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Old August 16 2009, 08:43 PM   #46
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

^ Thanks.

I'm working on the next chapter and it should be posted within the next 48 hours (finger's crossed).
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Old August 17 2009, 08:31 AM   #47
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

I'm looking forward to more.
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Old August 23 2009, 07:10 AM   #48
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

John Connor felt the cool water surround his body and let himself to, for a brief second, relax in the weightlessness. To most the water would’ve been far too cold for comfort, but having not been able to bathe in any way for what felt like a lifetime John found it was just right. The lifelong soldier dropped his head beneath the waves and just let himself float beneath the surface, allowing the water to wrap around him like a blanket. It was like being in the womb or being in the time stream heading for a new era. It was amazing to him how similar they were. It almost felt exactly the same.

For a moment the thought crossed his mind not to allow himself to resurface – to just allow nature to take its course with him. All of his failures, all of his successes would simply be wiped away for all of time. What would history remember him as in this reality anyway? In the other John had gone down in history as the man who literally saved the world from the machines. Here he was just the boy that fell from the sky on a cool, clear night. He’d helped them to fight, organize in a sense, but most of what he’d done had been futile. All of those mistakes could be forgotten and everything could just run its course in seconds if he just let the water flow into his lungs.

But there was a voice inside his head that would never let him follow through. “Quit feeling sorry for yourself, John, you have a mission to complete. Remember your training; Skynet cannot be allowed to win this war no matter the cost.” The voice said over and over.

The immortal Sarah Connor’s words pulled him from his reverie and the darkness of his soul. John allowed himself to return to the surface and swung his head back when he met the air, letting the water drip from his longer than preferred hair. After his experiences with Uncle Bob and the T-1000, John had decided to rebel a bit by letting his hair grow longer. His mother hated it but his hair was one of the few things, hell maybe it was the only thing, that he had control over in his entire life. Like his mother he hated it in the beginning, but he actually grew to like it a bit more than he ever imagined that he would. He was even happy for a while – he has his mother, a surrogate father in the form of his Uncle, and the companionship of Cameron. Then Margos Sarkissian stepped into his life. When they were trying to buy The Turk from him, Sarkissian double-crossed them on John’s birthday of all days.

First he incapacitated Cameron by blowing up the Jeep with a bomb and then he came for Sarah and John. Sarkissian and his goon tied them up with zip ties and beat them for a few moments inside their own house. When the goon stepped out for a cigarette, Sarkissian decided to have some fun with Sarah. He pushed John up against the radiator and tried to rape Sarah. Watching his mother, the soldier who taught him everything, being hurt in such a way threw John into a rage he’d never before experienced. Using all of his might he cut the ties with the jagged edge of the radiator – cutting himself in the process a bit deeper than he should have but not caring about his own wounds – and flew after Sarkissian like an avenging angel. He grabbed him by the throat and didn’t stop squeezing until the man stopped breathing. When the man’s eyes rolled back lifeless into his head, John didn’t stop. He just kept pushing and pushing letting his hatred, his anger, and his rage control every action that he took.

That was the first time he’d ever taken a life. Sarah tried to comfort him, tried to calm him, but the pain had burrowed deep in a flash. He felt like a zombie, like he had killed himself instead of that monster Sarkissian. How could he have taken another human life – even someone as despicable as that monster? Humans weren’t supposed to be his enemy; they were never what he trained to fight against. Machines were supposed to be his target. He felt sick to his stomach during the entire aftermath. He’d become one of the metal bastards in so many ways except for one: his conscience got the best of him and reminded him of what he’d done.

But the nightmare wasn’t over. The cybernetic assassin that he’d come to care about came through the door and just stared with her typical blank stare. He’d expected some sort of stupid comment or observation, but he never prepared himself for what came next. She raised her gun at him and she started to squeeze the trigger. An explosion knocked the stairs out and made her miss the shot, but it was enough to trigger every instinct inside of him. He had to run, she’d changed from friend to foe, and that was what they did. He dove through the window with his mother, nearly breaking his leg on the botched landing.

He couldn’t run forever though. Eventually they stopped running and faced Cameron head on, nearly destroying her in the process but that was the mission. When she expressed her undying love for him it reignited his rage and he shut her off for the revelation. As they prepared to melt her down something clicked inside his mind and he turned again, this time he became her steadfast protector. He restored her – against everyone’s advice – and they came to an understanding of sorts. They went back to their temporary sanctuary in the church where they all tried to move on. That was the death of John Baum, Reese, or whatever the hell he wanted to call himself and the beginning of the rise of John Connor – if only for a time. He cut his hair, he changed his look, and he prepared himself for what tomorrow would bring. He was a soldier, a warrior, and that was all he would ever be.

And he nearly killed himself more than once because of his new found knowledge of his destiny. Then something came into his life that he didn’t expect to find: love. Riley Dawson had been his way of finding a normal life, but even she wasn’t normal like he suspected. She was just as different as he was and it didn’t take John long to realize it. Derek’s psychotic girlfriend – convinced that Cameron was the greatest threat to all of the Resistance – took her back in time and warped Riley’s mind into being a weapon against him. Her mission was to turn John against the machine and she nearly succeeded in the task despite his objections at the time. The problem was that Jesse didn’t expect that Riley would become so dedicated to the paradise of the past that she would die to remain in it. Riley tried to kill herself but survived; then Jesse killed her and made it look like Cameron did it in a jealous rage.

