Chapter 10: Below

Chapter 10 “Below”

“He’s barely breathing. We need to get him to a hospital.” Derek said to Sarah. She knelt beside him and gently taps John’s face.
“John? John! Hang on please.” She said to him. Derek stood up when he saw the car coming. Cameron placed her hands on John’s chest, checking his vital signs on her HUD. The younger John came running towards them.
“Mom let’s go!” He said to Sarah and saw the woman named Alice was watching them, crying silently. He went over to her and ushered her to the car. Derek came back and hastened to carry John to the car. Sarah and Cameron followed close behind.
Amidst the commotion, the cyborg Derek’s head emerges from the water below the dock. He dug his hand through the wall and made his way up the side of the dock, his exposed metallic jaw hangs on his head by some wires as a result of the explosion. He caught sight of the back of a silver car from afar before it disappeared. He stood still near the edge of the dock while assessing the damages on his HUD.

The enveloping emotion inside the Connor’s house seeps through every window signifying the grieving inhabitants particularly a woman who was standing in front of the kitchen sink staring vacantly at the window idly wiping a plate with a towel. John was sitting on the living room sofa watching Sarah, when Derek walked in the room.
“I’m taking Alice to a safe house. She can’t stay here and she can’t go back to her place either. It’s too dangerous.” He said to John. John didn’t seem to hear him, still looking at Sarah.
“John?” Derek called to him. John looked at him and said, “Ok. Be careful.” And turned to look at his mother again. Derek took one last look at him then turned to leave. The woman named Alice appeared from the room looking anxious. John stood up and approached her.
“It’ll be fine.” He said to her. The woman gave him a feeble smile then followed Derek out the house. John was left standing near the kitchen when Cameron walked in.
“Where have you been?” John asked her. Cameron walked past him and stood near the dining table then turned to face him. Sarah placed the plate gently at the counter and said, “I sent Cameron to place a marker on where she buried him. John looked at Sarah but said nothing.
“After I did what you asked me to do I went to the storage facility. They took everything.” Cameron said to Sarah. Sarah looked at her and said, “Who’s ‘they’?”
“FBI. We need to get everything back.” Answered Cameron.
“Can’t we just gather new supplies?” Asked John.
“We can. But we have to get one thing back.” It was Sarah who spoke sounding concerned. John looked at her questioningly.
“Vick’s chip.” Said Cameron. John looked at Cameron, evidently stunned.

Derek cautiously looks around the place where they parked. The woman beside her spoke, “Why can’t I just stay in your house? I’m not sure if this is the best thing to do.”
“We’ve talked about this. It’s too dangerous for you to stay with us but it’s a little safer for you to stay alone and hidden.” Reassured Derek.
“But-“She said unconvinced but Derek interrupted her, “Listen, we now have two triple 8s on our asses and if you stay with us and if they find us, they will find you.” He said to her firmly. The woman was speechless but Derek immediately added, “You’ll be fine. Just don’t go out too much.” The woman nodded and smiled weakly.

Sarah was standing with her arms folded near the swing when she heard someone approaching from behind. She looked over her shoulder and saw that it was Cameron. Sarah walked to meet her.
“Do you need me to do something?” Asked Cameron. Sarah nodded and said, “Yes. I do.” With a voice sounding like she was conversing with a person, someone who understands her emotionally, someone like a friend.
“What is it?” Asked Cameron impassively. Sarah took a moment to consider what she was about to say to her. “I know that he asked you not to tell us where you buried him. But I have to know. I have to-“ Sarah couldn’t finish her words and stared at the grass beneath them.
“Say goodbye.” Cameron finished it for her. Sarah looked directly into Cameron’s eyes and said “Yes.” She didn’t care if Cameron said something unusual again or if it even means anything to her. They looked at each other in silence as Sarah waited for an answer.
“I can take you to there.” Cameron finally answered. Sarah smiled weakly and said, “Thank you.”
“He did asked me to tell you but not to John.”Cameron added. Sarah looked confused. “Why?” She asked her.
“You’ll see.” She answered Sarah then walked back inside the house. Derek closed the door behind him and saw John seated on the dining chair, writing something on his notebook; Cameron was standing near the kitchen sink standing guard. Derek proceeds to the living room when Sarah walks in.
“Derek, I need a favor from you. But you’re not allowed to ask questions.” She said to him. Derek seated himself on the sofa and looked inquiringly at Sarah.
“Isn’t that a bit unfair?”Said Derek smirking. Sarah didn’t say a word but gazed at him seriously.
“Alright, no questions allowed.”He said after seeing her reaction. Sarah moved a little closer and spoke in a low voice.
“Can you stay here with John for a while and keep an eye on him?” She said. Derek sat in silence looking at Sarah.
“I’m just going somewhere with Cameron.” Explained Sarah, seeing that he wanted some details. Derek nodded.
“Thanks.” She said to him then turned and beckoned to Cameron; and she followed Sarah as she went out the door.

