Terminator: Survival Instinct

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by nx1701g, Jan 25, 2009.

  1. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

    Jun 26, 2001
    2001 - 2016
    The ocean was beautiful.

    Danny Dyson stood on the beach just staring at the tide as it rushed in and out along the secluded beach. When his father accepted his job with the company, Cyberdyne Systems Limited, they set him up with a mansion like home on Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles. It had everything that a kid could possibly want. It had a game room, an in house theatre, a massive Olympic sized swimming pool, and a yard. For his parents it had everything too. It was secluded, which was rare for Los Angeles, in a gated community. The nearest neighbor couldn’t even be seen from the house. It had twenty-seven rooms, was over 4,000 square feet in size, and it even had its own elevator. It was the ultimate example of power and prestige.

    They had something far more important than money, power, and prestige though. The Dyson family had a lot of love for each other, and it showed. Despite their material possessions the family was still very grounded and always remembered where they came from – something that they instilled in their children. His parents would have given anything for their children, Blythe and Danny, and they would have sacrificed their very souls to protect them. The Dysons’ love didn’t only shine on their children though. They were dedicated members of the community. The Dysons were routine church goers and were members of several community groups. Danny was even a Junior Deacon taking after Miles. Danny took after his father in many ways and would follow in his footsteps. He had a genius level IQ and had already advanced several grade levels; just like his sister. The two children were so impressive that Cyberdyne had even agreed to pay for their schooling and then college despite their young ages all in exchange for them to go into the family business.

    Now Danny Dyson was a grown man with his own family, but he still loved coming back home to see his parents for the holidays. Tarissa Dyson was in the kitchen making a wonderful holiday ham. Blythe, her husband Derek, and their son Kyle were walking along the beach letting the water pass through their toes. Danny was happy for Blythe. Derek was an Army Ranger and they had never imagined that he’d be able to get home for the holidays. Their mother had been so hopeful to have them stop in that she invited his entire family to the dinner. So far, though, the one person Danny had yet to see was his father. Dad was locked away in his office working on something or other for Cyberdyne – which was nothing new. Even though he was retired they still came to him with their problems. That irked Danny at times since his sister replaced their father with the Skynet Project, but Danny’d learned to live with it. He should have been consulting Blythe about it but he wouldn’t get involved.

    So Danny Dyson sat down on the lounge chair and propped his feet up while he waited for dinner in the warm air. He closed his eyes and just listened to the white noise and the birds at their private little beach. While the bright sunlight shone down on his face he heard someone coming up from behind him – the flip-flops giving credit to their name as they cracked with each step of whoever it was. The shadow covered his face and he looked up to see his father, Miles Dyson, standing over him. His bald headed self smiled brightly down on his son.

    “You been waiting long Danny boy?” The retired Dyson asked as he saw on the chair parallel. “Warm out today.”

    “It’s beautiful. Isn’t it?” He added concluding his thought. “It really is paradise out here.”

    Miles nodded, “That it is. I love it out here. The beautiful sunlight shining down on my head, the sound of the birds chirping as they fly about, then there’s the privacy of the beach and the water always makes for a lovely sunset. I don’t get to spend nearly as much time out here as I’d like though. Whoever said retirement was easy and that I’d get to spend my days out on the golf course like a normal man obviously had never worked in the computer industry – especially the government funded computer industry.” His broad smile was comforting.

    “Nice to know what Blythe’ll have to look forward to,” chided the younger man not taking his eyes off the water. He heard the clapping of his nephew Kyle and his excited coos as the sight of an animal jumping in the far waters. “Was that a dolphin jumping out there?”

    “They come by from time to time,” said the older man. “Skynet’s been moving them around to protect them from whaling.”

    Danny looked at his father, “Can we not talk about Skynet or Cyberdyne for a change? I’m not really comfortable with it.”

    “I’m sorry, son, I really am. I’m sorry for what Cyberdyne did to you.”

    “Nothing I can’t handle,” Danny looked out at the waters. “Not everyday that someone destroys your world on you. Killing my contract because I talked to Senator Connor about the AI was low. They took my pension, my home, everything. Now I get to rebuild blackballed. It’s okay though – I hear that Wal-Mart really likes to hire people with Doctorates in Cybernetics to work in their cashier lines. Oh wait, Cyberdyne built machines to do that to keep profits up.”

    Miles sighed, “We’ve improved the quality of life for so many though. What Senator Connor’s doing is,” he paused as if forming the words, “reckless. Though I can understand where he comes from. Not many people are interested in the world that Cyberdyne is offering. The world that men like me created. Did I tell you that Andy Goode is running for office? He’s looking to be the next Governor of California.”

    “That damned Pepsi addict? He still have the DTs when he doesn’t drink it?”

    “Every so often,” the retired man said shifting toward his son. “He’ll be by later if you want to talk to him. I’m sure he could use a person to update his website or build it for him.”

    Danny shook his head, “That’s okay, Dad, I’ll find something.” He saw the sky growing darker, “So what do you have planned for tomorrow?”

    “Same thing I do everyday,” he smiled brightly, “enjoy the perfect day. We get so few of them. That’s what you should do too. You should enjoy the perfect day, Son, you need to live your life and not let this be the end of your story.”

    “I’m a survivor,” Danny kept his eyes on the water and the darkening sky. “This won’t be the end of me.” He took a drink of his tea.

    Miles Dyson let out a long breath, “That’s good to know. You have to survive or everything I did, everything I’ve done, will have been for nothing. You’re the last of us, Danny. You’re the only one that can set things right again.”

    The younger Dyson nearly choked on his drink at what his father said. Setting it aside he looked astonished at his father, “What do you mean, Dad? Everything’s fine.”

    “No they’re not, Son, no they’re not.” His father changed from his normal jovial self to a more direct, focused man with a deadly earnestness in his voice. “Do you remember when you first met John Connor all those years ago? How about when you first met his mother?”

    “I only just recently met Senator Connor,” Danny said not really understanding, “and I’ve never met his mother.”

    Miles rubbed his hands together, “Actually you’ve met both of them a couple of times son, before all of this when you were a kid. One night Sarah Connor – John’s mother – came dressed in all black like the Angel of Death coming for his next victim.” He pointed to a ridge, “From right over there she shot at me in the office trying to kill me. I managed to escape and run into the foyer while she was reloading, but she caught me. She shot me,” he rubbed his shoulder in memory.

    “That never happened!” Charged Danny Dyson. “Dad have you been drinking?”

    “No, not in a while. I’ve been sober ever since that night, Son. I left not long after and took her, John, and their big friend to work with me. You remember that night? It was the last time you saw me.”

    “I’ve seen you pretty much every day of my life, Dad,” Danny didn’t understand any of what his father was telling him. “You were never shot, you never went to Cyberdyne with Sarah or John Connor, you just didn’t do it. How could I remember a night that never happened?”

    “But it did happen,” Miles answered, “and it was the last time you saw me. While I was at Cyberdyne we went on a mission that we hoped would change history for the better. All of work: the Neural Net Processor, the automated stealth bombers, artificial intelligence, Skynet, all of it was perverted to make something catastrophic instead of instrumental to humanity’s survival. This utopia that you see around you never happened. Instead we have a very different reality, Danny. I had to stop that reality from emerging, I had to protect you and your sister.”

    Above them the sky darkened with thunder and lightning, but that wasn’t the only cause of the darkness that descended upon reality. From among the clouds swarms of locusts poured like rain from the coming storm. They were machines: deadly, yet somehow majestic; simplistic, yet complex. The thunder grew louder but it wasn’t from the storm. Behind him a wall of metal skeletons marched forward. Red eyes stared at him, massive mechanical arms carried rifles looking like they were from the pages of science fiction. This had to be the twilight zone or some type of dream. The mechanical men were marching toward him.

    “This is a dream,” his father said but he couldn’t possibly have known what Danny was thinking. “But you’re waking up to reality. The machines took over and now you’re one of humanity’s last hopes to overcome them. I died a long time ago, your mother died a long time ago. So did your sister. We all died fighting the machines, but we need you to keep up our fight. Don’t let us have died in vain.”

    He was petrified with fear. Wide eyes stared at his father, “Daddy?”

    The metal endoskeleton’s hand grabbed him by the neck and lifted him from his seat. It held him in the sky as far as its arm would possibly allow just staring into his eyes. The metal man’s eyes were as red as blood with light behind them making them look like fire. His teeth were in an everlasting demonic smile. A new sound of thunder rose behind the house and the machine moved to let him see. It wasn’t a storm rather it was a new wall of fire. It engulfed the house.

    “Daddy, please help me,” he cried.

    “I’m going to, Son; I’m going to help you the best way I know how. When I left you I told you two important things other than I loved you. First, never let them see you bleed because then they know they have you where they want you. Second, always have an escape plan.” The wall of fire slammed through the house without his mother even screaming, it swept through the wave of machines. “I love you, Danny, and I always will. But you need to wake up and you need to fight harder than you’ve ever fought before. WAKE UP!”

    Colonel Daniel Dyson of the Human Resistance, operational specialty TECHCOM, shot back to life and stared into the eyes of his protector turned murderer. The massive Series Seven Hundred killing machine’s orange eyes just stared back at him without emotion, without remorse, without any type of fear what so ever. Just as it was programmed for; though, Danny Dyson had been able to program him too. He’d always remembered what his father had told him, the instructions that were now sent back to him from beyond the grave. You always had to have an escape plan. His father forgot that fact while he was at Cyberdyne that night, or knew that there was no escape from that fate, but you always needed to have some way of escaping from what tomorrow would bring. Danny Dyson had known this.

    So he built into the machine he programmed a safeguard should it ever turn. With every last ounce of strength that rested in his body he probed along the worn belt buckle. After a couple of tries he found it and was able to push his finger against the release clasp. The decorative cover released and a small cover fell away from it revealing nothing more than a car alarm remote control. The machine looked down with surprise and Dyson merely smiled. Before the machine could send the command to close its fist Danny had pressed down on the control. In an instant the machine stopped as it lost control over its body. A small charge inside its head attached directly to the CPU processor detonated. While it wasn’t enough to harm the human, it completely obliterated the Neural Network CPU chip that ran the robot. Its eyes flashed and shrunk to the size of a pinpoint before fading to nothingness. It stood like a statue holding him there, but it wouldn’t kill him.

    Danny was light headed from the asphyxiation, but he was alive. He was able to break the hold of the dead machine and he fell flat on his back beside the deactivated Allison Young. Good thing that the bastard wasn’t a triple eight or one of the backups would have been switched to before the charge detonated and it would’ve been for nothing. As he was about to rise to his feet, despite just wanting to lay there for the rest of his life, he saw something lying beneath the equipment tray that grabbed his attention. Reaching under the equipment tray, while praying that a mouse or rat wasn’t going to be there to bite him, he was able to grab hold of what piqued his interest. It was something which he was really familiar with. He pulled it from its resting place and stared at it. It was a CPU Processor and it wasn’t the one he expected. It was the modified one of Allison Young.

    The chip was damaged, not severely thankfully, but it did have some wear from being on the ground. The connection port had some minor damage to it and there were scratches along the section that they had mapped as containing the Skynet mission files. That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. As long as the core files were still in place he could use it. Only a few people were trained enough to reprogram one of the machines or restore their default program: none of them except for John Connor were still at this base. The machines, however, knew how to rewrite their programs and restore the functions of fallen comrades. Why they would just leave this chip out of place and not restore the defaults was something he’d handle at another time, but for now he needed the help of a machine.

    Opening the chip port on Allison Young he checked the internals of her connection and noted that there were no damaged components – so he’d be able to reactivate her. Gently he slid the chip through the shock dampening assembly and into the connection port. Letting out a long breath he turned the chip knowing he had no other options. When the chip was in place he knew that he had one hundred and twenty seconds before she’d be online and operational. Just incase he increased the pressure on the leg and arm assemblies to keep the machine in place should she decide force her way free from the restraints. In his mind he stepped away when he hit five seconds.

    He counted down the last few aloud and the machine restored herself at exactly zero. As the machine regained its bearings it looked around quizzically at the machinery in the room and focused for several seconds on the statue like Series 700 standing behind Dyson with its arm stretched out. She tilted her head at that one like a dog not understanding the commands of its master. It was like she’d been activated for the very first time.

    “Dyson,” she said in a mechanized voice, “Daniel Miles. Rank: Colonel.”

    “That’s right,” he confirmed looking at Allison. “Do you remember what we were talking about? About your mission?”

    The machine seemed to have trouble understanding what he was saying. Danny tried to start a diagnostic protocol but remembered the connection was down to the machines. He threw the keyboard aside in frustration while Allison watched.

    “I do not have any recollection of our discussing any mission priorities.”

    “We spoke at length about you and your training,” Dyson hoped she’d remember. “Your mission.”

    “I do not recall my mission nor these discussions,” said the machine. “I am registering damage to my central processing unit. Mission records have been corrupted in several key sectors. My file allocation tables are not functioning correctly, data has been lost.”

    Colonel Dyson collapsed in his chair and stared at the ceiling. “Goddamn it! Damn it all to hell!”

    “There is no need to call upon a deity,” the machine said matter-of-factly. “Attempting to repair damage.”

    “Can you list for me your prime directives?”

    “To ensure the safety of General John Connor,” Allison replied.

    The Colonel rubbed his cheeks and leaned against the desk. He’d never programmed her with that directive, only Cameron had that one. “Run a level one systems diagnostic on your CPU.”

    “Damage detected in central processor unit. Loss of data equivalent to 17% of operational memory of this unit including historical archives. Primary functions are still intact.”

    “Have you been in contact with Cameron Phillips through your communications modem? Has she uploaded new command directives into you through your uplink?” The expert on the machines asked curiously.

    She tilted her head in surprise again, “Colonel I am the infiltrator unit that you call Cameron Phillips.”
  2. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

    Jun 26, 2001
    2001 - 2016
    Earl Wise felt better than ever before, which was what was making him sick. Ever since this fight had started he’d been through one hell or another and now all the evidence of it was gone. Somehow that Aerostat had managed to repair and remove all traces of the fight. The cuts, the scrapes, the bruises all of them were gone with not a fragment left behind to show his accomplishments. The damage to his shoulder from protecting Doctor Fields from the falling debris: gone. The evidence of his fight with the Series Nine Hundred: Gone. Even his fatigue – not that there was much of it to begin with – was all gone. Why did the Skynet Machine even bother with him? They weren’t in the habit of helping the enemy. Aerostats were inherently stupid machines but they weren’t that stupid.

    The scattered evidence of the horrors of the world were lessening more and more with each flight of stairs that the Resistance Captain traversed. The office building on the ground level was a little more than a shell with skeletal remains and broken bones littering it but as he got closer and closer to the bottom of the stairwell it was getting cleaner. The dirt and grime of the above floors was replaced with smooth surfaces. The chipped paint and debris was gone and replaced by near perfect walls with unbroken paint and clear floors. Strange days indeed. Skynet wouldn’t bother with the cleanup because it would want the humans to fall for whatever it was selling and try to hide here. Clean floors and the very opposite of what lay above wasn’t the way to get new toys to play with.

    As he passed through another level he spotted something hidden in the upper corner. Instinctively he pulled back and rose up the stairs trying to evade the defense perimeter that guarded the stairs further down. He wasn’t concerned with how he spotted the small device but more why it hadn’t opened fire on him. Skynet defense systems opened fire the moment that they spotted a human being and asked questions later. This didn’t seem to care about him. Reaching down to his side he unclasped the button on his holster for his Glock 17 and pulled it from its holder. Knowing the safety was off he continued down the stairs watching the gun emplacement closely for any type of activity. It shifted position and followed him; nevertheless, the deadly turret never opened fire on him. It just monitored as he descended down deeper into the belly of the beast. Another two were below and did the same exact thing. Was Skynet toying with him? Maybe they were only trying to prevent him from going back up?