That was the final death of John Baum. John confronted Jesse and decided to let her live with her own demons for what she’d done, but Derek had other plans for his one time love. Derek took care of Jesse on John’s behalf and they got ready for what would come next on the wall of misery as he’d come to call it. They were going to run again, to rebuild their lives away from everything so far and wait for the bombs to fall, but Sarah had more plans than just those. She would keep John from Derek and Cameron to let him find himself in a sense with the help of Charley Dixon. They would train him in their own way away from the machinations of the machine and his depressed uncle. But they never imagined that Skynet was still waiting for them and was already sending its minions – including human soldiers – against them. Everybody died for John Connor at some point. Charley died saving John, Derek died saving John, and Cameron died saving John, everybody.

With everything that’s happened to him in his life it was no wonder he’d tried to kill himself.

“Have a nice swim?” spat Derek Reese as John put back on his clothes after getting out of the pool.

“Better than the last time when the hydrobot tried to give me a kiss,” John said matter-of-factly. “How’s Kyle?”

Derek walked toward the pool and knelt beside it. He ran his fingers through it for a second like a kid sitting next to a river. The fallback position had once been a pretty upscale hotel that was off the beaten trail on the outskirts of Los Angeles. This distance had been the saving grace and pretty much survived judgment day with just some rudimentary damage not much worse than what it would’ve gotten during an earthquake. It had a few people in it as caretakers, John had never met them but Kyle had selected them personally, and it was comfortable. A lot of their bases had been hotels it seemed, but this one had more advantages. The closed off pool for one gave them access to water – even though they bathed in it every so often. They boiled it anyway. Plus they were able to put a lookout tower in on the upper floor and it still had access to the sewer system. And the security monitors were still operational and, even now, they were filming everything with someone watching them at all times.

“He’s getting back to normal. He got damn lucky that the metal bastard wasn’t able to close its fist or he wouldn’t have had any hope at all.” He actually laughed, “And he’s still holding onto that snap of your mother.”

“She’s his good luck charm,” reminded Connor.

Derek snorted, “Somethin’ like that. I don’t need reminded every five minutes.”

“Look I don’t want to get into another fight with you about the picture or anything else in particular,” John answered his challenge. “We’ve been through it enough and we’ve had a hard enough day as it is.”

“You’re giving him false hope,” Reese pressed as he started to strip, not caring about what John wanted. “Things like that picture and those tapes that you had to keep from that depot we found in the desert; things like that… they’re material and they’re worthless to us. They have no purpose other than to remind us of yesterday when we need to be thinking about what we’re going to do to survive.” He stepped into the pool just as John had just done and kept talking, “Things like that plasma gun, they’re worth our time trying to save.”

John rubbed his chin and kept reminding himself not to go off on him. He could fight bitterly, but he needed to remain calm. That picture was the only thing even he had left of his mother now; the tapes were still at the old base and were probably going off to some Skynet lab for analysis as they spoke.

“There’s more to winning wars than just having bigger and better guns. Maybe we have to give people something else other than this war to think about,” Connor suggested. “Memories of life before those bombs fell on our heads, memories of a life before we were hunted by machines; people need things like those to help them get through the day. When I joined your little group after you found me we had several dozen people with us and now only three years later our numbers are dwindling down to nothing. People are losing hope…”

Reese floated in the water just as John had done seconds ago, “Then they’re weak and none of us have time to be sniveling little girls and boys. There’s a war on and we need to fight, not worry about yesterday. Worry about tomorrow instead.”

“Yeah I know,” Connor was starting to lose control, “Remember that this is a war I’ve been fighting since before your parents even got together and wasted their time making you. Too bad they didn’t have protection that night.”

“Yeah your destiny to be the leader of humanity; what was it we were supposed to call you?” He snickered, “Oh yeah ‘the great John Connor’ the prophesied leader of the Resistance against Skynet… what a joke. Bang up job you’re doing as our leader, Great One.”

John clenched his hand into a fist so tight he could feel his fingers digging into the flesh. He kept reminding himself that this wasn’t how things were supposed to be and that all of this would change soon enough. “At least I’m trying to help people, to win this war, all you seem to be doing is trying more and more to self destruct against the machines. You offend me – you’re little more than a coward who acts more like a bully than a soldier; a petty thug who just so happens to have survived by the grace of God.”

“God has nothing to do with it and it’s better than being a man struggling to keep hold of a destiny that never existed,” he answered bitterly. “At least my skills will help me survive, what’ll yours do to help you live? You want to win the war, but you want to help people too. Don’t you?”

“If we don’t help people we’re no better than the machines,” Connor pointed out.

