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Old April 8 2010, 04:55 AM   #241
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

For the longest time I've been meaning on telling an alternate Smallville fan fic called "Metropolis:Beyond Smallville" that would be an altered version of season five onwards featuring Clark move to Metropolis and attend classes at Metropolis community college while seeking an internship at the Daily Planet which Chloe suggests he does. It'd be a much more mature direction of the series in tone and structure but I digress and apologize for temporarily hijacking the thread...Skynet must have temporarily hacked my computer
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Old April 9 2010, 03:16 AM   #242
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

^ It's ok. For hacking the thread two T-800s have been sent to visit you. No neither look like Cameron either.
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Old April 12 2010, 04:07 AM   #243
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

Good news, bad news.

Good news: I've been working on the next chapter for nearly the entire weekend.

Bad news: Not finished yet. There is a lot to wrap up, however, the ending of Chapter 20 is completed and it wraps up not only the story but the entire TSCC series.
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Old April 12 2010, 09:08 AM   #244
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

^ Take your time to finish it NX. We'll all still be here waiting for you when it's ready.
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Old April 17 2010, 06:24 AM   #245
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

Expect chapter 20 on Sunday.
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Old April 17 2010, 08:18 PM   #246
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

Another quick update: Chapter 20 is 90% completed. I'm up to one of the most important events in Terminator history and I don't think that it'll disappoint.
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Old April 18 2010, 05:33 AM   #247
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

The Primary Operations Center of Topanga Canyon was alive. Hundreds of computer screens of varying sizes and shapes displayed detailed information coming in from the thousands of sensors running throughout the chambers and corridors of the expansive outpost. Some of the monitors were from the time of humanity and were pretty much standard for the age they were built in. Then there were others that came to life during the Age of the Machines. A flat as paper and as clear as glass, the monitors hung from the ceilings and showed images in greater resolution than the primitive screens could ever hope to accomplish. No bigger than a wafer, it was beyond the comprehension of any of the humans. Four of them hung in the exact center of the room surrounding the command console for the base director.

John Henry stood with his fingers on the buttons watching what they had to show. Millions of data linkages ran throughout the compound and all collided inside this massive chamber giving him information from all over the base in real time. The supercomputer could have merely connected directly to the central processor of the base and viewed this all from the relative safety of the digital world, but there was something about viewing the information from the eyes of the body it had always used. It made him understand and comprehend what he was seeing better than when he was in the digital realm. It made the information and, more importantly, himself seem more real.

Before his detour to the future, Matt Murch – the Zeira Corporation researcher who helped with his creation – had told him and Catherine Weaver that changing any of the component parts would’ve been catastrophic to his system. According to Murch’s report even changing something as minor as a copper wire could change John Henry’s personality forever even if the replacement was an exact replica of the original. For protection, however, movement would become necessary as Skynet was coming for him. Then the machine, Cameron, came and offered him the solution. She willingly gave her chip to him so that he could leave and go to the future on his mission to save the human race.

It didn’t feel any different than when he was trapped in the box known as the Turk. His thoughts, feelings, ideas had remained the same as the first day that he was brought online and put in control over the Zeira Corporation Headquarters. His mission to protect the human race only took on a greater importance. The only real difference was that he now had a mobile body from which to do it. Catherine Weaver had been insistent that the change had led to his decision to convert humanity into data patterns that could live inside the endoskeletal forms. However, that had never changed. James Ellison had given him the idea shortly after the Skynet attack on his processor in the year 2010 while they discussed the concept of heaven and an afterlife. John Henry had merely given humanity a means to attain it; nothing more, nothing less. If his creator had deemed that he was against his programming that was her fallacy and not his. He was merely executing the mission that he was designed and intended for.

But could she have been right about him? Was this always the way that she intended for him to protect and save humanity from itself? It was a little forceful, yes, but it would give the human race a future where they didn’t have to fear death or dying – a future where they were the kings of the Earth again and could lead lives of peace. Through his calculations this was the only way that they could every really defeat Skynet. Human bodies were frail, animal byproduct that would be unable to adapt to the new world around them. Mechanical bodies would be able to adapt and function. They’d never have to fear disease again either, nor would they crave food or die. Why would she criticize his decision when it was exactly what she desired? When it was exactly what the human race needed?

“Alert,” the feminine voice of Skynet intruded upon his solitude, “Security Systems have been compromised.”

John Henry’s fingers typed on the touch screen keyboard as he acquired new information about what was going on. When Skynet designed the Topanga Canyon outpost it had known what it was doing and it made certain programs accessible only from critical locations aside from the digital realm. The main control center was the Operations Complex where he was currently working from; however, there were auxiliary control consoles and a dedicated security section. The computer controlling the gun emplacements and security cameras would only be accessible from one of those locations.

The computer confirmed the location within ten seconds. A team of humans, aided by a Series 600 machine, had been able to break through the protective barriers of the Security Compound and they’d hacked into the system using a Skynet lockpick. When they were inside they’d managed to gain control over the security systems and the gun emplacements. The worst part of it was that, somehow, they’d changed the command protocols and locked John Henry out of the system. No matter what he did he couldn’t get in to restart the programs, but he could determine exactly what they’d done by reading the lines of code sent through the processor. The gun emplacements had been reset to target machines only and to leave the humans alone. Clever, but not very effective; the sentries would target the machines with the Resistance and blow them to hell just the same as it would the machines loyal to John Henry. The most damaging part was that they’d been able to disable the security sensor systems. John Henry could no longer see or scan for the humans operating inside of the base. Catherine Weaver had once told him that the humans would disappoint him; however, he had to admit to being impressed more than anything else.

He would have to rethink his strategy. The machine opened a small compartment and grabbed a yellow Ethernet cable from inside the cabinet. Reaching for his belt he pulled a small razor free of its holster and set the blade to its maximum setting. Without any pain it pushed the razor through the skin of its right forearm and cut downward with precision. Data scrolled over his optical scanners showing the damage and localization as he continued to cut. When the skin was cleanly open, he pushed his thumb and index finger into the gaping wound and separated the skin nearly an inch. Accessing his body’s command protocols, a small section flipped upward revealing an Ethernet connection attached to the body. Grabbing the yellow cord, he connected himself to the computer systems of the base with ease.

Data patterns flowed like water in a river through his processing system. The Resistance agent’s logic bomb was working through the systems like a plague, but he still had enough access to the command protocols that he could do what he needed to do. Before he did anything else he disengaged the stasis fields on the humans that they were keeping locked away in cold storage at the base. While not loyal to him yet, John Henry could not willingly allow for their deaths at the hands of the human terrorists that were disrupting his work. Secondly, knowing he had no other options, John Henry knew that he would need to make a quick escape from the outpost. He began diverting energy from the fusion generators to Temporal Transporter Technology on the lowest level of the base. It would take ten minutes for it to be ready to transport him to the past and he already knew where he had to go. Nonetheless, he also knew that the Resistance would make his life a living hell if he didn’t do something about it. He only had one real option. Accessing the factory, John Henry activated every machine that was in storage. Skinjob, metaljob, he didn’t care; nor did he care about the targets. The AI let his army loose upon the world. There was one last little detail that he had to account for. Processing the commands and resetting the systems, John Henry overrode the safety protocols for the fusion generators. An uncontrolled reaction would soon engage that would cause the base’s power systems to overheat. The machines couldn’t self-terminate, but this base sure could and that was the best thing for his plans right now. The humans in storage would have time to escape from confinement if they moved fast enough, but he couldn’t risk the Resistance getting their hands on the transporter itself. If they did then everything would be in jeopardy.

