Target: John Connor

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Target: John Connor


West Fork, Nebraska
A quiet neighborhood
Wednesday, September 1, 1999


"I dread our own mistakes more than the enemy's intentions." -Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War

If you are lost - 'climb, conserve, and confess.' -U.S. Navy SNJ Flight Manual



Night 68, John's memory of the past had been faulty. It was that or the past had already changed.

Cameron hoped it was faulty. If the time line had somehow shifted too much, she would be just as lost as any other terminator trying to find him, if he still existed at all.

Skynet and John had conflicting theories and strategies on how changes in time would occur. Skynet's ideas were meticulous and exacting, like the cuts of a surgeon's scalpel, changes were made and insurances built,
but Skynet was always careful to minimize the chance of undoing itself. Everything Skynet did was for minimizing its risk.

John was different. He made wild leaps from what he called his gut and risked himself constantly. It made Cameron and his generals uneasy, but the common man on the ground loved him for it.

John had said, "George Washington led from the front and so will I." His bravado of course failed to mention that he'd been captured, at least three times, that Cameron knew of and only survived because, in each case,
the drones had failed to identify him, before he was rescued. John needed protecting, sometimes from the most reckless parts of his nature.

Every day that passed without finding John greatly increased the danger too him. When your only purpose in existence was protecting someone, their absence puts your whole world out of control. Thousands of
scenarios that could kill John ran through Cameron's head. Each day that passed only made these images worse.

The only thought that eased Cameron's mind was that Sarah was with him. Sarah would protect him, until she got there.

The small south western town had been a bust; there was no sign of a John or Sarah Reese. They weren't there and they never had lived there.

Cameron tried to reacquire her target, in John's last known location. It was a small town where his mother almost got married to an ambulance EMT.

Charlie Dixon's name was in the phone book. The house she approached was empty.

There were three cars watching the house. The scenarios began flashing through Cameron's mind. Something had acquired the Connors.

Two of the cars matched the profile of police on a stake out. The third car had something much worse.

Andres Martinez was at least ten years older than Cameron's internal record would have suggested. Time was irrelevant.

The resistance traitor and known gray operative sat in a blue sedan adorned with government license plates, alone. His presence suggested that John was alive, but it also suggested that Skynet had an exact location of
where John had been recently.

Martinez was smart enough to case the house well behind the officers. He had a view, but minimized his risk. He'd let the others die if things got dicey.

It shouldn't be a simple thing to walk up to a car, unnoticed. She did.

Martinez shouldn't have left his door unlocked. He did.

Martinez shouldn't have been so surprised that he failed to make a sound before she shut of his neck's blood flow and air supply. He was.

The police, on the stake out, should have noticed the ten second struggle. They could have reacted, before Cameron drove Martinez's unconscious body too her truck, in his car. They didn't.

The night was going well. Cameron smiled ever so slightly.



--------------


The truck had been silent for a while. The miles flew by quickly.

Andres Martinez slowly awoke as Cameron drove back to the first town she had staked out. She placed her hand against his chest pressing his body to his seat, so that he couldn't try to escape.

He spoke with a think Bronx accent, "What's going on?" He was startled but unharmed. Cameron had not secured him in any fashion other than her hand and his passenger side seat belt.

Cameron allowed her eyes to glow blue from within. The terminator spoke with emotionless authority, "I've been sent back to acquire John Connor. Skynet wants a full report."

The gray looked flustered. "You already know what I do."

Cameron responded, "One or two grays have turned out to be double agents working for John Connor. Let's hope your report matches what Skynet has instructed me on you. Consider this to be a test of loyalty."

Martinez talked for an hour. Times and dates on companies, names of operatives he knew about, some of who died to resistance operatives, some of whom had killed resistance operatives that Cameron had never
heard of. They were search groups and secondary targets for both sides.

The information was useful, but she couldn't help John with it for decades. John's orders were specific, on this subject. He didn't want to know about the grays yet, nor did he want Sarah to know about the grays.

