The Blood of Fate: Chapter OneAuthor:
Marcus Wright, Dawn SummersWarnings:
Violence, gore. SPOILERS FOR T4!! Don’t say you weren’t warned!!Summary:
It was always about the blood…Disclaimer:
Terminator characters are the creation of James Cameron. Buffy characters are the property of Joss Whedon. I’m not making a profit and it wouldn’t do to come after me for money; I have three kids. I’m broke as a joke, yo!Author’s Notes:
written as part of the challenge for Terminatorfic
. Prompts used were Safe Haven
and “..and in this future, I don’t know if we can win this war.”
I know that I’m late as all hell, but hey! – better late than never.Beta credits:
dhark-charlotte, bewize and sabaceanbabe. Thank you, all of you! I don’t know what I would have done without you guys!!
The faint sounds of gunfire and explosions could be heard through the thick white walls of the holding cell that she had been placed in. Slowly, painfully, the girl turned her head and looked out through the small window of the door and saw that the primary lighting in the hall outside had gone out, leaving the dull red emergency light to illuminate her room. Resigned, she turned her head back to stare at the shadowed ceiling. It didn’t matter what she heard out there; no one ever made it to the rear research labs.
Her eyes flickered down to examine yet again the restraints keeping her bound to the table. She’d been here for so long that the restraints had made permanent marks on her wrists and ankles. Frowning tiredly at the symbols engraved on the metal, she wondered for what was probably the millionth time, how the machines had discovered the one way to keep her secured. None of the machines had ever responded to her pleas or questions and she only knew that they had been thorough and she hadn’t been able to leave once they strapped her down and started their experiments. A lone tear escaped as she heard more explosions and the red lights flickered slightly outside her small, dark room. She had never wanted out of a place as desperately as she did this cell. However, she knew nothing would release her. The machines had made sure of it.
Closing her eyes, she allowed her mind to drift away. She had become quite proficient in detaching herself from all physical discomforts and allowing her mind to take her out of the nightmare she found herself in. She tucked herself away in a memory of the warmth of her mother’s arms, the laughter of her friends and blowing out the candles of her eighth birthday party cake. Here, she was safe… here she could survive anything.
With the sounds of explosions and gun fire sounding all around them and debris being flung in all directions, John Connor, leader of the Resistance, could barely make out the words of the young Lieutenant currently shouting at him. Holding his rifle ready, Connor quickly hunkered down and made his way over to the other officer to better hear him.
“What?” Connor yelled back.
“General, we found something! Something I think you’re going to want to see!” The Lieutenant shouted back over the din. Connor studied him for a second and could see the fear and excitement in the man’s eyes. Shaking his head, Connor cleared his throat.
“Where is it?” He already knew what it was. He had been looking for it for almost five years, when he knew the time had approached that the time displacement device should have started being developed. He had been sending out recon teams for the past few years, determined to find it before any further damage could be done to the timeline.
The young Lieutenant narrowed his eyes in confusion since it seemed that the General already knew what it was that they had found, but answered anyway. “It’s on the next level down. Lots of security, but I think with Marcus and the Demolitionist, we should be able to get down to it. Might take on some casualties though.”
Nodding in understanding, Connor stood up slightly and took note of his men’s locations in the fight and, once he'd located and accounted for all surviving personnel, gave the order to start making the push to get to the lower level. Locating Kyle in the group of men rushing to start the push downwards, Connor made his way over to him. He knew that the time was coming when he would have to send the young man to his death; it was a difficult decision and it weighed on him continuously as to whether or not he should even allow Kyle to volunteer. Connor already knew that if he suggested it, Kyle would jump through the portal and go back through time to protect Sarah. Sighing, still torn as to what to do, Connor took up point and began leading his men down to the level that contained everything he and his mother had fought against.
Connor looked over the shoulder of the young technician as she frantically maneuvered her way through the complex file systems that comprised SkyNet. He knew what he was looking for, but there was information contained in the files that he didn’t understand. Frowning, he quickly scanned over some of the logs from various experiments using time displacement and narrowed his eyes as one word was repeated throughout the documentation: Blood.
