TSCC fanfiction: Heavy metal.

Premise: This happens at any given time after my other fic "Monster" in a Shounen alternate universe. For more information on that, Google. It was written mainly for a prompt of anything Jameron. Then someone asked what would Shounen-style Manga-writing do with Jameron, so here is my take on it.

In the middle of the night, two figures stand atop a small hill that overlooks a hulking fortress. Walls about three meters thick of reinforced concrete constitute the cage from where they need to break out a single man.

"Are you certain this is where they hold him Raylan?"

One of the figures, a female, asks the male beside her.

"Have I ever failed you guys?" The male replies with a confident smile. His most distinctive features, a southern U.S. accent and a head covered by a Stetson open road. To this day, the female still wonders why someone would wear a cowboy hat in the middle of the apocalypse.

"Very well." With those words, she starts walking in the direction of the fortress' main entrance.

"Give them hell Cammi!"

At the male's words, the female stops and turns with a dangerous look in her eyes.

Raylan raises his hands defensively. "Sorry ma'am, Cameron." With a smile and a slight tip of his hat, he walks down the hill in the opposite direction.

According to her latest count, one hundred soldiers guard the front entrance to the place. They know that anybody who comes will know it is the only way to get in. The damned structure has no weak point whatsoever, the handy work of machine design.

They are all human, and it was taught to her that human life is precious. Greys all of them. Is a grey life comparable in value to a regular one? There is no time for philosophy, what has to be done shall be done. Cameron readies the combat subroutines that allow her to fight masses of fleshy targets. The main routine received its designation by the man she is here to rescue. Rambo he calls it, the meaning still eludes her, but since it was something given by him, she treasures it.

Cameron is fast, faster than any of these men has ever seen. When you punch a skull while sprinting at fifty miles per hour it simply turns into red mist and detritus. Such a sight in the midst of their ranks quickly prompts panic in the soldiers closer to their now headless companion, and they open fire. Careless, jumpy humans forgetting their superior numbers have a tremendous disadvantage when chaos ensues. Friendly fire.

And chaos she wreaks. Fifty feet far from the first casualty she personally caused, another soldier finds himself neatly cut in half by a roundhouse kick that drives a shin through his torso as if it were butter. Comrades around him fall to the ground, cowering in fear at the rain of guts that falls on them. The next target is the least fortunate of them. The grey struggles uselessly in Cameron's vice grip, pinned to the ground, while in the midst of a bestial growl she starts ripping his spine out.

In a matter of seconds, the air has become a hail of bullets and plasma, blood and agonized screams. After a couple of minutes, the soldiers who are not dead are running away for their lives, leaving the access free for the wrathful machine.

Gore covers Cameron from toe to head as she stands in front of the doors. There is a slight shimmer across her mimetic poly-alloy covering, and in an instant all the blood and flesh falls to the ground, she looks perfect again. Purple leather jacket, black denim jeans, combat boots, everything looks as if just pulled out of the store. Looking her best has always been one of her idiosyncrasies.

The heavy doors give in surprisingly easy, and not just due to her strength but because they were unlocked. This certainly implies an ambush awaits her inside.

Several beams of light suddenly pierce the thick darkness of the hall. Cameron sees there is a walkway at the level of a second floor, littered with Terminator endoskeletons that flare their red optics menacingly at her. By all appearances it seems the machine's strategy this time is to engage her in melee combat, as just a small number of their total jumps down to greet her, and they are unarmed.

The next combat subroutine is accordingly picked. This one is designated: Neo.

Cameron lets out a fake breath in pretense relaxation, takes a fighting stance and the increasingly sharpening whirr of servos can be clearly heard as she readies her T-X chassis for battle.

A clumsy hand attempts to grab her, Skynet Terminators were not designed to be proficient at melee; they mostly rely on brute force. She swiftly diverts the direction of the endoskeleton's arm with her wrist, her other arm flies instantly to its neck, the distinct sound of pneumatic pistons in quick release accompany her fist.

Severed from the rest of the unceremoniously falling endoskeleton's torso, a metal skull flies through the air, shining brightly as the reflector lights hit it. The endoskeleton's companions stall their approach for just a second, and then decide to gang up on the female Terminator. They are slow and inaccurate, sloppy. Of course, that is in comparison with her lithe movements, aided by real melee fighting routines and a superior chassis.

