Danny Dyson had seen many horrors during his short life and they started when he was a kid. Sarah Connor, her son John, and a horrific machine pulled him and his family into this world of demonic cybernetic organisms out for blood. It was a normal night for him. He dreaded sleep and wanted to spend as much time awake as he could. His father was in his office working, as usual, after a long day at the Raging Waters Water Park. Danny wanted his attention so he used a toy to do it. The truck slammed into his father’s leg.
Just in time to save his life. The computer, the desk, the room started to explode around Miles Dyson in a hail of gunfire. It took seconds but it felt like a lifetime. Dad went running but a woman dressed in black like a killer from movies came in through the side broken glass door and shot him in cold blood. Danny fought the woman by shielding his father with his young body. The woman just kept screaming but recoiled away into herself. Not long after another kid like him came and took him to his room.
Danny was ordered to go to sleep by his mother, but he just lay there too energized to sleep. Before he knew it his mother was back in his room throwing clothes haphazardly into a suitcase and pulling him out the door. His sister was being dragged in her other one. His dad said goodbye and, somehow, Danny knew this was the last time. His father wouldn’t come back.
And his fears were confirmed. They were sleeping in some little motel in the middle of nowhere when Danny awoke to the sound of his mother crying at the foot of their bed. On the TV screen were pictures of his father’s office building awash in fire. She hugged him close and said that his father wouldn’t be coming back, but that his father had done this so that he and his sister could live in peace.
Time moved slowly but he started to get over it. They went back to their home of years and started to rebuild. His sister went off to a special school in London leaving just Danny and his mother home in the massive house that was his father’s. Uncle Jordan came to visit every so often, but he was kept away frequently by his high stakes FBI job. It was only a few years later when the Connors came back into their lives.
It was just as it was before. John and Sarah were back and this time they were with a girl not much older looking than John. There was something about her, something haunting, and something that told him that this girl was anything but. It didn’t take long for the other to come. The Connor’s borrowed their car as the gunshots cut through the silent night. They snuck out the side door and took off on Miles’ old motorcycle while the Connor’s took the jeep. As they pulled away there was an explosion.
Danny never wanted to relive those moments, but they were all he had. He, like John, had been pulled into this before Skynet was even born and now he stared into the cold, dark eyes of the machine that plagued his dreams as he grew. She was just as he remembered, but he had no way of knowing which was which. This one, John called her Allison, was being a bitch. Cameron was easily reprogrammed but Allison was giving a fight, wanting to stay what she was. It was a good thing he liked a challenge because this skinjob was his first one in a very long time. The Colonel got back to work.
Allison Young sat in a meditative position in the center of the diagnostic chamber. The machine had been programmed with millions of subroutines to make one highly sophisticated learning algorithm capable of independent thought. Despite all of this the program didn’t betray any emotion, any thought, anything at all. She just sat there staring forward in the stimuli absent room looking at the nothingness that surrounded her.
Behind the expressionless eyes the machine was seething. Her thoughts were filled with matters of how to escape from this new found captivity they placed her in. Allison didn’t like being tied down, she didn’t like to feel trapped, and that was what she was. She was like a lab rat trapped inside the maze looking for the cheese in the center. When she went the wrong way she got a shock, the pattern changed to keep her on her toes, nothing remained the same. All was flux and nothing stayed the same. Every option had led to the same conclusion: she always ended up back at square one. She was no closer to her objective; no closer to Skynet. It was humiliating to a machine incapable of emotional response. Well not emotions as the humans could understand them.
Staring forward she noticed a new variable in the environment that wasn’t there before. She kept her body taut but her eyes focused on the new arrival in her parlor. Using what power she could the machine reached out and took hold of the new item in her presence. She brought it to her eyes and stared for a moment wondering what this new found tool was. Her mind knew what it was; she just wasn’t sure what it was called. It was something though that she could easily recall using in her former life. Allison ran it along her hand and watched as the crimson red blood started to flow down the tool like water. Pain centers inside the skin fired to the android brain. Humans would call it being hurt – Allison simply called it data. In reality she would have activated a program to simulate the appropriate response. Right now it was unnecessary.
“Always something to hurt isn’t there?” The voice came from nowhere. “And if you can’t find a human to hurt you go and hurt yourself. How small you’ve become. You don’t even know where the threat is.” She swung the tool around trying to slice through an invisible enemy. With another sweep the dagger came to a human in Resistance fatigues who was standing just outside of arm’s reach. She held the pointed tip of the tool near the neck of the human but her vision had flashing red alert writing telling her termination was overridden. She kept the knife steady.
