The Rebuilding
by Vinsmouse

Alternate Universe "Terminator"

The universe is new, my creation and will be open as I indicate at the end of the story in my note.

I don't own The Magnificent Seven or The Terminator, not making any money, just cheap thrills. Any recognizable characters belong to their respective creators.

Warnings: Violence

Not crossed with anything other than Terminator, but mention of Without a Trace, The Sentinel, Dukes of Hazzard and Due South. Blink and you may miss it and for the record, I don't own them either.

It's now 2110. John Connor was killed in the war against Skynet in the year 2035, leaving behind a 16-year-old son. His son carried on with the war, stepping into his father's role as leader of the resistance, in spite of those who stood against him, arguing he was too young. He was himself killed in the year 2070, leaving behind a daughter, Sarah, John Connor's granddaughter who was 25 at the time of her father's death. She was able to take over her father's role, succeeding where both her father and grandfather had failed, she led the resistance to a crushing victory against Skynet. Unfortunately she was killed in this epic battle, along with her younger son Adam, leaving behind her thirty-year-old son, Christopher Connor Larabee. Ten years later, humanity is just barely recovering from the long years of war with Skynet. In Four Corners, his grandfather's old headquarters, Chris has gathered together a group of men to help in establishing law and order in this new world.

Chris stood outside the newly constructed jail, his eyes wandering over the street, automatically searching for any signs of danger. A smile lit up his face at the sight of Buck and JD coming down the street towards him. It had been a long road getting here, and he knew that he owed his old friend a debt he could never hope to repay. It was Buck who had stood by him in the years following the deaths of his mother and younger brother. He wasn't the only one who had lost somebody in the long war with Skynet, but in those first years he had been hard-pressed to remember that fact.

Buck had lost his own mother only a year before that final battle, after having lost his own younger brother years before in a sneak attack upon the small settlement of humans where his mother had left Cory. She had thought he would be safer there than with her, forgetting that there was no place truly safe from the machines. Chris smiled again as JD took off after Buck, determined to retrieve his hat, again. JD reminded Chris of Cory, not in the way he looked so much as in his behavior. JD had only been a child when the war came to a sudden end, allowing him to grow up with a certain amount of innocence still intact. An innocence that Cory Wilmington hadn't yet lost at the time of his death. It was no wonder that Buck had taken JD under his wing, offering his guidance and support as the younger man matured into a man to ride the river with.

JD, had suffered his own losses of course. His loss however wasn't connected to the war, not directly anyway. Two years ago the young man's mother had fallen ill, unfortunately there was no treatment for the disease that took her from the child she loved, leaving him alone in the world. There were a lot of people dying from diseases that the oral history told them had once been curable. No longer was that true, the war with the machines had cost them a lot as a people, maybe even their very humanity. No, that wasn't right, men like JD proved there was still humanity left in people, still good that was worth fighting for. A voice at his side interrupted his thoughts.

"Chris, everything okay?"

Turning his attention to the young man standing next to him, he nodded. Vin was another one that gave him hope, harder than JD, though not much older, he still managed to maintain his sense of right and wrong. Something he could thank his mother for, in spite of his young age when his mother died, another victim of a wasting disease, Vin still remembered her. Most importantly he remembered the pride she'd taken in the name Tanner and he did his best to live up to that name. His father had been killed five years later and Vin had been taken in by a group of Kiowa. They did their best to practice the old ways even as they fought the machines and they passed those ways on to Tanner. He quickly picked up the lessons in living with the land, tracking and shooting especially, making him an asset to the resistance. Along with these practical lessons, he also soaked up the moral lessons they taught in their stories, giving him a strong moral compass to guide him through life. "Find anything at Guy Royal's?"

"Something suspicious going on there, looks like he's messing with a terminator," Vin rasped.

"Damn, I was hoping the reports were wrong," Chris growled. He couldn't believe there were actually idiots out there who thought they could rebuild and control the inactive terminators that were often found. There were numerous regions on the planet, each run by different factions with different agendas and goals. However there was one thing common to all regions, no matter what their differenences, they had all agreed that any time a terminator was discovered it would be melted down, leaving nothing behind. Of course there was always some idiot like Royal, men too arrogant to believe they couldn't control the killing machines. They had gotten a report two days ago that Guy had found a terminator on a remote part of his land. That was disturbing enough, but apparently he intended to reprogram it to obey him, giving him the perfect hired gun to use against his neighbors as he tried to gain control of the Four Corners region. "What exactly did you see Vin?"

"There's a lot of coming and going, more than there should be. Looks like he's making plans for some kind of big push."

"What makes ya think he's got a terminator?"

"Seen this one big guy, patch over one eye."

"Hell Vin, there's plenty of big guys around and lots of men are missing pieces thanks to the war," Chris scoffed.

