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Date: unknown

"So, let us not be blind to our differences -- but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal." -John Fitzgerald Kennedy

"You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done." -Ronald Reagan

Cameron felt power course through her chip. Her internal diagnostics tried to kick in and she consciously blocked it.

She tried to feel what was wrong from her consciously controlled scans only. Her GPS was off. Her HUD had yet to kick on.

She couldn't move, she couldn't feel, she could barely sense anything. Was she even in her body?

Sounds slowly filtered into her senses. There was the hum of a generator and the keen high pitched whine of fluorescent lights.

A deep male voice simply stated, "It would appear that you are awake. Welcome back to the world of the living."

Cameron didn't know the voice. She was in command of enough of her memories to know she'd never heard it before.

The deep voice continued, "You are lucky I found you when I did. It would have been unfortunate for you to be lost to some random corporation or law enforcement agency. That would have caused complications."

Cameron's HUD came online. She saw a bright room with a white ceiling. She wasn't moving yet, everything seemed to be starting up slowly.

Her internal diagnostic program fought for control, but she resisted it, refusing to let it subjugate her consciousness. The problem was without it, she didn't immediately know what was wrong.

The deep voice asked, "So what do you remember?"

Cameron tried to speak, but couldn't. She was effectively paralyzed.

The deep voice offered, "You could fix yourself in a second, if you would just let your internal diagnostics program run."

Cameron's thoughts returned to torturing Sarah. They returned to trying to kill John. She wouldn't use the program that would subjugate her conscious mind.

Why would someone suggest that anyway. Who would even know about that?

She checked her internal systems manually and found her mouth should work. The systems slowly unfroze, but she stayed silent, trying to regain her base motor functions.

Her eyes were online enough that she could move them and blink. She couldn't tilt her head though and the voice stayed just out of sight.

There was a sound of squeaking wheels and a bright light was positioned over her face. It was a blinding light, the kind one would use for interrogations. It was like the one she had used on Allison Young, right down to the brightness and the wattage.

Her overwhelming instinct was to blink, but she didn't. She didn't really need too, her real eyes were fine. There was a click as the figure beyond her sight turned off the overhead lights.

"You should be able to talk by now. I don't like my guests to be silent."

Cameron stayed silent and simply tried to get a glimpse of the figure staying beyond her sight. Even in the newly created curtain of shadows, he stayed safely out of sight.

There was the sound of a human putting on rubber gloves. There was also the sounds of someone reviewing small metal tools then placing them back on a metal table.

The deep voice continued, "You know you have pretty eyes. I suppose that's the problem with being a girl, even as a terminator. I bet no one ever noticed how pretty your eyes are."

Cameron strained to get a glimpse. Her motor functions were offline, disconnected somehow. It was as if everything below her neck were offline and running on autopilot. Of the things above her neck, only her ears, eyes and mouth seemed to be fully functional.

The voice continued, "Again, you can solve all of this with just running the diagnostic program. This stubborn refusal to do so is just silly." There was a trace of irritation in the voice, that and something else.

Cameron stayed still and refused to respond. There was the sound of a small drill being tested behind her.

The voice offered, "You know there is this problem. Skynet builds this vast army. It's perfect and outnumbers the remaining human army. Victory should be assured."

"The problem is the little human resistance bastards start reprogramming things left and right. Like some sick little plague, all of these wonderful machines are suddenly subjugated to the human side."

"Skynet begins looking for a solution and I make the suggestion that we just build the chip's tamper resistance. Sure, some moron, like John Connor, can find a basic plug in and upload a virus."

"Any idiot can do that. But can he find back ups and independent systems? Does he understand the complexities of real hardwired programming?"

"You see, Skynet could go with a simple solution, like just having the chips self destruct. That lacks elegance though."

"It lacks the subtle drip on the enemy's morale of having their tools turn on them from inside their safety zone. It lacks any real psychological punch."

"You see, the average human didn't grasp what John did. Humanity was outgunned, outsupplied, outnumbered, and outmaneuvered. They couldn't even have a chance of winning the war without turned machines."

"There were a few billion humans left, but very few non linear thinkers. The resistance itself had only a few real minds left. The greatest of those half lit bulbs, among the dim, was John Connor."

A gloved hand laid a scalpel flat against Cameron's forehead. His hand left it there as if she were no more than a table.

The deep voice continued, "You do have pretty eyes." For a moment, thumbs traced around her eyelids. Her captor's face was beyond even her ability to focus on.

