Chapter 07: The Ghost Of The Machine

Terminator: Dawn Of A New Hope

Chapter 07: The Ghost Of The Machine

John’s eyes began to slowly open at the sound of the creaking door; he began to shuffle under the warm sheets before positioning himself on his back. He had almost fallen back to sleep, but the smell was too intense to shut out. He began rubbing his eyes as the smell became more prominent; it was a beautiful smell, the smell of cooking and not just any cooking, it was perfect cooking.
John sat up, positioning his back on the wooden headrest to see Cameron sitting on the edge of his bed with a beautiful smile on her face reaching from cheek to cheek. He looked down to see she was holding a small plate containing a medium sliced piece of toast in the centre with a perfectly rounded egg placed on top. On the edge of the plate laid two more pieces of toast, cut into smaller triangles and positioned evenly around the plate with butter oozing over the sides.

“I made you breakfast,” said Cameron feeling very pleased with herself.

She moved closer to John and placed the plate on his lap.

“I hope you like it, I read that most people do,” she added, handing him a knife and fork.

“I love eggs on toast, thank you Cam,” replied John grinning.

“I didn’t know you could cook,” he added as he began mixing the yolk with the white.

“I couldn’t,” said Cameron.

“I spent the night researching human interactions and emotions on the internet. According to many articles it is considered a treat to receive breakfast in bed,” she added.

John began cutting up the toast into small pieces; just as he finished, he quickly looked up at Cameron who was still watching him.

“Hey Cam, I’m very grateful an’ all, but where did you get the eggs from?” asked John as he began eating his small chunks of egg on toast.

“There is a Wal-Mart located not too far from our location; the information stored in my database confirmed the store is open 24 hours a day. Once I was finished with the internet I took the car and picked up some supplies,” said Cameron.

“You went all the way there just to buy me breakfast?” asked John sentimentally.

“The original intention was to obtain clothing since we wouldn’t have time during typical opening hours. However due to the information I stored regarding human needs it became apparent that you would be hungry at this time,” explained Cameron.

John had become so mesmerised over Cameron’s amazing cooking that he failed to notice she was no longer wearing the oversized outfit previously owned by a drunken sports player. She was now wearing a pink v-neck top revealing a small white shirt underneath; black skin tight jeans and large black combat boots.

“I take it you got me somethin too,” said John as he consumed the triangular pieces of toast.

“Yes,” replied Cameron lifting up a plastic Wal-Mart bag from the floor.

John quickly finished his last piece of toast and moved the plate to one side. He took the bag from Cameron and began to examine what she had bought him; inside was a standard pair of pale blue jeans, a plain grey shirt and a dark green jacket.

“Is it okay?” asked Cameron.

“Yeah, they’re great thanks,” said John removing the clothes from the bag.

“Did you get me any sneakers?” he added.

Cameron reached down to the floor and re-emerged with a black pair of Nike footwear.

“Are these okay?” asked Cameron.

“Yeah,” replied John.

John slid his legs out from under the sheets and began to stretch.

“Okay, do you mind turning round or something while I try this on? Need to make sure this stuff fits,” said John spinning his index finger at Cameron.

“Why do I need to turn round?” asked Cameron.

“Cus I need to change, I’d rather not have you standing there watching” replied John.

“But I’ve seen you naked before, what’s the difference?” asked Cameron.

“C’mon Cam I thought you said you researched this kinda stuff,” said John impatiently.

Cameron sat in silence for a few seconds before replying.

“You’re right, humans do not like to be seen naked unless it occurs before sexual intercourse,” said Cameron.

John turned to her abruptly slightly red in the face due to her unexpected explanation.

“Err... yeah something like that,” said John.

Cameron continued to sit on the bed; eyes fixed on John as he began circling his index finger again.


“Oh... sorry,” said Cameron as she turned to face the wall.

