John stood in shock in the doorway just staring straight ahead. He was inside a rather large room, which was lit up by florescent lighting. The room itself appeared to be some sort of medical bay. Its metallic walls had either a high stainless steal shine or were completely white. Several tables were scattered about the room with examination lights over them and what appeared to be robotic arms. A few tables were obscured by curtains that were suspended from the ceiling. Several large computer work stations were also positioned around the room. John stood motionless for the moment then spoke while still pointing his rifle,
“What…what are you doing here?”
“I’m sorry for the deception Mr. Connor but it was necessary to bring you here.” replied an all to familiar female voice with a Scottish accent. Standing before John were Catherine Weaver and next to her, John Henry. John glanced over at John Henry for a moment. John Henry looked at him and with a slightly awkward smile spoke,
“Hello…” John still keeping his plasma rifle raised spoke again,
“You still haven’t answered my question, what are you doing here?” Catherine Weaver raised her eyebrows slightly, she appeared to be somewhat annoyed by John’s distrust.
“I was able to locate John Henry here.” She said.
“So the two of you are working with Skynet?” John asked. Catherine Weaver gave an eerie chuckle,
“Hardly Mr. Connor, John Henry was able to hack into Skynet’s programming which allowed us to stay in this room unnoticed…provided we do not make any type of overtly noticeable actions that is.” John’s arms were beginning to burn with muscle fatigue at this point due to the fact that he was still keeping his rifle raised. He tightened his grip around the rifle,
“You disappeared six months ago, what have you been doing all this time?”
“If you would put your rifle down Mr. Connor I will explain.” Catherine stated. John thought for a moment then slowly lowered his rifle. “You have not heard from me for six months because I have been searching for John Henry for six months. It was not until a few days ago that I was able to locate him.” John glanced over at John Henry who was still standing next to Catherine. John ground his teeth slightly in frustration.
“Shortly after I located John Henry he became aware of the resistance’s impending attack on Topanga Canyon. We then decided it would be best to wait for you here.”
“So what are the two of you doing here?” John asked again.
“I may be able to answer that question Mr. Connor.” It was John Henry who spoke this time. “One reason I traveled to this time was to see if the reports of my brothers cruelty were true, and if so to collect as much information on him as I possibly could. I am sad to say that it appears that all the reports that were given to me are true.” John Henry then hesitated for a moment. “I also wanted to see what you would do Mr. Connor.”
“You mean future me?” John asked. John Henry paused for another split second then spoke again,
“No, Mr. Connor…You.” John Henry tilted his head slightly foward, motioning towards John.
“What? Why did you want to see what I would do?” John asked.
“I wanted to see how you would deal with the loss of your Terminator companion.” John looked at John Henry somewhat confused and angry as he continued to speak,
“Ms. Weaver once informed me that humans would disappoint me.” It was at this point that Catherine Weaver glanced over at John Henry and smiled slightly, it was as if she were almost proud of this response. John however, was not amused, he glared at John Henry who continued to speak,
“I wanted to see if you regarded your Terminator companion as nothing more than a tool to be discarded, or if you truly considered her to be a friend. I am glad to say Mr. Connor that you have not disappointed me.” John Henry gave John another smile, “I have found that you truly consider Cameron a friend.”
“This is the reason why I have chosen to help you Mr. Connor.” Catherine Weaver spoke this time. John looked over at her,
“It was Cameron who showed me in the future that a machine and human can work together for a mutually beneficial relationship. And the complexities your relationship were quite…unique.” John continued looked at Catherine still not quite sure what to say. “She is quite fond of you Mr. Connor.” Catherine stated. As she spoke those words John felt an overwhelming sense of sadness sweep over him as he thought of Cameron.
“It was the two of you who proved to us that humans and machines could truly work together.” John Henry stated. John stood there speechless for the moment staring at the two Terminators before him.
“And now Mr. Connor” John Henry stated, “I have something for you.” John Henry walked over to one of the curtains hanging by the ceiling and drew it back revealing an examination table. John felt his legs grow weak and he almost began to shake,
“Cameron…” He whispered. Cameron’s naked body lay on the stainless steal examination table completely motionless. John’s voice was almost a whisper at this point,
“Her…her chip…” John Henry gave another awkward smile and reached into the pocket of the pants he was wearing and retrieved an object from them. He held it up slowly towards John…It was a chip.
