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Chapter 12 - An Alliance Lost
“What do you think?”
John was lying in bed with Cameron. His arms were folded behind his head. After speaking with the T-1001 and conferring with his top commanders, John had decided to send a submarine on a secret mission to pick up the emissary of this “separate resistance”.
“I think it’s the right decision.” Cameron said reassuring him.
“If it was telling the truth about it’s military assets, it could be a valuable ally.” she continued.
“They are not gonna like it.” John was referring to the resistance.
“They don’t need to like it. They just need to follow.” she replied.
John rolled over and propped himself up on one arm. “What do you think these machines are gonna say?”
“I don’t know. If they’re telling the truth, I hope they’ll join us.”
John nodded and climbed out of bed. Cameron sat up.
“Are you not sleeping?”
“There’s one last thing I have to do tonight.”
“Have Derek meet me in the TDE.”
Cameron left John and went looking for Derek. After a brief search in the living area, she found him in a bed. He sat up when she approached.
“John wants to see you.”
Derek got up followed her in silence. After leading him to the rear of the base, Cameron used an optical scanner and allowed him into a room overseeing the TDE. Derek slowly stepped into the room and gazed at the platform. Cameron walked out just as John was arriving.
“Thanks.” he said walking past her. Cameron stayed near the room. She could still hear them speak.
“No need for the formalities.”
“What is that?”
John paused. “…A window to what once was. A gateway to the past.”
“What, are you telling me that this is a time machine?”
“Yes. Built by Skynet.”
Derek went quiet for a long time. “My brother…that’s where Kyle went?”
John shook his head. “Not that one. One like it.”
“So where is he? Where is my brother?” Cameron could hear pain his voice.
John didn’t answer. “Derek, I need someone I trust to perform a mission for me.”
“In the past?”
“And do what?”
“Help humanity…Derek, I’m not ordering you. I’m asking you.”
Cameron didn’t hear either of them speak for a while. She assumed Derek was taking it all in. It was a lot of information for any person to process.
“When do I go?”
“Tonight. Get your three best soldiers together and bring them here. I’ll brief you in half an hour.”
“Yes, sir.” Derek started to leave when John caught his shoulder.
“I’m not asking you to prevent this war, Derek. I’m just asking you to make it easier for all of us.”
Derek walked past Cameron and went to find to three other soldiers to accompany him on his mission. When they returned, John briefed them all on their mission objectives. Afterwards, they all assembled in the main chamber of the TDE.
The four soldiers stepped onto the platform. A few technicians were working on computers. The room began to shake. The TDE emitted a low, droning sound. Sparks began to arc off the equipment around them. One of the technicians looked at John. Cameron could barely hear him speak.
John stood at attention and saluted the four men. “Godspeed.”
Derek was front and center in the group. They all saluted John.
A white envelope of light surrounded the four men in a crackling lightning storm of electrical arcs. A second later, it vanished, along with the soldiers. The electrical discharging subsided and the droning quieted. One of the technicians gave a thumbs up.
Cameron glanced at John. “How will we know if he succeeded.”
John looked disturbed. “I’m not sure…”
“Are you okay?”
Cameron knew John was keeping something from her. He was quite good at masking his feelings but she knew him too well. The machine didn’t mention it, though. He had enough to worry about.
“The Jimmy Carter will be leaving soon.”
The two walked to the war room. On the bank of screens, they watched a UAV’s footage of the submarine leaving port. It drifted out to sea, before sinking beneath the waves.
John‘s voice was barely a whisper. “I really hope this works out.”
The next week passed quickly. Cameron was walking to John’s room to deliver news; bad news. She had received it when John was asleep. The machine let him rest while she gathered all the information she could. It wasn’t good.
John was just waking up when Cameron stepped into the room. “The Jimmy Carter went down.”
John sat up. “What?!”
“Last night, Jesse Flores assumed command of the vessel and scuttled it.”
John put his hands to his face. “Jesus Christ.”
“The answer is ‘no’.” the machine added. John looked up.
“What do you mean?”
“There was a T-1000 in the box. It said the answer is ‘no’.”
John looked numb. “So we lost the alliance?”
“Let’s go back to the start. Tell me everything.”
