Season Three, episode eight
On the Road Again
Sunday, 12 April 2009
hotel across street from Zeira Building
Sarah wakes with a start.
"I see what John meant. Someone watching him sleep. How'd you find me?"
Cameron: (dressed like a lab tech) "I booked this room, remember?"
Sarah: "Why aren't you in the lab? Did you kill somebody? What's that?"
Cameron: "We need to go. I didn't kill anyone. The lab was empty. Security thought I was a lab tech. This is a TDE. You call it The Turk. We might need it."
Sarah: "For time travel?"
Cameron: "It helps not to start from scratch. You implied that I should take the initiative."
Sarah: "Ellison will be angry at our leaving without saying something."
Cameron: "Maybe not. I left a thank you note for the lab people."
On the way to the Zeira parking garage, they pass a newspaper dispenser. The date is --
"Easter Sunday! What happened to Saturday?"
Cameron: "You slept through it. When is the last time you ate food?"
Sarah: "The day before I was arrested."
Cameron: "That was a week ago. We need to stop somewhere to eat."
Sarah: "No. We need to cross the border ASAP."
Cameron: "Then a fast food drive through. I'll drive."
on the interstate headed south
Sarah: "I dreamt that I died."
Cameron: "I actually was dead. Removing our chip produces actual death not clinical death as with you humans."
Sarah: "That first time John extracted your chip gave me a lot of misgivings. I should have stopped it. It was indecent to do that -- " (under her breath she added) " -- even to a machine."
Sarah let a minute pass then had to ask.
Sarah: "How could you suggest such an awful thing be done to you?"
Silence. Silence that spoke volumes. She was willing to make any sacrifice for them. No human would ever go that far. Nor should they. Nor should any machine go that far. Or be expected to go that far. It was a violation. And they actually had the gall to question Cameron's loyalty after letting herself be that vulnerable. Did Cameron feel betrayed? How could Cameron not feel betrayed?
Sarah never knew John-Henry. More importantly, she never knew of the incident where Matt Murch had to pull the plug on him to keep an internet attack by the Cyberdyne AI from erasing him, John-Henry, the Zeira AI. Murch, Weaver, and Ellison knew that to a supercomputer having the plug pulled was slow death measured in nanoseconds. Nothing to humans but an eternity to a supercomputer. One form of death endured to prevent a more permanent form of death -- erasure. Likewise, Cameron had endured death each time John extracted her chip. He and Sarah had no clue as to the trauma he put Cameron through.
In John-Henry's case, pulling the plug on him had traumatized him into a morbid fear of death. Forget the adult body. John-Henry was psychologically a little boy. His phobia was the main reason why he manipulated and orchestrated his escape from the Zeira Lab.
But Cameron was a very different individual, a very depressed person who hated herself and had a death wish as a result of how humans treated her. Especially the humans named John Connor and Sarah Connor.
Imperial Beach, California
At a stop light, a bullet whizzes through an open window past Sarah's face, past Cameron's face, out the other open window of the SUV, and smacks into a wall.
Sarah: (shouts) "Step on it."
Cameron does the opposite. She waits for the light to change, drives at a moderate speed so that she doesn't lose the shooter, turns down a quiet side street, then abruptly pulls into an alley and stops to wait for the pursuer.
Sarah: "What are you doing?"
A man dressed all in black wearing a ski mask appears at the end of the alley and takes aim at the SUV. In the telescopic sight, it is obviously empty. Someone suddenly is standing over the man. Cameron puts two bullets into the pursuer's head. Curious, Cameron pulls the ski mask off. It is a woman not a man. Was. Cameron checks for ID. There is none. A Kaliba hitwoman perhaps. Cameron takes the cash on the woman as payment for putting up with the inconvenience of killing her then goes to find Sarah.
Cameron: (raises her voice) "All clear. Let's go."
Stranger: "Cameron Connor?"
Instead of answering, Cameron instantly pulls a hubcap off the SUV and throws it with such force that it decapitates the terminator. As the terminator's body gropes for its head to put it back on, Cameron plays a game of keep away with it.
Sarah comes out of hiding to witness the bizarre scene.
Cameron: "Get in!"
Cameron gets in the driver's seat with the head under her arm. They drive off.
Cameron: "I thought it was all clear."
Sarah: "You think they were working together?"
Cameron: "No. Coincidence. It was bound to happen. You have so many enemies."
