Walking down the tunnel, they were coming to the train platform they were looking for. In the front of the pack, Catherine, Cameron and Wanda strode side by side. Up ahead on the platform, an electrical discharge flew through the air. They stopped, guns up.
The discharges formed a globe half into the platform.
"It's a TDE event," Cameron stated and aimed at it.
"Wait and see what comes out," Catherine instructed.
They were expecting a terminator or a naked man. A flesh colored blob appeared. Partway onto the platform thich disintegrate that part as if it had been scooped out.. When the discharges stopped. The blob tumbled onto the tracks.
"What the hell?" a muffled male voice asked.
"We fell down on our face," a female voice replied.
The blob lifted and moved. "Where's the seal?"
"You're laying on it. Roll to the side."
Cameron lowered her rifle. That sounded like John. She stood up and approached slowly. Whatever was in there looked bigger than John was. The blob rolled a bit towards her.
"OK, I see it, anything come loose?" John's voice asked.
"Not that I can sense. Get us out of here, I can't sense a thing outside the bag. We could be targeted by terminators!"
"If we were, they'd be shooting," John's voice replied. "OK, found the zipper…"
Cameron watched as the blob lifted. Up like a tent in the center. Something was thrown out, then a hand appeared to hold it up. A big metal hand.
"Be careful, don't' rip the bag," the female voice said.
"I am, but I have to get the pedal machine out." John's voice replied.
"Watch the edge!"
"I see it, don't be a nag."
"I'm only warning you."
"Do you have an off button?" John asked.
"NO, and you can't pull my chip either."
"Damn the bad luck," John grumbled.
Cameron called, "John?"
The bag dropped empty, she was look at what she guessed was a T-600 with heavier armor. The thing stood up. "Cameron!" John cried.
"John, there's a bunch of terminators behind her!" the female voice cried.
"Hold on!" John snapped. "Cameron, is this Mrs. Weaver's crew. … Hey Wanda." he said and waved.
Confused, Cameron came closer. "John, where are you? What's that thing in front of me?"
John waved again. "It's me Cam. I'm inside it. I have vital information for you."
Cameron blanked for a second, then screwed her face up in anger. "John, WHAT IN THE HELL are you doing here? You can't be here, John!"
John raised his arms and let them flop down. "Well, I am here. Cam, you, all of you are in trouble. If you keep going with your plan, you are all going to die."
"I KNOW THAT!" Cameron spat. "We must take out Sky Net now, today, no matter the cost! Damn you John, I wanted you to live!"
The female voice said, "It doesn't sound like you love each other."
"You shut up!" John and Cameron chorused.
"We can both live," John said before Cameron kept on. "I know where the Sky Net tower is, up ahead there is a train tunnel that goes right underneath it. There is a very good chance the cable for the tower comes down into that tunnel. We can disable it without getting into a big fight with those H/K's and that huge tank up there. If we can get rid of Sky Net in two hours, we can TDE back, from right here."
"There is no TDE here," Cameron said, swinging an arm to emphasize her point.
"One hour, fifty three minutes, John, the clock's ticking, we need to move." the female voice said.
John grabbed a canvas bag and stuffed the bio bag into it. "She's right, Cam."
"And what if you're wrong, Mr. Connor?" Catherine asked. "We go up and take out that tower, and we ill ensure Sky Net's comms are cut."
"Fine," John replied, "Send some of your terminators up to do that. We'll take the tunnel route find an destroy Sky Net."
"A dual attack does have a better chance of success," Wanda said.
Pointing, John said, "Cam, Wanda, Mrs. Weaver, come with me, The rest of you go up and take that tower out. Spread out and stay low so you're hard to hit." He then turned, pulled his plasma rifle and walked down the tunnel.
Cameron let out a growl and followed him. "Wanda, come on!"
"I will go with the surface group." Weaver stated.
John stopped and said, "I wish you would come with us."
"You do your attack, we'll do ours."
"Fine, just be back here in n hour fifty, or you'll miss the ride back."
The female voice in John's suit said, "An hour forty nine. We need to move, John."
"We do." he kept going.