John's mother had died without every knowing there were large amounts of people nihilistic and psychotic enough to align themselves with Skynet. She had clung to her belief in the best of humanity. Being a son that still
mourned her, John wanted his mother to die with the peace of that belief still intact.

To a degree, it made sense. If you are going to save mankind, you want to believe that all of humanity is worth saving. It might help a younger John sleep better not knowing how many humans would betray him and try to
kill him. He didn't want to know about the grays or the others, until it was time to deal with them.

Cameron needed the conversation to get constructive again. Martinez was running out of time. She asked, "What's your cover?"

"I'm a network contractor working on the international Interpol tracking grid. I have access to government systems and equipment."

"When did you learn about the location of John Connor?"

"An FBI agent flashed a picture of Sarah Connor on the Interpol database."

"Is the agent a gray?"

"No one I knew."

"What was your plan in the event you located John Connor?"

"Arrange for them to get arrested and collect the reward from Skynet."

Cameron looked at him and smiled slightly. Here was a perfect example of why terminators studied the bible. Skynet's forces didn't understand the metaphors or the beliefs, but they understood power, control, and using
it as a treatise on human nature. Judas here was getting ready to sell out John Connor for thirty pieces of silver.

Andres had been useful and terminators weren't cruel by nature. She'd kill him quickly and almost painlessly in a moment. She had one last question.

"Did you have any other Skynet operatives involved with this?"

"No", Andres said, quickly adding with a smirk, "When you kill that retarded megalomaniac and his ***** mother, do I still get a reward?"

Cameron's memory flashed. For some reason, she thought of John that one night he was reading that silly book of his. That night she sat there for hours with her head resting on John's shoulder.

Something cold from her creator swelled up from deep within her. It was something alien, consuming, overwhelming, and monstrous.

Cameron's hand moved from Andres's chest to behind his head. Martinez's hair and skin folded beneath her grip. There was a wet, ripping sound. He screamed just before she smashed his head into the dashboard.

The seat belt loudly snapped and broke. Bone, blood, plastic, teeth, brains, and skin flew as she smashed his head into it, again and again.

Cameron slowed the truck down. She willed herself calm.

That was a mistake. She compromised her cover and endangered her mission.

She gripped the steering wheel. She was not something monstrous like Skynet. She wasn't like Skynet.

She was just like the other terminators. She was just like Uncle Bob. She was just a machine.

Cameron looked at her splattered visage in the rear view mirror. She needed to get cleaned and remove all the evidence. She would need another vehicle.

She gripped the steering wheel and looked in the mirror, focusing only on her eyes. Once more, she reassured herself that nothing of her dark creator contaminated her.

"I am just a machine."



-----


Red Valley, New Mexico
High school
Monday, September 6, 1999


John was young. He was so much younger looking that she expected. His hair was wrong and he seemed shy.

No scars marred his face. He was perfectly healthy. He had never starved, been shot, been stabbed, suffered from radiation exposure, been laser marked, or been hit with any serious disease.

Cameron watched him carefully for a moment before entering the class. In some strange way, one hundred seventy two days from her assembly, everything was suddenly right in her world.

She remembered the last words John had spoke before she jumped time. John must have meant "two", as in it will take you seventy two days to find me. John had actually been off by one day.

It was time to meet young John for his first time. Older John had hated her to act overly human in his presence, things he called "masks" and "lies". He always believed Cameron should just be who she was, not a mirror
of what others wanted her to be.

She had to lie to blend in here. She would have to lie to him to get close to him. She was actually really good at what John didn't like her to do.

The bell rang and Cameron sat behind him. She took a few more seconds to marvel in the fact that he was safe and alive. Silently she thought, "Thank you, Sarah."

Mr. Ferguson started his role call. She waited a second and asked, "What's your name."

John seemed startled for a second looking at her and responded, "John".

She responded simply, "Cameron". She smiled at his unscarred face knowing he would never be in danger again.

She was here. She would never let anything happen to him.





Cameron Wall paper

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