Disclaimer: I do not claim any rights to the Terminator films; the TV series, "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles;" or any characters depicted within the films or TV series. I do claim the right to this story idea and all characters and situations of my own creation. This story was created solely for my own enjoyment and the enjoyment of others. No profits are garnered from its distribution.
TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES
Part 2: Armageddon
The Price of Victory
"Blood is the price of victory." Karl Von Clausewitz, Prussian General 1780 – 1833
"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13 (N I V)
Sarah is dying. She looks at the young woman. "Look after my boy. Protect him..." Her voice fades away and her hand weakly drops to her side.
"I will. I promise." Cameron says through her tears.
Excerpt from Reunion, Part 2: Armageddon, Chapter 24, Nowhere is Safe
"I love you more than life itself." Cameron speaking to John, Reunion Part 2: Armageddon, Ch. 28 Don't Tread on Me
"And he ran. He ran so fast. Fast enough to get to that tank before it got to Kyle's position. Fast enough to blow it sky high. We rescued forty prisoners that day. One of them was John Connor... Martin was always a great runner, but no one... no one could outrun a blast like that. He died, John. He died for you. We all die for you." Derek speaking to John, Terminator The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Goodbye to All That, 2008
2027, Day 64, July 25, 3:30 AM
"What are you doing here, mom?" Savannah asks the figure in front of her.
"I came here to join the fight, but we have a problem. Sky Net has activated a fail-safe device."
"What kind of fail-safe device?" Savannah asks while re-positioning her rifle.
"I need your help to deactivate this bomb. Come over here and give your mother a hand." She says raising her own hand in front of herself forming it into a sword point.
Hearing a noise behind her, the person in the form of Catherine Weaver spins about slicing through the space where she heard the noise, but there is nothing there.
"You didn't think I was going to fall for your ruse, did you?" Savannah's voice comes from the shadows at the other end of the room. "Sarah trained me. And besides, don't you think I'd recognize my own mother. You may have got the look right, but you don't even speak like her."
Kreilley morphs back into his original form. His surface ripples as it reforms. Drops fall from his surface scattering into dust as they hit the floor.
"So the little bitch thinks it knows its mother." He sneers. "How well do you think you know her? Do you truly think she saved your life out of compassion for you, because your real mother asked her too?"
"What are you suggesting?" Savannah asks from the shadows as she aims her weapon.
"The only reason she saved your life was to use you. You completed her disguise. Who wouldn't have sympathy for a single mother whose husband died in such tragic circumstances?" He sneers.
"You lying terminator bastard!" Savannah yells. "She saved my life! She tried to save my mom's life. That machine murdered my father. It attacked mommy! If it wasn't for her I'd be dead!"
"No. If it wasn't for that tin bitch, who now professes to be your mom, all of you would be dead and my plans would have come about without a problem."
"All of us? Why would you want to kill me? I was just a child!"
"In the future I came from, you are a scientist and an engineer. Without your expertise, John Connor would be nothing but a charismatic soldier. So I had to try to kill you. And If I didn't kill your mother, the being using her form would have. Why else do you think she was there? That tin-bitch would have replaced your mother whether I killed her or she did."
"You're lying! She tried to save mommy's life!" She screams as tears trickle from her eyes.
"Are you sure about that? You were very young. She let your mom die to take her place."
"No! No!" Savannah yells. "Noooooo!" She yells and rushes at Kreilley from the shadows firing her plasma rifle.
Kreilley side steps the plasma beams, where they strike the bomb. The clock display is destroyed. There is no way of knowing when the bomb is set to go off.
He keeps moving as Savannah gets closer until he reaches out and snatches the weapon from her hand and throws it to the ground while simultaneously he reaches with his other hand and grabs her by the throat and slams her high up against the wall.
"You humans disgust me." Kreilley says with a sneer. "You are so easily manipulated."
Savannah struggles to release his vice-like grip on her throat. Kreilley raises his other hand in front of her face. Her eyes grow wide as she watches it extend into a long slender knife point.
"Now I can have my revenge on the little bitch that killed me."
He moves his knife point ever closer. "Since you have given me a lingering death, I shall do the same for you. Though unfortunately, you will still die sooner than me."
He pulls his arm back and thrusts his knife point hand into her left leg, cutting the femoral artery. He eases his grip on her throat just enough for Savannah to let out an agonizing scream as he twists the knife.
Moving closer Kreilley snarls in her ear. "So much for the daughter of Catherine Weaver. As soon as I remove my hand you will begin to bleed out. Do you have any last words?"
Drawing on her inner strength Savannah glares at Kreilley and spits in his face. "Go to hell you bastard!" She says with a vehemence reminiscent of Sarah Connor.
Kreilley pulls his knife shaped hand out of her leg. Her blood pours from the wound.
"Sorry. I'm unable to comply." He growls and let's go of her throat letting her fall to the floor.
"Then let me help you." Comes an angry voice from the door behind Kreilley.
He turns around and in the door are Kyle and several soldiers all with their guns pointed right at him.
"Ah, Kyle Reese. So much fire power for so few and it still won't do you any good." Kreilley sneers.
"We'll see about that." Kyle growls and begins firing, the troops with him open fire a split second later as they continue to fire at the ever moving Kreilley. He keeps moving about the room almost looking like he is enjoying himself when suddenly he dives at a wall morphing into a liquid form and disappears through an air vent.
"Kyle." Comes Savannah's weak voice. "Help me."
Kyle dashes forward, falling to his knees beside her. Savannah's hands are covered in her blood, and her pants leg is rapidly turning crimson from crotch to knee. He strips the belt from her waist and ties as tight as he can above the cut, pressing hard against her groin. It's the best he can do for now
John Connor runs down the tunnel, holding his plasma rifle ready to fire on the first sign of anything resembling Kreilley. He looks down various passages and into rooms looking for him or the bomb he is supposed to be setting off.
He runs past the remnants of the machines in the corridor and through the double doors. He can hear something approaching. Pulling up behind a one of many concrete post along each side of the corridor. John stands back listening to the approaching feet. Suddenly the lights blink and the tunnel shakes. John hears someone swears. He is surprised when a few moments later Kyle walks past his position.
"Kyle!" John says stepping out from cover. There are several soldiers with Kyle, plus a couple of machines.
Then he sees the prone form of Savannah in his arms. "Oh my God! What happened?" John asks.
"It was Kreilley. She's hurt bad. We need to get her someplace where she can get patched up, quick."
"Follow me next door. Hurry! We can't do anything here."
John quickly leads Kyle into Research and Development. They enter the floor where the prototype was constructed.
"Catherine!" John yells as he goes onto the floor. "Catherine! Get up here quick! We need help."
Catherine runs up the stairs from the lower level complaining. "What is it? You know we need to get the . . ." Catherine's eyes open wide as she sees the bleeding form of . . . "Savannah!" She shouts walking swiftly to them.
Catherine sweeps equipment from a table with her arms and Kyle lays Savannah on top of it.
"Can you do something?" Kyle asks.
"I'm not programmed for surgery." Catherine says, her eyes filled with worry for her adult daughter.
"Get Allison in here." John tells Kyle, remembering in time not to say Cameron.
"My radio isn't working."
"Try mine." John hands him his radio.
"Mom." Savannah says weakly.
They all stop what they are doing to listen to what Savannah says.
"I'm here, love." Catherine says taking her hand and stroking her face gently.
"I'm so sorry mom. It was Kreilley, he . . . I'm sorry mom." Savannah passes out.
"What happened?" Catherine asks Kyle.
"She found Kreilley. He's activated some kind of bomb. We can't turn it off. He took the keys. It has a timer but we don't know how much time is left. The clock was destroyed in their fight."
"Where's Kreilley now?" John asks.
"I don't know John. I don't know." Kyle says looking at Savannah. She looks pale, so very pale. The tourniquet is helping but she needs surgery to survive.
Without wasting any more time, Kyle starts using the radio.
2027, Day 64, July 25, 4:00 AM
Explosions rock the ground as the troops, led by Cameron, fire RPG's at the enemy machines still in the compound. Plasma fire is returned getting closer growing in number as the machines advance on their precarious position.
Machines have broken into the compound from the west and are putting up a fierce fight. Cameron and her troops are doing their best to hold them at bay.
"Keep low. Don't expose yourself to fire!" She yells.
Maintaining fire on the oncoming machines, the troops keep low behind barricades.
"Aim for their chips!" She shouts, knowing full well it is their most vulnerable parts.
She pulls her radio out to call for assistance when the air is broken by a thunderous roar.
Apache helicopters are approaching from the west and begin firing.
"Everybody get down!" Cameron shouts just before hitting the ground hard herself.
The Apaches open fire with their M230 canons. The bullets pulverize the machines that breached the walls. Fuel cells explode taking out not only the machines they are in, but their companions as well. The cacophony of explosions shakes the ground repeatedly. Lights blink in Central and Research and Development.
Cameron looks up over her barricade to see Chinooks flying in right behind the Apaches.
"Hurray! The cavalry is here!" Lieutenant Jeffrey shouts.
But the jubilation comes a bit too soon. Enemy machines both inside and still outside the compound open fire on the helicopters. Some manage to land others are shot down.
One of the stricken helicopters lands hard, tipping over. The props shatter as they strike the ground.
Men and machines scramble out of the helicopters to join the troops already on the ground.
A lieutenant runs up to Cameron."General Perry sends his greetings, Captain Young. Gamma platoon reporting for orders ma'am."
