Slaughterhouse No More

Slaughterhouse No More

San Francisco, California
The Golden Gate Bridge
May 7th, 2027

"Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire." -Reggie Leach

“Whatever one man is capable of conceiving, other men will be able to achieve.” - Jules Verne

Fifty resistance T-888s, two TOK-715s, and eleven programmed up humans looked at each other through the tight confined spaces. This was on a single stolen carrier HK, which was the launching point.

This was to cover eight thousand six hundred fifty four possible survivors. Even in the heights of optimism, the plan was wildly ambitious.

There was something oddly comforting to Cameron about its recklessness. Even as her own logic raged against the risk, it felt right somehow.

It was like her very first days in the Resistance, with John Connor driving her and Perry insane. Yes, this was exactly like one of John’s plans.

Cameron looked upon the nervous human faces. Only her sister’s John Connor had flown before and HKs weren’t really known for their smooth rides.

With sudden turns, massive accelerations, instant stops, and wild movement patterns, the HK was never designed with human comfort or safety in mind. You could pick that up in the nauseous faces.

There were actual physical reactions to these things. The human brain could be sloshed against the skull and the human body really wasn’t made to be shaken.

Flying in and out wasn’t an option though. No other mode of transport would be quick enough for this type of target in this time period.

Skynet would make the time limit apparent soon enough. It would be a hard lesson for Derek and her sister’s John Connor, but sometimes you have to see the whys to understand them.

Cameron knew that John Henry would hijack a satellite. Geosynchronous timing would be essential.

Skynet would only let him get away with that once today. A mouse only gets to outsmart the cat every so often.

John Henry would lace the area with incredibly complex viruses breaking down Skynet's communication lines.

Then John Henry would then firewall the Resistance communication lines as much as possible. With luck, the com lines would hold for the allotted time.

The carrier HK landed. It followed normal protocol and opened its livestock doors.

To the mechanical intelligences of the facility, the HK would have apparently glitched. It was one meter off of the herding doors.

The humans and machines quickly and quietly piled out. They were trying to buy as much time as possible. Stealth was the only operational option for that.

There were forty-two carrier HKs on the ground. Each was remotely powered down and in standby mode....

Third team, Derek Reese’s human squad began the hack jobs. At best, there was ten minutes to get the job done, which meant running from one target to the next.

As Derek watched, two or three soldiers were falling behind. It was glitches in their nanotech downloaded programming or nerves.

Derek also noticed that already one was standing out moving at least twice as fast as the others. It was the young kid named John Connor....

Cam’s team covered the first team as it went into the facility. Cameron’s team lead the assault.

It was Cameron’s team that ruined the operation’s luck. Fifty two seconds into the operation an unlucky T-888 rounded a corner and found an armed group of T-700 endoskeletons.

Thanks to armor piercing rounds, he was the first friendly casualty of the operation. He wouldn’t be the last.

The firefight had begun. Even with John Henry hacking the prison cells, it would take minutes to get to the survivors.

Every minute lost in the holding pens would be time lost for rescuing survivors. Skynet’s order protocols on this were simple for its minions, there would be no survivors left to rescue...

Somewhere, Skynet evaluated the situation. Cameron’s Dark Father calculated the value of the installation.

It noted the communication black out. It determined the likely aggressors and determined the installation’s fate in a microsecond...

John Henry became aware of the Kraken SSBN based missile launch. He noted the location.

Then, John Henry focused on the missile, its arc, and its speed. He detected it was a modernized high explosive, high localized ground EMP burst, low radiation yield warhead of the 500 kiloton variety.

The island would be vaporized. The surrounding area crippled.

John Henry calculated fifteen minutes, fifty seven seconds until detonation. That left an operation window of twelve minutes. One minute, fifty seven seconds shorter than what was hoped for.

The first and second teams would never reach the primary holding pens on time. John Henry watched feeds from both Cameron’s and opened up a third.

Timing had been everything for this. Now with a single stroke, it would be a maneuver of time space...

Both Cameron’s became aware of the third AI presence in the facility moments later. Catherine Weaver and twenty T-888s safely came online in the center of the holding pens. John Henry had securely placed them there with a 120 second safety window.

The T-888s were naked and disarmed. It was a situation Catherine Weaver diligently worked to remedy.

The T-1001 attracted as much armor piercing firepower as possible. With bladed arms flailing at lightning speed, she armed the T-888s, one dead T-700 at a time...

John Henry looked at the grids and noted the tunnels. John Henry sealed all the doors leading away from the escape area and kept the humans from getting lost.

On the positive, the captives were highly motivated to leave. In the facility interior, the problem would attend to itself, in minutes.

He notified the entire group, “Interior team in. Captives moving. Missile is incoming, ten minutes and counting.”

Using the facility’s detection grid he noted a group of twenty-one T-700s closing in from the other side of the island. They were headed to the flight deck area...

