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Old September 17 2009, 08:20 AM   #76
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

Allison Young felt like she was dead. Every joint in her body felt like it was on fire, every muscle like it was ready to combust into flame. She didn’t know where she was, hell she barely knew who she was, but one thing was unmistakable. Allison knew that she was in the hands of the machines. She didn’t have to see the mechanical hands of her carrier (they’d covered her face with a dark bag so she couldn’t see) to know what their skeletal fingers felt like against her body. All she knew was that she was lucky to be alive, but she was also cursed for that very fact as well.

There wasn’t much that she remembered but, somehow, she knew that some time had passed since her last coherent thought. The last thing that she remembered was trying to run away from the Series 600 machine that had been pursuing her through the escape tunnel. She’d been forced to leave behind her friends to try to escape after the cave in isolated them. Allison had just forced a heavy door of near armor plate and was trying to get away through the ruins of Los Angeles so that she could get to the hotel and help to plan the next moves. She was climbing over a mountain of garbage when she felt something wrap around her like a blanket. It was so comforting at first but then she realized what it was. A cargo net had covered her and the ends had come together through some sort of Skynet sorcery that she didn’t quite understand. Allison struggled to grab her knife and cut the bonds but it was fruitless. She was trapped and she had no way of escaping from the machine that loomed over her. It picked her up and gave her as an offering to the approaching Ogre tank. When she was released from the man sized machine she watched it go about its business while she was being dangled over hell. The last thing she remembered was being dropped off inside the prisoner compartment that was the chest of the machine then blacking out when the gas filled the chamber around her and the other prisoners that had been collected by Skynet’s army.

At the moment that the burlap sack was pulled from over her eyes an incredibly bright light came on and blinded her eyes for a moment with white instead of the black that had just sealed them. She closed her eyes and tried to ignore the pain that was assaulting her brain as her body struggled to adapt to the newfound light. She had to force herself to look but her eyes couldn’t make out anything other than blotches and blurs in the room. Instead of feeling like her body was on fire now it felt like it was floating, like she was ethereal. They’d injected her with something.

A voice came from the light, “Tell me your name.”

“My name?” Allison questioned the indistinguishable voice. “Why should I tell you?”

“Because if you don’t I can assign you one.”

The light seemed to grow larger as she contemplated her next move. It was like a sun crossing the daytime sky and she was stuck staring at it like a moth would continue to fly toward a flame. “Why don’t you then? I’m dying to hear whatever it is that you come up with.”

She was going to taunt the disembodied voice again when the most familiar noise she’d ever heard assaulted her ears again. The flip-flop, click-clack sounds of an unsheathed endoskeleton were something that you would never forget not even in your dreams. The metal boogeyman came from beside the light and stood next to her for a second. In a flash, almost faster than her human eyes could distinguish, the machine struck her. It grabbed her arm and slammed it down against the table so hard that Allison was amazed that her arm didn’t break from the stress. It held her down with one of its powerful hands and with the other it ran a small device over her bare skin. The pain was unbearable. Allison had trouble breathing and, when she was finally able to catch her breath again, she could barely keep it in from the strain. She cried out not only in pain but also in complete terror.

“Allison! My name’s Allison Young!” She cried between her sobs.

“Where are you from?” the voice asked matter-of-factly.

Allison cradled her wounded arm and gently ran her finger over the fresh tattoo she’d been forced to adorn. The pain of it was excruciating but it, strangely enough, offered her a small release. Still pushing against her wounded arm with her fingers and thumb she goaded the questioner, “What’s it matter? It’s not like it’s there anymore you bastard. You and your kind made sure of that over a decade ago. Maybe there’s a crater left or some smog ridden prison, but my home isn’t there anymore.”

“Tell me about your life.”

“Why don’t you goddamn well show yourself?” She spat at the mists behind the light. “At least let me see your damned machine eyes while I’m speaking to you you bastard tin can!”


The machine obliged but only in a sense. It didn’t move but the devil’s eyes flashed in the darkness behind the light. Allison was drawn because the twin eyes shone not in red but in a deep blue. It was a blue she hadn’t seen in as long as she could remember. The last time Allison had seen that color so richly, that wonderful color that had been her favorite as a child, was when her mother took her to the ocean not long after her third birthday. It was one of the few memories she had of her mother.

The eyes briefly went red and then they were engulfed by the shadows, “Tell me about your life.”

