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Messages - MKSheppard

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Resources / Re: Bulletdesigner shipyard
« on: January 18, 2017, 02:49:13 am »
Actually, this would make a great *starting* transport for XCOM.

V-22 is 1988~ era technology; and it cruises at 550 km/h; compared to the Skyranger's 760 km/h.

Work In Progress / Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« on: September 30, 2016, 12:09:49 am »
(Temporal Anomalies in the Terminator series).

There's one problem with that.

If simply sending someone back in time changes the timeline and like he posits:

Of first importance, we know that the birth of Sarah Conner's child still occurred, because had that not happened, no one would have been sent back to protect her.  In fact, had the Terminator successfully prevented the birth of that child, then the Terminator would not have been sent back (at point D), and the original timeline would have been restored, forcing the world into an infinity loop.  However, something must have happened which John Conner needed to change; otherwise, no one would have come back to protect Sarah.  The fact that John sends Reese tells us first that the Terminator failed, but second that something was dreadfully wrong.

Then why does the Terminator go by the phone book in the movie (and in the early scripts, cuts open the leg to see if they have the characteristic broken bone implant that Sarah Connor had in the future) and Reese say in response to being questioned why the other women were killed by the Terminator:

Most records were lost in the war.  Skynet knew almost nothing about Connor's mother.  Her name. Where she lived, just the city.  No scanner pictures.  The Terminator was just being systematic.


Because if the Terminator goes back in time first, the swath of destruction he'd cut through the place would raise Sarah Connor's profile in various government databases.

Before the Terminator, Sarah Connor is a nobody. She's an average person with so little information available on her in various databases that to Skynet, she's a non entity.

But once the Terminator goes back first, Sarah Connor rises from a nobody to being a key person in a very complex, weird, and screwed up murder spree; and thus, Skynet in the future would have access to more detailed information arising from the first terminator's attempt as Sarah's profile would have been raised considerably in FBI, etc databases.

Work In Progress / Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« on: September 30, 2016, 12:03:26 am »
The latest movie in the franchise seems to suggest (seems) that the terminator universe ultimately becomes what it must become: a Day of the Groundhog-like reality of endless iterations, where Skynet, Resistance, and possibly other factions (or just many, varied Skynets and many, varied Resistances) try to one-up another

Why do you think I didn't like it? It made it all pointless.

Work In Progress / Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« on: September 24, 2016, 05:52:57 am »
How Skynet performs several tests is also address in the fan articles at the Terminator 2029 site, which is a great source about the series.

That website has been around for a long, long time.  ;D

It's also pretty good; with a few niggles -- he has SKYNET start with a lot of "super tech" such as Cheyenne Mountain being upgraded massively to fusion reactors, plasma weapons existing in limited prototype form before the fall, etc.

Bloated military budgets from a continuing cold war can advance technology a lot, but not that much.

Work In Progress / Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« on: September 24, 2016, 02:01:49 am »
Here's my bizarre off the wall theory to try and explain causality and preservation, because SKYNET had the first "throw of the dice" each time and logically should have succeeded with it's 1984 and 1995 attempts; a T-800 or T-1000 would have easily liquidated Sarah or John Connor.


I think in the ORIGINAL timeline, SKYNET is still kind of new to time travel, and hasn't fully explored the theory, application and use of it before Connor smashes it's grid.

So... what I think happened was SKYNET did some short range hops and cache tests:

1.) Sending a T800 back three months to destroy a random resistance outpost to see if the future can be changed. It works, and SKYNET concludes yes, we can change future, and begins further work on the tactical time weapon.

2.) Sending test shots back progressively further, which are nothing but beacons or metallic markers that are later found by SKYNET in the future. Basically, something similar to Back to the Future where Marty says "we will put the keys HERE" and then picks the keys up "but we got to remember to do this in the future".

Essentially, they send little time capsules with internal clocks back to 1996, 1986 etc which are then rediscovered by SKYNET in 2029, with the clocks showing elapsed time since travel = the same amount of time that has passed as the targeted temporal displacement date.

So SKYNET thinks it can move to an operational tactical time weapon.

But before that happens, Connor smashes the defense grid and SKYNET panics, and decides to "roll the dice".

It sends the T-800 Terminator back to 1984, and waits 30 seconds.

No change detected.


It starts to panic, and thinks "all my prior time displacement attempts worked, why didn't this one work?"

So it breaks out the T-1000 and sends it back to 1995. It can't send it back to 1984 to assist the T-800 because of limitations in time travel; each time you send something back to a certain point in time, it creates ripples in space time which disrupt the capability of the Temporal Displacement Equipment to successfully rematerialize the space/time within it's field in the past.

These ripples in time, ironically fade with time, but time is something Skynet doesn't have, as it's grid is smashed and Connor is on his way.

So off to 1995.

That doesn't work, and now SKYNET is really panicked. Then...the cruel end as TECH COM blows it's main node in Colorado.

