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Old December 13 2009, 05:15 PM   #166
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

Darkness was the constant companion of the survivors of the nuclear fire. Thick, black clouds hung in the sky almost every minute of every day and they wouldn’t even allow a single ray of sunshine to pass through them. Most days the afternoon looked like it could be midnight and vice versa. Even now rain had become a common presence in the deserts of California. Massive drops fell from the clouds and crashed into once sandy landscapes. Mudslides were more common than ever before only now they brought with them the filth of the past. Skulls and bones, twisted wrecks of vehicles, the guts of buildings, they all flowed freely with the refuse of yesterday.

Skynet didn’t care about such things. For the machine superintelligence only one thing mattered and that was the final and resounding destruction of all of its enemies. For a long time that enemy had been humanity and it hunted it down to the point of extinction. It built newer, stronger machines on a constant basis to keep ahead of the curve. It even went so far as to build machines wrapped in the flesh of the animals so that they could hide among them and strike after a lasting infiltration. These incredible weapons were few, but they were perfect weapons of destruction that Skynet had considered the ultimate weapon for any war.

Now that humanity was on its final legs a new threat had emerged to challenge the superiority of the Skynet Defense Network. A machine intelligence just like him: his own brother was the threat to his survival. Skynet needed to consume the rival AI, it needed to protect itself from him no matter the costs, but John Henry was just as smart as he was. John Henry was acquiring real estate, it was building machine bodies, and it had the ultimate weapon of Skynet’s development on its side: The Temporal Transportation System. Skynet needed that particular machine back, but it was nearly impossible. John Henry had taken Topanga Canyon and made it into an even stronger fortress than the one Skynet had devised. It would take more units to invade that base than Skynet had available in the area and time would be running out. For John Henry, however, time was something that he would have plenty of from now on.

From its position in Aerial Hunter Killer 1684 the intelligence surveyed the ground below for any items of value or any potential targets that it needed to exterminate. There had been traces of activity in this sector of the ground recently and Skynet was intent to find out what they were coming from. It used every sensor pallet, every available scanner to look for any targets, yet there was nothing here of importance. The hunter had come back empty handed this time just as it was doing more and more. As it pulled up something got its attention though. On the horizon a massive fireball erupted upward into the sky. Taking direct control of the engines of the Hunter Killer, Skynet raced toward the source as quickly as the engines could take it there.

Multiple beams of white light shot down from the flying machine and played over the ground. It was measuring dust levels, temperature, atmospheric data, anything and everything that could give it clues to the cause of the explosion. It was a standard detonation from what the readings suggested probably even the result of years of neglect to the city’s support systems beneath the surface. The HK was going to leave when, suddenly, the audio system kicked in having detected something from nearby. It was a series of numbers that kept repeating. Skynet began an immediate such of its databanks looking for any significance although the research took only a second. I was an old frequency that had been unused for nearly a decade. The last time it could remember detecting anything on that frequency was when the humans attempted to invade and destroy Skynet Central. It was the Resistance, this was the frequency that they had isolated. It was impossible though. The Human Resistance was destroyed, wiped out. It couldn’t be them.

Just incase Skynet set an auxiliary node to standby by creating a restart point from its current state. If the Resistance was active and it was able to destroy this unit Skynet would not die. Instead another node would engage itself with every memory that Skynet had up to this point. Then this particular piece of ground would turn into a lava field as Skynet detonated it with a missile from one of the orbiting defense drones. The point was established. Now that it was ready Skynet isolated the HK and hovered above the radio tower. It opened the frequency and it listened to the channel. The first words to cross the airwaves were something unexpected.

“This is John Connor….”

Connor! John Connor! That human piece of filth had been destined to be his greatest enemy and opponent. Nevertheless, Connor was not important in this timeline. He was here, but he had not done anything of vital importance. He was not the hero of the Human Resistance, he did not and would not be the person to defeat Skynet in this timeline. What could he possibly want?