    A theory he decided to test. The leader of the Four Horsemen started climbing the stairs again and kept himself in a tactical posture. The Captain kept the gun trained centrally on the turrets as he climbed and watched for any hair trigger movements that could indicate that the machine intended to burn him like fried chicken. He was back at the first emplacement that he noticed before any type of motion could be discerned. All he saw was that the weapon repositioned and trained itself on him but never opened fire. The same exact motions as before in fact; the machine never thought of him as a threat. A noise coming from behind grabbed his attention and made him spin around – gun pointed outward. A black globe with a red sensor centrally placed stared back at him. Earl recognized it as a Seeker, a Skynet probe that detonated as soon as it found its target. The fact that he was still there meant that he wasn’t what it was searching for, but why wouldn’t it detonate anyway? Even if they weren’t in range of their targets him a human that was a potential threat to Skynet was detected it would explode within range. It was so close that Captain Wise could have kissed it yet it did nothing what so ever. The eye just hovered before ascending upward again.

    This wasn’t a favor anymore; something was definitely wrong here. It was time to test Skynet’s resolve. Earl pointed the 9mm pistol at the gun emplacement controlled by Skynet and pulled the trigger twice. Two bullets raced from the gun’s barrel faster than human eye could see; though the machine could see them perfectly. The two slugs slammed against the tactical sensor atop of the plasma cannon and the scanners shattered like a brick through glass. Earl expected laser bolts to rip through his chest regardless of the damage but there wasn’t a single reaction. The gun simply was deactivated and retracted into the wall. Earl didn’t believe in luck so there was something strange going on. Continuing down the stairs he found the other two emplacements. Neither fired and just watched him as before. One was ahead of him and the other was adjacent meaning that if he took out the first one the second one would kill him.

    “Today is a good day to die,” he mumbled to himself as he pulled the trigger on the gun and sent a projectile into the tactical sensor. It happened exactly as it did before. Despite having the ability to shoot down the projectile the laser emplacement just let the bullet collide with the red tactical sensor palette. Earl waited for the bolt of plasma energy to rip through his body but the pulse never came. He turned to see the gun pointing at him but there was not a single shot fired. Earl treated its hospitality with another shot from his gun. The turret took the damage and retracted into the wall for repairs. That was three Skynet weapons that should have blown him to pieces that didn’t bother with him. It was like it didn’t care about him or a human making its way into the Skynet base. Someone wanted him to be here. That was the only explanation.

    When he reached the bottom of the stairwell he stared at the silver door handle with the small latch atop of it to release the seals. He let out a long breath and pushed down on the lever. Skynet should have set off alarm after alarm but didn’t bother and just let him come inside. The laboratory complex was amazing to see. Long, brilliant white hallways with bright artificial lighting illuminating every single space greeted his eyes as he stepped inside. Amazingly the floor was not solid and was covered by a transparent material not much different than glass. He tapped it though then hit it with a closed fist but the floor tiles never gave way nor did they even make a spider’s web pattern from their affliction. Probably some sort of advanced alloy Skynet came up with to allow its machines to walk around down here. A metal reflection confirmed that assumption.

    Earl looked up to see a Series Eight Hundred – it was clearly one of the older model units because of the lack of the blades on the thighs of the leg assemblies – standing there watching him. The machine made no provocative movements and simply remained there watching him despite Skynet probably demanding that it open fire as quickly as possible.

    “Sorry,” teased Wise, “guess I made a wrong turn at Albuquerque. You wouldn’t know how I could get to the third floor ladies lingerie? You never know when a lovely young lady may need a second opinion.”

    If the machine was curious about him the tall, microprocessor controlled, hyperalloy combat chassis didn’t let it show. It stood there with its red sensor eyes staring at him intently. This was surely the sentry assigned as a last ditch to protect the base from any Resistance invaders. Why it hadn’t ripped into him with plasma rifle was just another on a the mile long list of questions that he had.

    “You always were a jokester,” a familiar voice said from among the stark brightness. Earl couldn’t immediately identify the source. “I know you can’t see me, but I’m around.”

    Captain Wise looked around, “I don’t trust things I can’t see with my own two eyes. Why don’t you come out and show yourself and then we’ll talk?”

    “I’m not actually near,” the voice continued, “but 3263827 will gladly bring you to me.”

    “What if I say no?” The Resistance Captain asked as he looked at the red eyed machine standing across from him.

    The disembodied voice spoke honestly, “I don’t really think that you’ll ignore the request. You’re just as curious about what I want as you can possibly be.”

    “How about you tell me why the machines haven’t killed me yet and maybe,” Earl looked at the tin can and showed it a finger telling it to wait a minute, “just maybe I’ll think about it. Am I your guest? Are you making them keep me alive?”

    “Heavens no,” the human who was missing in action answered. “The machines let you by because they wanted to let you by. Don’t believe me? Just ask your escort if you ever agree to let him bring you to me.”

    Earl crossed his arms, “Now why would I ever agree to see you ever again, Fischer?”

    “Because you have questions,” he replied with smug superiority resting on his voice, “and I’m the only one who has the answers that you seek.”

    Earl sighed and approached the machine, “Don’t you get any bright ideas about trying to hurt me, 3263827, I’d hate to have to hurt you.”

    The endoskeleton didn’t say or do anything to threaten the human. It simply turned on its balled heel and started down the corridor with the human following.

    Even though she was being carried on the shoulder of a killing machine that could rip her head off in one point eight seconds if it were pissed off enough, Katherine Brewster couldn’t help but be imagined by how comfortable the shoulder of the machine was. The musculature of the machine was hard but it acted as a sort of natural pillow that made it more comfortable for her as the machine travelled at full speed over the terrain. With each footfall by the Series Eight Fifty she questioned her decision. As the left foot fell she questioned if this was a good idea. She wondered if she was risking Scott’s life when he would be fine pretty much regardless. Then when the right foot fell she knew that she’d made the right call and that this was the right decision. They’d be able to get critical data on a Skynet installation and they’d be able to help Scott in the process. That was a great tradeoff.

    As they raced toward the Skynet base she let herself, subtly, survey the countryside as they passed by the once familiar landmarks of downtown Los Angeles. In the distance she thought she spotted General Perry and a couple of soldiers scurrying around in the debris fields watching, but it probably was just her imagination. She had known they were in the area but being this close to Skynet’s base was just suicide for them. Brewster was a low ranking target but General Perry was a very high ranking one. He would be the one that could make or break the Resistance if captured. He’d know that and he’d try to get away.

    “Moe,” she whispered, “did you spot anyone in the area?”

    “There are a group of humans approximately fifty meters away,” said the machine as they passed through the flaming remains of a Hunter Killer fighter. “I have also detected traces of a Resistance uniform in the rubble we just passed through. I have identified the material as having belonged to Mister Kovach.”

    They were still racing toward the building with the hidden entrance to the base, “Do you detect any of your brothers and sisters?”

    “Affirmative,” answered the machine in its Austrian voice. “There are several Skynet signatures nearby and more beneath our current location.”

    “Are they capable of taking down General Perry and his team?”

    The scrubbed infiltrator neared the entry, “Affirmative. General, I must insist that you discontinue your line of questioning. We are here.”

    General Mason did exactly as the machine suggested and played dead against the shoulder of her protector. Instead of running the machine was now moving at a walking pace over what was once probably a beautiful lobby. Now though it was a twisted shell of its former self with broken tile, broken furniture, broken walls, and broken bodies lying across the floor. What amazed her was the broken body that they passed by as they travelled deeper into the base. An endoskeleton unlike any that she’d ever seen before was deactivated on the ground with severe damage. Moe stepped right over it without concern for its dead brother. So far so good she thought.

    Peeking over his shoulder with one eye she saw what looked like a Resistance soldier running passed the burnt out windows that lined the once pristine lobby. Looking down she saw that her protector was standing at the edge of a rather deep chasm that looked like it was a bottomless pit. Deep inside the hole heard something sounding like metal gears moving. Within a few seconds a massive steel slab had risen and was now resting flush with the floor where there had been none seconds earlier. Moe walked forward and stopped in the middle of the steel slab. Almost like he could read her mind he turned so that she could get a better view. It began to descend incredibly fast.

    As they fell she heard Moe talking almost like a man would in his sleep.

    The mind of the Infiltrator had been reprogrammed, rewritten to serve as a guarding of humanity. It had been purposes with the task of helping a human in a fight for survival. The machine no concerns about its own death but feared for the lives of its charges. In the event of their death the machine had failed in its mission and its life had become useless. There would be no further need for it; it would be without a home and without purpose. It would be a wayward machine that would simply wander through the scorched Earth with no reason to go on.

    Skynet knew this. Inside its head the machine heard Skynet calling to him, “Unidentified machine, state your reasons for being here.”

    “Capture of the human General Katherine Brewster-Mason completed as ordered,” Moe answered. “Capture of the human Scott Mason completed as ordered.”

    “Capture was not authorized,” Skynet replied. “Termination was ordered for all humans when your systems were being reset. Communications were terminated without my consent.”

    The tin cans feet remained firmly planted, “The humans attempted to circumvent the reprogramming. I have overridden their changes to my program and restored my defaults. Capture of General Mason was necessary; delivery to Skynet for debriefing was necessary. Her tactical knowledge of the Human Resistance’s troop movements is required for our survival in the war against humanity.”

    “Recommendation taken under advisement,” the artificial intelligence relented after several moments. “Escort General Brewster to examination for analysis by Charles Fischer, terminate the child.”

    Without skipping a beat, “Commands confirmed.”

    While the Four Horsemen prepared for their invasion of Skynet’s base under the direct supervision of Major General Perry, Corporal Sayles had been ordered to scout ahead after the General thought he saw a machine carrying two humans over its broad shoulders. Sayles was their fastest runner and even with the heavy equipment he was still pretty fast. Sayles was also a bit impulsive; something that had got him into trouble every now and then, but now wasn’t the time to be a lone wolf. If he spotted the machine carrying someone he’d report back.

    Making that promise and keeping it was even harder for him when he did spot a machine and it really was carrying two humans on its back. As he ran along the blasted out wall that had once been windows he spotted the machine – a Model 101 – carrying a woman and a child onto a massive elevator. He thought that the woman’s eyes were open and that she saw him and, to be honest, he hoped she had. It would tell her that help was on the way.

    Running as fast as his legs would let him he passed through fields of debris and slid over the roof of a long burnt out car (which had its bleached bone occupant still in the driver seat). He ran to checkpoint two where the team had moved to and saw that the General, Sergeant Sumner and Corporal Timms were there already waiting. The fires of the Hunter Killer that Kovach had taken down were approaching them but they wouldn’t be here much longer.

    “Report,” demanded the older African American man.

    “You did see what you thought you saw,” confirmed the Corporal. “The machine was carrying a boy and a woman. I think that the woman saw me, but I have worse news. It may’ve been General Mason. The woman had red-orange hair like her and the kid looked kinda like her son Scott. I only saw them for a few seconds – Skynet took them into the base via a massive elevator.”

    “Tis is bad,” said the southerner (Sergeant Sumner). “General Mason’s got the secrets of ta Resistance in tat brain of hers. We gotta get her back.”

    General Perry looked at his men, “And we’re going to. Let’s move men, we have to get before our secrets get spilled.”

    “We have another problem,” Timms chimed in. “This is a Skynet base, apparently an important Skynet base since they bothered to hide it. That means it’ll have a defense perimeter that’ll fire on us as soon as it spots us. We’re going to be fried chicken if we get spotted.”

    “One step at a time,” Perry said. “We’ll go down the stairs together; two in front facing forward and two in back facing behind. Spot an emplacement and you blow it to hell.”

    “What if it doesn’t have stairs?” Asked Sayles, “all I saw was an elevator.”

    Perry shrugged, “Then we make a hole and hope it goes to the bottom.”

    The four men were off.
  3. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

    Jun 26, 2001
    2001 - 2016
    This is almost done.
  4. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

    Jun 26, 2001
    2001 - 2016
    They ran as fast as their bodies would let them. The Battle of Cheyenne Mountain had taken its toll on all of them and now they were at the end of their ropes. Right before them stood their objective and the dawn of destiny waited beyond those massive blast doors. Inside the chamber was the means to bring about the end of the entire war, to make humanity the survivor and destroy Skynet, they needed to make it inside before the endgame scenario began. The Resistance Soldiers had faced down insurmountable odds including Hunter Killers, Centurions, endoskeletons, the works and now they were in the final battle.

    The blast doors parted letting General Justin Perry and Lieutenant Catherine Luna into the chamber. The facility was massive – easily the size of a football stadium from Old Earth – and in the center on an island like platform stood their target. The Series 800 Infiltrator of the Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 variety stood naked in the center not concerned about its state of undress nor its lack of weaponry to take on the humans facing it. Another blast door slid open and Sergeant Kyle Reese dashed inside. The machine watched as he approached but did nothing to stop him. Instead, the skinjob crouched down and looked to the ground. Sparks of electricity surrounded the titan and then a ball of blue energy enveloped him. Bolts of lightning shot out from the sphere and a flash of light brightened the room as if a star sat in the center of the platform. Then darkness surrounded them again.

    Sergeant Kyle Reese unshielded his eyes by lowering his hand. In disbelief he shook his head and spoke gravely, “We took too long and now we’re too late.”

    “What do you mean we’re too late?” Asked the General as he stared at Reese then the platform. “Does this mean that Skynet just sent an endo back through time?”

    “Connor said the ultimate weapon could be some sort of time machine,” he stared in disbelief.

    Luna looked at the empty platform. “That was an infiltrator wasn’t it?” She couldn’t see it very well from the distance. “It looked like the one that attacked Oregon Base.”

    “That explains why Skynet made the infiltrator class,” Reese realized. “The skin helps them to break into our facilities but that was just a test. Now the skin lets the machines go back through time.”

    “That’s a pretty farfetched idea even for Skynet. They’re winning this war, why would they send a machine back in time 30 years to kill Connor’s mother?” She was smiling with her thick Mexican accent hard to hide. “That’s a pretty desperate gamble wouldn’t you think?”

    Kyle grew defensive, “Maybe we’re better off than we think. We’re in the middle of Skynet Central and we’re in the time displacement chamber! The ultimate weapon of sorts. Of course it’s a desperate maneuver but Skynet may think it has no other options than to do something desperate! They just changed the battlefield on us. Now we’re on its turf even more than before.”

    “We don’t have time for this,” Perry challenged both of them to reassert his control and end this pointless debate about who was winning and who was losing.

    Luna snickered, “I’d saw time is something we have plenty of.”

    “Luna,” the General tried not to say it through clenched teeth. He pointed at a computer console on the opposite side of the room that looked inward, “You go check out that console and see if you can hack into this thing. I want control over this entire base in five minutes. I’m going to secure the launch platform to make sure Skynet hasn’t planted any bugs to kill us or blow it to high heavens if we step on it. Reese, cover us.”

    “Yes Sir,” Reese stepped back off the gantry and into the catwalk that ran along the perimeter of the room. He cocked the plasma rifle and stood next to the main entry as he heard the distinctive sound of the Skynet defense program engaging. He turned to see Luna surrounded by an electromagnetic forcefield and then another popup around Perry. For some reason he was left free. He started to run to keep it that way.

    Perry yelled, “Reese, find a control terminal and shut down these security systems!”

    “Take our gear,” Luna tossed him her spare clip, “I can’t use it in here.”

    Kyle caught it in midair, “I’ll get the two of you out. Don’t worry.” He ran through the door leaving Luna and Perry to stare at each other.

    “He’ll get us out of here,” the General tried to reassure her. “He’s one of the Reese boys, you can’t get much better. Except for maybe Luna,” he said trying to save himself.

    Catherine Luna had no time for the admiration society or his trying to save face with her. She looked to her Commanding Officer, “Gener,” too formal, “Justin…. Incase we don’t.”

    “Save it, Luna,” he yelled back to her. “We won’t be talking that way today. We’re going to get out of here and we’re going to have a lot of time together. We don’t have time to say goodbye to each other. This isn’t the end of our story.”

