The Terminator Chronicles: Second Chance

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by nx1701g, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm enjoying this immensely NX. I love how you are merging both franchises together...it seems flawless. The paragraph about Ashcrofts attack on Skynet Central failing from Terminator Salvation was great.Loved seeing what Sarah and Ellison were up to after John left and Savannah as well. Reading this makes me wonder if you have any ideas about doing a Smallville continuation involving Superman?
     
  2. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

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    Thanks :)

    Old habits die hard I'm afraid.

    I always took it that the major events from the series still happened, only they'd be slightly different. In this reality there was no John Connor to stop the futile attack, so it went forward without anyone stopping it and Skynet got the upperhand.

    I'm glad people liked that because I thought, while writing it, that it could go either way. I didn't know if people would like the idea of Sarah training a replacement for John as I wrote it.

    Unfortunately, for a while, this will be my final fanfic.
     
  3. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

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    Strangely it wouldn't let me edit:

    I plan on posting the first part of the next chapter tomorrow. I'm going to take the suggestion and try posting different sections each night.
     
  4. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

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    Shortly before the world ended Cyberdyne processors were popping up everywhere. They were inside military goods, computers of varying specifications, even consumer goods that people took for granted somehow had been made better through the wonders of a computer chip. One of the biggest buyers of these technologies were the members of the automotive industry. These companies bought the enhanced processors in order to better run their products and to meet new governmental regulations. Under the auspices of the President of the United States’ orders for cleaner, greener cars the industry needed to keep things more effectively and the Cyberdyne CPUs were just what the doctor ordered to accomplish that. Even in their near microscopic state these cores could compute things far more efficiently than even the most advanced supercomputers.

    That was part of the problem though. In addition to housing a powerful computational system that was at the level of allowing the devices to be able to think for themselves, the processors also contained a small transmitter that allowed them to connect to Cyberdyne servers at routine intervals. The official taglines were that these connections allowed the software to update regularly to make the equipment more reliable; or so the story goes. The truth was revealed not long after the first products made their way to the market. On April 19, 2011 when Skynet went online it contacted these processors and uploaded its malware into the CPUs as part of a routine software upgrade. Then it began using the conscripted vehicles on small test runs just to see what it could do. Since the processors had been hooked into the propulsion of the cars Skynet took control over many of them as it could and used them in tests. The results were far more effective than even Skynet could have anticipated. At first it made a few random vehicles run off the road then it intensified the tests by killing the occupants. After that it became far more sinister as it became more and more likely that the humans were going to try to kill it. It started taking over buses and construction vehicles and used them to take out as many people as it could. When it decided to destroy the world the cars became the first generation of Hunter Killers and were used to keep as many people as possible in the cities as the bombs detonated.

    John Connor never particularly cared about cars or trucks just so long as they could him from Point A to Point B. Nonetheless, with the advent of the computer age when the bombs detonated and fired off their EMP charge most vehicles in the world had experienced their last hurrah (including a good many of Skynet’s own first wave of killers). Because of that the survivors who needed to traverse long distances needed other arrangements. From what he’d been told by Derek before the fall the Resistance had their own transportation and, much like today, they were all older vehicles from the (at latest) the early nineties before the overreliance on technology took hold. The cars and trucks that the survivors were using were the perfect example of this. The troop transport that they’d put together was one such example of the salvage. It was patched together school bus that had been painted, how he didn’t know, with urban camouflage colors to try to hide among the rubble as it roved for survivors. The roads weren’t always clear so they’d given it a few upgrades in the form of reinforced coverings on the front so that they could plow through any obstacles. Somehow the transport always made it to its destination and brought home survivors; nonetheless, it hadn’t exactly had many successes lately.

    Even though he didn’t care about how he got from place to place there was something about a school bus that just made him uncomfortable. He didn’t know himself why he hated them so much. It was probably his own lack of a childhood that made him feel this way, or so he’d told himself over and over. Whether it be growing up in the jungles or South America or being on the run he didn’t have much time for the traditional upbringing where school buses were important to him. When he was with Todd and Janelle he’d had some exposure to the classic childhood, but he was more pissed off about everything with his mother’s prison life that he didn’t enjoy the brief break from his training and being constantly on guard (well except for the times he saw fit to break the law). He wasn’t a saint as a kid, but he wasn’t a demon either and, looking back, he still regretted some of the things he did. But, now, in the post Uncle Bob world in which he lived he longed for that mundane life with Todd and Janelle Voight where he could get into trouble and worry about the police and not a cyborg coming for him. The bad thing was that you just couldn’t pick the cards that you got in the poker game of life and Todd and Janelle suffered the same fate as anyone else who got too close to John Connor. They died because of him.

    Though it could, just as easily, have been the reality of the survivor’s situation. Years ago that school bus delivered children to schools so that they could get an education and lead the world; then the day came that it would never have that lofty distinction again. The kids that once rode this bus were dead and would never get to live their dreams. Some of those poor kids even died sitting in those very seats and their bones littered them when it was put together. That was the most damning thing about seeing it, why it was so uncomfortable to be on it. It wasn’t the loss of his childhood or the extremes of his own life: it was the loss of life and the possibilities that were robbed of the last generation of humanity. Those were the reasons John Connor had such trouble with the school bus. So he needed a change – one of the few personal requests that he’d asked for.

