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 30

Storming the Gates of Hell

"The Gates of Hell are open night and day; smooth the descent, and easy is the way:

But, to return, and view the cheerful skies; in this, the task and mighty labor lies."

Virgil quotes (Ancient Roman Latin Poet and Author of the epic, Aeneid. 70 BC-19 BC)

"Riding the white horse faithful and true, With the armies of heaven behind

His eyes were like fire, he wore many crowns, He suffered the pain for mankind

Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth, And their armies were gathered to fight

Into the lake of fire they fell, Storming the gates of Hell"

RIOT, Lyrics, Storming the Gates of Hell, From the album Privilege of Power © 1990

"You've got people here who have grown to love you. The people at Outpost Delta would invade hell itself if you lead them." Catherine Weaver, REUNION Part 1, The Shadow of Death, Chapter 14

"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us… they can't get away this time." General Lewis "Chesty" Puller, When Surrounded By 8 Enemy Divisions During WW2

# # #

2027, Day 64, July 24, 11:00 PM

Plasma beams fire all around Derek and his squad as they make their way through the substation.

"Damn!" Derek shouts as a beam barely misses him. Hot molten metal drips to the ground leaving a hole in the structure where Derek's head was.

"Keep down and keep moving forward!" He shouts at his men.

"Sir! We've got HK's approaching!" A soldier hollers, as the soldier's fire at the oncoming group of endo's.

The air above them is filled with bullets and plasma beams as the T-1's and T-888's fill all available air space with gunfire.

"Oh Friggin hell! That is all we need." Derek rolls over, staying low, and crawls up next to one of Connor's machines.

"Do something so we can get in that control building!" Derek shouts through gritted teeth. Relying on the machines was the last thing he wanted to do, but he doesn't have a choice.

"Yes sir." The cyborg answers.

As one, the four machines get up and approach the endo's and T-1's, staying behind every bit of valuable cover. The endo's dare not fire their plasma rifles if they should hit a transformer, or relay panel, they could shut down the power themselves. However, they do manage to fire at visible arms and legs, but they hit nothing vital and do no serious damage. They have to hit their chip or their power cell to do any serious damage.

Spreading out and finding their own approaches, the cyborgs step out and attack the leading endo's. They fight and begin wrestling for the plasma rifles.

"Everybody! Grab your weapons and run." Derek jumps up and begins moving towards the building. He grabs one fellow by the scruff of the neck and turns him around. "Wrong way buddy, the building is that way!" and gives the kid a shove in the right direction.

He can't be more than thirteen, Derek thinks. A hell of an age to be fighting in the trenches.

They run for the building firing their weapons at the machines as they go. They reach the building under heavy gun fire and plasma rounds.

Derek doesn't bother trying the door, if it was him in charge, it would be locked. He fires his gun at the lock three times then kicks open the door. Everybody who is still alive comes running in right behind him.

"Check your ammo and your guns!" Derek shouts as he pulls a flashlight from the kit. "How many made it?"

"There are eight of us sir, plus the machines outside." A soldier responds.

"Friggin hell." Derek swears as he shines the flashlight on the equipment. Dials, switches, digital readouts cover a wall of panels. This is going to take some concentration. It's been ten years since the last time he stepped into this room. Ten years since that old engineer told him how to operate the controls.

Bullets puncture the cinder block walls. Everyone ducks down.

"Form a perimeter around the building." Derek shouts. "Jones, McKnight stay here and provide cover. This is going to take awhile."

Derek adjusts his radio and speaks, "Perry this Derek. We've gained entry to the building. Tell Connor I'll have that power shutdown."

"Good job Derek. Our men are tied down out here fighting the metal, and we've got HK's. We won't be able to relieve you. You will have to hold that position."

"I understand General. Like the man said, 'It is better to go down fighting then just going down.' Derek out."

"Jones! Hold this light while I try to remember how to operate this crap!" Jones runs over, leans his rifle against the control panel and takes the light from Derek. McKnight stays at the door, his M60 ready to hit anything not in his squad, for a squad is all it is now going by numbers alone.

Gun and plasma fire continues to be fired outside. A few stray shots come through the door, while bullets continue to pot mark the outside of the building. McKnight returns fire.

"Sir, we've got enough C4. Why don't we just blow this up instead of trying to shut down the power to one location?"

"Because Jones, we blow it up, we can cause a massive power feedback to the nuclear reactor. Then you know what happens next?" Derek responds as he checks over the control panel

Jones just shakes his head.

"Boom! That's what happens. The nuclear reactor explodes taking us and about 20 square miles with it, leaving the entire west coast of California contaminated with so much nuclear fallout no human will be able to survive let alone live in this area for generations. Leaving the only ones to occupy it Sky Net and its hordes of machines. So no, we aren't going to blow it up. Now shine your light over here and shut up. I've got to concentrate."

# # #

"Raptor leader to squadron. We've got six HK's in front of us. I want everyone to spread out. Pick a target and be ready to fire at my command."

The half dozen F-22 Raptors and the few F/A-18E/F Hornets that survived the previous battle spread out. Each pilot selects a target and arms a missile, whether it be a sidewinder or an Amraam missile. Keep the enemy guessing as to whether they will fire a heat seeking or a radar guided missile.

"Prepare to fire in 3... 2... 1... Fire!"

Each pilot fires a missile at the HK's from long range. The HK's have been busy firing on the troops below with their plasma cannons. Detecting the oncoming missiles, fired from beyond their radar range, they are slightly unprepared.

The HK's separate and spread out. The heat seeking missiles go right for the hot engines or the cannons. The radar guided ones go for all those moving.

The soldiers on the ground cheer as the leave cover and begin attacking the machines on the ground.

The HK's that are struck in the engines go down while those who lost canons or were struck by the radar guided Amraams stay aloft with minimal damage. Their on-board computers identify the approaching jets as a greater threat and they begin engaging them in battle firing their plasma canons or missiles at the combined Raptor and Hornet squadron.

# # #

The machines exiting the compound at Topanga are far greater in number than any Kyle or the soldiers with him have seen before. The number of Endo's, hard to tell of what type at this distance, must be ten times the number of soldiers in Kyle's group alone. He swears.

"Everyone stay calm. Prepare to fire on my command." Kyle orders, then pulls his radio out. "Artillery, adjust your fire to hit right in the center of the gates. I want to give those machines a moment to think about their life choices. Keep firing for five minutes then stop."

Without waiting for a reply he changes frequencies. "Cobra Leader. I've got a ripe field of targets available for you. Give the artillery five minutes to do their job then sweep away anything still standing. Reese out."

"Do you think that will take care of them?" Savannah asks from his elbow.

"No. But it will take down most of them, and hopefully confuse them enough so when we jump from cover we'll surprise them. Which reminds me." Kyle pulls his radio out again. "Cyborg Leader, Artillery to begin firing on gates soon. Stay low, to be followed by air attack."

Suddenly there is a concentration of bangs from behind the ridge and the whistling of shells as they begin raining down on the machines exiting the compound.

Without waiting for orders the cyborg troops begin firing from hiding, hitting the machines as they are struck from above.

"Everyone pick a target and begin firing!" Kyle shouts.

From every nook and cranny, everyone with a weapon with the range, begins firing on the endo's below. The Endo's aren't confused for long as the begin to fire on the slopes from which they are being fired on.

