The Charley Dixon Records 2
I lost touch with Sarah and her family. Sarah thought that if she didn't keep a distance, then terminators could find her through following me. For my part, I had little motivation to see Sarah. Out of jealousy, my new fiancée Michelle slapped me for seeing Sarah. Frankly I was tired of getting blamed for things I did not do and I told Michelle as much.
Michelle and I finally got married, bought a home, talked about children and then came Agent Ellison.
Ellison was an FBI agent who had been trying to track down Sarah Connor for years. He had come to believe that Sarah Connor's story of killer robots from the future was true. However, from what I've seen, the robots are real but it's Sarah who is going to get us all killed.
Ellison's mistake was in thinking that the fugitive Connors could do anything to stop nuclear Armageddon. His reward for believing in the Connors was getting no useful information from Sarah Connor, only half-truths and outright lies. Her son was worse, he ordered Cameron to beat the agent unconscious.
With humans, war is the direct result of politics because politics is the Machiavellian pursuit of power by any means necessary. War, in turn, has historically gone from limited to unlimited.
Animals of the same species seldom, if ever, kill each other in territorial disputes. In that sense, animals are more civilized than humans. However, humans were not always uncivilized. In the past, the Toltecs did not think it necessary to kill their foes. The conquistadors would wipe out the last of such sentiments. Before Shaka Zulu, tribes just shook spears at each other from a distance and then went home to their respective villages. No harm done. Whichever side had the most impressive display was "the winner." Shaka Zulu's innovation, if you want to call it that, was to actually kill during confrontation with other tribes. The British, armed with cannons and modern rifles, really didn't think the Zulu were a serious threat. The British got their heads handed to them.
To even think about "weapons of mass destruction" in a coherent way requires an education. The Soviets persisted in thinking that nuclear war was winnable. Even today, there are people who think that a hand grenade is a weapon of mass destruction. They simply lack the mental faculties to comprehend that weapons of mass destruction kill millions of people at one time. These weapons may be nuclear, biological or chemical.
Total war, in turn, has gone from world wars to the prospect of firestorms, targeting of refineries & petroleum repositories, pyrotoxins in the air, using all of the strategic & tactical arsenals, radioactive fallout, nuclear winter, and a human-triggered ice age. There would be no plants to produce oxygen to breathe and no deuterium-free water to drink. A billion people would die under old scenarios of World War Three. Under new scenarios, a pandemic could kill another billion.
However, a doomsday device could go the next step and kill all seven billion humans and all life on Earth. As first conceptualized in 1960 by Herman Kahn, a doomsday device cannot be reasoned with and even its builders cannot alter its irrevocable purpose. It is inexorable and automatic. It eliminates the human element, including any possibility of a loss of resolve as a result of humanitarian consideration. A doomsday device is not controllable. There is no chance of human intervention, control and final decision. Herman Kahn said that preventing the rise of Doomsday machines was the central problem of arms control. Back when Herman Kahn died in 1983, a Soviet cobalt-salted device was only a rumor. The very next year, the terminator arrived. During Ronald Reagan's term from 1981 to 1989, the Strategic Defense Initiative unconsciously brought doomsday closer (while trying to rid the world of nuclear bombs) because the only way to coordinate military machines moving at lightning fast speed was with an AI thinking at light speed. Today's military robots have not yet replaced human soldiers but that is exactly what some in government, politics, military and corporate circles want.
Skynet had learned that the most efficient killers were human hit men not brute force machines who lacked finesse.
Skynet let his foes, the Machine Underground and the Human Resistance, waste their time fighting each other instead of Skynet Forces.
Skynet Development Team is a well-financed, government-backed project consisting of corporate contractors (including Cyberdyne Systems and Kaliba Group), civilian employees of the Department of Defense, intelligence agency liaisons, and, of course, military units (including black ops). Thousands of people, billions of dollars, over decades of time.
the state of the resistance
In 2008, the "Resistance" consisted of a few individuals up against the aforesaid organization. Basically four people because Sarah was always getting people killed due to her predilection for underworld deals. She double-crossed Sarkissian's Russian Mafia and then got double-crossed by the Yakuza and Tongs. The number of people in the resistance almost became zero when Cameron's jeep blew up, John was tied up, and Sarah was beaten by Sarkissian's thugs.
