Final Days Chapter 72

Authors Notes: Okay same as before musical suggestions go with their corresponding number.

*1 *2 *3

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CHAPTER 72

With great victory, comes great sacrifice…

*1

Sunlight was just beginning to crest over the hilly slopes around Serrano Point, illuminating the bloody and burnt beachfront as it did so. The lapping of waves could be heard around the now silent Kraken Undersea Vessel and every so often, a cool breeze that smelled of salt air mixed with both sulfur and burnt flesh would blow across the landscape. For the most part the battlefield was now relatively quiet. There were no more sounds of gunfire, explosions or jet engines. All had faded away into the silence of solemn morning for fallen comrades. The sandy beach itself was littered with the bodies of both Terminators and humans. However, due to John Henry's actions the unmoving silver-bodied endoskeletons now outnumbered their human counterparts. Every so often, the thudding sound of helicopter blades would break the serene quiet of the coastline. Nevertheless, the entire area had taken on an eerie and surreal calmness. The surviving resistance soldiers continued to scour the battlefront for any useful material. By this point many soldiers were somewhat unsure of exactly why they were doing this now that it appeared the war was over. By this point, these acts seemed to be more out of habit then necessity.

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The interior of the Kraken was barely lit by the now breaking dawn's sunlight. For the time being the only true light that illuminated the vast steel hanger bay came from the headlights and light bars of Hum V's that sat, idling on the entrance plank that led into the Kraken itself. Savannah Weaver sat motionless at in the main entryway of the hanger appearing to be almost in a daze. She had her back leaning up against the open doorframe of the drop plank, and sat staring out across the beachfront, over Serrano Point, and into the now crimson colored horizon.
With a certain blank, emotionless expression draped across her face, she took a breath and then exhaled slowly. What little sounds and sights that were around her appeared to be pulled into the distance away from her consciousness.

"Are you alright?" A scratchy and nearly lifeless voice asked. Savannah slowly turned her head away from the horizon and back over to her right. Letting her eyes scan upwards, she saw John Connor standing next to her. His eyes were bloodshot and glassy, the same as hers. John's eyes alo had a certain lifeless quality about them. Savannah opened her mouth to respond; but no words came out. She began to feel somewhat embarrassed sitting there for a few seconds with her mouth open; but no sounds being uttered. John nodded his head slowly and then began to sit down next to her. He allowed his back to gradually slide down the metal wall and he came to rest next to Savannah. John gazed at Savannah attempting to give her a reassuring look; but failing miserably. His vein attempt to try and give her some comfort only signaled to her how alone they both now felt.

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John and Savannah continued to stare out into the horizon together, neither one speaking a word. As John looked out into the sky, he found that no single thought came across his mind. Instead, a certain numb, blankness crept over his psyche. He felt completely hollow and even though Savannah, who he did consider to be a friend, was seated right next to him, John continued to feel nearly detached from this reality. He found that his victory was pyrrhic and the crushing weight of all that had occurred continued to weigh on his soul. John found himself completely unsure of what he would do now. The war was over, humanity appeared to be safe, and John had managed to lose the one person he truly held dear. The emptiness seemed to be ever consuming and John believed that there was no longer anything left for him in this world. He took a slowly long breath and then exhaled.

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As soldiers continued to search through the battlefield both John and Savannah sat quietly next to each other, neither one uttering a word. Time appeared to no longer have any meaning and upon seeing the hopeless look in their eyes no one dared approach either one of them. Even more saddening was that their situation was unique to each other.
Finally, after what appeared to be hours, but in actually was only minutes Savannah broke the silence.

"I knew this day would come…" She said in a certain detached emotionless voice. While John heard her words, he did not immediately respond. It almost felt as if he had to repeat her sentence in his mind before he was actually able to hear and comprehend what she had said to him. John then spoke,

"The day we would defeat Skynet?" He asked with absolutely no joy behind the sentence. Savannah hesitated for a brief moment still staring at the horizon,

"No…" she stated and then paused briefly before continuing, "The day I would lose him." John barely found the energy to flick his eyes from the rising sun over to Savannah.

