Three Wise Men


“Wait! Just wait, wait a minute,” slurred a hopelessly drunk John Connor.

“Can I just…just point…out how absolutely,” John hiccupped, “absolutely RIDICULOUS this is?” He hiccupped again.

Swaying slightly as he tried to focus on his mother. Her head is gonna explode he giggled. Finding his equilibrium he continued, “OK. Let’s think lodge-ic-alley about this.” He was using the overly precise pronunciation that only seems to crop up in drunk people attempting to appear sober.

“You are upset with me,” he pointed at himself, “John Connor, your son,” he pointed at her, “for underage drinking.” He giggled again. “Seriously Sarah?”

Her eyes narrowed at the use of her name. Keep digging boyo.

“Let’s look at the facts.” He began to clumsily count on his fingers. “A) The world ends in two years. B) I am JOHN CONNOR, messiah extraordinaire, and,” he looked at his fingers confusedly. Apparently coming to some sort of conclusion he finished, “and D) technically, this is my 25th birthday not my 18th.” He reached out to the wall to steady himself. Satisfied that the room wasn’t going anywhere he concluded, “And most importantly Mrs. Connor, my identification card issued to me by the GREAT STATE OF CALIFONIA,” his hands whipped around theatrically, “says that I turned 21 today.” Another hiccup. “I win.” He concluded happily.

Sarah had a vague, thin smile plastered on her face. Very softly she said, “Go to your room.”

“Right”

John stumbled down the hallway singing the drinking song he had learned at the bar loudly, and out of key—without any musical quality whatsoever actually, “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!”

Sarah turned Cameron, who had silently stood several feet away during the exchange.

“You let him get hammered?” she hissed, her fury starting to boil over. “Of all the stupid, irresponsible things you could have possibly done, YOU LET MY SON GET WASTED?!?”

“I was following mission parameters.”

“WHAT!?!” shrieked Sarah.

“My mission is to protect John Connor. In order to accomplish this mission I must blend in. John explained to me that getting inebriated is the socially acceptable activity for humans turning 21 in this time. It is expected. Not doing so would raise suspicion. We do not want to raise suspicion Sarah.”

Sarah sighed, at least he’s smart. Too tired to debate the finer points of alcohol’s effect on terminator attack survival rates, she just shook her head and smiled wanly, “ You just got played girly.”

“Played?”

“Yes.”

“Thank you for explaining.”

***

Oh. My. God.

John Connor thought he was going to die. My head!!! He lay on his bed, eyes closed desperately trying to fall back to sleep. The hangover was having none of it.

His door suddenly slammed open and a perky, overly enthusiastic Sarah Connor strode into the room, a huge grin on her face.

“God Morning General Connor Sir!” You could hear the capital letters, “And what a fine morning it is! Oh I’m sorry sir, my mistake!” Feigning embarrassment and walking to the window she threw open shades. “You didn’t know it was a fine morning yet did you?”

John groaned and pulled his pillow over his head.

“Mommm… go away.”

Sarah smiled and walked out of the room. Standing in the hallway she called out, “Cameron, can you come here please? It’s urgent.”

Cameron appeared seconds later, her Benneli M-1 in hand, eyes scanning for threats.

“Put that away,” admonished Sarah harshly.

“But you said-“

“Not every urgent matter requires a firearm.”

Cameron cocked her head and stared at Sarah as if she seriously doubted this fact.

“Listen, I went into John’s room and I think I saw a bed bug on his sheet. This is unacceptable. Do you know what a Bed Bug is?”

“Bed Bugs. Cimex lectularius. They are a species of bug that feeds on human blood. Their presence indicates filth, and can lead to outbreaks of disease.”

“Right. In other words they are threats to John Connor.”

Cameron’s eyes narrowed.

Primary Mission: Protect John Connor

WARNING

PRIMARY MISSION POTENTIALLY COMPROMISED

Evaluating Course of Action

SUBJECT: Cimex lectularius

TERMINATE

Cameron dropped her shotgun and rushed into John’s room.

Sarah allowed herself a very self satisfied smile as she heard a scream followed by a very expressive string of curse words and then the sound of tearing linen and moving furniture.

Two can play the logic game with Tin-miss Johnny.

***

A thoroughly disheveled John Connor stormed into his backyard. Cameron stood several feet from a large fire surveying her handiwork.

“Damn it Cameron! I told you there were no bed bugs. My mom is just punishing me!” He looked forlornly at his burning mattress, sheets, and pillows. “Where am I gonna sleep tonight?’

“Sarah Connor is not usually wrong when it comes to threats to you. It is better to be safe than sorry. You may sleep in my bed as I do not use it.”

I cannot believe my mother. “Thanks, I guess.” mumbled John as he turned to walk back inside.

“John?”

“Yes Cam?”

“Why do people get drunk? It makes them act impulsively and recklessly, lose motor skills, and engage in unsafe intercourse. They actually kill their own brain cells. Considering the fragility of human existence this action seems very unwise. It almost resembles self termination.”

