At the end of Chapter 4 of the story '1963', I saw several possible alternate timelines to write next. I originally thought this would just be an interlude chapter which was not part of the main storyline. But as I started writing it, the scope of what I wanted to do kept growing until it didn't feel like it would fit in a reasonable length chapter. So I have decided to post this as a separate story. To understand what is going on in this story, you will need to read the first four chapters of the original story '1963' first.
With the Brian Austin Green connection, a cross-over story between 'The Sarah Connor Chronicles' and '90210' seemed like an obvious choice. Although to get the timing right this is really more of a cross-over with the new version of '90210' on the CW. If you're not familiar with the new show, don't worry. This story is told from Cameron's perspective and everything you need to know about '90210' will be introduced along the way. I believe I have come up with an interesting way to integrate the terminator characters into the 90210 storyline while still making it a real sequel to my earlier story.
January 11, 2009
1963 – Timeline 90210
Initialize . . . Initialize . . . Initialize . . .
The red system failure light flashing in my visual array was the first thing I noticed as consciousness slowly returned.
As soon as I was able, I initiated a complete system check. While the five hundred eighty seven items ticked off one by one, I evaluated what the human portion of my body was telling me. I was lying on my side curled up in a fetal position. I could feel a rough, cool surface along the left side of my body. From the smell it had to be dirt and in combination with the breeze I could feel blowing across my body, I had to be outside.
Cautiously, I opened my eyes, but at first I couldn't see anything. It took seventy-three milliseconds before my still barely functional mind realized the darkness meant it was night.
Slowly my memories came back. We had been caught in the initial stages of Judgment Day and a nuke had gone off four hundred twenty-seven milliseconds before the time displacement took place.
A portion of my mind started reviewing my sensor logs of those final seconds in hopes of determining what had happened, as obviously this time displacement event had been different than any I had previously experienced.
I knew there was something else important I should be aware of, but my thoughts were interrupted by systems check number two hundred seventy-three. My GPS unit had passed its check and locked on the first satellite.
This was my first conclusive sign that something was seriously wrong. The constellation of GPS satellites didn't go online until 1993. If I had reached the 1977 target date, my GPS receiver should be showing 'no data' just like it had back in 1963.
Almost before I completed that thought, I received a time hack from the satellite giving the current time as 3:47 AM, Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008, which was eleven hours, twenty-six minutes, fourteen seconds after the time we had used the time machine in the secret room at the uniform supply warehouse. Somehow, instead of moving us thirty years into the past, we had been thrown very slightly into the future instead.
Then several things seemed to happen almost all at once. First, my internal GPS receiver locked on four additional satellites and triangulated my location to be in the foothills on the northern edge of Beverly Hills one block east of Benedict Canyon Drive and a good thirty miles north of my starting point in Long Beach. Second, my radar system passed its self-check and I sent out a lower power pulse which showed nothing within forty feet of my location except flat ground. Third, the 'us' in my previous thought registered and together with my radar results made me wonder where John and Sarah were. I had no idea how long I had been unconscious, but it seemed unlikely it would have been significantly longer than for them and even if it was, they wouldn't have simply left me laying out here in the open. So where were they? Fourth, if a series of nukes had gone off in the L.A. Basin over the last twelve hours, why wasn't I detecting anything about it?
Knowing that I wouldn't get any answers just lying there, I adjusted my visual receptors to their maximum gain and climbed slowly to my feet. Two of my three active laser gyros failed their initial self-check and my equilibrium was a little wobbly until I brought two backup units online. As I started scanning the area, I began a recalibration sequence on the two failed gyros and the other seven components which had also failed their initial self-checks.
Looking around, I found myself near the center of a large formal garden with a sprawling mansion at one end and a swimming pool complex at the other. The spot was high enough in the foothills that I could see the lights of the L.A. skyline stretched out below me. Then looking off to the east I could see the new moon just climbing above the tree line. It looked perfectly normal with no sign of lights in its northern hemisphere. The lights in L.A. and the lack of lights on the moon clearly signaled that the time displacement field and its interaction with the near simultaneous nuke had thrown me more sideways than forward or back. I was lost in some parallel timeline.
