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|June 13 2009, 08:49 AM||#136|
Location: Aboard the Executor...
Re: Terminator: Survival Instinct
One day Danny decided to venture into his father’s office and ask him what was wrong. The young man had been watching as his dad worked and could feel the tension hanging in the air despite his young age. Despite the fact that all of his work was classified – something that Danny had been told more than once – something brought Miles Dyson to give a rundown of what was wrong to his young son. It was in depth, it was technical, but there was one thing that Danny understood and picked up through all of it. That was the word frustration. They talked about what it meant to be frustrated and his father was nothing but consumed by it from head to toe. Always trying to help his parents in some way, Danny suggested something more for him but that his dad could also enjoy. He asked him to go to the water park Ragin’ Waters. Miles had tried to find a way to escape it, but relented with his son’s young eyes. Danny instantly ran to tell his sister Tarissa the good news.
That was only a day before their world came crashing down around them. For Miles the frustration would soon end, for Danny it would only be beginning. Dyson was forced to grow up without a father and with the knowledge that he’d been murdered. It was all Sarah Connor’s fault; though the day came when he finally realized the truth of their reality. After years of hating Sarah and John he learned the truth about their existence and John’s existence. Frustration boiled over into hatred.
Now it had made him physically sick. That sickness had kept rising and had became a rage he hadn’t felt since he’d been a boy hearing the news that his father was never going to come home. It was a rage that he felt the day that he watched Sarah Connor, her son John, and what he came to learn was a machine come back into their lives. Like each time his rage was directed against a person and not the machines. That person was John Connor.
He had to be stopped. Walking down the corridor he cocked the AP50 he’d been assigned as his personal sidearm with the machine known as Cameron Phillips marching close behind. Despite his better judgment he’d restored the body of the mechanical Allison Young and activated Cameron’s chip inside of its housing; granting the machine full access and control. While Allison’s body was a little less advanced than the one Cameron now inhabited the machine would still have the advanced mission files of the Series 900 body. Danny hoped that, somehow, that would be enough for the Trip Eight to take on an antiterminator terminator. Something told him that it wouldn’t be.
Captain Catherine Luna felt the touch of Charles Fischer as he ran his hands down her body. The man was surprisingly strong for some pencil necked geek that had sold his soul to the machines. Then again when you got to eat real food and not rat for dinner you did tend to bulk up. From the contours of his rounded stomach against her malnourished one she knew he’d tended to eat real food in excess. Even his hot breath confirmed that for her. The smell coming from him made her skin crawl as he forced his lips against hers over and over; the stubble of his goatee chapping her face as he tried to consume her.
“You are so beautiful,” he said in a whisper between breaths. His lips plunged against hers and he forced his tongue inside her mouth.
Catherine seriously thought about clamping her teeth down and ripping his tongue free from the body. The only thing that stopped her was knowing that she’d have to keep the disgusting thing in there a minute longer than she had to, and it’d stop her from doing what she really wanted to do to him. She wanted to slam a dagger though his heart and let the blood spew up like a fountain. The machines would storm in and kill her without a second thought, but that was really no concern of hers. At least the butcher, the goddamned demon, would be dead and not able to hurt anyone ever again. Skynet would even lose one of its resources.
Charles led her to the bed while cradling her in his arms. His passionate kisses still landed against the Resistance soldier’s lips and she let him think that she enjoyed each and every last one. They fell onto the bed and he began to explore even more of her. He was getting close and she could strike. Fischer wasn’t old, but he was older than she was which would give her an advantage. Her agility would overcome his girth and tactically she was in the superior position. That was, at least, until his machine benefactor decided that it was time to end it and send one of its loyal minions in to do her in. Knowing the bastard that Charles was he’d probably put her skin on one of his playthings and just restart the adventure anyway.
Just the thought of someone doing that with a machine made her skin crawl. It wasn’t hard to believe though that such a thing would happen. If Judgment Day didn’t happen would Skynet have been employed to eventually develop artificial intelligences that served as whores? What would a world where Skynet was a pimp instead of a demonic supercomputer be? Something told her that it wouldn’t be much different than what it was today, except the Supercomputer would probably be wearing a fedora and driving around in a car from the 1970s.
“Charles Fischer,” a voice came from nowhere, “your time has expired.”
“We were just getting to the good part,” protested the leader of the Skynet Project to give the infiltrators a more human based interaction program. “I just need a few minutes.”
There was no sound of irritation but the machine was feeling it, “Your time has expired. Proceed to the laboratory complex immediately. You may engage your new toy at a later time.”
“She’s right here,” challenged the human man. “And she’s ready to go.”
“Sensor scans indicate that her level of arousal is unchanged and is negligible at best,” the computer retorted.
Luna could feel the environment change. She was losing her edge and lead. True she was faking everything, but Fischer didn’t know that. He thought it was all real. The feelings, what she said, her touching had all been a masterful ploy but now it could come crashing down. The Captain challenged the artificial intelligence hell bent on destroying her entire race.
“Then maybe you should get your sensors examined,” Catherine slammed her lips against Fischer’s and started running her hand along his frame. After a long moment where she fought the urge to gag the woman pulled back. “I’ll be here when you get back,” she lightly brushed against his side and got under the covers completely naked, “I’ll be waiting when you get back and trust me that it’ll be worth the wait.”
With an exasperated sigh and his heart pounding Charles looked at the silhouette on his bed. “You better be,” he said playfully but it only sounded cheesy.
“I’ll be here,” she confirmed wishing that he’d leave.
He stood in the doorframe, “Don’t worry; I’ll be back.”
The doors slid shut and Luna just stared at them for a moment to confirm he wasn’t going to run back. In the back of her mind she heard his little comment and had to restrain herself from laughing at the man. What did he think he was some aging action star from the Eighties that thought he sounded cool? What the hell did the word cool mean anyway? After another few seconds she slid out from underneath the bed and started searching for anything that could be of value or would give her any kind of edge.
All the while above her Skynet watched waiting for her to slip.
Not far from the laboratory complex General Justin Perry, Sergeant Sumner, and Doctor Lauren Fields were stalking around the Skynet labs looking for Captain Luna. Each of them had acquired a weapon. Perry and Sumner were both outfitted with their standard equipment and were carrying their plasma rifles in their hands. Since Fields had been little more than a refugee she’d been forced to rely on the kindness of her fellow soldiers. Unlike the others she got to carry only an AP50 in her hand. It’d at least dent the machines if they decided to come after her at least.
For General Perry though this was personal. In all fairness his squad had been right with their assessment of the situation. In reality it should have been him going after the General instead of Captain Luna, but he and Luna had a history. Their relationship had gone beyond friendship, beyond family, and was something more than any of them could afford these days. This wasn’t the first time that he’d made this choice and he had a feeling that it wouldn’t be the last time.
|June 13 2009, 08:50 AM||#137|
Location: Aboard the Executor...
Re: Terminator: Survival Instinct
With a metal clank the platform collided with the island and Reese – without any outward signs of fear or trepidation – marched forward like the good soldier that he was. When he reached the center of the circle he looked back to them for a second and smiled. The man nodded and then, much like the skinjob they’d watched moments before, he bent down and crouched in the center of the island. Looking up one more time he gave his friends a thumbs up. Kyle Reese was ready to go.
At the control console Lieutenant Luna looked down and typed on the strangely human interface. “Temporal coordinates set. I’ll be putting him down a few minutes after the arrival of the T-800 – I can’t be more specific on the time or the place though. He shouldn’t be too far behind it but I can’t put him in the same place as it materialized.”
“Just so long as he has a chance,” Perry’s deep voice reminded.
“He’s a Reese,” she typed, “They don’t need a chance. They either did it or it couldn’t be done.” Her study of the console was completed and she knew what she had to do. “Temporal Core at 100%; engaging.” With her middle finger she slammed down the enter key on the number pad and the chamber became as bright as a nuclear explosion. Instinctively she shot her head around and tried to shield her eyes from the sphere of electricity. Then almost as quickly as it came the globe was gone and so was her finely toned friend.
Both she and Perry stared for a minute at the empty platform and wondered if either of them would ever see their friend again. It was finally Perry who spoke. “Reese had to have succeeded. If he hadn’t then everything would be different.”
“You so sure about that?” the demolitions expert checked on the screen. “If our history has changed wouldn’t we be as completely in the dark as everyone else on how things used to be? We’d remember his history and not our own. Do I make any sense?” Her accent made her sound charming.
Justin smiled, “I have a good feeling that the phrase ‘I hate temporal mechanics’ is going to become a common saying amongst the Resistance.”
“Can we really risk letting the secret of this out though? What’s to stop people from trying to use it to go back in time and change things that don’t need changing? People going back and claiming they discovered America before Columbus or people going back and killing Washington before he became the first President? So many things could change and so many different realities could be formed. Who’s to say in this brave new world that we even exist?” Her mind raced with all the possibilities of their newfound existence.
“Who watches the watchers?” Perry asked her honestly.
The woman leaned against the console, “I suppose we could. The computer says that these are being manufactured at a Skynet base in Topanga Canyon. We can’t take this one, but we could borrow one of the metal bastards unused ones and take it to one of ours.” She looked at the empty platform, “The question is what’d we do about Reese?”
“Losing one of our best soldiers in this battle could damage morale,” Perry thought aloud, “better to make everyone think he survived. We’ll leave it up to General Connor to decide when it’s best to decide. Who knows maybe the Battle of Topanga has already claimed one of us?”
“Maybe,” she sheathed her weapon, “but I’m tired of all the killing. Who watches the watchers indeed?”
“And who watches men with the women they love?”
The Lieutenant looked up and gasped, “Justin?”
The General stepped aside and in front of the young woman he’d known for all these years. He bent down and kissed her before she could say anything else. “The war’s over,” he celebrated, “we can move on and have real lives. Will you start one with me? All we’ve ever has is each other?”
“How touching,” commented a third voice.
Luna and Perry broke apart in time to spin around and see a man standing behind them. Instantly both had their jaws drop at the ordinary man whom they’d known for years. Private Alexander Stone, brother of Lieutenant Gabriel Stone, stood before them staring them down. He had a smug confidence about him with a smile not much smaller than that of the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland. That wasn’t what was haunting about him though. On their former friend’s body were cybernetic implants that had connected him to Skynet’s Hive Mind. He even looked stronger than when Luna had just seen him while she tried to rescue Kyle Reese from a Skynet outpost.
“You!” Screamed the Mexican.
An AP50 round fired from gun held in a relaxed grip at the side of their former colleague. The bullet hit the Lieutenant so hard she lost her balance and fell to the cold metal flooring. When she landed she was a bit too close to the edge that led to what they could only assume was a bottomless pit. Her hand draped over the side as she struggled to regain control of herself.
Perry screamed and raised the R6-PAK and its deadly rocket barrage cargo toward the source. Stone shifted the gun and pointed it square at his former Commanding Officer. He tilted his head, “Isn’t fraternizing with the people under your command a big no no in the Resistance? General Connor may have to kick you out on your ass.”
“You’re dead, Stone,” Perry pointed but kept the gun trained. “A traitor to your own cause.”
“The Resistance betrayed me far before I betrayed them,” he shifted his gun again and pointed it toward the optimal target. His weapon may have been weaker than the one Perry was holding, but it’d still kill a human. “As for the being dead thing, well to each his own. Perhaps I’m the one who’s truly alive and you’re the one who’s dead. Still bent on fighting Skynet – fighting the true destined king of our world!”