John smiled at her, “It’s fun.”

“Fun?”

“Yup.”

“Thank you for explaining.”

John left Cameron alone with her thoughts.

Doing damage to oneself is unwise, and potentially dangerous, yet sometimes it is considered fun. She frowned. How can I protect John from himself? From a threat I don’t understand?

Create New Folder: “Human Alcohol Interaction”

***

Satisfied the fire was completely extinguished, Cameron went to collect data for her new mission.

Opening the door to John’s room Cameron announced, “I require the use of your laptop.”

“What for?”

“Research.”

“I’m using it. Sorry.”

John was lying on the floor where his bed used to be, listening to his ipod. His laptop sat closed, across the room on his desk. You just burnt my bed! There is no way you are getting my laptop!

“John, please.” Cameron begged softly. Her arm twitched.

John looked up at his protector suddenly confused. What the fuck? She looks… scared.

John knew that he wouldn’t, couldn’t, refuse his guardian. She looked so vulnerable and her puppy dog eyes are not helping… damn it.

“Yeah, sure. OK. But not in here. Take it to your room please.”

Visibly relieved she picked up the computer. “Thank you John.”

***

“John! Dinner!”

“Wow! Smells good mom. What is it?”

“Filet Mignon, mashed potatoes, and fresh Caesar salad.”

“You cooked this?” John asked, stunned.

“Nope, it’s take out.”

“Nice,” John noticed there was only one plate of food. “Where is the rest?”

“The rest?”

“There is only one steak.”

Sarah looked confused, “Of course there is only one steak. Why would I want two?”

“My steak, mom, where is my steak?”

“Ohhh. I see. I’m sorry John. I think you misunderstood me. This is MY dinner.” Yours is in the fridge.”

You have got to be kidding me. John stared at his mother incredulously as she sat down and began to eat.

“Come on John. Dinner is family time… you know that. Get your food and come join me.”

John approached the fridge full of apprehension. You are a witch Sarah Connor. He opened the door. There was a stack of pancakes in saran wrap with a sticky note reading “John” on it. He groaned.

Smirking Sarah asked, “By the way, where is Tin-Miss? I haven’t seen her all day.”

John dragged his feet to the table, not even bothering to warm up his cold pancakes.

“In her room. Doing research.”

***

Interesting. Cameron turned off the computer. Her internal clock read 04:00. She hadn’t moved other than to use the mouse since she had sat down.

It was time for phase two. Sun-Tzu, the great human tactician had once said, “know your enemy”. Cameron liked Sun-Tzu. With single-mindedness only a machine could achieve Cameron had set out to truly know the full ramifications of alcohol, drunkenness, and how it pertained to humans.

Using her Neural Net, she compiled all of the data she had gotten from the Internet into one, highly efficient, database: “Human Alcohol ”

Create Program “Wasty-Face”

For some reason she liked that term. She had first seen it several hours earlier and it was by far her favorite term for inebriation. Her second favorite was “shit-canned”.

Please Select Data Source for program “Wasty-Face”

Data Source = “Human Alcohol ”…

Data Source Valid

Please Select System(s) to Run Wasty-Face

TOK-715CP2027

WARNING

MASTER SYSTEM SELECTED

PROCEED (Y/N)

Y

Please Select Program Parameters

All systems defer to Wasty-Face unless Skynet forces are detected.

Parameters Confirmed.

Begin Algorithmic Synthesis for Wasty-Face

Cameron’s eyes closed as she began to code the algorithms for her new program. Using her new database she was able to quickly and effectively create actions for her program that would cause her systems to function as if she was drunk. She was sure to create a fail safe in regards to her strength so that she wouldn’t harm John or accidentally flip a car.

Next she designed a series of loops that allowed her to run the program in increments. In her studies she had discovered the importance that humans placed on the different stages of inebriations. There were thousands of variations, but her database synthesized them into 5 levels: Buzzed, Tipsy, Drunk, Wasted, and Black Out.

Cameron paused and reflected on her database’s results, Black Out? The purpose of this experiment is to know my enemy…how can I know my enemy if I can’t remember anything? Cameron deleted Black Out. This should be more than sufficient.

Each stage was linked to her database so that its effect would be determined by the data she had carefully complied.

Lastly she created a simple user interface. Whenever she thought, “Take a drink” a prompt would flash on her HUD Take Drink? (Y/N). Each virtual drink would increase her virtual blood alcohol level in the correct ratio for a human her size, which would directly influence which stage controlled her system.

Cameron ran her debugging program several times.

Finally satisfied with her work she compiled Wasty-Face.

05:00

They wont be up for two hours…. Time for a test drive, she thought excitedly.

Run Program Wasty-Face

Initiating….

Program Running at %100

Cameron took a deep, and completely unnecessary, breath.

Take a drink

Take Drink? (Y/N)

Y

Nothing happened.

She frowned

Take a drink

Take Drink? (Y/N)

Y

Nothing happened.

