Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by nx1701g, Jul 22, 2009.
Oh btw...when is the next chapter due? I must say you are taking too long to write this!
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!
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.
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).
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.
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).
Remember that I've already written the ending, right now I'm just connecting A to C by showing B.
That's fair enough, I guess we can all be influenced by things we've seen before.
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!
I'm not blaming you, it's actually helped.
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.
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.
You can expect the next entry Saturday/Sunday.
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.
^ 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.
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?
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.
Sarah Connor checked the barrel of the Colt M1911A1 and let the gun slide back into position. It looked, remarkably, like the one that she’d carried when Cromartie captured her outside of John’s school years ago when everything with Skynet started again. You couldn’t go wrong with a classic and this was the only thing she needed to stay alive. “You heard me, James.”
“This is nuts,” said the African American man. “You’re gonna go out there on your own and survive when Skynet probably has you as target number one on its hit lists. You know I have word for that: suicidal.”
“It’s not the first time someone’s said that about me,” she slid the pistol into the holster attached to her belt. “Actually I’ve heard that diagnosis so many times I take it as a compliment these days. Plus I don’t have to worry about Skynet. Don’t you remember what I told you about what Kyle told me when we met?”
Ellison crossed his arms, “I remember well enough; and remember I’ve watched those videos of his interrogations in the police station so I probably know it even better than you do. Most of the records were lost in the war. Skynet has no idea who you are, it just knows your name and the city where you were born. Any machine it sends after you will be systematic until it locates the correct Sarah Connor or kills everyone on Earth with the name. Since John doesn’t exist anymore you probably don’t have anything to worry about, but you can’t take that chance. Plus you need to think about this for a moment: what if this is an alternate reality from the one that Kyle came from? Skynet’s active here a lot later than it used to be – didn’t you say in one of the tapes that JD was supposed to be in 1997? Internet technology has come a long way and those reports about you and, dare I say it, Skynet were put on the internet by the news companies. How do you know Skynet wasn’t vain enough to Google its own name and now knows everything there is about you? Including what you look like.”
“Just a chance I’ll have to take,” Sarah countered his argument. “I’m not worried about it though. The war’s already begun, there’s no going back this time. We have to build the army so John has someone to lead when he gets back. Until then they need someone to rally around and that’s you and Savannah.”
“How can you be sure John’ll be back?” James asked pointedly. “How can we trust anything that machine said to us. What stopped her from killing John the minute he beamed in? Hell how do we know that the temporal transporter even worked? When you used it in the bank it leveled the place and I don’t remember Zeira’s Corporate Headquarters falling on our ears after they disappeared. Your son is dead Sarah. You hae to face it.”
Before Ellison could react Sarah’s hand slapped him across the face with force he never imagined a slap could have, “Never say that again you Bastard. My son’s alive – he’s out there and he’ll be back to lead this war. It’s destiny, James, don’t you see that? John leads humanity against the machines and they win the war under his leadership. My son will be here soon enough and you will give him his army.”
“What about Savannah?” James had to think of his adopted daughter. “She needs you, she needs your training now more than ever.”
“Savannah will be fine,” was all that the woman said. “She’s ready, there’s not really anything more that I can teach her than what she already knows. Plus she has you to help her. You’ll train her now. But I want you to promise me that there will be a Resistance for John and Savannah to lead.”
Ellison was surprised by her request, “Of course I’ll do my part. But what about you? You said I’ll give John the Resistance he wanted.”
Sarah stood there for a moment without moving as the words ran through her head, “I’ll do my part for as long as I can hold a gun. It was just a slip of the tongue that I didn’t say I’d be there.”
“Sarah it doesn’t take a genius to see what’s going on,” he put his hands around her waist. “Something’s wrong.”
The mother of the savior of humanity stood there and felt his hands against her hips. She let his fingers stay there for a few moments before she broke free of his strength. He deserved the truth for putting up with her for so long, “I’m dying.”
“What?” The tall man’s jaw dropped. “What the hell do you mean?”
