While he wrote a note on the main chart preparing the infiltration plan he felt a cold hand brush against his shoulder. A million alarm signals went off inside his head bringing his body to a full alert level. Muscles tensed in preparation for a coming attack; adrenaline coursed through his body like a freight train racing through a tunnel. It wasn’t possible for someone to have got in to him like this. Ellison was the only one through the door – Kyle’s finely tuned reflexes would’ve told him if someone had come in behind him. Hell he’d been looking at the damned door as Ellison walked through it! How could someone have gotten in with him without him knowing or without Ellison knowing and commenting?
His hands probed for the Beretta that he and his brother favored. He lifted it as he turned and pointed it right at the central mass of… Savannah Weaver? How the hell did she get in there? Kyle kept the gun point blank at her heart and stared her down like a hungry wolf preparing to scarf down a meal, “How the hell did you get in here? What the hell do you want?”
“Does it matter?” She asked him not even remotely concerned about the gun that was pointed at her chest.
“Does to me,” answered the man trying desperately to hide his surprise at seeing her and his shock at her nonchalance.
Savannah shook her head, “It shouldn’t. Perhaps I simply have better training than you anticipated? We have other things with which to concern ourselves Mister Reese than my getting in here without you noticing. I can tell you later if you wish how I accomplished this feat though.”
He mimicked her, “Mister Reese?”
“Yes,” Savannah confirmed. “Is that not your name? It is immaterial. You must come with me.”
“Why must I come with you?” He changed her command into a question dripping with sarcasm.
Savannah remained nonplussed, “Because you are in danger here, Mister Reese.”
“Danger?” He said it with a laugh. “Where aren’t we in danger?”
“It is immediate danger at this particular location. It is not the machines that you need to fear here, Mister Reese, rather you have to worry about Mister Ellison and what his plans are for you.”
“This is crazy,” he spat at her through clenched teeth. “What the hell are you talking about? What kinda plans could Ellison have for me other than to plan this damned battle?”
She laid out her cards, “Mister Ellison is currently planning to kill you and to present your destroyed body to an artificial intelligence known as John Henry. I was sent here by John Connor to help you to escape. Please come with me.”
“John Henry?” Kyle questioned the named.
Weaver answered in the affirmative, “Correct. John Henry is an artificial intelligence rival to Skynet. It is working toward the destruction of Skynet...”
“That’s bad why?” the human interrupted.
“…and the human race itself,” Weaver concluded.
“You’ve lost your mind little girl,” challenged Reese still holding the gun on her. “Ellison’s on our side, Skynet’s the enemy not some evil machine named John Henry. This is just nuts. I’m not going anywhere with you. Now how the hell did you get in here without me noticing?”
The woman’s expression finally changed and this time she looked grim. Behind her something was stirring and her electronic sensors – far more advanced than his ‘finely tuned’ senses – were putting her on high alert. She heard the steps and the sounds of a gun being unslung. “We are too late,” said Savannah. The girl coldly ordered Reese, “Get down!”
Behind her the wooden doors slammed open and a hail of gunfire came with it. Dozens of bullets from an MP5 Submachine Gun rushed forward toward the pair, but Savannah changed in an instant. Instead of her humanoid shape, the body became like a sheet of mercury and absorbed each of the bullets and knocked them back to the carpeted floor below. Ripples expanded outward in waves on the back of the machine. Within seconds the sound of the rapid fire bullets became the repeated click of a spent clip. Weaver used this time to collect as much data as she could about the surroundings. The only threat she detected was the attacker at the door. There was no backup on approach to the Evergreen Room that she could detect. Dogs, however, were barking in the distance. Had Skynet or John Henry found them?
The sheet coalesced into the form of Catherine Weaver before Reese’s eyes – the continuation of the ruse no longer a mission priority. The human survivor lifted the Beretta he carried and emptied the entire clip into the intellimetal based construct. She smiled down at him just as bullets started striking her again from the reloaded MP5. Weaver didn’t care about Reese’s attack against her because he was only responding naturally to what his senses were telling him to do (and because she was sent here to protect him, otherwise she would’ve sent a spike through his heart for the diversion from her mission). The Series 1001 was more concerned about the person firing on her and, by extension, her human assignment. Whoever that attacker was was the real threat to her mission and had to be stopped.