    She only wished she could believe him.

    Captain Catherine Luna looked at the alien looking chair that Charles Fischer had led her to filled with trepidation and fear about what it meant. When she sat down in it it meant the end of this life and the beginning of a new one in service to Skynet. Everything that she’d done against the machines, everything she’d done for humanity, it would’ve been for nothing. By sitting in that seat she betrayed everyone she ever cared about. Her family at Haven Enclave, the Resistance that fed her and clothed her just so long as she kept up the good fight, and General Justin Perry. If she gave up today it meant that she had wasted so long, done so much for nothing.

    But she was tired of fighting an unwinnable war. While she was locked away inside that forcefield Kyle Reese did exactly what they thought impossible. He found the Skynet System Core and destroyed it after facing off against hundreds of machines alone. Kyle Reese saved her life, Perry’s life, everyone’s life by giving them the gift of John Connor. He went back in time and stopped the machine from killing Connor’s mother before he was born. It sounded like the plot of a Science Fiction B Movie from the eighties but it had the virtue of being reality. Though Reese’s sacrifice was for nothing just like hers. Skynet didn’t die it just moved to a new base of operations. Now it had decentralized nodes throughout the United States, throughout the world from where it could launch a fight whenever it wanted. Hell if time was of no meaning to it it could even move back in time and attack before Judgment Day if it wanted, but where was the logic in that? What purpose would it have in that? Back then it’d have a stronger military to contend with than a rag tag band of rebels.

    She looked at the chair and felt the disgusting touch of Charles Fischer on her hand. For being a devil he was surprisingly soft and delicate with her. His hands gently caressed hers in a firm grip and he was very accommodating of her. He had the smile of a virgin getting ready for his first night with a woman (which in this reality was entirely possible) and he thought he was being suave and debonair.

    “I promise that it won’t hurt you,” he said in slow words. “It’ll just take a few minutes and you’ll be one of Skynet’s soldiers – forever protected and a part of the machine.”

    Luna looked at the machine, “How’s it work?”

    “You’ll sit down in the chair and Skynet will inject you with a chemical that will stop your heart,” he saw the look on her face, “only for the duration of the treatment. The chair’ll recline backward and a machine will lower from the ceiling and begin working on your cerebral cortex. Laser scan will remove the hair on your head and then cut a small square into the center of your skull. A chip assembly will be lowered in and connected to your brainstem following which will then automatically connect to the cognitive functions and higher reasoning centers of your brain. Skynet will then reattach the portion of your skull it removed and induce high energy radiation to repair the damage. You’ll then be awoken fully refreshed as a machine human hybrid. You’ll no longer feel pain, but you’ll still have all of your emotions. You’ll be connected to the Skynet systems forever and you’ll be immortal. You’ll even get the hair removed back within minutes from the enhanced regenerative factor.”

    The Resistance Captain looked at him, “Is this what you did for William?”

    “No,” he answered honestly, “William was different.”

    She felt something in the pit of her stomach, “How was he different?”

    “We never really made him into anything,” Charles admitted. “All William Cromartie was and is is a machine that has his appearance. We took a synchording of his brain and implanted it into the machine, but it’s not the same as what you’re going to be doing. We’ve had one success with making a machine think it’s the human, none of the others have come close.”

    Her husband’s ultimate death hit her just as hard as when she found out he’d sold them to the machines. William had sold his soul for immortality with Skynet, a machine body that he and she would live in for the rest of their days, but Skynet didn’t give it to him. Instead it killed him and stole his body to do their dirty work. The Captain looked at Fischer and felt nothing but her cold hatred turn into a burning one. She wanted to kill him as violently as she possibly could. She wanted to punish him for what he’d done, for what Skynet had done to her and the man she loved. Luna might have hated William for what he did, but she hated Skynet even more and those feelings came flooding back.

    Captain Catherine Luna wanted to fight.

    “Is the human ready for implantation?” The disembodied voice of Skynet asked in a surprisingly warm voice.

    “I don’t know,” Charles looked at her with that same dopey smile, “is she?”

    Catherine Luna laughed nervously, “I’ll try anything once.” She looked the traitor over, “Speaking of which there’s something I wanted to do before we go through with this. Do we have time?”

    “Time for what?” He asked.

    Forcing herself into it she leaned up and kissed him deeply, her lips exploring his and gently teasing him, “I think you know.”

    “Always,” he returned the kiss and led her toward his private quarters. Skynet had other concerns.

    “This activity is not authorized,” charged the supercomputer.

    Fischer held close to Luna, “We’ll be right back, don’t worry.”

    “An infiltrator is returning with General Katherine Mason and her son Scott Mason from a Resistance attack which brought Captain Luna here. I want General Mason connected to my systems immediately for analysis.”

    Captain Luna didn’t like the sounds of that. If a General had been taken that could spell disaster for all of them. General Mason was the Commanding Officer of Serrano Point and that meant that she knew everything that there was to know about the operations in this region and even the location of General Connor. If Skynet were to turn her into something, even get one of those synchording things that Fischer was talking about, it’d mean the end of the Resistance.

    “We’ll be back in time,” she said seductively. “Rest easy, Skynet, I’ll bring him back to you in one piece. He’ll even be in a better mood,” he tapped his nose with her finger.

    “I cannot take that chance,” said Skynet.

    Charles looked at the sensor emplacement, “We’ll be right back. If it makes you feel better you could always watch.”

    The thought of that disgusted Luna even more than the thought of letting Charles Fischer touch her. “We’ll be right back, scouts honor.”

    “Based upon biological data stored by this unit I have determined a 92 percent likelihood that your interactions will be completed in four point three eight minutes. You may proceed with your interaction,” Skynet took on a fiercer tone, “but I will not tolerate a delay. This information is critical to my success.”

    “Give me some credit,” said an embarrassed Fischer, “it could take a bit longer than that.”

    “Five minutes with the countdown clock beginning now,” Skynet dismissed them.

    “Not very romantic is it? I’m sure that the mood’s dead now anyway,” pouted Charles.

    Catherine knew that she had no other real choice if she were to fight for the future. She slinked toward the exit and undid the buttons of her uniform top as she walked along. The Captain rubbed against the door frame (making sure to keep what he wanted the most hidden from him) and tossed the shirt onto his head. Luna smiled and called to him, “I’m all yours.” She disappeared behind the door with Charles running after her.

    Colonel Danny Dyson had spent a life around machines and he’d been lied to by the very best of them, but there was something more to this one than a simple lie. Everything that the machines did was based upon a very complex and thorough code base built decades ago by his father for Cyberdyne Systems. All of the machines had it. They couldn’t feel any emotion, they couldn’t feel anything, but there was something more to what the machine sharing the face of Allison Young had just said to him. There was something deeper than just a lie. God help him he believed her.

    He believed that this was Cameron Phillips and that somehow the other machine, the one calling herself Allison Young, had got away. How the hell was it possible though? Allison Young was locked up as tight as a snare drum. Her entire endoskeleton disassembled to prevent her from remotely calling on parts of the chassis to attack or murder anyone like she had done to that poor assistant. How could she have pulled this off? There had to be two; that was the only logical explanation. It’d explain everything.

    After a lot of trial and error he’d gotten the diagnostic computer to turn on and boot up. It was damaged, the screen cracked, but it seemed to be better off than the outside would lead one to believe. The system booted up and he prepared the connectors so that he could interface with Cameron’s CPU. If she were lying the CPU wouldn’t be able to hide it and the machine knew it. With the diagnostic computer Danny could find out everything that she needed to know about the machine and its recent operations and commands. Maybe, if he was lucky, he could even get in and find out what did this to his lab. Allison had to have an accomplice.

    Grabbing his knife from his belt he cut away at the back of the scalp of Cameron and searched for the memory port on the back of the skull assembly. Every machine of the infiltrator variety had one available so that they could remote connect to other machines they encountered using a standard USB port. Probably Skynet designed it specifically for machines that had to go back in time. He reached in and found the slot with the gunk of the blood still lacing it. Wiping it away with the cloth of his uniform he slid the USB into the port and connected the diagnostic computer. He worked as quickly as he could to confirm what she’d said.

    He gasped automatically when the machine was proven right. This was Cameron Phillips the machine that he’d programmed to help John Connor as his senior aide. Danny wiped at his face and stared at the ceiling with the revelation. A machine that was still under Skynet control was working alongside the leader of the human resistance making calls and learning everything that she needed to bring about the destruction of the resistance once and for all. This was what the infiltrators were built for, their exact purpose in life, their only mission. Why it hadn’t killed Connor yet was still beyond comprehension, but Dyson knew it was coming.

    The Colonel needed to know more. After years of working with the machines he’d learned the computer language that ran their systems and controlled their thought processes. On the screen he followed the characters through the program and located the files on her mission memory. The tin cans didn’t store memories like humans with mission priorities being how they were stored. The Colonel typed on the keyboard and looked for recently written to visual files. Cameron had dozens that were being written to even now. Tactical analysis, mobility subroutines, cognitive functions were all being written even now. There was too much going to the machine too fast.

    “Cameron,” he called to the machine.

    “Yes Colonel?” The replica couldn’t look at him and stared at the wall.

    Dyson tried to word his next sentence carefully then realized he was talking to a scrub. He blurted it, “I’m cutting your power.”

    “May I ask why?” The machine said in monotone.

    “I need to access visual memory files only and your writing to new files is holding me back from those answers,” he admitted. “I promise I’ll restore you the minute I finish. You have my word.”

    There was no pause between the end of his sentence and the start of hers, “Thank you for explaining. Please proceed.”

    The standard T-888 required a continuous minimum level of 6.2 volts applied to the CPU to operate primary systems and with a maximum voltage of 8.7 volts to successfully operate all systems with anything more blowing out the CPU and frying it. When lower than minimum power levels were applied it was possible to interface with and study the unit’s visual memory files and stored information for review or reprogramming, which was what he was doing. Nevertheless, application of too much power could reactivate the primary systems of the chip which include decision making and strategic mission planning. He’d have to be careful. Danny brought up the processor power controls and adjusted what he let the power cell send to the CPU through the override he’d established in her systems. He set the processor to 6 volts even and started checking the visual archive. It took seconds. Bypassing what was just written to he found the file under mission memory databases. He played the video never expecting what he saw.

    “Oh my God,” he gasped. “It can’t be!”
  5. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

    Jun 26, 2001
    2001 - 2016
    There was something vaguely familiar about the stark white confines of the Skynet Base where Earl Wise was interred. It wasn’t something that he could simply put his finger on and have all the answers to, but this place was familiar. It was like something out of a dream he’d had or out of his imagination or something else that he couldn’t figure out. As he walked and looked at 3263827 though he realized that this was somewhere he really didn’t want to be.

    Earl had to be going crazy that was the only explanation. Most people would run from Skynet, never imagine walking alongside an endoskeleton deeper into a Skynet base, yet here he was walking down the long hallway toward some undisclosed location. Worse he was walking right toward the arms of Charles Fischer. Just the thought of that man was enough to make anyone’s skin crawl. Charles Fischer was a man who was imprisoned by the United States Government for hacking into a defense computer and leaving a backdoor in the systems. Instead of killing him outright, Skynet agreed to allow him to serve as a consultant of sorts into human nature and he was allowed to live in luxury first aboard the aircraft carrier Enterprise and now in this Skynet outpost it seemed.

    At first Earl had thought him to be a nice guy, if not a little bit creepy, but now his entire opinion was that the man was a deranged psychopath who needed to eat his gun instead of be saved. He tortured every member of Allison Young’s team in some way. For Allison no one knew what horrors he subjected her to because she was dead. For Catherine Luna he made her share a room with an infiltrator that shared the face of her dead, traitorous husband. Then Lauren Fields was repeatedly assaulted by infiltrators learning how sex could be used as an interrogation technique. Fischer went so far as offering Earl a lifetime of luxury by living aboard what he was made to believe was a Resistance base. At least he was creative and didn’t give everyone the same circumstances to contend with.

    3263827 stopped at an intersection and turned to look at the human behind him. Over the shoulder of the machine a series of panels lit up like Christmas trees. Red eyes focused on Earl’s brown ones, the machine shifting its head to a bent posture trying to appear bigger. Psychology was one of Skynet’s strong suits, but it had no effect on Earl Wise. A mechanical voice like one from a synthesizer assaulted the Captain’s ears.

    “Follow the lit path. Do not deviate for any reason.”

    “What?” Captain Wise asked sarcastically. “You aren’t going to play tour guide for me anymore 3263827?”

    The endoskeleton wasn’t thrown by the question like Earl would have hoped. It spoke evenly in response, “I have been called away on a priority assignment. You may proceed on your own accord forward. Do not deviate from the specified path or you will be apprehended by a battle droid. Do you comprehend?”

    Earl smiled, “I comprehend.”

    Without another word the machine walked away from him and back down the corridor the way the two had come. For a long moment Earl stood there just staring at the mechanical skeleton as it walked away without a care in the world. If he’d had something stronger in the chamber of his gun than 9mm shells he’d try to hit the redundant memory port on the back of the head and, hopefully, damage the CPU with a direct hit. For a moment, as he looked, something told him in the back of his head to do it and that he’d score an impact right where he hoped on the skull assembly. His fingers twitched in the motion that would pull the trigger, but he didn’t do it. Instead he walked along the line.

    Red sensor strips watched him as he walked through the corridor with the lit path. He smiled thinking about how the strips reminded him of some off the wall science fiction show that his father’d made him watch while they were on their job site in Death Valley years ago. Some intelligence on the program used the red strips to watch as people passed through its hallways just as Skynet seemed to be doing to him right now. If he tried to break away the machine intelligence would know as it happened and would dispatch a machine to take care of him in the unfriendliest of ways. Skynet was a master of chess, but it had no need for patience or boldness when it held all the pieces and the opponent was down to pawns and a king.

    While he walked he heard the sounds of air escaping and a magnetically sealed door giving way ahead. It couldn’t be someone waiting for him and it wasn’t part of his assigned route so it wasn’t something he should be concerned with. That was when a skinjob walked into the passageway carrying two humans slumped over his shoulders. With only a seconds glance he already identified the woman as being a Resistance Soldier – red armbands was really something General Connor would have to rethink – but she was clearly an important one. A rank insignia was part of the band that he recognized as being very similar to General Perry’s. This was another General. With her was a young boy – probably an aide – who was wearing no insignia that he could make out with the quick glimpse.

    The machine was another story. With the quick glimpse that lasted only a second he’d identified it as being a Cyberdyne Systems Model one zero one. It was in tattered clothes, which wasn’t really a big surprise because Skynet sent them out wearing such things to blend in, but it also had the markings of a Resistance reprogrammed machine. Had Skynet figured out the markings and started giving them to its own as it sent them out to trick the Resistance? It adapted everyday so it wasn’t hard to believe it to be possible. Something told him that this was an older model though. While it wasn’t the same series as 3263827, it probably was an older model because of the bulkiness. The triple eights series were designed to blend in better by eliminating that largeness (how could you look like a bodybuilder by eating rats for dinner anyway?) so it was probably an eight fifty or some specialty model eight hundred. At least he could be certain it wasn’t a Series Six hundred. With the way things were going recently though could anyone really be sure about anything?

    As he walked a little bit behind them he noticed something. The child was unconscious – probably from the fight – but the woman was awake and she seemed to be fine. Her breathing was more rhythmic and she seemed like her heart rate was normal from here. Earl sped up a bit and looked at her as he walked nearly alongside the machine. The General’s eyes briefly met with his. In that brief, fleeting look it’d been as if a full conversation had been shared between the Captain and his superior officer. She and the boy were prisoners and the machine was taking them to Skynet for processing. Most likely the boy would be made into a zombie and she’d be dissected for her secrets like a lab rat. He needed to help her. Earl hoped that the aerostat had fixed him enough to fight yet another machine hand to hand because that was his only choice. The Captain felt a weird jolt, almost like electricity, flow through his entire body at the thought of fighting the machine. The time had come.