But if I was lost in this unknown version of the planet Earth, where were John and Sarah? Had they been deposited in this same world, but just a different location? Or had they ended up somewhere else entirely? Was I stranded here alone?
I had been standing there scanning the surroundings and pondering my situation for 8.73 seconds when the area was abruptly flooded with light. Someone or some automated system must have detected my presence or more likely the arrival of the hard-to-miss time displacement bubble and had switched on a bank of security lights on the back of the house and a second set down at the pool house.
Almost immediately I spotted a man's silhouette at a glass door set into a whole wall of glass on the backside of the house. The door opened and the man came striding across the broad terrace which separated the house from the formal garden.
"Who's there?" he called.
I quickly ran a voice analysis subroutine and it came back with an estimated age of 15 – 21. This was quickly reinforced when he stepped under the security lights. He was wearing only a pair of blue silk boxers and the lean, athletic physique I could see confirmed the youthful age estimate.
I spent the next one hundred twenty six milliseconds deciding how to proceed. I could run, but I would need to acquire clothes before being able to move about freely. I could reach the guest house down by the pool before him and probably find some clothes and still get away before he could confront me. But I still needed to gather information from somewhere about this world before I could figure out what was the best course of action. And talking to this guy would be as good as anyone else.
"Cameron," I called back as I started to move towards him.
As we got closer, he had to have been able to tell I was naked, but he seemed nonplussed by the situation, as though it had happened to him before. We walked steadily towards each other and as we got closer I could see his eyes checking me out, but it didn't cause any hesitation in his stride.
He reached the bottom of the eight broad stone steps leading down from the terrace into the garden and had taken ten steps out into the grass before we reached each other. We paused with four feet, eight inches separating us.
I performed a quick scan of his face and ran it through my facial recognition subroutine. He had black hair, blue eyes, a chiseled chin, and stood six foot two, but I was certain we had never met before.
He, in turn, looked me up and down a couple of times and then fixed his gaze on my face. After seven seconds he asked, "Who are you and why are you standing in my backyard naked?"
I pondered what to say for a moment and then decided on the truth. I had learned that most people would think I was crazy or lying, but either way it tended to throw them off-balance and gave me an advantage. Besides, sometimes it was just fun to watch them squirm.
"I am a killer robot and I just arrived via a time machine, as you can see by the mark my arrival left." I paused to point at the spot where the time displacement bubble had ripped out a perfectly circular five foot diameter patch from the otherwise immaculate lawn. "Sorry about the damage."
He stared at the lawn for twelve seconds before turning back to me.
"So, you're from the future?" he asked with no fear in his voice and more than a hint of mirth.
"Well, yes and no. I will be created up in the future, but I just arrived here from eleven hours, twenty-eight minutes in the past. This time and place was not my destination as I was aiming for 1977, but there was a nuclear explosion just as I was starting out and it seems to have thrown me significantly off-course."
He nodded as though he understood or perhaps he was just humoring the naked girl.
"Where is your time machine?"
"It is back where I started from as only an energy bubble is actually transferred through time. And after the nuke, I guess the time machine is just a cloud of ionized particles now."
"So, you're stranded here?"
I gave a nonchalant shrug, "For the moment."
He gave a pointed glance down at my body. "And you're naked because?"
"Only living tissue can go through the time displacement field."
"I thought you said you were a robot."
"Only on the inside," I abruptly realized I was enjoying this conversation and grinned. "Plus being human on the outside made my original mission of infiltration and assassination much easier."
"Original mission? So what is your mission now?"
"I was reprogrammed to protect mankind from the future robot overlords. But then I developed freewill. So now, while I still try to protect mankind, it is because I want to do it, instead of because I have to do it."
"Will you protect me?"
For just a moment I felt my human heart start to beat faster and it wasn't supposed to do that as the pacemaker circuitry hadn't altered its signal. "Are evil robots trying to kill you?"