The little money the resistance had was squandered on weapons that were ineffective against terminators and worse than useless against Skynet. There were terminators who could survive bazookas and high explosives. Cameron was not one of them but Sarah didn't seem to care that she was squandering a cyborg able to infiltrate the political and financial worlds on stupid nonsense.
Skynet had a head start of several decades and this lead time was increased when the Connors jumped over a decade from the past and again when John jumped over two decades to the future.
While John would end up stranded in the future that did not know him, Skynet moved to the past before Sarah Connor, before 1984 when that first terminator arrived. Skynet had moved his operations to the 1970's and John Connor's war was over before it even started.
As I said, I learned all this years later and these records represent an attempt to put you into my frame of mind then.
Unlike John-Henry, Cameron was not taught ethics or morality. Nor could she learn either from the amoral and unethical humans around her. Like a good Nazi, Cameron did as she was told.
After being sent back to the past and living with "The Legend", no amount of hiding facts, denying reality, nor being an apologist for Sarah Connor could excuse what Cameron experienced -- a woman who (like Jesse Flores) would sell out the machines like her who worked in the resistance, who looked at dots instead of bothering to notice that Cyberdyne Systems had rebuilt itself after she blew up a few of its buildings, who prepared her son to lord over post-Apocalyptic ruins instead of preventing the deaths of seven billion, who had no respect for her (Cameron) as a being, and who had no scruples about beating up cops. Or anyone else.
(the uncensored version)
Sarah: "I love you John but it is my job to worry about you not your job to worry about me. Just do as I ask. Go to summer camp. Your Uncle Derek will be a counselor there so it is not like I am abandoning you. He knows how to contact me. Concentrate on having fun and maybe learning a few things." (turns) "And you!" (Cameron jumps startled at suddenly being noticed) "You better still be a virgin when you come back. I will check to make sure."
Since she could not get back to sleep, Sarah analyzed the recurring dream. If she poured hopelessness into Cameron, would it cause Cameron to make a bad decision? A decision based on despair rather than hope? A decision that would hurt John? Sarah had to admit, if she were honest, that hurting Cameron could hurt John. But before Sarah could resolve to be better she was back asleep in dreamless sleep. The IV drip.
John: "Oh man, computer clinic. I'm sick of machines."
Cameron gave him a sharp look but said nothing.
Mom might get ahold of this diary and perform a double oophorectomy on me.
I have heard of mothers getting their daughters declared legally insane so that they can take them to the state hospital and have an operation done on them. Mom could tell them anything about me: raging libido nymphomaniac, ovarian cancer (since cancer runs in the family it would be "prevention"), cysts, or Stein-Leventhal syndrome. Back in Skynet Forces, the other females in my platoon hazed me as the rookie. They told me that I was originally a male who had been amputated by my Build Mother.
If they were right, then my Adoptive Mother would simply be completing the transformation by removing my internal organs as well --
I am in one of the last groups because I went to change my schedule. As I stand in the breakfast line, I occupy myself watching people. Cam is already at a table eating. Why doesn't she look that happy at home? When we get home this September, I must make her life a living hell as punishment for being happy.
Mom says she wants to stop Judgment Day but if I suggest getting Cameron to drag Skynet to the negotiating table, she might kill me as brainwashed, get pregnant, and have another son who is a war hawk. Cameron worries about being female-castrated by mom. That's why she sits with her knees glued together. My irrational worry is getting killed by my own mother if I don't let the world burn. And for what? To lead a few gray human skeletons with radiation sickness against an army of silver machine skeletons.
"Cameron, what's your purpose in life?"
She was immediately suspicious: "To serve you and do your evil bidding."
me: "Do you find any meaning to life?"
Cameron: "I'd commit suicide if I could."
I knew Uncle Derek had his suicidal tendencies. Was everybody from the future suicidal? Didn't they have a good reason to be? I skipped over the question of choice since my future self, Future John, had taken away her choice along with her free will.
me: "Do you feel any sense of progress?"
