Chapter 8 - Treason


The T-888 slammed Cameron into the concrete wall behind her. She was pinned, and not strong enough to free herself. Quickly, she used both hands to break the grip of one of the T-888’s arms. It came forward with the force of the impact and Cameron struck the machine’s head with her elbow.

The machine stumbled back as Cameron regained her footing. It paused for a moment, and then charged. In one fluid motion, Cameron caught the T-888’s fist, slipped behind it and sent the machine tumbling to the ground. She took a plasma rifle and pointed it to the T-888’s CPU port cover.

“Very good.” John said. “You’re a quick learner.”

Cameron stood over Fred, beaming with pride. She put the rifle away and helped the T-888 up.

“Good use of speed and leverage. Next time, I want to see more kicks.”

Cameron noted everything John could teach her about martial arts. After her fight with the other T-888, she wanted to be certain that she could overcome another terminator unarmed. Fred made an excellent sparring partner.

“I don’t like kicking. It puts me off balance.” Cameron defended.

“Yeah, but you can hit a lot harder with your legs. Plus, it’ll surprise other terminators. They’re won’t see it coming.”

John was right. Terminator’s were only designed to fight humans. In hand to hand combat, they mainly relied on their fists and enormous strength advantage. Another terminator wouldn’t expect a kick or any martial arts, for that matter.

Cameron approached Fred and kicked. Her foot crashed into the machine’s chest, knocking it off balance. She momentarily lost control but caught herself before falling with the T-888.

“Don’t worry. You’ll get better as time goes on.” John said reassuring her. He glanced at the clock.

“I gotta go to the war room. Fred, resume standard patrol.”

The T-888 stood up. “Yes, sir.”

“Cameron, you‘re free to go wherever.”

Cameron nodded. “You’re free to go wherever” was John’s way of saying “Go anywhere but the war room,”. She knew he enjoyed her presence; it was the other field commanders that objected to it. John didn’t want to cause any problems.

Generally, Cameron would occupy her free time with reading, outside patrol, equipment repair, or the study of humans. She decided to spend more time working on her martial arts. It would make her a more effective protector for John.

She spent the next hour perfecting her kicks. Every time she lost balance, the machine made a note of it and repositioned her legs accordingly. It felt odd going against standard combat protocol, but she did feel more confident. She had even learned a kick where she could hit an opponent behind her.

Cameron paused and looked at a clock. It would still be a few hours before John left the war room. Tonight he was orchestrating a massive retaliatory strike in San Diego. He’d be busy late into the night. She left the room and continued to the base entrance.

After informing Fred, she took a plasma rifle and left the base. Several times, while on patrol, Cameron had rescued resistance fighters or refugees. Still, it didn’t do much to the people’s general opinion of her. The majority of people in the base still feared her.

The night air was cool and it was fairly easy to see. The moon illuminated everything in Cameron’s vision with a faint blue glow. She didn’t need to use her night vision. Cameron walked a few miles from base before stopping. A slight breeze carried voices on the air. She froze and listened closely.

>>>>><<<<<
AUDIO RECOGNITION ANALYSIS (VOICE)
>>>>><<<<<

>>>>>VOICE CONFIRMATION: CLIFTON, ALEX
<<<<<CONFIRMATION ACCURACY: 94.62%

Cameron paused. Clifton was the commanding Major of the base. He only answered to John. It was strange for him to be out at this time; especially during important maneuvers. Cameron quietly approached the voices with her rifle readied.

Cameron didn’t like Clifton. Even when the machine met him, she knew something was off. His body language and conversational tones were alarming to Cameron. Still, she needed evidence. She needed concrete proof that he was a liar.

John and Clifton had gone to the same Skynet work camp. It was John who rallied the revolting prisoners, but Clifton and several others helped coordinate the escape. He earned John’s trust and a spot in the army.

The machine got visual confirmation as she walked around a destroyed hangar. She spotted Clifton, two of his guards and three other men speaking with them. The other men didn‘t have the standard resistance uniforms. They were Grays.

“This needs to happen soon. He’s not going to be around forever.” Clifton sounded worried.