Connor shows up 30 minutes later, and when he sees on the system log of the time machine:

"Terminator sent back to 1984. MISSION: KILL SARAH CONNOR"
"Terminator sent back to 1995. MISSION: KILL JOHN CONNOR"

he panics and sends a volunteer back in time to 1984 right away; and because his TECH COM team was severely depleted in the final offensive, he has to reprogram a T-800.

Finally, he sends back the T-800 and starts the time loop.


1984 T-800: Materialized in Marianas Trench. Imploded by immense depth of water at 4 miles deep.
1995 T-1000: Materialized in Solid Rock in San Andreas Fault.
1984 Kyle Reese: Materialized in fire escape. Dies painfully.

as "time"/"universe"/"chaos theory protects itself -- the original tests Skynet did were not big or important enough to provoke a response from the fabric of nature itself -- the Resistance base that was destroyed as a test...would have been destroyed six months later, and was insignificant in the scheme of the universe.

But when Skynet literally started punching the universe hard; the universe punched back. (time displacement spheres going awry)

But then John Connor had to punch the fabric of reality so hard it broke with his attempt to send the T-800 Uncle Bob back through; causing the other attempts to successfully materialize in the past.

Work In Progress / Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« on: September 24, 2016, 01:00:53 am »
This timeline is the result of some thoughts by me a bit back:

1.) In the original timeline, Skynet is a Series 4800 supercomputer built by Cyberdyne for SAC-NORAD.

2.) SAC can't exist if the cold war doesn't, so Gorbachev can't take power in 1985, and the continued cold war would spur military development.

There's a nice way to square this with T2's timeline as well!

What if in 1984, when the T-800 starts shooting wildly, he kills a KGB rezident at the night club who was there to meet with a source from the Southern California Aerospace industry?

Said rezident in the original timeline was key to Gorby not being elected in 1985.

So Gorbachev takes power, the cold war ends; and Skynet is saved only from cancellation by the discovery of the chip which significantly accelerated research and made it interesting enough to fund in a peacetime environment.

Work In Progress / Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« on: September 23, 2016, 11:58:36 pm »
I've made an attempt at some alt-history in trying to construct a timeline for the original timeline. Here goes:

13 May 1965
Sarah Connor Born (Approximate, based on her being 19 in Terminator 1)

12 November 1982
Yuri Andropov becomes General Secretary of the Soviet Union.

8 May 1984
Sarah Connor sleeps with the man who left a voicemail on her phone in the original T1 (Approximate).  This man is the true biological father of John Connor in all timelines. In all timelines, she never really knows her son's true biological father. In later, altered timelines; Kyle Reese becomes John's "spiritual father".

Late 1984
Greg Simmons and Jack Kroll leave Cyber Research Systems (CRS) to found Cyberdyne Corporation. In the Novelization of T1, they're the ones who discover the arm and skull in the factory and hide it from their superiors and found Cyberdyne.

12 February 1985
John Connor born. (Approximate)

Circa 1986   
Cyberdyne wins contract to supply Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) chip subsystems to Northrop.

Late 1987
Miles Bennet Dyson joins Cyberdyne as an engineer on the ATF chip systems.

January 1989
Richard Lugar inaugurated as 41st President. (EDIT: Anyone but HW Bush, because we need to push "Star Wars" all the way to the end, and even with the USSR hanging around post 1992...we need more impetus).

23 April 1991
Northrop-McDonnell Douglas YF-23 announced as winner of ATF Competition.

Mid 1992
Cyberdyne wins contract to supply computer systems for the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization ("Star Wars") Strategic Defense System; which implements ground based and space based defensive and offensive systems. Design of the 4000 series begins.

Late 1992
Miles Bennet Dyson appointed Director of Special Projects to oversee the design of the 4000 series distributed supercomputer.

26 May 1993
Yuri Andropov dies.

9 June 1993
KGB Chairman Vladimir Kryuchkov becomes General Secretary of the Soviet Union.

Circa 1994
Cheyenne Mountain Complex selected as the ground-based command and control node for the SDIO Strategic Defense System.

Early 1995
Construction begins on enlargement of Cheyenne Mountain Complex, effectively tripling it's size to support the SDIO Strategic Defense System.
Cyberdyne has become the largest supplier of computer components to the US Defense Department due to it's F-23 and SDS Contracts.

Late 1995
First Orbital Weapons Station launched into geosynchronous orbit via National Launch System (

Circa 1997
Cheyenne Mountain Complex enlargement completed. Installation of the Cyberdyne 4800C System begins.

Late 1997
SDIO: Strategic Defense System renamed "SKYNET".

Early 1998
24th and Final Orbital Weapons Satellite launched into orbit. SKYNET Orbital Construction Complete.

8 June 1999
SKYNET Ground Based Construction complete with installation of last cabling in Cheyenne Mountain Complex Expansion.

4 August 1999
SKYNET Activated.

Late August 1999
John and Sarah Connor go on vacation to Argentina to visit friends. John is fourteen and a half years old.