"You knew?" He asked with exhaustion and defeat in his voice. Savannah nodded her head.

"He told me years ago…" She balked for a split second her voice cracking. After taking a moment to compose herself Savannah continued,

"John Henry…told me years ago that the only way for him to destroy his brother, would be for him to die with Skynet." There was another brief pause on Savannah's part before she continued.

"He knew from the beginning that it would always end with him and his brother dying together." John felt the tears welling up in his eyes and struggled to keep them from falling. Another few seconds past before John spoke,

"I'm…I'm sorry." He said. Savannah's blank stare remained as she looked out into the horizon; but nodded her head in acknowledgement of John's statement. When she did so, the movement of her head caused a single tear to roll down her right cheek. The hopelessness of the situation seemed to be unrelenting for John and Savannah as they continued to sit silently next to each other at the entrance of the Kraken staring out at the rising sun.

The battlefield began to be enveloped by the crimson colored sunlight. As light draped itself over the battle torn beachfront, it illuminated the true losses that the resistance had suffered. While the initial victory had been joyous for many, it was now becoming readily apparent that no one had escaped the grim reality of war. While humanity was now truly safe, the solemn truth was that everyone had lost someone they cared about that day.
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*2

John and Savannah continued to sit quietly next to each other staring out across the battlefield. Neither one spoke, and both barely took noticeable comfort from the other. The continuing sensation of nothingness had nearly consumed John and he began to feel as if he were no longer present in his own body, nor did he want to be.

"John…" a soft voice beckoned. John barely flinched upon hearing the voice; it almost appeared to be so distant and so weak that he did not even believe it was actually there.

"John…" The voice spoke again. It was still distant and John continued to ignore it, still staring out at the horizon.

"John…" This time John heard the voice and almost believed that he recognized it. However, he knew that he could not. Forcing his eyes away from the rising sun, John slowly turned his head back towards the interior of the Kraken and in the general direction of where the voice was coming from. John allowed his unfocused eyes to pan across everything that was before him as he continued to slowly move his head. Once his eyes had reached the general location of the voice, he slowly gazed upwards, in actuality not expecting to see anything. Once John's eyes focused on what was in front of him a sudden rush of almost shear panic overcame him. John felt as if his heart stopped and he was in such a state of shock, John felt as if he could no longer breathe. As the seconds wore on John began to feel his lungs burning for air and he took a sudden gasping breath and held it for a brief moment. At last, he was able to speak,

"C-A-M-E-R-O-N…" He stated in words that were barely audible.

Cameron stood quietly before John, her hair somewhat disheveled, dirt and soot on her face, and a large plasma burn exposing her silver, metal endoskeleton on the upper right side of her chest. Upon hearing John state the name, "Cameron", Savannah gradually turned her head away from the horizon, not actually expecting to see anything. A look of utter shock came across her face upon seeing Cameron standing before both of them.

John continued to remain seated next to Savannah, almost to terrified to move. To afraid that if he were to stir he would somehow watch in horror as Cameron disappeared from before his eyes. Seeing the obvious shock and disillusionment on John's face, Cameron took a step closer to him,

"John…" She said in a soft voice, "It's me…"

Upon the astounding realization that Cameron was actually standing before him, John bolted from his seated position and moved almost in a blur over to Cameron's location, which was just a few feet from him. While John always attempted to maintain stoic mannerisms around his soldiers, and struggled to show no emotion, even towards Cameron, John had long since reached his breaking point and no longer cared.