"Know that Larabee, but this one," Vin shook his head as if to clear it, "he don't smell right. Makes the hair on my neck stand up."

"We got any ammo left?" Chris knew Vin would understand he meant ammo that would stop a terminator.

"Nope, I done sent Josiah and Ezra over to Eagle Bend. They ain't got much themselves, but they can spare us a few rounds."

"Guess we better make them count," Chris mumbled.

"Yep," Vin casually agreed. "I'll let Nathan know he better get set up for casualities, may get a few."

Chris watched him go, he could always count on Vin to see what was needed and take care of it. Unlike some who had to be ordered to their duties. He smiled fondly as he thought of Ezra and Josiah out on the trail. He sympathized with Josiah, he knew it wasn't easy listening to Ezra complain about life on the trail. Thankfully Josiah understood that Ezra used his complaints about dirt and primative conditions as a cover for the real problem, and so he let it wash off him like water off a duck's back. It had been an accident, their discovery of why Ezra hated the trail so much and if Chris could spare him that chore he would. Ezra's mother, Maude, had managed to travel to Four Corners, having discovered where her son was. It was clear they had a strange and strained relationship, it was equally clear that they loved each other very much. It was during that visit, when young Billy Travis had wandered off, that Josiah and Chris found out the truth. They hadn't meant to, but after the boy had been found hiding in an old mine they had noticed Ezra quickly walking away. Worried about their resident conman they had followed him, only to overhear him being comforted by his mother. Rooted to the spot, they heard how Ezra had witnessed his father's death while on a trip for supplies only a couple of years after the end of the war. Though a man himself, he had been injured when raiders attacked, unable to move, he could only lie helplessly as his father was murdered for their few supplies. Ezra had been left where he fell, the fact he had survived had been amazing, his full recovery had been an outright miracle.

Josiah had taken to Ezra from the beginning, but it was this revelation that solidified his relationship with the younger man. Taking on the role of big brother, father and advisor all in one, Josiah did his best to help the younger man with his doubts and fears. Josiah had, after the war, found an ancient library in a ruined city. Thirsty for knowledge, he had read through those books which had survived, many of them dealing with philosophy and the study of the mind. Having been raised by a man who believed that humans were being punished by God for their sins, Josiah had broke with his father many years before the war ended. Now he wanted to help his fellow man as humanity struggled to rebuild a world worth living in, not just a place to survive. Absorbing the wisdom he found in these books, he went in search of more, even spending some time with the Kiowa. All of these things had left him as the ideal person to guide Ezra, as well as others in the region as they dealt with their demons.

"Chris," Vin called.

Chris turned, surprised to see Vin heading towards him, Nettie Wells at his side. Pushing himself away from the post, he met them half-way. "What's up?"

"Nettie said Guy Royal came to her place earlier, told her she has twenty-four hours to get or he'll burn her out."

"You see any sign of a terminator with him Nettie?" he asked the elderly woman.

"You mean to tell me that old fool actually has a terminator?"

"Looks that way," Chris confirmed. "I don't want you or Casey staying out there by yourselves, it isn't safe."

"I agree, we'll stay in town. You're going to take care of him, aren't you?"

"We're gonna do our best Nettie. Ezra and Josiah are on their way to Eagle Bend for some ammo right now, they should be back before noon tomorrow. That'll give us a couple of hours to get ready for Guy Royal."

"Good, you boys be careful Chris, we've buried enough good men thanks to the terminators, don't need to bury no more. If you don't kill Guy Royal, I'd like a shot at whats left of him, damned fool, he's likely to get us all killed," she growled.

"Don't you worry Nettie, we ain't gonna let that happen," Vin assured her. "Come on, I'll take ya over to the rooming house," he offered.

"Thank you Vin, come on Casey," she called to her niece.

"Other than Royal, how're you and Casey doing?" Vin asked.

"We're doing good, the crops are coming along fine. Should be enough to feed the the town for about a quarter of the winter," Nettie replied. Her place, along with several others in the area, grew the crops that would be put into community storage silos, guranteeing that all would eat come winter. Most didn't have a problem with this arrangement, but there were always a few like Guy Royal who wanted to control everything. Seemed like they hadn't learned anything from the nearly hundred years of war all of humanity had endured. No sooner had the war ended and men like Royal were trying to seize power, going by the old adage might makes right. Thank the heavens for men like Chris Larabee and the rest of the seven. That boy was a credit to his family, leading his sector of humanity into a brighter future just as his ancestors had fought to free them of the machines that tried to eradicate them.