Take a drink

Take Drink? (Y/N)

Y

Nothing. She was starting to get upset.

Take a drink

Take Drink? (Y/N)

Y

Take a drink

Take Drink? (Y/N)

Y

Take a drink

Take Drink? (Y/N)

Y

Cameron suddenly felt warm, uncomfortably warm. She stood up to take off her sweatshirt, and immediately fell to the ground.

She found this to be incredibly humorous for some reason and began to giggle uncontrollably.

“Ok” she said aloud, trying to catch her breath. This was another new experience for her, by giving the program control over everything it had co-opted her respiration function to enhance the simulation.

“Ok!” Her tongue felt funny in her mouth, which prompted more giggles.

She managed to stand and the room seemed to continue moving for a moment when she stopped. She looked around with wide eyes as she noticed that everything seemed…softer somehow.

This is rather pleasant she thought.

She found herself mesmerized by her own HUD.

“This thing is AWESOME.” Why have I never appreciated this contraption before?

She looked at the program status in the bottom left corner of the HUD. It read “Drunk”.

I skipped two stages! Not fair!

She suddenly stiffened. I have gotten “drunk” by myself! That is a warning sign of alcoholism!

She sat down on the bed. I need to have a “drinking buddy”.

“John enjoys drinking, I will go drinking with John!” She clapped her hands excitedly. “Yay.”

She checked the time.

06:00

An hour has passed, no way! John and Sarah will be up soon!

End Program Wasty-Face

RUN TIME ERROR 42

What?

End Program Wasty-Face

RUN TIME ERROR 42

Fuck you Run Time Error 42!

End Program Wasty-Face

RUN TIME ERROR 4

Fine!

Define Error 42

A mass of text scrolled in front of her eyes. She felt nauseous. The scrolling finally stopped.

RUN TIME ERROR 42:

Invalid Command, Parameter Logic Conflict

Huh?

***

“Did Cameron seem, weird to you this morning John?”

What you mean like giggling randomly, tripping on the steps and being more… physical with me?

“No. Why?”

Sarah paused, her eyes unfocused. She shook her head. “I don’t know, maybe I’m just paranoid.”

She looked back at John. “Anyway, Derek finally called. I am meeting him in the desert. He wont tell me what he found but it sounds big.”

“It’s Derek Ma, EVERYTHING sounds big the way he tells it.”

“True.” She smiled and kissed him on the forehead, “But he’s your uncle, I gotta go check it out.”

“I know.” He smiled until she turned away and then rolled his eyes. At least it isn’t the three dots…

***

John heard his mother’s truck pull away. He hopped up from the TV and walked to the kitchen. Opening the fridge he grabbed a beer. He popped the top and took a long gulp.

“Tastes like freedom.” He said with a grin on his face.

“Aren’t you gonna offer me one?”

John jumped and dropped the bottle.

“Well that’s a waste,” came the soft voice again.

“Don’t DO that! How many times do I have to tell you?! That scares the shit out of me.”

“I’m sorry John.”

Cameron bent to pick up the now shattered bottle.

“I’ll clean it up,” she said quietly.

John felt like an abusive husband. He grimaced as he heard in his head, that’s right bitch, clean up my mess. Then bake me a pie! Umm Hmm!

“N-no, no. Cam, look, it was my fault. I got it.” He put his hand on her shoulder, “I’m sorry.”

She looked at him with her doe eyes and he felt even worse. I treat this poor girl terribly sometimes. She can’t help it.

“It’s ok John. Thank you for your apology.”

He smiled, “Wait, did I hear you correctly a minute ago? Did you ask me for a beer.”

“Yes”

“Why?” He asked flatly. Wait! That came out wrong. Fuck! I think I must be programmed to be an asshole! “Uh, I mean, sure you can have one, I’m just curious why you want one.”

She told him. His eyes bulged.

When she finished explaining herself, it took John a moment or two to process exactly what she had said.

“I think you have put more effort into getting drunk than anybody has since the still was invented…”

A few more moments ticked by as John analyzed he confession. He frowned slightly, “And you’re sure that if Skynet shows up in any form, the program will end.”

“Yes. Actually, after the program stopped running this morning I added to that parameter some code about you being in any life threatening situation.”

“Uh-huh. Good.”

He was quiet for a few moments longer, and then he took a deep breath and looked at her, “Ok.”

“Ok what?”

“Get dressed, something nice, we are going out.”

She cocked her head to one side for a moment, then her eyebrows raised in realization. Flashing him the biggest smile he had ever seen and hugged him. “Thank you!”

She ran upstairs to dress.

This is going to be fun…wait, did she just hug me?

***

“Two Three Wise Men please.”

The bartender looked from John to Cameron.

“Really?”

“Yup.”

“Alright then, two Three Wise Men commin up.”

John couldn’t help himself. I think I get a little revenge in exchange for my bed.

“Ok Cam. We are about to get a visit from my good friends, Jim, Jack, and Johnny.”