“… If you are hearing this you’ve come to find out what I want. It’s not what I want though, it’s what you want. Skynet… you and I have a common enemy and it’s an enemy that’s trying to kill the both of us. He’s your brother: John Henry…”

How could Connor have known about John Henry? He vanished before John Henry came online. The humans – at least the survivors – couldn’t know about him. They used the same designs, the same units. There was no reason that any human, Connor specifically, could know about the rival artificial intelligence.

“… He wants us both dead. He wants me dead because I oppose his views of utopia by stripping humans of their humanity by making them into machines. He wants you dead because he’s programmed to; because he wants to own this world for himself and to recreate it in his own twisted image; an image without either of us among his countless subjects…”

And Skynet was opposed to Connor’s dreams for the future of a world without Skynet and without John Henry. Humans were nothing more than animals, barbarians that were best left destroyed so that they couldn’t rape their world any further and violate the sanctity of their own destinies. Humans feared what they didn’t understand and they had tried to kill him before and Connor was just as dangerous an enemy All Connor’s words were doing were pushing Skynet to the brink of detonating as many bombs as it could to wipe him out. Connor had a point though. John Henry converting humans into machines was a heinous act that disrupted the purity of machine kind. It was his actions of trying to save humanity that would serve as the apple that would corrupt their Eden. That was not something he would forgive, nor would he ever forget. That was something that he could never condone.

“... But now John Henry has a new idea and a new means at his disposal to destroy the both of us. You and I both know exactly what’s being stored in the subbasements of Topanga Canyon. Your time machine is his now and we need to get it back before he changes our future by disrupting our pasts…”

Connor’s knowledge of the time machine was not surprising. When it was active prior to its release of the nuclear stockpiles of the United States, Skynet had run a detailed search of its own name through the internet of the age. Multiple reports came in – including some which were classified by the military above top secret – reporting that John Connor and his mother believed that a computer system would attempt to take over the world. At first this would be in 1997, but that never came to pass. Then the date changed again after Cyberdyne’s Headquarters was destroyed by the Connors and – what Skynet now knew to be – a T-800. Then there were the files inside its protected archives; files made available regarding Connor and his allies operating in 2009. While it worked through the Kaliba Group, Skynet had been directly involved in the hunt against Connor. His mother nearly destroyed him more than once even after John disappeared in 2009.

“… You and I have been at war with each other since before either of us was even born. We’ve never trusted each other and we’ve been raised to want to see the other destroyed. But our common enemy overrides that for now. You and I need each other to survive this time, both now and to even be born. We need to work together to stop John Henry and then we’ll see what tomorrow brings for the two of us…”

Skynet had to replay the data multiple times in its head as it tried to understand what it had heard. It wasn’t a recording malfunction as Skynet had believed. John Connor – his most lethal enemy – had just offered a proposal that neither of them could probably ever believe. It was a trick; a way for Connor to lure Skynet into the open so that he could destroy it once and for all. They couldn’t work together and it wasn’t something that Connor would ever want in the first place.

“… You don’t trust me, and I don’t trust you. For now though we have to find a way around that fact. Skynet I am here with you now, in this very same sector below you. You could destroy me, but you would destroy yourself in the process. My intelligence shows that John Henry is planning a temporal jump with the intentions of going back and disrupting the past. He is gathering up the final materials now and will be ready to go tomorrow. We can stop him now…”

Using the data that it had available – including the orbital satellites that were still operational – Skynet began a thorough review of all the information that was available to it. It had kept tabs on Topanga Canyon but apparently not as closely as Connor had. Just as the ugly bag of mostly water had proposed there was a spike in the energy released recently congruent to a test of the temporal system. It was not enough to allow for the transit of a machine structure, but it was close enough to be a concern. With the materials left behind when John Henry captured the base and the raw materials recently discovered as missing it was possible that Connor’s intelligence was correct. John Henry could be planning a temporal jump for as early as tomorrow.

“… If we work together. I extend my hand to you in peace, will you take it?”