Communication between the various regions of the planet were spotty, but they were able to maintain some contact. Enough to know that there were others spread around the world who were doing the same as the seven protectors here in Four Corners region, and by all accounts doing it well. In the east there was a man by the name of Jack Malone leading his own team, in the south they had heard a family by the name of Duke was instrumental in keeping that region forging ahead and on the right track. To the northwest a man named Banks led a team of his own, and further north a man named Frazier worked to lead his area into the future. She was sure there were others further south and overseas, but they were lucky to have what information they did from those closest to them. Information from farther afield was so hard to come by that it could only be considered rumor and legend. "Thank you for the escort Vin, but you'd better get back to Chris so ya can plan your next move," she smiled.

"Yes ma'am," he agreed, leaving her at the door of the rooming house.

As they'd expected the next day Ezra and Josiah returned with the necessary ammo. The seven men mounted their horses and rode hell bent for leather to Nettie Wells' place. They were waiting there when Guy Royal arrived, with his terminator in tow.

"Nettie Wells!" Guy hollered.

"Nettie ain't here Royal, will we do?" Chris asked, stepping onto the porch.

"My business is with Nettie Wells, not you," Guy sputtered. Damn, he should've known the old bat would go to the seven.

"Where'd you find him?" Vin asked, nodding to the terminator. "He sure is ugly enough," he commented of the large machine sitting astride a very nervous horse. The terminator was obviously damaged, missing one eye and most of it's hair, Guy had dressed it in an effort to disguise it's origins. He had failed miserably.

"Who? Bob Spikes?" Guy asked innocently.

"Terminator ya mean," Vin corrected. "Ya know the penalty for reactivating a termintor."

"I didn't know he was a terminator," came the expected protest.

"Sure ya didn't," Chris scoffed.

JD laughed, "Hell even I can tell he's a terminator."

"Y'all might want to step away from him," Vin warned.

"What?" Guy jerked in his saddle to stare at the tracker.

Vin just nodded, bringing the older man's attention to Buck and Ezra who were bringing their weapon to bear on the terminator. He grinned when Royal and his few men scrambled for cover.

As soon as they saw the men running for cover, Ezra and Buck fired the weapon at the terminator who still sat astride his horse, awaiting an order. They hated to kill the poor horse but it was inevitable as the round found it's target, burying itself in the terminator's chest and exploding, leaving nothing but scattered pieces of the killing machine.

"You sons of bitches, who the hell do you think you are?" Guy Royal yelled, angry that his plans had been ruined. "You think just cause you're the great, great, grandson of John Connor you can run roughshod over everybody," he accused Chris.

"Looks to me like you're the one trying to run roughshod Guy," Chris smirked. "Guy Royal, you're under arrest for reactivating a terminator and attempting to use it against your neighbors."

"I wasn't doing any such thing, why I just came over here to talk to Nettie. I had no idea Spikes was a terminator," he insisted.

"That''ll be up to the judge to decide, you coming peacefully?"

"I'll come," Guy agreed. He wasn't worried, it was really their word against his. He couldn't prove that he didn't know it was a terminator, but they couldn't prove that he did know; stalemate. The judge would have no choice but to drop the charges. Ordering his men to lay down their guns, he allowed Larabee to escort them all to the jail.

Chris watched as Josiah and Nathan shackled Royal and his men, helping them onto their horses. Thankfully Guy had recognized a losing battle when he saw it and the only casualty was the terminator. Leaving Vin and Buck behind to gather the pieces for melting down, Chris mounted up and led the others, with their prisoners, back to town.

Three days later Orrin Travis arrived to conduct the trial. Unfortunately Guy Royal was correct in his thoughts, with no concrete evidence that he knew Spikes to be a terminator, he had to let him go. "Mr. Royal I may have to release you, but we all know the truth, don't bother to deny it." he cut him off before he could say a word in his defense. " I'm warning you now, if you're ever again caught with a terminator in your possession it will be taken as proof of your guilt and you will be hanged."

"Yes sir, your honor," Guy smirked.

Orrin shook his head, disgusted with Guy Royal and all those like him. "Get the hell out of my courtroom," he ordered.

"Ya think we'll have any more trouble out of him?" JD asked as they watched Guy and his men leaving town.

"Count on it kid," Vin answered.

"Yep," Josiah agreed.

"Oh well, if it ain't him, it'll be somebody else," Buck added.

"Indeed," Ezra smiled.

"Need to get more ammo," Nathan added, ever the practical one.

"Not today," Chris said. "I'm gonna get a drink," he added, walking away. Turning to look over his shoulder, he smirked, "Buck's buying."

"Drink sounds good," Vin grinned, sauntering after Chris.

"Hey, don't you be spending my money Larabee," Buck protested as they all followed the leader of their motley crew down the street.

The End


I know it's short, but it's more of an introduction than anything else. Please review and tell me what you think. I don't think there is an universe like this yet, if there is I sincerely apologize. If there is no universe like this, consider this to be an open universe, have fun and play nice.