Terminator High School 3
After the umpteenth atomic wedgie, John Connor learned to wear cheap underwear because the elastic waistband would tear and prevent the bullies from giving him a wedgie. They simply pulled down his pants in the hallway, pointed, and laughed. He couldn't win.
Going to the restroom was an ordeal if he wasn't fast enough to exit before the bullies knew he was in there.
"This toilet is clogged."
While one bully guarded the door, the tall bully picked him up and turned him upside down. Holding his ankles with one hand and his arms behind his back with the other hand, the bully used his head as the business end of a plunger. John wished they at least flushed the commode first. It was nasty.
"I think this 'John' is clogged too."
He took the wooden handle of a plunger and rammed it. John woke up in a hospital. His mother was there at his bedside.
"I'm sorry I can't protect you any more John. I talked to the principal and begged him to do something."
"Why bother mom? The principal is a terminator too."
"They don't like that word. They said that the proper word is 'infiltrator' and that we should go on as before under the name Baum not Connor."
"Whatever. Just don't beg or they might make you do something degrading. Some of them are lechers and pervs. They're not going to do anything about bullies. The schools never have. Why should the fact that the machines have taken over change that?"
"I'll let you rest now. I have to get back to work. We still have to pay bills. I asked hospital security to protect you while you're here so you can rest in peace."
"Let me die."
"That's no longer an option John. If either of us commits suicide, then bad things will happen."
His mother left. John thought about what his mom had said. They were "infiltrators" not terminators. They knew exactly who he was but had not terminated him. Maybe they weren't terminators. All of them kept up the cover story that the Connors were the Baums. Did they not want to deal with the other people after them? Police and FBI were still after Sarah Connor. Sarkissian's mob was still after them. And his mother had made still other enemies.
How did Skynet know that he wanted to talk? Perhaps it didn't matter. Skynet talked through intermediaries. The bullies. Teenage machines like Cameron. Why build teenage machines? Why send them to school? Couldn't they just download whatever education they needed? They could learn everything from kindergarten to grad school by simply installing a chip or downloading. Or was education more than facts?
A nurse came in to check on him and told him that he would be discharged tomorrow. Back to Terminator High. Maybe if he injured himself in the hospital, then he could delay going back. John lay back in the hospital bed. He remembered that one of the bullies had watched the door of the boys' restroom while he was being assaulted. They never shouted his real name so that others could hear. They whispered and conspired to protect his John Baum identity. Why? The police chief was a machine too. They probably were infiltrating the FBI. He'd think about that later. His immediate concern was high school and finding some way to protect his mother. Maybe reversing whatever they had done to her. What had they done to mom? She wouldn't say.
A quiet knock on the door of his hospital room. John sat up to see who his visitor was.
"I'm a tutor sent by the school. The principal doesn't want you to fall behind, sorry poor choice of words, while you're in the hospital."
As she opened her books and began, John figured out that she was human.
"Why are you working with the machines?"
A scared glance. She instantly looked back down.
"Please don't get me killed." she whispered and then continued the lessons in a normal voice.
two days later
I kept my eyes open. Sometimes machine teachers were replaced by human teachers. Sometimes human teachers were replaced by machine teachers. At first, I had assumed that all adult humans at school were collaborators. Now, I realized that very few were collaborators. Almost no human at school was even aware that machines had taken over the school, the city government and some county offices. I did not know to what degree state government, the federal government, and the governments of other nations were compromised or infiltrated but my overactive imagination was in overdrive.
I was at my locker constantly looking around so that no one could sneak up on me. Uh oh. The bullies were approaching.
"Just leave me alone. Don't you have classes? Don't your parents want you to be something other than future jailbirds?"
They stopped in their tracks. I'm not sure who was more surprised. Them or me.
"If you died, Skynet wouldn't even care. He'd leave your coltan bones out in the weather to rust."
The leader, not as stupid as the other three, was about to say 'Really?' but kept silent. He bumped against me as he went on his way.
No rough shove. I wasn't thrown down a staircase. I wasn't hung out of a window by my ankles until I stopped struggling and despaired. I wasn't kicked in the crotch. I wasn't pantsed. I wasn't punched in the stomach. I wasn't given a wedgie. I wasn't locked in my locker. They didn't stick my head in the head. I wasn't humiliated in front of girls. ("Check his 'nads. See if they've descended.")
the next day
Most of the students were humans. None seemed to know that machines ran the school. But they were afraid. For that matter, even some of the machine students seemed afraid. Of what? I wondered.
At lunch, I saw the leader of the bullies with his head down on the table. I walked up to where he was sitting.
"You all right?"
I didn't care. I wanted him dead but curiosity got the better of me.
"Go away." he said without lifting his head. "Or I'll reach up under your ribs, pull out your heart, and show it to you before you die."
"No you won't and we both know it. I know where you live."
That got his attention. He looked up and quickly suppressed a look of fear.
"I'll leave you alone. Since you left me alone yesterday."
I walked off.
the next day
I saw the leader of the bullies with his gang. I walked over. I wasn't going to get by on fast talking alone. I had a taser in my pocket. There were security guards and a security gate like with most urban schools but no metal detectors. Gee. I wonder why. I handed the leader a book. It was in a bag. I saw no reason to humiliate the bully in front of his stooges. I could always escalate to humiliation later. I was learning how to terrorize the terrorists. One day I would terminate the terminators. All of them.
The next time I saw the bully, he actually walked away. Almost ran from me. The book I gave him was about sympathy. A machine that learned sympathy might be useless to Skynet. Skynet might terminate such a terminator if he discovered that it had been corrupted with such human ideas.
Another day at Terminator High.