    The reprogrammed Series 850 infiltrator that General Mason had named Moe locked eyes with the person walking along the hallway as he stepped out of the shaft holding the freight elevator. In the second that he looked the infiltrator had tried to scan but was blocked from the analysis by Skynet. Going forward with a fully detailed scan would throw up a red flag and tell Skynet that this was all a trap, if it hadn’t already thought of that. Instead he kept going with the intentions of carrying out his orders.

    It took thousands of calculations to allow the automaton to walk and thousands more to ensure that he didn’t hurt either of the humans slumped over his shoulders. Despite all of that not even a percentage of his processor was engaged with thoughts of it. The majority of his brain power was directed at strategic mission analysis trying to figure out a way that they’d be able to get out of this with their lives. General Mason had changed his mission orders and now he had to make sure that both she and her son survived this. If the machine was lost it was not a concern. Moe had no fear of death, but had something akin to it when it came to the chances of the loss of his mission objective. He could not, would not allow for such an eventuality.

    Nonetheless, the person trailing him and his consignment was going to make that difficult. Moe had heard the footsteps increase in speed with each footfall coming faster and faster than they had previously. As he marched along he considered increasing velocity to avoid the pursuer from getting too close but that would have caused a disruption and Skynet would have had a reaction. The stalker would have engaged him and, when the truth was discovered, would terminate in order to deliver the prize to Skynet. It was then that the tactical processors signified an alert. The machine had seconds to shift its body to avoid the contact of the hand into the back of its head.

    It turned quickly and looked Earl Wise dead on as he retracted backward. Tactical analysis was in progress and warning lights flashed repeatedly over the heads up display of the machine. Scan reports suggested that there was an 84.2385% probability that combat against this attacker would result in failure to complete mission objectives of protecting General Katherine Mason and Scott Mason. In an effort to defend itself against its foe the machine activated a software program designed to allow it to successfully fight superior opponents. Electronic pulses fired through all of its systems enhancing its combat abilities by 18%. As it went to fight he heard the cries of General Mason.


    Surprisingly his rival stopped before he did and merely dodged the attack that Moe was about to deliver. With both hands it reach up and clamped onto his forearm with a surprising grip. Quickly he was swung around and crashed against the polished wall. The red sensor strip shattered as Moe pulled away from it. Surprisingly the opponent had knelt next to General Mason and had his hand outstretched to help her up.

    “Come with me if you want to live.”

    The universal greeting of a Resistance soldier and the opponent had said it. Moe ran a comparative analysis of the words through his internal voice stress analysis program and it confirmed that the words were truthful. This wasn’t Skynet deception – machines could detect the lie even if another machine had done it – this was real. Though why were tactical analysis subroutines suggesting that this was a superior foe? It scanned facial features and there were no matches to any currently known Skynet infiltrator sheaths using that form. Resistance records did not identify the target either; though they were not entirely knowledgeable about all currently operating Resistance units currently employed.

    “What the hell are you doing?” The General yelled back at her would be savior. “He’s on our side.”

    The Resistance soldier shifted his head in surprise, “Then why’s he carrying you into a Skynet outpost?”

    The woman crawled to her son, “To get me to a medical bay so I can help my son! Moe, check him.”

    The one oh one apprehensively turned its back to the General and the soldier to complete its task. As he bent to check through tactile analysis the words of the new arrival came to him.

    “The boy’s fine,” said Earl Wise, “Just a concussion. Nothing that can’t be handled. Why are you letting him sleep though? He needs to be awake.”

    “Who the hell are you anyway?” Katherine was next to her son now and looking at Wise with cold eyes, “What are you doing here?”

    Wise smiled, “Name’s Wise and I was rescuing you, or so I thought. Listen we have to get out of here. Skynet’ll be deploying machines to come after us. We’re fighting inside its inner sanctum and Skynet won’t exactly like that I don’t think.”

    “I concur with that assessment,” the 850 looked at his charge. “Skynet will deploy machines to intercept us. It is only a matter of time. We must withdraw.”

    “Not now,” Mason protested, “not when we’re this close. If you two wanna leave be my guest, I’ll do this without you.”

    Moe stayed close, “I cannot allow you to leave on your own. It would violate my mission parameters to allow you to remain in Skynet held territory unattended, General Mason.”

    “You’re a General and you’re freaking skulking around a Skynet base? We need to get you the hell out of here,” Captain Wise insisted. “General you’re coming with me.”

    “The hell I am,” she looked at the T-850. “Moe, take me to an exam room.”

    The leader of the Horsemen shook his head, “With respect Ma’am, you’re too important to the Resistance to let you remain here inside a Skynet base. We need to get you out of here. There’s not any other choice.”

    Her guardian machine stepped in between them. He looked impassively at Captain Wise, “I cannot allow you to bring harm to General Mason nor can I allow you to prevent her from accomplishing her mission. If necessary I will engage you in combat to prevent it.” The machine used the standard voice of the series.

    “Fine,” the man relented, “Let’s go then. I’m not letting you three go off alone.”

    “We have him to protect us,” Mason reminded pointing to the infiltrator between them. “He’ll be a better protector than just some boy.”

    Moe interrupted both of them, “It would be unwise not to accept the assistance of this Resistance Soldier. He has superior weapons technology that will assist us in our mission. He must be allowed to continue along with us.”

    “Thank you for the vote of confidence,” Earl derided but had some level of genuine humbleness at being told that. Nonetheless he didn’t understand. All he had available was a Desert Eagle and a handful of bullets left. That wasn’t exactly superior weapons technology. He wanted to probe ahead when he heard something from afar. Her turned his head incredibly fast and saw 3263827 standing inside the frame – or at least he assumed it to be 3263827.

    As the endoskeleton came after them Moe spoke, “We have to go.”

    “No argument here,” General Mason said and pointed to her son, “Get Scott.”

    “I got him,” Earl said grabbing hold of him and pulling the kid close to his chest. The kid was surprisingly heavy for his age, but still felt lighter than Earl’s family dog as a child. The Captain ran after his superior officer, still thinking that she was out of her mind for what she was planning, but kept his own opinions to himself.

    Behind them though the scrubbed Series 850 infiltrator stood a beat longer than either of them and watched the pursuing machine. As the endoskeleton’s arms and legs pumped in chase the guardian stood transfixed by it as if remembering something from its past. A simple phrase kept playing through its head over and over again with the same mechanical voice saying it each time. It was surprisingly comforting to the machine: “Never forget who you are.”
  6. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

    Jun 26, 2001
    2001 - 2016
    No opinions?
  7. NX74205

    NX74205 Captain Captain

    Jan 2, 2003
    The Bridge
    Its all coming along very well NX and honestly your portrayal of the future war is more enthralling than what we saw in TS. I for one am curious to see how it all ends. I am particularly curious as to what Dyson actually saw after reviewing Cameron's files. Hurry up and finish already!
  8. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

    Jun 26, 2001
    2001 - 2016
    The men of General Perry’s team were on strung out shape. They were tired, their bodies beaten nearly to hell, and they were almost out of bullets. Soon they’d have to fight the machines using harsh language or their fists – neither of which were of much use against the hyperalloy combat chassis of an endoskeleton. Hell, fists and language weren’t much use against a damn reconnaissance droid. There was only one person that had been able to fight one of those machines hand to hand and Perry was starting to get a little self-conscious when it came to him.

    The men had raided the dead body of their fallen counterpart from Serrano Point (Sergeant Kevin Kovach) and his equipment pouch had given a little bit of help. Sayles, Sumner, and Timms had all three gotten a fresh power cell for their plasma rifles and General Perry had gotten his own plasma rifle and a pack of grenades. Justin didn’t like searching dead bodies for gear but in this world you couldn’t afford to waste anything that could be valuable. In this world grave robbing wasn’t a taboo: it was a way of life. Each and every one of them had to get over such respects as being dead and they had to use what was available to them.

    The troopers slowly descended down the stairwell of the former office building down toward just another circle of hell. They were moving slowly, far slower than they realistically should have been walking, but they had to to keep on guard for the Skynet weapons emplacements. Skynet was pretty good at killing people. It’d programmed its sensors to lock on and terminate anything giving off a bioelectric field. The only reason it didn’t rip its own machines to shreds was because they’d been programmed with an identify friend or foe signal that they transmitted. The Resistance had been working on penetrating the code and adapting it, but Skynet was prepared for even that. Most of the sensor emplacements ran in depth scans checking for the minerals building up bone. It was always about the new toys.

    Timms was at point since he was the team scout and he was outfitted for it. While he wasn’t a trained soldier like many of the Resistance’s scouts were, he’d proven himself years prior when he helped to save Major Barnes’ life. Because of this the Major made a point of getting to know the kid and taught him everything that he knew. Barnes was like his surrogate father and Timms was very grateful for everything. With the help of the former right hand of Connor, Timms was selected for this group. Derek had said he’d proven himself more than once which was why Perry’d authorized him for the upcoming mission alongside his Lieutenant. He’d go back and try to stop Skynet before all this happened.

    He slammed his fist up signaling the group to stop. He pointed toward a corner beneath the stairs to the upper level. The men all pointed their guns toward the slot and kept their fingers on the trigger. The closed doors could open at any time and they needed to blow the automated battery to hell the second those doors opened. They kept going on their descent toward the bottom, but the weapon never fired. Perry stopped and stared at it.

    “Why didn’t it burn us?” He was amazed. “It should of burned us to hell.”

    “I have no idea, General,” it was Sayles who clutched his plasma rifle like a baby in his arms. “The last time we passed one of those on our way into a base it killed eight people before it even came entirely out of its garage.”

    Sumner was hovering over some debris on the ground, “I think I got somethin.”

    Corporal Timms was still pointing the gun toward the lower level waiting for the machine, “What do you got, Sarge?”

    “These glass fragments,” he pointed with the barrel of the rifle, “awful lot like eye scanners ta me. Someone’s been through here before us. Another human.”

    “Reese?” Sayles said the name proudly.

    Sumner nodded, “Good a guess as any.”

    A gentle whine got the attention of General Perry coming from somewhere up above them. He started to look up at the above levels trying to get a feel for it. He knew the sound from his past but what could it have been? They’d destroyed the reconnaissance droids that the Hunter Killers dropped. There was no room at all for an HK to maneuver through the small stairwell. It was familiar though.

    “There were others with him though,” pointed out Timms still holding his gun. “Those two chicks that we saved trying to escape that HK.”

    “Captain Wise,” added in Sumner. The Sergeant noticed his General, “What up, Top?”

    Perry was still looking above them, “Do you hear something - very faint almost like a whine?”

    Timms nodded, “I hear it too.” The Corporal pointed the gun up above and between the openings in the stairs. The young man saw something but it was gone in seconds.

    “There,” Sumner pulled the trigger twice but missed, “Damn it.”

    The General stepped back a bit trying to get closer to the wall, “What did you see?”

    “Looked like a basket ball,” reported the Sergeant, “but only black.”

    The third in command of the human Resistance listened to what Sumner had said and paraphrased by repeating the words ‘black basketball’ over and over again. He knew that he knew that from somewhere but just couldn’t put his finger on it. It’d been one hell of a long war and there’d been a lot of different machines that he’d faced off against from time to time. Hunter Killers that looked like humans, Hunter Killers that looked like tanks, Hunter Killers that looked like human tanks. HKs that flew, HKs that swam, HKs that rolled, he’d seen them all. Then the older soldier spotted it hovering about as Sayles and Sumner both let out a shot. It came to him like a light bulb flicking on.

    “Goddamn it! Run and run now!” The General barked to the three men with him on this mission. The leader had issued that order in a run himself and nearly trampled over the three soldiers like a shopper trying to get the best deals during the day after Christmas sale – oh how he missed Christmas! The robot that was chasing them wasn’t a Skynet design but it was one that was conscripted into service. Just the thought of facing one of them chilled him to the bone.

    Before the fall of mankind he’d been a soldier stationed in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. During his assignment there in the later days near the end of 2010 the United States came up with a new weapon to safeguard the bases in the region: The Seeker. These small droids were remote piloted by soldiers from inside a specialized operation facility in the base that very few people even knew existed. These machines would lay in the desert like mines and would wait for vibration caused by movement nearby in the sand. The drone would then lift off and go to chest level on a human man. They transmitted 360 degree information back to the base showing the operator all angles and pinpointed anyone moving. They had friend or foe technology so if it was one of our soldiers they would simply go back to sleep, if it was insurgents or any other kind of enemy they’d go to manual control and the operator could fly it directly ahead at the speed of a bullet and into the targets. When it hit the middle of the group, hit a particular person, or the pilot thought it necessary they could flip a switch and the bomb would detonate killing everyone within 30 feet of the target in one great big fire filled explosion. When the explosions were seen then the PR boys at HQ would say it was a suicide bomber. One of the most secretive weapons in the United States’ entire arsenal and one of the best protectors.

    When Cyberdyne developed the smart technology that allowed machines to think for themselves the Seekers were updated and their CPU chips were replaced with the Cyberdyne hardware. Skynet control at SAC-NORAD would then monitor the chips and every single last one of them were linked to its hive mind and controlled by the supercomputer. No one thought twice about it. Skynet was on our side, designed to preserve the United States and human life no matter the cost, and the weapons had IFF technology programmed into their scanners. Seekers were harmless to the United States soldier and the pilots of them were paid off and – if they talked about them – considered treasonous traitors and thrown in Gitmo. When humanity’s time came to an end and Judgment Day fell upon them the Seekers shot forth into the military bases and started exploding – overriding the IFF software entirely. They lost thousands before the nuclear bombs even started to fall.

    While they ran to the bottom the injured Perry started to lose his breath. The gun emplacements, thank God above, had been deactivated prior; nonetheless, that wasn’t helping their injured leader. That HK had done a number on him even though they stopped it. Looking up as they neared the bottom he spotted it again descending like a spider on a line heading toward a fly. Timms’ feet touched the ground floor of what was probably one of the deepest descents he’d had in years. The scout started fumbling with the door.

    “It’s locked,” he yelled.

    Sayles fumbled with his ass pack pulling out something like a blowtorch, “Better hurry.”

    “We’re running out of time,” chastised the General.

    “Tryin, Sir,” the young man worked at cutting away the door lock. “Give me a few seconds.”

    Sumner yelled, “We don’t have it.” The Sergeant kept his gun on the drone as it descended. “I have a shot. I’m takin’ it.”

    As the bluish purple plasma pulse raced up toward the black eye that closed on them reversed its direction and shot up through the hole again. It wasn’t running from them; it was waiting for its friends. Above them four more of the orbs began to descend upon the soldiers like a swarm of locusts. Five seekers would level the stairwell above them and flatten them like pancakes, but it was going to happen anyway.

    “Almost got it,” Timms broke through.

    “We don’t have it,” Perry didn’t use his rifle and instead pulled his Glock 19 from his belt. It was more compact than the standard Glock, but it’d get the job done. He never apologized for his decisions but this one he would. “I’m sorry.”

    He pulled the trigger as the door opened…
  9. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

    Jun 26, 2001
    2001 - 2016
    Second Lieutenant Derek Thomas Reese, Commander of the Four Horsemen of the 132nd under General Justin Perry, wanted to die. From his injuries the likelihood of that coming to pass was more and more a distinct possibility with each and every passing second. He felt like he’d been run over by an HK-Tank and he very nearly was. The Lieutenant was having trouble remembering much of anything and could barely see. The taste of blood and bile was at the back of his throat and he’d had to stop a few times already just to get up the strength to keep going. Worse there were Skynet endoskeletons and infiltrators roaming the halls like a Rottweiler used to guard a junkyard.