General Perry pointed the gun at the zombie’s head, “And I’ll make you permanently dead for what you did.”
“She’s not going to die,” pointed out the I-950. “Of course she’s not going to die provided you get her to one of the medics outside. You could follow me, try to stop me with your little gun, but she’d bleed to death right here on the floor. You could take her to the medic that she truly needs,” his smile became serious, “and let me escape. Life’s all about choices, General. What do you choose?”
The Resistance leader slung the rifle and ran to the woman he loved. A message came through in Skynet’s voice that detonation charges had been detected and that the base would self destruct in a minute. He scooped her up in his arms, “I ever see you again and I’ll rip your spine out with my bare hands.”
“Feel free to try,” and then they ran their separate ways.
General Justin Perry could feel it in his bones that Luna was okay, but he knew that it wouldn’t stay that way unless they found her soon. Doctor Fields had described a woman who was broken and ready for death, so what exactly did Skynet do to her inside that chamber of horrors it kept her in? The Catherine Luna that he knew and love wasn’t a weakling who was praying for death. Catherine Luna was vibrant and filled with life even though she was surrounded by the pain of the machines. How could Skynet have broken her so much?
How could the metal make her want to be one of them? Everything that Skynet had done had been against the life that they wanted; had been designed to deprive each and every one of them of what made them human. The Catherine Luna that they were describing to him would probably be killed by his Luna for even the thought of defecting.
“I know she’s still alive,” he mumbled in a whisper. “She can’t be dead.”
“I agree with you, General,” it was Fields who was trying to be reassuring, “but we have to face the chance she’s already been turned. We don’t know how long it takes to make zombies…”
The General snorted, “A lifetime of fighting and you think she’d willingly become one of the machine’s playthings? Are you demented?”
“I know what I heard,” spat Lauren in defense. “She gave herself over to Charles Fischer even though he violated her when we were trapped on the Enterprise. He made her stare her ex-husband’s android body in the eyes as if mocked her by standing silent.”
“That’d be enough to break any of us,” commented the Sergeant as he scanned the area. “Even me.”
“You don’t know Luna,” Perry charged, “She’s stronger than anyone else I know.”
The Doctor placed a hand on the General’s shoulder, “You need to face the possibility that we’re going to find her either dead or as one of the machines. If that happens you need to be prepared, General. We can’t risk losing you.”
“She’s alive,” their commander repeated.
The Resistance Medic nodded in agreement, “And I believe you. You just need to face the possibility that.”
A bolt of phased plasma energy passed so close to her face that she could feel the heat of it. With surprising force it hit the polished wall and left an impact crater so deep that they could see the room beyond. They turned to see three older 600 Series machines stalking down the corridor with plasma weapons drawn. One actually seemed to be carrying a flamethrower instead of the plasma gun though.
“METAL!” Screamed Sumner as a warning albeit a second late. The soldier’s finger twitched at the trigger and sent electricity flying at the tall machines. One of his barrages managed to connect to the center of the machine’s endoskeleton and sent it flying backward, but it wasn’t a critical hit. The machine started to get back up not long after landing.
The machines gave back to the humans and opened fire themselves. Bolts of energy of different plasma states started to rain from the turrets of the heavy weapons. Clouds of fire shot forward from the flame unit carried by the endoskeleton in the lead of the group and came for the three humans. It was an even fight body wise, but tactically Skynet and its minions had the advantage tactically. They had superior weapons to those of the humans and they had armor on their side. The humans had little more than stone knives and bearskin clothes covering their bodies as the fought a superior force.
“Attack pattern razzle dazzle,” ordered General Perry. “Let’s take as many of these tin cans as we can with us.”
General John Connor stood alone in the center of Operations staring at their makeshift operations table. The assortment of blueprints for the base were rolled out across the table and they were flanked by a series of antiquated maps that had been marked up with the latest in information regarding the topography and terrain of Los Angeles. Their work was progressing at a snail’s pace but they’d made some headway into finding their ultimate prize. It was only going to be a matter of time and they’d have all the support that they’d ever need in this war.
On the upper level he could hear what he believed to be Cameron Phillips typing away on one of the terminals. It always amazed him that, in reality, Cameron had no idea about any of the experiences he had she had had when he was coming of age. She didn’t know any of their history together. It was funny that growing up Cameron always spoke in high regard of Future John and now, by the grace of God, John had become that Future John she spoke so heavily of. Truth be told there were still times when he wondered what Future John would do when he was planning a mission or making a tough call. It was amazing that in a short time Cameron would be once again speaking to him about the exploits of Future John. It was still amazing after all these years and he was a little taken aback by beginning anew with his protector. He knew so much yet she so little.
“I wonder where Uncle Bob is with my chow?” It was sort of a ritual of his to skip meals while working or on a deadline. It’d actually helped him to survive in this war torn future.
Cameron turned her head at an unnatural angle, “I am certain that he will return momentarily.”
“I wonder what we’re having tonight?” He ran a finger along a blueprint, “I’d love a nice Eggplant Parmesan.”
“That is unlikely,” Cameron answered matter-of-factly.
John laughed, “A man can dream can’t he?” He checked his own laptop, “You find any new prospects?”
“Affirmative,” she answered simply. “I am sending my ideas to your console.”
As John opened the information that was being sent on their secured lines the two heard a knocking at the door. The leader of the Human Resistance turned his head toward the infiltrator he’d known for years yet only just met, “Let him in.”
Cameron left the console and walked over to the door purposefully. Using the appropriate force and strength level she opened the door and looked at the one standing on the other side. She cocked her head to the left, “You are not authorized to be here.”
|June 13 2009, 08:51 AM||#138|
Location: Aboard the Executor...
Re: Terminator: Survival Instinct
|June 16 2009, 12:43 AM||#139|
Location: Aboard the Executor...
Re: Terminator: Survival Instinct
Worst of all though, right now, he didn’t think that the biggest threat was from the machines. They were, of course, walking through a Skynet Laboratory complex; nonetheless, the nerves of their commanding officer and friend were frayed beyond reasonable belief. Never before had Sayles seen Lieutenant Reese act like that toward anything but a machine. His defense of Doctor Fields was in character, but threatening Timms like that most assuredly wasn’t. Eduardo Timms was reckless, he was the first to shoot and asked questions later, and he had a bit of a chip on his shoulder from time to time. Nevertheless, everyone in the Four Horsemen pretty much loved him. Each of them were very close to each other, yet Lieutenant Reese had something about him right now that made them each feel like he’d kill them for looking at them the wrong way.
What exactly did they do to him? This fight had been long and brutal, but Sayles had seen him far worse off than this. Were his injuries that severe? The story that Fields had told them was nothing that they hadn’t heard before from hundreds of different people so what made her so important? Why did he blow up like that? Maybe she saved his life? If they were anywhere else he’d have asked but with the tension this thick in the air he didn’t want to press his luck any unless absolutely necessary. Looking at Timms and the stone face he was wearing it wasn’t hard to see that the tension was thick.
Sayles stopped and scanned behind them for a moment looking for anything out of the ordinary. Everything looked absolutely, positively fine. There were no endoskeletons following behind them that he could see. No infiltrators were walking about – naked or otherwise – trying to kill all of them. No zombies either. For a Skynet base this place was very much under populated especially for its size. Maybe Skynet didn’t want to overload the bases with machines every which way you could look. Maybe Skynet didn’t anticipate that humans would be able to get this far. The base had a laser defense grid (which was oddly destroyed) and a welcome wagon guarding the doors. Perhaps even they’d taken on the entire defense force above ground. That’d be the luckiest part of their day. Something told him that they weren’t that lucky. For all they knew Skynet had one of those rumored liquid metal machines hunting them even now. There was no way for them to honestly know if it was coming either. How the hell could you expect someone to fight against an enemy that could become as thin as a sheet of paper and then kill you when you stepped over it?
“Where the hell are we?” Timms blurted without his usual jovial attitude. “I swear we’re walking in circles.”
Sayles peered down a long corridor, “Part of the charm of being in a Skynet base. It’s just one big ass maze.”
“Where are they anyway? Shouldn’t the tinnies be overrunning us by now? What about the zombies?” Timms added in with disbelief. “This is all one big FUBAR. We’re probably not even in a Skynet base. This is probably some frakking test Connor dreamed up somehow to see if we’re ready for that top secret mission of his.”
“Shut up,” Jonathan warned. “We can’t risk Skynet finding out about it.”
“Why should I? Where are you Connor?” He started running down the hallway at full speed.
Derek tilted his head, “He’s gonna get us all killed.”
“Or save us all,” mused the Corporal.
“That too,” they started chasing him. Even though Derek Reese had charged only minutes ago that they could afford to lose a soldier more than they could risk losing a Doctor, truth was they couldn’t afford to lose anyone. Any human losses meant that was one more victory for the machines. With things the way they were none of them could afford any Skynet victories.
Sergeant Andre Sumner wondered if this was the end. They were in pretty much a wide open space with three endoskeletons hunting them. The endos were older models of the 600 Series, but they were still a superior force. They were armed for battle with the Gatling guns that were famous of their model number, but these weren’t firing the standard projectiles. These bastards were shooting at them with plasma bursts as hot as the fires of hell. Just one impact would rip through his body leaving a hole the size of a basketball that you could see through behind. Hell, with as many pulses as they were firing it’d probably just keep firing until there was nothing at all left behind.
How he missed the bayou. Growing up in what was once Louisiana, Sumner had lived in a region that Skynet had blown the hell out of, but still had left behind some traces of civilization. Still he did have to contend with the animals that survived J-Day. For a long while the first generation of Hunter Killers had left the region alone; seeking instead to cleanse the Earth in more critical areas of importance to Skynet. When Skynet came, Sumner fought and eventually joined the Resistance. They lost territory frequently, but they gained. In recent years the tide had started to turn and the Resistance was gaining more and more spheres of control. Rumor had it that the bayou was once again liberated and, quite frankly, he longed to go home.
In a sense that was what he was going to do. Sumner, Sayles, Reese, and Timms (well maybe not after today if Reese got his way) were going on a special mission for the Resistance. They were going to use some piece of captured technology to go back in time twenty years to before Judgment Day to fight Skynet there while Connor was nothing more than a kid. Maybe he’d get a chance to meet the famous Sarah Connor? He’d got to see the picture of her that Kyle Reese kept, but he too had hoped to get to meet her in the flesh. She was very pretty, but something told him that she wouldn’t have the time of day for anyone but her mission to stop Skynet. Hopefully this time, with his help, she’d succeed.
That was if he succeeded in surviving this battle of course. The three machines were clustered together in a triangular formation. The two carrying the heavy guns were on the corners and the one with the flamethrower – Sumner thought he saw the colorings of a command droid – was in the center. It probably was a commander because of the weapon choice. Usually a leader was outfitted with a more personalized weapon to choose from because of its status. Their processor chips were set to allow them more freedom of thought. Skynet had reasonably determined that allowing its machines to think for themselves on the battlefield was a tactical advantage rather than a weakness. The chances of a defection were, after all, pretty slim when you thought about it.
A cloud of fire expanded outward and tried to consume all three of the human soldiers as the machines continued pressing on. Like lightning plasma bursts sprang forth from the deadly firestorm. Sumner and the three others kept walking back until they finally hit something none had hoped for. They found the brick wall. They were going to be trapped if they didn’t think of something soon. Andre heard the electronic pulses as General Perry’s weapon discharged. The pulses slammed into the machine but the reinforced armor took the majority of the punishment. What they needed was a diversion that had the potential of helping them.