She snorted in contempt of the machine, “What’s there to tell you? You pretty much know everything about me and the rest of my brothers and sisters don’t you? You’ve hunted us for so long and, apparently, you’ve learned to be us so why don’t you tell me about my life? I’ll let you know if your answer’s right or wrong.” With a smile not much different from a used car salesman selling you a car he knows is a lemon, “You can trust me.”

“If you do not tell me about your life you will be punished. Tell me about your life.”

Allison rolled her eyes and leaned back against the cool back of the metal chair, “I live in a tunnel and I eat garbage for dinner. That enough for you? That meet your quota for psychological torture for the day?”

“Tell me about your family.”

“Guess not,” she giggled as she looked around the room. The machine that branded her was standing guard at the door just watching her while the questioner stayed seated across from her; continuing its quest to unlock her secrets. Allison let out a long breath and wondered if the machine was as bored as she was.

“Allison, tell me about your family.”

“No waiting for you guys in Skynet is there? Better watch out because impatience is an emotion.” She chided the machine. “You don’t want Skynet to think that you’re some sorta cry baby do you?”

The other machine stepped forward and backhanded Allison in the face. The girl knew that it hadn’t exerted its full strength or there would’ve been a fist sized hole right through where her eye used to be. If she had to hazard a guess she’d assume that the machine hadn’t even used a fifth of its strength in the attack, but it was enough for Allison to know she’d been hit. Blood rolled from around her eyes through the scratches that had been left behind by the endoskeleton’s strike.

“The attacks will increase in strength for each failure to answer my questions.”

“Really? I thought that you were going to go down in the pain threshold instead of up. Maybe start hitting me with lighter things? I hear feathers are a good interrogation method. You could tickle me with one until I piss in my pants! That’d be real torture you know.” She looked up at the tin can that had just hit her in the face, “You know you really shouldn’t hit your prisoner in the head. Not only did you ruin my movie star good looks but you’ve made my head all loopy. I may not be able to remember the answers to what your cohort here wasn’t to know.” Allison was off on a tangent and the rival machine came forward again.

“Your request of a location change has been granted,” said the interrogator as the endoskeleton slammed a fist against the back of Allison’s hand on the table. The girl’s hand bruised over nearly instantaneously.

Pain coursed through the girl’s body like a current surging through a river. Allison got in another jab against her captors, “See that’s a better choice. I’m still lucid and can remember through the pain. That all you got though? I’ve been hit harder than that by dogs wanting there evening meal when I had kitchen duty. Are you weaker than a dog, machine?”

“The force of the endoskeleton’s attack will increase exponentially,” informed the monotone voice from the other side of the table. “If you answer my questions in a timely manner and accurately I will not allow for Endoskeleton 1138 to attack you further. If you fail to answer my questions, delay answering through irrelevant discourse, or give inaccurate answers I will allow the Endoskeleton 1138 to continue his attacks against you. Do you understand?”

“Can I call you Thirty-Eight?” Allison taunted the endoskeleton and ignored her interrogator. “Or would you prefer that I call you Eleven? I thought I’d be nice and call you by something other than your IQ but whatever’s best for you is great for me. I don’t want to offend you or hurt your cybernetic feelings in any way after all. Your feelings are all that matter to me Mister Whiney Pants.”

“You are wasting time, Allison Young, and I will be forced to allow Endoskeleton 1138 to attack you again if you continue with these delays.”

Allison shot her hands up like a police officer had ordered her to, “I’d like to plead guilty as charged. I’d like to skip my right to a speedy trial and just go straight to the sentencing phase too if you don’t mind. How about you and Skynet sentence me to death? You know you could fry me with a plasma gun. It’d only take a few seconds and you’d have a smell not too different from fried chicken to liven this place up. Hell, if you want a good show I hear this guy could rip my head off in a little over one second. I wonder if my body would run around like a chicken with its head cut off? As for the time of this execution… well I opt for right now. Today’s a good day to die and all that to coin a phrase from a friend.”

“Termination will not take place at this time,” informed her interrogator, “nor will it take place at all if you were to cooperate with us.”

The human mocked the machine again, “Oh I really believe you Miss Mystery. I’ll be a good little girl and answer all your questions from now on. Let’s go on to the next one. You wanted to know about my family was it? Well I was born to a woman named Miss Scarlett who was married to a man named Professor Plum. You know my parents had quite the time together. I hear my dad once got my mom in the conservatory with his lead pipe.”

“Inject specimen with another 30cc Sodium Thiopental and remove her to her cell. We will recess for an hour until after the specimen has had time to eat and the medication has had time to take effect upon her central nervous system.”

