The Voice by Michelle67d

Title: The Voice
Author: Michelle67d
Rating: PG-13 mild language,violence
Main Characters: John, Cameron, the voice
Supporting Characters: William
Summary: Story ranges from Future John's meeting Cameron to her departure for the present. Deals somewhat with John's state of mind.
Status of fic: completed stand alone fiction
Author's note: Some may find this Fanfic a little twisted or perhaps even creepy.
Disclaimer:I do not own the characters in this story,nor do I own any of the rights to Terminator:the Sarah Connor Chronicles.They belong to the creators of the series and Fox.

The Year 2027


'But it's just a story." Cameron said.

She stood over John as he worked on a T888's chip.

A weak smile crossed John's face reinforcing the deep lines engraved there.His hair,like in the days of his youth, still hung in his eyes, but it now partially covered a scar that ran the length of the right side of his face.

Shrugging, he muttered, "Yeh,its just a story, but maybe someday..." His voice trailed off.

Cameron just stared at him as though she were trying to process what he was saying.This wasn't the first time they had discussed the Wizard of Oz.

"I'm too old for her," he thought, "Even if she were human, I'm too old for her."

Time was quickly passing John by and the war with Skynet had only excellerated his weariness.

"What does age have to do with it. She's a machine!" the voice chimed in.

John had heard the voice...his voice for a few years now. Sometimes it was comforting, sometimes taunting. He couldn't remember when it had started nor could he turn it off.

He had to be careful not to answer out loud for fear his men would think he was losing his mind, although sometimes that's exactly how he felt.

"Maybe you ARE losing it John", it taunted, "Maybe it's shell shock! Maybe it's the burden of leading this war!Maybe...your just a freak, John! Just a freak! After all you ARE in love with a machine."

"Machine...Machine...Machine...", the word bounced around in John's head. John put is hand to his temple as though rubbing it would shut off the voice.

"John...the chip." Cameron warned.

John almost damaged the T888's chip.Lately he had accidentally damaged several because of his carelessness. It was happening more and more.He would just lose himself to the nagging inner voice in his head or he would daydream about a machine that could pass for sixteen.

"She could pass for early 20's easy." the voice spoke.

"Damn", John said running his hand through his hair, "I'm doing it again."

"Not paying attention" Cameron said.

"Yeh, Not paying attention" John answered.

"No", thought John, " Daydreaming about you...trying to convince myself that we have a future together...trying to convince myself that your being a machine doesn't matter...trying to convince myself that it's okay for me to feel what I feel."

John refocused on the chip he was repairing.

"Maybe it's just a middle age crisis." he thought.

"Or maybe it's just her.", the voice whispered.

John knew the voice in his head was wrong about that. He had begun to feel taxed long before Cameron had come on the scene. When had he begun to feel it? Was it ten years ago? Maybe it was 12?He wasn't sure but he thought it was around the same time he had started hearing the voice.

He had begun to wonder what they were fighting for? Honestly he couldn't see anything beyond beating Skynet. What would they do beyond that? Food was scarce: radiation sickness ran rampant.His thoughts of the post apocalyptic world had thrown him into his own personal darkness.

The coding of the T888 came up on the screen. John began reworking the program.

The one thing that had scaled back the darkness was when John began hacking the machines.

The first time had been exhilarating.He had felt like a teenager again, the only difference being that the machines he hacked when he was young had been sitting on desktops rather than walking on two legs.

He had kept what he was doing from everyone...even his top advisers for nearly a year and then his hand was forced by unusual circumstances.

Of course John secretly blamed it on the dogs or the lack thereof.

Few dogs existed anymore. Because of their sensitivity to terminators and their ability to spot one dead on, Skynet ordered their termination. There were so few dogs by 2024 that John himself had ordered them removed from his personal bunker to guard what he considered to be more sensitive areas such a munitions.He had thought that the reprogrammed machines he had secretly placed in the bunker would be enough to protect
him.It was a mistake that almost cost him his life.


The Year 2025


"Come on John", you've got to see this girl", William said.

William had been with John for 10 years now, two of those years as one of John's head advisers.

"The one from Olsen's camp? I've heard the talk.It doesn't matter what she looks like, I've got work to do. We are in the middle of a war here or haven't you heard?" John snapped.

William crinkled his forehead with concern.