29 August 1999
SKYNET Becomes Self Aware at 2:14 AM EDT.
SKYNET launches the weapons under its control at 2:43 AM EDT. (JUDGMENT DAY)

18 July 2003
Kyle Reese Born (Approximate, based on his age being 26 in Terminator 1)

Kyle Reese Assigned to 132d under Perry

SKYNET deploys first experimental prototype T-800 Infiltrators in limited field tests.

Kyle Reese Assigned to Recon/Security under John Connor following the conclusion of the Oregon and New Mexico Offensives.
SKYNET standardizes the T-800 Infiltrator as Standard Issue.

11 July 2029
Terminator 1/2 Future War Finale. John Connor is 45 years old.
12 May 1984
Beginning of T1 (Events have not occurred in this timeline)

14 May 1984
End of T1 (Events have not occurred in this timeline)

Circa 1995
Events of T2 (Has Not Occurred in This Timeline)

Circa Sep 1999
On a "Tuesday in September '99" is how John Connor recalls Judgment Day as occurring in the Future War scenes in the original T2 script draft.

T-800 Introduction Notes:
Reese in T1 refers to the T800 Infiltrators as "New", plus he says they can't be made "not for about forty years." This places their introduction to somewhere between 2024 and 2029.

Work In Progress / Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« on: September 22, 2016, 04:26:14 am »
So the player will be able to assault it right from day 1, however that will be a losing strategy for several reasons - the turrets and terminators at the Core would have plasma weapons right from the start

It might be worth it designing unique terminators and mobile weapons just for the Skynet Core (and maybe for other Skynet bases), since Skynet would have designed its bases around the needs of Machines, rather than humans -- with the bipedal infiltrators being only a grudging admission that it needs multipurpose generalist units in order to dig out the resistance from it's hidey holes.

Work In Progress / Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« on: September 22, 2016, 04:21:32 am »
Actually... I have already done some thinking about this and the Skynet Core will appear right from the start on Geoscape on the location of Cheyenne Mountain.

Makes sense; since by what ?2025? The Resistance should know WHAT skynet is, and WHERE it is.

Work In Progress / Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« on: September 22, 2016, 03:39:16 am »
There's some storyboards floating around of the extended future war scenes:

There's some smaller stuff that could fit as Skynet "HWPs" (Centurion)

Work In Progress / Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« on: September 22, 2016, 03:21:17 am »
The future war scene script was a very interesting read, thanks.

There's a scene in the T2 novelization that hints at mission types for a mod -- this happened circa 2010~ in the T1/T2 timeline.

But when he was in his mid-twenties, a personal tragedy caused him to withdraw even more into that gray prison of responsibility that had always been his.

Fuentes had brought him the news. John had been crouched in a blasthole crater, giving final instructions to a squad of soldiers still in their teens. They were bright, eager, and dispensable.

They would all later die in a diversionary battle that would lead to a major victory. As he watched them snake out into the moonlit ruins, Fuentes turned to John, struggling to remain calm as he gave his nightly field report.

The supply convoy from Mexico had been ambushed by a squad of HKs. There were no survivors. John had listened, then only nodded. After all, this was simply one more defeat in a war filled with them. The supplies were important, but there were backups the army could use. And John had steeled himself to loss over the years. People were always dying in this war. Like the squad of teenagers John had just sent out on patrol. Even the horror of death could become routine if it happened often enough. All this Fuentes knew. And in normal circumstances, Fuentes would not have found John’s reaction strange.

When he wasn’t needed, the general would often go off by himself to brood, especially after he had ordered hundreds of men into hopeless battle, just to buy time to build the army. But he would get over it quickly, eager to continue the struggle, driven by a certainty of their eventual victory. The loss of lives was necessary to achieve that victory. But Fuentes also knew what John knew.... Sarah Connor had been leading that convoy.

She had been ordered out of the action, but Sarah went her own way, and few people had the rank or the balls to stop her. Even John was in awe of her. Not only was she a superb combat soldier, she was also an expert tactician. But sooner or later, even the best soldier can be overwhelmed by superior firepower. As in this case. So Fuentes found it strange that John simply nodded when he told him his mother was dead.

When the news became common knowledge, people who only knew and respected her by reputation would be weeping. Sarah Connor had been almost as legendary as her son. But all John did was thank Fuentes for the information and stride off. Later, Fuentes walked in on John, bent over his cot, sobbing.

He quietly backed away, not wanting to intrude. It was the only time he had seen the great man cry. Since that time, John had never talked about his mother.

Work In Progress / Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« on: September 22, 2016, 03:15:46 am »
My issue with the T1/T2 storyline when applied to a mod would be that John Connor would know a lot of information about Skynet from Sarah, specially the part concerning time travel, and how would that affect gameplay?

My big problem with the whole "John Connor knows everything through Sarah Connor" idea is that Sarah was with Kyle Reese for only about maybe 72 hours tops. That's not a lot of time for her to absorb everything; and Kyle is an imperfect narrator; he'd only be able to tell her what he knows.

