Camelot Rising


Camelot Rising

Avila Beach, California
Serrano Point Nuclear Power Plant
May 2nd, 2027

"The major advances in civilization are processes that all but wreck the societies in which they occur." -Alfred North Whitehead

"I've... learned that it's a hell of a lot easier to just build something than to try to convince somebody who doesn't believe it's possible." -Paul Baran, father of the Internet architecture

Eighty seven survivors had moved out of the rat tunnels into the obfuscated protection of Serrano Point Nuclear Power station. They moved into an area with controlled temperature, clean running water, years of supplies, and electric power.

All of this protected by Catherin Weavers master stroke of logic. The facility maintained a series of points the machine resistance would need anyway. The systems long put in place by her sub-company Automite Systems, took full advantage of Skynet's own prejudices to exist right under the machine god's nose.

Serrano Point simply had suffered in Skynet's eyes a long, logical progressive loss of power. As it did, its use had deteriorated and Skynet's will to pay attention to or militarily occupy a working facility still providing its quota of power waned.

Thus, since the facility was providing what it should, Skynet left it alone. Second, there was no reason to suspect indigenous use of power at the facility.

Eighty seven human survivors disappeared underground to a working twenty first century facility. No satellite tracked them and no enemy pursued them.

The first problem was the human medical and sanitary issues. Most had to be taught how to bathe and take care of their teeth once again. There was the strange concept of reintroducing the use of a toilet. Once the was taken care of there were the problems of: lice, crabs, trench foot, hard dental issues, random bacteria, viruses, radiation exposure, improperly cared for wounds, minor infections, and internal organ damage from exposure to severely contaminated water supplies.

Catherine Weaver had assigned each human to a T-888. There was a logical reason behind it. She needed them to be able to trust certain units, to see machines as something other than the enemy.

The survivors were given private rooms. They were given food and clean clothes. They were instructed that they'd be taught anything they wanted to know, when they were ready. In this, what remained of humanity was given a second chance.

Cameron noted there was also a certain alien heartlessness about it. There was something wrong with the whole process. The machines were screwing it up somehow.

Soldiers that Cameron recognized seemed downtrodden and broken. In this timeline, much of that had been on there faces before coming here.

However, even in this nicer facility with conveniences and care they hadn't know since 2011, they seemed worse for wear. They somehow seemed to be not better off.

It was a quiet equation. Whatever they were missing was something unaccounted for, but it was confirmed every time Cameron examined a patient.

They were stressed and plagued by something in their eyes that Cameron had never seen before. Like a joke they wouldn't get, Cameron knew something was wrong, but couldn't understand what.

Cameron found herself wishing for John Connor and Major General Perry. They would have known what too do. They always knew what to do.

Sure, there was a young version of John Connor here. However, her twin sister's John Connor hadn't found himself yet. He was all sparks of hope, yet no consistant fire.

He was somehow much less than the younger John she had left behind. He was light years behind the first John Connor that Cameron had known.

In a quiet underspoken way, everything was wrong. Nothing seemed right.

It all made Cameron think back to the scrawled message Louis Rhone had written after goading her into crossing timelines as a trap. The message simply read, "Checkmate". Cameron could feel the losing game, but couldn't understand all the whys yet.

Cameron spent the night wandering the halls and watching people milling about in place. From their eyes, you'd never be able to tell they weren't at a Skynet Death camp.

Compared to the utter horror of a real Skynet Death camp, this metaphor should have been a crude joke. Yet, there it was.

So, Cameron wandered the halls of Serrano Point and thought about the issue. As she did, her canine stalker, followed her around wherever she went.

She was already regretting the bright idea of making him. She found the liquid metal dog annoying.

Coltan boldly crashed himself in front of her. In some simulated version of AI dog logic, he seemed to wish to force a response from her.

He rolled over onto his belly. He then purred like a cat. That was a loud, throaty, seventy two pound cat.

Coltan was likely to be one of the sadder moments of AI history. A poor impression of artificial intelligence grasping something from the human world and then clearly not getting it, then making it real.

It was a permanent mistake. It was an inevitable verbal gaff that would last forever.

Cameron refused to pet the AI. She simply responded, "You've got issues." John Henry would simply have to figure out a way to fix the liquid metal dog.

The dog cocked his head to the side. He made a confused animal sound.

Cameron walked around the artificial canine dog. Sadly, predictably, Coltan continued stalking her.

Moments later, Cameron rounded a corner and saw her twin coming the other direction. There was a brief moment where she thought of saying the cliche of great minds think alike. However, she looked at her twin's face and understood her sister's mood.

No, it wasn't a time to attempt to say something funny. It would have been inappropriate.

Cameron simply waited for her approach and matched speed. Coltan kept up the rear.

When two beings have the same name there is a chance to be confusing. Nicknames were usually an accepted social answer.

Cameron decided on a nickname in a nanosecond. She simply asked, "What's on your mind, Cam?"

Her twin simply responded, "John."

Cameron quipped, "I see, the simple stuff. What about John?"

"He seems to have developed an interest in the human we were templated from."

"So is this a jealousy thing or a guilt thing?"

"I don't feel emotions."

Cameron gave her sister the Sarah look. She stated, "I hear what your selling and I'm not buying it."

Like it or not, her twin now had all the same programming, memories, and physical traits she did. Further, she had the same Skynet based emotional programming prior to this.

Her twin failed to respond. She simply attempted to wipe whatever emotion she had from her face.

Cameron added in, "We can't change what we've done, but we can make up for it. There isn't any reason for harm to come to this timeline's version of Allison."

Her twin grimly observed, "She dies when this timeline makes its version of us."

Cameron countered, "The facility we were made at is destroyed, so no. Further, there is no John Connor in this timeline for Father to choose that model for. She is in danger, because of the times, not because of us."

"Perhaps as an act of contrition this Allison should be with John."

"You really haven't accessed all of your data files on this problem yet have you Cam?"

Cam replied, "Yes, I have."

"Then who is Allison with in this timeline, just like the others we've been in?"

Cam admitted, "I don't know."

Cameron offered, "I'll give you a few hints. He's never trusted you. He's known you since the time you were first converted by John and he's spent a lot of time wanting you to be ripped apart bolt by bolt."

Her twin simply guessed, "Derek?"

"Yep, there is a reason he's always hated us. We gave him one very good one."

"I thought Derek was with Jesse."

Cameron clairfied, "Jesse talked him out of having a gun in his mouth. The loss of Kyle and Allison was the reason he put the gun in his mouth. Derek had a rough kind of rebound with Jesse, even by human standards."

"So you think Allison wants to be with Derek?"

"I'd hope so, she's in the first trimester of being pregnant with his child." This information was a change to the time line. Allison hadn't been for Cameron's creation or that of her twin, not yet anyway.

"How do you know?"

"You forget, I did all the medical examinations. The T-888s we have are medically proficient, but their bedside manner is lacking."

"Standard medical examinations don't tell you who a father is."

"Standard medical examinations don't normally include a genetic diagnostic with nanotechnology either. We're going to be using that a bit more as we try to limit some of the damage radiation and heavy metal contamination has done to this generation."

Cameron's twin looked at her. Cameron looked back at an earlier, much less sure version of herself. What she was before she truly became one with her family.

Perhaps, that was the equation missing so much. Not just from her twin sister, but eighty seven souls now here.

Perhaps, Cameron could start solving the issue in the morning. She'd follow the faith that Perry had.

Since this John wasn't ready to lead. We'd find that critical human leadership in Perry's chosen successor, a man named Derek Reese...

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