"You need to loosen up, John. You've become so secretive over the last few years. You won't tell anyone where you're going. You're never where you're supposed to be. I think the stress may be getting to you.Relax a little. Come hang out with the guys for a while." he said.

John controlled his temper.William was right...he was stressed out.

"Not now.I've got too much work to do." John said.

William just shrugged his shoulders and shook his head.A smile cracked his face.

"Okay, John have it your way. But if you change your mind about the new girl, she's bunking in the left rear entrance hallway.Her name is Cameron." William said as he walked off chuckling.

John looked up at the camera screen.The entire bunker was wired with a security system that could look in every corner.It had been installed when the dogs had been removed. Several stations ran throughout the post where the cameras were monitored in case a terminator got through, and unbeknownst to his men, John had a T888 at the post nearest his quarters.

"I should keep working", thought John.

"That's all you ever do. Soooo...much responsibility. Such a lovely future your parents picked out for you...Do you ever get to live...YOU know...REEEAALLY live?" The voice mocked.

"Just shut up", John whispered. John realized he needed rest but a few days R & R were
impossible. The war wouldn't wait for him.

"Take a peek, John. Come on, you know you want to. Just one peek. You're still a man aren't you? Or are you gonna play hero again?" the voice criticized, "Surely there is more to your life than this."

John looked at his bland quarters. His room seemed to be the only thing more depressed than he was.

Against his better judgement he found himself moving towards the camera screen.

One look...just one look." he whispered.

He focused the camera on the left rear entrance hallway.

John's eyes glued to the girl. He couldn't move. He couldn't take his eyes off of her. William had been right...she was beautiful.

"God, if I was twenty years younger," he thought.

"Cameron..." he whispered.The sound of her name echoed softly through the room.

"I'm wasting precious time." John muttered under his breath.

"You're always wasting precious time...time that should be yours!", the voice hissed.

Ignoring it John shut off the camera feed.

Three days later she still consumed his mind.

She was in his mind when he planned missions against Skynet.

She was in his mind when he was listening to his advisers.

She was in his mind when he went to sleep at night.

When he called for her it wasn't through William or any of his advisers. He used an unknown messenger.

When she entered the room, John's back was to the door.

"Just a minute" he said, " Let me finish this..."

Putting down what he had been working on,John turned to face her.

Cameron smiled.

At that moment John felt like everything had fallen in to place. Finally...a reason for the future at least for him, and it was standing right in front of him.

"Cameron...right." John said.

"Yes", she said.

"I'm John," he replied.

"John? John Connor?" she asked.

"Yes" he answered.

John saw the flash of metal as Cameron lifted the gun.

Instinctively he turned and lunged for the floor. The first bullet caught him in the face leaving a scar that he would wear for the rest of his life.

The second bullet hit his shoulder.

The third bullet missed altogether.

Cameron's aim had been thrown off as the T888 burst through the door. The element of surprise allowed the T888 to hold her down long enough for John to quickly remove her chip. One second more, and she would have gained the upper hand and John probably would have be dead.

It was that afternoon when John finally told his advisers what he had been doing with the reprogrammed terminators. Seeing the success and advantages gained by using the machines quickly won them to John's side; however for the time being they decided to keep the decision quite from the rest of the resistance, fearing that some would not understand.

With the meeting behind him, John sat at his desk, glad that at last he didn't have to keep his secret anymore. He was glad that they had understood.

"They didn't have to understand John. When you say jump...they say how high. You didn't really think that anyone was going to disagree with you did you...even if it is an idiot plan? You know you're going to make a mess of things don't you." the voice rattled," John Connor - the human race's only hope! More like the human races downfall if you ask me. I guess that's what happens when you soak up your parents bull about how special you are.Your SPECIAL John, Soooo...SPECIAL."

John just cupped his head in his hands. He could feel the bandage across his face where the bullet from Cameron's gun had sliced him.It had to be a miracle that she had missed...not just once but twice.

"Or maybe she was fighting her programming because she luuuvvs you." the voice rose to a high pitch, and John could swear it was cackling in the distance.

"I need help", John thought.

"Heroes don't need help John. If you need help your not the hero. What would your people think...that the great John Connor has lost it...that he's not fit to lead. Your advisers might even think your plan to reprogram the machines might not be the smartest move after all.And, well...I guess that means you'd have to say goodbye to Cameron here. You'd just have to stand there, and listen to them all cheer as her body is burned to ash." the voice stated dryly.