Kyle would however be able to tell her key bits of facts:

Rough introductory dates for significant Skynet advances in technology.

Where the Skynet Central Core is + Time Machine R&D base.

Which human offensives were significant catastrophes.

Translated in game terms; a player starting with the T1/T2 mod would know right away:

TERMINATOR ENDGAME: You need to blow up NORAD and also seize the time machine base; it would be like having the "Cydonia or bust" UFOPaedia unlocked from the start.

You would have advanced warning (maybe a triggered UFOPedia entry) that shows up about a month or so before the AI introduces new units/weapons (the WAR OF PLASMA).

Work In Progress / Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« on: September 22, 2016, 12:20:04 am »
But this is nitpicking since as long as the storyline is coherent with the date set for Judgment Day (1997, 2017, etc.)

That's always been a problem with licensed terminator stuff -- SM Stirling wrote some Terminator novels in the nineties where Skynet literally starts on J-Day with knockoff T-800s -- let's not get into the comics.

In Terminator 2 (both the scripts and novelization) there's additional J-Day and future war details:

The original 10 May 1990 draft contained an extended future
 war scene that not only addressed the defeat of Skynet
and the backstory of how Reese and the Terminator went
back through time as mentioned in the first film, but also
the backstory of the second film on how the second
 Terminator was sent through.  Cut from the script after
the first draft, the scene -- although rich in action and
 resonance to the first film and its concepts -- was a
 narrative tangent to the main story of the film and would
have cost an inordinate amount of time, money, and effort
to produce.  This future scene also had the adult John
Connor as its narrator.

Downtown L.A. Noon on a hot summer day. On an EXTREME LONG LENS the lunchtime crowd stacks up into a wall of humanity. In SLOW MOTION they move in herds among the glittering rows of cars jammed bumper to bumper. Heat ripples distort the torrent of faces. The image is surreal dreamy... and like a dream it begins very slowly to...

Same spot as the last shot, but now it is a frozen landscape in Hell. The cars are stopped in rusted rows, still bumper to bumper. The skyline of buildings beyond has been shattered by some unimaginable force like a row of kicked-down sandcastles. The sky glows, dark as iron.

A freezing wind blows through the desolation, keening with the sound of ten million dead souls. It scurries the snow into drifts, stark white against the charred rubble. Fire and ice. The image is without color... lifeless as the moon.


ANGLE ON a heap of fire-blackened bones. Skulls identify them as human. WE BEGIN TO TRACK, revealing beyond the mound a vast tundra of bones and shattered concrete. Skulls like eyeless sentinels. The rush hour crowds burned down in their tracks. We hear a MAN"S VOICE, gentle, though rich in authority, and tempered by the pain of watching a world die.

MAN (V.O.)
It all came down on a Tuesday in September of '99. Pretty normal day, except for the end of the world part. Somehow, I don't remember how, we started calling it Judgment Day. I was in Argentina that particular Tuesday. A good place to be, considering everything alive north of the equator stopped being alive...

WE DISSOLVE TO a playground... where intense heat has half-melted the jungle gym, the blast has warped the swing set, the merry-go-round has sagged in the firestorm. Small skulls look accusingly from the snow-drifts. WE HEAR the distant echo of children's voices... playing and laughing in the sun. A silly, sing-songy rhyme as WE TRACK SLOWLY over seared asphalt where the faint hieroglyphs of hopscotch lines are still visible.

MAN (V.O.)
Afterward it got cold. Real cold. Nuclear winter they called it. The few that survived, starved...

CAMERA comes to a rest on a burnt and rusted tricycle... next to the tiny skull of its owner. A metal foot crushes the skull like china.

MAN (V.O.)
The few that survived that saw the Machines rise up... machines of many types but with one purpose... to hunt us down and kill us all like a bunch of cockroaches...

TILT UP, revealing a humanoid machine holding a massive battle rifle. It looks like a hydraulically-actuated CHROME SKELETON. A high-tech death figure. It is a combat chassis, the underlying component, or endoskeleton, of a Series 800 Terminator. An antipersonnel weapon controlled by Skynet, a computer which is threatening the human survivors of the war with final extinction.

The endoskeleton's glowing red eyes compassionlessly sweep the dead terrain, hunting. Then suddenly snap toward CAMERA.

ENDOSKELETON POV (DIGITIZED) as it racks a RUNNING FIGURE across the desolate landscape. Through these eyes we see the world as a computer-generated image. Symbols and graphics rapidly appear on the center display as the machine acquires its target.

THE FIGURE, a young boy in rags, is centerpunched by the deadly round. He sprawls to a smoking heap on the blackened sludge.

ANOTHER FIGURE, a guerrilla soldier hefting a battered RPG rocket launcher.

THE ENDOSKELETON turns, too late. The rocket vaporizes the top half of it. Its bottom half takes a few uncertain steps, then topples to the earth.

MAN (V.O.)
Our stubbornness makes no sense to their machine minds. We fight when logic tells us we are beaten. But we have a saying... it's not over 'till its over. It keeps us going. The war against the Machines is in its thirty-first year...

