It punches into Terminator's back, through a gap in the shattered armor. The T-1000 levers it back and forth, widening the hole. Then is raises the pointed bar again and slams it down. It punches right through. Emerging from Terminator's chest. And into the floor. He is pinioned. The cyborg sags face down and stop moving. The light goes out of his eye.
INT. MAZE OF MACHINERY John scuttles like a rat through the gut of the smelter. Above him, vast machines churn untended. He hears a voice... SARAH'S Calling low and urgent to him.
SARAH: John? John? Can you hear me? Where are you?
He crawls out of the shadows. Onto a landing next to one of the SMELTER CRUCIBLES. Molten steel glows bright orange in the crucible of the furnace. Heat shimmers the air, giving everything a hallucinatory quality. John sees Sarah nearby, limping toward him. She can barely move, her leg bathed in blood. He runs toward her.
SARAH (gasping): Help me, honey...
TIGHT ON SARAH, her stoic face, as she hobbles forward, reaching out to him. Something rises behind her, OUT OF FOCUS. ANOTHER, IDENTICAL, SARAH... but this one has a shotgun. Aimed right at us.
JOHN freezes. Which is which? He looks down. The first Sarah's feet are melded with the floor, sucking and fusing with the tiles as she walks. They have the color and pattern of the tiles up to the knee.
SARAH: John, get out of the way!!
JOHN (screaming): SHOOT!!!!
John dives aside. The Sarah-form spins, changing into you-know-who. Sarah starts unloading the shotgun into it.
BOOM! It staggers back. K-CHAK. She chambers another round. BOOM! It staggers again.
K-CHAK. BOOM! And again. And again. The T-1000 is blown back a step and Sarah advances with each shot. The craters in the T-1000's body "heal" slowly. Its power is waning. She FIRES again. And again. Her eyes blazing with feral intensity. She walks it back, right to the edge of the pit of MOLTEN STEEL.
K-CHAK... CLICK. She's empty. The T-1000 is right at the edge. In a second it will recover its composure, as its crater hits close slowly. She has failed. Now it will kill them both, Except...
CLOSEUP TERMINATOR, as the chain drive brings it into view. Half human flesh, half chrome steel. His red eye gazes right at us as he -- FIRES. The T-1000 takes the round in the belly. The grenade EXPLODES inside its body. A huge hole is blown clean through it, and it is ripped open and peeled back, half inside-out.
It topples into the molten steel and -- The T-1000's head and upper body reappear above the molten steel. It is screaming. A terrifying, inhuman siren of a scream. It is changing, morphing, transforming into anything and everything it's ever been so rapidly the eye can barely follow it --
We catch a glimpse of Janelle Voight checkered with the linoleum tile colors, Lewis the Guard with knives exploding from his face, other faces, switching at a stroboscopic rate now... a face every two frames until they merge into one face -- The T-1000 screams and slips beneath the surface of the molten steel. We see liquid silver running in dissipating whorls over the superheated surface... until it vanishes, swirling into nothing.
JOHN runs to Sarah. She stands staring into the pit. The empty shotgun slips from her fingers. Clatters to the floor. He sees that she's okay and he runs to the fallen Terminator. The crippled cyborg is trying to rise. Its servos whine and stutter. It pathetically lifts itself to a kneeling position, collapses... tries again. John lifts for all he's worth. Sarah joins them, helping. The help the crippled machine get on its feet. It can barely stand.
TERMINATOR: I need a vacation.
They walk to the edge of the pit. Terminator looks down and sees that it is over.
JOHN (to Terminator): Is it dead?
John unzips Sarah's backpack and takes out the hand of the first terminator.
JOHN: Will it melt in there?
TERMINATOR: Yes. Throw it in. He does. It sinks into the lava. Vanishes.
TERMINATOR: And the chip.
John takes it out of his pocket. Looks at it. Tosses it into the smelter.
SARAH: It's finally over.
TERMINATOR: No. There is another chip.
He touches a metal finger to the side of his head.
TERMINATOR: And it must be destroyed also.
John suddenly understands what he means. Terminator looks at Sarah. They both know what must be done. John shakes his head.
TERMINATOR: I'm sorry, John.
JOHN: No, no no!! It'll be okay. Stay with us!
TERMINATOR: I have to go away, John.
JOHN: Don't do it. Please... don't go --
Tears are streaming down his face. Terminator, turning toward John, the human side of his face is in shadow, so we see mostly the chrome skull and the red eye.
TERMINATOR: It must end here... or I am the future.
JOHN: I order you not to!
Terminator puts his hand on John's shoulder. He moves slightly and the human side of his face comes into the light. He reaches toward John's face. His metal finger touches the tear trickling down his cheek.
TERMINATOR: I know now why you cry. But it is something I can never do. (to both of them) Goodbye.
Sarah looks at Terminator. Reaches out her hand to shake it. They lock eyes. Warriors. Comrades.
SARAH: Are you afraid?
He turns and steps off the edge. They watch him sink into the lava. He disappears... the metal hand sinking last...
At the last second it forms into a fist with the thumb extended... a final thumbs up.
Then it is gone. John and Sarah watch through the heat ripples.
The sun, pure in a cloudless sky, revealing that we are in a park, very green. People are casually dressed, having fun. Cycling, reading... children are playing in a playground. Beyond the line of trees we see the skyline of Washington, D.C., with the Capital Building and the Washington Monument. The skyline is subtly changed, with a lot of new buildings, advanced high-rises.
A card appears: July 11, 2029. We see a playground in the foreground. Children swinging on swings. Sliding down slides. Timeless things that four decades of technical advancement will not change. We pass a jungle gym, neither melted nor burned, but full of kids swinging and yelling raucously. Past it we drop down to see a boy pumping the pedals of a tricycle. As we track we hear:
SARAH (V.O.): August 29th 1997 came and went. Nothing much happened. Michael Jackson turned forty. There was no Judgment Day. People went to work as they always do, laughed, complained, watched TV, made love. I wanted to run down the street yelling... to grab them all and say "Every day from this day is a gift. Use it well!" Instead I got drunk. That was thirty years ago.
We come to rest on an elderly woman seated on a bench. It is Sarah, now 64 years old. The world has aged her, but she seems at peace in this moment. She speaks into a microcassette recorder.
SARAH (V.O.): But the dark future which never came still exists for me, and it always will, like the traces of a dream lingering in the morning light. And the war against the machines goes on. Or, to be more precise, the war against those who build the wrong machines. John fights the war differently than it was foretold. Here, on the battlefield of the Senate, the weapons are common sense... and hope.
There is a man in is forties playing with two small children nearby. He turns. It is John Connor. Though he has the same stern features in adulthood, there is no eye-patch, no scarring. He is far from the haggard man on grim destiny we saw in the world that might have been. But there is still penetrating intelligence, even wisdom, in his eyes. A four-year-old girl runs to her to have her shoelace tied.
GIRL: Tie me, grandma.
Grandma Sarah smiles. It is the only time we have seen her smile so far. She bends as the little girls puts her foot up on the bench. She ties as we hear:
SARAH (V.O.): The luxury of hope was given to me by the Terminator. Because if a machine can learn the value of human life... maybe we can too.
Sarah ruffles the kids's hair as she runs off to play with her dad.