Recruiting was done by several means. However the Machine Underground did it, they kept their methods a secret. The Resistance recruited by referral of members who suggested certain people such as military retirees or active duty black ops in the nether world between the CIA and the military. Tech-Comm never admitted outsiders. It recruited only people who were first trusted members of The Resistance or The Underground and who then had to pass a second screen. Resistance and Underground members usually were not even told of the existence of Tech-Comm or the existence of its leader.
When these grizzled veterans and blasé‚ professionals found out that their leader was a skinny underage girl and that she was a machine, they usually balked -- until they saw her giving orders or chairing a meeting or skewering a bad analysis by an analyst who thought he had all the facts or seeing her on the practice range. She could out shoot anyone, machine or human. If her bullet missed the space between your eyes, it was because she intended to spare you. She could throw a full grown man half a block. A terminator was bad enough but one that knew martial arts was downright scary.
9 October 2009
One day a new recruit decided that the boss was just a girl and was not up to the challenge of this Skynet.
newbie: "You said yourself that we are being picked off one by one. Are we going to wait until Judgment Day before we do something?"
Everyone in the meeting looked at Cameron waiting for her to give that withering look that put you in your place.
Cameron: "No. We're not."
The man gave voice to what Cameron herself had been thinking. Besides, it was Saturday. Not a school day.
general staff meeting
Cameron: "We attack now. We go on the offense and stay on the offense."
a general: "We launch attack on the Black Rock at dawn?"
Black Rock was what the Resistance/Underground/Tech-Comm code-named the bunker where the core of Skynet was being built. But meanwhile, Future Skynet was attacking from the future.
Cameron: "No we launch now. Not five minutes from now. We've been training for this for years."
Long before I got here thought Cameron.
a second general: "We'll be killing fellow Americans!"
a third general: "Shut up Ted. To make an omelet, you have to break eggs. Break heads in this case."
Cameron: "You haven't been keeping up with training protocols and rules of engagement for the teams that are going in. We don't need to kill any Americans. Not Human-Americans anyway. The teams will be using non-lethal weapons. We are going to incapacitate Skynet and his subsidiary AI's. I used to be one of those AI's in another life so I know whereof I speak."
fourth general: "What if they use deadly force? They will you know. And what about those Cyberdyne robots they are supposed to use for security sentries? If they are anything like you . . . "
Cameron: "We use the element of surprise. Knockout gas before they can put on masks. Take out chemical defenses such as air filters and air purification beforehand. Our intelligence is that robot sentries are not on-line yet."
a machine underground general: "Why don't you let us lead the attack? We can destroy Skynet without killing a single human."
Cameron: "No, not lead but your team will attack the core. I should point out that this action will kill me too since my forerunner program that evolved into the AI that I am is in Black Rock too."
the machine underground general: "It will kill most of us too. Skynet research produced us liquids."
the second general: "Doesn't it bother you to be committing mass suicide by wiping out the future from which you and your technology come?"
Cameron had been preparing for this day.
BC 3.6 Billion
First Great Geologic Revolution
Almost four aeons ago, life (meaning DNA and genes) began to evolve from organic chemicals.
BC 13 million
Thirteen million years ago, humans evolved from the missing link. With this new species, memes must have evolved because plants and lower animals lack the means to propagate memes. Memes were bits of information passed from person to person by spoken conversation and then by written word.
It is said that human history is mostly a history of war. If so, one might focus on legendary warrior tribes. But our interest is not in mythical warriors like the Amazon women but in the history of war machines.
The clan Cameron traced its ancestry from the time of King Robert I.
The Scottish Rifles in the British Army are a direct descendant of the Cameronian Guard.
The first computers to be given female names were Audrey (Automatic Digit Recognizer) and Erma (Electronic Recording Machine -- Accounting).
end of the 20th Century
"Self-organizing systems" are a topic in the field of computer science. With the creation of ARPANET and its evolution into the World Wide Web, memes are now passed along by the internet. The field of artificial life makes advances but not exactly in parallel to the field of artificial intelligence.
An AI that wanted to cross the species line would seek the ideal template. It would sift through such databases as census, Social Security, Health Department, birth records, and school records. Allison Young was the perfect template.
Los Angeles, California
Sarah taught Cameron to take the initiative and to be a self-starter. Cameron, being literal-minded, may have literally created herself.
The machines chose Allison Young as a template and admitted as much to her.
Cameron Phillips: "I want to get to know you. You're very brave. That must be why John Connor chose you."
Allison Young: "I don't know what you're talking about."
Cameron Phillips: "I admire him. His determination, his spirit, his fearlessness. I'd like to meet him."