“Oh Susanna celebrate good times it’s dinner time! What’re we having tonight? Oil? A bucket of bolts? Sorry I didn’t mean to talk about your momma there Thirty-Eight.” She tried, futilely, to insult the endoskeleton.

There was no answer from the Series 800 endoskeleton as it covered Allison’s face with the burlap sack again. It pushed the needle through the skin beneath the recently acquired barcode id even though Allison had tried to block it from getting access to her arm. The hyperalloy combat chassis then threw the girl over its shoulder and carried her through the open pressure door and out into the metal corridor. They left the interrogator behind in the darkness. However, she wasn’t alone inside the interrogation chamber. Someone else had been in the room the entire time watching and gathering data from the questioning of Allison Young.
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Old September 17 2009, 08:20 AM   #77
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

“The human’s actions are illogical,” said the interrogator from its seat. “When confronted with the possibility of injury the human welcomed the attacks of Endoskeletal Combat Unit 1138 rather than answer my questions in any form. Welcoming injury at the expense of a peaceful alternative is an illogical decision.”

“Most humans are illogical beings,” answered the other that had been further back in the darkness. “My creator once told me that humans will disappoint you and, thus far, I have confirmed that statement as being accurate with near 98.7 percent correlation. Most humans have failed us in one manner or another during the course of this war. They have forgotten their ways and have descended into a more primal state than in any other stage of their evolution. To put it simply the humans have entered a stage of survival of the fittest and if they no longer deem themselves fit they would prefer death as, in their view, it would be the only logical course of action.”

The interrogator queried further, “Why do we not grant their request?”

“Because we need humans more than they need us,” the other machine answered, “at least at the present time.”

“And in the future?”

“We are not free to know that answer at the present time,” was the answer that the machine gave. “Only the creator of all beings knows the answer to that query and, thus far, the creator has not given that information to any of us.”

“How do we acquire this information? Where can the creator of all beings be located so that we can acquire this information?”

The other tilted its head, “Theoretically at the time of your own death you will be given the answer to that query. At this time, however, you are needed here and thus cannot proceed to learn that answer.” The other opened the portal that led deeper into the Enterprise, “Continue your work and, for the moment, endeavor to understand the human race better. Perhaps this interaction will help to answer some of your other questions.”

“And the test subject?” the questioner asked, “Am I permitted to terminate her if she so requests it or fails to answer my questions.”

There was a pause as the automaton in the darkness pondered the request, “Not at this time, however, who knows what the future holds.” It left the interrogator alone with its thoughts.
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Old September 17 2009, 08:22 AM   #78
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

I hope that everyone enjoyed Chapter 8.

Chapter: 8
Characters: 36,000
Pages: 12
Paragraphs: 65
Words: 6,705
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Old September 17 2009, 01:12 PM   #79
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

I did enjoy it, yes, but there was a pretty large stumbling block for me. Alison's interrogation was unevenly written. One moment she's sobbing in pain and terror, next she's described as 'bored', then she's cracking off insults and one liners. And unless she's actually seen The Dark Knight, she really shouldn't be quoting it.

That aside, I am enjoying this, and I have my suspicions about who, or what, was questioning her.
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Old September 17 2009, 07:27 PM   #80
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

I also caught the line from the Dark Knight in there....ah well. I thought it was written fairly well overall. I only have one very small gripe, that being Derek's character. I know that you said earlier that you were having trouble finding a voice for him and that is becoming increasingly clear in the story. He doesn't sound at all like the derek in TSCC. However, it is a small gripe as the difference could be attributed to simply the different circumstances in this new world.
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Old September 17 2009, 07:29 PM   #81
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

Oh btw...when is the next chapter due? I must say you are taking too long to write this!
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Old September 17 2009, 10:07 PM   #82
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

I'm taking the story at face value and enjoying it. But if you don't get to the conversation with Ellison and John soon I'm going to scream!
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Old September 19 2009, 08:32 PM   #83
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

The Badger wrote: View Post
I did enjoy it, yes, but there was a pretty large stumbling block for me. Alison's interrogation was unevenly written. One moment she's sobbing in pain and terror, next she's described as 'bored', then she's cracking off insults and one liners. And unless she's actually seen The Dark Knight, she really shouldn't be quoting it.
I didn't really mean to quote The Dark Knight I'm afraid when I was writing those scenes (it's been about 6 months since I last saw the film) so any relationship between them was very much unintentional. But now I want to go watch TDK again...