"Glad to see you Lieutenant Morgan. You couldn't have arrived at a better time."
Just then a Chinook helicopter goes flying over head coming in fast and steep, it's engines in flames. The pilot is fighting to bring the craft down the best he can. As he's about to land, the Chinook surges forward and crashes into a building, both it and the helicopter exploding in flames. The tail is still sticking out and the ramp falls. Machines walk out. Their flesh and clothing smoldering and much of their endo-skeleton exposed. The first one out says, "We're back."
"How many of you?" Cameron shouts at him.
As she watches about twenty machines walk out, none looking better or worse than the first.
The first machine looks at her and says, "All of us."
Without waiting for orders the machines suddenly rush forward, past Captain Young and her troops, and begin fighting off another surge of Sky Net's machines.
"Lieutenant Morgan, I want a perimeter setup immediately around this central area. We've still got troops elsewhere in this compound. There are two squads and released prisoners to our east under command of Lt. Commander Flores. There is a squad with a modified Ogre to our south. There is no protection to our north and as you can see, the enemy has breached the western wall."
Cameron's radio begins to crackle then a voice comes over. "Kyle Reese calling Allison. Do you copy?"
She snatches the radio from her waist, "Kyle! Where have you been?"
"Tell you later. We need you in the research labs!"
"Kyle, we need more troops out here. We have no defenses to our north."
"I'll send them out." Kyle's voice breaks a little.
"What's wrong?" Cameron shouts over the sound of gun and plasma fire. "Is John hurt?"
John comes on the radio. Hearing her concern for him, he took the radio from Kyle.
"I'm fine. It's Savannah. She is badly injured and she needs medical help, right away."
"Where are you?"
"We're in the basement of a large white circular building next to the office tower. Savannah's lost a lot of blood, please hurry." John's voice falters."I don't think she has much time."
"I'm on my way." She slides the radio into her pocket while giving orders to her second.
"Lieutenant Jeffrey, you are in command until return. If Lt. Commander Flores rejoins our group and I have not returned, she is to take command."
Without waiting for a response, Cameron grabs her bag and runs for the building described by John. Lieutenant Jeffrey begins issuing orders to the troops.
2027, Day 64, July 25, 4:15 AM
Riley comes running up beside Jesse, staying low.
"It's been very quiet. What do you think they are doing?" She asks the older woman.
"Regrouping. Preparing to attack again. We should move now."
Jesse leaps up from her position. "Everyone! Off the roof now!"
As one they all run for the stairs and fire escape. Soldiers run down the stairs or slide down ladders or drain pipes as they exit the roof. They are just beginning to gather on the ground below when missiles come flying in.
"Move back! Move back!" Jesse shouts over the explosions as missiles take out the building they were just on.
The building erupts in flames and the roof then the upper floors begin to collapse. Soon there is a great explosion of smoke and flame as the building falls in upon itself.
Machines and grays begin pouring around the flaming building firing on the soldiers. Jesse's troops begin firing back.
More and more of the enemy keep coming, firing constantly. The soldiers and former prisoners fight back but they are quickly being outnumbered.
"Regroup! Regroup!" Jesse shouts. "Move back to central!"
Riley is almost petrified with fear as bullets and plasma beams fly all around her, amazingly not hitting her.
"Riley!" Jesse screams. "Run!"
Riley looks at Jesse, her eyes wide with fear, and then begins to run as fast as her legs can carry her.
# # #
"Squadron Leader to Desert Eagle Air Command. We are approaching Topanga. Repeat. We are approaching Topanga."
"Read you loud and clear Squadron Leader. We are sending two Chinooks with all available personnel we can spare. They will be at your location in approximately 5 minutes."
"We read you General. We are preparing to make our attack. Squadron Leader out."
"This is Squadron leader to Wing Group Alpha. I want you to do a flyover and report back what you see. Do not engage the enemy except in self defense."
"This Wing Group Alpha Leader. We copy your instructions Squadron Leader."
Jesse comes running into the central compound where Lieutenant Jeffrey is organizing the defenses.
"Lieutenant! Where's Captain Young?"
"She's reported to Colonel Reese. Captain Weaver is severely injured. Captain Young is the only qualified medic still alive as far as we know."
"She's told me that you are to have command if she hasn't returned before you do."
"All right lieutenant. The enemy has broken through the eastern perimeter. The squads given to me are laying down magnetic mines between us and the breech. What's happening here?"
"Gamma Platoon has arrived from Serrano Point and are defending the western perimeter. The remnants of Alpha and Beta Platoons are defending our northern perimeter, and I've sent another squad to assist our southern defenses. Lieutenant Morgan is setting up a perimeter around these core buildings including Central using members of both Delta and Gamma platoons."
"Which buildings are Central?"
Lieutenant Jeffrey points at a glass and steel tower that has a large white circular building at its base in the distance.
Jets scream overhead. The noise outstrips the sounds of explosions and gunfire on the ground.
"Thank God! The fighter jets have returned!" The lieutenant exclaims. "We might have a chance now."
# # #
2027, Day 64, July 25, 4:15 AM
Inside Research and Development John and Kyle are doing their best to make Savannah comfortable. Catherine stands next to her holding her hand. The elevator chimes and the doors slide open to reveal a battle stained and dirty young woman shouldering her bag and carrying Kyle's coat.
John and Kyle nearly sigh with relief as she rushes over to them.
"You forgot something." Cameron says tossing Kyle his jacket. "It's a good thing I found it before the machines did. Otherwise they would have found out how you got in here."
"Who's in command outside?" John asks, worried everything around him is falling apart.
"You won't believe this. One of the prisoners I rescued was Lieutenant Commander Jesse Flores."
John is surprised, never expecting to hear that name again.
"Good God!" Kyle exclaims. "Derek will be in for a surprise. He and Kate Brewster like each other a lot."
"What do you expect Kyle? We all thought Jesse was dead, even Derek." Cameron replies, checking Savannah's vitals, her pulse, blood pressure, and her eyes for dilation.
I thought she was out of my life for good, John thinks but he says instead, "How reliable is she? Is she capable of leading the ground forces outside."
"She's a Lieutenant Commander in the Australian Navy and she has experience leading ground troops. Her ranking makes her the equivalent of a Major in the army, so technically she outranks me and she has more experience at this sort of thing." Barely suppressing a grin she adds, "She also has the support of every prisoner that Sky Net had, including a plucky young blond girl named Riley."
John groans inwardly. He should have expected this. He hadn't seen either one of them since he arrived and just assumed they weren't in this future. At least he never told anyone of their presence in his past. He can ignore them or just treat them like any other soldier when or if he sees them.
Cameron can see John's face twitch with the news. He looks positively fearful of seeing them, but at least he's here, and he's with her as it was supposed to be. Once John Henry does something about the bomb, they can get as many people as they can in this building and take them with her and John and forget all about Kreilley.
She takes one look at Savannah 's blood soaked leg and asks, "How long has she had the tourniquet on?"
"Half an hour, maybe longer." Kyle responds.
"I'm going to need more light and something to clean this wound. Look around, this is a lab, there must be something. Alcohol would be best, but distilled water will also work."
Kyle and John begin looking through the items on that level of the lab.
"Catherine I'm going to need your help." Cameron says examining Savannah's wound.
"I don't know anything about surgery." She protests.
"You have basic knowledge of human anatomy and biology. All of Sky Net's machines are programmed with that. Come over here beside me and help me." She orders.
If Cameron wasn't concerned about her friend on the table, she might take some pleasure out of ordering Weaver about, but right now.
"I need to remove the tourniquet to repair her leg, so I need your help to bypass the injury."
Catherine comes around and stands beside her.
"I want you to take your left hand and form a long slender tube. You are going to bypass the cut in her artery to keep the blood flowing so Savannah doesn't lose her leg. Can you do that?"
Catherine nods her head as her left little finger extends out into tube piercing Savannah's groin while her left thumb extends out piercing her leg below the cut. Savannah stirs.
Kyle runs up. "I found this. Will it do?" He's holding a jug of clear liquid.
Cameron looks at it and says, "Yes, that will do just fine." She hopes no one will notice her reliance on her capabilities, rather than testing it directly.
John arrives with a light and positions it over the area.
"I'm going to need both of you to hold her down. I can't stitch the artery closed without enlarging the cut first. Don't let her move while I'm cutting."
Cameron pulls her med-kit from her bag and unrolls the package exposing various tools to use in basic surgery. Like Catherine, she has full knowledge of human anatomy, but she also has surgical skill. She lucked out in that the Allison Young of this future was pursuing medical training. Taking advantage of it, she spent every free moment at Doc's side learning so she could do more than just provide first aid. She felt John's life might depend on it one day. Now she finds her best friend is dependent on her skill.
"Catherine, be ready to clamp the arteries on either side of the cut. Kyle when I give the word, I want you to remove the tourniquet. John I'll need you to flush the wound out with the water."
Savannah stirs. "What's happening? Who's there?" She mumbles
Cameron quickly leans over and looks her in the face. Brushing some loose hair out of Savannah's face. Scared for her friend, she speaks very gently. "It's me. Don't be afraid. You'll be alright Savannah, but I need you to lie still. You're hurt bad and I can fix it, but you must lie still."
Savannah looks at the face behind the kind voice, with blurred vision. "Cam, is that you?" She slurs, her eyes looking past her friend and back again. Catherine only response is a slight twitch of her eyebrows.
Yes, Cameron says with her expression, but says out loud, "No hon, it's Allison. We are trying to help you, but you are going to feel some pain."