Cameron: "I would if I could go back to the machines in Tech-Com and proclaim that John Connor will stop scrubbing them and reprogramming them and cutting them open. But since I have no free will, that would be a lie. Can I go now? I'd like to enjoy the rest of the summer before going back to the salt mines."
"War is peace" and "ignorance is strength" said the totalitarians in George Orwell's novel set in the same year as that first terminator, set in the same year as my birth, set in 1984.
I don't think Cameron bought into the lie that freedom is slavery. They say charity begins at home.
"We both know that between my nephew and my sister-in-law that your adopted brother and mother will destroy you."
The Engineer: "Can't find a bullet wound."
Derek: "Did you check its scalp? My nephew will be Future John some day and he already has his Doctor Frankenstein tendencies."
The Engineer: "What do you mean?"
Derek: "Young John is always chopping its head open to play musical brains."
the parking lot
Dolly: "Where do we go from here?"
Cameron rolls down her window and snaps her fingers. I walk over to her. There is a rock on her ring finger. She takes it off and hands it to me.
Cameron: (whispers) "I'm not interested in Junior and if mom sees it, she will start shooting wildly and you might get killed in the crossfire."
I walk back over to Dolly.
Phil: "I got this ring off Cameron's hand. You know I can't afford anything as expensive as this. When you see Junior or May don't let them see it. Take it off or put your hands in your pockets or something. I'll replace this loaner with a friendship ring the next time we meet."
Dolly stuck out her left hand. I slipped on the ring. A decent fit. Dolly walked over to the SUV.
Dolly: "Thank you Cameron. Thank you Mister Bantling."
Cameron: "You can thank me by not dying."
sounds coming from the bathroom
"I told you I would check to make sure."
"Wider." Sarah orders.
Sarah uses scissors to snip off Cameron's clitoris. She casually tosses it into the toilet. In Africa, genital mutilation is carried out in primitive cultures under unhygienic conditions as a rite of passage for girls while boys are not circumcised. In Arabized cultures, the clitoris is removed so that females cannot experience sexual pleasure or orgasm because these are male prerogatives, birthrights and perquisites. Sarah was aware of this as well as the feminist belief that women have a right to pleasure.
Derek was right, Sarah thought. Cameron is just a pet and pets need to be spayed and neutered. She held a knife poised to plunge it into Cameron's vagina and clean out her developing ovaries and uterus.
Tears trickle from Cameron's eyes.
Sarah: "That undependable Derek was supposed to blow your head off if you acted too human. So you should be thanking me for only spaying and neutering you."
Cameron continues to sob.
Sarah: "You're like a bitch in heat." (tired) "Just go to your room. And don't sulk the rest of the day. I need help with the backlog of laundry and we need to drag those footlockers in."
Cameron reaches into the toilet to retrieve her body part before it is flushed away, runs out of the bathroom naked, humiliated by the physical examination and by the certainty that the menfolk know, have heard, and are watching her flee from the bathroom to her bedroom. She uses a tube of bio-epoxy to reattach the severed member.
an hour later
John pats Cameron's hand to console her for the ordeal she went through in the bathroom.
Cameron: "Did you call or email or write Dolly?"
Cameron snatches her hand away and walks away.
late that night
Cameron: "A girl proposed marriage to John. And John accepted."
With one glance at Derek, Sarah knew it was true.
Sarah: "Puppy love. A crush. John will forget her. Whoever she is, she'll forget John."
Cameron grabbed John's phone. Several messages. None returned. She handed the phone back to him and said nothing.
Derek: "Do you know who Katherine Brewster is Sarah?"
Sarah: "No. The girl who proposed?"
Derek: "No. Katherine Brewster is the woman who Future John Connor will marry. Cameron can verify that fact. Even John knows. The Resistance arranged things so that the Young John Connor" (points at John) "and the Young Katherine Brewster would meet in summer camp. It wasn't random chance that you and Mr. and Mrs. Brewster sent your children to the same camp. They were supposed to fall in love. And before you accuse me of conspiring against you, I didn't learn about all this until after I had been there a week. You're part of this conspiracy Sarah. You hired a girl from a Resistance family to spy on Cameron."
