Three vehicles make their way along a dirt road in the desert. A sedan amputated into a convertible leads the way, one woman operating a searchlight affixed to the rear hood. Following is a minivan bereft of its doors, filled with men whose rifles point out into the darkness on all sides. Bringing up the rear is a dilapidated pickup truck with a gun mounted on the bed.
A dark-haired woman aims the searchlight straight ahead, her eyes glassy as she tries to decode the words on the radio over the roar of the engine. “Is that Bakersfield?” She shouts to the driver. The driver, a pale woman with hair gray from age and ash, nods briefly. “They’re pushing south!” She turns the station on the radio. A voice which could have come from a boy emanates from the machine. “…anyone reading me! This is the 67th moving north out of San Diego, calling any Resistance forces to rendezvous at 34.05 by 118….” She changes the channel again, and this time a Spanish voice dominates the airwaves. “That’s the New Mexico cell!” the old woman cries. “I don’t believe it.” The old woman looks up at her comrade. “Psy, It’s just like you said…just like he said…down to the day.” The young woman gazes back at her, eyes wet with more than the wind.
Suddenly she snaps back into the moment. “Casey, there!” In the beam of the spotlight the dog stands unmoving, facing down the convoy. Casey slams on the brakes. The convoy grinds to a halt in front of the stoic canine, which still stands unperturbed. Soldiers leap out of the minivan, guns at the ready. “What’s the situation?” one of them calls, moving to the front with a shotgun loaded and ready. Psy leaps out of the convertible to intercept him. “It’s nothing, just a dog.” She approaches the dog and reaches in her pocket for some food, but finds the pocket empty. “I’m sorry, I don’t have anything for you.” The man moves in behind her, muttering. “We don’t have time for this, Psy.” She reaches out to pet the dog. The man snatches her hand away. “Get back, it’s rabid. I’ll deal with it.” He levels the gun at it and pulls the trigger. Psy grabs the barrel and it discharges into the sky. “No! It has a collar. It’s not rabid…just well trained.” She pats it on the head and it licks her hand. “See?” Her hand finds the collar. “Let’s see who you are…Max!” The dog sits obediently. “Would you like to come with us, Max?” The dog immediately gets back up and hops into the convertible. Psy gives a withering look to the soldier, who shrugs. “Can we get a move on?” She nods brusquely and eyes the soldiers who are arrayed in a protective circle. “Badger Company, move out!” The soldiers pile back into their vehicles and the convoy starts up again.
Casey glances nervously at her new companion, sitting like a furry statue in the passenger seat. From the back seat Psy looks approvingly at the new addition to their company. “It’s good luck, Casey, you’ll see.” Casey shakes her head. “Another mouth to feed, you mean.” Psy scans the horizon with her spotlight. “They can sense Terminators, Case. Every proper outfit needs a guard dog.” Casey glances with suspicion at the dog again. “Where did you come from, boy?” The dog doesn’t answer. Suddenly it perks up, staring fixedly at the radio. Psy looks wildly at it. “Turn it up, Case! It’s him!” Casey adjusts the volume. The voice on the airwaves is powerful, assured.
“…Resistance cells across the world have heeded my call. Following this call to arms, Tech-Com has launched an attack on SAC-NORAD, Skynet’s system core. Skynet still has us outgunned. It is better equipped, it has more power. But there is one thing that it will never have: conviction. My name is John Connor, and my conviction is that humanity still has a future. At this moment, across the world, humanity is fighting, despite the odds and heedless of the cost. For despite its power, despite its technology, Skynet knows that it cannot win this war…and it shall not destroy our future. This is the darkness before the dawn, but I promise that the dawn belongs not to the machines, but to us.”
The convoy crests the line of hills and begins to descend into the Los Angeles valley, heading for the solitary island of cold blue light.