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Old August 28 2009, 01:36 PM   #59
nx1701g
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

Savannah Weaver didn’t remember what it was like to be normal – if she ever were normal in the first place. She was born essentially into royalty through her parents extensive dealings with the governments of the world. Her family had been extremely wealthy after her parents built a technology firm that managed to survive the dot-com bubble bursting. Through the hard work and sacrifices of her parents she had everything that she could have ever wanted, and the best part of all was that she had two parents who loved her very much and gave her everything that she could ever want. The world was truly at her fingertips.

Then that all changed. She awoke one morning to her mother sitting at the foot of her bed telling her that she and her father were leaving to go on a business trip in the city. Because of the time required for the meeting and because she would have little to do, they decided that they’d leave Savannah behind and let her spend the day with her nanny Debbie. Savannah never liked it when her parents went places without her and she had terrible fears that this time she would never see her parents again. It was all too common for children to have such concerns when their parents went somewhere without them, but this feeling was different. There was something about their trip this time that just told her that it was the beginning of something new; that her life would never be the same again. She cried for them, begging them not to go, and they tried to compromise but couldn’t reach an agreement with their appointment. With sad hearts they told Savannah that they had to go. They tried to reassure her, tried to comfort her with guarantees that they’d be back with wonderful presents from their trip to the city, but she didn’t believe it. She knew this was the end.

The horrible part was that her fears were justified. Not long after they left her nanny, Debbie, came and scooped her up in her arms. Through her tears that kept pouring onto her cheeks, Debbie told her what had happened. The helicopter that her parents were using to go to Los Angeles crashed after having mechanical failure. With tears intensifying Debbie explained that her father was killed in the emergency landing. Savannah didn’t really understand it nor did she grasp the concept of death, but she knew that he’d never be back despite his promises to the contrary. Debbie told her that her mother had survived and was being taken to a local hospital, but that they would stay at home and wait for news before they did anything. Not long after her mother returned and Savannah relished her arrival, but something was strangely different about her. Her mother had been outgoing and energetic, but she came back cold and restricted. Savannah was actually afraid of her to the point that the mere sight of her mother made her cringe and want to cry out in terror.

She knew, deep down, that this woman wasn’t her mother. All she wanted was her old mommy back, and she didn’t understand why she couldn’t have her.

Things got better after she first met Doctor Boyd Sherman, but his care would be short lived. Doctor Sherman died just like her dad and left her alone with that robot-like mother she’d acquired. Their relationship thawed a bit after Savannah met the project that had consumed so much of her mother’s time: John Henry, her best friend. They spent a lot of time together talking, chatting on the internet, playing games. He was like a little brother, or a big brother since he looked older, and she started to relax her guard. John Henry would leave her too. Everyone that was important to Savannah had left her and she didn’t understand, couldn’t understand. First her father left, then her mother. Doctor Sherman came next, followed by Debbie, and then John Henry left her too. When John Henry left her he took her mother along for the ride.

Though there was one person who had never left her, albeit there were times when she’d prayed he would. James Ellison came to pick her up from gymnastics on that night in 2009 and told her that he’d be taking care of her from now on. The next morning it became official. The legal department of Zeira Corporation petitioned the court with a revised last will and testament that transferred the custody of Savannah Weaver from Catherine Weaver to James Ellison. More motions revealed that Catherine Weaver had left instructions that Zeira Corporation was to be immediately closed and that all of the assets liquidated into a trust to provide for Savannah’s care. All of the employees were given hefty severance packages (Matt Murch reportedly walked away from Zeira Corp able to retire at the ripe old age of 32) and went their separate ways. The courts approved that Zeira Corporation’s projects were to become the custody of Automite Systems – a public company that was focused on automating the nuclear power plants with which Zeira Corporation had been in a joint venture with.