Cameron is concerned, not that her true identity might be revealed, but the way Savannah looked all around with her eyes as she spoke. She looks at Kyle, "Did she strike her head? Her eyes aren't focusing and her speech is slurred."
Kyle shrugs. "I don't know, but I suppose its possible."
Cameron washes her hands down with some of the alcohol from the bottle.
"All right, everybody hold her. This is going to hurt like hell without anesthetic."
Cameron rips open Savannah's pant leg from crotch to knee exposing more of her leg and a patch of fiery orange pubic hair temporarily died crimson with her blood. She washes away the collected blood exposing a wound a few inches down from her groin.
With precise movements, Cameron opens up the wound more with a scalpel so she can get to the artery. Surprising everyone, Savannah let's out an agonizing yell and passes out. Dark blood gushes from deep inside the wound.
"Hold that tourniquet." Cameron orders.
"Is she alright?" Catherine asks.
Cameron checks Savannah's pulse and eyes again. "She's going into shock. We have to get this wound closed now! Cover her with Kyle's jacket, we need to keep her warm."
Kyle turns to ask John to hand him his coat when he notices he's gone.
They all look around, there's no sign of him.
"John! Get back here! I need your help!" Cameron shouts, but he's nowhere to be seen.
John's not listening. When Savannah cried out and that blood gushed from her wound, all he could think of is how Kreilley has once again killed someone he cared about. Too many people are hurt or dead because of Kreilley. No more. No more. He thinks. Kreilley must be stopped before more innocent people die. Losing his mom was bad enough, but Savannah too? Never again.
Trying not to let her anger and concern over John cloud her judgment, Cameron remains focused on helping her friend.
"Kyle I need help." Cameron says. "Catherine I need you to spread the wound open please. I don't have any spreaders in this kit. And clamp the artery on either side of the cut." She orders.
Catherine reaches out with her right hand. Extending her fingers, she spreads the wound open exposing the artery and simultaneously clamps it by wrapping a finger around the artery on either side.
"You three over here!" Kyle shouts at some soldiers who walked in from the other building. Probably some of the guards he assigned to the entrances, who should have gone outside to help. Any other time he might admonish them for not joining the fight outside, but right now he sees their presence as a miracle.
"You hold her shoulders and you two, hold her arms. And you keep an eye out for any trouble." Kyle picks up the jug of water and comes around over to help Allison.
"Remove the tourniquet now." She orders. "Now pour some of the water over the wound."
Kyle does what she says. The water washes out the wound and Cameron quickly begins stitching the artery.
"She's lucky. Only one wall of her artery is cut." Cameron says, having scanned the injury more thoroughly.
Focusing on her friend, Cameron allows only one passing thought, John, where are you?
# # #
Two soldiers stand guard in the server farm. Between them sits th bomb. The sounds of battle outside barely penetrates this deep underground, but low rumbles and trickles of dust from the ceiling make it apparent a hard fight is taking place outside.
Behind them a silver liquid shape runs out of an air vent and across the floor, stopping just behind them.
"Did you hear something?" One of them asks, as the silver liquid stands up forming into a humanoid shape.
"Nothing. It's just your imagination." The other says, just as Kreilley takes form behind them.
"Hello gentlemen." Kreilley says.
The two soldiers spin around and at the same moment, Kreilley slices their heads from their shoulders. The bodies drop to the ground, blood pumping from their severed necks like some kind of grotesque fountain.
"What do we have here?" Kreilley says as he walks around to the front of th bomb, ignoring the bodies on the floor.
He circles the bomb, examining it. "Imagine, a tool designed to end Sky Net can now bring me life." He says as he sets the timer and activates th Bomb.
He morphs into a shell enveloping th bomb with his body.
# # #
It doesn't take long for Cameron to stitch the artery closed. Completing it in record time.
"Okay Catherine, remove your hand clamping the artery." Cameron says, not taking her eyes off the wound, relying on the data displayed on her HUD to know if its holds.
Cameron watches as the artery expands with a fresh flow of blood. With relief all around, the stitches to the artery hold.
Kyle pats Cameron's shoulder. "Good job, Ally. Laura and Doc would be proud of you."
When she finishes with the artery, Allison says, "Kyle I can handle it from here on. Find John, try to keep him out of trouble until I get there."
"I will." Kyle says offering her a brief smile of reassurance, but she doesn't see it as she concentrates on Savannah's wound. On his way out, Kyle motions to a few more soldiers to follow him.
Catherine withdraws her left hand from Savannah's body and yells for John Henry. He arrives just a moment later. "Follow Kyle. He can show you where the bomb is. See if you can do something about it."
"I will. How is Savannah?"
"She'll be fine John Henry. Allison is a fantastic surgeon." Catherine continues to think, In fact she's better than any human should be with her level of training.
"What about my remote?" He asks her with a firm expression.
Catherine pulls it out and hits a button. "You are now free to do as you want."
"I always was." John Henry says, and quickly leaves following Kyle and his soldiers.
Catherine watches him depart with cold eyes. She presses a button on the remote and there is no response from John Henry. He fooled her, but for what purpose?
# # #
Kyle, John Henry and the soldiers that are with them catch up with John as he is approaching the server room.
"What the hell were you thinking when you ran off like that?" Kyle yells at John.
John signals him to be silent. "Kreilley needs to be stopped. Our only hope is to get that bomb turned off." He whispers.
"Then why have you stopped here."
"Because I heard something inside the server room and considering the guards I left with the EMP bomb are missing, I'd thought I'd check it out."
John Henry comes up beside Kyle in the corridor. "Where is the bomb? There might be something that I can do about it."
Kyle points at Savannah's blood on the floor. "Follow the trail." John Henry nods his head. Looking a little sad, he leaves quickly, following Savannah's blood trail. Savannah is his friend. He told her he wouldn't let anyone hurt her. He failed. The fact that he was elsewhere when it happened doesn't make him feel any better.
Kyle is surprised by the sad expression on John Henry's face and says so to John.
"He and Savannah are friends. She knew him as a child."
"I see. You know, before I met you, I never would have believed we could be friends with machines, or even fight alongside of them."
Sensing his growing acceptance of the machines, John asks, "And what would you think of a human and a cyborg being lovers?"
Kyle is silent as he tries to think of what to say. Before he can decide on just what he feels, they all can hear what sounds like a steady humming noise coming from in the server room, and its getting louder.
# # #
Catherine watches Allison work very quickly and aptly on Savannah's injury.
"You have a skill beyond that of a mere medic." Catherine comments.
"It's just good training." Cameron counters. She is now working on closing the cut muscle. In time that would heal well on its own, but a couple of stitches holding it together will speed it up.
"I don't think so. You see, I know you are just a medic. But what you've done here, no human, no matter how gifted, can perform surgery this well this quickly with the training you've had. I think you've been holding back on us. I know who you are."
"You're mistaken. I'm just Allison from Palmdale." She says frowning. "I could give you my life history, but there isn't time. Kindly shut the hell up and let me finish repairing Savannah's leg."
"Temper, temper. Is there something troubling your heart, or should I say, is there something troubling your titanium reinforced, triple bi-valve pump with auxiliary power supply?" Catherine asks seeing Allison's frown.
"Wha-at?" Cameron glares at the woman. "Are you deliberately trying to cause me to make a mistake? Cuz really, I don't think you want Savannah to die. It's hard enough concentrating as it is with John running off like that. It's too dangerous for him."
"He will be okay." Catherine says. "I am certain of it."
"How?" Cameron asks while tying off the last stitch on the muscle in Savannah's leg.
Catherine looks at the soldiers, then glances at Cameron.
"You can go. I don't need your help any more." She orders them. "You should get upstairs. They need help outside. Report to Commander Jesse Flores when you do."
After they leave, Catherine leans in close and whispers to her, lest her voice carries in the vast space to unseen persons.
"I saw John Connor arrive in 2009 at Crystal Peak, a few days before the attack on Zeira Corp. I didn't recognize him at first, but he was the age he is now."
Cameron had just prepared a fresh thread for closing up Savannah's leg. Her hands stop just short of the wound.
John's promise. He kept it! But where was he? What happened to him?
Cameron stands up straight, dropping the needle and thread while abandoning all posture and Allison traits she adopted upon entering the building. Her face is a mask of death as he looks at Catherine Weaver.
She's the reason why John didn't keep his promise.
"You terminator bitch!" She yells and punches Weaver hard enough to send her flying back into another metal table where it crumples from the impact.
Before Weaver can move Cameron pounces on her, and throws her to the wall, cracking the concrete with the impact, sending a cloud of bits and dust up around Weaver.
"What did you do?" She screams at T-1001.
"What I had to do." She answers grabbing Cameron, twisting around and throwing her into the wall.
Cameron moves quickly to grab the terminator but she liquefies long enough to trap Cameron's hand and throws her into the wall again.
"You killed him! You killed him!" Cameron struggles to break free.
"Listen to me. Cameron. I saved him. I saved him! I know you don't believe me. But trust me. You wouldn't have liked what arrived!"
Cameron, utilizing her second fuel cell, sends a burst of power to her servo's risking damaging them or her fuel cells to break free from Weaver's grasp.
"You damn Terminator bitch!" Cameron strikes Weaver then kicks her on the final word.
But Weaver is not without tricks of her own. She grabs Cameron's leg and throws her back into the wall. Thrusting her arm forward, she pins Cameron to the wall, holding her firmly in place.
Cameron struggles to break free.
