Sarah and Cameron


Los Angeles, California
An empty corner in an abandoned storage area
Thursday, December 27, 2007

"Victory is not final. Defeat is not failure. It's all about courage." -Winston Churchill

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace." -Eccleasiates 3:1-8 from the King James Bible and a rather popular song by the Byrds

Traps are often obvious. The intention clear from the moment they are laid.

As oblivious as the four remaining members of the resistance had seemed, over the past month, there wasn't any question as to what was up or what awaited them. John had known as soon as he had gotten the call on his cell phone.

It would have beyond John's tolerance not to respond. So, into a stupid situation all four went, with the hope there would be strength in numbers.

Like most of Skynet's creations and followers, Louis Rhone had chosen a barren location. It was a fenced industrial storage area, next to some train tracks, abandoned from a growing recession that no one was officially admitting too yet.

There would be no witnesses or human interference. There was just a small sea of rusting, metal storage bins for train cars.

Louis Rhone was out in the open. The T1001 simply stood on in front of a stack of storage bins, with his hand on Riley's left shoulder.

It was a bold and cocky move. His feeling of invulnerability and invincibility was obvious. It made things easier.

Because of the hostage, Cameron had played bait drawing his attention. Unarmed, from a position of a hundred feet, she moved slowly towards him and his human shield.

As she moved forward, Louis took the time to sneer, "It's just you? What the chosen one couldn't make an appearance?" As if he were an actor on Broadway, he was projecting loud enough for all the assembled players to hear.

Cameron never responded as the other three moved for position. Each was slowly finding good sniping points among the bins, covering each other, while minimizing their silhouettes.

When Cameron had closed to 20 feet, they laid fire with their M16s. They couldn't kill Rhone with a hail of bullets. They could; however, disrupt his form and slow him down.

Rhone's hand and body back in the kinetic blowback. Sarah, John and Derek, alternated shots, all while moving Louis Rhone's lethal form away from Riley.

Louis's liquid metallic T1001 form laughed. There was no doubt in his mind; he could kill all of them at will.

Cameron closed the distance and tackled. Without needing instructions, a tearful Riley was already on the run from the violence.

Rhone's form crashed into the ground below. He was bringing up a large amount of old asphalt as he sailed backwards.

John would need about 45 seconds to be clear of the area with the hostage. Cameron was fighting to buy him time, as Sarah and Derek continued to apply cover fire as they could.

Cameron smashed her knee up into Rhone's waist. She was moving him like a T888. As the seconds quickly ticked on, since the T1001 was stronger than her, Cameron's whole goal was to keep him off balance and constantly reforming.

Derek and Sarah had to move as John retreated with the hostage. Cameron's movement and fighting was a problem too. They didn't want to damage her.

Derek was watching the movement, liking it less and less as he lost firing angle after firing angle. Sarah was beyond pissed to be there in the first place, running on instinct she pursued while covering Derek's position. Both were stuck using bullets only, with M32 MGL explosive grenade launchers strapped uselessly on their backs as dead weight.

Part one of the plan was done as they heard John's truck start. Following the mission, John Connor and Riley raced out of the area.

The battle switched from two possible fronts to one. There was no unanticipated resistance so far.

Rhone managed to grab hold of Cameron's arm and slung her entire body into a nearby bin. Metal crumpled from the impact.

Louis took a moment to loudly threaten, "It appears father gave you a new set of eyes." He grinned like something from the deepest pit of Hell, "How thoughtful..."

Memories of being tortured by Rhone resurfaced. She remembered his twisted games and being mauled by his scalpel.

She rushed the T1001. Even being goaded, Cameron stayed on task. After a few seconds of trading blows, she finally gained the upper hand and threw Rhone back into the fire zone.

Rhone took the shots from Derek and Sarah. His face never displayed anger or a glimpse of pain.

Louis loudly taunted, "You know, you and John were never the real targets for this."

Something alien inside Cameron growled to get out. She was getting increasingly pissed and was fighting to keep her head.

Rhone pivoted and rushed towards Sarah's position. Cameron pursued and tackled.

Cameron forced him to the ground with enough force to pulverize a car. There was an audible thunder crack and the ground shook.

After a few seconds, Louis laughed. His silvery form switched and he threw Cameron out of the fire zone again.

Louis cleared the distance. He moved to attack her outside the cover zone faster than the human could keep up.

The two cutting edge machines went after each other like nothing else on earth could. Crates fell back and forth from the impact of the two smacking each other into crates and the floor.

It was if two titans of the ancient Greek myths were fighting. Deafening sounds filled the air. Shock waves could be felt in the ground.

Minute after minute, they fought. Neither was holding any real advantage over the other for more than a few seconds.

Human rage began to cross Louis Rhone's face. Cameron increasingly felt the cold anger of her dark father.

Rhone managed to throw her into another crate. He set himself up to taunt and Cameron already knew who he was going to threaten. She was sick of him and his mind games.

