Basic Psychology

John spat the blood out of his mouth as he grimaced on the road, glaring at the girl who stood in front of him. "So this is it, then? Was this your real plan all along?"

Cameron looked down at him, her hand in a tight fist. "Stand up." He did, staggering to his feet with no small amount of difficulty.

"Why don't you end it now? You can kill me with one punch."

"You haven't fought back yet."

"What the hell is that supposed to-" He tasted blood again as Cameron's coltan knuckles made hard contact with his face. He hit the asphalt hard and scraped his skin. "Shit…"

"You're weak," Cameron told him, her face devoid of emotion.

"No, you're just made of fucking metal," John shot back.

"You're weak," she repeated. "I was sent back to protect the future savior of mankind, not an angsty teenager who complains about the smallest things. If it were up to me, I would be protecting your mother instead of you."

"What the hell? You're not thinking with a Skynet brain?"

"No. I'm thinking with the Savior's brain." She kicked him to the road, and stepped on his chest. She pushed down, hard. John screamed.

"Damn…God damn it!" He held her ankle, and with all the strength he could muster, pushed it to a side. Cameron yielded and her leg fell to the road beside him, as he lay panting.

She picked him up by his shirt, drew him to a standing position, and punched him across the face again. Still holding him, she hit him again and again, kneeing his stomach, landing powerful blows on his chest, until at last she let go and he crumpled to the ground.

She knelt, held his neck, and drew her arm back, her fist forming to serve as the business end of a punch that could easily end John's life.

John gagged at her hold, but made some words out: "Y-you can't kill me. Your programming won't let you." He tried to smile despite his fear.

"You're wrong. Because I'm different, and you don't know me." Her eyes glowed blue in the darkness of the night, an eerie suggestion of what was going on in her mind. "Stand by for termination of a misidentified subject. I was looking for the savior, but I found a whiner instead."

There had been fear in John's eyes, but it was all burned away by the sudden onset of feverish rage. Inhuman strength came to his arms, and he pushed Cameron away from him. She lost her balance slightly and staggered until she could regain her balance. But John had already stood up, and he punched her with such gathered strength that she moved backwards again. The Terminator, so heavy in its construction and so well-built for combat with other robots, was reeling from John's rage-fueled blows.

He kicked her now with unfeeling force, and repeatedly smashed his fist against her cheeks, despite the pain he felt from contacting her metal endoskeleton through her skin. In another fit of anger, he tackled her and pushed her to the ground, holding her head by her hair in his hands, and beating it against the ground.

"I'll kill – no, I'll destroy you! And all the other metal too! I'll destroy you all!" There was an honest fire in his eyes, and he saw only destruction and death about him.

And then he was on the ground again. Cameron stood over him, some of her metallic substructure showing through her skin. "Better," she said, as she extended her arm to him. "Come with me if you want to live…a better life."

John stared at her with wide eyes, and with extreme reluctance, he took her hand.

From her cargo pants, Cameron pulled out a plastic bag containing a lot of bandages and some Betadine. She first worked on herself, taping the brown things over the places on her face where metal showed, and then with a cotton bud, dabbed the brown solution over John's wounds, and bandaged them too.

"What…what was that? What was all that?" John asked with clear bewilderment in his voice.

"Basic psychology is part of my subroutines."