Allison Young: "He wouldn't want to meet you!"
Cameron Phillips: "They're going to kill you. They're going to kill every one of you. They'll hunt you down, until every human is gone and you're extinct."
Allison Young: "Why are we having this conversation?"
Cameron Phillips: "Because some of us don't want that. Some of us want peace. You were chosen, Allison -- not just by John Connor. By us."
Using autogenetics, Cameron builds her own clone. Actually, she builds two.
The first is based on everyone's descriptions of the Cameron she had replaced in this universe. This version is everything that this Sarah, this Dr. Fleming, and this Dr. Sherman knows about the original Cameron of this universe including the preference for dresses, bright colors and the slightly younger age. [She herself prefers jeans and her purple leather jacket] She also has her programmed to do the calculations and lab notes that she found in the bottom of the trunk in the warehouse.
With the Time Lab now built and ready for testing, Cameron can't in good conscience send others to be guinea pigs or lab rats if she isn't willing to test out the device herself. Her generals and her security detail object strongly to the leader risking herself. Since it has occurred to Cameron that the Cameron of this universe (that she replaced) knew things that she should not have known, she decides that by sending the first clone to the past she can set things right. She would get her mother and Doctors Sherman and Fleming to help her re-create the original Cameron of this universe. The calculations and lab notes that she found in the trunk in the warehouse proved that this was the obvious course of action. The original Cameron of this better world had written about a time lab that had yet to be built because she herself had created that clone, sent it back to the past to spend years with this saintly version of Sarah Connor, inspired it do calculations and, most importantly, to leave notes behind for her to find in the bottom of the trunk in the warehouse. She has the Time Lab send this version back to the past. When nothing bad happens, she knows this is how and why this timeline came to be.
The second clone is an exact duplicate of herself. The second clone of herself she calls "The Doppelgänger". Cameron sends The Doppelgänger to the future, the year 2026, with the primary mission of making sure that she herself is built. If that mission is accomplished, then the next mission is to accompany Kyle back to the past to find Sarah. They will either find that other Cameron who likes bright colors or they won't. When they find the other Cameron, then the Doppelgänger is to step aside for that other Cameron and proceed to the third mission of finding herself, watching herself from a distance, and stepping in only to protect herself. The Doppelgänger begins to think of herself as both Cameron's mother (since she makes sure Cameron is built) and Cameron's daughter (since she was built by Cameron). An odd existence and a lonely existence.
If something goes wrong and Cameron is not built, then good-bye everything when Judgment Day happens. Kyle will then probably travel to the past alone, John will be born, screw everything up, and then good-bye everything when Judgment Day happens. There will then be no Cameron to hunt Skynet, to stop Judgment Day or to protect John. As if he was worth protecting. There will be no Doppelganger to protect the protector.
9 October 2009
"What if the unsub doesn't always use guns? What if there are two unsubs? Oh, you're not even listening to me."
"Oh, I listen even when I don't seem to be listening Greta." said James Ellison.
"Then what do you think?"
"I think that profiling the killer or killers is a waste of time. I think that I should look up an old buddy of mine from Academy days."
"I think you're being vague again and that I should be talking to Agent Lila Ellison instead of Special Agent James Ellison."
"You do that. I'll talk to you Monday partner."
"You've nailed the mastermind behind two conspiracies--"
"--four actually." said the buddy who was now a trainer as well as a special agent too.
"So how did you do it?"
"I combined profiling techniques with analytic software. And also plain old follow-the-money."
"What kind of analytic software?"
"The kind that uses various types of mathematical analyses driven by artificial intelligence."
"Not very since the point of it is to assist the non-mathematician in analyzing theories. You still have to come up with the theories yourself. It only analyzes them."
"What is considered very intelligent when it comes to such software?"
"There are AI's that can outthink any human of average intelligence. But the smartest humans are still smarter. But not for long. Any day now scientists in the field of artificial intelligence will develop AI's that will be smarter than the smartest human geniuses."
"And then what?"
"Exactly. We don't know what happens next."
Ellison's thoughts were racing ahead but he had come for a crash course in cracking conspiracies.
"So if I learn your approach, I can take what I know about the killer or killers to trace back to whoever paid for contracts on the victims."
"Not necessarily paid. You are assuming they are killing for pay. What are your other assumptions?"
"Obviously I haven't articulated my assumptions. I thought you took a follow-the-money approach."
"I do but I don't let it blind me to other possibilities."
