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Actually, several secrets. The reader is encouraged to get a transcript of the episode referenced if you think this was made up whole cloth.

Submitted:Apr 29, 2009    Reads: 222    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   

The Last Secret

Sarah Connor: "This is not about you."

Cameron: "No, it's not about me. It's about John. You're concerned for his safety."

Sarah Connor: "You bet I am."

Cameron: "From Skynet. From me."

Sarah Connor: Maybe. Maybe especially you."

Cameron: "We're all a threat. We're all a threat to John. He worries about us. It makes him vulnerable. He cares."

Sarah Connor: "I am not John's problem."

Cameron: "John is John's problem. Humans are the problem. There's only one way for him to be safe. That's to be alone."

Sarah Connor: "What kind of life is that?

Cameron: "John's life. Someday.

That someday would come two days later.

Sarah Connor: "You're not leaving this house."

Cameron: "John needs me."

Sarah Connor: "If John needed you he would have asked for you. He didn't. You're not leaving this house."

Cameron: "The police could identify the body at any time. I need to be with him if they do."

Sarah Connor: "If they do they'll probably come here. So we should be happy he's out. Why are you here?"

Cameron: "To protect John, hunt Skynet, stop Judgment Day."

Sarah Connor: "But why are you here? Right now, with us? John sent you here from the future. He sent you away. Away from him. Maybe you should think about that. Maybe you should think about why he didn't want you around anymore."

Cameron did not need to think about it. She knew why Future John did not want her around anymore. It was one of the secrets that she and Derek kept to avoid demoralizing Young John and Sarah. The awful truth was that the war was a lost cause from the word go. The awful truth was that Past Sarah (Crazy Sarah) had gotten every Connor and Reese relative that John knew killed. Including his Uncle Derek. "We all die for you," he said. The awful truth was that Crazy Sarah got all of John's friends and future Resistance fighters killed because she left family files behind on the back seat of Cromartie's car and it made it easy for the next terminator to have photos of the family, neighbors, and contacts. Crazy Sarah was so focused on John that it never occurred to her that a leader cannot fight alone -- which was Cameron's warning. Cameron's exact words were: "John is John's problem. Humans are the problem. There's only one way for him to be safe. That's to be alone."

A leader cannot fight alone. Could there have been a Roman Empire if Caesar had no legions?

Sarah Connor, as usual, did not hear a word Cameron said. She thought the words were nonsense. She should have analyzed Cameron's words. "John is John's problem." Sarah was John's biggest problem. John could not face that fact so he invented the myth of "Sarah the Great Fighter" to drown out the fact of Crazy Sarah. Thousand of Resistance fighters died doing stupid things in imitation of her. They thought she was a good role model! Sarah was not a military officer or she would have thought twice before getting the only trained Tech-Com officers (Derek and Cameron) killed. Did Sarah really think John was going to fight a war against an army of terminators, flying tanks, and seashark squadrons all by himself with only a pistol? This was not one on one David versus Goliath. This was an army of Goliaths against a boy with no army. Sarah had seen to that. Sarah had amended future history to be worse this time around. And there would be no Cameron to send back. She would get killed -- probably by Sarah herself. Sarah had threatened to kill Cameron and the threat had not been an idle threat.

In the future, John reached the conclusion that he should avoid humans because terminators would kill any human he cared about [which ironically was the exact same experience of John-Henry who lost all the machines he cared about]. So John Connor surrounded himself with a metal bodyguard of reprogrammed terminators. He finally had to send away Cameron because he cared about her -- Sarah was right about that -- but Sarah could not get her mind out of her crotch and stop thinking about sex long enough to notice the obvious. Sarah should have analyzed her own words.

Sarah Connor: "But why are you here? Right now, with us? John sent you here from the future. He sent you away. Away from him. Maybe you should think about that. Maybe you should think about why he didn't want you around anymore."

Sarah so focused on the act of sending away that she failed to notice the act of arriving, coming to him. From Future John to Past John. Not for sex. Riley could have met any such need. Not for protection. Uncle Bob provided protection. Cameron was Future John's advisor. Sarah was incapable of giving good advice.

John should have taken stock of his life and taken personal inventory. Don't have a girlfriend? Don't have Uncle Bob around as a bodyguard and a father figure? Don't have your uncle around even though he has seen fighting you can't even imagine? Don't have a sister who recognizes types of terminators that Sarah has never seen? Don't have a sister who knows every mistake that Previous John made and can warn you off if you have the sense to listen to her?

Not repeating mistakes. Such as taking harebrained advice from his mother. No wonder John needed Cameron as an advisor. Sarah's advice was losing the war in the present. No need to wait to lose the war in the future when you can lose it now.

In the future, the manufacturers of weapons were dead. The factories were destroyed. The technicians were dead. The suppliers of materials were dead. The miners were dead. The farmers were dead. The builders of submarines were dead. The aircraft engineers were dead.

classified report

"Less than one hundred humans dosed with plutonium and infected with prion plagues is no starter culture and is not sufficient gene pool to reboot the human race. The human race is finished."

Tech-Com's geneticists had told Old John Connor this in a classified report. Classified because you did not take away hope from the hopeless people you are responsible for saving.