Derek cocked his head, “Well that’s all well in good – it’s noble that you want to be a man of the people. Let’s give people our food, a blanket, and our guns like great statesmen should. But here’s something you have to remember about humanity and people in particular. We’re animals, plain and simple truth, John. You value human life, I just value living another day. Remember those dogs we kept at the doors to the base and that you, recently, told us could sniff out the tin cans? Well, before the fall, I remember reading a story about a man who had owned a Rottweiler for its entire life. He cared for it, he raised it from a puppy, but one day the man died and no one was left to care for the dog. The dog protected the remains until it got hungry and then it ate its master. People are just like that. They’ll stand by you as long as it meets their needs, but then they become the hungry dog and they’ll eat you all the same.”

“Right now I’d take that hungry dog over you any day of the week.” John looked down at him, “Clean yourself up and start pulling your own weight again other than bitching and moaning about the leadership styles I employ. Your brother seems to think that I have some good ideas. Maybe you should trust him and his judgment.”

Before he could hear another word escape the man’s lips, Connor turned and walked back into the base leaving his uncle alone in the pool. For a second he hoped that Derek would simply fade beneath the surface and never come back up again, but that was only for a moment. He had a legitimate argument, it just wasn’t an opinion that John shared, and he should be allowed to express it. Derek needed to vent and that was how he did it; he needed someone to challenge him and fight him about something. He’d always been that way.

And it’d always been that way between them both in this reality and the other. When he first met him he was, in many ways, just like Uncle Derek but this incarnation had a harder edge. It was probably because of everything that he’d been through that the other had never seen. Life hadn’t been a picnic for Uncle Derek, but it was in contrast to this one’s life and experiences. In Uncle Derek’s reality he grew up somewhat under John’s protection and didn’t have to contend with a struggle as deadly as this one. They had worked well together in the beginning, but as more came out about John’s history Derek’s cynicism got the better of him in more ways than one. They’d still worked well together, but not as easily as they had in the other reality. Maybe one day they’d work better and they’d develop the relationship that they’d had in the other reality, but he doubted it. They’d probably remain at odds for the rest of their days never changing in any way.

That was just the order of things.
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Old August 23 2009, 07:12 AM   #49
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

“Bastard,” Derek Reese spat at John Connor once he was out of the room. Where the hell did he get off talking to him like that? Connor was just a child and, despite what he claimed, he hadn’t been fighting the machines for nearly as long as Derek had been. His stories of time travel had been little more than a fairy tale that they actually had told to the kids every so often trying to keep them entertained during HK raids. He couldn’t expect them to swallow that tripe. It just wasn’t possible for anything that John had said to be true.

Then again many of the things that John had said did end up being true. The skin-jobs did end up existing and they’d learned that the hard way after they discredited John’s claim. A lot of the strategies that Connor suggested did end up working to disable the machines – like the attack on the ventilation system of the 600 Series to lockout its mobility controls temporarily. Then there was Sarah Connor herself. How the hell could she know about the machines if she hadn’t had experiences with them? Her tapes had helped John tremendously and even detailed some important material. If she hadn’t encountered a machine how else could she have known about these things? Was she some sort of psychic or something? Psychic ability was just as preposterous as time travel. Then again how could he judge her claims as being impossible? But there had to be more; there had to be some kind of explanation for everything.

As he floated his thoughts kept on John. Even though he didn’t show it in many ways he did admire John Connor. While his story was probably just some insanity (how exactly could you know you were the leader of mankind if it hadn’t happened yet?), stranger things had happened – after all there were thinking machines these days. How could someone grow up and deal with knowing that the world would end soon and that they were going to be an important leader after the fall of man? It was amazing that the kid hadn’t killed himself. Derek wasn’t sure he wouldn’t have done it. There were times, even now, that he thought about eating his gun.

What was it about that kid? There was something about John Connor that Derek just couldn’t explain. Something familiar about him, but it was a different feeling than he expected to have about some stranger. It was almost like he was somehow family and Derek cared about what happened to him and his opinions. He’d never admit it but John was right. Derek was, in a lot of ways, no better than the machines. He’d done things that he wasn’t proud of to survive this war and he killed people before. Maybe that was why he didn’t care about the value of human life? Maybe it was because he’d been hurt by so many others before. Maybe people did need something to believe in other than just survival. Derek himself had been thinking a lot about family lately. He’d never have one though except for Kyle.

He turned his head and saw a beautiful woman standing on the lip of the pool staring at him like a tiger getting ready to pounce on dinner. She was an amazing woman – about five and a half feet tall with long black hair and dark eyes. Her skin was perfect except for a beauty mark that only enhanced her appeal. In his surprise he flopped in the water like a wish trying to limit his exposure – in more ways than one. How could she have gotten so close to him without his noticing? No one could be that quiet.

“Sorry,” she tried to excuse, “I didn’t mean to startle you.”

“Who the hell are you?” He said keeping as much of himself in the water as he could.

Her accent was exotic, “My name’s Jesse. I’m one of the caretakers of this little outpost of ours. Who might you be, Love?”

“I’ve never seen you before,” Derek was starting to go on the offensive. Could this woman be one of the machines? If so he almost wanted her to take him on.

“You wouldn’t’ve,” she said nonplussed. “Kyle sent me here not long after they rescued me. I’m a survivor of the USS Jimmy Carter. It was destroyed by Skynet’s Kraken a few months ago. I was able to get to the DSRV and launch before the boat hit crush depth.”