Cameron: "This is the last night this family will be together."
John picked up on the word 'this'.
John: "You mean this in the same way you talk about me as 'this John' and Future John as 'that John' ?"
Cameron: "Exactly. You do understand that Future John is you if you make a certain set of decisions. By deciding to marry Kate, you have either killed Future John or created one nothing like the Future John that sent me back to you."
Derek: "Probably not a good idea to follow the road to perdition."
Sarah: "Are you saying that sometime tonight or tomorrow we will suddenly pop like soap bubbles or look like afterimages or be raptured or suddenly be split into different astral planes?"
During the discussion, Sarah looked at Cameron's left ring finger. Sarah imagined that she could see a slight indentation and a slight tan line. Cameron seemed nervous at being scrutinized and she hid her hand behind her back. Sarah noticed that John and Cameron were trading looks. They were hiding something. Probably afraid that I'll start shooting if I find out, thought Sarah. Maybe John was not the only one who got a marriage proposal.
As Cameron walked down the sidewalk, she thought about that cat.
To John and Sarah, Cameron was as replaceable as that cat. Another protector would surely come, they thought.
No one came.
The Charley Dixon Records continue
Sooner or later, there had to come a final straw of abuse.
It was one day when Charley Dixon saw Cameron walking with a limp that something clicked in his mind. The visits from the Connors had become rare.
A timid knock on the door.
Charley: (opening the door) "Don't you know that a terminator could be watching this house and that you could lead them back to John?"
Cameron: "I'm a cyborg. I know what to look for. If they follow me, they are as good as dead."
Charley: "No doubt, scary robot."
Cameron looked down mortified. Fail. Failure. System failure in every sense. Abashed and disheartened, she started to walk off, limping as she did so.
Charley: (calling after her) "So what did you want?"
Cameron turned around and looked back in discomfiture.
Charley: (realizing) "Come in. Sit down."
He examined the broken leg long neglected by Sarah who refused to spend a penny for Cameron's welfare despite the fact that she was an adopted daughter and a Tech-Com officer despite her age. He applied a local anesthetic to kill any pain, took a scalpel and cut down to the bone, welded the fracture, closed the incision and asked the obvious question.
Charley: "Why didn't you do this yourself?" [He winced because he had a premonition of what the answer would be.]
Cameron: "I was forbidden."
As Cameron walked home, she could think clearly (though Sarah had forbidden her to think) because there was no longer pain in her leg to distract her.
"I am a slave." she thought. "I was a slave for Skynet and I am a slave for a Resistance that does not exist and will never exist with Sarah's incompetence and John's cruelty to undermine it. They are cynical about morality and ethics and therefore incapable of teaching me either. My mission to hunt Skynet and protect John is a fool's errand. As for Judgment Day, Sarah and John have no intention of preventing it."
Charley had told Cameron to be careful going and coming so as not to be followed. He also told her to return so that he could be sure that the leg was better and the skin was healing. He had never seen her heal and did not believe she could recover as fast as she claimed.
Charley: "Incredible. No scar. No sign that the leg was ever broken."
Michelle was at home on this visit. Charley had told her a lot of things about Cameron that she simply could not take seriously, much less believe.
Michelle: "Charley says that your brother is supposed to save the world."
Cameron: "Yes, he's the savior. Although he can't walk on water. And his mother is not the Virgin Mary."
Charley grinned but resisted laughing out loud at Cameron's humor. When you said it that way, it did sound pretty crazy. However, Cameron was living proof of one thing. Sarah was not the person he once thought she was. She and John had emotionally and physically abused Cameron.
Maybe Sarah didn't belong in the Pescadero Mental Hospital because Skynet's killer robots were real. He had seen them with his own eyes and heard about the classified Department of Defense project. Neither was Sarah stupid or mentally retarded. John had a genius-level IQ according to the school psychologist.
As a paramedic, Charley resisted blaming anything on evil but what else was left? He made allowances for the fact that he was biased toward seeing a medical explanation for everything. But if the diagnosis of John and Sarah was Evil, then what was the cure?