The Charley Dixon Records 3
Cameron: "I'm moving out."
Sarah: "The hell you are."
Cameron: (to Sarah ignoring John) "You're not serious about hunting Skynet. He's over at Cyberdyne but you're attacking allies instead. You can't shoot or blow up Skynet because he's not in one server and you can't attack him on-line."
Sarah: "Then what do you suggest?"
Cameron: "Nothing because I don't care which side wins anymore and because I think you want the world to burn--"
John agrees with this last point made by Cameron but he keeps silent.
Cameron: "--otherwise John ends up flipping burgers if doomsday is prevented."
Sarah: "How do you come to that conclusion?"
Cameron: "When I brought you two to this time and place, it was to save you from cancer, to protect John from the terminators tracking him, and to take you to the year and city where Skynet was developed so that you could stop his development and thereby stop doomsday."
the bank vault
John: "So do you have, like, an account here?"
Cameron: "Safety deposit box."
Sarah: "When did you open that?"
Cameron: "1963." (loudly) "Everybody on the floor! Please." (to bank branch manager) "Keys to the safety deposit boxes." (to Sarah and John) "Get inside. Keys." (to manager) "Lock us in, and then get away from the door. I'll know if you don't."
Sarah: "You said you had a safety deposit box."
Cameron: "I do. Open these boxes. Put everything you find on the table. Carefully."
meanwhile at FBI field office
camera monitor: "Hey, James! You gotta see this. The alarm tripped seven minutes ago. Camera auto-dumps a digital copy to the L.A.P.D. servers. Don't you know 'em?"
Agent Ellison: "Less and less all the time."
back in the vault
John: "Is that from the future?"
Cameron: "You can't bring anything through when you come. Not weapons, not clothing. Nothing. You send someone back to build it."
John: "What is it?"
John: "I still don't get why you locked us in. We didn't have to get trapped like rats."
Cameron: "We're not trapped."
Sarah: "What is that?"
Cameron: "The engineer got a job building the vault so we'd always have a way back home."
Sarah: "What have you done?"
Cameron: "You wanna find Skynet? You wanna stop Skynet? This is the way."
Sarah: "You don't know who builds it!"
Cameron doesn't know but Sarah does.
Cameron: "No, but we know where and we know when. We can go kill it before it's born. You can stop running. Stay in one place. Fight."
John: "Mom, we've gotta go now! Mom!"
Sarah: "Do it!"
Sarah: "How do you come to that conclusion?"
Cameron: "When I brought you two to this time and place, it was to save you from cancer, to protect John from the terminators tracking him, and to take you to the year and city where Skynet was developed so that you could stop his development and thereby stop doomsday. If you were serious about stopping doomsday, you'd already have a plan that made sense. Planning on success would also mean that you two would have made plans for life after stopping doomsday. But no Connor has ever gone to college. You dropped out of high school and you've made John and me drop out of high school."
John is watching them both. He is getting angrier and angrier at his mother. No friends because she was always yanking him out of school and moving to another town. No dating like a normal person. No prom. No nothing.
I have no stake in the world, in people or in the human race. Why bother to stop doomsday? Let six billion die and then they'll need me, he thought.
I had a plan in case we stopped Skynet. I wanted to run for public office and make changes in policy. Not just stop the Skynet project but stop nuclear proliferation and biological weapons. World peace. That dream is dead because a felon can't run for office. A felon can't change things and stop the Skynet project. An indicted felon is what I'll be if I follow mom's example.
John was also angry at Cameron not for what she said today (he agreed with that) but for an old remark that should have been long forgotten: "You're not that John."
Cameron had actually said: "You're not that John yet." Yet. Cameron believed hope was possible until Sarah caused her to lose hope.
Cameron went to her bedroom for the last time to get something to take to Charley Dixon's house.
"You don't have feelings." John had said to Cameron one day when she appeared to be enjoying the sun and the air with her feet up. She was in the passenger seat and he was driving but the Puritan in him couldn't stand the thought that someone somewhere might be happy. Especially if that someone was a cyborg whom he had convinced himself had no feelings or emotions.
He had seen a lot of machines. The T-1000's especially were capable of nasty tempers. And if they had one emotion, logically they had to be capable of other emotions and feelings.
His whole existence was predicated on making machines the enemy and yet it was obvious that his future self worked closely with at least one machine. Perhaps a whole phalanx of them as bodyguards. He knew how disloyal humans could be and how loyal machines could be. Humans lied.
To his mother. About Dolly. About the day Cameron had amnesia (like a soldier's PTSD) from trauma she inherited from her template Allison Young. About his experiments on Cameron. About his keeping parts of endoskeletons that mom ordered burned (cremated) for research. About the fact that he knew Cameron occasionally ate food and drank water. About Cameron's shaky left hand (more programming conflict than battle damage). About the fact that when mom ordered Cameron to protect John when she (Sarah) was out of town, he would slip away from Cameron and make Cameron's job impossible. About not telling mom when he sneaked off to Mexico with his girlfriend Riley (as usual leaving Cameron to clean up the mess). About not telling mom that he ordered Cameron to beat Agent Ellison unconscious. Sarah had her faults but they did not include deliberately harming her fellow human beings since the whole idea of her life was supposed to be saving the human race.
