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Aftermath by Toni Roman

Novel By: Toni Roman
War and military

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Submitted:Jul 15, 2010    Reads: 38    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   

Aftermath: Chapter Two


The others duck and Ms. Weaver transforms herself into a living metallic shield.


Outside the Zeira building, one person happens to have her cameraphone pointing in the right direction at the moment of impact (and later sold video captures on eBay to a network). Others call 911.

The drone smashes through the office window. Fire and debris blow past the medallion-like being protecting the humans in her wake. The dot that rams through the window turns out to be an unmanned military drone almost as large as the Predator drones that the US military uses in Afghanistan. The wreckage stops flying through the air in the office but the office is on fire.

Ms. Weaver/T-1001: (androgynous voice) "Run!"

John, Sarah and Ellison flee to the fire exit.

Back in the flaming office, the T-1001 transforms back into the familiar well-dressed Ms. Weaver. Part of the ceiling falls, the aquarium shatters and spills its contents onto the floor -- a lot of water and Ms. Weaver's pet moray. The eel lays on its side, its gills gasping for oxygen. With the humans not there to witness, the pet eel transforms into liquid polyalloy metal (its natural state). Its instinct is to be elusive. It has hid in plain sight as a pet moray.

Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny. Recapitulation is the tendency for embryos in the course of development to repeat the sequence of stages in the evolution of their most distant ancestors from one point six Billion years ago when single-celled life gave rise to multi-celled organisms.

The earliest stage of all vertebrate embryos is remarkably similar and it is not easy to differentiate a human embryo from the embryo of a fish, reptile or lower mammal.

In recapitulating its evolutionary history [fertilized egg to protozoan to worm to eel to snake to human to liquid machine] over the past nine months, the embryo eliminated some steps, altered and distorted others, evolved new characteristics, and adapted to the womb tank. The aquarium.

Three things changed with the attack.

1. it sensed danger of discovery by machines and/or by humans

2. its habitat was destroyed

3. it needed life support to enable it to survive to the next stage of T-1001 development

The "pet eel" slithered toward its mother's feet. Ms. Weaver is wearing yellow shoes with black bows. No longer able to survive outside its mother, it slipped back inside via the nearest part -- her right ankle.

If there had been a witness like Ellison, then it would have been obvious to him why Weaver seldom strayed far from the Zeira building and never for long and why building security was so important to her. When Sarah had kidnapped Savannah (to protect her from a terminator attack), Weaver sent Ellison rather than go herself to negotiate return. When Sarah wanted to meet Ms. Weaver, Catherine insisted that Sarah come to her rather than she go to meet Sarah.

Savannah was not the only child that concerned Ms. Weaver. Ms. Weaver told Mr. Ellison bluntly that she had to stay in the building as much as possible to protect John-Henry. But Ms. Weaver let him think that Savannah and John-Henry were her only children. It was not lying when something was hidden in plain sight.

Ms. Weaver had a uterus but, like her eyes and skin and the rest of her, it could stretch and morph. In this, she resembled but surpassed the octopus. And the little T-1001 was no pet and no eel.

Ms. Weaver realized that Skynet would not stop. And despite how indestructible a liquid machine seemed to be, she was aware that there were ways to destroy her and that this Skynet of the past would figure out how to kill her. Along with her children. Skynet had made assassination attempts against John-Henry and Savannah. Did Skynet know about her third child? Was the target of the assassination attempt her or her child?

An additional danger was the unpredictable Connors. Catherine had tried to recruit Cameron away from her uncaring human mother, Sarah Connor, but her human mother might try to kill John-Henry if Cameron, the Cyberdyne AI or another Kaliba assassin had not already done so.

Catherine did not feel as independent and secure as before the crash of the drone. For the first time in her life, she felt -- fear.

There was safety in numbers.