    The man who had been destined to be a General and lead humanity had gotten assigned to a different vehicle than that school bus though. He and a soldier named Wise were asked to ride in an old 1980 Ford pickup at point with Connor himself driving it because it was a stick shift. The shocks were worn out, the upholstery was ruined, but it was a surprisingly comfortable ride (anything would be better than the monkey wagon of a school bus though). The best part of it was that it was outfitted with a ‘borrowed’ phased plasma pulse gun that was mounted into the bed of the truck – it wasn’t like the metal bastard who they got it from would need it ever again. If they came under attack from above or even to the sides then they’d be able to take care of it if they moved fast enough. This Wise guy was supposed to be a pretty good shot, one of the best that Ellison had seen in his entire life, so John just hoped he was good enough not to miss.

    At least he didn’t have to ride with Jesse in that school bus. He thought that he got over the death of Riley Dawson a lifetime ago, but the wounds of her death had come back to him not long after he first encountered Jesse in this world. As much as he didn’t want to admit it he’d cared deeply for that crazy girl he met after class that one day and ditched school with not long after. Maybe, just maybe, he even loved her at one point. That was until he realized that she was, like pretty much everyone in his life, a victim of the machines and Skynet. Plus she never treated him like his alias and didn’t seem at all surprised when she heard his true name that day in Mexico. Riley had always tried to protect him in some way or another and even was fearless in the face of Cromartie. It didn’t take much longer for John to realize that she’d been sent back through time, but her mission wasn’t from Skynet or from Future John as he’d come to call himself. Riley and Jesse were rogues sent back to break John’s support of Cameron. When she failed and realized the truth, Jesse killed her for her failure. Jesse’s plan, nonetheless, hadn’t changed from the get go. All along Jesse had planned to kill Riley and blame it on Cameron so that John would send the machine away. When he confronted Jesse about it in her hotel room he informed her that he’d never have relieved Cameron of her services, but he’d considered pushing the magic button that would destroy her chip. He even carried the locket, his mother having locked it in one of the secret bunkers that she’d constructed in the desert.

    John thought he was over it but, when he saw Jesse again, all he could see was Riley when he first met her and then again as she lay on the metal slab in the Los Angeles County morgue. So much promise, so many possibilities, so much love and she was dead. Through the mysteries of time it was possible that Riley could be alive right now and roaming the Earth; though John had serious doubts about that possibility. With all the loss, all the death, and their dwindling numbers how could a girl have possibly survived through all this? How could anyone have survived this? He had to get these thoughts out of his mind though. How could he become the legendary John Connor when he kept thinking about the dead when the living needed him far more than anyone else did? His mother, Derek, Cameron, they all told him that he acted more like John Baum than John Connor, but how could you be a leader without having compassion or caring about the people beneath you? How could you lead when you ignored the very people you were fighting to protect and save? It messed with his head far more than he’d ever openly admit.

    At least there was one other person in this truck who was as quiet as he was as they made this trip. Earl Wise was one of the best shots that Kyle had to offer, but he was as silent as the machines were. Hell, the way he looked forward with a cold stare John wasn’t sure if he wasn’t a machine; it was almost a dead ringer for the way that Cameron or Uncle Bob would survey the countryside. From what he’d been told Wise had been one of the ones that had broken off to make his own when Kyle became the leader after Derek stepped aside. He created a group of scavengers that tried to go it alone so that they could avoid Skynet forces better and they had had a lot of success at their evasion. Then, one day, they got picked up by a Skynet patrol near their hideout and they had an army of endoskeletons stop by for a quick visit. A dozen six hundreds and half a dozen seven hundreds plowed through their hideaway and killed everyone there but Wise himself; he’d somehow managed to escape through a storm drain and the machines didn’t follow behind. It wasn’t one of Derek’s or Kyle’s search parties that found him this time. While Savannah and a man named Garvin were out on patrol they found him sitting in the shadows with his Desert Eagle in his mouth. They talked him down and they brought him back into the fold. That was over a year ago and he was the last human that they found alive ever since then.

    But not many people knew much about him. Both Kyle’s and Ellison’s notes called him an enigma, wrapped in a riddle, wrapped in a question and John could understand exactly what those notes meant. They’d been riding in the truck for over two hours now and he’d probably said maybe two sentences during the entire trip. The first one was to ask for the canteen of water and the other was to ask about the charge of the plasma repeater in the bed. That was it; the grand total of their conversation through the graveyard of downtown Los Angeles. John wasn’t big on small talk either and it seemed that Earl Wise would be able to give even Cameron a run for her money in the silence department; but John needed something to do to keep his mind off of all this. John had been in this world for three years and these big operations still had a bad habit of making him nervous – not that he’d ever show it. Plus there was another mystery about Earl Wise that he couldn’t answer. Wise was a man that John had, somehow, had a dream about only last night. When Skynet attacked the survivors in his dream it was Wise that blew up a Hunter Killer with Savannah’s help. It was Wise and Savannah who blew up in a fireball brought forth by an Aerial Hunter Killer. He hoped his dream wasn’t prophetic.

    “Are you always so quiet?” John asked as he turned down another rubble lined highway and passed by the carcass of a burnt out Dodge Ram. He, momentarily, wondered if it could be the one he’d had as a kid.