“Are they meeting us here? I don’t know these people, where did you meet them? Why didn’t you tell me about them so I could do a background check.” Her voice had risen in pitch and volume toward the end of her outburst.

“Whoa, whoa. Take it easy Cam. They aren’t people. I am talking about Jim Beam, Jack Daniels, and Johnny Walker Black,” he said carefully pointing out the bottles behind the bar.”

“Thank you for explaining.” She leaned in and in a low voice she asked, “You understand I don’t actually have to drink anything right?”

“I do, but if you start to get drunk and nobody has seen you drink, they will think I rooffied you or something… do you understand?”

“To rooffie someone, slip them a mickey. Date Rape. Yes I understand.”

“Good, just run your program and say ‘yes’ or whatever every time you drink.”

“Here you are, two Three Wise Men. That’ll be $15.50.”

John handed a credit card to him. “Open or closed?”

“Open.” Cameron said before John could even open his mouth. She winked at him.

Lucky kid thought the bartender as he walked away.

“Ok Cam. This is a shot. You raise it like this,” He raised his shot glass, “Make a toast or say something profound… or silly… or whatever. Then you swig it all down in one go and slam the glass on the bar.” He thought quickly realizing who he was dealing with, “taking care not to smash the glass,” he thought some more, “or the bar. Got it?”

“Got it.”

They raised their glasses.

“To John Connor savior of mankind.” She is full of surprises tonight he thought.

“To Cameron Phillips savior of John Connor.” Is she blushing!??!

They threw back the drinks and slammed them on the table. John was the only person he knew who actually liked this drink. Still, his eyes watered slightly.

He looked at Cameron expecting to either see her coughing and grimacing or displaying no indication of taste whatsoever.

“That was amazing!” she gushed. There was an explosion of fire and… and tanginess in my mouth and throat!” She licked her lips and turned towards the bar. She signaled the bartender and when he made his way back over to her she handed him both glasses and said. “Reload.”

The bartender looked straight at John, eyes wide. “If you haven’t already, marry her!” he turned to away to fix the drinks.

Am I blushing? Wondered John.

Cameron just smiled.

***

“How many is this again Cam?”

She looked at him, a look of intense concentration on her face, “11? Yes 11.”

“Wow.”

“I know.”

11 bars! Jesus! 11 Thank God I got her switched to cocktails and Champagne! He nursed his gin and tonic.

“I get it.”

“Get what?’

“Drinking, booze, getting waasssted,” her arm swung wildly in front of her. “I think I get it. I feel, so relaxed, so loose…so free!”

“You look it.” He smiled. He liked this new Cam.

This had been quite an evening. He laughed inwardly as he recalled some of the more memorable moments. I think that might be the highest score on Big Buck Hunter anywhere in the country. Remembering the looks on the men’s faces as they crowded around the screen while Cameron “did her thing” John thought, that might have been the best 5 dollars I’ll ever spend. His mind shifted gears. Speaking of dollars…

Thanks to the pool hall they had stopped at, they had made almost 10 grand (and a few enemies probably), which in turn had provided the limo, the champagne, and the VIP booth at that night club—now that is something I wont soon forget, he felt his manhood growing a bit at the memory. When he had asked her where she had learned to dance like that she shrugged and replied, “MTV.”

I’m gonna have blue balls for weeks! He stared at his drink and thought, God this… this, WOMAN, there I said it, is amazing!

He thought about what had happened when they left the club, and a dull ache formed in his chest. Cameron had wanted to walk for a bit, so, arm in arm they had wondered about idly, enjoying the night air. When they had walked down a particularly shady street, Cameron had been mesmerized by the homeless people lining the road, “They look so sad and alone.” She had said, practically in tears. John had tried to explain that, while it was admittedly sad, the “booze” was probably making her emotions run a little higher than usual. Before he could finish, she had wrested most of the billfold she had acquired playing pool from his pocket. From that point on she insisted on giving money to every homeless person she saw. When she had seen a woman and her two children sleeping on the sidewalk, she had bent over and tapped her. Smiling, and she had given her $5,000. “Children are a blessing,” she had said.

The woman had barely been able to speak, “ Are you an angel?”

“No, I’m a Cybernetic Organism, but you can call me Cameron.”

Slightly Dazed the woman responded, “Whatever, Cameron, honey, you are doing the lord’s work!”

Cameron had smiled. They walked on.

John had been quiet, thinking about what he had just witnessed, and wondering vaguely when and where they were going get their next drink.

“We are so lucky compared to them.” He had barely been able to suppress a startled jump.

They had come to a stop.

“Well…”

He had begun to formulate an argument to her assertion based on having to fight homicidal machines from the future, having lost all their pool winnings, and the fact that they were running extremely close to sobriety, when she had continued, “We have each other.”

His jaw dropped and he looked like he had been hit over the head with a two by four.

Just then her drunken ADD, as he had dubbed it, had kicked in. “Ooh let’s go in here!” She had pulled him into the bar they had unwittingly stopped in front of before he could even close his mouth.