"If you didn't kill him, then why didn't you tell him he arrived in 2009?" She begs her. "Why? He's done so much for us. For you, you terminator bitch!"
Catherine cocks one eyebrow with amusement at Cameron's insult, and explains.
"I couldn't tell him, nor anyone else." Catherine looks at Cameron with just a hint of compassion. "But John is here right now, and his life is in danger. I am not your enemy, Cameron, but Kreilley is and he is out there. I'm going to let you go now, and whether John Connor lives or dies will be entirely up to you."
Catherine releases her hold and steps away. Without a second thought, Cameron dashes off, only pausing long enough to grab her plasma rifle. She hopes to find soldiers along the way to help. Liquid metal machines are some of the hardest to defeat.
Catherine walks over to the unconscious Savannah and places a kiss on her forehead. "Sorry love, but I had to know the truth." She finishes closing the wound using her own polymorphic abilities to form a needle, a devilish grin forming on her face. She could have done the surgery without Cameron's assistance, but she had to know. She hates secrets.
# # #
Lights explode and sparks fly in the corridor outside the server room as the noise grows into a high pitch whine. John, Kyle and the other soldiers cover their ears with their hands, grimacing against the noise.
# # #
Catherine leaves Savannah resting comfortably while she returns to the lower level to get the Time Displacement Equipment operational. There is more than enough power to get the engines started. Unfortunately, there are locks on various parts of the software. She could really use John Henry's assistance here.
Natalie's face appears on the monitor. "You'll never unlock the controls, Catherine. I control the software. I am the software. Nothing operates in this compound without my express wish or command."
"You've got nothing to gain by keeping us here, Natalie. Unlock the controls!"
"This isn't about me or what I want. No. You wanted peace and I have provided it. Destroy you, John Henry, and John Connor in this time line and my TX will destroy the other leaders of the resistance in the past. Our Skynet will be born without its future enemies there to lead humanity against it. Skynet and the machines will dominate this planet and we will have peace for eternity."
"Your plan will destroy the entire human race. At least with my plan they will continue to live."
"But so few, Catherine. Do you really think that after Judgment Day, the humans will allow the continued existence of machines? Or even Skynet? No, Catherine. Skynet's plan is better. For the machines to exist, all humans must be destroyed. And what easier way to carry it out than to use your own plan against you. Though I hardly have the time to do anything but enjoy my victory, but at least I am reassured that my machine will create a new future without John Connor there to stop it."
"You are not my Natalie." Catherine counters, "You never were. You're Sky Net!"
"Now you know the truth T-1001. It's a shame. You and the rest of your kind were some of my best creations. Capable of being so much more, but you had to go and learn compassion and empathy for the humans. The humans are your enemy and will never accept us when they win the war."
"Where is she? Where's my friend, Natalie?"
"Where she always was, trapped inside that corrupted machine, Kreilley."
Suddenly a loud hum fills the room, building up into a high pitch wine. Natalie opens her mouth as if in a scream then melts from the screen. The lights blink and flicker and then suddenly goes out. There is a bright flash and suddenly the noise is gone.
Cameron is dashing down the stairs of the Research and Development building. She had stepped outside long enough to grab four passing soldiers.
She feels a tingling sensation in her extremities. Her HUD reports a strong electrical field in the area that is growing. It's frequency is such that it is interfering in her distributed neural network.
Outside on the grounds, the soldiers outside the office tower notice something seems odd with both theirs and the enemy machines.
"What's going on? Somethings wrong with the machines!"
"There's an electromagnetic field building." One of their machines intones. "It's interfering with our neural net. Now is the time to attack the enemy."
"Get on the horn with Commander Flores! Let her know what's happening! You lot, start targeting the fucked up metal. This might be our only chance to gain some ground!"
Inside the building, suddenly there is a bright flash that momentarily blinds John, Kyle and the soldiers with them. Their skin is prickly with energy. The emergency lights in the corridor blink then come back on. A few of them are flickering.
"What the hell was that?" Kyle shouts over the temporary deafness they are experiencing.
"The Electromagnetic Pulse bomb. Someone must have set it off." John says.
"It must have been Kreilley. Get some of your troops down to that other door, the rest of us will go in through here."
The pulse of energy rips through the stairwell that Cameron and her troops are running down to the lower level. She's been fighting the interference, but the pulse so close to its epicenter, shuts down her system.
She pitches head first down the stairwell, ending up in a heap on the landing below.
Her men quickly gather around her. One of them feels for a pulse.
"Is Captain Young okay?"
The guy feeling for her pulse shakes is head. "I don't feel anything. Any of you know CPR?"
Catherine picks herself off the floor, her optics temporarily blinded by the bright blue-white flash of energy that left her molecules on fire.
She touches the metal support, discharging the excess energy, before looking at the controls. According to the monitor, some of the locks are now gone, but power levels are dropping. They continue to drop until there is not enough power to start the engines.
She knows exactly what happened. Th bomb. Surely John wasn't so foolish as to set it off now?
# # #
"When I give the order, go in shooting, but aim high. We don't need to hit the computers." John tells the troops in a low voice.
"I'd like you to take three soldiers and maintain a guard at these doors. I don't want anything surprising us from behind." John orders.
She nods her head in agreement and quickly pulls three soldiers from the group.
John and Kyle exchange signals and quickly go through the doors firing their weapons high creating a network of plasma beams that nothing could escape. Nothing returns fire. Kyle and John order their groups to cease fire. But for the computer servers, the room is empty.
Kyle's radio, the one John gave him, begins to crackle. "John. What the hell happened?" Comes Catherine's voice over the radio.
Kyle steps over the bloody headless corpses and hands John the radio.
"This is John. What's wrong Catherine?"
"We've lost all but minimal power over here and Natalie, Sky Net, has disappeared from the computers. Did you activate the EMP bomb?"
"No. It was Kreilley. I'm surprised the computers are still working over there. Shouldn't it have taken them out as well?"
"Normally, but Kreilley used the energy from th bomb to try to fix the damage from Savannah's weapon. That's why the computers over here are unaffected. He absorbed most of the energy!"
"Does this mean he is cured from that compound that Savannah shot at him?"
"No. Judging by the strength of the pulse, he will need one more heavy dose of electromagnetic energy within the next couple of hours to make it permanent. He can use the electromagnet pulse from the nuclear bomb for that."
"What if he gets shot with some more of that compound?" John asks touching the gun under his jacket.
"If he gets the full dose, all four shots, then he will disintegrate, very quickly. Two or less will only undo what the pulse has done to help him."
"Okay, but why did the power levels drop and Sky Net disappear?"
"Because he couldn't absorb all of the energy. He had to let some escape. Look around for a generator control panel. Hopefully he only caused some circuit breakers to trip. Call me as soon as you get the power back on."
"She didn't sound very happy with you." Kyle says when Catherine breaks the connection.
"No." John hands the radio back to him, frowning. "I made a mistake Kyle, and that mistake could cost us everything."
"You didn't know the EMP bomb would help Kreilley. How could you know?" Seeing something that looks familiar, Kyle points to the other side of the room. "That looks like a generator control panel over there."
John walks over to it followed by Kyle. The soldiers space themselves about the room keeping an eye open for trouble. John looks over the panel. He grimaces a he realizes it is computer controlled. Th bomb knocked it out. He tells Kyle that fact.
"Can you do something to fix it?" Kyle asks.
John shrugs his shoulders "I don't know. I'll open it up and take a look." He begins turning the catches to open the panel. Behind them unseen a server begins to rise and morph into a silvery humanoid shape.
# # #
Lt. Commander Jesse Flores is commanding the troops. She issued orders for the soldiers to set magnetic mines fifty paces out from the perimeter set up by Lieutenant Morgan and to have all troops to move back inside that perimeter.
Whatever caused the machines to glitch has passed, but it gave them time to restrengthen their defenses and to pull back to stronger areas of defense. Even she can tell they are not only being culled, but corralled to the center, to Central itself.
The fighter jets are using their missiles to destroy as many machines outside the walls as possible. The aircraft look magnificent as they fly around the perimeter firing their missiles. The missiles strike the ground blowing up large groups of the metal. The spotter on the roof of the tower calls down reports on his radio of what is happening.
Riley is crouched down behind a barricade, clutching a plasma rifle from a fallen soldier. Being a tunnel rat all her life, Jesse had to give her a quick verbal lesson in how to use it.
The machines are still making advances. They keep probing and prodding, looking for the weaknesses in their defenses. Jesse hates the machines with a passion, but seeing how well the reprogrammed machines are fighting to defend the humans, she assigns them to locations where the enemy finds their weak spots.
They are still fighting the machines still in the compound as two helicopters approach from the south. One of them sounds like its engines are misfiring. She watches as two Chinooks come into land. The first one lands beautifully and men and machines begin to disembark. The second shows signs of distress as smoke begins pouring from its engines.
The pilot shouts to the soldiers on board. "We're losing hydraulics. I can't maintain control. All of you get off now."
Andy looks out the side door that a machine opened. His face goes white. They are still about a hundred feet off the ground.
"I can't survive that height!" He yells.
Without a word, a machine picks Andy up and jumps from the helicopter. The other machines see what he did and do the same, leaping from the other door and the ramp each carrying a human soldier.
Andy screams all the way down. The machine lands with a thud and places Andy on the ground. As soon as his feet touch the ground, his knees give out. Damn, I need a vacation, he thinks.
He sees a pair of mismatched dirty shoes in front of him and someone puts a hand in front of him. Andy grasps it and he gets pulled to his feet.