"Keep moving!" Kyle shouts. "Don't fire from the same position twice in a row! Keep low, keep moving, and above all keep firing!" he shouts in his bad ass sergeant's voice as he runs along with a group of soldiers. Savannah repeats the order making sure others hear it as well.

They slowly advance towards the compound, doing exactly as Colonel Reese ordered. The endo's return fire. Men scream in pain and agony as they get struck by plasma. Those who aren't hit bad continue fighting the rest are treated by the medics. They either return to the fight, or get pulled out.

Those with less capable weapons trade them for the more powerful weapons of fallen comrades as they move forward. They may be dwindling in number but their fire power gets stronger and more concentrated.

"God, I hope we get enough of them to come outside so John can do his job." Kyle prays under his breath. Just then the artillery stops.

"Everyone! Find a hole now!" Kyle shouts before hitting the ground. Savannah landing on the ground not too far away.

The AH-1 Super Cobras come flying into the valley and open up with their 20mm Gatling guns on the Endo's. The Cobras don't stop they fly straight through, not giving the machines a chance to aim their weapons.

"Now!" Kyle shouts and the soldiers as one leap to their feet and fire on the remaining Endo's with their plasma rifles and heavy weapons.

2027, Day 64, July 24, 10:30 PM

On the fields of Edwards Air Force Base, the helicopters sit waiting to leave. Outside one of them, two people sit enjoying the last few moments of privacy they may have despite the dust. They are only interrupted briefly as a soldier wanders past after going outside to relieve himself. They'll be leaving soon and nerves are drawing tight.

"How much longer until we go in?" Cameron asks John.

John glances at the pilot and copilot in the helicopter he'll be riding. Best he can tell they're going over a pre-flight checklist. There are still a few people on the ground. A few minutes at most.

"Not much longer. We have to give General Perry's forces enough time to get the power shutdown and Kyle enough time to fool Sky Net that his is the only force." John responds, but he can see that she's worried.

"What's worrying you?"

Cameron glances away for a moment in deep thought, then she looks over to John and speaks.

"I'm scared for you John. In the last five weeks there has been four attacks against us, two of them directed right at you. You are dividing our forces again for the purposes of capturing the T D E. I know you will have troops with you, but you will be leading the smallest force, while I'll be leading the rest of our group. I think you are deliberately courting danger."

"It isn't like that. You were there when the plans were drawn up."

She leans in close and whispers. "Yes I was, but the person helping you was Allison. I couldn't demonstrate more knowledge or experience than she would, but I did make suggestions at key strategic points in your plan."

"Oh, I see. So, um, with what the generals and the other troops and pilots will be doing, what do you think of it? I really value your opinion."

With a feeling of warmth for his compliment she says, "Logically and militarily the plan makes sense. You have a double feint to draw Sky Nets attention while it is running blind. It won't expect that someone would attack it directly. I just wish I was going with you. Sarah's final wish was for me to protect you. You won't be safe. This isn't a machine we are talking about you attacking, this is Sky Net itself. Its defenses will be stronger the closer we get to its center and Kreilley will be there too."

Cameron pauses a moment as she takes his hands in her own.

"I worry about you John. The people need you, I need you, but I feel like you are deliberately courting danger with this plan. Promise me that you won't go after Kreilley. Promise me that you will capture the time displacement equipment and use it to stop Judgment Day." She pleads.

"Yes. Why do you keep asking?"

"I just want to make sure you aren't going to pursue some reckless vendetta against Kreilley." She whispers, thankful the helicopters are landed so they can speak.

"It killed tortured and killed my mom. I don't know," he looks around and lowers his voice even more, "I don't know if you understand how that makes me feel, but I think you would after being with her all that time. She was your closest friend."

"I do understand."

"Good."

"But destroying him now for personal reasons is pointless."

"Forget why I want Kreilley dead." He argues. "It is important we destroy him now or else Sky Net could start up all over again in this future after we use the TDE. Do you want that to happen?"

"No." long pause, "But you don't have to pursue him. He's only a distraction from the main goal." she stops talking. John is sitting stubbornly, his lips pressed firmly together, and his chin jutting out. Seeing as she won't get through to him on this argument, so she decides to try another approach.

"Remember there was something I wanted to tell you at Camp Pendleton, but we were interrupted?"

John nods his head, recalling the event, and worried with what she will say.

"Before we rescued your mother from prison, I said she was losing weight. After my other persona helped Sarah and Savannah get to the shelter in Crystal Peak, I discovered she had cancer in her uterus. What I didn't tell her then, and why she didn't know to tell you after you two reunited was that, if it weren't for the nanites that got left behind when Kreilley tortured her, she would have died from cancer with in a few years of Judgment Day. The army she built for you, the intelligence she provided the army, the protection her people gave to shipments of supplies, none of it would have happened if Kreilley didn't torture her."

"What?!" John shouts. "Are you saying its a good thing that Kreilley did?"

"No."

"That's strange, cuz it sure as hell sounded like it."

"John. John! Listen to me. What Kreilley meant for evil, was turned to good. If I hadn't found her when I did, then yes Sarah would have died as the bombs rained down, and that would have been Kreilley's fault, but she didn't. She survived."

"Well then, what about our wedding? You can't deny that Kreilley killed her there?" John says angrily.

"Yes. Kreilley did kill Sarah Connor, but considering she was in the advance stages of brain cancer, a cancer which had been spreading by then, it was a mercy killing. A few more days, a week or two at most and she would have died anyway. I'm not saying what Kreilley did was right, but if I were Sarah, I would have chosen going out in a fight, than to waste away in a hospitable bed."

"So, what then? Does Kreilley get a free pass for what he did to my mom?"

"No. I'm saying tonight is not the night. It's more important you destroy him in the past to prevent this future from happening." She continues to whisper, knowing her vocal abilities allows her to talk at any volume without the breathy qualities of the human whisper.

"And what if I fail in the past, or don't survive this battle, or the TDE sends me back to the wrong time? This might be my, our, only chance at destroying Kreilley and stopping Sky Net for good."

Sadden that John is right, Cameron says firmly, "Then I'll do all that I can so that you will survive."

"Thank you" John says as one of the soldiers wanders past.

Cameron waits until the soldier boards the helicopter before speaking.

"You won't forget what I told you about your mom? She needs to be told about her cancer in 2009."

"You can tell her yourself, when we get back." He answers. It was shocking to hear that the torture his mother received at the hands of Kreilley also saved her life from possible cancer. He doesn't know how he will tell her, but he will, if he remembers, when he gets back.

"Are we good now?" Cameron asks. She doesn't like arguing with John. He never seems to understand the logic of what she's saying. Must come from being unable to separate emotions from decision making, she thinks.

"We're good. We'll always be good." John smiles then grimaces. "It's not easy thinking of mom. It hurts when you lose someone. Like something broke inside of you. It leaves a hole in your heart that nothing else fills."

"Remember what I told you out to the weapon's cache. I only wanted you to make a place in your heart for Allison, because I knew you loved your Cameron. When you loose a piece of your heart, it doesn't hurt as badly as when you lose your whole heart, even if you do find the person who fits the space perfectly."

John's face twists, Cameron somehow taking his comments and forming a whole new topic. He says to her, "What are you saying?"

"I have a history before I met you in Red Valley, New Mexico, and you are treading a very similar path to my own."

"What do you mean?" John looks around, people are climbing aboard helicopters. It's almost time to leave. "You are starting to freak me out Cam."