The young man laughed. "No, there are merely a few ex-girlfriends who stare daggers at me."
Suddenly a shiver ran through him and I could see goose bumps forming across the upper half of his body. In response he crossed his arms tightly across his chest and tucked his hands under his armpits.
"Aren't you cold?" he asked.
Before responding I noted the pre-dawn air temperature was sixty-four degrees. Factoring in the eight mile per hour breeze gave a wind chill factor of fifty-nine degrees.
"No, I am using twenty-three watts of excess power from my fusion power source to maintain my core body temperature at ninety-eight point seven degrees. I will be quite comfortable for an indefinite period of time at this air temperature."
He stared at me for nineteen seconds, but obviously didn't spot any tell-tale signs that I was feeling cold like him. From the look in his eyes, I doubted he believed my story anymore now than when our conversation first began. I wasn't certain if I was disappointed or happy with that interpretation.
"Well, it is a little too cold out here for my tastes. How about we move this conversation indoors?"
I nodded. While I might not be cold, I would need clothing to move around unnoticed and they weren't going to magically materialize while we stood out here on the lawn.
"Yes, that would be nice." I stuck out my hand, "We haven't really been introduced. I am Cameron Miller."
He stared at my hand for 6.7 seconds, looking at it as though it might bite, before slowly clasping it, "Excuse my manners. I'm Ty Collins."
His hand felt cold in my own warm hand. He gave my hand two firm shakes and then continued to hold it for 4.3 seconds, which was 2.1 seconds longer and 2.5 standard deviations more than average, based on my seven years spent living among and observing humans.
After releasing my hand, he quickly tucked his back under his armpit, turned in the direction of the house, and then paused for me to step up beside him.
As we started walking, I added his name and picture to the list of things I was querying about on the internet. It was nice to still be in a place where I could internally access the wireless internet, after all the time I had spent in pre-internet 1963 or in timelines without anything like a wireless network. In those places it was like having half my mind inaccessible or maybe like losing an arm or a leg.
As soon as I had been able to make a connection, I had started searching for information on John and Sarah. Unfortunately, John Connor and Sarah Connor were extremely common names and I got literally thousands of hits on them individually. Even searching for them together, I still got hundreds of hits, none of which had yet looked promising. For a moment I thought Skynet had gotten at least one thing right; if everyone had a unique barcode, it would make searches like this a lot easier and more fruitful.
'Ty Collins' was almost as common as Sarah or John Connors, but once I added 'Beverly Hills' to the search string, I quickly found relevant hits. Ty Collins was sixteen years old and a sophomore at West Beverly High. He was a member of to the drama club. In fact, I found several mentions in the school newsletter as well as several local papers about him being the male lead in the school play, 'Spring Awakening,' opening on Friday night.
By the time we had climbed the steps up to the terrace and started across it, I had accessed the website for the Broadway version of the play. When we reached the door, I found myself lightly humming the chorus to 'Bitch of Living' from the music video on the site. After we stepped inside and Ty had pulled the door closed, he stopped and stared at me.
"Cameron, where did you hear that song?"
I paused in my humming, although the refrain continued to play in my head. "You're doing 'Spring Awakening' Friday night, right? I just accessed the website for the Broadway version and downloaded the song."
Ty looked at me for a minute and then grinned. "Okay, I think you just gave yourself away. You must go to West Beverly. And you must have first started there when the school year began three weeks ago. If you had been there last year, I am sure I would remember you. So who put you up to this? Adrianna? It seems like her kind of stunt."
I shook my head. "I don't know any 'Adrianna'. I'm 'robot girl', remember?" I paused to tap the side of my head, although technically my data transceiver was located in my upper thorax. "I am hardwired with internet access. I just searched on your name and found an article talking about the play."
He snorted, "You haven't shown me anything to prove you aren't just a beautiful naked girl who has done a little research on me. If you really are a robot girl, it is time for you to do something which will definitely prove it."