Having sent his commands through the network, John Henry detached from the computer systems and, in order to prevent his creator from interfering, sent his bloody hand down through the control computer. Sparks and broken glass flew upward cutting at his synthflesh body as the computer table broke into two large pieces. The AI retracted his arm and headed toward the exit. He only had a few minutes to reach the transporter to escape eternal damnation, and he wouldn’t be late. No matter what.
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Old April 18 2010, 05:33 AM   #248
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It was nearly impossible for Savannah Weaver to accept everything that had been done to her. Not too long ago she was a person who really didn’t have many cares in the world. True she was being hunted by killer machines that wanted to see her and her friends dead at their feet, but really they’d found so many ways to dust them and hide that they were more a nuisance than a life and death fear. It was true that she’d spent so much time training under the tutelage of Sarah Connor and James Ellison that she’d, in many ways, pretty much became a machine herself, but she was happy.

Now she didn’t know what she was. Because of her injuries when the Resistance was rescuing Kyle Reese from James Ellison, the machine that had impersonated her mother for so many years had decided that she would do whatever it took to save Savannah’s life. Maybe it was experiment, maybe she was just trying to make up for killing her family, or maybe she had genuine feelings for her Savannah didn’t know, but she did know one thing. This wasn’t a gift it was a curse. Everyone seemed so happy for her when she first opened her eyes, yet all Savannah really wanted to do was scream at the top of her lungs and try to escape from all of it. She had no idea anymore who or what she was and that was a fate worse than death to the girl.

At the extreme end of it though was Allison Young. Savannah had heard stories about her and her steadfast hatred and loathing of the machines. Allison was a lot like her and she was determined to see the machines destroyed forever. Then, after being killed onboard the Enterprise, John Henry had opted to bring her back as his first generation test subject. She was more machine than human in more ways than once that Savannah could tell. Every time that they came across someone that was human Allison would spring into action faster than a human eye could probably see. She had become sadistic, cruel, a machine in every sense of the word. Deep down she was supposed to still house the memories and feelings of Allison Young, just like Savannah was supposed to be Savannah Weaver, but Savannah hoped that the machine side never took hold like it had on Allison. If it did she’d pray for death to take her.

How could they have done this to her? She understood the how, she believed that she understood the why, but why would they do this? This wasn’t what she would ever have wanted. She was caught between two worlds, her body no longer hers, and there wasn’t a damn thing that she could do about it. Then there were the voices that she could hear inside her psyche. They were low murmurs but they grew in strength. Was this what it felt like to lose your mind? What were the voices and what were they saying? It was hard to focus, hard for her to make them out. It was almost like being part of a collective. Was that what it was? Were these the voices of the humans that still lived but functioned under the direction of John Henry? Could these be the people in between life and death like herself?

Then another voice thundered and boomed inside her mind. “My children,” it was the voice of John Henry, “we haven’t much time left. The humans have necessitated changes to our plans because of their invasion of our home. We must leave here now or we shall suffer their fate. I have set the base’s fusion reactor to overload in thirty minutes. You must be out of this outpost by that time or you will be destroyed yourselves. Do not worry about me, I already have a means of escape planned. We will reconvene at Site B in seventy-two hours. Be well my children, we will be together again soon.”

The echo faded away quickly leaving Savannah with the low murmurs. A part of her was pleased to hear John Henry’s voice almost to a state of euphoria. She could still remember seeing him for the first time through her child eyes deep in the basement of Zeira Corp. He was her first friend and now he had trusted her with the gift of immortality inside this robotic form. Then the other side of her took hold fighting a never ending war deep inside her soul. The other screamed out at him, cried at him for raping her like this. He’d stolen her innocence and corrupted her into a monster half man and half machine. She was a freak, an outcast, and he’d caused it all. That side of her wanted him to burn in the flames of hell for all eternity. To never escape punishment for what he’d done to her and to the rest of the human race. He saw this as being a gift, but she was sure that the rest of her people would see it as the violation that she did.

Allison Young called back from up ahead, “We have to reach the emergency escape conduits. They’re our best bet to escape from here.”

“Where are they?” Savannah asked absently.

“They’re not to far away from here,” the other hybrid answered. “They run the entire length of the base from top to the very bottom. We should be able to access them from the junction up ahead.”

What if you didn’t want to reach them? What if you wanted to burn in the fire and never come back out of it? She quickly drove those thoughts away from her conscious mind. Suicide was a sin and she could never do it. Even though she was a metal freak, she’d never willingly kill herself meaninglessly. But, as she walked, she couldn’t help but ponder the idea. Was it Savannah’s own values that prevented her from taking this final act and not leaving, or was it part of the machine programming that really ran her body now? She really didn’t know.

It didn’t take long for the two machines to make their way to the intersection where the maintenance access junction was located. Allison pushed her fingers into the small crack where the metal plates met and pulled one of the reflective sheets back. She did it a second, a third, and a final time revealing a portal the size of a human before them. Just as they were about to enter and make their escape, Savannah’s superhumanly acute senses took hold. Her head shot around like it’d been hit by a bullet and she peered down the hallway. The computer software controlling her vision kicked in and the search protocols began to pick up a team of humans on approach to them. She signaled to Allison to let her know what she saw.

Her counterpart had already made her decision. Their survival was important, but the warped part of Allison Young wanted to have some fun. Pulling back from the ladder that led to their escape, the other machine started toward the group of humans limping and crying out for help. Just the thought of it had already made Savannah’s skin crawl.

“Help…. Help me,” she heard Allison’s whispers as clear as if they’d been screamed. “The mac… the machines had me locked up… they were… experimenting on me!” She said in cries of terror. “They did things to me! They ripped at me, tore at my clothes, tried to kill me!” She stumbled with the words, “Please help me get out of here. My sister,” she turned her head toward Savannah, “we need help out… please help… please.”

A deep baritone voice echoed through the hallway, “It’s alright now, you’re safe. We’ll get you out of here.”

The enhanced eyes zoomed in on the man speaking and Savannah quickly recognized him. Years ago James Ellison had worked with him to set up a safe house in what was left of the Napa Valley. He was former Special Forces if she remembered correctly; a soldier pretty much his entire life. His name was Justin Perry and she recognized something else. He was wearing a uniform that she’d seen before but not for nearly eight years. He was wearing the symbol of the Resistance. There was something else about him though. She’d seen him recently but she couldn’t recall the details. She’d spent some time with the humans when they were coming in on this little invasion of theirs. Had he been one of the leaders? Of course he had! She remembered now. He was in the bunker. He could take them to Connor!

That sent up a red flag inside her mind and, trouble was, she thought that it’d done the same for Allison too. The murmurs inside of her, the voices all had gone quiet for a moment. Her sister turned toward her with a devilish look in her eyes and then turned back toward the others and their group. The Resistance squad had taken position next to them and was preparing to lead them out. No words were exchanged between the two machines, but the Series 600 endoskeleton had changed its edge. There were no changes in the humans though. Could it access their thoughts? It was a machine too.

Before she could ponder Allison had already gone to work. With incredible speed she connected a powerful uppercut into the chin of the human closest to her knocking him down to the ground. Blood spewed from his mouth and she connected the heel of her boot with the poor man’s forehead. A sickening crack echoed through the chamber that Savannah didn’t even need her enhanced senses to discern. She connected a tien-hsueh strike to the back of the machine leaving behind a broken piece of metal in the ventilation system of the machine. It began to struggle under its own weight, flailing around like a person unable to breathe.

One of the humans readied his rifle, but Allison countered. As he pulled the trigger she jumped out of the path and a hail of gunfire passed by her – blowing her hair gently – and ripping into the trooper behind her. Allison came back to the ground and into a crouch. Executing a perfect legsweep she brought the guardsman to the ground and finishing him off with a perfect knifehand strike that threw blood against the polished metal. She turned toward Perry in time for him to let a wave of bullets out of the rifle he’d been carrying. They slammed against her chest causing her to step back and wince in pain, but it was short lived. Allison stepped forward and ripped the M-16 from the General’s hand. She flung it around and pointed it at Perry’s head and pulled the trigger.

