DISCLAIMER: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and its characters are the propert of James Cameron and Fox. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By Della Street


When the two women – well, one woman and one 'Other' – finally straggled in, John raced over to greet them.

"Mom!" he shouted, throwing his arms around her weary body. After a moment, he stepped back, realizing that his t-shirt was now dotted with blood spatters. "What happened?"

She smiled tiredly. "Oh, nothing," she said. "Just got lost."

"You've been gone for three days."

"She wouldn't ask for directions."

"We've been so worried!"


He gestured toward Derek Reese, standing beside him.

"Oh, yeah," she said. "Well, trust me, there was nothing to worry about."

She reached into the refrigerator and chugged some grape juice straight out of the bottle, an offense for which he ordinarily would have been chided. As Cameron watched, head cocked to one side, the liquid slowly disappeared, gulp by gulp, from the plastic container. Finally, Sarah set down the empty container and wiped her lips with the back of one hand.

"We're back now." She added, "and we may have a clue about Skynet. I think I heard something important."

Quizzically, Cameron said, "You did not mention this."

"It didn't strike me until a little while ago," Sarah said. "But I think I heard a noise . . . a . . . a . . . . something." She struggled to articulate it. "It didn't belong there."

"Belong where?" John asked.

"A warehouse," Sarah replied vaguely. "Cameron, can you play back your memory tapes?" She knew it wasn't really a "tape," but damned if she knew what to call it. "Before the flamethrower."

Cameron stood motionless as she followed Sarah's instruction.


"Pff, it was nothing," she replied, waving a hand around. "Just goofing around."

"'We are so fucked! We are fucking going to die!'" Cameron suddenly said. "'Technically, only you will die. I will be dismantled.'" "Hey, don't nitpick or I'll dismantle you myself. Can't you make yourself into a plane or something? We're about to die horrible, painful deaths here!"

Chuckling nervously, Sarah said, "She was watching TV last night." She twirled a finger, encouraging Cameron to skip ahead.

"'You know what? If we're gonna die anyway, then I'm at least going to do what I've been wanting to ever since–"

"After that!" Sarah interrupted.

"'Oh, my . . . My programmers never said it could be like–'"

"Way after that!"

"Yes . . . Yes . . . Oh, God, I'm–"

"Cameron!" Smiling uneasily at John, Sarah said, "It was a long movie." She turned back to the machine and said, "Cameron, replay your tape – silently – and listen for a noise in the background." To be perfectly clear, she added, "A noise that wasn't made by either one of us."

After several minutes, Cameron seemed to hit on something. "'Oh, yeah . . . harder . . . .' 'kkzzt! Skynet Development Team, report to Conference Room 1 . . . Skynet Development Team to Conference Room 1 . . . .' 'Yeah, that's it, right there . . .'"

The room was silent for a moment, and then Sarah spoke up. "I think it may be a clue." Assuming the leadership mantle once again, she barked out orders. "John, you go to school – and please do not sign up for that musical. I don't have time to make costumes. You–" She paused.


"Right. You . . . do whatever. I hear there might be a Triple 8 in New Jersey." Finally, she turned to Cameron. "You're playing hooky. John will tell them that your metal plate rusted again. We're going back to that warehouse."

Cameron nodded.

"We may not get out alive," Sarah acknowledged. "So wear that blue number . . . ."

The End

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