• Published 22nd Jul 2012
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Away From the War; Away From Machines - iDeltaVelocity

An I-950 goes to Equestria, unaware of what has followed him.

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Away From the War; Away From Machines

“Our destiny was never to stop Judgment Day; it was merely to survive it.”
—John Connor, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

2039 A.D.
Anchorage, Alaska

Following the map on his Heads-Up Display, Parker made his way through much of the heavy machinery that made up the Skynet Work Camp. He stuck to the shadows to avoid the spotlights from the HKs hovering above, and hid behind a pillar as a T-70 patrol approached. These models were, by definition… primitive, but their chain gun arms could cause devastating damage to humans, especially since being outfitted with the latest plasma weaponry.

Lowering his body temperature, he waited until the machine passed. Once they were gone, he continued until reaching a large complex in the distance, near the center of the camp. The inside was as all Skynet bases looked. Lights reflected off the stainless metallic walls which held holographic screens showing the conditions of every man, woman, and child held prisoner within the camp. He hated leaving them behind, but he would make a plea to Resistance Command to come back for them later.

He looked around the room and noticed a computer terminal nearby. He went over and plugged in a cord from his GPS/Hacker. Almost immediately, various diagrams appeared on an azure background. He moved them around in his attempt to hack into the building’s systems, which didn’t take him long, and soon the words ‘INTERNAL DEFENSES OFFLINE’ flashed on the azure-blue screen.

Angel? You there? I brought down the defenses. Getting to the basement should be easier now. How’s it going on your end?

…Found those plans for the new Hunter-Killer models. Skynet won’t have to worry about making them anymore…

Parker smiled. Perfect. Everything’s going as we planned, then. Next stop: the time machine.

…Race you to it…

Communications between individual I-950 units were done telepathically, with the CPU in their brains acting as conduits. These two units in particular were tasked with sabotaging the base in hopes of hindering Skynet’s army. Plugging his Hacker from the terminal, Parker continued further into the facility. He aimed his plasma rifle in every possible direction in the case that he ran into machines or Luddite mercenaries employed by Skynet.

A set of red dots appeared on his HUD, coming from the right. He pressed himself against the wall and moved alongside it until reaching the end, where a small trio of aerostats zoomed by. Once they gone, he headed down the adjacent hallway before eventually arriving at an elevator, which he took down to the underground levels. It opened, bringing him to Basement Level 7. The corridors were dimply lit; in his scan vision, he noticed several heavy plasma turrets hanging from the ceiling, set up there to mow down any intruder that made the mistake of coming down here. It made him relieved that he managed to disable them beforehand.

Following the map, the sound of his footsteps being the only audible thing he could hear, Parker started down the corridor. He reached an intersection further down and took a left, paying attention to two blue dots on his radar. He eventually ended up in front of a large vault-like door where two more Resistance soldiers stood.

One of the soldiers, Angel, the explosives expert in this mission, walked up. “About time you showed up. I was starting to think you’d pulled out—or worse, got captured by Skynet.”

“You know that won’t happen,” said Parker. “As long as the hidden channel I made is still up, she couldn’t track us even if she tried.” He walked past his I-950 brother to the other soldier standing behind him. This one stood tall over both of them and was staring off into space with emptiness in his eyes. “How’s it going, Sparky? Are your internal systems functioning?”

“Affirmative… All combat functions fully operational.”

“Have you been experiencing any glitches in your hard drive? Don’t lie to me.”


Angel couldn’t help but laugh at his comrade’s expressionless features. “Triple Eights… Next thing we’ll have to do is mold a personality in this shell. Make him a bit more human, don’t you think.”

Parker nodded in acknowledgment before turning his attention to the door. Green crosshairs appeared on his Hacker, positioning his objective on the other side.

“Door’s locked,” said Angel. “Think you can hack it?”

“You aren’t giving me enough credit. Just watch me back and we’ll be in before you know it.” Kept cover by Angel and Sparky, Parker got to work, making his attempt to hack the door. He moved and rearranged many diagrams that appeared before him on the small screen, only for two more to appear in their place. Hacking into Skynet was always tedious work and required lots of focus, even for the most experienced operatives, but this was taking much longer than they intended.

“What the hell’s taking you?” asked Angel, his G36 still aimed in front of him.

Parker groaned after yet another failed attempt at hacking the vault. “I can’t get it open. I think Skynet started changing everything.”

“What do you mean by that?”

There was no response, as the hacker continued his work. “Sparky, could you explain please?”

“Internal transponder reads that Skynet is aware of intruders in this facility and has placed all units within a five-hundred mile radius on alert.”

Angel deadpanned. “You gotta be kidding me. Are you telling me she’s tracking us?”

The T-888 stayed silent for a moment before responding, “Negative. Scans show no enemy unit converging on our position.”