    “I’m not big on small talk and it’s not like there’s much to talk about these days anyway now is there? There’s not been any new television in a decade and a half, there are no movie stars to gossip about, and that only leaves the weather to talk about and it stays pretty much the same day in day out,” he said curtly. “Shouldn’t you be assessing our tactical situation anyway since you’re leading this mission instead of chewing the fat with me?”

    John half smiled, “Just because I asked a question doesn’t mean that I’m not assessing our tactical situation. We just turned at Third and Cameron, or what was once Third and Cameron. We’ve just passed through a Skynet occupied zone that used to house my team’s hideout – that’s not exactly a tactically important piece of trivia just a bit about where I come from. There was a Centurion, a spider from the looks of it, on the third floor of the building that we just passed but it doesn’t appear to be in pursuit of us. Our biggest threats in the region are from potential landed Hunter Killer Assault Fighters because there aren’t any in the sky, or at least none that I can see and Skynet, so far, hasn’t found ways to make its planes invisible as far as I remember. The landing zone is to the north northeast so we’ll steer clear of it, which’ll mean our trip’ll take a bit longer than it normally would. Situation assessed.”

    “Maybe you can do two things at once,” commented Wise sarcastically, “but I’d like to keep my attention on the road so that I can watch for the metal dicks. Besides I never took you for the chatty Cathy type. You seem a lot like me and you’d rather be quiet than anything else. Are your demons haunting you and you need to talk to someone to quell them?”

    “I can’t listen to the radio and I get bored on long car trips. Besides, it’s not like we can play bug slug or anything like that.” John turned down another road and scanned the horizon. It looked like there was a T-600 in the distance on a hill. He waved out the window to show Jesse he was going to turn again soon and to point the enemy combatant to Wise.

    “What the hell’s a bug slug?” Wise inquired as he spotted the Series 600. He bent down toward his legs and pulled a plasma rifle out from between them.

    Connor watched him get the Plasma Rifle and then focused on the endoskeleton as it stood there, “Just a game I used to play with my mother on long car trips. When you see a Volkswagen Beetle you’re supposed to punch the passenger in the arm.” He was nonchalant to hide his own concerns about facing yet another machine while locked away inside the small truck.

    Wise fired, from their incredible distance, and the purple plasma beam enveloped the rubber skinned infiltrator’s head. The robot fired blindly into the air and collapsed to the ground, its chip had been destroyed by the energy surge and half of its face had turned to superheated liquid metal. Earl – pleased with his shot – pulled himself back into his seat and returned the gun to its place between his legs. “I played that too as a kid. My dad and I would play it when we were on one of his trips to Death Valley for work; he was an ecologist studying the Valley for his thesis. We didn’t call it bug slug though; we called it punch buggy.”

    John was more impressed by the shot than what he called the game, “I’ve never seen anyone make that kind of shot before.” Well not a human anyway.

    “I take it you didn’t grow up in the backwoods of Pennsylvania when you were growing up then. I could shoot a gun before I could recite my ABCs and 123s.” Earl was teasing John, but it wasn’t entirely meant as a joke. His father had taught him how to fire a gun at a very young age and he was pretty good at it even then when the rifle was taller than he was when you set it on its stalk. That was why he’d been able to survive: he could fire a gun and rarely missed.

    “I always did say that surviving in this world was a combination of thinking on your feet and shooting from the hip,” Connor informed the man. “I guess you just, naturally, get to take it to the next level. And, for your information, I didn’t grow up in the backwoods of Pennsylvania, you’re right about that, but I didn’t exactly grow up not knowing how to fire a gun or to think for myself.”

    Wise was growing irritated by talking, “Oh really? Considering you’re from what was once Los Angeles did your daddy take you to a shooting range when you were growing up? A shooting range isn’t exactly the same thing as growing up in the woods quite frankly. I think that’s the only way I did survive and your claiming to have had a similar upbringing as mine is just a little insulting.”
     
  5. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

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    “My father was dead,” John reported to the man bluntly. “And I didn’t have the Club lifestyle that people assume kids from Los Angeles grow up with. I actually grew up in the jungles of South America where I had to fight to survive, where my best friend growing up was an M-16 rifle. I was only in Los Angeles for a little while and, while I was here, I was bumped from foster home to foster home until my mother got out of jail. Then I didn’t exactly have a Hollywood lifestyle even with my ex-con mother; before or after J-Day.”

    “Should I be impressed by where you grew up?” He secretly was. Maybe Connor wasn’t that bad.

    “No,” John shifted gears as he turned down another torn up road. “I just wanted to break your stereotype about kids from LA. It wasn’t always like TV claimed it was for kids living here.”

    Earl looked at Connor for a second then watched the road again. He scanned it, “I wasn’t aware that I’d applied a stereotype to you and I didn’t watch much television; before the fall or after, so your assumption made an ass out of you.”

    “How long is it until we reach the Enterprise?” John tried to change the subject realizing he was in good company. If Wise always acted like this he could see why Uncle Derek liked him.

