AUTHOR'S NOTES:See Also:
This story is also posted on my fanfiction.net account. My user name there is Battle Fries, and the story is titled 'Consequences' on that site. I had conveniently forgotten that there was already an episode with that name, so I have renamed it for Twisting the Hellmouth.Pairings:
Not entirely sure where the pairings will end up. As of right now, hints of Xander/Cameron, John/Cameron, and John/Willow. Probably many changes and additions yet to come.The Gist of It:
The TSCC pilot goes AU and takes Our Heroes to just before the BTVS pilot episode to hunt down Skynet, which apparently originates in Sunnydale.Disclaimer:
I don't own Buffy or Terminator or anything contained therein. I am not making any money from this story, and am just writing it for fun and the hope that people will enjoy what I have to write.
BOLDLY THEY RODE AND WELL
Cannon to the right of them
Cannon to the left of them
Cannon in front of them
Volley'd and thunder'd
Storm'd at with shot and shell
Boldly they rode and well
Into the jaws of Death
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.
-Alfred Lord Tennyson; The Charge of the Light Brigade
Chapter I: Arrival
John Connor watched his mother aiming the not-really nuclear gun at the door through which Cromartie was about to emerge. Cameron had told him that she knew when and where Skynet would be created, and they were going to take the fight to the enemy. All they had to do was survive long enough to get there.
The temporal displacement equipment was powering up, and John found himself for the first time witnessing an actual journey through time. And I'm about to come out naked. In front of my mom and Cameron who will also be naked. Why the hell am I thinking about this when a Terminator is about to kill us all?
The door to the bank vault was starting to be ripped from its hinges, and the damaged face of the killing machine was visible. "Mom!"
Sarah fired a shot of energy at the thing wearing the guise of a man, and the blast took its head clean off just before a blinding flash of blue-white light.
John opened his eyes as he felt a cool breeze against his bare skin. His feet were touching dirt, and he stood up straight to find himself together with his mother and his new guardian in the middle of a cemetery. "Cameron? Where are we? Also, when are we?"
"We're in Sunnydale, California," the nude gynoid said without any hint of shame for her nakedness. "The date is July 28, 1997."
"What? Why didn't you come to us in 1997 and bring us here without time travel?" Sarah exclaimed. "And I thought that the TDE could only move through time. How'd we get someplace else?"
"You were misinformed," Cameron said. "And you were too deep in hiding in 1997 to find. It was close to when you then believed Judgment Day to be, and law enforcement was looking for you in force."
"Let me guess," John said. "Future me told you this?"
"Yes. But for now, we need to find-"
A guttural sound cut through the night air. A band of men and women were rushing towards them in a feral way that contrasted sharply with their formal wear. They made roaring sounds and their faces looked strange.
"Stay back," Cameron warned.
"What are those?" Sarah asked.
Cameron ignored her and walked forward as one of the things tried to grab her. She simply knocked his hands away and grabbed him by the neck and twisted. Its head came off before the entire thing, clothes and all, turned to dust.
The other creatures looked at Cameron more carefully, but it was only a moment before they came again. The Terminator decapitated each of them in turn, and like the first, they all turned to dust. When only one was left standing, it fled, running amazingly quickly.
"What the hell were those things?" Sarah shouted. "And how did you-"
"They were vampires," Cameron said harshly, cutting her off. "We need to get indoors."
"Indoors, where?" John asked. "This doesn't look like a big city where we can just find an abandoned place and hide there."
"No, there are places like that, but they're likely to be taken by vampires."
"More of those things?" Sarah exclaimed. "What the hell is-"
"Beneath us," Cameron cut her off. "Hell is beneath us, and something from it, or at least close to it, is the origin of Skynet. That's why we're here."
"As for getting indoors, how are we going to do that? Just kick someone out of their home?"
"No, John. We're going to your place."
They traveled quickly and quietly, and Sarah felt incredibly idiotic running around a peaceful-looking town in the nude. Except the town wasn't peaceful at all. There were actual vampires
living here, if the machine was to be believed. While Terminators weren't the things Sarah trusted most by a long shot, there was no denying what she had seen and heard in the cemetery.
"What do you mean when you said 'my place?'" John asked the machine.
"You sent back agents to set up a safe house for you here in Sunnydale. They've since established their own base of operations elsewhere."
"How do you know this?" Sarah hissed under her breath.
"John told me."
"Oh. Future me."
"Yes. We're almost there," Cameron said as she led them through a right turn onto a street called Revello Drive.
They passed a number of houses that seemed perfectly ordinary. Sarah noticed that Cameron did not look at any of them until they passed number 1630, which had three small windows on the front door. "What's in that house?"
"Nothing yet," the Terminator said cryptically.
They passed one more house until they arrived at 1634. The place looked perfectly normal, save that it didn't have any lights on at this hour. What hour is it, anyway?
"So, do we kick the front door down?" John asked.
"No. There are probably traps to stop an intruder. There will be a way." The gynoid stepped forward and found the doorbell, which was a rectangular button on a similarly-shaped protrusion. She took it in her fingers and moved the thing up, then down, and repeated the process in a pattern that Sarah assumed was a code of some kind.The lights came on and the door clicked. "It's unlocked. We can go in," Cameron said.
Sarah stepped inside and found a modestly furnished home that felt like a place an ordinary family might live in. "I take it that there's more to this house than it looks?"
"Yes. There should be a full arsenal in the basement. Rations, clothing, and updates on regional activity should have been left here as well. There should also be computers. We'll need them to alter our records so that we can be legally recognized under an assumed name."
"Baum," John said.
"What are you talking about, John?" Sarah asked.
"Just came to my head as a cover name. You know? L. Frank Baum? Wrote-"
"The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," Sarah said with fond nostalgia. "We'll keep our first names. Easier to remember. What about you, Tin Man?" she mocked the machine. The nickname seemed appropriate. "How are you going to fit into this family?"
"She can by my sister," John said as if it was obvious.
"We look the part," Cameron chimed in.
Feeling overwhelmed, not to mention still naked, Sarah threw her hands up in the air. "Fine! Fine. Make it work. I'm going to check out the bedrooms and see if there are any clothes. John see if you can find the AC. It's… Aw, crap. How the hell are we going to pay bills to maintain this-"
"There's cash hidden throughout the house," Cameron answered simply.
"Right. Well, in that case, what's next? After clothing, that is?"
"School," Cameron said. "It all starts at Sunnydale High School."
"School? Really?" John asked. "Aren't there more important things?"
"No. It all starts there. I don't know how, but I know it starts there very soon."
Sarah was suddenly too upset to care about clothing. Machines speaking in riddles were not number one on her list of favorite things. "What's so important at the high school? How do you know that Skynet starts there?"
"It sits on the mouth of Hell," Cameron stated simply.
A moment of silence followed her remarks. "I'm gonna put some clothes on now," Sarah decided.
Beneath the earth, next to a pool of blood, Luke sat meditating, readying himself to call forth the Master once again. It was almost time.
"Luke!" Darla cried, rushing into the cavern.
"Quiet," he snarled. "Be calm. What has you troubled?"
"We have a problem. A group of us were out on the hunt. There were three humans together, naked, and one was a girl. She killed seven of us on her own!"
Luke stood up and took notice of the fear in Darla's eyes. "The Slayer?"
"It can't be anyone else, Luke. What are we going to do?"
"We will proceed as planned, but with caution," Luke said calmly. "Knowledge is power, and you have brought that power to us. We know that the Slayer is here, but she does not know of our plans. And she will not know anything until it is too late."