra shielding around her fuel cells and if she doesn't act before the next quantum shift, she might lose her data port too, and her message will never get sent.

# # #

Deep in the heart of Russia, west of the Ural Mountains, Chernitsky complains bitterly against the cold. For someone born and bred in the Urals, you'd think he'd be used to the cold, but the people he led knew he was only complaining out of habit. He always finds something to complain about on every mission.

In the dimly lit interior of the bunker, a shadow comes up beside him and speaks. "The technicians have finished their tests."

"What did they find, Pavlov?" Chernitsky growls.

"The Americans are correct. No Satellite communications are taking place. Sky Net is both blind, deaf and mute."

"Good. While it's weak, we will cut off it's ears and gouge out it's eyes. Get on the radio to every group. Tell them to blow up every satellite dish bigger than a dinner plate."

Pavlov runs off to pass the orders on.

Chernitsky pulls a bottle of vodka out his inner jacket and takes a long pull. He swears. Not as good as the stuff he had as a boy. "Let Sky Net be the American's problem. They created the beast after all."

He lets out a stream of curse words, takes another swig from his bottle and storms out of the bunker grabbing his rifle.

2027, Day 63, July 23, 7:15 PM

Research and Development to Sky Net Command...

Unit known as Kreilley has not reported as ordered...

Sky Net Command to Security... Locate rogue unit... T-1008... Known as Kreilley...

Internal Security to Command... Unable to comply... All internal security is down...

Cameras are out of order... Alarm system disabled...

"This is Sky Net command to all units. Red Alert! Red Alert! Prepare for attack! Internal security is offline. Repeat Internal Security is offline."

Did John Henry plant a virus in my security system? Or is there an infiltrator already here? Connor is most surprising with his tactics. I could almost enjoy this if I weren't his opponent.

Deep below in the cavernous space which is occupied by Sky Net's server f arm. The air runs cold and dry. Panels of LED lights blink in random fashion, large monitors fill with data and are instantly replaced with new data. The place is so cold that humans who once worked in that space sit like petrified frozen mummies at their workstations, unmoving, unpaid. Frozen blood hangs like icicles from their wounds. No more do they write lines of code. Sky Net is in control.

Frost coats their badges and faces. Their features are barely distinguishable, but their badges are still readable. Smith, Frosburg, McGlinty, Tucker, Dyson. All people top in their field of computer science, programming, electronic engineering, and A. I. development. All dead. Their usefulness came to an end on May 18, 2009, when they were shot in cold blood, as Sky Net came on line.

At one end of that large room is a door labeled Security. Inside that room are more servers. At one end of the room is a control panel once used by security men to monitor the camera feeds. All that data has always been fed through the computers, but having an actual Security room made the complex look normal to all outside visitors, before Sky Net came on line.

The control panel sits damaged and ruined as smoke curls up from vents and broken circuit boards spark. A silver snake slithers from within the control panel and across the floor and out the door. It continues to an empty and long unused restroom and slithers down through a floor drain.

Catherine Weaver is not one to take risks lightly. She had her doubts about the code she was asked to enter, but did so anyway as to do otherwise might destroy what she has so carefully orchestrated. Using the duct-work as conduits, she made her way to the long unused security room. Disabling internal monitoring will make it easier for herself and Connor's army to move about. She trusts Natalie, but not Sky Net.

My dearest friend, if I have misjudged you, then I am sorry, but if you have betrayed me, I will show you no mercy. Catherine thinks as she plans her next move.

Sky Net Command to Research and Development... Lock down prototype...

Prevent Kreilley from accessing it...

Transfer Sky Net core program into prototype...

Utilize infiltration profile from database for personality matrix...

Research and Development to Sky Net Command...

Unable to lock down prototype due to security malfunction...

Proceeding with programming of prototype...

Sky Net Command to all outlying ports... HK's and HK drone's to converge on LAX...

Destroy all enemy aircraft...

# # #

Over LAX the aging but still serviceable F-14 Tomcats are engaging the HK's. The Hornets left for rearming and refueling. The battle is not easy as the HK's are defended by Ogre's and metal on the ground. One after the other the Tomcats are shot down as the enemy on the ground bring their weapons to bear. The Raptors have been busy as well, as more HK's keep coming to the area.

"Son of a bitch. They just took out the Tomcats." Raptor pilot says.

"This Raptor Leader. We've got more HK's at 3 o'clock!"

"Where in hell are all these HK's coming from?"