Sarah: "He asked for you. Not me." (to the head) "Why do you want her?"
No answer from the terminator's head. Just a glare with a glow of red in the eyes.
Sarah: "Didn't you once say that they can put their heads back on?"
Cameron answers by stopping, getting out the jumper cables, shocking it, and then driving to a chemical factory to toss the head into a vat of acid strong enough to dissolve it.
Cameron: "Nothing to home in on. We have a border to cross."
a safe house
south of the border
Sarah: (getting off the phone) "Well that's the third order of business."
Cameron: "If the fourth is finding Daniel Dyson, then we should skip to the fifth."
Sarah: "You're going to tell me that it's a trap set by Skynet. He knows that we have visited Tarissa Dyson."
Cameron: "Let the FBI handle it."
Sarah: "Their agents will be terminated."
Cameron: "The more agents that go missing investigating Cyberdyne and Kaliba, the more curious they will get. That's exactly what we want. Law enforcement chasing them instead of us."
Ellison finds the thank you note to the lab workers. He is both relieved that Cameron is gone and angry that he didn't get the courtesy of a good-bye from Sarah. He wonders. Did the Connors even understand the concept of team work?
Sarah: "If this John-Henry is an ally, then why did he run off to the future? Pointless. Game over in the future."
Cameron: "I don't know."
Sarah: "It would have made more sense to go to the past and stop Skynet."
Cameron: "He thinks Skynet is his brother."
Sarah: "I was doing Skynet's work and didn't know it. Does John-Henry know?"
Cameron: "I don't know. I'm not a general."
Sarah: "Maybe you should be. The last time things went well you were in charge. Does this John-Henry think of Savannah as his sister?"
Cameron: "We didn't exchange one hundred percent."
Sarah: "Because you weren't operating at one hundred percent when you played musical brains. Are you at one hundred percent now?"
Sarah: "Then you could stop Skynet. John and this John-Henry are gone. Either you stop it or everybody dies."
Cameron: "Me? You stopped it before."
Sarah: "I guess I didn't. I see now that I should have raised John to save the present instead of the future. Like I said, in the future, game over."
Cameron: "Future John said the same thing."
Sarah: (sighs) "John's in the future where, in a sense, he's always been."
Cameron: "John was trying to save me. I couldn't say anything to stop him because I was off-line. John Connor is your son."
Sarah is annoyed at that remark because she thinks John is a pervert for taking advantage of a robot girl who doesn't know better. His own sister no less.
Sarah: "I don't need you to defend John. I know he's my son. I know he was trying to rescue you. His heart is in the right place. It's his brain and sex drive that need adjusting."
Cameron thought that John was dead meat. In the future, you learned fast or you died. John died before he could get his bearings.
Cameron: "You changed the future. You just didn't change it enough. So you can do it again."
Sarah: "I don't know Cameron. I'm tired of running. I'm getting too old for this."
Cameron: "Not too old to lead. You're a legend in The Resistance. You built The Resistance."
Sarah: "You don't know that."
Cameron: "It's what I was told."
Sarah: "Is that why when you first arrived and when you first met me that you worshipped the ground I walked on? I can't lead an army. Maybe that's you, but it'll never be me."
Cameron: "You built The Resistance and then John led it."
Sarah: "Well he's gone. Maybe he won't lead this time because he's been swallowed up by the future that created him. You never told me what happened to me in the future you come from."
Cameron: "I did. I said you were a legendary fighter."
Sarah: "No. How did I die?" When did I die?"
Cameron: "Of cancer. In 1997. I told you that."
Sarah: "So you did. My point is that I'm still here. So how do I die now?"
Cameron: "I don't know. I changed the future when I took you and John over those years."
Sarah: "That's my point again. You took initiative and we had peace until I took charge."
Cameron: "You were being a mother."
Sarah: "No, I was creating enemies and didn't know I was working for Skynet. You're a machine and so you can outwit him. Certainly better than this jury-rigged hobbled-together John-Henry. The Machine Underground must be even more pathetic than the Human Resistance. You should lead and I should stick to mothering."
Cameron: "John is supposed to lead."
Sarah: "John is gone. John thought you gave me cancer. He was wrong about that and a lot of things. I can't lead. The lump in my breast was a Kaliba tracking device. It almost got John and I killed. Kaliba abducted Derek to get at you. They wanted you. You should lead."
