COMPOUND - DAY (LATE AFTERNOON): Sarah sits at the picnic table. The weapons are cleaned and her work is done. She hasn't slept in twenty-four hours and she seems to have the weight of the whole world on her shoulder. She draws her knife from its belt sheath. Idly starts to carve something on the table top... the letter "N". Not far away, John and Terminator are packing the Bronco for the trip.
Sarah, at the table as she looks up from her carving, thinking. She watches Salceda's kids playing nearby... wrestling with a mutty dog and loving it. Sarah watches Yolanda walking her toddler by her hands. Backlit, stylized. She looks over at John. Loading guns and supplies. We see kids playing. Sarah's head droops. She closes her eyes.
Tight on small children playing. Different ones. Wider now, to reveal a playground in a park. Very idyllic. A dream playground, crowded with laughing children playing on swings, slides, and a jungle gym. It could be the playground we saw melted and frozen in the post-nuclear desolation of 2029. But here the grass is vibrant green and the sun is shining.
Sarah, short-haired, looking drab and paramilitary, stands outside the playground. An outsider. Her fingers are hooked in a chain-link fence and she is staring through the fence at the young mothers playing with their kids. A grim-faced harbinger. Some girls play skip-rope. Their sing-song weaves through the random burbling laughter of the kids. One of the young mothers walks her two-year-old son by the hands.
She is wearing a pink waitress uniform. She turns to us, laughing. It is Sarah. Beautiful. Radiant. Sarah from another life, uncontaminated by the dark future. She glances at the strange woman beyond the fence. Grim-faced Sarah presses against the fence. She starts shouting at them in slow motion.
No sound comes from her mouth. She grabs the fence in frustration, shaking it. Screaming soundlessly. Waitress Sarah's smile falls. Then returns as her little boy throws some sand at her. She laughs, turns away, as if the woman at the fence were a shadow, a trick of light.
The sky explodes. The children ignite like match heads. Sarah is burning, screaming silently, everything silent and overexposed.
The blast wave hits... devouring the cowering mothers and children. Sarah's scream merges with the howl of the wind as the shockwave rips into her, blasting her apart and she... Wakes up. All is quiet and normal. The children are still playing nearby. Less than fifteen minutes have gone by. Bathed in sweat, Sarah sits hunched over the table. Every muscle is shaking. She is gasping.
Sarah struggles to breathe, running her hand through her hair which is soaked with sweat, She can escape from the hospital, but she can't escape from the madness which haunts her. She looks down at the words she has carved on the table, amid the scrawled hearts and bird-droppings. They are: "NO FATE." Something changes in her eyes. She slams her knife down in the table top, embedding it deeply in the words. Then gets up suddenly and we --
LONG LENS on Sarah walking toward us, striding across the compound with grim purpose. She carries a small nylon pack and a CAR-15 assault rifle. Her face is an impassive mask. She has become a terminator. John looks up from his work in time to see Sarah throw the rifle behind the seat of their stolen pickup, jump in and start it. She slams it in gear. Salceda walks up to John.
SALCEDA: She said you go south with him... (he points at Terminator) ... tonight, like you planned. She will meet you tomorrow in...
But John is moving, running after her.
JOHN: Mommm!! Wait!!
MOVING WITH SARAH as she leaves the compound. We see John running after her... yelling. Can't hear his words. She looks in the rear- view mirror but doesn't slow down.
EXT. COMPOUND - DUSK/MINUTES LATER: John and Terminator ponders the message carved into the top of the picnic table. Sarah's knife is still embedded there.
JOHN: "No fate." No fate but what we make. My father told her this... I mean I made him memorize it, up in the future, as a message to her -- Never mind. Okay, the whole thing goes "The future is not set. There is no fate but what we make for ourselves."
TERMINATOR: She intends to change the future somehow.
JOHN: I guess, yeah -- (snaps his fingers as it hit him) Oh shit!!
JOHN: Yeah, gotta be! Miles Dyson! She's gonna blow him away!
John motions to Terminator and breaks into a run.
JOHN: Come on. Let's go. LET'S GO!!
INT./EXT. SARAH'S JEEP - DUSK Sarah speeds through the darkening desert. Expressionless. In her dark glasses, she looks as pitiless as an insect. DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. HIGHWAY - NIGHT TRACKING WITH THE BRONCO, Terminator and John heading toward L.A.
TERMINATOR: This is tactically dangerous.
JOHN: Drive faster.
TERMINATOR: The T-1000 has the same files that I do. It could anticipate this move and reacquire you at Dyson's house.
JOHN: I don't care. We've gotta stop her.