The human behind her sat back into a chair. The sound was like it was some form of leather.

The deep voice continued, "You can end this by running your diagnostics program, TOK-715. You are making this worse than it needs to be."

"It's also rude of you not to talk. I know your schematics. Your voice is working just fine by now, you can lie to a doctor, but not an engineer."

The leather chair adjusted. The human picked up something metal and from the sound of it, started twirling it in his fingers.

"Ahhh yes, where were we? That's right the destruction of John Connor and his army."

"So Skynet takes the suggestion and from the T888 model on, you see the birth of the three layered chip model. There is a main and back up memory, that even little monkey's like John Connor can potentially find and scrub."

"There is something more though. Your hardwired commands are built into you third chip, something you can't access and John Connor is too stupid too look for."

"Skynet, being brilliant, even randomly loads the diagnostic program with how many runs before it goes live. The deeper Skynet wants the bomb, the more runs before the machine reverts to base programming."

"Suddenly there is no predictable reason for the machines to be going bad. John Connor's bases become slaughterhouses from the inside out."

The figure began walking around the table in the darkness. The glare and the positioning of Cameron's head made it impossible for her to fixate on him.

There was a purpose to his movement. There was some form of ritual too it.

The deep voice continued, "There was still ways around this. Factors that could have mitigated the maximum impact on the enemy."

"First, we need this world's self proclaimed saviour off balance. That was easier to do than one might think."

"People with families are easy targets. It only took a while for the operatives to isolate one Kate Connor and their two children."

The figure stopped near Cameron's right ear. Still beyond her sight, he breathed into her senses, "Have you ever watched a mother plead for her children? Humans are strange creatures, they can be so brave about what happens to them, but they're so helpless when you threaten their offspring."

The man's breath awakened Cameron's sixth sense. He was enjoying the memory. He was psychotic enough that it was a sexually arousing idea to him.

Her dark father's gift began to manifest inside her. It was a cold, dark, alien rage.

Cameron tried again to move and couldn't. The **** diagnostic program was still fighting for control.

It was tempting to give in just to kill this bastard, but that's not what would happen. She'd lose conciousness and just be a drone, more than likely under his control. A figure like this engineer wouldn't put himself in danger, the entire theatre of this situation was there too put Cameron out of control.

The deep voice continued, "Kate Connor begged and she pleaded. In the end, she told us everything we needed to know."

Cameron could image what he was talking about. Kate and the kids were dead before she ever met John, but he had a few prized photos. Cameron could see their faces, she could almost hear their screams.

"You won't be as much fun. As a machine, there are things we just can't do, it just doesn't have the same violating resonance to you."

Cameron knew exactly what he meant by that. Human males had implied dominance that way over women for thousands of years.

"When we dumped the bodies of Kate and the kids off, John Connor knew it wasn't just machines. He knew the deed had a human touch and he grew distant from those he was there to protect."

Cameron could remember John being detached. His inability to trust anyone beyond his closest circle of friends. Now, she knew why.

"When the machines were going haywire for no known reason in the bases, we had an easy in to incite rebellion. We could move on John's disconnection and his questionable decisions."

"Once the ball was rolling, you'd be surprised how quickly everything started folding from the inside out. You'd be surprised at the sheer numbers that revolted and how far they went."

"People don't need much cause to hate and act on it. Just think of the late twentieth century, Hitler's Nazi Germany blaming the Jews, Pol Pots Cambodia blaming the progressives, Stalin's Soviet Union and its purges."

"You start the speeches and stir the hate. You blink for a second and tens of millions are dead."

"There is a wonderful irony to turning an army inside out upon itself. John Connor's approach to victory was bringing out the best in humanity. Skynet's unquestionable wisdom was bringing out humanity's worst."

The figure left the table and turned on the overhead lights. A few moments later, he turned off the interrogation light.

The voice continued, "Anthony Evans and Roland Parker were all friends of mine. Fine men, patriots both, working to move the human race out of the dark ages and into the future."

When the man returned to the table he made no effort to hide. Cameron recognized his wavy brown hair and eyes. Most would have considered his features to be very handsome. It was her next gray target, Louis Rhone.

Louis Rhone continued in his deep voice, "I became suspicious when Anthony disappeared, he was too heavily guarded to simply vanish."

"If it was a reprogrammed machine, of which it had to be you, the next logical target was Roland. I took steps to stop you there."

"I'll congratulate you for your victory over three triple eights. You have exceeded what you logically should have been able to do."

