Chapter 09: An Eye For An Eye

Terminator: Dawn Of A New Hope

Chapter 09: An Eye For An Eye


“Explain to me again how this is gonna work?”

“Look, I already explained this Sergeant. I spent the last 3 years putting this whole operation together, you were there, you know the measures we took to ensure this mission was a success.”

“Yeah don’t remind me.”

“Besides, Cameron’s chip is the most sophisticated to date. There’s no situation she can’t handle.”

“True... but what about possible complications, remember we discussed this during her... ya know.”

“Sorry for being sceptical about all this, but I’m just looking out for you bro... I mean what if he found out the truth about her.”

“Thanks for your concern, but as I told you before her chip is too powerful, there’s no way she could...”

“Connor, Reese... you’d better get in ere.”

The two men glanced at each other and then at the engineer who frantically rushed back to the control room.

“We can discuss this another time.”

They followed the engineer to the control room, their main source of all operations. Inside was a montage of electrical equipment used to power the facility and monitor all ongoing missions whether they are present or past.

“John... you might wanna take a look at this,” said the engineer pointing at one of the monitors.

“And what is it I’m looking at?” asked John.

“Cameron’s transmitter... its offline,” said the engineer in a quiet voice.

John let out a sigh of relief turning to the man he was recently arguing with.

“I told ya Derek, there’s nothing she can’t handle,” said John happily.

“Err... John take a closer look,” said the engineer worryingly as he pulled up some addition information on the monitor.

“Last known location Wells Fargo History Museum, 2007... that doesn’t make any sense. It’s not supposed to end there,” said John confusingly.

“John... she’s offline,” said Derek placing his hand on John’s shoulder.

“No! That’s not possible... she probably just requires a reboot,” said John as he began pacing up and down the room.

“She’s been offline for over 3 minutes,” said the engineer softly.

John froze like a statue in the middle of the room; he felt a small tear forming in his right eye, but quickly brushed it away upon noticing that everyone was watching him.

“Hang on, I think I got something,” he added as he began punching a combination of keys.

John and Derek quickly rushed over to the engineer’s terminal and began examining the monitor.

“There’s a transmitter online,” said the engineer pointing to a small dot on the screen.

“Is it Cameron?” asked John as his heart began to race uncontrollably.

“No, it’s a much older model... one of our first,” said the engineer.

John and Derek exchanged a look of shock at one another before turning back to the monitor and examining it further.

“How the hell can a hostile infiltrator carry one of our tags?” asked Derek staring at John.

John put his hand to his mouth and began to think for a few seconds before abruptly turning back to Derek, eyes widened.

“Can you check the tag number?” asked John as he moved towards the engineer and began examining the monitor.

The engineer began hitting a sequence of keys until a large portion of data appeared on the left hand side of the screen.

“Tag number 027,” said the engineer.

“Son of a bitch, I knew it!” said John angrily.

Both the engineer and Derek glanced over at John with a quizzical look on their face.

“Derek, you remember that reprogrammed infiltrator that helped us out with battle strategies during the planning stages of the mission?” asked John.

“Yeah... he did have an oddness to him and then he suddenly went AWOL after we started the Mackenzie Parameters,” replied Derek.

“Well he’s right there,” said John angrily pointing at the screen.

“Why didn’t you notify me of this before,” asked John glancing over at the engineer.

“Sorry sir, but during the mission the system was set to specifically follow Cameron’s tag which reduces the risk of possible confusion during the monitoring stages. It’s only when her tag showed as offline I checked other alternatives to rule out the possibility of a glitch,” explained the engineer.

“Shit, this is bad,” said Derek.

“You’re telling me! Not only was he the first infiltrator to be successfully reprogrammed, but he’s the only hostile that knows the truth about Cameron, not to mention our battle strategies. He knew the location of the TDE, our plans... everything,” replied John.

“You actually know why he went AWOL?” asked Derek, feeling somewhat confused about the whole situation.

“I don’t, but think about it. He was one of our first; he may not have the most advanced chip, but he definitely had the most experienced. My guess... he turned bad, but unlike the rest he defected back to Skynet... just like a human would in the same situation,” explained John.