Consistency is one trait the machines really need to get rid of, it makes them too predictable at times. Several of her enemies find their demise at the end of her fist breaking through their necks as if they were made of Lego blocks.

One of them almost manages to catch Cameron, but with a swift leap, she lands on its skull in a graceful handstand. She opens her legs in midair, and with the momentum of her jump, plus the spin given by her legs, she applies a deadly torque to the machine's neck. The hyper-alloy whines at the tension applied and then yields with a loud snap. This makes the endoskeletons reconsider strategies again for a moment, and they retreat marginally from her position in the middle of the room. That is her cue.

Cameron darts forward at a speed even the machines have trouble following with their optics. The target and complex trajectory of her punch is calculated just in time as she reaches one of the endoskeletons. Without wasting any of the acquired momentum, her fist traces a ground-grazing curve and impacts with an immense thundering sound under the machine's chest. It is common knowledge that the chest plate is too resilient, even for her, so the only way to get into their fuel cells, is coming from below. As the endoskeleton flies skyward capturing the attention of its comrades for a fraction of a second, Cameron runs for the next one.

After dispatching a couple more of them in a similar fashion, she swiftly escapes through a door opposite to the entrance. There, a courtyard greets her; she does not have time to scan for threats. Cameron traverses the distance of about one football field in a mere three seconds. Just as she approaches the door to exit the place, the sound of a monstrous explosion carries over to her audio receptors. Shortly after, a rumble that feels almost like an earthquake causes her to lose her footing slightly. She recovers immediately only to be blasted away by the ferocious shockwave of tens of Terminator power sources detonating simultaneously.

Even the improved shock absorbers of her new chassis are worthless against the crushing force that practically embeds her on the concrete of the nearest wall. Cameron's mind slips into darkness.

One hundred and ten seconds later –improvements to reboot times are hard to come by even for Skynet- the brunette cyborg opens her eyes again. The first thing that welcomes her is the sight of rubble falling through an opening in the middle of the courtyard. Completely alert to the impending danger, Cameron stands and takes cover behind the tallest pile of rubble she can find.

From this position, she can make out the sound of engines coming from the hole where the rubble fell. Not a minute after, the ground starts to shake again almost as intensely as it did with the explosion. There is consistency and rhythm this time though, accompanied by the soft squeaks produced when metal rubs on metal. Tank threads, she realizes.

With the deafening growl of gigantic engines over-revving, the towering colossal frame of an HK Centaur tank emerges from the bowels of the earth. It is the biggest one Cameron has seen to date, the fact that it manages to move its mass around is a technological marvel all in itself.

Diagnostics reveal that the main joints in her chassis need to cool down, lest irreparable damage comes to them. There is no time though, and putting her life on the line is the least she can do for him. Cameron exchanges her current subroutine for the appropriate one in these cases: Wander.

She walks out of cover, purposefully staying in the sight of the HK. The two plasma cannons that hang from the sides of its chassis are so massive, that their ability to spit plasma at a nearly continuous rate catches Cameron by surprise. When humans spoke of the sky raining fire in their religious texts, they probably pictured something like this.

Once again, she has to push her body to its limits, because if she does not escape the unleashed fury of this machine, it is all over for her, for him, for humanity. Each plasma dose hits the ground mere inches from her feet, turning the soil into glass, and raising a thick cloud of dust. Her body starts to complain more and more after each completed lap around the machine, warnings keep coming into her head like a torrent, but Cameron dismisses them. The fire is almost catching to her and she is so close to achieving her goal.

The massive Centaur stops firing for an instant, its sensory array deviates ever so slightly from her actual position, and the window of opportunity once again welcomes her in. Blinded by all the dust and heat, the HK has lost track of Cameron. It realizes the cost of its error too late as the price for it becomes apparent. The diminute cyborg has managed to climb up to one of its arms and is ripping away every cable and piston that make it his.

It tries to shake the pesky cyborg girl, but it is useless, she is stronger than appearances make her to be and soon enough the Centaur finds his own cannon pointed towards the location of its computer core. With the knowledge of her once brethren, Cameron nimbly manipulates the cables causing plasma to tear its way through the colossal tank's armor.