“I mean I’m dying. I can’t be much clearer.” It was hard to watch. Sarah Connor, one of the strongest women in history, was nearly in tears. “Before the bombs fell I went to a doctor just over the border using one of the ids. Chola was good at her job and they worked so well that I got to use the Universal Health Care system to pay for my tests. My results came back positive for end state leukemia.”
For the first time in many years James Ellison was speechless. He struggled to find the words to say what he was thinking, to speak his mind about how he felt, but the words just didn’t come to him. He pushed them aside and asked the key question. “How long do you have?”
“Days,” she wiped a tear away, “maybe a couple of weeks.” Sarah recovered herself, “Which is why you’re going to carry out my last wishes. I’ll die soon but I can die at peace if I know that humanity will be safe. Have the army ready for John when he gets here and,” she choked up, “tell him I’ll see him soon.”
Before Ellison could react Sarah had passed through the bunker and she’d started through the escape hatch and returned to the outside world. She’d left Savannah and him behind, but he’d carry out her final wishes. He was sure of it.
“Is there a problem Mister Ellison?” The man from the videotapes asked him.
James Ellison pushed all of his weight against the makeshift cane that he’d constructed from the remains of the leg assembly of the endoskeleton that they’d destroyed over a year ago. The question from Kyle Reese had pulled him from his memories of days when he still thought the war was winnable to the cold reality of today.
“Why would there be a problem?” He asked the man who would become John’s father.
“You didn’t say anything for a long while and looked like you were pretty out of it,” Kyle answered frankly.
Ellison looked at the young man still seated at the table, “Just remembering someone from my youth.” He breathed heavily for a second from the strain and then focused back on Kyle Reese, “Could you excuse us please Kyle?”
“I think that I should be here,” Kyle challenged his request. “There’s a lot to do before we get started and we need to come up with a strategy to go after these survivors. We need their support in the battle of Topanga.”
“Please, Mister Reese, this is important,” was the answer that James gave. “I wouldn’t ask if it weren’t important. Please.”
Kyle looked between the two for a moment and relented, “Alright. John I’ll be in the staging grounds planning the assault if you need me for anything before you and your team leave.”
“Thanks,” Connor answered, “but I’ll be fine. Good luck with your mission, Kyle.”
“You need the luck a lot more than I do,” answered the younger Reese. “I’m just playing armchair quarterback here; you’re the one doing the hard work. So good luck.”
“Thanks,” John felt like he was repeating himself. He watched as his father left the room and, once the doors were closed, he focused his attention on the girl and the man. Mister Ellison looked like he was pretty happy to see that John was back after all these years, but the girl was a different story. The girl looked like she could kill him where he stood without a second thought. Was Ellison sure she wasn’t a skinjob?
Connor grinned, “I bet you never thought you’d see me again did you.”
“I always had a sinking suspicion that I would,” Ellison kept leaning on the assembly. “In a world where intelligent machines have taken over I don’t think anything’s impossible anymore. Plus a little bird kept telling me that you’d be back one day.” He hobbled toward him with the cane, “John Connor, the prophesized leader of the human resistance against Skynet. The leader of a scrappy young band of rebels and a Luke Skywalker type as I once described you in reports.” He smiled brightly (showing the wear on his older face as every line became a crevice), “You look great; just like when I last saw you in that subbasement.” He laughed cheerfully, “As for me well nature took its course with me and kicked my ass a few times over. Even I’m amazed that I’m still alive from time to time so I’m sure you’re shocked.”
“I am actually. I hadn’t expected to find you ever again after what happened at Zeira Corporation and with everything that’s gone wrong over the years. To be honest I didn’t expect for anyone else other than Kyle’s group to be alive quite anymore.” He slid some hair away from his brow, “We thought we were the only ones left.”
“There aren’t many of us,” Ellison relayed sadly. “I’m sorry John.”
John looked at him puzzled, “What do you have to be sorry for? You did your best.”
“I failed,” was how he answered. “I vowed to your mother when I last saw her that I’d have an army ready for you when you got back, but I never truly believed that it was true and I couldn’t build an army for you because of everything that happened in 2018. The military survived under a General Ashdown’s supervision. He launched an offensive against Skynet that failed miserably and gave away almost 70% of the last human outposts. His war decimated our troops and he nearly got us all killed. We tried to build your forces,” he looked at Savannah, “we both did, but we failed horribly. I failed you and I failed your mother’s last wishes.”