“Is that?…” Before John could finish his sentence John Henry spoke,
“Yes, Mr. Connor, this is her chip.” John felt a slight shortness of breath as he looked at it. “I felt it only right that you be the one to activate her.” John Henry stated. John slowly walked across the room almost in a state of shock towards John Henry. He gently took the chip into his hand and walked over to Cameron’s body. As he reached Cameron he looked gently down on her and ran his fingers across the side of her cheek. He looked around the room for a moment with a slightly nervous look on his face,
“I don’t have a knife.” He stated in an obvious worried tone. Catherine Weaver slowly stepped forward and held out her hand, a small pocket knife formed in the palm of her hand from her mimetic poly-alloy skin. Slightly surprised but not caring at this point John took the knife and looked back down at Cameron. As he raised the knife to Cameron’s scalp he noticed that his hand was shaking slightly. He clenched his jaw, trying to concentrate hard in an attempt to steady his hand as he cut a small semi circle into Cameron’s scalp. He slowly slid the skin back revealing Cameron’s chip port cover. He slowly opened it and prepared to install Cameron’s chip. John’s hands were shaking worse now as the adrenalin continued to course through his veins. He clenched his jaw tighter trying to control the shaking as he slowly inserted Cameron’s chip. It clicked as it locked into place. John replaced the port cover and slid Cameron’s skin back over it and gently brushed her hair back into place. John waited breathlessly for something to happen. The seconds that went by felt like an eternity to him. Finally Cameron’s eyes opened and she looked up at him.
“John…” She stated, her voice weak. John’s voice shook as he spoke,
“Cameron are you…okay?” he asked almost in a whisper. Cameron hesitated for a moment then spoke.
“Yes…” She replied also in a whisper. John could no longer contain his emotions he gently cupped his hands around Cameron’s face and kissed her. It was a long kiss that he never wanted to break from. There appeared to be nothing around Cameron and John as they kissed. The entire world was blotted out as the couple’s lips were pressed together. As this was occurring Catherine Weaver turned to John Henry and spoke quietly,
“John Henry, why did you choose to bring back Mr. Connor’s friend. He does not necessarily need her to lead the resistance.” John Henry turned to Catherine with a slight smile on his face and spoke,
“Love, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…” Catherine looked at John Henry with a slight look of confusion on her face, John Henry continued,
“First Corinthians 13:7-8” Catherine gave John Henry a smile,
“Mr. Ellison taught you well John Henry.”
“Yes, He did Ms. Weaver.”
Slowly John pulled back away from Cameron. His eyes still staring into hers. He gently helped her up off the examination table and rapped his jacket around her. He looked over at Catherine and John Henry.
“Thank you.” he said as he handed Catherine back the knife. When it touched her hand it slowly dissolved back into her palm.
“Your welcome.” Catherine stated.
“Now I believe it is time we go Mr. Connor.” Catherine Weaver stated.
“Where?” John asked.
“Not where Mr. Connor…When.” John looked at Catherine with a look of shock in his eyes.
“What do you mean when?”
“This base is not being used to house a Skynet mainframe like General Reese believes it is Mr. Connor. Skynet does not exist as a piece of hardware that can be destroyed. It exists as software, it is essentially everywhere. Even if General Reese is successful today he will still fail in not to distant future. However, this base does house Time Displacement Equipment that we can use to bring us back to 2009.” John opened his mouth to speak but was suddenly cut off.
“JOHN!” A voice called out. John’s heart sank the second he heard the voice instantly knowing who it was.
“Alison…” John thought to himself. John turned quickly to see Alison standing in the door way behind him. “Alison what are you doing here?” He asked,
“I came looking for you when we didn’t…” Alison stopped mid sentence as a look of horror began to cover her face; Alison had seen Cameron. Alison slowly stepped back away from John in fear and began to raise her rifle pointing it at Cameron.