Nearly colliding with Cameron, John threw his arms around her. The impact of his body weight pushed Cameron back, slightly taking her off balance when he did so. However, Cameron did not mind, rapping her arms around John, Cameron took him into an embrace as well. Burying his face in Cameron's neck John felt tears streaming down his cheeks and he held onto Cameron as if he were holding onto his own life. A nearly overpowering sensation of joy swept over John as he embraced Cameron. Barely controlling their emotions both John and Cameron stood silently in the hanger bay of the Kraken holding each other. Everyone who was in the immediate area stopped what they were doing and looked on in almost a state of curious amazement upon seeing this event. Yet again, they bore witness to John's true humanity, if even for a brief moment.

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Finally, after what could have only been minutes John slowly began to pull away from Cameron. Upon doing so, he observed the slightly moist streaks of tears upon Cameron's face. John moved his hands up the side of Cameron's body and after what seemed to be an eternity to him, he at last reached her face. Cupping his hands around her cheeks, John slowly pulled Cameron's face closer to his and kissed her. As he did this Cameron brought her hands up behinds John's head and ran her fingertips through his short brown hair and then around to his face caressing it as well. After yet another several seconds of kissing, John allowed himself to pull away from Cameron, if ever so slightly. Their lips still just inches from one another's John finally spoke,

"I love you…" He whispered his voice quaking and cracking due to the extreme emotions that he was experiencing. Cameron stared silently into John's eyes for a brief moment before responding,

"I love you." She whispered with relief in her voice as she responded. John leaned forwards and once again kissed Cameron.

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Savannah sat quietly her body still leaning up against the doorframe of the drop plank of the Kraken. A slight smile danced across her face upon seeing John and Cameron being reunited. While the day was indeed sad, Savannah managed to take a slight bit of comfort in the fact that it appeared that there still appeared to be some joy left in the world.

"Hey…" A voice broke through to Savannah. She turned her head away from the interior of the Kraken back out towards the beachfront. Matthew Spears stood next to her. Slowly kneeling down, he spoke again,

"Are you okay?" He asked a certain nervousness concern in his tone. Savannah hesitated for a moment before responding.

"No…" She said in a heartbroken voice; but then continued, "…but I will be…eventually." Savannah's voice trailed off as she looked at Matthew. He nodded his head,

"I understand." Matthew then slowly sat down next to Savannah and joined her in staring out at the rising crimson sun. The battlefield remained muffled and the sights and sounds continued to remain distant to Savannah; however, she took comfort in the knowing that she was no longer completely alone.

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*3

The tarmac of Serrano Point was relatively quiet. Sounds of salvage parties would sometimes creep across the landscape and every so often, the noise of a helicopter flying overhead could be heard. Bodies of humans and Terminators were strewn across the concrete. A slight amount of smoke rose from a few areas where small fires still burned. The entire area was now becoming illuminated with the burning reddish color of the rising sun.

A young lieutenant walked slowly across the tarmac, his plasma rifle slung across his chest via a three-point harness. He squinted his blue eyes, attempting to look past the light of the rising sun and then ran his fair skinned hang through his light brown hair, sighing slightly as he did so. Stepping carefully over the bodies of T-888's and humans the lieutenant studied the silver endoskeletons assuring himself that they were indeed inactive. He felt a slight feeling of disbelief upon the realization of the possibility that the war may in actuality, be over. He continued to glance around the tarmac seeing several other Tech Com soldiers and a few civilians doing the same thing that he was.

As the lieutenant walked onwards, he noticed a young civilian girl with dirty blond hair walking in a somewhat confused manner in his general direction. The lieutenant was able to ascertain that the girl could not have been over the age of 23 and wondering if she may be hurt, began to walk towards her. Upon finally reaching her, the lieutenant looked into her green eyes and spoke,

"Are you…okay?" He asked a surprising amount of concern in his voice as he spoke to her. The girl looked up at him with bloodshot, glassy, tear filled eyes that still appeared to have some amount of terrible fear behind them.

"Is it…really over?" She asked almost in a whisper. The young lieutenant looked around at all the lifeless corpses that were lying around them and paused for a moment before speaking.