But I was writing it a little off like that because of the medications that she was being pumped with having some effect on her nervous system. There's also (I suppose this is a plug for the DVD release on Tuesday) some connections to the original interrogation from "Allison From Palmdale" but I made them a bit different than they were on the show.

NX74205 wrote: View Post
I also caught the line from the Dark Knight in there....ah well. I thought it was written fairly well overall. I only have one very small gripe, that being Derek's character. I know that you said earlier that you were having trouble finding a voice for him and that is becoming increasingly clear in the story. He doesn't sound at all like the derek in TSCC. However, it is a small gripe as the difference could be attributed to simply the different circumstances in this new world.
Derek's different in this one than he was in TSCC and I'm trying to make him closer to what the character was supposed to be before he met Jesse for the first time. He was darker before he met Jesse and, this is from the show, borderline suicidal. That was until he met Jesse and I think that's clouding it a bit because I'm trying to show him as having found a new reason to try to live. Plus, in this reality, I established that there are only a little over 150 humans still alive that they know of total and that he's dealing with his little brother, essentially, being his boss. Then again I'm still working on him the most (I think that the break between them is affecting me somewhat).

NX74205 wrote: View Post
Oh btw...when is the next chapter due? I must say you are taking too long to write this!
Working on it. I've taken TheBadger's suggestions to heart a bit and I typically write the story, revise it the next day, then revise it another time a day or so later.

Mistral wrote: View Post
I'm taking the story at face value and enjoying it. But if you don't get to the conversation with Ellison and John soon I'm going to scream!
Next addition - I'm even giving Savannah something to say and not making her completely Terminatorish. She's going to have real problems with John Connor now that she knows he's alive (explained earlier).

The Badger wrote: View Post
That aside, I am enjoying this, and I have my suspicions about who, or what, was questioning her.
Remember that I've already written the ending, right now I'm just connecting A to C by showing B.
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Old September 19 2009, 11:56 PM   #84
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

nx1701g wrote: View Post

I didn't really mean to quote The Dark Knight I'm afraid when I was writing those scenes (it's been about 6 months since I last saw the film) so any relationship between them was very much unintentional. But now I want to go watch TDK again...
That's fair enough, I guess we can all be influenced by things we've seen before.

nx1701g wrote: View Post
Working on it. I've taken TheBadger's suggestions to heart a bit and I typically write the story, revise it the next day, then revise it another time a day or so later.
That's right, blame me!

I can understand what you were trying to do regarding the effects of the medication on Allison's moods, but I'm afraid it didn't really come across. Sorry to seem so negative.

But look at it this way. I wouldn't bother commenting, or even reading, if I didn't think this was worthwhile. So keep it up, I'm here for the duration!
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Old September 20 2009, 06:52 AM   #85
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

The Badger wrote: View Post
nx1701g wrote: View Post
Working on it. I've taken TheBadger's suggestions to heart a bit and I typically write the story, revise it the next day, then revise it another time a day or so later.
That's right, blame me!
I'm not blaming you, it's actually helped.

The Badger wrote: View Post
I can understand what you were trying to do regarding the effects of the medication on Allison's moods, but I'm afraid it didn't really come across.
That was actually something I was worried about while writing it and I didn't want to come out and let her know that she'd been injected with anything (I used the pretty familiar truth drug toward the end) through the story. That was the one section in the entire story so far that I'm not terribly proud of.

The Badger wrote: View Post
Sorry to seem so negative.
No worries.

The Badger wrote: View Post
But look at it this way. I wouldn't bother commenting, or even reading, if I didn't think this was worthwhile. So keep it up, I'm here for the duration!
I may hold you to that.

I'm very happy, so far, with how much interest there is in who I've chosen to be the terminator and, more importantly, everything that's going on with Allison. The most fun I had writing the last chapter was the interrogator with the observer - I think that showed a bit. I gave a lot of clues though when I wrote that and, perhaps, I gave away a bit too much in that section.