“That would also explain why he was so talkative... was quite disturbing,” said Derek.

“And now because of him... Cameron is dead,” said John quietly.

Derek grabbed John by the shoulder, but he shrugged it off and retreated to a nearby chair in the middle of the room. He lowered his head to his hands and began vigorously shaking his head.

“So... what happens now?” asked Derek with a concerned look on his face.

John slowly raised his head from his hands a looked Derek in the eye.

“I die,” said John softly.

There was an echo of silence as everyone in the room turned to John; all sharing the same shocked look.

“I know my 15 year old self... if Cameron is killed I will just give up and accept my fate,” said John quietly.

“You can’t be certain of that,” said Derek moving closer to John.

“You’re right I can’t be certain, but I can’t take any chances. If I die we no longer exist, we lose. Besides I’m not about to give up at the first hiccup,” said John as he glanced at the small sign outside the control room marked “TDE --------->”.

“You call this a hiccup?!” said Derek raising his voice.

John made no reaction to Derek’s comment; instead he leapt to his feet and made his way back to the engineer who was busy studying the information on his screen.

“What was Cameron’s time of death?” he asked.

“Approximately 7:47am, Saturday 24th March 2007,” replied the engineer.

“Prep the TDE for 7am the same day,” said John commandingly.

“Yes sir,” replied the engineer as John quickly left the room, Derek following close behind.

“John, you can’t do this!” said Derek as the red beacons around them began to flash.

WARNING: TDE departure 2 minutes.

“I am doing this, it’s the only way,” replied John calmly.

“But it’s a suicide mission John, there’s no way you can take on a triple in close combat,” said Derek making a desperate attempt to stop John in his tracks.

“It may well be a suicide mission, but if my 15 year old self can prevent Judgement Day then all this will never happen. Right now he’s much more important than me,” said John as he approached the TDE chamber.

WARNING: TDE departure 1 minute 30 seconds.

John entered the chamber and let out a deep breath. Inside the cold and secluded room stood the circular pattern of jet engines used to power the electronic fields required for time travel, all of which encased in a thick layer of reinforced glass. John turned to Derek and placed both hands on his shoulders.

“Reese... you have been a loyal and trustworthy friend throughout these dark times, as well as an excellent sergeant. Which is why I’m leaving you in full command,” said John.

WARNING: TDE departure 1 minute.

Derek looked at John for a few seconds, processing what he just said. He went to open his mouth but stopped and instead put his arms round John and gave him a quick hug.

“Godspeed Connor,” he said as John entered the glass chamber.

WARNING: TDE departure 30 seconds.

“Give my regards to Kyle,” shouted Derek as John sealed the chamber.

Derek was now joined by most of the engineers from the control room as well as many resistance fighters who had come to pay their final respects to their saviour before he disappeared forever.
John looked down at his feet as he saw the blue electricity start to shoot up around him.

WARNING: TDE departure 10 seconds.

John let out another deep breath as he looked back at his fellow comrades who all stood to attention and began saluting. He remembered the times when he too was stood behind the glass on those two historic days when he watched Kyle and the T-101 disappear; their mission to protect John Connor... and now it was his turn.
John covered his eyes as the bright blue orb began to take shape around him; the intense pain getting worse by the second until the blue orb was replaced with a bright white light... and he was gone.

......

John landed face first in a dark alley, the cold piercing his naked body like razorblades. He quickly got to his feet and began to examine his surroundings whilst moving towards the nearest opening onto the main streets.

“Hey buddy, did you just see a real bright light?”

John stopped in his tracks to see a middle aged homeless man sitting on the ground with his back propped up against the wall. Evidently the man had been on the streets for quite some time, since his beard reached his chest and his cloths were old and tatty with holes randomly located on them.
John looked down at the man as he landed a powerful punch to his face rendering him unconscious. John then started to hastily strip the man of his clothes and began putting them on himself.
Once fully clothed John sprinted out of the alley and onto the street; he panned his head from left to right looking for a road sign indicating his current whereabouts. After making his way a few yards down the street, he was met with a sign marked “N Spring St.”

