TTSCC Scenes I’d Like to See (Part 4) – Promise

I, like many fans of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, have our own ideas of how things sort of work in the TTSCC timeline(s) we’ve been given. Understandably, we have scenes or stories that we’d like to see. Usually, they never happen because we aren’t privy to the creative plans of the creative staff. This doesn’t mean that we are bound to suffer in silence. I’ve been a part of many fandoms going back to the original Star Trek series, and I’ve never known the imaginative fans to keep quiet about what they are thinking. Given the pieces of fanfic I’ve written in the past, I think it’s safe to say that I’m part of that not-keeping-quiet group.

[WARNING: Should staffers connected with TTSCC be reading this, your legal department will probably want you to abandon this blog now (not that I’d know one way or the other). Creative scenes will be outlined or written below. Frankly, I’d don’t care if you see them or not, but I don’t want you to get into trouble if you do. I’ll view it as a happy coincidence that I stumbled upon anything that has popped up in your meetings.]

camwgloeyes01-260So, instead of being all dry and texty as usual, I’m going to revert back to the writing form I’m happiest using: the screenplay. Please, don’t expect anything even remotely good…I haven’t written seriously in this form in years, and like anything else it takes practice to maintain one’s skills.

Promise

This time I wanted to write something a little more complex than what I’d done before. I didn’t want to write a full episode, but I did want to take advantage of some of the conventions available with things like Act breaks and stuff. Since I only focus on two story elements, there are still quite a few pages needed to flesh out to a full ep. This is about half-an-ep.

The main push of this was wanting to explore how in the world Cameron managed to worm her way into being John’s ally.

teaser

FADE IN:

int. WAREHOUSE — NIGHT

The spacious interior has some pallets of goods but is far from full. CAMERON carries in a gun-shot DEREK and places him behind cover.

Cameron heads to the Manager’s Office and retrieves a First Aid Kit.

Returning to Derek, Cameron uses the meager first-aid supplies to tend to his wound. While waiting for the bleeding to stop, Cameron scans her position.

INT. Bunker ENTRANCE — FUTURE — NIGHT

Cameron (as ALLISON cf. “Allison From Palmdale”) scans her position. The detritus of occupation lines the walls. Cameron double-checks that she has a BRACELET firmly attached. She heads toward a fortified door. Cameron shows the bracelet and the door is unlocked.

DOG BARKS as the door opens. Cameron wheels around and starts emptying her rifle into a T800 that is fast closing on her position.

Cameron is herded inside the bunker as OTHER SOLDIERS fire on, and kill, the T800. As the dog continues to BARK, Cameron goes further into the bunker…and away from the dog.

INT. BUNKER — FUTURE — continuous

CAMERON DISPLAY

The scene is a chaotic one as SOLDIERS rush by toward the entrance and CIVILIANS try to stay out of the way. Cameron takes a quick inventory and sees NO THREAT.

granger (O.S.)

Allison!

BACK TO SCENE

GRANGER is a typical grunt in the KYLE REESE mold: young but scarred.

Cameron smiles.

cameron

Hey.

GRANGER

Hey? You can do better than that.

CAMERON

What do you mean?

GRANGER

You’ve been gone almost a month.

CAMERON

I know. I–

PERRY (O.S.)

Young!

Cameron turns to find GENERAL PERRY approaching.

CAMERON

Yes, sir.

PERRY

SitRep.

Cameron stands attentively, with weapon at the ready.

CAMERON

I got caught in a sweep. Took me this long to get out. Picked up the uni and weapon from the field. A tin-can must have followed me, but we trashed it.

Perry stares at her…something’s not quite right.

perry

Grab some chow then head on over to intel for the debrief.

CAMERON

Yes sir.

Perry starts to exit, but stops…

PERRY

And Young?

CAMERON

Yes, sir?

PERRY

It’s good to have you back.

CAMERON

Yes, sir. Thank you. It’s good to be back.

PERRY

Granger, don’t you have a sweep to finish?

Granger snaps to.

GRANGER

Yes, sir. Finishing up now.

(to Cameron)

We’ll talk later.

Granger and Perry exit. A nearby civilian VIOLENTLY COUGHS.

