Final Days Chapter 67

CHAPTER 67

The dark colored Humvee bounced through what were the remains of a once two-lane highway; however, calling it a highway at this point would have been inaccurate. The war had taken its toll and the concrete roadway had been reduced primarily to rubble. The vehicle ran completely blacked out, with no lights on whatsoever in order to better conceal its movements. The excursion back to Serrano Point had been an extremely quiet one. In fact, neither Catherine nor Cameron had spoken a word since leaving Catherine’s interrogation facility. A slight squeaking sound came from Cameron’s seat as the Humvee hit a large pothole and the vehicle was jostled from the impact. Even though it was almost completely dark outside both individuals saw the road ahead of them with ease, due to their enhanced visual spectrum.


While Cameron continued to scan the road ahead of her for possible threats she also continued to analyze herself, her systems, and the words Catherine Weaver had spoken to her,“It was discovered that those units were prone to violent and uncontrollable behavior.” While Cameron’s CPU had not alerted her to the fact that anything was currently wrong with her programming, Cameron found that she continued to experience a quite disturbing sensation…doubt. She found it to be most distracting and confusing. While she was relatively certain that their was nothing wrong with her, Cameron also found herself continuing to perform manual diagnostics of her systems in order to assure herself that nothing was indeed wrong. The only other time in her existence that Cameron had experienced this particular sensation was immediately after her reversion back to her Skynet programming. This act had driven her to such levels of doubt about herself and her abilities that she had implanted a small explosive device next to her chip in order to allow John the ability to terminate her if the need had arisen.

As Cameron continued to perform several self-diagnostics, she questioned whether she was truly that different from her “sister” Terminators that had been made in this timeline. She also began to speculate that if given enough time, if their, “violent and uncontrollable behavior” would begin to manifest in her. Cameron considered the option that she could implant yet another explosive device near her chip allowing John the opportunity to destroy her, if the need should arise. However, when Cameron had initially done this so many years ago, she questioned whether John would have be able to perform this act if the need should actually arise. Cameron now regretfully found that she was relatively certain that John would not be able to perform this task if it were to become necessary. For the time being Cameron felt completely helpless and trapped inside yet another possibly defective body. The Humvee continued to bounce along the roadway headed towards Serrano Point. As it did, Cameron continued to sit quietly, still performing diagnostics as they drove onward.
______________________________________________________________________________________________

Cameron walked down the dimly lit corridor of Serrano Point. Upon their arrival, she had immediately gone in search of John. Cameron began to find that her chip was forcing quite perplexing emotional sensations over her. While she was satisfied with the fact that her mission had been a success, and that she was now going to be reunited with John, Cameron also was experiencing several other displeasing emotions. Cameron found one specifically to be quite perplexing.

The highly distracting emotion of shame had begun to creep its way over Cameron, due to the actions of Catherine Weaver during her “interrogation”. While Cameron was unsure as to exactly why her chip was forcing this particular sensation over her, she found it to be most unpleasant. This sensation was not dissimilar to what she had experienced so many years ago after Catherine Weaver’s funeral, when John had first inquired about Skynet’s torture of her. Even though Cameron had not been exactly sure what “shame” was at that point, when John had asked her this relatively simple question, Cameron had experienced this distasteful emotion for the first time in her existence. While she had learned since then that victims of traumatic crimes often felt ashamed to discuss the atrocities that the criminal had performed on them; Cameron was never quite able to understand the exact reason as to why this occurred. Nevertheless, the shame of this particular experience had managed to work its way back into Cameron’s consciousness and it continued to grown worse as she walked onwards through the corridors of Serrano Point towards the War Room, and John.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

John stepped through the War Room’s bulkhead door and into the corridor. When he did so, John saw Cameron walking towards him. He immediately felt the urge to run to her and to hold her; but John would never due such a thing, due to the fact that he was always unsure of who may currently be watching them. However, John did walk rather speedily towards Cameron and upon reaching her, John balked for a moment, his over eagerness to reach Cameron had overrode any formation of a plan about what he would say when he actually reached her. John continued to fight the urge to take Cameron into his arms, as he stood silently before her.

“The mission was a success.” Cameron finally stated in a monotone voice. However, John instantly noticed something was off. While he could not describe it, he definitely did sense it. John nodded his head at Cameron’s previous statement and then spoke in a slightly quieter voice,

“Are you okay?” He asked. Cameron hesitated for a brief moment, twitching her head slightly to one side as she formulated a response. She then nodded her head,

“I am…” she cracked a half smile for John’s sake, “…okay.” John felt somewhat soothed by the way Cameron was looking at him. While he still desperate wanted to touch her, John restrained himself from doing so. The two remained silently staring at each other for a few brief seconds; the corridor outside the War Room remaining dead silent as they did so. Finally, John broke the silence and spoke in a somewhat disheartened voice,

“John Henry would like to see you in the TDE room.” Cameron tilted her head slightly to the side when John said this. While John would have preferred to spend more time with Cameron upon her return, he knew that more important tasks lay ahead of them in regards to Catherine Weaver.

