Title: The Terminator
Author: The Raven
Rating: R, though I do not believe in rating things, however just to be on the safe side.
Disclaimer: The story is not mine, though what I did to it is. I have nothing, so don't sue. Anyway, no infringement was intended and no profit is being made so suing would get you nowhere fast.
Feedback: I'd love some, be it good, or bad, or ugly...
Distribution: Ask me, we'll talk it over and see what we can work out.
Copyright Notice: This entire text and its content, is the sole property of the author, hereby known as The Raven. It cannot be copied, reproduced or distributed without the prior written consent of the author.
Beta reading: Nope, it has not received any, needs work on everything, interested? Contact me, we'll talk...
Notes: The story is my interpretation of what the movie might have been like if Reese had been a woman. I own the novelizations of the movie, as well as the movie itself and can basically quote them word perfect. This story is an amalgamation of them both, with an original flair. Not necessarily true to canon, and I do know that there are scenes and key points missing. It's called artistic license...
The brutally harsh landscape stretched for as far as the eye could see. Ruined, bombed out buildings, broken metal wreckage, dirt, dust and ash and worst of all, endless piles of human bones. Deep layers broken and haphazard, sculls grinning maniacally into the night, long dead, but not forgotten from a collective unconsciousness. Through this desperate wasteland, living humans moved like ants, wearing gray clothing to blend better into the concrete and looking about with furtive glances. The humans carried weapons and moved like soldiers, but they were very young, no one was more than 20, but all moved like soldiers long used to battle. Overlooking this grim battle field, there was a building long ago gutted that served as a headquarters for the soldiers who were scurrying through the night. Here, surrounded by a bodyguard, and attendants, regular soldiers and senior officers stood a woman. She wore the uniform of any soldier, but her lapels bore the rank of General she possessed the aura of supreme commander. Closer inspection would reveal veiled brown eyes and brown hair streaked with ever increasing gray. The name tag sewn onto her uniform bore the name Connor. Turning to speak to one of the people surrounding her, one could see her face, perhaps the face of a 50 year old woman, perhaps the face of someone older still, strong and proud, and bearing a large scar traveling from her jaw to the underside of her left eye. The person she spoke to, scurried to do whatever it was the General asked as she turned back the the battle field. The soldiers were not meeting any resistance from the enemy as they advanced across the bones of their long dead ancestors. They had won, now the time of reckoning had come for Sarah Connor, Commander and Chief of the human army. Turning she walked out of the overlooking room, automatically checking that she had her sidearm with her and snatching up her laser assault rifle. Ten bodyguards followed her along with 4 high ranking advisors and a unit of army regulars. Men and women, all hardened by long years of war and hardship, all determined to finish the task that they had begun.
Sometime later Connor and her entourage stood inside the headquarters of the enemy that they had fought against for so very long. The machines, the computers that had sought to destroy them and eliminate them, that they had been fighting as an organised force for over 10 years and as a species for almost 30 years. General Connor moved through the claustrophobic confines of the machine headquarters, towards her goal. All other things could wait, first there was this thing that had to be done, it was the most important thing of all for the moment, their entire past and future depended on it. The group entered a section of the headquarters that was more open and not filled with inactive Terminators. It contained a dais and a control panel and the scent of ozone and charred flesh, Connor stood before the dais and steeled herself for what she knew was going to happen next.
"This is it." She announced in a low gruff voice, turning to the tech's that were already analyzing the control panel. 'Make it work, you have 30 minutes." She commanded, knowing that they would make her orders come true in less time. She had good people, she had trained them after all.
Ignoring the tech's, she turned to the unit of army regulars that were the backup for her bodyguard. "You all know the history of myself, and you all know what the story is. I need a volunteer for the history to happen." Her eyes traveled neutrally over the men and women who stood nervously at attention. After a heartbeat, a woman stepped forward, her wild shock of blonde hair sticking out from under her hat and her uniform completely concealing her body.
"PFC Reese, Ma'am." The woman announced evenly as she stood at attention.
"At ease Private." With those words, Connors body guard, advisors and the remaining parts of the army unit fell back to another part of the spacious room, realising intuitively that their leader would want time alone with the person who would be going back in time to save her.
General Connor looked at Private Reese for several moments before she spoke. "You know that you cannot come back and you will be facing impossible odds Private?" Connor asked the young woman, who looked at her with golden brown eyes that were too old for her young age.
"Yes Ma'am, I am aware of the mission parameters and I have been ready to volunteer for several years." The voice was even and almost detached, but had a trace of excitement and youth in it.
General Connor nodded. "Yes, I know Reese, believe me, I know. Now come closer so you can see the old face of the young woman you are going to save, and remember this Reese, you did succeed in saving me." Connor watched the young woman approach and watched Reese study her with open fascination.
After a moment Connor signaled to a tech. "Make her ready, and get that date right!" General Connor's voice was harsher than normal, but no one minded, she was after all, a living goddess, a legend walking in their midst.
Ten minutes later Reese stood on the dais, covered head to toe in conductive gel and naked as the day she was born. General Connor stood nearest to the dais and looked at the young woman with unguarded eyes as the woman was looking elsewhere for now.
"Ready." Came the voice of a tech.
General Connor watched Reese nod to signal her readiness and then Connor said. "Do it."
In an instant Reese was showered in a bright electrical light which caused her to collapse in what looked like agony and then a moment later she vanished. General Connor looked at the spot the young woman had just stood in and felt herself sag from the weight of her life and her responsibilities and the knowledge that she had carried for so long inside of her.
One of her most trusted bodyguard saw her commander collapse against the railing and rushed to her. "Are you ok?" The bodyguard asked the General.
General Sarah Connor turned eyes filled with anguish and sorrow long denied to the herself as she had prepared for this moment for the past eternity. "I will be, someday..."
The bodyguard was taken aback by the raw emotion in her commanders voice. "Private Reese was a good soldier Ma'am..." The bodyguard said, sensing that the woman who had just gone to face history was the cause of her commanders anguished look.
General Connor looked at her young bodyguard with old tired eyes for a long moment. "Private Reese was the love of my life..." The words were heavy with old sorrow and decades of longing.
The bodyguard looked at her commander and felt herself waver on her own feet. My god, the woman who had saved them all, had just sent the woman she had loved back into time to die to save her, so that she could save them all.
The General seemed to straighten a little. "Find the correct machine, the Terminator must now be sent back to another time!" She ordered.
Half an hour later the tech's came back carrying one of the Terminators on a stretcher. Sarah Connor looked at its features for a while. "Yes, this is the one. Remove its CPU and replace it with the reprogrammed one, make sure you replace all its relays and the backup sub-processor as well. We don't want me to have any nasty surprises now do we..."
A hour passed and the machine now stood on the dais, ready to go back in time, to save Sarah Connor again ten years after Reese had saved her the first time. Again the dais sparkled to life and then there was silence.
"Okay, rig it to explode, everything, the whole place must come down. Nothing can be left to possibly activate ever again. Make it so!" Sarah Connor's voice was sure as she spoke. Trusting her people to obey her commands, she walked out of the complex into the open air and looked around at the night sky that was begin to dawn.
For the first time in decades, she would greet the dawn without needing to run and hide. "Lynn, it was worth it, but the cost was too much my darling." She whispered to herself as she walked across the powdered and intact sculls of generations gone by and disappeared into the city to join in the reveling and to show herself to her army and her people. There would be time to grieve later, but now she needed to be what her people needed her to be, the savior of them all. They would never realise that the woman who had really saved them all, including their revered General, had just gone back into time to fulfill the destiny she had been destined to fulfill even before she was born. The woman who was a nobody in this time, would become someone essential to this times history and very existence. General Connor shut off her internal monologue, though not before reminding it that Reese was essential to herself.
It was a normal dark Los Angeles night when the world was changed forever. Here, in a brief moment of time the future met the past and fate set gears in motion that seemed to have been waiting for this moment for a long time. While the city slept unaware, an electrical storm seemed to be brewing in the back alley of a boarded up building. Here the localized disturbance did not attract any notice as it swirled lose papers and other trash into the air. A ball of fiery electricity appeared and brightened, then dimmed, and then vanished, leaving behind a human form. Silently the figure rose, revealing the hugely muscled body of a man, capped by dark hair, with sharply angled features and dead cold eyes. The man was completely nude, but seemed to be unaware of it as he examined his surroundings. Moving silently, the large man slipped away into the night leaving no one to note his arrival or his departure.
Elsewhere in the city, where less people slept and the night was brighter and busier, another electrical storm was brewing and another fiery ball appeared soon after, depositing its cargo, before vanishing once more. Another human figure lay on the ground, not moving, not seeming to breathe even for a few moments. Movement soon appeared and with instant alertness the human form sat up, then stood up. This time the figure of a woman was revealed, again nude as the day she had been born. The woman looked around, standing on strong legs and possessing a finely contoured athletic body. The dimness of the night revealed very little about the woman, aside from a mane of wild, light coloured hair, and eyes that seemed to look at everything and nothing at the same time. The woman moved with the same fluidity and grace as the man had, but perhaps owing to her lesser bulk, the movement seemed smoother and more cat like as she vanished into the darkness of the city streets. One person witnessed her arrival and her departure, but that person reacted by looking at his half finished bottle of cheap vodka and wondering if he was finally seeing things. The old bum shook his head and finished his drink before falling asleep and dreaming of better times and other places.
The man who had appeared first with the ball of light had by now come upon a group of teenage boys who were standing at a grubby street corner laughing and talking amongst themselves and surreptitiously drinking from a brown paper bag that was being passed back and forth between them. The did not notice the approach of the nude man until he was virtually standing in their midst. There was silence for a few heartbeats, during which time the nude man seemed to be carefully appraising the group, but still his face remained dead and impassive, for all his good looks and well made body, he had no discernible personality at all. The first of the boys to speak was the obvious leader of the group, the eldest and the largest and the one with the daily need to shave.