John smiled again. He… loved his new Cameron.

Suddenly a tall, extremely well built man slid in between him and Cameron.

“Hey man, easy.” Said John, mildly annoyed.

The guy glanced at him smirked but said nothing. Instead he turned to Cameron.

“What are you drinking little lady?”

“Kir Royal.”

“Sounds good. You want another?”

Is this dude serious right now? God I hate meatheads!

Cameron thought about his question. “I guess so.” She said mildly confused.

He smiled. “Excellent.”

John tapped him on the shoulder. “Hey. She’s with me.”

The man didn’t even acknowledge him.

He tapped harder. “Hey douche bag. She is MY girl.”

“Not anymore pal,” the man said turning to face him. “I just bought her a drink, she’s obviously moved on to greener pastures. Nobody likes a sore loser, take a hike.” He pushed John slightly.

John’s eyes widened in fear and he shook his head side to side.

Little pussy thought the man.

John hadn’t been looking at him.

***

Why has this man offered to by me a drink? Cameron was having a difficult time accessing her files she had so painstakingly created; she kept messing up on the commands.

Open File… wait what’s it called?

ERROR

FILE “wait what’s it called” DOES NOT EXIST

She was in the middle of literally arguing with herself when she saw the man push John. Her eyes widened and she became more alert, but Wasty-Face didn’t stop running.

My algor..alogarry..algorythems…thingies, must not consider him a threat. She sighed oh well. She moved to pick the man up by his neck but saw John shaking his head. She backed down.

The man had turned back to her smiling when John again tapped him on the shoulder. The man’s face reddened and he whipped around to teach the kid a lesson. Before he could open his mouth John cold-cocked him in the jaw. He staggered back and fell to one knee. John moved quickly to follow up, he was at a huge disadvantage in size so he had to press the man before he got his bearings, he paused just long enough to flash Cameron a huge shit eating grin and say. “Welcome to your first bar fight.” Grabbing the man by the head he rammed his knee up into his face. “Try not to kill anyone,” he yelled over his shoulder as the bar sprang to life.

***

If Cameron had been following her normal nighttime routine and had been patrolling the house she would have noticed two figures… moving, for want of a more descriptive term, down the center of the street. She is a terminator she notices things like that. She may haven even determined that the figures were dancing, and stumbling, and singing, singing badly. She would have seen that one of the figures had a cylindrical object in its hand. She would have analyzed it and determined it to be a bottle of Veuve Clicquot, a very expensive bottle at that. Satisfied they posed no threat she would have continued her patrol.

But she hadn’t been following her routine. Cameron was attempting to explain this momentous fact to John but was finding it very difficult, what with the dancing and singing they, well mostly he on that last one, were doing. She registered that the program Wasty-Face had dropped to the Drunk level. When she last checked it had been at its highest level: Wasted.

“I saw the sign, I opened up my eyes, I saw the sign. Duh- duh- duh duh, do-do-do-do-do-de-duh- duh-duh.” John swung came around. He had a black eye, a chipped tooth, and what was probably a broken pinky finger. “Come on CAM! Sign, I mean SING it with me!”

Cameron grinned as the spin brought her back to him. The Sign. Ace of Base. Terrible song. John usually hates it. He seems to be enjoying it now. That bar fight was fun… The way John dropped those three men in one fluid movement was, optimal…no, impressive…no, Sexy! Sexy?

If John hadn’t been busy twirling her, he would have seen her blushing. Cameron tried to return to the matter at hand.

She stumbled, regained her balance, giggled and then opened her mouth wide.

I saw the sign and it opened up my eyes

I saw the sign

Life is demanding without understanding

I saw the sign and it opened up my eyes

I saw the sign-

The actual song was playing out of her throat, it wasn’t a great reproduction as her voice modulator hadn’t been designed for music output, but it was pretty accurate.

“Hey that’s cheating!” Exclaimed John with a grin. “No fair!”

She stopped with a laugh, “Hey if you’ve got it flaunt it!”

“Where did you pick that one up?”

“Jerry Springer.”

It was John’s turn to laugh.

They had reached the door. Johns pulse had skyrocketed. Registering this through a drunken haze Cameron squeezed his hand in an effort to reassure him.

“Don’t worry John, Sarah is not going to be home until tomorrow afterno-“

She was unable to finish her sentence because John had twisted her around and pulled her into a deep kiss with terminator-like speed and strength.

He pulled back just as suddenly.

“Uh.. Sorry I just…uh.” He turned to run inside and hide somewhere. Maybe in his closet.

She grabbed him before he had gotten a foot and spun him around with real terminator speed and strength.

There was a sharp intake of breath from John. John Connor you colossal ass clown! Did you just ruin a perfectly good evening!? You did, didn’t you? His mind raced, did you just piss off a DRUNK TERMINATOR? His knees buckled.