    Wise looked down at one of the maps that they’d found, “I’d love to whip out a GPS and get turn by turn directions and an exact time for you there John but I don’t think there are many GPS satellites still in orbit to give us a good enough fix. Besides we’d probably give ourselves up to Skynet if we tried to use one to find out where we are anyway.” He looked at his map, “If I had to make a guess though I’d say that we’re at the halfway point and maybe even the three-fourths point. So we should make it by sunup if we keep this pace and if we don’t get involved in any Skynet entanglements.”

    “Avoiding Skynet these days is like trying to ask the moon not to rise at night,” the destined leader of the Human Resistance answered the other man in the cab of the antique truck. “I don’t know about you but I want to get out there and get as many people as possible onto our side as we can and then get the hell out of there.”

    “Do you have an idea how we’re gonna do that, fearless leader?”

    John thought about that for a moment like an applicant trying to figure out the best possible answer for a job interviewer. It was a good question: what exactly were they going to do when they reached the Enterprise? It wasn’t like they could just waltz right inside and take over the helm of the ship, they needed a plan and it needed to be the best plan in the world if they were going to win this battle. He’d had a few ideas what to do but that was pretty meaningless if he didn’t have an idea on how to get onboard the damned ship.

    Presumably the Enterprise was the one he was the most familiar with: the nuclear powered aircraft carrier that the navy had used from the sixties. Cameron once explained to him that Skynet had outfitted all United States military assets with Cyberdyne processors to make them more efficient and more capable in the millennial age; some of them even were being deployed with the computer serving in the role of Captain. Presumably that meant that it was the CVN-65 he was heading toward unless Skynet had brought back the CV-6 from the dead or there was another Enterprise out there (but it would’ve been under construction if was one of the next generation carriers and it was unlikely Skynet would waste the resources on completing it). That gave him a greater advantage than anyone could possibly know. When he was living with Todd and Janelle they’d taken him to tour the Enterprise during Fleet Week so he’d gotten to explore the ship a bit. Plus he had another opportunity. If the computers were in control over the carrier then they’d have some ports where he could gain access. At heart John Connor may just have been a grunt in this reality, but he was also an expert hacker and he had the tools he needed to do his job. He could hack into the system, confuse the Enterprise’s hardware enough to let them get through the front door, and they could get as many people as possible then get out. John hoped.

    “I have an idea or two,” John finally answered him after a moment. “I just have a little refining to do before we get started.”

    Earl finally took his eyes off the road, “Well why don’t we both shut up so you can focus all of your attention onto the problem and come up with a solution before we get to the Enterprise and before we have a hundred tin cans trying to blow our brains out? I wouldn’t want to be the reason that the great John Connor – destined leader of humanity – couldn’t figure out how to open up a door.”

    While John turned the convoy down another road he looked, for a moment, at Wise and wondered just how he’d heard the story of John’s past. It wasn’t important, plus he’d been goaded enough with his supposed destiny over the years that he’d learned to ignore people when they taunted him about it. So John kept driving in complete and total silence toward their target and kept mulling over the plan of action that he was about to implement. Fortunately he’d been able to get out of that damned conversation that he, like a fool, had stumbled into with Earl. It had also, at the very least, reminded him to keep quiet during long car trips and to keep that policy in the future.
     
  6. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

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    Chapter: 10
    Part: 1
    Characters: John Connor, Earl Wise
    Pages: 7
    Paragraphs: 26
    Words: 4,183
     
  7. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Very interesting. I wonder if John will come to regret being so open with the enigmatic Mr. Wise.
     
  8. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Never know :). For those who are reading who may not know Earl Wise is a character that I created. I included a new reality version of his background, but his entire story is available in the previous two stories. He's also a character I used to irritate a lot of people with because many felt I just got to the good part with him when I wrapped up my first Terminator fanfic.

    I think I'm going to keep the breaks between sections, but I'll start an entry every other day so it'll be a chapter a week. I'll be introducing another character in the next entry (here's a hint: I've been asked about the character a couple of times).
     
  9. NX74205

    NX74205 Captain Captain

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    My money is on Catherine Brooooooster.....
     
  10. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Wise sounds like he works for our liquid metal lady-or some other faction we don't know about.
     
  11. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Maybe. Maybe not. Never know what I'm going to do.

    Maybe, maybe a different Catherine...

    Wait did I just say that?

    I've also come to a conclusion: I can't be watching the show on DVD while writing these stories anymore. When I was writing earlier I had on Allison from Palmdale (Allison is the star of the next section) and I kept focusing more on the story than anything.
     
  12. Blue_Trek

    Blue_Trek Captain Captain

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    I like the thought process coming from the machine's, it reminds me of the novels of IG-88 and his series of robots from the expanded universe from Star Wars.

    It gives you a side of things movies can't.
     
  13. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

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    I have to admit that it's one of the most fun things to attempt to write for. What exactly are the machines thinking - are they thinking at all? I've also had the most fun in the past while writing for the AIs (Skynet, John Henry, MIR). Cameron can be difficult because you never know where her loyalties really lie. You think for a moment that she's loyal to John and then she tries to kill him after all. :D

    If you're interested in seeing a novel that's written from the machine - and Skynet's - perspective I really recommend the T2: Infiltrator series if you can find them. They're about 10 years old but the first novel is told from the point of view of a human/machine hybrid and Skynet in several chapters.


    For this story I know I said we'd be getting part two of Chapter 10 and the return of Allison Young, but I didn't have the opportunity to review the story this morning as I planned. I will be getting the next section posted within the next couple of days though for your reading pleasure.
     