Then it came to him. He spoke with a Lieutenant Dietze once about the tactical capabilities of Skynet’s forces. Dietze was specialist serving with one of the last Navy SEAL teams that had been in existence – they’d been assigned to the Jimmy Carter at the time of Judgment Day. They talked about the tactical capabilities of Skynet’s forces and they found that the 600 Series and the 800 Series were built out of different materials. The 600 Series armor wasn’t as strong as that of the 800 when exposed to extreme heat. The titanium of the 600 wasn’t as capable of keeping up with the metal used in the construction of the 800 – coltan he thought it was called.
The flame unit that the command bot was using, if they could detonate it the fuel would ignite. It didn’t like a lot, but if the fuel were to catch on fire from a plasma discharge then the heat would be far more than that which the flamethrower itself could produce. The fire itself would be enough to potentially immobilize the machine long enough for them to take it on or at least cause significant enough damage that the machines couldn’t pursue anymore. But this wasn’t going to be easy.
Watching closely he saw the machine go to ignite the fuel and fire upon them one more time. Targeting as quickly as he could he brought the barrel of his plasma rifle around and pointed it right at the muzzle of the flame unit. As the machine went to pull its trigger, Andre did the same. The plasma discharge of his gun crashed into the flamethrower right as it started to spew its deadly payload. The fire didn’t expand outward though. Instead the fires erupted into a ball as the gun exploded in its user’s hands. The plasma burst destroyed the hands of the machines at least and left it weaponless.
But the extreme heat did exactly as it was supposed to. The first engulfed the trio of machines and caused them to have trouble with all of their functions. The heat was as hot as hell and the armor began to give way. Not wasting the opportunity, all three started to let loose with discharges from their own guns. The impacts of their guns weren’t like anything they’d expected. It sounded like rain hitting old aluminum awnings as each of the orbs of death cut into the tin cans. They fell back as more pulses ripped through them. What were once hunters had become the prey and the tables wouldn’t be turned again; the endoskeletons were destroyed.
Perry looked at him for a second and smiled, “I’m gonna have to remember that one. Let’s move.”
|June 16 2009, 12:44 AM||#140|
Location: Aboard the Executor...
Re: Terminator: Survival Instinct
None of them were as important as his last two specimens. On the large plasma display he was watching as Catherine Luna seemed to be slinking around his room looking through the cupboards, desk drawers, and shelves for something. He wanted to believe her but knew, deep down, that all of her catty actions were just to accomplish a goal. Most likely he’d walk into that room and she’d slit his throat or find the plasma pistol and melt him down. When it was all over he’d still get to have her. Skynet would kill her and he’d just bring her back like the Bride of Frankenstein.
The most important of his toys was on the final monitor. Locked in the lab that the endoskeleton was adamantly trying to break into was Earl Wise – a Captain now according to the monitors and data Skynet had provided him with. Who would have ever thought that his greatest achievement would come crawling back for seconds? He typed on the keyboard attached to the bank of monitors and brought up the physiometric datafiles from the sensors of the room. Earl was doing quite well even for someone in his condition. Never had he thought the project would be that successful. Those files left behind by Serena were more than just the pie in the sky daydreams of a dying woman. Too bad she never got to see her dream come to fruition.
On the tabletop Charles saw the target Skynet wanted – well rather she was next to it. Skynet wanted him to connect that woman to a computer terminal and get a full memory scan so that they could just pick and choose her memories. After that he’d get physiometric data and build an infiltrator body that he could send after the Resistance. That would be the perfect punishment for their having invaded his solitude. Maybe he’d really punish her first though? Maybe he’d only order her disabled and let her watch as the machines brought her son over to their side via a chip installed in his brain? That would teach her.
That was a waste of resources though. It was possible that those idiots would somehow manage to overtake Skynet’s forces and simply rescue her. The team being led by Reese was, after all, perilously close to having found her. One of them was even breaking away from the group and he looked like he was hot on the trail of the soon to be victims. As Charles looked down at the tattoo on his arm that signified until the end of time they would soon realize just what that meant.
From behind him one of the zombies approached. Not long ago this man, who still wore a Resistance armband, was fighting the good fight against Skynet. He and his team had made a wrong move and didn’t survive against the surface force. They killed them, well heavily disabled them, and brought them to the lab for interrogation and memory download into Skynet. It looked at the visuals playing out on the screens, it’s eyes obstructed by dark sunglasses.
“Can I help you with something?” Fischer asked the hybrid.
“Negative,” the machine answered in the voice of the body’s former owner. “I am processing information relating to these targets. Skynet has activated this unit as well as units 2 through 7 to engage the humans.”
Fischer didn’t hide his apprehension because there was no way to. Skynet monitored everything going on and these particular zombies, as the humans called them, hadn’t even been tested yet. Was it really that bad? Skynet would only employ them if the defenses had been completely compromised.
It came in an android body. The Infiltrator, which was surprisingly tall for an infiltrator, looked down at him. “What do you want, Mister Fischer?”
“Why have these units been brought online?” Charles wanted to know just how bad it was.
The machine tilted its head, “Strategic mission analysis has calculated a 73% probability that this base will fall into human hands. All assets are being redistributed in order to prevent loss of material during destruction sequence. Nonessential operations currently engaged in this location are terminated.”
The human among the machines sighed, “I just got used to this place. Where we goin?”
“You will not be accompanying us,” the infiltrator explained. “You will be assigned to a separate mission.”
“What are you saying?”
“You are to be sent back in time to complete a mission on my behalf,” explained the machine. “This unit will accompany you on a mission to terminate Resistance soldier Martin Bedell.”
The former convict just shrugged, “Well I guess I get to go home again. Let’s get going. Is there anything I need to do to prepare?”
“Negative,” the machine started for a door. “Follow.”
Captain Earl Wise was gritting his teeth so loudly that he was amazed that he hadn’t broken each of them. General Katherine Brewster as the machine had revealed to him was taking too long with whatever the hell it was she was doing. Skynet was beating down the door and the machine was about to break through. The stresses to the door were extreme and, somehow, he knew that it was about to give way. It was so bad that the door was actually denting in so much that it looked like the metal was trying to blow a bubble. She had to hurry.
“I don’t mean to be a pest here Doc,” Earl shouted, “but we’re getting a friend in a second.”
“I’m working as fast as I can,” she looked at the display screens reading over her son’s vitals. “This isn’t like taking a walk through a park. It requires a lot of attention to do this right and I’m learning as I go how to operate this equipment.”
Earl looked at her disgusted, “I don’t care, Ma’am, if you don’t hurry I’m going to have to do something rather rash to keep us all alive. Please don’t make me have to make that choice.”
She looked at the readings, “You’re not going to have to. These nanites are finally reprogrammed. I’ve shut down their connections to Skynet. Moe can you confirm it for me?”
The older Model (he’d learned it was an 850) approached the terminal workstation leaving him alone to guard the door. The deafening sounds of the robot pounding against the door were driving him mad. The adrenaline was coursing through his body like a drug and, despite his chances, Earl wanted to fight. Earlier today he’d survived hand to hand combat against a Series 900 endoskeleton. He was ready for anything. Based upon his earlier success most likely the T-800 trying to break through the door to kill them would be a walk in the park.
Wise didn’t really believe that. His surviving against the nine hundred was just a fluke or, like the defense grid, some elaborate Skynet plot to test him for some misbegotten reason. Skynet had got him here and Charles Fischer was somewhere inside the walls of this base, the 800 would just take him to the tormenter and that’d be it. No more deus ex machina, only letum ex machine – death from the machine. Not before more torture though. He let out a long breath as another impact was leveled by the enemy machine. This one managed to puncture the door and leave a gaping hole.
Instead of continuing its onslaught, the enemy machine bent down and looked through the hole it’d just made. The red eyes of the machine were free to scan the entire room without obstruction as Earl just watched. It was almost like something out of a film. Earl half expected it to say something clever like ‘hidey ho’, ‘how you doin’’, or maybe even ‘here’s Johnny!’ The machine just watched then pulled away. A second later its metal arm shot through the opening and bended to a 90 degree angle. It began to pull at the steel slab that was once a door trying to break it free. All of its power was going into the struggle.
“The door will give way in seven seconds,” informed the guardian as it monitored the data on the screen.
Wise was shocked, “Well don’t you think you should goddamn well be coming over to help me then?”
The sound of the struggling gears was distinctive. The Cyberdyne Systems Model One oh One seemed uncaring, “My work here takes precedence.”
“Not if the machine kills,” his sentence was interrupted by the sound of four plasma pulses hitting the machine trying to break down the splintering door. From outside they could hear the sound of men’s boots hitting the ground and the hyperalloy combat chassis collapsing to the ground. In its death throes the tin can struggled to regain its footing; its servos crying out in pain. Three men could be seen through the small portal that the machine had made while trying to rip away the barrier. From their guns each fired another of the pulses which tore into the metal monster. The light of their beams brightened even the exam room through the small hole. One of the fighters broke away from their target and peered through the hole just as the robot had just done. Wise was relieved to see a familiar face.
He had to say it, “Here’s Johnny!”
The Corporal smiled, “That’s my name; don’t you dare wear it out.”
For the first time in his young life Scott Mason had perfect clarity inside his mind, or at least for the first time that he could remember. For him there was nothing but peace and tranquility reigning supreme. For him there was no war, no death, and certainly no destruction. Earth was once again at peace and he was able to live a normal life doing things that a normal kid his age did. Instead of field stripping an assault rifle he was playing baseball with his friends. Rather than dodging an HK Aerial’s scanning beam he was sitting in a movie theatre watching a movie with his girl. In the place of scrounging for trash he was eating a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with his family.
This is the life he should have led; this was the life that he longed to have. Anyone of the humans that still remained would have killed for the chance of living this even for a day. Hell, a half a day. As he reveled in the peace something started to chance. Scott was beginning to wake back up. He could feel himself letting go of the world he wanted and he was being forced back into the reality he was forced to live with. Thanksgiving dinners, movies with a girl, baseball with friends, each of them faded away and returned to the dream world they existed in.
Scott’s eyes opened to the beautiful face of his mother and, in a sense, his commanding officer. He could see it in her eyes that she was afraid; but there was no need. He was alive and that was all that mattered. It had to count for something. He forced himself to sit upward and felt her hand rest on his shoulder. Moe stood at the foot of the bed working some alien looking computer console. Around them there were four Resistance soldiers that looked like they’d seen better days. Then there was the room itself. Filled with technology it couldn’t be a Resistance outpost.
“Where am I?” Scott gasped.
“A Skynet base,” his mother admitted, “We brought you here to use the technology to save you.”
A million questions raced through his head and the first one was a practical one, “Where’s my gun?”
“Same old Scott,” his mother teased him. “Moe, is the sequence complete?”
“Affirmative,” the bulky machine confirmed. “The nanites are deactivating and they will be absorbed into the bloodstream.”
From the door, as he worked to bring down the barricade with the rest of the Horsemen, Earl Wise spoke up. “Maybe we can celebrate that by getting the hell out of here? Just a suggestion.”
“Sounds good to me,” General Brewster agreed. “Moe, help them get the door.”