"Cold night?" The boys voice was slightly slurred from alcohol, but it was confident as only the voice of inexperienced youth could be.
The man turned his head towards the boy who had spoken and spoke, his voice void of emotion and slightly accented. "Give me your clothes." It was not a request, it was an order.
For a moment, the boy thought to obey, especially when he saw death in the nude mans eyes, but then his snickering companions roused his teenage bravado and he felt for his stiletto in his pocket. The nude man tracked his movements and like a snake striking grabbed the boys arm in a hard unmerciful grip. The large man squeezed and there was the sickening sound of bones snapping and the boy screamed. "Get him!!"
Instantly other knives came out and the closest boy stabbed at the large mans side. The boy had the chance to be shocked as he watched his knife blade snap off, before the large man backhanded him hard enough to send him flying. The casual blow and the broken knife caused the others to pause and then back away before turning and running into the night, eager now to go to the places that they called home that were hopefully safe from this walking nightmare. The nude man dropped the boy who he had been holding by the broken arm, by now the youth had passed out from pain, making the chore of undressing him easy.
The man pulled on the oversized clothes, ignoring the smells of sweat and beer that seemed to permeate them. As an after thought, the man looked down at his fallen victim and slammed his now booted foot into the boys ribcage, instantly stopping the youthful heart. The man did not do it out of hatred, he did it to avoid possible complications and witnesses. The man moved without malice and without emotion as he stalked through the night intent on getting somewhere, anywhere, to his destination and completely ignoring any passers by.
The woman who was in another part of this big city had managed to travel several blocks before being spotted by someone who was not impaired by alcohol and did not consider her an illusion. The man looked at the naked woman standing before him in the deserted alley and licked his lips. The woman for her part regarded the man in an almost dismissive way before starting to walk again towards her own goal. The man predictably grabbed at the woman as she attempted to walk by him and was rewarded instantly with a knee to his groin and a sharp uppercut to his solar plexus. Unable to move and in total agony he curled around himself trying to resist the woman as she relentlessly pulled at his shoes and then at his pants. Moving quickly she pulled the pants on and belted them tightly before yanking off the mans shirt and pulling it over her head, the man's shoes were too large, but it was of no consequence to the woman.
Now she stood over her intended rapist and regarded the alley carefully for a brief second. It was then that she saw the flash of light and heard the siren, a few moments before the police car appeared. Instincts honed from a lifetime of fighting and running like a hunter animal kicked into play and the woman ran down the alley in the opposite direction, moving on light feet, oblivious to the broken glass and filth under them. Before she reached the other end another police car had pulled in and a burly cop stepped out. He was raising his gun and starting to shout when the woman leapt up and over the car tackling him with her momentum and rolling away as the cop hit his head on the ground and became dazed. Pausing to scoop up the mans service weapon and night stick that had clattered away when he fell, the woman quickly ran across the street into the opposite alleyway.
She now heard several sirens and knew that she would have to find cover and quickly or it would all be over before it had even begun. Running fast she swerved at a door way ramming her full body weight and momentum into it, causing it to crash inwards with her on top of it. Rolling to her feet she ran into the shadows of the building she had just entered and up a still escalator that marked it as a store of some sort. The thunder of booted feet followed her in as half a dozen cops flooded the shop searching for her.
Long used to hiding the woman evaded the police for the hour or so that they searched and then finally came out as they had left the building. Moving on light feet the woman searched the store, looking for things she needed but knowing that she only had minutes before a hired security company would arrive to repair the door, she had overheard that bit of useful information as the police had come within breathing distance of her a few times.
Grabbing a pair of shoes and a long overcoat and a handful of candy bars the woman made her way out of the building just as the private security firm arrived. Moving silently she made her way to the street and for the first time straightened out her body to look around. Spotting the parked car of the security people who had just arrived, she quickly moved over to it. The doors had been left unlocked, a stroke of luck for the woman, the first one so far.
Quickly to avoid being seen or caught she opened the car and popped the trunk. In the back was a riot gun and several boxes of shells. In less than a minute the woman pocketed them and hid the gun under her coat before closing the trunk and moving away. She needed to find a place to think and organise away from the current trouble that had been caused by her arrival, and subsequent interaction with the denizens of the night.
Oblivious to the new arrivals to her city or to the trouble they had caused, or might bring to her, another woman was walking up the short path to her apartment building in a part of the city that was almost quiet by comparison. This woman walked with the bounce of youth and confidence it grace her and her body showed that she was not accustomed to any form of heavy labor. Hurrying to escape the night and the unease it caused, the woman quickly found he door and entered a warm and inviting environment, the outside world forgotten in a heartbeat. Smiling her greeting to the other occupant of the small home, the woman moved towards the kitchen and asked her roommate how her day had been. The following conversation was lighthearted and touched only briefly on soon forgotten aspects of an unremarkable day for both the women. It was to be the last unremarkable day and night of their lives.
In the dark city, the man with the dead eyes had already managed to secure lodging and now was out looking for weapons. Finding a gun dealer willing to do business at night did not prove to be much of a challenge. As the dealer pulled out handguns and ammunition shotguns and assault rifles, the man looked at each one, selecting 10 of the weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
The dealer could not believe his luck as he prepared the sales slip and started filling out the necessary paperwork. He might have done business at night, but he was an honest man. His faith in humanity would prove to be his undoing, as the last thing he saw before he died was the man with the dead eyes looking at him impassively before firing a shell from a 12 gauge sawn off shotgun at point blank range at him.
Ignoring the now dead gun dealer, the man carefully packed his selection and moved out of the store, going back to his lodging, really nothing except for a roach motel. He had paid a week in advance with stolen money and warmed the proprietors not to come into his room for any reason. The mans cold eyes and physical bearing ensured that his wishes would be obeyed.
Now entering his room, the man carefully checked, cleaned, oiled and loaded each weapon and prepared the ammunition, before concealing half of it in his room and moving out of the window into the night once again, this time a bristle with weapons. He vanished into the haze of the city and most people were careful to step out of his way, though some who were not quick enough found themselves brutally shoved aside with almost inhuman strength. The night wore on and the man walked onwards towards some invisible goal only he seemed to be able to see.
Not very far away, the woman had found a quiet spot to inventory herself and take stock one last time before moving out on her mission. The handgun was secured, it had a full clip in it and a round in the chamber making eleven bullets in all. Working industriously the woman removed the majority of the stock and the barrel of the riot gun, made sure its 7 shell magazine was full, and then filled her pockets with the remaining shells, careful to distribute them evenly. Discarding the night stick she had grabbed from the police officer in favor of a rough looking knife that she tucked into the waistband of her stolen pants, she felt ready.
Eating her candy bars, removing glass from her feet and finding some water to drink completed her task and now she moved back onto the streets, blending with the night as surely as any other denizen of this city. The riot gun hung ready off an old shoelace she had found and her hip pocket had some cash in it that the man who no longer had his pants had left in his wallet. The wallet and its other content was discarded quickly and now the woman moved with equally determined steps as the dead eyed man had through the night and towards her destiny.
Dawn finally arrived to the city and people begun their days, oblivious to the events of the night and not knowing the events of the day. In this morning bustle the woman from the apartment building was making her way to work. A small Vespa motorcycle carried her lightly through the traffic eventually reaching the plastic looking exterior of a fast food restaurant, one of thousands in the country, but this one was where she worked. After chaining her bike to a post the woman wandered inside to face her day, nodding some greetings to acquaintances and friends and avoiding her manager's leery glance as she moved to the locker room to change into her uniform.
The uniform would disguise who she really was for a few more hours and then it would disappear forever. No one knew that yet, not the woman, not her customers and not her manager, but two others knew and those two people were fast approaching their individual yet united goals. As the sun crept higher into the smoggy sky it revealed more of the city beneath it, a city that seemed to be holding its breath while it waited for something or was it that it waiting for someone?
During this morning, the dead eyed man was closed in on one his goals. He was slowly driving a stolen car through a suburban neighborhood, looking for an address that was on the torn out page of a telephone book next to him on the seat. Oblivious to everything except his goals, the man pulled up at a typical looking suburban house and exited the car. The stolen jacket he wore mostly concealed the weapons that he carried but not entirely. However there were no trained eyes to see the weapons and in suburbia things like what were about to happen, did not happen, so no one felt the need to have those trained eyes anyway.
A timid mousy looking woman answered the door of the house the man had come to. Looking up at the scruffily dressed slightly smelly man, the woman felt trepidation but no sense of real danger. The harsh low voice of the man said a single sentence, a question, a name and a statement in one. "Sarah Conner?"
The woman nodded, it was to be the last thing she did before she died. Moments later she lay dead on the floor, her bullet riddled body unmoving with a puddle of blood quickly soaking into the carpet. The man turned away without a trace of emotion, hands automatically slipping the clip out of the gun and replacing it with a full one. Ignoring everything on his way back to his car he quickly stepped in and drove away, leaving a now shattered neighborhood and starting the ball rolling on the events that would eventually change the world.
By the evening, two more woman who shared the name of Sarah Connor had been killed by the man taking the total to three and the police departments of the city had been mobilized in a panic. It had been quickly noticed that the deaths occurred in the order that the names appeared in the telephone book and now there was a full scale search to find the fourth and last Sarah Connor in the phone book, and keep her safe.
By the evening, the woman who lived in the apartment building had become aware of the deaths of her name sakes, but was still not aware of the danger she was under or that the police were looking for her. She had plans for the evening and was already mentally far into her preparations for the event, almost oblivious to the world about her as she drove her Vespa back to her home. Once inside she was accosted by her roommate and the two women started to prepare for their respective evenings together.