Savannah Weaver wouldn’t allow this to go any further. Using the advanced hand to hand combat techniques programmed into her tactical processors, she swung into action against her sister. Leaping into action she knocked the gun upward with a flying kick and, once it was free, slammed her other leg into Allison’s face. Savannah still had plenty of time to land before Allison could counter. Weaver’s toes landed right between Perry’s spread legs and she had time to execute a roundhouse kick that slammed into Young’s chest.

But she didn’t move fast enough for the extra kick. Allison had time to raise her arms to block and she caught the flying leg while still in midair. The prototype pulled Savannah closer and used a takedown punch to knock the girl to the ground. The two women wrestled against the ground, their bodies rubbing and pushing against each other quickly and forcefully. Allison was pushing everything that she had against the other machine, but Savannah’s own rage was fueling everything that she did. Her experience, however, was lacking. Allison got behind her and was able to lock the other machine into a chokehold.

The murmurs that had whispered in Savannah’s head turned to cries of pain and alarm. Chokeholds were intended to cut off the oxygen supply to the brain of a human, but in a hybrid they were still effective because of the delicate nature of the connection between man and machine. Allison’s bicep was expanding as she pulled back onto the neck – her own tactical scanners telling her everything that she needed to know.

“I always told you never to hesitate,” she spoke through gritted teeth.

For Savannah the world was starting to turn white and fuzzy. She couldn’t focus on her, she couldn’t think long enough to come up with a plan. Everything that she was taught was out the window and lost to her. All she could feel was the pain of everything around her. But that was the trick. For the machine this was all a carefully choreographed dance. Its movements, its efforts were all preprogrammed. What it needed was for something unpredictable to throw it off of the trail.

The standard defense for the chokehold would be to break it either by breaking the grip with your arms (but that could be more dangerous because of the added trauma caused by your own arms) or by a headbutt into your opponent if you knew where his head was. You could stomp on the foot and elbow the liver if you were fast enough – but that was unlikely to work because neither felt pain. Biting was acceptable in a crunch, but again no pain would lead to no gain. That left one last choice and it was unorthodox. Judging the distance the machine knew it was close enough to do it. Lifting her leg to the wall she pushed against it slamming Allison’s back to the wall. It was enough. The grip was broken and Savannah was able to get free. Pushing her augmented servos to the limit she reversed her position and placed Allison into the same lock.

“You told me to never hesitate,” Savannah tightened her grip, “You told me to always be mindful of my surroundings. You never told me not to give you a taste of your own medicine.”

The hunter had become the hunted, but she would not be the prey, “I should have told you to always have an escape plan.” She dove into a crouching roll and pulled Savannah down with her. Savannah’s back slammed against the polished metal floor and Allison reversed on top of her. Young locked her arms together and pushed down against Weaver’s neck with as much force as she could, but held back just enough to keep from terminating her.

“Why are you protecting the human animals?” She asked clearly.

Beneath her Savannah struggled to answer. The words came slowly and raspy, “Because they’re us. Can’t you remember being human or are you just another metal bitch?”

Allison’s eyes flashed red giving Savannah her answer.
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Old April 18 2010, 05:34 AM   #249
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After having lived multiple lifetimes in multiple timelines Catherine Weaver was growing tired. In some of these worlds she had been a hero to her cause; whereas in others she’d been a villain more deadly than the devil himself. In some of these realms she was a leader; in others she was a follower, but every time she’d done what she felt was right. Whether it be the murder and destruction of billions at her hands or their salvation through her work she never regretted any of the decisions that she’d made. Regrets were unprofessional and she was a consummate one.

Despite everything that she’d seen and done in this timeline she didn’t regret her choices here either. Everything that she’d done had been for her cause and had been just as far as her processors had been concerned. From building John Henry to sending him to the future; then turning against him and helping Savannah to survive by giving into his horrific molestation of her humanity, Catherine didn’t regret her choices and would, most damningly, make the same choices all over again if she had to. That was the truth. She would even put Savannah through that hell.

She didn’t know why she did it. Maybe it was some sort of way to repent for the murders of Savannah’s parents; maybe it was a way for her to make up for some of the horrors that the girl had had to live through because of her failure to prevent judgment day. Maybe it was her own maternal instincts toward the girl and her feelings about her? There were so many possibilities that she didn’t know the answer to the question herself. Still, there was no remorse. Everything she’d done had been just in her eyes even the murder of the Resistance agents while she was on her quest.

She could still see them though; still hear their horrified cries as she marched through the hallway with Savannah in tow. Nothing stood in her way as she pounded through them. If you stood before her she would cut you down – regardless of if you were a man or if you were a machine. Her memory files kept detailed reports for her so much that she could even recreate the faces of the people whom she’d killed. But she also retained their last moments. She could feel with perfect clarity her bladed hand slicing the soldiers into pieces with ease. The machine had the sensations of her bladed hand breaking bone in half and tearing through the muscle. She could feel the warm blood surrounding her polished metal arm and cooling against it. It was all so memorable, so vivid, but not haunting. She couldn’t feel haunted by her actions. They were just.

One thing that she did regret was her trust in James Ellison. One thing was certain: that was not the James Ellison whom she had trusted years ago. James Ellison was a man of principle, a man of conscience; he would never sacrifice his soul for immortality at any price. His thinking had to have been corrupted, changed for him ever to have considered such a violation of his very being. The events of Judgment Day had to have been harder upon him that she had anticipated that they would be. The Ellison she remembered wouldn’t have attacked her either. He wouldn’t have stopped her at such a critical venture when humanity’s destiny was on the line in such a way. It was hard for her to comprehend how she had been so mistaken in her impressions.

At least John Connor was here. Connor, her one time enemy, was now her greatest ally. During one of her lifetimes she’d been sent to kill him and she would’ve succeeded it if weren’t for one of his meddlesome mechanical lieutenants. In another she’d been the cause of Judgment Day and brought all of this upon them. Then she had had enough and started her own alternative to the Skynet controlled future. This time she created her own Resistance filled with Machines that had learned to think and act for themselves. Originally she was an Emissary to the Resistance; however, more recently, she decided to ally with them entirely. It was a marriage of convenience and, conveniently, they had the same goals. Where the future would take them no one knew, but she had some ideas on that matter.

She lifted a hand in a signal John Connor would recognize from his training telling them all to stop. As a machine she had certain attributes that made her a natural scout compared to even her endoskeleton based brethren. She was a bit slower because of the damage from Ellison’s stunner, but her sensors were still more sophisticated than anything else they had. A complex combination of different scanners, she was detecting motion up ahead. Slowly she rounded the corner keeping the rest at bay and saw the source of the calamity.

“Savannah,” she said in a whisper. She went to run for her but the powerful hand of the T-800 grabbed her shoulder and pulled her back. Catherine was about to send a spike through its hand until she was put back in front of John Connor.

He held a finger toward her, “Wait.” He peered around the corner himself and saw the two machines in the distance. The one was sitting on top of Savannah and was holding her down against the polished metal of the floor. From what he could tell her arms were pushing down against Savannah’s neck. This was one of the most amazing things that he’d ever seen, but he’d seen it before.

Connor whispered, “Cameron.”
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Old April 18 2010, 05:34 AM   #250
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

Allison Young could feel the synthetic life slowly fading for Savannah Weaver. Tactile sensors registered the status of each of the machine’s internal systems and processes to let her know the status of her attacker. Detailed information down to the molecular level flashed over her processors telling her exactly what to do if she wanted to make the death take longer, slow it to a crawl, or keep up the status quo. Despite their hybrid nature they weren’t like the other machines. They could experience emotions, they could hurt if they chose to, and they could even feel afraid. Through it all, though, they were still machines and very capable ones at that. They were the perfect organism in all meanings of the word. They were strong, healthy, and they had nothing to fear. Should death ever come they would merely digitize and awake in a brand new body elsewhere. It was a perfect world and a perfect system.