Striding up beside him, Cameron said, "What possessed you to come here John!"
"I couldn't live without you," he stated.
The female voice said, "John turned into a broke down drunk who kept trying to…"
"Anne, that's enough!" John barked.
"I'm only telling her the truth."
"Do something useful. Scan ahead."
"I am. You don't want Cameron to know you're suicidal, do you?"
"Unless you have information on what's up ahead, stop speaking," John told her.
Cameron eyed him. "Who's in there with you, John?"
"A pain in my ass."
"I never touched your ass. We're coming to an intersection. I sense movement ahead, three figures coming towards us. Just around this bend."
"Make yourselves small, Anne give me infrared. Turn the exterior speakers off." John said and knelt down on one knee.
Looking through the crosshairs in infrared, John waited for something to appear. The first T-600 came into view. Cameron shot him. John got he next one, obliterating the center of it. The third appeared. Cameron and John shot him, It melted down , the ammunition box exploded.
John got up and waved a hand. He stepped as lightly as possible to the bend. Lifting his left hand he brought the optic probe out and used it to help see around the corner.
"I sense nothing moving ahead. The tunnel split is to our left," Anne said.
They moved on. Coming to the split, the left hand tunnel ramped down. "Anne, turn the external speaker back on." He turned to see Cameron aiming down the other tunnel. A map of the tunnel system came up in his HUD. It showed the right hand tunnel went under the tower. "Cam, to the right is the tower, about a hundred fifty yards away, directly over the tunnel. Wanda, go with her, see if you can find a cable or something coming down, most likely from the roof."
"John, stay here, watch out backs," Cameron said, then moved off with Wanda.
John tracked them on his HUD. Turning up his hearing, he listened to them.
"Cameron there's a wall in front of us."
"They are ten yards short," Anne said.
Louder, John said, "Cam, break it down, the tower's just beyond."
Rifle shots sounded. Then another shot sounded. "You were tight, John, there was a wave guide coming out of the ceiling. It's parted. It goes into a wall here on the left."
"Good job, come back," John called.
"Movement from the left tunnel, four figures," Anne said.
John moved to partially obscure himself and looked through the plasma rifle sights. On his HUD, the figure were coming two by two. He did his best to line up the right side two in his crosshairs. "Zoom in, six power,"
The tunnel he could see got bigger. He also saw sets of red eyes. In the glow, he noticed the one in front on the right had a tank on his back. That couldn't be good. He shot.
A flash of bright light lit the tunnel. John pulled himself back around the corner. The light lit up the tunnel like daylight. He could even see Cameron and Wanda coming back. They broke into a run.
The light flashed bright and dim. Explosions from down the tunnel explained why. Chancing a look with his probe, he saw railroad ties burning. Nothing remained of the terminators. "We got-em."
Cameron and Wanda were back. John pointed down the left tunnel. "Sky Net must be this way." he led them down the slow incline.
"How do you know?' Cameron asked.
"When you and Wanda went boom, the explosion was three to four hundred feet down. We're not deep enough yet, and this tunnel goes down," John replied. "Watch the burning ties."
Going past the burning remains, the track leveled off into what looked like a service area. In the back, the wall had been broken down and tunnel had been made. John raised a hand to halt them. Getting up beside the tunnel John used his probe to peek round the corner. Stairs went down. At the bottom, a T-600 with tanks on his back was watching the stairs. John pulled back. He couldn't use his plasma rifle without exposing himself. He stored it and brought out his 25 MM rifle. Seeing Cameron watching him, he raised a finger to his visor to signal quiet. Standing to the side, he aimed as well as he could down the stairs. He moved over enough expose his left arm and aimed t the T-600 and shot. He ducked back as white fire blossomed up the tunnel at him.
Bright white fire poured out of the tunnel. By the brightness and how it was burning into the floor, it had to be some kind of thermite mix. After the long spurt of white fire, it died out. John took another peek with his rifle. At the bottom, the floor was covered with burning thermite and the remains of the terminator.
"Got him, but we can't go that way, the floor is covered with burning thermite" John said.