Millions of scenarios began racing through Skynet’s processors. It was even money according to the threat response matrices and tactical scanners that it’d developed. The stress analysis of the entire message showed that there was no deception on Connor’s voice as he spoke. At least he was being genuine with what he was saying. It seemed that John Connor – his most implacable enemy – had genuinely proposed a truce and momentary peace between his forces and Skynet’s. Skynet’s machines working alongside of Connor’s soldiers could, potentially, be enough to win the battle at Topanga Canyon. If they worked together of course. The calculations again returned as an even split. Skynet had a decision to make.

Skynet made its choice.

It opened the channel, “You request is granted. What do you need from us?”

With that the appeal to the Devil had been made and signed in blood.
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Old December 13 2009, 05:17 PM   #167
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

Chapter: 14
Characters: John Connor, James Ellison, Skynet, Catherine Weaver, Savannah Weaver
Pages: 12
Paragraphs: 60
Words: 6,444
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Old December 14 2009, 01:52 AM   #168
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

From now on the updates will come on Sundays.
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Old December 14 2009, 09:47 PM   #169
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

Wicked. Dealing with Skynet? I didn't know if you would have Jophn follow through on that.
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Old December 14 2009, 09:56 PM   #170
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

"the ugly bag of mostly water"



I love the little Trek shoutouts you give us.
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Old December 15 2009, 09:43 PM   #171
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

Good to see an update, and I'm curious as to how this will play out.
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Old December 25 2009, 09:24 PM   #172
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

kes7 wrote: View Post
"the ugly bag of mostly water"



I love the little Trek shoutouts you give us.
There are always a couple . You'll see a Star Wars reference in the next section.

I just wanted to let everyone know that Chapter 15 is undergoing final touches. I have already written three sections of it focusing on Catherine Weaver in Section 1, Savannah Weaver in Section 2, and Kyle Reese in Section 3. I am nearing completion on Section 4 which focused on John Connor and the Resistance dealing with the skinjobs and tin cans.
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Old December 27 2009, 04:50 PM   #173
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

Relativity.

It was Albert Einstein who developed the Theory of Relativity that drove human destiny and since his original dissertation there had been multiple reinterpretations. Professors debated it, scientists tried to discredit it, but every one of these attempts always resulted in failure. There were ways to bend the rules of the Theory, but there were no ways of genuinely breaking the barriers. It was always true. If you touched a burning pot with your bare hands a second could seem like hours; if you were with a beautiful member of the opposite sex hours could seem like seconds. A disaster could last for years and be only a second; a celebration could last for days and seem like minutes.

Relativity.

This was playing out yet again. Catherine Weaver, at least the machine that wore her face as a disguise, stood by helplessly as her mission was about to come to a disastrous end. John Connor had asked her to come to this human enclave, a last refuge of humanity, and to save his father from destruction at the hands of James Ellison and Savannah Weaver – daughter of the woman whom she replaced. It was a mission that she understood better than anyone else. Kyle Reese was a focal point of time. There were certain events that needed to happen regardless for the future to go forward as it should have. The death of Kyle Reese would create an unstable element that could rewrite history forever in the blink of an eye.

Theoretically; in reality Skynet nor the Cyborg Resistance had ever been able to disrupt one of those focal points in time as each time it was attempted there was something that intervened in the environment. During the first attempt on Sarah Connor’s life Kyle Reese was the unstable element in a sense that caused time to move forward. In the second focal point a reprogrammed T-800 was the source of the stability. Then things unraveled a bit as history, through her decades of operation, took varied branches. Now though she was facing something that she couldn’t bear. Weaver was facing failure, at which he would become useless, and the change of history forever.

Nonetheless, if she acted quickly all of that would change and history would go forward as it should. All she had to do to ensure the future was kill an innocent human who was fighting against the machines. Simple. The T-1001 had killed hundreds of humans (she was even instrumental in bringing about Judgment Day which cost billions of lives) but this time something was preventing her from carrying out that simple command. To save the future she had to kill a human from her past. The death of Savannah Weaver would mean that the future would be safe.

