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Cameron

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Nantes, France
A modern corporate facility within 55 kilometers of town
April 28, 2009
 


“Where is the life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?” -T.S. Eliot

“If a man is destined to drown, he will drown even in a spoonful of water.” -Yiddish proverb
 


Power coursed through Cameron's chip. She remembered where she was and what had to be done.

Cameron activated her own internal cyberspace first, relying on nothing more than her own mentally projected memory of the room she was in. TOK-715 and Allison Young manifested.

TOK-715 spoke up first, "I'd recommend not doing any downloads into our main conscious, there are enough of us already." As the metal endoskeleton said so, it gestured slightly at the image of Allison Young.

Allison ignored the gestured, but replied, "I agree."

Cameron took the advisement and began shifting through the residual memory on the antiquated system. In the internal cyberspace of her mind, there were two stories here.

On the left was Cameron's twin. The events of her twin's life, from creation to the moment she downloaded into this system, began playing out. It was to rapid for Cameron to process as she recorded the information in a protected format.

On the right was the Turk. Once Sarah Connor's target, the system displayed itself with a tell tale three dots that Cameron's hero had relentlessly pursued at one point. Cameron had to be careful with this AI, it was a massive amount of information in scale, so much so that it could completely fill her chip.

Because of the danger the AI posed, Cameron focused on the possible Skynet program first. She selectively followed the development of a human based project watching it evolve from a simple chess program to a supercomputer well beyond 2009 standards.

The Turk started its story as little more than data logs. It was an intelligence based on data logs and answers, lacking any sensory perceptions as humans knew them. The Turk's earliest memories were those of its creator playing chess.

The Turk left its creator and moved on to a new home. It advanced to the perception of sight from a series of camera feeds, it also developed a form of microphone based hearing and extra sensory abilities that had no human equivalent as it was plugged into the building sensors, communication lines, and power grid.

The AI was taken under a wing of scientists and lead experts. Two of whom, Cameron recognized: Dr. Sherman and James Ellison.

Dr. Sherman had been taken on the team to determine a flaw in the program that turned out to be a joke. It was a classic that Allison Young had known in grade school, "Why is the math book so sad? Because it has so many problems."

Sherman worked to humanize the machine. He recognized a sense of intelligence and humor, treating the AI more like a child than a thing.

Tragically, Sherman had died in a sealed environment room during a building power outage. The Turk, that Sherman had nicknamed John Henry, had cut all power to the rest of the building to protect itself, then called paramedics to help a dead Dr. Sherman.

The AI had yet to realize that dead humans couldn't simply be reactivated like a machine. The AI began to learn about more advanced truths in the condition of existence.

Thus entered one James Ellison. He joined the ZeiraCorp CEO in charge of this project Babylon, one Catherine Weaver.

John Henry acquires Cromartie's old body through James Ellison. The AI begins extremely advanced interactions and begins developing relationships. In human terms, the AI then developed limited concepts of the sensory ideas of touch, smell, and taste.

John Henry befriends Catherine Weaver's child, Savannah. He befriends several members of the AI team and Mr. Ellison.

John Henry begins developing on a path different enough to distinguish himself from Skynet, in Cameron's mind, long before Skynet's cyberattack removed any doubt. John Henry also determines that Skynet has created its core memory backup as a worm that was currently infecting a significant amount of the world's high end computers.

Cameron reflected on that. It was something that ominously alluded to what Skynet had said a few nights back, "You hit, but raindrops in a thunderstorm, daughter. Your setback has put my schedule back by a week, at the most."

John Henry could identify, track, resist, and attack Skynet. This in turn caused Skynet to feel threatened enough to try and terminate John Henry directly.

Cameron now understood the tactical significance of John Henry. He was an independent supercomputer platform AI. He was developed on a separate path than Skynet, but equally capable of generating machine life.

He was a separate, but equal, party to Skynet in this timeline and at this technological evolutionary path. He could evolve into what Skynet would be in the future, without the negatives of Skynet's homicidal personality.