"Back where the wave guide goes through the wall," Cameron said.
They ran back that way.
Catherine Weaver had managed to get into the large H/K tank sporting three, eight inch naval guns. She stopped it from destroying her terminators that were firing on the now leaning tower, but H/K's had arrived. The guns turned slowly, but she did shoot down a few of them. More turned their fire on the tank to no effect.
There were only six of her terminators left. Not knowing if the tower was still transmitting, she had to take it out. Weaver left the tank out the bottom as she'd come in. Forming into a snake the same color as the debris, she slithered up to the tower as H/K's destroyed her remaining terminators. Moving up under the tower, she searched for the wave guide. Seeing it coming down inside one of the legs, she went over and pulled it apart.
The radiation was playing havoc with her cells. The hatch she was on, she managed to pry open and slither down the metal guide. Pouring down onto the floor, she reformed to see John in his T-600 suit smash the wall in. She could see shapes, but no detail. The two with him had to be Cameron and Wanda. "Where are you going?" she asked.
"Following the wave guide to Sky Net," Cameron replied, and followed John down the tunnel. John went down and used his probe to peek around the corner. Catherine walked by him and down the hallway.
"What are you doing?" John asked, shocked she did that.
"Looking for Sky Net, come on!" Catherine called back.
"She's absorbed too much radiation. We're close," Wanda said.
John saw the waveguide overhead. It ran to the end of this hall and disappeared into the wall. He jogged down to the end. Anne told him, "That wall is thin, there's a passage beyond."
John broke through the wall. There was a passage, too narrow for him to attempt it. At the other end was another wall. He got his plasma rifle out and fire a shot down the passage. The wall at the other end exploded. "Wanda, go see where that goes."
She squeezed her way in and got down to the other end to exit.
"John, we're approximately 320 feet down. We mush be close," Cameron told him.
"Anne, time left?"
"An hour twenty two."
Thumping got their attention. Catherine was pounding at a door. When she hit, her fist squished to the sides.
"Either that door is very strong, of she'd getting very weak," John said.
Cameron went down the short hallway, raised a foot and kicked the door in. "She's getting weak," Cameron called back.
"Go see where that goes to, come right back," John told her. Cameron nodded and went in.
"Catherine come back here, by me," John called.
Catherine did wander back to him. It looked like she was melting. "We musht desry it." she said in partial garble.
"Can your nanites fix your damage?" John asked.
"Have no." Catherine said Her legs were shrinking down. One arm dripped off.
"She's dying," Anne said sadly.
"That means Cameron and Wanda can't be far behind," John noted.
"John!" Wanda said, sticking her head in the other end of the narrow passage. "There's an electronics room and a big electrical vault. Steel doors at the other end. I can't open them."
"Come back out," John called.
"di we gt t?" Catherine asked as more of her dripped onto the floor.
"We will," Anne said. John felt his suit tighten slightly. "John this is horrible to watch."
"It is. Check for movement around and give me the time left."
Cameron came running back. "I found offices and labs, no computer racks or sealed doors. She then stared at Catherine dripping apart.
"Cam, there's cylinder on my back, take it off," John said firmly.
Breaking her stare, Cameron did. She showed it to him.
"Anne give me your best estimate to get back and re bagged," John asked as he turned the timer on.
"Barring another encounter with terminators, twelve minutes."
John set the timer for a half hour in case they ran into more trouble. Maybe they'd get away, maybe not.
Wanda had exited the narrow passage. "Wanda, I need you to go into that electrical vault and plant this out of sight." He figured another five minutes for her to do so and added that time.
"A bomb?" she asked.
"Three terminator power supplies packed in thermite. It's going to make a big boom." He puched the activate button and handed it over. "Be quick, but don't drop it."
Wanda nodded and went back though the narrow passage. He looked over a the at sight of Catherine slowly melting. "Cam, can we save her?"
Cam looked at him and shook her head. "I'm sorry, John."
"Me too," he said. Looking down the hallway, the thermite had burned out, leaving a big hole in the floor. Not big enough where they couldn't jump it though.
"I did it, it's behind an 'H' frame," Wanda announced.