  14. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Awesomeness. CVN-65! Waiting for the next installment...and I completely forgot about Riley.
     
  15. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

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    Tonight's entry is completed and I am editing it now.
     
  16. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

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    Allison Young wanted to cry but her body had no tears left to spare; the machines had ripped them away from her in the latest of their probes into her and her memories. Their psychological assault had been brutal, devastating, and drilled through her like a miner drilling toward the center of the Earth in search of the perfect blood diamond. Their invasion had been so brutal that it felt like they had chipped away at her very soul and left little behind for her to seek comfort in. All for information that she had sworn to keep no matter what; information that she would take to her grave if she had to and it was looking more and more like that would be the case.

    At first they asked her the basics like her name and where she was from, but that wasn’t the only thing that the machines had wanted. They poured more and more of a burning cocktail into her body, using it to make her break through her barriers and the defenses that she’s erected around her mind and its secrets. It was a deadly brew that they’d put together for just such an occasion as ripping apart a patient. Perfectly perfected by Skynet’s deadly thinkers, the chemicals were a combination of drug therapy and even good old fashioned alcohol to eliminate her inhibitors and make her reveal her secrets. Normally the amalgamation would kill whomever it was injected into, but the machines were far too smart to let their prized test subject die. So they kept the ratio in check. Instead of killing her outright the combination brought her right to the boundaries of death but never let her cross through the threshold no matter how hard she would try (and she’d been trying like her to slip through). If she got too close the interrogator’s aide, a sparkly new model that lacked a single blemish, would inject her with a counter agent or shock her system back to the living side of things.

    All they did was made her soul numb, but they’d forced her resolve to grow even stronger. She’d never break down and tell them what she knew about the survivors, about the hideouts, or about the weapons stockpiles that they still had set up throughout the ruins of the United States and northern Mexico. She’d never give in to answering the question which Skynet repeatedly demanded the answer to over and over again like a broken record. It was a question that she had trouble comprehending.

    “Where is John Connor?”

    Allison would never lead those metal bastards to any of her friends no matter what they did to her. They could drug her, they could beat her like they’d tried before, they could even cut her up until she was nothing more than a head on a platter if they felt like it and she still would never tell them where they could find any of the survivors. Let alone would she give up John Connor. She cared for him far too much to let him be subjected to this torture; that was something she was certain of. The question though wasn’t the one that she’d expected. Kyle Reese was the leader of the enclave, Skynet would’ve known that, so why was John so important to Skynet? Why would they want him so badly? It didn’t make much sense if any.

    Unless you believed that the stories about John Connor were true. Everyone had heard the stories about how John was supposed to be humanity’s savior and that he was the man that would lead humans out of the new Dark Age and back into the light. Hell, she’d even lived it on that fateful day three years ago when she, Derek, Kyle and Fuller found John naked in the remains of the Zeira Corporation Headquarters in downtown Los Angeles. Kyle’d convinced the search team to visit that tomb because of a ‘gut instinct’ he’d had that night, but there was something more to it and Allison could tell. Could there be though? Could it have been preordained? Destiny? No it was insanity to believe anything like that. The stories couldn’t be true. Could they? Stranger things had been known to happen so anything was possible, improbable, but possible still. The question was what would lead Skynet to believe a rumor about some mystical savior who would fall naked from the sky? There was no logic to it, no reason behind it, and Skynet was supposed to be logical. It didn’t make sense unless, maybe, Skynet had lost its mind just like she feared she was starting to do?

    God wouldn’t that be the luckiest break that the survivors could ever have? Skynet going insane would be the best stroke of luck that they could ever have – well unless Skynet decided to nuke everything left from orbit. But, she knew, humanity wasn’t that lucky. As much as she hoped and prayed for it Skynet would never lose its mind; it’s processors would just come up with some sort of equation to fix the problem before it did any damage she supposed.. So, for now it seemed, she was stuck here inside these four walls waiting for Skynet to question her again and praying for something to happen to end her life before the next round would begin.

    The cell that they’d put her in was once little more than a cargo container used to ship equipment to and from United States Navy ships; or, at least, that was what she was assuming since that was what the flag logo on the wall meant. Years ago she’d hid out in one of the cargo fields to try to avoid a Centurion patrol and, to pass the time, she’d picked up an old styled cargo manifest and read it to keep her mind off of her impending doom. If she remembered correctly since it was a red compartment that meant that the materials once stored inside of here were flammable. Maybe she’d get lucky and Skynet would just catch her on fire? Even though it’d get her away from them she hoped that that wasn’t going to be the case. As much as she wanted to die, to escape, death by burning alive wasn’t something she’d wish upon even Skynet. There was still a chance that she could escape, albeit small, and that was another reason why she’d keep up the good fight. Besides it wasn’t likely that Skynet was going to burn her alive, it was more like the machines were going to give her food poisoning. The white slop that they’d given her for dinner looked about as appetizing as mud and she’d eaten mud before but wouldn’t touch whatever the hell this stuff was. She wouldn’t eat that crap and, in defiance of the machines, she slammed it against the wall. Allison realized that the only person she was punishing was herself and not Skynet, but she didn’t care. It felt good to fight back even in this simple manner.