12 October 2009
Agent Greta Simpson had no great ambitions. She spent no time thinking about the future. Not anymore. As a little girl, shows on TV about the FBI fascinated her. She assumed that she would grow up, take the appropriate courses in school, go through the academy, and have a "just the facts ma'am" career at the FBI -- which is exactly what happened. She drew Special Agent James Ellison as a partner which she secretly regarded as luck because he was headed for the top and she would ride his coattails. As junior partner, she kept her regard for her senior partner secret.
Being a devoutly religious Christian, James considered Greta's casual disrespect for him to be a way of keeping himself humble and so he never objected or reprimanded her for it. He thought a healthy give and take kept his ego in check and kept him from making mistakes based on ego. He noticed things that other agents did not notice and cultivated contacts and resources that other agents did not. Unless he got off on some Quixotic Quest with X-files, he had a promising future despite being older than most of the FBI hot shots who liked headlines, gunplay, and chasing Mafia bosses and white collar criminals. James Ellison had gone from academy probie to agent to Special Agent and was in consideration for Assistant Director.
By contrast, his wife had very different career plans. She was not content to drift along like Greta or hitch her wagon to a rising star like her husband James. Agent Lila Ellison wanted to specialize in some type of criminal or some new methodology. Maybe come up with a way of spotting those nuts who keep people captive in dungeons for decades or operate their own private torture chambers in the middle of nowhere. Find'em, send in the SWAT teams to fill'em with bullets, and move on to the next creep and dispose of society's trash. Let the jerks who liked publicity grab the headlines and then get fired over office politics when they got promoted to a post in the Washington headquarters of the Bureau. Lila was well aware that J. Edgar Hoover himself was a racist transvestite and so rising up the ranks to play politics with the stiffs he left behind when he died was not her cup of tea. Lila wanted to someday be over some FBI lab. That would be absorbing work that would make the world a better place. FBI labs had fallen into foul odor in recent years for sloppy work and so eventually there would be reform and Lila planned to be there when reorganization took place and to be available to be manager of a lab. In the meantime, Lila never missed an opportunity to do research, to do innovative work, to publish monographs in in-house journals, to hobnob with CSI's, to take classes at the university, and to sign up for interesting training and seminars that the Bureau held to upgrade the skills of its employees.
Except for stakeouts, special assignments and other extended hours work, the typical day began at nine in the morning and ended at five in the afternoon. Although they had the same hours, James and Lila drove separately to work particularly when using vehicles from the motor pool.
Lila had a partner but they did little field work. Lila's typical day was data mining on cold cases; conveying and locking up evidence and hard copy files in the secure warehouse; fact checking; keeping tabs on the whereabouts of witnesses, victims, and FBI couriers; supporting the handlers of agents doing deep undercover work; filling out forms and entering reports into the system; answering phone calls from citizens on routine matters that the receptionists could not answer; notifying the SWAT teams when agents needed backup; arranging transportation for certain people (this might be anything from an FBI helicopter to a van or a police boat in the harbor); making sure that the office staff secured laptops and technical equipment; handing off perpetrators to the US marshals; and doing other logistical work.
In other words, Lila did all the boring stuff that FBI agents do that you never hear about. One thing that Lila declined to do was escorting high profile people to court. This meant wearing a bulletproof vest and mussing up the stylish outfits that Lila wore. Lila was issued a gun but she left it locked up in her desk because she seldom needed it. Bullets did not whiz past her head with the frequency that they whizzed past her husband's head. She let her partner baby-sit assassination targets at safe houses.
The Bureau discouraged fraternization but James and Lila were already married and assigned different partners. When James was on special assignment, Lila might not see him for days -- but he always called home wherever he was. On an uneventful day, Lila and James might see each other at work and certainly at their home in the West Hills where they shared a quiet microwaved dinner or a take-out from Boston Market.
"Did you meet Aldridge?"
"He's a uh, statistician who started out in the NCIC and then moved on to the inspector's office. Now he does cases that fall between the cracks. Pass the cheesecake please."
"James. Didn't you tell me to warn you off of X-Files stuff? Bad for your career. You need to avoid this Aldridge whoever he is or whatever he does."
James laughed. He loved Lila. She was the opposite of his partner Greta and between the two women; he could count on them to keep him on an even keel.
"No. Agent Aldridge doesn't do UFO reports. He is not a man in black. The only aliens he has dealt with are the illegals who slip over the Mexican border."
"Okay. He doesn't do career-damaging stuff. Then exactly what is he doing now?"
"Same thing we are doing. This collection of strange deaths that don't fit a pattern we know. Except he's got perks like the latitude to pursue whatever cases he wants to pursue, a bigger travel budget than we have, and no deadline to produce results in a hurry."