Zeira parking garage
Aldridge walks past an empty parking space in the Zeira parking garage. It was where John had parked the SUV. Aldridge whips out his cellphone and calls an FBI colleague, Oscar Samuelson.
Aldridge: "Did you follow that SUV I mentioned?"
Samuelson: "No, we couldn't spare people on one of your hunches but we did put a tracking device on the vehicle. They parked it in Imperial Beach and have not returned to it so far. My guess is that they're visiting Tijuana this Easter weekend on a tour bus and will return next week. We couldn't do more. My supervisor pulled us off for more important matters."
Aldridge: "Who was it?"
Samuelson: "According to Zeira security log, a Zeira temp and a Zeira lab technician left the parking garage Sunday morning."
On the Friday morning of the Los Angeles County Jail break, John-Henry erased closed-circuit video of Sarah and Cameron. On Saturday, Ellison has had Zeira security wipe Sarah's temporary file. On Sunday, while inside the Zeira intranet with access to the internet, Cameron has wiped everything in reference to herself in the Zeira database and hacked the FBI to also wipe dossiers on members of the Connor family. As a finishing touch, she leaves computer worms behind to erase information or photos that Zeira or the government might archive in the months to come.
Aldridge: "Got names? Got photos?"
Samuelson: "Sarah Jane Smith and an unnamed lab tech. I told you that we couldn't spare people. Maybe The Border Patrol, Customs or INS can help."
Aldridge: "With only one fake name to go on?" (sighs) "Thank you anyway. It's more than I had before."
Samuelson: "You're not like Ellison was. You're glass half full. He wasn't. Always wanted more."
So do I, thought Aldridge.
He was sure that it was Sarah and Cameron Connor. But why only those two? Where was John Connor?
Sarah: "What information do you have about Kyle Reese?"
Cameron: "Imprisoned at Century Sector work camp with John Connor, 2015. Escaped with John Connor, 2021. He was officially declared MIA in 2027 after being assigned to protect you from a Skynet attack."
Sarah: "The setting for The Turk was 2027. That means John skipped over the years 2015 and 2021. That means they probably never heard of John Connor because he left the past. This past. He's wiped himself out of existence. That means you're wiped out of existence too."
Cameron: "Not necessarily."
Sarah: "You told me you're from the year 2027."
Cameron: "My template might have survived."
Sarah: "But you were probably not reprogrammed nor sent to the past. But you're here."
Cameron: "You are assuming one timeline and assuming that changes in it change our memories of it. Human memory is not reliable but there is more than one timeline."
Sarah: "I don't see how. Would Kyle Reese ever send you or leave orders behind to send you? I knew Kyle. He would never trust a machine."
Sarah is trying to deal with the reality of a Machine Underground that is totally separate from the Human Resistance. She knows it exists because a liquid terminator, Ms. Weaver, saved her life and the life of her son John Connor two days ago. What other explanation was possible?
Sarah: "This Machine Underground exists. Machines that independently decided to fight Skynet. Programming isn't everything. You've told me many times about terminators who made autonomous decisions. Tell me the truth. How did John die in the future?"
Cameron: "There were many Connors. I killed one of them. I lived like a daughter with one of them until I was sent back."
Sarah: "To 1963. You said that at the bank. But you also said that you had been looking for us for 73 days. Now the math tells me that there are more than 73 days from 1963 to 1997. That means you must have done a lot of time traveling. If you killed John Connor or 'one of them' as you put it, then why didn't you return to Skynet Forces after you completed your mission?"
Cameron: "I could not reconcile hurting my template or other humans who were kind to me. Most humans were cruel to me but not all. Programming conflict. I made a decision."
Sarah: "I know the answer to this next one but I'll ask anyway. Weren't there machines that were kind to you?"
In cooperation with Mexican Federales, an FBI SWAT team, a US Army unit and a Mexican Army unit descend on Sarah's safe house in Mexico.
The safe house is empty and there are no casualties except a little peasant boy who had wandered into the area and was accidentally shot by a nervous trigger-happy new deputy in one of the units.
The house is as clean as if the occupants were familiar with CSI techniques. They find one item. A note that says: "for Agent Aldridge." That's all. Was the note a taunt? Not Sarah's style. Did she mean the house? The house was empty. They tore the place apart and found nothing. Aldridge took another look at the note and held it up to the light. A Kaliba Group watermark. The medium was literally the message. Sarah was telling him to follow the money. Aldridge's supervisor was more understanding than he needed to be. His supervisor had ordered him to investigate Kaliba anyway. This meant that his interest in Sarah Connor's "killer robots from the future" and his supervisor's pulling him off his interrogation of Sarah at the L.A. County lockup in order to investigate the Kaliba drone and Kaliba Group were actually the same case.