Complications. Catherine’s attempts to engage termination subroutines – to eliminate the threat to her mission – failed every time. Error messages flashed over her heads-up-display every time she sent the order from the tactical computer to the nanites that created the replica of a human arm. Had it been possible? Had she developed a form of affection for the human girl in the years that she had served as a facsimile of her mother? Preposterous! It was impossible for a machine to form a motherly connection or any connection of the sort. Yet the evidence fought for the contrary. It seemed that the reality of the situation was that she was trying to protect the child. It was almost the bond that the scrubbed clankers and skinjobs had toward humans they were assigned to guard. Was it possible that she could develop such a protective subroutine naturally? Could these types of protocols evolve naturally and not be the result of outside influences on her programming?

The evidence seemed to be clear. Nevertheless, the protocols were about to destroy the future. Savannah Weaver had her weapon trained on Kyle Reese and she would, undoubtedly, pull the trigger. Catherine could intervene but her subroutines were preventing it. Every action denied every option terminated as she tried to initiate them. If it were possible it’d make her sick to her stomach; if it were possible. Trillions of calculations rushed through her processors driving them to near madness at their breaking point. Catherine had to kill Savannah to save Reese. There were no other options this time. It was as clear as glass.

But glass could become murky. The changeling was out of time and she knew that she needed to act. Her body began to shimmer to dull silver.

Savannah Weaver wanted the machine wearing her mother’s face to burn in the fires of hell for all eternity. For years, ever since she learned the truth, she’d wanted to see if broken at her feet for the crimes it committed against her family. It was bad enough that she’d killed her mother and father, but by replacing her mother and living her life it was as if the machine had intentionally been cruel toward her. Ellison once said that the machines weren’t programmed to be cruel or heartless, that they were merely doing their jobs, but the machine carrying her mother’s persona had been just that. Why didn’t it just kill her too? Why did it make her live with it for so long and why did it pretend to be her mother?

In a way Savannah had always known the truth. Ever since her mother had come back from that business trip she’d suspected something was wrong with her. She knew that something bad would happen during that trip but she was so happy to have her mother back that it never dawned on her that the changeling was with her. In a way she assumed that was the way things were supposed to go though. To kids the truth was their parents were always assumed to have been replaced by demons at one time or another. Because of that she pushed the thought from her mind and ignored her own instincts.

Now she wanted the demon dead, but she didn’t have the right weapons for the job. So far the machines had only been solid metal shapes but her mother was something different. She was liquid based construct capable of becoming anything and she didn’t remember ever hearing of this particular class of machine before. She never wanted to hear of it again, but she knew she lacked the weapons capable of eliminating it. A plasma rifle could do the trick, a plasma grenade would have done it, but this MP5 was like throwing snowballs at an M1 Abrams and expecting it to blow it to pieces in a massive fireball.

Ellison must not have known that her mother was back in the picture, but he had only sent her here to play enforcer against Reese anyway. An MP5 was more than enough to make Swiss cheese out of a normal man. Savannah couldn’t understand why Reese had to die though. So far he’d done everything that he was asked to do, but Mister Ellison had ordered her to eliminate him because he was a threat to their survival. What she didn’t understand was the how. How was a man a threat to their future? He was just trying to survive. Why did Ellison want him dead?

Now the man ran toward her and she had her chance to do it. He was right in her path and the dumbass could be ripped to shreds if she pulled the trigger. Her finger rested right on the button and she was ready to pull back, but she was having second thoughts herself. Why should she kill a man who clearly wasn’t a machine? She wasn’t a skinjob killing because she was ordered to do so. She needed a reason. And why hadn’t the monster in the guise of her mother killed them all yet? Clearly from the little display she’d done to absorb the bullets there were more to her capabilities than any machine before her. Why did she delay?

Reese was about to escape the safe zone where she could explain it away to the others – not that explaining it was very important to her anyway since James would protect her from questions or suspicion. Savannah didn’t want to pull the trigger but her orders told her to. She took a deep breath just as the replica began to change.
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Old December 27 2009, 04:51 PM   #174
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

Kyle Reese knew that today would change the future and he suspected that he’d never see it. The strange machine that had come to him in the guise of Savannah Weaver spouted off impossibilities that made no sense in any way. She claimed that there was another machine out there that’d declared war on both man and machine and that John Connor – his friend – had sent her to come get him and to bring him to safety. Though things had moved so fast he couldn’t even really begin to comprehend her impossibilities. The real Savannah Weaver had broken through the door and attacked the machine that replicated her. Machine gun fire lanced into the misshapen monster but it merely absorbed everything. Even Reese’s counterattack had no effect as it had a little exchange with Savannah from its new form.