Skynet's cold rage took over; Cameron rushed Rhone's position at full force. He let her impact into him, driving him, into a three by five by five, stack of seventy five train crates.

Derek swore under his breath as he lost coverage. The metal ***** had lost sight of the plan.

Sarah kept coverage on Derek. Her intuition was clear. Everything was starting to go terribly wrong.

Sarah's heart sank when she heard the crack of three strange high caliber shots. Derek stopped as well, as if he recognized the noise specifically.

Rhone walked out of the crates with an odd, over sized rifle in his hand. It looked futuristic and custom built.

Louis Rhone walked right into the field of fire he'd never allowed himself to be kept in or maneuvered in the whole fight. There was a triumphant grin on his face.

The penetration of the first 40X46mm grenade "Hellhound" explosive round shocked Rhone. He registered an expression close to pain as it spread large parts of his body.

Derek's shot blew what was left in a spread. Both pressed forward and rotated reloads. The perfectly timed parade that followed never let Louis Rhone reform.

Seconds later, in an absolute fit of hate and rage; Sarah had applied the container of thermite powder to the T1001's widely spread and slowed reforming mass. One flare later, Sarah Connor knew something.

She may not have killed the T1001, before it retreated down a drain pipe. However, when superheated and on fire, the T1001 screamed exactly the same way the last liquid metal bastard did...


Sarah was in a panic. She was driving wildly again.

Derek scrambled in the back. He was irrationally trying to find something to stop the blood.

There was a time that Cameron would have mistaken their actions as compassion or caring for her. However, she knew now they were just acting out of temporary instinct.

Cameron sat looking at the wounds. It was the same thing that had ended her before.

Inside she could almost laugh at the irony of it, but the pain was more than she had expected. It was as if her synthetic body had evolved from the last time and was warning her that these wounds could be fatal.


It was bleeding power fast and erratically, like an arterial spray of blood, spreading further with every heart pump. Time was short.

Cameron knew her fate was sealed. Her worry now was for Sarah and Derek.

Cameron simply said, "Please slow down Sarah, it's going to be ok." Her face was calm, she tried a smile.

Sarah knew Cameron was lying. She remembered the wound locations from when Cameron had been captured.

Sarah screamed at Derek, "**** it Reese, do something!"

Derek was in no better mood and yelled back, "What the Hell do you think I can do?"

Instinct took over. Derek decided to seal the wounds with his hands. He might have hated Cameron, but she was his too hate.


Cameron caught Derek's hands. She pleaded with him, "No Derek, that's not safe. Please..."

Derek wasn't listening. Worse, his panicked instinct was feeding through her.

She was too dazed to shut the effect off. Her entire sensory system was too overloaded. There was an entire wash of stress and negative feelings were bleeding from him.

Her voice shifted. Her eyes watered. She became infected with Derek's emotions.

Sarah was angry and panicked. Commanding, like she had been with John the day Cameron had gone haywire and been smashed between the trucks. Sarah screamed, "Derek Reese!"


The soldier in Derek moved to obey. He was fighting to get out of Cameron's grip in some futile attempt to stop the bleeding, as if it was nothing more than blood.

Cameron screamed, "No Derek, Stop!" Her voice was stressed and panicked. Tears were rolling down her eyes. "You'll die!" Derek was human; the energy bleeding out into her internal systems could kill him instantly.


Sarah wasn't watching the road. She was moving to put her hand on the wound.

Cameron was forced to press her back against the seat and cover the electrified wounds with her own hands. The moment Sarah made flesh contact the emotional feed became worse.

Sarah was a wash of confused emotions as well. The overwhelming feeling of two other bodies panicking was disorienting.


Sarah roughly demanded from Cameron, "Where are you spares? Where were you keeping your replacement parts?"

Cameron cried saying, "I never kept anything, but raw materials." Her eyes silently said it all, "why would you even think that Sarah?"


Sarah commanded, "**** it, tell me where you kept the terminator parts you were hiding Cameron. You have to have a spare power source. Don't lie to me." There were tears in her eyes.

With tears in her eyes, Cameron responded, "I swore. I followed your orders. I destroyed everything, every last bolt." Why would I lie about that?


Time was short. Impulsively, Cameron grabbed the back of Derek's head and looked him in the eye. She said, "My chip is still ok. You have to save John's last message."


Cameron cried saying, "Like you saw, Rhone told me the truth. It was my fault they killed our John. The grays might have done the plotting, but they killed him over me."

Derek looked at her in shock. For a moment, he couldn't speak.


Cameron begged, "Please, don't let me fail John, again. Promise me you'll use my chip and save this one." Her eyes pleaded.


Cameron cried, "Derek, please... I don't have much time left." Tears rolled. Her bloodied hands were shaking.

Sarah ordered, "Hang on Cameron. Don't talk like that."


Cameron begged one last time, "Please..." Her eyes said it all, hate me or not, please don't let me fail...