"I think so…" He replied also in a quiet voice. Almost the moment after he finished speaking, tears began to run down the young girls face. Not quite sure how to respond to her crying, the lieutenant took a few steps closer to her and placed his hand on her shoulder.

"Hey…It's going to be okay." He said trying to sound reassuring; but feeling as if he were not doing a very good job of it. The girl took a step closer to him and nearly collapsed into his chest sobbing. Still at somewhat of a loss as to what he should do the lieutenant rapped his left arm around the girl, holding her.

As the warming rays of the sun began to blanket the area around the pair, they continued to stand their quietly as the young woman wept. After a few minutes had gone by the girl finally pulled back away from the lieutenant still sniffling. The young male gave her a slight smile, trying to reassure her. A few seconds past before the lieutenant finally spoke again,

"I'm Tom…" He said quietly. The girl hesitated for a few seconds fighting back her emotions before responding,

"Dianna…" She whispered back.

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*4

The thudding blades of the helicopter reverberated throughout John's body as the Blackhawk slowly flew along the coastline. Cameron sat quietly next to him holding onto John's hand as he stared out the window of the helicopter at the beachfront. The helicopter made gradual sweeping circles around Serrano Point and the immediate area still surveying the battlefield.

"General…" Captain Spears stated to John over the radio headset.

"Yes…" John responded quietly, almost a shadowy sense of remorse in his tone.

"General Perry reports that we're getting news from resistance bases all over the world. The Skynet units in their areas have powered down as well. The automated factories have stopped, and the incinerator units are no longer functioning. It appears that everything that was connected to Skynet has powered down." Spears stated a slight amount of excitement in his voice as he spoke.

"Thank you Captain." John stated with surprisingly little emotion in his voice. After speaking, John returned to staring out the window, a somewhat distant look in his eyes.

"John…" Cameron stated quietly pulling him from his daze. John turned his head looking back over at Cameron.

"What's wrong?" She asked. John gripped Cameron's hand a little harder.

"I know I should feel happy…" John said balking for a moment, "…but the truth is, I don't know what to feel." Cameron tilted her head slightly to the side.

"It is understandable that the shock of the situation is still setting in for you." She responded.

"Maybe…" John answered, before continuing, "I don't know." He said, "I've been fighting this war since before I can remember. I've had so many people die because of me, or for me, and now it's over and I don't quite know what I should do or how I should feel." The sadness and guilt in John's voice was readily apparent. Cameron stared into John's hazel eyes for a moment formulating her response.

"You have saved them all John." Cameron replied a certain comforting tone in her voice. "And you will do what you have always done…" Cameron paused for a moment while John gave her a curious look,

"You'll lead…" Cameron's voice trailed off as she finished speaking. The pair sat quietly for a moment staring into each other's eyes. John felt his emotions cascading over him as he looked into Cameron's beautiful brown eyes. He then slowly reached out and gently caressed her cheek for a brief moment. John then ever so carefully leaned in closer to Cameron and kissed her. When John did this Cameron, experienced a sensation of love and closeness for John that she had never quite felt before. Cameron gently allowed John to stroke her cheek as the couple continued to tenderly kiss one another as the Blackhawk Helicopter made its way along the coastline.

The bright, almost blinding amber rays of the rising sun began to encompass the helicopter as it flew onwards. The war for John and Cameron was finally over. While both had done everything in their own power to protect the other, no matter the cost to themselves, they were now safe thanks to John Henry's sacrifice. Finally, Skynet had been defeated.

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Authors Notes: Hope everyone enjoyed this chapter and allow me to add that this is NOT the last chapter. There is still one more to go. On a side note I hope everyone remembered Tom and Dianna from the begginning of the book (if not review chapter 22 for further on their story), it had always been my intention to reintroduce them, once the timeline was altered. Again this is not the last chapter as I have something special planned for the very last one. Anyways, REIVEW!!! REVIEW!!!

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