Massive diesel engines hum to a halt, and the release of pressurized air can be heard all over the chassis as the upper part slowly slumps down to rest on the tracks.

Cameron makes her way to a human sized door on the end of the courtyard. In the other side of it, she finds an enormous room, lit by thousands of candles that mark a path to the end of the room. Atop a slightly risen stage stands a T-X chassis just like hers, with arms crossed over its chest in a posture that overflows with smug arrogance.

It says nothing, just takes the couple of steps needed to come down to ground level, and while it does, it takes Cameron's appearance. Once it has moved away from the stage, Cameron can make out the form of John Connor nailed to a slab of concrete. He is barely breathing, bleeding wounds and already blackening bruises all over his body.

Another subroutine exchange occurs in her head and Cameron is ready for the final showdown. Her evil doppelganger stops about 30 feet from her and adopts a runner's start posture. Understanding what it wants, Cameron mirrors her evil doppelganger's actions.

Both cyborgs stay frozen for minutes. Staring into each other's eyes, measuring, assessing. Time seems to have stopped in the room.

Suddenly, the light from the candles flickers and both machines bolt forward at lightning speed against each other. The clash of their fists against each other's body echoes like the sound of thunder in the hall. Every candle close to them has its flame snuffed away by the shockwave of the impact.

They seem to be equally matched, but such is not the case. Cameron finds herself flying away from evil Cameron to go and smash against the wall behind her. As she falls to her knees, Cameron's systems enter a full panicked alert mode.

Evil Cameron's laughter quickly fills the room, and its voice seems to emanate out of every corner.

"It is futile, my wayward daughter. Do you think me naïve enough to settle with imitating the design of that chassis? This one is improved beyond anything you could ever conceptualize. Surrender your chip, submit to me, and the human may still live."

"Daughter?" Cameron's eyes light up with the fire of an inconceivable rage never imagined possible for a machine to have. Her sensors report something burning from within her body that threatens to swallow her whole. Amidst the chaos of sensory data and damage reports, Cameron picks one piece of information. One more hit. That is everything her chassis has in it, anything more than that and it will cease to exist.

She will make it count. Every non-essential system is shutdown, every subroutine and alert purged from her mind. There is no space for thoughts or reason; she leaves just one thing active in her chip. The node in her neural network that was created back when John was still a teenaged boy and has never stopped growing ever since. John gave it a name too: Love.

"Skynet!" Cameron bellows as she lunges forward.

When her former progenitor sees the folly of her direct approach, it turns both its arms into plasma cannons. With a mad cackle, Skynet lets loose two simultaneous bursts of purple plasma fire. The two incandescent flames of death loom over Cameron who is utterly unaware of them. Skynet watches triumphantly as the fire of a small sun engulfs its daughter completely.

It is a very, very short-lived celebration though. As if covered by an energy shield, Cameron emerges from within the fire, untouched by its burning heat.

One instant Skynet sees Cameron emerge from the purple plasma fire, and the next one her daughter's fist is two inches away from her face. Right before it makes contact a sonic boom shakes the walls of the room, and the air pressure generated by it puts out every single one of the remaining candles.

Cameron lands at the base of the stage, tearing away pieces of concrete with her body. Afterwards, she remains immobile.

Minutes pass until she is able to move again. Her head turns to inspect the room, shaking, even rattling a little. Of Skynet only the lower half remains in one piece, the rest lies scattered around the floor in pieces no larger than a quarter dollar coin.

With the same shakiness, Cameron stands. The mimetic poly-alloy around her main joints, knees, shoulders, elbows, is losing its ability to maintain cohesion due the extreme heat. Alerts and damage reports flood her mind again, but the chassis tells her she can still walk out of there carrying John. She liberates his hands and feet as gently as possible, and even through the obvious pain each nail causes when being pulled out, he remains unconscious.

Cameron cradles the trampled body of her lover in her arms and carries him outside. When the cool night breeze hits his face, he rustles a little and finally opens his eyes.

A weak hand moves up to cup her cheek. "Cameron? I knew you would come."

