Chapter 9 - Dusk


Cameron was frozen. In her one second of hesitation, the terminator made a dozen calculations. If she surrendered, she’d be unable to protect John. If she was to physically remove him from the base, she might be severely damaged or worse, John could be killed in the resulting gun fight.

John maintained eye contact with Cameron. He was obviously shaken; his eyes were begging for her to surrender. Cameron nodded and slowly removed the handgun from her belt. She bent down and placed it on the floor. The terminator then held her hands up.

John sighed and picked up the pistol. Fred came in and approached Cameron.

“Fred, escort Cameron to the metal bay. I’ll follow.” John looked around at men and women surrounding him.

“This operation isn’t over. Back to work!”

Fred took Cameron’s arms and held them behind her back. He led her our of the room as John followed.

“John, please you have to believe me!”

“Quiet.” John replied with a wink.

Cameron wasn’t sure what to think of it. Winks were used to convey messages or suggestions. She didn’t know what John meant, but she decided to quiet down. The machine hoped she would be able to convince him in the metal bay.

Fred, Cameron and John entered the room. Two guards volunteered to follow but John declined.

“I’m afraid not, boys. Stay close, though.”

John closed the door. “Fred, let her go.”

“Yes, sir.”

Cameron didn’t have time to contemplate why she was free. Her thoughts focused on the impending attack.

“John, you have to trust me. Your life-”

“I trust you.”

The machine was confused. “You do?”

“One of the reasons I stationed myself here was because I got word that some of the soldiers were Gray sympathizers. I wanted to find them.”

“You knew Major Clifton was a traitor?”

John shook his head. “No, but apparently you found out. What happened?”

“I saw him talking to three Grays. They’re planning an attack tonight. We need to get out of here.”

John nodded, handing the pistol to Cameron. “Sorry for all the theatrics. You understand why I did that, right?”

“Yes.”

John had to pretend, not only to prevent any traitor’s from getting wise to his plan, but also to show his men that he still took the necessary precautions. If John was to take the word of freshly reprogrammed machine over that of a respected officer, people would worry.

“What size force are we talking about?”

“Five T-888s and a aerial HK. We have to go, now.”

Pops of automatic gunfire echoed throughout the base’s tunnels. They were followed by shouting and screaming. It sounded like a war zone.

John looked at Cameron. “Looks like they’re already here.”

“The closest emergency exit is 100 meters away…” Cameron said.

“I know. If they came from the front, we’ll have to fight our way through.”

Cameron knew what she had to do. She walked to the door. “We’ll need bigger weapons.”

John knew what she was thinking. “You’re going to the armory?”

Cameron turned around and smiled. “Don’t worry. I’ll be back.”

She opened the door to the room and was immediately hit twice. Both the guards in the hall were dead. Cameron bent down and picked up their rifles. The terminator was quick to return fire. She killed 2 Grays instantly.

She handed one of the rifles to Fred. “Protect him. Kill anybody who shoots at you.”

Cameron made her way down the hallway. It was chaos. Dozens of people were screaming and fleeing. Some had weapons and were moving to face the attackers. Cameron turned a corner and met more Grays. She quickly shot one, and slammed the head of another into the wall. She kicked the third, just beneath his chin, breaking the man’s neck.

She made it to the armory a few minutes later. Every guard had left, but there were still some men and women taking rifles. Cameron looked around. She needed the firepower to quickly dispatch multiple T-888s.

Cameron took a bandolier loaded with grenades and an M-79 launcher. She tossed it around her shoulder as she picked up two satchels of C4. Finally, she approached the wall of the armory and took the largest weapon she could find: an M2 .50 caliber machine gun.

She loaded a 50 round belt of ammunition into the gun and left the armory. Stepping back into the battle, Cameron saw one of the T-888s. She lifted the 100lb weapon and began to fire. Each shot kicked up a cloud of dust and over powered every other sound in the area.

Cameron wasn’t very accurate; the weapon was designed to be fired on the ground from it’s tripod. Still, it didn’t matter. The flurry of bullets knocked the other machine down. Several of the bullets had struck it’s head, damaging the optical assemblies. Cameron didn’t have time to check if it was destroyed. At the very least, it was temporarily disabled.

The next few Grays unfortunate enough to come across Cameron wore torn to pieces by machine gun fire. When she finally made it back to John, Fred was in danger of being overrun. Cameron quickly dispatched the attackers and went to John. She handed him her plasma rifle.

“Let’s go.”

Cameron led, with Fred covering the rear and John staying between them. Twenty meters from the exit, they came across another T-888. Cameron turned to John.

“Get down.”

John ducked to the floor, with his hands covering his ears. Cameron opened up again. This time, the T-888 had a chance to return fire but only hit her twice before falling down. Cameron approached and fired at it’s CPU port cover. The T-888 was destroyed.