A loud click emitted through the hall, echoing through the emptiness of the basement. Parker was visibly happy, mentally patting himself on the back. “Ha! Yes! We’re in!”

He stood back next to his comrades as the door unlocked itself and slowly opened. Expecting to be met with a horde of FKs and Terminators, they were instead met with an empty chamber the size of a high school gymnasium. The time machine was located in the center—a large hole with three chrome rings suspended inside, suspended by a magnetic field.

Angel walked forward, his scan vision active in case hostiles were hiding in the shadows. There was no one—no Terminators; no FKs; not even a squad of Luddite mercenaries was present. “Okay, this is eerie. I got the strangest feeling we’re being invited in.”

“Skynet’s loss if she leaves her stuff unguarded,” said Parker. “Just gives us enough time to do what we need to do and get the hell out.”

Acknowledging those words, Angel got to work. He went around the perimeter of the chamber, setting numerous C17 explosives on what he considered weak points in the structure. The force from these small charges would be enough to level half the basement level two times over.

Parker, meanwhile, was standing guard near the entrance with Sparky when he noticed a second terminal next to the time machine. Curious, he went over and plugged in his Hacker, and instantly, the screen was filled with all sorts of diagrams and information, much more than he ever thought.

This is impressive. I hate to say it, but Skynet’s really outdone herself. “Hey, Angel, check this out Skynet’s actually found a way to send non-organic material through time without it disintegrating. Looks like tests were done on old containers with positive results.”

Despite hating Skynet to his core, Angel could not help but be impressed with his “mother’s” advancement. It reminded him of when she almost mastered teleportation. “It just makes destroying this thing that much of a priority.” With every ounce of his concentration, Angel set the last explosive charge and activated it. “Okay, all set.”

He made his way back over to the others. “I’ll blow the charges once we’re far enough from the base, but we’ll need to move now if we don’t wanna get caught. That’ll give us a straight shot at a clean getaway.”

Parker nodded. “Then I guess we better move.”

They turned to leave but saw their path blocked by a single machine. Sapphire-blue lights dimly reflected off its chrome armor as it analyzed its newfound targets. Angel quickly aimed his weapon at the machine.

“I thought you said there was no one down here, Sparky.”

>>Analysing… Subject: Unknown android… Action: Evade…

“Unit reveals no presence within database. Recommended action would be to evade and continue with objectives.”

“Then what the hell is it? I’ve never seen anything like it—”

“It’s a T-X,” said Parker, the fear all too present in his voice. He inched himself away, a bad sign for the normally optimistic I-950. “Skynet showed it to me during production. It’s a high-level model designed and perfected specifically for search-and-destroy missions.”

Angel looked over at him. “In other words…?”

“We’re screwed.”

The T-X arm deconstructed and transformed into a plasma cannon. Parker and Angel moved out of the way at the last moment before it fired, but Sparky had been hit directly, flying back across the chamber upon impact. Angel aimed his G36 and fired, the weapon’s armour-piercing rounds bouncing harmlessly off the machine’s metallic casing. He took cover behind some crates, as did Parker, as the T-X kept them pinned with a barrage from its onboard plasma turret.

Parker peered from out of cover to see Sparky lying on the ground nearby, a smoldering hold in his stomach. Using his scan vision, he diagnosed the amount of damage the T-888 had received from the plasma shot. “He looks bad. I mean real bad.”

“Is he dead?” asked Angel.

“No, but two of his hydrogen cells took most of the damage. We need to get him back to Arcadia for repairs.”

They ducked as hailstorms of plasma flew over their heads. “And how the hell do you suppose we do that without getting killed?”

Suddenly an idea surfaced in Parker’s head. A very unwanted idea: “I’ll distract it while you get Sparky out of here.”

“Are you crazy? That thing will tear you to pieces!”

“It’s the only plan we’ve got at the moment. Besides, I’m faster. It’ll have a harder time trying to kill me while you two get away. C’mon, Angel, one I-950 dead is better than two.”

“I’m not going through with it—”

“Then if you have a better idea, I’d love to hear it!”

Silence set upon the two I-950s, as the T-X was still relentless with its attack. Angel tried to think of something—anything—he could use to talk his brother of the suicidal move. Reluctantly, however, unable to come up with anything, he agreed. “Fine…” He handed over the detonator. “Blow the charges once you’re sure we’re away. And you better be right behind me, too. I rather not tell the others you died trying to be a hero.”

Parker placed the detonator in his pocket and moved to the edge of cover, waiting a bit before heading out. He sprayed shots at the T-X, grabbing its attention, before quickly sprinting around the chamber. He dodged and avoided the barrage of plasma flying towards him before taking cover again. He reached into his backpack, taking out a magazine, which he promptly packed into his rifle.