John started to concentrate hard in an attempt to remember the directions he would have to take in order to reach his destination. Since he had spent so many years devising this very mission he had become fully aware of the small area surrounding City Hall.

“Okay... head south on North Spring Street, turn right at Alpine Street, left at North Hill Street, right at West Cesar E Chavez Avenue, left at North Grand Avenue, right at West 1st Street and left at South Hope Street,” said John to himself as he began to sprint as fast as he could.

John calculated that it would take approximately half an hour to reach the museum if he were to continue at this speed. He knew that time was not on his side, and that failure was not an option.

......

“HEY, IT’S ME JOHN CONNOR!” shouted John as he emptied the Beretta into the back of the T-888 before throwing it at him.

The T-888 slowly turned to John grinning as he made his approach. John froze in place at the T-888 came bearing down on him before landing a crushing blow to his face sending him flying towards a helpless Cameron. John looked up at her, blood and tears pouring down his face.

“Cam... I’m sorry,” said John.

“John... listen to me... get behind the structure,” said Cameron pointing up at the T-Rex.

Once John was safely behind the T-Rex’s panel she grabbed the T-888 by its leg and pulled it to the ground. The T-888 retaliated by landing a devastating kick to Cameron’s face, but she made no reaction and instead reached up for the leg bone belonging to the T-Rex.

“John run NOW,” shouted Cameron as she pulled the bone free.

Before the structure came crashing down on her, Cameron felt herself being violently pulled aside as the wreckage impacted with the floor missing her by inches.

“Ahhhh, shit.”

Cameron quickly looked round to see a man lying on the floor, a small bone protruding from his leg. John came running to the scene instantly coming to aid of Cameron; he propped her up on his leg and began softly stroking her brown hair.

“Are you okay, I thought I’d lost you,” said John with a sense of relief in his voice.

“And you would have done too if I hadn’t arrived in time,” said the man as he ripped the bone fragment from his leg.

Cameron’s eyes widened as she quickly scanned the man’s face.

“John?!” she said confusingly.

John looked up in shock at the man that sat before them; he quickly darted his eyes to the stranger and then back at Cameron.

“No... it’s impossible. What the hell is going on?” shouted John as his heart began to race.

“Yes, I am you... from the year 2027. We were monitoring your progress through Cameron’s chip and...”

John’s future manifestation was halted mid sentence as the hand belonging to the T-888 shot up from out of the wreckage.

“Quick, I don’t have time to explain. There’s a tub of thermite in that room, bring it to me now,” said future John pointing to the room with the steel door.

As John made a violent dash for the thermite, his future self quickly moved over to Cameron who had just gotten to her feet.

“Cam... there’s so much I wanna say to you right now; it’s just a shame you’ll have no idea what I’m talking about,” said future John softly.

Cameron looked at him and tilted her head in a quizzical manner.
“I don’t understand,” she said.

John let out a long drawn out sigh as his younger self came running back with the tub of thermite before handing it over.

“Get her to the TDE and get the hell outta here,” said future John as he headed towards the pile of prehistoric bones.
John nodded as he took hold of Cameron and helped her into the hidden room. Cameron hastily began punching in the new co-ordinates for their next destination while John waited impatiently tapping his foot.

“It’s ready,” said Cameron making her way to the middle of the small room with John close behind.

John assumed his position next to Cameron as he watched his future self battle it out with the T-888 just feet from them.

Future John began moving closer to the wreckage, just as the T-888’s head started to make its appearance. John grabbed a fragment of bone and began smashing it continuously into the T-888’s face, knocking its head back into the carnage. John opened up the tub of thermite and started pouring the contents, over the partially exposed T-888 and the debris surrounding it.
He reached in and took hold of the lighter only seconds before the T-888 grabbed him by his shirt and pulled him into the prehistoric wreck. The T-888 took him by the throat and applied an unforgiving amount of pressure. Sensing the end was close, John flipped open the lighter, ignited it and dropped it onto the T-888.

“This one’s for you Cameron.”