Weaver shifted her body’s composition. Her face and the forward parts of her body swapped places with the back with a wave. The machine looked at the threat that had targeted her charge head on and it was someone who she had wanted to see again for a long time; someone from her past that had been more important than the automaton had realized. With the changes the feminine program based machine had trouble adapting, changing to meet the new variables of the scenario. Deep down inside subroutines and protocols began restoring themselves that the machine hadn’t thought of in years and had long since tried to purge from her memory core. Unfortunately that purge didn’t hold.
“Hello Savannah,” she said in a motherly tone. “How are you today?”
Savannah stepped through the door and pointed the MP5 at the bulk of her ‘mother’. A sadistic smile formed on her youthful face as she tightened her grip on the gun, “Just fine, Mommy, I finally get to thank you for picking me up from gymnastics that cold evening.” She pulled the trigger emptying the clip into the infiltrator a third time. Their reunion had, at least, given her one unexpected benefit. Instead of focusing on Reese as savannah had been supposed to, she had shifted her primary target to the replica of her mother.
Catherine Weaver was unphased by the attack, merely a little irritated, but it only pushed her more toward completing her primary objective as quickly as possible. Kyle Reese had to be protected: he was one of the convergence points that allowed time to flow as it should in all timelines. It was becoming necessary for Savannah to be eliminated from the equation of the situation so Catherine would be forced to do something that she didn’t want to do: kill her daughter. There was reluctance; though Catherine went toward her intent to kill. Catherine went after Savannah, but something was wrong deep inside of her: a software conflict that should’ve been impossible to happen. The tactical consciousness inside of her was demanding that she kill the girl immediately; nonetheless, every time that she engaged the order something deep inside prevented her from carrying out the order. Her targeting systems were overridden; her form locked in the current arrangement unable to form a stabbing weapon directed toward the target. Had John Henry compromised her systems? Had he hacked into her command protocols and overridden them? Impossible, she was reading no external communications incoming. Was there something more to it?
The machine didn’t understand what was happening to her. Savannah was immaterial to her mission, in fact she was now a complication, but she couldn’t bring herself to give the termination order. Not even an attack to disable was being approved by her tactical systems. The infiltrator instead looked at Reese as he fired another shot at her from his pistol. There was no damage what so ever from his attack and he was just as relentless as she was in driving home his own fight against her. The tactical mind inside of her informed that Savannah wouldn’t risk losing the help against the shape-shifter by killing Reese at this particular moment. She’d wait until after Weaver was no longer a threat to kill him. A small favor at least. It was fortunate for the Series 1001 infiltrator that Savannah hadn’t opted to use a plasma rifle. If she had attempted to utilize that type of weapon there would have been no defense for this long.
Savannah began to make a tactical retreat firing on the rogue machine as she backed through the door. Their firing had, oddly enough, not attracted any more visitors to them yet; nevertheless, that was probably intentional. Ellison had probably kept the stragglers from rushing to the aid of Reese. Because of the heat of the moment the computerized intelligence calculated a 74% chance that Kyle would not realize that anyone had come to help him and Savannah against Weaver. There was also a 98% probability that he would attempt to join Savannah in escape. Had Kyle realized there was no help coming it was more likely that he would realize who is true enemy was. Humans were stupid creatures for not being more observant of their surroundings; his own faith in humanity would be his undoing if Catherine didn’t act.
The changeling’s calculation’s proved correct. Kyle went for the exit trying to escape from Catherine and right into the path of Savannah and her submachine gun. The automaton’s complex algorithms proved incorrect about one theory that the machine had developed. Savannah lifted the weapon that she carried and pointed it back into the room. Her targeting computer informed her that if Savannah opened fire now she was at an optimal firing point to make it seem like she was aiming at Weaver but that Kyle had stepped into the crossfire. Scenarios rushed through Catherine’s millions of processors. There was no way that Catherine could get in between Reese and Savannah in time to stop the hail of bullets from hitting their intended target no matter how quickly she moved or even if she shifted into another form. There was only one option available to her and a part of her, a part that she didn’t even know she had, was preventing her from engaging that subroutine. Killing Savannah would be the only way to save Reese; though she couldn’t do it. If Reese died though then Catherine had failed in her mission and she would no longer serve a purpose.
Savannah put her finger on the trigger and the time to act came for the machine…