“The operation will take place tonight.” the lead Gray replied.

“He’s got two protecting him.”

“Five T-888s will be sent with our assassins. An aerial HK will be present to clean up any survivors.”

Cameron’s suspicions were correct. Clifton was a traitor. Part of her wanted to open fire and kill them all but that would be a mistake. If the Grays were alerted to her presence, they could start the attack early, and she wouldn’t be able to protect John. She had to wait for them to leave.

“Wait here. We’ll arrange for pick up after he’s dead. Shouldn‘t be more than three hours.”

The three Grays got into a beaten, rusty armored car and left. Clifton and his two guards started to walk to the hangar. It was Cameron’s time to strike. Hopefully she could get information from them and prevent the attack from taking place.

Cameron pulled her handgun with her left hand and held the plasma rifle in the right. Hopefully, the extra firepower would convince them to surrender; they were no good to her dead. She quietly approached the men from behind.

“Major.” she called out to Clifton.

The three men jerked around, startled.

“Cameron?”

Cameron walked up to the men. Her handgun was aimed at one of the guards. The rifle was aimed at Clifton.

“Drop you weapons.” she said calmly.

The guards looked at her and then Clifton.

Clifton looked surprised. “Are you damaged?”

“Drop your weapons. I’m not going to tell you again.”

One of the guards leveled his rifle at Cameron. A fraction of a second later, a .44 caliber slug entered his skull, just below the helmet. He was dead before he hit the ground. Before the other guard had a chance to move, the barrel of the handgun was facing him. Cameron maintained eye contact with Clifton.

“Don’t make the same mistake he did. Drop your weapons.” Cameron said coldly.

Clifton nodded to his guard. They both put their rifles on the ground.

“Cameron. You’re CPU is damaged. You need to report to the metal bay and submit to CPU extrac-”

“I don’t answer to your authority, Major. You are a traitor.” Cameron interrupted in chilling monotone.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Your CPU is damaged. Stand down and submit to chip extraction!” Cameron could tell he was frightened.

“Answer my questions and you will live long enough to be tried in a war court.”

The other guard turned and took off running. He grabbed his radio and turned it on.

“This is Peterson! I need help! She-”

Three more shots rang out. Every one of Cameron’s shots hit their mark. The man rolled down an embankment, dead.

“This is your last chance, Major. When is the attack taking place and who is involved?”

“Cameron, can’t you see we’re fighting a losing war. We’re on the wrong side.”

Cameron shook her head. “No, you’re on the wrong side.”

Clifton ducked and picked up a rifle. He was only able to get one shot off before the machine killed him. Cameron was hit in the stomach, but was undamaged. She turned around and started to run.

She used her radio and attempted to contact the base. She couldn’t tell them what happened. No one would believe that Major Clifton was a traitor. She had to rush home and convince John that he was in danger. The base operator responded. Nothing had happened yet. Cameron shut the radio off and continued running.

Cameron rushed into the base and ran to the war room. She needed to get John out of the base as soon as possible. Fred and her were no match for five T-888s. The best strategy would be to retreat and reassess the situation. Cameron approached the guards at the war room.

“I need to talk with John, now!”

The guards exchanged glances and let her pass. She ran up the stairs and into the room. John was standing in the middle of the radio stations, talking into a headset. Cameron ran up to him.

“John! You’re in danger! We need to leave, now!”

John put his hand up and held the headset closer. “Just a second, Cameron. Could you repeat that?”

An expression of shock covered John’s face. He looked at Cameron and slowly pulled the headset off.

“Major Clifton was found dead outside our base…” the entire room fell silent.

John continued. “A scout saw Cameron execute him and his two body guards.”

He looked at Cameron. “Is this true?”

“…Yes.“ Cameron heard the clicking sounds of a dozen different weapons being armed.

John looked at the guards. “Bring Fred in here.”

“John, you don’t understand! You’re in danger!”

“Cameron, surrender your weapon.”

Cameron shook her head. Tears were building in her eyes. “No. I need it to protect you.”

Several of the armed men took aim at Cameron.

“Cameron, I won’t tell you again. Surrender your weapon.”

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