“Did you just arrive here or did they move you from another cell?” Jackie asked, breaking Cameron away from her trance like state, She hesitated for a moment before speaking,
“We were just brought here a few hours ago.” She said with some sadness in her voice.
“Oh, you were with someone?” Jackie asked with some curiosity. Cameron once again felt the doubt sweep over her, as well as annoyance towards herself. She once again became unsure of her actions and it puzzled her as to why she had just mentioned John to a total stranger. Tactically she would have preferred to keep John’s identity a secret. Her mere mention of John could have indeed put his life in greater danger. The torrent of doubts continued to flood over her. Nevertheless, it appeared to be a moot point now.
“Yes, I was with…” Cameron hesitated for a moment…“a friend.” Cameron’s voice trailed into a whisper as she finished that sentence. It felt almost painful for her to mention John. Composing herself slightly she then continued,
“We were capture by one of those Harvesters.”
“The Harvester.” Jackie stated, “That’s how most of us got here I think. Those things are pretty efficient.” Jackie glanced out of the cell window and then back at Cameron as she spoke.
“What’s your friends name?” Jackie asked. Cameron now felt nervousness begin to slide over her as she considered how much she should tell Jackie, finally she made a decision.
“John.” She responded, still in a quiet tone with a slight bit of sadness in her voice, but quickly thereafter Cameron spoke again trying to guide the conversation away from John.
“How long have you been here?”
“About three weeks,” Jackie responded, “I was with my brother in Nevada when one of those Harvesters got us.” Jackie’s voice grew sad and somewhat quieter,
“I haven’t seen Tim since that day.” Cameron now felt the fear within her grow as Jackie finished her statement. Thoughts of what could be happening to John invaded her mind. She attempted to fight them off but to no avail.
John leaned back against the wall that his bed was bolted onto and sighed.
“So how long have you been here?” He asked Kyle.
“About a month, I was captured by one of those Harvesters things and brought here.”
“Were you brought here alone? Or do you know anyone here?” John asked.
“Initially I didn’t know anyone here. But I’ve gotten to know a few of the people here and there. It’s kind of hard though; if the machines catch you trying to communicate while they’re bringing you to and from the incinerator rooms or wherever else it is they are taking you, they’ll usually just kill you on the spot.”
“The incinerator room?” John asked
“Yeah, that’s about all we do here is load bodies into a massive incinerator.” This brought a sickening feeling to John’s stomach.
“So Skynet is just killing everyone in here off slowly?” He asked at the same time thinking something was amiss, due to the fact that this was an extremely inefficient way to dispose of humans.
“That’s what a lot of people think but there are rumors.” Kyle stated.
“Rumors?” John asked.
“Yeah, some people say Skynet is conducting some sort of biological experimentation here.”
“Biological Experimentation?” John asked his voice growing slightly fearful for Cameron‘s sake.
“Yeah, people say different things; but, a lot of people say it’s some sort of stem cell research because they are separating the men from the women. Other’s say that there is some sort of new weapon Skynet is testing. Every once and awhile a few machines will come and get some people from this cellblock and we wont ever see them again after that day.” John felt his heart sink when he heard these words. If this were true, Skynet could soon be figuring out that Cameron was not human at all. Kyle saw the expression on John’s face change instantly when he mentioned this.
“So who did you come here with?” Kyle finally asked with some solemness in his voice. John thought for a moments not quite sure how to explain Cameron to Kyle; but, after a few seconds he finally spoke,
“Her name is Cameron…we got separated when they brought us here.” Kyle nodded his head,
“Sorry to hear that.” A flood of emotions came over John as he thought of the danger that Cameron could be in. At no other time in his life had he been this scared for anyone.
“I’m going to get her out of here.” John said with a certain determination in his voice. Kyle almost laughed when he heard this,
“Well you certainly are hopeful aren’t you?” John looked out of his cell at the Terminators as they patrolled around the cellblock. His eyes narrowed slightly with hatred as he looked at them.
“These things aren’t invincible, they’ve got weaknesses.” He said in a gravelly tone.