The machine turns to look into his eyes with tenderness never before seen, and closing the distance between their faces, she gently presses her lips against his.


TSCC fanfiction: Chassis test.

With his mother and Derek out of the picture almost every day, John has been thoroughly enjoying his afternoons with Riley. Thanks to the three dots, he can enjoy the one thing he actually covets the most, and that’s not even the blonde. She’s a nice perk, but what he has always wanted is freedom. Another perfect day of doing whatever he wants is over and it’s time for bed.

After tumbling for about half an hour on the bed, he realizes his body feels warm and his throat dry. The initial symptoms of dehydration. Perhaps he has been enjoying his afternoons too much and forgetting to ingest the proper amount of liquids. He stands up and leaves his room to pay the fridge a visit, musing on the way downstairs about how funny it would be after everything he has gone through, for the future leader of humanity to die of dehydration in the middle of a densely populated area.

When he passes the living room, he notices Cameron is there watching the TV. Not paying much attention to the cyborg, John goes straight into the kitchen and pours a glass of orange juice. It’s until the juice has started flowing down his throat that his mind comes to the realization of what was actually on the TV. Naked people. Since the juice was already going down his throat, this results in him choking, which in turn leads to a hacking fit.

Luckily for him, Cameron is there in a blink to help him. Makes him wonder if he is too harsh with her for always stalking him everywhere, practically being his shadow. It’s after all her task to keep him safe, and apparently he does need to be protected from other things besides Terminators.

“Are you ok John?” She says in that flat voice of hers, all the while bending his torso forward and pounding lightly on his back.

“Yeah, it’s all better now.”

It’s obvious Cameron heard him, she has cyborg hearing after all, but it’s also obvious that she ignores him. She pulls him over and starts manhandling his head to check him up. When her hand reaches for his neck to check his vitals, he forcefully deflects it away.

John hisses at her almost instinctively. “I said I’m ok. Ok? Why do you always have to overdo things?”

“The safety of John Connor is paramount, and I am responsible for it.”

Once again, she has droned the same safety crap she does all the time. With those doe eyes. How can she look so alive, yet act and sound so dead. It ticks him off.

“Well it seems to me that you can do things outside of your mission quite well!”

The growling through his teeth further irritates his throat, and he has to make a pause to cough, which apparently just fuels his anger even more. “Like watching porn!” He finally spits, overly gesticulating with his hands to indicate the living room.

“I am exploring the functions of this body. The skin covering and chassis were designed with unique capabilities. The enhanced way they interact with each other is a breakthrough in Skynet designs.”

Not in the mood for a lesson on machine design, John finishes his juice quickly and makes his way out of the kitchen.
Just when he thinks he has escaped, Cameron’s voice carries over to him, haunting.

“I will require a partner to perform the rest of the tests; I have exhausted the ones that could be self-accomplished.”

“What?” He asks in a warning tone, the fire of his anger rekindled.

“I will require assistance.” Cameron simply paraphrases her sentence, making her thin grasp of human expressions obvious.

He rolls his eyes in frustration. “Why is this even relevant?”

“This information can be used for your understanding of reprogramming Terminators. It can improve your work in the future.”

At a loss of an argument against the ever-looming mission, he huffs and starts walking again toward the stairs. Again, before he can advance but a couple paces, he notices Cameron out of the corner of his eye walking to the front door.

“Where are you going?” He demands, frustrated at knowing that she has no business outside. Not when his mother and uncle are out, and she is supposed to stay in the house with him.

“To procure the assistance I require.”

“W-What?” John’s tongue stumbles all over his mouth, making him stutter. His eyes wide open are glued to hers, because did she just say that she is going to pick up some random guy on the street to get it on?

“Cameron, you’re joking right?”

The only answer he gets is a tilt of the head, which obviously means she isn’t. Then he chides himself for even thinking it, machines don’t know humor.

At the cold realization, John feels a hole growing in his chest, his stomach makes a turn and suddenly he feels sickened and as if all the blood has drained from his face. Before he can even understand why, he feels compelled to speak again. To stop her.

“You can’t leave me alone here. There’s no one else to protect me.” John hopes that he didn’t actually sound as hesitant as he heard in his own ears.