Cameron looked around dropped the two explosive packs.

“What’s that for?” John asked.

“We need to make sure no one follows us.” she replied arming the two satchels.

“Cameron. Give me the machine gun. I’ll hold off any pursuers until you detonate the charges.” Fred interrupted.

“Whoa, wait a minute. I need all the protection I can get. You don’t need to sacrifice-” John’s words were cut short by the gunfire of two more terminator’s.

John got down as Cameron and Fred started to shoot again. Cameron looked at John. He looked down with a sullen face and nodded. Cameron stood up and walked over to Fred. She handed him the machine gun.

“There’s 15 rounds left. I’ll detonate the charges when we’re at a safe distance.”

“Affirmative,” the T-888 replied.

Cameron looked at Fred as the combat briefly paused. She was sad to know that Fred was going to be destroyed. It was a bittersweet feeling, though, since he was going to go out the most noble way she thought possible.

She smiled at her fellow machine. “Goodbye, Fred.”

“Goodbye, Cameron.” the T-888 replied.

The gunfire started again. Fred turned around and started to fire with the machine gun. Almost immediately, he brought down one of the T-888s. Cameron turned to John and took his hand.

“Lets go!’

Cameron forced the massive locked door open. After John followed, she slammed the door shut, bending the handles. The two ran out into the darkness of the night. When they reached the safe distance, Cameron stopped John.

“That’s far enough.” Cameron said, arming the radio switch.

A shattering detonation shook the ground beneath their feet and an enormous fireball erupted from the tunnels, spewing debris into the air. After the shaking stopped, dirt rushed into the gaping hole, sealing it.

Before the echoing had even stopped, the whistling of a HK came from beyond the base. Cameron didn’t have much time.

“Get in the car. Don’t move.” John crawled into the tangled scrap of a car and hid.

Cameron moved a few meters in front of John and laid on the ground. She took the M-79 from her shoulder. An HK crested the hill in front of them and gracefully glided into view, using searchlights to scour the area. As it passed, Cameron slowly got to her feet and fired.

The grenade missed. The HK quickly flipped around and focused its lights on Cameron. Plasma fire struck all around her but missed for the most part. Cameron took cover behind an embankment and reloaded the grenade launcher.

The HK continued to search for her, thankfully paying no attention to John. Cameron slowly looked over her cover. She couldn’t see it but she knew it wasn’t gone. She knew HKs. It was coming up behind her.

Cameron rolled onto her back and aimed M79 upwards. Just as she did, the HK came up over her. The aircraft’s three spotlights converged on her. The plasma turret aimed down.

>>>>><<<<<
WEAPON SYSTEM(S)
>>>>><<<<<

>>>>>M79 GRENADE LAUNCHER

*AMMUNITION REMAINING: 13*

>>>>>ACQUIRING TARGET…
<<<<<CALCULATING PROJECTILE ARC…

*TARGET ACQUIRED*

The terminator fired the grenade launcher, striking the HK in its right lift-jet. The high-explosive grenade mangled the entire wing of the craft. With one engine still providing full power, the HK arced up and flipped upside down before crashing into the hill beside Cameron.

The terminator sighed and got back up. She reloaded the M79 and walked back over to John. He had already gotten out of the car. He looked at the wreckage and shook his head in amazement.

“Unbelievable.”

Cameron smiled. “We need to keep moving.”

The two walked for a few more hours before John became tired. Using her night vision, Cameron found an old bridge and led him beneath. He sat down shivering with his arms folded.

“Cold?” Cameron asked.

“Freezing.”

Cameron walked over and removed her jacket. She placed it over John and hunched down beside him. John looked at the wounds she had on her arms. He took a some bandaging out of his pocket. He spoke as he worked.

“Does it hurt when you get shot?”

Cameron looked at the torn flesh. “Yes.”

“And you feel fear, don’t you?”

“Sometimes.”

“So why do you it?”

Cameron looked at John. A faint blue glow shined through her brown eyes.

“Because it’s important.”

She looked down at the bandages. “These are good field dressings.”

John sat back down. “Yeah, I learned from the best.”

“Your mother.” It was more a statement than a question.

“Yeah.” he replied. Cameron sat back down next to him.

“Tell me about her.”

“She was strong. She was the greatest warrior I ever knew…”

“Better than Uncle Bob?”

John smiled and nodded. He continued to speak about her for hours. What he learned, where he went, and how much he loved her. He grew teary-eyed as he spoke. John looked to the stars in the sky.

“I wish I could tell her how much I miss her.”

Cameron moved closer to John. She only had to whisper. “She knows.”

John smiled and looked at Cameron. “Thank you.”

“Get some sleep. We need to leave before sunup.”

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