Sometimes They Go Bad
Brief scene rewrite again. Hopefully, it's enough to display the differences from canon without parroting lines from the episode. Not sure if I'm happy with this one, but I'll let y'all decide.-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-
Cameron waited in her hiding place while Buffy arranged for the thermite powder to cover the Judge.
"What's that do?" The Judge asked.
Buffy folded her arms in satisfaction as she saw the powder settling all over the Judge. "Crossbows are of the past, McFly. Time to go back to the future."
Cameron reacted instantly to her cue, bolting from her hiding place to charge up the stairs and knock Angelus and Drucilla from the platform before locking the Judge in her grip and pushing him back down the corridor he'd come from. The vampires were Buffy's mission objective. The Judge was Cameron's.
"You're not human," the Judge noted, apparently amused by being manhandled by an entity resembling a young girl.
"Neither are you." Cameron felt it was appropriate to respond as she pushed the Judge through a door that was marked 'basement'. The door splintered and the Judge went tumbling down the stairs. She followed him down, taking the steps at a walk.
As she reached the bottom, the Judge held up one hand to extend his bio-energy draining ability to harm her. Cameron registered a burn on her demal layer but received no system failure warnings. She took two quick running steps and leaped high enough to deliver a punch to the Judge's temple, breaking off one of his horns in the process.
The bellow of pain indicated that her attack was effective. "What are you?" the Judge demanded. "No weapon forged by man can harm me!"
"I was not forged. Nor was I made by man." To punctuate this point, Cameron delivered several rapid blows to the Judge's midsection. As the Judge staggered back, she could see an expression of fear on his face, followed by defiance.
The Judge stepped forward to swing a powerful punch at Cameron. Cameron accepted the blow, letting it knock her back against the door that covered the building's furnace. As she hit, she jabbed her elbow back so that she caused the protective door grate to break off and fall to the floor.
"I will pull off your limbs and then feast on the humans above," the Judge growled before moving his massive bulk into motion, charging at Cameron.
Cameron waited until the last possible moment to dodge to the side and extended her leg to trip him, causing the Judge to fall so that his head entered the opening to the furnace. This caused the thermite to ignite. Once the Judge was on fire, he flailed around and extracted himself from the furnace. She picked up a long metal pole originally designed for weight lifting and struck him soundly in order to knock him to the floor.
Ignoring the bellows of pain from the Judge, she moved over to retrieve her second container of thermite and began to pour it liberally on the Judge, ensuring that no piece of him remained to be reanimated a second time. As Giles and Buffy had asked her to.Target: The Judge - Terminated-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-
Cameron sat with the rest of the group the next morning as they recounted Buffy's confrontation with Angelus. She'd already debriefed them on her termination of the Judge and presented Giles with the subsequent ashes to dispose of as he saw fit. She found Buffy's actions inefficient, but was not certain that voicing that objection was productive right at that moment.
"I can't believe you made a Back to the Future
joke," Xander was chortling.
"Hey, they just come to me." Buffy brushed her nails against her shirt. Cameron wasn't sure what this motion was supposed to accomplish.
Furthermore, she felt compelled to point out one error in Buffy's statement. "You told me that was the phrase to indicate that I should begin the confrontation with the judge?"
Xander turned his head sharply to look at Cameron. "You mean she arranged that? Ha! I knew you planned your jokes out in advance!" He slapped the table and grinned at Buffy, who looked embarrassed.
"It was just for this situation! I needed a verbal cue that Cameron could follow!" Buffy and her friends degenerated into good-natured bickering for a time.
Once the discussion had changed topics to the upcoming school day, Xander leaned over and murmured, "Something wrong?"
"What do you mean?" Cameron looked at him.
"You've got that extra-blank look on your face that means one of us did something you don't understand," he clarified.
Cameron didn't know she could have a face more devoid of expression than she normally did around them. It was something she was going to have to monitor for a few days. "I don't see the tactical logic behind letting Angelus leave. She should have killed him when she had the chance."
Xander let out a slow sigh. "She's not ready for that yet, I guess."
"Due to her emotional attachment to how he acted prior to the change?"
"Right," he nodded.
She looked over at Buffy and Willow." Buffy?" she called.
"Yeah, Cam?" Buffy looked over from her discussion with Willow.
"May I say something that has the potential to upset you? I do not wish for it to, but I can't determine if it will do so or not." Cameron tilted her head expectantly.
"Think I know where you're going with this, but go ahead." Buffy's posture and body language indicated she was feeling defensive, as she crossed her arms over her abdomen.
"In the future," Cameron began, "other terminator models apart from myself are captured and reprogrammed. They function as desired for a time. But sometimes, they go bad and revert to their base programming. Nobody knows why."
Buffy tilted her head as Cameron detected a sharp intake of breath from Xander. "Could that happen to you?" Buffy asked.
"It could," Cameron verified. "I cannot say for certain. I am the only one of my model to have ever been captured. And if it did happen, I would expect you to deactivate or terminate me at the earliest opportunity."
"But, we'd go for the deactivation first, yeah?" Xander asked hesitantly.
"Whichever one is the most viable solution, that is the one you must take," Cameron stated. "The person that reprogrammed me would not want me killing innocent humans. If that means my destruction, then do so without hesitation."
"So, the moral of this story is, save Angel if I can, but next time, don't miss?" Buffy asked, her posture and tone indicating a mixture of frustration and resignation.
"Yes. If there is a way to do such a thing," Cameron nodded.
Buffy seemed to consider this for several moments. "Thanks. I guess I already knew that, but it kinda helps to hear someone else say it that's not, y'know, emotionally involved."
Cameron opted not to tell her that she could not, as yet, become emotionally invested in an idea. "You're welcome."
"Also, thanks for finding a way to say something that'd get me or Giles punched in the mouth," Xander added, chuckling and reaching out to take Cameron's hand.
Cameron studied his expression for a moment and determined this would be an ideal time to engage her facial expressions. She gave Xander a smile intended to signify amusement and affection. "You're welcome also." Taking her attempt at a regular human interaction further, she gave his fingers a squeeze with the barest minimum pressure she could exert. Judging by the returned smile she received, she calculated that her efforts were a success.