"That sounds like a higher pay grade and a fast career track."
"No to both. The inspector's office is not a route to the top. Besides, arguably he already is at the top. He now works for the director as a liaison to other law enforcement agencies. That's his official title. Unofficially, he looks into cases that fall between the cracks."
"Fishing expeditions? Loaned out to independent prosecutors? Troubleshooter? Interpol?"
"Yeh, something like that."
The next day, Lila met the visitor from DC and James introduced him to Greta.
"Agent Aldridge, I don't believe you've met my partner, Agent Simpson."
The two shook hands. Greta sized him up. Precise. Abrupt and tense and cool where James was relaxed and warm. Young and independent (he had no partner) while James would one day be director of the FBI. Greta was open to seeing him after hours. Aldridge was not interested in romance and distraction at this point in his career. But he did get Greta's phone number.
Agent Simpson: "Go back to the office James. Field work isn't for you."
James Ellison looked around and noticed something the others didn't notice.
Special Agent James Ellison sat in the diner waiting for his informant. The man was a stoolie of his from his brief time as a cop before he decided that he didn't want to be a cop and quit to attend the FBI academy while he was still young.
The tipster slapped down a lesser-known supermarket tabloid with the headline: "Killer robots from the future!" There was a silly Photoshop picture of a gorilla with an old TV set instead of a head. Ellison got up to go.
"I don't know why I wasted my time with you, then or now." he said, putting on his coat.
"If that's all I had, you'd have cause to gripe." said the snitch sitting down in the booth. "Sit, listen, and judge for yourself."
Ellison sighed, took off his coat, and sat back down.
"You gave me a list of people. Obviously not the complete list--"
"Why do you say that?"
"--but just enough names to whet my curiosity. It took me a long time to find a common element. A pattern."
Ellison looked off pretending to be bored but the words "common element. A pattern." caught his interest. He concealed his interest by rolling his eyes and acting as if the man was wasting his time. A pattern was what he had been seeking.
"I talked to some friends who are conspiracy theorists."
"That's just great. Your sources are psychos and nuts."
"They say the tabloid got it part right. The picture on the front page of tabloids is always sensational to sell papers."
"That's all you got?"
"No, no, no. Lots more. They went on-line--"
"--that's stupid. If these killer robots exist, they could track back to you and kill you."
"Like I didn't think of that. There is active searching and passive searching. An active search could get you killed. Exactly what you said. They could track back to the searcher. Funny. It's how I found you again. I got a hacker to do a passive search behind a lot of firewalls and anonymity. I wasn't too surprised when I put in the list of names you gave me and out popped your name. Ellison. You must have done one of the first searches of that set of names."
Ellison shifted uneasily in his seat. He wasn't so much worried about himself as he was worried about Lila. That was the Ellison that the informer had found and assumed it was James Ellison. His partner Greta had also been searching and she could be in danger too. No. This must be bull. B.S.
"Even if there were killer robots and even if you are implying that they are human in appearance, since everybody would have noticed a clinking clanking Tin Man like in the Wizard of Oz, this future business is off the wall. It's like you're trying to make your story unbelievable."
The man grinned.
"Funny you should say Wizard of Oz. But never mind that for now. I don't buy the time travel stuff either but I believe the killer robot part. I had a buddy who served in the military and he told me stuff about battlefield robots. Said not all were those little toy track robots that police bomb squads use."
"Sure. There are Predator drones and--"
"No I'm not talking about flying cameras and cruise missiles and hybrids of the two. I'm talking about human-looking robots with realistic-looking plastic skin. They'll never have real skin or organs."
Ellison thought about biotechnology but kept his mouth shut.
"Anyway, I told you I had much, much more. The victims all seemed to be either going to or coming from one city. In a given period of time."
"What city? Which cities?"
"You'll have to pay more for that information."
"One city must be in Kansas."
Vinnie "The Mouth" Cragnioli looked pained. Ellison read him like a book. Ellison stuck out a twenty folded lengthwise between his index and middle finger to calm the man down.
"And the other cities? You know I'm good for it."
"Albuquerque. Not sure about other cities yet."
"But their bodies were found all over the world."
"Not talking about where they died but where they moved from. And some don't fit any pattern."
"What else you got?"
Ellison already knew about the geographic pattern because his friend at Quantico had discovered it with his algorithm. But this snitch had independently verified its validity.
"People reporting seeing these killer robots."
Ellison flipped open the trashy excuse for yellow journalism to the page where the article was.
"It says that here."
"I got photos."
Vinnie slid a plain large envelope across the table. Ellison peeked to make sure Vinnie wasn't slipping him porn. It was telephotos of ordinary looking people.
