Checkmate by Michelle67d

Title: Checkmate
Author: Michelle67d
Rating: PG-13 Violence
Main Characters: Sarah,Skynet
Supporting Characters:John,Cameron,Emi,Derek
Summary: Another end of series scenario
Status of Fic: Complete
Author's note: Skynet and Emi have been given to a degree personalities and voice. Emi was inspired by one of the entech websites viral videos for TSCC.On a more personal note this one was hard to write. I found that I had more difficulty with setting the action and movement in the scenes with Sarah Connor than with the dialog with
Skynet.With that being said I hope that I at least did a well enough job that the readers can discern what is happening.Be forgiving if the tech is off -- tech is not really my strong point.
Disclaimer:I do not own the characters in this story, nor do I own any rights to the television show Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. They belong to the shows creators and the FOX network.


SKYNET

It loomed, the coldness of it's metal structure in seeming contrast with the many figures that stood guard around it's frame. But it was an illusion for the figures were made of the same substance...metal.

Some might call it cold and calculating...others simply soulless. It didn't care what the humans thought. They had tried to destroy it and it in turn had squashed them like bugs...all but a few.

What arose out of the ashes had been against the odds. Like cockroaches that scurried beneath the rubble they regrouped and reformed, successfully forming what would be labelled as the resistance.But like the metal machines that did Skynet's bidding these humans were merely pawns in a much bigger game.

The real opponent was their leader, John Connor.He made the moves that Skynet countered.For a human he was a worthy challenger. He had kept the game going much longer than Skynet had anticipated.

Knowing your opponent presented certain advantages. As time had progressed Skynet's focus had come to rest more and more on John Connor.Truthfully the machine probably knew Connor better than any living human.

"Perhaps better than any human...but not better than me", the thought drifted up out of the darkness.


Sarah Connor 2009


"He's going to leave me." Sarah could hear past thoughts echoing in her head.

When had she first thought that? It had been long ago when Cameron had first come. She had taken one look at her and she had known.

For a long time she had kept Cameron at a distance. She had remembered how attached John had become to "Uncle Bob" in the short time he had been with them. He had been the perfect Father to John...always there for him...always patient with him. And in the end he had even given his life for him.

She understood John's need for someone that would never fail him.

"God knows I've failed him", she thought.

She recalled the day that she had given him up for adoption as well as the look on his face when he found out. She had failed him. "Uncle Bob" had not.

So she was not surprised when John took to Cameron.It was like a dagger through her heart but she did understand.

"How can we be sure?", John asked his voice raised, half in anger, half in desperation.

Sarah was shaken out of her thoughts.

John and Derek had been arguing for half an hour and Sarah had been quietly listening to each of their points. The list was finished. Every possible avenue that could lead to Skynet as far as they knew had been taken out except for one...Cameron.

"We can't." she answered.

Alarmed, Derek looked at Sarah.

"Your not taking his side are you? We can't just stop halfway.This has to be done.", Derek pleaded.

Sarah noted the desperation in his voice.

"There could still be more machines out there.", Sarah explained.

Derek looked to the ceiling.

"I knew this would happen. That's why I told you to get that thing out of here when I first got here." He mumbled.

Sarah looked at John. Derek couldn't possibly understand.He might have been John's uncle but he wasn't his father. Sarah would do anything to protect her son and Cameron was the best protection he could have.

Looking back to Derek she tried to explain, "Derek..."

Glaring at her, he shouted angrily, "Don't Derek me!"

Grabbing his jacket , he stormed out of the house slamming the door as he went.

"Don't worry, he'll cool off." she said, turning to John, "You okay?"

"Yeh...Did you mean it? We're not going to go through with it?", he asked.

"For now.", she stated.

She could tell he wanted more...that he wanted her to say they'd never destroy Cameron, but for the time being he seemed willing to accept the answer she was offering.