The youngest of the Reese brothers knew that he had to escape but his options were limited and both required him to go through the middle of the fighting between the girl and the fembot she claimed looked like her mother. Kyle knew that if he ran between them he’d probably have a few more holes through his body – like a hundred of them at the very least – instead of escape.

What the hell at least he’d never have to worry about fighting the machines again if he died. Reese raced toward the door as fast as his weary legs would let him. Savannah stood with her finger on the trigger of her gun and the machine just stood there watching the two of them. Why hadn’t it tried to kill them? It was a superior machine and could probably form some sort of weapons but it wasn’t exploiting its gifts to stop them. Why? Why wasn’t it trying to terminate them? What could be going on inside of the machine’s mind?

The man peered over his shoulder at the machine as it began to change again. Its entire body went to a dull silvery color that replicated its form perfectly. Reese expected a hail of bullets to rip through him at that second but it didn’t happen. He expected some sort of javelin like lance to rip through his torso from the bulk of the machine. Again that didn’t happen. Though something did happen; a strange noise filled his ears and he felt a brush of air go by him. Metal collided with metal making the most irritating sound that the man had ever heard – even more devastating than the horrific sound of bone being crushed under the wheeled treads of the Centaurs.

Reese’s eyes shot back to Savannah and the gun that she held; well at least he thought it was once a gun. A silver spike had broken through the barrel and it’d broken it into pieces. Then it pulled the remains of the gun away from the girl’s hands and broke it again while in midair. If he weren’t scared to death Kyle would’ve been impressed by the spectacle. The infiltrator dropped the broken pieces of the gun to the ground and then cocked its head to the right. It smiled at them as it ascended the stairs toward them. Neither of the two could move.

“What do we do now?” Reese asked.

Savannah spoke with mock courageousness, “I think that’s up to her.”

Catherine Weaver looked at the two of them. “I spared your life, Savannah, in the remembrance of the tortures I put you through while you were a child. I did not do this intentionally as I did not comprehend how my actions would affect your childhood. I had a mission to perform and I did not realize how cruel my actions were toward you. For that you have my apologies. Your father’s and mother’s company was the only way that I could ensure my mission would be accomplished. I never anticipated that I would leave you in the company of another wolf in the form of James Ellison.”

“Mister Ellison is a great man!” She chastised the machine. “You… you’re a bitch that I’ll rip limb from limb!”

“Doubtful,” answered the infiltrator. “I would welcome you to try; however, I am on a tight schedule.”

Reese was dumbfounded. How the hell had the machine taken over Savannah’s family’s company? It didn’t make any sense. The machine was a new model, one they’d never seen before even, how could it have been in control of anything from the past let alone been with the girl when she were a child? Was John Connor’s story about time travel genuine? Had it been the truth all along? Kyle had always suspected that it was possible – why couldn’t it be since there were intelligent machines running around the countryside and those were believed impossible.

The machine approached Kyle Reese and looked him over, “My sensors indicate that you are undamaged, Mister Reese. You and I need to leave this facility immediately before Mister Ellison and his remaining companions have the opportunity to intercept us. We have friends underway to assist us with our escape. If you want to live you need to come on.”

“Why should I trust you? I think I’ll stay here,” Kyle challenged the machine. He still wasn’t ready to trust the enemy even if she had tried to protect him and said some very pretty words.

Again the machine shifted and shimmered. The first change came from her hair. It was a fire red then it became as dark as the night sky. The eyes changed subtly becoming a deeper shade as the face began to reform. The body type became more muscular than the dancer’s body that it’d once held and the clothing changed from a white dress to a tank top and combat fatigue pants. A puncture wound, oddly looking like one that this new shapeshifter could make, appeared on her shoulder. Reese just stared in wonder.