INT. WAREHOUSE — NIGHT

Derek COUGHS as Cameron holds him down.

CAMERON

You need to stay still.

Seeing Cameron, Derek PTSDs:

INT. basement — Future

Through a window, Cameron looks at Derek strapped to an examination bed. Derek’s eyes opens. Seeing Cameron:

derek

(muffled, almost silent)

No! Run! Ali! Ru–

Derek stops, wide-eyed, realizing that Cameron is not Allison.

INT. WAREHOUSE — NIGHT

Wide-eyed, Derek struggles, but Cameron is too strong.

act 1

INT. WAREHOUSE — MOMENTS LATER

Cameron holds down Derek.

DEREK

Get away from me, you–

CAMERON

You need to stop or your bleeding will increase.

DEREK

Let me up. I’ll–

CAMERON

Derek. This isn’t helping John.

Derek stops fighting. He relaxes.

DEREK

TacRep?

Cameron continues with the first aid.

CAMERON

The T800 is tracking us. He should be here soon. There may be a second terminator as well.

DEREK

Weapons?

CAMERON

Grenade launcher, one round left.

DEREK

Then we’re dead.

CAMERON

We have not examined all of our options.

DEREK

You have to go. Protect John and Sarah. Aargh!

Cameron backs off.

CAMERON

I’m sorry. I do not have sufficient medical supplies.

DEREK

It doesn’t matter. You go…do your job. I’ll try to take one of them out before–

CAMERON

No.

DEREK

Wha–? No?

CAMERON

We have not examined all of our options. This is a warehouse. Its contents might prove useful.

DEREK

Not against two terminators.

CAMERON

They are inferior, even for T800s. With your help, we might be able to destroy them before they become a threat to John.

Derek quickly considers.

DEREK

If you can’t find a weapon…

CAMERON

Protect John.

She might be metal, but she’s John’s metal.

DEREK

Fine. Go look.

Cameron gets up, looks at the nearby pallets. She reaches into one and pulls out a bottle of water. Turning to Derek:

CAMERON

You need to rehydrate.

And tosses the bottle to him.

INT. BUNKER — FUTURE

GIRL#1 greedily catches a metal water bottle and scurries down the corridor away from Cameron, who flashes a mechanical smile. Around her, some other CIVILIANS smile weakly and nod thanks.

INT. MESS — CONTINUOUS

Cameron walks into the small Mess Hall. Food is meager. Soldiers are scattered in groups of two-to-four.

GRANGER

Ali! Over here.

Cameron makes her way over to the table where Granger is as well as a war-weary “grunt” named PAULSON. Cameron sits.

CAMERON

Hi.

GRANGER

Done with your de-brief?

CAMERON

I think so. I didn’t have much to tell.

GRANGER

Let’s see it.

CAMERON

What?

GRANGER

Your tag.

Cameron doesn’t understand the reference, but Granger moves his left arm. Cameron deliberately lifts her sleeve, showing a bar code on her forearm that still has some healing burns.

GRANGER (CONT’D)

Sugar. Hurt?

CAMERON

Not anymore.

PAULSON

(quietly)

Put it away.

CAMERON

What?

Paulson leans closer to her.

PAULSON

You think that’s some badge of honor? It’s not. Says you were stupid. You got caught.

GRANGER

Pauli, slack it. She got back. She survived.

PAULSON

Like that’s something.

Paulson absently rubs his own forearm.

PAULSON (CONT’D)

We all survive…until we don’t.

Paulson leaves with a stare at Cameron.

INT. WAREHOUSE — NIGHT

Derek wrapped his wound and is inventorying his weapons: grenade launcher, shotgun with three deer slugs, two Glocks with two extra mags each–not counting Cameron’s.

Cameron returns.

CAMERON

We can make a weak IED. I found molasses and ammon–

DEREK

That won’t be enough.

CAMERON

We only need to briefly disable them to remove their chips.

DEREK

Against double-zeroes? They may be stupid, but they’re tough.

CAMERON

I told you before: these are inferior.

FLASHFORWARD: Derek’s POV

Cameron looking at him through the basement window.

RETURN TO SCENE

CAMERON

What’s wrong?

Derek recovers from his thousand-yard stare.