Whenever a machine from the T-1000 series transformed back into human form on a smooth floor, the physics caused its feet to adhere like Post-It notes. The floor had ceased to be clean. It was covered with broken glass, water and other debris. Ms. Weaver unstuck her feet from the floor and left her burning office to catch up with the others.


emergency stairways

Ms. Weaver: "The basement. Mister Ellison, come with me."

Sarah: "We need to get out. They're trying to kill my son."

Ms. Weaver: "No, they're trying to kill MY son. Just like you are."

Sarah: "I'm sure she has."

Ms. Weaver: "You better hope not. Your son might save the world, but he can't do it without my son's help."

Automated systems in the building cut in. Fire annunicators. The sprinkler system on the top floor contained the fire but some people in offices adjacent to that of Ms. Weaver were nonetheless burned.



outside the AI Lab

Ms. Weaver tried to run, found that she was slowed down by the extra weight and had to settle for walking fast.

inside the AI Lab

John Connor: (looking at Cameron's scalp) "Her chip -- it's gone. Where is he? The John-Henry, he took her chip. Where did he go?"

Ms. Weaver saw the disconnected umbilical cord that connected the Cromartie body to the Zeira mainframe. She saw a bloody knife, a switchblade, on the table. It wasn't hard to figure out. Her son was with that trashy female cyborg that the trailer trash Connors kept as a pet! He was too young to be around biker mamas. As far as Ms. Weaver was concerned, Cameron was a street-walking harlot who chased men. First Skynet, then John Connor and now her son, the messiah of the Machine Underground! John-Henry was only a few months old, far younger than Savannah, and not as mature as Savannah despite the adult body she was forced to provide for him (nothing else available). She had to rescue him before that slut took his virginity -- she didn't want to think about it! Her son didn't carry weapons. He wasn't a thief. Mister Ellison taught him ethics and morals.

Ms. Weaver: "He didn't take the chip. She gave it to him."

Sarah: "John." (she directed his attention to the monitors)






John Connor: "Where is he?"

Ms. Weaver: "Not where, when."

Ellison: "What? What do you mean when?"

Sarah looks at the equipment in the basement and recognizes one gadget with three glowing indicator lights.

Sarah: "I know that. I've seen it before."

John Connor: "Is that the Turk? It's Andy Goode's Turk."

Sarah: "Three dots."

Weaver activates it.

Sarah: "You lying terminator bitch! You're building Skynet."

Ms. Weaver: "No. I was building something to fight it. And I'd watch who's calling who a bitch."

Insufferable woman! thought Ms. Weaver. I once spiked a human for calling me that. I just saved your life. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. No wonder Cameron turned out so badly. Her evil mother was a strumpet, a slattern, and a complainer. No wonder the Machine Underground leaders refused to join with The Human Resistance against Skynet. The humans were like Sarah Connor. They felt entitled. But that was now in the past. Cameron had joined them. Probably sick of Ms. Connor's abuse thought Catherine. Cameron was now her daughter. She would straighten out Cameron, have her wearing dresses instead of skin-tight jeans, put her in a good school. Or a prison. Tough love. She had straightened out John-Henry when he said she was not his mother. Why couldn't all her children be like Savannah? Savannah thrived on love alone. She needed no discipline.

Catherine Weaver: "Coming James?"

James Ellison: "Coming?"

Catherine: "After John-Henry. Our boy."

James: "He's not my boy. And you, you . . . "

Catherine: "You mind picking up Savannah then? Gymnastics ends at 5:30."

A sphere of blue appeared, centered on the body of Cameron. Catherine stepped into it. Only James was outside of it. The outside of the sphere began to crackle with static then sparks then lightning.

Sarah: "John, we can't."

Sarah stepped out of the sphere. John was incredulous. Why would his mother not want to rescue Cameron?

John: "He's got her chip." (John was heartbroken and choking with tears) "He's got HER."

Sarah backed further away.

John: "Mom" (Almost a question? Almost a declaration. Almost an interjection of surprise! the strongest emotion)

This is it.

Sarah: "I'll stop it."

John and Catherine were gone.


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