“John Henry wishes to make preparations for the next temporal displacement. Sergeant Reed is already with him, and he also requested your presence as well.” Cameron nodded her head in acknowledgement. Then for an unknown reason to John he spoke again,

“I’ll be here when you’re done.” While John was completely unsure, as to why he had just spoken these last words, he found that he had almost been compelled to do so. He knew he did not need to reassure Cameron; but for some reason he felt the need to do so.

Cameron once again tilted her head to the side, she found herself slightly confused upon hearing John speak the words, “I‘ll be here when you‘re done”. While Cameron was well aware of exactly where John would be when she had completed her task, and she did not need for him to inform her of this fact. Cameron, however did find that she experienced a certain gratitude due to John’s concern for her, even though her experiences continued to produce some anxiety. A brief moment of silence found its way back in between the pair before finally, Cameron took a step away from John and began to make her way down the corridor towards the TDE room. John watched as Cameron slowly walked away from him until she at last disappeared down the winding hallway.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

John stood quietly working at a computer inside of the War Room. For the moment, his back was to the main entrance door of the War Room; the adjacent door being the one that would have taken him in the direction of the TDE room. For the time being, he was alone, seeing as how John Henry, Cameron, Savannah and presumably Catherine Weaver were preparing for the time displacement. The quiet humming of computer fans and the noise John’s fingers made from tapping away at his laptop were currently the only sounds inside the room.

John brought his hand up to his forehead rubbing it slightly trying to relieve his current tension headache. Just then, he heard the bulkhead door behind him screech slightly and then it began to open. John automatically assumed that it was Cameron; however, upon turning around he found himself somewhat shocked by who he saw.

"Catherine?!” John said in a slightly surprised tone as he stood from the chair he was currently seated in. Catherine did not say anything; but continued to walk around the imaging table in the center of the room over towards John stopping approximately 5 feet away from him. Catherine stood silently for a moment just staring at John who began to give her a slightly perplexed look. After a few more seconds of silence went by, John finally spoke,

“Can I help you with something?” he asked. Almost the moment the words left his mouth, what could only be described as an evil smile danced across Catherine’s face. John wrinkled his forehead still slightly confused as to what the T-1001 was currently doing.

“You care about it a great deal don’t you?” Catherine asked. John raised his eyebrow slightly. A sudden pang of anger swept over him upon hearing Catherine refer to Cameron as an “it”. John took a moment to compose himself, and then continued to think. He was readily aware of what his answer would be; but he instantly began to feel a slight bit of apprehension about what his respond should be. While John knew that he did trust Catherine, or the original Catherine, or whichever Catherine he had known in the past, he found that this particular T-1001 was still somewhat of a mystery to him. For the moment, John remained silent. When he did not respond, Catherine tilted her head to the side slightly.

“Why do you trust her so much? After all she did try to kill you?” When Catherine Weaver asked this question, John was immediately struck by the memory of the first time Catherine had asked him this particular question. It had been many years ago in the alternate future, in the basement tunnels beneath the remnants of the Zeira Corporation building. Catherine had asked John this exact question soon after he had jumped through time in search of Cameron.

“Why have you helped her so much?” Catherine continued as she began to take a few steps closer to John closing the distance between them to approximately a foot. When Catherine did this John instinctive moved his right leg and hip with his side arm located on it, back away from Catherine, blading his body towards her. Catherine smirked slightly at John’s guarded mannerism. She continued to stare at John quietly for another moment before finally speaking once again.

“Do you…love Cameron?” Catherine asked shifting her tone over to one that was quite seductive.
At this point John had already begun to wonder exactly what is was Catherine was after and that this situation was rapidly becoming disconcerting to him. Catherine stood silently and perfectly still awaiting a response. A thick tension began to envelop the room as the two stood staring at each other. Catherine allowed the smug look to remain on her face as she waited. While John easily knew the answer to this question, he still found that he experienced an array of conflicting emotions; not about the answer, but for the possible risk that, that specific answer may pose towards Cameron. John never allowed himself to talk to anyone about how he felt about Cameron, save Cameron herself that is.

While John was relatively certain that, many people assumed that he did care about her a great deal he was always sure to at least allow for some ambiguity in peoples minds. Nevertheless, only a few people, Kyle, Savannah, and Charlie had ever asked truly direct question about his feelings towards Cameron, and even then John did not give them straight answers. Moreover, this situation was much different. John knew that Catherine’s help would be invaluable to him and to become evasive now may mean risking more than just the future. Catherine continued to stare seductively at John awaiting a response. Finally, feeling as though he were backed into a corner John knew he had to respond, and that he had to respond truthfully. He sighed slightly and then spoke,

“I do love her.” John said in a solemn voice. Catherine’s response somewhat surprised John. If it were possible, John could have sworn her smile grew even more evil. Catherine inched her way closer to John who continued to feel his anxiety rise as she did so.

“Does she…love you?” Catherine asked. John felt his resentment towards Catherine growing ever stronger as this interrogation grew more personal. John ground his teeth slightly fighting back his anger.

