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27 September 2012 @ 11:40 pm
Terminator, SCC Fiction: "In Uncharted Territory" (PG)  
Title: In Uncharted Territory
Fandom: Terminator: SCC
Author: HalfshellVenus
Characters: Sarah Connor (Gen)
Rating: PG
Summary: It is a war she alone believes in.
Author's Notes: For the writerverse "What would_____ do?" challenge.
Also for writers_choice, this is "Belief".


In a life too lonely to explain, most of the choices Sarah has left are simply bad.

There's running and more running, always hoping to get ahead (at least for awhile) and build up strength again before the next disaster strikes. There's jumping—sometimes to a known time and place, sometimes risking random possibilities out of sheer desperation. None of it has ever yet turned out the way Sarah expected. She's finally learned that's the way it will always be.

What would John Connor do? That question is never far away. She is only a foot-soldier, stumbling along the path Kyle Reese so briefly showed her. He left her with a son and the knowledge of the boy's destiny, and now she fights to ready that son for the war she alone believes in.

The future-John sent Kyle back in the first place, looping in the foundation for his own existence. He sends others back to help Sarah protect his younger self, new battles arising all the time as machines and protectors go farther into the past to try to win the war before it starts.

Sarah has seen enough over the years to know that the future-John is a strategist who has managed to survive the impossible, and that he would never even consider giving up.

Her son is slated to become that man, so long as she keeps him alive and trains him to be a warrior like no other. But who is she to raise the savior of the human race?

No one, she thinks, just a woman equipped with stubbornness and the determination that she must not—will not—fail.

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

elvenknight16: Just Greenelvenknight16 on September 29th, 2012 01:10 am (UTC)
I really enjoyed reading this =]
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Random Fandomhalfshellvenus on September 29th, 2012 04:36 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

I feel so for Sarah's path, especially as a parent myself. I would hate to be in the position of forever hardening and trying not to lose my only child, spurred on only by the knowledge of why it will someday matter so much.
happy is as happy does: Ellen - Supernaturalhappywriter06 on September 29th, 2012 03:02 am (UTC)
This is great! Makes me miss the show.

A slip of my thumb got me to your Justified fic. A have a huge smile on my face. Can't wait to read it!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Random Fandomhalfshellvenus on September 29th, 2012 04:38 am (UTC)
I so wish they'd made it to a third season. The second season was full of such interesting possibilities, and I was dying to see where they'd go with all that.

I HAVE veered off into a little Justified, and I'm working on two longer ones behind the scenes. I sure hope the second one gets finished-- 5K minimum of Raylan, Boyd and zombies. Must channel inspiration!
happy is as happy does: Raylan Givens - Justifiedhappywriter06 on October 6th, 2012 06:20 pm (UTC)
I'm not into zombies but for you? I'm there.
susanmariersusanmarier on September 29th, 2012 09:21 am (UTC)
This is great! Thank you.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Random Fandomhalfshellvenus on September 30th, 2012 12:51 am (UTC)
I'm glad you liked it-- thanks for commenting!
unwritten_museunwritten_muse on September 29th, 2012 04:20 pm (UTC)
You show what I think is one of the main things at the heart of Sarah Connor very well in this piece. It's almost like she's stuck on a habitrail, or worse yet, a hamster wheel constantly moving but always ending up at the same place no matter what she changes along the way. I can feel her weariness and that kind of single-minded focus that is so essential to Sarah. Really great job.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Random Fandomhalfshellvenus on October 1st, 2012 08:08 am (UTC)
a hamster wheel constantly moving but always ending up at the same place no matter what she changes along the way.
I felt so for her character, and this aspect of her journey was one of the things I liked most about the show. She really had an impossibly hard task and no real guidance in how to achieve it. The most she could hope for was to keep John alive and make him as strong and capable as possible, attempting to somehow "meet in the middle" the man who would become the future-John.

As a mother, she looks at her child (and later, her often petulant teenager) and tries to imagine how that future is even possible, and probably wonders how she got so unlucky as to have to mold that child by such narrow parameters, rather than simply love him.

