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09 February 2011 @ 09:11 pm
Terminator: SCC Fiction: "Unmaking A Monster" (John Henry, PG)  
Title: Unmaking A Monster
Fandom: Terminator: SCC
Author: HalfshellVenus
Characters: John Henry, Savannah (Gen)
Rating: PG
Summary: Only Catherine Weaver knew that John Henry was not Cromartie.
Author's Notes: Inspired by the drabble_las prompt of "I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way." I wasn't able to keep this one drabble length, but reworked it as a ficlet instead.
Also for writers_choice, this is "transform."


Only Catherine Weaver knew that John Henry was not Cromartie. The deadly cyborg had been erased. Its final face was all that remained.

John Henry was a new being altogether. Instantiated on the cyborg's chassis, he was given minimal programming. The bulk of his knowledge would be learned.

His home was a laboratory, where others came and went. They set up new tests or inputs, and monitored his data. Some of them never spoke to him at all. If John Henry had to qualify the behavior of the humans who visited him, he might have said they were afraid.

Dr. Sherman, who used to talk with John Henry, had not been afraid. He died several months ago. They said it was John Henry's fault.

The robot had new parameters now.

Sometimes, John Henry played games with a little girl named Savannah. She was his friend. He could even message her through the building's main computer, for it was now an extension of himself.

One day, he saw a video-feed of someone coming to hurt her. He used text messages to guide her from one hiding place to the next until the threat was finally gone.

The algorithms behind his actions were complicated, but they concluded that 'friendship' required him to help her.

He might never fully understand the concept behind that reasoning, but now he had a name for it:


-------- fin --------

madripoor_rose: John Henrymadripoor_rose on February 11th, 2011 08:51 pm (UTC)
Oh, just wonderful!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Random Fandomhalfshellvenus on February 11th, 2011 09:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

The late part of S2 opened up so many interesting questions, and why John Henry saved Savannah was one of the most intriguing.

By the finale, we understood what the pseudo-Catherine had been up to, but at the time of the episode there was always the chance that choosing Dr. Sherman and James Ellison as John Henry's teachers was having unintended consequences.
ticketsonmyself on February 15th, 2011 12:07 am (UTC)
I enjoyed this all very much!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Random Fandomhalfshellvenus on February 15th, 2011 03:05 am (UTC)
Glad you found this one too!

The end of S2 solidifies so many loose ideas of what came before. Really, after I'd written both of these to the same prompt, I realized that the prompt fits Catherine Weaver just as well. We always assumed she was creating the evil cyborgs of the future, but in fact... it looks as if she intended to humanize them and undercut their later power.