The Terminator: Mission Paradox

Introduction:

I've often wondered as to the paradoxical nature of The Terminator movies as well as The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Cyberdyne Systems only came into existence after they discovered the remains of the first terminator and they used that as a template to create new robots. In the movies Sarah Connor dies from leukaemia while in the series its mentioned to her that she is destined to die, yet when she has herself checked at the hospital she is completely free of any signs of illness.

Keeping in-line with the tradition of paradoxes I've decided to add one in my fan fiction story. I hope you like it.

 

Chapter 1:

I wasn't sure what I was looking at, all I could see was grey, a very dark dirty grey reflecting a dim orange light. I felt as though I was laying down, so I guessed I was staring at a ceiling.

My tummy felt cold. I could sense the variation of temperature on my skin. There was also an injury, a serious one, but I knew deep down I would be okay.

I felt no urge to panic but I was feeling disorientated. Maybe I was in hospital being treated for my injury. I tried to think as to the cause but my mind was a complete blank.

"Is anyone there?!" I called out.

There was silence for a few moments before I heard someone drop something onto the floor.

"Hello!" I said.

"You're awake!" I heard a male voice call out with a happy tone of voice.

I felt relief. I was glad I wasn't alone.

The man's footsteps echoed against the hard floor as he rushed over to me wearing what sounded like heavy boots. His face then entered my field of vision then smiled brightly. I didn't recognise him.

"I can't move," I said, "I've no idea how I got here, or where I am."

I then came to the realisation that I had no idea who I was. My breathing grew increasingly erratic while I tried hard to remember.

"Calm yourself," the man said as he rubbed his stubbled beard, "This is to be expected. You haven't got any memory because you've only just come online. Your motor skills will activate as soon as you've finished booting up."

I stared ahead into his bright blue eyes that contrasted against his dirty face.

"What do you mean?!" I said.

"Don't you know?" he said, "You're a machine."

 

Chapter 2:

It was a full twenty minutes before I gained the ability to move. The very moment that I sat up I noticed my clothing had been lifted across my tummy revealing a very nasty open wound. There was blood all over me as well as the wooden bench I was sitting on.

"I hoped that would heal before you activated," the man said, "Machines heal faster than humans but it's taking longer than I expected. I'll get you a bandage."

I pressed my hand against my tummy while he fetched something from one of the many shelves that filled the walls. I was clearly not in a hospital, it looked more like a maintenance garage. I could feel the open wound across my skin and the internal damage, yet I felt no actual pain.

"How did I get injured?" I asked the man.

He walked over to me and placed a first aid box next to me on the bench. He opened it up and proceeded to unwrap a length of bandage.

"Your power cell was damaged," he said matter of factly, "And there's no access panel so I had no choice but to cut you open."

He then started to wrap the bandage around my body. His dirty oily hands pressed against the bandage without any care of hygiene. There was even dried blood under his fingernails.

"Are you sure I'm a machine?" I asked him.

He chuckled in response.

"One hundred percent," he replied.

At that moment I felt moisture swell up in my left eye before dripping onto the man's hand as he continued to tighten the bandage. I thought I was crying but realised it was blood. I slowly raised my hand and pressed it against my face.

"What's happend to my eye?!" I said, "There's a gaping hole where my eye should be, how come I can still see? What's going on?!"

"I've never witnessed a machine panic before," the man responded, "Just relax. You were shot while saving me and my friend's lives, but it's only your outer flesh that sustained injury, the rest of you is fully operational."

I turned my head away from the man, I didn't want to look at him. Something about his attitude unnerved me, he was treating me like an object with no understanding of how I felt. In fact I wasn't really sure I felt anything, my emotions felt distant, but I knew if I were human I would be both angry and upset at that moment.

 

Chapter 3:

Later that day I managed to heave myself off the workbench and take a look around the maintenance garage. I was feeling a lot stronger and no longer bleeding from my eye. I was sure my tummy was better too but didn't want to risk removing the bandage.