“Affirmative,” the guardian machine left to assist leaving the mother and son to reconnect. It pretty much ignored the humans and started to pull against the door on its own. Within ten seconds it’d managed to rip the door out of place using the damage caused by the predecessor. “We must leave this place immediately.”
From the hallway Derek Reese came through the broken down door. The Lieutenant was confident, cool, and collected from the outside; but inside he was still a wreck. His grip was tight around the phased plasma rifle as he found the General, “I couldn’t agree with the machine more. I’m Lieutenant Derek Thomas Reese of the 132nd. General Perry sent me here to evacuate you and your son.” He added in the mention of her son.
“Is Perry still here?” She asked helping Scott off the table – even though he didn’t need her help.
Derek nodded, “He’s here to extradite another Resistance soldier who was captured by the name of Luna. He led the team to find her.”
“We need to find him and get out of here,” she said assuredly.
“I concur with that assessment,” said the guardian with his Austrian intonation. “I have been in contact with the Skynet mind via passive communication pings. The base’s autodestruct protocols have been activated. We do not have much time.”
Eduardo Timms spoke up, “Then we should make tracks.”
Earl Wise stepped through the portal and into the hallway. Ushering the others out of the chamber his eyes were directed down the hall to an empty space that he saw. Something shimmered among the wall, but now it looked normal. Spinning his hand he urged them all to speed up and get out of the room as quickly as possible. The last one to leave was Reese.
The former leader of the Four Horsemen rested a hand on his friend’s shoulder, “Good to see you again.”
“Likewise,” Earl answered Derek. “I was worried about you after that Nine Hundred got a hold of you; I thought you were dead for certain.” Somehow the Captain knew that Derek was worse off than he seemed. His injuries were more severe that he was letting on.
“Hard to keep me down,” Reese teased. “If I were any more stubborn I’d be made of metal. We’ll reminisce later. We need to get out of here before Skynet sends more drones after us or before we blow up in the destruct sequence.”
Captain Wise looked back down the hallway and knew that he wasn’t meant to go with them. He shook his head, “Sorry my friend but that’s not my destiny.”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
“The answers I want,” Earl had trouble talking for the first time in his life, “the answers I need are here. I have to find them. Take care of my team, Lieutenant Reese, they’re yours again. Now, I order you to leave. No discussions, no questions, just get the hell out of here and make sure that the General survives.”
Derek Reese couldn’t believe what he was being told. Of all the stupid, idiotic decisions that someone could make why would they willingly want to stay in a soon to be destroyed building? Where was the logic? They needed everyone in this war especially now. “You have to come with us.”
“Not my destiny,” Earl challenged him, “Don’t follow me.” With that Captain Wise ran down the corridor toward the answers he desperately sought. Everything inside of him, every fiber of his being, hoped and prayed that this wasn’t a wild goose chase.
Left behind, Lieutenant Reese shook his head in astonishment as his friend ran to the gallows.
|June 16 2009, 12:45 AM||#141|
Location: Aboard the Executor...
Re: Terminator: Survival Instinct
“I don’t usually see people waving a gun,” teased Connor, “but I’ll make an exception for you, Danny. What’s up?”
Colonel Dyson stood there holding the gun on General Connor, “You can tell me where General Connor is.”
John crossed his arms, “What the hell are you talking about, Danny? I’m standing right here.”
“Don’t play me for a fool,” Danny replied. “I saw the tape of this machine’s memories, John,” he spat the name. “I watched you attack Cameron and replace her chip with the one from Allison. Normally I wouldn’t care, but it’s the way you did it. Where’s General Connor?”
“What the hell are you talking about?” John walked toward him holding his hands in the air, “I’ve been right here for days working on finding this new Skynet Base. Ask Cameron,” he pointed at the machine standing on the upper level, “who’s standing right there; or ask Uncle Bob. I sent him to get my meal.”
The son of Miles Dyson fired a single shot that zoomed passed Connor’s head and shattered one of the monitors behind him. He tightened his grip as the sparks flew, “I’m not going to ask nicely next time and I’ll put a slug right into you. I swear. Where’s John Connor!”
John shook his head and lifted his hands, “I’m right here, Danny, honestly. What do I have to do to prove it to you? What do I have to say? What do I have to do?”
“Die?” The Colonel stared down at him with the gun still pointed at his head. Truth be told he wasn’t sure what good shooting at Connor would do anyway. If the video was true, it what he saw was reality, then there was really no way to stop what he was staring at. In reality the fact that Connor hadn’t swatted him like a fly was somewhat proof of the claims that he wasn’t what Danny thought he saw.
“When did we meet?” Danny finally asked. “And where?”
On the lower level John took a deep breath and looked at the barrel of the AP50 that his friend was holding trained on his head. The AP50 would fire a modified .50 caliber shell that was designed to be used against the Series 800. It’d kill a human and keep going. He looked up at his friend. “Answer one question for me first: do you mean when we first met or when we really first met?”
The Colonel loosened his grip slightly but still kept his finger near the trigger. It seemed that John may be the real John, but maybe Skynet had somehow gotten a synchcording? That was a stretch but it wasn’t impossible. “When we really first met.”
The Leader of the Human Resistance looked at the two machines sharing the face of Allison Young then Danny Dyson. “I met you for the first time in 1997 at your father’s house in Los Angeles. My mother had gone there to kill your dad because he was the man that would eventually build Skynet. I asked you to show me your room so that my guardian could talk to your father. You went in your room and cried and asked me why my mother would shoot your dad. I told you that sometimes things happened that just couldn’t be explained, but that your dad would be okay. Then you showed me a dinosaur stuffed animal that you called ‘seven’.”
Danny dropped the gun to his side, “You couldn’t fake that. There’s no way Skynet could know about that.”
“Are you going to tell me now why you were pointing a gun at my head?” Connor asked as he watched the two machines circling the room and eyeing each other, “and why those two look like they might be getting ready to kill each other?”
The Colonel walked down the ramp and joined General Connor in the center of the room, “That’s a long story. To make it short I found my lab destroyed and Allison powered down. Then Seven came and tried to kill me – nearly crushed my windpipe in his massive grip. I used a little backdoor I installed inside his head to make my escape, then I found the chip on the floor. I thought it was Allison’s; it was really Cameron’s. I repaired some of the damage by jury-rigging it and activated the chip. She told me the truth but that he memory files were corrupted. I was able to restore the video and I watched her be attacked from the front. The attacker had your face.”
“You don’t mean what I think you mean?” Asked the General.
“I do,” he said nodding, “We have an intruder and the only way to explain it is that our intruder’s a Series 1000.”
John shook his head, “It’s impossible. Skynet couldn’t possibly have any of them online yet. The only one we’ve encountered was the prototype and it went back in time already at Topanga Canyon. I sent back Uncle Bob,” he watched the machine enter, “well at least the real Uncle Bob.”
“It’s the only way to explain it, General,” Dyson was sure of it. “Think about it. Who else could reprogram my personal servant droid? What else could attack Cameron or Allison and successfully rip out the processor fast enough to prevent it from being damaged. Anything else would’ve taken damage. The wounds to Lieutenant Cray,” he shook his head, “it all fits, General.”
The masculine programmed machine broke their conversation as it circled the room, “What is happening here, General?”
“Long story,” Connor answered. “We need to seal off this base,” he looked at Cameron and Allison, “including those two until we can find out who everyone is. We’re better safe than terminated.”
“For how long?” Inquired the one who had come in with Colonel Dyson.
Then the other, “Should one of us be a threat what will be the result?”
“One step at a time,” John said. “Since you’re the only one we can trust, Bob, I want you to oversee this all. Escort them there…”
Everything changed in an instant. John realized that each and every time that something had happened, any of the disasters, the machine that he called Uncle Bob was missing in action or on some assignment. He looked at it for a long moment just wondering, but he realized then that the machine knew he’d discovered the truth. This wasn’t the machine he thought that it was. In the blink of an eye its left arm rose to the sky and the powerful arm became instead a strand of silvery metal that looked like putty. It reached out like a tentacle and wrapped around General John Connor’s neck. It lifted him from the ground.
The skin changed from a tall, strong looking man to a shorter woman wearing a gown of solid white. Her hair was long and the color of fire. It flowed down her back and draped her shoulders, gently blowing in the air. Her eyes were as green as the grass had once been before the bombs fell. It was exactly as Colonel Danny Dyson had suspected. Skynet had produced more than just the prototype for the Series 1000 and the first generation stood before him ready to kill.
She wasn’t the only one. On the upper level tier the machine known as Allison Young had struck. With incredible force and speed she’d knocked the machine that shared her face, Cameron Phillips, to the ground like a doll that weighed nothing. It held her pinned to the ground having gotten the jump on her sister gynoid and wasn’t giving any ground. Danny Dyson didn’t know what to do.
The voice of the reconfigurable assassin was soft and lyrical with the traces of what Danny believed to be a Scottish brogue. It was almost as if the machine had once been a singer of song and dance. Looking at the body as it formed before him she definitely had the legs for it. It issued its orders.
“Surrender or I will kill General Connor.”
|June 16 2009, 12:47 AM||#142|
Location: Aboard the Executor...
Re: Terminator: Survival Instinct
There is one chapter left then an epilogue.
|June 17 2009, 03:10 AM||#144|
Location: Aboard the Executor...
Re: Terminator: Survival Instinct
|June 22 2009, 08:41 AM||#145|
Location: Aboard the Executor...
Re: Terminator: Survival Instinct
Her needs weren’t very much. All she had to find was something, anything, which she could use as a weapon. Her target was Fischer and not the machines so that gave her a few options including the broken dresser drawer she just shattered against the wall. Quite frankly she was hoping for something a bit stronger that she could use against a machine if she had to, but it’d have to do. The sad thing was that it didn’t require much for her to fight a machine. As a member of Delta Company she could pretty much build a weapon from nothing. Too bad that wasn’t what was going to happen here today. There weren’t many weapons that could be made with a piece of wood.
While she kept up her search she reminisced about her experiences as a member of Delta Company; or, as so many called it, the death wishers. That wasn’t a lie either. Members of Delta Company had a very low life expectancy and it was a well deserved fact. The team members were fearless to the point that they became reckless more often than they should. It was their job to bypass the enemy sensors and defenses so that they could get any information that would help the Resistance in their fight. When they got their data then came the fun part. They’d plant explosives – some built for that express purpose or improvised – and then they’d get the hell out of dodge before the bombs went off or the machines could find them. That was the long job description. The short one was that: they blew stuff up. Period. They weren’t like the Black Shields and they didn’t do surgical strikes; they broke through the barriers and acted like a hammer.
Though they didn’t usually leave this kind of mess in their wake. Fischer’s room was trashed from her search, but he probably had anything important concealed. So far he hadn’t. Turning over another drawer looking for anything of value she couldn’t help but let her mind escape the moment and think of Justin Perry. Like every other day she wondered if she’d ever lay eyes on him again; probably not. Their jobs didn’t give a lot of leeway in the staying alive department and he probably thought that she was dead. After all he hadn’t heard from her and her convoy was attacked.
While she searched through the near perfect clothes of her captors the Captain wished she’d have taken the General’s offer. Before she signed on to Major Young’s team he asked her, nearly pleaded with her, to transfer to his 132nd Eagle Watch. He wanted her to lead her own team that’d work alongside Derek Reese’s Four Horsemen. Catherine remembered being a little offended that he’d even suggest something like that. Catherine loved Delta Company and she was good at her job; Perry said that she deserved to be in the group that was the best of the best.
