Chapter 06: Into The Void

Terminator: Dawn Of A New Hope

Chapter 06: Into The Void

The light became brighter and brighter in an instant, burning deep into John’s eyes. He closed them tightly in a futile attempt to block the overwhelming light, but it was useless; the light continued to burn straight through his eyelids with a remarkable intensity. He cuddled closer into Cameron as he felt his body begin to heat up. The heat consumed him entirely until he suddenly felt as if he were literally on fire; he felt as if he could just give up and die under the intense heat and pain he was undergoing.

Moments later the heat began to dissipate, the bright white in his eyes was replaced with a calm darkness. John could feel softness under his bare feet; it didn’t belong to the hard wooden flooring of the library, but the cold outdoors. He slowly opened his eyes to be met with Cameron’s bare chest.
John jumped back noticing he too was naked; he quickly covered his groin with both hands.

“John, what are you doing?” asked Cameron turning to him, fully exposed.

“Being modest,” replied John his eyes making a desperate attempt to evade Cameron’s naked body.

She looked at him raising her right eyebrow; mimicking his actions from the library.

“Cam... most people don’t stand in the middle of nowhere completely naked,” said John.

“Most people?” asked Cameron.

John went to open his mouth, but instead just resorted to shaking his head at her.

“It doesn’t matter.”

They were suddenly interrupted by a dim light emanating from behind; as well as a loud noise.

“What the hell is going on out here?!”

John frantically turned his head to get a good look at his surroundings. He noticed that behind them stood a small house with a swimming pool not too far away from its door. In front were a set of small bushes with a gate positioned in the middle; then it hit him, like a ton of bricks. They were in someone’s backyard.
He turned back to the house to see that someone had emerged from the inside; they had flicked on a small torch and began to pan it across the garden in an attempt to locate the source of the commotion. He quickly grabbed Cameron’s arm; completely forgetting they were both naked and made a violent dash for the gate at the end of the garden.
Upon processing their predicament Cameron immediately took control on the situation by detaching herself from John and taking the lead; once they arrived at the gate Cameron forcefully pushed it open knocking it off its hinges and landing on the muddy soil below. They both darted down a sidewalk running parallel to the house and around the corner before taking cover in a nearby alley.
They both stopped as they became fully submerged within the darkness of the damp alley; John rested himself against the cold wall in an attempt to regain his breath and slow his heart. Cameron just stood like a statue staring at John curiously; who quickly covered up his groin once again upon noticing this.

“We must find clothes,” said Cameron as John’s breath began slowing to normality.

“You’re telling me,” replied John.

Cameron diverted her eyes from John and fixed them on an unknown location in the neighbouring street.

“What are you looking at?” asked John.

“There are clothes located in the store over there, we must acquire the clothes immediately,” replied Cameron.

“What! You can’t just break into a store, what if you trigger the alarm?” exclaimed John.

“John... most people don’t stand in the middle of nowhere completely naked,” said Cameron copying John’s voice and smiling.

“This is no time for games Cam,” said John frustratingly.

“Well... wadda we have here?”

Both John and Cameron instantly snapped their heads to the location of three dark figures staggering closer to them.

“Looks like a couple of strays.”

The figures moved closer into view; they were three young men all of which over six feet tall and very heavily built; possibly friends from a sports team. Though it was dark, John could see they were of course fully clothed in a variation of designer jeans and shirts. All three were carrying what looked to be a glass bottle wrapped in a brown paper bag. Cameron quickly glanced over at John who gave a subtle nod, and turned to the men after processing his gesture.

“Holy shit dude! Look at her gut,” said one of the men pointing at Cameron’s wound.

The stab wound on Cameron’s stomach from earlier was still leaking a small amount of blood which had started trickling down her leg. The wound itself had now been encased with a layering of darker coagulated blood; making it appear more prominent.

“Guess this one likes a little pain,” said another as he moved in closer to Cameron.

“C’mon little girl, we don’t bite.”

Seconds after that comment, Cameron grabbed the man by his shirt and threw him into the wall like a ragdoll rendering him unconscious. The remaining two quickly ran over to aid their friend before locking onto Cameron; rage illuminating from their faces. They leapt to their feet and one attempted to strike Cameron with his bottle, but Cameron countered and landed a crushing right hook to his face knocking him to the floor.
Before the remaining friend could decide whether to fight or run Cameron answered for him with a kick to the stomach sending him staggering backwards, tripping over one of his friends. Cameron pursued the remaining man as he made a desperate struggle to crawl away from the onslaught, but found himself in a headlock seconds later.