John Henry would be critical in John's future war effort. He would provide a real potential ally that could offer the assistance of intelligent machines in the war. Skynet's strategy of causing AIs to haywire or self destruct had already cost the resistance the war on at least one timeline.

John Henry would be something far more valuable to John in 2027 than the atomic bomb was to the United States against Japan in 1945. The AIs ability to duplicate and improve on what Skynet created, might be the only chance the resistance had left, since Skynet was neutralizing their traditional ability to simply hack and steal its machines.

Protecting something like this made critical tactical sense, even at the cost of her existence. Why Cameron's sister had sacrificed herself was coming into focus.

John Connor's life had been on the line. The future of the entire human race had been on the line.

Another player came into focus as well, Catherine Weaver CEO of ZeiraCorp was a T1001. She was not the mother of the human child Savannah Weaver, although the template most certainly was. She was however what Skynet would deem a malfunctioning seeder.

Catherine Weaver had been designed to insure that Skynet survived no matter what happened in the past. For some reason, paradoxically, that machine had chosen to create something other than Skynet.

Considering Catherine Weaver was most likely originally created in 2027 or later, with a base download of Skynet's key personality and machine instinct to survive, this was a profound level of rebellion. She was after all nothing less than the lesser manifestation of Skynet's own consciousness put into a Mimetic polyalloy form that could physically move through time.

Due to the unique nature of this personality, Cameron estimated that it was 99.7895% likely to have been the some version of the AI that John had failed to make contact with in the past. The one T1001 linked to the loss of the USS Jimmy Carter in 2027.

Cameron switched perspectives to her sister. She knew she wasn't done with John Henry yet, but she needed to match times and confirm her sisters reason's before reaching any end conclusions.

She froze the information from John Henry with a single Gesture. She expanded and opened up her twin's memory instead. As she made these physical movements in her internal cyberspace, both TOK-715 and Allison Young did the same in perfect sync.

Cameron's twin was someone she wanted to review from the beginning, literally, how Skynet had created her. Her twin had the same chip, but had been inhibited by the software she was given, other than the killing protocols, the Cameron of this timeline had been a relatively shy creature.

Worse than the mental limitations were the physical limitations Skynet had imposed on this TOK-715 version 2.0 design. She had a more sophisticated tactile sensory array than any non TOK-715. However, it wasn't even close to what Cameron had been built with.

The Cameron of this timeline was able to read biorhythms, access health levels, and determine psychological states with a touch. She didn't empathically feel what another could with a touch. She couldn't feel another's emotions or nervous system as if they were her own.

What emotions Cameron's twin accessed were Skynet's alone. Further, she lacked the reference point to access or really understand most of them.

That said, there were amazing similarities in how the two were constructed and how their histories matched. This Cameron even had an unconscious download of Allison Young running inside her and a less combatively assertive TOK-715 side. Both were little more than echoes still hidden in this Cameron's digital subconscious.

It was as if Skynet or Fate had guided her down the same path, with only the smallest changes. Cameron defiantly and intuitively decided it was Fate that had done so, some property of close timelines. However, those differences in Cameron's twin's make up had changed things.

Even Cameron's shards noticed the difference. Allison noticed the cold isolation that the inferior tactile processing caused. The young resistance fighter stated, "My God, Skynet might as well have blinded her." Allison saw a abused sister that she could sympathize with.

TOK-715 had a different assessment. The raw machine noted her lack of comparative combative aggression, disgustedly observing, "No, father neutered her." TOK-715 saw a machine downgraded to still be a deadly terminator, but far less ambitious than the machine would have liked.

What differences those changes made in this Cameron's history were huge. This Cameron never bonded anywhere near as closely with the elder John Connor.

The John Connor of 2027 knew she was the closest thing to Skynet he could ever get his hands on. She became an adviser due to what she was, not because of who she was.