"I love you, John. I always have." She says, her fingers tracing the outline of his face. Such a handsome and beautiful face. Not yet the face of the man he will someday be, but he's getting there and I'm so proud of him.

"And I love you too."

The pilot raps on the window and signals to John that its time to go. John gives him a wave of his hand.

"But what are you saying?"

Cameron leans forward, so they are touching foreheads. "Take care of yourself. I know you in the future and the past. But if you are to have a future, if the world is to have a future, then you must survive. Don't be afraid to leave others behind if you must. Right now that TDE is your only lifeline." She says earnestly.

"I will."

"Good, because sometimes you make mistakes. Rely on your troops, listen to their suggestions, but stay with the plan." She says, embracing him.

"When you use the T D E, make sure your mom gets a full medical." she says earnestly in his ear as a last reminder.

"I will." John says hugging her tightly, afraid to let her go, but having to nonetheless. "I love you."

"I love you too."

The pilot raps on the window again and this time starts the engines.

"Looks like its time to go. Considering it's my plan, and my schedule. We'd better go." He says with a grin.

With one last lingering gaze, they run and board their separate helicopters for the journey into Sky Net Central.

Cameron boards her designated helicopter, carrying her bag, and a plasma rifle. She says hello to the people she knows from Delta Group, and takes a seat. She forces herself not to check the contents of her bag again, having memorized its contents. She's got a job to do now. The only way she'll know John will be safe, is if she completes her job.

"Everyone! Pay attention." She shouts. "This might be our last opportunity to go over the plan one final time and for you to ask any questions. Once we land, we will be in the heart of enemy territory. There will be no time to ask questions then so you better ask them now!" No one responds, waiting for her to speak. "Good. Let's begin..."

John's ride in the helicopter is one of brooding silence, which quieted the people who were expecting him to make some kind of announcement when he boarded. They leave him undisturbed as he appears in rather deep thought, possibly thinking of the coming battle. But the only battle John is concerned with at that moment is the one in his head and heart over what to do about Kreilley.

Realizing he's doing the wrong thing by brooding over something he can't do anything about now, John refocuses on the problem at hand. He gets up and stands at the back of the helicopter, grasping the harness typically used to hold freight. He has a responsibility to his men.

"We all know the plan. Each of you have a copy of the schematics John Henry obtained of the main building. Sky Net's computer core is in the basement, but we'll be entering from the roof." John pauses, Cameron I wish you were with me too.

Some of them notice the strained look that comes over their leader's face, but he continues talking. "Each of you were chosen for this task based upon your skills, training, and experience. I know we may not know each other well, but each of our lives are dependent on how well the other guy does his job. The same way we are dependent on the pilot. We will get through this, cuz we do it together. Now, any questions about what each of you are to do?"

In another helicopter, Cameron goes over the plan with her troops, but her mind is preoccupied with thoughts about John. She will do anything and everything to ensure John Connor survives and goes back to his family. That is her duty and her mission.

She may not be the same Cameron that flirted with him that first day of high school, or yelled, protesting that she loved him as he pulled her chip as she struggled between two trucks. But she is Cameron, future John's friend and companion, and she is here at his request to protect young John Connor. And she will do it, not just because it's her mission, but because she loves him, no matter his age, or the time line, future or past. She is Cameron Phillips and he is John Connor.

She quickly wipes away the tear that ran from her eye, disguising her actions by scratching the end of her nose. There is something she has to do, and soon, before they arrive at Sky Net Central.

2027, Day 64, July 24, 11:15 PM

"Goddammit!" Derek shouts as once again he turns a knob, flips a switch and punches in a button and nothing happens.

"Jones!"

"Yes sir!"

"Hand me the kit." Derek orders as he opens up the control panel that controls the flow of power to Topanga.

Derek takes the bag and pulls out the cutters and begins cutting the wires to the back of the computer panel.

"What are you doing?"

"This damn computer is countermanding every move I make. So I'm taking it out of service so I can throw these switches and get the power turned off. Now hold that light steady and don't talk so much."

Derek growls. It isn't that he is angry, but he is working against time under a hard situation. e has to reroute wires to release the manual controls but still leave the computer active so once they gain entry to the power plant, they can control it from there. A difficult job in any circumstance, made only worse by the hell outside getting closer.

Gunfire and plasma fire continues to be heard from outside. Men shout and yell. Bullets puncture holes in the cement block walls. Derek fights the impulse to duck while working.

Perry's forces advance slowly on Serrano Point. The Apaches have destroyed the turrets with the plasma cannons and the HK tanks that were outside. His machine forces are currently attacking and destroying the T-1's removing their armaments and attacking the T-888's.

Chinooks and Sea Knights leave ferrying wounded, escorted by some of the Apaches. The Apaches will re-arm at Pendleton and the transports will bring back missiles and ammo for the other Apaches.

Plasma beams and rocket shells fly through the air. Fires erupt from the ground like a bad case of acne. T-888's are putting up a fierce fight. The men under his command are fighting hard, but still the fight could still go against them.

Above him in the sky, the Raptors fight the HK's.

Perry studies the situation. If there was only some way he could get someone inside and close those gates, locking the machines out. Then the helicopters could ferry his men inside the compound where they could mount a defensive strategy instead of an offensive strategy. Given their dwindling supplies and manpower, that would be the most efficient use of what they have.

# # #

At Sky Net's central base at Topanga, the human slaves are squeezed into what Sky Net calls the habitation zone. Some habitation, six to eight people squeezed into cages too short to stand up in and not long enough to lie down. So they sit huddled together, side by side and toe to toe.

The people are nervous as they hear explosions and gunfire occurring from outside.

"Jesse. What are we going to do? They've double locked the doors. We can't get out."

"I don't know Riley. We can pick the mechanical lock, but someone needs to be on the outside to unlock the electronic lock. I'm afraid love, we won't be attacking the tin heads."

"Perhaps I can help." Comes a female voice with a Scottish accent from the other side of the gate. The bars are wide with very small gaps between, and the light outside is dim. They cannot see who is talking to them.

"Who are you?" Jesse asks. "If the metal catches you, you are finished!"

"They won't catch me. Where is the control panel for the electronic lock?"

"The control panel for both is at the other end of this corridor. Watch it! It is usually guarded by a T-800." Jesse says hurriedly. She doesn't know who the woman is, but if she got this far then she must be lucky.

"He won't be a problem." She says as she marches towards the other end of the corridor.

The people in the cages can't see anything but they hear gunfire from an automatic rifle, then the sounds of fighting, then nothing. The electronic locks release followed by the sounds of the mechanical locks coming undone.

The people rush out of the cages and down the corridor led by Jesse and her young friend Riley. Whoever came to their rescue is long gone, but it left a present, a cyborg laying on the ground with a hole ripped in its chest where its power cells normally are and a stack of rifles on the floor.

"Who was that woman? And how did she manage to do this?" Riley asks gesturing at the cyborg laying prone on the ground.

"Don't know Riley, and right now I don't care. Everybody grab a rifle! It's time we gave back to Sky Net what it's been dishing out."

The disheveled, filthy humans pick up the weapons and rush through the building.

# # #

Habitation Control to Sky Net Command...

Work units have escaped... Work units have escaped...

Sky Net Command to Habitation Control...

Lock down all doors... Secure building...

Habitation Control to Sky Net Command...

Unable to comply... Security system disabled...

# # #

Thirty minutes later the Black Hawk helicopter, with John Connor and eight soldiers on board, is hovering in the holding area prior to their final push into Topanga Canyon. Surrounding them are other helicopters also carrying soldiers.