He slowly shifted his gaze from his toes up towards her eyes, terrified of what he might see in them. When Greens and Browns finally locked, a tiny voice in his said, “Well, gee cap’n, that certainly doesn’t look like anger to me.”

He agreed with himself nope definitely not anger. Why am I still a little scared.

Cameron’s eyes were filled with hunger.

***

Moonlight poured in through the window onto the couch in the Connor/Reese family living room. A gentle breeze caused the curtains to rustle slowly, as if the house itself was breathing. It was a picture of serenity. At least it was until the front door came flying through the room, or rather, until the shards of what used to be the door came flying through the room. The fresh kindling was immediately followed by a small girl who had apparently thrown a larger boy over her shoulder. The boy was sputtering, “What? Where are we…Cam? What are you doing? Cam!?!”

She turned and walked down the hallway pausing just long enough to aim a kick at another door. She managed to keep herself from destroying this one, but the force was enough to have it bounce off the wall inside the room and slam shut once more. In that split second window she had slipped herself and her burden into the room.

John found himself face up on Cameron’s bed. Less than 10 seconds earlier he had been on the porch trying to categorize the look he was seeing in her eyes. And, Oh yeah, he had just kissed her.

“Uh Cam?”

“Yes John?” came her husky voice.

I wonder if a voice can be arrested for public indecency.

“What are you doing?” he asked looking up to where she was standing next to the bed

“What does it look like?’

“Oh”

A very naked Cameron Phillips bent down and crawled on top of him.

Hundreds of lines of code scrolled randomly down the far right of her HUD. This had never happened before. It was offering her information relating to the figure under her at a blistering pace, everything from the best way to kill him, to his favorite foods, to his height and weight, to the most explicit ways he she could pleasure him. She realized what was happening.

Putting her mouth next to his ear she whispered, “I’m nervous.”

“Really?” He shifted his head to look her in the eyes, “Could’ve fooled me.”

“I have never done this. My HUD is trying to give me information and it is not clearly advising me on how to proceed. This has never happened before.”

John smiled looking slightly relieved. “I haven’t done this before either Cam.” She smiled, somehow reassured. He paused and moved his hands to her face and kissed her gently, “and I’m not sure we should.”

Cameron stiffened. Oh no! She blinked. What have I done? He doesn’t want to. Why did I do this? He is going to hate me. She glanced the program status at Wasty-Face. I am going to delete you tomorrow, and then she added with resolution, I am never drinking again!

Blinking back tears she moved to get off of him, not daring to look him in the eye.

Seeing her reaction John kicked himself. You dumb ass, look what you did. Quick! Explain what you meant! He grabbed her before she could get off the bed.

“Wait Cam, that’s not what I meant.”

“Of course it is! You can’t get intimate with the very thing that you are destined to fight.” She was openly sobbing now.

John Connor, you have an amazing way with women! “No, No. No, Cam! Listen. Shh. Shhhhh.” He tried to calm her. “ I meant we probably shouldn’t ‘cause, you know… we’ve been drinking.”

“So?”

“Well, I just don’t want you to do anything you are going to regret tomorrow.”

“You mean anything YOU will regret.” She covered her face with her hands.

John paused for a beat. There is no going back if you do this John. He looked at the sobbing beauty next to him. His heart tore again. Good.

He took a deep breath, “Cameron. Cam, look at me.” He put his finger under her chin and pulled her eyes to his. “I realized something tonight, actually, two things.”

“What?” She asked dejectedly.

He smiled. “The first is that you are more ‘human’ than I will ever be.” She cocked her head in confusion. He continued, “ What I saw tonight, with those people, with what you did, I don’t know anybody who would, who could, do that. Hell I usually walk right past without a second glance because I’m so used to it, which, by the way, is a terrible excuse.”

She interrupted him quietly, “John I was drunk.”

“I know that’s the point!” He was grinning, “You built your program to run off of that Neural Database which in turn was built off of everything you could find on the web pertaining to alcohol! You created a perfect summation of human interaction with booze!”

“You are not helping your point.”

“But I am! You see all you did was create something that allowed you to strip away your inhibitions, your hang ups, your programming. You didn’t change what you are, you weren’t even trying to, you gave what and who you are at the very core of your being the chance to shine through. You proved to me once and for all that your body may have been fashioned to be a killing machine,” he squeezed her arms, “but YOU were created to help people to make this world a better place.”

Her eyes were wider than he had ever seen them. “You mean that don’t you?”

“With all my heart…. John Connor is not the Savior of Mankind. Cameron Philips is.”

Her head fell, “Ok now I know you have lost it.”

“Not at all. Think about it. No human can be the savior of mankind! We all basically suck deep down. There are very few people in the world who are able to truly put a total stranger’s wellbeing before their own… And those that do can’t really make the world a better place because their very nature keeps them from positions of power!” He chuckled, “Ok, remember our first toast tonight?”