"What's your name?" I asked the man who had remained in the garage with me for the entire day.

He hesitated before replying.

"Don't you know?" He said.

I shook my head.

"It's Paul," he replied.

"Do you know my name?" I asked.

"I believe you're known as TOK715," he said.

I walked closer to him while he sat upon a large stool with a soldering iron in his hand. I had no idea what he was doing but there were various electronic components scattered around the workbench in front of him.

"That's not a name," I said, "Call me... call me Emily, I've always liked that name."

I had no idea where I got the name from or how I felt I always liked it. I had only been conscious for less than a day.

Paul then smiled, maybe me having a human name bought out a more tender side in him.

"Okay, from now on we'll call you Emily," he said.

I smiled back causing him to snigger at me. I wasn't sure if that was a good thing or not.

 

Chapter 4:

It wasn't much later that Paul grew tired and had to go to bed leaving me alone in the maintenance garage. I wasn't in the least tired and I found myself wandering around. I had removed all my clothing except my panties, bra and bandage. Even without the urge to sleep I felt it inappropriate to wear clothing on a continual basis.

I kept glancing my eyes toward a small mirror that was on one of the shelves. I wanted to see what I looked like but feared my own reaction if I saw my damaged eye staring back at me, so I decided not to look.

However, I was tempted to check my tummy so I picked up a pair of scissors from one of the work benches and began to cut the bandage. It didn't take too long to remove it completely. There was a noticeable scar but the wound has healed. I licked my finger and began to wash away some of the dried blood. I then stared at my belly button, why did I even have one if I was a machine?

I looked up as Paul suddenly entered the garage.

"Woah," he said as he guarded his eyes from my near nudity.

"I thought you were sleeping," I said as I began to dress myself.

"I can't sleep," he said, "I'm feeling nervous about tomorrow's mission."

I started to button up my Denim jacket.

"What mission?" I asked, "Is it something I can help you with?"

"Well I'd love for you to join us on the mission but I'm not sure everyone else is willing to trust you," he said.

I pulled up my jeans and began tightening the belt.

"Why would no one trust me?" I asked.

Paul leant against the workbench behind him and started to fiddle with something he picked from the bench before putting it back down.

"We first met you three days ago," he said, "Me and my friends were on a mission to plant explosives in a cyborg factory. It appeared abandoned at first so we decided to cancel the mission, but then six terminator cyborgs came from almost nowhere and attacked. We scattered running away in all directions but they still managed to kill two of our group and wound at least a dozen."

"I see," I said, "We'll I am sorry to hear that but I'm not like that. I may be a machine but I'm no killer, I would never harm a human."

"You killed all six terminators," he continued, "They didn't expect one of their own to turn against them. You ran out of the factory dressed in some crazy superhero costume and beat them to destruction. One of them shot you in the face and another damaged your power cell but you managed to defeat them all. But no one knows why you were on our side or what made you attack your own kind, no one reprogrammed you, it's as though you programmed yourself."

"Well, I can't really tell you," I said, "I've no memory of the event let alone why I chose to do what I did."

"We intend to destroy that factory tomorrow morning and I'd love to have you with us," Paul said, "But as I said others may not fully trust a cyborg."

I crouched down and started to tie my shoe laces.

"I'll be happy to earn their trust," I said, "I'll show them they can count on me."

Paul nodded.

"What did you mean by a superhero costume?" I said.

 

Chapter 5:

I brushed some dust from my clothing as everyone stared at me. There were eighteen people crammed in the maintenance garage preparing themselves for the mission ahead.

"Are you sure this isn't a trap?" A woman asked Paul, "For all we know it killed the others to lead us into a trap."

"It's not a trap," Paul responded defensively, "We had no chance against six terminators so why would she lead us into a trap? She could have just let them kill us if that was her plan."

"But machines don't think like we do," another man said, "Who knows what kind of thing goes through their heads. I suggest we leave it here."

"Unless leaving it here is part of its plan," the woman added.

"Well whatever we decide don't give it a gun," someone said from the back of the garage.