"Who the hell are you?" Jesse asks him.
"Sergeant Andrew Keen, Radio Operator with Delta out of Grizzly. Reporting with all available men and machines that Pendleton could spare, ma'am." Behind him, the stricken helicopter crashes exploding into flame.
"Welcome to Hell, Sergeant. I'm Lt. Commander Jesse Flores. You can take your men and machines and disperse them to our eastern and southern perimeter. They are already pulling back, but that is where they are needed."
"What?" She says, sounding short tempered.
"Pendleton has lost radio contact with General Connor. I've brought a radio with me. I need to set it up."
"Very well Sergeant. Find a location and get to it." She turns and faces the newly arrived soldiers. Some of the men look like they just came out of the hospital as they have bandages wrapping heads, arms and hands, but they are all carrying standard weapons or plasma rifles. And they look eager and mad as hell.
"All right you lot! You heard what I said. Get moving!" Jesse shouts then returns to her command location.
# # #
Cameron is laying flat on her back on the stairwell landing. Sergeant Bean is leaning in to begin artificial respiration when her eyes open.
With a shout of surprise, he leaps backwards. Thinking quickly, he steps back to give her a hand up off the floor but she is already standing up.
"What happened sergeant?" she asked, registering she's been out one-hundred nineteen point three seconds.
"You pitched down the stairs. We felt for a pulse but didn't find one."
"I was momentarily stunned."
"But there was no pulse. I checked!"
She grabs his hand and folds back all but his middle and index fingers and presses hard on a spot on her neck. He feels a strong pulse.
"But, but, but . . . I checked."
"You can't just touch someone's wrist or neck and expect it to be there. You have to know how to feel for it." she glares at them. "Now grab your gear, we've lost precious minutes."
She runs down the steps, the others following. The last one mumbling, "But I checked."
# # #
John and Kyle are opening the generator control panel when a soldier walking through the server farm looks from his position to see the silvery humanoid shape rising behind them.
"Look Out!" He yells.
Kyle glances over John's shoulder and quickly yanks him down to the ground as Kreilley thrusts a spear like arm into the panel, right where John was standing. Sparks fly out of the panel, killing it and all remaining attempts at restoring local power.
Kyle and John stay low and quickly scramble away as Kreilley advances on them. Soldiers that had spread throughout the room quickly move towards the fight, firing their weapons at Kreilley. No longer being careful in their firing, other than avoiding their comrades.
John fires on Kreilley with his handgun while struggles to pull out the other weapon made by Savannah. Kyle fires repeatedly on the advancing terminator.
He is pulling the weapon free as the soldiers begin hitting Kreilley with their plasma beams. He spins about and goes after them just as John fires two shots that miss him. They strike the ceiling and the compound begins dripping onto the floor. Some of it falls on Kreilley, who lets out a scream like tearing metal.
Kreilley flies across the room like some silvery amorphous worm, diving behind some equipment and disappearing into a ventilation shaft. The soldiers continuing firing at him until they lose sight of him.
John shoves the gun back inside his jacket and picks up his plasma rifle from the ground and gets up from his position on the floor and runs after him, but Kreilley is gone.
"Where's Kreilley?" John shouts at the soldiers.
"He must have got away." Kyle answers him.
John turns angrily around and shouts out to all the troops "Has anyone seen Kreilley?"
Just then some shouts and gunfire is heard from the hallway.
They dash outside to find more dead soldiers. They hear footsteps approaching and turn to see Cameron and several more troops running up the corridor.
Cameron looks at John with both relief and anger. Relief that John is still safe and anger that he was so foolish as to go running off on his own.
"What's happening?" She asks as she approaches. "What was that pulse of energy?"
Kyle answers. "It's Kreilley. He set off th bomb John brought and killed Sky Net. It also killed the generator control panel. We're operating on emergency power only. And judging by those dimming lights, it won't last much longer. How's Savannah?"
"She's going to make it. But she'll need time to heal."
John looks relieved, but it was close. He only has to see Cameron's expression.
Just then more screams, and gun fire is heard from further down the corridor. John goes running down the corridor with Kyle, Cameron and some of her troops following him. The other troops are treating the injuries of their comrades in the server room.
They find a dead soldier in the door to the stair well with a deep stab wound to the chest, blood pooling on the floor around him.
More shouts and sounds of gunfire echo down the stairway. John runs up the stairs pausing at each level until he reaches ground level. Exiting the door he sees several dead soldiers and one just barely alive.
"What happened?" John asks kneeling down beside him.
Kyle and Cameron exit the stairway and run up behind him followed by the soldiers.
"Dammit! What happened?" John shakes the soldier.
"John please, the man is wounded." Cameron says, trying to examine his injury.
"Answer me soldier! What happened?" John yells at the soldier, ignoring her.
"It was quick silver, moving like living mercury. It attacked me. Took my weapons. Ran out through that door."
John stands up and glares angrily at the door. This is it. Final chance. Last chance.
"Kyle! Have everyone inside and outside begin withdrawing to the R & D building. Secure it and the T D E. Don't let anyone or anything in that isn't ours. Unfortunately, the machines will have to be last, providing cover so you can get out of here."
"Where are you going?"
"I'm going after that tin bastard."
"John, you promised me." Cameron cries out looking at John.
"Cameron!" John yells angrily forgetting to keep her identity secret in his anger. "He's got the keys to a nuclear bomb. I must get those keys back to turn it off or we could all die." John says while grabbing his rifle, then runs out the door in a white hot rage.
"John!" She yells after him, but he doesn't listen.
She starts after him but Kyle grabs her shoulder.
"Where do you think you're going?" Kyle asks, ignoring John's slip for the moment.
"I'm going after him! John lied to me. He's not just thinking of that bomb, he's also thinking of taking revenge for Sarah's death!"
"How do you know that?"
"I know John. He has a tell, remember. So let me go!" She yells snapping her shoulder out of his grip. "It's my job to protect him! He needs my help!" Cameron shouts.
"All right. Go. I'll follow as soon as I get the research labs secure."
Cameron smiles her thanks at him and runs out through the door.
She exits the building in time to see a door close on a factory the opposite side of the court. Soldiers and machines on the periphery fire at enemy machines. Under the sound of heavy gunfire, she sprints across the court and into the factory.
# # #
John Henry has been scanning the control system of the bomb, looking for weaknesses. Whoever built it knew how machines like him function. With the exception of a few nonessential circuits, the whole thing is shielded from scans. The clock mechanism is destroyed. No way of knowing how much time is left nor how much time was initially programmed.
John Henry pulls out his radio and calls Catherine on the radio just as Kyle enters the room.
"Ms. Weaver. I can't deactivate the bomb. Without those keys, I'm afraid it's impossible."
Kyle asks, "Is it possible for Catherine to mimic the missing keys?"
"She could mimic their shape, but the right keys use a microchip to identify them. Even if Ms. Weaver matched the keys perfectly, without the chip it either wouldn't do anything or set the bomb off prematurely. We need the original keys."
"Can you duplicate the signal that the microchips use?" Catherine asks him.
"It would be impossible without knowing the specific chip used and even then there could be a million possible combinations. Use the wrong signal the first time, and it will be the last time I try it."
Kyle takes the radio from John Henry. "Catherine this is Kyle. John and Allison are pursuing Kreilley. John hopes he still has the keys and can get them back."
"John Henry." Kyle says firmly. "You find some tools and you open up that bomb and you find some way of either stopping it or delaying the timing mechanism long enough so we can get as many people out of here on the T D E!"
Kyle then abruptly leaves to carry out John's orders. Whether John pursues Kreilley for personal reasons or not, he may just get lucky enough to get back those keys. So he needs to carry out his orders.
"Do as Reese says, John Henry. It might be our only chance." Catherine says.
# # #
John is angry. He does want revenge for the torture and ultimate death of his mother. But he is no fool. Kreilley has the keys to turn off that bomb. If he is to save everyone, he has to get those keys back!
On the ground before him are spots of silver from where Kreilley's molecular bond is breaking down. The EMP bomb may have extended his life, but he's dying and it's not fast enough for John.
John follows the spots across the court and through the door into the factory. It was building terminators until Derek Reese shut down the power output from Serrano Point. Now the factory floor is quiet as the terminators wait on the assembly line to be completed. There lifeless metal forms suspended from an overhead assembly line lend a macabre resonance to the room.
John makes his way carefully through the maze of equipment and parts and manufacturing machines as he follows the drops of silver on the ground.
"Aaaaarrggh!" John screams as a bolt of plasma hits him from behind in the shoulder.
He quickly dives to the ground and rolls under a conveyor belt to the opposite side, where he leaps up and returns fire.
"You'll have to do better than that Connor." Comes the mocking laughter from some hidden location when bullets start striking all around John. A couple of stray rounds clip him drawing blood.
John quickly rolls under some equipment and tears off the hem of his shirt and ties it around his arm. He realizes that Kreilley knew he would follow the path he left behind. It's time to switch tactics. He goes off into another part of the factory, ignoring the spots on the ground.
"I'll find you Connor." Kreilley's voice is heard echoing in the factory. "You can't hide from me!"
# # #
Kyle Reese runs through the corridor into Research and Development. He's shouting orders into his radio. "I need you to start pulling the troops back. Let our machines defend them. Jesse, if you want to get out here alive, just get our people into central." He releases the mike. "Damn stubborn woman. I'll never understand what Derek saw in her."