“I said, ‘To John Connor savior of mankind’ and you said, ‘To Cameron Phillips savior of John Connor’ “

“Right. When I said it I meant my savior from physical threats, but the more I think about what happened tonight, how you showed yourself to be—at your very core—genuinely good, and pure, and compassionate in a way that humans just aren’t programmed to be, the more obvious it becomes that if I am able unite mankind we will finally have a leader with an unwavering, incorruptible, moral compass… You.”

Cameron was silent, deep in thought. John did nothing to break the silence.

Suddenly she asked, “What was the other thing?”

“What?” John had been examining his own words, feeling their full weight. He had been working on a stream of consciousness basis, basically forming his thesis from beliefs that hadn’t existed fully as thoughts until he voiced them.

“You said you discovered two things tonight, I am not sure I agree with you on the first one. Tell me the second one.”

John gaze was unfocused as he answered almost absentmindedly, “Oh that. Nothing much really,” his eyes snapped to hers and his tone grew warm, “just that I love you Cameron Phillips.”

There was another pause, this one slightly more pregnant than the first.

“Really?” she breathed almost inaudibly.

“Yes Cam.”

It was his turn to panic. Well I’ve definitely passed the point of no return! Why did I do that? What if she doesn’t love me back? Wait, she obviously doesn’t love me back! If she is even capable of love, other than tonight she hasn’t exhibited a single indication that she feels anything other than duty for me, and that is programming. Aren’t you supposed to wait for a few more signs before you make a statement like that? John Connor you inglorious bastard, you have really gone and done it now!

Finally breaking the silence John said quietly, “It’s ok, you know, if you don’t feel the same way. I’ll understand.” He flashed her a half smile. “I shouldn’t have sprung it on you like this I just-“

“John Connor I love you to.” She was smiling.

“Really?”

“Yes, John.”

It was as if the tears and the whole heartfelt interlude had never occurred. The passion ignited in her eyes like the flames of hell and she was on in him in a flash. This time there were no reservations on his part. He was struggling with his belt to get his pants off while maintaining connection with her lips, when he felt a slight pressure and heard a rip. He was pant-less. Somehow she had literally ripped off his jeans. He got his shirt off before it too could fall victim to her onslaught.

They paused for a moment taking in each other’s nakedness. Like a rubber band stretch to the limit snapping back, they resumed kissing in earnest. Slowly he moved his mouth down her jaw to her ear. He paused where the lobe met her neck and blew across her skin. She moaned and he continued his journey down to where her neck met her shoulder. Can terminators get hickeys? John wondered. I intend to find out!

Cameron was far from passive participant. While John had been moving his mouth down her jaw her hands were seemingly everywhere. Rubbing, scratching, stroking, tickling, she explored John’s body in ways she had never imagined before. When his mouth had reached her ear and she moaned her right arm involuntarily went to her right breast, she squeezed. As John attempted to give her a hickey, a dam burst inside of her somewhere. She could not wait. She picked John up by the hips and positioned him at the entrance to her womanhood. Take the hint honey. I don’t want to have to do all the work.

Suddenly John felt Cameron pick him up and move him. He realized what she was doing and ceased his attack on her neck. He looked into her eyes and placed her hand on his member. As she guided him across her threshold she let out a little gasp.

“Are you ok? Did I do something wrong?”

“No-o-o-o, perrrrfect,” she purred.

John resumed his forward pressure and placed his hand on her check. The locked eyes and then he learned down to kiss her. His lips made contact with hers just as he bottomed out inside of her. She moaned forcefully into his mouth. He began to reverse his direction but a hand on his lower back stopped him. He looked into her eyes questioningly.

“I want to make sure that I record every possible detail of this. I have never, felt, … so alive, so REAL! I feel like I am a part of you.” Her words came out in staccato gasps and moans.

“I feel like I am a part of you too Cam.”

She removed her hand, moment recorded. “OK. Go.”

Exercising self control he was unaware he possessed, he pulled himself out of her tightness as far as possible whilst still remaining inside, and without pausing drove himself back into her with the same care and precision.

John was almost completely back inside her when she began to moan and arch her back slightly. Her breathing came in gasps, and she began to quiver slightly.

She grabbed the back of his head and commanded, “Don’t stop.” And again, almost pleading this time, “Don’t stop John.”

She continued to writhe and then finally on his 5th or 6th journey back into her, she jerked up, back completely arched, eyes glazed, and let out an ear-piercing scream.

Her HUD was going crazy. Her vision was cutting in and out, lines of code were flying everywhere, she had absolutely no control over any aspect of her body. She registered that her system was experiencing massive power surges but the automated program trying to locate their sources kept coming up with an error message.

“Cam? Cam…”

“CAM!”

“J-j-j-John.”

“Are you ok? You’ve been unresponsive for 15 seconds.”

She smiled up at him.

“What?”

“John, I’m amazing.” Before he could say anything she had flipped them both over. She began to rock gently causing John’s eyes to roll back into his head slightly. She bent down until her nose was inches from his, and in her now familiar husky voice commanded, “Now, come with me if you want to live.”