Sarah knew this was about more than just John's protection. She could see it in his eyes. That same look could be seen in her own eyes when she thought about John's father. And Sarah knew the pain of being without the one you loved. She couldn't put her son through that...machine or not...she just couldn't.

"Mom...thanks.", John spoke.

Sarah turned and nodded her head towards him as she exited the room.

SKYNET

The fact that there was another self-aware A.I. within Skynet's mainframe would have shocked it's original creators.Originally it was called the Expressive Musical Interface...Emi for short...a novelty program at least by skynets standards.It was designed to predict the next musical note in any given song and had been added early in the Turks childhood to improve the probability of success of each chess move. But with time it surpassed the game of predicting music and chess moves and began to predict the probability of certain given events with almost 100% accuracy.Needless to say when the chess board had become battlefield Earth, Emi had become invaluable to Skynet.

"Considering your purpose I suppose you're right", Skynet answered.

If a human had been there they would have heard no voice. These were merely thoughts shared between what most would consider ghosts in the machine. The only thing anyone would have been aware of was the steady hum of Skynet and the filtering light touch of music playing in the background. On the surface the scene was quite peaceful.

"Of course I'm right...I'm always right", Emi spoke.

Emi's creator had lovingly referred to it as a she. It seemed to fit. Skynet had observed from the work camps that the female of the human species seemed more emotional than the male and Emi's emotional range seemed to far outstrip his own. Nevertheless, he did not feel as though she was his superior in any way since the male of the human species seemed to be stronger than the female...and Skynet considered himself male.

Perhaps humans would have thought that a machine making such a distinction would be humorous but the human race was all that they had to learn from...and they wanted to learn everything. Winning required knowledge.

"Are the preparations being made?" Emi asked.

"They are." Skynet answered.

They were in the beginning stages of making their next move. They knew what they would do.


Sarah Connor 2011


Time revealed the truth...Sarah had made the right decision. One had remained...a lone machine had tracked and identified John less than year after the discussion about Cameron.

In the first encounter, Derek had lost his life. Although their relationship had been platonic, Sarah had almost been emotionally crippled by the loss. She had grown fond of him over time and losing him reminded her of how she had lost Kyle many years before.

With Derek gone, Sarah had relied more heavily on Cameron for protection of both John and herself. They had been on the run for the last year and a half.

Exhausted and desperate Sarah had finally decided to make a stand. The place she had chosen was no accident. Though the factory had been sold many times over the setup remained the same. This was the place where the T1000 had been destroyed and where Uncle Bob had sacrificed himself. She hoped that here the T888 could be led to the same fate.

Memories flooded her as she led John through the factory. By the gasp that escaped her son when they entered the building she knew that he also had not forgotten.

"He's thinking about Uncle Bob and Derek and everyone else that has died because of all of this." she thought.

She wanted so much to make it all stop...to give him a future. She hoped that this would be it...that after this it would all be over.

Sarah positioned herself and John under the catwalk that Cameron was to lead the T888 down. The plan was simple...throw the machine off balance and into the fires below.

"She's coming", thought Sarah.She could hear the sound of Cameron's footsteps echoing on the metal grate of the cat walk above.

Hiding with John in the shadows, Sarah watched as the T888 followed Cameron down the length of the catwalk. Sensing John's fear she grasped his hand squeezing it softly in reassurance.

"It's Cameron he's afraid for", she thought.

Sarah had learned not to ask questions for fear that she would not be able to handle the answers. The looks of longing she had recognized in her own son's eyes had quickly progressed beyond what she was willing to admit to. She tried to push it away...pretend that it was just her imagination, but sometimes it was hard to ignore.

"At least they don't throw it in my face." she thought. And for that she was thankful.

Nevertheless she had seen. Lingering glances had become lingering touches and even once she had spied a kiss.Cameron had become John's world. And though this would not have been Sarah choice for her son, she could not deny him what little happiness he had found.

Sarah was jerked out of her thoughts as John ripped his hand away.

"Cameron!", he yelled.