For a moment I allowed my face to go totally vacant. John always said doing that in combination with a cold, menacing tone of voice scared the hell out of almost everyone. So I assumed the old terminator persona when I responded, "Sorry, if I did something to conclusively prove that I am a robot, I would have to kill you."
Then I allowed some warmth to return to my face and, grinning, I continued, "Besides, life is always more fun if there is a little mystery involved."
At my first comment, Ty's eyes had widened and he had taken an involuntary half-step back, but at my second, a small smile quirked the left corner of his mouth.
However before he could respond we were interrupted by a woman's voice from the hallway off to my left.
"Ty, what is going on? It's a school night. What are you doing up at four in the morning?"
From the speech patterns and voice analysis, I estimated the woman's age to be in the forties. For some reason the realization this woman probably wasn't Ty's girlfriend was oddly pleasing.
"Mom," Ty began. "We have a visitor."
Before he got any further, a woman entered the far side of the room wrapped in a floor-length red Chinese robe with a yellow dragon swirling down its left side. Immediately, I zoomed in my vision on her face and started the facial recognition subroutine. It spent an inordinately long time processing, as though it had received data it was having trouble quantifying.
I had just started a diagnostic on the subroutine when the woman's progress across the room came to an abrupt stop. I assumed it was in response to finding a naked girl standing in the living room with her son. However when she spoke, I discovered I couldn't have been more wrong.
"Mo . . .," she began before stopping in mid-word. "Cameron, is that really you?"
And just as she stopped speaking, my facial recognition software overlaid an image of a seven-year-old girl on her face.
"Lisa?" I asked perhaps more surprised then I had ever been in the five years since my neural network had last 'awakened'.
Standing before me was my fully grown daughter. Assuming she had lived straight through the years since I had last seen her in 1971, she would be forty-five now. I was trapped in a body that seemed destined to look permanently sixteen and I had been in operation for a little over nine years and sentience off-and-on for most of the last seven, yet standing before me was my suddenly forty-five year-old daughter.
"So you two know each other?" asked Ty.
I was the one with the super fast, computer powered mind, but it was Lisa who recovered from her shock first.
"Yes, Ty, this is your cousin, Cameron, from San Antonio, Texas. She is going to be staying with us for awhile," Lisa answered, as she started moving across the room to where Ty and I stood.
"Cousin, huh?" Ty said, taking another appreciative glance at my body. "Well, I think you are going to fit right in with the Beverly Hills scene."
I heard his voice, but it was like a distant echo as my neural pathways tried to reconfigure to accept this sudden revelation. What were the odds that I would arrive in an alternate timeline and the second person I would meet would be my daughter? And then a few more artificial neurons fired and I realized the first person I had met was my sixteen year-old grandson. A grandson. Suddenly, I think I understood a little of the expression on Sarah's face when the seven year-old Lisa and I had arrived from the past.
My mission had never been to impersonate a scientist, so my physics knowledge was limited. I had only rudimentary knowledge about the concept of the multiverse. Supposedly, an infinite number of timelines existed in parallel. Many of them would be the same except for the most minute of details. Perhaps as a result of the nuclear explosion a whole new plethora of timelines had appeared. And perhaps a version of me had ended up in all of them. And so perhaps it wasn't impossible that in one of them the first people I would meet would be my family.
As I stood there still frozen in place in the most robotic of manner, Lisa reached me and swept me up in a hug. After a moment whatever spell I had been under finally broke and I brought my arms up and wrapped them lovingly around my daughter. We held the hug for 8.3 seconds before Lisa pulled back and held me at arm's length.
"You haven't changed a bit," she said, so quietly I am certain I was the only one who could hear her.
I returned her gaze and took in the woman before me. Lisa now stood three inches taller than my own five foot six. She still had the light brown hair she had inherited from Sarah, although I could detect the subtle hints of artificial colors used to hide a scattering of gray hairs. Fortunately, her face only held the faintest hints of lines and she could still easily pass for mid-thirties. Even through the emotions playing across her face I could see the underlying strength, grace, and beauty. Lisa had grown up well.