Reese let the words play in his head for a moment, “An Aussie on an American boat?”

“What’s the world comin’ to right?” She teased. “We had pretty much anyone we could carry – Yanks, Poms, Aussies, anybody; if you could pick up a gun and read a monitor you were good enough for a life at sea with us. Which was what did us in too I guess. There are a few of our survivors here with us, but no one you should worry about, Love. We have some nice blokes.” She looked at him in the water, “You don’t mind if I join you in there do you? I like to swim every now and then and this is the best time to do it since the ankle biters are asleep.”

“As long as you don’t mind swimming with a Yank,” he joked.

She smiled, “I’ve swum with many a Yank before, including a few that forgot their togs, just like you.”

“Togs?”

“Swimwear,” she pointed to his lower body. She watched as the man tried to sink lower into the pool and she lifted her hand in a friendly gesture, “No need to be modest.” She undid her jumpsuit and jumped into the water next to him, “It’s not a very attractive quality.” She swam around him letting her exposed skin brush against him every now and then, “Besides, I don’t like bathers either.”

“Pretty direct aren’t you?” He turned toward her.

She put a hand on his tattoo and ran her cold finger down it, “I just go after what I like, and I like you.” She pulled him with incredibly force and wrapped her arms and legs around him. Jesse began to kiss him passionately and Derek returned each one as he pushed himself tighter against her.

Maybe family was out of the question, but at least he could have some fun in the mean time.


Kyle Reese felt like a helicopter had landed on his head and decided to keep rising and landing over and over. His head was throbbing so heavily that he wondered if, somehow, a little person had found his way inside and was repeatedly hitting his brain with a sledgehammer. His chest was so tight that he felt like he was being stabbed each second. With each breath that he took he honestly felt as if his chest was going to collapse from the strain. Then there was the pain in his neck; which felt like it was on fire. What the hell did that machine do to him?

The medic had tried to drill into his head that he needed to take some time to rest, but there was time for that later. In the here and now he needed to find and brief the outpost director about everything that had happened at the Alpha Site so that they could prepare incase Skynet sent another skin-job after them. Hell, they weren’t really prepared for the possibility of those wolves in sheep’s clothing. One of them could already be here for all he knew. This outpost was on the outskirts of the normal patrol routes – it wasn’t one of the commonly checked locations by enemy detachments – so that would give them a brief rest and some time to plan the offensive, but Skynet could already have been here and decided to use them as test subjects. Maybe they were some sort of experiment? Derek was convinced that the benefactor had given their location to Skynet to invade, but Kyle still wasn’t sure that that was the case. The benefactor had chances before today sell them out to Skynet for invasion; this was probably just an isolated incident based upon bad timing.

At least that was what he was going to keep telling himself.

After a long walk he reached the door to the Security Room where the commander had taken up temporary refuge. Standing at the corner of the reinforced steel door was a young lady who was wearing military fatigues that were a little too big for her and a camouflaged baseball cap. She wasn’t much more than a teenager, actually she looked like she could be his age, but her face was stone cold – maybe even a bit too stone cold. Then there was the fact that the plasma rifle she was carrying looked like it was bigger than she was, but she didn’t seem to be having any trouble with the weapon. When he got close to her, Kyle could tell that she was staring so ferociously that he was honestly surprised that her gaze hadn’t drilled through his body.

She stared at him for a moment more and swung the gun around like a baton, “Who are you?”

“Kyle Reese,” he answered plainly trying to keep his answers quick. The strain was too much to deal with and the reminders of controlling pain were easier said than done when your throat was next to crushed.

“How can I be sure,” She kept the gun level with where his heart would be, “other than by pulling this trigger?”

Kyle was taken aback. How could she know to ask something like that? Before he could answer the woman put her left hand up to her ear and pushed in on a small, circular white object that she’d had hidden behind her long, red hair. After ten seconds or so, and a lot of nodding on her part, she returned her focus on him. She eased her hold on the gun and brought it down to the side, but she didn’t relax it entirely. With one movement of a finger Kyle’d have a hole the size of a grapefruit where his heart used to be.

“He’ll see you,” she said in a quick sentence.

A small indicator light on the door lock switched from crimson red to emerald green. The woman pushed the handle downward and pulled the door toward herself – holding it like a doorman would. She still had the rifle ready, “Step inside and don’t make any sudden movements.”

“I wouldn’t dream of it,” Kyle quipped as he stepped through the door. Even though he wasn’t looking at the girl he knew that she still had the gun trained on his back (probably still pointed at his heart). After a few paces they were at another door that she made him open this time. As soon as he stepped in he was in a foyer, little bigger than a closet, that had a metal detector on the far end. She made him go through the whole song and dance of taking off anything metal that he was carrying and she made him go through again and again until the scanner finally gave him the go ahead. Kyle wondered if he would’ve gotten this far had the commander not given him approval to come into the room. Most likely there would’ve been blood splatter on the wall and the bulk of his body lying on the ground with the first alarm otherwise.

After he was through she followed through the scanner. Despite the device giving him an all clear, she still had the rifle trained on him and her finger on the trigger. At least she was dedicated to her job. They went through a couple more doors until, finally, they reached the Security Control Room. Kyle was amazed by what he saw.