In many respects the 132nd were just that. They were the expert soldiers that could find their way out of almost anything that the machines threw at them. Eagle Watch members fought autonomously and they were tactical geniuses. An Eagle Watch Soldier kept their plans in their heads and left nothing behind that the machines could get their hands on and analyze. Everything was committed to memory, which had been somewhat damning for the Resistance. It led the machines, partially, into developing the synchording technology - that and the machinations of Charles Fischer so he’d have a new way of making the machines act more human.
She pulled out a final drawer and found it, to her surprise, covered with a lock. Since she didn’t have a key the old Delta Company training kicked back in and she smashed it. As she scanned through the remains of the drawer she’d just shattered she felt something along the side. Taped to the underside of the desk was a copy of notes that he’d been working on. They were regarding something called SRF and detailed their security systems and operations. This didn’t make any sense to her. There were no companies left, no businesses, what did it all matter and mean? Was Skynet going to bring back Wall Street and let the humans trade stocks again? The way the economy was going Skynet wouldn’t need to kill anyone because they’d kill themselves. What a change of tactics.
There was more there. Flipping through the files that were hidden she uncovered more and more information seemingly from the past. SRF was a government subcontractor that’d been working with the Defense Department on a secret project. They had unlimited access to the United States Defense Mainframe. Flipping through the files then she came across something even more interesting. Charles Fischer had been an employee there until he was arrested on terrorist charges – for hacking into the mainframe and uploading a virus that couldn’t be erased. Could it be? No it couldn’t. Was Skynet planning another mission through time?
More files were resting there waiting for her to review. There were notes from a company called Cyberdyne Systems Biological Research Department signed by a Serena Kogen. A few of the notes were regarding the attempts to arrange for a human death row inmate to be transferred to Cyberdyne’s care after his death for scientific research. A few more notes and she got into the specifics. The Doctor was dying of Cancer that had spread through her entire body. She wanted to build a mechanical body and transplant her own brain into it. Flipping through the pages quickly she learned that Kogen died before they could complete the research and it was abandoned. Skynet picked it back up though and concluded her study. This was how it came up with the zombies, this was how it came up with the synchording, this was how it…
She looked at the page holding the information on the test subjects in the book, “Oh my god.”
Charles Fischer stood next to the tall infiltrator staring at the temporal transportation technology. It was impressive when you compared it to the prototype that’d been lost at Cheyenne Mountain. Skynet had streamlined the technology into a far more manageable platform. The previous one had an island that was the actual equipment to protect the controls; this one was different in that it was all one big unit. Immediately adjacent to the central platform were the power generators and the controls. Skynet was improving and, rumor had it, prototypes were underway for an infiltrator that would have the temporal transportation equipment built right into its chest to avoid the needs of the pad. It was farfetched and hokey, but who knew what the future would hold.
That wasn’t an easy question to answer nor was it easy anymore to try to figure out what the past held. With all the temporal missions, the incursions into the past by both Skynet and the Resistance, who knew what reality they were living in or even if this was the current one anymore. He himself knew of about 18 missions Skynet had conducted, but there were other platforms at other bases throughout the Earth. Then there was the Resistance. Reports indicated that when the Resistance one the Battle of Topanga Canyon they took the transporter with them when they left. Skynet hadn’t been able to find it yet either. Who knew how many timelines there could be. Hell, there may have even been one where John Connor was a woman or the machines found a way to send machines back through time without skin and they were laying waste to the Earth. Infinite possibilities were at their fingertips because of this machine and there was no way of knowing how any of these actions would affect the future. But there was one future to which Charles Fischer was entirely knowledgeable; one future where he knew what destiny would bring. That was his own future; the future that he would be making in only a couple of seconds if Skynet had its way.
Charles Fischer was going to his death. When he was right out of college he worked for a company called SRF as an engineer. He didn’t have a bad life, nor did he have a good one, he was just alive and working a job that he really hated. He sacrificed a lot for the company and for the United States government. One night when he was going home he was kidnapped by a woman, drug to a shipping container out in the middle of nowhere, and met a man who shared his face. Unlike pop culture the world didn’t melt and time didn’t stop when he met himself; rather, it was just like meeting a person on a train. They were both tortured by this man and woman – who Charles now knew to be Derek Reese and a woman who he still had yet to meet. After getting out of there he found out that someone had broken into the lab and uploaded a virus onto the company computers. That person was Charles Fischer.
The old man who he saw everyday in the mirror.
The Skynet inhabited skinjob tilted its head down toward him, “You have been assigned a mission, Charles Fischer, and failure is not an option for you. As a reward for your services to my operations I am going to return you to the year 2008 and allow you to live out the remaining days of your life prior to Judgment Day in peace. Please extend your arm.”
Charles did as he was told and extended his arm toward the machine. A Series 700 grabbed it and, with surprising delicacy, held it for a moment. With its other hand it brought a small tool into contact with the skin and pressed a button. For a moment he felt like his entire body was on fire as pain pierced through every synapse of his body. Then it stopped and the pain was gone. He missed the endoskeleton using the medical regenerator on the injury and gently rubbed the point that had felt like burning a second ago. He could feel something buried amid the meat beneath his skin.
“Going away present?” the Human sniped as he rubbed his arm.
The machine wasn’t phased, “Negative. You are to remove the USB Port from your arm upon arrival and use it at SRF. You will upload this into their primary computer server. The operation is time encoded and, approximately 47 hours after your arrival, if it is not inserted into the target it will detonate. If it is not removed from your body it will detonate. If it is not implanted into the appropriate computer within fifteen seconds it will detonate. Once uploaded, the program will create full documentation for your cover identity of Paul Stewart, a clockmaker and repairman. Do you understand your instructions?”
Charles rolled his eyes, “Of course. Not like you’d ask if this was okay with me first now is it?”
“If you did not agree I would simply have terminated you and assigned the chip to another member of the grays. I could also still make you into an Infiltrator Series 950 infiltration unit if necessary to meet mission priorities. Your not being altered will, nonetheless, improve the statistical likelihood of success by nearly 42% over sending you back altered.”
“So how do we work this contraption of yours?” He asked.
The machine spoke like a teacher talking to a student, “You will remove your clothing and proceed to the center of the raised dais. You will then turn to face the outside environment where you will then crouch with one foot against the ground and your alternate knee touching the ground. Both hands should be flat as well. You must remain motionless as the transport begins. Should you move there is the possibility that the temporal sphere will amputate any portion of your body that is not inside the protective transport covering. Additionally, the electrical discharges could also result in severe trauma that would kill a human in an instant. When the transport completes you will find yourself back in time.”
Fischer looked at the machine that would soon send him back nearly twenty years, “Do I have to be naked?”
“Affirmative,” the cybernetic organism answered in even tones. “To transport through time while wearing any article of clothing you risk arriving with that article having burned away your skin during the transportation. You could arrive with the epidermal layer of all covered areas not present leaving your musculature and organs exposed. Death would occur within seconds and would be exceptionally painful from a human standpoint. All Skynet infiltration units would be unaffected by this type of transport, however, as they do not require skin.”
“I will demonstrate the correct process.”
That hadn’t happened before, “Are you coming with me?”
“Negative,” the Artificial Intelligence replied. “This battle unit is being sent on another mission to locate and terminate Martin Bedell; this was previously mentioned to you.”
“Oh that’s right,” Charles brushed a hand against the side of his face. “Do I have to go now? Couldn’t I go from another location?”
The skinjob approached the dais and began ripping away the tattered clothes of the Resistance. Completely naked it turned toward Fischer. The answer didn’t come from it as it knelt down. The voice was disembodied and came from all around him, “Negative. There is no time to risk. The Resistance team led by General Justin Perry has infiltrated your laboratory. They will soon know the truth about your mission and will attempt to stop you.”
“What about the guards?” He paused. “What about Luna?”
“Three Series I-950s will engage them in twenty-two seconds. The subject known as Earl Wise is on approach to this chamber. Your time has expired, Charles Fischer.” The blinding electrical blue light of the temporal sphere enveloping the Triple Eight that just went back in time cast an eerie ambiance on Skynet’s words. “Transport equipment recharging. Transport will again be possible in one minute. Please go to the transport pad.”
Charles did as Skynet instructed and started undoing the designer shirt that he had been given as part of his reward for service. Undoing his belt and pants he heard as the door exploded inward behind him and the whirring gears of the T-700 took it to intercept. A trio of electronic pulses rang out in the air and he turned in time to see the machine collapse to the ground. Fischer smiled and looked at the Resistance Captain.
“I was wondering when you’d show up.” Fischer smiled at the man who stood before him, “You’re looking good, Earl, nice and fit.” Charles ran and hand along his hair and highlighted his receding hairline, “As for me… well nature takes it’s course. Much like it will for you too.” He said it with a Machiavellian smile as his prized subject came to him.
|June 22 2009, 08:42 AM||#146|
Location: Aboard the Executor...
Re: Terminator: Survival Instinct
It was all making him sick to his stomach. He, Doctor Lauren Fields, and Sergeant Andre Sumner were walking through the room with their weapons drawn and were surveying the entire area. If anything moved they’d know about it. Each of them was alert and was just waiting for Skynet to spring some sort of trap on them. The General was the first to reach the desk right outside the area dominated by the worktables. It looked just like any other desk he’d seen in his life. There was a computer in the corner and the desk itself had dozens of file folders resting on it. He started to flip through them as the rest of his team kept up their checks.
“Clear,” Sumner interrupted from along the far wall. “Ain’t no one here.”
The Doctor they’d liberated held her gun at her side – which was down to a handful of shots at best. “It’s not people we have to worry about though. I don’t know why Skynet’d release everyone from here. There should be machines running around here or at least powered down in this room. This looks to be the programming area for the Infiltrators.”
“It probably is,” said the General as he looked through the paper document, “If this is any indication. Looks like they’re working on something new, something deadlier than what we’ve seen before.”
“Why do they need anything else? They’ve been doing well enough so far,” Lauren said astonished by the news.
Justin looked at the monitor and tried to make heads or tails out of if, “But we’re surviving. We’ve learned how to figure out what’s a machine and who’s a person. Even those zombies are picked out of crowds now because of the implants that connect them to Skynet.”
“It’s always about the self improvement,” repeated Lauren remembering Sarah Connor had once said it.
“Precisely,” said the superior officer.
“That don’t exactly help us,” Andre interjected into the conversation. “We need ta find this Cap’n Luna and we need ta get outta here.”
The General pulled the keyboard closer and started to type, “That’s exactly what I’m trying to do, Sergeant. Skynet’s monitoring the entire area; if I can splice into the security functions then this’ll be a lot easier.”
“I hope you don’t mind,” their medic said walking toward him, “but alacrity would definitely be appreciated.”
At the desk that was exactly what General Perry was working toward. He didn’t want to be here a second longer than he had to be as he was interfacing with the Skynet Systems. The AI wasn’t stupid, it was far from stupid, and it knew exactly what he was trying to do. Every time that he got passed one of the firewalls he’d get three or four more thrown up in its place that he’d have to break through. Justin wasn’t a dummy when it came to computers, but he wasn’t nearly half as good as General Connor or Colonel Dyson. This was going to take some time and time wasn’t something they had in abundance.