It was a home run.The voice won. John couldn't think of losing Cameron.

A part of him could not even admit to himself that the major reason for the meeting was more about keeping Cameron than about agreeing to use the reprogrammed machines.

John stared at Cameron's body laid out on his bunk...lifeless but so beautiful.

"Why make a machine like this? Why make one so appealing?" John thought.

"You know why.You think that after all this time that Skynet still thinks the same way. It knows you, John...maybe better than you know yourself...your strengths...your weaknesses...even your desires.It's made a lifetime of studying you.", the voice's tone had sobered considerably, "She was made for you and you alone. Your own personal siren to lure you out to sea...to lure you to your death."

If what the voice said was true John knew it was too late for him. Cameron had captured him...she had stolen his heart.


The Year 2027


"John!" said Cameron, her voice raising in alarm.

"Huh", John looked down. He had sliced open his finger:Blood was pouring out on the desk.

"Look out we've got a bleeder!", the voice in John's head chuckled.

Cameron grabbed the first aid kit and began working on the cut.

"So you really think that Skynet can have a heart like the tin man in the Wizard of Oz?", Cameron asked.

John always thought it was cute when Cameron tried to engage in small talk. This time it was her attempt at having a good bedside manner.

"I can't believe I'm talking to her about the Wizard of Oz. If anyone hears me they'll think I've gone insane.", he thought.

Shrugging, he looked up at her and said, "It's possible. It might be the answer we've been looking for."

"But it's not about Skynet...is it John? It's about her...always about her.Do your men know John?" the voice asked. "If she only had a heart...for you."

The tune to the Wizard of Oz started playing in John's head.

"So we stick to the plan then...the one we talked about?" she asked.

"Yeh, I think so...when the time is right." he answered.

"You don't want her to leave, John. Tell her! Forget all this. Live for yourself for a change." the voice urged.

Looking at his bandaged finger Cameron slightly smiled. "You've gotten careless."

The smile was for him. Her attempt to make him feel better. But he was never sure...was that her programming or did she really care.

"What does it matter if it's real John. It's not going to change how you feel is it? So quit wasting time." the voice chided, "Kiss her already!"

He wanted to. Her head was leaned in close, and John wanted so much to kiss her. From the time he had met her, he had restrained himself, but as the time for her to leave grew closer the more tormented he felt. Once she was gone he would never have this chance again.

The moment came...then passed, once again John denied himself even the comforting pleasure of even one kiss from the one he loved.

"Idiot!" the voice screamed "What is the matter with you!"


Two Months later


It had been two days since John had sent Derek and his team back in time. The hour he had been dreading was quickly approaching.

John had scrubbed the memories she had of her previous missions. It was standard procedure, but he couldn't bring himself to scrub her personal memories...memories of him.

Standing outside the bunker John prepared to say his final goodbye. His heart was in his chest...it was almost more than he could bare.

"Cameron, You know what your supposed to do right?" John asked.

"Great, small talk...waste of time." the voice sighed.

"Yes, Do you want me to go over it again?" she asked.

"No I believe you." he answered.

John felt like a 16 year old kid again. With his feet shuffling and his hands sweating, he had a hard time looking Cameron in the face.

Cameron gently ran her hand across the inner part of his shoulder.John shuddered.

"John, are you all right. You're heart rate is elevated. Are you...." Cameron started.

"I'm fine Cameron...fine." John interrupted."It's just I've got to say goodbye to you and I don't know how to really say it the way I want to. I'm having trouble finding the words."

"Finding the words?" Cameron asked.

"It's just an expression," he answered.

"John if we are going to stay on schedule..." Cameron started again.

"I know...I know." John once again interrupted.

"Just go ahead and tell her. You're never going to see her again. I promise if you just go ahead and do it, I'll keep my mouth shut." the voice said.

"I'm never going to see you again." tears began to well up in John's eyes as he spoke. It had been years since he had cried about anything. He didn't think he remembered how, but here he was falling apart like the young boy he once was.

"You're crying" Cameron stated.

"No joke." John half laughed. She always stated the obvious. Over the last two years that little quality had become endearing to him.

The comment broke the ice for John and he found his courage.