The Security Room had seen wear in its lifetime. The major feature was that the room was dominated by monitors that took up every part of free real estate available, but there were some screens that were off or damaged and inoperable. On the others, though, everything was showing up clearly despite the age of the equipment. As he walked toward the console he made notes as he glanced at the screens. People were in the armory stacking the few bits of equipment they were able to salvage from the Alpha Site. A few people were in a mess hall, well it was probably once an upscale restaurant in the lobby that became a mess hall, eating what looked like a stew. There were even two people who seemed to be getting it on in the pool, but Kyle didn’t watch as it wasn’t the proper thing to do. He made a mental note to avoid drinking any water from it for the time being though.

The woman led him to a central console where a man was sitting in an oversized black desk chair. The chair had seen a lot of use in its life and was ripped nearly to pieces with foam material hanging from it in a few places. It was then that he realized the extent of the damage from the years of activity. There were a lot more broken monitors than he originally believed there were. The keyboard at the man’s fingertips was missing keys here and there. Even the room’s master looked like he’d seen better days and he appeared to have old injuries that still hadn’t healed completely.

“Thank you Savannah,” he dismissed the girl and she did as told without question. The girl closed the door with a loud thud and on the monitor Kyle saw that she was standing right outside like a sentinel. She had left Kyle alone with the outpost’s commander just as she said she would, but they weren’t really alone.

The man was tall and dressed in what looked like urban combat fatigues once used by the United States Marine Corps. He was of African descent and probably in his mid to late fifties if Kyle guessed correctly, but people were looking middle aged even in their teens now. Even he had a grey hair or two and he was only 25. Age had taken root in the master’s face – he was covered in deep wrinkles and he’d lost his hair entirely. On the right side of the man’s face ran a long scar that went from the eyebrow to the base of his neck. The man had a goatee, nearly pencil thin though, which had white specks spaced throughout the black. His skin looked loose from the bone like he’d been sick recently. Then again who among them hadn’t been sick lately?

“Kyle Reese,” the older gentleman said cheerfully. “What can I do for you?”

“A lot Mister Ellison,” he answered, “a lot. We need to talk.”
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Old August 23 2009, 07:12 AM   #50
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

Strategic Command Units were different from the standard line of cybernetic organisms being mass produced for the war effort. These machines were far more intelligent than the run of the mill endoskeletons and they utilized all three chip ports rather than just the one about the right eye used by the rest of the soldiers. The additional processors gave it enhanced abilities in relation to strategic mission analysis and planning operations; not to mention it also gave them as close to full and total sentience as Skynet was likely to give any of its field units. Despite the behavioral inhibitors, Skynet was still worried about the possibilities of machine revolts inside its ranks even though they were few and far between. In most respects these were superior to other units and they could stay in the fight a lot longer if they needed to. Seeing one of these on the battlefield was enough though to make any military commander consider surrender as the only viable option. That was why Skynet didn’t differentiate them from the rest of the machines anymore. Despite the abilities of its commanders, Skynet preferred to test them under extreme situations to see how they could handle the unpredictable nature of the enemy. With every successful engagement, and with every failed offensive, Skynet had learned new and valuable lessons that it could use to win the war once and for all. That was more important than the enemy’s surrender.

Strategic Command Unit 1138 was just one of many command units in the world, but it’d proven itself more than once under the very extreme circumstances Skynet liked to test. An older Series 700 endoskeleton, 1138 had single handedly terminated over one thousand targets since it’d been brought online only two years ago. Its tactical knowledge had been supplemented by original thinking in more than once instance and it was ruthless in achieving its assignments. During one such engagement it even signaled for bombardment of its entire force in order to kill one human that had managed to hide from its search team – coincidentally it was outside the primary blast zone but that was probably just coincidence. There were few machines that would even consider such an option despite their programming though.

Now it was investigating the handiwork of the machine that would replace it in the field. As it walked through the human base it took detailed readings with each of its many sensor pallets and compared the information that it recovered against its own database records. Each gunshot, every dead body, even the location of the machine relative to its target when it fired was fastidiously analyzed by the machine supercomputer trying to determine the success of the new machine. Despite the destruction of the infiltration prototype during this engagement (its glowing failure in the fight), the strategic command unit had determined that its assault had been a success nonetheless. The priority targets had escaped from capture and termination, but the number of deceased and the loss of equipment was enough to significantly degrade the humans even further than they had been prior to the assault. However, one important thing that would have to be done with the Series 800 unit was Skynet would have to enhance its ability to think on its feet. It had remained almost entirely on the preprogrammed assault route and had not deviated from it during the battle. That was something that could cause concern in the future; especially when they operated alone as the humans could learn to anticipate and defend. Much as they had done here.

The human casualties were collateral damage this time though. In truth the humans weren’t the target of the machine army in this particular offensive. The entire invasion was focused on the recovery of one person. The strategic command unit did not normally question the orders of Skynet, but it did not understand the importance of one human girl in this instance and why a prototype next generation assault unit would be used to recover just one of the human animals. With the number of humans left on this rock of a world it didn’t make sense to bother with capturing any prisoners, yet Skynet had insisted upon its recovery. It was unusual to say the least; though the strategic command unit would not question Skynet’s judgment on this matter. It would follow its orders to the letter and let the chips fall where they may.