Cameron described, in detail, what had happened on the submarine. She had interviewed a dozen of the personnel involved and spoken with Jesse. The machine could see John grow angrier as she told the story. He looked absolutely furious as she finished.
“Get two guards…and bring Jesse to the stockade.”
Cameron nodded and began to step out. John spoke again.
Cameron and the two guards arrested Jesse without any problems. Jesse gave up her sidearm and went quietly with the two soldiers. She shot Cameron a hateful glare.
John entered the interrogation room of the stockade. Jesse was seated at a metal table in the center of the room. She still had her handcuffs on. Cameron stood at the exit with Major General Perry. John looked at a paper which summarized the events that took place on the Jimmy Carter. He read off of it.
“Disobeying a direct order, inciting mutiny,-”
“Is this how you treat every hero, sir?”
John walked over to Jesse. His face was inches from hers.
“Do not speak until I am finished. Are we clear?” he hissed. Cameron had never seen him this angry.
“Inciting mutiny, shooting at a commanding officer, killing a commanding officer, destroying vital strategic assets, and destroying a possibility of victory for humanity. What do you have to say for yourself?”
“Queeg went bad. I relieved him from command when he refused to submit to chip extraction. I scuttled the Jimmy Carter to prevent it from falling into that thing’s hands!”
“Queeg refused to comply because your people fucked up. You fucked up. He was trying to salvage the mission.”
John walked around the table and set the piece of paper down. “I don‘t need to tell you that, with any one of these charges, you‘re facing execution as a traitor.”
“I know they shouldn’t have opened the box. But that thing killed one of my soldiers-”
“She was armed, of course it killed her. She was pointing a gun at it.” John interrupted.
“Who told you that?”
“She did.” he replied, motioning back to Cameron.
“What was that thing anyway? Why did you send us out there?”
John took a moment to compose himself. “That thing was a test. A test to see if we could be trusted in an alliance.”
Shock covered Jesse’s face. “An alliance, with them?” she said looking over at Cameron with disgust.
“We don’t need them.”
John slammed his fists on the table. Everyone in the room, including Cameron, jumped.
“We were losing this war until I started reprogramming them. Now, even with their help-” John pointed at Cameron.
“-we can barely keep it a fucking stalemate.”
John looked right at Jesse. Even she was intimidated. “We need all the help we can get. And you may have just ruined the one chance we had for victory.”
Jesse remained defiant. “If that’s the case, I’m glad it sunk. I’d rather be dead than join forces with them.”
In a swift motion, John pulled his Colt .45 and pressed it against the forehead of Jesse. Cameron saw John’s index finger applying pressure to the trigger. Another ounce of weight and Jesse would die. She walked over to John.
“Not this way, John.” She put her hand on the slide of the pistol and lowered it. She moved closer to him and whispered in his ear.
“Don’t make her a martyr, John. They’ll never forgive you.”
John turned and looked at Perry. The Major General knew what Cameron was saying. He nodded in agreement.
He glared at Jesse and holstered the weapon. “Look at that. A machine just saved your life.”
Jesse didn’t respond. She just sat in her seat, shaking. John left the room and Cameron followed. John spoke to the nearby guards.
“Lock her up. When we get a few more senior officers, we’ll have a trial.”
“Let’s go outside. You need to clear your head.” Cameron took John’s hand and led him out of the stockade.
Cameron and John walked around one of the many entrances to Serrano Point. It was a few minutes until sunrise. Three guards walked by them, on patrol. John ran his hands through his hair.
“We lost an awful lot today.”
“It wasn’t only her fault.”
John looked at Cameron. “Who, Jesse?”
“That T-1000 also made a mistake.”
“What do you mean?”
“It judged humanity on the actions of a few. What the crew did was stupid, yes, but that terminator judged the entire resistance on the actions of a few hundred.”
John thought for a moment. “You’re right.”
Cameron took John‘s hand. “That terminator judged humanity without ever meeting someone as special as you. It doesn’t see the potential humans have.”
“Those machines are not worthy of joining your resistance, John Connor.”
John put a hand to her cheek as the machine smiled at him.
“Thank you, Cameron. Thank you, for reminding me who I am.”
Latest page update: made by mo-metal
, May 15 2009, 11:57 PM EDT
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