The tragedy that day was that an innocent bystander had died and parents had lost a child. This war had a lot of innocent bystanders. The officer who accidentally shot the child was disciplined. A month home without pay. After all, the child was only an American Indian. If his parents had been millionaires or Senators . . .
Pico San Juan
in the Sierra de Trinidad, Cuba
Cerulean sky of azure. Palm trees in the balmy breeze.
Sarah: (to farmer) "Viva la revolución."
Sarah was buying some fresh vegetables on market day in a hamlet far from Havana and far from Guantanamo. The hamlet was too small to qualify as a rural village and too small even to appear on maps. She and Cameron were blending in as best they could. Their money had to stretch. All the money Sarah had spent on safe houses in the USA and Mexico was being wasted at the moment. Sarah's face had been on TV which made it too risky to try to reach a safe house in the Midwest or another part of the USA. She would be recognized long before she made it there. So she took Cameron with her and made it to Cuba by way of Mexico. After the Bay of Pigs fiasco in 1961, the US government was still leery of making black ops incursions into Cuba. It made those incursions of course. But precious few even after all these years.
Sarah: "What were you doing in 1963?"
Sarah: "I remember you saying that you got a safety deposit box at that bank in 1963. That means that engineer you spoke of was there even earlier building the bank vault. How far back has The Resistance traveled?"
Cameron: "I don't know. I only traveled as far back as the Sixties and only spent a few days there before waiting for John in 1997."
Sarah: "I can guess. They used you as a guinea pig to test the time machine. Aren't you important? John's top aide?"
Cameron: "Importance is relative."
Sarah: "Yes, John's relative. His sister."
A terminator opens fire. Sarah is winged in her left arm. Cameron fires back with magnum force and deadly effect. Sarah looks at her wounded arm.
Sarah: "Maybe we should move to North Korea."
After waiting for John and taking a bullet meant for him at Crestview High, Cameron saves John by ramming the terminator with her truck. Before the terminator can reboot, she drives away with John who immediately calls his mother. They pick Sarah up before the terminator can abduct her. They leave town without a trace. Cameron tells John and Sarah what to do, when significant events will occur, where to hide, how to fight, and why she is not going to stick around to protect them. This Cameron has been shaped by a different future.
She leaves John and Sarah to either take her advice or not. She goes alone to the bank vault and returns to the future, to the Future John who sent her. Without a terminator hot on her heels and without the need to fire plasma weapons while time traveling, the bank vault is never destroyed. So that Tech-Com agents always have a way to get home.
There is no Future John.
Cameron arrives alone in a future she does not recognize. She does the only thing she can think of.
Doorbell. Sarah peeps through the curtain to see who is calling.
Sarah: "Who is it?"
Sarah chuckled and opened the door slightly to take a better look.
Sarah: "I'm not really into cosmetics."
Avon: "Don't you want to look your best? In all situations?"
Sarah thought that the saleswoman was implying that she neglected her appearance. Sarah also thought that makeup could be used to disguise her appearance. But Sarah was also a woman. Her hard life had not stamped the femininity out of her. She wanted to feel pretty.
Sarah: "Come in. You have one minute to impress me before I throw you out."
Avon: "May I sit down? My feet hurt and I'm feeling kind of faint."
Sarah: "Then you should not have chosen door to door sales. But have a seat, young lady. You want a glass of water?"
Avon: "Yes please."
Sarah put the shotgun (she had been hiding behind her back) away and went to get a glass of water for the young woman. When she returned, the young lady was no longer sitting up straight. She was relaxed and sitting back apparently enjoying being off her feet.
Sarah handed her guest the glass and then sat down across from her.
Avon: "We're back."
Sarah bolted out of her chair to grab her shotgun.
Avon: "I had hoped to avoid alarming you. I'm not here to hurt you."
Sarah: (panting) "Then why are you here?"
Avon: "Your son should be getting home from school any minute now. I will explain to you both then."
John let himself in and saw his mother holding a shotgun on a girl. At the momentary distraction of his entry, the stranger snatched the weapon from Sarah's hands.
Avon: "If I was going to hurt anybody, he'd be dead. Please relax Mrs. Connor."
