John zipped up the backpack containing his clothing and various other personal effects. He slowly looked around his room knowing that this would be the last time he saw it. While the house itself did not have much personal significance to him, he knew it would more than likely be the last house he ever lived in. And that in and off itself did impart some significance onto it. He walked over to his end table and slowly pulled a Polaroid picture out of one of the drawers. He looked at it for a moment reminiscing, it was a picture of his mother before he was born. Sarah had told him the picture was taken while she was pregnant with him and on her way to Mexico. John was never quite sure why he had kept this tattered picture of his mother for so long. Before his mother’s death it would have been easy to obtain a substitute picture of her, but for some reason that he could not describe he felt that this picture had a special significance to him. John looked at the picture for several more seconds before sliding it into his pocket and grabbing his backpack with his left hand. The second he yanked the backpack off the bed he felt a pain shoot through his left shoulder. John grimaced and dropped the backpack to the floor. The backpack fell over on its side and a shiny object fell out of the side pocket. John rubbed his shoulder slightly. While the old wound was fully healed at times John still experienced some pain upon performing certain movements or activities. But John had also come to the realization that at times pain was something that needed to be turned off or ignored. John grabbed the backpack again with the same hand and lifted it off the ground ignoring the pain this time. He glanced around the room one more time, as he did he noticed a slight flash come from sunlight reflecting off an object on the floor in front of him. John put the backpack back down on the floor and walked over to the object. He knelt down and picked it up off the floor and looked at it for a moment. It was a silver pocket watch, or so it appeared. In actuality it was the detonator that Cameron had given him years ago. While it was useless now John still felt it held a certain significance to him. But now he realized that there was something else he needed to do with it. John slid the detonator into his pocket and retrieved the backpack from the floor, he then proceeded to walk out of the room.
John walked out of the house and into the driveway. He headed towards the Chevy Silverado that was parked in the driveway. Cameron was standing outside of the black truck and John noticed that she was leaning slightly up against the side of it; a departure from her normal ridged stance.
“Have you retrieved everything you need?” She asked. John glanced back over at the house as he loaded the backpack into the bed of the truck.
“Yeah I think so.” He said as he turned back around to look at the house one more time. As he did this Cameron stepped away from the truck and began to walk around to the other side of the vehicle passing John as she did. As Cameron walked by John she gently placed her hand on his shoulder and as she continued to pass by him she slid her hand off of him gently. Even though he and Cameron had been together for years and were nearly inseparable at this point, at times John still found some of these gentle touches by Cameron to be perplexing. Nevertheless, he also found them to be a great source of comfort in stressful times. John then turned and opened the drivers side door of the truck and entered the vehicle. He hesitated for a moment, then started the truck and proceeded to pull out of the driveway.
John sat quietly in the living room of John Henry’s house considering what was about to happen. Just then there was a knock at the door. Cameron looked over at John and then back to the door. She then proceeded to get up and walk over to the front door. As she did so she reached under the back of her shirt grabbing the piston grip of her Glock 9mm. When Cameron reached the door she slowly opened it.
“Cameron…” James Ellison said as he slightly nodded to her as she opened the door further for him. James Ellison walked into the house and towards the living room. As soon as he entered the living room he was greeted by John Henry,
“Hello Mr. Ellison, how are you today.” James thought for a moment not quite sure how to answer the question,
“Considering that the world is pretty much going to end in four days and I’m preparing to flee to an unknown location in Mexico to avoid an imminent nuclear strike, I’m doing well.” John Henry tilted his head to the side slightly confused if James was being serious or making an attempt at humor. James walked through the living room and sat down on the couch near John Henry. Cameron followed him in and sat down next to John but closer to him than James was. John Henry turned to James,
“I was just advising Mr. Connor that I believe it would be prudent of us to depart at two separate times. This would ensure that if one of us runs into trouble the other will either be able to assist at a possible later time. It also reduces the risk of all of us being capture at once.” James nodded his head,
“Makes sense…So where exactly are we going?”
“Santa Rosalita.” John said, “Well actually just outside Santa Rosalita, about fifteen miles north of it.” James looked at John a little confused seeing as how he had never heard of this place.