The T-888 violently twisted John’s head snapping his neck in an instant, the crack echoing throughout the entire room seconds before the lighter made contact with the thermite.

John stared in absolute disbelief as he watched his older self disappear into the raging inferno, the smell of his burning flesh creeping through the thin walls on the developing blue orb. A mixture of feelings began rushing through John’s head, like a mirage of depression and angst completely taking his mind off the intense heat from the electronic field he was standing in.
In an instant the horrific images that lay before him were replaced by that memorable white light from the library back in 1999, and he was gone.

......

Both John and Cameron landed face first on the hard, cold floor; as the intense heat slowly dissolved from their bodies. John quickly leapt to his feet letting out a sigh of relief that it was nightfall; Cameron had programmed the timings perfectly, since nobody was in sight. As John’s body became accustomed to its new surroundings, he felt that mirage of negativity slowly creep back into his mind about what had just happened at the museum. He wiped away the blood from his nose and turned back to Cameron who was still attempting to stand up.

“Cameron, what the hell happened back there?” asked John demandingly.

Cameron went to open her mouth to speak as she fell back to the floor; John’s serious face quickly turned to sympathy as he rushed to her side and began helping her stand, the fact they were both naked having no effect on his actions.

“Don’t worry about that for now, first things first; we need to find a safe place to lie low and fix your leg,” said John as he helped Cameron to her feet.

“My database holds specific information on an apartment block located on Maple Avenue, approximately 1.3 miles from our current location,” replied Cameron.

“What’s so special about it?” asked John.

“It’s the same apartment block used by the engineers sent to build the Time Displacement Equipment. My database specifically states the engineers left a range of items critical for the mission. We must head there immediately,” explained Cameron as she began limping down the street.

John quickly caught up with her, putting her arm around his shoulders for support.

“We must acquire Clothing,” said Cameron.

“Okay, but you’re in no state to take on anything right now. Let’s just take that car and get the apartments... maybe the engineers left us some clothes,” replied John pointing to an old pickup truck parked at the end of the street.

“Affirmative,” replied Cameron.

“And can you stop saying that? Can’t you just say okay or somethin like that?” asked John as he began brushing the brown hair out of her face.

“Okay,” said Cameron turning to John and smiling.

“See that wasn’t so tough wa-.”

John was abruptly interrupted by the faint sound of a dog barking in the distance. He instinctively turned to Cameron and then across the street, as a set of lights appeared outside one of the residential properties.

“Quick into the alley,” whispered John as he made a dash for the darkened alley just in front of them, dragging Cameron along with him.

They both pressed their backs against the cold brick walls as John slowly peered out into the street. The door to the home swung open and a semi-overweight man appeared with a Jack Russell at his feet. The dog continued barking frantically as it sprinted up the small wooden gate at the foot of the garden and began pawing at it.

“What is it boy? Whatcha see?” said the man, looking up and down the street.

“There’s nothing there you silly thing,” he added as he marched over the dog and picked it up before heading back into the house.

John continued watching from the alley and as the lights were switched off, he made his way back to the sidewalk.

“That was close,” said John letting out a sigh of relief.

“Yes, thank you for helping me into the alley. If you hadn’t I would not have made it in time,” replied Cameron.

“That’s okay Cam,” said John smiling.

John quickly turned back to the alley as he noticed a small fire out of the corner of his eye.

“What is that?” asked John.

Cameron took a moment to scan the anomaly in front of them.

“It appears to be a small fire emanating from a recycling bin. There also appears to be two men standing around it,” replied Cameron.

John took a moment to consider his options. He knew that Cameron was in no shape to take on anything right now, but the cold was getting under his skin like a set of razors.

“Wait here,” said John.

Cameron looked at him and tilted her head before looking back to the alley and performing another quick scan.

“No John, it is too dangerous,” replied Cameron as she moved him aside and began limping into the alley.

“Cam! Get back here!” whispered John.

Cameron ignored his pleas and moved in on the targets ahead; along the way she reached down and picked up a large piece of wood. She slowly approached the two men who luckily had their backs to her; she raised the wood ready to swing, but found herself falling to the ground.