"I love you, Cameron. I loved you the first day I laid eyes on you. I know that maybe you can't feel what I feel, but I can't keep this to myself any longer. I'll never get the chance to tell you again and I had to let you know." John's words finally found their release.

John gazed into her eyes. Did he see something? Anything? He liked to think that at that moment he did.

Leaning in John finally did what he had wanted to do from the first...John kissed Cameron.

She didn't pull away. John hadn't expected her too. Truthfully, he didn't really know what he had expected, but after a couple of seconds she responded by copying John's moves and returned his kiss.

At that moment John didn't really care whether she was mimicking him or if it was real. He was lost in her embrace.

Pulling back John gazed into her eyes. A smile stretched across his face. He was looking for something...anything that might let him know that she felt something for him.That's when the shot rang out.

The bullet tore through John's back exiting through his side, barely missing Cameron as it sailed through the air. The second shot hit John in the midsection.

Cameron stood before him. She looked like she was in shock.

"Can she be in shock?" John wondered.

He slumped to the ground,his body still being held by Cameron as she knelt down beside him.

As a shadow fell across the two of them Cameron looked up, a look of surprise on her face. Slipping further and further into unconsciousness John looked in the direction of Cameron's stare. And there stood...Cameron.

Another Cameron...but not another Cameron...the same Cameron.

"Do you remember NOW John? When you first started to hear me speak?" the voice asked.

He remembered. He had known her for a long time...from before skynet. They had tried to stop it. They had tried to stop judgement day.But they had failed.And the day came when he had to fulfill his roll as the leader of the resistance and he had sent her away. It was the hardest thing he had ever done.He convinced himself that it was the only way...that his people would not have understood at that time why he trusted her.

"So now you remember. I never forgot. But you buried me right along with her didn't you...all but my voice. She's just a machine you thought. Got to get on with your war, but she and I...we were expendable. But this time...this time I'll win John and I'll choose her rather than to be the hero. Cameron and I will be together." the voice explained.

The pain John felt in his heart at that moment far exceeded the pain in his body.

The shooter looked down at her double.

"You wouldn't have left him, you know. If he had kissed me the first time I know I wouldn't have left. But now you have to go back...maybe this time we can get it right.Maybe we can stop Skynet so that John doesn't have to be the hero." she spoke.

And looking at John, with gun in hand she said, " I love you John. I always did. Maybe I couldn't express myself the same way you did, but I did love you.I still do."

Turning to her left she yelled,"Now!".

A few yards away a bolt of lightning erupted from an invisible gun rippling through the air to find it's target. John's killer...the Cameron he had once knew as a young man was gone.

A tear rolled down John's face traveling the groove of the scar that Cameron had inflicted upon him 2 years ago. It wasn't as big as the one he carried in his heart.He hoped the voice was right...he hoped that this time he didn't have to be the hero.He hoped that this time he wouldn't have to send Cameron away.

And with that thought he closed his eyes. John Connor was dead.

His hand gently slipped from Cameron's grip as she gazed down at his lifeless body.Faintly she could hear the time displacement machine being started up in the background.

Cameron looked toward the bunker.John was no longer here...but he was there...just a few feet away on the other side of the time displacement machine.All she had to do was go through. Cameron headed to the bunker and in a few minutes she was gone.


AUTHORS NOTE:

Although the majority of those who have read this fanfic understood it there have been a couple that didn't quite get it so I have decided to add this little explanation.

The story deals with a time loop. The first time Cameron went through the time loop she and John did not stop skynet. Although John grew fond of Cameron he never entered into a personal relationship with her and eventually sent her away after judgement day because he felt that the members of the resistance at that time would not understand a machine working beside him.

John's mind fractured as a result as he supressed his memories of Cameron. As time went on John began to use machines in the resistance, Skynet built Cameron and she came to be captured and reprogrammed by John all the while him being unaware that he had known the same model previously because of his supressed memories.

The Cameron that John sent away after judgement day is the Cameron that shot John. She did so because she knew herself well enough to know that if John and she had ever become romantically involved she would have never left him. To ensure that the younger Cameron who kissed John would go back and try to stop skynet, she kills John knowing the only place he can now be found is in the past.

This older Cameron also orders her own death knowing that the John she knew is dead and that her purpose for being no longer exists.

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If you would like to read other fanfic by this author try

The Last Link

Checkmate

First Love

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