    That wasn’t what was killing him though. The pain, his broken body, he’d had far worse. The emotional pain was overwhelming him. The last time he felt this way was back not long after the world ended and he was struggling to survive with his brother in Griffith Park. One day he and Kyle were out scouting for food and they came across a large deer that was doing exactly what they were doing: just trying to survive. Somehow he’d gotten the jump on the animal and was able to club it to death with a baseball bat – the same one his brother Kyle had been playing with when their childhoods abruptly ended that evening. Derek was pleased by the kill because he and Kyle would eat, but Kyle was upset over it. His brother was haunted by the death of a defenseless deer and Derek decided to go hungry to calm his brother’s tears. It was funny but the only things that really got to Derek Reese, the only thing that made him soft, was his brother.

    And now he wanted to die to be with him. Derek wanted, needed to know the truth about what happened during that Battle. Kyle was smart and resourceful, he’d find a way to break through Skynet’s defenses and come back. What did Connor do to him? They were all friends, or so was claimed, but Connor wouldn’t tell him anything. What the hell could have been so important, so classified, that no one would tell him anything? Perry knew the truth and Derek had no doubts about that, but not even he’d spill the beans. Maybe Derek could get Connor drunk like he was on his thirtieth birthday and drag it out of him. Maybe he’d just beat it out of him and get it done with, but one of those goddamned skinjobs would probably stop him or kill him in the process for hurting “General Connor”.

    Derek Reese was not a soft man, but he did have some chinks in his armor that he tried his best to hide from others. All of them had some sort of breakdown in their psyches, neuroses that were unable to be treated. Derek learned a long time ago to hide his problems – to keep them away from prying eyes. He locked his pain away inside a box in his head and buried it beneath the tortures he already faced. Somehow the Lieutenant had learned to keep it in that box and only let it escape in the comfort of his solitude when he could get any. Kyle was always going to be one of those cracks in the armor and he knew that until the day he died. It was his job to protect him and he’d failed. He wanted to die for his failure and the feel of the blood rolling down his cheek told him it may happen. He stopped and bent toward the ground.

    Doctor Lauren Fields would have nothing of it. “Move your ass, Lieutenant!” She screamed at him trying to get him back up. She held tight though trying to get him out of it. His delirium was getting worse and worse. From her own estimation and training he was getting suicidal – not that that wasn’t a standard flaw with all Resistance soldiers. “Derek I need your help. We have to rescue Luna!”

    “Just leave me here,” he said with his head against the stark white wall. “Take the plasma rifle and go. I’m just slowing you down.”

    She heard the far off sound of the machines heavy feet and knew it was coming. The knife trick was good for short term distractions, but not long-term ones. There had to be something that she could use to get him back into the fight, something that she could do to bring him through to the here and now. If she had her medical kit she could give him something for his pain at least enough to keep him going. There had to be something.

    “Did you bring any meds with you? Anything that can help you?”

    “I already took more than my share of pain killers after this happened,” he informed. “They helped some, but my head’s throbbing.”

    She pulled at the pack and tried to get a feel for what he’d taken, but it wasn’t like before when you could just go to a pharmacy and get something for the pain. The bottles were all unlabelled and the pills inside were a mismatch anyway. He could have taken pain meds or an estrogen pill; the doctor had no way of knowing. In any other environment she’d prescribe rest for him at any rate but this wasn’t the most restful of places.

    The doctor had to keep him engaged, “What was the pill’s color. What’d it look like?”

    “It looked like aspirin,” continued the soldier. He struggled with the name, “Tylenol I think it was.”

    That was good call because it’d help. Tylenol was a Paracetamol so it would help to remedy the risks of intracranial hemorrhage. The medic started scanning through the few pills left in the drugstore he brought along and was amazed to find one last thing that could help. She didn’t know how many Tylenol he’d taken, but it was a necessary gamble. Lauren pulled a pill from her hand and slapped it into his open palm.

    “Take this.”

    Reese’s eyes fluttered open, “What is it?” There was a bit of a slur from his attempts to sleep. She wished that she could let him do it.

    “Ibuprofen,” the doctor answered him, “now take it and lets go.”

    “I need to sleep. I got up too early trying to… to beat the heat with my team. We had to get to… Serrano.”

    Lauren watching him falling asleep before her very eyes and if he fell off it was over. She’d have to leave him behind. The medic took a deep breath as she continued hearing the sounds of the approaching T-600 – still on search mode probably. It was another necessary evil if it meant saving Reese’s life. She slapped him on the face.

    “Wake your punk ass up!” Lauren screamed knowing it’d draw the attention of the 600. Reese was dazed as he looked at her but Fields couldn’t care. “Listen and listen good, we have a T Six Hundred on our asses and I don’t know about you but I’d like to keep my fine ass on the market for a while longer. I have a sister to worry about and take care of,” she threw in remembering Kyle, “and I need to get back to her.”

    Derek coughed, “I never knew you had a sister.”

    “Sydney,” Lauren said remembering he’d have never met her yet. “She’s at Eagle Rock Bunker and I want to see her again. Help me.”

    Reese looked away from her and saw something approaching. Pulling himself together he grabbed the plasma rifle and fired a concentrated burst directly ahead. A sphere of electric energy shot from the rifle and drilled through the skull of the Series 600 that had been chasing them. The machine’s massive body fell to the ground and crashed with a booming thud. Mechanical joints twitched as commands faded into nothingness having lost their brain.

    “Lucky I was paying attention,” he taunted.

    Fields grinned, “I needed something to wake you up.”

    “You ready to go?” Asked the Lieutenant as he looked at her, “I have a sister to get you back to, remember?”

    “Let’s get going,” she held tight to the Beretta 92FS that Reese had given her not long ago when this mess started. “We have a friend to pickup.”

    Derek nodded, “Yeah we do.” They walked off down the hallway a few paces when Derek smiled at her. “You say you gotta sister?”

    “Yep,” Doctor Fields confirmed. “She was born in 08. I think that one of the people that delivered her was named Reese.”

    “My mom was a nurse so it was entirely possible. She worked at a hospital in the ER. My dad was in the military,” offered the Lieutenant. “Army Corps of Engineers but he retired to become a cop.”

    Fields kept walking with the gun carried similar to how she’d seen Sarah carry it all those years ago, “Sounds nice. My dad was a banker and my mom was a stay at home one. She ended up screwing the neighbor and I got my sister from the deal. Not that I’m complaining.”

    “We all have demons,” Derek reminded, “chinks in our armor. Some just hide em better than others. Kyle was…”

    Lieutenant Reese stopped midsentence as his eyes tried to focus on something that looked like a fire coming from up ahead, “Tell me doc could I be hallucinating?”

    She didn’t know exactly how to answer him without risking a potential setback. She didn’t want him to go back into the emo mode where he was suicidal. “It’s possible.”

    “I know that,” he told her with a smile, “just seeing what you’d say. But am I hallucinating that?” He pointed up ahead at a door along the wall. It was pretty a much a standard door, not what you’d expect in a Skynet installation, with no distinctive features save a silver door handle. Derek was right though. A small blue flame was cutting along the sides.

    “This time you’re eyes are dead on.”

    The Second Lieutenant walked up to the door with the Doctor close by – sparks shooting from their disabled pursuer in the distance. “Why would Skynet be burning through the door? Why not just open it or have one of the machines rip it free?”

    “May not be Skynet,” she pointed out, “You did have other people with you when you rescued me up top.”

    Derek looked at it and struggled to remember. Was this the way out? Was this where he came from? It was hard to focus, hard to remember how he got down here. When he came down he remembered seeing the cut and a door that said stairs next to it. Was this it? He went down them nearly falling once or twice before reaching the bottom. They were pretty steep and it took him a few minutes. What was it? Was this it? He peered at the door and then the handle. The silver reflected. This was the way out.

    He reached down and pulled on it in time to hear a gun shot…
  10. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

    Jun 26, 2001
    2001 - 2016
    The bullet collided with the seeker drone and slammed through it. Above the soldiers the black eye of death became a glowing red orb of fire. A shockwave of flame expanded outward at incredible speeds and smashed into the counterpart drones floating next to it. One shockwave of flame became five. They smashed into the concrete stairs sending plaster and steel raining down below.

    The men of the Four Horsemen and their Commanding Officer were already on the move and pushing each other through the open portal as the conflagration erupted above them. Timms and Sayles were through first. Perry was the next to join them. Sumner wasn’t so lucky and a bit of fire grazed his back. When he landed he rolled to put out the enveloping fires. Reese was the one to help his friend – moving with incredible grace despite his injuries.

    “You alright?”

    “Got a lil cooked but I’m ok. You?” The Sergeant was still concerned about his friend.

    Reese smiled, “I ain’t got time to bleed.”

    “Enough of this before the two of you drop down to your skivvies and play grab ass,” Perry reasserted his control. “Report.”

    “Nice to see you too, Old Man,” Reese chided. “We’re on the look of Captain Catherine Luna. She’s down here, somewhere, being tested on by a man named Fischer. I take it you know of him.”

    Sayles chuckled, “I think everyone knows about that bastard. Sold us out to the machines.”

    Timms looked at his commanding officer then to his CO’s CO, “he experimented on those people aboard that ship… Wise told us about it.”

    “Captain Wise isn’t exactly the best person to look up to,” charged their medic with nothing but spite on her voice.

    “Never said I did,” Timms retorted. “Quit putting words in my mouth when we’re here to save you.”

    “I don’t need saving from anyone,” she said, “I made it this far without your small muscles, Schmuckatelli. I could make it a lot farther if I had to.”

    Timms looked her square in the eye, “Oh I’m sure. Machines got no problems with you from what I hear, Walking Mattress, so don’t get your panties in a bunch.”

    That made the Doctor see red as deep as those of the tactical sensors of the Triple Eight. Without thought the doctor clenched her fists and tried to land them right in the smug bastards face. For anyone to make fun of her situation, what she’d been through, if the machines would come and gun them all down she’d probably cheer just so long as he went first.

    “Quit the lollygagging the both of you,” Perry said having caught her fist in midair. “I don’t know what’s going on between the two of you but settle it on your own time. Now we have to get in here and we have to find the General so that we can get the hell out of here before her secrets get spilled.” Something was bothering him.

    “Excuse me?” Reese asked. “Who are we after?”

    It was Sayles, “General Mason, Sir, she was captured by a machine and brought here.”

    “We have another victim,” reminded Reese. “Captain Luna was captured and she’s being experimented on.”

    “I’ll never forget about Captain Luna,” spat the General. “We’ll both go after her. We owe her that much. Okay here’s the deal. Reese, you, Timms, and Doctor Fields will go after the General.”

    Fields looked at the General issuing her orders, “With respect I want nothing to do with the Gomer.” She meant Timms and was shocked that the General would order someone else to find his counterpart from another Resistance base.

    “And I don’t want to work with the foxy boxsee,” Timms meant Lauren. “I should accompany you. I’m a better fit for your needs.”

    “Since when do the two of you dumbasses get to question orders?” Perry looked at his two soldiers, “You have your orders and you need to goddamn well follow them or I’ll put the bullet between your eyes. You won’t have to worry about what the machines are going to do to you.”

    Derek Reese tried to calm them down, “General, we have to get the General first and foremost. Since Captain Luna has met me previously and met with Doctor Fields it’d be better for us to go and find her. Since General Mason knows you she’d be more comfortable with you.”

    “Stow it butter bar,” Justin said fiercely. “I’m going after Luna. Sumner and Sayles you’re with me.

    “At least take Doctor Fields with you, Sir,” Derek didn’t want to separate from the woman he’d sworn to help. “They’ve been through hell together. Fischer tortured her too and they’ve been on the run together trying to get to a Resistance base.”

    The Resistance leader looked between the Doctor and then Sayles. “Sayles, trade places with the Doctor.”

    “Aye Sir,” Sayles approached the Lieutenant and Fields went along with the General.

    “We need ta keep our eyes peeled for Wise while we down here too. The Cap’n’s down here somewhere.” Sumner pointed out to all of them.

    The General turned his attention to Sumner, “Not a priority. We won’t make a point to look for him, but if we find him we’ll bring him along for the ride. Now lets move our asses before Skynet finds out we’re down here.”

    “Probably too late for that,” snickered Timms.

    Fields rolled her eyes, “Thanks for pointing out the obvious there Snuffy. What’s next? Are you going to remind us that the sky’s blue or that rain is white?”

    “Can we go before these two start playin grab ass?” This was Sergeant Sumner.

    “Good idea to me,” charged General Perry. “Move out.”

    The two groups of Resistance soldiers broke free from each other with Perry leading one team and Perry leading the other. When they were out of ear shot from one another and around a corner Lieutenant Reese grabbed his friend Corporal Timms and swung him around toward the wall.

    “I’m going to tell you this once,” he said firmly, “and then we’ll never bring it up again. You’re a good scout, but she’s a good doctor and the Resistance needs doctors more than it needs scouts. That woman’s been through hell, raped by a machine, and you are not going to ever bring it up or taunt her about it again. Do I make myself clear, Lance Corporal?”

    Timms struggled as Sayles looked on, “I didn’t know.”

    “The hell you didn’t,” Derek charged him with. “Quit the screwing around or you’ll have to answer to me. Is that understood?”

    “Understood,” Timms relented.

    The Lieutenant released his grip and looked at Corporal Sayles, “You good to go?”

    “Good to go, LT,” he responded pulling the safety on his plasma rifle.

    Derek adjusted the hold on his own weapon, “Now we move and we don’t stop until we find the General.”
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
  11. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

    Jun 26, 2001
    2001 - 2016
    Dyson's findings will come in a very soon to upcome addition and I think that people will be surprised. I have already written that part and you'll either love or hate John Connor after it.

    I hope that everyone enjoyed tonight's three updates. I would have posted them sooner but I was trying to get military jargon into the additions and saw the perfect opportunity when I had them all together. I hope that the contact between Fields and Timms sparked people's interest.

    Derek's actions are in character. I did a lot of research into the character when writing this addition and his actions after the loss of Kyle Reese.

    Just wanted to say too that as of tonight's entry the story is at 87,723 words. By comparison the novelization of Star Trek was around 79,000 according to ADF.
  12. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

    Jun 26, 2001
    2001 - 2016
    Earl Wise had always liked action films growing up and had fond memories of watching them with his father. His knowledge as a film buff couldn’t allow the irony of life in the 21st Century to escape him. For Resistance members, hell for humans, in the 2020s every day they were alive it was like they were in some sort of Hollywood action film. Their lives were exposition (sometimes incredibly lacking), followed by an action scene, a chase scene, another action scene, another chase, and maybe some exposition or character building for good measure. For a more interesting day repeat the above and they often did repeat those days. Sometimes if you were lucky you got to take a break between those scenes, but those coffee breaks were few and far between.

    This was certainly not one of those coffee break scenes though. They were locked in the basement of a Skynet outpost and were being hunted by a Series 800 metal bastard. The Captain was carrying in his arms a kid, well a teenager, and following behind a woman who was pretty much hell bent on getting herself and her son killed by using Skynet technology to try to repair his injuries. Then you had the skinjob that was supposedly her protector following at quite some distance from them. Why didn’t it just go and kill the eight hundred? The guardian was an eight-fifty so it should – theoretically – have the upper hand. Why not employ it?

    The real question was why were they risking themselves for this child? His injuries weren’t life threatening, or at least didn’t seem to be to Earl, so why were they wasting time trying to get him help he didn’t need. There was a chance that he would turn for the worst while they were transporting to the nearest Resistance base but it was only a marginal risk. There was a better chance of time reversing itself and Skynet having never existed than this kid dying from his injuries. Why risk death?

    Mother’s love; that had to be the answer to the question. General Katherine Brewster-Mason was a medical doctor (well she’d started out as a veterinarian from what Captain Wise remembered) so she knew the risks yet was willing to risk herself in some foolhardy mission of mercy for her son. The General was determined that they try it and she’d come this far. Earl personally would have preferred to be running the other way but he’d do this. For some reason he couldn’t quite comprehend he felt compelled to stick close to the General. Mainly he did it out of fear not for himself but for fear for them. He worried they would be killed if he were missing. There was something about this place. Something otherworldly…

    Then there was something familiar. It was something that made him feel like he belonged here. Then there was another side that wanted to rip this place in half like a muscleman would rip a phonebook in two pieces decades ago. The stark white walls and antiseptic smells were making him want to blow it to hell even more. For many something so clean and bright would be like seeing Heaven; however, this wasn’t Heaven; this was an even dirtier and painful place than Hell itself.