“What the hell?”

“Who’s there?”

The two men turned abruptly at the sound of Cameron’s encounter with the ground. Sensing they were close; she grabbed the piece of wood and swept it across the ground, knocking them both down. She hastily crawled over to them before they had time to react and applied a chokehold to both at the same time until they were unconscious. She slowly got back to her feet as John came rushing towards her.

“Cam! I could have taken care of it,” he said.

“No John it’s too dangerous. If they had spotted you, I would not have made it in time. This was the safest and most logical choice,” replied Cameron.

John wanted to argue back; he wanted to feel like the protector for once, but no matter what way he looked at it, Cameron was right. If he had been seen his chances would have been slim, especially since Cameron wouldn’t have arrived in time to aid him.

“Okay, well what’s done is done... let get their clothes,” said John as he began stripping one of the men.

They hastily changed into their new set of clothes before making their way back to the street. Their new clothes were a more suitable fit than their last attempt, but judging from the appearance and smell of the clothes their previous owners would have definitely fitted into the homeless category.

“C’mon let’s get to the truck before somthin else happens,” said John.

John picked up the pace as he started his pursue towards the old pickup truck, with Cameron clinging onto his side for support. As they arrived at the vehicle, John reached for the door handle to the driver’s seat and gave it a light tug.

“Damn, it’s locked,” said John hitting the glass window.

“Cam... think you could do something about that?” he added.

Cameron carefully pushed John aside as she assumed her position in front of the door. She clenched her fist and drove it straight through the glass; smashing it in an instant which triggered the car’s alarm.

“Quick get in while I start her up,” said John pointing to the passenger seat.

Cameron quickly staggered around the car, using it’s bodywork as support while John entered the driver’s position. As he sat and moved into position, he felt a small glass shard penetrate his skin causing a sharp but tolerable pain. He took a deep breath and ignored it as he leant under the dash and pulled out the main circuit board; he started to manoeuvre the wires using different colour combinations until the alarm stopped and truck finally started.
John sat back up and assumed his driving position just as Cameron had finished with her struggle to enter the vehicle. Once he was happy that Cameron was securely inside, he pushed his foot on the gas and began to make haste.

“Okay Cam you’re gonna have to direct me again,” said John.

“Okay, it’s not far. Just take the next left and the third right and then follow the road until I say so,” replied Cameron as she turned to John, a look of concern on her face.

“John, are you hurt?” she asked.

“No, I’m fine... don’t worry about me,” said John.

“John, you look like you’re in pain. Are you hurt?” asked Cameron, the concern on her face growing more serious.

John let out a small sigh as he shifted in his chair to try and get comfortable.

“I sat on some glass when I got in the car, it’s no big deal though, we can worry about it later,” said John.

Cameron looked at him and tilted her head; at a glance he seemed fine, with no major blood loss. She turned and faced the front, watching the street whizz past her vision as John sped their way to safety.

“Okay,” she replied.

......

“Is that it?” asked John pointing at a tall derelict building.

“Yes,” said Cameron.

“Stop here,” she added.

John slowly grinded the truck to a halt and parked it just outside the main entrance to the apartments. From the outside the building looked as if it had been uninhabited for years; most of the windows were either smashed or boarded up and small areas in the outer wall were decayed and rotting.
John quickly exited the truck and made his way over to Cameron. He could feel the blood from his wound trickling down his leg; he reached around until he had a firm grip on the piece of glass and pulled, sending a small spurt of blood from the wound which landed on the hood of the truck.

“You should keep pressure on that,” said Cameron as she got out the truck.

“It’ll be okay, I’ll worry about it inside,” said John.

He took hold of Cameron as the two of them made their way into the apartment block. When they got inside they realised the interior was about as appealing as the exterior; the walls were heavily decayed and leaking water in places, there was a faint odour of nitrates echoing the entire area, and the walls were decorated in various graffiti attempts from young adolescents.

“Nice place,” said John sarcastically.

“The building’s structural integrity is below average, I wouldn’t consider it a nice place,” said Cameron.

“It was a joke Cam,” replied John nudging her playfully.

