Disclaimer & Notices: See Prologue.

Started: March 28, 2009
Ended: April 5, 2009

No Programming
by Red Hope


Sarah Connor took one step back, but she wasn’t careful and tumbled backwards down the pile of rubble. She flipped her head back to get the hair from her face and looked up at the two terminators at the top of the mound. “Stay back!”

The T-888’s disregarded her, and they jumped off the rubble pile towards the human.

Sarah scrambled backwards to get away from her enemies. She only made it a few feet before a T-888 was in front of her and blocked her escape between the rubble piles. She spun around and held her hands up at the other terminator. She ducked as the terminator went for her throat, but she was knocked onto her back.

A T-888 lifted his left foot and brought if over Sarah Connor.

Sarah quickly grabbed his metal foot, but it was hopeless to stop him. She let out a scream. But the sudden sound of metal against metal became distinct then the terminator that tried to squash her was slammed hard by the other terminator.

The two terminators landed a few yards away and were tangled up. They started to get to their feet.

Sarah focused on the slim but confident face of Cameron. She held her breath at Cameron’s bright blue eyes. But she found Cameron’s petite yet strong hand held out to her. She hastily took it and was hauled to her feet.

Cameron stood behind Sarah Connor, but she took two steps to stand in between Sarah and the terminators. She lifted her chin slightly and her eyes glowed even brighter. She hastily warned the terminators, “This is my human, and I will destroy you.” She calmly approached them but fisted her hands, ready to fight.

“Cameron, no!” Sarah yelled. She feared the two T-888’s would rip apart Cameron, who was much smaller in comparison.

One T-888 moved ahead of his partner and grabbed Cameron by the shoulder.

Cameron grabbed his arm then proceeded to pick him up with ease. She gritted her teeth then tossed him into the other terminator.

Sarah watched in amazement as Cameron easily fought the T-888’s and finally destroyed them by obtaining a rebar and driving it into their heads. She fell to her knees when Cameron turned to her.

Cameron slowly neared the human and stopped in front of her with only an inch separating them.

But Sarah caught a flash of movement behind Cameron, and she knew that it had to be a terminator. “Behind you!” Her warning was too late as a steel rod was impelled in Cameron’s head. “No!”

Cameron’s blue eyes slowly dimmed as she fell to her knees in front of Sarah. She softly stated, “I failed… you.”

“No, no.” Sarah feverishly shook her head and grabbed Cameron’s hip while her right hand went to the terminator’s soft cheek. “Oh god no.” She became angry and lifted her eyes to the enemy, but lost her ire upon seeing the familiar face of Derek Reese. “You fucking bastard!”

Derek Reese chuckled and snidely remarked, “The only good machine is a dead machine, Sarah… nothing to cry about.”

Sarah held onto Cameron but her earlier fury returned ten times fold, and she yelled, “She is not a machine!” She looked down at the dead terminator and stroked her fingertips along Cameron’s cheek. She felt the built up of rage that she could not control, and she dropped her head back as she angrily screamed, “Caaameron!”

“You must wake up, Sarah,” Cameron’s calm voice called through the dream.

Sarah Connor gasped heavily as her eyes flew open. She frantically tossed the hot bedsheets off her body, and she tried to sit up but strong hands held her still. “I need to get up.” She was released and swung her legs off the bed. She started to get up but the overwhelming emotions from the nightmare made her unstable. Yet strong arms scooped her up and lifted her into a close cradle. Sarah covered her pounding chest and peered up into the terminator’s young face.

“Cameron?” Sarah gingerly touched the terminator’s cheek just as she’d done in the dream.

“It is me,” the terminator promised.

Sarah sighed then dropped her forehead against Cameron’s cheek. She shut her eyes and felt the nightmare’s grip slip away. Now she realized that Cameron was holding her, and it was awkward for her. “You can put me down, please.”

Cameron obliged and carefully lowered the human back into the bed. She straightened up and studied Sarah’s distraught features.

“What time is it?” Sarah looked for the alarm clock on the nightstand.

“It is seven minutes after four.”

Sarah dropped her head back on the pillow. She had a few more hours of sleep before she and Cameron need to go. She turned though when Cameron knelt beside her bed.

“You yelled for me… in your dream,” the terminator observed aloud.

Sarah cringed because it meant that she’d really yelled for Cameron. She tried to brush it off though. “It was just a bad dream.”

Cameron already knew this much, but she sensed the human did not wish to pursue the talk. She tilted her head and promised, “You are safe.”

Sarah sat up some with her elbows holding her upper body up. “It’s never safe.”

Cameron lifted up onto one knee but paused and softly corrected, “You are safe, tonight.” She realized it indeed was a lie to say Sarah was safe. They were never safe anymore, but Cameron could promise that it’d be safe tonight. It was one thing she could give Sarah Connor tonight in hopes the human would rest easy.

Sarah lowered herself back into the soft, warm bed and absorbed the terminator’s promise. She indeed felt at ease thanks to the simple yet meaningful promise from Cameron. She let out some worries, for tonight, in her next sigh and curled up under the sheets.

Cameron returned to earlier seat at the table. She had the television on, but it was very low so it wouldn’t disturb the human. She could hear it fine anyway.

Sarah rolled onto her right side, looked over her shoulder, and studied the terminator’s strong profile. She hunkered back down under the sheets, yet she wasn’t completely ready to sleep because something nagged in her. She instead gently called, “Cameron?”

The terminator gazed over at the human.

“Thank you.”

Cameron was bewildered by the appreciation. “For?”

“For what you do,” Sarah replied but then softly added, “And being here.” There was a long silence so Sarah closed her eyes after she figured it was over.

“You are welcome, Sarah.” Cameron said nothing else despite her thoughts were spinning, and she tried to process all that’d happen in these past days. She turned back to the television but the show didn’t matter to her. She heavily processed what was done and said between her and the human. She drew one simple conclusion by the end of it, which made her faintly smile because Sarah Connor was starting to accept and trust her. There was no programming for this path Cameron had chosen but if becoming human meant Sarah Connor would be there then it only inspired Cameron further.

The End.