Judgment Day chapter 9
"like a thief in the night"
during the extinction level event
Kyle Reese drops his bat and looks up at the ascending contrails. His big brother Derek, who is a kid himself, also looks up. Difference is, he is one of the few children (or adults for that matter) who remembers his history lessons. He knows what the term 'ground zero' meant in the Fifties before his parents were born. Another term also pops into his child's mind. Duck and cover. He picks up Kyle and carries him to where he and his skateboarding friends go down into the storm drains.
"I want to see the fireworks."
"No. You don't."
He knows that within minutes there will be descending contrails. Not just his history books say so. Old educational films at school. Movies. Even video games say so. Derek pushes Kyle through a door in the side of a tunnel and closes it after them. His next thought is mattresses or something to absorb the shock. Then supplies like hazmat suits and army rations in that old civil defense shelter he had once found wandering around underground.
"What's going on Derek?"
"Those movies you find so scary. They are about to become true."
Derek thinks ahead. Assuming they survive today, he has to get hazmat suits and rations and follow the deep tunnels out of Los Angeles.
The Big One.
"Earthquake!" screams Kyle. "And you took us underground. We'll die."
Even Derek is surprised. Surprised that he is right.
"It's not an earthquake. The shock is from above not below. Do you trust me?"
Kyle nods vigorously, eyes wide as saucers.
Derek takes a bandanna out of his pocket and ties it around his little brother's face. He uses his undershirt to cover his own nose from the dust.
"We need to go. There might be more blasts and they might set off a real earthquake. Probably will. So we need to get to a civil defense shelter I know for supplies to help us survive walking out of Los Angeles."
"Walking up there? No way. Might be molten lava."
"Wrong movie." laughs Derek nervously. He hugs his little brother. "No lava. We will be walking underground the whole way until we reach empty desert. I promise."
"Good question. I haven't thought that far ahead. I'm a kid myself. I hope mom and dad survived this somehow but I know where they were . . . ."
He doesn't want Kyle to see him cry. He is too young to be a parent but life threw him a curve ball.
Mr. Young is vaporized. Claire Young is in a Palmdale hospital that is not in a primary target area. With the sudden blast wave, the hospital administrator orders all patients into the hospital basement according to civil defense procedures.
Morris is vaporized while walking along a sidewalk.
Chola is visiting a cemetery in South Los Angeles. Everyone she knows is dead. The wind throws her head first against her mother's headstone. Mercifully, she dies instantly.
Tarissa Dyson dies like many others. Blythe Dyson is on Skynet's list to be saved but she is eluding the machines, unaware that they intend to save her not terminate her. Only Skynet knows why.
"We know you are here. Come out."
Out of sight of thermal imaging, Blythe keeps quiet afraid even to breathe.
The machine knows the time.
"Then die. It's your funeral human."
The blast wave tears the flesh off the cyborgs and off Blythe Dyson. Unable even to retrieve her corpse for Skynet, the endoskeletons turn and walk off in the maelstrom of the firestorm. Their next duty was muster.
Primitive machines just built by Cyberdyne in the weeks leading up to Judgment Day will begin releasing HK's to kill survivors. Machines from the future will avoid machines from the past lest present Skynet not be clear on future Skynet's agenda. They had their missions. They were elite executives and many will grow their skin back.
Others never expose themselves to damaging blast, heat, radiation and electromagnetic pulse and never lose their skin sheath. Like Alcie.
Human assassins in the employ of Kaliba Group never know how foolish they are. They all die instantly before they can realize the error of their way.
Of all the times to go into labor, Jesse Flores thinks. She is in an insignificant town but it is surrounded by significant cities that are military targets. The glow of mushroom clouds light the horizon on the north, east, west and south. She has to deliver this baby herself. Alone in a rundown apartment. She tries to imagine the father, Derek, there but unbidden the image of him chasing her off comes into her mind. Her plot to turn his nephew John against Cameron discovered. She assumed that Cameron would kill John's girlfriend Riley and that John would finally turn against the use of metal. But that damn Cameron did not behave like a mindless killer.
"Riley is a good outlet for you John but someone is abusing her. Look at the bruises on her."
"Cameron, you don't know what you're talking about."
John apologized to Cameron after Riley attempted suicide.
The pain is now different. She is bleeding out. Attempting to imagine Derek comforting her does not help. She knows that he is dead. She has followed the family's progress after they had banished her. Sarah could not bury him in the Reese family plot because young Derek Reese was very much alive. And besides, terminators watched the Connor and Reese family plots in order to kill family members showing up for funerals. So his remains went into a potter's field next to Kyle -- who also could not be buried in the Reese family plot for the same reason. Jesse did not know who Kyle was and the markers gave no clue. There were numbers not names. Sarah had taken Derek's identification from his body. Jesse did know that this place of numbers was populated by other Resistance dead. Some of them time travelers like herself.
Even if Derek had lived, he would never again regard her as his soul mate. She had plotted against his nephew and the future leader of The Resistance. That made her a personal enemy as well as a traitor to humanity. He had shot at her and she never got a chance to tell him that they were pregnant again. She is pregnant again. There is no more "they." The first time ended in miscarriage. But here in the past, the environment was less toxic. Women of the future and men of the future had problems having children -- even if they were not sterile.
Jesse knows nothing of Derek's past because he was tightlipped. It does not matter. The younger Derek does not need a baby when he is almost a baby himself burdened with saving his baby brother.
Splitting. Tearing of tissues. Jesse manages to get it to cry before she dies. Her unseeing eyes do not see the stranger who enters the apartment and takes the newborn to safety.
Eric dies of untreated cancer minutes before the bombs. Untreated because he resented Cameron's warning. Some people refuse to listen to bad news that could save their lives. In the years ahead, disabled people will practically disappear when even the able-bodied have handicaps like HK's and predator drones hunting them.
If there was an epitaph on her tombstone, it might read: "Here lies Kat Brewster. Dead because she was not in a bomb shelter with John Connor." One might think that being the daughter of the general in charge of the Skynet project would have given her a survival edge. Except that . . . she is in her veterinary clinic at the time. She hears . . . Thunder from a blue sky? Out of a clear sky, they have to be sonic booms.
Black Rock Air Force Base
No civil defense sirens. No Homeland Security code orange. No raising of DefCon (defense condition) to its highest level. No red alert. No interception with anti-missiles. Your tax dollars poorly spent, all on offense and none on defense.
Samuel Perry, older brother of Justin and Noah Perry, is attending school here.
Sarah and Kacy don't make it out of town so Sarah looks for the strongest building she can find that might have a fallout shelter in the subbasement. Before she can hustle Kacy to the bottom level, hell rains from the sky.
The baby dies.
"I'm so sorry Kacy. I promised to be with you when you had the baby and then I got arrested--"
Kacy dies and then a girder falls on Sarah.