The two had known each other since High School and their united effort was almost eerie in its synch and coordination. After some amount of time the two stood in front of the bathroom mirror dressed and made up and ready to go. "Better than any mortal deserves." Was the laughing comment that Sarah Conner's roommate said. It was not very long later that Sarah found herself alone in the city, looking for something to do. She had been stood up, but knowing that her roommate was having her boyfriend over for the night, she had not wanted to stay in. Rather she had opted to go and find some bar somewhere and drown her sorrows in a margarita or three.
PFC LYNN REESE
It was while she was walking down a busy street that she got the feeling that she was being watched, even followed. Nervous not only because of the feeling, but because she was compelled to look around and felt foolish in doing so, Sarah stopped and tried to catch her breath. It was then that she noticed a very scruffy looking person who seemed to be watching her with feral intensity. Sarah shook her head and walked onward, thinking that for sure she was losing her mind and imagining things.
A block later she looked around again, and noticed the same grimy person walking some distance behind her. Sarah could not tell if the person was male or female as the person was too far away and mostly hidden by a nondescript overcoat. All Sarah could make out was a wild shock of short light coloured hair and an predatory look on the persons face. Moving more quickly now, Sarah ducked into the nearest open bar and quickly asked the bouncer if they had a phone.
Though not one to overreact, Sarah trusted her gut when it came down to brass tacks, and her gut was telling her that she was in danger. She was waved into the bar and forced to pay the five dollars it took to get in. Fumbling now for a dime she advanced on the pay phone and desperately dialed the police, all the while becoming more and more nervous. Typifying the nature of the city's emergency services she was put on hold and it was during that time that her attention was drawn to the small TV over the bar. Looking more closely she saw her name flash over the screen and then focused on what was being said. She knew that other Sarah Connor's had been murdered, but she had not known until she heard the chilling words that the announcer was saying, that she herself was in danger.
Desperately willing someone to pick up at the other end she looked frantically around the bar, noting with horror that the unkept stranger who seemed to have been following her was coming into the bar. Sarah felt like a cornered animal and did not know what to do so it was with almost perverse relief that she heard someone pick up. Managing to explain her situation to the police officer on the other end, she was told to stay put and keep in public and that a car would be there to pick her up as soon as possible.
After she hung up, Sarah realised that her roommate did not know what was going on and that she had to warn her, just in case the killer would go to her house and this stranger in the bar was either a crazy or an accomplice. Ten minutes later Sarah was sitting uncomfortably at a table in the bar, nursing a long forgotten drink and thinking about her friend and roommate. The woman had not answered, presumably busy with her boyfriend and Sarah was very worried indeed. Every time she glanced at the wild looking stranger she felt panic spill more adrenalin into her blood stream and the feeling it gave her was making her nauseous and light headed.
Sarah had no way of knowing that the large man with the dead eyes had found her apartment and had killed her roommate and her roommates boyfriend coldly and efficiently. The man had also heard her frantic message into the answering machine, telling her roommate to come and be with her and go to the police with her so they both could be safe. The large man reacted instantly to the message and stopped his rummaging in Sara's drawers, moving out into the night and at full speed towards the bar where Sara's fate was already waiting for her.
In what was only minutes the dead eyes man barged into the bar, ignoring the employees who tried to stop him, merely swatting them aside casually as he pulled his 9 mm handgun out, its laser sight slicing a red line across the crowd of people. The denizens of this bar were more street smart than the suburban Sarah Connor who had fallen to this man just hours ago. They moved quickly out of his way, diving to the floor and behind the half walls and bar, as if they would somehow escape what was about to happen in this place.
Sarah turned at the sound of the commotion and now stood pinned and frozen in place as she watched the huge man walk towards the back of the bar. Instinct kicked in and she ducked her head down while trying to look as casual as possible so as not to draw attention to herself, somehow. She did not notice the scruffy stranger start to move and track the large man, nor did she see the riot gun being raised to the ready. The dead eyes man did not notice either, so focused he was on the fact that his quarry was in this bar. He would find her, and she would die. Sarah felt it, felt the moment when the large man spotted her and somehow she knew that there was no point in trying to run or hide. She watched as the red light from the laser sight tracked across the table and up her body and braced herself for death.
There was a huge explosion and Sarah flinched, but the pain never came, the death never happened. Looking up she saw the large mans body flail for a moment before it stabilized and turned as quickly as a cat. The man fired his gun at the scruffy stranger who threw herself over the bar, firing with the riot gun as she moved. Each time he was hit the man jerked, but did not pause his firing and did not fall from the injuries he received.
Sarah by this time had joined the push to get out of the back door of the bar, where frantic people were trampling each other to get away from the gunfire that raged all around them. The large man threw down his handgun, pulling up an Uzi from under his jacket and firing it through the bar towards the scruffy strangers location. The woman moved expertly to avoid the hail of hot lead, bringing up her stolen handgun and emptying the clip into the large man, who staggered under the onslaught.
Flinging the weapon aside the woman ran toward the back of the bar, locating Sarah Connor easily. Expertly the woman filled the magazine of the riot gun as she ran, there was no time to stop. Grabbing Sarah Connor's arm and pulling her away from the crowd savagely, the woman spoke loudly and clearly, projecting urgency into her voice.
"Come with me if you want to live."
Sarah recoiled from the iron grip and stared at the scruffy stranger, realising three things at once, the stranger was a woman, the woman had just saved her from the large man, and the woman had ancient eyes in spite of her youthful face. The combination of the three made the decision easy, Sarah nodded and felt herself yanked though the bar at breakneck speed towards the front door.
The large man had taken the 30 seconds to recover and slap another clip into his Uzi. He fired at the two women indiscriminately, hitting several bystanders as he ran after them. The scruffy woman dragged Sarah outside practically carrying her into an alley and throwing her into a beat up old car that she had waiting. The huge man was only a heartbeat behind them, spraying the air with the Uzi. The woman fired several shells at the man and then dove into the car, starting it up and turning the hot wired ignition. The large engine roared to life, having been carefully examined and serviced during the long night, when the woman was waiting for the opportunity to locate Sarah and identify her nemesis at the same time.
"Get down!" She shouted above the roar of the engine and the concussive bursts of gunfire that were being joined by the sound of sirens in the night. Sarah obeyed the whip of command in the woman's voice and hid herself as the woman started the car on a frantic backwards race away from the huge man who was now running after them. The car sped down the alley at breakneck speed, then at the end the woman spun the car around and stood on the accelerator making the tires smoke as bullets hit the windows shattering them even as they sped away.
Then there was silence, or what felt like silence as the car picked up speed. "Are you hit?" Came the barked question.
Sarah looked at her rescuer gasping for breath. "What is happening, who are you?" She answered with a question.
The ancient eyes turned to her for an instant before turning back to the road but the woman merely repeated her question. "Are you hurt?"
Sarah could feel her temper rising as she watched the filthy stranger drive the obviously stolen car down the street. Not receiving an answer quickly enough, the woman took a hand off the wheel and proceeded to run it along Sarah's body causing immediate outrage. "Who are you, what is going on tell me now!?" Sarah practically screamed as she tore the searching hand off her body.
"I am PFC Reese. I have been assigned to protect you. You have been targeted for termination." The voice spoke with military precision.
Sarah noted that the woman appeared to have a local accent, something which she was not sure if she was pleased about or not. "Termination?" Sarah could feel panic rising in her throat, threatening to overwhelm her.
"The man who tried to kill you, is a Terminator. I had no way of knowing what he looked like, until he made his move on you. He is a machine, a robot, with human tissue grown over his mechanical skeleton. Indistinguishable from humans, it sweats, bleeds and even has bad breath, it does not feel pain and it cannot be killed. It has been programmed to kill you, it cannot be reasoned with, negotiated with, or bargained with, and it absolutely will not stop until you are dead."
The words washed over Sarah and triggered her panic. Reaching for the door handle she decided that 50 miles and hour was a better choice than this lunatic. A strong hand reached over and held her in place. "Without me, you will be dead by the dawn. Listen to me, I am not going to hurt you, I was sent to protect you." The voice was trying to sound soothing, but it did not work and Sarah bit the hand that was holding.
To her surprise the hand did not let go, rather it shoved Sarah against the seat and the voice spoke again, this time there was a chill in the tone that warned Sarah to be more careful. "The Terminator does not feel pain, but I do, do not do that again." Reese took her hand back and put it on the wheel, where Sarah could plainly see her angry teeth marks standing out against the pale but dirty skin.
"Ok, this Terminator, who sent it and why?" Sarah had decided that it was better to reason with this lunatic rather than risk herself trying to escape without a good plan.
"Skynet, they programed it and sent it back through time, to kill you. I was sent to protect you." Reese believed what she was saying, that Sarah could tell that for sure.
"The future? Who sent you?" Sarah knew that her voice betrayed her disbelief but she was almost past caring anymore.
"You did, 35 years from now." Reese said those last words quietly as she pulled into a parking garage and brought the car to a stop in a parking place. "We have to get rid of this car." Reese said as she reloaded her riot gun and pulled Sarah out of the car.
Moving quickly and quietly, Reese selected a non rescript old fashioned car and quickly gained access. Once inside she set about hot wiring it and kept answering Sarah's questions in a low tone of voice.
"Wait a minute, 35 years from now? Are you insane?" Sarah tried to keep her voice low, but she could hear the note of hysteria in it and could still feel the panic boiling just beneath the surface of her skin, ready to burst out at any second.