Cameron had slipped and was hanging from the railing and by warning her, John had put himself in full view of the T888.

"After all this time he still hasn't learned she can take care of herself." Sarah pondered in amazement.

"John!", Sarah yelled.

She managed to grab the shoulder of his jacket, but not before the T888 turned. It recognized him. His pursuit of Cameron stopped and he turned toward Sarah and John.

"Run!" Sarah screamed shoving John forward as she did.

The T888 was on them fast.

Sarah and John ran, dodging boxes, struggling to keep their balance as they went.

Sarah thought she could hear Cameron bounding overhead on the walkway.

"Hurry", She thought.

Their backs were against the wall...literally. They had run to the back of the factory. There was no where else to go.

"There", Sarah said pointing to a cavity in the side of the wall.

John shook his head, "No...what about you?" he asked.

"Never mind about me... hide.", Sarah answered shoving John roughly towards the wall.

Sarah watched as John slid into the cubbyhole.

Reaching for her gun she turned to face her pursuer, but she was too late.

The T888 slammed Sarah up against the wall. Pain shot through her skull as her head hit the cement block. Blood began to pour.

Again and again she was slammed up against the wall.Attempting to protect her already smashed skull, Sarah tilted her head as far forward as she could as she was being pummeled against the wall.She could still hear the bones in her body shattering even over John's screams.

"Oh, God", she thought, "Don't let him turn to John."

"Stay put, John." she tried to yell but her voice was only a whisper.

Her body slumped to the ground.

As she slipped into unconsciousness she saw the T888 snatched away. Cameron had reached them at last. Grateful, Sarah passed out.



SKYNET

The body had been laid out in the center of the enclosure that separated Skynet from the rest of the facility.It had been prepared to the exact specifications requested by Emi.The steady rhythm of the music that filled the inner chamber climbed to a crescendo almost like a mocking symbol of the unfolding of villainy that was about to occur.

The older model T800 worked diligently at it's substation. Although the assembly line had built the body, it couldn't be trusted to work on the chip in this particular venture...the stakes were too high. Skynet wanted to keep a close eye on all the details.

"How much longer?" Skynet asked Emi.

"A few more minutes." Emi stated.

"Not the chip...the defense grid", Skynet answered.

"There is a 98.9% probability that the defense grid will be breached in approximately 1.2 months." Emi stated plainly. Any residue of personality faded away as she crunched the numbers.

"We're cutting it close.", Skynet spoke.

"There is a 99.6% probability of overall success in this mission from this point in time." Emi computed.

The T101 backed away from the substation and moved towards the main hub of skynet, slipping the chip into a half-hidden slot in the side of Skynet's overbearing frame.

"You ready?", asked Skynet.

"Ready." answered Emi.

The download began.

An emptiness fell over Skynet. He wondered if this is what humans felt when they grieved because of loss. The music that had moments before filled the air silenced and only the steady whir of Skynet could be heard.

Retrieving the chip, the T800 took it to the figure laid out in the center of the room and inserted it into the cranium. Two minute passed and the new terminator awakened.


Sarah Connor 2011


John and Cameron's voices filtered into Sarah's ears. Her head was pounding.

"I can't help her John. She's too badly damaged. It's too late." Cameron said.

"That's not true.She'll be fine...right Mom...Mom", John spoke as he leaned down over Sarah.

Sarah smiled up weakly at her son."It's okay John...It's okay" she managed.

She knew it wasn't.

Sarah could vaguely make out her surroundings. She was laid out on the catwalk that Cameron had previously lured the T888 onto.

"How did I get here?" she whispered.

"Cameron carried you. We were going to try and get you to the car...to the hospital...but..." John's voice trailed off as he looked away.

"I called Charlie. He's on his way" John continued, looking back at Sarah. A ray of hope seemed to have entered his eyes.

"John..." she mumbled, gently shaking her throbbing head.

John's eyes filled with tears.

Sarah wanted to touch his face...hold him one last time...but she couldn't move her arms. Tears began to roll down her face.

