Fandom: Terminator: SCC
Characters: Cameron, John Connor (Gen)
Summary: What if machines could make mistakes, and sometimes knew they had?
Author's Notes: For 5_prompts ("a trickle of blood") and writers_choice ("error").
John Conner was bleeding.
The red trickled down his forehead, liquid and sticky above his heavy-lidded eyes. Perhaps he did not notice.
The cut was too small to be dangerous. Cameron had estimated the flow to be less than .00235% of John Connor's blood volume. The loss would not impair him.
Yet she could not look away from the wound, nor dismiss the moment when her choice to shield him from the front had let a bullet graze him from the side. She was responsible for his injury, and she had been so before. It made her wonder if her algorithms were adequate to protect him.
If they were not, this John Connor could not fix them. Only the John in the future—the one who had sent her to watch over his younger self—had the knowledge to do that. She was capable of learning, like other machines of her time, but much of it was chance. Chance was not reliable.
John Connor—the future John—had said she might be recalled, if she was not sufficiently capable. If he had new programming or better parts, he might send for her and work them in. Sometimes she wondered if he had already done so. The integrity of her memories was not guaranteed.
Going forwards and backwards was all part of this long battle. The unceasing folding and refolding of the past to make new history was second nature to the Resistance and the machines alike. In some future John Connor was dead or dying, and in some past she or others were already trying to prevent it.
For now, her job was to keep the boy-John alive to lead the Resistance that so badly needed him. She knew that also included dealing with Sarah's suspicions and John's own dangerous choices. Both were a challenge every bit as difficult as fending off other Terminators' attacks.
But this was what she had been built for, and she could not fail, regardless of how flawed she might be. If she did, all hope for humanity could be lost because of her mistakes.
If that happened, the battle would be finished, and there would be no future-John or anyone else left to forgive her.
-------- fin --------