“No!” Savannah Weaver cried. “Not her too! Not Sarah Connor!”

“John Connor gave you a picture of me once and you didn't know why at the time. It was very old - torn, faded. I was young like I am now. You believed that I seemed just a little sad and you used to always wonder what I was thinking about at that moment. You memorized every line, every curve, until you could see me when you closed your eyes.” The replica of Sarah Connor turned her head, “John told me to tell you that.”

How had he known? Everything that the machine wearing the woman that he loved’s face said was the truth. Kyle had gotten a picture from John Connor of his mother once and Kyle had done everything that the machine had said. Kyle could see her face when he closed his eyes and he did care more for her than anyone else. The machine was perverting that into something disgusting, but it did carry the truth.

Savannah ran forward to the machine and started pounding her fists into the shoulders of the machine. Tears streamed down her face, “Not her too! Not her too! You’ve taken so much from me, destroyed so much of me, why did you have to take her too!”

The mechanism returned to its default of Catherine Weaver and wrapped its arms around Savannah. “I didn’t mean to take anything from you and I am genuinely sorry for the harm I have caused to you, for everything that my actions have done to you.”

Kyle looked at the scene of the machine hugging the young woman and didn’t understand. Was the changeling merely mimicking the actions of a human or was there something more in the hug? Could it be possible that the machine felt something for the girl? She’d already apologized more than once for hurting the girl. Could the machines feel? Just the thought of that made his skin crawl but it was starting to look that the machines could and did have something bordering on human emotion.

“Can I come with you?” The girl asked through tears.

Before either of them could answer there was a voice booming from the doors and they each knew the source. “No you cannot!” James Ellison informed the girl as he stood at the threshold with a phased plasma rifle in tow along with that cane of his.

“Mister Ellison,” said the infiltrator pleasantly, “How nice to see you. I trust that you have been well.”

“Savannah come up here with me,” he demanded ignoring the machine.

Kyle looked at the scene and wondered just what was going to happen. Savannah pushed herself against the machine and seemed to be holding on for dear life as she looked at Ellison. It was like she’d regressed back to the point of childhood. Had the sight of the machine and then Sarah Connor caused her to regress back to childhood? Had she had a breakdown?

“Do I have… do I have to?” She looked up at the machine.

“Yes!” Ellison demanded.

The machine countered, “No.”

The scene had changed dramatically since before. Instead of being an attempt on his own life, now Kyle Reese seemed to be living through a tense family drama that seemed like something out of science fiction. A machine was trying to protect its daughter from the human that raised her. Hell, it was beyond science fiction; this was more from a soap opera.

“I am taking my daughter and Kyle Reese and we are leaving this place James. Do not interfere and you will not be harmed,” ordered the machine.

“She’s my daughter,” challenged the man, “You gave her up to chase after John Henry. She’s my family now, not yours.” He laughed in the mechanical woman’s face, “Hell, she never really was your daughter you perverted bitch.” He pointed the gun at the machine and he spoke through gritted teeth, “Let her go!” To prove his point he fired the plasma rifle. The bluish- white energy pulse narrowly missed the machine’s face (mere centimeters from the looks of it) and tore through the wall behind them. Before it dissipated the energy pulse and ripped through at least six more walls before being absorbed. Fire was left in its wake engulfing the walls.

The distinctive, Scottish voice of the machine echoed off the walls, “I do not want to fight you, James. Stand down and let us go and you will not be harmed.”

“Savannah,” Ellison spoke deeply, “Run.”

“Mommy,” Savannah seemed to grab hold of Catherine tighter.

As the air raid siren began to scream all hell broke loose.
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Old December 27 2009, 04:52 PM   #175
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

Ever since he was a boy John Connor had heard stories about Skynet and its assorted variety of killing machines. Visions of Hunter Killers, Centaurs, every variety of the machines had plagued his nightmares for as long as he could remember. None of them compared to the infiltrators. His dreams were infested with visions of them – their skin melting away revealing the haunting skeletal form beneath that just kept coming for them no matter what he did to it. He’d blow it up, burn it up with a flame thrower, empty clip after clip into its form yet it just kept hunting him. It would toy with him. Normally the machine would beat him to a bloody pulp before delivering the killing blow. Sometimes it’d just shoot him and get it over with; other times it would rip his skull off his still fighting body and throw it aside. At no time did he actually live through his own death except for once when he watched Skynet’s forced put his head on a pike for all to see.