“Don’t kill him,” shouted John.

Cameron looked over at John and dropped the man to the ground; leaving him motionless.

“He isn’t dead, just unconscious,” replied Cameron.

“Good,” said John letting out a small sigh of relief.

“C’mon let’s get outta here,” he added as he moved over to one of the men and began removing his shirt.

Cameron copied his actions and began stripping the man she just recently chocked. They hastily changed into their newly acquired clothes.

“We must go now,” said Cameron as she finished buttoning up the shirt.

John looked at her and couldn’t help but let out a quiet laugh; she was wearing a white, patterned long-sleeve shirt evidently miles too large for her frame. The shirt itself almost came down to her knees, and the sleeves had completely submerged both her hands.
The jeans looked as if they would fall straight to the ground with any wrong movement; luckily she was able to fasten them into a more secure position with the help of a brown belt. Though it didn’t help the length since the jeans completely covered her feet and trailed off just in front of her; making movement slightly problematic. John didn’t look much better in his new outfit; similarly to Cameron he too was completely out of frame for both the shirt and the jeans though not to the extreme extent of Cameron.

“Where are we gonna go?” asked John.

“We need to find somewhere to stay, preferably with internet access,” replied Cameron.

“Why do we need...” said John, pausing at the touch of something cold and metallic in his pocket.

He removed the object to reveal a set of car keys.

“Driving while intoxicated is tactically dangerous,” said Cameron as she examined the keys.

“Yeah, well that doesn’t stop some people,” replied John.

“Let’s see if their truck is around here,” he added as he made his way out of the alley to the left where men originally came from.

Cameron followed close behind as they exited the alley and emerged onto the sidewalk they originally came from when making their naturist escape. Cameron glanced across the street at their surroundings; dead ahead laid a variety of small stores including a mini mart, liquor store and a drugs store. Further up the street stood a small residential estate, evidently the stores ahead were built as a local convenience for the residents.
On either side of the street they noticed a small number of cars were parked up against the sidewalk.

“There is a 91% probability that the key belongs to this car,” said Cameron pointing at a Ford Mustang parked a few yards from where they were standing.

“How can you know that Cam? I know you’re like this super advanced terminator, but you can’t be psychic,” said John taking out the keys to examine them.

“The keys belong to a Ford model, this vehicle is the only Ford in the immediate area,” explained Cameron.

John rolled his eyes as he hit the small unlock button on the keys; sure enough he saw the lights flash belonging to the Mustang flash on and off indicating it was now unlocked. He felt a sudden rush of embarrassment especially when he noticed Cameron’s cheeky little grin.

“No one likes a smart ass,” said John playfully.

“It wasn’t smart, just observation,” replied Cameron not fully understanding John’s meaning.

“It’s just an expression Cam,” he added.

Cameron didn’t make any response to his explanation; instead she just made her way to the vehicle and entered. John hurriedly caught up with her and assumed his usual position in the passenger’s seat; he handed the keys over to her and she started up the engine.

“So you say we need to find a place to stay yeh... with internet access?” asked John.

“Correct,” replied Cameron.

“Only places we could try are hotels,” said John.

“Yes, this would be the most logical decision. According to my database there is a hotel known as the Best Western Dragon Gate Inn located approximately 4.6 miles away,” explained Cameron.

“I know that place, I went there once as a kid. Not a smart move,” replied John.

“Why?” asked Cameron.

“Well for a start you’re covered in cuts and you have a stab wound to your stomach. Plus we will need to provide ID when we check-in,” explained John.

“Our best chance is a cheap motel that just takes cash at the counter, I can check us in while you wait in the car,” he added.

Cameron turned to John and nodded before conducting a quick scan.

“The closest establishment fitting your description is Motel Alcova, located approximately 6.8 miles due east,” said Cameron.

John nodded as Cameron quickly performed a U-Turn and proceeded round the crossroad in front.

“Hang on a minute,” said John glancing at Cameron.

“We have no money, how are we supposed to pay for this?” he added.

Cameron didn’t reply; instead she started shifting her head slowly from left to right observing the area as she drove. She abruptly stopped the car in the middle of the street, eyes fixed on a small store to her right.

“Cameron what are you doing?” asked John worryingly.

“Wait here,” replied Cameron as she flung open the door and began to make her way to the store.

John pressed his face up against the window in order to get a good look at what she was doing. He watched as she walked up the wall on the left hand side of the store’s entrance; she made a sudden movement. John’s eyes widened as he watched a series of electrical sparks extrude from the wall, followed by a loud crashing sound. He frantically exited the car and ran to Cameron’s location.