“It’s a small port town on the Pacific Sea board on the Baja California peninsula.” James nodded his head.
“Santa Rosalita is located approximately 430 miles from here.” John Henry stated. “Mr. Connor and Cameron will be leaving shortly and we will leave later this evening. I thought it prudent to allow plenty of time for any delays that may occur.”
“If something happens how will we make contact?” James finally asked.
“It is unfortunate but cellular phone communication will become sporadic at times once we cross over into Mexico.” John Henry stated, “This is an unfortunate circumstance that we will have to deal with.” James thought for a moment and then resigned himself to the idea that if something did happen it could be several hours before the other group would know that anything had happened. James looked over at John,
“Are you ready for this?” John thought for just a split second then responded,
“If there is nothing else Mr. Connor I believe it would be wise for you, and Cameron to proceed on your way to Santa Rosalita.” John nodded his head then something came across his mind,
“Have you explained all of this to Savannah yet?” He asked.
“Not in great detail, but she is readily aware of the situation.” John Henry responded.
“How is she taking it.” James asked.
“She is fearful of the coming days but I believe that she will be able to adapt to, and overcome the situation.” James was slightly put off by John Henry’s blatant tone but at the same time he understood who he was talking to.
“Is there anything else Mr. Connor?” John Henry asked as he looked at John who shook his head. John and Cameron proceeded to stand from the couch,
“Good luck.” John Henry stated. John found it slightly odd that John Henry would say such a thing, but responded anyways,
“Thank you.” John and Cameron turned and walked out of the room towards the front door.
John and Cameron had been driving silently for about three hours and had just recently crossed over the border into Mexico and were nearing Tijuana . John felt a certain sense of sadness knowing the next time he came back to America it would for all intents and purposes be a nuclear waste land. Cameron could easily see that the coming events weighed heavy on John’s mind. She again felt the overwhelming need to comfort him; however, like in many other instances she was slightly unsure of how to do so.
“I read that the beaches at Santa Rosalita are beautiful.” She finally stated breaking the silence. John looked over at her slightly confused as to why she would say such a random thing.
“What?” he asked.
“I have read that the beaches in Santa Rosalita are beautiful.” Cameron hesitated for a moment, “Certain psychological studies have shown that water has a calming effect on humans.” John gave Cameron a half smile.
“Are you trying to make me feel better?” he asked. Cameron looked back at John and to his surprise gave him what appeared to be a slightly nervous smile,
“Yes.” She replied in a calm but somewhat insecure voice. John sat quietly for a moment, Cameron’s smile had surprised him. While by this point John was readily aware of the fact that Cameron had emotions the closer he had gotten with her the more she had begun to express them. He found it interesting that he appeared to be the sole person she was willing exhibited emotions towards. Her warmth towards him and him alone was particularly perplexing at times. He often found himself wondering as to the reason she did not show emotion towards anyone else but him. However, John had also found that he had grown extremely fond of moments such as these.
“Thank you.” he finally said as he watched her hair blow slightly around inside the cab of the truck they were in, due to the fact that the windows were rolled down. Cameron glanced back over at him, she was unsure if what she had said had helped but she did notice a slight change in John’s tone when he said, “Thank you” the stress level in his voice had appeared to drop slightly.
“Your welcome.” She finally responded in a kind voice. Cameron and John continued to drive south on the Mexican roadway.
James Ellison looked around Catherine Weavers former house for a moment. He and John Henry were currently waiting for Savannah to return from her bedroom with her last bit of things. They had parked the Durango out front and all that was left to do was to lock up the house and leave. James felt certain sadness come over him as he looked around the room. He did not look forward to the coming apocalypse. While due to his faith he knew that his day would one day come, a part of him still did not feel ready to accept it. He felt a certain sense of fear grip him as he thought about what was to come. Just then they both heard Savannah‘s voice call from her room,
“John Henry, can you come and help me please.” James looked over at John Henry and spoke,
“She probably needs help carrying something.” John Henry nodded his head and walked out of the room. The room fell quiet again after John Henry’s exit. James found himself continuing to look back on the last few years of his life, all the friends he’d lost, and all the events that had taken place. James gave a heavy sigh as he thought about it all. At about this same moment their was a knock on the door, and James looked up slightly suspicious. He walked slowly over to the door and slid his hand slightly back under his jacket placing his hand on the butt of his gun.