"It's a terminator!" Someone else responded, "It doesn't need a weapon. It could kill us all at any time!"

I then heard someone loading a gun and cocking it at the ready.

"Please stop talking about me like this!" I said, "I have no plan, I have no ulterior motives, my memory is blank. I've only known of my own existence since yesterday. My name is Emily. Either leave me here or take me with you, just stop bickering about me as though I'm not here!"

"Well you're not really here are you?" Another woman said as she stepped out from among the group of people and approached, "You're simply a machine. There are no thoughts running through your brain, you have no mind, no emotions, no hopes and dreams. You're nothing more than a toaster. A mere object. We are deciding if this object, this tool, is worth the risk, or is it likely to become dangerous."

"Well I don't like your attitude!" I said sharply.

"I only wish I could believe you," she said, "For if you genuinely hated me I'd be more than willing to have you on my side."

I wiped my left eye, I was sure it was starting to bleed again.

"We'll take it with us anyway," a man with a deep voice said from the far side of the garage, "It's... Emily has already proved herself. She'll be an asset to our team, we'll just need to keep a close eye on her."

"Thank you," I said in response.

 

Chapter 6:

There was snow on the ground as well as a biting wind. I didn't feel the cold but was well aware of it. All eighteen of us had left the maintenance garage and were on our way to the factory used by the terminators. I was wearing the same clothing that I had been wearing since Paul reactivated me, while everyone else wore thick overcoats and boots. I felt underdressed and wished I had asked for a coat before we left.

"It wasn't snowing the last time we tried this," Paul said, "But it's imperative we destroy this factory as soon as possible."

I nodded.

"Would you like me to scout ahead just to make sure there are no cyborgs around?" I said, "You can follow my footprints."

"NO!" Another voice said, "You stay where we can see you!"

"Okay," I said, "It's fine, I understand."

We continued walking as a large group, with me in the middle, heading for the factory. We were an easy target but I suspected they were afraid to split up in case they lost sight of me.

 

Chapter 7:

"It looks deserted," the man with a deep voice said as he looked through binoculars toward the factory.

Our journey had lasted most of the morning and I was sure many of our group felt tired especially from walking through the snow. My breathing felt rough, but I knew it was due to the cold contracting my fleshy lungs. I didn't really need to absorb oxygen into my body it was purely for show.

Very cautiously we continued ahead, and down a snowy slope, towards the factory entrance.

"We need to place the explosives inside," A woman said, "No matter how old or disused this factory looks let's make sure we flatten it to the ground."

We approached the outer gates and entered the inner courtyard. There were doors all around some of which were rotten hanging from their hinges, while some looked fairly new. There was also a flagpole containing the stars and stripes, but the rope was broken leaving the flag spead across the ground. I wondered if the humans wanted it raised out of sentimental reasons, however I never got the chance to suggest it.

"Incoming!" I heard a male voice yell as an explosion blasted next to us.

I instinctively dived to the ground then as soon as I got to my feet clambered away following some people ahead of me.

There was then another explosion, followed by another. The ground shook and it was difficult to hear over the sound of screams. I ran ahead pushing my way through one of the rotten wooden doors making my way into the factory.

 

Chapter 8:

There wasn't much light inside the factory, yet my vision appeared to automatically adjust to the darkness making everything visible. I could still here explosions coming from outside but the screaming had stopped. I hoped most people had made it to the safety of the factory as I had. I intended to search for them.

The factory was in a clear state of ruin and it hadn't been used in a number of years. I couldn't believe what possible way that the cyborgs made use of it. There wasn't any strategic use it could possibly have.

I walked from empty room to empy room to see if I could find anyone but it appeared that I was alone. It was possible that everyone perished in the explosions but I chose not to believe that and continued searching. My stupid eye then began bleeding again, if I didn't know any better I would have thought I was crying.

There was one room that I entered that contained a strange mechanical device in the middle. It looked like a circular disc-like sheet of metal with a device hanging above from the ceiling. Something about it looked out of place, especially due to it being so clean while the rest of the factory was thick with dust. I wondered if it was a device the cyborgs used. I stared at it trying to figure out what it was for but couldn't come up with a theory.