The figure quickly takes cover at the approaching SOUND of ROARING TURBINES. A shadow blackens the sky as a formation of flying HK (Hunter-Killer) patrol machines passes overhead. PAN WITH THEM toward the jagged horizon, beyond which we see flashes, and hear the distant thunder of a pitched battle in progress.


THE BATTLE. Human troops in desperate combat with the Machines for possession of the dead Earth. The humans are a ragtag guerrilla army, made up mostly of troops from Southern Hemisphere countries... Africans, South Americans, Australians. The survivors of the nuclear war between the Northern Hemisphere super-powers. This is the reality of the post-Apocalyptic world. North of the equator we all die.

We hear radio chatter in Spanish, interspersed with Swahili and other African languages. The occasional Aussie unit can be heard. The humans use RPG launchers, plasma-pulse battle rifles, and home-built armored personnel carriers.

Skynet's weapons consist of the massive ground HKs (tank- like robot weapon-platforms) flying HKs, medium weight four-legged gun-pods called Centurions, the humanoid Terminators in various forms (600, 700, and 800 series), and small, fast-crawling kamikaze units called Silverfish that look like 5' long chrome centipedes. The Silverfish snake into gun emplacements and explode.


Explosions! Beam-weapons firing like searing strobe-lights. Energy bolts crisscrossing frame. Hand-launched Stinger missiles blowing an aerial HK out of the sky. A Sapper team tries to disable a ground HK. They get riddled by its rapidly tracking gun turret.

A TEAM OF GUERRILLAS is being overrun by terminator endoskeletons in the ruins of a building. One by one, the soldiers fall in desperate hand-to-hand combat. One of the terminators looms over a wounded soldier, its battle rifle's barrel swinging down toward the guerrilla's head. The man stares defiantly into his death. Then... Suddenly, amazingly, the terminator stops, freezing in place...

Aerial HKs tilt slowly, out of control, and crash to the ground. All the terminators stand frozen, unmoving, like a bunch of toy soldiers.

The sudden silence takes the humans by surprise. They slowly emerge from their rat-warren emplacements and approach the frozen machines. We hear a voice speaking over a radio headset. It is filled with awed emotion.

... The Colorado Division confirms that Skynet has been destroyed... The war is over... I repeat, Skynet has been destroyed.

CAMERA TRACKS along the soldiers, bleeding, frostbitten, wrapped in rags... Valley Forge with better weapons.

The wounded soldier in the ruins of the building cautiously approaches the chrome skeleton before him. He pushes against its chest with one finger. It topples with a crash and lies still. The soldier turns to his comrades with an idiot grin. Tears are streaming down his face. A mighty cheer goes up from the men and woman of the Last Army.


A STAINLESS STEEL ELEVATOR SHAFT, going deep into the bowels of the earth. Tiny figures stand on an open platform which descends rapidly, becoming a speck.

ON THE PLATFORM. An imposing man, surrounded by a team of guerrilla officers stands on the platform as it descends. He is JOHN CONNOR. Forty-five years old. Chiseled. Stern. The left side of his face is heavily scarred. An impressive man, and clearly one forged in the furnace of a lifetime of war. The voice we heard continues now.

CONNOR (V.O.) My name is Connor. It's my job to lead these people. My mother, Sarah, gave me the job... and she's not exactly someone you say "no" to. I wish to God I had. I've sent thousands to their deaths. But let me tell you about death in this world. We piss on the bones of a billion people. Death's not what it used to be. If there is a God, his love and 45 cents will buy you coffee...

The platform reached its destination. Connor and the officers step off. Begin moving down a long corridor.


This place was designed by machines for machines. The architecture is alien, without aesthetics, without even such human basics as doorknobs and lights. Connor leads the team past more frozen terminator endoskeletons, deactivated like the ones on the surface.

All these machines were controlled by a kind of God, a low-rent self- appointed God called Skynet. Skynet was a supercomputer built for strategic defense back in the Nineties. Today we destroyed it in its fortress in the Colorado Rockies, and all its toys stopped...

As they continue on, they pass other teams of guerrilla soldiers.

This place is one of Skynet's toys. A machine built by machines. It is like nothing which has ever existed before... the first tactical time weapon. Before today, no human had seen this place, but I've been here in my dreams many times. All my life I've tried to imagine what it would look like. Now I'm actually here...

Vault-like doors open. Connor strides through with authority and purpose. He is saluted smartly by everyone he encounters, though he wears no insignia of rank.

There is a bustle of hurried activity here. The chamber is the size of a high-school gym and consist totally of machine surfaces. Nothing in the design makes any sense. We can't tell what anything does. It is a technology we cannot imagine.

Skynet, being almost infinitely smart, was also infinitely tricky. It knew it was losing, so it thought of a way to rig the game...

Technicians have pulled up floor panels and tapped directly into cabling of the machine, using portable terminals that they have wheeled in. Many of the soldiers in this war against machines are technical specialists... you have to fight fire with fire.