“Like what?” Kyle asked.
“Those T-600’s that bring us to our cell has two actually. If you can shove a sharp object like a piece of steel into the back of their neck at the base of their skull it will damage their visual sensors and disorient them; or, even better if you go in through their right eye with a knife or some other sharp object you have a chance at destroying their chip and bringing them down all together.” John spoke in a cold tone of voice with an obvious lack of emotion as he continued to stare out the bared door at the Terminators, studying their every move. He maintained both a hateful and vengeful gaze on his face as he did so.
“How do you know that?” Kyle asked with some surprise. While John knew the answer to this question was that both Kyle and Derek had taught him this while he was in the alternate future timeline; John highly doubted that he would be able to explain this to Kyle without sounding completely crazy. So finally he came up with the best answer he could,
“A friend taught me.” He said in a quiet yet saddened tone of voice.
“Pretty knowledgeable friend.” Kyle said.
“Yeah...he was.” John’s voice trailed off into a more remorseful tone as he spoke. Kyle noticed this instant change in John‘s behavior and decided it would be better not to push John any further on the subject of who taught him how to bring down Terminators. The two sat quietly in their cell as John continued to study the movements of the patrolling Terminators.
“So what have they had you doing while you’ve been here?” Cameron asked as she looked over at Jackie trying to find out as much information as she could about her and John's present situation.
“It’s really weird,” She said pausing for a moment, “They haven’t had me do anything. They’ve had me locked up in this God forsaken cell for the last 3 weeks straight.” Jackie said as she glanced around the room. A feeling of discomfort and nervousness crept over Cameron when she heard Jackie speak these words. Skynet would have had a very specific reason for keeping Jackie alive for the last several weeks. It would not just hold her here for no apparent reason; there was something significantly more at play here.
“This whole thing creeps me out though.” Jackie continued, “I’ll see them taking women out of their cell; sometimes they bring them back sometimes they don’t. But when they do bring them back they look like they’ve been tortured or something.” Cameron instantly felt her anxiety level rise rapidly as Jackie finished her statement.
“Tortured?” Cameron asked. A slight bit of fear creeping into her voice.
“Well that’s the best way I can describe it. They have burns all over their body, sometimes they’re only semi conscious when they’re dragged back to their cell. The only thing I know is I don’t want them doing whatever it is they’re doing to those women, to me.” While Jackie had not given Cameron any specific information that she could use to extrapolate exactly what Skynet was doing, it was still enough to cause her great concern. However, Cameron found that she was not so much concerned for herself at this point; but, for John. She did not want what had happened to her and possibly to so many other people to happen to John.
“So where are you from?” Jackie asked trying to get off of what was obviously an uncomfortable subject for both of them. Little did Jackie know that for Cameron this was just as uncomfortable a subject as possible Skynet torture. Cameron thought for a moment, she wasn’t quite sure how to answer the question, she had been built in a factory not born somewhere in a city; but, there was one unsettling answer that Cameron knew she could give,
“Palmdale.” Cameron said in a soft and slightly sad tone as extreme guilt pulled itself over her as she gave her answer. Conversations involving Alison Young were always one’s that Cameron desperately tried to avoid at any cost. Jackie wrinkled her forehead slightly,
“Where’s that at?” she asked with genuine curiosity.
“It’s approximately thirty-five miles north of Los Angeles. Where are you from?” Cameron quickly asked still trying desperately to change the topic of conversation from her back to Jackie.
“Originally I’m from Seattle, but I moved to Overton, Nevada about a year before Judgment Day. Kinda lucky I guess seeing as how Seattle got nuked pretty bad.” Jackie paused for a moment then spoke in a slightly depressed voice, “Or maybe…bad luck actually…given our present circumstances that is.” Both Cameron and Jackie sat quietly after this statement, neither one of them quite sure what to say, obvious sadness and tension in the air around them. Cameron found that thoughts of John continued to find their way into her mind. She grew more concerned for his well being as each second passed.
Authors Notes: Poor John and Cameron. Their only concern in life right now is for each other. Review! Review!