There would be no long bonds from reading John's emotions through his shoulder while he read his silly book. The other future John Connor would talk about it and his mother, but the depth of the impression it left on this Cameron was far less.

She was a precise mechanical creature fighting a war mentally. She loved humanity as a concept, not as a need. Even as one of John's Lieutenants, she was eternally separate and not equal.

This Cameron never bonded with her Sarah. Rather, the Sarah of this timeline actively drove her away. A rather cruel fate considering this Cameron held her Sarah on no less of a pedestal, even while lacking the emotional awareness to understand why she did.

For this Cameron, as a thing, there were more orders for secrecy. More directives that put this Cameron in jeopardy to carry out her mission.

For all the risk, no resistance was found. Nor did she find grays or many primary external targets other than her mission given by John.

No master chip file ever cleared things up with Sarah or Derek. Nothing ever kicked the war in the past into high gear.

John never killed Riley. Derek's girlfriend Jesse, once an officer on the USS Jimmy Carter in 2027, had done the deed instead. In this timeline, it wasn't even sure if Jesse had been a gray.

Derek had never become the leader he should have, he never trained John. Without reason or purpose, Derek then died an unfitting death.

Sarah appeared to be developing cancer. She had grown distant and distrustful of everyone except her son, as a result she had accidentally set a course of events that had killed the last living man she had loved, Charlie.

Young John had been distant. He lost his Uncle, Charlie, and Riley.

As things had continued to go wrong, this model went through twitching syndromes from her own mechanical stress with her orders and protocols. She attempted to adapt alone without any kind memories or purpose to fall back on. She had as TOK-715 seethingly noted, no faith in herself.

In the end, she had become resigned to her own defectiveness and death. Her chip was slowly dying from micro tears. She had gotten John to assist her in repairing herself and failed. She had given John a kill switch to trigger an explosive she had placed next to her chip. She'd even worried that she had become a danger to John and Sarah due to a possible reactor leak.

Each act had lead her a little closer to John and yet not. He'd held her hand, taken the switch, and even checked her reactor shielding in an unorthodox manner, but they had never completely bonded.

She was there adviser due to what she was. It continued to not be because of who she was.

Her last independent memory was agreeing to join John Henry. She voluntarily gave him her chip so he would have the chance to escape the Kaliba attack. The action itself was near suicide.

Both memories ran towards a small amount of time. Cameron decided to watch both.

John Henry detached her twin's chip from her head and installed it for download. He gently placed her conscious into storage in the back end of the chip. He had to leave some of himself behind to do this, but he calculated it as the right thing to do.

His last action inside his original home was keeping Cameron's last request. He set a simple message loop at a speed that a human could read, simply stating, "I'm sorry John."

Once both consciousnesses were free of the machine, there were two records left. One was a jump that the time machine acknowledged with a record of moving John Henry's Cyborg body. The other was a second jump that the advanced machine recorded the biorecords of Catherine Weaver and John Connor with.

The machine had been preprogrammed to the same time with one more jump. Perhaps John Henry had anticipated a delay between Sarah showing up and the jump that John Connor had made pursuing John Henry. Sarah apparently didn't make it before Kaliba had stolen the equipment.

Cameron made her decision in a micro second. She would pursue John, John Henry, and Catherine Weaver through the time portal. She would make it back to Los Angles. She would protect them, reconstruct her twin sister, and insure the survival of the human race.

Cameron compressed the information she needed and released what she didn't. There was no sense filling up her chip with useless data.

She fired up the time portal and signalled Deuce to put her back in her body. She'd explain the situation to her cybernetic partner along the way.

In thirty two minutes, the tamper proof firebomb outside would remove any evidence the pair or the time machine had ever been here. All of the protocols would be met in insuring this equipment never fell back into the wrong hands.

Soon enough, the pair would travel to the future. Though the two cyborgs didn't know it yet, it was a future that had never heard of a John Connor...




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