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13 November 2010 @ 03:22 pm
Pre-post-apocalyptic fic on this fine Saturday  

I rewatched The Terminator earlier (short version: this movie still kicks ass) and can't leave well enough alone.

Title: Modern Oblivion
Pairings: Mostly gen, with mentions of Reese/Sarah and implied future!John Connor/Reese
Rating: Slightly NSFW
Word Count: 640
Summary: Reese gets a taste of life on a deadly mission.
Warnings (READ THEM): Canon character death, sort of unwitting time-paradox incest, some disturbing imagery. (Maybe it'd be shorter to say there's no explicit sex in this.)
Notes: I've been wondering about the events of the movie from Reese's perspective, since you could say that he dies without ever knowing whether the Terminator is destroyed for good, or if the one night with Sarah ultimately results in John's birth. The implications there are both interesting and kinda messed up, all things considered.
Disclaimer: Written for entertainment only, in no way associated with the makers of the film.

Modern Oblivion

His first glimpse of the past isn't that different from what is now the future – regular waste to his home's human waste and dust, the one constant of dust. The pain he blocks out as usual, walking on glass shards instead of shards of skulls.

Reese has never been to a city before, but running from police officers is no match for what he's had to run from in the past. The future, he corrects himself before it drives him crazy. This is 1984.


“I'll do it,” he speaks into the heavy air. The others take modest steps back, the brave fighting few. No one wants to follow the Terminator.

There's the ambient silence – the din that passes for silence in their world – as Reese stands under the scrutiny of John Connor, preparing to be asked why he's volunteering with every fresh second spent like this.

But John says nothing of the sort, only approaches him and pats his shoulder. The closest they have to thanks between them now. What comes next is an order: “When you find Sarah, tell her this.” And he gives Reese the message, makes him repeat it.


The third time Reese wavers, and John grabs his face in desperation, forcing their eyes to meet just as an explosion rattles the captured building. “We don't have time for this!” he snarls. “Say it right.”

Reese doesn't protest, doesn't complain the message is too long when John mutters it with him the next time, and listens twice more after that. They have no ink, paper or personal computers. Here, human communication is the spoken word.

After one more time John embraces him, curt and forceful as he always is, before giving Reese up to the machine.

No one is coming home.


Reese has never met the face from the photograph before. He's never even held a photograph, save the one of Sarah he'd been given, and even that ended up in flames in the other world.

Then he remembers this is the other world, and that it's gone.

He tells Sarah as much as he can in the short intervals of ceasefire, surprised not when she assumes he's raving but when she starts to believe him. He relays the message from her son, eventually, the speech correct and automatic from the rehearsal. In the morning calm under the bridge, it occurs to Reese that he's never talked this much in his life – not to John, not in vain to the photograph. Sarah herself takes turns between acceptance and incredulous anger at being told her own history, and Reese doesn't do much to sway her either way.

As they cross the grassy clearing through the mist, the realization dawns on Reese that everything he's admired in John back in their world of fear and burned-out television screens must have come from the legend, from Sarah Connor in this nonexistent landscape.


“Move it, Reese! On your feet, soldier, on your feet!”

Pleading would never have done the trick but the command gets him going instantly, and if there's anything the two of them have on the machine on their tail, it's adrenaline.

The factory's a blur around him, maybe as it is for the Terminator with all the industrial hum switched on. Reese could deal with it, welcome the end when it came. For all his love for Sarah, all his commitment to her survival, he doesn't really want to know if she will have that history-making child by him.

The pain getting impossible to ignore, Reese gets the makeshift explosive ready. Cyberdyne 101 might be single-minded, but that doesn't mean Reese isn't too as he sticks the charge in the metal torso. This better finally finish it–

And the old world goes up in flames.

puddingikipud on November 13th, 2010 03:46 pm (UTC)
You are awesome for writing this O: It's really interesting reading this as Reese's perspective. I never really thought about the fact that he didn't know for sure whether it was destroyed or whether he was John's father. It's kind of sad really. Poor guy :(

Dammit I want to watch this film again now (for what, the 12058560th time now? XD )
See you later, instigator: 30StM - Revolution (by blokkengraphics)oudeteron on November 13th, 2010 04:27 pm (UTC)
And you flatter me! :D It's funny I never considered Reese much when I watched the movie before, but this time I followed him from the start and thought "damn, did he even know what we viewers take for granted?" Then this fic kinda... happened. XD

Sled: gwendalslamduncan21 on November 13th, 2010 05:20 pm (UTC)
AHHH you are just as adept at writing longer fics! O_O


It's nice..."the third time Reese wavers" ;____; This more than makes up for the fact that I didn't get to watch it for Halloween when I got outvoted 5 to 1 for Zombieland. T_____T
See you later, instigator: Adrian - Nostalgia by Veidtoudeteron on November 13th, 2010 05:48 pm (UTC)
Cut it out, you're making me blush! XD

It's actually pretty hard to repeat a longer speech several times in a row. Damn Connor for being so forceful. XD And I am appalled this film got outvoted; it's such an awesome survival horror after all.