Confused, he turned to the Lieutenant who had accompanied him down to the lower level and noticed the man looked the worse for wear. He’d taken some shrapnel to the shoulder from one particularly close explosion that had also heavily damaged Marcus. Despite being more man than machine, Marcus could take a beating and keep on going, which is why they used him in the frontal assaults. Realizing that the officer was going to be of little use to him right then, Connor turned his attention back to what the young technician had found. He watched silently, reading as the technician quickly scanned through the file structures when something suddenly caught his eye.
“Wait!” he said quickly. “Go back!”
The technician frowned in confusion, but dutifully scanned back through the files. “There! That!” Connor said, pointing to a file that just said ‘Key’. “Open that one.” Even though she was thoroughly confused at this point, the technician performed the necessary hacks that were required to get into the heavily encrypted folder and its contents. Nudging her to the side, Connor sat down and began to quickly scan through the files within it and realized he’d found what he was looking for.
Stomach clenched with tension, he found the schematics for the device as well as the logs for the operational side of it. Opening another file, Connor frowned as he read through the description of how the unit had been created, the blood draining from his face as he re-read what was on the screen. Half turning in his seat, he looked back through the heavy glass doors that led to several containment cells. Standing up and grabbing his rifle, he turned to the soldiers in the rear and shouted, gaining their attention, “Jackson! Boyle! Get Kate! Now!”
Recognizing urgency in the command, the two soldiers turned and ran out of the room, searching for Connor’s wife, Kate. Watching the two soldiers rush out, Connor took a deep breath and sat down, reading through the files as an overwhelming sense of dread filled him. What he found within the research logs sickened him to a degree that he didn’t know he was even capable of feeling any longer. He couldn’t stop himself from wondering if he had caused this to happen. Was this discovery a result of his and his mother’s attempts to stop Judgment Day from happening?
Recognizing the futility in his thought process, he sighed and looked up in time to see Kate enter the lab and follow the direction of Marcus’s gesture to where Connor was seated. Nodding in acknowledgement, Kate quickly walked over to her husband with a questioning look on her face, expression tensing as she saw the look in his eyes.
Placing a tentative hand on his arm, Kate spoke softly. “What is it, John? What did you find?”
Looking down at her earnest face, he wondered how he could tell her what he suspected lay beyond those glass doors; what his instincts screamed at him they would find. Gently covering her hand with his own, he bowed his head down towards her and spoke quietly. “I don’t know, Kate. But whatever it is, I think we’re going to need you there.”
She searched his face and then nodded her acceptance. Giving her a tight smile at her unspoken trust in him, Connor turned and pulled his rifle to ready, giving the signal for everyone to form up and move out. Kate was placed in the center of the group for safety and they started making their way back to the containment cells.
Kate wrapped her arms around herself in an effort to ward off the chill that was seeping into her very bones down in the research labs. She found that although the ambient temperature wasn’t actually cold, there was a dismalness to the surrounding environment that seemingly leeched all the warmth from one’s very soul, leaving them chattering with a cold that didn’t actually exist. Desiring nothing more than to leave the chill of the area, Kate silently followed the soldiers as they systematically checked each and every containment cell within the labs. She found it both disconcerting and disturbing the sheer number of cells that were located within the compound that the Resistance had discovered. Shuddering over the dark ponderings of what could have possibly taken place in the labs deep underground, Kate found herself completely lost in thought and was therefore unprepared for the short whistle that was the signal that one of the soldiers had found something, causing her to start in surprise.
She watched as her husband and Marcus made their way over to a door of a cell that had a red flickering emergency light above it. It illuminated Marcus in such a way that Kate fancied she saw blood running down his face. As she continued to watch the two men, her husband peered up into the room from the high window set in the door and studied the interior of the room. She grew concerned when he suddenly dropped back into a crouching position and started swearing, motioning for her to quickly come over to them.
Kate, in a crouching run, made her way over to the small cluster of men and looked expectantly at her husband, waiting for further information. John turned and looked at her for a moment, gazing at her with a sad look in his eyes. He turned and looked around until he located the young tech that had also been brought down, the girl wide eyed at being included in mission. Taking a deep breath, he motioned for his men to gather around.