John quickly slid out of his oversized sports clothing. He pulled up the jeans to find they were a perfect fit both around the waist and in length. He threw the shirt over his head which landed neatly just below his crotch making another perfect fit. Lastly he slid on the sneakers and pulled on the jacket; the jacket fell a couple of inches longer than his shirt and the sneakers slid on no problem at all.

“Wow Cam! These are perfect, how did you know my sizes?” asked John happily.

“When searching the male section of the store, I accessed my visual memory to the point after we had just arrived in the year 2007 and scanned your body in order to make the correct purchases,” explained Cameron.

“You did WHAT!” said John turning beet red.

“I said I-“

“I know what you said, you just told me you scanned my naked body in order to buy me clothes,” said John angrily.

He felt embarrassment creep into his thoughts as he pictured Cameron scanning his body in graphic detail. He looked over at her to see that she was no longer smiling happily like before.

“You okay?” asked John in a calmer voice.

Cameron’s face dropped as she turned away from him.

“I’m sorry John... I didn’t know that was something I shouldn’t do,” she said in a soft voice.

John’s anger quickly turned to sympathy as he moved closer putting his hand on her shoulder. He wasn’t happy at what she had done, but she was only a machine. She just took the most logical option and applied it.

“Cam, I’m sorry too. I shouldn’t have snapped at you like that, you were only trying to help,” said John calmly.

“But... can you do me a favour?” he asked.

Cameron turned to him with a look of curiosity.

“Could you maybe delete that memory or somethin.”

“I’m unable to physically delete the files stored in my CPU,” replied Cameron.

“Oh... err well could you promise me you won’t access those ones anymore?” asked John.

“I promise,” said Cameron smiling again.

John patted her softly on the shoulder as he began to make his way to the door.

“I’d better get on and find this precinct,” said John.

“Yes. I will need to take a shower while you locate the department, my hygiene levels are below satisfactory,” replied Cameron making her way to the restroom.

John sat himself down on the office chair and hit the power button on the machine.

“Wow, this thing is quick,” said John, impressed by the computer’s speedy response time.

Seconds later he realised that he was still used to technology from 1999, so a machine classed as slow in this time would be considered a super-computer back then.
He quickly opened up the Internet browser and accessed the LAPD’s homepage. He began to surf the site looking for any clues to the whereabouts of the train derailment incident and the mechanical arm found at the scene.
After searching for a few minutes, he found a link leading to a small report on the derailment incident. He began to scan the report.

Reports are sketchy at this time, but it is believed that the Northbound Metrolink train derailed just 12 miles from its destination at Downtown Burbank. So far it is believed that 39 people lost their lives in the accident, though some could still be missing within the wreckage. We have established that there were no survivors of this terrible tragedy.

We are doing everything in our power to try and establish the cause whether it be human or mechanical.
Our thoughts go out to the grieving families who have lost their loved ones...

John stopped reading the report as he noticed a small link at the side of the page titled “Evidence”. He clicked the link only to be met with a new webpage asking for security clearance in the form of a password.
John leant back in the chair and let out a small sigh as he right clicked the page and navigated his way to the “View Page Source” tab opening a small box containing HTML coding.

<title>official website of THE LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT</title>
<link href="/css/homepage_css.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css">
<LINK REL="shortcut icon" HREF="favicon.ico" TYPE="image/x-icon">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">

////////////////////////////Password Script//////////////////////
function enter() {
if (document.enternow.password.value != " ") { //Password 56BIT Encryption
alert("Password Incorrect!); //Action if wrong
return false;
else {
alert("Password Accepted!"); //Action if correct
//////////////////////////End Password Script///////////

John examined the coding that lay before him, seeing if he could spot the password within. It only took him a few seconds to realise that the password had been blanked out, meaning he was unable to retrieve it and enter the page.

“Nothing’s ever simple,” said John to himself as he opened up Microsoft Visual Basic.

He began vigorously bashing the keyboard, creating his own HTMP script in an attempt to counter the encryptions on the LAPD password screen.

