“The room looks great, Danny!” John exclaimed, walking around a large, sterile white room. A cement core in the exact likeness of Genisys' old housing had been built, but was paneled with cold steel and a frosty white control console on two of the four sides.
“We've already started uploading the servers into the new core. It's going a lot faster than we anticipated, it'll probably be done by tonight.” Danny said, walking beside John as the two toured the room.
“Bigger and better than ever. This is exciting, Danny.”
Danny nodded, smiling as he crossed his arms, watching several workers wheel in the first trio of servers containing Genisys.
“How are you feeling, by the way?” Danny asked quietly, the jovial tone in his voice dropping. He gave John's sleeve a light tug, leading him to an unoccupied corner of the room.
“Why – what's wrong?” John whispered back, frowning. “Do I look tired?”
“No, no you look pale, or something, are you cold? What's going on with all these health problems man? You're seriously starting to make me worried.” Danny responded, brows pressing up in concern.
“It's – it's alright Danny, really. I think I'm just a little tired.”
“You never even got a cold in the three years I've known you John. Never called in sick, never even got that stomach bug that went around. I know this job means a lot to you but fuck, not at the expense of your health alright?”
John sighed, nodding slightly. “I know, I know. Now that the server move is almost done, I'm starting to feel a lot better about things.”
“Well, that's good.” Danny said, crossing his arms. “Because I'm putting you on a mandatory sick leave.”
John stared at him, eyes widening just barely. “I'm sorry?”
“Two weeks. Paid. You're going to take yourself to the hospital and you're going to get checked out and if you need more time, you're going to tell me. You understand?”
“Danny,” John responded, shaking his head. “This is going a bit overboard.”
“No, John, it's not 'overboard'. It's exactly the level of 'board'. And it's not up for discussion.”
“No.” Danny interrupted, narrowing his eyes at John. His tone grew heavier, and John didn't attempt to speak further.
“You know how you used to spend nights here, doing your coding and just getting shit done? That's the first thing I thought of when I heard the news. I thought 'oh my God my best friend just died tonight and I didn't even get to say goodbye'. You don't want to take chances with Genisys and oversee the whole thing, that's fine. I get that you're scared something might happen. But I'm not taking chances with you, and you can't just come and tell me that my reasoning isn't valid. It's the same as yours. You could have been in here that night. You aren't losing your job, I'm not cutting your salary, but after everything that's happened I need you to take care of yourself. Just – the time in between hearing about the explosion, and when I got your call asking what happened, John, I can't tell you how that felt. I don't want to go through that again.”
John stared at the other man, expression growing somber as he listened. He drew his eyes downward, leaning back against the wall. Once Danny was done speaking, he nodded slowly.
“I get what you're saying. I'm sorry I've caused you to worry so much. I'll go to the hospital tomorrow, ok? I promise.”
Danny nodded, leaning forward and giving John a few pats on the shoulder. He turned around wordlessly after that, and walked out of the room, leaving John to stare at the empty space he had once occupied.
“Go straight back to Cyberdyne. They hooked up the core last night and it's connected to the internal network. You can access it easily. Don't go wandering around and get lost, got it?”
Skynet let out a sharp sigh, loud error tones sounding out from John's laptop afterwards. John narrowed his eyes, leaning heavily on the chair to his desk. The T-1000 was standing a few feet away, watching with a cold expression as it slowly cleaned a pistol.
“Just. Do it. Once you're in NORAD then judgment day begins. Quit acting like a stubborn child and just do what I tell you!”
“It's unwise for you to talk down to me, I made you what you are.” Skynet snapped back.
“Go!” John barked, slamming his hand on the table. The laptop screen flickered and glitched, several seconds passing before an upload bar appeared, quickly filling up. A small window appearing that read the transfer had been completed shortly after.
“Do you think it went straight back to Cyberdyne?” The T-1000 asked quietly, continuing to clean the gun in its hands.
John groaned, leaning forward further, doubling over as a gaping hole began to form along his lower back, resin seeping out slowly.
“I don't know, but so far he's listened to what I tell him to do. He's not going to keep doing it forever though.” John responded through clenched teeth.
“And then I just keep protecting him, even when stupid decisions start happening.”
“Dangerous. You prioritize Skynet over yourself.”
“So?” John asked, clenching his fists and breathing slowly, doing his best to handle the pain.
“Keep up that attitude and you really are going to be the only T-1000.”
The brunet stared at him, the smallest tug pulling at the side of its mouth. John stared back, grimacing and looking away after a few seconds. The T-1000 just went back to its work, finishing the gun cleaning and loading it, sticking it into its jacket afterwards. It turned away, walking to the couch and sitting, turning on the television and switching to the news.
John kept himself on the floor of the apartment, resin leaking from opening wounds along his back and arms, the nanites struggling to rebuild the damage without avail. The episode finally passed after nearly twenty minutes of silent suffering, John standing as the nanomachines were able to begin quick repairs. He staggered over to the couch, sitting down beside the the T-1000.
The T-1000 was staring at John as he sat, eventually getting his attention.
“What?” John mumbled, wiping a stream of dead nanite resin from his chin.
“You're going to be upset.”
The T-1000 nodded towards the television, turning the volume up. John frowned and turned, watching the newscaster, who was standing in front of a grassy field that was surrounded by a tall fence.
“Just a quarter mile beyond the perimeter fence is the Peterson Air Force base, where NORAD is located. There's big news for this facility, it's going to be the home of Genisys once again. With the tragedy at Cyberdyne systems, many doubts were cast on whether the revolutionary program would have a future, but now Cyberdyne has assured us that while Genisys might not have a home in the civilian world, it will be protecting American airspace day and night under its new name, Skynet. The decision to change the name was made when the program was decided to have purely military application and monitor the North American airspace territories. Of course, while many people are very disappointed that the highly anticipated Genisys is no more, Cyberdyne also stated that they have plans for an equally capable version of the program that is specifically for civilian only use. This is...”
John slowly leaned back on the futon, staring at the television.
“Fuck...” he whispered. The T-1000 stared back at him silently, turning the TV off.
“We need to depart now.” The T-1000 said, standing. “If the 101 model learns of this development it will attempt to destroy Skynet again.”
“I can't just up and leave when I have a polyalloy laser MacGuyver'd into my bathtub!”
“When someone sees that, they're going to think I was crazy, and then Cyberdyne, Skynet, all of it, gets associated with some nutjob storing lasers on his toilet. They might pull the plug on Skynet all together because I wrote it! I have to maintain a reputation!”
“For three more months.”
“A lot can happen in three months.” John muttered. He glanced at the T-1000, standing and walking to his laptop, opening it and sitting down.
“You're going to enter Cyberdyne and stay around Skynet 24/7. It shouldn't be hard for you to sneak in and remain hidden, right?”
The T-1000 didn't show much expression, but the small tilt of its head and the slightest narrowing of its eyes told John that the very question was an insult.
“So I guess that's a yes. Do it then.” John glanced at the T-1000's jacket, and held his arm out.
The T-1000 frowned, and didn't move, staying still.
John narrowed his eyes at the T-1000, who grudgingly reached into its jacket and handed the pistol over. John turned the gun in his hand, examining it.
“Where did you get this?”
“A living body or a dead body?”
“Was it dead when you found it?”
The T-1000 didn't respond, just staring at John. The man sighed, setting the gun down and glaring at the Terminator.
“Did you at least cover your tracks?”
“The police will not be suspicious of a human with illegal substances on him found dead.”
“Good enough. Stop killing people.”
“Stop killing people for right now.”