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Terminator High: The Series

Novel By: Toni Roman
Young adult

Where's Cameron? Where's Uncle Derek? John is back in high school and Skynet isn't waiting around to take over the world in the future. Skynet has taken over now. View table of contents...


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Submitted:Dec 15, 2009    Reads: 58    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   

Terminator High School 2

John Connor was a kid who could handle himself. And after learning martial arts and self-defense during summer camp, he felt invincible--until he got back to high school.

He was at his locker when, all of a sudden, he found himself knocked to the floor and held down on his stomach by powerfully strong older boys.

"You wanted to talk to Skynet" one of them whispered in his ear "talk to us."

"I'll save my words for your boss, not his pea-brained goons." said John.

"Wrong answer."

John got a kick in the crotch. He screamed. Why wouldn't someone help him? The other students passing by in the hallway saw him on the floor but averted their eyes.

"Let me up!" demanded John.

"Sure" said the ringleader "Do it." he ordered to one of the guys on top of him.

John felt the pinprick of a hypodermic on the back of his neck. Something was driven deep into his brain stem.

"That's both a tracking device and a disciplinary device. If I tell you to kneel and worship me, then you will do so. Or there will be pain or we implant something worse to take your free will away. You obey or you become the laughingstock of the school when we make you do tricks out in public. From what I hear, you were an A-hole at summer camp anyway so you should be used to people laughing at you. Kind of hard to organize a resistance when everyone is laughing at you." He gestured. "Let him up."

The assistant principal was coming. John painfully got up and, as he did, he looked up and saw that the assistant principal's eyes glowed red. John looked around at the gang of bullies. Their eyes all glowed red too. John dropped his books and ran home. As he ran, he could swear that he was being followed. But, looking around, he saw nothing.

Arriving home, he shouted: "Mom! Mom! Terminators have taken over the school. We've got to get out of town. And where's Cameron? Ever since that day in summer camp no one will tell me what happened to her. What did you have Uncle Derek do? Did you send her off to boarding school? Is she enrolled in another high school? Is she with Uncle Derek? Is she dead? You can tell me while we're driving but we need to leave town NOW!!!"

John stopped and realized that he was saying the very words that his mother usually said. Sarah was not her usual self. If she had been, they would already be out the door, in the car, down the highway, and skip town. But she averted her eyes like the students at school. A knock on the door. John grabbed a gun. Sarah answered the door.

"Mrs. Sarah Connor. I'm the school district truant officer. John Connor must return to school right now." The man said flashing his identification.

John was immediately alarmed because the man had used her real last name instead of their cover name Baum. And the fact that the truant officer's eyes glowed red. John shot the man. The man calmly grabbed the bullets mid-flight, tossed them in his mouth, crunched on them like peanuts, snatched the gun from John, and twisted it into a useless knot.

"Mrs. Connor, tell your son what will happen if he fails to comply."

"They have all our relatives held hostage."

"I thought they were all dead anyway, so what? I thought you bet everybody's life to save mine. Why are you buckling under to these machines now?"

"You don't understand John." she said in an unsteady voice. "They'll launch the missiles early."

"Correction." said the truant officer, "We'll launch. Early has nothing to do with it. What you call Judgment Day is conditional. You do as you're told and three billion people will not die. You refuse to return to school and your relatives die. I'll let you tell the rest, Mrs. Connor. I'll wait out in my car."

"Yes, get out of this house." said John.

"Five minutes. Don't try my patience, young man."

The truant officer walked out and sat in his car. John went to get a machine gun. Sarah stopped him.

"What's gotten into you mom? Have you lost your nerve or your backbone?"

"I'm sorry John. We've always fought to stop Judgment Day. Skynet has promised to not launch the missiles that would kill three billion and promised to not let loose the plagues that will kill another three billion if we obey. I never thought stopping Judgment Day would mean paying a personal cost this high. If you don't do as you're told, they have other persuasions."

"I know. They put a persuader in my neck."

Not seeming to hear, Sarah continued: "If you don't obey, they will send a specialist to violate me in front of you and force you to watch."

As John watched in horror, his mother cried quicksilver tears.

Checkmate. Set. Match. Game over.

The house was under surveillance and wired with eavesdropping devices. Their vehicles were bugged. If they ran, GPS satellites would track their location down to the square foot. Surveillance satellites would image them. The police chief's eyes glowed red. Police and other operatives would follow them anywhere on Earth. Their clothes were riddled with RF nanotechnology tags. They couldn't even run away naked. John had an implant in his brain. God knows what they had done to Sarah.

John got in the car.

"Cutting it close. A few more seconds and I would have made a call that you would not like. Put on your seat belt young man."

"Why bother with a seat belt? If I get killed, so much the better. Why don't you just kill us and get it over with? Why drag it out?"

"Such a negative attitude. The assistant principal collected your books off the floor of the hallway, put them in your locker, and locked it. Your second and third period teachers have arranged for notes to be taken for you so that you don't miss anything. We should get back to school in time for your fourth period. Have you had lunch?"

This was surreal. One minute the machines were threatening global destruction and traumatizing the Connor family into permanent insanity and the next, acting civilized. If Skynet had changed its mind about Judgment Day, what was its real goal?

"Have you had lunch?" the truant officer repeated.

Not getting an answer, the truant officer called ahead and requested that the school lunchroom set aside lunch for "John Baum." Normally, they would be shutting down after lunch hour.

Another day at Terminator High.


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