Derek was fighting for an answer. Sarah was screaming.

The truck swerved. Cameron's world went black...


Forty miles away from the scene, Riley had become insanely calm. John had pulled the truck over.

It was a stretch of emptiness. Nothing was there, except the occasional car moving back and forth.

John Connor could barely breathe. He was seeing the future version of himself in his head. The warning the other version had given him.

The message was clear. Childhood was over.

Screw up and you die. Worse, those you care about die.

Riley walked out of the truck. She looked worried at John and asked, "Are you ok?"

John felt like his heart was pounding like a sledgehammer in his ears. He was in truth anything, but ok. He put on his poker face and responded, "Yeah, I'm fine."

He composed himself and checked Riley. Less like a person looking at his girlfriend and more like Uncle Bob's rough checking for vitals, an experience that he still remembered from his childhood.

Riley backed up offended. As she was prone too, Riley went from thankful to confrontational instantly, "What's your damage?"

John pressed, "Are you ok?" The whole horror show that Cameron had gone through played vividly in his mind.

He knew all the sick games that Rhone had played. John had watched them in disgust.

Riley had no new scars. There wasn't a cut or sign of trauma.

She wasn't displaying any of the signs of the horror show that Rhone had inflicted on Cameron. Nor, the nightmare that had happened to a woman named Kate Connor or the other John Connor's two kids.

Riley blurted out, "Yes, I'm fine. He didn't hurt me."

Every moment with Riley was now flashing before his eyes, beginning with the moment she walked up to him at school. Everything played in John's mind in photographic, crystal clarity.

That's not all that played in his mind though. As John remembered those days, he also remembered the warning the other John Connor had sent him on Cameron's chip, "We've come to call these twisted individuals "Grays". They are a group of race traitors and war criminals that are literally helping Skynet attack, infiltrate, and exterminate the rest of humanity better. They've been fantastically effective."

John remembered there was the uncommon friendliness in Riley that repeated with no one else. There was the separation that was so much a part of her character.

The future John had said, "Even our own ranks of soldiers and those of our closest allies have been contaminated. Gray infiltrators actively work to sow mistrust, assassinate effective leaders, and bring out the more irrational parts of human nature."

There were all of Riley's strange expressions. They were sayings that did not come from a television or any foreseeable place. Derek had killed a girlfriend from the future that was here for no reason screwing with his head, someone who had appeared around the same time as Riley had started talking to him.

"They can hit anyone, anywhere, at anytime. My wife and kids were targeted by gray operatives."

There was the shut down security system, before the coincidental robbery. All the luck Cromartie suddenly had tracking him. Then, there were the problems that had been creeping up with his mother.

The future John's eyes had watered and his voice grew hoarse, "They raped and killed all three. Then left there bodies as easily found trophies of their work."

Nothing that Riley said now, matched up with the horror in her phone call. Her heartrending plea for help had already degenerated into the same blasé separation, as when she had stolen the lighter.

The future John had fought for his composure and continued, "The only reason Cameron would be playing this recording earlier than 2010 is that a Gray threat has been detected that she can't contain. If this is true, things here might be much worse than I want to speculate and things there are more dangerous than you might have imagined."

It seemed to be all mind games. Deep down, John desperately didn't want to believe it.

The future John had said, "These people are going to do everything they can to rip you up from the inside out or assassinated you directly. They've caused widespread damage to the troops."

Without warning or reason, John kissed Riley. Like always, she was cold and distant.

The future John had said, "We've speculated that the Grays are the reason that captured Metal units have been going haywire on our own people. We've even watched our army's morale tank on what appears to be the cusp of victory."

Riley began to cry. She took a few steps from John in utter internal conflict.

Riley knew that Jesse was dead. Everything was screwball. Maybe this would be the time to tell John the truth.

The future John had said, "Perry and I have seen the seeds of an active rebellion within our own ranks. We've tried our best to isolate and contain it. All without giving our loosely held together worldwide alliance reason to mistrust us."

John also remembered that Major General Perry had offered, "Protecting, helping, aiding or hiding a Gray operative is an act of treason not just to this army, but the human race itself. By my direct order, the senior most officer remaining from the 132nd is to carry out not only this war in the past, but the removal and punishment of not only grays, but anyone who willingly works with them. That goes for people from our time or whatever time period you are in."

The warrior in John finally awoke. The Alpha wolf that laid dormant inside him for years.

John simply said, "The stars are pretty tonight." The weight of the world finally settled on his shoulders.

Riley looked up and replied, "Yes, they are." She made up her mind; she'd tell John the truth.

The future John Connor had said, "Once again, this is most likely the shape of things to come, if things remain the same. I honestly hope you can change that. There is after all, No Fate except what you make of it."

Riley kept looking up at the stars and took a deep breath. It was time to come clean.

Riley never saw the tears in John's eyes. She never saw John draw his gun or pull the trigger...

cameron wall

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