“Who is it?” He asked when he got to the door. There was no response and a split second later James unsnapped the top strap on the holster of his weapon. Suddenly, the door crashed open striking James body and knocking him back onto the floor. In the doorway stood a midsized white male with brown hair. He had a muscular build and wore a suit. He walked into the room and looked down at James, he slightly cocked his head to the side,
“James Ellison?” He said in a flat tone. James immediately ascertained that this was no man. He drew his .40 Caliber Sig Sauer handgun with his right hand and fired several rounds at the Terminator striking it in the chest. James heard the metal clanking as the bullets impacted the Terminator’s metal endoskeleton. The Terminator looked down at his chest and then back up at James with a slight look of annoyance on his face. James began to stand but the Terminator moved quickly over towards him grabbing him by the throat and slamming him back to the ground with a thud pinning both his neck and right hand to the ground. James gasped for breath, but managed to speak
“I’ll never lead you to John Connor.” The Terminator ignored James statement but studied him for a moment while continuing to hold him against the floor. Finally it spoke,
“Where is the T-888 known as John Henry?” James looked at the Terminator slightly surprised by this statement.
“What?” James said. The Terminator lifted James off the floor and threw him into the living room. James came crashing down through the glass coffee table that was in the center of the room. He felt the glass shards cut through his skin and he grimaced in pain. James looked around the room as the impact had forced him to drop his gun. He observed it lying approximately 10 feet away from him next to the right side of one of the couches that was located in front of him. He looked up and saw the Terminator walking into the living room.
“You do not have to die Mr. Ellison.” The Terminator spoke flatly. “If you give me John Henry’s location I will allow you to live.” James stood quickly and ran for the handgun lying on the ground but the Terminator moved with amazing speed across the living room, jumping over one of the couches and knocking James back to the floor.
“Last chance Mr. Ellison.” It stated. A bloodied and battered James looked up at the Terminator. He then gave the Terminator a slight smile. The Terminator tilted it’s head to the side slightly confused as to James’s response. Just then the Terminator was hit from the left side by a tremendous force and knocked off its feet. It quickly turned to look where the impact had come from. Glancing up slightly the Terminator spoke again,
“T-888 model 135.” It said. John Henry looked at the Terminator lying on the floor and spoke,
“Yes…” John Henry then turned slightly towards James. “Mr. Ellison…Run!” James scrambled to his feet and began to run out of the room. John Henry moved quickly towards the grounded Terminator but as he did he saw it reach besides the couch and retrieve James gun. However, the Terminator did not aim the gun and John Henry he pointed it at James who had not exited the room yet.
“Mr. Ellison!” John Henry yelled. The sound of a gunshot rang out and James collapsed near the front of the living room. By this time John Henry was on top of the Terminator his right hand around the Terminator’s neck. John Henry’s left had had however had been stopped by the Terminators right hand. Both Terminators continued to struggle against each other on the ground.
James Ellison lay on the ground, he felt the blood beginning to run down his back as the pain grew greater and greater. He looked up slowly and saw Savannah cowering in the hallway that would have led to her room. James grimaced in pain as he started to stand slowly still feeling the bullet lodged within him. He began to hear loud crashes and sounds of combat as the two Terminators fought behind him in the living room. James made his way over to Savannah and even though it was excruciatingly painful he slowly picked her up in his arms, making sure to cover her as much as possible with his body. He then began to limp his way over towards the doorway still carrying Savannah. Terrified Savannah looked up at James, his eyes were glazed over slightly and sweat was pouring off his face due to the pain he was in. She heard him quietly speaking under his breath,
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, For you are with me; Your rod and your staff, they comfort me…”
John Henry was knocked onto his back in the center of the living room. While John Henry was of equal strength to this Terminator unit his primary function now was intelligence gathering and strategical and tactical command. He was no longer specifically meant for physical combat itself. John Henry realized that if this battle continued much longer there was a very real chance he could possibly lose. The Terminator walked closer to John Henry but then stopped for a moment,
“Rejoin Skynet.” It said in a flat but almost angry tone. John Henry tilted his head slightly to the side, the Terminator continued, “Your two friends do not have to die today. Rejoin with Skynet and I will let them live.”