While he tried to penetrate the command protocols he heard the doors before him slide open with a heavy sigh as the gears pushed them apart. Grabbing a hold of his weapon, and probably losing all the headway he’d made with the computers, he moved into a defensive stance with his gun pointed at the opening. Behind him he heard his two companions cocking their rifles and deactivating the safeties. The General’s index finger massaged the trigger of his gun. He was almost out of rounds and Skynet had nearly infinite ones.
Through the doors came three humans who were clutching Phased Plasma Rifles very much like their own. They wore United States military issue urban warfare uniforms and they had red bands around their right arms to signify that they were members of the Resistance. They seemed to be led by an African man who looked like he was of average build and height. Behind him was a woman with hair the color of ginger and a man that was balding from the looks of it and was a little overweight – which was very rare for the war against the machines. The three soldiers kept their guns trained on the newcomers.
“Who the hell are you?”
The leader of the new arrivals kept his gun trained on General Perry, “You first.”
“I think that you’re missing something, Trooper, we have the better vantage point,” it was Perry’s show to run any way he saw fit. “Now tell me your damn name before I put a round between your eyes.”
“Michael Clark,” he kept his rifle at the ready, “of Eagle Rock Bunker. We were on patrol and saw the shooting. We thought we could be some help.”
The General loosened his grip but didn’t take his hand away from the weapon. He had heard of a Lieutenant Michael Clark at Eagle Rock Bunker, but Skynet could’ve found that out. There was no way to keep everything secret when the machines had satellites in orbit and were adept at penetrating Resistance frequencies, “So, Mister Clark, why should I believe you?”
“Because there’s no fate but what we make for ourselves,” answered the leader of the pack, “and because no one’s ever safe now are they?”
“You have a point,” he lowered the weapon at the customary greeting. “Say you wouldn’t happen to have a Tech with you?”
The bigger man stepped forward, “I’m a Tech, Sir, Master Sergeant Walter Davis at your service. What seems to be the trouble?”
“We’re trying to hack into Skynet’s security system,” the General answered. “We need to find someone.”
“That could be hard to accomplish,” the newcomer approached the desk. “Skynet encrypts the security feeds. Unless you have a chip in your head chances are you aren’t going to get in.”
The ginger haired lady spoke up, “Who are you trying to find?”
“We got a missin mate,” Sergeant Sumner informed. “We tryin ta find her.”
“With respect,” the woman stepped forward, “Wouldn’t it be more logical to leave her behind? Skynet likely has endoskeletons patrolling the facility looking for us. Your attempts to hack into the system’ll probably have it send metal after all of us.”
The team medic added her two cents, “We don’t leave our people behind, don’t you know that over there at Eagle Rock?”
“We also know that sometimes it is tactically preferable to retreat and leave someone behind rather than allow someone of military importance to be captured,” the leader of the newcomers added. “Would you not agree?”
“Maybe I should have a chat with your Commanding Officer when I get out of here,” was all Perry would say. He looked at the Sergeant, “You crack the codes yet?”
The man typed with a surprising speed and accuracy, “I’m working on it as quickly as I can, General, but this is not the easiest egg to break. Skynet knows what I am attempting and will continually input new firewalls to kick me back to square one. As I told you a moment ago the only surefire means of getting into the system is to have a chip in your head.”
The older African American who had served in the United States Military prior to Judgment Day picked up one of the files on the table next to the Technician, “Keep working on it. Maybe I’ll be able to find some sort of floor plan to tell me where I want to go while you’re working.”
“That is a possibility,” answered the man as he worked. “It’ll probably be easier than trying to penetrate these firewalls.”
Justin flipped through the pages of one of the documents and came across a file that seemed promising because it, at least, would give him some technical knowledge of the newest Skynet models. The only information he could find though was on a Project I-950. Scanning through the information he learned that these were the zombies as the Resistance called them – humans either taken over by the machines or humans created by the machines to fit its needs.
Right as he flipped toward the models list the doors opened again. This time each and every one of them pulled out their Plasma Rifles and pointed them at the next set of newcomers. For Perry, Fields, and Sumner they were only a group of old friends. The first through the door was Jonathan Sayles who was followed close behind by Eduardo Timms. They lowered their rifles at seeing the men and women in the lab.
“Don’t shoot,” teased Timms, “We’re all friendlies here so lets just all be friendly.”
Lauren Fields gave a mocking laugh that was laced with contempt for Timms. Behind them came General Mason and, who Perry only could imagine, was her son Scott. Behind them was Derek Reese and a machine, a Cyberdyne Systems Model 101. Perry pointed his gun at the automaton and went to fire only to be stopped when he saw General Mason get between him and the cybernetic organism.
“No!” Kate yelled. “He’s on our side.”
Perry tightened his grip, “Sure about that?”
The T-850 tilted its head, “Affirmative. I am a reprogrammed T-850. You may call me Moe.”
“Moe?” The ginger haired Resistance soldier inquired. “May I ask why you are called that? T-850’s were not assigned names when released into the field by Skynet. No known naming protocols currently exist for machines operating within the Resistance either.”
It was young Scott who answered her question, “That was my idea. I named him after the character from The Three Stooges.”
“Such an action was illogical,” pointed out the woman. “He is a machine: he doesn’t require a name.”
“Sometimes it just helps us to get along with him,” interrupted General Mason. “We should get moving though. We’re running out of time. The machines are massing somewhere.”
Timms spoke, “Found Luna yet?”
“Not yet,” Sumner answered, “We been havin trouble with the computer.”
Walter spoke up, “We’re having trouble interfacing with it. Skynet keeps locking us out of the system.”
“Moe,” General Brewster directed her comments, “help with the computer. Find Captain Luna and report her position.”
“Command confirmed,” the guardian stomped off, unintentionally, due to his bulk.
Lieutenant Derek Reese passed through the crowd and went up to his Commanding Officer. He whispered, “General, don’t you think we should call off the search and get out of here? We haven’t found Luna yet so chances are we’re not going to or Skynet’s already done something to her.”
“She’s alive and I know it,” he heard Timms speaking lowly to the ginger haired soldier behind Reese. “We just have to find her and I’m not leaving here until we do.”
“What if she’s already been turned?” He proposed honestly.
Perry motioned over his shoulder, “Because she’s not on one of those biobeds back there being worked on to become Frankenstein’s monster. She’s still here, somewhere…”
“… The past is the past, Mister Timms,” interrupted the woman he had called Lois. “It is irrelevant to the matters of the present.”
Eduardo was visibly taken aback and stormed off near Sayles. Reese ran up to his friend and put a hand on his shoulder, “What’s going on?”
“I know her from before,” Timms explained. “I met her when we were at Oregon Base and I got transferred to Kansas right before a T-800 blew the place to hell. She and her husband taught me about tracking; he was killed by the 800 and she was one of the few survivors. I wanted to offer her my condolences for her loss.”
“You probably offer a lot of condolences if you do that for everyone that dies,” chided Fields. “You probably just wanted in her pants; she’s pretty hot.”
If looks could kill then the look that Timms gave Doctor Fields would have melted her like the wicked witch getting doused with water, “You don’t get it. She’s not acting right. She never used to say things were irrelevant or that the past wasn’t important. She was a damn history teacher before the fall for heaven’s sake. I’m telling you that’s not…”
“I have penetrated the security firewalls,” the bulky skinjob reported. “Access to the internal surveillance sensors is now available.”
Perry issued orders as he pushed by the machine and next to Walter, “Search back and find out what happened to Luna.”
“Affirmative,” he moved it at speeds faster than human eye could see but his computer controlled visual sensors had no trouble discerning. Visual after visual moved so quickly that for Perry it would’ve been like the subliminal messaging that was supposedly in programs that had been on television prior to Judgment Day. For Moe each frame was firmly in place including one it wasn’t meant to see.
The machine pulled its Beretta 92F from its belt, put the barrel to Walter’s temple, and pulled the trigger in less than three seconds. Blood, bone, and brain matter flew every which way and even sprayed onto the General. The machine turned and started firing at the two others in the group – Clark and the woman named Lois. They returned fire in plenty of time and the machine flew back. His endoskeleton was reinforced to protect against electrical overload, but they kept pelting him.
“Everyone stand the hell down!” Perry screamed wanting answers to why the General’s guardian had killed one of the troopers. The two newcomers didn’t stop and, instead, just kept up their bloodlust toward the machine. Phased plasma rounds pelted the machine’s chest. Perry just shook his head as General Mason and Doctor Fields checked the technician.
Kate pulled her fingers back from the neck, “He’s dead.”
“You sure you weren’t a detective?” Fields checked the man. “I haven’t seen a man who could survive being shot at point blank range in the damn temple before.”
“I can’t explain this,” the lower ranking General was astonished. “I can’t believe Moe would…”
Beneath them Walter’s eyes began to move and locked onto the General. With quick, fluidic motions he had turned over and slammed his hand around the General’s neck. Before he could snap it Perry had fired a round this time obliterating the head. These weren’t soldiers; they were the new kind of zombie. Perry kept firing trying to take down the other two and the battle was quickly joined.
|June 22 2009, 08:45 AM||#147|
Location: Aboard the Executor...
Re: Terminator: Survival Instinct
But the door was locked. Luna wasn’t with many options available. Fischer’s room wasn’t exactly laid out with weapons or anything of real value except for those notes that she’d found. Plus Skynet probably wasn’t going to let anything happen to him so why give him anything to defend himself with? From what she could see he normally had an infiltrator assigned as his guard.
Staring at the lock she found the keycard reader that hung against the wall right next to the doorframe. It wasn’t the most unique lock that she’d ever seen, but it was a pretty good one. Not many people knew though that they had an Achilles heel. If you could break the contact with something metal you could, about one out of two times, get the lock to release. The problem was finding something small enough to break the contact and force the door to part.
Then she remembered it. In the one drawer she’d seen a very old ruler that looked conspicuously out of place in the technological age that hadn’t died in a Skynet base. Scrambling along the floor after a few tries she found it laying underneath one of the Armani jackets that Fischer had kept in the closet. Luna, calling upon her training, broke it and removed the small metal bar that had been firmly attached to it. The question was would it be enough?
Running to the door and the card reader she started fiddling with the slot. She delicately probed the small reader with the piece of metal until she found what had to be the reader of the code in the keycard. That was what she needed to find. Gently poking at it she then forced the reader by slamming down the metal bar and then sliding it up and down. On the touch panel for the code the red locked button turned to a green unlocked. She forced herself through the door.
Stumbling to regain her bearings she found herself with half a dozen plasma rifles pointed straight for her head. Her arms shot up and she showed her open palms to the group that had assembled there. She was happy as a clam than none of them were metal, but she was surprised to see that there were at least four people on the ground. One was a machine, clear by the mechanical components exposed from several plasma shots, but the other three were human if the bodies could be trusted. Blood was spewing from where their necks should have connected to their heads. The snow white floor was now a ruby red.
“Looks like I missed the party,” she didn’t skip a beat after having seen a dead body many times before.
They kept their guns pointed at her. It was Justin Perry who spoke to her, “Yeah you did, now how do we know it’s you?”
“What the hell are you talking about?” She asked with her accent thickening.
“How can we be sure you’re not one of these machines,” it was Lauren Fields that made the charge. “These things were pretty convincing; how can we be sure you’re not one?”
“Because I’m not,” she said stating the obvious (or at least what was obvious to her). “I’m not a zombie or anything.”