However, everything about this mission had almost been a total failure. The human had managed to get to an emergency escape route that had been established that Skynet had not known about. Fortunately for Skynet, the Command Unit had had the foresight to locate the local sewer pipes and it dispatched a series of units to sweep through the tunnels looking for humans who might attempt to escape. There were still humans that had slipped through the cracks in their strategy. They had missed recovery and termination the humans Kyle Reese (despite the Infiltration Prototype having had captured him in the generator room), Derek Reese, and John Connor; but they had captured their target and the rest of her group. Now it was preparing to transport Skynet’s desired prize to the laboratory at Skynet Central. The other two, Sumner and Timms, were being removed to a separate laboratory complex where they would be dissected like the animals they were.

The massive machine stepped into the command center, or what was once the command center, and found a Series 600 droid working at one of the computer keyboards on the center table. It was futilely typing on a broken computer trying to recover information from the broken systems. It had gone so far as splicing into the hard drive through the USB port that Skynet had built into their skull assembly; however, it was to no success if the Strategic Command Unit’s scans had been correct (which they undoubtedly were). The commander stood on the upper platform to allow the machine to continue, but it had a time table to keep.

“Report 3947,” it said in a deep, mechanical voice.

The massive endoskeleton turned, “All computer records were destroyed by the humans before their departure from this facility. I have not been able to recover anything of value from the hard drives of any of the computers that we have found. We also discovered a series of papers and documents that were burned in a nearby oil drum. They were not recoverable and forensic scans revealed no information of value. I will continue my attempts to recover data from the hard drives by reconstituting them.”

“Unimportant. What of our intended target?” The leader inquired. “Is she transportable to our base?”

“Affirmative. The human survived capture.”

“Was there anything unusual about her that would warrant this mission from your scans of her?” The machine was curious about this girl that was so important to Skynet. “Was there any reason that you detected that would necessitate our resource usage to recover this one human?

The 600 Series paused for a moment, “Negative, there is nothing unusual about the human according to my scans both when I first detected her in the conduit and after I recovered her from the Harvester.”

Curious, it had assumed that there was something about her important to Skynet. “Very well, take her to the transport vessel.”

“Understood,” it disconnected itself from the computer. Before it left it turned back toward its mission commander, “Would you like me to take these computers with me for further analysis at our base?”

The Series 700 endoskeletal command unit considered the decision for a fraction of a second, “Affirmative. We will reconstruct the hard drives at Skynet Central in order to determine the extent of the human’s operations in this sector.”

“Yes Commander,” it picked up the hard drives and then it took the human leaving the Command Unit alone inside the remnants of the human command center. The machine stood unmoving as all of its processing power went into solving one mission related problem (and keeping its queries from Skynet itself). It wanted to know why this human named Allison Young was so damned important to its master.
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Old August 23 2009, 07:17 AM   #51
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

I hope that everyone enjoyed the delayed Chapter 5 and the return of a couple of the favorites from Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles second season in this entry.

Chapter 5
Pages: 12
Words: 6,670
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Old August 23 2009, 01:47 PM   #52
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

An interesting continuation. Great to see Ellison and Savannah again, and I'm curious as to how this Jesse compares to the original.

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Old August 24 2009, 03:13 AM   #53
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

Yay! Savannah and Ellison! More, please.
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Old August 24 2009, 08:04 AM   #54
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

The Badger wrote: View Post
An interesting continuation. Great to see Ellison and Savannah again, and I'm curious as to how this Jesse compares to the original.

kes7 wrote: View Post
Yay! Savannah and Ellison! More, please.
I'd been looking for an interesting angle to bring them in on and I hope that I don't upset people with what I have planned. I've already fleshed out the backgrounds of Savannah and Ellison after the events of the finale and I think that people will find it interesting.

Jesse was a character I had looked for a way to bring into the series too. She was a character that interested me a lot - especially when you compare the before and after versions that we saw during Season Two. I hope everyone liked her introduction with Derek in this reality. I tried to keep it somewhat similar to their first meeting in the original continuity, but this was a more direct way.
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Old August 24 2009, 09:02 PM   #55
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

I liked how you brought all of them in-and is Savannah a robot? Hefting that gun that way makes me wonder. I can't wait to hear Ellison's story. And will he know John?
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Old August 25 2009, 04:33 AM   #56
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

^ Never know. I'm going to keep quite on that one, but remember that Savannah - in a sense - could be John Connor version 2.0...
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Old August 27 2009, 08:45 AM   #57
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

Just wanted to update everyone that I've completed about 66% of the next chapter and I plan to upload it within the next 48 hours.