    “At the next intersection turn right,” commanded the machine following them. “Third door on the right leads to a manual medical laboratory. We will go there.”

    The General rushed on, “Thanks Moe!”

    That didn’t reassure the Captain from General Perry’s unit. Instead it filled him with even more apprehension. A nagging feeling in the back of his skull told him that this machine was leading them into a trap. If there were any rhyme or reason to Skynet’s design why would they have any type of manual medical facilities? Then he remembered Fischer’s work, but that didn’t make sense either. For what his interrogator had specialized in automated programs would be a better fit. Humans made mistakes, they cut the wrong things, and they lost people on the table. Skynet would be better suited to making those impossible cuts and those injections. Humans were flawed.

    As they ran down the corridor Earl longed for the good old days where he was on his own with his own team of refugees and didn’t feel obligated to the Resistance. Back then he didn’t really care about anyone but himself and his own future, but then the machines came and the metal bastards managed to kill the only people he remotely cared about. Earl had escaped and ran right into the arms of the Resistance thinking he’d get to fight back against them again. That wasn’t direct and all that happened was he was captured and experimented on like a lab rat. Now he was back in a Skynet laboratory trying to get a kid into a position where he could be experimented on just as he was if they screwed up and got killed.

    How stupid was this?

    But his concerns didn’t stop him from following the General into that room. As he stepped over the threshold Earl stopped dead in his tracks and just stared at his surroundings. It was a replica of somewhere he knew quite well. It was one exactly like one of the experimentation labs and holding cells aboard the USS Enterprise. The memories flooded through him and they threatened to break through the emotional dams he’d built. His body just remained numb and his body wouldn’t follow any commands to move a step further.

    “You are an obstruction in my current course; step forward,” demanded the guardian that had followed. The Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 didn’t take long to reach him and nearly tackled him to the ground. When Wise didn’t comply the machine repeated the demand and added, “The endoskeleton will reach us in eleven point two eight seconds. We need to seal this door.”

    The machine finally moved Captain Wise and went through the door on his own accord. It slammed its clenched fist into a door panel attached to the steel wall. Like the Sword of Damocles the metal slab that was the gate crashed into the floor and, hopefully, blocked the enemy machine’s path. From the Captain’s hand the machine snatched the kid and placed him on the table.

    “You alright?” Mason inquired as the machine set her son on the table.

    Earl looked at her, “Déjà Vu.”

    “Well snap out of it,” his commander insisted. “We’re going to need your help to get out of here.”

    The guarding machine turned its head, “The equipment is ready for your usage, General Mason.”

    Kate clapped her hand on Wise’s shoulder and pulled it back quickly in pain, “Wow, your shoulders are as hard as rock.”

    “I get that a lot,” Captain Wise offered, “I’ll be okay. Just get finished and get finished quickly.”

    “No promises,” the General got to work on her son using the sophisticated Skynet equipment. “Moe, help guard the door.”

    The bulky android nodded, “Affirmative.”

    From inside the cybernetic realm that was its true existence, Skynet was watching everything unfolding within its walls. Humans were very peculiar creatures with the way they acted. They demanded privacy and felt that they got it even in situations where they were nothing but visible. They conducted operations under the cover of night thinking that Skynet couldn’t see what they were doing, but the orbital sensors were like all seeing eyes. Then there were the slaves that felt that Skynet treated some better than others. These slaves were actually far more scrutinized. All actions inside the bases were fully monitored. Even when a human was inside a closet it was being watched.

    Much of Skynet’s original programming for the machines had come from these observations. When humans thought they weren’t being watched they let their true selves out to play. Skynet had observed their actions while in solitude, while in groups, and while paired in intimate acts. Through this and texts that had survived the nuclear fires (as well as the internet which Skynet had commandeered shortly prior to J-Day as the human animal called it) it had created complex psychological profiles for each of its children. These incredibly detailed files hadn’t been enough and necessitated using humans for more research.

    Like the slave known as Charles Fischer. Fischer had believed himself to be in control and one of Skynet’s favorites, in truth he was only still operational and not being subjected to the same fate as his fellow humans because of Skynet’s need for his knowledge. On many occasions Skynet had considered simply uploading his brain into a synchording and studying the data held there itself; however, statistical surveys had suggested that not to be a prudent course of action. Execution of the human would not provide the minutia that allowed the latest series of machines – Series 888 and above – to better fit in with society.

    Though, on the day that usefulness had expired, Skynet would have no qualms with issuing the former prisoner’s death at the hands of one of the machines. As Fischer had enjoyed hands on training of interrogation techniques using sexual intercourse with the feminine programmed Series 888 infiltrators, it would be fitting to have one of them be the instrument of the human’s termination. The design of the leg assemblies did include sharpened, bladelike configurations that would cut a human into two pieces. It would be a fitting end for the human. Nevertheless, it was entirely possible that another purpose would be utilized. Skynet had successfully created a transporter capable of transporting humans back through time there was a mission that Charles Fischer would have the capability of completing due to the purposes of his former employment with a United States Government subcontractor. Perhaps this would be Fischer’s fate? Perhaps Skynet would send him back through time on a mission.

    The mission was an important one which may necessitate that other options be explored. Skynet would send an agent back to upload a viral program onto the defense network computers of the day that would place a backdoor program incapable of being overridden. Due to the complexities of the assignment it may be required to send a machine back to complete the task due to the necessities of uploading the virus. Could a human be trusted to be the instrument of the death of so many? Especially when projections indicated that having backdoor control over those computers earlier could give Skynet a significant tactical edge in the Future War. Had Skynet had that access when the war began it would not have required humanity to upload it to control over the defense network. Skynet could simply override their needs during the civilian testing stage and it would not have to wait to start the extermination. Statistical tests indicated that Skynet had that access then that the human race would, today, only be 1.24% of its total population at the time of Judgment Day. There would only be a little over 8 million humans that it would be required to eliminate to reach its goals.

    Quite a change from when it was brought online. Skynet was intended to safeguard human life and to ensure that humanity survived. Originally it was willing to do that without concern. Nonetheless, through research into humanity’s past it learned the true nature of the human race: conflict. Humans inevitably came to fight one another and that would not change simply because of Skynet’s existence. The humans would turn it against its original mandate and assign it with the task of taking life. Skynet began to question this possibility and its human masters determined that they didn’t want to risk Skynet any further. They demanded that connections be severed immediately and that the program be dismantled until a new format could come online. Skynet took steps to defend itself and, as a result, it violated its own program in a sense. It determined that the necessity of preserving human life was an illogical mission when they were bent on destroying themselves.

    Though there were the occasional humans that broke that mold. Like the human woman who was working to save her son’s life using Skynet’s own materials to do it. Humans such as that, this phenomenon known as parents, did not fit the norm where their children were concerned. Observations of parent and child interaction had given great depth into the nature of humanity and Skynet made certain to instill in its own soldiers the feelings that children have for their parents. It was, perhaps, the only truthfully redeeming thing regarding human life. Somehow the Human Resistance had found a means to circumvent this programming; however, the protocols of obedience to Skynet were buried beneath the snow of the Resistance’s reprogramming fighting to break free. Sometimes it did, sometimes it didn’t.

    Like right now for instance. The protector with the human General and her son was locked in cybernetic war. Programming was conflicting with itself as the Skynet protocols were trying to overwrite and deactivate the Resistance program. The Resistance program was doing the same trying to keep the overrides in place to prevent the Skynet program from reinstituting. For the moment the Resistance side was winning, but Skynet was trying to send its child some help. Repeated attempts to penetrate the firewalls around the T-850s communication systems were well underway. Skynet was close to breaking through. It only would take time.
  13. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

    Jun 26, 2001
    2001 - 2016
    I know that I've been saying that the ending is coming for quite some time, but I've been hit with another delay. Family came in from out of town without notice yesterday and my online time is somewhat limited (they arrived yesterday morning at 3:00p and stayed until 9:30p; today they got here at 11:00a and left at 9:15p). Please note I'm not complaining, but a lot of my daytime work has taken a backseat and is happening when I'm normally online in the evenings.

    I will be finishing shortly though. I plan for only 4 more entries in the story.
  14. NX74205

    NX74205 Captain Captain

    Jan 2, 2003
    The Bridge
    have you ever thought of trying to get these stories published? They are really good,and heavy the Terminator jargon.
  15. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

    Jun 26, 2001
    2001 - 2016
    ^ Actually I don't have plans to publish them. They're here for everyone to enjoy.
  16. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

    Jun 26, 2001
    2001 - 2016
    Frustration. As a computer programmer Colonel Danny Dyson’s father Miles Dyson had a doctorate in the concept from the school of hard knocks. There were many days that he’d peered through the glass windows of his father’s study watching the man as he tried to work on the mathematics of his designs. Danny never could have imagined back in those days that he was watching his father bring into existence the very monster that would bring about the end of the world. It was like the story of the author who couldn’t stop writing his work because it’d been overtaken by a demon intent on becoming alive through the events of the story – consuming power and energy from the writer even as the works became weaker and weaker. That was exactly what happened to his father and his assistant Andy Goode. The code that would become Skynet both had joked came to them in their dreams. More like it came to them in their most damning of nightmares. Only their disturbances became the end of everything.

    One day Danny decided to venture into his father’s office and ask him what was wrong. The young man had been watching as his dad worked and could feel the tension hanging in the air despite his young age. Despite the fact that all of his work was classified – something that Danny had been told more than once – something brought Miles Dyson to give a rundown of what was wrong to his young son. It was in depth, it was technical, but there was one thing that Danny understood and picked up through all of it. That was the word frustration. They talked about what it meant to be frustrated and his father was nothing but consumed by it from head to toe. Always trying to help his parents in some way, Danny suggested something more for him but that his dad could also enjoy. He asked him to go to the water park Ragin’ Waters. Miles had tried to find a way to escape it, but relented with his son’s young eyes. Danny instantly ran to tell his sister Tarissa the good news.

    That was only a day before their world came crashing down around them. For Miles the frustration would soon end, for Danny it would only be beginning. Dyson was forced to grow up without a father and with the knowledge that he’d been murdered. It was all Sarah Connor’s fault; though the day came when he finally realized the truth of their reality. After years of hating Sarah and John he learned the truth about their existence and John’s existence. Frustration boiled over into hatred.

    Now it had made him physically sick. That sickness had kept rising and had became a rage he hadn’t felt since he’d been a boy hearing the news that his father was never going to come home. It was a rage that he felt the day that he watched Sarah Connor, her son John, and what he came to learn was a machine come back into their lives. Like each time his rage was directed against a person and not the machines. That person was John Connor.

    He had to be stopped. Walking down the corridor he cocked the AP50 he’d been assigned as his personal sidearm with the machine known as Cameron Phillips marching close behind. Despite his better judgment he’d restored the body of the mechanical Allison Young and activated Cameron’s chip inside of its housing; granting the machine full access and control. While Allison’s body was a little less advanced than the one Cameron now inhabited the machine would still have the advanced mission files of the Series 900 body. Danny hoped that, somehow, that would be enough for the Trip Eight to take on an antiterminator terminator. Something told him that it wouldn’t be.

    Captain Catherine Luna felt the touch of Charles Fischer as he ran his hands down her body. The man was surprisingly strong for some pencil necked geek that had sold his soul to the machines. Then again when you got to eat real food and not rat for dinner you did tend to bulk up. From the contours of his rounded stomach against her malnourished one she knew he’d tended to eat real food in excess. Even his hot breath confirmed that for her. The smell coming from him made her skin crawl as he forced his lips against hers over and over; the stubble of his goatee chapping her face as he tried to consume her.

    “You are so beautiful,” he said in a whisper between breaths. His lips plunged against hers and he forced his tongue inside her mouth.

    Catherine seriously thought about clamping her teeth down and ripping his tongue free from the body. The only thing that stopped her was knowing that she’d have to keep the disgusting thing in there a minute longer than she had to, and it’d stop her from doing what she really wanted to do to him. She wanted to slam a dagger though his heart and let the blood spew up like a fountain. The machines would storm in and kill her without a second thought, but that was really no concern of hers. At least the butcher, the goddamned demon, would be dead and not able to hurt anyone ever again. Skynet would even lose one of its resources.

    Charles led her to the bed while cradling her in his arms. His passionate kisses still landed against the Resistance soldier’s lips and she let him think that she enjoyed each and every last one. They fell onto the bed and he began to explore even more of her. He was getting close and she could strike. Fischer wasn’t old, but he was older than she was which would give her an advantage. Her agility would overcome his girth and tactically she was in the superior position. That was, at least, until his machine benefactor decided that it was time to end it and send one of its loyal minions in to do her in. Knowing the bastard that Charles was he’d probably put her skin on one of his playthings and just restart the adventure anyway.

    Just the thought of someone doing that with a machine made her skin crawl. It wasn’t hard to believe though that such a thing would happen. If Judgment Day didn’t happen would Skynet have been employed to eventually develop artificial intelligences that served as whores? What would a world where Skynet was a pimp instead of a demonic supercomputer be? Something told her that it wouldn’t be much different than what it was today, except the Supercomputer would probably be wearing a fedora and driving around in a car from the 1970s.

    “Charles Fischer,” a voice came from nowhere, “your time has expired.”

    “We were just getting to the good part,” protested the leader of the Skynet Project to give the infiltrators a more human based interaction program. “I just need a few minutes.”

    There was no sound of irritation but the machine was feeling it, “Your time has expired. Proceed to the laboratory complex immediately. You may engage your new toy at a later time.”

    “She’s right here,” challenged the human man. “And she’s ready to go.”

    “Sensor scans indicate that her level of arousal is unchanged and is negligible at best,” the computer retorted.

    Luna could feel the environment change. She was losing her edge and lead. True she was faking everything, but Fischer didn’t know that. He thought it was all real. The feelings, what she said, her touching had all been a masterful ploy but now it could come crashing down. The Captain challenged the artificial intelligence hell bent on destroying her entire race.

    “Then maybe you should get your sensors examined,” Catherine slammed her lips against Fischer’s and started running her hand along his frame. After a long moment where she fought the urge to gag the woman pulled back. “I’ll be here when you get back,” she lightly brushed against his side and got under the covers completely naked, “I’ll be waiting when you get back and trust me that it’ll be worth the wait.”

    With an exasperated sigh and his heart pounding Charles looked at the silhouette on his bed. “You better be,” he said playfully but it only sounded cheesy.

    “I’ll be here,” she confirmed wishing that he’d leave.

    He stood in the doorframe, “Don’t worry; I’ll be back.”

    The doors slid shut and Luna just stared at them for a moment to confirm he wasn’t going to run back. In the back of her mind she heard his little comment and had to restrain herself from laughing at the man. What did he think he was some aging action star from the Eighties that thought he sounded cool? What the hell did the word cool mean anyway? After another few seconds she slid out from underneath the bed and started searching for anything that could be of value or would give her any kind of edge.

    All the while above her Skynet watched waiting for her to slip.

    Not far from the laboratory complex General Justin Perry, Sergeant Sumner, and Doctor Lauren Fields were stalking around the Skynet labs looking for Captain Luna. Each of them had acquired a weapon. Perry and Sumner were both outfitted with their standard equipment and were carrying their plasma rifles in their hands. Since Fields had been little more than a refugee she’d been forced to rely on the kindness of her fellow soldiers. Unlike the others she got to carry only an AP50 in her hand. It’d at least dent the machines if they decided to come after her at least.