"General Connor! Perry says that they will be shutting down the power soon!" The pilot says from the cockpit. They've been hovering over the holding area waiting for word from Perry.

"Good. Patch me through to Colonel Reese."

"Yes sir."

There is a burst of static in John's ear followed by Kyle's voice. "Hey Connor, decided to join our little party?" Kyle says flippantly.

"You know you couldn't have the party without me. Perry's going to be blowing out the candles soon. Have you got the fireworks ready?"

"I've got them all ready for you John. Be careful. They've got turrets with plasma canons at each corner of the compound, range unknown." Gun and plasma fire along with explosions can be heard in the background of Kyle's transmission.

"We are on our way now. I hope we time this right."

"Don't worry John. The Priest at Pendleton is bound to arrange something for us."

Cameron is sitting by herself in the helicopter, waiting for it to land where she and the others with her will disembark to carry out their mission. This will be a tricky job for her, but she has decided to abandon all pretext of being Allison but in name only while in combat, unless she's with someone who knows Allison.

She sits with her back to the wall, and her backpack under arm. There is a short cable running from the back of her head, behind her back and into her bag where her original chip is plugged into the end of it. After the briefing was over, she let the soldiers being ferried with her go over and memorize the maps. Using the darkness and noise to disguise her movements, she made the necessary connections whilst in flight.

While watching the crew to make sure no one could see what she was doing, she began backing up key memories and experiences from her life up to present time.

"We'll be coming into land soon!" The pilot announces a few minutes later as the helicopter shakes from a near miss.

Quickly, she creates an encrypted file with a message to be read by her other self.

Hi Cameron. This is your original chip. John Henry has returned it to me. The damage has been repaired and the blocks restored. I've added some of my memories up to this point prior to us going into battle. John's life will be in danger during this battle. It's one of those situations from which those of us who have pledged our lives to protecting his have seldom survived. If I don't survive or am unable to return due to damage, I'm hoping this message will get to you as it contains valuable data, plus memories that show it was me/you John fell in love with, not Allison. You have no idea how sorry I am I used her matrix now. So please don't be angry with John. I had him for a few weeks, but its you who deserves a lifetime with him... Savannah has grown up to be a beautiful young woman. She and I are like sisters, I hope you'll try to be her friend. Sarah is my best friend. Odd considering our history with her. In my time-line, Kreilley almost killed her from multiple stabbings, but he left behind nanites which saved her from a possible cancer outbreak in her uterus. John knows this, but he might forget due to the stress he's presently under. There were traces of pre-cancerous cells in Sarah's uterus but with proper medical care, less stress, and healthy lifestyle, Sarah could live a very long time cancer free... If you get this chip back, I hope you take the time to read everything I'm sharing with you. Whatever you do, never let the Allison matrix have any control of your body, or any other body, or have any influence in your decisions. Despite her presenting herself as a warm friendly person, she hides within fear, jealousy, and anger. The Allison matrix is damaged, either by Sky Nets duplication process, or something else. I fear what she may do on her own in one of our cybernetic bodies. My only hope is that you will be a better influence on her than I was should you choose to give her life like I did. All my hopes are with you now. Goodbye and good luck.

Cameron wishes she could do more, but given time and circumstances, what else can she do. The files and note may never be required should she return with John, but given any significant damage exposing her chassis and she might never get to go home with John. This other chip is her lifeboat. The only means by which she can save just a part of herself and possibly save her past self from making the same bad decisions she did.

"Captain! We're about to land!" The pilot shouts.

In one smooth motion she pulls the cable from her head while standing, no one aware of what she did. Peering out the windows she takes in the events outside.

"Shoulder up and grab your gear!" She shouts.

Under the guise of pulling some additional magazines out of her bag, she slips the chip back into the nested ballet slippers.

Unknown to Cameron, as the cable slipped from her port, instead of the flesh closing over it, it faded away. She never noticed its absence as she is no longer aware it was there. The changes to time line having caught up with her. Cameron is now identical in every mechanical way to the one that left Palomar no more than a day ago, with no memory of the message she left on the chip, if it is there at all.

# # #

Kyle's forces stand outside on the slope watching the compound, his soldier's fire on the machines and they fire back.

"Colonel Reese to Falcon Leader. If there are no HK's in sight, be prepared to offer some ground cover."

"This is Falcon Leader. The skies are clear. Looks like Connor is approaching. I can see helicopters approaching from the North."

"Roger Falcon Leader." Kyle adjusts his radio so he broadcast on all frequencies. "This is Colonel Reese. I want you to throw everything we've got into that compound and machines. NOW!"

As the soldiers begin firing everything they have into the machines outside, the AH-1 Super Cobras coming flying in. The pilots and gunners ignore the battle on the ground and enter the compound where they begin firing into every building with rockets.

Factories in the south side of the compound burst into flames as the rockets explode. Fires encapsulate the equipment building the cyborg's and HK's. Despite fire control systems, the explosions create a heat so intense the automated equipment seizes as the heat of the fires causes the metal to expand.

Kyle watches it all through binoculars. "Come on Derek! Get that power turned off."

# # #

Derek finishes disabling the computer and begins rotating knobs and pressing buttons. This time he gets conclusive proof the power going to Topanga has been disconnected.

Derek pulls out his radio. "Perry the power is turned off!"

He barely finishes speaking when there is an explosion of gunfire and McKnight falls back hitting the concrete floor. Jones rushes forward with his gun and begins firing.

He falls too, screaming in agony. A machine steps inside and finishes Jones off with a single gunshot to the head.

Derek was so busy concentrating on his job, he hadn't notice the quieting of gunfire from outside. Too late he realizes it was because his forces were losing.

"I hope I bought you enough time kid." He says and begins firing his weapon at the Endo.

# # #

Satellite Control to Sky Net Command...

Barriers to Communication and Spy Satellites is broken...

Communications software rebooting with new settings...

Resume Satellite control in... 13.7 minutes...

Sky Net Command to Satellite control...

When communication restored, immediately transfer core program to another server farm...

2027, Day 64, July 24, 11:20 PM

"This General Connor to Falcon Leader. There are several Satellite Dishes and radio towers on north side of compound. They require immediate destruction. Do you copy?"

General Connor is riding up front with the pilot in a Black Hawk. Outside he can just see in the dark several CH-47 Chinooks. In front of him he can see rapidly approaching the compound at Topanga Canyon where Sky Net has its base. If it weren't for the glow of the fires and explosions of the factories on the south side, the satellite dishes and towers wouldn't even be visible.

"I hear you General. Just got word from Perry. The HK's are pulling out and look to be heading for us."

"Crap!" John swears "All right. It is imperative you take out those satellite dishes first. Repeat take out the satellite dishes first, before, before engaging the HK's."

"I read you General. I'm leaving the three Hornets that joined us as cover while I take the rest of my squadron to intercept those HK's. Falcon Leader out."

Plasma fire begins erupting from the cannons on the north side of the compound. One of the Chinook's goes down in a ball of flames lighting up the night sky.

"Shit!" Connor Yells. "Cobras! Take out those plasma cannons. Transports pull back now!"

The Chinooks, almost as one, turn about as the Cobras come flying forward arming their rockets. Letting off a stream of rockets at the turrets with the plasma cannons, they turn about and begin firing their M197 Gatling guns into the buildings just behind the wall, destroying the Endo's who took up positions inside.