Just as John was finishing his code, Cameron made her way into the room. She looked just as she did before entering the shower, except her hair was still damp. Instead of the usual wavy brown locks John was used to, it was now much darker and straighter as tiny droplets of water fell onto her pink top. John looked over at her as she manoeuvred to the couch and sat down.

“Is something the matter?” asked Cameron eyeing John curiously.

“No no, I’m almost done here,” said John finding it hard to take his eyes off her beautiful hair.

John turned back the computer and started to import his new coding onto the original source page for the LAPD password screen. Once everything was in place, John chuckled to himself as he entered in the new password “nofatebutwhatwemake”.
The page opened up to show a list of different items stored in alphabetical order.

“Cam, I’m in,” said John as he began scanning through the list.

Cameron got up from the couch and made her way to the desk, leaning on John’s chair from behind. John felt her damp hair touch the side of his neck and shoulder sending a comforting tingle down his spine.

“There,” said Cameron pointing to one of the items.

John glanced at the small link titled “Mechanical Arm”; he clicked the link to bring up another page showing an image of a police department. Along the bottom was a small bundle of text.

Due to the nature of this item, we have taken it upon ourselves to store this within our precinct for further forensic observation. It will return to the original precinct once we have completed our assessment.

- Los Angeles County Park Police
320 W Temple St #B61
Los Angeles
(323) 845-1040

“The department is approximately 4.7 miles away, we should arrive there in 8 minutes 21 seconds,” said Cameron.

“We must go now, before the T-888 gets there first,” she added.

John quickly shut the computer down and made his way to the door with Cameron leading into the car park.

“Okay you get the car, I’m just gonna go hand in the key,” said John making his way to the main reception building.

John entered the building to be greeted by a different receptionist.

“Did you enjoy your stay?” he asked.

“Yeah, it was fine thanks,” replied John handing over the key.

“Come back anytime,” said the receptionist as John made a dash for the door.

“Thanks,” said John as he exited the building and ran over to Cameron who had just started up the car.

John entered the car and Cameron began driving toward the police station. He quickly fastened his seatbelt as he noticed Cameron was driving with a heightened level of aggression than usual. Completely understandable John thought to himself, this was the moment of truth; would they make it before the T-888?
John felt his heart begin to race as Cameron consistently increased her speed, making a desperate attempt to reach the station in as little time as possible.

“Cameron be careful okay, we won’t get very far if you crash us,” said John commandingly.

“Don’t worry John, I have increased my reaction sensors to avoid potential collisions,” replied Cameron.

She remained focused in front, eyes fixed on the road and it absorbed her concentration like a sponge.

Minutes later Cameron slowed the car as they started bearing down on West Temple Street. John rolled down his window for a breath of fresh air, but was met with something completely different. He began sniffing the air before making a violent turn to Cameron.

“Can you smell that?” he said worryingly.

“I can’t smell, but I can sense, and yes I can sense that,” replied Cameron.

“Smells like smoke,” said John.

Cameron abruptly stopped the car outside a large building to their left. There was smoke emitting from the broken windows occasionally accompanied by a flicker of yellow flame. John felt his heart skip a beat as he read the banner located above the buildings doors “Los Angeles County Park Police”.
They quickly scanned the site to see that the doors had been completely knocked off their hinges and laid in a messy heap on the inside. Just on the outside of the building laid two motionless lumps of mass; they were blue in colour apart from the red liquid dripping down the stone steps beside them. They were two cops, two cops that had been brutally murdered; their lifeless bodies symbolising the end of things to come, the end of life as we know it.
John put both hands to his face and let out a long drawn out sigh before turning to Cameron. He felt an overwhelming sense of depression and failure hit him straight in the head like an anvil. He stared at Cameron as his left eye started to glisten before letting loose a single teardrop that trickled down his cheek.

“It’s all over Cam, we failed.”

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