Reese finished wiring the car and was about to answer when a patrol car entered the parking garage. Reese pulled Sarah down below the dashboard of the car and they held their breath while the car slowly crept though the garage. The patrol car stopped near the shot up car that Reese had abandoned and in the almost eerie silence of the garage, Sarah and Reese could hear the cop radio the find in. The police car patrolled for a little while longer, before exiting the garage and moving down the street. Reese and Sarah had no way of knowing, but the report had been intercepted by the Terminator, who had procured a police car and was now making its way double time to the garage.
Sarah looked over the dashboard as the police car pulled and and turned back to Reese. "Are you insane, your telling me that I sent you back in time from the future, to protect me from a machine, called a Terminator, that is hell bent on killing me?" Sarah felt the words tumble off her tongue and somewhere deep inside of herself she knew they were the truth, but her conscious mind had not yet accepted them as such. Reese looked at her with ancient eyes that seemed to peer deep into her soul.
"Yes, I don't think you believe me, but at least believe that machine, who looks like a man, is going to find you and is going to kill you, and I am here to protect you." No sooner had Reese finished talking when the Terminator drove his stolen police car into the garage.
Reese knew better than to wait around, the machine would be able to track them, and find them quickly. She started the ignition and stepped on the gas, driving the freshly stolen car out of the garage at what seemed to be a suicidal speed. Sarah held on for dear life as the car careened down the road with the Terminator in hot pursuit. The chase soon attracted other, legitimate police cars and soon the whole, noisy, violent mass was hurling down the streets of LA.
Reese drove with a concentrated ease, obviously very familiar with this sort of driving and she was able to fire the occasional round though the now shattered back window without having to look behind her. The Terminator had other plans and it was gaining, trying to force the car that was protecting his quarry off the road.
Reese shouted to Sarah. "Drive!" With that she leaned out the window and emptied the magasine of the riot gun at the Terminators car, the heavy lead devastating the car, but not slowing it, or the machine that drove it down. Reese came back into the car just as Sarah was screaming as she lost control and the speeding vehicle slammed into a concrete embankment. A moment later the car containing the Terminator slammed into the same embankment, but burst into flames. Not pausing Reese grabbed the riot gun, intent on protecting Sarah, and now knowing what police were. They did not exist in her world.
Sarah stopped her. "No, stop, they will kill you!" The words stopped Reese, who realised instantly that Sarah would die if she was left alone to face the machine. The disembodied voice of a police officer of a address system boomed in the air.
"Come out with your hands up!"
Reese and Sarah carefully excited the car, both of them with their hands high and visible. Sarah did not notice as she was cuffed and searched, all she noticed was that the wrecked police car that had contained the man that was chasing them, was empty, and that there was no sign of the man that Reese called the Terminator. That knowledge sent a shiver of fear down her spine as they were lead away to the waiting patrol cars.
It was moments or hours later, that Sarah was in protective custody, while Reese was being interrogated by several less than gentle Police officers who were convinced that she had something to do with the deaths of the other Sarah's and of at least 10 other civilian deaths not to mention two dozen injuries spread across town.
Reese was not stupid, she only told them her name rank and serial number in answer to any question they posed to her. She knew they would never believe, never understand and would probably all end up being killed when the Terminator arrived. It was only a matter of hours at most before the machine figured out where Sarah was.
The cuffs holding Reese to the chair were too tight, cutting off the circulation in her hands and making her back cramp. They also made it hard to breathe, but Reese barely noticed, she had been through worse, far worse and had a lifetime of training in adversity and evading death. These Police officers would never know that they could not break her, no matter what they did, as they would probably never live long enough to find out.
Sarah was watching the interrogation from another room, seeing Reese answer all questions with her name and serial number, and feeling a pang of sympathy for the woman who had saved her several times from the huge man who seemed so intent upon her death. The Police officers had treated her very sympathetically once her identity had been established and were now trying to establish a link between the two people, the terminator and Reese. There was no record of Reese, no fingerprints on file, no one knew anything about her as a person.
Later, while Sarah was trying to get some rest in an office and Reese was being held in another room, the Terminator arrived.
At first the machine was almost polite in its attempt to gain access to the police station, but then it simply drove a car through the building, smashing its way in. The sound of breaking glass put Reese on alert, looking for any opportunity to free herself, and it also woke Sarah from a fitful sleep. A moment later, the sound of shouting, screaming and gunfire filled the police station. Reese used the initial distraction caused by the Terminator to overpower her guard and free herself from the handcuffs. There was no time to lose, any second Sarah would die.
The thought propelled Reese into furious motion. Grabbing the unconscious officers gun she tore out of the holding room on light feet, searching, listening and using a lifetime of experience to avoid the Terminator that was systematically searching and destroying humans through the entire police station. Reese ran crouching low, using logic and battle reflexes to find the room where Sarah was, avoiding the desperately fighting police officers while she ran. Sarah hid herself under the desk in the room she had been resting in, and willed herself to be quiet, almost fainting from fear when she heard the window of the door being smashed and the lock being fumbled.
"Sarah!?" Came the yelled question from Reese.
"Here, oh God, Reese..." Sarah trained off as she was enfolded into Reese's surprised embrace and guided out of the station, bullets and glass flying everywhere.
Outside Reese selected the most dour looking car and quickly broke in and hot wired it, the doors barely shut when she stood on the gas pedal and flew out of the parking lot. The Terminator heard the sound of the engine, and focused its attention outside, rushing to intercept the car it knew contained its target. The Terminator would fail again, but the machine knew no impatience, eventually it would succeed, that was all that mattered. Now it needed to go back to its base and repair itself from this damage, or it would be exposed as not being human. The machine also had Sarah's address book and would be using it to its advantage over the nest few hours. Ignoring the remaining police officers, now that the target was no longer in the building, the Terminator moved out and mounted up on its stolen motorbike and rode towards its base of operations.
Some hours later, the stolen can ran out of gas and Reese and Sarah were forced to abandon it on the roadside. Sarah shivered in the night while Reese dig through the car for anything useful before she would push it off the road. After handing Sarah a first aid kit and a flashlight, Reese pushed the car off the road.
"We have to keep a low profile, the police and the Terminator will be trying everything to locate us." With those words, Reese guided Sarah off the road and they walked through the twilight for a while, before finding a small underpass to shelter in, designed to permit wild life to cross the road safely. By now, it has been at least 36 hours since Sarah had last slept for more than a few moments, and with the immediate threat gone, she felt the tiredness in her body which in turn made the chill of the night seem positively arctic. Reese scouted the area around the underpass, and came back quickly with the report that there was nothing aside from the road within visible distance. In the dim light, Sarah took the time to examine her rescuer more closely, stress and bullets flying had made it impossible for her to do more than glance at the woman.
"Do you have a first name?" Sarah asked after watching the woman for a few moments in silence. Eyes that were clear and bright, even in the twilight, looked directly at Sarah and Reese seemed to think for a few moments before answering.
"It's Lynn." The voice was softly modulated as Reese spoke. Sarah nodded, turning the name over in her mind, before she shivered violently in the chilly air. "Are you cold?" Lynn asked, looking concerned.
"Yes." Sarah mumbled, feeling like she was on the verge of tears.
"Come here." Lynn said, and sat on the ground, opening her begrimed overcoat. Sarah did not hesitate, sliding into the welcome warmth of the other woman, ignoring the strong smells of sweat and gunpowder and stale clothing. Sarah rested her head gratefully against Lynn's strong shoulder and found herself relaxing as the chill left her body. After a few moments, she became aware of wetness on Lynn's t-thirt. Curious, she reached for the flashlight and pulled away to examine Lynn's shoulder. What she saw sent a thrill of dread through her, Lynn was injured.
"Oh my God, you're hurt!" Sarah exclaimed, shocked at the injury, and at the fact that Lynn had not given the slightest indication of it during the hours that they had been driving away from the destroyed police station. Lynn looked at her shoulder, and shrugged slightly.
"Yeah, I caught one back there, it is not bad, the bullet went right thought, not even very bloody. No major veins or arteries were hit and the bone is ok." Lynn's voice had a dismissive tone, for a moment forgetting that Sarah was not from her time, and that for her, any injury was serious. In Lynn's world, this kind of injury, could wait, or even be ignored, if it was necessary.
"Not bad? What do you mean not bad?! You've been shot, we have to get you to a Hospital!" Sarah started to rise, but felt Lynn's strong hand stop her.
"No, we don't, the police and the Terminator are looking, I don't even exist in this time line, and the wound is not serious anyway..." Lynn trained off when she felt Sarah relax minutely.
Sarah however, was not one to do nothing, when she felt like she would do something. Rising she turned to Reese. "Take your coat off, and roll up your shirt." There was a commanding tone in Sarah's voice that Lynn smiled at, before she complied. While Sarah worked on the wound, cleaning and bandaging it, she asked Lynn to tell her about her future self.
"You're strong, you taught us everything we know about war, about the machines, about how to kill the Terminators. We won the war because of you, and that is why they sent the Terminator back to kill you. Without you, the human resistance would never have existed, we would not have organised, we would have been exterminated." Lynn's voice was earnest as she spoke, her eyes shone with devotion and fervent passion.
Finishing the dressing, Sarah stood and caught her breath. "Me? All of those things, I feel like fainting at the sight of blood, and I don't even know how to hold a gun properly. Some world leader I am..."
Lynn shrugged back into her coat, and motioned Sarah closer to the warmth. "You're doing fine, for someone who has never experienced anything like this before. Not a bad dressing for a first time either." Lynn could feel the sting of the antiseptic and the antibiotic cream, and she knew that the would would heal fine, if she lived long enough that was.