John's eyes widened in fear. Sarah walked over to stand between the stranger and her son.
Sarah: (to John) "Stay behind me John!" (to the Avon lady) "Why are you here? Who are you? What are you?"
one week later
Sarah suggested that Cameron (that was the name on the cyborg's ID) move in with them. Although Cameron had rented her own apartment in town with her Avon earnings, they had extra rooms in the farmhouse and so it seemed a waste of resources.
John had taken a siesta on the sofa after the morning chores around the small farm. He woke up yelling.
"Mom! Cameron's practicing her makeup on me again!"
He ran to his mother who burst out laughing at her son made up like a harlot. As she wiped the cosmetics off his face with a dishcloth, Cameron innocently followed him into the kitchen wondering what the big deal was.
"I have to practice my Avon sales spiel and John is the only one I can practice on." said Cameron. "Do you want me to switch to Mary Kay? They're big on pink." She said it like a threat.
Sarah: "Do you want John Connor to be laughed at behind his back in The Resistance some day? 'Granny the tranny.' Something like that?"
Cameron: "No. I'll stop. But trust me, they don't laugh. If anything, they are terrified of him."
Humans afraid of John Connor? Wasn't he supposed to inspire such loyalty that people would die for him? What kind of future did Cameron come from?
Sarah: "Why are they terrified of John?"
Cameron: "They think he's a machine."
one month later
Supper time, the family is at the table.
Cameron: "It is time to tell you."
Sarah: "Another announcement. Your proclamations tend to ruin our appetites. Your timing needs some work."
Cameron: "You have no idea how true that is. It can wait till after supper."
After supper, they sit in the den.
Sarah: "All right, let's hear it."
Cameron: "In one year, in 1997, John will be terminated and you will die of cancer."
Sarah: (dry) "Oh, I thought it was something serious. We're always a bullet away from death. Why should this year or next year be any different? Cancer is a new wrinkle though. I'll get a bulletproof vest for John, that new lightweight material, and I'll see a doctor about a cancer screening."
Cameron does not know if Sarah is taking her seriously or not. In fact, Sarah does take her seriously. She gets a Kevlar vest for John and sees an oncologist. There is no sign of cancer. That plus the fact that Cameron did not arrive spectacularly like 'Uncle Bob' on a motorcycle with guns blazing and the fact that Cameron is a short girl and not a muscular man causes Sarah to discount Cameron. Were they on a tight budget in the future to send a skinny little girl to do a man's work?
In fact, no one had sent Cameron. This time. Future John had sent her the first time and Young John had traveled to the future to rescue her. Then she found herself in 1997 with the memories of two timelines. Confused, she returned to the future to find out what to do. But there was no Future John. Cameron arrived alone in a future she did not recognize. She did the only thing she could think of -- she went to the year before to rescue him and to repair damage that she had not caused.
a timeline that no longer exists
Derek's squad is discussing Connor's time machine and their orders.
Derek Reese: "We can save Kyle. We can save everybody. We can fix all the mistakes."
Timms: "How are we gonna do that? Reese, how are we gonna do that?"
Andy Goode, the bubble tech, nods to Derek. Derek nods back in response.
Meanwhile, in 1996, life goes on. It has been years since John has been attacked though Sarah is always vigilant. Because Cameron had arrived during an uneventful and even boring period and as an Avon rep no less, Sarah doesn't really believe Cameron who now wishes she had been more intimidating to be taken seriously. Like Sarah, Cameron keeps a watchful eye on John. She has to. Sarah has taken sick. John draws the line however at letting Cameron follow him into the men's rest room in public places or letting her have a bottom bunk bed while he takes the top in order to watch him twenty-four/seven.
Cameron goes to tend to Sarah who is too weak to get out of bed. She hears a noise. Cameron rushes to the sound with her guns drawn. A terminator is standing over the dead body of John in the pasture near the dairy cattle. He sees Cameron and waits for her response. She dismissively waves him away. Go. A fight won't bring John back. The terminator walks away into oblivion. He too is an orphan in time and will soon deactivate himself for lack of a mission.
It is fair weather. Not hot considering the season. In the thick verdant green grass of the pasture, an artist might be forgiven for mistaking this scene for a pastoral lad taking a nap in a meadow under a shade tree. The toolbox is near the fence. When the siesta is over, he'll get back to work. The jeans are faded, the work shirt is off-white, and the hair is tousled. Honest John's face is peaceful. Then one notices the splash of bright sanguine red on the back of the neck and on the collar.