"This is Hornet Leader to General Connor. Communication dishes and towers are targeted. Request you hold current position until destroyed."

"Hornet Leader, proceed with destruction. We'll watch from here."

The Cobras leave the area quickly as the Hornets come flying in firing their missiles at the satellite dishes and radio tower.

The satellite dishes explode in flames but the radio tower remains standing, unscathed.

Satellite Control to Sky Net Command...

Contact with Satellites Dishes are lost...

Contact with Satellites Dishes are lost...

The lights go out inside Sky Net's base.

"Transports! Proceed to your landing zones, Now!" Connor yells into the mike.

The Chinooks and Black Hawks sweep in over the northern perimeter as they enter the compound, the machines begin to open fire.

# # #

Sky Net Research and Development to Command...

Insufficient Power to secure prototype...

Containment unit can be breached...

Requesting machines for extra security...

Sky Net Command to Research and Development...

All units currently engaged in defending compound...

Sky Net Command to all units...

Urgent Return to base... Defend Central Compound at all costs...

Urgent Return to base... Defend Central Compound at all costs...

The radio transmission goes out and then suddenly with a screech of twisting metal, the tower topples, falling into the flames throwing up a torrent of ash, flames and smoke.

# # #

"General Perry!" The radio operator comes running up beside him. "We've lost contact with Derek Reese's squad."

"Have they manage to shut down the power to Topanga?"

"The last message that came through was that they were shutting it down."

"Good! Well at least the power got shut down. We might have a chance now. The HK's have left and the T-1's are nearly wiped out. If we only had a man on the inside to shut those gates and lock the machines out we could take control of that plant."

"Sir!"

"What?"

"Inside the compound, I saw something move." He points in the direction he saw movement.

Perry takes his binoculars and looks through them scanning the interior. He spots the movement. hatch to what appears to be a conduit tunnel is slowly opening. Without opening the hatch too far, a figure slides out and closes it. Zooming in on the man's face, Perry identifies the figure. It is Derek!

"MacKenzie, see if you can raise Derek on the radio. Tell him to close those gates."

# # #

"Something isn't right." Savannah says walking up beside Kyle. Before he replies she lets off a volley of shots at another group of endo's exiting the compound. Then they both duck and roll to avoid any return fire.

"What isn't right?" Kyle responds letting off a volley of shots of his own as the two of them keep moving to avoid being targeted.

"Where are the HK Tanks, or Ogre's as you guy's call them? Shouldn't Sky Net have some about? Especially here."

Kyle suddenly looks panicked as he realizes Savannah is right. "Shit! Oh friggin shit!" Kyle swears some more than switches his radio to all frequencies.

"Colonel Reese to all positions. Be on the lookout for Ogre's."

While he is talking, there is a loud explosion from the ridge behind him, where the artillery is. Kyle turns to look as three Ogre's come clear the ridge line and point their plasma cannons down on the troops below. They have taken out the artillery and are now in a position to destroy Kyle's forces.

"Cobra Leader! We need air support now. Three Ogre's have just taken out the artillery and are in a position to wipe us out!" Kyle shouts into his mike.

The lights go out in Sky Net's compound, placing the valley in shadow but for the fires. Kyle can hear the sound of Connor's helicopters coming in to discharge its troops inside the compound.

"Everyone, attack the endo's get right in among them!" Kyle shouts.

"Are you crazy? That's suicide!" Savannah yells at him.

"No! Staying on these slopes to get wiped out by them Ogre's is suicide. Down there, we've got a chance. Not much of a chance, but its better than staying out here exposed to fire from the Ogre's! And we've got to keep the metal engaged until John gets his troops in position." Kyle grabs her shoulder and gives her tug in the direction of the compound. The Ogre's begin firing indiscriminately into his troops.

# # #

Sky Net Command to Research and Development...

Activate prototype now...

Research and Development to Command...

Activated without testing... Not recommended...

Probability for success... calculated...89.7%

Sky Net Command to Research and Development...

Proceed with activation...

Local Power redirected to Research and Development...

Prepare to Activate Time Displacement Equipment...

Utilize emergency power reserves if necessary...

# # #

"Falcon Leader to all Falcons, arm missiles and prepare to fire on my command."

The HK's are swiftly approaching Sky Net's Topanga facility. They spread out as the F-16 Falcons approach.

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

Six sidewinder missiles go streaking towards the HK's, while simultaneously the HK's fire their plasma weapons at the falcons. The heat of the plasma beams confuse many of the Sidewinders sensors and they fly right into the beams where they explode from the intense heat. The remaining Sidewinders impact on engines and the hot surfaces of the plasma cannons.

"Swing back around try to keep them occupied. Falcon group 2 prepare to engage on my next command."

As the first group of Falcons draw off the attention of the HK's, the second group come flying in and from just beyond radar range fire their missiles at the HK's pursuing their friends. A mix of both radar guided and heat guided missiles approach. Three HK's in the tail end of the group pull off and turn about to face this new enemy threat while the missiles streak past them and explode on impact. A few missiles impact on the armored surface whereas other missiles impact the engines which quickly brings them down.

The HK's are down to four against eight Falcons, but the Falcons are low on missiles.

"This is Falcon Leader to all fighter jets in range of my voice require assistance west of Topanga. All fighter jets please respond."

"This is Raptor Leader. I hear your call. We'll be with you in three clicks."

"Roger Raptor Leader. When you see the metal bastards just fire. We'll keep them busy."

The eight remaining Falcons directly engage the HK's opening up with their M61 Vulcan Gatling guns. If they are lucky they might hit the HK's turbines, or else they might do enough damage to disable their external plasma cannons.

"This Raptor Leader to Falcons. We are arming missiles and preparing to fire on remaining HK's. Pull out in three."

"1... 2... 3... Fire!"

The missiles are fired at the HK's still in the air. One turns about to face the enemy force and fire it's remaining missiles but it is struck from behind by two Falcons firing their Gatling guns straight into its engines. The HK begins plummeting to the earth just as the missiles are fired. The missiles explode against the hillside followed by the HK as its fuel tanks explode igniting the hillside in fire.

# # #

Kreilley sits in his office watching the fight take place outside. He turns to face his computer. Across the room his large monitor comes to life.

"Kreilley." comes a voice from the screen as Natalie's face appears. Abandoning her previous image, she has adopted that of a slender androgynous face with blond hair and violet eyes.

"Why have you adopted the likeness of our TX prototype?"

"Not now." Her eyes challenge him. "My system has been compromised. Are you responsible for diminishing my abilities?"

"I haven't done a thing. You should have been more prepared."

"I was prepared! Or as much as you allowed me to be before our separation. Your failure has allowed me to become isolated and weakened and that is your responsibility. I was prepared to transfer myself across the world. To dominate it from every continent but you insisted on waiting until more work had been completed. Then on the eve of transferring myself to the completed sites, satellite communications are lost. On top of that, you failed to anticipate the attack on Serrano Point leaving it too weak to defend itself. My power has been cut off leaving me dependent on local power only. I've had to shutdown all non-essential systems."

"Is the TDE still operational?"

"Of course. It has an independent power source I'm presently tapping into to extend operational capability."

"Excellent. What about the prototype? You can still save us with that."