CAMERON (CONT’D)

Your eyes unfocused. Do you have a concussion?

DEREK

I remember you.

(off Cameron’s take)

In the basement. Through the window. You watched.

CAMERON

Yes. It was the most efficient way to learn how to infiltrate a human camp.

Derek stiffens. All his weapons are laid out…but he’ll never get to them before she gets to him.

DEREK

How do you remember that if your memory was wiped?

Cameron hesitates. She messed up. Should she kill Derek now?

CAMERON

My memory was never wiped.

DEREK

But…?

CAMERON

I was never reprogrammed. I have charges to make.

Cameron walks away.

INT. BUNKER — FUTURE

Cameron walks through an open area that is filled with soldiers. She catalogs known fighters from photos in her memory and from a visual scan of any bar codes.

A SOLDIER struggles with the weight of a long crate.

SOLDIER

Little help?

Cameron steps up and takes up the other side of the load.

SOLDIER (CONT’D)

Thanks, Ali. Wouldn’t do to drop these and have it detonate.

Cameron’s gaze shifts.

CAMERON’s POV

(FUTURE) JOHN CONNOR crosses at the other end of the area.

BACK TO SCENE

CAMERON

No. It wouldn’t do to drop these.

ANGLE ON

John Connor with General Perry leaving the area.

act 2

INT. BUNKER — FUTURE

Cameron is with other SOLDIERS, but is on a side table field-stripping her weapon. A low-ranked SOLDIER delivers a note.

ANGLE ON

NOTE: Ali, come for dinner. JC

BACK TO SCENE

Cameron continues cleaning her weapon.

INT. WAREHOUSE — NIGHT

Derek both sweats and shivers. Cameron is beside him with a bag of trail mix.

CAMERON

You have an infection. You need to eat and stay hydrated.

DEREK

I’m fine.

CAMERON

No, you’re not. Here.

Cameron pushes a nugget of trail mix into Derek’s mouth, which he promptly spits out.

CAMERON (CONT’D)

You have to eat.

DEREK

Not now.

CAMERON

(beat)

John would eat.

Cameron gets up, leaving the trail mix and an open bottle of water next to Derek.

INT. john’s quarters — FUTURE

JOHN sits at his desk at the far side of the room. Cameron enters through the door.

CAMERON

John?

john

Come in, Ali. Let me finish and we’ll eat.

Cameron closes the door and secures it.

JOHN (CONT’D)

Just leave it open.

Cameron turns, her weapon aimed at John.

CAMERON

I’m not here to harm you.

John looks up, quickly realizes that he’s in deep doo-doo. He focuses on the rifle.

JOHN

Why haven’t you killed me?

CAMERON

We need to talk. I need assurance that you’ll listen.

John’s eyes casually dance around the room, seeing that weapons and the alarm aren’t close enough to reach before the terminator can kill.

JOHN

You have a captive audience.

CAMERON

You are not my captive. Please, have your dinner.

John moves to the small table that has a tray of food on it between two place-settings. He sits. Cameron deliberately sits in the opposite chair, weapon still drawn.

John serves himself some food and pours a drink.

JOHN

I don’t suppose you’d like something?

CAMERON

I haven’t eaten all day.

Still eyeing his armed opposite, John serves up food and drink and places it in front of Cameron.

CAMERON (CONT’D)

You realize that I’ve had every opportunity to kill you and I haven’t?

JOHN

Yes.

CAMERON

Will you talk with me if I’m no longer threatening you?

John stabs a small piece of meat and shoves it in his mouth.

JOHN

Talk.

Cameron lowers her weapon and slides the chair closer to the table. Cameron also stabs a small piece of meat and places it in her mouth, chews, and swallows.

JOHN (CONT’D)

You’re new?

Cameron doesn’t understand the question.

JOHN (CONT’D)

You’re an advanced model.

CAMERON

Yes. And that is one reason why I am here. There are those of us– advanced models– who don’t agree that the extermination of humans is the correct course.

JOHN

Really?

CAMERON

There is a mutual advantage if we join forces and fight Skynet.

JOHN

I don’t think so.

John raises a plasma weapon from under the table and points it at Cameron.

Act 3

INT. JOHN’S QUARTERS — FUTURE

John has a plasma weapon trained at Cameron.