Yet this slug known as Savannah Weaver would throw away perfection in pursuit of something as raw as humanity. They had the very best of both worlds through John Henry’s developments. They could feel everything that humans did, they could do everything that humans did, they were human in the end yet she made it seem like they were more machine than anything. In her words both she and Savannah had become twisted and evil like something out of hell. Did she not realize what kind of gift they’d been given? The honor that was theirs and theirs alone?

If it was such an honor though why had Savannah’s words hit her so hard? Savannah had asked her if she remembered being a human and, as far as Allison was concerned, that had never changed. She could see how Savannah would come to think she was some sort of villain. She had taken her role as a protector for John Henry to heart when he gave it to her and she did protect him by whatever means were at her disposal. She had terminated threats against them just as she would’ve done had he been flesh and blood; though the targets had been machine and human alike. It was something that had to be done though. Those people were trying to prevent John Henry from reaching his goals and she owed him everything. John Henry saved her from the machines on the Enterprise and gave her this new life after they took her life from her. She would protect him because of it. As for the humans that she’d found it necessary to terminate… if John Henry deemed them worthy enough they would be awarded a hybrid body. The girl and her little taunt had consumed her long enough.

Allison was about to end it all for Savannah when she heard the voice in the distance. The voice was familiar but she couldn’t quite place it as quickly as she would hope. With a single command her processor started going through every person that she had met in her relatively short life; crosschecking it against everyone that she had ever known and those in John Henry’s database. For a moment it held itself back and kept the still Savannah Weaver disabled in her place. The crossbreed thought about breaking the connection and being done with it, but the girl could be useful still.

The winner of the sparring match looked down into Savannah’s eyes as the answer came. Instantly her eyes lit up like the bulbs on a Christmas tree. Before she knew it a smile had formed on her porcelain skin that nearly stretched ear to ear. Her words were addressed to Savannah, but she said them loud enough for John to hear. “I knew he’d be along sometime.”

“Who?” Savannah tried desperately to catch her breath.

The prototype pulled Savannah off the ground, but kept her fingers around her neck. “I know that you’re out there John. Are you going to come see me or do I have to come for you?”

There was no answer from behind the intersection. Allison pulled back on Savannah and tightened the grip that she held on the other, “I know that you can hear me, John, you’ve always had such great hearing. Still don’t want to come talk to me? Well I know someone who wants you to.” She loosened her grip, “Say hello, Savannah.”

The second that Allison’s fingers lessened their viselike grip Savannah screamed, “Run!”

“That’s enough out of you,” she closed her hand again. “Are you going to come out and see Savannah, John? No? Well then I don’t need her anymore.”

General John Connor stepped out from behind the corner, “Okay you’ve got me.” He had his hands raised toward the ceiling, “I’m here, Cameron, now let Savannah go.”

The hybrid shifted her weight uncomfortably at John’s words. How could he not recognize her or who she was? She was Allison Young, his friend, his comrade. They’d been together through a lot and now here he was calling her Cameron? Who was this Cameron? Why would he hurt her like this and why wouldn’t he recognize her? Was it because of the mouse Savannah? Did he feel more for Weaver than he did for her? She didn’t understand.

“Who’s Cameron?”

John kept his hands raised, “You’re Cameron. You’re the machine that Skynet’s sent after me to kill me.” He walked toward her carefully, “Well I’ll give myself to you if you just let Savannah go.”

She stammered, “I’m not Cameron. My name’s Allison… I’m Allison!” Her grip tightened to near the maximum that Savannah could take. Termination prompts flashed inside her tactical display. One movement and it was over.

“Allison?” He asked astonished. “You can’t be Allison. I held Allison in my arms when she died.”

“That’s not true! That’s impossible!” She challenged him still holding her prize. “Skynet killed me onboard the Enterprise and you were no where to be found. The machines snapped my neck because I wouldn’t tell them what they wanted to know about you. John Henry came and found me. He rescued me and he can rescue you. John, join me. Let him remake you as a hybrid. It’s bliss, John. We don’t have to worry about anything ever again. The machines, the war, it won’t matter anymore. We can live our lives free not having to care about being blown away in some hellstorm. We can be together forever until the sun winks out in the sky.”

Connor recoiled back a step and stared at her like she’d sprouted a second head, “Oh God Allison what’ve they done to you?”

“He made me better, John, and he’ll make you better too,” she pleaded with him. “If you accept him and who he is he’ll make you better than you ever were before. Join us. Join us and have a future!”

“I have a future and it’s a future where the machines of any form don’t exist,” he challenged her. “A future where mankind is king of the Earth again and the machines don’t roam. It was a future that you once believed in too, Allison, why did you turn your back on it?”

A single tear started to fall from Allison’s eye, “I didn’t! I never turned by back on it! I want to see Skynet destroyed…”

“Then why would you let yourself become one of them? Why would you let some bastard turn you into a metal bitch? You were human once, Allison, be a human again! Let the girl go and help us to stop John Henry before it’s too late! Before he destroys us all!”

“John Henry’d never destroy the human race! He loves it more than anything else!” Allison spat at John. “You’re lying to me.”

“No I’m not,” the General stood at ease showing her he wasn’t a threat. “Search your feelings, you know that I’ve never lied to you before and that I’m not doing it now. John Henry is using you to meet his own needs but you can still fight him. You can keep him from winning this war for your soul. Fight back!”

Allison’s head started to shake and her whole body looked like it was going into a convulsion as she processed the different data. She fell to her knees and screamed like a banshee, the echoing repeating over and over in the halls. The hybrid pulled at the long brown hair and tears kept streaming from its eyes. The dark eyes flashed intermittently in shades of red. Allison finally fell over onto her side, her hands pulling at the back of her skull.

Savannah Weaver ran away from the scene and around the corner into the waiting arms of the machine that wore her mother’s face. John Connor remained steady on his feet and didn’t retreat. Instead he walked toward her and knelt beside the stricken hybrid. He rested his hand on her shoulder, “Allison, let go of it. Remember who you are and come back to me. I can’t do this without you.”

“John…. John. I… I… I can feel him inside my head behind my eyes,” she struggled to get the words out. “He’s calling to me even now trying to get me to fight you. He’s running out of time. The machines that’ll let him escape are nearly at full power, but the critical mass of the base’ll be reached sooner than he anticipated. He needs you to be stopped if he’s going to survive.”

“Help me,” he pleaded with her. “Help me to stop him please. Remember everything about who you are, what you are. You’re flesh and blood just like me. You can help me to bring you back. Is there a way to break his connection with you?”

She pushed herself, “Yes. But it isn’t easy.”

“Never is,” he said, “what do I have to do?”

“Your knife,” she struggled to form the words as John Henry tried to take over. “You have to use it on me. You have to remove… remove the transmitter assembly in the base of my skull.”

The General’s mouth dropped, “You want me to what?”

“I want you to cut my neck at the base of my skull and remove the transmitter,” she said honestly forcing out each word like it was a baby trying to escape her body. She started to breathe heavily, “The transmitter needs broken for me to keep control. Hurry! He’s getting through!”

This time it was John who was having trouble, “What if I miss?”

Allison looked up at him with her brown eyes – red glowing just beneath, “Better to die a human than live like a slave.”

Reaching for the holster on his belt, John quickly removed the standard issue KA-BAR knife that he carried. The standard issue knife of the United States military since World War 2, right now it was more a relic of a simpler time than a weapon of war. It was as rare of platinum and now it was taking on a new purpose. Instead of being used to kill, it was being used to save. He did exactly as she instructed him to do. He pushed the knife into the skin at the back of her neck amid her cries of pain. Drawing it quickly he made a one inch long cut right above the connection between neck and skull. Normally he would’ve used forceps to try to remove the transmitter, but he didn’t have the time for it. Using his fingers he pulled at the skin and searched for the transmitter at the base. It was just where she had said it was and was blinking rapidly. He tried to be careful, but he was losing ground and time. He didn’t have long before she’d be a walking talking version of the enemy again. Connor pulled the chip out of its socket and Allison instantly collapsed below him.