Sarah, now resting against the other shoulder, and falling asleep, asked Lynn to tell her a little about the world that sounded so unlike her own. As Sarah fell asleep, Lynn filled her head with tales of the machines, and the war, of the resistance, about her, and how from nothing, humanity had been saved. The tales did not go on for long, but they made their way into Sarah's dreams, where the ruined cities, and monstrous machines dominated the landscape, and little humans ran around being squashed like insects. Then she heard the barking of dogs, frantic, wild barking. The sound in her dreamscape finally snapped her awake to her present reality. Lynn, who had been resting her eyes, was instantly alert, and asked Sarah is she was ok.
"Yes, I am... It is a pretty terrible sounding world you come from Lynn, and I was having nightmares about dogs." Sarah's voice was thick with sleep, and she would have probably killed for a cup of coffee.
"Dogs are the only ones that can tell the difference between the humans and the machines, at least until it is too late that is. We keep them as alarm systems, and train them to protect us from marauders as well. They are very important to our whole mission, and were elemental to our success." Lynn helped Sarah to her feet, and they made their way onto the road. It was another day and they needed to get as far as possible from the city, towards some kind of safety, if it was at all possible.
The Terminator had in the meantime been preparing all night to find and kill Sarah Connor. It has repaired the holes and tears in its outer skin, as it still could not risk being exposed for what it really was, collected the last of its weapons and was now making its way to the most probable person that its target was most likely to contact. If that did not work then the Terminator had other options that it had gleaned from Sarah's address book. Putting a large pair of sunglasses on, the Terminator hid its damaged eyes and stepped out of the hotel room for the last time. It would have to find another base of operations if this didn't work, as the owners of this hotel would soon figure out that the smell in this room, was rotting flesh and gunpowder. It was only a matter of time, soon the machine would have its prey, nothing would stop it, its programming simply did not permit failure.
Lynn and Sarah in the meantime had managed to hitch a lift father away from Los Angeles and now found themselves at a dive of a motel by the roadside. "We need to get supplies and organise, this place will work." Lynn said to Sarah.
"Do you have any money?" Sarah asked, looking at her filthy scruffy companion. Lynn stuffed her hand into the pocket of her pants and pulled out a wad of cash.
"Get a room with a kitchen and a back door." Lynn instructed. Sarah went and did as Lynn asked and soon the two women found themselves in the dimly lit slightly musty motel room. Lynn checked both doors and the windows with infinite care and then turned to Sarah. "I am going to get supplies, don't let anyone in." Lynn turned away but a moment later turned back, laying the gun she had stolen from her guard at the police station on the bed. "I'll be back soon." With those words, Lynn vanished out of the door into the noonday sun.
Sarah sat on the bed for a while, before deciding that she would probably kill for a shower and rose at the thought. She wanted to be done before Lynn came back, and at the same time wondered why she wanted that. Shaking off the thoughts she quickly disrobed and went into the bathroom, all the while thinking about her rescuer and her feelings about the woman. Sarah was determined that she would get Lynn to take a shower as well, the woman showed no sign of caring about her state of dress or her body odor, but Sarah did care as it was starting to make it hard for Sarah to be near the woman.
As Sarah sat once more on the bed after her shower, she contemplated why she wanted to be near Lynn, but started to become very frustrated at the way her thoughts were running in circles, and at the memory of what colour Lynn's eyes actually were. Sarah had seen them for the first time in daylight this morning and had noticed several things at once. Lynn had a fine scar slicing across her brows and going down her cheek, the remnant of some unthinkable injury for Sarah, and that the woman had almost golden brown eyes, a colour Sarah had never seen before. The other things she had noticed about Lynn gave her great pause right now when she rehashed them.
Sarah shook herself out of her thoughts and reached for the motel phone, she had to let her mother know that she was ok, no one else needed to know, but her mother was probably half dead with worry by now. A mild mannered sounding woman answered the phone on the 3rd ring and immediately when the woman recognised Sarah's voice, she started to badger her daughter about how she was, where she was and what she was doing. Sarah tried to be as vague as possible, partially so as to not worry her mother and partially because she did not want to sound insane. Her mothers voice sounded unusually tinny, but Sarah knew that the motels phone lines were probably 30 years old, so it was no so surprising. Eventually Sarah's mother managed to wheedle out of her at least the phone number to the motel, which Sarah felt duty bound to give her and after getting her mother to promise several times not to give the number out, Sarah said her goodbyes and the women hung up. Feeling immeasurably better for having talked to her mother, Sarah jumped off the bed and quickly combed her hair and pulled her clothes back on. Maybe later she would have time to wash at least her underwear, but for now she just wanted to be dressed when Lynn came back, a ghost of the feeling that she had felt when she had been observing Lynn caused Sarah to shiver slightly as she sat down to watch the news and wait for Lynn.
The Terminator looked at the phone for a moment, feeling no emotion, as a machine, it would never feel emotion. Picking the phone up once again, the Terminator dialed the number that Sarah had given it when it had posed as her mother. The machines had the ability to modulate any voice they heard a sampling of, making it easier to trick and hunt down people as a consequence. A gruff sounding man answered the phone, and spat out the motels address when the Terminator asked for it. Rising the machine looked around the devastated house, the older woman lay dead on the floor and the whole place had been tossed over and laid to waste. Going the maximum allowed speed, and by going faster when it could, the machine estimated that it would take 8 hours to get to the motel.
It was time to move, before the quarry escaped again.
FINDING LOVE AMIDST DESTRUCTION
Sarah was starting to grow slightly worried about Lynn, when the woman seemed to appear as if by magic. Sarah rose to greet the woman becoming aware once more of the smell of sweat and staleness and dirt that permitted Lynn's clothing. However, Sarah felt drawn to the woman and moved close to her, wanting to examine her more closely and know her better. Golden brown eyes turned to her, seeming to examine her carefully and the room at the same time in a moment.
"I will shower now, otherwise I will attract too much unwanted attention from strangers." With those words, the woman emptied her pockets of a wad of cash, some coins, a zip lock bag of bullets and a candy bar. Tossing the pants aside and pulling off her shirt, oblivious to her nakedness, she quickly moved to the bathroom and disappeared into it.
The sound of hot water followed and in about 15 minutes she reemerged, scrubbed and clean, but her hair still a wild mess. Reaching into the shopping bag, she pulled out a new pair of jeans and a new white tank top, she quickly dressed, then shook out her shoes and laced them onto her bare feet. She had grownup in a time of great scarcity, underwear and socks were luxuries, food, shelter and weapons were more important.
Sarah was overwhelmed by seeing glimpses of the naked Lynn, and now of standing near her, dressed in clean clothing and smelling of nothing except for hotel soap and shampoo and warm skin. Feeling like she could now really examine the woman, specially as she wore clothes that fit her body closely and well now, Sarah felt a warm flush crawl up from inside her short and into her hair line. Lynn had a well toned body, it was not soft at all, but she did not lack the curves of a woman, and though they were small, she had what Sarah considered to be nice breasts. At that thought, Sarah shook her head violently and turned to see what Lynn was unpacking from the shopping bag. A motley collection of things was soon spread out across the table, and while Sarah ate the candy bar from Lynn's pocket, the woman explained that the strange ingredients were for making home made explosives.
"Come, you will help me, as you must learn how to do this and many other things. Remember Sarah you are the hope for the future, you must survive and you must learn how to be the soldier and leader that will teach us how to survive the future." Lynn's voice was very serious as she spoke and by this time Sarah knew that she would be wise not to argue.
Over the next couple of hours the women made rough homemade explosive, and then filled the metal casing Lynn had bought with it before adding homemade fuses fuses. For a whole lot of work, there seemed to be a meager total, but Lynn seemed to be very pleased as she packed them away into a small tote bag and they cleared up the mess. While they had been working, Sarah had discovered that Lynn was a very patient teacher and had a very wry but infrequent sense of humor. Her low melodious voice showed a surprising degree of culture and sophistication, considering that she had grow up amongst the ruins of the world.
Sarah asked Lynn to tell her about the world that was in the future, but the woman had limited her stories to technical and tactical aspects, saying that it was important that Sarah knew what to to expect but did not know too much about what it was like. Lynn made Sarah memorize what she told her if it was anything to do with weapons, tactics or knowledge that would save the future.
"You taught us this, so you need to know it and you must learn as much as you can. You must, or the future is lost." Lynn's golden brown eyes had been so earnest and her face was so serious that Sarah had been compelled to touch it, just to see if it was real. Now that Lynn was washed and in clean clothing, Sarah could study her without being distracted by smells and appearances.
Lynn's body was finely muscled, but her skin obviously never saw much sunlight, Sarah remembered the stories about how it was not possible to move about during the daytime in the future. As she watched her savior sit and guard, Sarah became aware of a huge amount of scarring across Lynn's back. It looked like a large burn, long healed but it must have been terrible, this caused Sarah to examine Lynn more closely still. Her arms were cross crossed with long ago healed scars and and then Sarah's eyes focused on a unnatural mark on Lynn's forearm, it seemed to glitter in the dim evening light.
"What is that?" Sarah asked pointing and feeling fear of a different sort thread its way through her. Lynn turned her forearm over, revealing another scar and showing the full mark.
"It is a laser brand embedded with metal. Before you came along, most of humanity was in camps, being systematically slaughtered by the machines. Those of us who were young and strong were branded, to use as labor, the rest killed. The strong would then lift the dead into the incinerators, until we too started to die. It was then that you came, and taught us how to fight the machines. The generation of children after my own generation is not branded and there are very few older people in my world." Lynn was unconsciously rubbing the mark as she spoke, her voice filled with the horror of her tale. Sarah felt her heart wrench and a tear sneaked its way down her cheek as she looked at Lynn. The woman was obviously quite beautiful, but her life had been hard, as young as she was, probably not much older than Sarah. Her body scarred by a war that had been raging even before she was born, her eyes old at birth. This woman had come through time, to save her, Sarah Connor, Lynn had given up her world and would probably die here in this time.