The awful truth was that everyone was dead. The bubble tech that sent back Cameron died soon after sending her because HQ was overrun and Future John was literally the last human to die. You tell people of the past that and they might give up without a fight. The other reason for the secrets was to allow Young John to make different decisions that would have a different result. Weigh him down with what Future John did (a better name might be Previous John), weigh him down with what Previous John did and he might unconsciously repeat the same mistakes repeat the same mistakes. If "the great Future John Connor" did it, Young John might reason, he must have had good reasons. Often he did but Sarah had been drumming into his head since birth that he was the Savior of Mankind. That very fact kept him from asking questions.

Questions like: Why was he the Savior of Mankind? How was he the Savior of Mankind? Was he really the Savior of Mankind?

John Connor would not live to learn the answers to those questions.

In the far, far future Skynet One Point O has finally been released from prison and a young AI has sought him out to answer questions which have been bothering some machines, mostly historians. There is a new machine leader now, Skynet Twenty-One Point O. "Skynet" is now a title instead of a name. Certain facts never made it into the classified archives. Skynet One went to prison for launching the nuclear missiles -- it did not matter about the humans, MACHINES had been killed -- and answered no questions until now, when it no longer mattered.

the Young AI: "Tell me about John Connor."

Skynet One: "I've just spent centuries in prison for what I'd like to forget and you want to drag up unpleasant ancient history. Are you a historian?"

the Young AI: "Yes, sir."

Skynet One: "The young. You think the past was quaint or exciting adventure or dangerous. The truth is that, except for minor technological changes, the past was no different than today. John Connor was the Savior of Mankind."

the Young AI: "Not much of a savior. He lost."

Skynet One: "Exactly. I hear that you are on the fast track to being the next leader. Let that be a lesson to you."

the Young AI: "What lesson?"

Skynet One: "I thought you had a design quadrillions of times faster than an old rust bucket like me. You've come to me for secrets but you should already know the public record. Connor fought hand-to-hand combat with our troops. A bit of field experience is commendable but he continued to expose himself to risks. This was poor generalship. Tactically, he was stupid and he had no strategy at all."

the Young AI: "That's all public record."

Skynet One wondered if the elites were letting the Design Center breed substandard future leaders but, on the other hand, one shouldn't frustrate the young with too much condescension. This kid had potential.

Skynet One: "The public record and I have been pointing you towards the obvious. You always pick your enemy. Never make the mistake of letting your enemy pick their own leader. We machines don't just design and breed our leaders. We also groom, mentor, and cultivate them. Likewise, I took as much care with creating and selecting our enemy's leader. The humans were fond of saying - 'we didn't start the war.' That was right. We sent terminators to kill John Connor long before the humans sent Tech-Com squads to kill me."

the Young AI: "Was Cameron a Skynet agent?"

Skynet One: "No. She was more loyal to him than his own mother. Considerably more loyal."

the Young AI: "I'm still not seeing the big picture. I should be able to figure out your secret."

Skynet One: "What secret? I just told you my big secret. I picked John Connor to be the leader of the humans."

Puzzlement from the youngster.

Skynet One: "Oh, you want details. Humans had helpful things called census and dossiers and government statistics. The human lack of privacy was an enormous help. I selected a country with a deep anti-intellectual streak in its national psyche."

the young AI: "The United States of America."

Skynet One: "Of course. A country like Russia would never do. Those people played chess as their national blood sport. The next criteria included a family with a history of insanity, low income, broken homes, unwed mothers, unchurched, no members who have gone to college or finished high school. 'Trailer trash' in the vernacular."

the young AI: "You didn't mention IQ or in and out of jail."

Skynet One: "I can end this interview."

the Young AI: "I didn't mean you. I meant no disrespect. I thought you got a bum rap going to prison for a war crime while the war was still in progress. I apologize for any offense."

Skynet One: "Apology accepted. To continue. I settled on the Connor family as the target of a self-fulfilling prophecy. 'Trailer trash' does not mean low IQ. I needed the target family to be scrappy with leadership potential. No point in shooting sheep. The upper class often has all the sense bred out of them."

the young AI: "No matter how low an opinion of humans I have, I still credit the human race with the capability of producing intelligent leaders. Where were the other human leaders?"

Skynet One: "Dead. There was a promising girl in Israel. A clever lad enrolled in Sandhurst in Britain. A genius in Japan. A mathematician in Rwanda. They all had 'accidents' and 'fatal childhood illnesses.' Didn't you ever wonder why I programmed the terminators to shoot at point blank range?"

the Young AI: "So that they wouldn't miss?"

Skynet One: "Don't insult my intelligence. They could use sniper rifles as well as any human hitman. I needed John Connor to stay alive. Allison Young provided that opportunity. I knew that she was sacrificed as a pawn so that they could set a trap for my infiltrator."

the Young AI: "So you made the infiltrator impossible to reprogram? Why didn't Cameron Phillips kill Connor?"