“You didn’t fail me,” the destined leader answered him. “You did what you could against extreme circumstances that were impossible for anyone to deal with. You held out longer than most others could ever hope to against superior numbers and the odds being far from in your favor. Most importantly you survived this war. Survival is more important than anything and that includes building an army. We survived and that’s the best any of us could ever hope for.” He paused as if replaying Ellison’s words inside his head, “You said that you failed my mother? Mister Ellison why didn’t she lead the fight and why didn’t she build the army for me? Why’d she pass the buck off to you in one of the most important missions of her life?” That wasn’t the Sarah Connor that John had grown up under. That sounded nothing like the woman that he respected and hoped to develop even half the skills and courage of.
The older man considered his words carefully before he finally spoke, “Sarah asked me to take over the reigns for her after the bombs fell on top of us. She wanted me and Savannah to go on and to fight the war while she did her own part on her own terms like always. I’m sorry to tell you John that the last time I saw your mom was the evening of Judgment Day.” Ellison wondered how far to go with it and decided it was time for the truth to come out – not even Savannah knew what had happened to Sarah. “Sarah had been sick for a while before Judgment Day came. One morning about a month before J Day she snuck over the border to meet with a doctor that we’d become familiar with the services of. She’d been losing weight, fatigued, and she never felt right anymore. He diagnosed her with leukemia in the end stages. When Judgment Day came Sarah only had, at most, a couple of weeks left before she’d succumb to it. She took a pistol and headed out on her own to live her last days on her terms.”
“I’m sorry John,” he truly was, “But your mother is dead. She lived her life fighting the machines, but she lost the war for her own body to a combatant that she could never defeat: the decay of our own selves.”
Despite everything John Connor took the revelation pretty well. He’d long assumed that his mother was dead and that she’d died during this pointless war, but he never knew just how it’d happened. Now though he knew the truth about how his mother left the war and the Earth and he wished it’d been on her own terms (much like she’d lived her life). She’d left the war behind after her own body failed to support her anymore. She left this mortal coil because of the ravages of genetics and not the war that she’d sworn her life to fight. A part of him hoped that she was at peace but, in all honesty, John knew that his mother was spinning in her grave at the way it’d happened. He knew her far too well.
Then he noticed that the girl behind Ellison, Savannah Weaver, was taking it harder than he ever would. Streams of tears were coming from her eyes yet she remained a statue at Ellison’s side. Machines could cry, he’d seen Cameron cry once, but he knew now that Savannah was as human as he was. John walked up to her and looked at her for a moment like a General would inspect one of his troops. He realized that she’d stiffened herself trying to hold it all inside. John simply brushed one of her tears away with his thumb.
“You know my mother, if she were here, would probably be yelling at you for showing a weakness like that,” he pointed out to Savannah, “but, deep down, she’d be crying too. My mother knew the value of each human life and she would mourn just like you are. She’d probably do it was a cigarette and a bottle of Jack, which is probably why she died the way that she did, but everybody’s different. You go on and keep crying if it helps you to mourn her loss.”
“Thank you General Connor,” Savannah answered using the title that he didn’t deserve in this reality. “I stand ready for your orders and to give my life in service of humanity in the war against the machines.”
Despite her choice of words John couldn’t help but grin. There was that title again: General John Connor the leader of the Human Resistance against Skynet. A title he never wanted, didn’t feel he deserved, yet always seemed to find its way back to him. That was Future John’s rank, not the present’s honor. He looked her in the eyes and spoke his piece, “Let’s hope that it doesn’t come to that. There’s been far too much death already as it is.”
“The question is,” the former FBI Agent interrupted him, “what’s our next move? By all rights you should be leading this group. You’re the man that leads humanity out of this Dark Age and back to salvation. It’s history.”