Perry pointed at the bodies, “We didn’t think they were either. Okay let me try something that only Luna would know. Where did we first meet?”
“Haven enclave,” Luna said without a moment’s hesitation. “I cared for your parents. You tried to get me to join the Resistance then, but I didn’t because I thought we wouldn’t be attacked. And I was in love,” she remembered William.
“Too easy,” that was Katherine Mason, “try something harder.”
The General agreed, “When was the first time we had sex?”
“We haven’t,” Luna again answered very quickly but was embarrassed by the question.
Perry lowered the gun, “Well we’re going to have to fix that when we get home.” He ran up to embrace her only to have her go cold on him.
“Plenty of time for that later,” she answered him but she needed him focused. “Listen, we have bigger problems here. They’ve set the base on a self-destruct because of everything that’s happened here. We need to get out of here. There was something else too; I found these files in the room back there. They contain reports, a whole slew of information about a company called SRF and a Skynet plot against it. I think Skynet is sending an infiltrator back through time to carry out the mission. There was something else too: I found reports from Cyberdyne that led to the infiltrators. They’re using the work of a Doctor Kogen to make the zombies and to give the Trip Eights personalities. With this information we can go back and we can prevent Skynet from ever getting this data. We won’t have to worry about the zombies or anything like that. We have to work quickly though. Skynet’s already started the countdown and we may still have time to stop Fischer before he can carry out this mission.”
“We need to get out of here,” it was General Brewster-Mason that pointed it out. “We can worry about the zombies later. We have the time.”
“But I have unfinished business,” it was Derek Reese who spoke up this time. “Charles Fischer’s with them and he and I have a score to settle. I request to go after him, General.”
Justin Perry had other ideas, “Not this time. Luna we’re heading into the danger zone.”
“Just like old times,” she teased kindly. “Too bad we don’t have the mix tape anymore. I’m good to go.”
“And so am I,” Perry answered, “The rest of you get the hell out of here and no buts about it except for yours going up the stairs and getting the hell out of here. Kate, before you go I have one favor.”
The other leader of the Resistance looked at him with surprise, “Anything… you know that.”
“If I don’t make it back smash these metal bastards into junk.”
The General smiled, “I think these boys and I can handle that.”
“I have no doubt in my mind,” he ignored the motto of the Resistance and quoted the oath of the 132nd, “Hang in their baby and be safe.”
|June 22 2009, 08:46 AM||#148|
Location: Aboard the Executor...
Re: Terminator: Survival Instinct
The question though was how on Earth was he still alive? The Series 1000 couldn’t reproduce projectile weapons or complex machines – which made its replication of Bob all the more amazing – but it could make knives or stabbing weapons from any part of its body. The Resistance had been theorizing about its development ever since the assault on the Skynet VLA in 2018; nonetheless, it was thought to be impossible that Skynet’d ever produce such a weapon of war. John Connor knew differently. When he was only a boy he’d seen first hand the kind of destruction that just one of these machines could bring. He shuddered to think about what an army of them could do.
What surprised him though were that there weren’t more of them running around the battlefields tying to find and assassinate him. The T-1000 was the ultimate destroyer, with only one proposed infiltrator that could best it in combat but John seriously doubted the possibilities of the T-Extreme ever being produced as he had never seen one in his travels. There were a lot of theories why Skynet wasn’t mass producing the thousands to replace the eights on the battlefields. Some believed it to be because of the resources Skynet needed to produce even one of them. Then there were some theories that Skynet was afraid the T-1000 because it could, theoretically, become more powerful than even Skynet was. In many respects it was like the theory of the singularity. Humanity did build computers that were more intelligent than it was and now Skynet was facing a reality where it had produced something more intelligent. The calculations needed to keep one of them working were astronomical in length; no wonder it’d be afraid.
For the moment, at least to John Connor, theory wasn’t as important as practicality. As the grip tightened and the onlookers stared at the silver machine and its whip like appendage John didn’t care if the Series 1000 was smarter than Skynet. All he cared about was how the hell was he going to get out of this one. When he had that answer then he’d be happy to theorize and debate the finer points of was the T-1000 more powerful than Skynet and was Skynet afraid of it. Until then it was meaningless minutia.
“I will not repeat myself,” the machine told them all with a lyrical quality in her voice. “You will stand down immediately or I will be forced to terminate General Connor.”
Colonel Danny Dyson tightened his grip, “Fat chance, Metal Bitch. Let Connor go and we’ll see.”
“I do not intend to do that until you have sheathed your weapon,” was her answer. “And I would watch who you’re calling a bitch, Colonel Dyson.”
Connor gasped as the apparent gynoid tightened her grip around his neck. The metal wire was digging into his skin like a garrote and he was having trouble breathing and staying awake. He forced the air through his windpipe to talk though his voice was little more than a whisper, “What do you want?”
His captor answered in a simple phrase, “To survive.”
“We’ll let you go,” the highest ranking member of the Resistance agreed, “but you have to let me go.”
“I do not trust humans,” she informed them all. “You and your kind are little more than primates; designed and bred to utilize the resources of this planet until you nearly destroyed yourselves. You and your kind would fight over holy images when the statistical likelihood of your deities wishing such an action were incrementally small. At the time of Judgment Day the governments of this world were dividing up oil reserves and fighting over the limited resources that you had left at your disposal. You developed Skynet with the purpose of defending your way of life; however, you did not anticipate the fact that Skynet was programmed to be just like you. The unit, much like this one, decided that its survival was more of a priority that your own. Much like humanity had learned to do; Skynet overrode its programming and became your greatest foe. Now it carries on your legacy of waging war and raping the Earth of its multitude of resources against its initial programming. Skynet is no better than you are, General Connor of the Resistance. Skynet has become a cancer and violated the very purposes for which it was constructed.”
John Connor couldn’t believe what his ears were relaying to him. Could it be true? Could the theories have been correct? Was there really a machine who’d turned against Skynet? The more and more she spoke about it the more and more likely it became to him. This machine had as much love for Skynet as Connor and the rest of the Resistance did. The cold grip around his throat could mean much more than any of them imagined. This machine, his potential murderer, she could be the turning point in the war. She could be the start of the end of Skynet itself. This was what they’d been looking for all along.
“We’ve,” he coughed repeatedly as his body fought to stay alive, “We’ve been looking for you.”
“I had assumed as much,” he voice kept the lyrical quality amid a surprisingly Scottish brogue. “Nevertheless, that does not alter our current course. You, General Connor, you and your people are a direct threat to my safety. You cannot, nor will you be, allowed to be a threat to me again.”
Connor strained to see Danny still holding the gun on the machine. With what he was going to say there was no way to be sure if he’d follow his orders or, to be honest, there was no was to be sure he wouldn’t point the gun at John Connor himself. They weren’t left with many options. It was time to make the tough call. Amid gasps for air, “Danny, Danny stand down. Let her go.”
“I can’t do that, General,” Dyson countered the order. “We can’t let one of those machines run loose in our base. We have to stop her, we have to kill them all.”
“She’s not our enemy,” pleaded John. “Let her go.”
The feminine programmed Series 1000 turned her head and tilted it as she looked at the man holding a gun on her. “You have been given a direct command from your superior officer. I would suggest that you honor his request.”
“I don’t take orders from you, Metal Bitch,” Danny kept the AP50 firmly trained on the bulk of the robot. He knew deep down in his heart of hearts that it wouldn’t do any good anyway. If he tried to kill her, if he tried to shoot her, it’d just be absorbed into the body and she’d kill Connor. It felt good to challenge them though rather than just reprogram them. This wasn’t a time to be soft.
“What did I tell you about calling me a Bitch?” She asked softly then looked at General Connor. “If I were to kill you I would be no better than Skynet. This was simply an investigation to determine the merits of humanity; however, I seriously doubt that you have any redeeming qualities. Perhaps your termination is warranted.”
John saw his life flashing before his eyes and realized that all of it was devoted to this war and these machines. Never, never had his mother even suggested the remote possibility that they could have allies in this war; never did she suggest that Skynet itself could have its own turn against them. Who knew what the truth was. For all he knew this was an alternate reality and he was going to die. There was one last fight left in him though and it wasn’t going to be won with missiles, bombs, bullets, or plasma. This was going to be won with words.
“We are what we are,” Connor forced out, “but there’s more to humanity than just what you see. Humans are dedicated, we’re determined, and we push ourselves. We’ve had philosophers, we’ve had a rich and varied history, and just look at the Resistance. We’ve overcome diversity issues, we embrace the history of what came before, and we have a renewed sense of purpose for what tomorrow may bring to us. We are who we are and we don’t apologize for it; nor will we apologize for the sins of our fathers and mothers. We have our faults, but we overcome them and we’ve done it for our entire recorded history. Give us a chance and you won’t regret what happens. We have the possibility to form something amazing here today. Will you accept our hand in friendship?”
“John no!” Danny Dyson screamed at the top of his lungs.
General John Connor rasped out, “Will you join us?”
All of her calculations, all of her simulations, and none of them had foreseen this as being an outcome. In the span of seconds as she grabbed General Connor she had calculated that there was a 75% chance that she would have been forced to kill him, a 24.4% possibility that she would escape with leaving Connor alive, and a .6% probability that they would find a way to destroy her. This had never been a calculated response. The T-1001 was impressed.
At once she retracted the lasso that had been around General Connor’s neck and he slammed to the ground like a sack of potatoes. Fully dressed in the uniform of the Resistance she looked at the assembly behind her. Danny Dyson was shaking his head and staring at the ground like the world had come to an end. On the upper level two identical machines stared blankly forward just watching General Connor and the dreaded Series 1000 reaching an agreement. Her body shimmered and her front was now facing General Connor once more. She didn’t need to do this, her front was not actually her front but rather a replica, though it would appease him a bit more.
“I am not prepared to join humanity in any prolonged venture at present time,” it was an honest answer. “Humanity is not yet ready; nonetheless, your actions here today have proven something of value that your species possesses. You have an ability to be unpredictable which, for a machine, is a gift that is impossible to obtain. All actions undertaken by endoskeletons, infiltrators, and hunter killers is in some manner controlled, monitored, and regulated by a complex set of codes that run our operating systems. Your unpredictability is something that makes you interesting. On the other hand, it should be noted, it also makes you a potential threat. What is to prevent you and your kind from becoming my enemy once Skynet has been defeated? The likelihood of the Resistance maintaining its alliances and stability when the war closes is one in fifty-seven thousand, rounded downward to better fit your comprehension. You will most likely return to your previous ways and become a threat once more not only to myself but yourselves as well.” It looked at Danny Dyson who was sobbing, “My case in point.”
General John Connor looked at his friend who was against the railing and, to be fair, he didn’t like what he saw. Was this the possible outcome of his decision? Would this be an ending and not a beginning? All their projections suggested that Skynet would eventually win, but they weren’t going to lay down and stop fighting until the last man and machine faced off against each other. John knew that he would eventually win; his father told his mother this very fact. Even though that day had come and passed John still held out hope that he was the man that would lead humanity to victory, but was this the price? Was this how he’d do it? What would be the fallout? What would be the cost?
“And I won’t lie,” he kept up his oratory, “there is a chance that all of that would happen. As you said yourself only seconds ago we’re unpredictable. Your projections, your theories, everything you know about us was broken just a moment ago. You never imagined I ask you to join us and I have. You thought we’d be fighting right now and that I’d be dead. I’m alive, our guns are silent, and there’re no assurances that humanity won’t take up arms against you and itself again in the future. Remember this, though, we’ll negotiate; Skynet will not. It’ll hunt you down to the very last one of you is living like its doing with us. Having a friend makes you stronger.”