At first she didn’t understand why she wasn’t able to go to her father’s company anymore after visiting so frequently, but Mister Ellison had been patient with her. They moved from their home near Palmdale and went to a small town in the Rocky Mountains. She had a normal life for about a year then her world was flipped upside down all over again. The woman, the one who had rescued her from her house when that man killed Debbie, had found them again. Not long after Savannah was pulled out of her school and started spending a lot more time on trips with Mister Ellison and the lady. She didn’t know it but she’d begun a new type of school under the direct supervision of the mysterious woman. It didn’t take long until she learned the lady’s name and she learned it well. The lady was Sarah Connor.

By April 2011 Savannah had learned more about fighting than most fourth year cadets at West Point. She’d been trained in stealth, guerilla tactics, improvised weaponry, mechanics; she’d learned everything and anything that related to the inner workings of survival in war. She’d always wondered why her life was changed again but Sarah would never reveal the reasons why saying that some things were better left unsaid. One day, in late March of 2011, she’d found Sarah inside of the sparring room beneath the house crying. In her hand Savannah saw a picture of someone that she knew somehow but she didn’t remember how. Sarah explained he was her son and that he’d been gone for a very long time, but she’d be joining him again soon. Savannah asked about the changes to her life again and expected the same unanswered question, but this time Sarah decided to share the truth.

This time instead of Savannah’s life her entire universe turned. Sarah gave a brief history of the world that opened Savannah’s eyes to the amazing possibilities of life, and how their world was about to be plunged into the ultimate nightmare. Sarah detailed to Savannah her experiences with the program known as Skynet, she learned about Cyberdyne Systems, and Sarah told her about the machines. Then Sarah revealed the truth about her mother, or what she had thought was her mother, and the death of her father at the hands of the intelligence. It all made sense to her but it was hard for her to understand everything as it was explained. At first she was bitter and wanted Sarah to take it back as a lie. Machines couldn’t take over the Earth; people wouldn’t become hunted animals because that wasn’t the way life was supposed to be. Sarah was a liar! Then she remembered her friend John Henry and what he was. She realized the truth and that her own suspicions had been true. Though, Sarah had more to share from her tome that detailed the Earth’s end.

After Zeira Corporation was sold to Automite Systems, the United States Government privatized Automite as part of the governmental bailout program; at least that was what they told people to stop people from asking questions. Automite was then merged with another company called Kaliba and then a third that operated under the name of Cybernetic Research Systems Incorporated. Within days Automite’s program designed to automate the functions of nuclear reactors came to fruition and was being distributed. It incorporated an artificial intelligence brain based upon the foundations of John Henry’s program. Sarah tried to stop it, to destroy the prototype, but failed. Not long after the new Cyberdyne Systems announced that they had developed a new computer processor capable of thinking at the speeds of the human brain. The United States Government, soon after, announced that they’d entered into agreements with Cyberdyne to use their computers and technology exclusively. A few computer companies cried foul and attempted to prevent it, but the United States Government (citing Sovereign Immunity Clauses) terminated the cases before they ever went to trial. Cyberdyne had become the preeminent computer company in the world. After the heat had died down they announced the creation of Skynet.

But Sarah Connor had had a backup plan ready incase she failed to stop Skynet from being created. Sarah revealed that she and Mister Ellison, who had been busy acquiring supplies and having them snuck into the United States over the border since Sarah came to their house, had made a deal not long after the disappearance of her mother and John Henry. They decided that if Skynet was to be built that they would train a new leader to replace her son John in the war against the machines. With Ellison’s FBI training and Connor’s paramilitary experiences this new leader would be a force to be reckoned with; one that Skynet would have difficulty dealing with and adapting to. This commander was to be Savannah Weaver.