“You know I never really wanted that job,” again he was being honest with them and with himself, “and over the last few years since I arrived I’ve wondered how the great General John Connor would handle being in this world. You know what I realized? That John doesn’t exist here. Yet, nevertheless, he does because I exist. This isn’t the war that my mother prepared me for; this isn’t the battle that I was destined to fight. Yet, in many ways, they’re exactly the same right down to the people I deal with each and every day of my life.”
Savannah nearly cried out, “But you’re John Connor!”
“I know who I am,” he answered, “my mother’s drilled it into my head so many times that I can’t remember them all. For now, though, I’m going to be a dutiful little soldier and keep running things from the sidelines; making suggestions and recommendations to Kyle to let him lead the war.”
“That isn’t what your mother wanted!” Savannah yelled at him. “She wanted us to lead the human race out of this and to beat Skynet once and for all!”
John looked at the girl he’d rescued the day that his uncle was killed, “Just like my mother to have a Plan B waiting in the wings. Why isn’t she leading the Resistance anyway? A charismatic leader could probably have beaten that Ashdown fellow at his own game.”
“They had trouble taking my orders because of my age,” Weaver admitted bitterly. “They didn’t care about my training or my experience. They saw me as a little girl and that was enough for them to brush me aside. I wished then that they would’ve listened and I wish now that they really had. You have no idea how hard it is for me not to knock you on your ass right now!”
“You’re the daughter my mother always wanted,” teased Connor. “I’m not going to sit on the sidelines forever, Savannah, far from it. Right now though we need to consolidate our forces and we need to make arrangements with the Cyborg Resistance so that they can help us at Topanga. They were crucial in the last timeline.”
Ellison shifted his weight on his walking stick, “The what?”
“You know it best as John Henry,” he answered remembering the name of Cameron’s murderer as well as his own. “Weaver told me that John Henry was sent here to build his own army to fight Skynet; his Cyborg Resistance. Where is he?”
“We’ve never found him,” Ellison was shocked to hear the name of his old project. “You’re the first one that stepped into that time machine that’s come out of it that I know of. There is no Cyborg Resistance; there’s just Skynet.”
That was the first that John hadn’t expected to hear. He’d always believed that it’d simply been that he’d never heard from them because they were worried that someone would shoot first and ask questions later (which was probably why Weaver disappeared in the first place when they arrived). If Ellison – in a sense John Henry’s father – hadn’t been contacted, though, maybe he wasn’t here. Maybe the transport failed and he’s lost in time somewhere? Cameron I’m so sorry. What did he do to you?
“You mean that you’ve never heard from him at all?” He felt sick to his stomach. Things just got a lot more complicated, “What about Catherine Weaver? Have you heard from her?”
“My mother?” Savannah questioned with warmth in her voice. “My mother’s here?”
“In a sense - the machine that had replaced your mother came forward with me on that day. I haven’t seen her since I arrived here,” John paced the room rubbing his forehead. “Have you seen either of them?”
“No,” the Commander answered. “We haven’t seen either her or John Henry. John there is no Cyborg Resistance. There’s only us.”
It couldn’t be. It just couldn’t. Connor had another question – another possibility that could shed some light on this whole ghastly affair. He spoke quickly, “Do you have a benefactor?”
“A what?” Savannah didn’t understand.
“Have you been finding documents, plans, computer disks, anything that gives you information about Skynet or the machines?” John asked quickly again. “Anything like that? Ever?” Please God let them say yes!
“Every once in a while we do,” Ellison answered again. “We never knew where they came from though. I always assumed that it was from a machine that had turned like Weaver had.”
John rubbed his stubble covered face, “What if our benefactors are those two? What if they’re giving us what we need to survive? What if they have a Resistance and we just don’t know about it?”
“Entirely possible I’d say,” suggested Ellison. “If there is a Cyborg Resistance they’d probably want us to win just as badly as we want it. They’d give us the materials we needed to do it too probably. We have been finding a lot of weapons laying about lately.”
“Maybe even a bit more,” John pointed something out. “Remember when we were going after John Henry and Cameron? Do you remember what Catherine Weaver told my mother? She said that I’d save the world but that I’d need John Henry to help me do it. I always wondered what she meant, but now I know.”
“What did she mean?” Savannah asked as John walked toward the door.