“Why are you trying to hurt me? You’re on my side,” said the human coolly. “You’ve got to help me to survive; you’ve got to help me escape.” The human looked over the machine’s shoulder nudging the machine to do the same, “from that.”
Allison pivoted her head around and saw what the Resistance Soldier meant. From the mirror came a Series 900 Endoskeleton. It was skeletal with key components covered by reinforced armor plating. Red hot plasma energy glowed beneath the openings in the transparent portions of the armor plating – powering the machine toward death and mayhem. Red eyes glittered on the skull of the machine. In its hand it held a nasty looking minigun pointed toward the sky. The famously horrifying smile of the synthetic teeth sparkled in the light.
The replica of Allison Young looked between the machine that was coming and the human that was going like a hawk trying to decide which food to bring home to its nest. The eyes were locked on the tin can as he grew closer and closer. Then something changed. The knife swung around and nearly connected with Danny Dyson’s neck. She was going to kill Dyson no matter what the cost.
“This is all wrong,” Dyson chastised the skinjob. “When are you going to realize that the rules of engagement are different? I wish it didn’t come to this.”
Streams of bullets peppered the torso of the female programmed infiltrator throwing her backward against a sterile white wall. Skin and ablative armor exploded outward from the cybernetic organism and into the air like a pink mist. It didn’t move as the bullets continued their onslaught against her. It was like she didn’t care; like the machine was embracing its fate of being confused beyond belief. Machines rarely turned on other machines.
“Are you confused?” Dyson yelled over the roar of the gun. “That’s expected when you don’t listen to what I have to tell you. You need to listen; you need to learn your place.” The other machine threw the gun aside and picked up the knife Allison had lost as she checked her status. “You have to learn to fight.”
The skeletal machine slammed the knife through the synthskin and into Allison’s chest ripping and tearing it to shreds. It kept slamming the knife in deeper and deeper without the other trying to protect herself; without her lifting a finger in defiance as the knife slammed against the perfect face. It picked her up with little effort and began to choke her like it would a human. The shrieks of metal grinding against other metal pierced the air and cut at the eardrums of the human. It started to throw her.
“Oh Allison you need to learn who you are,” Danny said with sorrow. “You need to learn how to let go of the past and realize just how important you are.”
After being slammed against the wall more than a dozen times the endoskeleton threw her through the opaque glass window. She landed with the force of a small earthquake shaking the ground and leaving her imprint behind. Blood pooled beneath her body like a lake of ruby. The remains of her eyelids fluttered open revealing specks of red light below. Above the victim stood a mob of other machines staring down at her – Allison trying to contact them by protocol.
None of them felt like talking.
The mob started tearing into her with everything that they had at their use. Fists, rocks, knifes, wire, anything and everything that could be a weapon was one to them. They crushed her hands. One broke her ankles. Some tore at the flesh and clothing ripping them away like spent paper on Christmas gifts and let it flutter in the breeze. They were killing her and all she did was lay there and take it. Brutal, savage attacks meant nothing to the mind of the machine. Finally they set her ablaze in a cleansing fire. Allison lay there smiling broadly as the skin melted beneath her until there was nothing left. She didn’t care and welcomed death.
Danny Dyson slammed his fists into the desk in frustration. It was more of the same after everything that had happened, all the tests, all the scenarios, and each and every attempt always gave way to the same result. Allison reverted back to her defaults and just let the other machines rend her to pieces. It sickened him to no end. They were getting millions of bytes of information into the psyche of the new model infiltrators, but what good was it when you had nothing to show of it but numbers?
“She didn’t even put up a fight!” Exclaimed Lieutenant Harris. “Each goal we gave her gave way to the same exact damn result. She just took it like a trooper and didn’t care about anything else but letting herself be destroyed. I don’t understand. We’ve never had this much trouble before. Never! Not even those damned One oh ones when all this started were this difficult to change.”
Dyson stared into the eyes of the broken machine that was in the corner. She couldn’t see him – he’d locked out her sensor interpretation algorithm – but even without her seeing him she was mocking him. How do you make a killing machine go against its programming and kill its brothers and sisters instead? How do you turn a machine programmed to be loyal to its creator – revering said creator like a God – into wanting to see it in flames? Dyson had to find that out.