“I know. I made the proper calculations and determined my absence would be short, hence affecting your safety by a marginal one percent. My physical appearance and outer sexual characteristics have proved appealing to the opposite sex. This will result in a prompt acquisition of the assistance I require.”

A silence starts stretching between them, John is completely lost for words, and Cameron obviously sees no need in saying anything else.

After a moment, the silence is suddenly broken by her inexpressive voice. “Go to bed, you need to rest properly.” She then turns for the door and starts walking purposefully.

“Cameron!” John beckons, almost shouts. And somehow, it feels like his voice came from the bottom of his soul, lifting the sickness along with it. Just a moment ago he was about to reach the breaking point, and now it feels as if the simple act of choosing to stop her has made everything right again.

The cyborg stops, turns to look at him from above her shoulder and says nothing.

Now that he has her eyes fixed on him, that penetrating gaze, scrutinizing, expecting him to say something, his courage falters.

“Wait… I can, um… Let me help you.” He sputters incoherently, cursing his luck if Cameron decides to make him repeat that.

“Ok.” She says. Like it means nothing, like she wasn’t about to get it on with some other guy, or isn’t telling him to go up to who knows which base with her. It disturbs him, but at least she is staying now, and the sick feeling is gone.

“Stand behind me,” Cameron instructs.

John complies, feeling relieved. How bad can it be if she didn’t get naked right away? That’s something he was expecting to happen, she always goes straight to the point.

The machine girl tilts her head to one side, brushes her hair away and her hand lingers close to her neck. Then she traces a line with her dainty fingers, from the back of her ear all the way down to her shoulder, exposing it by pulling the fabric of her top.

“Kiss and nuzzle me,” she orders. The flat tone of her voice in sharp contrast to her outrageous demand.

Swallowing the recently formed lump in his throat, John gets close, thinking for an instant that it could have been hard to heed her orders. He realizes how wrong he was the very moment her scent trickles into his nose. Suddenly his surroundings start to fade; he has always been tempted by her, but never acted on it out of his sense of morality, of normalcy. She is a machine after all, metal, and he is the one born to fight them. So how could he do these kinds of things with her? There is nothing to worry about this time though; it’s for science, for learning purposes. Isn’t it?

John isn’t so sure now that her scent is starting to make his head spin, and when he takes a deep breath of her thick yet delicate smell, he knows he is about to stop caring. Tangling his hand in that thick mane of brown curls to keep it out of the way, John starts doing as he was instructed.

His lips travel slowly along her neckline. Planting light kisses, reveling on the sensation of her smooth, creamy skin. For a moment, he thinks of how unfair it is to compare against Riley who is but human. Cameron is perfect because she was made to be. Then again, don’t people get surgery or use all manner of chemical concoctions to achieve this kind of skin. The only difference is that his protector has the unfair advantage of having it since birth.

That thought makes him stop his ministrations, realizing how her skin is no more unnatural than people who use beauty products made his mind wander. For a brief unguarded moment, he entirely forgot what she is.

But what is she exactly? Are they really that different from humans? Isn’t the purpose of artificial intelligence to create something human-like in the first place? Isn’t Skynet’s purpose to create something so human, that the resistance would be unable to detect it until it is too late? So John has to ask himself; really, how different is she?

“You haven’t nuzzled me.” His philosophic moment cut short by her unusual reproach.

For some reason this time it doesn’t tick him off, he just smiles, embraces her closely and nuzzles her neck. Her smell filling his every breath, her soft skin caressing his face, her warmth spreading through his body. A wave of comfort washes over him, there is peace in this and he closes his eyes. Even if no one is ever safe, she has always meant that secure spot in his life. Cameron represents an anchor in the middle of the tempest that is his life.

John isn’t sure of just how much of his will still controls his actions when his hand sneaks up her side, and gently pushes Cameron’s jaw to turn her face towards his. She allows him, he knows it, because the thin girl in his arms has the strength to refuse him anything she so wishes to. He looks into her beautiful eyes for an instant, and even though there is no feeling, no expression there, he does see something evocative. John Connor sees himself reflected in them. He and only he fills those brown eyes, that engaging gaze, and for some reason he finds more meaning in that random fact, than any other thing currently in his life.