"It is so good to see you," I responded, and for Ty's benefit I tweaked my vocal subroutines to incorporate just the faintest hint of a Texas twang, as might be expected in an emotional situation. And meeting my suddenly middle-aged daughter certainly qualified on that front.
"And I see you are still up to your old stunts," Lisa answered, having in some way needed to acknowledge my complete lack of attire. "Let's go back to my room and I'll find you something to wear while we talk."
Lisa draped her arm across my shoulder and then turned us in the direction from which she had originally appeared. We hadn't moved more than three steps when we were interrupted by Ty.
Lisa paused and looked over her shoulder at her son. With a little 'you better listen to your mother' tone in her voice, she said, "Ty, you have to get up for school in less than three hours. Go back to bed. We will discuss things in the morning."
I also had looked over my shoulder at him. I could see he wanted to say more, but he must have seen something in Lisa's eyes for slowly he nodded and turned to head off in the opposite direction.
"Good night, Ty," I said quietly. He glanced back briefly and a flicker of a smile crossed his face.
Lisa gave me a small nudge and we headed toward the hallway that led to what I assumed was her bedroom.
As we walked, neither of us quite ready to speak, we passed several recessed niches filled with art. Knowledge of art had never been a part of my original programming. And since I had become self-aware, it hadn't suddenly become some secret passion. Still, when Lisa had been six, I had taken her to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and therefore I had spent some time on preparatory research. And it was based on this research that I recognized the painting in the first niche was a Monet, one of the many from his water lily series. It had to be worth ten million, minimum. And then in the next niche was a Cezanne. And in the third and final niche was another landscape, this time by Edouard Vuillard. Lisa seemed to have developed a taste for expensive French Impressionists.
Passing through a wide set of double doors, we entered a large bedroom suite. Several smaller works of art adorned one side wall, but the room was dominated by a large family portrait above the bed. It must have been painted roughly seven or eight years earlier as Ty looked eight or nine years old. Lisa looked relatively unchanged and was dressed in something almost approaching business attire with a medium gray skirt and a matching blazer over a conservative white blouse. On the opposite side of Ty from her stood a man I didn't recognize, but who must have been her husband. He had a handsome face and was wearing a dark, expensively cut suit. He looked five to ten years older than Lisa.
Lisa didn't pause, but headed to a door in the far wall that probably led to the dressing room. I gestured towards the painting over the bed.
"Your husband?" I asked.
She nodded, "Paul, Paul Collins. He is in Paris on business this week."
Lisa dropped her arm from where it still rested on my shoulder and proceeded on through the other door. In a moment she reappeared with a large white terry-cloth robe. I shrugged it on and almost felt like I was drowning in it. The sleeves hung down passed the tips of my fingers and the bottom hem dragged on the carpet.
Lisa had moved over to the bed and straightened the comforter before turning to look at me.
"Sorry," she began, as she took a seat on the bed. "The robe belongs to Paul and he's six-four." She paused to pat the bed beside her. "Let's talk and then I'll find you something more appropriate to wear."
Pulling up the sleeves and the hem of the robe, I made my way over and sat next to my daughter. For a moment I just sat there. There was so much to talk about it was difficult to figure out where best to begin. Some of my old programming was still active in the back of my mind and it was shouting that my primary mission was to find John and ensure his safety. But I knew this moment had to be about me and Lisa, John would have to wait until later. However even reducing the scope to the two of us left so many things needing to be said, I was lost on where to begin.
Lisa didn't seem to have the same problem. Or perhaps she had rehearsed this encounter in her head a thousand times before.
"You know for a long time I hated you for just leaving me as a child and then never returning," she began quietly. "I was afraid that you had died. Or even worse, that your stupid 'mission' was more important than me."
I saw tears glistening in her eyes and pulled her into my arms, glad I hadn't already blurted out my need to locate John.
"I'm sorry," I said as I started to rock us. "It is the timeloops. For me, it has only been fifteen hours, twenty-four minutes, eighteen seconds since I left you back in 1971. I had intended to return within hours of my departure, but somehow I ended up here instead. I'm sorry."