Taking a look from cover, he saw as the T-X began to turn its attention to Angel as he carried a heavily damaged Sparky away from the chamber. It aimed its plasma cannon at them but was tackled to the ground before it had a chance to fire.

“Hurry up, Angel!” Parker yelled. The T-X writhed violently underneath him, hissing and growling as it desperately tried to escape. “I can’t hold this thing down forever!” He suddenly felt it grab him by the scruff of his neck and throw him off, making the I-950 smash into the terminal. ‘MALFUNCTION’ read across the screen as the time machine went active.

“Park!” Angel called over upon seeing his brother in danger. “You can’t fight it. You need to get out of there!”

Nevertheless, Parker waived him off. “I told you I got this. You just get out of here!” He grasped the detonator in his hand; flipped the switch and pulled the trigger in the front. Fireballs erupted from explosives placed around the chamber, and soon the area was engulfed in a blazing inferno. Debris fell from the ceiling, blocking off the entrance, and Angel was forced to flee, knowing he couldn’t do anything from where his position.

Parker stood and stared in utter disbelief at Skynet’s newest war machine. He always doubted the A.I.’s ability to put it together, with what little resources she left in her possession, and yet here it was, ready to assassinate him, his brothers and sisters, and possibly John Connor like so many others before were tasked with. Wiping some of the grime from his face, he took aim as the T-X charged at him, its right hand turning into a power saw. He squeezed the trigger, sending streams of plasma towards it, but missed. The machine grabbed hold of him, but he grabbed its arm before it had a chance to bring the power saw down on his head.

Blue electricity rose from out of the time machine as explosions continued to rip throughout the chamber. It surrounded the two of them, and in a bright flash of light, they disappeared.

The moon that illuminated the sky was blocked out by a sudden cloud formation. These clouds were as black as the night and had strange silver-blue linings underneath, running possibly for miles. An abrupt flash of lightning awoke Twilight Sparkle from her sleep. She sat up in her bed, rubbing her eyes, and looked out the window just as another bolt of lightning flashed, making her jump slightly. What was weird about this “storm” that she noticed was that the weather pegasi had never scheduled for it to be late night. And where was the rain?

As she took all of this into question, a strange noise began to fill the library. It shook the purple unicorn to her bones. She hopped out of bed and tip-hoofed over to Spike’s basket, shaking the baby dragon gently. “Spike? Wake up. Do you hear that?”

Spike rose from his basket, rubbing his eye. “Hear what?”

At that moment, the noise grew louder. “…That…” Lights around the library began flickering uncontrollably as the noise grew louder and died down, repeating this process without end. It sounded much like heavy wind blowing over an open field.

“What’s happening?” asked Spike.

The two of them made their way downstairs. The library started to shake as if going through a violent earthquake. Books fell from their places on the shelves, scattering across the floor. Twilight and Spike opened the door and headed into the night. The rest of the town was awake and investigating the strange occurrence that was taking place around them. They saw their friends gathering and made their way through the crowd towards them.

“You guys know what’s going on? I can see this all over Ponyville from my house,” said Rainbow Dash, hovering over the rest.

“I woke up and all my animal friends were going crazy,” said Fluttershy. The thoughts of her pets acting the way they did terrified her.

“My Opalescence was swiping her claws at the air as if she’d lost her mind,” Rarity stated.

Just at that moment, Pinkie Pie pointed in the distance. “Everypony! Look!”

Those who heard her turned their attention to where she was pointing. Behind the royal castle, the strange, silver-blue lightning was converging on one spot, growing unstable before a large fireball erupted from the darkened sky. It sailed through the air like a speeding bullet, a huge column of smoke trailing behind it, before crashing in the Everfree Forest. As the initial shock wore off, a second fireball appeared; however, unlike the last, this one smashed through the royal castle before going on a collision course towards Ponyville.

“What in tarnation…?” Applejack stated, her eyes growing wide at the object of destruction heading right for them. “Everypony! Run! Quick!”

The ponies in the area scattered, fearing that the fireball would hit them. Instead, it landed in the streets behind the buildings, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. When arriving at the site, the ponies were greeted with nothing but utter carnage. The Ponyville marketplace—it’d been completely devastated. Many of the kiosks were reduced to rubble, including Applejack’s apple stand, and much of the stores that surrounded the area were heavily damaged, some to the point collapse.

“What do you think caused all this?” asked Applejack.

Twilight replied, “I’m not sure.” She looked over at the castle, a massive column of smoke rising from where it had been struck. “But whatever it was, it must have been enormous.”