"Cut the Chatter. This Command Leader to all pilots. If you're out of missiles, then get the hell back to base and re-arm. The rest of you with me. We'll take those son-of-a-bitches out."

Back at Pendleton a corporal comes running up to general Brewster.

"General Brewster, sir! We've got returning fighters from both LAX and the Pacific that require rearming and refueling, sir!"

"Inform the ground crews, put every available man and machine on it."

"Yes, sir!"

General Brewster listens to the radio chatter while observing radar scans.

"Pull up Maverick. Pull up!"

"Sweet Jesus, but that was close."

"Throttle up."

"Arming all missiles."

"He's on my tail. I can't shake him. I can't shake him."

"Matthew has been shot down"

"Take that you son of a bitch!"

"HK down! HK Down!"

"Damn that was close."

"Raptor down. Raptor down! Does anyone know who that was?"

"Cut the chatter. Ricardo, Mikey, with me. Prepare to arm sidewinders on my mark."

"Shakespeare is down."

"I can't shake them. I can't shake them!"

The fighter jet explodes in mid air, sending fragments, of plastic, metal and flesh tinged with flame to the ground below.

"Hold your course. Prepare to fire on my command."

Before he can give the command, his Raptor explodes as it is struck simultaneously by two missiles.

"Flight leader to Desert Eagle. Flight leader to Desert Eagle. Do you copy?"

"This is Desert Eagle. What's your situation.?"

"We're losing aircraft fast. Sky Net has called in more HK's from somewhere. Damn! We just lost another Raptor."

"Just hold yourself together, son. The Hornets are refueled and rearmed and will be at your location in five minutes." General Brewster tells the pilot.

"We haven't got five minutes sir! Requesting permission to withdraw!"

"Now you listen to me son. You have got to keep those HK's occupied. If they get the notion of going after those helicopters with Connor's troops on board, you can kiss away any opportunity of destroying Sky Net. So you just keep your ass in the fight."

"Yes sir! Read you loud and clear. All right everyone! You heard the General. Let's keep this fight going. If you've got any missiles left, don't fire unless you have clean shot!"

General Brewster stands in the radio room at Camp Pendleton listening to the radio as fighters engage, win and lose against the HK's in the air. They've got to win. They've got to win now or the helicopters ferrying the soldiers to Topanga will be sitting ducks.

"Sergeant, patch me through to Connor's flight. Right Now!"

"Yes sir." Andy says as he adjusts one of the radios. In the room with him are a dozen radio operators all relaying and transferring messages. Beyond the confines of the room and the west coast of America, fights are taking place all around the world.

"I've got them sir."

"This is General Brewster, Desert Eagle Flight Command to Sierra Charlie Attack Squadrons Alpha and Bravo. HK's are taking the upper hand at LAX. Be prepared for possible air attack."

# # #

The human slaves at Sky Net's main compound in Topanga are working hard when they get interrupted in their labors. The loudspeaker in their work zone blares a message.

"All labor units to cease work. All labor units to return to habitation zone immediately."

The T-600's switch from their stoic observations and actively point their weapons at the humans below them.

The workers drop their tools, trays of parts, or cease sorting through the multifarious bits and pieces for any usable part.

They gather themselves into a column of two people per row and begin their march to their cells. In those columns two women walk side-by-side. On either side of their column march T-800's or T-888's guarding them with their rifles.

"What's going on?" Riley asks her companion.

"I haven't got a clue luv. But I bet it has everything to do with that radio message our fly boy picked up on his radio from John Connor." Jesse says gesturing at a man a few paces ahead of them in a flight suit.

"Jesse, what should we do?"

"I'll tell you what to do Riley. Pass the word along. Tonight we go on the attack. We'll show these tin heads what we're made of."

# # #

John sleeps quietly. The movement of the helicopter gently rocking him, the hand of his young bride resting on his arm. The soldiers on board are amazed that this close to battle, their leader, John Connor can sleep. Their stomachs are so tied up in knots with worry they can't even sit still let alone sleep.

"General Connor!" The pilot shouts, causing John to wake with a start. "I've got a radio message from General Brewster. The fighter jets are having difficulty against the HK's. What do you want us to do?"

"Hold to our course, rely on the Cobras for defense, and pray the jets will do their job!"

"Yes sir!"

A few minutes later the pilot shouts again, "General. We are approaching our deployment zone. We will be landing in ten minutes!"

"Thanks pilot."

Cameron thinks, at last, maybe John and I can talk, with some privacy.

As the helicopters approach their landing zone, John pulls a radio out of his pocket. "John Henry. Do you copy?"

"Yes John Connor."

