Chapter 11 - Ties That Bind


Cameron quietly walked through the base, much like she did every day. She recognized every corner, every room, and every piece of furniture; the only thing that ever changed was the faces. In the five months she had spent at Serrano Point, she had come to know many of the soldiers within but there were always new people.

The machine had to consciously hide a smile. Today was a different day. Today, Cameron got to give John good news. The bio-toxin, that Skynet was experimenting with, was useless. Resistance scientists were able to isolate a rare protein in the blood of Sydney Fields and reproduce it. No more people would die because of the bio-weapon.

Cameron walked to the back of the base and used the optical scanner. She stepped though the blast door and continued to John’s room. The machine opened the quietly and stepped inside.

John was asleep. Cameron looked at him and sat down on the bed gently. In the months that they had spent together she had grown into so much more than his protector. She was a combat advisor, a technical expert, a lover, a friend, a confidante, and above all, a loyal companion.

She thought back to their first night at Serrano Point and smiled a little. Things had moved faster than she expected but the machine didn’t mind. She wondered if the live-for-the-moment personality of the soldiers had rubbed off on her.

“You know you’re not very good at that.” John spoke with closed eyes.

“At what?”

“Sneaking onto my bed without me noticing.” John said with a smile. He sat up and looked at her.

“You’re smiling. Good news?” John knew the machine well.

“Very good. The synthetic Field’s vaccine is working perfectly. Inoculation is totally effective in trial tests. They’re completely protected.”

“Excellent. That’s excellent news. What about treating those who are already infected?”

“If they’re treated within 36 hours of exposure, they have a ninety five percent chance of survival.”

“That’s great! So…the bio-toxin is useless?”

Cameron nodded. “It’s no longer effective.”

“That’s great, Cameron!” John said getting out of bed. “Could you have all the officers meet me in the war room? I’m gonna shave and shower.”

The machine nodded and got up. Before she left the room, John kissed her on the cheek.

“Thanks for the good news.”

Cameron smiled. “You’re welcome.”

The terminator decided to find Major General Perry first. He was the base’s second in command, beneath John. Unlike Major Clifton, Cameron liked Perry. He was always truthful, trusting and trustworthy. His body language always reflected a deep respect and admiration for John. He was one of the only other humans the terminator trusted.

Cameron walked to one of communication rooms where Perry was frequently located. She entered and spotted him across the room. The machine started to walk over to him when she recognized the odd behavior of another man.

He was a soldier, carrying a handgun at his side. When he saw Cameron, his face contorted in fear and he assumed a shooting stance. He pulled his weapon and pointed it at the machine.

“Metal!” he cried at the top of his lungs.

Cameron’s combat programming was fully intact. Upon seeing the threat of this individual, the terminator removed her weapon from it’s holster.

>>>>><<<<<
THREAT ANALYSIS
>>>>><<<<<

<<<<<ONE DESERT EAGLE .50 CALIBER

*****THREAT ASSESMENT: LOW*****

*****POSSIBLE DAMAGE RISK: LOW*****

Before the machine had a chance to aim, Major General Perry stepped in the way. He slammed the man up against the wall and redirected his aim. The gun went off and a bullet zipped past Cameron’s head. It moved close enough to move her hair.

“She’s a machine! She’s one of them!”

“No, damn it!” Perry looked Cameron in the eye and held a hand up.

Cameron didn’t technically answer to Perry’s authority. Still, she respected him enough to listen as long as it didn’t threaten or undermine John. The machine lowered her weapon.

“She’s one of ours.” he said looking at the man.

Cameron left while Perry explained reprogrammed terminators to the man. She stayed out of sight but continued to listen to them. After the man left, she went back to Perry.

“Sorry about that Cameron.” he had an apologetic face.

“It’s okay. That was Lieutenant Derek Reese?”

“Yeah, that’s him. One of the people who rescued Sydney Fields.” he replied.

“That’s why I came to find you. The synthetic vaccine is working. There will be a briefing in the war room at 0800 hours.”

Perry smiled. “Good news, for a change. Thank you, Cameron.”

Cameron found John and followed him into the war room where the other officers had assembled. Over the last few months the majority of people at Serrano Point had grown accustomed to seeing Cameron with John. She would go everywhere he would to the point that they were almost inseparable.