“What the hell are you doing?!” exclaimed John angrily.

“Acquiring money,” replied Cameron.

John saw that to her left laid a damaged piece of machinery; sparks randomly escaping from within. Upon examining it closer he found it was what used to be an operating terminal for an ATM, until Cameron ripped it from the wall. He turned back to her to see she was now holding a large wad of money; presumably being stored behind the ATM.

“Okay we need to get out of here before someone sees us,” said John as he hastily ran back to the car.

“Affirmative,” replied Cameron as she followed.

They clambered inside the car tossing the cash on the backseat and quickly made their getaway.

“Cam you could’ve told me what you were doing ya know,” said John softly.

“I’m sorry, I assumed you would get angry,” said Cameron.

“I probably would have been... but let’s face it, how else are we suppose to get any cash?” replied John.

John began to adjust his seat into a more comfortable position; he sat back and reached into his pocket only to realise that his MP3 player no longer existed, it was destroyed during their time travel along with his old clothes. He let out a small sign as he folded his arms and slouched further into his seat.

“We close?” asked John.

“Approximately 3.5 miles remain,” replied Cameron.

“Oh yeah... that reminds me Cam,” said John turning his head.

Cameron looked at him curiously.

“Why do we need a room with internet access?” he asked.

“It is vital for the mission,” answered Cameron.

“And what is the mission?” asked John.

“In order for me to fully explain, I will need to access my mission database. This would be considered hazardous while driving, I will explain once we reach the motel,” said Cameron.

John gave her a small nod and leant back in his seat; he crossed his arms over his lap and leant his head on the window closing his eyes.

It had just started to rain as Cameron turned the car into the entrance and parked up.

“This the place?” asked John sitting back up.

“Correct,” replied Cameron.

John looked out his window to see a large sign in front; it had a small picture of a yellow sandy island with a palm tree sticking out the middle, the words “Motel Alcova” super imposed across the bottom. Just beyond that stood the main reception building, from the front it was a basic rectangular building with two windows on either side of the double door entrance. To the sides of the main building were rows of small rooms, presumably where they would be staying.

“This is just the sorta place I had in mind, good one Cam,” said John patting her on the back and smiling.

“Thank you,” said Cameron smiling back at him.

“Okay wait here and I’ll go get us checked in,” said John grabbing a handful of the money on the backseat and shoving it into his pocket.
John got out the car and ran toward the main building in an attempt to avoid most of the rain that had now become increasingly heavier. John entered the building to be instantly greeted by the receptionist.

“Hi, can I help you?”

“Yes, I need a room for the night,” said John making his way to the counter.

The inside of the room was just as basic as the outside; there was a small welcome mat by the main entrance, apart from that the rest of the room was covered in a blue carpet. The walls were papered in a very basic cream style, decorated by a small number of framed photographs. The area behind the counter was nothing more than a large shelf holding all the room keys, with a wooden door positioned in the left hand corner.

“No problem” said the receptionist.

“Our standard rates are $75 a night,” he added.

John reached into his pocket, and removed a small amount of money and began to count it.

“Any specific requirements?” asked the receptionist.

“Yes, have you got any rooms with internet access?” asked John.

“All our rooms have internet access... have you brought your own machine?” said the receptionist.

“No, is there one on site?” asked John.

“You’re in luck lad; I have one room left with a computer on site. It’s not the fastest thing in the world, but it’ll do the job,” replied the receptionist.

“Also that’ll be an extra $15,” he added.

John reached back into his pocket to pull out the correct amount and handed it over to the receptionist. He stowed the money away into the cash register and turned round to where the keys were being stored.

“Room 17,” said the receptionist pulling down an old and slightly rusted key from the shelf.

“You wouldn’t happen to have any band-aids or a first aid kit or summin,” asked John.

The receptionist turned back to him.

“I do, but why would you need something like that if you don’t mind me asking?”

“Err... I just bumped my knee on the car earlier and I think its cut,” said John lying.

“Sure, wait right here and I’ll see what I’ve got,” replied the receptionist.

He made his way through the small door on the left and returned seconds later with a few bandages.

“We have an old first aid kit in the back there, still had a few bandages left... is that enough for you?” said the receptionist.

“That’ll be fine,” replied John taking the bandages and the key to room 17.

“Thanks,” he added making his way to the exit.

“Enjoy your stay,” replied the receptionist as John exited the building.

