Chapter 8: A rogue from within

Chapter 8 “A rogue from within”

Another hectic day at Uncle Ben’s Diner, packed with people having lunch. Sarah dashed from one table to another with an arm full of plates. A man entered the diner, looking around for someone. Sarah was at the counter when the man approached her.
“Mom, can I talk to you?” He said to her.
“John, we can talk later at dinner. I’m a little busy.” Said Sarah while pouring coffee in a cup. John looked at Sarah for a moment while she grabbed an order and headed towards a table. He was still standing where he was when Sarah went back at the counter.
“John?” Asked Sarah.
“I’m moving to New York.” He said to her.
“What?” She said while cleaning up a table.
“I was gonna tell you this later at dinner but I figured I should tell you now.” John said.
“John have you thought about this?” Sarah asked while pulling John in a corner.
“I’ve thought about this a thousand times over. I’m moving to New York with Cameron.” He said.
“We’re not sure if it’s safe. Have you forgotten who you are? It’s too dangerous for you and for her.” Sarah said.
“Mom, it’s over. It’s been eight years since we stopped it. There’s no one coming for us.” Said John firmly.
“John.” She said.
“I’m tired of living like this. I’m no longer the ‘John Connor’ that you know. What I was destined to be, a leader, some messiah, not anymore.” He said, his temper slightly rising. Sarah looked at her son, wordless.
“I’m not here to ask for your permission. I just wanted to let you know.” John said calmly then walked away leaving Sarah with tears forming in her eyes.

“Cameron stay here with John.” She said to Cameron who was seated at the back.
“What?! Mom I’m going with you.” John protested beside Cameron.
“John stay in the car. Remember what happened in the alley?” Said Sarah.
John caught a glimpse of the older John looking at him through the rear view mirror with a Don’t-argue-with-mom look.
“Fine.” Said the younger John clearly disappointed, looking at Cameron.
“Whatever happens, stay here with him.” Sarah said to Cameron.
The older john and Sarah steps out of the car, walks in the shadows and through the gates of the warehouse. Derek was waiting for them at the backdoor. John pointed a gun at him.
“John.” Muttered Sarah.
“What did I say when I first saw you?” John asked Derek who was looking at him.
“You said that I was a machine.” Derek answered him calmly. John stared at him for a second then lowered his gun.
“Just making sure.” John said to Sarah.
“Where are John and the machine, the real one?” Derek asked Sarah.
“In the car, I told them to stay put.” She said.
“Did you find her? Caroll?” Sarah added.
“Not yet. It’s weird there’s no guards.” Derek said.
“Maybe this isn’t the place.” Said John.
“No, I followed them here. They were loading some crates. Then they just disappeared.” Derek told them.
“Do you know this Alice Caroll? Cameron said that she was a resistance fighter.” Said Sarah.
“John mentioned her name, the future John, before I jumped through time. But I’ve never met her.” Explained Derek.
“She designed weapons for the resistance.” Said john.
“That’s how I know that we need to save her.” Derek said looking at him seriously.

John and Cameron were sitting quietly in the car when John spoke,
“I should be doing these things.” He said sounding disappointed.
“What things?” Asked Cameron.
“These missions. I should have a part if I’m to become a great leader or something.” Said John without looking at her.
“It’s too dangerous.” Cameron said, John turned to face her.
“That’s my point. How will I know or learn if I don’t get to experience ‘danger’.” He said to Cameron.
“You’ll have your chance someday, but not today.” Said Cameron not looking at him. John, still disappointed, sat quietly looking through the window.

Sarah, John and Derek were already inside the warehouse.
“We should split up.” Said Derek.
“I’ll search upstairs.” John said to them.
“John.” Sarah said as she looked at him apprehensively.
“I’ll take this side.” Said Derek pointing east of the warehouse.
“Don’t worry, I’ll be fine.” John said to Sarah then headed towards the stairs.
“John, be careful.” She said to him. John looked back and said,
“I will.” And left.
“Sarah?” Derek spoke. She faced him and said,
“I’ll search this side.” Derek nodded as Sarah walked towards the other side of the warehouse.

Cameron was preparing the table for dinner when the apartment door opened. John walked in and placed his keys on the side table.
“Hey. How’s your day?” Cameron asked cheerfully.
“Exhausting.” He said and gave Cameron a kiss on the forehead then walked towards the fridge and poured himself a glass of orange juice. Cameron sits on the chair and stared at John.
“Your mom called, she said you’re not answering your phone.” Said Cameron. John moved closer to the table and sat down from across her.
“Don’t you miss her?” She added. John looked at her, taken aback by what she said.
“I do.” He said.
“Then why are you avoiding her?” Asked Cameron. John didn’t say anything, staring at the table.
“You should be thankful you still have her.” She said sadly. “I’d give anything to see my parents again.” She added. John felt guilty as he saw Cameron teary-eyed.

The woman bound in a chair cried as she tried to scream for help, looking at the man staring blankly at the door.
“Helb!” She screamed behind the tape on her mouth. Outside the room, John picks the lock quietly then stood up and reached for his gun behind him. He slowly opened the door and heard a muffled cry of a woman. John immediately rushed to enter the room but stopped abruptly when he saw the man standing, looking straight at him.
“Derek?” Said John with a look of confusion on his face.
“John Connor.” The man said as his HUD showed ‘Primary Target Acquired. Action: Terminate’ His eyes glowed red and John realized who he was talking to and pointed the gun at him.

Sarah was looking through some crates when she heard gun shots echoing through the warehouse. She hurriedly ran out of the room and searched for the stairs. When she reached the top, Sarah heard a woman crying out for help. She headed towards the room with its door wide open and found her.