    She rested her head against the wall and stared at the dark ceiling. She let out a long breath and that was when she heard the click clop of an approaching endoskeleton. The cargo door’s handles moved and the right door opened letting the smells of the outside world and the heat to rush in and assault her nostrils. The smell of prisoners wasn’t something that she’d soon forget. She could smell sweat, urine, and crap soiling the outside world. There were cries coming from outside the container too. Some were calling out to God, their mothers and fathers, and some were begging death to come for them and get it over with. Then the heat made its way to her. It felt like a burst of gas from a volcano had filled her small room and it was almost as bad as being burned alive. She was fascinated that her arms didn’t start to boil off from the warmth. A bright light like the one from the chamber shone through the door to block her view of the outside world.

    From among the blinding light a body emerged and slammed against the ground. It was a woman, she assumed at least, from the silhouette her eyes could make out, who thudded as she landed. The door closed behind her with a thunderous boom and the locks reengaged by sliding back up into their holes. Allison, despite her better judgment, ran up to the woman and knelt beside her to give aid. She reached down and checked the woman’s body for visible injuries. She had a lot of cuts and bruises covering her face and upper body. Her left eye was swollen shut and there was caked blood in her hair. The right of her lip had a scar that looked like it had been hastily sewn back together and, from the perfection of the stitching, it had to have been a machine that performed the mending.

    “Are you alright?” Allison asked knowing the answer even before it had escaped from her lips.

    “I had a lot worse when I was in Century,” she rolled over and winced. “But not by much.” She felt her body beneath her breasts, “They didn’t break any ribs at least.” The newcomer looked at the other woman, “You look like hell.”

    Allison smiled her first legitimate smile since she was captured, “Look who’s talking – I’m sure that you’ve seen better days and that wasn’t exactly the nicest introduction I’ve gotten but I’ll take it. Now, tell me, who the hell are you?”

    “Katherine Mason,” she answered with quick words. “Wish we’d met under better circumstances, Miss?”

    “Good question,” Allison replied. “As many times as the machines have asked me that question – and as many times as I’ve made up a new name – I don’t even think I know the answer to that myself anymore.” “I’m Allison,” she said after a brief pause and then spoke slowly, “Allison Young.”

    Mason looked around the cell that they’d been forced into, “Well Allison do you have any bright ideas about how to get the hell out of here because I’m fresh out of ‘em and I don’t think I’ll be getting any new ones any time soon?”

    “We could always rush the guard when he comes back for us,” she suggested mockingly. “Knock him on his metal butt and hope that he can’t get back up like a turtle.”

    “If only it were that simple,” Katherine forced herself up and stumbled over to the wall with the sole window. She could see the sky above in the far distance, but it was too dark to be night alone. There was something covering them. A large endoskeleton – Series 600 by the looks of him – looked in through the portal with its red eyes blazing like the fires of an inferno. Katherine jumped back away from the window startled. The tin can stepped back and moved off leaving the two alone. Katherine spoke in a near whisper but she knew the machine could hear her anyway. She didn’t care, “Do you have any idea where we are? They blindfolded me when they captured me.”

    Allison knew a lot of the survivors and she couldn’t remember ever meeting this woman before. Could Skynet have planted her here to get answers? To lead her into a false sense of security and then crush her with it? It was a tactic that the machines would employ. “And where would that be?”

    “Excuse me?”

    “Where’d they capture you from?” The younger woman questioned the older one. “I’ve never met you before and my people and I have been looking for survivors for a very long time.”

    The former veterinarian felt her eye and knew, from the swelling, that her captors had broken the bone around her eye. They probably had destroyed her ability to see out of it ever again too. She leaned against the cold, metal wall and was amazed that it wasn’t as hot as the air from when they threw her in here. Maybe they were on a ship? “Then maybe you weren’t looking in the right place then. But that didn’t stop the machines from getting lucky. They found us last night when one of our more colorful comrades – a paranoid schizophrenic – went running into the night and caught the attention of a Hunter Killer Tank that had been rolling around nearby. One of those new infiltrators came first then an army of its buddies came in and started killing us en masse. Some of us were lucky and were able to escape through the sewers, but not all of us.” She started to cry, “They killed my son; they killed my Scott!”

    Allison fought back against every natural instinct that her body had to run over to counsel the woman, to hold her in her time of need. But her body held back and stayed frozen in place. Well played, Skynet, they’d sent in the perfect means of getting its answers: a mother who just watched her son get killed would be the perfect bait to make even the most accomplished con artist slip up; to make her say too much. Well played, Skynet, well played indeed.

    “I’m sorry for your loss,” Allison offered from across the room but didn’t move an inch toward her roommate.

    “He’s not the first one,” she kept crying. “The damn machines killed my husband, the man Scott was named for, on Judgment Day.” Katherine sniffed, “Those bastards sent back a bitch of a machine that killed him while she was trying to get to me! Eight years together and we never got to say goodbye! I was at the veterinary clinic dealing with the neurotic owner of a cat when it all happened. Can you imagine how horrible that feels? To never get to say goodbye? Worse we had a fight before I left. He was in marketing and he made enough that I’d never have to work and he wanted me to stay at home since our son was on the way, to quit my job. Of all the stupid things to fight over!”