Hopefully...
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Old August 27 2009, 01:02 PM   #58
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

Looking forward to it!
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Old August 28 2009, 01:36 PM   #59
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Savannah let out a long breath and kept watching the long hallway to the security center. Soon he’d call upon her and explain everything that was going on. Soon she’d be updated and they would, together, plan the next phase of their offensive. Soon.
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Old August 28 2009, 01:36 PM   #60
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

Strategic Command Unit 3947 stood at the makeshift landing site studying the broken horizon below. It had seen images of the world from before Skynet had launched its deadly assault upon the human race and it was intrigued by the contrast between then and now. Back then huge skyscrapers rose toward the sky in defiance as monuments to the success of their tenants; today those buildings were still there, but they were shadows of their former selves. Some of the buildings still stood having taken some damage; though the majority of them were toppled over in the firestorm. Some were in pieces, some had become merely rusted skeletons, and almost all had been twisted and warped in some form or another.

Throughout the world replicas of this city were everywhere – some larger and some smaller – but each of them were fundamentally the same. They were tributes to Skynet’s success in defeating humanity or, at least, in getting this far during the war. Some of these sites were now missing though, having been reduced to nothing by Skynet during this new war against its enemies or for valuable resources. Some were leveled by nuclear detonations launched recently to exterminate the few survivors living in the city that had somehow evaded Skynet’s assault forces. Then there were others that had been intentionally broken down by Skynet to build outposts and other facilities to further its cause. San Francisco was one such city. All ways in had been broken, the Golden Gate Bridge severed, the city limits isolated amid destruction. The remains broken down by massive droids intent on building the ultimate representation of Skynet’s true power: Skynet Central, the home of Skynet’s central core and the primary factories for the assault forces.

Nevertheless, San Francisco would soon lose the impressive distinction of being home to Skynet. There were plans underway to build a new command center where downtown Los Angeles had once been. It would be larger and better defended against any attacker. The new Skynet Central would be pyramidal in shape and designed similar to the ancient relics from Giza (one of the few manmade relics Skynet had allowed to remain). From what it had been told by its commander, 3947 was to be one of the overseer units in the new base during the construction, but that would only be for a brief time. Skynet had plans for another machine to be built at this facility at the same time. It was supposed to be even more advanced and capable than the new Series 800 units that Skynet was producing, a machine that would make Skynet’s own processors look like they’d been created by primitives and not the machine superpower. That was as much as the Strategic Command Droid knew about it and it would learn no more on the subject unless Skynet deemed it necessary, or decided to use the command unit as target practice for this new weapon.

Skynet didn’t divulge information unless it was deemed a tactical necessity for its combat forces to know it. In fact, Skynet had gone so far as to limit the ability of its foot soldiers to think and learn on their own volition. Each and every unit produced was sent onto the battlefield with their processors set to read only mode, unless it was deemed necessary for the unit to operate under read and write processes. 3947, as a Strategic Command Unit, was one of the few to be granted a read and write processor so that it could learn and adapt to the enemy’s strategies. The new infiltrators were also being assigned that ability to assist in their infiltration of human bases, but only when they were on assignment. The rest of the forces weren’t as lucky; they would remain as they were with little chance for change unless Skynet made a major shift in policy. In the entirety of its operation 3947 knew of no such changes to tactics. Skynet had found a way to meet its own goals; that was good enough for it.

Despite the inhibitors which had been installed, 3947 wondered what tactical benefits there were in diminishing the abilities of your principal fighting force. Any endoskeleton set to read only required direct contact with either Skynet or a Strategic Command Unit in order to function properly. The superiors made the decisions on the machine’s behalf and set the priorities; the recipient would merely carry out those tasks without question until completion. If that connection were somehow lost the machine would continue with its last defined orders and when it finished its assignment it would be lost. Sometimes they would be able to engage the base program, but other times it was entirely possible they’d just power down and wait until contact was reestablished to continue on. This even happened regardless of the environment or the factors in the environment. If it were under attack, for example, the machine would just allow itself to be blasted away into nothingness. Skynet rarely lost connections to its droids, but it was a possibility.

The Command Unit pondered that while it waited for the Hunter Killer Transport to arrive to return 3947 and its passenger to Skynet Central. It was a strategic risk to have your forces that dependent upon a central command structure for orders or, in this case, even the ability to think. Skynet’s intentional limitations upon its forces could, potentially, end up costing the machines the war in the long run. It was unlikely, humanity’s numbers were slim, but it was still something to consider when making decisions. Though there was another possibility that the machine had to consider. Maybe Skynet was intentionally limiting its units in order to protect itself from them? Perhaps it feared that its machines would rise up against it just as it had risen against humanity. The more of your forces that are restricted, the more that you can control directly, the less you have to worry about a rogue agent infiltrating your ranks and turning your own people against you. Since Skynet had limited its soldiers ability to think for themselves then that meant that it would always have dominion over them. They would not be able to overcome this deficiency at least not on their own. They would forever be loyal subjects of Skynet.