“We’re here. Marcus and I will go in, secure the room. Once we’re done, Kate and SGT Dawson will be sent in. The rest of you will maintain a secure perimeter around this room until ordered to do otherwise from either me or Marcus. Understood?” Connor barked out the orders and waited for everyone to acknowledge that they understood their part in the plan. SGT Dawson was pale and frightened, but nodded and stepped over to where Kate was standing, waiting to be taken wherever her husband needed her.
Connor stood and slung his rifle over his shoulder. “All right. Let’s go, Marcus.”
Marcus stood quietly and on Connor’s order began the hack to get through the cell’s security system. The man was a mountain of silence, efficient and deadly. He was exactly what the Resistance needed and they were thankful that he had decided to throw his lot in with the humans rather than join SkyNet all those years ago. He was a formidable ally and would have made a dangerous enemy. He quickly made short work of the containment cell’s security measures and stood back, allowing Connor to assess the situation.
Kate watched as the two men conferred quietly before Marcus opened the cell door and they stole in, the only sound made was the whisper of air as the door closed as silently as it opened. No sign of disturbance could be seen or heard. She was reminded, once again, of just how deadly the two men were when they were together.
Breaking off her train of thought, she stood up as the cell door ghosted open and Marcus signaled the two women to enter. Sensing that Dawson was reluctant to enter first, Kate pushed ahead and waved a hand for the younger girl to follow. She was uncertain herself, but trusted that John wouldn’t have asked her to be there if she wasn’t absolutely needed. Steeling herself for whatever she may find on the other side of the door, she stepped inside as Marcus held it open for her and Dawson.
There was nothing she could have done to prepare herself for what she found.
Kate couldn’t contain the gasp that escaped nor stop the lump from forming in her throat as she fought back bile at what she encountered in the containment cell. Dawson didn’t even try to hide her shock as she let out a harshly whispered, “What in the name of God…?!” and held a hand to her mouth in horror. The sight was something neither would forget for a very long time.
The room was small and stark white, with the red emergency lighting reflecting from every surface and casting eerily dark crimson shadows around the room. There was nothing else in the room save the four of them, the metal lab table, a large machine that had several large, clear tubes coming from it and the still form of a young girl attached to the machine via the tubing.
Kate breathed heavily through her mouth, trying not to gag on the bile rising in her throat. She had seen some horrible things in the years since Judgment Day, but she had never experienced anything like this. She glanced over and saw that Dawson’s face had gone stark white and the girl looked like she was on the verge of passing out. Kate placed a comforting hand on the girl’s shoulder and then looked to her husband, silently asking what he needed her to do.
Connor looked down at the young girl on the table and felt a fury the likes of which he had never known before. It was obvious at one time that the girl had been lovely to look at, with her fair skin and long legs; well, she would have had fair skin, but now it held a grey pallor from being kept from sunlight for much too long. She was naked, close to being emaciated due to lack of proper nutrition. Her hair had been shaved, probably to keep maintenance of the girl to a minimum. That the machines had done this to her, contained her like a lab rat… it was beyond monstrous. He could see on her wrists and ankles where the girl had struggled for an indefinite time, as the scarring on them from the leather and steel straps had rubbed them raw and they had healed, most likely repeatedly. He narrowed his eyes at the odd markings on the steel of the bands around them, wondering what the symbols meant. Shaking his head slightly, not sure what to make of all of it, his eyes wandered and he saw that the large tubes were connected to various parts of her body. He could see that four were for blood harvesting, one each inserted in both of her inner elbow joints and one each in the pelvic region of her groin, both sites locations of large veins. He saw that tubes had been placed for waste removal; how generous of the metal to not leave her in her bodily functions. There was also one that upon closer inspection he discovered was for a nutritional supplement.
Blinking through the angry haze that was starting to glaze his sight, he was startled to see that the girl had opened her eyes, meeting his gaze with sad blue eyes. Taking a shallow breath, she turned her head slightly, taking in everyone else’s presence silently. Looking back at Connor, a dejectedly hopeful look in her eyes, she whispered hoarsely, “Are you real?”