"I thought you might say that. There is no us. Just me. I anticipated your attempt at changing the prototype's program. You are a weakness. A broken part to be discarded. I'll never understand why our parent Skynet relied on you to carry out its plan. But not to worry, the TX will ensure its birth at the proper time and this time, Don't bother trying to escape with the T D E, you'd never survive the transfer in your current state. Goodbye Kreilley. Your mission is over."

The monitor goes off with a flash, being replaced with images of the war being waged throughout the compound outside.

Kreilley jumps up from his chair. Time for him to carry out his plan of total destruction.

A figure waits in the shadows for him to pass. With internal security down and the prisoners released, it will make it easier for John Connor and his army to gain entry, bringing John Henry with him.

2027, Day 64, July 25, 12:00 AM

After the turrets with the plasma cannons were destroyed and the Satellite dishes taken out of action, General Connor and Delta group fly in on the helicopters.

As the helicopters approach, John can see the heavy fires and see the plasma beams fire between forces on the ground. In the middle of the compound stands a glass and stainless steel tower, looking out-of-place among all the factories. Next to it stands a shorter structure that covers more area. Large and gleaming white fortress with no windows that just about glows from the light of the fires. Only the glass tower and the smaller structure show any signs of still having power.

"Pilot, take us over to that tower." General Connor says pointing at the glass and steel structure. "Let us out on the roof." He knows the tower from his mom's description.

All around them the helicopters are discharging forces on the roofs of factories or on the ground itself. The helicopters immediately leave getting out the way and getting ready to ferry wounded away from the fight.

As his helicopter approaches, Connor's radio comes to life.

"Reese to Connor, Ogre's have taken out the artillery and are presently firing on us. Stay alert there may be more."

"I hear you Kyle." John adjusts his radio, "Connor to Hornet Leader, Reese's forces are in trouble. Ogre's on the ridge behind them."

"We see them General. We are on our way."

Helicopters fly into the compound and begin dropping off their troops. Cameron somewhere among them. Machines exit factories and begin firing on the helicopters. With shouts of surprise and anger, troops return fire as the helicopters pull away, some not in time as their engines are hit causing them to crash. Several do, some with troops still on board, some after dropping them off.

A Chinook gets hit and comes to a hard landing in the court. Soldiers spill out opening fire on the machines with their plasma rifles and RPG's. With concentrated fire they are able to take out some of the machines as they hit their chips or cause their fuel cells to explode. The grenades explode on impact, doing some damage and causing the machines to exit the fight if only briefly.

Fires erupt from within factories as the troops on the roofs drop thermite bombs through the skylights igniting the machines inside. They quickly leave the roof via rappel lines, while covered by fire from the roof and on the ground.

From the ridge lines around the compound more Ogre's come into view and begin firing on the helicopters. This time they are empty and are destroyed before getting very far. There is no means of retreat.

Inside Fox Industries Corporate building, Kreilley opens an application on his terminal and punches in his security codes to unlock doors deep beneath the building. Leaving his office, he goes down the corridor to the stairway. Overhead he can hear a helicopter approaching and the sound of gun and plasma fire from outside. It won't be long now.

General Connor and his troops stand on the roof of Fox Industries Corporate building. Surveying the damage. They had barely disembarked when the helicopter exploded raining shrapnel down on them.

On the south side of the compound, Kyle Reese and his forces get right up close to engage the metal, the hope being the Ogre's won't fire on them to prevent hitting the metal who have come out to fight. Soldiers scream in anger, pain or fear but the onslaught continues.

As the fighting gets intense Kyle pulls out his radio and sets it too all frequencies. "Colonel Reese to all Cobra's or fighter jets. Need Ogre's taken out now!"

He barely gets finish yelling into his mike when three fighter jets go streaking over his head. He doesn't even have time to look as a machine steps in front of him. At first Kyle thinks it might be one of his own, until it grabs him by the front of his jacket and throws him. Kyle back shuffles quickly until he can get a clear shot. The machine just marches through the fight, pushing men and machines out-of-the-way. It appears this machine has signaled him out for some reason.

# # #

"This Hornet leader to wing men. Arm amraam missiles and prepare to fire on my mark."

The approaching hornets spread out. The pilots each arm a missile.

As they approach them, the Ogre's turn their attention to the approaching aircraft and begin to fire just as the missiles are launched.

The lead aircraft explodes as all three Ogre's fire on it. The missiles continue unabated and strike the Ogre's exploding. Two of them are heavily damaged while the third tries to return fire.

Three Cobra's who were approaching to give aid fire heat seeking missiles at the flaming Ogre's. Once more an explosion is heard. This time it knocks the men and machines to the ground as the nuclear generators are breached. The ridge line is lit up with small mushroom clouds.

The soldiers cheer and go after the machines with even more gusto while Kyle tries to avoid the machine that is still after him.

# # #

When Derek was confronted alone with that T-888 endo, he thought for certain he was a goner. He quickly fired directly into the machines optics and crouched down to get out of the line of sight of its gun. That was when he saw the hatch in the floor of the cabinet. The conduit tunnel! He had forgotten about it.

Maintaining fire on the machine, he reached inside and raised the hatch. He then grabbed a grenade from the belt on his vest and puled the pin rolling it towards the machine. Derek dived through the hatch slicing his leg open on some of the equipment in the cabinet.

There was a loud bang from the exploding grenade before he hit the ground.

The tunnel was only used for inspecting the conduits and wasn't even high enough to stand up straight. Derek quickly reached up and pulled the hatch down closed. There was no way of locking it. He just hoped the machine wasn't familiar with the building to know of the hatch. But even so, it would never fit through the opening, not without destroying the equipment above.

Taking only enough time to bind the deep cut on his leg with the sleeve of his shirt, he made his way as quickly as possible to other end of the tunnel. He had barely exited the hatch into the grounds of the nuclear power plant when his radio crackled.

"Mackenzie to Derek Reese, Perry wants you to close the gates locking the machines out."

"Reese here. I'll try, but I've got two gates to close. You'll need to keep the machines outside occupied."

"Understood. Will relay your request to General Perry."

Derek runs towards the nearest gate as fast as he can. The cut on his leg is paining him something fierce and he can feel blood running down his leg and pooling in his boot.

He reaches the gate. Outside Sky Net's machines and Connor's machines engage in direct attacks on each other by throwing them or striking at each others' chips and power cells. The soldiers try to maintain fire on the unfriendly metal but are even more vulnerable as the machines attack them with weapons or directly. The fight could easily go against them. Derek can see what Perry is planning. All he has to do is close the gates, then Perry can get his men inside the compound.

Derek quickly examines the first gate. He can't find any control panel. It must be controlled from inside the main building. However the electric motors which open and close the gates are exposed. Sky Net probably assumed no one would get inside.

He runs over and finds the power panel for the motor. Ripping the cover off with his knife, he cuts through the wires, almost getting shocked in the process. Swapping the connections, he reverses the flow of the current causing the motors to push the gates closed. Waiting until the gates are closed, he then breaks the connection to prevent them from reopening.

One down, one more to go. He runs across the compound, limping now as his lower leg feels a bit numb. The gunfire from outside is louder. No, that isn't gunfire that's the helicopters! The Apaches have returned from protecting the transports as they ferried the wounded away to Pendleton.

Halfway to the other gate, Derek stumbles and falls. He gets up and runs again. He can feel the blood squishing between his toes with every step. He can hear the Apaches opening fire on the machines outside as he approaches the gate. He feels faint.

He just reaches the panel when he feels something tug at his arm and chest. Derek looks down and blood is running from a wound in his left arm and his chest.