"Let's go, hurry, we jump the hole at the end and up the stairs!" John announced and took off running, thumping loudly with each step.
Cameron and Wanda passed him, as he expected would happen. He still had a good speed up. Cameron flew over the hole, landing on the stairs. Wanda did then he charged up and leaped.
John hit the ceiling and came down at the end of the stairs, his legs dangling down into the hole. Stabbing his fingers into the stairs kept him from siding back into the hole. Looking up, he saw them looking back at him. "GO!" he shouted.
Both came back down. Cameron said, "You get his left arm, I got the right."
"They won't leave us, John," Anne said.
John pulled up and tried to get a footing with his legs. Between Cameron and Wanda, they got him fully up on the steps. Them pulling his arms and gaining a purchase with his legs, they got him up and ran up the stairs. Out into the train tunnel, they ran back to the station.
Coming up on the bag, John asked, "Anna, time to the boom."
"We got five minutes."
John got the bag out and laid it out on the floor. Seeing the folded pedal vehicle, Wanda grabbed it. John had her and Cameron get in, then got in himself and lifted the bag around them and closed it up.
"We have two minutes, should I activate the recall?" Anne asked.
"Yes, do it," John told her.
In an underground hallway under London, Catherine Weaver sagged down atop the puddle that used to be her legs. Her head was shrunken down into her torso. She had no external input left when the bright flash that obliterated everything washed over her, vaporizing her also.
In Catherine Weaver's lab where John Henry came to be, lightning appeared and grew into a blue ball containing a bio blob. When the blue ball faded, The bio ball wiggled and a yelp sounded as it rolled.
"Again?" John cried.
"I got the zipper," Cameron said. The seal opened up. Cameron, John then Wanda with the folded up pedal vehicle crawled out.
"That was handy, we got to take out stuff with us," Wanda said.
"I'd rather not do that again," John told her. He got up, Cameron helped him to his feet. Pointing to the locks, he said, "Cam get this thing off me."
"No, There is radiation in this area," Anne protested.
"Not much," John replied.
"But I won't be able to communicate!" Anne complained.
"Good," Cameron said and undid the locks. She lifted John's helmet off. Clasping the sides of his smiling face as he held her gently, she said, "You shouldn't have come after us, John."
"We've been radiated, it's going to take time for us to recover."
"I know," he agreed, grinning wider.
Casting John a scowl, she asked, "What do you have to say for yourself, putting yourself in that much danger?"
"Shut up and kiss me."
Cameron did. They shared a long deep kiss that went on as long as John's breath would allow.
Inside the suit, Anne could still feel John's biology. He was holding Cameron, she had a hand on the back of his head. His heart was beating faster. From the dangling helmet, she could see the deep kiss they shared. It was nothing like the short kiss he gave her.
But hadn't they just been arguing?
Cameron made John put his helmet back on, even though she did want to go on kissing him. They could to that after they got to safety.
Going outside, they unfolded the pedal car and got on. John wanted to pedal himself, Cameron insisted on helping. Going back the way he came in, John drove down the path he and John Henry made on the way in. John was pleasantly surprised they made a decent speed with this thin framed bike.
"How are you doing, Cam?" he asked.
"My nanites are catching up. The radiation level here is much lower than I suspected. We got a good dose of radiation in the tunnels, but outside at ground zero was very hot," she explained. "Being up there and not having nanites, is what doomed Catherine. There was no way to save her, John."
"I know. I also know John Henry will be very disappointed," he said.
"Wanda, how you doing back there?" Cameron asked.
"All right. I'm going to need a ton of nutrients."
"I got them in my room at the factory," John told her. "Eat all you want."
Anne said, "John, those were for you."
"So? I'm sharing. Wanda needs them more than I do."
"Then what are you going to eat?" Anne asked.
John turned to look at Cameron. "I'll think of something." She grinned at him.
"John, I do not understand you," Anne complained. "You went through all that to save Cameron, now you're going to eat her?"
John, Cameron and Wanda roared out laughs.
"What is so funny?" Anne asked.