"You're just a machine." John said to Cameron. The biggest lie of all that John told. Sarah never told herself that Cameron had no emotions. She knew Cameron had feelings but just didn't care if she hurt them. Likewise, Cameron had as much in common with a simple computer or toy robot as a human had in common with a single-celled microbe. Even John didn't believe that Cameron was "just a machine." Especially John because he understood the field of artificial intelligence and advanced robotics better than his mother Sarah and better than some AI scientists. John knew better but he felt he had to convince himself of this obvious lie so that he could destroy an even more sophisticated life form -- Skynet -- without a twinge of conscience. Because on a certain level like any teen age boy, he had a kind of admiration for cool technology.
The problem was that, like fission, military technology was intrinsically bad. Evil.
The problem was that John understood AI and robotics but had no clue about biotechnology. Cameron was more than AI and robotics. Cameron had several non-electronic technologies in her including biotechnology.
Like many boys, John had a callous disregard for girls that bordered on disrespect (somewhat like the callous disregard for boys that girls had). So Cameron got shot up. Big deal thought John. She's just a machine. Uncle Derek went further and said "it's a machine." John deliberately ignored the biological side of Cameron. The living side.
Unconsciously, John has been destroying his one ally, Cameron. Caught in this web of lies, John now consciously sets out to destroy Cameron. He will eventually send Cameron to get shot up breaking Sarah out of jail when his mother is inevitably caught by the police. As predicted, his choices determine whether he will become the older heroic John that Cameron knew in the future.
Sonny was right, John is a monster. But Sonny didn't know John tortured Cameron or his opinion of John would have been even lower.
With Cameron in her bedroom clearing out, John starts arguing with his mother.
"This is all your fault mother. If you hadn't constantly threatened to blow Cameron's head off or dismantle her or burn her alive, none of this would have happened."
"You hypocritical fucking little bastard! You're the one who used your sister as a Science Fair experiment."
"At least I didn't suck the life out of her like a vampire."
Sarah slapped John. Something that she had never done before. Until now, their relationship had always been a loving mother-son bond.
"No, you did worse. You cut her open."
"Well you wouldn't let me look at the terminators we killed. You'd insist on incinerating the bodies to ashes as soon as we killed them."
"We? Cameron was the one who fought them and killed them. My punk son did nothing but hide like a coward while he let a girl do his fighting for him."
"And you did nothing but watch and refused to help her."
"I'm sick of your accusations and blame John. I should have aborted you like your sister. You never had any potential to save the human race."
"I had a sister?"
"Yes, I got pregnant when you were one year old but I couldn't take care of the supposed Savior of the Human Race and another child too -- especially not a girl. So I aborted it."
"That was my sister! You had no right!"
"I see how you would have treated a sister."
"Cameron is just a thing. It's a gadget."
"I'm a person, a girl, not a gadget."
"This is a private conversation. Where have you been?"
"Since I'm moving out, I've come to get my things."
Sarah: "You don't own anything."
John: "Yeh, if anything--"
Cameron has a premonition of what John is about to say and it pains her to know he is going down the path to self-destruction and not up the way to the heroic Future John who sent her.
Cameron: (begging) "--please John, don't do this--"
John: "--I own you."
"That's the attitude that drove me out. Fine, I'll leave my stuff behind. Good-bye." she says sadly.
"You aren't going anywhere!"
"John." Sarah cautions him not to stop her.
Without transportation, Cameron begins walking, not really sure of a destination. She just needs to go. She has only the clothes she is wearing on her back. She is wandering aimlessly along a street and wondering what she will do next without a family, an allegiance, friends, neighbors, a home, a mission, a purpose in life, or a way to accomplish it even if she had a purpose. She is from the future, now lost in the past.
John tracks her down.
John: "Since you refuse to acknowledge that I own you, you need to be reminded that you are just a thing."
He throws acid at Cameron's face and walks off. Cameron registers it as severe pain but the real pain is psychological. Finding out how low John thinks of her. She runs over to a fountain in a park and dunks her head below water. For a brief moment she notices the pennies that people have thrown into the fountain either to make wishes or to support public works in Los Angeles. Anyone else would be screaming in agony. A couple, a man and a woman, come over to Cameron full of concern.
Man: "Can I drive you to the hospital?"
Cameron hides the shreds of what remains of her face. The acid has eaten down to the metal and Cameron's trademark purple leather jacket is put to use hiding her face.
Cameron: "No thank you."
Woman: "We're just trying to help honey." Touches Cameron on the arm.
Cameron: (still hiding her face) "There're only two people who can help me now."
Cameron runs to the Dixon home and knocks on the back door (to avoid being seen by neighbors) even though the Dixons have given her a key to the house. Michelle answers.