Connor looked at the girl, “She meant I’m going to have to find John Henry to get that answer. Mister Ellison I’m going to bring those survivors back to you to give you that army. Keep the home fires burning for us would you?”
“You got it,” Ellison smiled, “And good luck.”
John stood by the door for a moment, “I’d never admit this but I don’t believe in luck; though I appreciate the sentiment. Besides you don’t need to have any luck when you have a destiny now do you?”
“I see your point,” James looked between him and Savannah, “good hunting.”
John nodded and left the room leaving Savannah and Ellison behind. James collapsed backward into the chair that he’d been using only moments prior and just stared at the closed door. Savannah placed a comforting hand on his shoulder and he clasped his hand around it. “That was harder than I expected.”
“You’ve done very well,” Savannah said softly, “The less he knows the better off he’ll be.”
“But there’s so much,” Ellison pointed out, “so much that he can help us with. I hope that he only realizes the truth about just how important he is to us. That he accepts destiny.”
“He will soon enough,” Savannah said soothingly. “If you’ll excuse me though I want to keep an eye on him and the teams as they go to the Enterprise. I don’t entirely trust any of them, now John Connor more than ever.”
Ellison looked up at his daughter, “Good luck.”
“Thank you,” she walked away, “Fortunately I believe in it and know we’re going to need every ounce of it that we can get.”
Ellison and Savannah have a couple of secrets hmm......interesting twist.
An enjoyable continuation. Good dialogue, I can hear the actors saying their lines, although with Sarah Connor I found myself flip flopping between film and TV versions!
I decided to just come right out with it rather than keep implying that they had their own agenda. To me those two characters were among the most interesting additions to the series - anyone else remember the discussion thread from Allison from Palmdale right after Savannah Weaver first appeared? The thread went crazy with speculation: was she real, was she a part of Weaver (amazing we predicted that Weaver was in pieces but we never imagined it was the Eel), was she a baby terminator? It went from being about Cameron to being about the girl. - but back to the discussion at hand (I just rewatched Allison From Palmdale on the DVD set so it's fresh in my mind).
Ellison and Savannah are two of the most interesting additions to the franchise in my opinion. First you have a convert to Sarah's line of thinking because he's experienced it first hand and - unlike Silberman - he didn't go insane believing everyone was a machine. They you have this little girl who lost her parents to the machines and then dealt with a machine version of her mother. Then, when they started to connect, even the machine went away. I touched on this a bit when I wrote Savannah's story earlier and how she felt that everyone always left her. I thought it'd be an interesting contrast between John's view that everyone dies for him by having Savannah feel that everyone would leave her when the chips were truly down. There'll be more to this as the story progresses, but I hope that I got her resentment toward John down right.
I was hoping for that when I wrote the pages between Sarah and Ellison. I had soldier Sarah who knew that she had to fight the machines, but then there's the underlying knowledge that she's going to die soon which lets the less guarded Sarah from TSCC to come out for a bit. For me, in a sense, to the character that's her version of hell (I had thought about including her thinking her cancer was caused by the T-1000 - I once read that contact with the mimetic polyalloy would cause cancer) and that the machines indirectly had won both their war against humanity and her on the same day would just add to the hell she was living in.
But I have to admit that this will be the only time that I write for Sarah Connor in this storyline. Will John and Savannah every so often hear her voice though? That's another tale .
WOW. That was a huge piece. ANd thanks, I was really looking forward to John and Ellison talking. Great job!
You're welcome. I considered being evil and skipping to John and Jesse leaving but thought that was just too mean.
Can I make a wee suggestion? Post these one at a time. I'm enjoying it, but I can't commit to reading three huge posts in a single go, and if I click on it to just read one, it resets my "already read" sensor (or whatever makes the magical bolding appear) and I lose my place in the story when I find my way back to it. I think you would get more feedback if you broke it up a little, and it would enable you to keep the story coming on a more consistent basis instead of in huge installments less often.
Just my two cents. I do like the story, I'm just having trouble keeping track of what I've read so far.
Actually that's not a bad idea. I may start doing that to help with flow.
Separate names with a comma.