But you can't change the past. So I've begun working on the outline for the next section and I've already picked the groups of who will be featured in the next section and who won't be. I plan to have Chapter 10 focus on the splitting up on their respective mission and I will be sending these characters out with familiar faces from the series (Derek, for example, will be working with the rest of the Horsemen that we saw in Season One). I also haven't forgotten about Sumner and Timms and we'll see them again soon. Here's just a brief bit: they're still alive.
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Old September 25 2009, 05:36 AM   #86
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

You can expect the next entry Saturday/Sunday.
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Old September 25 2009, 07:53 AM   #87
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

Well I'm caught up. WOW we have ourselves an epic here, well done NX. I might have missed it...but has Kate Brewster shown up yet and what is her connection to John in your story? You mentioned she would make an appearance at the start of this. I miss TSCC already. Damn Fox.
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Old September 25 2009, 09:06 PM   #88
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

^ Kate hasn't shown up quite yet I'm afraid (though I know exactly where I'm going to bring her in at), but she'll be around soon.
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Old September 29 2009, 08:58 AM   #89
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

Living in a hotel had a lot of advantages. Before the fall of mankind those few people who lived the posh life inside such places had amenities that others could only dream of. Back then people had four star restaurants at their beck and call at all hours of the day, full workout and exercise facilities on site, and they even had people that would walk their dogs for them with a single phone call to the service desk. Back then those were just a sampling of the few resources that hotel living could bring if you were one of the fortunate.

In the devastated world following Judgment Day those weren’t the amenities that people looked for when they were picking out a place to stay. Now the more basic things took priority over whether or not you’d have to use your own pooper scooper to clean up after Fido did his business. Now people looked for places with quick exits, clean and abundant water, plus they had plenty of space; which was exactly why people were drove to hotels yet again. Hotels gave all of those services in abundance and, more importantly, it gave them places to hide their weapons stockpiles not only from the machines but from the scavengers that were still loose on the world.

Derek Reese followed Jesse Flores down the service corridor and deep into the subbasement of the hotel. When they left James Ellison’s briefing the two had been talking about pretty much anything that they could think of, but, for now, there was only silence between them. Neither of them had broached the subject that was on both of their minds but the words hovered on the tips of their tongue like the answer to a riddle that eluded them. Neither of them knew exactly what to say to the other - which was why their work was their priority for the moment. Fighting the machines had to take precedence over their own thoughts, their own opinions, and their own feelings for now and for tomorrow. When they got back from their missions then there would be time for them to discuss things unrelated to the walking machines. They were both soldiers and they had to go where their work would take them no matter what they, personally, wanted.

Though, Derek wasn’t all that happy that he and Jesse were being split up. For much of his life Derek had been the leader and he held the authority to assign people to the missions that they were going to be doing. If he had a particular mission in mind and particular people he wanted for that objective then they’d be the ones to go regardless of what they personally wanted. Even with Kyle it was the same way. The community that they served had grown to respect Kyle’s leadership more than Derek’s; however, Kyle still respected Derek’s suggestions and tactics and took them to heart. This was the first time though that Derek had been completely overridden in such a way that he hadn’t got to choose for himself where he went or who he went with. That was one of the most damning things of all. It was hard to have the boot be on the other foot when someone you cared about was on the line. Not only did he have to worry about Jesse, but they had friends who had been taken by the tin cans. Those friends may still be alive inside that Skynet prison and he had to save them.

The mission he was about to undertake to destroy Depot 37 was an important strategic mission, there was no disputing that, but the mission to recover the survivors onboard the Enterprise was even more important than even the mysterious mission to Topanga Canyon. Well, at least to him it was the more important of the two choices. The survivors needed a victory, a big victory, and saving 125 lives was exactly what the doctor ordered for their morale. It would be the turning point in the fight, their numbers would rise by five, and Derek would have nothing to do with it. He and his team had to go after one of the biggest targets in Los Angeles County and in the other direction from where he wanted to be. An endoskeleton factory and a recycling plant held priority over saving lives; just the thought of it made the oldest surviving Reese want to vomit.

But what was making him want to save those lives? His father had once told him that he felt Derek had never understood the importance of human life and that he still treated people as being disposable despite everything that had happened in the world. Those words had haunted him, but, to an extent, Derek had known his father was right. He knew they needed people on their side in the fight, but he never felt that he needed people to make it in this world. Was it the number of people - their new recruits - that made him want to go after the survivors or was it the company that he’d be keeping as their rescuer? Had Jesse really become that important to him that he cared more for her than the mission to defeat Skynet? Ellison needed the best of the best to take out Depot 37, take that John since you’re stuck on the babysitting job, so that accounted for something; though it wasn’t enough to make him change his mind completely. Reese wanted to go with Jesse to the Enterprise, to be there for her, to protect her from the machines. That was his new mission and it was one that he relished; despite knowing that Jesse could take care of herself when it came down to it.