A tall man walks toward a gas station eyeing a bearded man filling up his motorcycle. He grabs the bearded man by the neck and with a sound of bone cracking, he fell on the ground. The tall man then pulled the gas nozzle from the tank, mounted the motorcycle and raced off the road.

“We’re here.” Cameron said to her passenger as she parked the car. Sarah nodded and stepped out of the car. She looked around the surrounding trees towering some grimy, chipped tombstones. And saw Cameron already heading towards a tombstone near a statue of an angel. She followed her walking slowly, breathing deeply, and holding a single long-stem rose. She saw that Cameron stopped in front of a grave. As she approached near it, she noticed a rectangular – shaped rock bearing the letters “JC”. Sarah stood beside Cameron who was also looking down on it.
“John.” Muttered Sarah and after a moment placed the rose on top of the rock.
“This is why he didn’t want John to know where he is.” Cameron said pointing at a tombstone. Sarah looked at her and towards where she was pointing at. She read the name engraved on the stone, it was hers, “Sarah Connor”. And not far from it, she noticed another tombstone with a familiar name on it. Stunned, she moved rather unconsciously towards it.
“And this?” Sarah asked Cameron; she turned and moved beside her.
“That I can’t explain. I have no information regarding her. But I believe John has already told you about her.” Cameron answered mechanically. Sarah gazed back at the tombstone, at the name she knew nothing about but the short detail that John told her. The name “Cameron Elizabeth Phillips”

Derek was rummaging the fridge when John walked in on him.
“Have you seen mom?” Asked John. Derek straightened up and said, “Um, nope.” Then closed the fridge holding a bottle of beer.
“What about Cameron?” John said to him while Derek moved towards the living room.
“Don’t know either.” He answered with his back to John.
“You’re not telling the truth.” He said to Derek; Derek turned around and faced him after drinking some beer.
“She went somewhere with the machine, but I don’t know where.” He told John. He didn’t seem to believe what Derek told him and continued to stare at him.
“I swear, John. I don’t know where they went. I was just asked to babysit.” Derek added casually then went to sit at the sofa. John said nothing but looked annoyed by the answer that he received.
“I’m just gonna get some fresh air.” John said walking towards the door.
“You can’t go out John. It’s not safe.” Derek said firmly. John stopped at the door and rolled his eyes and turned to go back.
“The backyard then.” He said reproachfully and left Derek without another word.

Sarah was standing near the rock where she placed the rose.
“Can I have a minute alone?” She said to Cameron who was standing near the angel statue, her eyes surveying the cemetery. She glanced at Sarah then moved a little farther from her. Sarah kneeled and touched the cold but smooth mound of earth. Gathering her thoughts on what to say, how to say it.
“In your letter, you said sorry for so many things. You didn’t have to. I’m the one that should be saying sorry to you. I couldn’t protect you, I’m sorry.” Said Sarah in a sad voice.
“You found us and now we lost you.” She added and was about to stand on her feet when she heard a booming sound of a motor approaching. Sarah looked around for the source of the sound and saw a man riding a motorcycle. A look of panic painted in her face when she saw that it was Cromartie.
“Cameron!” She called out to her. Cameron was also looking at the same direction and turned to Sarah.
“Run!” Commanded Cameron then walked towards the approaching machine. Sarah started to sprint in a different direction when she heard gunshots. She stopped to look back and saw Cameron pulling out a large tombstone from the ground and bashed it against Cromartie. The tombstone crumbled into pieces, Cromartie was thrown back and smashed on the side of their parked car.
Knowing that Cameron can handle it herself, Sarah continued her escape and fled towards the part of the cemetery where several tall trees were offering a momentary cover for her to think. Her heart was racing; her mind unable to think clearly that she didn’t see a stump of a large root sticking out the ground, her feet got caught that made her stumble and fall on the ground. She winced in pain but stood up quickly and saw that her right hand had gashes. Sarah listened intently for signs of being followed but heard none.
Back in the chaos, the battle between Cameron and Cromartie rages on. As Cromartie heaves Cameron to a large tombstone knocking it down, Cameron rolls on her back and immediately stands up searching for her opponent. Cromartie grabs her from behind, his arms around her neck like a vice grip. Cameron held Cromartie’s arms, walked backwards and slammed him again at the crushed side of the car. Elbowing him in the face now covered in gashes revealing a gleaming silver metal.
Sarah reached the metal gates of the cemetery, her hand wrapped in a white handkerchief soaking with blood. She crossed the street and went inside an old, abandoned building. She leaned on the wall and tried to catch her breath, then reached for her cell phone on her jacket pocket and dialed a number.