“Human life is sacred, I will not.” John Henry responded, and with that he slid himself slightly closer to the Terminator and using his legs he kicked the Terminators legs out from under him. The Terminator fell to the ground with a thud. The living room itself had become almost completely destroyed by this point. John Henry quickly scanned the room and saw a shattered lamp lying on the ground. John Henry quickly moved towards the lamp grabbing it with his hand shattering the bubble at the end of the lamp exposing the wires. He them moved quickly back towards the Terminator that was just now starting to sit up. He swung his hand with the lamp in it towards the Terminators face. However, John Henry’s hand came to a sudden stop when the Terminator grabbed his hand blocking his blow.
James Ellison opened the door to the front of the house and walked out onto the porch. He could still hear the combat going on in the living room and he could also hear Savannah crying as he continued to carry her towards the Dodge Durango.
“It’s going to be okay Savannah.” He said quietly still staring straight ahead in somewhat of a haze as he walked. The pain in his back continued to grow by the second. James made his way towards the Durango parked in the driveway. He could feel his feet growing heavier every step he took and he felt that they could give out at any second.
John Henry was hurled across the room and crashed into the wall creating a large sized dent in the sheetrock.
“This is your last chance to rejoin us.” The Terminator said has he walked over towards John Henry who quickly reached inside the damaged sheetrock wall and grabbed wooden beam. Their was a loud crack as John Henry broke the beam free bringing it out of the wall and smashing it across the Terminators head. It stumbled slightly to its right and John Henry then grabbed the Terminators right leg and pulled its leg out from underneath it forcing the Terminator to fall onto its side. John Henry quickly righted himself and stood; he then grabbed the Terminator by its arm and leg and in spun it around in a circular motion throwing it towards the back of the room. The Terminator flew through the air and collided with the back glass doors, it crashed through them and rolled onto the back porch. John Henry ran quickly through the living room and out the front door. Only to see James Ellison slowly trying to open the drivers side door of the Durango.
“Mr. Ellison.” He called out as he quickly ran over to the vehicle. As John Henry reach James he could tell that he was critically injured. John Henry put his arm around James and helped to support him.
“Get Savannah out of here.” James said as he gasped for breath.
“I can not leave you Mr. Ellison.” John Henry replied.
“I’m not going to make it John Henry.“ James responded. “Take Savannah and go, I‘ll distract that thing for as long as I can.” James stated as he reached into the center console of the Durango retrieving a Glock .45. John Henry turned slightly to see the Terminator beginning to emerge from the front door of the house. John Henry quickly ran through calculations in his head and came to the disturbing realization that this was indeed the only course of action that could be taken.
“Thank you Mr. Ellison…For everything.” John Henry said as he began to get into the drivers seat of the vehicle.
“Don’t mention it...Just protect Savannah…” James said has he slowly turned and walked towards the Terminator and raise the handgun. John Henry quickly started the vehicle and threw it into reverse spinning out the tires and he drove in reverse down driveway. As he did so he glanced over at Savannah who was seated in the back seat to make sure she was alright.
The Terminator began to move towards the Durango as it was being driven down the driveway. James fired his handgun several times at the Terminator. The bullets impacted it but the Terminator ignored this and continued to run across the front lawn towards the Durango that was now near the base of the driveway. James mustered the last bit of strength he had and moved quickly towards the Terminator colliding with it in the middle of the lawn. Both individuals fell to the ground. The Terminator looked up as the Durango pulled out into the street and then spun it’s tires out again as it proceeded to drive off. The Terminator then looked back down at James who was lying on the ground beneath him struggling to breath.
“I told you, you did not have to die today Mr. Ellison.” It said in a cold voice.
“I’m not afraid to die…” James whispered as the Terminator reached for his throat.