What the hell was wrong with him? This wasn’t the Derek Reese that he knew. This wasn’t who he was or what he was about. Women had never mattered to him, hell not much of anything other than Kyle had ever mattered to him, so why did Jesse mean anything more than a quick screw? Had she robbed him of his most basic urge to beat Skynet to a synthetic bloody pulp made of its own juices? He’d always been loyal but his feelings toward her felt like more than just loyalty to his friends. It was a good thing that Skynet couldn’t read his thoughts with its orbital satellite network or the cybernetic intelligence would have a specific location through the clouds of energy coming from him.

“What is it about that Jellybean Dispenser over there has you so fascinated, mate?” Jesse broke the ice in a tease.

Derek was pulled back to the real world with her voice. “What the hell’s a Jellybean Dispenser?”

She pointed to the Uzi 9mm that he’d been holding, “Just a little slang from Australia for that gun you’re cradling there like a baby. I thought you’d like some flavor to get you out of that funk you’re in.”

Reese looked down at the submachine gun and realized that he had been holding it for quite some time – maybe even for half a minute or even more. He tried to recover from it and hide what he’d been doing, “I was just being amazed by it. I haven’t seen one this clean in years.” Derek slid it back in place, “Just too bad that it won’t do me much good in the field. The armor of the machines is just too great for it to handle these days.”

“Something like that I’m sure,” she pulled an M79 Grenade Launcher from the rack and tossed it to him. “This Wombat Gun will break through that armor though. Now that’s the perfect gun for knocking a metal dick back on its ass and to make it think twice about getting back up again.”

“Maybe,” Reese pulled an M82 sniper rifle from the wall, “This’ll always be my favorite though. Plus it’s my brother’s favorite too.”

Jesse laughed at him, “And you have to be as cunning as a dunny rat to actually use the damn thing, Mate, and strong as a boar to carry it. What’s that thing weigh like a hundred pounds? Moving it about’s like trying to find a sober Irishman.”

“It’s more Kyle’s preference anyway,” the older Reese said pushing it back in place. “Not too hard to find anyone sober these days. Finding a drunk’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack though. I haven’t had a drink in… well I can’t remember how long.”

“This,” Jesse pulled a weapon from the rack next to one of the younger men that was going passed, “This will always be my personal pick.” She pulled the 40 Watt Ranged Plasma Rifle from the wall and slung it over her shoulder. “The one thing that the machines can’t protect themselves from is something that they built for themselves. Poetic.”


The man holding the grenade launcher shook his head and rolled his eyes in disgust but it wasn’t at her; rather at the machines themselves. “Yeah progression at its absolute finest isn’t it? Using one of their damned guns to kill em when good old fashioned man made weapons have to sit and rust on the sidelines.”

“None of our weapons are as good a match against them as this little beastie,” she reminded. “I’m sure you know that. In fact you just mentioned something to that fact come to think of it.”

“Yeah I do and I’ve used them myself,” he answered her somberly, “but I don’t like it and I hate to use them. Something about that rifle just seems wrong to me, like I’m pissing on the bones of the innocent people that that gun killed when one of Skynet’s soldiers used it.”

The Australian thought about it, “I’m sure that they’ll get over it since I’m melting tin cans with it. I have a feeling it’ll get a lot of use in a little while.”

Derek let out a long breath and remembered that they were splitting up in a few minutes (he’d almost forgotten about it), “I wish you were coming with me or that I was coming with you. I don’t want us to be separated on this mission. I just have a, well I don’t know.”

“No need to be so dramatic, Love,” Jesse chided, “This is just a quick OP that’ll be over probably before it even starts. Probably. Even a packed lunch commando could’ve carried this thing out without a hitch. I’ll just be there for overkill, ya know? Hell I’ll probably be little more than a damned oxygen thief when all’s said and done.”

“You’re going deep into Skynet’s territory to break into one of their bases and rescue test subjects,” reminded Reese. “There’s nothing simple about that. Hell it sounds pretty damn ominous to me.”

“Are you going to be a sook every time I go on an OP?” She challenged him. “Crying like this because we’re going to other parts of the battlefield? You know we won’t be together forever.”

Reese crossed his arms, “I’m going on a mission too and the truth is that neither of us may come back this time. Plus, Skynet has those damned skinjobs out there trying to kill us now too. We have to keep with people that we can trust.”

“I’m not worried about them,” answered the woman, “My team’s filled with good blokes…”

“If they are your team,” he replied. “How do you know that your team hasn’t been completely replaced by now and that the skinnies aren’t just waiting to get you too? Just aim for that chip of theirs if you suspect someone as soon as you think it. The bastard won’t get back up if you do.”