TERMINATOR: Killing Dyson might actually prevent the war.
JOHN: I don't care!! There's gotta be another way. Haven't you learned anything?! Haven't you figured out why you can't kill people?
Terminator is still stumped.
JOHN: Look, maybe you don't care if you live or die. But everybody's not like that! Okay?! We have feelings. We hurt. We're afraid. You gotta learn this stuff, man, I'm not kidding. It's important.
PANNING as they pass, revealing the lights of the city ahead.
EXT, DYSON'S HOUSE - NIGHT The house is high-tech and luxurious. Lots of glass. Dyson's study is lit bluish with the glow of his computer monitors. He is at the terminal, working. Where else? We see him clearly in a long shot from an embankment behind the house.
A DARK FIGURE moves into the foreground. Rack focus to Sarah as she turns into profile. She raises the CAR-15 rifle and begins screwing the long heavy cylinder of a sound-suppresser onto the end of the barrel.
INT. DYSON HOUSE Dyson's kids, Danny and Blythe, are playing in the halls with a radio- controlled off-road truck. Danny drives and Blythe scampers after it, trying to catch it. They stop in the hall outside Dyson's study and sees him working at his terminal. Danny puts a finger to his lips, shushing Blythe. His expression is mischievous. With the silencer in place, Sarah eases back the bolt and then slips it forward, chambering a .223 round.
Then she lies down on the embankment. He cheek pressed against the cool rifle-stock, she slides one hand slowly forward to brace the weapon, taking the weight on her elbow. Her other hand slips knowingly to the trigger. Her expression is cold, impassive. She looks through the scope at the man in the house. She feels nothing as she raises the rifle.
INT. DYSON'S HOUSE DYSON, in deep thought. The rhythmic sounds of keys as he works. Symbols on the screen shift. ON HIS BACK we see the glowing red dot appear. It is the target dot of Sarah's laser designator. It moves silently up his back toward his head.
EXT. DYSON HOUSE/EMBANKMENT IN EXTREME CLOSEUP we see Sarah's eye at the night-scope. TIGHT INSERT on her finger as it tightens on the trigger, taking out the slack. She takes a deep breath and holds it. Adjusts her position minutely.
INT. DYSON HOUSE The laser dot jiggles on the back of Dyson's neck and then rises, centering on the back of his skull.
LOW ANGLE as Danny's Bigfoot truck roars toward us -- FILLING FRAME. Thump. It hits Dyson's foot. He jerks, startled, and looks down as -- POP!! His monitor screen is BLOWN OUT spraying his with glass. He jerks back, utterly shocked... and spins to see the huge hole blown through the window behind him.
This saves him as K-THUMP! -- the second shot blows the top of his high-backed chain into an explosion of stuffing an inch from his head. Instinctively he dives to the carpet as -- BLAM BLAM BLAM -- rounds blast through the window, tearing into his desk and computer, blowing his keyboard into shrapnel.
With the monitor screen blown out, the room is in darkness. Sarah can't see Dyson now, down behind his desk. She puts round after round into the heavy desk, blasting one side of it into kindling. Dyson, scared out of his mind, has his face jammed against the carpet, terrified to move. He sees his kids in the hall.
DYSON: Run, kids! Go! Run!
IN THE HALL, TARISSA rounds the corner at a dead run. She sees the kids running toward her and grabs them in her arms. Down the hall, in the dark study, she sees Dyson on the floor amid the splinters and shrapnel of the continuing fusillade.
TARISSA: Miles! Oh my God!!
MILES: Stay back!!
ON THE FLOOR, Dyson flinches as chucks of wood and shattered computer components shower down on him. He looks desperately toward the door, but knows he'd be totally exposed. He'd never make it.
SARAH's rifle empties with a final CLACK! She throws it down and draws her .45 smoothly from a shoulder base. She starts toward the house, snapping back the slide on the pistol, chambering a round. She is in a fast, purposeful walk, keeping her eyes fixed on the target. She is utterly determined to kill this man.
FROM UNDER THE DESK Dyson can see a sliver in the backyard. He sees Sarah's feet as she strides toward him. He tenses to make a break for the door. Sarah raises the pistol, eyes riveted ahead, controlling her breathing. Dyson springs up in a full-tilt sprint. She tracks him. He hooks a foot on the cord of a toppled disk drive.
BOOM! Her shot blows apart a lamp where his head was. He hits the floor hard, but keeps moving, scrambling forward. Crunch of glass behind his as Sarah's dark form is framed in the blown-out floor-to-ceiling window. Dyson leaps toward the hall.