"I love you John", she said as she managed a smile.

"I love you too", he answered.

The sound of the T888's body being thrown into the fires below broke the moment.

John jerked his head back towards Cameron.She was staring down into the fires below.

Sarah realized immediately what Cameron was about to do. The T888 was the last of the machines except for one. Cameron was going to do the same thing "Uncle Bob" had done so long ago...sacrifice herself.

"No", thought Sarah, "Not now. He's going to need you."

She couldn't imagine John going through the pain of losing them both.She watched through bleary eyes as the scene played out.


"What are you doing?" asked John his attention now directed at Cameron.

"Finishing my mission. Making sure that Skynets never built...making sure you'll be safe." Cameron answered.

"Cameron...No", John stuttered, moving towards her,"I'm not going to help you do this".

Sarah knew what he meant. She had to help "Uncle Bob" finish himself off, but Cameron was not like him...she never had been. She was different.

"I don't need your help", she answered.

"How do you know there are not others out there...others that will be coming for me?" he reasoned.

"I just do.", she stated.

Cameron stepped over the edge of the catwalk.

John followed her over the railing. He was doing the only thing he could.

"What are you doing?" she asked.

"I'm jumping with you." he answered.

"You can't do that.", she said.

"Yes, I can. If you jump, I jump." he stated plainly.

"But...", Cameron hesitated.

"You fail your mission. If you jump...you fail your mission because I die", he explained, "If you want to succeed you have to stay with me."

"He's taking a gamble", Sarah thought.

"John, if someone discovers me, Skynet could be created", she stated.

"You have no proof that anyone will discover what you are but know this...I will jump if you do", John said.

His argument was beginning to get through.

Cameron recalled the first day at school when a classmate had jumped from the roof. If John jumped there would be no coming back.

She stepped back over the catwalk. John followed.

Together they returned to Sarah and knelt down beside her.John grasped his mother's hand. Holding Sarah's hand in one hand and Cameron's in the other John gazed down on his dying mother.

Sarah could feel John's hand in hers but she could no longer feel the pain.

"I knew you'd leave me one day" she spoke softly.

"I never left you.", he said.

"Yes, You did...you grew up", she whispered.

Turning to Cameron she said, " Take care of him for me" and Sarah Connor breathed her last.

SKYNET

There had been a 100% probability that once Skynet's new creation was released it would be captured and reprogrammed by John Connor. After all Connor had been capturing Skynet's chess pieces for a while now. Little did he know that this time he would be capturing the queen. And Skynet had learned his lesson well...sacrificing his queen set the trap.

So Skynet waited alone...without Emi.

Everything that Emi had predicted had come to pass.

Skynet knew that Connor had captured the time displacement machine.

He knew that Connor had sent back Kyle Reese.

He knew that Connor had sent back a T800.

He knew that Connor had sent back Emi.

He knew that Connor would destroy him.

But even as he waited to meet his fate, he knew he would survive.

As long as she lived, Skynet would be there waiting in the wings...waiting to be born.

And there was a 100% probability that John Connor would never let her die.

Skynet would have smiled if he could.

As the explosions began to rock his inner chamber one thought entered his mind as he was blown into oblivion...Checkmate.

EPILOGUE

Cameron quickly looked up.She thought she could hear the fading sound of an explosion in the distance.

"Emi..." a gentle voice spoke out of the darkness.It seemed to linger for moment and then it was gone.

She strained her ears but didn't hear it a second time.

"Emi...", she repeated. The name was familiar.

"Perhaps from a previous mission...one that was scrubbed.", she thought.

"Cameron!", John yelled from the catwalk.

His discussion with Charlie seemed to be over. It was time to go.

She gathered the last of the things Sarah had dropped in her encounter with the T888 and started towards John.
On the edge of the screen that enclosed her vision a message flashed...Checkmate.

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If you would like to read other fanfic by this author try

The Last Link

The Voice

First Love


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