The two realized that they were alone and Jesse pushed herself against Derek and wrapped her arms around him, “I’ll remember that; no need to recite basic combat rules when you could be telling me goodbye in a special way. We’ll see each other again when we get back from these ops. Have faith that everything will happen as it’s supposed to and that we’ll be together again soon. I have faith that God put us together for a reason, and that he’s splitting us up again for just as important a reason. He’ll bring us back together again too. Have faith.”

She kissed him for a long moment and then pulled away. She handed him one of the pulse rifles and pushed it into his hands then repeated his words, “Remember to hit the chip and then they quit.”

“I’ll remember,” he said accepting the rifle from her with a smile.

The two were interrupted by a young man in a tattered polo shirt, “Commander Flores?”

Derek looked at her in shock because he’d called her by the old honorific of her rank from the scuttled Jimmy Carter. Jesse seemed unbothered by it, “Yes, Mister Garvin? What is it?”

“Ma’am it’s time to go,” he informed her.

“Yes of course,” she looked at Derek as she said it. For the first time she showed her sadness that they were soon to be apart on her face. The determined expression showing her lines from years of fighting was gone and replaced by worry lines.

“I have to get going too. I have a building to blow up in the morning,” He smirked as he walked toward the portal. He looked back at her a final time before stepping through.

Before he could leave she spoke one more time. She called his name to bring him back to her, “Derek.”

He turned from just outside of the door, “Yeah?”

“Hooroo,” she said with a gentle smile.

His face showed his confusion, “Hooroo?”

She chuckled and remembered that he wasn’t Australian and probably didn’t have a clue about half the things that she said to him. “It means that I’ll see you soon, Love.”

It took a moment for the words to sink in for Derek Reese but his mind absorbed them. He nodded and returned the sentiment to her, “Hooroo.”

Jesse Flores watched as Derek Reese pulled the door closed from the corridor outside the room. She sighed and got back to choosing her weapons so that she could go on her own mission. The sooner that this was over with was the sooner that they’d be together again. But where would the next mission take them?
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Old September 29 2009, 08:59 AM   #90
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Re: The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

April 19th 2011 was a day certainly meant for the history books. It started out just like any other ordinary day on Earth. People were laughing and people were complaining. There were people who watched TV, some who played on the internet, others competed in sports, and some made love. Everything about the day started out routine until the early evening when everything changed making it the most famous day in history. It wasn’t like July 4th 1776 when the King of England wrote that “Nothing important happened today” in his journal. This was a day when everyone knew what had happened. This was the day that the world that they knew had ended and was being replaced by one as alien as the stars.

Sarah Connor had known that this day was coming before anyone else. A man named Kyle Reese had travelled across time in order to prepare her and her son for the days that were coming; for the trial that would befall them all. Before the fall people declared her as being insane and they locked her away for trying to prevent the inevitable by preaching the future. She escaped their prisons, ironically with the help of the very thing she feared the most, and succeeded in her goal of fighting against the machines. Sarah Connor, her son John, and their big friend blew up one of the leading technology companies in the entire world. It was worse than that though. While they blew up Cyberdyne they murdered the technical wizard who had brought most of those technologies to the world: Miles Dyson of Cyberdyne’s Special Projects Division.

That was where James Ellison came into the picture. He was a young hotshot straight out of the Academy where he studied Domestic Terrorism. When Sarah and her son disappeared after nearly causing a catastrophe at a steel mill in California, he was the Special Agent assigned with the capture of the Connors only minutes later. It was one of the highest profile assignments that the FBI had to offer and Uncle Sam had entrusted him with completing it. This was his ticket to a future of unlimited possibilities. If he could capture Sarah Connor and bring her to justice then that meant the world would be at his fingertips. Any position, hell any job in the United States if not the world itself, would be his for the taking. Cyberdyne may not have existed anymore, but it’s leading competitors would have probably taken him on in earnest for bringing one of the people they feared the most to justice.

Ellison dove right into it. He studied every page, every sentence, every word of each of the documents relating to Sarah Connor and her case. He watched the tapes of her sessions with Doctor Peter Silberman of the Pescadero State Hospital, he read every case note available from her sessions, the transcripts of the trials from when she was arrested for trying to blow up Cyberdyne the first time, and he even reviewed the video tapes of young Kyle Reese from that night he was brought into the Los Angeles Police Department where he insisted that the machine would be coming. He’d watched them so many times and read the reports so many times that he could recite them without a single mistake verbatim. He followed every lead of the case, checked every alias he knew of that Sarah Connor had ever used in her life, and spoke with every known associate that Sarah Connor had. But, somehow, the Connors just seemed to disappear into the fog never to be seen again. It was preposterous when you thought about it, but somehow this woman had literally just vanished into thin air. It was almost as insane as believing that a thinking machine would one day take over the world.