Both Cameron’s felt the communication. They saw the danger and noted the most likely first casualties from the approach.

Twenty seconds later, John and Derek noted the directional warnings of something coming at them from the north, as two forms blurred past them. Both humans were moved by the rush of air, as if they had been passed by a speeding semi on the highway.

John Henry transmitted the warning, “Nine minutes.”

The prisoners had yet to emerge from the facility interior yet. Groups one, two, and four were herding them out as quickly as possible.

John Henry calculated the causalities. Twelve friendly T-888s and one human had been lost in the operation so far.

He also scanned for a familiar head of red hair. However, despite his superior scanning abilities, he didn’t see her…

John Connor found himself running towards what Cameron had gone after. It was an invite one way screaming match with Derek Reese.

Derek buzzed, “Where the Hell do you think you’re going?”

John Connor shouted back, “They need help.”

Derek replied, “They are staying on mission. You are getting off it. Right now I got six non hacked metal birds and over two hundred people are going to die for each one we don’t get up.”

John Connor thought of a smart reply. He stopped.

Derek screamed in the blue tooth, “Don’t think. Do.” Derek decided this kid was a decent soldier, but he needed to get his head in the game. You put your personal feelings aside when the fate of the human race is at stake.

Both were back to hacking HKs in seconds. Time was running out…

Cameron and Cam engaged. All the good sniper point moments had passed.

The time to fight safely was over, as the first HKs spun up. Each transport was likely to provide the T-700s with easy target practice.

Both Camerons moved against the group as quickly as possible, with their reactors pulsing at full capacity and their plasma rifles firing at full speed. They overlapped each others movements, like two linked weapons systems.

The ground exploded with weapons fire. The first six T-700s fell, as the first five HKS ripped past them in the sky. Over one thousand captives were already moving to safety.

More T-700s fell, as Cameron felt the armor piercing shells riddle her left arm, right shoulder, and right leg. Despite her attempts to evade, she’d simply attracted too much fire.

Cam was equally wounded. She was hit in both shoulders and neck.

Even with two of them, the T-700 units weren’t going down as easily as the T-600s had before. The T-700s were better armed and smarter units.

The two TOK-715s made a simple decision. They gambled on moving separate directions to ease the concentration of enemy fire.

They successfully separated the enemy targeting. However, both ended up pinned down, behind poor cover provided by easily pierced walls.

There comes a point in any fight where fate is decided in an eye blink. This one was no different.

Both Cameron's rapidly opened fire on the center group, mowing the enemy down, but both took primary reactor hits among others. The last T-700 unit fell with its brothers.

Minutes had passed in the firefight. Minutes the two TOK-715s didn’t have.

Both had to engage their full stock of nanites just to self repair enough move again and not present a danger to others. That took even more time.

Moments later, both Camerons had hustled back to the airfield. There were only four HKs left on the ground. Three were actively taking off.

Derek and John Connor had waited. Both Cameron’s approached at best speed.

They cramped into the HK with about fifty unknown human survivors. Mathematically, it meant not everyone had made it.

The HK violently took off vertically. It stopped instantly and hit a full power burn to leave the area.

Everyone inside was tossed about violently. This unit was a basically cattle barge, not a terminator transport...

Behind them, four minutes past before the island erupted in flame. It was violently wiped into history under a single mushroom cloud...

Sixteen minutes later all the survivors landed at Serrano Point, at a moment when no satellite was passing overhead. Seven thousand fifty six human survivors were hustled underground to safety before a passing satellite would became aware of their presence...

John Connor stopped to ask if Cameron was ok. The look in John’s eyes told Cameron of his mistake.

Cameron simply responded, “She’s fine, John.”

Cameron walked off with that. She didn’t want to get in the middle of whatever they had to say to each other.

Catherine Weaver had disappeared. Not wanting to interfere with other things, Cameron opened a channel to John Henry.

She simply inquired, “How was Savannah?”

John Henry responded, “Savannah Weaver didn’t make it.” He had no interest in continuing the conversation.

Cameron ended the signal. She stood stunned for a moment...

John Henry turned his attention to something else. It was something very precious to his brother.

Skynet was jealous of its air power and its tactical superiority more than anything else. The Resistance would never be allowed to keep the HKs without a place to defend them.

As his last action, John Henry sent the HKs in pursuit of the Kraken SSBN at top speed. The AI vessel's low submersion ability wouldn’t be enough to save it.

John Henry sent the HKs in pursuit in a spread pattern. This was so the sub couldn’t easily nuke a single the group out of the air in defense.

In the end, the HKs wouldn’t survive the mission. However, neither would one of Skynet’s three treasured missile subs.

The AI felt the ghost of a little hand in his. He thought of ducklings, silly songs, and hide in seek.

John Henry thought of all these things as the HKs opened fire and moved in for the kill. Finally, he thought, “This one is for you little girl.”

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