"What are the men like in your time Lynn?" Sarah asked, she did not really want to know about men, but she wanted to know more about Lynn and her world.
"They are rough and gruff, like the women, no one is treated any different, you either fight or you die. However, the men in the army, in the resistance are good men, as are the women and the children." Lynn's answer was short and to the point, almost devoid of any emotion as she scanned the night once more through the window.
"Do you have anyone, in the future?" Sarah asked, watching the woman carefully. Golden brown eyes turned to her with an unreadable look.
"No, there is no one. My parents died in the camps, if I have siblings I do not know them. There is the army, there is the fight, there is survival." Lynn's voice was soft as she spoke.
"No, I mean romantically." Sarah felt a flush creep over her cheeks and was astounded to discover that she was hopping Lynn would say no.
"Romance? No, no one, I am not interested in men and almost everyone I know is trying not to get killed. The was had only just been won, it had been mere hours, when I was sent here..."
Sarah felt her heart skip a beat, not interested in men? Could that mean, could it possibly mean that Lynn was interested in women. Sarah felt hope ignite in her, she had been forcing down her attraction to this woman, not wanting to hope for nothing. However this new relegation would need examining before her feelings went off the scale. Also, she had only known this woman for a few days, how could she possibly feel anything much for her, aside from gratitude and curiosity? Sarah shook her head mentally, but could not shake off the feelings she knew she was experiencing.
"Have you ever, had any romance?" Sarah squeezed the question out quickly before she could stop herself. Lynn looked at her and did not speak for a long time.
"No, there has been no one Sarah. There never has been... When you came to rescue us and when you taught us, you were in your late thirties and I was barely even a teenager. About 2 years ago you gave me an old photo of yourself, taken when you are about the age you are now. You told me that one day I would understand why, the photo was melancholy and sad looking. I kept that photo for a long time before it was destroyed, and I would look at our face and try to imagine you at this age. I rarely saw you in the future, only from a distance, so your older self is somewhat unknown to me. However you always kept me in divisions that were fighting close to you, like you wanted me near you. It was not until I volunteered to come here, that I understood why you had given me the photo and why you had kept my close. You knew all along what would happen and how it would happen, you knew I would volunteer for this mission. When you stood before me on the dais where the time machine was, I looked into your eyes, and you had that same sad and melancholy look in them as you did in the photo, taken almost 30 years before. I knew then that I was going back in time, not for the future, or for anything else, but for you. You see Sarah, there has never been anyone, because there has only ever been you, since I was 12 and lifting dead bodies into the furnaces and you showed up and taught us the meaning of humanity again." Lynn tore her eyes away from Sarah and started to rise, as if to flee, if only to the other side of the room.
Sarah was not a timid person, being from California and being on her own for quite some time had taught her to face things head on if needed. She immediately stood up and pursued Lynn across the room being careful not to crowd her though.
"Lynn, look at me..." Sarah gently commanded, reaching over to lift the strong chin and noting the guarded look in the golden brown eyes that she had grown so fond of in a seemingly impossibly short time. "It's ok, you can tell me these things, I won't reject you. I am not into men either, but I expect you might know that, as you know of my future self. I care about you Lynn, it seems impossible that I care as much as I do, but even when I was sure you were going to kill me and I thought you were crazy, some part of me trusted you and a part of me deep down inside knew that you were telling the truth. I was just in denial for a little while. It is a pretty big pill to swallow all at once" Sarah trailed off and looked into the young old eyes, seeming the lean face and the immense pain this woman had experienced in her life etched briefly on her fine features.
"This world is unbelievable, there is so much of everything, and I have never seen so much light or so much green. I was never meant to see this, but i was born destined to see it, amongst the ruins of a holocaust. Me talking to you is impossible, yet here I stand, talking to you..."
Lynn's philosophical musings were cut off by Sarah's lips closing the distance between them and a light but meaning filled kiss being planted on Lynn's soft lips. Lynn looked at Sarah in a moment of stunned silence, seeming to ask a question and evaluate the possible answer for an abbreviated eternity, before Lynn reached out and with her calloused fingers and palm touched Sarah's face lightly.
Sarah was more impatient, and she grabbed Lynn's hand, guiding it to be more firm, moving again to kiss Lynn, this kiss being returned instantly as the temperature of the room seemed to rise by many degrees all at once. The two women spent long moments gently touching and kissing light soft kisses, seeming to feel each other out and then they broke apart, seeming to decide without words to go back and sit down for a while, this time on the bed with their shoulders touching and hands linked together. Sarah knew that they only had hours before they would have to move again, but she was determined that she would not rush them into anything, as what was supposed to happen would happen, one way or another. However she could feel the heat spreading through her loins from the warmth pouring off the woman beside her, and now that she had give her attraction voice and found it eagerly returned, her feelings seem to have developed a life of their own and were starting to move and were gaining speed. The sitting and holding hands lasted for some minutes before the women were once more kissing and gently touching, exploring cautiously, ignoring the building infernos of mutual passion for the moment. Though they might have had only moments, it felt like they had an eternity and the journey had only just begun...
What followed was what would define Sarah's life from that moment onwards, and what for Lynn, was what she had been waiting to feel for her entire life. Sarah, now that she had decided that Lynn was indeed interested, took initiative and removed the clothes Lynn had put on after her shower. This time, she allowed more than her eyes access to the body she had started to covet in her subconscious, unbeknownst to herself from the moment she had met this woman.
Lynn was enraptured by the unfamiliar feel of another's hands touching her. In her world, people kept their distance, unless they had bonded, and most bonding was done in what little peace and privacy there was. Lynn did not remember her mother touching her, so this was something new to her, as was the response her body gave to the situation. Her own curiosity getting the better of her, Lynn started to remove Sarah's clothing, her hands fumbling and hesitating, but her intent was firm and sure.
Soon, the two women were naked and looking at each other in the poorly illuminated motel room. The difference was startling, but of no consequence as they moved towards each other, bodies aching from the touches and kisses they had already shared. Sarah felt something inside of her give way as she lost all patience, she had to have this woman, and had to have her now. Sure that her touch and feelings would be welcomed Sarah closed the distance between them and gasped as she felt Lynn's nakedness against her own, then felt her heart lurch when her hands ran along the terrible scars on Lynn's back. Sarah turned her gaze inwards for a fraction of a moment, knowing that the lurch in her heart could only mean one thing, but finding it hard to believe that she could feel love, be in love, with an almost stranger, from another time, who she had only just met, but sure of it nonetheless.
Turning her attention back to her new lover, Sarah felt the sharp edge of Lynn's teeth sink into her shoulder impulsively, a response to passion that Sarah wanted, that Sarah needed. Lifting Lynn's head, Sarah moved in to kiss her, their mouths meeting with passion that was threatening to immolate them both. Lynn gently pushed Sarah, coaxing her to lay down, now looking down on the savior of humanity, Lynn realised that what she had felt for her whole life it seemed, her destiny, her birthright has been to survive, thrive and love this woman. Closing her eyes against the intensity Lynn rested her weight onto Sarah's willing body and for the moment, simply gave in to it all.
The first hint of morning was appearing when Sarah was startled awake by the feel of Lynn leaping to her feet in response to something only she could detect. After a moment, Sarah heard it too... The frantic barking of a dog, the dog they had both seen chained near the checking booth when they had entered the motel's grounds. Lynn Reese cocked her head for a moment, her battle trained senses hearing the unnatural whoosh of air that signaled the use of a silencer on a gun that had just killed the dog.
"Get up, get dressed, get moving!" She ordered in a low voice as she jammed her legs into her jeans, yanked on her shirt and scooped up her overcoat, the homemade bombs and her shoes in one movement. Sarah obeyed her lover immediately, taking her cue from the woman and jamming her naked feet into her shoes. Reese had by this time secured the front door with a chair and was moving towards the other exit, dragging Sarah with her.
"It's found us!" Lynn said in a loud whisper, checking the clip of her gun as they ran behind the motel to take the long way around to the parked cars in the front. A loud explosion conformed Lynn's statement as the door to their room was blasted from its hinges by the Terminator, Sarah stumbled, only to be pulled roughly to her feet by Lynn as they pelted towards the first car in the row of parked cars. Lynn did not pause her movement, rather she used it to drive her foot through the drivers side window of the car and allowed her body to driver forward so that she was halfway into the car before she stopped. Easily maneuvering her slender frame into the car she shoved open the passenger side door and proceeded to hot wire the car at a frantic pace. Sarah did not hesitate and moments later they peeled away from the motel at breakneck speed, but not before the Terminator had sprayed the side of the car with hot lead as he or it moved towards the stolen motorbike. The chase was on...
As Lynn drove, she yelled at Sarah to open the bag of explosives and dig out a lighter. "Take the wheel!" She commanded as the back window of the car exploded into a million pieces.
Sarah obeyed instantly as Reese leaned out of the broken window and threw a lit bomb back at the Terminator, who was racing and gaining on them at breakneck speed. The machine expertly caused the bike to twitch and the bomb exploded just to the side of the bike with a loud bang. Reese ducked back inside of the car to grab another bomb and felt the car shudder under the impact of the bullets that were hitting it. The Terminator had to be stopped, somehow, Lynn desperately hurled another bomb, but this time her aim was thwarted by the car hitting a bump in the road that nearly threw Reese to the pavement. Lynn decided that the driving was too dangerous for Sarah right now and moved to get back into the car.
It was while she was doing this, that she felt the sharp impact of a bullet hitting her in her torso, the impact turned into pain and Lynn could feel blood welling up in the back of her throat as she jammed herself back into the car. This was not good, she mused as she fought herself and the wildly jerking car at the same time. Reese was not stupid, she knew the would was mortal, unless she got treatment within the next few minutes, something that was very unlikely at this point. Another jerk of the car caused Lynn to gasp and lose her grip on the wheel and as she did she coughed up a spray of bright crimson blood.