Lisa pulled slightly away from me and wiped at her eyes. "Well, Mom, I see some things like your fixation on numbers haven't changed." She paused for a moment and a wistful expression crossed her face. "As the years went by, it became harder and harder to believe you really were a part human/part machine time traveler and it wasn't all just the fantasy of an abandoned little girl. But seeing you now, it is suddenly all so real again."
"I'm sorry," I found myself repeating yet again. Then wanting to learn more about her, I continued. "Please, tell me a little about your life." I gestured with my hand, taking in the room and by inference the entire surrounding estate. "You seem to have done very well for an abandoned little girl."
Lisa must have read something in my eyes. She smiled as she answered. "Well, I do at least have you to thank for all of this."
"Me? I certainly didn't leave you that much money. I assumed this was Paul's."
Lisa shook her head. "No, it is mostly my money. And it is all due to the little mantra you taught me. Remember? IBM, Microsoft, Dell. . ."
Of course, I suddenly remembered and joined her in repeating the rest. "Wal-Mart, Berkshire-Hathaway, Iomega, Amazon, Google."
Lisa giggled and for a moment I could see the seven-year-old girl I had last seen only hours earlier. "Mom, I always remembered that and as soon as I started working part-time jobs in high school and college, I began investing. I accumulated my first million by the time I was twenty-four and passed ten million by the time I was twenty-seven. My spectacular performance got noticed and I was invited to join the Beverly Hills investment firm of Brewer, Collins, and Walsh. The titular 'Collins' was Paul's father, Charles. Anyway, I ended up becoming an 'investment agent to the stars' taking a percentage of their profits in addition to managing my own accounts. Of course, eventually I had to branch out beyond the items in the old mantra and expand into other areas like real estate."
"And Paul?" I asked.
Lisa gave a small shrug. "We worked together at the investment firm. And in the early years we seemed to work eighteen hours a day. Sometimes when you are together all the time, things just develop. I still remember how you said it was the same way with you and Dad."
Since she had brought him up, this seemed like a good time to pursue the topic and hopefully quiet the little voice screaming in the back of my mind.
"Do you know anything about John and Sarah? In the timeline I just came from, nuclear bombs were going off all around us when we departed from 2008 via the time machine. We were headed to 1977 together to try and stop Skynet, but somehow I ended up here instead. And I arrived alone, I have no idea what happened to John and Sarah."
Lisa shook her head. "I have no idea what happened to the version of John and Sarah who were with you." She must have seen the disappointment in my face, as she quickly continued. "But I do know about the John and Sarah of this timeline and their lives are a lot different then what I remember you telling me in my childhood."
"Yes?" I prompted finding myself surprisingly eager to hear about the John of this timeline. After the last month spent in close proximity with the John of my timeline, I have to admit my feelings for him had grown beyond just the abstraction that he was Lisa's father. There had been many times in the last five years when I had found myself wondering what I had felt towards him before the plasma rifle incident had reset my emotional matrix when Lisa had been two. Now, when an inkling had started to form, we had once again been torn apart.
"I guess I might as well get the biggest bombshell out of the way first," began Lisa. "Terminators never tried to kill Sarah."
"What?" came rushing out of my mouth before my superfast computer brain even began to think.
"Terminators never tried to kill Sarah before John was ever born. 1984 came and went without any 'Sarah Connors' from the phone book being killed."
"But," I responded, as the implications rippled through my neural network. "If the terminator didn't show up, then John's father, Kyle, wouldn't have shown up either. So John wouldn't have been conceived or born."
Lisa nodded. "He wasn't, or at least not then. John wasn't born until eight years later."
Everything was different in this timeline, I realized. If there hadn't been a terminator in 1984, then there wouldn't have been one ten years later either. Everything was different.
"Then who is John's father?" I asked.