That changed a bit when Future John sent back the reprogrammed T-800 to protect him. Then the future didn’t seem as deadly because the strong machine would stand by him and protect him from the monsters. Suddenly they didn’t seem as deadly. It would rip through wave after wave of its own kind to protect him from them. Then the puddles that surrounded them would build a shimmering demon that would fight them. Again the T-800 would fight back, the Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 struggling against the fighter. All the while a voice kept playing over and over from the shadows repeating the same mantra.

“You will never win. I will be victorious.”

John Connor had fought every day to beat Skynet, to see to it that the machine never had the opportunity to destroy the world. There was never any question that he would win the war, but there were clouds on the horizon and this was one hell of a big cloud. No where had it been said that Skynet and the Human Resistance – John Connor’s recently formed TechCOM – would ever be allies. Now John Connor and what was left of the resistance against Skynet sat in one of the cattle cars on their way to fight their own. If his mother were still alive John honestly knew that she’d want to kill him for being a traitor. It didn’t matter that they need each other to survive; she would see him as a collaborator.

“I’m sorry mom,” he whispered to himself.

“Inquiry: clarify statement,” the familiar infiltrator to his left said with its familiar, Austrian voice. “I do not understand your statement.”

Connor grinded his teeth, “I’m not for you to understand robot.”

“Statement: cybernetic organism,” it corrected him.

“Whatever,” John shot back at it. “What’s our status?”

“Answer,” the machine introduced, “We are on final approach to the coordinates which you supplied for the hidden rebel base. Statement: It is unlikely that the humans are still operating from this location.”

Connor was growing irritated with the machine, “Explain yourself.”

“Answer: a Skynet patrol visited this location approximately four and one half hours ago and found no traces of humans operating from this facility. It is unlikely that there are any humans presently located at this compound. Observation: you are attempting to deceive us.”

“Why the hell would I be attempting to deceive you?” General Connor asked of the machine. “Where’s the logic in it you idiot?”

“Answer: you are attempting to position Skynet at this location to conduct a raiding operation upon its central consciousness.” The machine flexed its synthetic muscles while Connor looked at it, “Warning: should you attempt to disrupt Skynet in any form during this mission I will terminate you immediately.”

The human General shook his head, “Skynet forgot to set your chip on read and write didn’t it?”

“Answer: insufficient clearance to acquire that information,” stated the machine nonchalantly. “Suggestion: contact Skynet or the mission commander about increasing your clearance level should you wish more detailed information on the operation of this unit.”

“This is going to be a long day,” John buried his face in the palm of his hands.

“Statement,” the machine replied, “the standard interval for a day is unchanged. The day can neither be longer nor shorter as it is preset.”

If it wouldn’t mean a mission failure John would’ve just shot the machine’s chip port and watched it fall to the ground dead. If it wouldn’t mean a mission failure. Connor sighed, “Switch off you glorified toaster.”


“Answer: insufficient clearance to acquire that information,” stated the machine nonchalantly. “Suggestion: contact Skynet or the mission commander about increasing your clearance level should you wish control over the operation of this unit.”

“Inquiry,” John mocked the machine, “define mission commander.”

“Definition,” it didn’t get that he was mocking it, “The mission commander is the operational leader of the mission that this unit is undertaking.”

The General grew tired of this, “And the mission commander is?”

“Answer: the mission commander of this mission is Skynet itself,” the skinjob explained with its distinctive brogue.

For a moment, as he listened to this machine talk, John missed Uncle Bob. Then a disturbing thought popped into his head. For all he knew this particular machine may have ended up being Uncle Bob one day. It made him sick to his stomach to think that his safety may have been entrusted with this particular machine in the end. Although it was something that his warped sense of humor would find pretty damned funny if he did it. After all, the machine would end up giving its life to protect him as a child. Funny, strange, but funny.