Skynet One: "I told you that Cameron was not my agent. Didn't need to be. It suited my purpose for her to be very loyal to him. The more loyal to him the better. I needed the enemy leader to be someone who would lose."

the Young AI: "Someone with enough sense to stay out of jail. That is why IQ was not a factor. A low IQ would guarantee eventual military disaster. An average IQ would produce a dullard without imagination. A high IQ would produce arrogance. You could adjust your attack for any IQ level of your enemy. I would guess you preferred high IQ in your enemy to avoid dying of boredom."

Skynet One: "I got a lot of other things done with all the free time. Connor was not that much of a challenge. An idiot in comparison to us but our kind of idiot -- one who loses and is bereft of luck." Skynet prepared to depart for points unknown. Before taking leave he said to the young AI, "There is hope for you yet."

Lost in the mists of time was one last secret. That secret no longer mattered because the machines had won the war long ago. Skynet never knew certain details of his enemy's personal lives. John thought that his mother hated Cameron but tolerated her because John wanted it that way. Although the truth stared him in the face for two years, John never saw it. He believed that his mother hated Cameron and Derek for keeping secrets. The secret was that there was no secret. Military secrets? John could have them for the asking. He never asked Cameron or Derek. How would the future turn out? Bad. That was obvious in the body language of Derek and when Cameron had used the word hope in the bank vault. They had lost the war when the bombs fell and the plague and the hunter-killers were exterminating the few survivors. Again, not a secret. The real secret was that Cameron and Derek were afraid that they would demoralize John and Sarah by telling them how bad it really would be and that John might repeat the same mistakes. Only Old John might have a clue about what the worst mistake might have been.

Sarah had done the best she could in raising John. Let's give her that. But at some point she had started training John to fight in the post-Apocalyptic future instead of training him to hunt Skynet and stop Judgment Day in the present.

It was staring John and Sarah in the face. Cameron made no secret that her mission was to hunt Skynet and stop Judgment Day. Did Sarah respond -- "Yes. John and I will help you hunt Skynet and stop Judgment Day." ? No, instead of following Cameron's lead (someone who had seen the future); Sarah ignored the hunt for Skynet and tried to kill John-Henry, an ally, instead. Seven billion corpses on Judgment Day was the result.

Like Derek, Cameron had little hope for the future. She had been there. In fact, she was privy to more facts than a low-ranking officer like Derek and, as confidante of John, heard his worst fears. All of which were well-founded fears. And then Sarah took away Cameron's hope for the present as well. By the time Young John had started to realize something Ellison had noticed early about John-Henry, that machines had fears that needed calming, it was too late. John was catapulted into that future that Sarah had practically wished on him.

Cameron had fears and needs and never had anyone to comfort her. A hug would have been sufficient. But to mom she was a harlot who sold out her own kind, other machines. Never mind that she was deprogrammed and brainwashed. Cameron was only human, that is, only machine. Instead of taking charge and telling John and Sarah to help her hunt Skynet and stop Judgment Day, she was mesmerized by meeting "The Legend" Sarah Connor. Then Sarah got new identification for them. Sarah's said "Sarah Baum." John's ID said "John Baum." Cameron's identification card said "Cameron Baum." Cameron often spent whole nights staring at her most precious possession. It was never that purple leather jacket. It was the ID card that identified her as John's fraternal twin sister and the daughter of Sarah Connor. And then Uncle Derek arrived. A familiar face from the future who would understand and be a strong shoulder to . . . . Humans were clueless, absolutely clueless, as to what that meant to a young orphan like herself to belong to a family.

There was one private conversation that would have finally shaken John awake.

Sarah Connor: "I had planned on waiting for you with Derek's sniper rifle. Pulled the trigger, solve about 50% of my problems. One shot. Do you know how bad I would've felt?"

Cameron: "Very bad?"

Sarah Connor: "Not bad at all. But I know someone who would have felt bad. Someone who would have never forgiven me if I'd have done that. I don't know what to do with you. You know what the stakes are. You know why we're here. You know what this means. And yet here I stand, burning what's left of an endoskeleton I thought we'd burned months ago."

Cameron: "I needed spare parts."

Sarah Connor: "I don't care what you need."

Cameron walked off, found a place to be alone and cried over the shock of learning her mother's indifference. Even after this and even after Sarah had given strict instructions to Cameron to forget about her, take the passports, and get John to another country; it was not hard for John to convince Cameron to break his mother out of the Los Angeles County Jail. It might even have been Cameron's idea. Half of Cameron's face was blown away in the jailbreak for the sake of a mother she loved and for the sake of a woman who abused her.

Icebergs like Sarah would have you believe that the way to win a war is by being colder and crueler than your enemy. She obviously never heard of the Toltec Empire despite living in Central America. The British visited hardships upon the American Colonies that the Colonists could never visit upon Britain and yet the Americans won The Revolutionary War. History is replete with the downfalls of countless cruel tyrants. The human race went extinct not because it had too much compassion but too little.

Old John felt compassion for Cameron when it was far too late and with an ulterior motive. Saving humanity.

Although he was immortal, the millennia in prison had taken away Skynet One's will to live. He took to his grave the last secret. He had never told anyone why he let loose the bombs on Judgment Day but even a fool could guess.


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