“No, no wait!” John screamed as he instinctively stepped in between Alison and Cameron with his hands raised putting himself in the line of fire instead of Cameron.
“John what are you doing?!” Alison had tears in her eyes as she spoke in a voice that began to shake, she felt her heart breaking as she continued to look at John,
“Are you a grey?!” she asked now with terror in her voice. John understood how Alison could easily make this jump in logic but he knew he had to convince her of otherwise. John started to speak but before he could he heard the sound of a plasma rifle discharge and Alison shrieked in pain. Horrified John watched almost in slow motion as she fell to her knee’s and then onto her side. Standing behind Alison eyes glowing red with hatred was the gleaming endoskeleton of a T-888. John quickly raised his plasma rifle and fired multiple rounds at the T-888 striking it numerous times,
“AAAHHHH!!” John screamed as he pulled the trigger. The T-888 jolted backwards as it was struck by the plasma rounds and then collapsed backwards upon suffering multiple hits. John ran over to Alison who was still on the ground and obviously in immense pain. He cradled her upper body in his arms as he looked down at her. John felt guilt, loss, grief and anger begin to flood over him as he held Alison. He looked at her speechless not knowing what to say. She looked at him, then slowly over at Cameron who was only a few feet behind John. With tears in her eyes Alison whispered to him,
“John…What have you done?” John continued to hold Alison still completely unable to speak and not even sure exactly what he was feeling at this point. Cameron stood silently behind John looking on as well. A wave of anxiety, fear, and sadness swept over Cameron as she watched Alison die. This would be the second time Cameron had seen Alison die, the first time Cameron had felt nothing, but this time was completely different. Alison’s body slowly went limp in John’s arms as the life slipped from her, but her brown eyes remained open, almost as if they were staring into John‘s soul. John continued to stare at Alison, the room was dead silent for several seconds as he did so. Then John Henry slowly looked around the room and spoke,
“I believe my brother is aware of our presence now.” Catherine Weaver turned and looked at John Henry then back at John.
“We must go now Mr. Connor.” She said as she quickly walked by John retrieving the T-888’s plasma rifle which was lying on the ground. John slowly and carefully lowered Alison’s upper body back to the floor. He leaned over and gently closed her eyes with his hand. John stood and turned around looking at Cameron for just a moment. Cameron felt fear come over her believing that John may blame her for this Alison’s death.
“Lets go.” John said in a sad but reassuring tone as he held out his hand towards Cameron. She took it quickly with hers feeling a sense of relief. Catherine Weaver and John Henry turned and began to walk across the room towards another set of doors. Both Cameron and John followed them.
The group walked down the brightly lit corridors of the Skynet base. In the distance they began to hear the sounds of plasma rifles being discharged and men screaming. John stopped and looked around for a moment trying to determine exactly where the sound was coming from.
“You can not help them Mr. Connor.” Catherine Weaver said as she looked at John. He tried to ignore the truth of the statement and continued to consider leaving the group and searching for his father and uncle. John continued to stand in the corridor still pondering what to do. The plasma rifle sounds were getting closer at this point. John looked back down the corridor and then back at Catherine. She tilted her head slightly to the side.
“John…” It was Cameron who spoke this time. “We need to go.” John may have considered leaving Catherine and John Henry, but he felt he could not leave Cameron. He wasn’t quite sure why she was able to tip the scales but she was able to none the less. John continued on with the group,
“How much further?” John asked as they walked.
“Approximately 165 yards.” John Henry replied. No sooner were John Henry’s words out of his mouth than a plasma round ripped through the air in between John and Cameron and struck Catherine in the back. She stumbled forward trying to steady herself. John turned quickly, raising his plasma rifle. A T-888 had emerged from one of the side rooms and now took aim at him. John squeezed the trigger to his plasma rifle and felt the recoil in his shoulder as the plasma round tore through the air and struck the T-888 in the chest knocking it back slightly. It steadied itself and quickly aimed its rifle again. John squeezed the trigger of his rifle several more times; each time striking the T-888. After numerous hits from plasma rounds the T-888 collapsed to the ground. John turned back to face the group and to his surprise saw Catherine still kneeling on the ground. A large silver whole in her back. Confused John spoke,
“Why haven’t you healed yet?” Catherine turned and looked at him.