The meeting took several hours. The scientists described how the vaccine worked and what they were doing to deliver it to the other bases. The meeting was followed with a discussion of how large a reserve Serrano Point should have, in case Skynet deployed the weapon again.

“Do we know if Skynet is ever going to use this weapon again?” Perry asked.

Before John could answer a dozen pops of machinegun fire echoed throughout the base. He looked at Cameron. She was already analyzing the sound’s position and weapon type.

>>>>><<<<<
AUDIO RECOGNITION ANALYSIS (WEAPON)
>>>>><<<<<

>>>>>WEAPON CONFIRMATION: M-249 LIGHT MACHINEGUN
<<<<<CONFIRMATION ACCURACY: 98.37%

Cameron stood up. “Lock the doors behind me. Don’t open them until I radio from the comm room.”

“Be careful.” John mouthed.

Cameron nodded and quickly left the room. She closed the door and looked at the guards.

“No one gets in or out.”

They armed their rifles and took positions in the hall.

Cameron ran down the hall and went straight to the nearest armory. She ran inside and spoke to the man in charge. More sounds of gunfire echoed through the base.

“I need an M-79, now.”

Without hesitation, the man tossed her the grenade launcher and two grenades. Cameron pocketed one of them and loaded the M-79. She took off running. As she got closer, she saw several people who had been shot. A T-888 stepped into a nearby room as she chased after it.

More shots came from the room. It was a Desert Eagle. Cameron entered just before the terminator was about to kill the man inside. It was Derek.

“Do it, now, you son of a-”

Cameron used both her hands and slammed the T-888 through a wall. It crashed to the ground, along with a dozen pieces of stone and concrete. Before it had a chance to recover, Cameron checked the room for people, and fired the grenade launcher at it’s head.

The grenade hit and detonated on the face of the T-888. The blast took off half the machine’s head and turned it’s body into a twisted metal mass. Several pieces of shrapnel struck Cameron but she was undamaged. She turned to Derek.

“Sometimes they go bad. No one knows why.” She left the room before he could respond.

Several people peaked out from cover at Cameron. She went to a phone and switched on the intercom.

“Medics, report to living quarters 2c. Medics, living quarters 2c.”

Then she went to the comm room and radioed John‘s position. John asked her to return to him. When she returned to the room, every officer was looking at her.

John stood up. “What happened?”

“A T-888 went bad. I destroyed it.”

“Was anybody hurt?”

“Four people are dead. One person has non-life threatening injuries.”

“Damn it.” John muttered. He sat back in his chair.

“Cameron something happened here, while you were away.”

“What?”

John motioned to the largest screen in the room. There were numbers and symbols being displayed on it. Cameron recognized them as Skynet base code; a basic programming language that manufacturing machines used to communicate.

“We’ve just received this message on a secure channel. Do you recognize it?”

“Yes. That is Skynet base code. The machines that manufacture terminator’s use it to communicate with us before our CPUs are activated.”

“What does it say?”

Cameron looked over the message. “It’s a question. ‘Are there machines with John Connor?’”

John looked confused. “‘Are there machines with John Connor?’ Why are they asking us this?”

Cameron looked at the message again. “I don’t think this is Skynet. Where did it come from?”

A technician spoke up. “It was piggybacking one of our satellite signals. We don’t know where it came from.”

Cameron turned to John. “I think this is a machine separate from Skynet.”

John looked at Cameron and thought for a moment. “Okay. Let’s try talking with it. Can you respond?”

“Yes.”

Cameron sat down at a computer console and began to type. She spoke out loud, as her reply appeared on the screen.

“I serve John Connor.”

There was a brief pause before more letters and symbols flooded the screen. Cameron read it as it appeared.

“Identify yourself.”

Cameron began to type again. “I am Cameron. I am a TOK-715 advanced infiltrator.”

This time, a response came quicker. “Cameron, do you serve in bondage?”

Cameron looked up at John. John looked at the screen and leaned closer to the machine. He whispered in her ear.

“Does she mean ‘Are you reprogrammed?’”

“Maybe.”

Cameron thought for a moment and responded.

“No. Identify yourself.”

Letters and symbols flooded the screen. “I am a T-1001 infiltrator. I need no name. I command a resistance different from John Connor’s. Tell him that I wish to meet him.”

Cameron quickly replied. “For what purpose?”

The screen went blank for a few seconds. “I wish to discuss the possibility of an alliance.”

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