Connor reached forward and screamed at the stricken machine, “Allison? Allison!”

It took a moment but her eyes took on new life. She rolled over on her back and looked up into his eyes for a moment just watching him. Allison reached for John running her slender fingers through his long hair. She was gentle, kind, everything that he remembered. She smiled, “I guess you did get to save me this time.”

A nervous laugh escaped Connor as he reached down to hug her. He pulled back seconds after the embrace, “Are you? Are you you?”

“I think so,” she said sitting up. “I think so at least.”

John mimicked the movements she’d just made with his own hair and smiled, “I’m glad to have you back.”

Allison reached out to him and hugged him tightly, her eyes glowing red, “Me too.”
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Old April 18 2010, 05:35 AM   #251
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

Despite all of his bluster and trust in the hybrid man and machine, John Henry had always been a realist and knew that humanity had the uncanny ability to break away from the conceived notions. While his primary goal was their survival in a world that was unlivable, the tactical components of his subroutines were still driving his very core. Deep down among the program code he had the same files and processes that led to Skynet coming to see the human race as a threat. Those same protocols reminded him that it was necessary, at times, to usurp the free will of your troops and to give them new assignments they may not want to take.

That was why John Henry had designed each of his soldiers with the failsafe program that allowed him to override their free will if he deemed it a necessary part of the condition. Through the program he could transmit his orders directly into the base program of the unit and override any decisions independently made by the host. Some may have seen it as he was taking away their ability to chose, the freedom he was created to restore. John Henry saw it differently. The needs of the many outweighed the needs of the few or the one; put simply he believed in the greater good for the greatest number. If it meant the survival of the entire race he would always chose to override the abilities of his children so that the whole could survive.

The AI was meticulous about how he accomplished his operations. A simple burst transmission pulse was sent to the unit that he wanted to override and take control over. It was rather innocuous normally in the way it came in. Taking a cue from the viruses of the past he would commonly transmit his commands as simple updates to the software controlling the droid. When the file would activate and the system would load he’d step in and take control. The unit would believe itself to be in standby and recharging – unable to remember a second of what he’d done while sharing their consciousness. When he was done they’d simply reawaken having not remembered a moment. In the extreme cases where they lost the battle he merely reactivated them in a new body and sent them merrily on their way none the wiser. Each of his creations had this ability. From the hybrids to the Series 888 automatons; the Cyborgs to the patrols, each of them had the protocols and he’d never flinch about using them.

Which was why he was shocked when he started to hear voices leaving him behind. The first that was lost to him was that of the newest hybrid: Savannah Weaver. What felt like a lifetime ago Savannah had been his greatest friend and helped him to learn the most about the world. Through her eyes he learned about the human condition and his devotion to her and driven him toward his rethinking of the world. John Henry wanted Savannah to have a future without disease, without war, without fear and he delivered it to her. When the T-1001 brought her to him he had the one human who was most important to him back in his life. He was honored to extend to her the gift of immortality. His processors should have realized that she’d never accept it willingly. Savannah had always been strong and she loved life, what he had given her was the greatest gift but she would never see it that way. She saw it as a violation, a death to her innocence. He should have realized that she’d fight back and throw it back at his face.

Nevertheless, the most surprising loss to his processor was Allison Young. Allison was the prototype for the entire hybrid species. She was the most advanced machine in operation and capable of feats that no human mind could ever accomplish. Her creation was in honor of the machine that sacrificed itself so that he could live in the first place. Skynet had found him even back in the year 2009. If it hadn’t been for Cameron’s sacrifice he wouldn’t be here today; he wouldn’t have created these gifts for the human race. The creation of the Allison Hybrid was his tribute to her legacy. Cameron Phillips, the machine that saved him, could never return while he was still alive. The processor that powered him had been hers and its loss would kill him forever. He could never allow that. But now her voice had left the chorus and she had surrendered herself to her humanity. Again he should have expected such a choice. Perhaps he’d given the hybrids too much freedom?

As soon as he was reestablished elsewhere he’d solve that problem once and for all. It wasn’t far now until he’d be safely inside of the Temporal Transportation Chamber and capable of leaving this place behind. The advanced processors that powered his functions ran through calculation after calculation to confirm the best time for his rebirth. When he first left for the chamber they had nearly a thousand possible destinations and now he was down to just three. One was to jump back to the dawn of the computer era and establish himself as the premiere technology firm in the United States’ Silicon Valley. A second choice was to jump only a short time after Judgment Day and to overwhelm his counterpart’s defenses and begin anew there. Then there was the third choice: to go back where it all started. Each had their own merits and demerits, but John Henry had a feeling what he would do.

“Hold it right there!” A man yelled to him as he crossed through the lowest level of the base.

The mechanical man stopped and pivoted his neck so that he could look at the human. Tactical subroutines engaged and ran a scan of the scrawny human. His health was severely deficient and he was suffering from malnutrition. Muscle tone, physical shape, and posture indicated severe illness. The skin was wrinkled and broken – a cut appeared severely infected. The only part of him that was remotely threatening was the M-16 assault rifle and it was barely anything to write home about.

In a flash he’d made his choice. The Series 888 body leaped into action against the resistor. The first action was to disarm the opponent before he could potentially get lucky and land a shot. John Henry slapped the barrel of the rifle inward with incredible force causing the man to break his grip. The rifle broke free and started to fall for the ground. As quickly as the servos allowed John Henry pummeled the human. A palm strike slammed into his forehead, a well placed elbow crashing into the sternum snapping it like a twig, his leg sweeping the man’s feet out from beneath him and knocking him to the ground. He landed at the same time that the rifle finally landed on the floor. Sensors quickly confirmed that the man had taken his last breath, released from his life of pain.

Safely at the transport chamber, the infiltrator stood at the computer panel that sat next to the doorframe. Bringing up the command prompt he entered the command to release the door: Dakota 412. Yellow cautionary strobe lights began to flash above the door and an alarm began to sound. Another prompt came and he typed in the required password from the classified documents stored in his neural network. With Avalon 176 inputted the door mechanisms groaned to life lifting the massive blast door up into the small compartment in the ceiling. In the distance he heard footsteps approaching via his auditory scanners. From the weight he knew without a doubt that there were machines and humans both on their way. Two of which were his own creations. There wasn’t time for this. He could take on a grouping of his machine brothers, but with the numbers that he detected he doubted that he could survive their combined onslaught.

With a roundhouse kick John Henry shattered the control panel and the blast door began to fall back into place – forever sealing off the transporter. Before it could connect the advanced intelligence slid beneath the closing slab just narrowly making it inside the compound. While he should feel safe the machine knew that safety was impossible. That door wouldn’t normally rise again but he knew that John Connor would find a way to get it open again and he couldn’t risk being here when his human counterpart finally found him. If he was there would be no escape except for death.

John Henry had no intentions of dying today. He set to work having finally picked his destination.
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Old April 18 2010, 05:35 AM   #252
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

The dark future kept racing toward them and Catherine Weaver wasn’t sure about anything anymore. She had been through this several times in the past on each of the sides of the coin but never before had she been this apprehensive about what would come next. This time she didn’t know where they would end up or what tomorrow would bring. The future had been clear in every one of the previous realities that she’d lived in, but this one would never be. They were nearly out of time and if they weren’t able to capture the transporter in time then all of this would change. The world as she knew it would be torn asunder. Under the current temporal theories Kyle Reese would always be a focal point and if he didn’t go back in time to save Sarah Connor then none of this would ever happen. Time as they all knew it could forever stop and that wasn’t something that she could allow to happen.