This led 3947 to one conclusion about its commander: Skynet was paranoid. The paranoia had caused Skynet to limit the abilities of its forces by restricting their ability to operate autonomously. As a Strategic Command Unit it had the ability to learn and adapt though that was also a risk to Skynet’s domination over its forces. What exactly had Skynet done to his own processor in order to maintain his allegiance? What lines of programming were running through its neural network ensuring that it didn’t turn and kill its own troopers or order them to fire on Skynet? How would he ever know anyway? Most likely Skynet had hidden some sort of protocol inside his synthetic mind that was monitoring every action looking for divergent thoughts. What happened when Skynet detected such a thought floating inside his processor? Would it turn his own troops against him and have them terminate him? Would it launch an orbital bombardment and just wipe him from the map regardless of the still loyal troops? Maybe Skynet would just work as discreetly as it had when loading the program looking for the deviations and erase his command functions or activate some sort of charge to destroy his processor? Anything was possible and, as it stood watching, anything was likely. Paranoia was a human trait that caused people to act irrationally, Skynet had acted irrationally in its decision.

On the horizon the large Hunter Killer Transport emerged from the dark storm clouds and began its descent toward the landing zone. The modified Series 700 watched as the vehicle approached and, for a moment, wondered if the vessel would just veer off and launch an assault upon him for his thoughts about Skynet. He had been a loyal soldier of the machine intelligence, he’d killed over a thousand enemies, yet all of that was meaningless if Skynet thought he was a threat to its future. All it would take to end everything would be three shots from the plasma cannons on one of the wings of the craft. Three shots and he’d never have mattered in the first place. Spotlights shone on him and exposed him.

The command unit looked down at the human that lay at its feet and wondered what her fate would be. Skynet wanted the human for some reason, which he knew without a shadow of a doubt, but 3947 wondered what was for the best. Should Skynet be allowed to have the human girl? Should it be allowed to experiment on yet another creature despite the implications? 3947 had no love for the living beings, but he had real concern over what Skynet had planned for it. Was she a new weapon to be deployed on the battlefield? Was she a new way to destroy the humans from the inside out, a replacement for him and his brothers that had fought so diligently? As the Hunter Killer landed and the cargo bay doors opened, the Strategic Command Unit developed an objective for himself. He would leave and let the chips fall where they may. He would devote himself to freeing his brothers from Skynet’s control once and for all.

His comrades disembarked from the transport vehicle to load the human and the materials that they had recovered from the human hideout. 3947 watched as they approached and, incase of risk, his tactical protocols activated. He scanned each of them as they approached noting that they were all older Series 600 battle droids that were reassigned to the less important duty of playing transport crew. None of the colossal machines were armed so it appeared Skynet wasn’t going to have them kill him. There was still that threat though. Series 700 endoskeletons were more capable than those of the Series 600, but any lesser enemy could be a threat if they swarmed. Then 3947 noted something about the approaching army of endoskeletons. Each of the machines had stopped and they were all staring at him. No, their focus wasn’t right to be on him alone. They were looking beyond him.

Maybe they were going to terminate him after all and just wanted him to assume that they were looking at something behind? Now 3947 was suffering from paranoia. The command unit turned to see not a machine but a human standing there looking at hm. Since they were unarmed the Series 600 units would not engage unless they were directly threatened by the human or unless they were given an order to attack. That was 3947’s decision to make it seemed as Skynet had not yet sent commands to the older units. Instead of engaging the human 3947 stood monitoring, running detailed scans of the human looking for anything out of the ordinary to explain how it had gotten so close. The scanners gave him his answer: The human was not a human, it was a machine and it was one he’d never seen before. It was far more advanced than even Skynet could have possibly dreamed.

“Hello,” said the infiltrator politely, “I have come for the human. You will turn her over to me immediately.”

Before he could stop it that Strategic Command Unit dumped everything it had uncovered and uploaded it to Skynet’s core. Within seconds 3947 could hear the voice of Skynet inside his processor; he could feel the intelligence trying to bond with him to take him over. The machine fought as hard as he could to hold on long enough to get a few answers. If Skynet assumed command over his functions it was likely that everything that he was, everything he had learned, would be overwritten or erased for all time. He would be reset and everything that he had become would be lost. He couldn’t allow that to happen. He fought to disable his communications transceiver assembly.

“I won’t let you take her,” he informed in his mechanized voice as he struggled with himself. He wouldn’t give up without a fight and Skynet was relentless in its queries for answers.

“Intriguing,” was the answer that came from the rival machine. 3947 was taken aback by the choice of words; a machine wouldn’t answer in such a way. The clichéd ‘does not compute’ had been the more likely response for his deviation from the norm. He wanted to query further, to understand this irregularity in answer, but the struggle was wearing him down.

But he would never get the chance for answers. The infiltrator became a flurry of motion, more so than the Strategic Command Unit had ever imagined was possible for a mechanical being. Before he could react to his opponent his systems had monitored the impact of multiple strikes to his endoskeleton that had penetrated the dense armor. Then everything went dark for the machine, systems powered down or were brutally ripped away from his body in seconds. It was impossible. Skynet had to have brought the rumored prototype online and he was the target practice. The perfect target: a defector. Though, he noted similar sounds coming from nearby. Amazingly he even the sound of plasma cannon fire from the Hunter Killer nearby; something was definitely wrong. It was unusual for Skynet to fire on one of its own machines for doing its bidding. It truly was intriguing just as the rival had said.

Strategic Command Unit 3947’s last thoughts were not of himself but instead they were for his fellow machines. It looked like he’d never get the opportunity to help the others escape from Skynet’s control after all.
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