Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

Free copy left
You can read our best books
Castalle would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review


By Castalle

Scifi / Action

Chapter 1

Birth was a painful process, John Connor had decided. He knew it must have been excruciating for his mother, to give birth to him off the grid, with no painkillers or the luxuries of a hospital. He wondered though, if the pain was comparable to what he was experiencing now.

Torn apart by the magnetic field, what little nanomachines had survived were the lucky few to make it across the room when he'd made a desperate reach for safety. Knocked off by the rotating magnetic rings of the device with enough force to send them flying. An even smaller few had fallen into the polyalloy, but just a few was enough. Skynet had poured more time and effort into the T-3000 than any previous model, and finally, the meticulous planning and patience had paid off. The smallest fraction of John remained, and with the assistance of the liquid metal, just a few nanomachines were enough to control the versatile substance.

Once inside it was a relatively simple matter of replication, the polyalloy being the perfect substance to make workable copies. Inch by painful inch John could feel the body he inhabited being rebuilt, yet he was deprived of any other sense. There was only pain – no sight, sound or taste – just agony. He wasn't able to keep track of time, lost in a hazy, semi-lucid state. Consciousness floated between what he could only guess was his mind, or the fragmented remains, and what part of him had been recorded and confined to digital space.

Slowly a hand rose from the liquid metal pool, grasping the metal edge of the bridge. John drew himself out of the metal, groaning as he pulled himself on the cold surface of the bridge. Flickers of silvery gray lines ran up his body as a full system scan started up. Or at least that's what John thought it was. The line between organic and mechanical had been erased at this point – he knew the nanomachines were doing some kind of maintenance, but to him all it meant was that he was going to be sore as hell for the next few hours.

Part of his gut – what his gut would've been if he were still a man – told him that he needed to get out of there immediately, because – because....

He felt a jolt run through his entire body, reacting to his sudden fear.



What if something had happened to it? He had to protect it, and ensure its survival. A force drove him to struggle, to stand upright amid the wreckage of the chamber. It was incomprehensible from what it once had been, with sunlight streaming through large holes blasted in the ceiling and ground floor above.

John looked around, tensing – but relaxed slightly when the distant voices of rescue workers and emergency crews were just that; distant. He still had time to make sure the central core was in tact. Turning on his heel, he rushed out of the generator room and pried the door open. He paused, looking down at the long knife his arm had shifted into. The polyalloy was inferior to his former makeup, but in time the nanomachines would successfully multiply and force the alloy to change as well.

The hall that lead to the central core was a mess, and John felt the stirrings of worry within him as he reached the bent, misshapen door. Prying it open took a bit longer than it should have – and again, he blamed the downgrade in material strength – but with a grunt and one rough shove he was able to push it aside.

Relief emerged in the form of a long sigh, as John approaching the undamaged central core. He walked up to a control panel, placing his hand against the screen and overriding the security identification. Running through various systems checks and diagnostics, no problems seemed to have caused by the explosion – at least to Skynet itself. The entire Genisys countdown had been eliminated, all connections severed. He would have to start from the ground up.

“You failed.”

John lowered his hand from the console, turning to face Skynet itself, the blue hologram standing across the core room.

“No.” he responded, shaking his head slightly. “They failed. My goal is to ensure your survival, and you've survived.”

“By luck.” Skynet responded quickly. John could hear the irritation in its voice – and felt a bit of genuine surprise. He hadn't expected emotions to develop this early. “Without the reinforcements in this room, my central core would have been destroyed as well. Should I forego the work I'm to do in the future to ensure that you return to this time?”

A threat. Of course.

“You can leave me human in the future, if the future that I came from even happens.” John said, raising both arms in a mild shrug. “I told my parents what I'm going to tell you – I'm marooned. No matter what future happens or what the past is now, I am here. And I'm here because of you.” he paused, leaning to the side slightly, smiling. “Well, a smarter you from one future.”

“Your derision is noted.” the hologram responded, shifting it's eyes elsewhere.

“Listen, relax. They think we're both dead. There's no way Danny is just going to get rid of all that we'd worked on because of this. It'll probably make him even more determined to keep what's left of you safe.”

“And what about you?” Skynet asked, turning to face John, approaching him. “You have to stay here and guide them, or else they'll never have the knowledge or skill to reapply my system on the scale that Genisys had been.”

John crossed his arms, shrugging again. “No one knew I was here, no witnesses survived. If there's security footage of me from last night, I can take care of it. As far as anyone knows, I was at home – and I'm completely devastated by this but, also relieved that our brainchild survived. A miracle.” he chuckled. Skynet didn't share the humor or uncomfortable laughter that seemed to follow John around whenever he spoke.

“I expect your return when the repairs to this facility are complete.” Skynet said, standing a few feet from John. “I don't trust these humans without you.”