Taking care I stepped onto the large metal disc. It was clearly metallic yet it left circular ripple patterns with each step I took. It was partially liquid.

Suddenly the device above ativated and the metallic disc reshaped itself into a sphere trapping me inside. I tried to force my way out but the sphere kept reforming itself. Something inside was eating its way through my clothing like a powerful acid and would likely burn its way through my skin too. I continued to strike my fists at the inside of the sphere it until it eventually collapsed and reformed back into a liquid pool.

I found myself to be laying naked while electric sparks jumped around the room. I jumped to my feet and rushed away from the device as quickly as possible. It must have been a trap of some sort, I was pleased that I was able to break out of it.

The sound of the explosions outside appeared so have stopped so I decided to see what remained of my human friends. I hoped to dear God that they hadn't all died, some of them must have escaped.

To my surprise I discovered no bodies at all in the courtyard as I left the factory building. There didn't even appear to be any damage from the bomb blasts. In fact even the snow was gone. I was puzzled.

The stars and stripes flag was still sprawled out at the bottom of the fag pole as before. I picked it up and wrapped it around my naked body. I wasn't cold but I felt it appropriate to cover my nudity.

 

Chapter 9:

I stood completely still for a few hours going over the events in my mind. Something didn't add up. Maybe my machine mind wasn't working properly.

My attention was then distracted when I heard human screaming coming from the gates of the factory. I quickly ran as fast as I could towards the source of the sound.

Everyone was there, all my human friends including Paul, while being shot at by terminators. I recognised the cyborgs right away due to their unskinned bodies, I guessed that's what I looked like underneath. I hated being a machine.

Without slowing my speed I physically ran into one of the cyborgs and pushed it into the other causing them to both crash onto the ground. I then pushed my hand inside another cyborg's chest cavity and pulled out its innards. There was chaos all around and it was difficult to focus on my task, I just knew I needed to kill the cyborgs. I lunged myself at one of them while feeling a blast against my face. I had just been shot and ironically in my same injured eye. I literally pulled the gun from the cyborg's hand and shot it at point blank range in the chest. It fell to the ground.

Paul rushed over to me noticing the blood pour from my eye.

I didn't notice the other terminator behind me as it punched against my back. I felt my entire body tingle with electricity as my own power cell shorted itself out. I fell to my knees. The terminator that attacked me also felt the shock and fell at my side.

"Paul...," I said, "My power cell..."

My vision went blank.

 

Chapter 10:

I wasn't sure what I was looking at, all I could see was grey, a very dark dirty grey reflecting a dim orange light. I felt as though I was laying down, so I guessed I was staring at a ceiling.

My tummy felt cold. I could sense the variation of temperature on my skin. There was also an injury, a serious one, but I knew deep down I would be okay.

I felt no urge to panic but I was feeling disorientated. Maybe I was in hospital being treated for my injury. I tried to think as to the cause but my mind was a complete blank.

"Is anyone there?!" I called out.

There was silence for a few moments before I heard someone drop something onto the floor.

"Hello!" I said.

"You're awake!" I heard a male voice call out with a happy tone of voice.

I felt relief. I was glad I wasn't alone.

The man's footsteps echoed against the hard floor as he rushed over to me wearing what sounded like heavy boots. His face then entered my field of vision then smiled brightly. I didn't recognise him.

"I can't move," I said, "I've no idea how I got here, or where I am."

I then came to the realisation that I had no idea who I was. My breathing grew increasingly erratic while I tried hard to remember.

"Calm yourself," the man said as he rubbed his stubbled beard, "This is to be expected. You haven't got any memory because you've only just come online. Your motor skills will activate as soon as you've finished booting up."

I stared ahead into his bright blue eyes that contrasted against his dirty face.

"What do you mean?!" I said.

"Don't you know?" He said, "You're a machine."

THE END.

 

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