>>Full body diagnostics… No skull fracture… No major injuries… Minimal minor injuries… Pain suppressed…

Parker sat up and spat some blood from his mouth, rubbing the back of his head. Despite having the pain in his body suppressed, he felt like passing out. He staggered to his feet and looked around. He found himself in an alley, between two buildings. They were probably stores. It was night. The sky wasn’t choked with smoke and debris, and the structures that surrounded him weren’t destroyed by decades of brutal warfare.

“Did I… really go back in time?”

>>Pinpointing… Error… Location and time zone undetermined…

“What? Undetermined? What do you mean undetermined? It’s obvious I went back. Anchorage hasn’t been destroyed yet. At least, I think I’m still in Anchorage. There has to be a map around here somewhere.” His thoughts were broken by the sound of voices coming from out of the alley. It had to be more humans, and it sounded like a lot of them. He wondered what they would say about a soldier from the future—one that came back in time after fighting an army of genocidal machines.

He moved towards the corner and peered around. To his surprise, upon checking who it was, the voices didn’t come from any humans.

>>Scanning… Subject: Unknown life forms…

“They ponies, no taller than horses. But from what Skynet taught me, animals aren’t supposed to be capable of speech.” Using his optical implants, he zoomed in and saw that some of them had wings and horns. “Unicorns and pegasi; but those shouldn’t even exist. Something is definitely wrong here.”

>>Scanning… Subject: Unknown life forms… Terminate at discretion…

Parker snorted at his HUD’s suggested action. “Figures Skynet would choose termination as a first resort. As far as I know, she doesn’t control me anymore. I need to figure this out myself.” He used the time he had to think. “Okay, first thing I should do is avoid being spotted. Then—”

“It leads over here! Let’s check it out!” One of the ponies yelled from out of the alley. The human could hear them approaching his position.

“And that’s my cue to leave.” Grabbing his plasma rifle, he headed out the other side avoid the oncoming crowd. He silently moved down the street until coming across the destruction the ponies had been gawking at. The fires had died down by now, becoming nothing more than embers fluttering freely in the light breeze.

“Did I do this?”

>>Scanning… Residue detected from time displacement sphere…

“Locals aren’t gonna be happy that I did this. I better get out of time and lay low until this whole thing blows over.” He brought up his HUD map hoping for it to show directions, only for a large question mark to appear instead. “But… where am I?”

After wandering the area for nearly a half-hour, Parker eventually came across an apple orchard just outside of town. It was still too close for comfort, seeing as the commotion caused from the time displacement sphere had yet to die down, but he needed a place to rest for the night, and chose to leave before dawn to keep from being spotted.

Upon traversing through the orchard, and eating some of the apples along the way, he eventually came across a small tree house. It was well-built; looked study, and hopefully strong enough to hold him. He climbed up the wooden plank and took refuge inside. The inside was full of children’s toys, a telescope, and a map with the word, ‘PONYVILLE’ scribbled across the top. That must’ve been the town he was just in. Most of the locations on the map had been X’d out.

He took a seat against the wall, setting his hat and goggles, along with his plasma rifle, on the table next to him. “Alright. Sleep here, wake up, and then the hell out of here without drawing attention to myself. That shouldn’t be so hard, right?”

He closed his eyes and went to sleep.

Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo, known throughout Ponville as the Cutie Mark Crusaders, cantered through Sweet Apple Acres towards their clubhouse. They planned on yet another montage of stunts aimed at discovering their special talents so they could earn their cutie marks. They were sure to get it this time.

Of course, Sweetie Belle, however, did side against one idea. “Last time we did that, Scootaloo, we ended up covering the entire class in tree sap.”

A nervous smile came upon the pegasus filly’s face. “Oh come on, you two. What’re the chances of that happening again?”

“Very likely if we try,” Sweetie Belle rebutted.

“Ah have ta agree with her, Scoots,” said Applebloom. “It jus’ ain’t worth it.”

They climbed into their clubhouse, and the moment they entered, they were greeted to the sight of something else sitting inside. It was taller than anything else they had seen and donned a tattered and dirty uniform. It had arms and legs like Spike, though it wasn’t a dragon. They deduced that it was a tall, hairless monkey, aside from the small patch of fur on its head. One thing that drew their attention was the strange gizmo strapped around its wrist.

“What do you think it is?” asked Sweetie Belle.

Applebloom prodded the creature in its leg with her hoof, reeling it back when the creature’s leg suddenly twitched. “Ah have no idea. It’s not like anyth’n Ah’ve ever seen. Maybe—”

“Hey…” Scootaloo bought their attention, “I think it’s waking up.”

The creature groaned, rubbing its eyes, giving a big sigh of exhaustion. He had never woken up this early since the day of his defection from Skynet. The fillies watched with a mix of curiosity and slight fear as it looked around the tree house. Pretty soon, it’s turned to them. They shared a moment of silence, neither one saying anything, until one word escaped his mouth:


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