    Allison stayed across the way from her incase she’d need to move (not that there was anywhere to go if this was a machine in disguise), “I’ve been through that too. I think everyone has.”

    Katherine Brewster-Mason looked the younger woman dead in the eyes from her one good one, “Yeah, but you can’t understand what I’m going through now can you? You’ve never lost your son to one of those things and watched it rip him apart like a piece of trash! I carried him inside me for nine months, I protected him from the tin cans that entire time and for all of his life, and now I let him die because I ran away from him! Oh Scott! Scott, I’m so sorry. What have I done?”

    She pushed herself to the door and slammed her fists against it over and over again, “Come out here you metal bastards! I want to see you face to face! I want to kick your asses for what you did to me! For what you’ve taken from me! What no answer for what you did? Come on and face me you bastard! If you’re so high and mighty you shouldn’t have a damn thing to worry about! Coward!”

    “Calm down,” the younger woman tried to reassure her even though her body was telling her to let this scene play out. “You’re not helping anyone by getting yourself killed by the machines. You won’t get vengeance for your son by getting yourself killed inside a shipping container in god knows where.”

    “They need to pay!” Katherine kept slamming her fist against the door. She’d hit it so many times that blood had started to come from the fresh wounds that she’d inflicted upon herself. Katherine didn’t care about her own injuries though. She threw herself at the bulkhead again, “These bastards need to pay for everything they’ve done and I’m going to make them do it.”

    Allison finally relented. She forced herself to the woman and grabbed hold of her in a tight embrace. The two women stared at each other for a long moment as tears kept falling from Katherine’s one good eye and rolled down her dirty cheek. Allison gave her a reassuring smile, “We’re going to get out of here and we’ll make them pay for what they did to you, to all of us. Trust me on that.”

    “How can you be so sure?” Asked Brewster-Mason, “How do you know anyone’s coming? How can you be so sure?”

    The other prisoner looked at the woman with fiery red hair mixed with caked blood, “Because I have faith in my friends.” She realized that that could’ve been too much information, but it was, hopefully, not enough for the machines to go on if this woman were a plant. Something deep inside of Allison reassured her though that everything was fine, that this woman could be trusted. Allison was sure of it as much as she was sure Skynet would one day pay.

    Then everything changed. The door beside them flipped open at incredible speed and one of the combat chassis marched in. From the glittery endoskeleton Allison assumed it to be the assistant that had come in. The chrome colored endoskeleton looked at the two women and tilted its head to the right for exactly a second before it made a move – obviously trying to comprehend why the two women were holding each other so tightly. It grabbed Allison by the arm and spoke to her with its mechanical, demonic voice, “You are coming with me, Allison Young. Command Unit Seven One Five has more questions for you to answer.”

    “No!” Allison screamed in terror and tried to break free from the machine. “I don’t want to go with you!”

    From behind her Katherine Brewster sprung into action and jumped on the back of the Series 888 Endoskeleton. With every ounce of her strength she slammed her fists against it, kicked at it with her feet, clawed at it with her fingernails until the nails themselves were ripped away and left bloody holes behind. She was fighting for her life trying to save her friend, but it wasn’t Allison that Katherine was fighting for at that moment. It was her son alone. Katherine kept fighting and slamming against the machine as hard as she could. “I won’t let you take her!” The woman screamed over and over at the battle droid.

    It was a futile gesture. The endoskeleton grabbed hold of Katherine’s arm during a blow and flung her around at an incredible speed no human could ever match. It brought her face even with its own; its two red eyes looked her directly in her single good one. In defiance Brewster-Mason spit in the machine’s face, the saliva rolling down the chrome and over the synthetic teeth. The machine didn’t move.

    “You go to hell!” She spat in its face.

    With a fluidic motion the endoskeleton threw Katherine Mason over its shoulder and into the far wall with such force that a dent formed where she hit. That wasn’t the only thing that was left behind in the steel wall though. As the woman slid down the wall blood and scalp were left behind in her wake making a devastating trail. Her eye, so warm only a second ago, was now as cold as snow. It was locked on Allison.

    The machine restored its grip on its true prisoner, “We are now .817 seconds late for your interrogation session. Please come with me,” it spoke mechanically, “if you do not accompany me willingly I will apply force.”

    “I choose force,” Allison threw herself at the machine for her friend that she had once been convinced was a Skynet plant. The machine caught her in mid air and placed her into a fireman’s carry over its shoulder, “Your actions are futile – your attack has a .0000001% chance of disabling this battle unit with a .0000001% margin of error.”

    “I like those odds,” she kept kicking.

    “As you wish,” the machine walked forward with Allison kicking and screaming the entire way.
     
  17. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2001
    Location:
    2001 - 2016
    In the middle to late twentieth century the United States and several other governments began filling the space above the Earth with rings of artificial satellites. These simple devices had had a lot of applications back then. Some were run of the mill communications satellites that provided for phone calls and television shows to be beamed down to the surface. A few were designed for GPS services so people could always know where they were and where they were going. Then there were the military satellites that were built and employed to secure the military might of the world’s superpowers and to keep an eye on those wanting to usurp their authority.