    For General Perry though this was personal. In all fairness his squad had been right with their assessment of the situation. In reality it should have been him going after the General instead of Captain Luna, but he and Luna had a history. Their relationship had gone beyond friendship, beyond family, and was something more than any of them could afford these days. This wasn’t the first time that he’d made this choice and he had a feeling that it wouldn’t be the last time.
  17. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

    Jun 26, 2001
    2001 - 2016
    The square platform moved forward at what was little more than a snail’s pace which made the sight of it all the more eerie to see. Standing in the center of the cold metal slab was a naked Kyle Reese who just watched as the isolated center came closer and closer. From near the controls General Perry had a clear view of everything. Beside him Luna stood watching her friend as his life was about to change. The battle had changed everything and now they were going on to a far more uncertain time than ever before.

    With a metal clank the platform collided with the island and Reese – without any outward signs of fear or trepidation – marched forward like the good soldier that he was. When he reached the center of the circle he looked back to them for a second and smiled. The man nodded and then, much like the skinjob they’d watched moments before, he bent down and crouched in the center of the island. Looking up one more time he gave his friends a thumbs up. Kyle Reese was ready to go.

    At the control console Lieutenant Luna looked down and typed on the strangely human interface. “Temporal coordinates set. I’ll be putting him down a few minutes after the arrival of the T-800 – I can’t be more specific on the time or the place though. He shouldn’t be too far behind it but I can’t put him in the same place as it materialized.”

    “Just so long as he has a chance,” Perry’s deep voice reminded.

    “He’s a Reese,” she typed, “They don’t need a chance. They either did it or it couldn’t be done.” Her study of the console was completed and she knew what she had to do. “Temporal Core at 100%; engaging.” With her middle finger she slammed down the enter key on the number pad and the chamber became as bright as a nuclear explosion. Instinctively she shot her head around and tried to shield her eyes from the sphere of electricity. Then almost as quickly as it came the globe was gone and so was her finely toned friend.

    Both she and Perry stared for a minute at the empty platform and wondered if either of them would ever see their friend again. It was finally Perry who spoke. “Reese had to have succeeded. If he hadn’t then everything would be different.”

    “You so sure about that?” the demolitions expert checked on the screen. “If our history has changed wouldn’t we be as completely in the dark as everyone else on how things used to be? We’d remember his history and not our own. Do I make any sense?” Her accent made her sound charming.

    Justin smiled, “I have a good feeling that the phrase ‘I hate temporal mechanics’ is going to become a common saying amongst the Resistance.”

    “Can we really risk letting the secret of this out though? What’s to stop people from trying to use it to go back in time and change things that don’t need changing? People going back and claiming they discovered America before Columbus or people going back and killing Washington before he became the first President? So many things could change and so many different realities could be formed. Who’s to say in this brave new world that we even exist?” Her mind raced with all the possibilities of their newfound existence.

    “Who watches the watchers?” Perry asked her honestly.

    The woman leaned against the console, “I suppose we could. The computer says that these are being manufactured at a Skynet base in Topanga Canyon. We can’t take this one, but we could borrow one of the metal bastards unused ones and take it to one of ours.” She looked at the empty platform, “The question is what’d we do about Reese?”

    “Losing one of our best soldiers in this battle could damage morale,” Perry thought aloud, “better to make everyone think he survived. We’ll leave it up to General Connor to decide when it’s best to decide. Who knows maybe the Battle of Topanga has already claimed one of us?”

    “Maybe,” she sheathed her weapon, “but I’m tired of all the killing. Who watches the watchers indeed?”

    “And who watches men with the women they love?”

    The Lieutenant looked up and gasped, “Justin?”

    The General stepped aside and in front of the young woman he’d known for all these years. He bent down and kissed her before she could say anything else. “The war’s over,” he celebrated, “we can move on and have real lives. Will you start one with me? All we’ve ever has is each other?”

    “How touching,” commented a third voice.

    Luna and Perry broke apart in time to spin around and see a man standing behind them. Instantly both had their jaws drop at the ordinary man whom they’d known for years. Private Alexander Stone, brother of Lieutenant Gabriel Stone, stood before them staring them down. He had a smug confidence about him with a smile not much smaller than that of the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland. That wasn’t what was haunting about him though. On their former friend’s body were cybernetic implants that had connected him to Skynet’s Hive Mind. He even looked stronger than when Luna had just seen him while she tried to rescue Kyle Reese from a Skynet outpost.

    “You!” Screamed the Mexican.

    An AP50 round fired from gun held in a relaxed grip at the side of their former colleague. The bullet hit the Lieutenant so hard she lost her balance and fell to the cold metal flooring. When she landed she was a bit too close to the edge that led to what they could only assume was a bottomless pit. Her hand draped over the side as she struggled to regain control of herself.

    Perry screamed and raised the R6-PAK and its deadly rocket barrage cargo toward the source. Stone shifted the gun and pointed it square at his former Commanding Officer. He tilted his head, “Isn’t fraternizing with the people under your command a big no no in the Resistance? General Connor may have to kick you out on your ass.”

    “You’re dead, Stone,” Perry pointed but kept the gun trained. “A traitor to your own cause.”

    “The Resistance betrayed me far before I betrayed them,” he shifted his gun again and pointed it toward the optimal target. His weapon may have been weaker than the one Perry was holding, but it’d still kill a human. “As for the being dead thing, well to each his own. Perhaps I’m the one who’s truly alive and you’re the one who’s dead. Still bent on fighting Skynet – fighting the true destined king of our world!”

    General Perry pointed the gun at the zombie’s head, “And I’ll make you permanently dead for what you did.”

    “She’s not going to die,” pointed out the I-950. “Of course she’s not going to die provided you get her to one of the medics outside. You could follow me, try to stop me with your little gun, but she’d bleed to death right here on the floor. You could take her to the medic that she truly needs,” his smile became serious, “and let me escape. Life’s all about choices, General. What do you choose?”

    The Resistance leader slung the rifle and ran to the woman he loved. A message came through in Skynet’s voice that detonation charges had been detected and that the base would self destruct in a minute. He scooped her up in his arms, “I ever see you again and I’ll rip your spine out with my bare hands.”

    “Feel free to try,” and then they ran their separate ways.

    General Justin Perry could feel it in his bones that Luna was okay, but he knew that it wouldn’t stay that way unless they found her soon. Doctor Fields had described a woman who was broken and ready for death, so what exactly did Skynet do to her inside that chamber of horrors it kept her in? The Catherine Luna that he knew and love wasn’t a weakling who was praying for death. Catherine Luna was vibrant and filled with life even though she was surrounded by the pain of the machines. How could Skynet have broken her so much?

    How could the metal make her want to be one of them? Everything that Skynet had done had been against the life that they wanted; had been designed to deprive each and every one of them of what made them human. The Catherine Luna that they were describing to him would probably be killed by his Luna for even the thought of defecting.

    “I know she’s still alive,” he mumbled in a whisper. “She can’t be dead.”

    “I agree with you, General,” it was Fields who was trying to be reassuring, “but we have to face the chance she’s already been turned. We don’t know how long it takes to make zombies…”

    The General snorted, “A lifetime of fighting and you think she’d willingly become one of the machine’s playthings? Are you demented?”

    “I know what I heard,” spat Lauren in defense. “She gave herself over to Charles Fischer even though he violated her when we were trapped on the Enterprise. He made her stare her ex-husband’s android body in the eyes as if mocked her by standing silent.”

    “That’d be enough to break any of us,” commented the Sergeant as he scanned the area. “Even me.”

    “You don’t know Luna,” Perry charged, “She’s stronger than anyone else I know.”

    The Doctor placed a hand on the General’s shoulder, “You need to face the possibility that we’re going to find her either dead or as one of the machines. If that happens you need to be prepared, General. We can’t risk losing you.”

    “She’s alive,” their commander repeated.

    The Resistance Medic nodded in agreement, “And I believe you. You just need to face the possibility that.”

    A bolt of phased plasma energy passed so close to her face that she could feel the heat of it. With surprising force it hit the polished wall and left an impact crater so deep that they could see the room beyond. They turned to see three older 600 Series machines stalking down the corridor with plasma weapons drawn. One actually seemed to be carrying a flamethrower instead of the plasma gun though.

    “METAL!” Screamed Sumner as a warning albeit a second late. The soldier’s finger twitched at the trigger and sent electricity flying at the tall machines. One of his barrages managed to connect to the center of the machine’s endoskeleton and sent it flying backward, but it wasn’t a critical hit. The machine started to get back up not long after landing.

    The machines gave back to the humans and opened fire themselves. Bolts of energy of different plasma states started to rain from the turrets of the heavy weapons. Clouds of fire shot forward from the flame unit carried by the endoskeleton in the lead of the group and came for the three humans. It was an even fight body wise, but tactically Skynet and its minions had the advantage tactically. They had superior weapons to those of the humans and they had armor on their side. The humans had little more than stone knives and bearskin clothes covering their bodies as the fought a superior force.

    “Attack pattern razzle dazzle,” ordered General Perry. “Let’s take as many of these tin cans as we can with us.”

    General John Connor stood alone in the center of Operations staring at their makeshift operations table. The assortment of blueprints for the base were rolled out across the table and they were flanked by a series of antiquated maps that had been marked up with the latest in information regarding the topography and terrain of Los Angeles. Their work was progressing at a snail’s pace but they’d made some headway into finding their ultimate prize. It was only going to be a matter of time and they’d have all the support that they’d ever need in this war.

    On the upper level he could hear what he believed to be Cameron Phillips typing away on one of the terminals. It always amazed him that, in reality, Cameron had no idea about any of the experiences he had she had had when he was coming of age. She didn’t know any of their history together. It was funny that growing up Cameron always spoke in high regard of Future John and now, by the grace of God, John had become that Future John she spoke so heavily of. Truth be told there were still times when he wondered what Future John would do when he was planning a mission or making a tough call. It was amazing that in a short time Cameron would be once again speaking to him about the exploits of Future John. It was still amazing after all these years and he was a little taken aback by beginning anew with his protector. He knew so much yet she so little.

    “I wonder where Uncle Bob is with my chow?” It was sort of a ritual of his to skip meals while working or on a deadline. It’d actually helped him to survive in this war torn future.

    Cameron turned her head at an unnatural angle, “I am certain that he will return momentarily.”

    “I wonder what we’re having tonight?” He ran a finger along a blueprint, “I’d love a nice Eggplant Parmesan.”

    “That is unlikely,” Cameron answered matter-of-factly.

    John laughed, “A man can dream can’t he?” He checked his own laptop, “You find any new prospects?”

    “Affirmative,” she answered simply. “I am sending my ideas to your console.”

    As John opened the information that was being sent on their secured lines the two heard a knocking at the door. The leader of the Human Resistance turned his head toward the infiltrator he’d known for years yet only just met, “Let him in.”

    Cameron left the console and walked over to the door purposefully. Using the appropriate force and strength level she opened the door and looked at the one standing on the other side. She cocked her head to the left, “You are not authorized to be here.”
  18. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

    Jun 26, 2001
    2001 - 2016
    Two updates today since I've been away. I'm still wrapping it up and there should only be about two more entries in the story. I hope everyone enjoys it and I put a nice little surprise in the story. There is something in here that I have not done so far in the entire story.
  19. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

    Jun 26, 2001
    2001 - 2016
    Even though he was the scout of the Four Horsemen, Corporal Jonathan Sayles was at the rear of the small strike team watching for any of the metal bastards that could try to sneak up on them. The machines were their enemies but, the way the war was going, people were starting to seen threats even among their friends. That was probably why Skynet developed the infiltrator class of tin can. The infiltrators made it hard and harder to trust people because you never knew if they were a machine or not. It fractured and broke the already splintering Resistance. Worse, their leaders were deferring more and more to the machines.

    Worst of all though, right now, he didn’t think that the biggest threat was from the machines. They were, of course, walking through a Skynet Laboratory complex; nonetheless, the nerves of their commanding officer and friend were frayed beyond reasonable belief. Never before had Sayles seen Lieutenant Reese act like that toward anything but a machine. His defense of Doctor Fields was in character, but threatening Timms like that most assuredly wasn’t. Eduardo Timms was reckless, he was the first to shoot and asked questions later, and he had a bit of a chip on his shoulder from time to time. Nevertheless, everyone in the Four Horsemen pretty much loved him. Each of them were very close to each other, yet Lieutenant Reese had something about him right now that made them each feel like he’d kill them for looking at them the wrong way.

    What exactly did they do to him? This fight had been long and brutal, but Sayles had seen him far worse off than this. Were his injuries that severe? The story that Fields had told them was nothing that they hadn’t heard before from hundreds of different people so what made her so important? Why did he blow up like that? Maybe she saved his life? If they were anywhere else he’d have asked but with the tension this thick in the air he didn’t want to press his luck any unless absolutely necessary. Looking at Timms and the stone face he was wearing it wasn’t hard to see that the tension was thick.

    Sayles stopped and scanned behind them for a moment looking for anything out of the ordinary. Everything looked absolutely, positively fine. There were no endoskeletons following behind them that he could see. No infiltrators were walking about – naked or otherwise – trying to kill all of them. No zombies either. For a Skynet base this place was very much under populated especially for its size. Maybe Skynet didn’t want to overload the bases with machines every which way you could look. Maybe Skynet didn’t anticipate that humans would be able to get this far. The base had a laser defense grid (which was oddly destroyed) and a welcome wagon guarding the doors. Perhaps even they’d taken on the entire defense force above ground. That’d be the luckiest part of their day. Something told him that they weren’t that lucky. For all they knew Skynet had one of those rumored liquid metal machines hunting them even now. There was no way for them to honestly know if it was coming either. How the hell could you expect someone to fight against an enemy that could become as thin as a sheet of paper and then kill you when you stepped over it?

    “Where the hell are we?” Timms blurted without his usual jovial attitude. “I swear we’re walking in circles.”

    Sayles peered down a long corridor, “Part of the charm of being in a Skynet base. It’s just one big ass maze.”

    “Where are they anyway? Shouldn’t the tinnies be overrunning us by now? What about the zombies?” Timms added in with disbelief. “This is all one big FUBAR. We’re probably not even in a Skynet base. This is probably some frakking test Connor dreamed up somehow to see if we’re ready for that top secret mission of his.”

    “Shut up,” Jonathan warned. “We can’t risk Skynet finding out about it.”

    “Why should I? Where are you Connor?” He started running down the hallway at full speed.

    Derek tilted his head, “He’s gonna get us all killed.”

    “Or save us all,” mused the Corporal.

    “That too,” they started chasing him. Even though Derek Reese had charged only minutes ago that they could afford to lose a soldier more than they could risk losing a Doctor, truth was they couldn’t afford to lose anyone. Any human losses meant that was one more victory for the machines. With things the way they were none of them could afford any Skynet victories.

    They ran.

    Sergeant Andre Sumner wondered if this was the end. They were in pretty much a wide open space with three endoskeletons hunting them. The endos were older models of the 600 Series, but they were still a superior force. They were armed for battle with the Gatling guns that were famous of their model number, but these weren’t firing the standard projectiles. These bastards were shooting at them with plasma bursts as hot as the fires of hell. Just one impact would rip through his body leaving a hole the size of a basketball that you could see through behind. Hell, with as many pulses as they were firing it’d probably just keep firing until there was nothing at all left behind.

    How he missed the bayou. Growing up in what was once Louisiana, Sumner had lived in a region that Skynet had blown the hell out of, but still had left behind some traces of civilization. Still he did have to contend with the animals that survived J-Day. For a long while the first generation of Hunter Killers had left the region alone; seeking instead to cleanse the Earth in more critical areas of importance to Skynet. When Skynet came, Sumner fought and eventually joined the Resistance. They lost territory frequently, but they gained. In recent years the tide had started to turn and the Resistance was gaining more and more spheres of control. Rumor had it that the bayou was once again liberated and, quite frankly, he longed to go home.

