The Third Way (part 3)
Jameron Enterprises has doubled its size and now hired its tenth
employee.It now had two full-timers.
"The problem with this company is the name.It should be called
Camerjohn Industries to reflect the relative importance of the
partners.I do all the work and you sit on your butt --"
"-- thinking up stuff that will save the world, pay taxes, and
keep our investors happy."
Cameron lowered her voice. "You do know that we are on borrowed
time.Sooner or later, the terminators will show up."
John lowered his voice also."This is why I spent part of my day
developing electronic ghosts to make the terminators chase
ghosts.How are you coming with setting up a dummy corporation to
protect our anonymity and privacy and secrecy?"
"Too slow.An IRS audit is better than being shot up by
terminators.Or worse.Skynet might send a T-1000."
"Maybe if we hire a good tax lawyer and a good corporate lawyer."
"Better yet Cam, why don't you go to law school?I can't think of
anything more terrifying than a terminator attorney and a
Microsoft lawyer combined into a lethal weapon against Skynet."
"Ha ha.Very funny."
"I wasn't really joking."
Cameron mumbled something to herself about not getting the legal
brains in the family.
"Then go to medical school.You can't tell me you wouldn't be good
at that." (apparently he made out what she was mumbling)
"Are you trying to get rid of me?"
"No, I'm just saying.I do creative stuff.So should you.We can
hire a manager to do the administrative stuff that is obviously
no challenge to you and boring you to death.You're good at
diagnostics and biology.I'm more physics.If we started a biotech
company, then by the time you got out of medical school you could
take it over as CEO."
"Think Cameron think!I like electronics and robotics but even I
can see that in the medical field that every time somebody loses
an arm or a leg or organ, the doctors want to slap on a gadget, a
mechanical prosthetic device.Doctors have gotten so lazy that
they don't even try to reattach the arm or leg or re-grow it if
it was destroyed.Piece by piece the human race is turning itself
into robots.Some stupid people even ask for electronic
implants.Who needs Skynet?We're our own worst enemy.We're doing
it to ourselves.Don't get me wrong.I'm looking at you, my sister,
a marvel of advanced technology.Wouldn't you like to be
all-biological or all-synthetic android?"
"And not half and half?If we set up a biotech company and you go
to medical school, we can steer the human race away from Skynet
and toward regeneration and human potential.The way we're headed
now, it will be just humans and machines fighting each other in a
battle to the death with no winners.With your skills, we can make
"We already have too much on our plates as it is.Software
company.Fusion research not-for-profit.We're still in high
school.And you want to start a biotech company?"
"The software company practically runs itself.I no longer do most
of the coding and programming.I leave that to the new hires.With
professional managers brought in, I can spend most of my time
with the fusion research and we can split up the work setting up
the biotech company."
"I don't know John . . . "
John started using his feet to scratch at imaginary dirt on the
ground, though they were standing on a carpeted floor inside.He
started clucking hen-like noises.At first Cameron thought he had
gone stark raving mad like their mother but she suddenly realized
and her face reddened a bit.
"Stop that!I'm not chicken."
"For a terminator you have an awful lot of feathers on you.Would
you like some dry shelled corn or perhaps an earthworm?"
"Shut up!Not everybody has your confidence about trying new
things John.And I might remind you that I was sent back to
encourage you so that our mother didn't scare you out of this.Who
As soon as she said it, she bowed her head.Fallen into one of
John's mental traps.
"Don't say it John.You do.You encourage me.Okay, okay.I'll send
off my application to medical school and I'll get the paperwork
started on the biotech company.But you'd better hire a bodyguard
because I'll be so busy I won't be able to watch your back."
"Mom's right downstairs.She's not exactly chopped liver.She was
watching my back long before we became brother and sister."
"We've been brother and sister for fifteen years.For you only one
year.You don't remember the other years because for you they
haven't happened yet and hopefully will never happen on this
timeline.Future John remembers the other fourteen years but will
never know our year together."
"But we're sixteen.If Future John has known you practically since
you were built, how do you account for the other year?"
"Between build-day and being captured was about a month or
so.Other months with The Engineer.And when I arrived in the past,
I spent about a month observing you."
"That's creepy.You're a stalker.Insanity runs in the family."
It was kind of a running joke between John and Cameron to pretend
that their mother was a lunatic.She had been railroaded into an
asylum by the police psychologist after she first went to the
police to report a terminator and a crazy man after her.The
"crazy man" turned out to be Kyle Reese, John's father.At
present, Sarah had tired of being alone in the frequently empty
house.When John and Cameron weren't at school, they were in the
loft above the storefront that they had leased for the
regrettably named business, Jameron Enterprises.
So Sarah rented out the storefront below the loft for her
bookstore.It solved several problems.She could watch her children
as a parent was supposed to do, she could see them more often
instead of feeling lonely at home, and they could all go home
together at six-thirty for a not too late dinner.At ten o'clock
(sometimes eleven or twelve on Saturday), it was lights out.John
needed rest.And she was starting to think that Cameron needed
After Sarah hired a stocker and an assistant manager, she had
second thoughts about the bookstore. Not that she had started the
business but that it became like her children.Not needing her so
She had started the bookstore as a way to pay for historical
research.Maybe just start an honest-to-gosh research business or
archiving service or become an historical consultant.Take some
classes.Charge people to do genealogy research.Contract services
in association with real historians, restoration specialists, and
archaeologists. Become a history detective.That is what the
bookstore was supposed to have enabled her to do.But she got
sidetracked with book returns and reimbursements and ISBN's and
customers and advertisement and web site and then worry that this
would attract Skynet and terminators.
Become a history detective.Find evidence of terminators
throughout history if Skynet was that ambitious.Seemed logical
since Skynet also planned to end history with thermonuclear
bombs.Become a history detective.But how to make it pay for
itself?Give up the idea?Stick with the bookstore?Give up the
Maybe start an exercise studio for aerobics classes and
calisthenics and weight loss groups and yoga.A business that
didn't make you think so much.Those kids upstairs.John and
Cameron.Because of them she had been bitten by the