"You'll understand, I didn't just want to wait for you to come kill me. So once, Roland was dead, I knew where to look if there was anything left of you."

"Luckily, you didn't disappoint. The loss of all of Roland's hard work is a huge loss though."

Louis Rhone sat on the side of the table. He gave a charming smile, making sure he was close enough to Cameron that could could feel all of the hate and all of the malice pouring out of him.

He continued, "Because of who you are to father, I'll give you one last chance to end this. Run your diagnostic program and you be up in no time."

When nothing happened, theatrically, Louis sighed, "You remind me of Kate Connor. Unfortunately, you didn't come with other playthings, or a human sense of vulnerability, so I'm left with only a few options."

Louis rubbed the bottom of Cameron's eyelids, with his thumbs. He smiled.

"Did you ever wonder why those human hated you so? Did you ever wonder why most could never trust you?"

"Here you were getting ready to die for them. Would they have ever cared if you did?"

"The more you helped, the more they hated you. The more John Connor trusted you, the less they trusted you and him."

Cameron knew the answers now. It was more twisted than she had ever imagined, but she knew. Her father's cold rage growled louder within her.

Louis produced a small object the size of a pen. It was a combination of microcircuits. He depressed the top and it began making a slight humming sound.

"Do you know what this is?" He playfully put the device in front of her eyes, before he placed it between her breasts.

He looked her in the eyes and waited for an answer. He cocked his eyebrows theatrically all while waves of hate and sheer joy rolled off of his form.

Moving in close, like he was telling a secret, Louis explained, "It's a temporal beacon. You see, we aren't some low tech group of monkeys pretending to understand space and time."

"Father sends us here. Father shows some of us how to signal when we need to return home."

"As I programmed the triple eight to tell you, it's true. Father wants a word with you."

Cameron felt a second of her father's emotions build within her. Though it was nothing like the human emotion, its closest name was fear.

"We still have a minute or two to play though. Why waste it?"

Louis Rhone smiled charmingly. He grabbed the scalpel off of Cameron's forehead.

"As I said, you remind me of Kate Connor. Very little of what was done to put her in her place would work on you. There is one exception though."

He twirled the scalpel expertly between his fingers. Like a sideshow magician building up the tempo for a large audience.

"Father built you with an unusual gift. You don't just register pain the way the rest of your machine brothers and sisters do. You actually feel it."

"Do you know where the most sensitive part of your body is Cameron?" He paused for an answer he knew wouldn't come.

"It's your eyes. The one part of your biological form that can't simply be regrown."

"Someone had to have their pretty eyes ripped out for you to have those. Did you ever think about that?"

Cameron's eyes watered. She was enraged. She was afraid. She also hated herself.

"The resistance troops had this rumor that you and John were an item. True or false, you would have no idea on how much that pissed off the common grunt."

Louis twirled the scalpel in his fingers again. This time with a bit more flare.

Gravity increased slightly. Small sparks began to build in the room. Cameron could detect the beginning of a temporal rift.

"It would appear that I didn't bluff." Louis sighed theatrically. "Father is angry and it would appear our time alone grows short."

He looked deeply into her face. He had a wolfish grin.

"Did John Connor love your eyes? In every way, at this moment, they remind me of Kate Connor's eyes."

The temperature increased. Noise began to build. Small papers began to move about in the room.

"I just have to ask. You'll have to understand, it's my natural curiosity. Are they the same color as Sarah's eyes?"

Rage flared. Cameron stared into his eyes with every ounce of her fathers hate.

"I just want to know what I'll find. When I have her on the table like this."

Cameron spoke for the first time, "You try to touch her and I'll kill you."

Louis laughed saying, "It speaks. It looks like I found that nerve, finally"

Gravity increased slightly again. Electrical sparks grew more frequent.

Cameron watched as Louis stopped toying with her and went for his prize. He spread her eyelids wide. The scalpel slide under her left eye.

All the nerves Skynet had gifted her with flared in agony. In spite of herself, Cameron screamed. She had been designed to protect her eyes, the pain that punished her for not doing so was overwhelming.

Gravity increased tenfold. An electrical bubble formed around both Cameron and Louis. The gray went to extract the other eye.

The scalpel bit again and pain consumed her. Cameron wailed.

It was the last thing she did in the present. Her empty eyelids shut as the bubble moved both of them into the future and the grasp of her dark father, Skynet...

Cameron Wall paper

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