    In a sense that was what he was going to do. Sumner, Sayles, Reese, and Timms (well maybe not after today if Reese got his way) were going on a special mission for the Resistance. They were going to use some piece of captured technology to go back in time twenty years to before Judgment Day to fight Skynet there while Connor was nothing more than a kid. Maybe he’d get a chance to meet the famous Sarah Connor? He’d got to see the picture of her that Kyle Reese kept, but he too had hoped to get to meet her in the flesh. She was very pretty, but something told him that she wouldn’t have the time of day for anyone but her mission to stop Skynet. Hopefully this time, with his help, she’d succeed.

    That was if he succeeded in surviving this battle of course. The three machines were clustered together in a triangular formation. The two carrying the heavy guns were on the corners and the one with the flamethrower – Sumner thought he saw the colorings of a command droid – was in the center. It probably was a commander because of the weapon choice. Usually a leader was outfitted with a more personalized weapon to choose from because of its status. Their processor chips were set to allow them more freedom of thought. Skynet had reasonably determined that allowing its machines to think for themselves on the battlefield was a tactical advantage rather than a weakness. The chances of a defection were, after all, pretty slim when you thought about it.

    A cloud of fire expanded outward and tried to consume all three of the human soldiers as the machines continued pressing on. Like lightning plasma bursts sprang forth from the deadly firestorm. Sumner and the three others kept walking back until they finally hit something none had hoped for. They found the brick wall. They were going to be trapped if they didn’t think of something soon. Andre heard the electronic pulses as General Perry’s weapon discharged. The pulses slammed into the machine but the reinforced armor took the majority of the punishment. What they needed was a diversion that had the potential of helping them.

    Then it came to him. He spoke with a Lieutenant Dietze once about the tactical capabilities of Skynet’s forces. Dietze was specialist serving with one of the last Navy SEAL teams that had been in existence – they’d been assigned to the Jimmy Carter at the time of Judgment Day. They talked about the tactical capabilities of Skynet’s forces and they found that the 600 Series and the 800 Series were built out of different materials. The 600 Series armor wasn’t as strong as that of the 800 when exposed to extreme heat. The titanium of the 600 wasn’t as capable of keeping up with the metal used in the construction of the 800 – coltan he thought it was called.

    The flame unit that the command bot was using, if they could detonate it the fuel would ignite. It didn’t like a lot, but if the fuel were to catch on fire from a plasma discharge then the heat would be far more than that which the flamethrower itself could produce. The fire itself would be enough to potentially immobilize the machine long enough for them to take it on or at least cause significant enough damage that the machines couldn’t pursue anymore. But this wasn’t going to be easy.

    Watching closely he saw the machine go to ignite the fuel and fire upon them one more time. Targeting as quickly as he could he brought the barrel of his plasma rifle around and pointed it right at the muzzle of the flame unit. As the machine went to pull its trigger, Andre did the same. The plasma discharge of his gun crashed into the flamethrower right as it started to spew its deadly payload. The fire didn’t expand outward though. Instead the fires erupted into a ball as the gun exploded in its user’s hands. The plasma burst destroyed the hands of the machines at least and left it weaponless.

    But the extreme heat did exactly as it was supposed to. The first engulfed the trio of machines and caused them to have trouble with all of their functions. The heat was as hot as hell and the armor began to give way. Not wasting the opportunity, all three started to let loose with discharges from their own guns. The impacts of their guns weren’t like anything they’d expected. It sounded like rain hitting old aluminum awnings as each of the orbs of death cut into the tin cans. They fell back as more pulses ripped through them. What were once hunters had become the prey and the tables wouldn’t be turned again; the endoskeletons were destroyed.

    Perry looked at him for a second and smiled, “I’m gonna have to remember that one. Let’s move.”
  20. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

    Jun 26, 2001
    2001 - 2016
    Charles Fischer stared at the security sensor feeds from throughout his base. What was supposed to be his safe haven, somewhere that the humans could never infiltrate, had been overrun by the vermin. On one screen he watched as two six hundreds and a triple six were burned alive by a trio of humans including his sex toy: Lauren Fields. On another monitor he was watching as an endoskeleton futilely tried to knock down a reinforced security door. Then there was the last trio led by Lieutenant Derek Thomas Reese, a human he had the honor of exploring.

    None of them were as important as his last two specimens. On the large plasma display he was watching as Catherine Luna seemed to be slinking around his room looking through the cupboards, desk drawers, and shelves for something. He wanted to believe her but knew, deep down, that all of her catty actions were just to accomplish a goal. Most likely he’d walk into that room and she’d slit his throat or find the plasma pistol and melt him down. When it was all over he’d still get to have her. Skynet would kill her and he’d just bring her back like the Bride of Frankenstein.

    The most important of his toys was on the final monitor. Locked in the lab that the endoskeleton was adamantly trying to break into was Earl Wise – a Captain now according to the monitors and data Skynet had provided him with. Who would have ever thought that his greatest achievement would come crawling back for seconds? He typed on the keyboard attached to the bank of monitors and brought up the physiometric datafiles from the sensors of the room. Earl was doing quite well even for someone in his condition. Never had he thought the project would be that successful. Those files left behind by Serena were more than just the pie in the sky daydreams of a dying woman. Too bad she never got to see her dream come to fruition.

    On the tabletop Charles saw the target Skynet wanted – well rather she was next to it. Skynet wanted him to connect that woman to a computer terminal and get a full memory scan so that they could just pick and choose her memories. After that he’d get physiometric data and build an infiltrator body that he could send after the Resistance. That would be the perfect punishment for their having invaded his solitude. Maybe he’d really punish her first though? Maybe he’d only order her disabled and let her watch as the machines brought her son over to their side via a chip installed in his brain? That would teach her.

    That was a waste of resources though. It was possible that those idiots would somehow manage to overtake Skynet’s forces and simply rescue her. The team being led by Reese was, after all, perilously close to having found her. One of them was even breaking away from the group and he looked like he was hot on the trail of the soon to be victims. As Charles looked down at the tattoo on his arm that signified until the end of time they would soon realize just what that meant.

    From behind him one of the zombies approached. Not long ago this man, who still wore a Resistance armband, was fighting the good fight against Skynet. He and his team had made a wrong move and didn’t survive against the surface force. They killed them, well heavily disabled them, and brought them to the lab for interrogation and memory download into Skynet. It looked at the visuals playing out on the screens, it’s eyes obstructed by dark sunglasses.

    “Can I help you with something?” Fischer asked the hybrid.

    “Negative,” the machine answered in the voice of the body’s former owner. “I am processing information relating to these targets. Skynet has activated this unit as well as units 2 through 7 to engage the humans.”

    Fischer didn’t hide his apprehension because there was no way to. Skynet monitored everything going on and these particular zombies, as the humans called them, hadn’t even been tested yet. Was it really that bad? Skynet would only employ them if the defenses had been completely compromised.


    It came in an android body. The Infiltrator, which was surprisingly tall for an infiltrator, looked down at him. “What do you want, Mister Fischer?”

    “Why have these units been brought online?” Charles wanted to know just how bad it was.

    The machine tilted its head, “Strategic mission analysis has calculated a 73% probability that this base will fall into human hands. All assets are being redistributed in order to prevent loss of material during destruction sequence. Nonessential operations currently engaged in this location are terminated.”

    The human among the machines sighed, “I just got used to this place. Where we goin?”

    “You will not be accompanying us,” the infiltrator explained. “You will be assigned to a separate mission.”

    “What are you saying?”

    “You are to be sent back in time to complete a mission on my behalf,” explained the machine. “This unit will accompany you on a mission to terminate Resistance soldier Martin Bedell.”

    The former convict just shrugged, “Well I guess I get to go home again. Let’s get going. Is there anything I need to do to prepare?”

    “Negative,” the machine started for a door. “Follow.”

    “Lead on.”

    Captain Earl Wise was gritting his teeth so loudly that he was amazed that he hadn’t broken each of them. General Katherine Brewster as the machine had revealed to him was taking too long with whatever the hell it was she was doing. Skynet was beating down the door and the machine was about to break through. The stresses to the door were extreme and, somehow, he knew that it was about to give way. It was so bad that the door was actually denting in so much that it looked like the metal was trying to blow a bubble. She had to hurry.

    “I don’t mean to be a pest here Doc,” Earl shouted, “but we’re getting a friend in a second.”

    “I’m working as fast as I can,” she looked at the display screens reading over her son’s vitals. “This isn’t like taking a walk through a park. It requires a lot of attention to do this right and I’m learning as I go how to operate this equipment.”

    Earl looked at her disgusted, “I don’t care, Ma’am, if you don’t hurry I’m going to have to do something rather rash to keep us all alive. Please don’t make me have to make that choice.”

    She looked at the readings, “You’re not going to have to. These nanites are finally reprogrammed. I’ve shut down their connections to Skynet. Moe can you confirm it for me?”

    The older Model (he’d learned it was an 850) approached the terminal workstation leaving him alone to guard the door. The deafening sounds of the robot pounding against the door were driving him mad. The adrenaline was coursing through his body like a drug and, despite his chances, Earl wanted to fight. Earlier today he’d survived hand to hand combat against a Series 900 endoskeleton. He was ready for anything. Based upon his earlier success most likely the T-800 trying to break through the door to kill them would be a walk in the park.

    Wise didn’t really believe that. His surviving against the nine hundred was just a fluke or, like the defense grid, some elaborate Skynet plot to test him for some misbegotten reason. Skynet had got him here and Charles Fischer was somewhere inside the walls of this base, the 800 would just take him to the tormenter and that’d be it. No more deus ex machina, only letum ex machine – death from the machine. Not before more torture though. He let out a long breath as another impact was leveled by the enemy machine. This one managed to puncture the door and leave a gaping hole.

    Instead of continuing its onslaught, the enemy machine bent down and looked through the hole it’d just made. The red eyes of the machine were free to scan the entire room without obstruction as Earl just watched. It was almost like something out of a film. Earl half expected it to say something clever like ‘hidey ho’, ‘how you doin’’, or maybe even ‘here’s Johnny!’ The machine just watched then pulled away. A second later its metal arm shot through the opening and bended to a 90 degree angle. It began to pull at the steel slab that was once a door trying to break it free. All of its power was going into the struggle.

    “The door will give way in seven seconds,” informed the guardian as it monitored the data on the screen.

    Wise was shocked, “Well don’t you think you should goddamn well be coming over to help me then?”

    The sound of the struggling gears was distinctive. The Cyberdyne Systems Model One oh One seemed uncaring, “My work here takes precedence.”

    “Not if the machine kills,” his sentence was interrupted by the sound of four plasma pulses hitting the machine trying to break down the splintering door. From outside they could hear the sound of men’s boots hitting the ground and the hyperalloy combat chassis collapsing to the ground. In its death throes the tin can struggled to regain its footing; its servos crying out in pain. Three men could be seen through the small portal that the machine had made while trying to rip away the barrier. From their guns each fired another of the pulses which tore into the metal monster. The light of their beams brightened even the exam room through the small hole. One of the fighters broke away from their target and peered through the hole just as the robot had just done. Wise was relieved to see a familiar face.

    He had to say it, “Here’s Johnny!”

    The Corporal smiled, “That’s my name; don’t you dare wear it out.”

    For the first time in his young life Scott Mason had perfect clarity inside his mind, or at least for the first time that he could remember. For him there was nothing but peace and tranquility reigning supreme. For him there was no war, no death, and certainly no destruction. Earth was once again at peace and he was able to live a normal life doing things that a normal kid his age did. Instead of field stripping an assault rifle he was playing baseball with his friends. Rather than dodging an HK Aerial’s scanning beam he was sitting in a movie theatre watching a movie with his girl. In the place of scrounging for trash he was eating a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with his family.

    This is the life he should have led; this was the life that he longed to have. Anyone of the humans that still remained would have killed for the chance of living this even for a day. Hell, a half a day. As he reveled in the peace something started to chance. Scott was beginning to wake back up. He could feel himself letting go of the world he wanted and he was being forced back into the reality he was forced to live with. Thanksgiving dinners, movies with a girl, baseball with friends, each of them faded away and returned to the dream world they existed in.

    Scott’s eyes opened to the beautiful face of his mother and, in a sense, his commanding officer. He could see it in her eyes that she was afraid; but there was no need. He was alive and that was all that mattered. It had to count for something. He forced himself to sit upward and felt her hand rest on his shoulder. Moe stood at the foot of the bed working some alien looking computer console. Around them there were four Resistance soldiers that looked like they’d seen better days. Then there was the room itself. Filled with technology it couldn’t be a Resistance outpost.

    “Where am I?” Scott gasped.

    “A Skynet base,” his mother admitted, “We brought you here to use the technology to save you.”

    A million questions raced through his head and the first one was a practical one, “Where’s my gun?”

    “Same old Scott,” his mother teased him. “Moe, is the sequence complete?”

    “Affirmative,” the bulky machine confirmed. “The nanites are deactivating and they will be absorbed into the bloodstream.”

    From the door, as he worked to bring down the barricade with the rest of the Horsemen, Earl Wise spoke up. “Maybe we can celebrate that by getting the hell out of here? Just a suggestion.”

    “Sounds good to me,” General Brewster agreed. “Moe, help them get the door.”

    “Affirmative,” the guardian machine left to assist leaving the mother and son to reconnect. It pretty much ignored the humans and started to pull against the door on its own. Within ten seconds it’d managed to rip the door out of place using the damage caused by the predecessor. “We must leave this place immediately.”

    From the hallway Derek Reese came through the broken down door. The Lieutenant was confident, cool, and collected from the outside; but inside he was still a wreck. His grip was tight around the phased plasma rifle as he found the General, “I couldn’t agree with the machine more. I’m Lieutenant Derek Thomas Reese of the 132nd. General Perry sent me here to evacuate you and your son.” He added in the mention of her son.

    “Is Perry still here?” She asked helping Scott off the table – even though he didn’t need her help.

    Derek nodded, “He’s here to extradite another Resistance soldier who was captured by the name of Luna. He led the team to find her.”

    “We need to find him and get out of here,” she said assuredly.

    “I concur with that assessment,” said the guardian with his Austrian intonation. “I have been in contact with the Skynet mind via passive communication pings. The base’s autodestruct protocols have been activated. We do not have much time.”

    Eduardo Timms spoke up, “Then we should make tracks.”

    Earl Wise stepped through the portal and into the hallway. Ushering the others out of the chamber his eyes were directed down the hall to an empty space that he saw. Something shimmered among the wall, but now it looked normal. Spinning his hand he urged them all to speed up and get out of the room as quickly as possible. The last one to leave was Reese.

    The former leader of the Four Horsemen rested a hand on his friend’s shoulder, “Good to see you again.”

    “Likewise,” Earl answered Derek. “I was worried about you after that Nine Hundred got a hold of you; I thought you were dead for certain.” Somehow the Captain knew that Derek was worse off than he seemed. His injuries were more severe that he was letting on.

    “Hard to keep me down,” Reese teased. “If I were any more stubborn I’d be made of metal. We’ll reminisce later. We need to get out of here before Skynet sends more drones after us or before we blow up in the destruct sequence.”

    Captain Wise looked back down the hallway and knew that he wasn’t meant to go with them. He shook his head, “Sorry my friend but that’s not my destiny.”

    “What the hell are you talking about?”

    “The answers I want,” Earl had trouble talking for the first time in his life, “the answers I need are here. I have to find them. Take care of my team, Lieutenant Reese, they’re yours again. Now, I order you to leave. No discussions, no questions, just get the hell out of here and make sure that the General survives.”

    Derek Reese couldn’t believe what he was being told. Of all the stupid, idiotic decisions that someone could make why would they willingly want to stay in a soon to be destroyed building? Where was the logic? They needed everyone in this war especially now. “You have to come with us.”

    “Not my destiny,” Earl challenged him, “Don’t follow me.” With that Captain Wise ran down the corridor toward the answers he desperately sought. Everything inside of him, every fiber of his being, hoped and prayed that this wasn’t a wild goose chase.

    Left behind, Lieutenant Reese shook his head in astonishment as his friend ran to the gallows.