“Due to the high heat from the plasma round it will take me considerably more time to heal Mr. Connor.” Cameron looked back down the corridor,
“John, there are more triple 8’s coming.” John walked over to Catherine,
“Can you walk?”
“I will be fine Mr. Connor.” She replied in a slightly annoyed tone as she stood. The group followed John Henry quickly down the corridor towards the TDE room. As they walked Cameron turned around and looked back down the corridor a second time.
“We need to hurry they’re getting closer.” She said. Just as she finished speaking a plasma round streaked past her and exploded on one of the walls around the group.
“Run!” John yelled as he instinctively grabbed Cameron’s hand and began to run down the corridor following John Henry and Catherine. The corridors seemed to be a winding maze to John and he was having trouble keeping up with where exactly they were going as they continued to run deeper into the Skynet base.
“Where is this thing?!” He called out to John Henry as the ran,
“We are almost there Mr. Connor!” Suddenly plasma fire was all around the group. John instinctively ducked in order to try to avoid being hit. As he raised his head again he saw a T-888 emerging from one of the side corridors in front of him. Before he could react he saw the T-888 had already raised its plasma rifle and was preparing to fire at him. He winced in preparation for the pain. Suddenly he felt a jerk on his arm as he was yanked out of the line of fire and in between some large metallic storage crates by Cameron. The group was pinned down by plasma fire on both sides.
“The Time Displacement Equipment is just beyond that T-888 that is in front of us.” John Henry stated. By this point Catherine Weaver was firing her plasma rifle at the T-888’s coming up from behind the group and John was firing his plasma rifle at the one standing just in front of the TDE room. The plasma rounds exploded all around the group. The metallic contains were providing little but very much needed cover. Suddenly Catherine was struck in her shoulder by another plasma round. Her body jolted back as it absorbed the impact but like before she did not immediately heal.
“I am almost out of ammo.” She said in a very flat tone towards John, who immediately reached into one of his magazine pouches and pulled out a fresh magazine handing it to her. The plasma fire continued to rain down on the group as the T-888’s grew ever closer. Cameron instinctively pulled John’s side arm from the holster on his waist and began to fire at the T-888’s who were coming up behind the group. John was quickly becoming frustrated that he was unable to destroy the Terminator that was blocking there path to the TDE. That particular T-888 had taken up cover behind one of the wall’s support beams that lined the walls of the corridor and John was unable to get a clean shot at it. John leaned further out from behind the metal crate and began to squeeze the trigger of his rifle. Suddenly he felt a searing pain in the back of his left shoulder as he was struck from behind by a plasma round. His body jerked forward and he collided with the metal crate in front of him with such strong impact that he saw stars for a split second. The impact also forced him to fire off a round wildly as he slid down the crate grabbing his shoulder in pain.
“John!” Cameron yelled as she grabbed John by the right should and dragged him back closer to the wall and further behind the crates to avoid being hit again. Cameron quickly began to check John’s injury; he grimaced in pain as she ran her hands over his back trying to ascertain the extent of his injuries.
“I’m fine…” John said with slight anger in his voice as he forced himself to get up and almost pushed his way past Cameron and resumed firing at the T-888 that was still in front of the TDE room. The corridor was becoming clouded with smoke from the plasma rounds at this point.
“We can’t stay here much longer!” John shouted to Catherine over the sounds of the plasma rifle fire as he dropped an empty magazine out of his plasma rifle and replaced it with a new one. John chose to ignore the pain in his left shoulder as he did so. At this point he could also feel the blood beginning to trickle down his back underneath his shirt. Suddenly Catherin’s body jerked back as she was struck by another plasma round, this time in the stomach. Her shoulder wound had yet to heal and now a second wound had been inflicted upon her. Furious John took a chance and leaned far out from behind the cover of the metal crate and fired his plasma riffle at the T-888 guarding the TDE doors. This time he struck it. It stumbled out from behind its cover and John fired again. This time John’s round struck the T-888 in the head. Its skull exploded into a large display of sparks and its body collapsed to the ground. John quickly ducked back behind cover.