"You'll understand when you're older," John said. To Cameron, he said, "Anne is only a year and a half old."
"Ahh, a baby," Cameron replied with a grin. "Does baby girl have a body, or is that suit her form?"
"She's got a body," John said and sighed. "It's at John Henry's factory. Anne is only here to run the suit's electronics. John Henry out did himself making this thing."
"He did," Wanda agreed. I never thought I'd see a human inside a terminator. All the way I mean. By the way, where's Derek?"
John and Cameron chuckled.
"I don't get it," Anne said.
"Apparently, you haven't," Wanda replied.
They were over the bridge and on the road back to the factory when one of their H/K type copters flew over them. A model with four engines and not the overhead blades. They waved at it.
"John I have external comms coming in."
"Put them on."
"This is chopper 152, vehicle on the road, do you copy?"
"John Connor here. Do you have contact with General Reese?"
"Yes, sir, he's right here. Do you wish to speak with him?"
John slowed down. "Actually, I'd like him to come down and get his broken down terminator, T-888 number 267."
John stopped them. The chopper came down and landed on the road in front of them. He told Wanda, "Derek's on that chopper."
Wanda was up and ran to it. Derek got out the side. He stood staring for a moment, then gathered her in a hug as they met, and shared a long kiss together. They clung to each other tightly before getting back on.
"General Connor, chopper 152 here. General Reese said thank you, an is umm, tending to Wanda."
"I'm sure he is," John said with a grin. "She needs a nice long rest, tell him to make sure she gets some."
The chopper flew away. John and Cameron kept pedaling down the road.
"I'm sure she'll get some," Cameron said with a crooked grin.
"Indeed, and you need a very thorough examination also," John told her.
"Can't wait for you to get that suit off."
They pedaled faster.
Coming to the factory gate, the guard waved them on through with a yell of, "John Henry's waiting for you!"
John nodded as they passed. He pedaled into the dock area to see John Henry was there, with Derek and Wanda. Stopping, John got up and moved over towards John Henry. Cameron hurried to his side. "Go get that suit off, I'll tell him."
"We both should," John replied.
John Henry watched them approach, blank faced.
In an apologetic tone John said, "I'm sorry, John Henry. There was nothing we could do to save her."
"Catherine was a T-1001. She didn't have nanites to fight the radiation, and I couldn't give her any," Cameron explained.
"If there was any way to save her, we would have," John added.
John Henry replied softly, "I know that, John Connor. In succeeding at all, you beat all the odds. Thank you for trying." he turned and left.
"I feel bad for him," John said sadly.
Cameron gripped his hand. "So do I. Catherine was his mother. Let's get you out of that suit."
When the back piece of John's suit was taken off, Anne went off line. She came back on line in her own body, laid back in the recliner. She got up to see John and Cameron wrapped together in a tight hug. She heard their low words.
"I'm still angry at you for coming to get me."
"Don't care. Without you, I have nothing."
"I love you and you love me."
Somewhere, someone had started up some music.
If there is anything you need, all you have to do is say
You know you, satisfy everything in me,
We shouldn't waste a singe day
So don't stop me falling, it's destiny calling
A power we just can't deny.
It's never changing, can you hear me, I'm saying
I want you for the rest of my life
Together forever and never to part
Together forever we two
And don't you know I would move heaven and earth
to be together forever with you.
If they ever get you down
There's always something I can do
Because I wouldn't ever want to see you frown
I'll always do what's best for you
There ain't no mistaking
It's true love we're making
Something to last for all time
It's never changing, can't you hear me, I'm saying
I want you for the rest of my life
Together forever and never to part
Together forever we two
And don't you know I would move heaven and earth
to be together forever with you.
Anne watched them pull back to put their foreheads together as the hugged. Smiles lit their faces and they plunged into another deep kiss, holding each other like they were afraid to let go.
Yes, there was something here Anne didn't quite understand. John had faced overwhelming odds to get Cameron back. So many thing could have gone wrong. Many times a miscalculation could have killed them. John would not back down or give up, and he got his Cameron back. She had never seen such devotion to another person before.
She didn't understand it, but she wanted to.