Sarah had known that her lover was wounded, but she had not known how badly. Lynn told her to take the wheel as she gathered herself for one last go at the Terminator, who by this time was so close that she could see its red eyes in the rearview mirror. Just as she was heaving herself out of the window, Sarah warmed the other woman of collision and then everything went crazy. Sometime during the cars spinning and jerking Lynn blacked out completely, shock, pain and blood loss having taken their terrible toll.
The Terminator was so focused on the task ahead of him, that he did not see the semitrailer until it was upon him, the impact of the grill causing his systems to shut down for a fraction of a second before he fell to the ground while the trucker desperately put on the breaks. The machine reacted instantly, clamping its hands onto the trucks underside as it sped by him, slowly slowing down. After it had stopped, the machine quickly climbed out from under the truck and moved towards the trucker who was standing outside of his cab and looking around frantically for the motorcyclist that he had hit. The last thing he would see in this life was the visage of the machine, flesh torn off and death in its gaze. The blow to his chest cracked a half dozen ribs, broke his sternum and stopped his heart. Without pausing, the machine climbed into the cab of the truck, ignoring the limp caused by a ruined hydraulic piston in its leg. The target was still within reach and the Terminator was not going to fail again. At this point, it had incurred so much damage, that remaining concealed would prove to be detrimental enough to its mission to hamper it, perhaps permanently. The trucks huge engine roared to life and the machine pushed the vehicle as it strove to gain speed quicker than the manufacturer had intended. The quarry would not get away, failure was not a option that had been programmed into the Terminators mission parameters.
Not very far down the road, Sarah frantically fought to free herself from the wreckage of the car, she began to panic when she saw that Lynn was not moving. Willing herself to be calm and calling upon a reserve of strength she did not know that she possessed, she grabbed Lynn's shoulders and heaved the woman's unmoving body onto the street. Lynn's side was covered in blood and her face was deathly pale, but Sarah could see the frantic beat of Lynn's pulse on her neck.
Sarah did not have the strength to carry Lynn, so she resorted to shouting and pleading with the woman to get up, to help her, to move, finding herself swearing and cursing as she ran out of steam. It worked, Lynn moaned and rolled over, ignoring her nausea and the breath hissing out of her ruined lung. Sarah, she had to be saved... General Connor had said that she would succeed, so she pulled herself to her feet using Sarah's help and they started to stumble through the warehouse district that they had found them self in.
Lynn heard it before Sarah did, the low rumble of a huge engine and in just seconds, the low rumble, became a roar as the semitrailer came barreling down on them. Sarah froze in place, fear finally paralyzing her, but Lynn had not such problems, instead the wounded woman pushed Sarah, screaming at her to run as the lone warrior peeled away from the woman she had been born to protect and had learned to love. Sarah moved as fast as she could, but trapped in between the buildings on the narrow road, her only real way was forward, and it was only a matter of time before the Terminator caught up with her and crushed her. Sarah ran anyway, feeling like all she had ever done in her life was run...
PFC Lynn Reese on the other hand, had spend her life fighting, and even as her lifeblood flowed out of her body, from a wound that was beyond medical attention, she fumbled through her pockets, finding one of the homemade bombs and thumbing her lighter frantically. By this time the semitrailer had started to pass her by, the Terminator ignoring her as it pursued its target, making a critical tactical error, but the single mindedness of the machines is what had allowed humanity to defeat them in the end. Lynn pushed herself just a little harder, praying that she had it in her, managing to light the fuse and shove the bomb into the body of the semitrailers load, hoping that whatever liquid it carried, that it was combustible. Lynn then slowed down and stopped near a large dumpster, basically a large metal box filled with some sort of garbage. Lynn was without sensibilities of any sort and she was determined to try to survive long enough to make sure that she succeeded in saving Sarah Connor. She felt her consciousness fade as she counted down what felt like hour long seconds and hoped and prayed that she had managed to time it right.
The semitrailer was gaining on Sarah Connor, impeded though it was by the barrow street and the sharp turns. However, before it could gain anymore ground, it abruptly exploded, the fireball threw Sarah off her feet, causing her to slam into a nearby building. The liquid has been combustible, but not explosively so, the resulting milieu had not been as deadly as it could have been. Sarah felt the intense heat of the burning truck as she lay like a broken marionette, momentarily unable to command her body to move. Then she forced herself to stand and scanned for Lynn, where was she, surely not consumed by the blaze or the explosion. Sarah's eyes fell upon a dumpster, its outer paint on fire. Lynn had to be inside of it, she just had to be...
Sarah made it to the dumpster and burned her hands getting the lid open, uncaring she looked in side and there she was, Lynn, battered, bloodied and looking still as death. Sarah pulled on the woman, and coaxed her out of the scalding hot container, half carrying her away from the blazing inferno, wanting more than anything to just run and hide and stay hidden, somehow, forever. She stopped for breath and looked over the wreckage of the truck, there was no sign of the Terminator, Sarah wanted to believe that the force of the explosion and the heat of the fire had destroyed it, but deep inside, she would believe it was truly gone, when she saw the evidence of its destruction with her own eyes.
Almost as if bidden by her thoughts, a portion of the flaming wreckage moved and then there was the terrible rending noise of metal bending at the wrong angle and Sarah saw the unequivocal and absolute proof that everything Lynn had told her was true. A hand, looking like the hand of a metal skeleton reached up, soon joined by another and then a skull, metal, with glowing red eyes looked in their direction.
Sarah felt like screaming, she was so tired and so afraid that she no longer felt anything at all, she almost wanted to give in and allow the machine to kill her, that way it would be over and done with and she could rest. Lynn had other ideas, on seeing the deathly sight, she tugged at Sarah and let go of her, pushing her and telling her to run, willing without second thought to die now, if it mean that Sarah would be safe. Sarah was having none of it, she turned back to grab Lynn and together they stumbled and staggered, trying to find somewhere, anywhere to hide from the machine, now standing full height and glowing with the heat of the fire, all semblance of humanity burned away, now only the killing machine remained and its goal was unchanged. Kill Sarah Connor...
The two women finally managed to find an open door and staggered through it, Sarah leaned Lynn against a wall and barred the door, desperately trying to find a direction, a way a weapon to use to escape this metal nightmare. Lynn recognised that they were in a factory of some sort, a large machine shop, it was as good a place as any to try to hide. She staggered over to the control panels and hit all the buttons she could see and reach, immediately causing a cacophony of sounds to erupt and making the very floor vibrate.
"It will make it harder for it to track you. Now go, run, escape..." As Lynn said this, the door Sarah had just barred shuddered under the terrible weight of the machine trying to get through the steel reinforced wood paneling. It was only a matter of time, maybe moments, maybe minutes until it succeeded, Lynn knew this, and again she tried to shove Sarah away. Again, Sarah did not obey, rather she took Lynn and pulled her along, Lynn realising that for now it was futile to resist, allowed herself to be pulled along, managing to stand upright by will alone. Lynn grabbed a metal pipe that lay discarded as they scrambled as quietly as they could through the maze of machinery, thinking that it would make a weapon, a last resort weapon, but a weapon nonetheless.
The Terminator had by now broken through the door, and found its electronic senses overpowered by the noises and rumblings of the active machinery, however, it knew that the prey was here, and it was only a matter of time before it was found. The Terminator did not know impatience, it only knew its mission parameters. The gleaming metal skeleton moved quite stealthfully through the machines, searching for any abnormality in the pattern made by the machines, or for any new or unexpected sounds and all the while scanning for movement, body heat and other criteria that would tell it that the prey had been found.
As it was searching, the two women crept through the factory, moving farther away from the door, but in a confused pattern, the layout of the whole place was unfamiliar to them and this was restricting their options. It was during some moments of fumbling and searching that Sarah inadvertently started up another machine, and the look that Lynn gave her was one of despair, letting Sarah know that now it was almost certain that the Terminator would find them.
What felt like only heartbeats later, Sarah saw her nightmare approach, the glowing red eyes and the dragging limp making her skin crawl. Lynn was now pulling her up some stairs, trying desperately to get some tactical advantage over the machine and failing. The Terminator had managed to find an alternate route to the gangplank the women had ended up on and was now moving directly towards them.
Lynn turned to Sarah and put the full force of her voice into her words. "Runnnn!!!!!!"
This time Sarah did obey, stumbling down the metal stairs in a desperate attempt to get away. At the bottom, she turned to see Lynn engage the Terminator, swinging her metal pipe one handed, hitting with a force that would have killed any man, woman, child or beast with one blow, however, it did nothing to the Terminator save cause a slight break in its stride and knock its head aside. Then Sarah saw the machine strike her brave warrior lover, and Sarah saw Lynn fall, already so weakened. Lynn took a moment to glance at Sarah, trying with one look to convey her love before pulling out the last of her homemade bombs and lighting the fuse. Lynn shoved the device into the skeleton of the Terminator and hoped that it would not dislodge before the machine got to Sarah.
The Terminator had not noticed this event, focused now on Sarah Connor, who was in visual range with her protector no longer able to protect her. Sarah had seen what Lynn had done and was lunging for cover when the bomb blew up. Just as she did, the deafening blast and blinding light of the explosion filled the air, and then there was silence. Sarah knew that her overtaxed eardrums were not working right, and that the factory was as noisy as before, she also knew that she had tremendous pain in her leg, hell in her whole body. Looking at her leg, she saw that a piece of the Terminator was stuck in her thigh, and she also suspected a broken bone too. As her hearing started to return, the agony increased, she decided that she needed to dislodge the shrapnel and with that decision, she grabbed it and pulled it out, the slurp of the shard leaving her flesh sickened her, but she was more than glad to cast the cursed thing away from herself.