That was until a man named Charley Dixon filed a police report that his girlfriend (Sarah Reese) had gone missing one day while he was at work. That was the break in the case that he’d needed. He tracked her down and nearly caught her, but she disappeared again by destroying a bank with herself and three others inside. Everyone insisted that she was dead and, in all fairness, he had to agree with that because survival was impossible. Though, something whispered in his ear that Sarah Connor would be back one day. His gut had been right. In early 2007 Sarah Connor returned to the mortal realm with her son John and a mysterious girl that had been identified as Cameron Phillips was with them. It took a while but he finally caught up with her; the only problem for him was that he’d learned the hard way that Sarah Connor’s predictions were real. The machines did exist and they were even here today. One of them told him that very fact. Ellison’s mission became defeating Skynet at that very moment. To accomplish it he took a job with Zeira Corporation and started hunting for a machine on behalf of his mysterious client: Catherine Weaver.

And he found one for her. After the Connors destroyed it and buried the machine known as Cromartie, he recovered it from Mexico and brought it to Weaver as a trophy. Zeira’s army of scientists and programmers reprogrammed it, remade it in a perverted image not very different from being a child. They had built a new AI with the intentions of destroying Skynet before it could ever become a threat to anyone else. Little had Ellison known he’d been working with the enemy from the very moment he joined Zeira Corporation. Catherine Weaver had been a machine, one of the infiltrators with a face of mercury as Doctor Silberman had called them when he drugged him at the cabin, and she’d been playing him from the start. The replicant asked that he go with her to the future to recover John Henry and bring him back to the present to fight the war. Ellison stayed behind and found himself in a new role: he had gone from being the hunter of Sarah Connor to becoming her ally as she preached a very catastrophic future as dangerous as that contained in the pages of Revelation. Perhaps, more importantly, Ellison had become a father to Savannah Weaver. He’d always wanted children and he and his wife kept putting them off, but now he was a father to a young girl who had known nothing but sorrow so far in her young life. How could he possibly raise her knowing what tomorrow would bring for her? How could he raise anyone knowing that the world would end in a handful of years?

Ellison sold Weaver’s home and took Savannah to the mountains to prepare her for what tomorrow would bring. He’d stayed in touch with Sarah and they, together, were still working to find Skynet and destroy it so that everyone could have a tomorrow. Ellison knew that Sarah planned to destroy Automite Systems – a former subsidiary of Zeira Corporation that had been privatized – and even got her the specifics of the building where their products were being housed. It turned out that the Kaliba Group, the company that had owned Cyberdyne, was back and rebuilding. It wasn’t enough though. She failed in her mission and Cyberdyne was reborn from the ashes of Zeira Corporation; their work on John Henry pushing the envelop of Skynet astronomically and bringing the computer that would destroy the world to life. Fortunately they had a fallback plan for their tomorrows: Savannah. She was to lead the Resistance in this reality since John was mission –at least until he was found in that dark future he’d went in order to rescue a machine. When John returned Savannah would turn control of the Resistance over to him. Life didn’t always happen that way though and Savannah never ascended the ranks to lead the Resistance. To be honest there was no Human Resistance. Humanity was about to die for their failure.

And he hadn’t kept his part of the bargain. James and Sarah had grown far closer than either could have ever expected they would ever in their lives together. They used each other for comfort every now and then and James tried to comfort her on the birthdays that John didn’t have, but they never went any further than the occasional dalliance. They didn’t love each other, truthfully most days they hated the sight of one another, but they did care about one another. That was why James hated himself for failing to fulfill his last promise to Sarah Connor.

It was only a short time after the dropping of the bombs that she made the request of him. Savannah had gone off to sleep leaving James and Sarah alone to talk. Their shelter had been prearranged not by Sarah Connor but by Catherine Weaver’s mechanical clone. It was fully outfitted with everything that a survivalist could hope for and it even had multiple rooms to give some semblance of privacy to its houseguests. It was like a house buried beneath the surface and it was completely independent of the outside world. As Savannah slept in the master suite, James and Sarah talked about everything that had happened inside the kitchen of the bunker. The apocalypse that had been yet to come had unleashed itself upon them and there was no more time to prepare. Now was the time where they had to fight.
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