Chapter 9: "What Are You Doing Here?"

A/N: This is the first chapter that coincides with "To the Lighthouse." Sorry it took so long, I just didn't feel like it was ever right, so I just decided to post it anyways. This is also the first chapter that introduces two original characters. One is Mykah, which has been featured in flashbacks, but this is the first chapter with her in the present.


Mykah knocked on the door in front of her. It was a cheap apartment on the bad side of town. The town being Riverside, which was already the bad side of something. Maybe of the river.

One last person on my list, and I am done. This guy was hard to track down. Good thing John gave me a hint as to how I might find him. He must’ve known this guy would be living off the grid.

The door opened, and a young man, about 22 years old stood there.

When Mykah realized who it was, all she could think to say was “What are you doing here?”

The gun held up to Cameron’s head normally wouldn’t make her feel this way. She wasn’t scared, not really. She knew Derek couldn’t kill her. I’m faster than him. And it would take more than one little bullet to kill me, even if he aims it at my chip, which he’s not doing. Not smart, Derek. But you’ve been “not smart” for a while. What happened with Jesse is proof of that. Cameron hadn‘t been sure if he‘d known about the baby. She suspected that he didn’t know, but she couldn’t be sure. I want him to understand. To know the whole situation. To know what it is like to lose a child. So he’ll understand next time when he puts John in a situation like that.

She could feel her heartstrings pulling thinking about what could have happened. How much worse everything could have been. I wonder what would have happened if Jesse’s plan had worked. If I had killed Riley. Would John ever be able to forgive me? Even if it wasn’t really me? Would he cry if Derek shot my chip right now? Would he care? Cameron wasn’t sure. He’d been avoiding her since that night. Sarah had come home and interrupted them, and since then John had made sure they were never alone. This bothered Cameron. But she could be patient. She was built to be patient. So she would be. He’s worth it.

“You love her?” Charlie asked, an understandable question.

And John knew the answer immediately, just as he had when Jesse had asked him if he would have killed Cameron. No. “She was a good person. Maybe if things were different.” And if Cameron wasn’t here, with her feelings and human psyche and all that.

“Yeah, well, I guess you could say that about a lot of things.”

“I could say that about my whole damn life, but it’s not, so what’s the point?”

What is the point? I’ve been avoiding Cameron, trying to pretend nothing’s changed. I thought if she were different, then the only problem would be what everyone else thought. But it’s not. It’s me. I’m scared about what it would mean. Just because her chip now works more like a human brain, does that mean it’s okay to be with her? Does she have a soul? Do any of us really have souls, or is that just another combination of signals sent to the brain? What if I told Charley, right here, everything about Cameron? Everything I’m going through? Would he tell mom? Would he think I’m crazy? Or would he be supportive? I mean, it means something if future me is okay with it. Future me has more knowledge than me. It doesn’t matter. I’m not ready to figure this out yet anyway.

“…but a man can only live on convenience store burritos for so long. So…I go back there now. It’s getting better.”

The story about Charley dealing with the loss of his wife made John feel better. It put him at ease. Sure, he could easily apply it to dealing with Riley’s death and the part he played in it, but unknown to Charley, it also clarified things with Cameron. He’d avoid her, sure, but sooner or later, he’d have to face her. I just have to grieve for Riley first. Make sure I’m not doing to Cameron what I did to Riley--distracting myself.

After getting over the shock of seeing Mykah, Ethan answered her question. “John sent me here. Forget me, what are you doing here? Not just here at my apartment, but here in this year?”

“Um, I’m doing a few things for John.”

“What kinds of things?”

“Just things.”

“Like showing up at crappy apartments not knowing who to expect?”

“Yeah, pretty much.”

“What were you expecting when you knocked on that door?”

“Not you. Not anyone like you, actually. I haven’t been sent to find another person from the future for awhile now.”

“So you just travel around, looking for people?”

“Just for the past few weeks. This was my last stop.”

“And then what?”

“And then I go back.”

“Back where?”

Mykah cleared her throat nervously. “Uh, um, to John. Connor. And Sarah. They‘re waiting for me.”

“Well, aren’t you special?”

Mykah wasn’t looking at Ethan, so she couldn’t know that he had a smile on his face as he said this. She immediately got defensive.

“Well, not really. I mean, there are machines out there, people even, that want to kill him. Not too much fun to be around.”

“Where we come from, that’s life.”

“Yeah, but this was supposed to be better. Not paradise, but at least better.” She paused for a second, realizing she didn’t even mean what she was saying. “I don’t know what I’m saying. I know I’m lucky. I know that whatever John’s reasons are for sending me here, that they’re good ones. But what are you doing here?”

“I’m waiting.”

Mykah gave him a confused look. “Waiting for what?”

“You, I suppose.”

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