The future

September 11, 2026

The scene begins…we see a very close up face lying horizontally….It’s John’s face ..he’s ..older… he has tight lines around the outer edge of each of his eyes and a short, shaggy, not-quite-kept-up goatee with a tinge of gray. A large scar stretches from above his left eye brow around and down his face, and disappears into the beard at the bottom. His eyes are closed, his brow is furrowed. The lids over his eyes fidget slightly as his eyes beneath move slightly back and forth in quick succession.

“John…” a sweet, familiar voice can be heard speaking softly…the camera begins to zoom out to reveal the scene, John lying on a tiny tan bed that resembles nothing more than a cot with burlap sheets… Cameron is sitting on the edge of the bed, her feet resting on the floor, but with her body turned to face John. …she appears to have aged as well, not in the way that humans do necessarily but oddly enough familiar …her skin appears to be stretched a bit thinner across her face and she has a area of exposed endoskeleton across her right cheek bone that seems to have never completely healed. Her hair is pulled back in a way generally complimentary to older human females …as it is for her too. She moves her hand around so that it rests on John’s arm and she rubs it softly.

“John…”

“HMPH!” he jumps back to life, his eyes fluttering open as his body lurches and then settles back down to the bed. He turns to look at Cameron.

“You were dreaming again..” she says.

He smiles a tiny smile, “I know ….but it’s okay” he adds at the concerned expression on her face. He sits up and spins his body around to sit next to her on the edge of the bed ..his legs reveal from under the edge of the thin blanket and as they reach for the floor, we see that they are completely prosthetic …nothing short of a perfect exposed hyper alloy combat chassis. It is the most obvious and painful sign of a war fought ….and the losses that are incurred. They sit silently for a moment, Cameron looking down, John looking at Cameron.

Cameron breaks the silence first…”Today is the day that I came to you.”

“I know.”

“…this will not be an easy day…for any of us…” she looks up at him with tears in her eyes, a single drop begins to drift down her left, scar-free cheek…. “I did such horrible things.”

John continues to study her face, “I know,” he says… he reaches out and takes her hand in his, bringing it up to his mouth to kiss the back of it lightly. They sit, looking into each others eyes.

Suddenly, commotion can be heard outside. A young, very thin man dressed in gray clothes that appear to be not much more than rags, but with a full utility belt, gun, and holster around his middle rushes through the door. The weight of the items around his mid section seem to be only part of the cause of the pained expression on his worried face.

He looks frantically from John to Cameron… “SHE’S HERE!”

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