Chapter 3 - Turncoat


The white letters were projected in her vision. She barely noticed them. She was transfixed by her wound. The metal gleamed brightly underneath the medical light. She moved her shoulder and watched the servos beneath the skin. Again, white text flashed in her eyes.







“What am I?” she asked the doctor. Tears filled her eyes. He stood pressed against the door of the room. His arm reached out to an alarm.


She watched as the text scrolled into her vision. Now she remembered everything. The darkened room. The interrogation. The experimental personality infusion. Being dropped at the beach.

Her head was spinning. She was a machine. She was the machine. The one that had tortured Allison. The one that snapped her neck like a twig. Somehow, she was that terminator.

The man pulled the alarm. A bell began to ring and the room became bathed in red, flashing light. She walked over to the man as he opened the door to the room.

“TERMINATOR! TERMINATOR! TERM-” he was cut short as the machine slammed his head into the concrete wall.

A soldier was only feet away as she stepped into the hallway. Wide-eyed and no more than 18 years old, he paused as she approached. In an instant, she reached out and pulled the rifle from his hands. He died from a dozen point-blank shots of his own rifle.

Down the hallway, leading deeper into the complex, several men had already set up positions. She found herself impressed with their response time but gave it little thought as the hallway lit up with plasma fire. She was hit several times in the chest and arms.

Diagnostic readouts and information flooded her vision. She felt pain from the injuries, yet it didn’t affect her. She took careful aim and returned fire, killing three of the four men.

More gunfire came from behind her. A bolt of plasma glided past her face, burning her hair and scorching her cheek. She turned and fired at the group of people towards the entrance of the base. More armed men and women died as unarmed civilians scurried away from the battle.

She paused as she analyzed them. No threat. She thought to herself and continued deeper into the complex.

“We will hold the line! The metal stops here!” she heard a man say. She knew she wouldn’t have much time. John would undoubtedly have an escape route. The terminator began to run.

She continued to face resistance as she got deeper in the complex. Every so often she would exchange gunfire with another soldier and most of them died as a result. At one point a man with a live grenade ran up to the terminator and tried to grab her. Instantly, she yanked the grenade out of the man’s hands, sent it soaring behind her and shattered his neck with her fist.

At this point, the terminator stopped. For some reason, she felt interested in her casualty-count. The information instantly came up on her HUD. Twenty four. Twenty four.

She felt impaired. She had suffered no serious physical damage, yet it became difficult to continue. The terminator paused, contemplating how John Connor could instill such fearlessness in his soldiers. She quickly dismissed the thoughts after she realized how close she was. Her objective was only a few feet away. She pressed on.

As she rounded a corner, she came across three men and two women in front of a heavy door. There were sand bags set up and an anti-vehicle plasma gun. Captain Calitri was among them. The terminator quickly analyzed them before taking cover.





As the terminator took cover, hundreds of bolts of plasma collided with the wall behind her. Bits of glowing molten concrete sprinkled to the ground as the wall grew black and burnt. She changed her voice.

“Help! Help me!” the terminator used a child’s voice.

“She‘s holding me hostage! Please, I don’t wanna die!”

The terminator had calculated that they would be caught off guard by her ruse. All she needed was a tenth of a second of hesitation; that would be enough time to shoot the man on the largest gun. She made the correct calculation.

She sprinted out into the hallway, full speed and slid onto the ground. She took three shots as she fell; two struck the heavy gunner. He fell backwards, dead, as the other men and women opened fire with their rifles.

She was hit several more times as she continued to return fire. With two left, her plasma gun failed. The gun’s cooling system had been hit and it overheated. With her full strength, she threw the rifle at one of the remaining men. It slammed into his face and he collapsed.

All that remained was Calitri. He continued to fire his rifle as she approached. She closed the distance quickly and had his rifle in her hands and reversed in less than a second.

“Fuck you.” he snarled at her.

She paused and looked at him. For some reason, she could not pull the trigger. She saw the hatred in his eyes; she didn’t know why, but she didn’t want to see him like that. She stuck the butt of the rifle on his head. He fell to the ground.

She began to tear parts of the door off. Piece by piece, it began to collapse. When it was weakened, she kicked it in. John Connor was in the tiny room, crouched in the corner with a plasma rifle. With her free hand the terminator drove his rifle into the wall, shattering it. Then, she stuck the barrel of Calitri’s rifle in his face.

John Connor closed his eyes and slouched against the wall of the small room. He sighed with a look of exhaustion upon his face. The terminator was caught off guard by John’s appearance.

She was confused. Even though she knew John Connor was a regular human being, she expected something greater. She almost expected a giant, or a god. Something that would elevate him above normal men and women. Some logical explanation for why he was so strong in the eyes of humanity and even Skynet.

All the machine saw here was a tired man. A man whose body and mind had been scarred by a thousand battles and ten thousand sleepless nights. He seemed no more impressive than the average man or woman the terminator had so effortlessly killed moments before.

Yet, despite all this, she could not pull the trigger. All she needed to do was fire the rifle, and her mission would be a success. Her entire existence was based around this mission and she could not complete it.

The reflection of a mirror in the room caught the terminator’s eye. It was old, scratched and dirty. Rust trails ran down from screws that held it in the wall. She was shocked by what she saw.

Blood soaked the military uniform, which had at least two dozen different holes, all cut by plasma fire. Her hair was singed and burned. Speckles of blood from her victims covered her face and her plasma-riddled arms. On her left hand, the terminator could see exposed finger actuators.

When she saw the other side of her face she let out an involuntary gasp. The plasma that struck her cheek exposed a large portion of her endoskeleton. The terminator didn’t know why, but she began to cry again. Her legs failed and she collapsed on the ground beside her target. The rifle dropped to the ground and she folded her arms, almost as if to comfort herself.

“What am I?” she pleaded.

John Connor’s mouth was open. This was the closest a machine had ever gotten. This was the closest he had even been to death, yet his would-be cyborg assassin had just broken down, crying. John was frozen.






Warnings continued to flash in the terminator’s vision. She tried to lift her arms but could barely move them; her body stopped responding to her commands as the CPU safeguard began shutting down all systems. Her vision began to blur and flash on and off. Soldiers rushed into the room as the terminator collapsed on the concrete.

The terminator’s vision was gone. The machine was powerless to stop the emergency shutdown procedures. The only thing that still worked were the machine’s audio receptors. She could hear the detached sounds of boots and voices as they echoed in her head.

“Kill it!” one man cried out. He sounded like he was underwater.

“No! Bring it to the metal bay… this isn’t up for debate… make it fucking happen!”



The terminator didn’t know why, but it took special care archiving the information. For some reason, it seemed important. Then, the machine’s CPU flickered off and blackness took her.

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