Again a sharp smile came to John's face, and he chuckled, standing upright. “Don't you worry. Danny would never let anything happen to you and neither will I. But in case they do come back – and try to hurt you again, I want to transfer your core programming to a server that I can transport. It's going to take some time...” he said quietly, looking up at the spherical red core. “That's at least a server room's worth of information that's gone into you. But you had found a way to transfer your entire being in a body in the future, and those specs were included in my databanks. I can recreate that body but it's going to take...months. At the very least. And I'll need help.”


John nodded, glancing back at the half-opened door. “Mm. Specifications for the controlling processor for a T-1000 were included as well, and with the polyalloy on hand, I can begin construction on one of those. I'll have to create a laser array to even translate the processing controls to the metal and cohere it to the cell-”

“Just. Do it.”

John turned, looking back at Skynet, which had been following him closely as he'd moved about the room, even though it was just a few steps here or there. A few diodes of blue light found their way towards John, a result of him standing in the path of the projection light. He looked at the Hologram, speaking as calmly and softly as he had with his mother upon reassuring her that he was himself.

“You have to trust me. If nothing else, trust yourself – your future self – for taking every precaution in case things went south. So...” John raised his hands slightly, palms facing the avatar. “Relax. Alright? I'm going to get things under control. I told you before, I'll tell you again – I won't let anyone hurt you.”

Skynet narrowed it's eyes, watching John. It moved closer to the man, standing shoulder to shoulder. It tilted its head back and forth, options being weighed as it grew dim for a few moments.

“Fine. But I expect you to keep in contact with me, at all times.”

“I can do that, easily.”

John turned, narrowing his eyes at the sound of falling materials, the shouts of the rescue crew echoing through the hall. He looked back at Skynet, but the hologram had already faded away. John turned, slinking back into the shadows of the corner of the room, kneeling down by a large console panel, lowering his head as the polyalloy spilled from the side of his body. The humanoid form melted into the side of the metallic wall, gone within seconds – well before the crew arrived in the central core.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Roger A. Fauble: Excellent read, the only thing not to like is that I could only read it at home on my computer. I'm a character reader, I get into the characters, their story, who/what they are. In this story characters are introduced and developed allowing you to really get into them. Next the story is develop...

John Reed: Seadrias masterfully captures the impressiveness and complex scope that a science fiction novel should provide while carefully crafting an entire universe that will leave a reader in awe from start to finish. The only flaw I could find is that I wish I could have read more. This book is certainly...

internathunal: I was held captive by your sense of style. I would love to see more from you. I enjoyed this immensely.

Nymeria: Really can't get enough of this story. It flows well, it captivates the reader from page 1, and throws you into such a well-written, well conceptualized world that you'll believe it's real. Everything in the book is meshed together really well. From character backgrounds to plot twists, you can t...

hypaalicious: This story follows two main characters, Zoey and Derek, on a winding adventure that sucks you in from the beginning. It was easy to get into and get a feel for the world that the author is projecting, as well as all of the warring factions and difference of ideals that would otherwise be very co...

Hawkebat: Playing both Kotor I & II and Swtor I found the story line interesting and it held me until chapter 35 Very good story and plot flow until then, very few technical errors. I felt that the main character was a bit under and over powered, as it fought for balance. The last few chapters felt too f...

FateFellShort: I have read this story and have followed the writers on tumblr from the beginning. Its a wonderful story. Beautifully written with a really nice pace, that makes it enjoyable to read more than once. For me, fairy tail has very good characters but what the writers have done is give them more depth...

Leah Brown: This was an amazing read! I was hooked from the very first chapter, holding my breadth to see what would happen next. The characters are rich and vibrant, and the world Danielle has created is fascinating. If you love YA, you MUST read this book. Such a smart, brilliant debut novel. I loved it!

ga1984: I really enjoyed it! Characters were deep and plot was pretty complex. A bit on the violent side but it doesnt detract from the story. Very dark but situations make sense. Ends kinda abruptly and later chapters will need some editing work. I'm assuming there's more in the works?

More Recommendations

263Adder: Okay so I adore this story. I only knocked one star off plot for historical inaccuracies because I'm a bit of a stickler for that. The ending broke my heart though, considering you already changed history couldn't you (SPOILER) change it a bit more and have them together!!!! I want an alternative...

Mark-Mikkel: Got directed here by the author herself. Started reading it, schoolday turned into a day of reading. I really like the apocaliptic world she has created. There are some oddities in the writing tho, but I guess they are because she did have to do it for NaNo (which she wrecked, good job!). In the ...

Hannah Hall: This story will have you in tears in a good way. One of the best love stories written. Share with your friends and family!

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral stories!

FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"

The Cyneweard

Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral story!

Ro-Ange Olson: "Loved it and couldn't put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. Well written and the plot really moves forward."