John made a quick hand gesture to Cameron who quickly got out the car with the rest of the money wrapped in her arms like a newborn baby. John ran over to her and they began walking up the left hand row of rooms until they reached number 17.
They hurried inside out of the pouring rain flipping on the light as they entered. Inside they were welcomed with a small lounge with a door either side of them. The door to the right led to the bedroom and restroom; the door to the left led to a tiny kitchen, presumably for cooking up a light breakfast before leaving. The floor was covered with an old brown carpet that extended into the bedroom area. The walls were decorated in the same manner as the main reception, with a similar cream paper; inside the lounge stood a white two-seater couch with a television positioned close by. The computer was located next to the television; perched on top of a fragile looking desk with a standard office chair beside it.
Cameron manoeuvred herself to the bedroom and dumped the money on the floor which was surprisingly dry considering the weather conditions outside.

“Hey, I got some bandages here. Let’s take a look at that wound of yours,” said John presenting the bandages to Cameron.

Cameron sat down on the bed and lifted up her shirt to reveal the stab wound from the T-888. The bleeding had almost stopped by this time, but the wound was covered in dried up coagulated blood. John quickly ran to the restroom returning with a dampened hand-towel. He sat on the bed next Cameron and began to press down on the wound removing the blood.

“You can tell me about the mission while I’m doing this,” said John.

“Okay, I will access my mission database,” replied Cameron.

She went completely stiff as she scanned through her database; in the exact same way she froze in the abandoned building before. John continued to clean the blood from her stomach which had now started to bleed a little more, since the coagulated blood was acting as a temporary seal.

“The year is 2007. Approximately two months ago a T-888 was sent back in time, its original intentions unclear to us. Needless to say the infiltrator was destroyed during a train-derailment exactly one week ago. After the accident forensics discovered the

T-888’s left arm, which is now currently filed as evidence and stored in one of the local LAPD departments,” explained Cameron.
John looked up at her, as he finished wiping away the blood and throwing the towel on the floor.

“So you have no idea why this machine was sent back, was it here to kill me? In this time?” asked John.

“That information remains unclear, though it’s possible,” replied Cameron.

“Okay, so how is this a threat? What is it we need to do?” asked John.

“After the accident, Skynet’s new goal is to send back another T-888. Its mission is the retrieval of the arm. Once retrieved the T-888 will use time displacement equipment and travel to 2009 where the arm will be reverse engineered leading to the creation of Skynet,” explained Cameron.

“We must not allow the T-888 to escape since I do not hold any information on the specific date it will travel to, nor the contacts made on its arrival,” she added.

“So... we have to steal the arm before it does?” said John.

“Correct,” replied Cameron.

John began to unwind one of the bandages, tearing the segment away once he was happy with its length.

“Do you know which precinct the arm is being held at?” asked John.

“No,” replied Cameron.

“I will need to you to hack into the LAPD database and locate the department,” she added.

“So that’s why we need the internet access,” said John as he began to apply the bandage to Cameron’s wound.

“Correct,” replied Cameron smiling at him.

“There, that outta hold,” said John as he finished tightening the bandage around Cameron’s stomach and pulling her shirt back down. He put his hand to her face and slowly turned it to one side.

“There’s not much we can do about those,” said John examining the small cuts to her face.

He took the damp hand-towel and began to softly dab it across her face, removing the small amount of dried blood from the cuts.

“Would you like me to check the database now?” asked John.

“No, I specifically set the time and date on the time displacement equipment to allow you 5 hours of sleep before we begin the mission,” said Cameron.

“You did?” said John happily.

“Thank you Cameron,” he added smiling at her.

“You should rest now, I will call you at 6am,” said Cameron.

John lay back onto the bed and began to stretch out his body; he kicked off his shoes and pulled himself under the sheets.

“What are you gonna do?” asked John.

“I will assess the threat levels in the area, in order to keep you safe,” replied Cameron.

John smiled up at her as she approached the door leading to the lounge; he was pleased at her response since it was less mechanical than the first time he asked that question back in the abandoned building. She was beginning to learn.

“Goodnight,” said John.

“Night,” replied Cameron as she quietly closed the door after leaving the room.

John turned onto his side and buried his head into the soft pillow. He smiled as he closed his eyes; for once he wasn’t worried about the mission. He was thinking about Cameron, about how much of a valuable asset she was... and how much he liked her. He believed it to be nothing more than advanced programming, but that didn’t stop that fact that her attention to detail and care for his wellbeing touched his heart.

With that being his final thoughts, he drifted off into a peaceful sleep clutching his pillow like a content baby.

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