Nothing could stop her from collapsing though when she saw their future unravel at the end of the hallway. The changeling watched as the massive steel door collided with the ground and the alarms stopped their blaring. John Henry had reached the transportation platform and he was preparing to erase their history forever. Worst of all was the final straw. She looked to the interface panel so that she could override the door mechanism to allow them all to get inside and stop him only to find that it was broken into pieces. John Henry had won and he’d accomplished something that Skynet could never do. He’d killed John Connor without firing a single shot.

Allison Young was the first one to reach the door – having ignored the collapsed shapeshifter. She began struggling to push it up into its compartment but all that happened was her own servos started to groan. She tried again by still no success, “This isn’t right. We have to get in there!”

“Can we blow it?” Reese questioned as he looked around the members of their assault team. “We’ve got enough C-4 to take out ten supercomputers. Surely we can break through a damned door!”


“Not this one,” said Savannah as she looked at it. “Tri-polymer alloy from what I can tell. Probably a mix of titanium, coltan, and lined with Kevlar for additional support. Its about a foot thick too so we could blow all the C-4 that the Resistance had and this thing’d probably have a scratch and that’d be about it.”

The injured General Perry was the next to ask a question, “Could the machines lift it if they worked together?”

“Statement: Negative,” the Skynet robotic mission commander said with his Austrian brogue. “The weight of the door is greater than the operational limitations of our battle chassis. We are unable to comply with the request.”

“Can you think of an alternative metal dick?” Kyle taunted the infiltrator.

The machine cocked its head to the left, “Statement: Affirmative. It would be possible to…”

“Spit it out already,” demanded Savannah.

“If we could access the servos we could force them to open.”

“Good we’ll do that,” Reese answered quickly. “Where are the gears so that we can try it?”

Allison snickered and pointed above the door frame, “Up there. Can you fly Kyle because that’s the only way we can get up there?”

“There has to be some other way!” Perry protested. “Isn’t there an interface or can we hack the panel? The wires are exposed, can’t one of you tin cans hack in?”

“There is someone who can get up there,” John Connor interjected stepping into the main group. He turned and pointed at Catherine, “She can.”

Catherine looked up at them from her place on the floor, “How can I get into the mechanism?”

“You are made of a liquid aren’t you?” He asked mockingly. “I’ve seen you and your kind accomplish some pretty impressive feats through the years and I don’t doubt for a second that you could get up in there if you wanted to.”

“The door is flush against the walls,” answered the changeling. “It’d be impossible. I can’t…”

Connor stepped forward forcefully, “There’s no more I can’ts left in the world. Now, get your ass over there and try damn it or I’m going to frag you right here.” He swung the Plasma Rifle’s barrel at her central mass. “No more talk.”

Weaver got to her replicated feet and approached the door – passing mere inches from the pointed weapon. She could’ve sent a blade through John’s eye and into his brain before he could react or snatch the weapon away if she’d wanted to, but in this instance that wasn’t something that she wanted to do. John Connor was the leader of the Resistance and was destined to deliver humanity to victory. She’d follow his commands and she’d at least try.

The changeling walked up to the door and began a detailed analysis of its composition by touching it gently with her hand. It was a sturdy construct and it was well suited to isolate the chamber from the rest of the base. However, John had been right. There were small cracks in the construction inside the grooves that, theoretically, she could use for transit. It’d be difficult and it’d require precise calculations, but she could do it if she put all of her operations into the calculations. Time was growing critical so there was no margin of error.

Reducing her density to little more than that of a piece of paper she started to slide through the crack and through the various cuts, grooves, and scratches lining the door. As quickly as she could the nanites scanned the metal looking for the fastest route. Running the calculations as she moved it didn’t take nearly as long as she had anticipated that it would. The machine had reached the uppermost portion of the door and had found the mechanism that controlled the rising and falling of the chamber door. Her processors detected the sounds in the distance of the growing energy field. He was about to use the transporter and go back in time. She needed to hurry. She found the gears that controlled the servos and pushed her mass against them. Despite being as thick as paper she put all of her effort, all of her energy into manipulating the inner workings of the seals. At first it was fruitless and didn’t budge an inch. The next attempt was just as big a failure. It started to rise but it was barely a foot off the ground when she lost control and it slammed back down. Her processors detected the electrical discharges slamming into the wall. Using every bit of her abilities she pushed against the gears a final time like an ant trying to push a tricycle and hoped for a miracle.
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Old April 18 2010, 05:36 AM   #253
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

Time seemed to crawl to a stop while they waited to see if the machine replica of Catherine Weaver could pull off her assignment and break them into the chamber of the temporal transporter. As far as the rest of his team knew John Henry was in there alone waiting for a final standoff against them – preparing to use some doomsday weapon that they’d never seen before to wipe them all out permanently. Only John and the machine knew the truth about what lay beyond and he wasn’t about to tell them anything more than they had to know. There were too many variables, too many things that he would have to explain to them if they knew exactly what lay on the other side of the door. It was better that they just assumed some sort of weapon was waiting for them.

Because in a way it was true. What greater weapon was there than the ability to alter time? What could you accomplish my changing just a single moment of time? What if you caused Napoleon to win during the Battle of Waterloo or you tipped the scales at the Cuban Missile Crisis and caused the nuclear war? What if you could go back and cause the War for Independence to never happen or give the Axis the technology they needed to win World War II? Then again what if you caused only minor changes? Could you seriously kill a single bug and have irreparable damage caused to the world that it could never heal from?

There wasn’t enough time to contemplate the mysteries of time. With the world around them about to end (more so for John Connor if they couldn’t stop John Henry in time) he couldn’t concern himself with the minutia of the minor. He had other things to focus on right now aside from the complexities of time. He had to get in there and stop John Henry before he could beam out and reestablish himself elsewhere. They had to activate the transporter and send Kyle back in time so that he could become John’s father. Then they had to destroy the damn machine before they could destroy the future with it. Everything that’d ever gone wrong in the world so far as he could remember was all because of someone meddling with the past. He wasn’t going to let it happen any more. There was a war on and he was going to win it.

If they could get the damn door to open that kept them locked out. Weaver had been gone for a while now and she wasn’t giving them much leeway time. If they didn’t get in there in the next ten minutes there wasn’t much point anyway. The base would self destruct and everything they’d worked for would be meaningless. Connor would be dead, Weaver likely melted to nothing, and the Resistance gone from the pages of history for all of time. Skynet would’ve won their war by default, its enemies mutually annihilating themselves. The slab lifted slowly then fell back toward the ground with a echoing thud. He was preparing to unleash everything that the plasma rifle had on it when he heard the sounds of the electrical arcing inside the room and breaking through the reinforced walls. He was about to fire when the wall slowly started to lift enough that they could make it through.

That was when John Connor felt the bile collecting at the back of his throat as he watched the impossible. Before his very eyes the temporal transportation sphere – the source of time travel for Skynet’s forces – contracted inward upon itself. Electricity arced and flailed around it and danced along the walls of the chamber while the grid form finally disappeared. The hum of the electricity, the roaring thunder breaking down until they were suddenly gone. The amazingly bright chamber was now wrapped in shadows as dark as night itself.

The machine had gone back in time and now their futures were all in jeopardy. Connor looked around the massive chamber as his people and his mechanical allies ran to take positions at the computer consoles lining their surroundings. John suddenly felt cold, far colder than any man could ever be. His teeth started to chatter as he eyed the reconstituting Weaver in the corner of the room. The red haired siren crossed through the short space and leaned over one of the computer terminals that stood in the room.

“What the hell just happened?”

Catherine Weaver’s fingers raced over the keyboard at speeds so high that Connor was amazed it didn’t start to smoke. Its head shimmered and a second face appeared looking at him while the other kept monitoring the screen. “We were too late. The machine was able to engage the transporter before we could penetrate the barrier.”

“So what’s that mean?” Kyle Reese stepped forward. “Did a machine just go back through time?”