It was then that she remembered that Lynn had been in the blast radius, this fueled her as she crawled agonizingly across the floor, giving the ruined Terminator a wide berth. Lynn lay quietly on the ground near the ruined gangplank, obviously the force of the explosion had thrown her down, or perhaps she had simply fallen with the structure. Sarah reached Lynn's side, desperately feeling for a pulse or other signs of life and finding none, the woman she loved was dead. Sarah saw that part of her face was ruined and if the chest wound would not have killed her as it was, the fall would have finished her off for sure.
Sarah felt tears welling up, but willed them not to fall, now was not the time, grief could come later. Now she needed to think about the next few moments. Her leg wound was bleeding, but not too badly and her leg was definitely broken, she would require medical attention. However, somehow she would have to evade incarceration, which means she had to concoct some story.
As Sarah was thinking, her hands unconsciously stroking Lynn's dead face, she heard something that sent a fission of fear shooting down her spine. It was a metallic sounding movement and it caused Sarah to whip her head around to where the remains of the Terminator lay. Sarah felt her heart stop for a moment, as her metallic nightmare that never seemed to die, started using its arms to haul it's ruined torso towards her. Fear gunned Sarah's motors, and she started to crawl away from the monstrous machine, the agony and impediment of dragging her ruined leg was almost unbearable, but so was dying at this point. Lynn had given her life to save her, and Sarah was damned if she would repay the service by dying now. Desperation fueled her movements as she crawled through the factory, desperately navigating her way through the machines and spare parts littering the floor. The metallic clank that the Terminator made as it pursued her would haunt Sarah's nightmares, if she survived that is.
The terminator was working on borrowed time, it's CPU was working on auxiliary power and it's metal limbs had a finite amount of hydraulic fluid to power them, it estimated that it had maybe 15 minutes to attempt to catch and terminate Sarah Connor. If a machine could feel glad, the Terminator was feeling glad. Sarah Connor was obviously wounded and impeded by her injury, and her protector was now dead. The odds were strongly in favor of the machine and it intended to utilize them in all ways possible. Slowly gaining on the desperately fleeing woman, the machine directed more power to its pistons and took its shambling crawl up a notch. Sarah Connor was not able to respond to the challenge and the Terminator was gaining on her, slowly but surely.
Sarah Connor could feel the machine gaining on her and knowing that she could not out crawl it she needed to find another solution, and quickly. Looking around the factory floor she finally sighted a possibility, now it was a matter of getting the machine to follow her and timing it right. Sarah changed course and started to head for the hydraulic press she had just sighted, designed to compact machine waste into more usable chunks of metal, it was hopefully strong enough to crush the Terminator. Sarah slowed her crawl down and felt the machine gain on her immediately, and then, sensing her chance, she veered off into the press, crawling trough its claustrophobic crusher and somehow allowing herself to be even slower than before. If she mistimes this, she would die, and that would mean Lynn died for nothing, something which Sarah Connor was not prepared to allow, not for anything, especially not a hunk of malevolent metal.
Just as she was halfway through the press, she felt the machine's touch for the first time, the icy grip on her ankle caused her to falter, before she determinedly moved forward, pain blinding her as she did. The machine had caught her trailing broken leg and was now squeezing her ankle hard enough that Sarah could feel the bones press together. Calling upon her last reserves of strength, she pulled her foot from the machines grasp with a scream of pain, the machine needed both arms to move forward and had loosened its grip as a consequence.
Flowing out of the other side of the press, Sarah grabbed the control module and brought the protective cage down cutting off the machines advance and retreat. It was not caught in the press, though for how long the cage would hold was something Sarah did not know. Gasping and dizzy from shock, pain and exertion, Sarah fumbled with the control module as the machine seemed to register its predicament and lashed out of the cage with a metallic arm, the cold fingers reaching Sarah's throat and trying to get a good enough grip to crush it. Sarah looked into the inhuman red light that functioned as the machines eyes and shuddered as her fingers finally found the correct button to press and the crushers hydraulics powered up and proceeded to start to flatten the Terminator.
"Die mother fucker!" Sarah cursed the machine in a ragged whisper, dropping the control module and resigning herself to whatever fate would decide next.
The Terminator's single mindedness had led it into this trap, and even now, as it felt its metal skeleton being crushed and could detect misfires and shutdowns as its cranium was slowly crushed, it pursued its mission of terminating Sarah Connor. Making a last ditch attempt to put a crushing squeeze on the woman's throat, the Terminator realised in its own machine way that it would fail, this time. As the press finally terminated the Terminator, Sarah Connor relaxed for the first time in what felt like months, and in doing so, became aware of her body, its pain and the impact of what had happened to her over the past few days.
By this time, emergency vehicles, police and paramedics had found their way into the factory and they found an unconscious woman and a dead woman, evidence of a fight and the destruction caused by the homemade bomb that had disabled the Terminator. The assumption was that the dead woman was responsible and the living one was the unwilling victim. Black and white, pure and simple...
Sarah Connor regained consciousness as she was lifted onto a gurney, and in a panic, she looked around, seeing human faces and medical equipment and searching desperately for Lynn, where was she? It was then that Sarah remembered, again, that Lynn was dead. Where was her body? Sarah's mind screamed as she felt an oxygen mask pressed to her face and the prick of an IV into her arm. Looking around with wild eyes she finally saw the black body bag on the gurney a few feet from her own. The coroner was zipping it up, and Sarah caught a last glimpse of her love, her warrior, her savior, before she disappeared forever. Sarah felt the sadness well up inside of her and allowed her tears to start falling, she ignored the questions that the medics were posing to her and focused her gaze inwards, already making plans for when she was able to execute them.
It was with these thoughts, Sarah Connor slipped into unconsciousness, an unconsciousness filled with scattered ghostly images, of red eyed machines, nuclear mushroom clouds and the face of Lynn Reese, during her last glance, filled with love, devotion and conviction. Lynn's face was able to banish the nightmare images time and time again, but the nightmares would always come back, always. It was Sarah Connor's destiny to relive them, it was her destiny...
The jeep drove down a dusty desert highway, accompanied by nothing save for the clouds and the sunlight, alternately battling for control of the sky. On closer inspection, the occupants of the jeep were revealed, a woman, perhaps about 20 years old, beautiful but sad and a dog, huge and dangerous looking, yet while it was not looking about, chewing for danger, it was looking at the woman with absolute devotion and the kind of love only a dog can give.
Sarah Connor drove her jeep expertly down this lonely highway in Mexico, her body had healed now, which left her mind. Would her mind ever heal? In the space of 72 hours, her mother, her best friend, and her lover had been killed, she had fought an intelligent machine from the future, with the help of a lone warrior, also from the future. She had been told her destiny, and had her world turned upside down in the space of moments. After being debriefed, interrogated and examined Sarah had spend some time recovering from her wounds and gathering her strength, then, when she was ready, she had acted. She had collected her resources, favors owed and her impromptu inheritance and used them to buy this jeep, a handgun and a thousand bullets and the dog that sat behind her. It was a highly trained dog, schooled to defend her and sniff out dangers, a weapon in its own right and loyal only to her. Now, with what remained of her not very large nest egg, Sarah was on her way to learn how to become the person she knew she had to become. Armed with maps, intuition and rumors, she was starting her journey, in South and Central America, she could find the training, and the contacts and resources she needed and she would let nothing stop her. Lynn Reese had died to save her, and she was determined that Lynn's sacrifice would not be in vain.
A low fuel gauge interrupted Sarah's musings and she started to hunt around for a gas station, determined to keep her emergency Jerry can of fuel for actual emergencies. Deciding it was time to concentrate, she put down the small recordable cassette player she had been talking into and looked around in earnest. Her search was rewarded after a remarkably short time, and she soon found herself pulling into a run down looking petrol station where an old Mexican man came out to fill her car. As Sarah waited, she turned her sight inward, remembering Lynn and remembering everything, swearing that she would never forget anything.
A bright flash and a low grown from her dog brought her out other musings, and she found herself looking at a small and scruffy boy holding a Polaroid camera. The child spoke to her in too rapid Spanish, forcing Sarah to turn to the old man for an explanation.
The man coughed delicately to clear his throat before saying. "The boy says that he took the picture for the pretty lady, and that if you do not give him 5 dollars for it, his father will beat him when he gets home." Sarah looked at the child in question, seeing infinitely dark eyes and the obvious hardship that the boy had grown up under.
"Nice hustle kid, I'll give you 3." Sarah said the words with a smile in her voice and the child quickly accepted her offer, snatching the 3 worn dollars from her hand and handing her the now dry picture. Sarah glanced at the photo, noting the sad look she carried but otherwise having no emotions towards it. She didn't realise at the time, but this was to be the picture that she would give PFC Reese far into the future, though the warrior woman would not know that it was her who had put the sad look on Sarah's face.
As Sarah prepared to drive off after paying the old man for her fuel, the child who was still hanging around the gas station pointed to the sky and said something in an exited voice. Turning to the old man one last time for an explanation, the man translated once again. "He says, a storm is coming." Sarah looked at the sky and thought of Lynn once more and all that the woman had told her.
"I know..." Sarah said, almost under her breath as she drove off, once more picking up the recordable cassette player. Pausing to gather her thoughts as she continued her drive south she turned the machine on and spoke into it, intending to make a record of her memories of the events that had brought her to this moment, while they were still fresh in her mind. Maybe she was making them for her future self, who knows, maybe she was hoping that the future could be avoided somehow, but wanted to remember what had happened regardless. As she drove, she continue her narrative while her dog watched over her, ever faithful in the rising storm...
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