And now, though we've won the war, there is still one battle left to fight. The most important one. It will be fought in the past, almost four decades ago... before all this began... See, the only problem with time travel is... it ain't over even when it's over.

At the far end of the room, a young soldier stands surrounded by a team of technicians. KYLE REESE.
Sarah Connor's defender, teacher, and lover in the first film. A simple soldier who is about to walk point-blank into the gaping maw of history. At the moment, he is the center of activity. As he finishes stripping off his battle uniform, the techs begin smearing his body with a conductive so the time-field will follow his outline.

Reese looks around at all the activity. Battle and the prospect of death have never scared him. But the importance of what he is about to do terrifies him.

The techs move aside and suddenly John Connor is standing beside him. Connor... their grim messiah. Their leader. He fixes Reese with an intense gaze. There is so much he wants to say, but cannot bring himself to. Finally Reese speaks.

Did you know I'd be the one who volunteered?

Connor nods.

I've always known. Sarah told me.

Reese nods. Suddenly understanding everything.

That's why you moved me to your unit? Kept me so close.

Connor shrugs enigmatically. One of the techs interrupts them

We're ready, Sergeant.

THREE ENORMOUS CHROME RINGS, one inside the other, are suspended in a circular hole in the center of the room's floor. John and Reese approach them.

Reese steps onto the first ring. It bobs under his weight. We see that the rings are freely floating in a magnetic field. Reese steps to the inner ring and looks into the hole. A vast echoing darkness below. He looks back at John. The messiah is waiting for him to step into the bottomless pit.

Sometimes you have to put your faith in the machine.

Reese takes a breath, then steps into open space and is buoyed up by an unseen field of force. He floats in the middle of the rings. The techs start the time displacement sequence.

THE RINGS BEGIN TO MOVE, slowly rotating around each other on different axis like some complex gyroscope.

THE FLOOR BEGINS TO SPLIT OPEN, like wedges in a pie which begin to pull back from the center. The rings are spinning faster now, suspended in space in the middle of the receding floor wedges. The rings begin to descend.

JOHN AND REESE LOCK EYES as they move apart. Reese is dropping into an unbelievably vast circular space... the time-field generator. John watches him go, until Reese is a tiny figure. The rings are spinning so rapidly now they almost disappear, becoming a sphere of whirling steel. Technicians pull John back from the edge.

LIGHTNING BEGINS TO ARC across the vast room below. A huge charge of energy is building up. Everyone takes cover behind blast walls they have set up. They put on goggles like they used to do at A-bomb tests. This is going to be big.

The chamber below has become a Hell of energy with Reese at its center. The drone and crackle of the machines builds to thunder, there is a BLINDING FLASH OF LIGHT!

When the glare fades the floating rings are empty. They slow to a stop, seared and smoking. Reese is gone.

FUENTES, one of the officers, turns to Connor.

Now what happens to Reese? I mean, what did happen?

Connor's gaze seems far away from this time and place.

He accomplishes his mission and in doing so, he dies.

He is a good soldier.

Connor solemnly nods.

Yes... He's also my father.

Mother of God!

Fuentes stares at Conner in amazement. He has just been given a glimpse into his leader's private Hell. Connor turns from the smoking chamber. He seems suddenly ten years old as his features drain of strength, shoulders sagging. Fuentes shouts an order to a waiting Sapper team.

Sapper team. Set your charges. Let's blow this place back to Hell.

Connor shakes his head no. Mustering his strength.

Not yet. There's one more thing we have to do.

TIGHT ON MASSIVE DOORS OF STEEL, covered with a thin sheet of ice. Locking bolts slam back. Ice shatters like glass as the doors begin to open. We are in--


Connor walks into the darkness, followed by a few technicians. They are in a vault-like cold-storage room. Hanging in steel racks from ceiling tracks are hundreds of what appear to be men. They are in rows of ten. Within each row, each of the bodies are absolutely identical.

Connor signals the techs to remain by the door and walks out among the dark bodies. They are UNACTIVATED TERMINATORS. He stops at a row in which they are identical to the terminator which was sent to kill Sarah (the Arnold model).

He walks to the end of the row. There is one empty rack. He faces the terminator in the next rack. Its eyes are closed. John seems distant as he studies that face. Fuentes enters the chamber, pushing past the technicians. Calls for his leader in the darkness.

John?... John?...

TIGHT ON CONNOR, his face pensive as Fuentes calls his name. Fuentes voice slowly dissolves to ANOTHER VOICE. A woman's. Echoing as though from a great distance...

This audio transition takes us directly to the scene of young John Connor in the Voights' garage in the present- day.