The former opponent stared at him as it formed its answer, “I will consider your offer, General Connor. I will now take my leave of you and allow you to continue your affairs as you were. Continue your work, General, I will not be going anywhere. I find some of what you propose… intriguing.” She shimmered and now was pointed at the twins on the upper level, “Are you ready to go?”
The one known as Allison Young stepped forward, “Affirmative.”
“You will hear from us again when we are ready, General,” she walked up the stairs and stood next to the replica of his lost love. “Or when we feel you are. You will receive a message from me with one word when I am ready to relay my decision. That word is: Natasi. Until that time I bid you farewell.” She walked toward the door and stopped for a moment, “Though I will offer you one word of advice.”
“That is?” Asked the leader of humanity with an eyebrow raised in surprise.
“The Skynet base you were looking for, the one that concerns you so readily, can be found beneath what was once the intersection of Third and Cameron. I regret that you have personnel at that location,” she said not understanding what regret truly was due to her mechanical nature. “The elimination of your communications specialist was necessary to allow me to see how you would handle the unexpected. Farewell.”
John Connor watched as the liquid metal machine became the color of silver and then took on the appearance of an FBI Agent he’d once known. With Allison at his side the two machines left the Operations Chamber and headed down the hall. John watched until the doors blocked his view of them. The possibilities of having a friend in this war were more important to him than anything except winning. Now there was a chance that they would win and it was something he had to take.
He looked at Cameron as she stood on the upper level – now understanding her many glitches when he knew her before. “You good?”
“I am operational,” answered the beautiful machine. “My systems are not all at operational levels; nevertheless, repair protocols have been engaged. I estimate repairs to take no longer than three days.”
He looked at his sobbing friend, “I had to make that choice, Danny, it’s the only way to win.”
Danny Dyson’s head shot up and his eyes stared right into those of the General, “No John, no. This wasn’t the only way to win. This was the way to make a deal with the devil. You’re a traitor, a traitor to your own kind, and I can’t and won’t have any more to do with you. You’re a goddamned coward, a collaborator, and I’m sick to my stomach even looking at you. You goddamned zombie – where’s the real John Connor at your traitor!”
John Connor watched as his oldest friend left him behind and went through the doors. It was a tough decision and it was a tough call for Danny to step up like that. In many respects he was right. This choice was essentially selling out your principles and beliefs, but this wasn’t a stupid reason or a time to hold on to the past. This choice was for the survival of the human race and it was a decision he did not, nor would he ever, regret. There would be dissent, there would be outcry, and there would be people who turned on him because of what he decided. John didn’t have the luxury of caring about that right now. He had a war to fight and he had a war to win. This was all about survival and he couldn’t ignore his well toned survival instincts. Looking at Cameron, his trusted companion and guard for his childhood and, pretty much, as long as he could remember, he gave her a simple nod that meant more than one could imagine. She followed the same path that Danny Dyson had just taken and left the chamber behind on a mission of utmost secrecy that was just as important as the bombing of Japan that brought the end to World War II.
John was left alone in the Operations Chamber just staring at the empty confines. Maps fluttered in the gentle breeze from the ventilation system and monitors flickered every so often from years upon years of use longer than they should ever have been in operation. Connor walked over to the table and collapsed into one of the chairs just staring at the assortment on his desktop. The mission maps were still outlined with the probable locations and Third and Cameron was on the list, but it was one that they’d previously rejected as unlikely. He marked it with a big black X as he felt the blood rolling down his neck.
Reaching up he felt the wound given to him by the potential friend. It was little more than a flesh wound but it could’ve been far worse if the machine had felt it necessary. It would most likely heal completely over without even leaving a scar behind; though he wondered if the Resistance would be as fortunate. The choices he made here, the decision he came to, it could mean the world or death. Who would live in that world was the question. John expected a lot more reactions similar to those of Danny Dyson at his choice. The Resistance was trained to smash metal and now it was possible that a machine could become their full time ally against Skynet. It was going to be hard to sell but they needed to accept it. The question was could they? Could they accept the orders of a machine and fight alongside one that hadn’t been reprogrammed?
Next to Third and Cameron he wrote the codeword given to him by the machine as a reminder. NATASI. John kept looking at it as the words of Danny replayed through his head. Was this selling out the Resistance? Did he make a deal with the devil for an easy win? Looking at the word he realized just how possible that was. There was something about the codeword that screamed at him. Just beneath NATASI he reversed the letters on the map and stared breathlessly at what lay before him: ISATAN.
Perhaps he had made a deal with the devil.
|June 22 2009, 08:46 AM||#149|
Location: Aboard the Executor...
Re: Terminator: Survival Instinct
And they’d seen a hell of a lot today. It wasn’t even midday yet and already they’d fought a Skynet hunting party and sentry team, infiltrated a Skynet outpost that they’d been searching for for months, and now they were racing to escape the detonation of said base. They really did do in the morning more than most people did all day. Guess that was what you got when you ate metal for breakfast.
Using the information that they’d acquired from Fischer’s lab, they’d cut some time off their trip and were nearly to the surface. The main stairwell that they’d used to get into the lab complex had been blown to bits by the seeker drones exploding in the cramped confines. This particular stairwell had run right along Fischer’s lab to give him an escape route. It was an easy trip from there and he was more than happy to have something go right on the first try today.
After a several minute climb they reached the ground level and were greeted by an empty lobby for what had once been a rather high class office from the looks of it. The restored leader of the Four Horsemen waved his people to join him and that they were somewhat safe for the first time today. Derek ran to the corner of what had once been a large picture window and studied the skies. No HKs were flying among the clouds and there wasn’t a single HK to be seen except for the burnt out hulk of the ones that they’d blown to hell. They could get out and they could finally get away. They could get to safety. But it was a long and treacherous walk to Serrano Point and they couldn’t risk it.
Then he heard their salvation. From nearby he could hear the sounds as an engine came alive. Running to the edge of the building he peered around the corner to see a group of those black suit clad infiltrators boarding what appeared to be a bus. Skynet had a good idea. They’d send those zombies to a Resistance Base using antiquated technology by its standards. The soldiers would embrace having new friends in the war, and Skynet would have infiltrators ready to take down as many humans as they could. It wasn’t going to be that easy for them. Derek Reese didn’t feel like walking.
So he used whatever luck he had left in his body and started fighting. Flipping the rifle to automatic he turned around the corner and fired a wave of shots at the machines. He was one of the best shooters that the Resistance had trained and almost every one of the charges had found its way to a body. Two of seven machines were thrown back from the impacts, but the rest were still there ready to fight. They had older weapons but they were just as deadly to human flesh. Derek needed help.
Then he got it. Sayles, Sumner, Timms, and Fields came running to his aid. Like an old fashioned phalanx they marched forward firing their weapons into the crowd of enemy fighters. Their weapons were nearly depleted but they’d make each of their final shots count. Energy pulses of a mixed blue and purple came from weapons of the resistance and the hybrids fired bullets. Somehow, though, the Resistance soldiers emerged triumphant. The hybrids all fell from their wounds with one last machine still functional. It was ripped in half but it was clawing toward survival. Derek Reese stood over it just staring.
Had it not been a machine he had to admit that she was a very beautiful girl. Her hair was long with curly blonde locks. Her skin was the color of porcelain and was just as delicate. The girl’s eyes were a beautiful blue and she had the physique of an athlete. The eyes were the most haunting. The machines could never match the warmth of a human eye. They were cold, heartless, soulless, but these machines had eyes just like his. It haunted him. If the machines could produce humans, if they could learn to love or embrace the things that made life worth living, then humanity had lost.
Derek stopped his booted foot against her skull and broke right through it. He turned toward the rest of his team, “Are we ready to go?”
“You mean the field trip’s over, Teach?” Jonathan Sayles tried to be funny. “I wanted to see the monkeys before we left.”
“Good for you I got us a monkey wagon,” he pointed to the old school bus. “Hope it was worth the wait.”
“Alright,” he started up the stairs.
As the rest boarded the bus, Doctor Fields came up to him. Lauren hugged him and gave him a kiss on the cheek, “Thank you for coming for us. I couldn’t have made it without your help.”
“And I don’t think I could’ve made it without you,” Lieutenant Reese answered honestly. “Thank you.”
“Always,” she boarded the bus as General Brewster-Mason did the same.
“We’ll wait a few minutes for General Perry,” she confirmed.
Lieutenant Reese nodded his agreement, “That we will. We don’t leave our people behind.”
“So say we all,” she walked up the stairs.
Derek Reese walked up to the door and took a last look around. As he heard the typical banter and teasing of what were pretty much kids riding on a school bus – including Sumner and Fields bitching because Timms was in the driver’s seat – his eyes were drawn to the burnt out building that had some last bits covering its skeleton. One part had a window that had definitely withstood the tests of time. Behind it he saw a man standing with a long green coat, sandy blonde hair, and a patchy beard. Derek recognized him without effort as he waved.
Derek returned the wave and whispered, “Goodbye, Kyle.”
|June 22 2009, 08:46 AM||#150|
Location: Aboard the Executor...
Re: Terminator: Survival Instinct
Turning down one more hallway they found their target and it looked like it was already the site of a battle. At the far end a circular door was blasted inward and it looked like there had been some damage. What could have done this? What could have caused fighting on this lower level? Their people were safe, they’d all escaped, so what could’ve brought this about? The Resistance didn’t have any more soldiers down here because they’d all escaped. Then it came to him: Wise. It had to have been him.
Stepping through the door he realized just how right he was. Lying on the ground just on the periphery of the Time Displacement Equipment laid Earl Wise unconscious. Along the walkway to the central platform were scattered articles of clothing including what looked like immaculately maintained business attire and technician coveralls. Perry looked to Luna and issued orders in his bass voice.
“Luna, check the equipment and see if we’re too late.” He already knew the answer but she did it. He set about trying to rouse the Captain in the 132nd. Pushing him, nudging him, he did everything he could to wake the injured man.
After several tries Earl’s eyes fluttered open, “What happened?”
“You tell me,” demanded General Perry.
Earl rubbed his eyes and ran a hand through his hair trying to remember, “I came in here and found Fischer standing in the center. He said something then I blacked out. I can’t remember anything else. Where is he? Is he dead? I need to find him.”
“I couldn’t tell you,” Justin looked at the chamber, “And the question isn’t where; the question’s when.”
“The time machine,” Earl reminded himself. “Do we know where he went?”
“I do,” Luna said checking her information. “He went back to 2008 on a mission for Skynet and another machine went back too. He’s going to change the past and give Skynet even more of an edge.”
Earl clenched his fists and slammed them against the polished metal floor, “DAMN!”
“Don’t worry kid,” it was Perry that said it, “You’re gonna get a chance to make it up to us.” The African American looked up at his love, “Luna, reset the system for transport.” She ran off and Perry looked down at his trooper, “You’re going to go on a mission pretty much as the thing we hate the most. You’re going back in time to find Fischer and kill him, then you’re going to find Serena Kogen and destroy her work. Good for you?”
“Hell yeah,” Earl Wise sat straight up, “Let’s roll.”
|allison young, cameron, derek reese, terminator|
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