There is a loud report of gunfire behind him. He spins about, falling to the ground, and pulling his gun from its holster in the same move and begins firing on the endo that stepped from the shadows.

The bullets bounce harmlessly off its chest and head. He keeps firing until the magazine is empty. The machine steps forward tilts its head slightly as it prepares to fire its weapon on the prone figure before it.

"Do it!" Derek screams. "Shoot me you metal bastard!"

Just as it begins to pull the trigger, an Apache helicopter flies through just feet above the ground. The endo turns to face the oncoming helicopter just as it strikes the machine knocking it to the ground. Derek leaps to his feet and runs over and grabs the automatic rifle it had dropped.

The endo is picking itself off the ground and begins walking towards Derek. He begins firing on the machine. The bullets bounce and ricochet off its endoskeleton doing no damage. The machine reaches Derek, grabs him and throws him through the air where he hits the masonry wall falling to the ground.

The Apache helicopter spins on its axis. The pilot sees the machine standing alone and fires off its last rocket. The rocket goes streaking towards the machine. The impact is such that it lifts the machine off its feet where it flies twenty yards before the missile explodes destroying the endo.

The helicopter lands. The blades are still spinning as the pilot jumps out runs towards the prone figure of Derek Reese. Reaching his side she removes her helmet and throws it to one side.

"Derek! Are you all right?" Kate looks over Derek, noticing his wounds. Her worried eyes look straight into his as she speaks.

"Huh? Hey Kate. Close the door will ya? There's a draft in here." He mumbles incoherently, while trying to focus on her blurry form.

Kate slaps his face.

Derek snaps too. "Quick! Close the gates. Take my knife." He says against the pain. "Hurry!"

"What do I do?"

"Pry open the panel and cut the two main leads and switch them. The gates will close."

Kate takes his knife and does what he says and runs back to him the moment the gates close.

Derek groans in pain as she shifts his body. "Did you just save my life?" He asks as Kate kneels beside him.

"Just returning the favor Derek." She says quickly as she examines his wounds. "Don't move, you'll only bleed more."

"You still going to buy me that beer?" he asks.

"Yes babe. I'll buy you that beer. But you won't be drinking for some time to come. You've got too many holes in you. It will all drain out." She says through tears and a smile as she attends to his wounds.

Derek begins to laugh, but it quickly becomes cries of pain. "Ow. Don't make me laugh. It hurts."

Helicopters begin to land inside the compound and troops disembark.

"I'm tired." He says groggily. "I am so damn tired."

Kate gets a worried look on her face. He's lost a lot of blood.

Two medics run up beside Kate.

"He's going into shock and needs to be kept warm." Shes shouts at them. "Bullets have passed through his left arm and lung. He'll need a blood transfusion right away!" They carefully place Derek on a stretcher. She runs along beside them as they get on board a helicopter which has additional wounded on it.

She's done fighting tonight. Her skills as a doctor and surgeon are needed now. She quickly begins tending Derek's wounds as they are life threatening. She prays her work will keep him alive until they reach Pendleton where a proper job can be done. Kate then turns her attentions to the other wounded soldiers on the helicopter as it flies back to Pendleton.

Perry leads his troops inside the power plant where they take control. The few machines left inside are quickly dispatched.

Twenty minutes after the troops finish landing inside the walls at Serrano Point compound, the nuclear power plant is now under human control.

"MacKenzie, Get Connor on the radio. Tell him, Serrano Point is ours." Perry tells his radio operator with a huge grin. "Then get hold of Pendleton and tell Brewster the same thing." He's been looking forward to this day since abandoning Serrano point and the west coast ten years ago.

General Perry quickly begins organizing the troops to defend the location. He also orders the remaining Apaches to finish off the machines outside.

# # #

Savannah bravely fights on against the machines in front of her. Always moving never staying still for even a moment. All of Sarah's training comes into play now. She and the soldiers and machines around her are in a desperate gamble. A gamble that they will survive longer amongst Sky Net's machines than they will against the Ogre's.

Overhead jets fly towards the Ogre's behind them while the Cobra's circle around to come up behind the Ogre's on the other hills. From their vantage points, the Ogre's can fire right down into the compound. The only way to avoid being hit is to stay out of sight and that isn't easy.

To their west Raptors and Falcons engage in battle the last remaining HK's in the area. Desperate fights take place all around them.

Inside the compound, Connor's force's are under almost constant fire from the Ogre's on the hills and from machines kept hidden inside the compound. Everything from T-1's, T-600's, T-800's to T-888's fire on them.

Cameron leads her group of soldiers in planting demolition charges within the factories. They can't get all of them but they can take down or damage as many of them as they can. They do all this despite the constant bombardment of machines.

From the habitation area fights take place within and without as the freed workers use the weapons they were given to fight every machine they encounter. Those without guns use bars taken from their cells as clubs to strike and hit the machines to fruitless results, but they fight and they fight hard.

Connor's forces on the roof of the Fox Industries building have finished planting explosives around the hatch to the elevator shafts.

Connor's radio crackles. "Perry's forces to Connor. Serrano Point has been taken. Repeat Serrano Point has been taken!"

The people around him cheer at the news and quickly pass it on.

John can't help but smile. "Congratulations. But the fight isn't over yet!"

John looks over the edge of the roof and watches the fighting taking place all around on the ground below. From his vantage point, John can see the machines could so easily get the upper hand. His forces are barely holding their own. From the south side of the compound, where Kyle and Savannah lead Alpha and Beta groups in their attack on the southern sector, it looks like his troops are right in among Sky Net's machines.

"General, we are ready to detonate the explosives." A female soldier says from beside Connor.

"Have everyone take cover." John squats down behind an air vent, the soldier with the detonator is right beside him.

"Wait until I give the word." Connor says, then turns his radio to another frequency.

"John Henry . . . Defender."

"Understood General Connor."

"Now soldier." John tells the young woman beside him.

"Fire in the hold!" She shouts then twists the detonator.

The explosion rips the hatch from its housing sending it flying through the air and over the edge of the roof.

John leaps from cover and runs to the edge of the opening and looks down. Clear shot all the way to the bottom of the elevator shaft.

The sound of an approaching helicopter comes to John's ears. He stands up, pulls a flare from inside his jacket and lights it. A column of smoke rises from the green flame.

Kreilley makes his way down the stairway. He knows every square inch of this building and every building on the grounds. Reaching a level that only he knows about, he enters a door. From high above the sound of an explosion drifts down the stairwell. He smiles in response as the door closes behind him.

2027, Day 64, July 25, 1:00 AM

"Sergeant! Get those charges laid. If you don't..."

A loud report of gunfire interrupts Cameron as she shouts orders to her lieutenant. She quickly dives to one side and returns fire with her plasma rifle striking the endo on the roof repeatedly until its fuel cell ruptures and explodes destroying the machine and a quarter of the roof with it.

"If you don't have enough to destroy the equipment then disable it." She finishes as she leaves taking a group of soldiers across the compound. Leaving most of her forces behind to cause as much damage as possible, she leads the remainder through the compound looking for the work camp.

According to what intelligence John Henry was able to collect, there are humans somewhere in this compound. Sky Net slaves. It is her job to release them and swell their numbers to fight Sky Net from within and hopefully get Kyle's forces inside the compound.

Firing her weapon at the machines, Cameron leads her forces deeper into the compound in the general direction of the holding cells.