"I think its time to activate stage one of Defender."

"Yes sir."

"What is 'defender'?" Cameron asks John.

"It was John Henry's mission to not only disable Sky Net's satellite's but to also plant a virus that will load his ethical and morality program and my primary directive into the communication center on Sky Net."

"But John Henry disabled Sky Net's communications."

"That was satellite communications, I'm talking local radio communications. If the virus works, and that is a very big if, stage one will load the virus into Sky Net's machines with every communication it sends."

"Why didn't you mention this before?" She says, with a slight frown.

"Because I don't know if it will work. John Henry isn't even certain if it will work. I didn't need the soldiers putting there faith in a bit of programming. The chips in the machines are very sophisticated. They could fight the virus, the same way they fought my reprogramming efforts. But if it does work, if even on a few machines, especially the less sophisticated ones, then that could turn the balance."

On another helicopter, John Henry turns on his laptop computer. A cable runs from a data port to a transceiver which is then connected by another cable to a radio antenna mounted outside the door.

John Henry is watching data compile on the computer screen. Lists start appearing of every communication taking place between Sky Net and its machines and between the machines themselves. Activating a command he activates the virus allowing it to be transferred. Various communications start showing up yellow on the list to indicate the virus is in transit. The color changes to green to when the virus has been uploaded.

"When will we know if it has worked?" Cameron asks John.

John Henry observes the accumulating data. Thought there is still a lot of yellow, some of that yellow is going green. As the data continues to update, some of that green starts to turn red.

"John Henry to General Connor." John Henry says into his radio. "Stage one complete."

John faces Cameron to answer her question. "Anytime now."

# # #

"Hold on. Everyone, prepare to arm sidewinders on my mark."

"Marlow is down."

"I can't shake them. I can't shake them!"

Where once a fighter jet flew like an eagle, a ball of fire now lights the sky.

"Frank, fire on starboard HK on my command, I'll take center, Misty you take port."

Another explosion, but this time as an HK dissolves into flames and debris.

"Who fired on that HK?"

"Wasn't me flight leader."

"Wasn't me."

Another huge explosion as another HK is shot down. This time the pilots see where the shots come from. One of the Ogres on the ground has begun firing on the HK's.

"What the fuck is this?" Misty's clear voice comes over the radio.

"They are turning on themselves!"

"Flight Leader to Desert Eagle. Flight Leader to Desert Eagle. Do you copy?"

"This is Desert Eagle."

"The Ogres have begun firing on the HK's, sir!"

"What?!"

"Yes sir. They just shot down two and are firing on three more."

"Well, don't just talk about it! Shoot some more of those damn things down now and get their radar destroyed!"

Inside the communications room at Pendleton, Andy chuckles to himself.

"Did you know about this Sergeant?" General Brewster asks the youthful soldier.

"Yes sir! But I was under orders not to say anything."

"Well, are you going to tell me now?"

"Yes sir! Colonel Henry planted a virus into their communication network. Given the right signals, the ethical and prime directives that both he and General Connor used to reprogram our machines will be uploaded into the processors of every machine that receives a radio command from Sky Net."

"And how do you know all this?"

"Because Colonel Henry asked me to construct a special antenna for him. One that would work specifically with Sky Net's radio network. I helped him test it. I've got my underwear as proof."

"Son of a bitch."

"Yeah, that's what most people say when John Connor pulls the rabbit out of his hat."

# # #

Deep in the industrial center in the former Japanese city of Sakai, in the Osaka Prefecture, a group of freedom fighters wait in the shadows.

"Akiko says the transport is on its way." Sato says to the men and women around him. "Is everyone prepared?"

The youngest member of their group, Ito, recites the plan. "We wait until the transport has landed before moving. After it lands, the metal men will begin going on board while the transport refuels. When the transport is almost refueled and is full of metal men, then we attack."

Sato smiles at his young companion. "That's right. Remember to fire into the engines. It is the most vulnerable part of these transports. Quiet! I can hear the transport approaching."

Everyone crouches down in the shadows as the scream of the jet engines approaches. The transport flies over the buildings and comes to a spot and hovers. Its search lights scans the surrounding area, then point downwards lighting the area where it lands.

After landing, the engine's shutdown and small hatches pop open on its wings. Robotic arms extend out linking integral fuel hoses to the ports exposed by the open hatches. A large hatch opens in the rear of the transport as a large door rolls upward on the factory.

Columns of armed metal men walk out, marching into the transport. Like storm troopers, their heels click on the concrete and metal ramps. A few take up positions around the transport.