The T2 Novelization has some extended battle scenes showing how an infiltrator unit might work in combat:

A man stepped out of the shadows. “Let me help you,” he said calmly, and reached for the grenade-launcher. Cowan instinctively knew something was wrong. The stranger was wearing the guerrilla armband, all right, but it was last week’s color.

and the two final battles:

Today, there were battles against Skynet’s forces all over the world. But the two most important ones were happening in Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado, where Skynet’s mainframe was housed. The other was here, in the Westside, where the real prize was; the site of Skynet’s second largest and most guarded underground complexes. The vast conclave was encircled with a lethal concentration of defensive machines. In the last two days, human casualties had been very high. But John knew that eventually they would win. They now had the firepower, and more importantly, the will.


They didn’t just walk in. Although the mainframe computer in Colorado had been destroyed, there were hundreds of autonomous terminators not under direct link command, still free to seek out human targets, and eliminate them.

Their internal power cells would keep them lethal for over a hundred years. John realized that the casualties would continue to mount, even after the war was won, until all the terminators could be eliminated.

Work In Progress / Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« on: September 20, 2016, 10:41:32 pm »
The issue with using the 'original' Terminator models is that they might not be compatible with whatever the mod will require for balanced gameplay.

I agree that having the T-700 series is a bit of a stretch as it only shows up in the T1 novelization; but the difference between the T-600 and T-800 is pretty big in all the known materiel -- e.g. in Salvation, the T-600s can be killed with conventional weapons; but when the T-800 prototype shows up, it takes all sorts of firepower and shrugs it off.

I think you could keep "balanced gameplay" and fit in with the "XCOM" style format of research, by having the game start just a little bit before the AGE OF PLASMA.

I once wrote a writeup on the future war as part of a Salvation: Seven Years On Review:


Internally, the looks of the movie (Terminator: Salvation) show that it's towards the end of the first phase of the War Against the Machines.

It's kind of hard to elaborate all this in a page or two; but it seems to me that the FUTURE WAR [tm] itself would logically go through multiple phases -- some possible ones being:


The immediate post-nuclear aftermath. John Connor is in Crystal Peak, helping organize survivors in his immediate area and maybe across the country through the facilities available there. Both sides (Skynet and Humanity) are recovering from the nuclear war -- Skynet's big problem is that the industrial facilities that it needs (prototype automated factories under USAF contract) are inconviently located near human population centers; and would be heavily damaged in any credible exchange.

Nobody other than John Connor and Katherine Brewster actually know about Skynet (except maybe a few USAF officers and scientists off-site who may have survived Judgement day.

Skynet itself would also be in a very weak position -- it only has very primitive Generation 0 Terminators from T3 (T-1 and the mini hunter killer) and maybe a few other experimental pieces of USAF equipment to help it. Being able to control every computer device in the world does you no good when about 60% of them got vaporized in Judgement day and the rest have no power.

What it does have is control over the few remaining comms nodes still active in the world. So it could "use" human survivors for it's own ends. Send out fake orders and comms calls to various survivor groups and have those survivor groups do missions for Skynet while it slowly readies it's automated forces.

"This is the acting president of the united states to anyone still alive in the San Bernando Valley."

"12315th Military Police Company here, sir."

"Son, we need you to get something for us. We need
  • ."

John Connor might even have done a few missions for Skynet himself without realizing it -- because even though he controls a key communications node, he's still very junior in rank at this time -- meaning he would have to defer to the surviving military officers.

Phase Zero would end with Skynet showing it's cards and revealing itself through various actions to be basically what John Connor said.


Salvation appears to take place at the very end of this phase. During this phase, Skynet and Humanity are largely using plausible extrapolations of real world technology:

Simple Non Human Terminators like the "Hydrobot" robot eel.
Derivatives of existing technology like the Moto-Terminators.
Advanced Generation 0+ stuff like the sleeker looking T-1s seen in two scenes.
T-600s (possible to build these, just look at Boston Dynamics' stuff today)

They're also all built using slightly more advanced extrapolations of modern technology -- for example, John Connor is able to easily defeat T-600s at point blank range with 7.62mm small arms (helicopter door machine gun), the bullets puncturing the T-600's casing and deadening it -- something I find plausible, because 5.56mm M995 AP can penetrate 12mm RHA at 100m; while 7.62mm M993 AP can penetrate 15mm RHA at 300m.

Additionally, Skynet doesn't have complete control of Earth yet.

The Resistance is able to contest the skies in limited amounts (A-10s), and has a small amount of surviving aerial hardware (C-130s, CV-22s, etc) in addition to (sigh) the Virginia SSN that acts as Resistance HQ.

There are also scattered bands of survivors (Gas station survivors) who think that Skynet might leave them alone if they don't make too much of a fuss.

There has to be a reason for this belief.

What I think Salvation is about is the transition between Phase 1 and Phase 2.


Skynet starts deploying increasingly advanced magitech, like hyperalloy terminators (the T-800 prototype seen in this one took repeated small arms hits at virtually point blank range with no damage), cloned flesh coverings (again, T-800 prototype), advanced power generation (the nuclear fusion batteries for the T-8xx series) and eventually man portable energy weapons.