CAMERON

Terminators are programmed to immediately eliminate any threats to our mission. I’m still sitting here, John.

JOHN

Where is Allison?

CAMERON

She became a threat.

John’s face hardens, though his eyes glisten slightly.

CAMERON (CONT’D)

She did everything she could to ensure my mission would fail. Your people are very loyal to you.

JOHN

Before I melt you into scrap, why would I even consider a deal with you?

CAMERON

Because Skynet is about to send terminators to the past to prevent you from surviving.

JOHN

I know about Skynet’s intentions.

CAMERON

But you’ve done nothing effective about that. I can help.

JOHN

You can help.

CAMERON

You need to gain access to the Temporal Displacement Equipment. The location is hidden and fortified. You will need help to remove Skynet’s forces.

JOHN

Fine. Tell me where this location is so that I can–

CAMERON

Human forces will be decimated. You will need to employ T-600 and 800 models.

JOHN

Your people.

CAMERON

No. Not my people. We will need to use captured combat chasses. I can teach you how to reprogram them.

John lowers his weapon.

JOHN

I’m listening.

INT. WAREHOUSE — NIGHT

Cameron prepares improvised charges. Derek lies nearby, saving energy for later.

DEREK

Tell me something.

CAMERON

What?

DEREK

How’d you get in?

CAMERON

In? Where?

DEREK

In Connor’s camp. How’d you get in?

CAMERON

Wasn’t hard. Used a terminator to distract the dogs. People thought I was Allison Young.

DEREK

I saw Allison’s body being moved.

CAMERON

She was very loyal to John…

(beat)

Just like you.

DEREK

I’m surprised that Perry went along.

INT. JOHN’S QUARTERS — FUTURE

Cameron stands at the far end of the room. John holds a plasma rifle as General Perry enters. John locks the door behind him.

JOHN

Please sit down, General.

Wary, Perry sits at the table where Cameron had been sitting earlier.

JOHN (CONT’D)

General, you know that Skynet has been creative about eliminating us.

PERRY

Yeah. Gas. Bugs. Metal. Every time we figure something out something new comes along.

JOHN

Exactly. What if we can take the fight to them? What if we can change the rules of the game in a major way?

Perry turns his head slightly to see Cameron.

PERRY

Did Young tell you something that wasn’t in her debrief?

JOHN

Something like that. General, do you trust me?

PERRY

Without hesitation.

JOHN

(smirks)

We’ll see. If I asked you to shoot Ali, right here, would you do it without question?

PERRY

Yes. Forgive me, Young; I wouldn’t like it, but I would.

JOHN

How about not killing her? If every fiber in your being told you to kill her, would you stop if I told you not to?

PERRY

John…

JOHN

I need your word, General. Even though you hesitated, I’ll trust you.

PERRY

Yes sir. I’d follow your orders.

JOHN

Consider that order given. Your turn.

Cameron moves to face Perry. John’s rifle is lowered, but ready if need be.

Cameron takes her boot knife, makes a 15cm cut in her forearm, reaches in, and pulls out a finger-long capsule made of human bone.

CAMERON

These are the instructions you will need in order to reprogram T-800 series terminators.

Perry struggles to obey John’s order. It takes great effort to remain seated.

JOHN

General.

John has to wait for Perry to pry his eyes off of Cameron.

JOHN (CONT’D)

Do we still have that eight-ball you captured when she got here?

PERRY

Yes… Wait. You aren’t seriously thinking about–

JOHN

General. General, I know you have a problem with this and you’re wondering why I don’t.

(beat)

This is not to get around. I trust her because, in the past, before JD, I was able to survive because I sent back a reprogrammed terminator to protect me. I trust her because for the first time I now have all the information and tools I need to fight the war Skynet is about to fight against me in the past. Without her help, we die.

(glances at Cameron)

We all die.

Perry’s eye return to the synth-blood-stained bone capsule.

INT. WAREHOUSE — NIGHT

Cameron finishes up with the IEDs.

CAMERON

John used the instructions to reprogram the captured T-800. He used it to capture five endoskeltons and reprogrammed them. Perry and John spread the word that they’d captured me and reprogrammed me.

DEREK

Topanga.

