Ages ago a famous thinker once postulated that sleep was the way that people worked through their problems. Images, sounds, even something as insignificant as darkness opened up the book of the soul. It told us what our subconscious minds desired the most in life and it helped to clarify reality. For Catherine Luna her dreams were filled with things that she hadn’t seen in years: an open field filled with fresh wildflowers. Standing in the middle was the man that she loved more than anything – her husband William.
The tall man with eyes as deep a brown as the Earth and hair the color of the space between the stars, Catherine fell in love with him the moment she first met him. William was a kind man, a brilliant man, who had survived what many saw as impossible. His family was killed during the onslaught of Judgment Day in Pittsburgh and he made his way all the way to Los Angeles – to Haven – to her on his own. They fell deeply in love and married. Despite the horrors of their life Catherine wanted to have kids with him, she wanted to grow old with him among the peaceful community of Haven.
As she was wrapped in his arms she felt something cold touch her arm. She awoke to find a fully dressed William hovering over her. He was stern; his dark eyes once so benevolent and tranquil were filled with malevolence that she had never before seen. “We have to go. It’s not safe here.”
“Wha… what?” She asked wiping the sleep from her eyes. “William what are you talking about?”
“We just have to go. There’s no time to explain but we need to leave Haven. We need to get moving.” William handed her her clothes. “There isn’t much time left.”
Catherine didn’t understand why he was demanding that they leave their home. Then the thunderous roar of an explosion rang in her ears. For as long as she could remember Haven Enclave had been a place of peace, where the Machines didn’t dare tread and just chose to ignore rather than commit resources to. They were pacifists that wanted to just live their lives rather than spend their days fighting a futile war. Now though all of that had changed. More and more explosions bellowed through the older stone.
“What’s going on?” She was worried. “Hold me. Tell me it will be alright.”
William helped her to her feet, “It will be. We have to get going. They’re waiting for us.”
“The machines,” her young husband said matter-of-factly. “They’re waiting for us to take us to a Skynet Outpost where we can have true peace. I saw to our safety.”
The taste of vomit came into her mouth at the sound of his words. She felt like William had slammed a knife into her chest – like all of their love had been a lie. How could he betray her like this? How could he betray the community like this? There weren’t many humans left and he went and sold them out like this. What of their plans? Their potentials kids? All she could do was whisper.
Before she could get her answer Captain Catherine Luna was awakened from her nightmare to the face of Medic Lauren Fields. Without thinking she recoiled back from the Doctor and pushed herself up against a wall trying to analyze the situation as quickly as her mind could do it. Where was William? Where was she? Where were the machines?
Then it all came back to her. What she was seeing was a dream, a memory she had tried to forget that those bastards on the Enterprise had ripped back up into her conscious mind. The dream was her reality a year ago before she came to the Resistance, before TechCom. It was back when she was a na´ve girl who thought that the world could still be pretty and happy. How stupid had she been? How much of a dumbass was that girl? There was no pretty and happy. All there was was the hell of this life and there was nothing else.
Taking a deep breath and answering in her Mexican accent, “I’m sorry, Doctor, I really am.”
“We’ve all been through hell,” Lauren said with sympathy. “Don’t I know it…”
They all had been, but for Luna and Fields that had been even more so. During a mission with Major Young, Private Wise, and that monster with William’s face they’d been captured by a Skynet team of Series 900 endoskeletons. They were taken to a Skynet Work Camp onboard what was once the Aircraft Carrier Enterprise and tortured slowly. No one knew what Earl’s torture was and Allison didn’t make it – they found her body as they escaped from the confines of the base.
Lauren’s torture was hellish and robbed her of a part of herself. That bastard Fischer found it fun to watch as one of the Series 888 Infiltrators explored how sex could be used as an interrogation technique. They didn’t give her much time to rest – essentially placing a sign on the door that said please disturb – just coming back for her over and over again. They asked questions – deep probing questions that ripped into her very core. They were bastards that learned too well.
Catherine had just as rough a time. Trapped in her cell they exposed her to all kinds of demons from her past. Pests that scared her as a child, fire that ravaged the room until it almost overtook her. Then they flooded the compartment and almost made her drown in the lifeblood that so many of them had been trying to find. It was the first time in ages she’d seen clean water. None of those were as bad as their final means of torture. They sent in William – now a leader of the Skynet Army – perverted into a weapon of war. His dark brown eyes were glassy and the malice on them had become permanent. She still found herself to be in love with him – which was the most painful punishment of them all. She hated herself for how she felt. Why couldn’t he just kill her? It would have been so much simpler for her to be dead than in this living hell.
He never did a thing to her. The skinjob just stood there watching her. His eyes travelled along as she moved around the room like a caged animal. The machine stayed still for a good hour not even moving a single servo. An hour later it turned on its heel and marched out of the room with military precision. The door returned to its opaque appearance as he left and Catherine collapsed in on herself and began to openly weep.
“We have to go, Captain.” Said the Medic. “Near as I can tell the Enterprise’s crew know that we’re loose by now. We’re not far from Serrano and I think we can get there if we keep moving by at latest tomorrow.”
Luna stifled a laugh, “Too bad that these cars don’t work. Isn’t it funny how in the disaster movies with an apocalyptic wasteland the cars always seem to work but in reality they’re just rusted out hulks?”
“Maybe Chrysler couldn’t pay the bills?” The Medic joked. At least they were able to laugh about their ordeals, although there was a pain hidden in her gag. “I wish that we had a car too, but we have to make do with going on foot. We’ll find something once we get out of this Rush Hour traffic though. We just have to,” she blinked back tears, “have faith.”
Catherine’s thick accent wavered a moment, “That we do. That we do.”
They got on the move.