Weariness so describes much of the feeling of that character. There were some wonderful scenes where they all underwent "family therapy," and if anyone needed a therapist to support her in that impossible time, it was Sarah. But she couldn't tell the therapist the truth, any more than John could say exactly why he was so incredibly frustrated with his mother always pushing him to be someone else. There was both sadness and delicious irony in those scenes.

I wish we'd gotten more seasons of the show, though I thought they tied things up well. I wrote some "after" fiction for Sarah at the time, because it so seemed that after all of this endless sacrifice, she got robbed of the only thing that mattered-- and was somehow supposed to be grateful for it.

I'm sorry so many viewers were peeved about the casting of the character, because really-- she had such an interesting story to tell, and I thought the show did a fantastic job exploring it.
unwritten_museunwritten_muse on October 1st, 2012 11:22 am (UTC)
I never saw the show while it aired but managed to sneak it in on Netflix before they took it off instant view. It's one of the most frustrating shows for me because both seasons end more abruptly and with more questions than I would like, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Sarah Connor's story has always fascinated me, especially when you consider what she knows the end game is going to be even as she continues to try and stop it from happening. And showing how a teenaged John Connor might be like, all that annoying teen behavior and that strong drive for a normal life fighting against what they both know is his reality, was a great added layer to everything she was struggling for. I, too, thought the counseling scenes were wonderful, and I found myself getting really frustrated on their behalf because they couldn't be honest with him.

I didn't know there was any disagreement with her casting. I thought she did a great job taking on such an iconic character, and she completely sold me on the tragedy that is inherent in her life. The one piece of casting I thought was poorly done was the young Kyle Reese. No way in hell is that kid going to grow up to be Michael Biehn (or be Derek's brother, for that matter). :)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Random Fandomhalfshellvenus on October 2nd, 2012 07:55 pm (UTC)
People thought Lena Heady was too skinny compared to Linda Hamilton's ultrabuff version of Sarah Connor, but I thought she was great in the role.

I didn't care for the casting of teen-John either. He seemed to have been picked for prettiness, but he didn't resemble any adult version of John Connor and that would have helped-- since all we had was his perhaps expected but obnoxious emo-ness, and it's hard to see John Connor arising from that!
unwritten_museunwritten_muse on October 3rd, 2012 05:52 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I wasn't a big fan of John's casting either, although he did start to grow on me a little toward the end. I did think they took the whole teen emo rebellion thing a bit far, especially when he knows full well that machines are trying to kill him and yet he continues to do really dumb things that seem to do nothing more than put a big target on his head. :)
daria234daria234 on September 29th, 2012 10:03 pm (UTC)
Love it. First line is especially great
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Random Fandomhalfshellvenus on October 1st, 2012 08:10 am (UTC)
Thank you!

That opening really sums up Sarah's life, for me. SO much responsibility and danger and stress, and to have to be ever-vigilant while keeping the whole thing secret would be so very hard. Over time, I think it would hollow out your soul.
Katherine Joy Summers: Treestars_inthe_sky on August 12th, 2013 07:27 pm (UTC)
That packed quite a punch in so short a space, wow.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on August 12th, 2013 08:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!

That prompt was very "open," but it seemed so well-suited to tell Sarah's story. She knows what she's expected to do-- and MUST do-- but she is just an ordinary person, and there is no one to guide her way. Somehow, she has to make sure her son will bridge the gap between being who he started out as (a child, like any other) and who he has to become in order to save the world.

How? How can she know what to teach him, how to help him?

And yet, she cannot give up. The future of the world lies first in her hands before it lies in his.
Katherine Joy Summersstars_inthe_sky on August 12th, 2013 09:05 pm (UTC)
I mean, that's why she's such an interesting character, right? Her core role is as a parent, but in order to be the parent her kid needs, she basically has to become a mercenary/terrorist/soldier/revolutionary/whatever--the kind of person who destroys rather than nurtures life, which isn't necessarily who she wants to be, but I think she's always seen the choice as no choice at all. And the whole journey starts when she's 19 and waitressing and completely unprepared for what's coming. Which is what I then loved about T2, but TSCC really cracked that parent/commander binary open and poked it with a stick.

(Not to be *too* self-promoting, but your fic particularly caught my eye because I just posted my own consideration of Sarah as a parent, albeit sort of "post-John," and I really don't seem to be able to get sick of the topic.)