***

John awoke in a tangle of blankets on the floor of the living room. How did I get in here? He thought in that wonderful, innocent, moment that exists before the memories of a night of hard drinking come surging back, a monster hangover nipping at their heels.

They slammed into him like a pack of wild dogs.

Oh Yeah. What had started in her room had wormed its way through the house to the kitchen. The activities there had forced the shenanigans to the shower. Who knew that chocolate syrup was so hard to get off?! He started to smile but the hangover had just caught up.

“Ow. Ow.” He mumbled. He was saved from some of the pain as more images popped back into his head. The things she did with those strawberries! Good Lord! He remembered what had happened when he had decided to get some more fruit to experiment with and his early exit from the shower had initiated impromptu chase he had had no chance of winning. She had caught him in the living room. Maybe if we tell Mom that a T-888 broke in… he thought desperately as he surveyed the damage, nah we are out of thermite, so she’d want to see a body.

He looked at the lump of blankets next to him. Is she snoring?

Cameron Phillips was in fact, snoring. Which meant, even more incredibly, that she was sleeping.

“Hey. Hot stuff.”

“Hey!” He couldn’t believe he was saying this to a terminator, “Wake up sleepy head.”

She mumbled something about pigeons and rolled over. I didn’t think she could get any cuter. Sleeping Cam takes the cake! Sorry sweetie, “Cameron, wake up.”

“Ohhhhh my head!” eyes still shut

Initiate System Scan

System Scan Complete

CPU structural integrity: 95%

CPU performance: 75%

Power Cell: 80% Output

Secondary Power Cell: 100% Output

Endoskeleton Integrity: 95%

Infiltrator exterior 715CP: 80%

Organic Systems: 75%

WARNING! CRITICAL DEHYDRATION IMMINENT

TOK-715CP: consume 2.3 liters H20 to replenish electrolytes and flush

accumulated toxins from system within 24 hours or risk organ

death.

Imminent huh? I didn’t know you were such a worrier Skynet! Alright, I’m dehydrated, my organic system is at risk... but why they hell does my head ache?

She noticed that Wasty-Face was still running. What worried her was that instead of one of the four levels she had created it was reading, “Hung Over” as its status.

I didn’t write that.

Her eyes were still closed but her olfactory system registered the presence of something that jerked them open.

John was kneeing next to her in a robe holding a cup of coffee, “Morning sunshine.’

She didn’t know why but she desperately desired it, “Gimmie.” She reached out to take the mug.

“John?”

“Yes?”

“I have a question?”

“I figured.” He said as he sat down next to her

“My drinking program is still running, but its status is listed as ‘Hung Over’. I didn’t write that. Also if I check the program history, until you woke me it was listed as ‘Passed Out’ I didn’t write that either.”

“Hmm, that is interesting.”

They sat in silence for a few minutes.

“Cameron?

“Yes John?”

“When you gave the program its parameters you told it to completely simulate the human experience of drinking right?”

“Right.”

“And it to be more realistic you wrote it so that the program could only terminate artificially if I am in danger right?’

“Yes.”

John started to laugh.

“What’s so funny?”

“You have just learned one the oldest human adages first hand,” he choked out. “Be careful what you wish for.”

“I don’t get it.”

“Think about it, when you tasked your system with the command to fully mimic the human drinking experience based off of the data in your Neural Net Database, and then only allowed the program to end itself if one of two clearly defined criteria were met, one of which being when the full human cycle of drinking is completed, that super powerful “learning computer” sitting in your noggin deduced that it would have to run the program until you had experienced the full range of human alcohol interaction as defined by the database, unless a T-888 showed up.”

“So?”

John laughed again, “I think Wasty-Face is still slowing down your processing speed girlie. I am guessing that when you created that database you included all the data on human drinking to be more accurate, right?”

“Yes John.” Sighed a slightly exasperated Cameron, she was getting tired of his professorial attitude, and she was a little upset that he had figured out what was going on while she still hadn’t.

“So, my dear, that database has files on what happens AFTER we get drunk right? Well since you told the program not end before you had experienced everything and it based its operations on the database, it determined that to satisfy the initial requirement it had to create at least two know stages for you. It then forced your systems to operate in such a way to mimic exactly what a human in those stages would feel. Hence, your headache and desire for coffee.

“Oh…. Thank you for explaining,” she paused. “All things considered, I think I wish a T-888 would break in right now.”

John burst out laughing.

“Good one.”

She smiled. “Thanks”

They were quiet again. John pondering what to tell his mother, Cameron reading her files on hangovers looking for loopholes.

“John.”

“Yes Cam.”

“Do you know what is widely considered to be the best hangover cure?”

He shrugged, “A little hair of the dog?”

She shook her head and smiled mischievously.

“What then?”

In a flash she had pinned him to the floor, her face inches above his, deep brown hair creating a personal awning for them. “The endorphins released from sexual activity.”

“Are you asking me to play doctor?”

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