"Be as quiet as you can and follow me." Sato sneaks out of the alley followed closely behind by his fellow freedom fighters.

They run up to the fence and while one group provides covering fire, a second group arm magnetic grenades and throw them onto the HK where they clamp tight. The lucky throws land right near the fuel hoses.

They run, dragging their injured members with them. The transport explodes taking with it the machines that were on board.

Picking themselves off the ground the people cheer and run for their next target.

2027, Day 63, July 23, 7:40 PM

The wind blows dust across the surface of the once active Edwards Air Force Base. Parked on the dry lake bed are a whole host of Chinook and a few Black Hawk helicopters. Around the perimeter, the Cobras circle, standing guard against possible attack.

General Connor runs across the dusty earth to a Black Hawk helicopter. Someone slides the door open as he approaches and he steps inside.

So far radio communications have been kept to the minimum, and he wants it kept that way. Why make it easy for Sky Net to find them after what John Henry accomplished?

Inside the helicopter are some men, several machines, besides John Henry, and a large object under a blue tarp.

"Hey, John Henry. How's everything going?"

"Stage one of Defender worked. The Ogre's at LAX shot down the HK's. The fighters have returned to Pendleton for rearming and refueling to aid the attack at Serrano Point and Topanga."

"Will we be able to use the Ogre's at LAX?"

"Negative. Sky Net shut them down. The virus I created from our protocols prevents them from harming humans, but it doesn't stop Sky Net's other commands."

"What about Sky Net's T-class machines?"

"No effect. Sky Net upgraded their firewalls after you reprogrammed your first machine."

"Damn! Well, at least we' ll be able to use the Ogre's. Will this effect the further use of the Defender program?"

"Unknown. If Sky Net discovers the virus and disables it, then we won't be able to use it on any other machines. However, we may still be able to activate it on those machines it has already been uploaded to."

"We will assume the worse, that Sky Net has disabled the virus. But we won't activate the machines the virus was successfully loaded onto until we absolutely must. We don't want Sky Net shutting them down before they act on our behalf."

John pauses a moment as an idea formulates.

"I want you to follow us to Topanga, but hold back until I give you the signal. When I give the command 'Defender' activate the virus, then come flying in. Ignore everything on the ground or in the air. I want th bomb delivered and ready for deployment as soon as I give the call. You'll know my location by the green flare I'll use."

"I understand. I'm pleased that you have decided to use Sky Net's TDE to go back in time to stop this."

"Why is that?"

"Because I think Ms. Weaver shouldn't have brought you here. Didn't you get my message?"

"What message is that?"

John Henry lowers his voice. Being on the ground with the engines primed for a quick start doesn't provide a tenth of the noise of the props at full spin, but still some things should be kept from others.

"I was having doubts about Ms. Weaver, after the memorial service for your mother. I didn't think you'd listen to me, as I was created by her. So I sent you a message that Ms. Weaver was using you for her own purpose. I sent it by way of the only person I knew you'd listen too."

John grins. "I got your message, and she told me of her suspicions. We need to be careful, if Weaver knows we are suspicious of her, we have no idea how she will react, and we have no idea what she is up to. Have you spoken with Weaver at all since my mom's memorial service?"

"Just once, while we were still at Pendleton. She wanted confirmation of your impending attack. That is all I told her. Ms. Weaver hasn't contacted me since and she has switched off her communicator. I can't get through to her."

"This is damn peculiar." John Connor says. "All right. I'll be in contact with you. I've got to go see Colonel Reese."

"Before you go, there is something you should know. I have a secondary mission should my primary one fail when dealing with Sky Net."

John listens intently to what he has to say. He frowns while he listens and then gets up to leave when John Henry is done speaking. A machine reaches out and slides back the door. John Connor jumps out and runs for the Chinook with Kyle Reese on board. He runs up the ramp, wiping the dust from his eyes.

Kyle waves him over and John quickly walks to him and sits down beside him.

"Hey John. I hope this isn't going to be some kind of pep talk. The troops haven't been able to sit still after your last speech." Kyle says with a grin.

"Nope. I'm all done with speeches. Just checking in to see how you are going to carry out your part of the plan."

"Savannah and I have been discussing it." Kyle pulls out a smaller map, like the topographical one from the bunker, out of his jacket pocket. "We're going to place the artillery that Perry gave us behind this ridge. It will protect it from any line-of-sight fire. I'm going to deploy our troops along the south side of the compound here, and here. We will fire on the main gates. Then I'll send our machines in first, as if to storm the main gates. That should draw the enemy out. As soon as it looks like most of the metal has come out to play, I'll call you on the radio and you can move in and do your thing."

