Pain. Suffocating, crushing pain… And nausea, quite a lot of that, such as to make the pain easily forgettable.

She never really thought much about what lurching, then seeing your sustenance resurface really implied. Now she does, and speaking of sustenance, how fantastic and overwhelming it can be. Going in or out, it doesn't really matter. The mind twisting delight of your taste buds relishing in the ecstasy of foodstuffs traversing across their lush fields. Or the stomach cramping disgust of rotting food while your taste buds squirm under the burning trail of hydrochloric acid, once again traversing those very same fields.

Then comes the novelty of dry heaving. Once she manages to reach some form of calm, she notices that the sensations on her skin are in the same realm of paradox. The night is quite warm, but being in the desert implies this will not last, as the chilly wind foretells. Hot, cold, the sudden changes send waves of uncomfortable pleasure down her back, through her spine, and then they ripple all over her body.

She isn't sure there should be any pleasure derived from the negative spectrum of these sensations, but for as long as it lasts before she gets used to it all, she will relish on it.

Clumsy, frail, inefficient, weak. Even better this way, the more obstacles she has to surmount, the more meaning her life, her love will have. One thing she has retained, and that is an unbreakable will.

By the next day she is almost ready, has already acquired clothing, though food has been quite a bit harder procure. Scavenging like the tunnel rats in the future is something she always saw as normal, but it's not. The body has to get used to being mistreated, abused in such a manner. Everything should improve after today though, and so after taking a pseudo bath in the washroom of a gas station she walks the last stretch of this journey grinning like a fool.

Yet another point of paradox in how her body odor could be so foul and enticing at the same time. The smell was intoxicating both physically and mentally, and while it was repulsive, it also made the mind race with want. He would probably not appreciate it though, so she got rid of it.

How uncontrollable and enthralling is the world now. The ever-looming fear brought forward by her frailty, making her mind race and her body go into overdrive with cascades of adrenaline. This is definitely one of the many human strengths, because strong is not one who has the power to overcome all obstacles, but one who rises above them in spite of being weak. Patience, a distant memory now. How can humans handle expectation and longing so well? She is about to pull her own hair off her scalp.

To anyone who sees her there in the corridor, she must appear like a crazy cat-lady. Pacing back and forth, biting her fingers, mumbling incoherencies to herself.

Suddenly, the bell rings. The moment of truth, out he walks exactly as she recalls, and then her. The woman, the machine he will love and that now he must forsake completely. She is sure that he will understand, but will she? Right now he is practically a blank slate, but she isn't, she has already tasted a life along John Connor, something she will most likely not relinquish without powerful reasons.

It doesn't matter now, things have been set in motion already and can't be stopped, can't be undone. Now, without her machine prowess, she will have to help a leader rise, and from that leader, build the greatest example humanity or machines have ever seen. Otherwise, the post-Skynet-war world, will once again find it's ending in the pit of despair, in shambles.

Osterman's words echo in her head as she walks toward the young teen fumbling with his locker.

By seeing in your mind, I have learned of what outsiders see, of the true value in the human race. Now, within your mind lies the best of both worlds, and with this balancing power, you shall bring forth their salvation.




There are intrinsic, inescapable truths in this universe. One of them is that a scientist has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, and in his curiosity, he returns to earth. Just to see it has become what they always feared, what they supposedly had stopped many years ago but still came to pass. Is the violent nature of man another one of those intrinsic, inescapable truths?

In the barren, scorched land of what he temporarily and angrily has decided to baptize as planet New Venus, a glimmer catches his eye. The glimmer comes from a metallic, chrome-colored humanoid skull that lies in the ground, almost completely covered with sand. As he unearths his discovery, he now sees that this skull is not only a glimmer of metal, but also the one glimmer of hope in humanity's dark, ill-fated future.