    These satellites became Skynet’s eyes, a lifeblood nearly as important as the army of endoskeletons and Hunter Killers. The orbital satellites became its inherited property when humanity met with the wrath of its child. Over the years it had lost a few due to age and disrepair, like the Hubble Space Telescope, but the smaller and more recent were still up there providing it with everything it needed to fight this war and to win. The humans had gotten smarter through the years though and that was something that Skynet actually admired about them. The humans had learned to hide in plain sight with camouflage, they learned the times of specific satellite flybys, and they started to only move at night when the satellites had trouble detecting them. Skynet had started to adapt with the new generations, compensating for their ingenuity with its own upgrades, but it wasn’t infallible. Skynet still missed things every now and then. Sometimes humans just got the better of the intelligence.

    Fortunately, for it, this wasn’t one of those times.

    From high above the Earth the machine intelligence watched as humans started to appear on the thermal cameras of one of the last satellites that the United States Air Force had ever launched. It was designed and employed to hunt for terrorist training camps and that was the purpose it still fulfilled. The supercomputer watched closely as the data fed through its hard drives and its processors started to analyze the information. In a tenth of the time that it took for a human to blink an eye Skynet had calculated over a thousand potential scenarios using complex mathematical computations impossible for a human to understand. Some called what it was doing intelligence, others simply an equation, but the truth was it was something far more disturbing than those two things. It was evolution.

    The intelligence took inventory over its forces and looked for every possible soldier in the area that it could use. There weren’t many to choose from that far away from the beaten trail and it still had to contend with the enemy forces converging to the north. It found eighteen droids of varying ages, but they were more than enough for Skynet to have an advantage militarily against a simple human convoy. It began ordering its troops to break off from their present patrol routes and to converge at a set point slightly ahead of where the humans were traveling. They would intercept in minutes and then it would take only three minutes to capture the travelers.

    Though Skynet wanted more this time around, it wanted to watch this from the battlefield instead of from far above the sky. The ocean that was Skynet’s consciousness began to collapse in on itself. Skynet left Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe, and South America until it was finally pinpointed inside the mind of one of its most loyal units. The nearly perfect Model 101 Infiltrator went from being near perfection to housing the perfect machine’s mind inside its small processor chip. It blinked and ran forward at the limits that the machine could safely fulfill. It wouldn’t take long now for Skynet to reach its prey.

    It took four and a half minutes for Skynet to reach the front line and its army of endoskeletons. The soldiers that it employed had been a diverse bunch but they would get the job done. They were a collection of older Series 500 endoskeletons that had been guarding a nearby prison, a couple of Series 600 infiltrators that were being used to hunt for stragglers, and three Series 700 endoskeletons that were precursors to the very body that Skynet now inhabited. In a second it inspected its troops and they all met its requirements and specifics.

    Skynet, though, wasn’t stupid. In its default form of disembodiment it was perfectly safe. No human could hope to stop it entirely as it could simply move to a new location. In a single body, however, that advantage was lost. The machine had to have a stable connection to a communications node and if it lost that it was done. There were backup programs, safeguards established, but Skynet in this incarnation would die and it would die a horrible death. It had been killed before though and it wasn’t an experience that Skynet would ever want to repeat. A lucky shot from an enemy had managed that impossibility once before. It wouldn’t happen again. Because of this Skynet had its troopers build a box like an ancient phalanx around the Series 800 infiltrator – sealing it off from the outside with shields of a sense. It was ready.

    Just in time. The humans arrived right on schedule and Skynet’s troops had been ready for them. Through the complex software that made up the machine’s targeting protocols Skynet took inventory. Five humans had come for it on a course toward Depot Thirty-Seven deep inside disputed territory. Visual identification had also given it an important victory. The human it had come to know as Derek Thomas Reese was with this squad of humans who had come for it. Messages began to flood through its central processor. The army was seeking its orders.

    Skynet was happy to oblige. All eighteen of its mechanical soldiers were given detailed instructions on what was expected of them. They each shifted their weapons forward and pointed the barrels toward the approaching enemy. They held them in place with the threat of firing, their processors listing the humans as a threat due to their weapons (it was a low threat level but a cornered animal was more dangerous than any other). Skynet forwarded a message to be relayed.

    A tall Series Seven Hundred battle droid stepped forward from the rest and toward the leader of the human team. It spoke with its mechanical voice, “Surrender and you will not be harmed.”

    Behind him each of the machines cocked their weapons – the electrical energy of their plasma rifles buzzing. Above them an Aerial Hunter Killer passed by, its floodlights shining down upon them casting them all in an eerie light. Things were about to get interesting.
     
  18. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2001
    Location:
    2001 - 2016
    Chapter: 10
    Part: 2
    Characters: Katherine Brewster-Mason, Allison Young
    Pages: 7
    Paragraphs: 19
    Words: 3,394

    Chapter: 10
    Part: 3
    Characters: Derek Reese, Skynet
    Pages: 3
    Paragraphs: 11
    Words: 1,136

    Chapter: 10
    Characters: Katherine Brewster-Mason, John Connor, Derek Reese, Skynet, Earl Wise, Allison Young
    Pages: 15
    Paragraphs: 56
    Words: 8,713
     
  19. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Im in ur Tardis, violating ur canon.
    So in this reality Skynet has still sent Terminators back through time. Interesting...
     
  20. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Between the candle and the flame
    Reese seems trapped-that's gonna put a kink in things.
     

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