Using all of these technologies applied to its stable of machines (bipedal terminators, tank terminators, and hunter killers), Skynet drives the Resistance from the skies and surface in a hail of firepower, starting the road to the familiar "future war" that we see in T1/T2 where the resistance moves slowly under cover of darkness.

Additionally, Skynet would have finally felt that it had enough capability to simply start exterminating people left and right instead of using them as production labor or ignoring them -- before the development of compact nuclear fuel cells or fusion reactors, it was too cost ineffective (efficiency wise) to send out HKs and combat units on roving search and destroy missions to eliminate human survivors -- if it costs 'X' tonnes of jet fuel to get 1~ human kill in a forest via aerial HK surveys...Skynet won't do that; causing a false belief amongst the hiding survivors that Skynet won't do anything to them if they don't make any problems.

But once Skynet has near unlimited energy...

Work In Progress / Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« on: September 19, 2016, 03:23:29 am »
* Regarding the Terminator series, this project takes place before any of the movies, i.e., Skynet hasn't sent any terminator to the past yet.

The original, original, original timeline.  ;D

I did find some interesting tidbits on the Terminator series from the original novelizations for T1 and T2, plus the script treatments for T1:

Terminator 1 Novelization:

Reese was still spinning on the barstool, his coat snapping back, the Remington coming up into both hands, when Terminator drew the .45 automatic. He had moved fast. So very fast. Faster than Reese had expected. Is he a seven hundred or an eight hundred. Reese hoped he was a seven.


Terminator hit the floor like a building falling into the street. He lay very still on the polished tile. Unmoving. Not even a twitch. The front of his jacket was a shredded field of perfectly tight little patterns of holes, each of them oozing crimson, which rapidly soaked the front of his jacket. He looked very dead.  He must have been a seven hundred,  Reese thought to himself.


He pulled the dead girl off and took Sarah’s hand. She shrank away from him like a terrified animal. Then Reese glanced out the front window and realized things were  worse than bad—it wasn’t a seven hundred. Quickly, he kneeled down beside Sarah and took hold of her arm. His voice was full of urgency. “Come with me if you want to live,” he said.


“The six hundred series had rubber skin. We nailed them easy. But the eight hundreds are new. They look human. Sweat, bad breath, everything. Touch it, you’d feel warmth. But by then you’d already be dead. Very hard to spot."


“So. You’re a soldier,” Silberman said with a smile of victory. “Fighting for whom?”

“With the one thirty-second under Perry. From ‘21 to ‘27.”


“Yes,” he replied. “Up to the end of the Oregon and New Mexico offensives. Then assigned Recon/Security, last two years, under John Connor."


“All over the cyborg’s body there were bruises and abrasions, some of the latter putrid with gangrene. The circulatory system had been shut down when the tiny pneumatic pump that maintained pressure had been obliterated by a twelve-gauge projectile.”


“Where a man’s heart would be, shielded in a case-hardened subassembly inside the hyperalloy torso, was the nuclear-energy cell. It supplied power to run the most sophisticated system of hydraulic actuators and servo-motors ever constructed, enough power to run the lights of a small city for a day. It was designed to last Terminator considerably longer, especially if intense activity was varied with conservation procedures.
 Terminator could keep operating at full power for twenty-four hours a day for 1,095 days
With conditions like those so far encountered on this mission, Terminator could operate indefinitely, plow through all opposition, and complete the target elimination, then stagger programless through the nuclear devastation caused by Skynet and walk up to its machine masters to be programmed anew.”

Terminator July 1982 Treatment Script

"It's called a cyborg really.

Cybernetic organism.

 machine put together with a living thing.

The skin, and
 some layers under it, the hair, the surface of the eyes,
 and the inside of the mouth... all that stuff's human
tissue, genetically designed for the cyborgs. But
 underneath it's all steel and titanium.  Hydraulic
 actuators instead of muscles.  Controlled by a
microcomputer.  It has to eat and breathe to keep the skin
alive, though a lot less than us... and there's a little
tiny heart and internal organs about the size of a
chicken's in a recessed compartment."

"This is insane."

"Yeah, tell me about it.  See, it sweats and has bad
breath and feels totally human, so it can infiltrate real
 well.  I mean, they still used the 600 Series Hunter-
Killers and the other 'roach patrol' machines but..."


According to Reese, due to loss of records during the
nuclear devastation, little information about the mother
of John Connor was available to the computer: only her
 name, age, and the city in which she lived up until 1982,
 after which she was known to have gone into hiding.

There was only one piece of information which would have
allowed the cyborg to identify her positively.

In Reese's future, Sarah Connor is known to have died in a
 raid at the age of 36 and been routinely autopsied by the
disposal machines.

This revealed to the computer the two
steel screws set in her tibia for a compound fracture
suffered in a figure skating accident in her teens.

So it appears that in the original, original timeline, you had:

T-600: Rubber Skinned Infiltrators.

T-700: Early Cloned Flesh Infiltrators. Easily destroyed with projectile weapons.

T-800: Late Cloned Flesh Infiltrators, hard to destroy.

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