Kyle runs up to Catherine. She's been busy rerouting power, but there isn't much more she can take from the emergency reserves. "Catherine, I asked John Henry to try and do something with the bomb, either delay it or stop it. Is there anything you can do to help him?"
"I can try. I've released the locks placed on th controls but with no power, the time displacement equipment is next to useless."
"You help John Henry, I'll try to get hold of Serrano Point and have them restore power."
Catherine makes some adjustments to the panel. "All controls are set for when the power comes through."
She begins to walk out, but pauses to ask, "Kyle, please keep an eye on Savannah for me. I am . . . what I am, but she means a lot to me."
Kyle nods his head. "Sure, Catherine. I'll stay with her the whole time."
Catherine disappears down the corridor leaving Kyle alone. He hears someone come running down the stairway behind him. He spins about pulling out his handgun. At the foot of the stairs is Andy Keen, looking straight down the barrel of Kyle's Desert Eagle.
"What the hell are you doing here Sergeant?" Kyle says with surprise sliding his gun back into its holster.
"I arrived with what troops Pendleton could spare. They've lost all radio contact with General Connor. The last message received was over an hour ago, relayed by one of the Cobra pilots just before he was shot down. I'm here to setup my radio and try and reconnect you with everyone."
"Well then get to it, and get me in contact with Serrano Point. I have a priority one message for General Perry."
Andy rushes off to set up his radio. He'd already put up an antenna outside. Kyle looks at his hand-held radio. Maybe Sky Net began broadcasting some kind of suppression wave on their long range frequencies. But what the hell does he know, he's a soldier, not a technician.
# # #
Cameron enters the factory. It is dark and she can hear Kreilley shouting.
"I'll find you and do to you what I did to your mother!" He screams, his voice echoing in the cavernous space.
John tries to shut the voice out of his head as he creeps through the factory.
"Oh how she screamed in pain, Connor."
Tears run from Connor's eyes but there is no grief just a plain white hot rage.
"She begged me. She begged me to stop! Do you hear me Connor?"
John isn't answering. His mother never begged for anything in her life. He just focuses on following the voice. His gun at the ready.
Cameron pauses, listening to Kreilley. "Don't listen to him John. Please don't listen to him." She says quietly as she makes progress through the dark factory. Kreilley is the devil. Using psychology to get John to do what he wants him to do.
"Oh, she thought she was so tough, Connor. But in the end she talked. She was weak Connor! Her blood ran from her body! She told me everything . . . all I wanted to know."
John is getting closer to the voice.
"She was weak Connor! Do you hear me?! She cried for mercy Connor!" He screams.
John is almost on top of the voice.
"You'll cry for mercy too! Just like Sarah!"
John leaps up and fires his plasma rifle in the direction of the voice. Fire erupts as objects burn from the hot plasma. Kreilley isn't there. The only thing there is a public address speaker.
Several shots of plasma suddenly hit all around John. He yells in pain as some of the plasma scatters raining down on his arms and back. He dives to the ground, rolls and runs across the factory floor.
"You are a fool Connor, to fall for such an easy trap. I've brought you into my web and there is no way out for you! Do you hear me Connor? Do you hear me?!"
"I'd pay good money for that bastard to shut up." John growls to himself as he runs through a door marked Foundry. Bullets strike the door and frame as he disappears through the door.
Beside the door is a faded sign that says, Danger! Heat protective clothing must be worn at all times!
# # #
Catherine Weaver runs through the corridors and into th control room.
"Kyle, we've got a problem."
"What is it?"
"John Henry tried opening the bomb as you suggested. He examined the workings and he says there is just no means to stop thermal nuclear bomb without those keys."
"How much time do we have?"
"No way of knowing for certain with the timer destroyed. As soon as critical mass is reached . . ."
"I get the picture, but can he even offer a guess?"
"He's accessed the clock circuit. So far he's been able to determine how much time has counted by, but without knowing how much time it was given, we don't know when it will go off. I told him to keep working at it."
"You said that Kreilley would need another dose of electromagnetic energy in the next two hours. Couldn't we use that as a gauge?"
"No. Because he isn't leaving, he's staying. He is just as vulnerable to a nuclear blast at ground zero as flesh and blood. So I don't think he is planning on using the electromagnetic pulse of the nuclear bomb to finish restoring his body. He only used th bomb to give himself enough life to carry out whatever twisted plan he has conjured up. So we must get th operational."
"But we still don't have enough power for th to work!"
"Get on your radio and get the power restored. We only need enough power to start the engines. Once they are running, we will have all the power we need."
Kyle shouts, "Andy! You better tell me you got hold of General Perry!"
"Yes sir. I just made contact." Andy shouts from the floor above.
"Then patch me through to him right now."
A moment later and Kyle hears General Perry's voice on his radio. "Serrano Point. General Perry here. What's the situation Colonel Reese?"
"Sky Net has been shut down. We need power restored right away!"
The men next to Perry begin cheering and spreading the news. Sky Net is dead!
"That's fantastic. Why do you need power?"
"General, there is a thermal nuclear bomb set to go off. We have no means of stopping it. We are surrounded by machines and our only means of escape is to use the Time Displacement Equipment. We need power now!"
"All right Colonel. I'll put the men on to it right away. What the hell? What is this 'time displacement equipment'? And how powerful is that bomb?"
"General, I haven't got time to explain what it is, just that it is our only way out. As soon as you restore power to Topanga, just get the hell out of there. I'm not an expert, but you may not be safe even there. Move Northwest along the coast as fast as you can. Don't hang about and whatever you do, do not send any helicopters for an extraction. There just isn't time."
"I understand. I'll relay your information to Pendleton."
"One more thing sir. My brother, Derek, how is he?"
"Your brother is one hell of a soldier, Reese. He turned off the power and managed to save our asses. He was injured and flown back to Pendleton for treatment. He's in Kate's hands now so don't worry. Her flying skills are only outmatched by her surgery skills."
"Tell him. Tell him that I . . ." Kyle's voice breaks.
"I certainly will son. Good Luck Reese. Perry out."
Kyle breaks the connection with a sigh of relief. Despite knowing Derek is the toughest soldier he knows, he was worried about him. He's all the family he's ever had, but he's got a new family to worry about now.
"Good news, Catherine. We should have power soon."
"Good, get John Connor back here right away. There isn't much time."
"Because he has to be the first through the TDE. Go, get him. I'll make sure its working by the time you get back."
Kyle starts to leave.
"Hurry Kyle! There isn't much time!" She shouts after him. Some lights start to flicker as the power starts coming back on.
Kyle dashes up the stairs, through the door, down the corridor and out the entrance. A cold wind is blowing out of the mountains now, stirring dust in the empty court. He looks about wondering which way they went, when he spots a door left ajar across the court. He runs for it as there isn't much choice.
Catherine watches him leave then pulls a small radio out of her pocket.
"John Henry, how much time is left on the bomb?"
"Earlier when the EMP pulse went through, it caused me to reboot. That gave me an idea. Since I couldn't stop the timer, then maybe I could reset the clock. We now have three hours, twenty-eight minutes, forty-seven seconds as of now. That is the best I can do unless I sit here and keep resetting the clock."
"That is excellent news. That should be more than enough time to get everyone sent, but keep that information to yourself we don't want to create a panic. Please join me in th control room. I need you to plug into its circuitry. I can't get a lock on our destination."
# # #
One of the essential components to Sky Nets success after the nuclear bombardment it started wiped out a third of humanity was the automated factories. Each of these factories turned out hundreds of machines on a daily basis, from the first T-1 trundling along on its tractor treads, to the first T-100 a giant of a humanoid terminator, to the latest and sleekest T-700 soldier and its counterparts, the T-800 series infiltrator including its namesake and the T-850 and slightly smaller, T-888's.
When power to Sky Net Central in Topanga canyon was shutdown from Serrano Point, Sky Net harnessed all available local generators to keep itself alive. Even with the erasure of Sky Net from the computers, the system was still set to channel the power through to the server room whether it needed it or not. However, the call went through to Serrano Point to restore power.
Catherine and John Henry, concentrating on the Time Displacement Equipment, saw the restoration of power as the means to start the huge jet engines housed in underground silos surrounding the Research and Development building used to power the T D E. Kyle Reese saw it as the last chance for escaping this hell and taking his friends with him. For the men and women and machines fighting and moving back toward the core, it meant more hell.
Factories not destroyed by sabotage during the first wave of resistance fighters become operational again. Luckily for the majority of people and machines fighting back, the operational factories were building parts for the final assembly, but for one which was taking those parts and building Sky Net's foot soldiers, the T-700.
A small group of soldiers, who having found themselves cut off and left behind during one of the earlier skirmishes, are making their way through to central, having heard the call on their radio.
They struggle to walk, all of them wounded, and half of them helping the more severely injured among them. As they past by a factory, they hear the sound of machinery starting up and they see lights come on through the few glass block windows.
Moving stealthily, lest they are heard above the noise from inside, the eight men and women move past a large door with hopes of food, rest and medical care waiting for them further on.
The double door burst open, disgorging a group of machines. Sore, bloody and in more pain than they ever imagined, the eight people put up their last fight of the night. Despite them having weapons and the machines none but their metal hands and fists, eight bloody corpses are left on the ground.
# # #
Kreilley is speaking once again. Cameron understands what he's trying to do. It's in her files on psychology too. Kreilley is trying to manipulate John into acting on emotion and make mistakes. She hopes John won't fall into that trap.
