For The Little Girls
Los Angeles, California
The apartment of the gray operative, Anthony Evans
Sunday, November, 25, 2007
"Remember, Roman, that it is for thee to rule the nations. This shall be thy task, to impose the ways of peace, to spare the vanquished, and to tame the proud by war. We Who are about to die Salute you!" -Roman Gladiators pledge to the Emperor
"Veni, Vidi, Vici (I Came, I Saw, I Conquered) -Julius Caesar
Friedrich Nietzsche had written, "Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster". He went on further to say, "If you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes into you."
It was odd Nietzsche came to mind, especially since this was the first time I had willingly accepted my father's gift. In a period of three seconds, four shots range out, four men fell to the floor; three were dead, one was crippled and screaming.
It shouldn't have been that easy. Once I sensed the movement, I knew it hadn't been.
The T888 smashed into my body with the force of an oncoming bus. No matter how powerful my father had made my body, it was just mass.
I was tossed through the nearby wall like a child shot by a cannon. The T888 was on top of me, fighting as hard as it could.
It hurt. I wasn't just registering damage as information, like my brother here.
This hurt. No matter what others thought or how I hid it, pain was real too me, the fear of death was real to me, my father's rage was real too me.
This isn't what Skynet had designed me for. This isn't how John Connor had taught me to fight.
I had been stupid. I had walked into this situation outnumbered.
It didn't matter though. Tonight, I had discovered there were things I could live with and there were things I couldn't. I knew I couldn't live with this.
I smashed my hands at my brother's joints. It cut its inertia and started slowly building damage.
The large T888 was stronger than me. I had to be faster. I had to be smarter or I would fail.
The T888's only purpose in existence right now was to slow me down. To given Evans enough time to crawl to safety.
I had no intention of letting Evans get away. I'd saved my first, surprise shot for Evan's spine. I had permanently removed the use of Evan's legs to insure he wouldn't retreat.
The T888 was stupidly good at fighting. I'd finally gotten a clear shot and started bringing my knee into the T888s armored chest.
It couldn't damage his interior, but the shock slowly moved his body's balance into a better striking position. I was adjusting him, like a hammer driving a nail sideways on a board.
The T888 had grabbed my leg. As in every fight, between to experienced adversaries, there was a single point where victory was determined by the next moment. In this case, I could break his neck at the soft joint or he could flip my leg up.
What happened in that millisecond determined whether or not the fight was over. I lost.
The T888 lifted my leg and drove me through the floor, like a fist through a practice board. Everything crumbled and we entered an empty apartment below.
My brother was better than he should have been. Being older and more experienced, he was smarter and stronger than his design.
He was outthinking me, using my defaults against me. It was the way Cromartie would, using time's lessons against my better innate abilities.
We both moved to locking arms. He was stronger and more experienced. I was faster and pissed. The moment was about to come again, this one would determine both of our fates.
He had my left arm virtually in a lock. It would break the joint at my elbow.
I had a single chance for super extending his right arm, at the shoulder. That is, if I could twist from the hip while dropping low with my knees.
His shoulder snapped at the joint. His left arm followed. His left leg was next. The T888's neck was last.
Once the terminator was neutralized, I made it back up the stairs. Evans had crawled out to the hallway, snaking a blood trail behind himself.
Evans would have been smarter not to set himself up as the only resident of the building. Right now, Anthony Evans really could have used witnesses.
I dragged him back into his abode by his now useless legs. He was begging for his life. He didn't understand; I knew the irony of that now.
As the younger John has become so adept at pointing out, I know that I'm stupid. I am smart enough to know that I'm slow.
I didn't understand the metaphor. I always have trouble with the abstract.
I understood the horror of it now. I understood what a sick minion Skynet had chosen in this human.
I set him in the middle of the room. I walked to the nearest display of ballerinas.
Evans was crawling again. He knew what I was and was trying to get away. Like all the megalomaniacal minds before him, it was all about him and what was happening to him.
The ballerinas were staring at me. Like myself, they were nothing more than artificial facsimiles of humans.
I knew they meant something different now. I knew what they meant too him.
He wasn't getting away. I picked up the first, Beth and hurled her in front of him, the porcelain figurine shattered like a sharp little minefield.
He had whimpered at that. Sandra followed, then Tiffany, then Diane, then Jennifer, then Mia, then Lisa, then Kathryn, then Vicky, then Nancy.
When I picked up the figurine named Allison, my tears ran like rivers. It could have been her.
When I picked up the one named Sarah, the name of the woman I had respected most, I screamed. I shattered that figurine by hurling it onto his gunshot wound with all of my strength. Evans shrieked in pain.
Evans was now openly begging. His hands were bleeding hamburger meat from trying to crawl through the figurine shrapnel.
He cried, "I never messed with the money. I would never betray Skynet."
My answer was simple, "This isn't about what you do for Skynet." I hurled the next figurine into his right hand.
He screamed and said, "I thought you would be pleased. It all served the cause."
I spat at him, "How many?"
He looked shocked, "What?" He could see my father's rage in my glowing blue eyes.
"How many of them were John Connor's soldiers?"
He offered, "All of them."
I had enough. I didn't want to hear anymore. I couldn't hear anymore. I dropped on top of his body and hit him in the head as hard as I could.
I hit him for the girl whose name I had recognized from the 132nd. I hit him for Allison. I hit him for Sarah. I hit him for every one of his trophy pictures, for all the despicable things he had done to the children he had murdered.
I had completely botched this mission. I had done this all wrong.
This is not how you win a war. This is not how Skynet taught me to track targets or how John Connor had taught me to chase leads.
I would never know why there was a T888 here. I would never know the three other people I had shot beyond the fake names from their ids.
I couldn't have John help me with the T888's chip without violating John's orders from 2027. This was exactly the kind of thing John didn't want his mother to have known. John didn't want Sarah to know how sick some of humanity had become.
I'd have to thermite the T888 here. I'd have to burn the whole building to cover my tracks.
The only clue I could salvage was Evan's laptop. I'd even have to hide that, because it would lead to more questions I couldn't answer.
I looked out at the ballerinas. Both those I shattered and the ones intact. I might have known every single last one of them. All forty three ladies, once heroes all, were now lost to time.
If I had terminated this man eight years ago, I might have saved them. I wouldn't have changed course if it caused me to fail to protect John, but if there had been time, I might have saved them.
"I'm sorry. I didn't know." Two sentences was all I could offer.
I had the information in 1999. I was just stupid, once again, I didn't understand the metaphor.
I burned the building. I couldn't burn away the feeling that I had absolutely failed so many.
Cameron - The Pretender by Freakysaucer