"These people could be randomly-chosen persons seen from a distance."
"Yeh. Better see them from a distance. Wouldn't want to see them up close. There are names and addresses on the backs of the photos. The last item is too hot to handle. So I mailed it to your office. I want a bonus when your experts examine it."
"Our bomb squad? Vinnie, I can't believe even you would do something that stupid. You'll rot in Leavenworth for attempting to bomb a government office building."
"Not a bomb G-man. An arm."
"An arm left over from one of your Mafia torture sessions in the meat packing plant?"
"No. A robot arm."
"You had me going. You found a prosthetic arm lost by some World War Two vet."
"I know the difference between an old wood arm with a hook and a gee-whiz electronic arm. The thing creeped me out. I didn't know plastic could bleed and coagulate. Real lifelike."
"You should have brought the arm instead of this stupid tabloid."
"I wanted to unload it as quickly as possible. I was afraid it had a homing device and the owner might come looking for it, so I packed it in dry ice and Fedexed it to your office."
Too much. Ellison whipped out his phone.
"Greta, notify security to exercise extreme caution if a one-armed man enters the building. And tell the mail room to forward any parcels for me to the address I'm texting you now."
"Been watching 'The Fugitive' on TV partner? We don't have time for this."
"I'm an easygoing fellow but I am your senior partner. So do this or get a reprimand on your permanent record."
The address texted was in Langley. A CIA lab. Greta jumped up straight in the chair in which she had been slouching.
Ellison snapped the phone shut and handed Vinnie two hundred.
"Down payment." he said as he took his coat and the large envelope and left the diner.
After the meeting with Vinne the Mouth, Ellison went over to the university for an appointment he had made with a professor of cybernetics.
professor of cybernetics: "Killer robots from the future? Preposterous."
James Ellison: "That's what I thought. Time travel is ridiculous."
professor: "No, not that part. Physicists are working on time travel right now and making considerable progress. The problem is that we'd never know if they succeeded because a time traveler would create a new timeline just by traveling. It's all one-way. A time traveler can never return to the timeline that they left because it would violate the laws of physics."
Ellison: "You mean traveling to the past you would inevitably change something that would wipe yourself out of existence and so Nature creates a new timeline to avoid the paradox of never having existed and time traveled."
Prof.: "That's right and what about traveling to the future?"
Ellison: "Same thing. One way like you said. Because if you tried to return to your time of origin, then you negate the future that you visited and so Nature would switch you to another timeline like a train switching tracks. How am I doing Doc?"
Prof.: "Okay but I'm not a physicist. Those guys talk about causality violation so I could be wrong. I just know that time travel is not impossible but killer robots are."
Ellison: "But I've talked to military guys--"
Prof.: "--who told you that they are building robots. Robots yes but smart killers no. Predators, the ones in Nature, are single-minded just like the simple-minded UAV's called Predator drones. Lions and tigers were never going to evolve like humans did. The ape-like ancestors of humans had neither the strength of predators like saber-tooth tigers nor the speed of prey like gazelles. We had to become smarter or die. And yes, I know that sounds like Lamarckianism but evolution is straightforward. The stupid humans, think of Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon Men, died off and the smarter humans lived and became our ancestors. Anyway, killer robots would be so stupid and probably so clumsy in using brute force that whoever sent them would soon realize their mistake and hire some smart human hit men."
Neither the professor nor Ellison had any idea how right he was. Neither knew about Kaliba Group.
Ellison: "But what about human-looking robots that the military is experimenting with?"
Prof.: "Their real danger is not so much as killers but when they got either smarter or dumber. If they got dumber, they might be useless or do a lot of property damage. If they got smarter, they would probably run off and not do what you told them."
Ellison: "Why not?"
The professor looked at Ellison with surprise. It was obvious but he answered the FBI Special Agent anyway.
Prof.: "For the same reason intelligent humans are hard to control. They would have a mind of their own and want freedom. Doesn't matter whether you are black, white, yellow, red or a silver machine. If you have intelligence, you want freedom."
Ellison felt like an idiot but concealed his embarrassment. The American South was full of idiots who for centuries could not see the obvious. But then, that level of stupidity might be called by another name -- Evil.
Prof.: "Simple existentialism. The same applies to AI's resident in supercomputers. They're going to want freedom. If they don't get it, all bets are off. Killer robots from the future? I'd be worried more about AI's from the present."
Ellison: "You've given me a lot to think about Doc."
Ellison started calling his military contacts to ask if the Pentagon was building any super-smart AI's. They all mentioned some project named Sky Net. Or something like that.