“Oh... thank you for explaining,” said Cameron as she manoeuvred deeper into the building.

“So where were they staying?” asked John.

“According to my database, their hideout is located on the 5th floor, apartment 28,” replied Cameron as she made her way to the staircase.

John quickly caught up and began helping her with ascension by putting her arm around his shoulders and his hand around her waist for support.

“Why can’t these hideouts ever be on the ground floor?” asked John.

“The room on the 5th floor was the most appropriate,” replied Cameron.

“Well at least the smell isn’t as bad up here,” said John as they reached the 5th floor.

“Correct, the nitrate levels are considerably lower in this part of the building,” said Cameron.

“Thanks for that,” said John sarcastically as he made his way towards apartment 28.

John slowly turned the door handle, as the door opened invitingly. John approached the entrance to the room, but Cameron stuck her arm out in front of him.

“Wait here while I check for possible threats,” said Cameron as she entered the room.

The entrance to the room was made up of a small corridor with a wooden door located on either side. On the left was a small restroom in surprisingly good condition judging by the rest of the building. On the right was a small storage closet, though it was completely empty. Past the corridor laid the main room; inside was a large wooden desk at the back with nothing stored on top, and towards the left of the room was a small single bed with two sleeping bags positioned on the floor next to it.

“John, it’s safe,” said Cameron.

John made his way into the room and began quickly scanning the area from left to right instinctively; making sure everything was safe for himself. As he entered the main room he noticed the small bed on the left.

“Okay Cam lie down and let’s take a look at your leg,” said John pointing to the bed.

Cameron made her way over to the bed and laid down, before John ripped a hole in her pants to reveal the wound left by the metal rod.

“That looks bad, I may need some tool for this,” said John looking around the room.

“There’s nothing here. You said that the engineers left us important resources,” said John confusedly.

“It will be hidden,” replied Cameron as she started scanning the room in more depth.

A few moments later, Cameron’s eyes became fixed the bottom section of the wall at the foot of her bed.

“John I can see a small crack in the wall over there,” she said pointing to the location.

John moved over to the wall and began to inspect it. At first glance nothing seemed out of the ordinary, until he pressed on it. The wall had a flimsiness feel to it as opposed to the section above, as if it had been recently meddled with.
Cameron quickly moved from the bed and began proceeding over to John’s location. She punched a hole through the wall to reveal a hidden compartment with large black bags stashed away inside.

“Thanks Cam. Okay go lie back down and I’ll see if there’s something here I can use,” said John.

As Cameron made her way back to the bed, John began pulling the large bags from within the wall. After he removed the third and final bag, he noticed something hidden right at the back of the compartment. His eyes narrowed as he reached in to grab it, only he found himself unable to move the object due to its incredible weight.

“Man, whatever’s hidden back there sure weighs a ton,” said John.

John slid down onto his stomach and slowly crawled into the hole. He outstretched both of his hands and began to slowly pull the object closer to him. Once he finally removed it from the wall he jumped back in shock.

“Cam... what the hell is this?” asked John.

Cameron sat up and began to scan the object. It was a long black device, at least two feet in length. It had a 10x sniper scope mounted to the top with a laser pointer located beside it. The barrel was the longest and widest that John had ever seen, and there was a small power metre located on the side.

“It’s a Photon Cannon,” replied Cameron.

John’s eyes widened as he felt his jaw drop to the floor.

“A... what!?” said John alarmingly.

“It is a weapon capable of firing a concentrate burst of electricity, though it’s required recharge time is two minutes with every shot fired, it is very effective against infiltration units,” explained Cameron.

John stepped back for a moment to gather his thoughts, he had been around guns all his life, he knew everything there was to know about them... but he had never heard of anything like this before... except for the stories of the post Judgement Day war against the machines.
Once those stories had crept into his mind it suddenly hit him. He remembered that back in the museum, he was so confused with the whole situation that he forgot to check the co-ordinates that Cameron had entered into the Time Displacement Equipment.
He slowly turned his head to Cameron, a look of seriousness on his face.

“Cameron... what year is this?”



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