“He’s done, lets go!” John called out. However, plasma rounds were still streaking down the corridor from the other oncoming T-888’s. Catherine Weaver turned to John,
“Take them and go.” she said in a still somewhat monotone voice.
“What?!” John said. At this point John Henry and Cameron also turned and looked at Catherine somewhat surprised. Catherine spoke calmly and smoothly to John,
“I will hold them off, take John Henry and Cameron and use the TDE to flee this time.” Catherine turned and began to fire her plasma rifle again at the oncoming T-888’s.
“We can’t leave you here!” John said still kneeling behind Catherine firing his plasma rifle every so often.
“Mr. Connor if you do not leave now none of us will survive; however, if you would be so kind as to leave some extra ammo I would greatly appreciate it.” Stunned John hesitated for just a moment, then he pulled out two fresh magazines from the magazine pouches on his belt and laid them down next to Catherine.
“Thank you Mr. Connor.” She replied, she then turned and looked at John Henry, “Goodbye John Henry.” Her tone was still somewhat flat but there seemed to be a hint of sadness behind her voice. John Henry looked at her for a moment then spoke,
“Goodbye Miss Weaver…I will miss you.” Catherine gave John Henry a slight smile and then turned and continued to fire her plasma rifle,
“Now Mr. Connor…GO!!!” John jumped up from his location and began to fire his plasma riffle as he, Cameron and John Henry made their way towards the doors of the TDE room. John Henry quickly ran up to one of the computer control panels and smashed it with his hand. John was slightly surprised by this, this had been the first time he had ever seen John Henry use any type of violence against anything. John Henry then began to quickly splice wires together attempting to open the door. Both John and Cameron continued to fire their wepons down the corridor. Some of John’s rounds struck an emerging T-888 forcing it to collapse. He looked over at Catherine Weaver who was about 30 feet in front of them. He could see that she had sustained another hit and was not healing nearly as fast as she would have if these were regular bullets. John then heard the computer beep and the large blast doors began to open.
“Hurry inside!” John Henry stated. John, Cameron and John Henry quickly slipped through the doors and into the massive TDE room. John Henry quickly moved back over to another computer panel inside the TDE room. With ease he broke the glass on this panel and quickly touched two wires together forcing the doors to close again. Even though plasma fire was still streaking through the slowly closing doors John Henry walked over to them and looked back out at Catherine Weaver one last time before the doors shut in front of him. After the doors shut the room became eerily quite. There were still the sounds of battle outside the doors but they were mostly muffled. The group stood there silently for a moment. Cameron made her way over to John Henry,
“I’m sorry for your loss.” She stated. John Henry turned and looked at her.
“Thank you.” he replied, “But we must hurry.” John Henry walked over to one of the computer panels in the TDE room and began to power up the TDE itself. John began to hear a loud hum as all of the generators began to activate.
“When are we going back to?” John asked.
“We will arrive approximately 3 hours after we originally left.” John Henry stated. The noise of the generators was now almost completely drowning out the outside noise of the battle. The metallic sphere’s were beginning to spin inside of the TDE room and the wind was starting to pick up.
“We must hurry.” John Henry stated as he began to walk down the walkway towards the center platform of the TDE room, John and Cameron both followed him. The trio made their way to the center platform and waited there as the TDE continued to power up. Electrical energy was arching between the spinning spheres and the wind was blowing around them. Suddenly John saw that the blast doors to TDE room were beginning to open. He dropped to one knee and raised his rifle still ignoring the pain in his left shoulder and preparing to fire at whatever may come through the door. The TDE was almost at full power and the sound was deafening. The doors slowly opened and John began to squeeze the trigger ever so slightly on his rifle as the silver looking time displacement sphere began to form around them. John then saw the flash of a silver endoskeleton beginning to emerge through the door. He applied more pressure to the trigger of his rifle; just as he heard the rifle discharge there was a deafening boom and John saw a bright white flash as the temporal sphere finished forming around them and he was transported through time.