“Yes…” John growled. Catherine’s eyes narrowed slightly, but her smirk remained.

“Are you sure?” She asked in an accusatory tone continuing to inch her way closer to John, who stood his ground. While John knew that Cameron’s emotions were not exactly like humans, he continued to understand that in her own way her feelings towards him were indeed true.

“Yes…” John responded in a gravelly voice. Catherine raised both her eyebrows in a somewhat intrigued look.

“Does she…pleasure you?” Catherine whispered. John instantly began to feel his anger and resentment grow to new levels upon hearing this incredibly person question. If a human had asked John this, he was almost certain he would have struck them. John clenched his jaw and tightened his fist as he looked away from Catherine, momentary trying to distract himself from his current rage. When John looked back, he was both horrified and infuriated by what he saw. Catherine who was now extremely close to him had taken on Cameron’s form. The pair stood with deathly silence all around them. Catherine continuing to stare at John with a lustful gaze.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Cameron and John Henry stood quietly just inside the entranceway to the time displacement room. The large jet engines that were currently idling creating a near deafening sound around them. These same engines also created a large amount of wind inside of the TDE room, which managed to blow Cameron‘s hair about. In the center of the room, a Novikov Sphere would begin to form and then quickly disappear. Every so often electrical energy would also arch outward from the center of the sphere. As this was occurring, Cameron scanned the interior of the TDE room slowly. Her chip continuing to force her to experience distasteful emotions. At about this time, the noise from the jet turbine engines began to ease to a low roar as Sergeant Reed and Savannah, who were standing out in the TDE control room began to reduce their power levels. Finally, at an impasse Cameron spoke to John Henry,

“How long did it take before the other units began to experience their flaws?” While humans probably would have had trouble, hearing Cameron over the engine noise John Henry was able to hear her perfectly. He turned his head to the right looking at Cameron and giving her a slightly perplexed look as he spoke.

“You are speaking of Ms. Weaver’s statement?” he asked.

“That is correct.” Cameron responded with an emotionless voice. John Henry paused for a split second as if he were calculating something.

“Skynet was unable to determine an exact failure time in regards to those particular units.” John Henry then turned his head and looked back towards the center of the room.

“What were those particular units prone to due upon failure?” Cameron asked keeping a monotone voice; but experiencing some slight anxiety.

“According to Ms. Weaver they would turn into what humans would describe as homicidal maniacs…towards both humans and Skynet units.” Cameron tilted her head slightly to the side somewhat confused.

“And while those particular units would attack both Skynet and human targets, it did appear that humans seemed to experience the worse end of the spectrum.” Cameron suddenly began to experience a quite unusual sensation, one in fact that she had not known since her time at Century Work Camp. This was a sensation of self-loathing. John Henry continued,

“While Skynet did not overly concern itself with the brutal actions of those particular Terminators towards humans it was…” John Henry paused, almost appearing as though he were taking a moment to search for the correct word “…displeased with the actions towards the other Skynet units.”

“Brutal actions?” Cameron questioned.

“That is correct. Skynet found that at times those particular Terminators did not kill in the most…efficient manner. Rather they chose to kill in more painful and excruciating ways. As I stated before, this particular aspect did not readily concern Skynet. However, the fact that these units did appear to be quite uncontrollable did concern Skynet.” Cameron’s anxiety remained a near constant now.

“Have I been operational longer than these particular Terminators?” she asked, while it was extremely faint John Henry was able to notice a slight bit of apprehension behind Cameron’s voice. He looked over at her with a slightly intrigued yet still friendly look on his face.

“To the best of my knowledge you have been functioning far longer than any of your "sisters".” There was a momentary pause and then John Henry spoke again.

“I believe that if you were going to turn on General Connor, you would have done so by now.” While these words did seem to provide some comfort to Cameron, she still did not feel completely at ease.

“I also believe that it is because of your interaction with General Connor, that you have been able to work past the Skynet programming flaw.” Cameron raised her eyebrows somewhat intrigued by John Henry’s words. The statement itself did not make much sense to Cameron.

“I don’t understand.” Cameron said flatly.

“I believe that due to your interactions with General Connor you have successful learned how to experience emotions without allowing them to either completely overwhelm you, or to take complete control of you.” Cameron continued to look at John Henry with a somewhat fascinated look.

“Those other units had only the most basic understanding of human emotions. In part they only understood what Skynet understood…” John Henry paused for a moment before continuing “…fear and hate.”

There was momentary silence between John Henry and Cameron before he began to speak again.

“General Connor was able to provide you with an extremely unique counter balance to those two particular emotions.” John Henry stated still exhibiting no emotion in his own particular voice when he spoke. Cameron tilted her head again to the side,

“What would that balance be?” she asked. John Henry who had momentarily looked away from Cameron turned his head back towards her and stared at Cameron with a almost blank expression and responded in a very matter of fact tone of voice.

“Love…”

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Authors Notes: Okay I hope everyone enoyed that chapter and the exploration of Cameron's psyche. REVIEW!!! REVIEW!!!


Ahead to Chapter 68



Back to Chapter 66

More pages