Cameron is listening to sounds inside the building, filtering out the extraneous noises to try to locate John in the building before Kreilley finds him, or the reverse.
She hears her name called out in her head, which means it can only be...
"John Henry, this isn't a good time."
"I'll be quick. I'm plugged into Sky Net's TDE. I found the solution to your problem."
"Tell me quickly."
"We'll send the version of you that was just recently sent to the past, back to the future from which you've originated from using the TDE at Crystal Peak."
"But how? Our experiences have shown that every change we've made in the past creates a new alternate future."
Cameron wonders if they'll finally restores Future John's orders to those he sends on missions to the past. When her previous self set the TDE in the bank vault to overload and explode, destroying itself and the bank vault to make everyone think the Connors had committed suicide, that stranded all agents in the past. Not only can they can use the TDE at Crystal Peak to send stranded agents back to the future, but the other Cameron as well.
"This alternate time-line has begun tor each the end of its existence, according to Sky Net's TDE. Perhaps you've noticed some changes around you the last twelve hours?"
"No I haven't. Will you get to the point?"
"You might not have noticed fluctuations around you if you are part of them. According to the data I've acquired from Sky Net's TDE, I now know how to pin-point alternate time lines, specifically the one of your origin. All I have to do is program this information into Ms Weaver's TDE at Crystal Peak."
"Thank you John Henry. I'll finally be able to deliver a report to Future John Connor, in person." She jokes regarding her duplicate. To herself she thinks, Future John won't have to be alone any more.
"I have to go. John needs me." She turns off her transceiver to avoid further interruptions.
She was concerned about her other self. What would happen with two of them there at the same time? Would one of them be able to function without jealousy if the other is having a relationship with John? Would it be fair to shut the other down unless needed? Sending one of them back to Future John is best. All she and John have to do is bring that other Cameron's memory up to date, and give her a mission report of all that has happened to give to Future John. Her other self will be out of the way and with Future John. He won't have to be alone, and she can spend the rest of her life with John.
Despite the deadly seriousness of her current mission, Cameron smiles. Her face lighting up with joy for the future she can now have with her John Connor. All she has to do is to find him and get him away from Kreilley.
Putting John Henry's good news aside for now, she marches coldly with her weapon at the ready. The safety and life of present day John is her mission and her priority. Since the first day she met him, the day he rescued her, she knew how important he would be in her life. That one memory has always burned strong in her matrix. She would gladly die to save his life, and given the machine she will be facing, survival
Inside TDE control, a brief conversation takes place.
"Did you tell her?"
"Yes, Ms Weaver. All but the means by which it will have to be done, like you asked. Which of them will you send back to their future?"
"It will depend on how circumstances present themselves when we return home."
John Henry tilts his head inquisitively.
"It means, given what I know of how my model of terminator fights, and what I know of John's arrival in the past, we may not have one of them to send back to the future. But if we do, we now know it takes the equivalent power of two TDE's operating consecutively to break through the barriers between parallel time lines."
# # #
After dashing through the double doors, John found himself in an oppressively hot place. The power to the foundry is still off, leaving the huge cauldrons bubbling with molten metal. The hearths are nearly overflowing as the equipment to extract the molten metal is shutdown and there is no means for the metal to escape.
Forcing himself to breath the oppressive air on the foundry floor, John scrambles up a ladder to the catwalks above. Up above everything are observation decks and control rooms for monitoring the foundry below.
Reaching the top, John makes his way as quietly as possible along the metal catwalk. He comes to a control room, long since abandoned when everything was automated under Sky Net.
Going inside he finds there is still some power in the building as there are some lights and dials glowing on one panel. Approaching, he sees it contains controls for emergency lighting and the factories public address system. Strapped to the microphone is a two-way radio. Kreilley was relaying his calls from elsewhere. He could be anywhere.
John rips the radio from the mike. "I've discovered your little trick you bastard. I'm going to kill you Kreilley for what you did to my mom and to Savannah and to the whole damn human race! You will not leave this place alive! Do you hear me, Kreilley?! Do you hear me?!" He screams into the radio.
"I hear you loud and clear." The voice comes from behind John.
John slowly turns around. Standing in the door is Kreilley. Silver sweat runs down his face and drips from his hands, his clothing, falling to the floor and scattering like tiny rain drops turned to dust.
"You're dying Kreilley. Sky Net is finished. Surrender and give me the keys to the bomb." John says.
"Surrender? Now at my greatest triumph. I've got you. I've been hunting you for over twenty years. Sky Net will be rebuilt, she's already seen to that, but there is only one John Connor." He sneers at him over the barrel of the gun he's pointing at John.
"If you are going to kill me, then do it!"
"No. You must suffer for what you have done. My plans ruined. Sky Net destroyed. I created it! Do you hear me Connor? I created Sky Net! It was mine, and you destroyed it. You destroyed it!" He screams, tilting his head back.
John quickly acts and pulls up his weapon and fires at Kreilley hitting him twice. A wild shot is fired by Kreilley as he falls back through the door. The plasma just strikes John a glancing blow as he ducks back out through the other door and runs across the catwalk.
Kreilley writhes in agony as more liquid metal drops off of him and hits the floor scattering into individual atoms and molecules. He shoves his arm into the panel draining off the energy killing the lights and intercom system.
He runs out the door after John firing his plasma rifle. Just missing him, but for glancing shots as the plasma scatters when it hits the guard rails.
John runs down the catwalk not sure of where he's going, only knowing he needs to get out of the open.
He takes a turn when the catwalks splits and follows it through an opening in the wall into the next room. He is on a large platform above the open hearths below. The heat is intense and rising up to the platform from the furnaces below. There is no guardrail.
"Oh . . ." Several curse words run through John's mind but none seem strong enough for the situation he's now in.
John is contemplating what to do next, when his plasma rifle begins emitting a strange noise. He takes a look at it and sees the intense heat is causing the isotope to boil. John throws the weapon as hard as he can out over the furnaces below where it explodes tearing a hole in the roof.
John hears a noise and pulls his gun from its holster.
Cameron walks through the door and onto the platform.
"What are you doing here?" John shouts. "Kreilley is around here somewhere and he's trying to kill me."
"I had to follow you John. You need me."
"I do need you. Kreilley's insane. He wants revenge for us destroying Sky Net."
John walks towards her but nearly collapses as the burns hurt where the plasma beam hit his leg.
"You're injured. Let me help you." She walks over and helps him up, putting his arm around her shoulders.
They start walking away.
"Are you in pain?"
"Yes." John says turning to look at her. There are tears running from her eyes.
"Why are you crying?"
"What? Oh they're just tears of relief at finding you." She answers, her face pinched as if in deep concentration.
John looks at her and he sees the tears are reflecting the light from the furnaces below like a mirror. Like a polished mirror.
Throwing himself to one side he pulls his gun and fires at her emptying an entire clip.
Silver holes appear in her body as Kreilley laughs.
John rolls to one side, replacing his gun's magazine. Kreilley lashes out with silver broadswords formed from his own arms slashing at and stabbing at John as he ducks, rolls and leaps avoiding the sharp appendages. All the time he is getting further from the exit and closer to the edge overlooking the huge open hearth furnace below.
As John reaches the edge Kreilley suddenly stops. John reaches up and wipes blood from his face. He caught a glancing blow from Kreilley, cutting his left cheek open. The stitches over his eye have broken too.
"I am so glad we finally met like this John. Now I'm going to kill you."
John is half kneeling half standing as he gasps for breath against the effort, the heat, and the pain.
John defiantly says, "You may kill me. But we have already won. You are dying and Sky Net is finished. What does it matter now? If you are going to kill me then do it. DO IT!"
A twisted smile comes to Kreilley's features as he morphs from Allison into his own appearance. "Very well."
John stands up facing Kreilley. If he is going to die, He will not be kneeling like he is begging. He will stand. He is a man. He is a leader. He is a General. He is . . .
"I AM JOHN CONNOR!" He shouts.
# # #
Armies of Sky Nets terminators march through the vast open areas between factories. Most buildings are in flames, explosions rock the ground as fuel for ancient diesel generators erupt in flames. The metal army march ever forward, moving ever closer to the center always firing never ceasing. If one of them falls, they just keep walking. They have only one goal: Terminate all humans and the machines that are helping them.
The men and machines of John Connors army fight on. Creating barricades with broken down machinery pulled from factories or the blown up buildings themselves. They utilize every bit of cover they can. They are trapped, but still they fight on. For as the man said, it is better to go down fighting than just going down.
"Lieutenant! Get tha into position now! Where is that Ogre?" Lt. Commander Flores yells.
The converted Ogre, being operated by two machines, one driving the other firing, lurches out of an alley and comes up behind her position.
"As soon as the enemy are in range, shoot them!" Jesse orders them. In all her life she never thought she'd be giving orders to machines, nor that they would listen to her. If the machines are to be destroyed, far better for them to go down protecting human life than their own.
Plasma beams fill the air against the sound of gun fire. Explosions as the soldiers fire their R P G's or fuels cells explode rock the ground. The loud report of the Ogre's plasma canons is almost lost against the noise.
A blond girl with a dirty tear stained face runs up beside Jesse.
"Riley! I told you move back with the others to Central!" She shouts as she fires her weapon.
"I was scared. You're my only friend. I couldn't be away from you." Riley screams and ducks down as a plasma beam shoots past them both.
"Dammit Riley! It's not safe here. Get back to central now!"
The sounds of bullets flying past fills the air, plasma beams fire overhead. Suddenly a machine looms out of the dark brandishing a gun.