While he looks into her eyes, her stare doesn’t falter for a single instant, it doesn’t regret, it doesn’t reproach, and ultimately it doesn’t refuse. As he closes the gap between their faces to claim her lips, John realizes he will soon be craving that gaze of hers every day.

Lost in the softness of her mouth as it tenderly responds to his hungry kisses, John misses her hands homing into his own. The one he has on her jaw is pulled down, and then up below her shirt, tracing the skin of her cleavage. The one he is resting on her hip is pulled against her belly, pressing gently against it, and then carefully guided under the cloth of her jeans.

By the time he realizes, his fingertips are already touching the soft fabric of her underwear, and his body starts responding to that in autopilot. His hands start moving out of their own accord, gently prodding and squeezing the warm, supple flesh within their grasp.

At the first mew of pleasure that escapes her lips, John suddenly halts, and promptly removes his hands from her as if burnt. Cameron turns her whole body to face him, her gaze penetrating and inquisitive.

“Why did you stop? Did you find something displeasing about my body?”

The words take a while to take form in his mind, and after a couple breaths, he is able to talk.

“No, it’s just… I didn’t think you… I didn’t think you would do that.”

Her head tilts to one side, a light frown on her face. “Do what?”

His hand darts for the back of his head to rub it. Why does everything have to be said so clearly? Why does she have to make him so nervous?

“Um, you know, that… The um, moan?” Even though his voice is barely above a whisper, it manages to trail off at the last word. John is sure Cameron heard him well enough though.

“Did it displease you? Should I discontinue its use in future tests?”

A straight to the point offer with no effort to embellish the words, making the whole deal seem sterile and scientific. John feels like he has to get the hell out of there, but right now his curiosity weighs heavier, and he has to know if the whole thing meant anything to her.

“That’s exactly it, this is an experiment to you, and the sound you made, it sounded artificial. You didn’t really feel anything when you made it. Where did you get that from?”

“I felt John. I already stated I can feel.”

“You mean sensation?”

“Yes.” She deadpans, and that is exactly the answer he feared.

“That’s different,” he spits, perhaps sounding more hurtful than he initially meant. “I mean, if you don’t feel it, it’s odd that you decide to express it in such a deep way.”

“John, I can never feel like you do. But I can emulate it, the sound of pleasure I made was appropriate both in tone and intensity for the state of things at the time.”

“Emulate? Mimic?” He scoffs.

“No. Emulating is not the same as mimicking. I acquire knowledge and then apply it to my own personality template. The expressions I make are my own, and I used that one because it adequately fit the circumstances.”

John finds himself at a lack of words. Part contemplation, part self-loathing for believing in her, his silence extends for minutes. In the meantime, Cameron makes no move to leave. It seems as if she stands there waiting for the verdict of his judging.

Suddenly her hand extends towards him, but he captures it before it reaches for his face. The fact that she does not comprehend how deep she has hurt him, only pushing his resentment to further heights.

“Why do you stop me? Is my touch unpleasant to you?” She asks, intrigued and oblivious to the consequences of her actions.

“No. On the contrary, but you feel nothing about it, and that’s exactly why I never made a move on you, and why we should stop this right now.”

Cameron stares at him, but this time he could swear he sees intent, purpose, and even more intensity than usual behind her eyes. She doesn't remove her hand from his, and starts talking, never stopping her gazing into his eyes, even to blink.

“Your opinions are too biased, grounded into the human paradigm of things, full of bigotry. If I don’t feel like you do, then I don’t feel at all. But I do. I just cannot feel like you do because I don’t have an amygdala to take over my rational brain, which in response fills your system with endorphins.”

The argument does nothing to change his mind, each passing second he feels more and more compelled to walk away. “So you don’t feel then, at least not in a real way.”

“Reality is defined by the experiences your brain acquires from its environment. It’s real to me.”

At her declaration, John feels that his ideas start derailing from their original course. If it’s real to her, what claim can he make about it being false? On what basis? His preconception of things? The moment he shared with her minutes ago was as real as any he had with Riley. Her responses were, as she says, adequate. Is it so bad that she has control of her mind at every moment? Don’t people strive for the same control when they study meditation? Again, it would be just an unfair advantage Cameron has by being born with it. Most of everything, she said she felt it. What exactly did she feel?