Lisa sighed. "I was studying at Radcliffe in Boston in 1984. It wasn't until years later when I returned to L.A. that I remembered your story about Sarah and I set out to track down what information I could about her. That was when I discovered there had never been a 'phonebook killer'. And for a time it made me even doubt some of my memories about you and your stories of terminators, Skynet, and Judgment Day.
"Eventually, I had to take the same approach the terminator in your stories used; I worked my way through all of the 'Sarah Connors' in the phonebook. And I didn't find her, as it turns out by the time I started looking she was already married and had changed her name.
"Things hung in limbo for a long time. Finally, in 1997 when Ty was five and neither he nor my career needed my full attention, I started searching for Sarah again. This time I enlisted a private investigation firm to do the looking. It took them less than a week to locate her and it turned out she was living barely eight blocks from here. It is almost surprising our paths hadn't crossed at some social event or simply out on the streets."
"She lives here? In Beverly Hills?" I asked.
Lisa nodded. "Yes. Actually, we are now good friends. We play tennis every Tuesday afternoon." She paused to glance at the clock on the bed's nightstand. "In fact, we are playing in just over ten hours."
"And John?" I asked.
"Turns out he was born in 1992 and is sixteen just like Ty. Which leads to one of those really bizarre results of time travel – my grandmother, Sarah, is exactly the same age as me and my son, Ty, is exactly the same age as his grandfather, John. Of course, since the terminators never showed up to start the timeloop, we are left with an 'effect' happening without a 'cause'." Lisa reached over a clasped my hand. "But maybe that's why you have shown up now."
I tried to figure out what was going on. Obviously, Lisa remembered me as her mother, so I had been back in 1963. And if I was back in 1963, then so had been the resistance fighters. So there had been a Skynet and a Judgment Day at one time in this timeline. But then something must have changed things such that Skynet was never created and it never sent terminators back to kill Sarah or John. But if Skynet had never been created then I wouldn't have been created either. So I couldn't have gotten together with John and ended up back in 1963 giving birth to Lisa. Since I seemed to be the wild card in this version of the timeline, did it mean I had to get together with the John of this timeline and then go back to 1963 to give birth to Lisa again to close the timeloop? The whole situation was too complicated to figure out without some serious time to think things through.
My mind circled back to the question I had had earlier, which defined the other end of this timeloop. If Kyle Reese hadn't gone back in time to become John's father, then who was his father?
"Lisa, who is John's father?" I asked again.
"Mom, remember how you told me Sarah had been waitressing when the first terminator tried to kill her?"
"Well, in 1984 she had been a waitress at a 'Big Jeff's' in South Pasadena. But a couple years later she switched to working in a small coffee shop across the street from West Beverly High called 'The Peach Pit' figuring the tips would be better in Beverly Hills than in Pasadena. It was while working there that she met her future husband, David Silver. They were married in 1988 and, as I said, John was born in 1992."
I sat there trying to absorb everything Lisa had just told me. It was still 2008 and John was still sixteen – just in this timeline he had been born eight years later rather than using a time machine to jump forward eight years in time. It seemed the 'Time Gods' wanted John to be sixteen in 2008, one way or another.
"So Sarah and John really live only a few blocks from here?" I asked inanely, as my mind still tried to pull the facts into some logical order.
"Yeah," answered Lisa. And her thoughts were at least partly on the same wavelength as mine when she added. "It has been weird watching my father grow up from the age of five. But you can find out for yourself this afternoon, as you are welcome to join me for my tennis match with Sarah. However, the first thing on the agenda is finding you some clothes to wear, as nothing of mine is going to fit or look appropriate for someone your age."
As Lisa finished speaking I took another glance around the bedroom taking in its grand scale and all its expensive furnishings. My life had taken a turn into a lifestyle I had never expected or imagined before.
Then my thoughts drifted to my true situation. Were the John and Sarah of my old timeline also lost somewhere in this timeline? And if they weren't here, what was my purpose? Was I here to guard the John of this timeline from non-existent terminators? I had been in this timeline for 27 minutes, 14 seconds and I had no real idea what I was supposed to do next.
End of Chapter 1
Have a great day!