BOOM! Her second shot spins him. He hits the floor in the hallway. Tarissa is screaming. Dyson struggles forward, stunned. There is a .45-caliber hole clean through his left shoulder. He smears the wall with blood as he staggers up. Looking back, he sees the implacable figure behind him, coming on. He topples through a doorway as -- BOOM! BOOM! Shots blowing away the molding where he just was.
EXT. DYSON HOUSE/STREET Terminator and John leap from the jeep, sprinting toward the house. The shots sound muffles from outside. JOHN Shit, we're too late!
INT. HOUSE Advancing with Sarah we enter the living area. Tarissa has Blythe and she's screaming at Danny, who has run back to his collapsed father.
TARISSA: Danny! DANNY! DANNY Daaaaddddeeee!
Danny is pulling at Dyson, crying and screaming, as his father tries to stagger forward. Tarissa drops Blythe and runs back for Dyson, grabbing him. Sarah looms behind them with the pistol aimed.
SARAH: Don't fucking move! Don't FUCKING MOVE!! (she swings the gun on Tarissa) Get on the floor, bitch! Now!! Fucking down! NOW!!
Sarah is crazy-eyed now, shaking with the intensity of the moment. The kill has gone bad, with screaming kids and the wife involved... things she never figured on. Tarissa drops to the knees, terrified as she looks into the muzzle of the gun. Blythe runs to Dyson and hugs him, wailing.
BLYTHE: Don't hurt my father!
SARAH (screaming): Shut up, kid! Get out of the way!!
Dyson looks up, through his pain and incomprehension. Why is this nightmare happening? The black gun muzzle is a foot from his face.
DYSON (gasping): Please... let... the kids... go...
SARAH: Shut up! SHUT UP!! Motherfucker! It's all your fault! IT'S YOUR FAULT!!
We see her psyching herself to pull the trigger... needing now to hate this man she doesn't know. It's a lot harder face-to-face. She is bathed in sweat, and it runs into her eyes. Blinking, she wipes it fast with one hand, then gets it back on the gun. The .45 is trembling.
TIGHT ON SARAH as we see the forces at war behind her eyes. She looks into the faces of Dyson, Tarissa, Blythe, Danny. Sarah takes a sharp breath and all the muscles in her arms contract as she tenses to fire. But her finger won't do it. She lowers the gun very slowly. It drops to her side in one hand. All the breath and energy seems to go out of her.
She weakly raises her other hand in a strange gesture, like "Stay where you are, don't move". As if, should they move, the fragile balance might tip back the other way. She backs away from them slowly, panting. It's as if she's backing away in terror from what she almost did. She reaches a wall and slumps against it. Slides down to her knees. The gun falls limply from her fingers. She rests her cheek against the wall.
The front door is kicked in. Terminator steps inside. John grabs his sleeve and pushes past him. He scopes out the situation in two seconds... Sarah, the gun, the sobbing family. John moves to Sarah while Terminator checks Dyson. John kneels in front of his mother. She raises her head to look at him. He sees the tears spilling down her cheeks,
JOHN: Mom? You okay?
SARAH: I couldn't... oh, God. (she seems to she him for the first time) You... came here... to stop me?
JOHN: Uh huh.
She reaches out and takes his shoulder suddenly, surprising him... drawing him to her. She hugs him and a great sob wells up deep inside her, from a spring she had thought long dry. She hugs him fiercely as the sobs wrack her. John clutches her shoulders. It is all he ever wanted. JOHN It's okay. It'll by okay. We'll figure it out.
SARAH: I love you, John. I always have.
JOHN: I know, Mom. I know.
TARISSA looks around at the bizarre tableau. Terminator has wordlessly ripped open Dyson's shirt and examined the wound.
TERMINATOR: Clean penetration. No shattered bone. Compression should control the loss of blood.
He takes Tarissa's hands and presses them firmly over the entrance and exit wounds.
TERMINATOR: Do you have bandages?
DYSON: In the bathroom. Danny, can you get them for us?
Danny nods and runs down the hall. John disengages from Sarah. She wipes her tears, the instinct to toughen up taking over again. But the healing moment has had its effect, nevertheless. John walks toward Dyson and Terminator.
DYSON: Who are you people?
John draws the Biker's knife from Terminator's boot. Hands it to him.
JOHN: Show him.
Terminator takes off his jacket to reveal bare arms. John takes Blythe by the hands and leads her down the hall, away from what is about to happen. Tight on Terminator's left forearm as the knife makes a deep cut just below the elbow. In one smooth motion, Terminator cuts all the way around his arm. With a second cut, he splits the skin of the forearm from elbow to wrist. Terminator grasps the skin and strips is off his forearm like a surgeon rips off a rubber glove.