Savannah didn’t sleep for a second after hearing the story. The next morning they fled across the border into Mexico and met with Mister Ellison in a small town that she could never remember the name of. They went to a bunker that he’d had established just outside of the limits and they waited. Savannah didn’t really understand what they were waiting. Were they waiting to die? Were they waiting to live? Were they waiting for some kind of absolution? Shortly after they received blips on their internet search bots. Cyberdyne had completed construction on the Skynet Project and they had already integrated it into the defense mainframe at the Pentagon. A little over a day later there were reports of computer systems malfunctioning all over the planet. The internet started acting strangely. Popular sites were down or overloaded with viruses that no scanner could defend against. The communications grids began to fail in sequence, followed by the power, any and every bit of infrastructure broke down. No one could get the warning. Skynet had assumed complete control over the nuclear stockpiles of the United States after cracking the nuclear codes – the only command function in the nation it wasn’t supposed to have access to. An army of programmers tried to stop it, tried to reason with it, but Skynet would have nothing to do with them. As they tried to pull its mainframe the bombs fell upon the Earth. In the blink of an eye billions were dead. In a hole in the ground in Mexico Savannah Weaver, James Ellison, and Sarah Connor had survived only survived because they’d been lucky enough to be drawn into the conflict before anyone knew it’d begun. Or, maybe, it was because they were cursed. Somehow Savannah had managed to fade away into sleep as James and Sarah talked. The next morning she learned from James that Sarah had left during the night taking only a single handgun and leaving everything else behind. Once again they were alone.

The bad thing was that Sarah’s brilliant plan never really worked out. She’d worked hard preparing Savannah to become the leader of the Human Resistance since her son John was gone and Savannah knew that she could handle the cause and rally the troops. The trouble was that people had difficulty believing that a child should be their leader – probably with good reason. No one would listen to her, no one would take her suggestions seriously, and a lot of people died because of her failure to lead the people she’d been destined to command. After a while they even stopped listening to Mister Ellison because of his belief in the girl, and he even stopped listening to her. Slowly they’d made their way back to the city, avoiding the first generation of Skynet war machines as they searched for the rag tag group of survivors, and their group tried to strike and damage the Skynet infrastructure. Nonetheless, their efforts were fruitless. They couldn’t organize into an army nor could they even organize into a team for that matter. All of their efforts were futile. The machines ran right over them like they were little more than debris.

Savannah grew up and started to develop the life that she was destined for; though it was too late to do much good. Humanity had died and only a few stirrings of life were left inside its carcass. Both she and Ellison were starting to give up hope. Then they ran into this strange little man named Kyle Reese. Savannah was excited about the prospects that their collaborations would bring. Sarah had told her about Kyle nearly a decade and a half prior and how he’d be an asset in fighting the machines. Then he decided that it was best for them to stay out of the fight and isolate themselves inside this old decrepit hotel on the rim of hell. Sarah was wrong about him and what would Sarah think of her and Ellison for agreeing? Would she be proud? Hell no! Sarah’d be pounding it into Savannah’s head that they needed to keep up the fight against Skynet, that they needed to rally instead of cower inside some broken down luxury hotel. Yet they were still here after all this time becoming soft and weaker with each passing day. It made her sick to her stomach to think about it.

Worse, her guardian even seemed to still be trapped in the new roles that had been established after people refused to follow her. She was 23 years old and he still treated her like she was just a little kid in her school uniform. In all seriousness had the world not ended and life went on as planned she’d probably only be getting out of college and she’d be looking for her first job but that was beside the point. She’d been trained, she’d prepared for this and lived through hell, but they still treated her like little Savannah who made the mistake of being born. She should be in the security room with them learning whatever it was that Kyle Reese had to share, not guarding the door like a common grunt.

Though a small part of her was somewhat grateful to be little more than the guardian outside the door. They all knew how bad humans were doing in this war, they all had lost people that were important, but something told her that what those two were talking about wasn’t for her ears; that they were discussing a situation that she really wanted nothing to do with nor did she want to know anything about. She was supposed to be the leader, well at least she was second fiddle to the destined leader, but Mister Ellison had far more experience dealing with these kinds of threats. If there were something that he felt she needed to know he’d tell her. He would have to.

Savannah let out a long breath and kept watching the long hallway to the security center. Soon he’d call upon her and explain everything that was going on. Soon she’d be updated and they would, together, plan the next phase of their offensive. Soon.
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