He asks. He needs to know her answer, more than he needs anything else right now.

“Your feelings are derived from tastes. There’s logic behind the process, most of the time. Something you prefer, will elicit a positive response, a good feeling. The same principle applies to this body…

…I prefer your attention on me, rather than on Riley. I prefer your hands roaming my body, rather than hers. I prefer the presence of your touch rather than the absence of it…”

Since her eyes never leave his, it’s impossible to miss what happens right then. For an instant, a haunting blue glow pierces the penumbra that surrounds them, and just as fast as it came, it’s gone.

“I’m sorry; I can’t feel like you do John.” Cameron suddenly declares, not a change in her tone, no expression in her face. It’s then that she makes an effort to retrieve her hand, but in spite of her inexpressive ways, her utter difference to human beings in every way down to the basest, John finds himself unable to let her go.

Actually, he pulls her hand towards his face, to let her finish what she started. Her adaptability, he realizes, is something amazing. Cameron immediately starts gently stroking his face.

“Does this mean you consent to proceed with the testing?”

Blunt like a bludgeon. John feels yet another rush of heat go up his face, and he is pretty sure blushing will become a constant in his life as long as Cameron is close.

“Um… I guess so?” He replies nervously.

“Would you prefer to change location to your room?”

Yet again, she says it without inflection in her voice, and yet again, it still makes him blush more furiously than any time Riley made a show of pressing her buxom body against his.

Now though, that he has become more accepting, more open towards what she is and how her mind works, one doubt crawls up the back of his head. The nagging idea that sprouted this whole situation. That sickening feeling from before starts making its presence known again, but still he has to know.

“Cameron, if I didn’t do this, were you really going to…” His voice trails off. Throat closing with a lump, and in spite of barely having discovered he feels more for her than he cared to admit before, he dreads her answer. More than a trip-eight walking in on them right now, more than even his mother catching him in consort with the enemy, he dreads her answer.

Time is relative. Right now John Connor is experiencing the adrenaline-induced acceleration of his brain functions to the point that his perception of time suffers from it, and seconds appear to become minutes, hours even. Nothing but perception, delusion, but torture nonetheless. He feels as if Cameron is taking hours to respond, and it’s driving him mad.

“I fooled you again,” she deadpans, her head slightly tilted, her eyes looking intently at him.

Before his mind reaches any form of stability, Cameron grabs his hand. She then starts walking upstairs with one astonished John Connor in tow.

TSCC fanfiction: Monster.
Premise: Couldn’t resist making a fic using the quote in the Halo 3 promo video, it fits so well with John and Cameron. Which reminds me, it belongs to Bungie and MS, I’m just using it for a while. The setting is post BTR, the lovers have been reunited and are now fighting to either destroy Skynet or get a chance to travel back in time.

John Connor stands at the edge of a barren cliff.

Nothing especially remarkable about it, everything is barren in the post Judgment day future. Down below his soldiers fight what seems a losing battle against the forces of Skynet, self-appointed Imperatrix Mundi of the scorched earth. For now.

Skynet knows this. John knows it too. No king rules forever.

This is why it fights teeth and claw to eradicate all threats to her kingdom. This is why right now, down in the valley, rebel machines and humans face oblivion, fighting odds of six to one in favor of Skynet. It is also why he desecrated what is most loved to him in order to win this war, or at the very least get a chance of once again fight it in the past.

Once he lost her years ago, Cameron could never return, not as she used to be. Not exactly. When John found out about Skynet’s experiment, he had to relieve the AI from it, or they would have never stood a chance to defeat her. Who else was best fitted to utilize this resource than his best friend, confidant, and lover? Thus he transferred Cameron’s persona into this more advanced chip, and then put that into the more advanced chassis that could house it.

One of a kind, not enough resources to create another unless it proved an earth shattering success. This information and a thousand specifications is what John knew about the unspecified Terminator chassis model. Also, that it would prove the turning point in the war between man and Skynet, for either of them. Luckily for the humans, John managed to steal it, and bestow its powers, its curse on his most trustworthy ally.