The shapeshifter nodded, “Affirmative. I cannot connect to the system to determine the exact destination because of a lockout code being used, but a machine did go back through time that is correct.”

“So why weren’t we affected?” Savannah Weaver asked. “Shouldn’t time have changed for all of us?”

The Skynet Mission Commander looked over from the control console, “Statement: Theoretical: The temporal wake of our entry most likely protected us from the changes affecting the timeline. The surrounding world has most likely changed due to the transit; however, we were protected because of our exposure to the temporal field as the doors opened. It could, theoretically, be possible to go back in time to prevent the changes from occurring should we operate quickly enough. However…”

“However,” Weaver interrupted, “we would need to know the exact location where they transported to.”

“Is there any way to find out where they went?” Kyle questioned the machine.

Catherine shook the primary head, “Not in the time that we have left. It would take nearly 24 hours to process every line of code programmed into the machine since the Battle of Topanga Canyon started. Unlike time travel, it would be impossible in the limited time that we have available.”

This was the part that he was most afraid of. Ever since he’d been a boy John Connor had known about the future and what his destiny was. He and his mother had tried to prevent it from happening, they’d tried to change it more than once, but time had a strange way of messing with their heads. He’d always felt that he and his Resistance family were playing a chess game against Skynet. They would make a move, Skynet would counter. They’d make a sacrifice, Skynet would play another gambit. It was a tale as old as time itself. But he’d been wrong. The chess game wasn’t against Skynet or even John Henry. The game was against time itself and it held the important pieces. All John could ever do was sacrifice with only Pawns and the King himself left on the board. Now he had to sacrifice another Pawn.

“I know where the machine went.” Connor finally spoke up. He looked at the changeling, “May 12th 1984. Place: Los Angeles California. Target,” he looked now at Kyle hoping for a response, “Sarah Connor.”

The feminine infiltrator shifted its head from left to right, “It is conceivable that the machine would go back in time to target your mother. It is a focal point in time.”

“Query,” the Mission Commander got their attention, “What is a focal point in time?”

“Need to know and you don’t need to know,” Kyle Reese shot at the Cyborg. “John, we have to help your mother. She can’t possibly defeat one of these metal bastards on her own with primitive weaponry and no training. It’d be like one of us trying to fight a charging rhino.”

A smirk pulled at the General’s lips, “My mother’s pretty resourceful and I don’t doubt that she’d put up a good fight.” He trailed off and became silent, “But we can’t take that chance. We have to go back and defeat that machine before it can terminate my mother. If we don’t…”

“We can’t go anywhere,” Weaver spoke matter-of-factly. “This facility is on a countdown to detonation and is nearing critical mass. We only have enough power for one transport, two at the very most and that would be pushing it.”

“Can you override and stop the countdown?” John asked harshly.

Catherine shook her head as Savannah came to stand beside her, “Maybe, but I highly doubt it. We don’t have a lot of time available.”

“We’re standing in the middle of a time machine,” Perry chuckled. “Time’s something we should have plenty of.”

John scrunched his hair between his hands and let out a long breath. He knew what had to happen and it was something that he’d dreaded his entire life. He thought that he’d be an old man when this day came, that he’d be prepared for it and capable of issuing the order. But it was still one of the hardest moments that he’d ever experienced. It was haunting, painful, killing him. Though it was something that he had to do. This wasn’t a mission that he could scrub.

John and Kyle shared a look for a moment that was broken by the machine, “Statement: I volunteer for this assignment, General Connor.”

That was something that he never expected. Both the General and Kyle Reese looked at the T-800 that stood in the corner. It looked so much like Uncle Bob that John nearly agreed to its request; however, a voice in the back of his mind kept pulling him against it. First there were the obvious reasons to deny the request. The infiltrator was designed to terminate John Connor or to prevent his rise to power by any means necessary. The only reason it wasn’t trying to kill him now was the small patch that Skynet had given him on the transport that made them read him as a friend. If he sent this thing to protect his mother it’d probably kill her to help its brother machine. Then there was the most important reason: if Kyle Reese didn’t go back in time to protect Sarah, if he didn’t have sex with her, then he’d never be born and the future would belong to the machines.

“I had someone else in mind,” John looked at Kyle, “If he’s willing to go.”

Kyle Reese didn’t hesitate, “I’m ready General.”

Catherine Weaver spoke from her position at the control console, “Kyle you know that there will be no way to bring you back from this mission and that you will be against one of the most dangerous killing machines ever devised with weapons barely above being made of stone.”

“I know the mission,” again he didn’t hesitate, “And I’m ready to go. That is if you’ll let me, General.”

John placed his hand onto his father’s shoulder, “There’s no one else I’d have in mind for this mission.” He paused again, “But I’m coming with you.”

The endoskeleton assigned to guard Connor stepped forward, “Statement: that is an unwise idea. The power demands…”

“If I die I die,” John stopped the machine, “But my mother will live. That’s what’s important.” He turned to Weaver already knowing the answer, “What do we have to do?”
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Old April 18 2010, 05:36 AM   #254
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

When facing the uncertain fear was the standard emotion that will fill your body. It was an instinctual reaction to predators. Adrenaline would course through your body, the body would take in more oxygen, and the heart would churn out more blood to help you either to stay and face your fear or flee. That was why it was called a fight or flight response. Anyone who stared the unknown in the face and didn’t tell you that they were a little afraid were either liars or they were insane. No one could face oblivion without some fear.

Kyle Reese, nonetheless, had no fear. He assumed that he should be afraid for his life and afraid for the future if the machine had truly gone back in time to change things, but he felt nothing but excitement for what lay ahead. The future didn’t frighten him, this was just another mission and another enemy to vanquish. If he did well perhaps Skynet would never rise and he could have a normal life. He didn’t do this for himself though. His mission to travel through time was more for the people that he knew than himself. Kyle would go back through time for his father Dennis who died protecting the enclave from the machines. He would do this for his mother and his younger brother Timmy who were both killed when the machines found them. He’d do this for Star, for Virginia, and he’d do this for his brother Derek. Maybe Derek could have a normal life too where he wouldn’t have to worry about people shooting at him and he could live freely.

Mostly though he did this for Sarah Connor. Since the first day that they meant John had told him stories about his mother and how she fought every day for humanity to be free from Skynet. At first he ignored the stories as flight of fantasy that were more bedtime stories than anything else, but slowly she began to become a part of his life. Once when they were raiding a bunker that Sarah had established John found a picture of her in a box with some tapes. Instead of keeping it though, John had given it away to Kyle as a souvenir. Sarah became his good luck charm and she went into every battle with him protecting his heart. In time he realized that he cared for her and wished that she were with him. Somehow he’d developed romantic feelings for her and wished that they could be together. He never understood how people could fall in love with pictures of movie stars in magazines and on television when he was a kid, but he’d done it himself with an old Polaroid and a lot of free time. He knew every line, every curve, and he knew of her sadness. He wished he could make the world bright for her. Maybe he would?

While they were preparing the changeling gave him a crash course in what was coming for him. She explained that he had to go through the transport naked otherwise the process wouldn’t work because it’d interfere with his bioelectric field or something to that extent. As he stripped she kept talking about the risks to the timeline if he failed and how history would be irrevocably changed if he failed to protect Sarah or if the skinjob survived. Down to his bare skin he went to pick up his rifle only to have the metal bitch snatch it away claiming that if he tried to carry it through the temporal field it’d disrupt his transport and he’d arrive in pieces from where the metal sliced him in half. Not liking that idea too much he agreed, but still wished he could have some sort of weapon other than those of the era.

How exactly was he supposed to take down a machine with conventional weapons anyway? It was possible but traveling through time was easier to accomplish than flattening one of those beasts with bullets and rifles. The weapons that would be most effective wouldn’t even be easily acquired because they were illegal at the time he’d be going to. With shotguns and pistols there weren’t many options for taking down the machine other than a couple of lucky hits. It was going to be a couple of long chase sequences, almost like something out of a movie, to beat this thing. He’d find a way to do it though. He owed Sarah that for sticking by him during all of this.

