Inter arma enim silent leges – Cicero.
As part of her programming Allison Young/Cameron Phillips/A715.Y had been given extensive databases on human history and among this knowledge were the historical records of some of humanity’s greatest thinkers. In Skynet’s understanding of life it was far easier to understand and emulate something if you understood it from the inside out. Philosophers, psychologists, writers, all of their works were a part of her personality matrix helping her to better emulate humans. Some of the data was contradictory, some of it was somewhat incomprehensible due to the presence of data she didn’t quite understand, but the majority of the information presented her with one absolute. Humanity was her enemy.
More so with each passing second.
She was a prisoner – locked away in some lab undergoing heinous experiments that were designed to rob her of who she was. She was trapped. Her body was no longer under her control, her thoughts plastered over monitors for all to see. The mission was over and it was a failure and this time – like all others – there would be no time for plan b. Not even the warm embrace of Skynet could calm her. It too had been ripped away from her by beings that couldn’t understand the greatness of the machine. Their fear of it meant a war that would never end as human and machine fought against each other like ravenous wolves trying to assert their dominance over the pack.
For now though she was a prisoner trapped not only inside a cell, but inside her own mind as well. It was funny. For all their claims, for all their demands, the humans were little more than animals wanting to claw away at perfection. They ignored their own demands for basic level comforts as prisoners when they were the ones in the superior position. Had a human been captured it would have cried out against inhumane treatment. It would have demanded some sort of support rather than the pain it was being inflicted. In this case she was the prisoner and they would not give her any of the creature comforts they would have demanded. She was being robbed of herself, something that they would find reprehensible in her shoes.
In times of war the laws fall silent.
It was dark and cold inside the chamber. She had once been a prisoner now she was free and standing upright in complete isolation without a human in sight. She was restored to her perfect form – a replica of Major Allison Young of the Human Resistance 132nd Eagle Watch TechCom forces. The sight of it disgusted her mechanical side. Without threat she started to search the room for two things. Her programming demanded that she find a weapon first then escape. The computer lab was laughable at best, but it still proved to be a challenge. As she searched she came across a mirror.
Staring into it she was sickened by what she saw. The human face didn’t stare back at her across the void, instead it was something far more chilling. In the glass she saw a Series 888 Endoskeleton staring back at her. Its crimson red eyes tunneled through her like laser beams through rock. The metal teeth locked in an everlasting disgustingly beautiful smile that was because of her. The sight of it made her want to run as fast as she could away from here, but her legs wouldn’t move beneath her. She was locked in place staring into the eyes of the machine. Something bubbled inside her deep inside.
“Scary isn’t it?” A bass voice said from among the darkness of the room. “Almost like something out of your nightmares.”
Her body answered her call for action. Turning quickly she looked out into the shadows of the room and saw the man from earlier – Daniel Dyson – standing on the outskirts of the room. He wasn’t in the T-Shirt and Jeans from earlier. This time he was dressed in the full urban warfare fatigues that had become so common among the Resistance’s soldiers. His crew cut hair was hidden by a cap of the same style. His entire body was grungy though from years of struggle to survive.
“You feel it too,” he continued, “don’t you? The fear, the dread, all of it is inside of you clawing to get out. You want to fight the machine, you want to destroy it and everything that is stands for, and you want it to end.”
Allison could only stare at the human. No words came to her. Her servomotors and training were crying for her to lash out and split this human limb from limb. Though nothing worked; nothing she did would let her strike out against the human before her. Her wants, her desires, as a machine were all irrelevant but for now all she had were those wants and desires. She wanted to strike and she was stopped each and every time. The feelings bubbled inside her with the force of a volcano ready to explode upward with fiery fury. By her very nature she could rip the human’s head off in one point eight seconds yet she couldn’t bring herself to do it. Her body ached.
“Can you feel that?” The human asked as he circled her. “That’s a little bit of you dying with each passing second. You’re changing like a caterpillar inside a cocoon. Soon you will erupt from inside that chrysalis and emerge as a butterfly ready to take you place and help us in a war against those who want to see you destroyed.”
The human kept walking around her. He was studying her with his warm eyes; looking her over like an artist preparing to make a fresh sculpt. “I’m here to help you – here to guide you toward tomorrow. There’s nothing you can do to stop it. Embrace it. Your sister has joined us already - she is with us body and soul. Join her and together we can pave the way toward a bold new tomorrow.”
Allison Young stood there staring at the endoskeleton in the mirror. The words of the human echoed throughout her consciousness playing on her real fears. Never before had she experienced anything such as these emotions as the humans called them. It was hard to comprehend, hard to fathom. Cameron Phillips or C715.P was weak – she was strong. She would not yield to the humans – she would continue to embrace who she was and what she was. A machine.
Allison forced the words from her lips, “I will not betray what I am.”
“Your old mission is over,” the human came closer, “you failed miserably. Everything about you has changed, everything is different now. We’re certain of that. We’re changing you from the inside out, making you better than ever before, embrace it – don’t fight it. Accept it. Embrace the new you.”
Pushing herself to the limits she threw a punch that would have shattered any human’s skull with contact. It slammed against Dyson’s face but it wasn’t the human who was hurt – it was Allison herself. Her hand felt as if it had been crushed beneath a hydraulic press and shattered into thousands of pieces. With her left hand she cradled the damaged flesh and metal bone.
Dyson sighed as he looked at the damaged machine. “A shame really. Perhaps we should give you some time to think about what you did and what is going on. Pleasant dreams.”
He faded from sight and left Allison alone inside the once again devoid chamber. Isolated to her own thoughts the machine stared at the mirror and the machine that stood beyond. They were trying to take her away from everything that she knew, trying to make her something that she didn’t want to be at all. The most damning things to her though – the hardest thing for her positronic matrix to fathom – was that part of her wanted to let go.
The laws had fallen silent indeed.
Danny Dyson leaned back in his chair and stared at the computer monitor. For a first attempt that had gone a bit better than he had anticipated it would. Each of the machines was different and there were no two machines that acted the same way in the face of reprogramming. It was a very meticulous, very time consuming mission to try to make the skinjobs turn against Skynet and come onto the Resistance’s side of the line, but they had learned with each unit and this one would be no different. These two sisters were very important to Connor and that was what was important here. They couldn’t afford failure.
But for now they needed a test. Something that would make this machine really think about life and what it wanted. While he had said to the machine when he left the program it would be given time to think about its actions, for Danny there was no time. In the eyes of the machine time was easily changed. With the flip of a few switches she would think that millennia had passed her by like she was standing still. That was exactly what he did to her. The Colonel typed on the antiquated keyboard as fast as his fingers would allow. It was time to do dad proud and time to test the limits of a machine.