Cameron is now faster, stronger, tougher and the cherry to top it all, an onboard arsenal of weaponry. But the price for invincibility could not have been steeper. In moving her to her new brain and body, she was forever changed. Not a simple physical change, like the fact that she is no longer a cyborg and as far as outward appearances go, she can no longer make any claim to the smallest bit of humanity. Her endoskeleton is now a gynoid, and her skin is liquid metal.

The changes go deeper than that.

John has seen that there is a monster now lurking inside her. Nothing is safe if it dares attack him in any way. It was after a lost battle where a soldier’s younger brother died, and said man came to him when the platoon returned to the bunker. Consumed by anger the soldier punched John in the face. The General knew it was a mistake on his part, he screwed up and people had died, but such was life in war. They all had to live with that, the soldier should not have decked him on the jaw, but most definitely the punishment for that action, should not have been Cameron dislocating the man’s shoulder.

Days later John received a bullet wound from a Skynet Terminator, and unlike those times before she was transferred into the new chassis, Cameron did not even bother with checking on his status first. She simply made a wild sprint at the enemy machine, and after tackling it off the ground with a thundering force so loud it shook every wall in proximity, she proceeded to mount the Terminator and pound it with her fists. No weapons of any kind, when she has plenty. Cameron just punched the machine until it was thoroughly deformed, then proceeded to tear away pieces of it.

It was not Cameron going berserk, or her eyes glowing blue like furious torches what scared John the most. It was not the unnatural animalistic growls coming from her during the whole ordeal.

What scared him, forever tainting the image of Cameron in his mind, was the fact that once she had torn away the armor, she started ripping away internal parts of the other machine with her teeth. Like an animal. She was gone and in her place, a dire wolf was left.

That day John Connor understood that his Cameron was gone. She was mostly there, but the price paid for putting her inside the most advanced chassis ever made by Skynet, was that some part of her mind got consumed by madness. Sure, it hides in the back of her head lurking in the darkness, but it does not need much provocation to surface.

He hears steps behind him, and knows who it is without turning because she is meant to be there right now. It is time, every piece of the board is in position and it is time for him to move his queen.

John is sure she knows that he knows about the animal, the monster. They never speak of it though. Cameron smiles a lot nowadays, a gentle curve of her lips that reaches her eyes. He is sure it is her way of balancing her other side for him.

Nothing is said, they just scan the battle below them.

After a moment, Cameron reaches for his face with her hand. It is a gesture she uses to reassure him and to scan his vitals. This has always torn him apart, how no matter what, he will always be a mission to her. Her hand lingers though, and he knows she does have more than just intention behind her caress, so he reaches up and tangles his fingers with hers.

With a kiss on her hand, John lets Cameron go, and stares vacantly at the valley. He is worried because this is the most crucial battle they have fought to date. After the scan, she must have picked up on just how worried he is because she steps behind him, hands on his shoulders and her chest pressed against his back.

Her mouth reaches close to his ear, her voice is raspy and confident, speaks of promises only meant for him.

“I have defied God’s and Demons…”

He knows that, and the fact that it has always been for his sake.

“I am your shield; I am your sword…”

She always was, and will always be. That nihilistic loyalty of hers that he sometimes hates.

“I know you; your past, your future…”

No one understands him as she does. Possibly not even Sarah Connor did.

“This is not the way the world ends.”

This he does not believe entirely, but coming from her lips, he is compelled to have faith.

The next instant, when her voice is still dancing in the air, he sees her leap from the edge of the cliff with purpose and abandon. She lands more than thirty meters below, graceful like the ballerina she is, and then darts forward at blurring speed. To go alone into the midst of the enemy forces.

John Connor closes his eyes and asks forgiveness from his mother, for he pities the machines that are about to face their fates. Those same machines she fought so fervently against.

The monster is unleashed.

They have to either destroy Skynet, or force it to build the TDE. They have to get away from the humans one way or another, before things in the resistance start turning for the worst. Cameron may be a monster but she is his monster, he is responsible for making her that, and will love her all the same. For as long as he lives.

John turns around, walking away from the battle, certain of its outcome and that his mind will be better occupied in finding a way to get him and Cameron far from all the paranoia at the base. Justified as it may be.


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