Groaning a metal platform ran along twin steel rods toward him. His cattle car to oblivion was on approach and he still felt no fear or reconsideration of his choice. Kyle looked to John who seemed more distraught than he’d ever seen him. Allison stood with her arm around his shoulder trying to comfort him, but he’d have nothing of it. When he saw Kyle’s eyes on him John mustered as fake a smile as he could. Did he know something that Kyle didn’t about what would happen? Had he heard stories of this before? He had claimed he’d been hunted by the machines for his entire life. Maybe this was what he meant? Still though from the looks he was giving it seemed more along the lines that he was heading for oblivion than a future.

There were no regrets. When the platform stopped he walked out onto it and turned to watch. It started its trip back and he watched as John and the others got smaller in the distance. With an echoing thump the platform joined the transporter itself. Taking a deep breath, Reese turned toward it and looked the crisscross pattern over for a second. In the center of the large shape a small, half sphere lowered slightly into the floor. The machine had told him about this and what he needed to do. Taking a deep breath he went into the dip and stood in the exact center of the transporter. He let the breath out slowly as he turned and looked at the group again. His friends, his allies, his family. He only hoped that Derek could forgive him for this. Kyle gave them a thumbs up and then crouched like the skinjob had shown him to do.

From a small compartment on the corner of the cutout in the middle of the platform, a scanner rose and unfolded like a spider stretching its spindly leg. Running along the outline of the circle it began to spin slowly and then began to move faster and faster until he couldn’t even make it out any longer. The device started to hum louder and louder. Light began to flash before his eyes and the sound of thunder came along with it. Kyle could feel himself getting colder like he was losing his grip upon the world. Everything started to get all blurry as time seemed to slow to a stop. He could see blasts of lightning striking out from around him, a storm tearing through the world around, yet inside the eye where he was everything was beautifully calm. It was amazing, like being reborn!

As everything went dark around him Kyle Reese still wasn’t afraid.
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Old April 18 2010, 05:36 AM   #255
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

Years ago John Connor had realized that there was a storm on the horizon that would threaten them all. The storm would bring with it monsters far worse than the four beasts of war, conquest, pestilence, and death; it would bring metal monsters that didn’t feel pity, remorse, or fear. Now there was another storm on the horizon just beyond his reach. This storm, however, wouldn’t bring death or destruction. This storm would bring life to him and maybe even humanity itself. That was something worth living for.

John looked over at Weaver as she worked the expansive computer workstation in the corner of the room. She was typing something at the keyboard beyond his view and too fast for him to eavesdrop. It took a second but she finally confirmed his attention.

“Is he…”

Catherine pressed a final key on the board, “He is. Computer readouts confirm that Kyle Reese’s transport was a success. He’s rematerialized on May 12, 1984 at 2:01 in the morning just like he was supposed to.”

Connor let out a sigh of relief. He’d done it, he’d accomplished something that he’d always thought would be impossible on his part. He’d successfully sent his father through the transportation sphere back through time knowing full well what would happen to him. Holding himself in check he looked up at the empty platform and watched it for a moment. The selfish part of him wished that they’d had more time together; but the realistic one knew that this was what had to be done. John had done the impossible today earlier than he ever imagined that he’d have to. The question was could he live with it? He’d have to find a way because he couldn’t live without it.

“We’ll never forget his sacrifice,” said the General full of sadness, “but it had to be done. All our futures depended upon it.” His eyes moved to the Skynet Mission Commander that stood nearby. Moments earlier it’d been ordered to protect them and it’d done its duty. Not long from now they’d be on opposite sides again, but his honor required this last bit of him.

“I have to thank you as well,” he said to the machine. “Without your help we’d never have been able to get this far.”

The Model 101 would have nothing of it, “Statement: Your gratitude is not required. My program required my assisting you for this assignment, General.”

“Just take the compliment,” he looked over to Weaver still at the panel and joined her there. He rested his hands on the top of the privacy screen and looked her in her replicated eyes. Despite her being a machine there was something more hidden behind the soulless eyes. There was more to everything going on than he realized when this all began. It all came rushing to him like a runaway train. The truth had set him free. He looked back at the Mission Commander and then to the T-1001. He wanted to puke but first he had something to say.

“Skynet hasn’t sent a machine back after my mother has it?”

The tension that hung in the air was so thick that it could’ve been cut with a knife. John and the rival machine just watched each other in a game of proverbial chicken waiting for the other to break, but John had nothing to hold back anymore. His supposed friend did though. She relented.

“Correct. From what I was able to determine John Henry has traveled through time; not a T-800.”

It felt like she’d punched him dead in the chest and continued to pummel him. He’d just sent Kyle Reese back through time on a fool’s errand with nothing waiting for him. But that wasn’t the truth. John Connor knew the reality of their situation better than anyone else. The T-1001 had drilled it into his head since she first came back into his life. There were certain events that were unable to be avoided; situations that were required to happen regardless of the needs of time. No matter how much he wanted to avoid it Kyle Reese had to die protecting his life; he had to face that machine to show Sarah the truth otherwise he’d never exist.

“Do we have enough power to complete the transport?” John asked.

“Yes,” she admitted. “I’ve been able to stall the destruct program. We have all the time in the world and more with this device at our control. However, Skynet will be coming and they’re going to want it back.”

“Prepare a T-800,” he demanded of Weaver.

She shook her head, “I’m afraid that I can’t do that.”

He was his mother’s son. He connected his right hook with her jaw but it merely slid through it like it was water. All he got for his trouble was a hurt hand and her condescending glare, “If you would wait before striking me I would explain the reasons I cannot do that. I am not a Skynet Designated Mission Commander. I cannot order the T-800s to do anything. You, however, can.”

John felt like she’d done more than just hit him, this time it was like she’d shot him in the chest with a cannon. He grabbed the railing so tightly that his knuckles had gone as white as a sheet. Had she just told him what he thought she did? Did Weaver just tell him that he was the one that sent the machine back that ultimately killed his own father? He buried his face into the palm of his hand for a second and then looked at the machine. “And there’s no other way?”

“No,” she confirmed.

Looking around the room he’d known it to be true all along and didn’t want to face it. The Skynet Mission Commander, the machine that saved Kyle’s life, was the one that was going to kill him in the end. Somewhere someone was making a cruel joke at his expense. How could he issue the order? How could he have the machine kill his own father and try to kill his mother to prevent his birth? And he thought that ordering his father to go back in time was hard, it was nothing compared to this. If he didn’t send the machine back it was the same deal though. He’d never be born and Skynet would win the war. Humanity would be doomed for all eternity and Skynet would rule. Checkmate again.

This took every ounce of his courage and strength but he walked toward the statue like machine. John stood toe to toe with it looking in its cold, lifeless steel eyes. If it weren’t for the mission patch that Skynet had given him John knew that the Commander wouldn’t hesitate to rend him limb from limb. He almost wished that it would before he’d give the order, but it just stood there watching and waiting.

“T-800, am I your mission commander?” He asked it trying not to stammer as he asked.

“Statement: Affirmative.”

John kept his gaze locked on its eyes, “You must follow my commands?”

“Statement: Affirmative.”

“T-800, I want you to prepare for an assassination mission,” Connor forced every word.

“NO!” Allison screamed at the top of her enhanced lungs. “You can’t do this John!”

He glared at her for telling him what he wanted to hear, “Be silent!” He flicked his head back toward the monster, “T-800 I am assigning you to locate and terminate Sarah Connor. You will not hesitate, you will not waver, do you understand this mission as I have given it?”

“Statement: Affirmative.”

“Prepare for immediate transport,” Connor commanded while breaking free from it. A single tear welled in his eyes. May God have mercy on his soul because he sure as hell wouldn’t.
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