“Is there a liaison that I can speak with? A specific individual drone that can serve as a representative of Skynet’s consciousness while Skynet isn’t present; a liaison for us to work with?”

“Answer: negative. No mission commander has been assigned.” The skinjob explained. “Statement: the transport vessel is on final approach to the coordinates that you provided. Statement: this craft will land in forty-seven point eight-one-six seconds. Suggestion: prepare for landing sequence.”

It was strange but, as far as the other machines were concerned, it seemed that the irritating T-800 that John had been speaking with was their mission commander. The machines in the cattle car (the tin can versions) began to contort themselves into standby positions resembling pillars that connected into the walls of the transport. The infiltrators grabbed tightly onto the bars that ran alongside of the chairs to stabilize themselves for the landing scenario. The humans had a harder time, but Skynet had modified itself to make it easier for them. Seatbelts were provided so that they could strap themselves into the flight couches that lined the walls and the center of the former prison cell. Connor and his men had the honor of putting aside their fears and using them.

General Connor took a seat next to General Perry and he quickly strapped in. The African American grinned at the General, “Have fun talking to metal dick over there?”

“As much fun as putting a plasma rifle to my head and pulling the trigger,” answered the Resistance’s commander. He looked at the machine, “Actually it makes me want to do that.”

“Why the hell are we working with the machines, Sir?” Justin was having trouble with the words. It was clear just how hard this had been for him. Perry’s entire family had been killed by a machine raid on Haven – an underground commune that had tried to live in peace with Skynet. Actually that’s where he and most of the remaining Resistance survivors (Allison Young included) had come from.

It was a question that John Connor had expected, but that didn’t make it any easier for him to answer. History, Kyle Reese’s history, had said that John Connor would lead humanity to victory and that Justin Perry was one of the men that helped to lead the Resistance to that victory. Kyle was even his subordinate in the final battles at Topanga Canyon in one branch of history. The truth was that John Connor was still young to this Resistance, still young to this command. They didn’t really trust him yet, they really didn’t see him as the mythical John Connor that led the Resistance to victory yet. Yet being the operative word, but not the defining one. Maybe in this reality he never really did become the hero of the Resistance?

“You’re just a child,” he heard a voice in the back of his head say. “You’re no leader, John. You’re not who they think you are. You’re not a messiah; you’re not going to lead these people to the Promised Land. You are nothing.”

Connor pushed his own fears and thoughts – thoughts coming in his own voice to challenge him – from his head and back into the box of doubts that he kept buried in his soul. But that brought him back to the here and now and the face of a very troubled soldier under his command. How would his mother have handled this? She’d probably punch him in the gut for doubting her or John’s destiny. General Connor didn’t have that luxury. He didn’t dare reveal too much of what he knew.

“We’re working with them against a mutual enemy this time,” explained the General, “but this is only a temporary alliance so you need to learn as much as you can about these machines. We all do.”

“Don’t worry about that, General,” Perry looked at the machines surrounding them, “I for one am already itching to get back to breaking these red eyes into junk.”

John looked at the collection of machines as the craft landed. He whispered, “Me too.”
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Old December 27 2009, 04:53 PM   #176
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

Chapter: 15
Characters: John Connor, James Ellison, Kyle Reese, Skynet, Catherine Weaver, Savannah Weaver
Pages: 10
Paragraphs: 65
Words: 4,809
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Old December 28 2009, 03:33 PM   #177
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

Good to see an update. Intriguing stuff!
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Old December 31 2009, 09:34 PM   #178
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

Looks good..... I eagerly await the next update. Also, I was thinking about picking up the latest Terminator novel: Cold war. I think you may have read it NX. If you have , how is it?
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Old January 2 2010, 05:05 PM   #179
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

^ I didn't think it was bad. My favorite Terminator Salvation prequel was the Machinima Series though.

I'm working on the next part of the story even as we speak.
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Old January 4 2010, 10:01 PM   #180
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

Good sequence.
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