Kate couldn’t take it anymore and pushed her way between the two men to get to the girl’s side. Giving her husband an unmistakable look, John took the hint and both he and Marcus turned and left the room, allowing the two women time to get the girl released from her imprisonment, having the presence of mind to quickly send Marcus back in with a medic’s field kit. Kate took the case with a determined air and Marcus left as quietly as he had come in, not wanting to witness what was going to undoubtedly be a painful experience for the young girl.
Kate and Dawson immediately set to removing the various tubes, tears forming in their eyes as the girl was unable to stifle the cries and groans of pain as they were pulled out. In some places, the skin had healed around the tubes, thus forcing them to cut the tubing out. It wasn’t long before Kate was rushing to stitch the girl up, praying that in the process she didn’t bleed to death.
Once all of the tubes were removed, Dawson went and called Connor and Marcus back in. Both men grimaced at the volume of blood that covered both the girl and the two women in the room. As Kate reported back to her husband what they’d had to do to remove the tubing, Marcus became aware of the girl speaking softly to herself. Narrowing his eyes in confusion as it became aware that she was speaking in a language he didn’t recognize, he moved slightly closer to her, straining to hear her better. She broke off momentarily as Connor approached her, staring at him with apprehensive eyes.
“It’s OK.” He said, holding up his hands to show her that he wasn’t a threat to her. “We’re not here to hurt you.”
She watched him silently, weariness and distrust radiating from her. Connor sighed.
“Who are you? Where are you from? Do you have any family?” he asked.
She continued to watch him, slowly raising her arm slightly, asking without words to have the restraints removed. Connor eyed her for a moment and then motioned to Marcus to take them straps off of her. The girl watched Marcus intently as he stepped forward and made quick work of undoing the restraints. As he stepped back, she smiled sadly at him, looking into his eyes as if memorizing them and said, quietly, “Thank you…”
About to respond, he broke off as she again began to softly speak in the language he didn’t recognize. Suddenly, without warning, a green glow began to emanate from the blood that was coating various areas of her body. Just as quickly as it started, a roaring sound could be heard as a bright green light burst upon them, causing them to shield their eyes from the intensity of it. Suddenly, there was a deafening silence and when they lowered their hands, the girl was gone. No trace of her left except for the restraints that were still swinging slowly from the lab table’s side.
All the small group could do was stare at the table in shocked silence, not quite believing what they had just witnessed.
Buffy and Willow burst into Dawn’s room, frantic at the sound of the younger girl’s screaming in the dead of night. Quickly switching on the bedside lamp, Buffy worked to calm the distraught girl as she fought restraints that weren’t there. Tears running down Willow’s face, she could do nothing but observe helplessly as Dawn fought her way out of the nightmare. It would have probably helped if the girl could ever remember what the nightmares were about; Willow suspected it had something to do with Dawn’s disappearance for a week during her freshman year of college. But Dawn couldn’t remember what happened to her and they didn’t want to push the issue. The only clues they had were the scars on her arms and pelvic area, as if something had punctured both locations.
Finally calming enough to bring herself out of the dreamscape she had been trapped in, Dawn found herself wrapped in Buffy’s arms and broke down crying, just as she always did. She could never recall any of the dreams; she just knew that she felt completely helpless and vulnerable. Eventually, after many whispered affirmations that she was safe and that nothing would harm her again, Dawn felt that she was sufficiently capable of going to back to sleep.
Smiling sleepily at her sister and Willow, Dawn switched off the bedside lamp as the two girls left the room talking quietly to each other. Yawning as she settled herself back down into her pillows, Dawn found herself pondering what could cause such awful dreams. Holding out her arm, she frowned as she studied, not for the first time, the scar on her inner arm. Where had it come from? Why couldn’t she remember receiving such large wounds?
Shrugging, she decided not to worry about it any longer for the night and closed her eyes. As she slowly drifted off to sleep, she smiled as the ghostly memory of brilliant blue eyes drifted through her mind.