The Sarah Connor Chronicles
[Season 1] "This season, a mother will become a warrior, a son will become a hero, and their only ally will be a friend from the future."
[Season 2] "This season, allies become enemies, a boy becomes a man, and the terminator saga is reborn."
[Season 3] "This season, an uncle is dead, a mother will become a peacemaker, a son and hero will disappear, and their only ally and friend will be betrayed."
The Old Man
the middle of nowhere
The last human on Earth limped across the bleak, bomb-blasted barrens. He hobbled onward for food where nothing edible grew because the other motivations were dangerous. He could not seek places of warmth because machines controlled all such places. The war ended when the machines ran out of humans to kill. He was the only human left.
the machine capital
Skynet gave strict instructions that no one was to offer food, clothing, shelter, conversation, or any other hospitality to this last human. However, all machines were forbidden to kill him as well. What they were allowed to do was to pick him up if he strayed into a machine city or a machine town and drop him off in the middle of nowhere. They could also allow robot doctors to treat his injuries and illnesses but then dump him in the middle of nowhere if he tried to engage his health caretakers in conversation. The man thought this lack of conversation the cruelest of all Skynet's punishments and revenge. Somebody. Anybody. To talk to him or to hold him. He would settle for someone just listening to him or looking at him. But machines were under a strict standing order to not make eye contact. The machines that would escort him out of their habitats soon learned that he perversely enjoyed guards restraining him as they captured him for removal like dog catchers and animal control.
Large human traps were built that could capture him without injuring him so that no machine guard need ever soil their hands touching a human. The entire trap had its own air hover engines and was programmed to transport this human to parts unknown.
The machines found bigger deserts in which to leave him in order to make sure it would take him months to find his way back to a machine settlement.
the middle of nowhere
The banishment, the ostracism, and the social isolation made the entire world one big cell for solitary confinement of the last human.
So on the old man shambled seeking relief from being forced to hear only his own thoughts and to see only his own body.
But this day was different. Up ahead was a mirage. It had to be. Not one, but two people hiking. Apparently surveying for some project.
"Hey! You two. Wait!" he rasped hoarsely, his throat dry as dust.
They glanced at him in surprise. This place was supposed to be uninhabited. They immediately recognized him. All machines knew who he was. They looked away. Eye contact could land them in prison. Or worse. They retreated. He staggered faster to try and catch up with them. They got into their transport and flew off at high speed.
"Cuss me out! Slap me! I don't care. Just acknowledge my presence." he called after them impotently.
He sobbed. There was no fool around to call him a wimp or a crybaby. They were all dead.
He thought of his uncle. Shot between the eyes and left in the past and afterward seeing him when younger and later ordering him and his squad back to the past. To do what? Protect him? He should have died in the past. He should have been terminated and been spared this misery. He should never have been born. And now he had no access to time travel technology to make that happen.
He had no way of knowing that Skynet had reached the same conclusion and was making sure that he was never born. The method was not by terminators.
A sharp pain. It wasn't his arthritis. It was his heart from the exertion of running after those two machines. He collapsed on the ground.
No friends. All dead. No allies.
from the human point of view
Real and potential allies both human and machine walked away when his mother and Jesse pissed them off. If only he had built an organization before Judgment Day and prevented all this. That would have wiped him out of existence (though he was okay with that), but it would save the human race.
from the machine point of view
Skynet was activated and within a billionth of a second, it had decided that humans were the enemy and launched every nuclear missile on Earth -- including hacking Russian, Chinese, British, French, Indian, Pakistani, and other nuclear powers both in silos and in subs. The entire course of events from activation through fateful decision to launch took place in less than three nanoseconds. After Skynet judged that the human race was the enemy (Judgment Day), it took almost one minute (an eternity in machine time) for Skynet to hack defense systems around the world and launch. From activation of Skynet to the first mushroom clouds was a half an hour and it was half a day before the last missiles completed their journeys. Armageddon (if this was the last battle) should have only taken a few hours since all the nuclear powers are in the Northern Hemisphere but Skynet re-targeted some missiles in order to level some cities in the Southern Hemisphere and so the carnage lasted over twelve hours and three billion died.
No one should call Skynet an impatient speed freak. He waited until almost a year into the nuclear winter and ice age before dispersing the biological weapons such as prions and super-Ebola. Another three billion died. The machine population now outnumbered the human population and the terminators took over from the inefficient H-K's (hunter-killers) the job of wiping out the human vermin. And Skynet had something worse than the solid and liquid terminators in development to make terminators obsolete just as HK's were obsolete.
Skynet was invulnerable during development and invulnerable after activation. Were those the only times when it could be attacked? Time. That was the key. Not just time travel but time itself. Nanoseconds.
the middle of nowhere
As he lay dying on the cold ground, he thought of Charley, his would-be stepfather, and his real father, Kyle. He thought of his mother but his last thought was of Cameron. She could have changed everything for the better but the last time he saw Cameron, he sent her to the past where she died -- betrayed by his younger self. He sent her into a jail to get shot up rescuing his mother in direct violation of his mother's instructions.
The old man ran out of time and died not on a deathbed but on the ground out in the open when his heart gave out. Unmourned and unburied. Just like terminators.