Derek reached for his ringing cell phone on the coffee table and glanced at the LCD and saw that it was Sarah calling.
“Yeah.” Said Derek.
“I need help.” Said Sarah on the other line. Derek seemed doubtful about the person he was talking to.
“The Sarah Connor I know doesn’t usually ask for help.” He said casually.
“Derek-“ Sarah said but was interrupted by Derek.
“I was in the shower when you confronted me about Andy, you said something. What was it?” Derek asked firmly. He moved near the door with his back facing it as he waited for an answer.
“I told you that if you’re gonna lie to me again I will kill you.” Sarah answered. “Where’s John?” She added. Derek appeared to be convinced by her answer.
“He’s out in the backyard. Where are you? What happened?” Said Derek but before Sarah can answer him a pair of arms went through the door, penetrated it like a thin paper and grabbed Derek from behind. The cell phone flew from his hands and smashed on the floor. Derek was dragged through the broken door and out the porch then they both fell on the ground. The attacker released Derek and he struggled to stand back up on his feet. He turned around and saw the face of his attacker; a man that can pass as his twin brother but his jaw, with its flesh stripped off, revealed what looked like metal. Its eyes glowed red as it lay on the ground, staring directly at Derek.
“Derek!” Said a voice from inside the house, Derek turned around and saw John. He ran towards him and yelled, “Go!” John hurriedly ran off the back door as Derek went to find his stash of guns and took a shotgun. The machine was standing near the kitchen when Derek rushed off to follow John. He stopped on his tracks and shot the cyborg twice on its head, knocking it off, staggering to keep its balance. Derek took the chance to escape and found John waiting for him on a parked car across the street.
“Just get in!” Shouted John.
“What the hell are you doing?!” Derek said as he approached him.
“Saving your neck.” Answered John. Derek didn’t object and hopped in the car.
“Drive!” Commanded Derek. John stepped on the gas and they zoomed down the road. Derek caught a glimpse of the machine jumping off a fence trying to go after them.
“How did it find us?” Asked John while driving.
“No idea. But I’m sure it wasn’t after you.” Said Derek while looking at the rear view mirror.
“We have to call mom.” John said in a fearful voice.

Cameron landed hard on top of the car’s hood and the windshield shattered into pieces. As Cromartie walked towards her, she grabbed the shotgun from inside the car near the driver’s seat and pointed it on Cromartie. She shot him squarely on the chest and near his right eye making him take a few steps back. Cameron steps down from the car’s hood and shoots Cromartie twice and he falls into an open grave. She walks to the open grave and jumps in, shoots Cromartie on the head then steps on his face with one foot and takes out a switchblade from her jeans’ back pocket; crouched down and grabbed Cromartie’s head with one hand and the other cutting through the scalp with the switchblade near where the chip is.
Cameron tried to pull the chip with her fingers but was unsuccessful, abandoning the attempt to pull the chip out, she grabs the shotgun on the ground and straightens up and shoots the chip instead. Leaving a big hole on the side of Cromartie’s head; the cyborg appeared to have shutdown and stopped moving. She surveys the machine for a moment then turns her back on it, grabs the edge of the grave and pulls herself out; grabs the shovel near the mound of dirt near it and starts to cover the grave.

Sarah tries to call someone on her cell phone but no one answers. She hears someone walking towards where she was hiding then moves beside a big, old cabinet for cover. Sarah heard a sound of a creaking door and someone stepped inside.
“We have to go now.” Said a woman’s voice. Sarah peeked through the cabinet and saw that it was Cameron.
“How’d you know I was here?” Sarah said as she approached her.
“There’s some blood on the door.” Answered Cameron.
“And Cromartie?” Asked Sarah holding her wounded hand.
“I took care of it.” She said as she stared at Sarah.
“We need a car.” Cameron added.
“Something happened back at the house. I was talking to Derek and- I heard a crash. We need to get to them immediately.” Sarah said. Cameron nodded and walked outside the building and Sarah followed.

To be continued….

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