Brigadier General Katherine Mason (nee Brewster) stood alone on the observation platform of the Serrano Point Nuclear Power Plant just staring out at the surroundings. It had been a few months since they had recovered the base from the machines and now she and her brigade had been assigned to serve as the guardians of this hub of energy. It hadn’t been an easy life since they reacquired this place. Skynet had seemed to be intent on recovering it no matter the personal cost to its units. It would send unit after unit with the purpose of recovering this place from humanity. While the machine offensive was unending, Katherine had faced facts long ago that they couldn’t afford to lose any more men.
Oddly enough the metal bastards had given them a few days of rest. It had been a little over a week since the last time that they faced off against a squad of endos; though Katherine wasn’t appreciative of the reprieve. Every minute that they weren’t under attack she had time to think about everything that she’d lost in this godforsaken war. Before the fall of mankind and the rise of the machines she had been a successful veterinarian at Emery Animal Hospital in Los Angeles. She was happily married to Scott Mason and the two of them had had a life of luxury. They were ecstatically waiting on the birth of their first child: a boy.
Then everything changed. One morning, before even a rooster would think about singing to the dawning sun, she was called into work to tend to a sick cat. While she was prepping the sounds of gunfire pulled her out of her self and she went running to find out what was the matter. A statuesque golden haired woman was knelt over the broken body of Karen Greenberg tasting her blood. Before Katherine could say a word she heard the woman say her name followed by a quick ‘no’. Why would the woman have come for her?
Pushing herself as far as she could, Katherine ran and dove into the cab of the Toyota Tundra that they had recently purchased as a mobile animal clinic. As Mason scrambled for the right key the woman came back for her. The woman grabbed hold of the door and ripped it right from the frame like it had been made of paper. One handed she threw the door aside and into the wall (with such force that it dug deep and stayed firmly locked in place). Katherine had no where to go. The woman grabbed her and pulled her from her seat. It was all going to be over, then something happened she didn’t anticipate.
There was another one. This one – a man who looked like a Texan her father once served with – broke the woman’s hold on the Vet and knocked her aside. They jumped in the truck and this Texan God pulled the cover from the wheel and started the truck. The woman fired what seemed like a laser at them, but the man just evaded it. Somehow she pursued them but they managed to break away.
As Katherine threw up out the door the cybernetic organism told her a story that she couldn’t bring herself to believe. The woman was a machine from the future that had been sent back in time to kill her because of something she hadn’t even done yet. It didn’t care that Katherine wasn’t who it thought she was, it didn’t care about anything but its mission. The other person – her savior – was a machine too; though, he was an obsolete design that had no real chance against this infiltrator. She learned the history of the world and what she was in the grand scheme of life. It made her feel even worse.
Everything that this machine had said was true though. In one day she learned that this machine was the mysterious phone book killer that had murdered men and women throughout the Los Angeles area - including her father. It followed them without pity, without remorse, without any type of fear until finally her guardian sacrificed himself to save her. It slammed one of its damaged power cells into the infiltrator’s mouth and destroyed them both in a fireball. Katherine barely escaped in time, but she made it to a settlement.
Just in time to hear the news of Judgment Day. It was all surreal to her – though it was all reality. There were times when she thought about eating her gun and ending it for herself and her baby, but she could never bring herself to pull that trigger. Katherine knew that she had a place in this world and she knew that her kids would be important in it. Seven months later her son was born and she named him in honor of his father, but their trial had only begun. The machines came again – not like the first – and captured her and the town she was hiding in. They were taken to a concentration camp and put to work making more under the brutal heel of collaborators and the machines themselves.
While she was in her forced servitude she had been through a life of literal hell. After seven years of it she met the man who would be her and her kids’ salvation. That man was John Connor. Somehow – despite their being the same age – he didn’t look a day over 30. She and her family joined his cause and rose up against the machines, against the evil machinations of Skynet. Because of her military heritage John saw fit to make her a leader in his group alongside men like Martin Bedell and Justin Perry. With her training she was one of the more important members. It was her job to make damn sure that the dogs were healthy. Dogs were their last best hope against the machines.
As she took a drink of the coffee that they somehow had brewed, Katherine wondered how things were going on the other fronts of the war. This was all supposed to be over with the raid on Cheyenne Mountain but it was far from that. Actually things had gotten a lot worse after their destruction of the central processor of the machine intelligence. Skynet was becoming more daring and had learned not to keep itself locked away in one location. It knew that the more places it could inhabit the less risk it was at. Connor claimed he knew where to strike next, but so far his efforts had been somewhat futile.
Katherine only hoped he got his head out of his ass and back on the job. Something was different from the man that she had known for all these years. John Connor had never been this introspective and isolated. When they were in high school together he was somewhat of a lone wolf in the crowd, but that was part of his charm. He was – after all – the first boy that the young Katherine Brewster ever kissed. Then there was the John she met who was the leader of the Resistance. He was bold, decisive, and a fighter. It was all just a wee bit screwy in her mind to look at him now. Today he was more comfortable dealing with the machines from what some of the new arrivals had said. Even when Kansas was overtaken he still relied on their support – and got two new droids as part of the bargain that happened to look like his girlfriend.
It was morbid to think about. What had happened to the boy that she knew and the man that her last son was named in honor of? Where had he gone and when would he be back? She hoped to God that the answer was soon.