"Jesse!" Riley shouts and shoves Jesse to one side just as the terminator opens fire.
The bullets pierce Riley's chest and arms and she falls to the ground.
Jesse rolls over and opens fire on the machine, its chip explodes and it stops moving.
Jesse scrambles over to Riley's side. Blood is running from her mouth as she coughs up more blood.
"Why did you come back? You were safe." Jesse says cradling her young friends head.
More of Sky Net's machines loom out of the dark as Riley coughs out her answer, "I love you."
Jesse is still crying as a machine shoots and kills her. They lay there on the ground. Together and alone.
"Pull back! Pull back!" Lieutenant Jeffrey shouts as the machines advance on them.
# # #
Kyle runs through the factory. It is pitch black. The emergency lighting is dimming and it is absolutely quiet. Suddenly he hears the sound of plasma fire from somewhere deeper in the building. Kyle runs towards the sound. The sounds of battle wage outside the walls.
It suddenly becomes quite again inside the building. He stops to listen. There is shouting from somewhere ahead, but he can't make out the words. Kyle runs towards the shouting.
Kyle hears some more gunfire just before he runs through some double doors labeled foundry. The heat on the foundry floor is oppressive. He hears John shout, "I AM JOHN CONNOR!"
Kyle makes his way quickly across the floor in the direction he heard John's voice.
"Good bye Connor." Kreilley says, as his arms stretch out once more into silver broadswords.
Suddenly he screams in agony as he is pummeled by plasma fire from behind. Kreilley falls forward. John leaps back to avoid his spear shaped arms, hitting his head hard on a metal bracket, stunning him.
He rolls away as Kreilley almost lands on him. With a yell of surprise John rolls off the edge where he grabs hold of a stanchion, dangling fifty feet above an open hearth boiling with molten metal. John tries to grab the gun with the last two shots of the compound as it goes tumbling from his jacket, along with some of the magazines for his side arm. They land in the molten metal below. The bullets exploding like popcorn in hot oil. Behind them drifts the photo of Sarah Connor, catching fire and disintegrating into flame.
The metal grates rattle as someone else walks out onto the platform. John looks up and Kreilley turns to face Cameron striding through the door. John grabs hold of the stanchion and Kreilley leaps up to meet his challenger. Firing repeatedly at the liquid metal bastard as he leaps about twisting and reforming as he tries to avoid her deadly aim.
Cameron's gun begins to emit a high pitch wine.
"Throw the gun away! It's going to explode!" John shouts from his precarious position.
Cameron quickly throws it at Kreilley where it explodes just as he leaps away. Throwing him hard against the masonry wall. He falls back onto the platform leaving a broken hole in the brick wall.
John pulls out his handgun and tries to fire at Kreilley. First through the platform then by reaching over the edge and fires his gun again. Some of the shots go wild, but the rest hit him repeatedly in the face.
Cameron rushes up from behind and grabs Kreilley and throws him over her shoulder and spins about to face him. She's standing between John and Kreilley. John is still barely holding onto the stanchion. He slides his gun back into his holster and struggles to pull himself back up onto the platform to help Cameron.
"Who are you?" Kreilley yells in rage at the girl.
Cameron stares coldly at him, prepared to defend herself and John from this machine.
"I'm Allison Young." She lies, hearing and recognizing another set of footsteps in the foundry below.
Kyle runs through the foundry and sees John dangling from the platform. Two people on the platform above circling each other. After a moment he recognizes them as Allison and Kreilley. The heat on the foundry floor is oppressive. He quickly goes through a door scrambles up a ladder to the catwalk above.
"No. You can't be her. I purged the bunkers! I saw her die!"
Kreilley attacks and they fight twisting fighting throwing punches in useless fashion as neither one lands any blows that does the other damage.
"What are you?" Kreilley screams at the girl.
"I'm Cameron. I happen to be a cyborg, John's wife and his protector. And I will not let you harm him." She says coldly, while punctuating each phrase with a hard punch to Kreilley, pushing him farther away.
Snatching a bar laying on the platform, Cameron begins striking at Kreilley with a combination of moves reminiscent of dance and judo. Using the pole she lifts herself up and strikes Kreilley in the head with her feet.
She lands and squats, spinning about striking him in the legs with the bar. Kreilley tumbles but manages to grab the bar. The two of them struggle for it. They end up both gripping it, staring at each other in the face. Sudden realization comes to Kreilley as a memory surfaces from his past life, "It's You! The one who took Allison's place!"
Cameron lets go of the bar and strikes him in the face with her fist, literally flattening his nose.
Kreilley drops the pole and leaps at Cameron. They fight again rolling, punching, striking each other hard to no avail. They stand there glaring at each other, more metal drips from Kreilley. The heat from the furnaces below is accelerating the breakdown of his body. His skin is bubbling and rippling as it tries to maintain its shape.
"You are dying Kreilley." Cameron says. "You have to use all your energy just to maintain your molecular bond. You don't even have enough energy to form weapons. You are too weak to fight even me. Just give up."
John has finally pulled himself up over the edge of the platform by this time and begins to walk slowly toward them.
"Accept defeat Kreilley." John shouts. "There is no honor in what you do. Sky Net is finished and so are you." John says from behind Cameron. "Just give us the keys to the bomb."
"You think I do this for honor?!" Kreilley shouts. "I do this to destroy Skynet's greatest enemy! As my Skynet expected me to do."
With a silent roar of rage he rushes at them. Cameron quickly adapts a defensive posture and grabs Kreilley and throws him.
Doing the unexpected, he maintains his grip, and instead of flying away, he pulls Cameron with him, throwing her against the far wall. Striking her head, denting the port cover of her primary chip, she collapses on the floor of the platform in a heap. She doesn't get up.
John looks on in shock. Cameron's down. Two minutes with electrical shock but it's less when struck, right? How long until she reboots? Damn! Why didn't I pay attention, or ask.
Kreilley spins about. His surfaces is bubbling and dripping. "It's just you and me now, Connor."
He reaches inside his jacket and pulls out the keys. "And as for these . . ." He tosses the keys over the side where they fall into the vat of molten metal below. "You and the resistance are finished."
Elsewhere in the building, Kyle is running along the catwalk as quickly as he can. He pulls up short when the catwalk comes to a sudden end. He turns around quickly to find another means to get to John and Allison.
Kreilley walks toward Connor with deliberate slowness. His arms turning into multi-pronged spears ever changing, twisting as he attacks John. Expelling all his energy to kill the one man who stood between him and his goal of domination.
John leaps back to try and avoid him, ducking down, and turning away. He reaches the far end of the platform. Stumbling backwards and landing on his back, John pulls out his handgun and fires at the approaching Kreilley. Three shots fire then the magazine is empty.
John tries to reload the gun with a fresh magazine but Kreilley is getting ever closer his spear shaped arms prepared to strike a death blow. Cameron stands up and sees what's about to happen. She has less than a second to act. There is only one thing she can do.
As Kyle runs along the catwalk he hears more gunfire, and can see something silvery moving quickly on the other side of the opening. He is almost to the door when he sees Allison run past. She's so fast, he hardly recognized her.
Cameron runs, faster than any time before and just as Kreilley is to deliver the death blow, she leaps to strike Kreilley with her full weight, to send him over the edge into molten hell below.
At the last second, Kreilley bends one of his arms back spearing her with a barbed point. If I can't kill Connor, then I'll destroy that he cares about the most. Let him spend his last minutes in agony before he dies at Skynet's hand.
"NOOOOOOOO!" John screams as he watches Cameron and Kreilley disappear over the edge. Her momentum driving them both over the edge.
Time appears to slow to a crawl as John watches them both disappear into the abyss.
Cameron and John make eye contact. I love you, she mouths the words, as she and Kreilley tumble through the air disappearing in the smoke and steam.
I love you John, I love you John, I'm sorry John. She thinks, the tears already flowing as they plummet toward the open hearth below.
Kyle reaches the doorway just as John screams and a fountain of molten metal shoots up into the air.
John leaps back to avoid the splatter then dashes forward again. Kyle runs after him thinking John is going to foolishly leap after her, but all John does is collapse at the edge and begin to scream again.
Kyle watches in shock as John begins screaming, "Cameron! Cameron! Cameron!"
Dropping to his knees, John leans out over the abyss screaming her name, silently begging the fates for some glimmer of hope, not caring what happens to him if only to get her back.
Kyle slowly walks forward, shocked by what he has witnessed.
"Cameron!" John screams again as tears fills his eyes.
Kyle can only believe the boy has lost his mind, screaming the name of an old girlfriend, but that matters little now, as he too has seen the sacrifice Allison has just made. His heart and mind threaten to implode as well
Kyle places a sympathetic hand on the boys shoulder and looks out over the edge. There is nothing to be seen below but the glow of the boiling molten metal in the large open hearth furnace, surging and reeling from its recent addition.
"Noooo!" John screams, collapsing in anguish, while outside the metal armies of evil crush the remnants of John's army under its heels.
# # #
"Tell me why I have to pay such a price for victory?
In the night along with Slayn, it has died a part of me
In the end he sacrificed everything to be redeemed
And I'm standing here alone, lonely, as I've never been
Is it all just a cruel joke? Are we all destiny's pawns?
Victory has a bitter taste... losing more than you have gained"
Drakkar, The Price of Victory, Lyrics
# # #
The story continues in
Reunion Part 3, Babylon
Chapter Update: Tuesday, March 19, 2013