Michelle: "Did you lose your key Cam? Oh my God! What happened to your face?" (hysterical)
Cameron: "Please don't be afraid of me Mrs. Dixon. I had an accident. My vision is blurred. I think the acid has corroded my lens."
The acid has eaten down to the endoskeleton of Cameron's face, eaten away her brown eyes and her cyborg eyes underneath are glowing their distinctive blue glow. Cameron is the only machine whose eyes glow blue. All other machines have eyes that glow red.
Michelle pulls Cameron by the arm into the house and guides her to the bathroom. She pushes Cameron fully clothed into the shower and turns on the water full blast. She takes hydrogen peroxide from the medicine cabinet and throws the liquid in Cameron's face.
For a second, Cameron thinks that Michelle intends to finish off the job that the Connors started. Then she analyzes the chemical and is relieved that it is counteracting the acid that didn't wash off. Michelle has pressed the emergency page button on her cell phone.
Michelle: "Didn't mean to startle you but you said acid so the first thing I thought was alkaline base to neutralize it. Something I learned from Charley about hazmat. All right, start taking off those wet clothes."
Cameron steps out of the shower and gets a blurry view of her face in the mirror. It is worse than she thought -- her jacket is ruined.
Michelle: "When Charley said you were a cyborg, I didn't believe him until now."
Cameron: "What else did he say?"
Michelle: "That you skinned another cyborg and put the flesh into Glad zip lock freezer bags and then while you burned the skeleton, you bragged about being a scary robot."
Cameron: "I did and said a lot of embarrassing things when I was dying with The Connors."
Cameron: "I wasn't living with them; I was just slowly dying with them. That's why I'd rather live in your doghouse or under the workbench in your garage than go back to those people. They think of me as Doctor Frankenstein's monster and they are determined to turn me back into a terminator. I don't want to be a terminator. But that's all I see in the mirror."
Michelle: "Get back into the shower. I think you're more worried about that jacket than you are about functioning in society without a face. Will your facial skin grow back?"
Cameron: "It will take longer than a day."
A noise in another part of the house. Charley has returned in response to Michelle's emergency page.
Michelle gets a bathrobe for Cameron and yells: "We're in the bathroom Charley!"
As Charley approaches, Michelle continues talking to Cameron.
Michelle: "Will your eyes grow back?"
Cameron: "They will need longer than a week and some biochemicals."
Charley: "What's that about biochemicals?"
Michelle: "Cameron was in an accident and acid splashed on her face."
Cameron has dried off, put on the bathrobe, and is coming out of the bathroom.
Charley: "Did a car battery explode to cause that damage?"
Cameron: "No. John threw acid in my face."
Michelle: "What! Charley, I thought you said he was a good kid."
Charley: "He WAS when I lived with Sarah. Maybe Sarah went psychotic and took John off the deep end with her. Sometimes mental illness is contagious. Or maybe I never knew John as well as I thought."
Michelle: "Or maybe John is just plain evil. He broke into your house and punched you because Sarah walked out on you ten years ago. He's mad at you because you did nothing wrong. If that's not evil, I don't know what is."
Charley: "I just have a hard time believing that any kid is evil."
Charley looks at the grinning skull of Cameron where there used to be a face.
Charley: "You say you need biochemicals to grow back your face?"
Cameron: "Yes sir."
Charley: "Then write down what you need."
Michelle: "Have you eaten lunch or dinner yet?"
Cameron: "No ma'am."
Michelle: "I'll fix you something to eat but first -- " (she glances at Charley who nods agreement with what she's thinking) " -- let's settle you in the spare room and find you something to wear. I have some clothes that might fit you."
Charley: "Write down your list and get dressed. This town is full of people who know how to make latex masks for special effects for the movie industry. We should be able to make you a temporary face to tide you over until your real face grows back."
Cameron: "Thank you."
Cameron goes with Michelle who assigns her the spare room as her own room, gets her some clothes, and then leaves Cameron alone in her new bedroom. The top, which would be tight on Michelle, hangs loose on Cameron.
In the kitchen, Charley and Michelle talk.
Charley: "I'm going to ask that FBI agent James Ellison to relocate and hide us in the witness protection program. If we tell the police where to find The Connors, they will be too busy running to follow and find us."
Michelle: "Isn't that rather drastic?"
Charley: "I seem to recall that you once slapped me because you thought I was still in love with Sarah Connor. If my psychotic ex is too busy running from the police, then she and her evil son won't have time to follow us as we make a fresh start with no trail to lead them to us. They'll never be able to find us even if they wanted."
Cameron walks in.
Cameron: "I'm sorry to be an inconvenience and an eyesore. But Mrs. Dixon is right. They're evil. Take it from me, somebody who used to be evil and knows it when she sees it. Here's the list. I have a little bit of money to help with the cost of purchasing. Will this help?"
Cameron puts a wad of cash on the kitchen table.
Michelle: "That'll pay off the mortgage."
Charley: "Yeh, I think it will help."