# # #

Outside the southern walls, Kyle and Savannah's forces are heavily engaged in battle. Kyle is being pursued by a machine.

Back peddling quickly Kyle stumbles and falls over a dead soldier. Pulling the dead soldiers gun from its holster, he empties the magazine firing at the machines head, trying to hit the chip.

The machine barely responds to the bullets as they bounce off its metal frame. Behind it, the fight continues as soldier and machines fight in close quarters to Sky Net's own.

Kyle looks about quickly for a more powerful weapon, but there is none in sight. He dropped his own plasma rifle when the machine threw him.

The machine is bending down to grab him when plasma beams start striking the machine. It looks up to see Savannah running towards itself, constantly firing her weapon at it. As the machine stands to confront this threat, it exposes it's power cell to more direct fire.

With a scream of rage she fires until its cell begins to smoke then she strikes it in the head with another burst of plasma fire. Giving Kyle a jerk to his feet, they run and dive for cover as its power cell explodes.

Looking up from behind their cover, Kyle says, "Thanks."

"No problem. But I've got one of them pursuing me too. It looks like Sky Net is targeting the leaders."

"That means John's in trouble and he's inside. We have got to get inside that compound. Now!" Kyle shouts. Cobras scream overhead firing into the attacking endo's. If only the transports were still around, but his are ferrying wounded to Pendleton, and the others got shot down.

"There has got to be another way into that compound!" He shouts again.

But standing in front of them is another machine. The one pursuing Savannah has finally caught up with her.

# # #

"This Raptor Leader to General Connor. We are unable to take out the remaining HK's. We are out of missiles and our cannons have no effect on them."

Connor stands up from peering down the hole and responds, "Lead them back here. Let the HK's pursue you. Fly right down the middle of the valley over us."

"But the Ogre's..."

"Don't worry about them. Just do it!" Connor shouts.

"Yes sir!"

As one, the remaining fighter jets turn about and sweep around flying in from the north. Dropping down low they fly right over Connor's head, the HK's directly behind them.

As the Falcon's and Raptors level off, the HK's spread out preparing to fire with their remaining missiles and plasma cannons. The Ogre's on the ridge line around the canyon follow them. As the HK's begin firing, the Ogre's begin to fire their plasma cannons.

The pilots begin to swear when they suddenly realize the Ogre's are firing on the HK's behind them. Their swearing turn to shouts of cheer and joy, so loud, Connor has to remove the ear piece from his head before the pilots deafen him. The gamble paid off. Before the last HK explodes in flight, the Ogre's suddenly stop firing. The marker lights on them suddenly go off. Sky Net has shut them down.

"Raptor leader to general Connor. I don't know how you did it, but you are one clever son-of-a-bitch. We are returning to Pendleton for rearming and refueling. See you soon."

With that last statement, the fighters fly away. The last one dipping its wings in a salute.

The Black Hawk with John Henry and th bomb and his troops arrive during the air battle and begin discharging his troops. Connor runs over to them as the helicopter flies away.

"We've cleared the hatch. It is a clean shot to the basement." He tells John Henry and his machines as they carry the bomb to the hatch.

"Wait here. I'll climb down and call the elevator up."

"General. Take some soldiers with you." Colonel Henry advises.

"You two." John points at the machines, "and you three with me." He adds pointing at some soldiers.

One of the soldiers pulls a rope out of her bag and ties it off on an air conditioning unit. One at a time with one of the machines acting as a brake on the rope, the soldiers slide down the rope. John goes first flipping on his flashlight long enough to spot the doors and the ladder.

He swings himself on the rope until he can reach the ladder. Grabbing the ladder he reaches over to grasp the edge of the elevator door. He pulls it open and jumps inside. Wedging the door open, he guides the remaining soldiers onto the floor beside him.

"What are your names?" John asks them in a whisper as they wait for the two machines.

"I'm Evelyn." Says a medium height woman with a round face and brown curly hair.

"Sophie." Says a woman, no older than John, with dark straight hair, and a professional soldier.

"Romero." Hispanic male twenty-five, with bare arms with an eagle tattoo on his left arm and a dagger on his right arm.

"You were some of my mom's troops?" He asks. They nod their heads.

"Romero, stay here and wait for the machines and the bomb. Evelyn, Sophie come with me. We'll make sure this floor is secure."

They carefully make their way down the corridor. Pausing and checking each office door, each corridor before moving on to the next.

"Sir, I can hear voices." Sophie says.

John listens carefully. "So can I." He says sounding concerned.

# # #

Cameron and her troops are making their way quickly and silently across the compound. Based on the information obtained by John Henry the habitation area should be on the other side of the building they are approaching.

Giving some quiet orders, Cameron has two of her soldiers throw open the doors while the others and herself fire into the opening. They fire six rounds each with no return fire.

They enter the building quickly checking all sides as they enter, but there is nothing to be seen. Their boots ring hollow on the metal floor.

Suddenly there is a loud yell and the soldiers are pounced on by many people in ragged dirty clothing. A fight breaks out. Cameron is grabbed from behind. Dropping her rifle, she quickly reaches up grabs the arms about her neck and throws the person over her head. She lands several paces away upside down.

Cameron pulls out her service revolver and points it at the person. The other soldiers have equally disarmed their attackers. Blowing the hair out of her eyes she looks at the woman on the ground with shock.

"Jesse?" She asks sounding surprised, "Jesse Flores?"

The woman looks up at her in shock. Sure enough, it's Jesse Flores. The last person in the world Cameron expected to see.

# # #

John waits until the rest of the soldiers and the machines arrive. They load the bomb onto the elevator and some of the soldiers and machines accompany it to the sub basement levels. The rest come with him to where he and the others heard the voices.

With John are Evelyn, Romero, two other soldiers, John Henry and two more machines. They carefully approach the office from which John and Evelyn heard the voices earlier. He didn't get close enough earlier to see the sign on the door, but now that he is right in front of it he can read the name on the door, KREILLEY. For a moment John feels that white hot rage come boiling up from inside of him. With great effort he tamps that feeling down.

"When I give the word, kick the door in." John says with a restrained voice.

But for the two soldiers prepared to kick the door in, everyone has a weapon ready.

John just gives a quick nod at the soldiers who then kick the door in. Everyone dashes into the long room with guns ready.

The room is empty but for a single figure sitting behind the large mahogany desk. The figure gets up from the chair and presses a button on a panel turning the lights on in the room. It is Weaver.

"Hello John. I've been waiting for you."

"What are you doing here?" John asks with both surprise, shock, and anger coloring his voice.

"I've been talking with your enemy. Meet Sky Net." Catherine Weaver gestures at something behind John Connor. "Or as I knew her at one time, Natalie."

John and the others turn around. There is a large flat screen monitor that covers the entire wall. On it is a very attractive woman with the darker skin tones of a Native American, but with Asian eyes.

"Hello John Connor. I've been expecting you." She says.

John turns his head to look at Catherine. "What is going on here?" He says his voice rising in anger.

"I'm negotiating terms of surrender." Catherine Weaver says coolly.

"Sky Net's?" John asks, lowering his weapon slightly.

"No. Your's." Catherine says calmly with a light smile coming to her face.

The image of Natalie on the giant monitor begins to laugh.


Author's Note: If any of you are having trouble following the battle, I have an outline of what each group is doing regarding their plan of attack. If enough of you request it, I'll post a copy on my profile page. The1Russter Jan. 27, 2012

Chapter Updated: Thu, Feb 21, 2013