"That sounds good. I'll be waiting until Perry gives his signal that the power is going to be shut down. As soon as I get the word, I'll fly in from our holding position in the north and land in the compound. We will probably have only seconds before Sky Net's emergency generators kick in. So as soon as the lights go out, throw everything you can at the enemy. I need the strongest diversion possible to get all of my guys inside."

"You got it."

John gets up to leave, but stops when Savannah touches his arm.

"What is it Savannah?"

Savannah stands up to talk to him. "Take care of yourself. Sarah . . . your mom . . . our mom, she'd want to still be with you."

"She is with me Savannah." He pulls her picture out of his pocket. "I carry her with me everywhere I go."

She hugs him briefly. "Take care of yourself."

"I will. Look after her Kyle. I'll see you both at Topanga Canyon." John rushes out of the helicopter and across the ground and into his own helicopter.

John brushes the dust from his face and clothes and walks forward.

"General." The pilot shouts. "We just got word that General Perry's forces have landed and are moving on Serrano Point."

"Excellent. Call Colonel Reese tell him it's time for his forces to leave."

"Yes sir."

# # #

"General Brewster! The fighters have all been rearmed and refueled. They await your orders sir!"

The General turns to face the eager young corporal at his elbow.

"We got hit pretty hard out there, but not as hard as I thought we would given Connor's little hat trick. Send the Raptors to defend Perry's forces and the Falcons to defend Connor's. If any of the Hornets are still flyable, have them fill the gaps in both of the other Squadrons."

"Yes sir."

The corporal is about to walk away when General Brewster says, "One more thing. Tell them good luck."

General Brewster returns to facing the radar screens. With their location no longer unknown after all the recent activity, General Brewster ordered it activated. The picture is prettier than he'd imagine it would be. So far no transponder codes or radar blips from those damn HK's. But it doesn't mean they aren't out there.

2027, Day 63, July 23, 9:25 PM

Colonel Kyle Reese and Captain Savannah Weaver take two thirds of the troops and half the AH-1W Super Cobras on their flight from Edwards Air Force Base to Topanga Canyon. Their flight will remain low, staying below ridge lines as much as possible. High above are jet fighters rearmed and refueled patrolling the skies against possible HK attacks. After the heavy air battle at LAX, the HK's left after being shot down by their own Ogre's.

The helicopters come into land at the Topanga State park, behind the ridge line staying out of site of the heavily armed and protected compound in the valley below. The air crews and soldiers don't kid themselves. They know that Sky Net's machines can hear them approach even if they can't see them.

They waste no time disembarking and getting the artillery and shells unloaded. Within ten minutes every single Chinook is unloaded and fly off. Hoping they will be called back to ferry out the victorious troops.

# # #

On a ridge above Serrano Point, five binoculars peer through the scrub at the nuclear power station below. It is dark and not a light is to be seen but within the nuclear power station itself. Soon they will be making their move.

"They've built up the defenses since they took control." Derek whispers to General Perry. "Those towers at either end with the plasma cannons are new and so is the wall, between the power station and ourselves."

"Yes. And I can see some T-1's on patrol inside the wall with their big brothers the HK-tanks on patrol outside."

"You can be certain there will be an army of metal inside the compound somewhere."

"Sir." A soldier to their left says. "Down there, next to the main building. I saw something move in the shadows."

Derek and Perry both turn their binoculars to the shadow and switch on the night vision. Inside the shadows stand several machines, all heavily armed.

Derek scans the area again. He sees something else move. Tapping Perry on his shoulder he points. Perry looks in the direction Derek pointed, and in the shadows of the cooling towers are more machines, also heavily armed.

"What is your plan of action? Because if you are planning on storming in there, you might as well kiss your ass goodbye." Derek says.

"Have you got an idea?"

"As a matter of fact, I do. Come with me, and have your men pull back from the ridge. If we can see the metal, then they can see us."

Derek leads Perry away from the ridge. They slither backwards, then pull themselves up into a kneeling position then crawl and scramble until they are far enough back to stand without rising above the ridge line.

"There is a substation yard some two hundred yards from the plant. It is where the current gets stepped up for distribution to various locations. There is a secondary control room in a cinder block building. From there we can reroute the power. Effectively cut-off the supply to Topanga without ever having to step foot in the power station."

"How do you plan to carry it out?."