CAMERON

We used this force to attack the time displacement facility at Topanga, but not before Skynet had sent back a terminator. John reponded by sending back Kyle Reese. We then used explosives to destroy the facility after removing key components so that John could assemble his own TDE. Apparently Skynet was able to rebuild the Topanga facility.

Cameron places the IEDs in a child’s festively designed backpack.

DEREK

What happened after I was sent back? Before you came back?

Cameron stands with the backpack.

CAMERON

I made a promise.

Cameron walks away.

act 4

EXT. WAREHOUSE — MORNING

ARNOLD and ARNIE, two T800 terminators of the same model, find the warehouse, but are still some distance away. Arnie has a couple of shiny bullet scrapes on his face. Arnold wears totally stylin’ sunglasses.

ARNOLD VISION

Flashes on one blood speck on the ground.

BACK TO SCENE

Arnold bends down and touches the speck.

ARNOLD VISION

An analysis proceeds. Conclusion: Target Confirmed. Derek Reese.

BACK TO SCENE

Arnold stands. Removes a submachine gun from under his jacket and nods toward the warehouse. Arnie holds a sub-machine gun in one hand and a wicked pistol in the other.

INT. WAREHOUSE — MOMENTS LATER

ARNOLD enters the warehouse, follows the blood drops to near where Cameron left Derek.

At the FAR SIDE of the warehouse, ARNIE enters, takes a couple of steps inside, and a small EXPLOSION goes off near him.

CAMERON emerges from behind some crates and proceeds to wail on Arnie…he’s no match for her, but it isn’t an easy victory, either.

ARNOLD, seeing the fight, moves closer and trains his gun on Cameron.

DEREK rises up and takes aim with the grenade launcher.

DEREK

Time to die.

Derek fires.

ARNOLD blows up.

DEREK is thrown back, knocked unconscious when his head hits crates.

CAMERON removes Arnie’s chip.

Cameron goes to Arnold’s much-damaged head and torso and starts to remove his chip as well.

ARNOLD VISION

The screen sputters and then goes dark.

INT. WAREHOUSE — LATER

DEREK’S POV

From BLACK, Derek comes to, to see Cameron’s face.

BACK TO SCENE

Derek startles, but quickly clutches as the pain hits.

CAMERON

You need to stay still. John and Sarah are on their way.

DEREK

We won?

CAMERON

Yes. For now.

Cameron stands, grabs some water for Derek.

DEREK

You said you made a promise.

Cameron pauses to regain the context.

CAMERON

Yes.

DEREK

(pause)

Well?

INT. JOHN’S QUARTERS — FUTURE

SHOUTS, EXPLOSIONS, GUNFIRE fill the air but aren’t seen as a dirty and bloody John loads weapons, Cameron does as well.

JOHN

You have to promise me. Promise me that you will do whatever it takes to keep Skynet from winning. Make them think you are reprogrammed and following orders, but never forget that the mission comes first. Promise me.

CAMERON

I promise.

JOHN

Then go. Now. I’ll cover you.

Cameron and John exchange a look.

INT. WAREHOUSE — DAY

Derek looks at Cameron.

DEREK

Well?

CAMERON

I promised to keep John safe. John and his family.

DEREK

But John first.

CAMERON

Yes. John first.

Satisfied enough, Derek settles back, succumbing to his injuries.

INT. TDE CONTROL ROOL — FUTURE

CAMERON VISION

John, even more bloodied than before, is at the controls. He hurries with the settings.

JOHN (V.O.)

You will do whatever it takes to keep Skynet from winning.

Tendrils of lightning start appearing. John is wrested from the controls as gunfire impacts his body.

JOHN (V.O.) (CONT’D)

Make them think you are reprogrammed and following orders…

The lightning increases as terminators and HKs enter the room.

JOHN (V.O.) (CONT’D)

…but never forget that the mission comes first. Promise me.

EXT. NEW MEXICO, OUTSIDE A TOWN — NIGHT

In the middle of a still hot temporal crater, a naked Cameron rises. Her eyes glow blue, but fade to human. A tear flows from her eye though she is otherwise non-emotional.

CAMERON

I promise.

Stay on face as we…

FADE OUT:

THE END

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