Cameron and John sat quietly inside the car when they saw the older John emerged from the warehouse running, but not towards them but instead away from the car to a nearby dock. He was followed by Derek who was walking briskly.
“What the-“Uttered John, confused by what he saw. “Derek!” He shouted and was about to step out of the car when Cameron stopped him and grabbed John by his arms.
“That’s not Derek.” Said Cameron looking directly at Derek.
“What?” Asked John.
“Stay here.” She said and stepped out of the car. Derek didn’t hear John’s call and continued to follow the older John to the dock.

Derek walked in on Sarah removing the tape over the woman’s mouth and rushed over to help.
“It’s him! Please don’t hurt me!” Cried the woman when she saw Derek.
“It’s okay. We’re here to help you.” Informed Sarah.
“He’s the man who kidnapped me!” Said the woman hysterically, looking cautiously at Derek who stood beside Sarah.
“What’s she talking about?” Derek asked Sarah. She remembered what John told her about the machine who looked like him. Sarah pointed a gun at Derek.
“When you were shot, a paramedic helped you. What’s his name?” She asked him. Derek looked at her confused.
“What’s his name? Answer me!” Demanded Sarah.
“Charley. Charley Dixon.” Answered Derek. Sarah lowered her gun, then turned to face the woman on the chair.
“Alice Caroll?” Sarah asked as she untied the woman’s hands.
“How d’you know my name? Who are you?” She asked.
“I heard gun shots, was it you?” Derek asked Sarah ignoring the woman.
“No. It wasn’t-“Replied Sarah looking a little panicked.
“Where’s John?” She asked Derek.
“He followed a man named John.” It was Alice who answered her.
“Who’s he?” Derek asked Alice.
“He’s here.” Uttered Sarah and noticed some blood on the floor.
“We need to. We need to find John.” Sarah added, her voice slightly shaking.
“Mom!” They heard someone called outside the room.
“John?’ Shouted Sarah, the younger John entered.
“Derek? What the hell’s going on?” Asked John clearly at a loss.
“What are you doing here?” Asked Derek.
“What happened? Where’s Cameron?” Sarah asked John.
“We saw John, he came out running away from the warehouse followed by you.” He explained looking at Derek. Sarah looked pale upon hearing it. Derek seemed more confused than before.

John crouched beside a truck parked near the dock. He looked under the truck and saw a pair of legs walking towards him. John was breathing heavily, with his right hand holding his chest, blood trickling from it. He moved silently to the other side of the next truck. Derek stopped on his track, listening carefully for sings of his target’s location. John fell on his knees and bowed his head down. He sensed someone standing in front of him. John closed his eyes and waited for his fate.
“We need to go. Now.” Said a soft woman’s voice. He slowly looked up, his vision is blurry but recognized the voice. It was Cameron. She was about to help John stand when Derek grabbed her jacket by the shoulders with both hands and heaved her to the side of a truck. Cameron landed hard, the impact left a large indentation on the truck and she fell on the ground. Derek walked behind a crouching John and locked him in a choke hold; with one arm around his neck. As john gasped for air against a tight grip, Cameron seized Derek by his jacket and dragged him near the edge of the dock with John still struggling against Derek’s hold.
“John, try to hang on to his arms. Don’t let go until I say so.” Instructed Cameron. Derek tried to reach her but couldn’t. John did what Cameron told him, with all that is left of him. Cameron grasped Derek by his head with one arm and reached inside her jacket for a hand grenade.
“John! Now!” Shouted Cameron. She pulled the pin of the grenade with her teeth and wedged it into Derek’s mouth as she forced it open. Cameron’s plan back fired as Derek didn’t let go of John to try and defend himself. Instead he was still holding on to him. John struggled to break free and Cameron tried to pull Derek away from him, her feet reached the edge of the dock when the grenade exploded, sending the three of them falling on the water.

Sarah, John and Derek along with the woman named Alice, were outside the warehouse looking for the other John and Cameron.
“John!” Shouted Sarah while looking around. When they heard the explosion near the dock, they hurriedly ran towards it. As they reached the edge of the dock, they saw Cameron in the water, supporting an unconscious John, preventing him from sinking. Sarah leaned over the edge and hold out her hand.
“They’re too far. We need a rope or something.” Said Derek. The younger john went and searched for one. Cameron swims near the wall of the dock. John came back with a rope and lowered it to her. Derek took the rope from John and pulled Cameron and John out of the water.
“John get the car!” Sarah said to him. He hastily obliged and ran back to the car as fast as he could. Cameron laid John down on the ground; Derek went over to check on him.
“He’s barely breathing. We need to get him to a hospital.” He 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, his vital signs showed up 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 hastens to carry John to the car. Sarah and Cameron followed close behind. Sarah sat on the back holding John’s head on her lap; she noticed that it was bleeding. She stared at her hand, bloodied and shaking. The younger John looked on, horrified, holding the older John’s feet on his lap. Cameron was seated between them putting pressure on John’s wound, her HUD still showing his vital signs which was not looking good. Alice, sitting on the passenger side, shot glances behind her still crying.
“Derek hurry up!” Sarah shouted at him, her eyes filled with tears. She looked at John covered with his own blood.
“John hold on! Don’t do this please.” She said to him. The younger John looked at Sarah and realized how strong her love for him was. He was holding back his tears.
“Fight! John, fight! Do you hear me?” John shouted at his older self. Sarah looked at him as she caught his eyes; they stared for a moment trying to comfort each other through this painful incident.

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