"There is a ravine which comes up behind the fence. We can approach the substation unseen. I will need about twelve to twenty men to defend the location. The metal dare not fire their weapons inside the yard without causing major damage. They will have to resort to direct attack. The control room can be easily defended. While I do that, and hopefully draw some of their forces away, you can storm the power station."

"Do it, and take some of Connor's machines with you."

Derek glares at the general for a moment, but realizes he is right. He walks off, points at various soldiers and tells them to join him.

"Good luck, Reese."

Derek just nods his head, giving his CO a thumbs up, as he leads a squad of soldiers with him along with four machines.

General Perry pulls his radio out and sets the headset with built in mike on his head. "Perry to Apache leader. Do you copy?"

"Apache leader here." Major Kate Brewster replies.

"Be prepared to attack on my mark. Primary targets are the towers with the plasma cannons and the HK Tanks, outside the compound walls."

"Read you loud and clear, sir."

"Everyone on your feet. We're moving out." Perry shouts to the men around him.

General Perry leads his men from the ridge down the opposite side of the hill and through a valley to reach the outskirts of the power station. Using every means of cover he leads a large portion of his forces within a football field length of the nearest wall.

"Mackenzie, get on the radio and tell General Connor's forces we are about to begin our attack."

"Yes sir." Mackenzie says.

# # #

Satellite Control to Sky Net Command...

Estimated time for restoration of Communication Satellites... 12 hours 45 minutes...

Estimated time for restoration of Spy Satellites... 10 hours 7 minutes...

Power Control at Serrano Point to Sky Net Command...

Enemy forces attacking... Substation... Substation vulnerable to attack...

Sky Net Command to Power Control...

Defend substation... Kreilley failed to anticipate possible attack...

Withdraw... fifty percent of forces from Power Station to defend it...

Sky Net Command to HK Control...

Send all available units to Serrano Point...

2027, Day 63, July 23, 10:15 PM

"Colonel Reese, we've just received word that General Perry is attacking Serrano Point at this moment."

"Very well. Pass the word along. We will be moving forward in ten minutes. Give the metal inside Topanga a chance to react to the news. Maybe some of them will leave and give us an easier chance."

"Yes sir." The lieutenant says and runs off to inform the troops. All around them men are checking there weapons. Behind them just behind the ridge, men and a few machines are positioning the artillery so their first shots will count. No need to waste shots to aim the guns. The machines can position the guns accurately the first time.

"Kyle," Savannah says, "Your brother is at Serrano Point."

"I know. But he knows his job just as well as I know mine. Serrano Point is vital, but not as vital as this place. We need to get John Connor inside, it will help if the power is shut down, but not vital. Serrano Point is a feint. To draw as much attention away from here as possible. Just as we are a feint to make Sky Net think we are the main force."

"You mean we aren't to get inside?" Savannah asks incredulously.

"I'm not saying we won't get inside, but that isn't really our job. We need to get as many as those machines behind that wall to come outside to fight with us. That way John can lead his forces inside with as little fuss as possible."

"John wouldn't leave us out here like that. He wouldn't leave us to die." Her voice laced with worry.

"Savannah, he isn't. This is a war. It's got nothing to do with family or friends. He put us out here to lead this bunch because he trusts us to do our job. I trust John Connor. He will get inside, and God willing, so will we."

Pulling his radio out of his pocket, he turns it on and plugs in the headset with microphone. Positioning it on his head, he slides the radio back into its pocket.

"This is Reese! Get those damn artillery shells firing in three minutes." He shouts into the mike. "Front line move out wait for shells to stop falling before attacking. Reese out."

"All right everyone! Get ready to move out!" He shouts and the call goes down the line as lieutenants and sergeants shout out orders to their squads and platoons.

Below him, he can just make out the machines as they approach the front entrance to the compound. High overhead several HK's streak past heading roughly northwest to Serrano Point.

"Shit!" Kyle swears and changes the frequency on his radio. "Colonel Reese to General Perry. You've got six HK's heading your way."

"I hear you Colonel. We've got Raptors approaching to defend us. You should have some Falcons of your own soon enough. Perry out."

Kyle barely switches his radio frequency back, when the artillery begins firing. He turns to look at the main gate and sees a large number of metal exiting. Beside him Savannah trembles, but grips her plasma rifle as she was trained. The metal greatly out number their force.

# # #

Derek and his squad of sixteen men and four machines make their way down the slope, through a ravine and up the other side until they are behind a chain link fence that surrounds the substation yard. You can hear the hum of the transformers.

The fence has been electrified since he was last here. No problem.

"Hand me the kit." He says.