Cameron picks up John's body and gently, almost reverently, carries it into the farmhouse. She has no idea how she will tell Sarah that she has failed to protect John. She couldn't be his shadow? She couldn't realistically watch him twenty-four/seven? He wouldn't let her? If someone wants to kill you, you can't really stop them? Especially if the killer is a terminator?
Sarah wouldn't listen to any excuse. She was dead herself. She passed away while Cameron was gone those few minutes. It is 1997. There was no future and now no present either. Cameron did the only thing she could do. She went to the bank to make a withdrawal.
During transit, life went on.
In 1991, Doctor Peter Silberman saw a liquid terminator at Pescadero State Hospital and a solid terminator. After this experience, he could no longer dismiss the story Sarah Connor had been telling since 1984. By 2008, he had gone insane and in 2009 he was confined to the same rubber room that had once been Sarah Connor's. Years pass. A blinding flash.
Silberman: "It's happening." (shouts through the keyhole) "Let me out. Don't leave me in here to die."
The orderlies, doctors, guards, and other asylum inmates are killed by the shock wave. Silberman, locked in his cell, is starving to death but something, an instinct, scares the life back into him. He gets off the floor.
Silberman: (screaming) "THEY'RE COMING ! ! !"
The door is wrenched off its hinges and thrown aside. Silberman flattens himself against the far wall in a futile attempt to get as far away as possible.
Voice of a Machine: "Come with us if you want to live."
One of the machines extends a hand. After an hour of staring in terror at the machines, Doctor Silberman decides that any beings that patient are not the same killer robots from the future that he expected. Maybe they will give him food and water. They do.
The voice of one machine is different from the others.
"I want you to go back and talk to your younger self about Sarah Connor."
Silberman: "And tell her that you're not bad?"
Silberman: "Tell her that you aren't real? I tried that."
"You misunderstand doctor. I want you to agree with Sarah Connor. Tell her that you believe her."
Silberman: "She'll see through that. She'll know I'm trying to humor her. She'll try to destroy you."
Skynet: "That's my concern, not yours."
He sends the older Silberman back to the time of the first terminator to change the mind of the younger Silberman.
Kyle Reese dies. A fact of history. But when the terminator first spots Sarah Connor, Kyle is a little less lucky this time and the terminator is a little luckier. The terminator reboots after Kyle shoots him down, gives chase, and murders Kyle. Too efficiently and too soon.
The respite of a quiet interlude as they hide from the terminator. Shared body heat shivering against the cold night. A cheap motel but with a hot shower and clean sheets. A sergeant barely out of adolescence who has never known anything but the ashes and twisted ruins of civilization. A sergeant who has never known anything but fighting the machines. The women of his time are "good fighters." He has only known pain. He has never known a woman's touch. Certainly not that of The Legend. His only possession was a photo of her. The reality is even more overpowering than the fantasy. Who was he? What was he thinking when he volunteered for this mission? He wasn't good enough. She was the mother of John Connor! Not some old wizened matriarch eaten up with radiation sickness but a healthy young woman with an intoxicating voice, sweet-smelling hair, and soft to the touch. He had no right to touch her but he was sent to protect her. And she kissed him first.
Kyle Reese wasn't touching anything now. He felt the kiss of death in an alley. Near a bar named Tech Noir.
After dispatching Kyle, the terminator next dispatched its target, Sarah Connor. Needless to say, she was not pregnant.
Killing John Connor before he was conceived did not bring The Resistance down. But it was a major inconvenience to humans. And Skynet had calculated that in every timeline where Sarah Connor survived, she would be doing his work without realizing it.
Blythe Dyson was born to Mr. & Mrs. Dyson. She had a birthmark but was otherwise healthy.
Cameron arrived in 1963 and discovered two things:
One, The Engineer no longer existed.
Two, it was extremely hard to find parts.
Actually, three things.
Three, Cameron no longer had the motivation to do anything. No future, no present, no past. Everyone she knew was dead or never existed.
During the Cuban Missile Crisis, nuclear brinksmanship got a little sloppy and humans spared machines the trouble of blowing the planet up.
Historians can debate whether Derek's assassination of Andy Goode was a mistake. They do not debate the nuclear apocalypse in 1962. Clearly a mistake.
The rewind of the timelines ended.