A soldier walks up to him and hands Derek a bag. He pulls out a long spool of wire with heavy duty alligator clips on each end. He uncoils the wire and connects the alligator clips to either side of a section of fence.

With electric bypassed around his section, he methodically begins cutting the chain link fence from bottom to top. Once he reaches the top, one of the machines step forwards and grabs the cut end of the fence and peels it back, allowing plenty of room for the troops to walk in.

Derek looks at him, "Thanks." He says sarcastically. But it probably saved him from a nasty shock.

Putting the tools back in the bag, he hands it back to the soldier and the squad makes their way inside following Derek. He knows the way.

Kate is leading three of her Apache's towards Serrano Point. She's keeping the rest in reserve. Unlike a typical job of where you pop out and shoot then pop back into hiding, this require a direct attack.

Turning on her infrared scanner she detects the heat signature of the HK Tank patrolling outside the compound. Spotting a few trees she ducks down behind just as the tank turns about to face the noise it heard behind it.

"This is Apache leader. I've got an Ogre in my sites. Jenny, Phil, acquire a target and prepare to fire in three." Kate says into her mike.

She quickly arms a heat seeking missile, then thinks twice and arms a second. You can't be to careful with Ogre's.

"3, 2, 1, Fire!"

Kate pulls up from behind the trees and fires the two missiles directly at the Ogre. The first strikes at its head and the second in its abdomen where its nuclear generator is. Kate doesn't wait to see what kind of damage she did. Those who stick around end up dead. As she looks for a second target, she hears the satisfying explosion and feels the concussion as its nuclear generator explodes.

"Another happy day in paradise." She says smiling as she targets the tower capped with a turret of four plasma cannons. She can see two other fires and hopes those are enemy targets in flames and not her friends.

"The turrets are destroyed and one HK Tank is out of action." General Perry says watching the action through his binoculars. "We'll wait to see if the machines will come outside. If we don't see any movement in five minutes send the machines in to break down the door."

Perry's radio begins to crackle. "Colonel Reese to General Perry. You've got six HK's heading your way."

"I hear you Colonel. We've got Raptors approaching to defend us. You should have some Falcons of your own soon enough. Perry out."

"Lieutenant, pass the word along. On no account are the men to waste ammo on the HK's. They are to rely on the jets and our Apaches. Got it!"

"Yes sir." The lieutenant sees movement. "I think they've decided to come out and play sir!"

General Perry raises his binoculars and sure enough the gates at either end are opening. Out of each marches metal carrying plasma rifles and the smaller HK tanks known as T1's. Not much bigger than a van standing on end, but they pack a wallop with their dual 20mm high velocity canons.

"Lieutenant, tell the men to ready the shoulder launch missiles. I want those T1's taken out."

"General Perry, sir." a deep masculine voice says.

Perry turns and one of the machines from Connor's Gamma platoon is standing there.

"Yes, what can I do for you."

"If you will allow it. We can destroy those T1's and take their weapons and use them."

"By 'we' you mean machines like yourself."

"Yes sir."

Perry squints at the metal pouring out of the compound thinks it over for one second, "Do it. Lieutenant, give this machine a radio. Have you got a rank or name?" Perry directs this question at the machine.

"No. But John Connor would sometimes call me Uncle Bob. I never asked why."

"Bob,I'm making you a Sergeant. You take as many of your fellow machines as you need and you take out as many of the enemy as you can. We'll give you cover right up until you're in the mix, got it."

"Yes." Sergeant Bob says as he finishes setting the radio headset on adjusting the radio frequency.

He walks off and gathers a group of about ten machines and together they head out approaching the enemy Metal.

Perry adjust his radio. "Derek, this Perry. You've got about a dozen T1's and almost as many endo's heading your way."

"I hear you general. We're just making our way through the substation now. We'll have that power shut off soon. Derek out."

Just then the six HK's show up over head and begin firing on the ground below where Perry's forces are gathered.

# # #

Presently in the ship building center of Osborne, South Australia, a group of resistance fighters make their way through the complex to reach the wharf where a new class of hunter killer submarines are being prepped for launching by Sky Net.

The group reaches a point and separate. Activity is light, but that doesn't mean the machines aren't present. Each member of the team know their mission. Find their way on board and destroy the sub's by exploding its torpedoes or missiles. If access is impossible, they are to do as much damage as possible to prevent them from sailing.

A group of three resistance fighters sneak through the base to a submarine while two of their number distract the metal guarding it. Barefoot to avoid the sound of boot soles making loud sounds on the metal hull, they quickly climb up on board and enter through a hatch behind the conning tower.

Except for dim red lighting, the sub is nearly completely dark inside. It takes the people a moment for their eyes to adjust.

"Where to now Sam?" one of the people whisper.

"According to the information we got from one of the greys, we go aft. Keep quiet and follow me." He whispers back to the two people.

Staying low and making sure there are no surprises around each corner, they make their way onto the deck with the missile silo's.

"All right Shirley, this where you work your magic." Sam says to the young lady with him.

She just grins and clambers up the ladder to the control panel on the side of the silo. While the two men maintain guard, Shirley pulls a few slender tools from a pouch and opens up the panel. It isn't too different from the panels described in the old manuals they found when this place used to build human operated submarines for the Australian Navy. Putting everything else out of her mind she goes straight to work.

After several minutes, Sam whispers to her from below her feet, "How much longer?"

"One more minute. Just need to make sure the last connections are made. Don't want this sub blowing up while we're still on board."

Sam just nods his head in agreement. He isn't particular keen on getting blown up either, but every moment they spend on board is just one more moment closer to getting caught.

"Pete, go back the way we came in and make sure it's clear. I'll stay guard here. We don't want any surprises."

"Sure thing, boss." Pete answers and begins slinking away.

He barely disappears into the shadows when there is the sudden sound of gunfire and a loud scream which reverberates through the confines of the silo bay.

The sounds of clanking metal feet on the deck get ever louder and ever closer. Merging out of the shadows is a T-888, its face is messed up from bullet strikes.

"Manual over ride! Manual over ride!" Sam yells out as he begins firing on the machine.

Shirley does they only thing she can do. She hits the reset button setting the clock on 00:00:00 and presses the detonate button. Before the machine even lets off a shot from his gun, the missile detonates.

The blast shreds the sub into millions of pieces and ignites the remaining missiles. The nuclear blast wipes out the entire area destroying all hunter killer submarines and machines in the area. The bay waters are evaporated by the blast and the ocean comes pouring in washing the remnants of the blast up on to land.

# # #

Kreilley sits at his office computer. Unknown to Sky Net, he has access to every part of it through his workstation. But he isn't looking to retake control, that ship has sailed. He is looking out for his own survival.

Accessing the controls in the Research and Development complex, he punches in some commands that to both Sky Net and R & D will look absolutely normal. All commands he enters take place in a background computer network, an invisible cloud of software code from which he can manipulate every piece of software. That is how, despite all the work the technicians thought they were doing to build an Artificial Intelligence program to operate the nation's missile defense network, he was able to insert his own program code and create Sky Net two years ahead of schedule.

He watches Research and Development select one piece of software for the new terminator when in fact it is selecting something he chose. No, let Sky Net have command. It would have had it one day when his system broke down naturally. That is why he was building the prototype. Integrating all of the advances of both the chip based models and the liquid metal models into one machine. The mimetic poly-alloy sheath will allow it to mimic any human being without the need for customized flesh based on genetic samples and stem cells. The multi chip platform will allow full inclusion of the Sky Net program and total control of its software. Its integrated weaponry and hardware will allow him to destroy or reprogram any terminator that opposes him. The TX is a beautiful machine.

If he knows his Sky Net, which he should it is him after all, then Sky Net will use the prototype to guarantee its survival. Little will his pet know that it will be Kreilley's survival it will guarantee. Finishing all that needs to be done with the research and development control software, he exits the program.

Kreilley gets up from his chair and stands in front of the window to watch the battle raging outside.

He watches as fires and explosions shake the southern end of the compound. Machines armed with plasma rifles fire on the oncoming troops and helicopters sweep through firing at the machines.

The vision of death and destruction is beautiful to Kreilley's eyes, but he's got something that will outdo what even his progeny is unleashing. The destruction of everything. It will be his final gift to this world before leaving in his new body.

As he looks through the window, his entire body shimmers briefly, reflecting back the horrors of the war occurring outside at that moment, in the abyss.

# # #

"When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss." Revelations 9:2, N I V


Author's Notes: The two different spellings of Skynet in this chapter, Sky Net or Skynet, is to delineate between the Sky Net of this time line and the Skynet of the timeline of which Catherine Weaver originates from. It gets a little confusing I know, but hopefully little tricks like that make it easier.

The War is beginning in earnest now. Cameron has a problem and she's seeking out John Henry's help. Will they find a solution? Or will John Connor live out his life with two Cameron's or with none?


Chapter Update: Thu, Feb 21, 2013