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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

at popapostle-dot-com
Terminator: Hour of the Wolf Terminator
Hour of the Wolf

Written by Mark W. Tiedemann

Page numbers come from the first printing, paperback edition, July 2004


Skynet's agents from future alternate timelines continue to aid Cyberdyne in its attempts to bring Skynet to life in the present.


Notes from the Terminator chronology


This book takes place three years after the events of Times of Trouble.


Story Summary


An old man from an undesignated future arrives in New Mexico of 2007. He is augmented like a Specialist, but is not from their timeline. His identity has been wiped from his mind. He only knows he must find a brilliant man named Jeremiah Porter. He eventually assumes the identity of a dead indigent named Lee Portis and uses his augmented skills to build a past record, bank accounts, and resources for himself. Then he makes his way to Los Angeles where Porter was known to have begun his career.


Meanwhile, John and his mother Sarah have started a successful security and investigations company under new aliases, with the help of Pentagon official Jack Reed. In between commercial assignments, they keep an eye on the doings of Cyberdyne. They open several branches of the company in key locations around the country, with the latest now being set up in L.A. In L.A., John receives an invitation he can't refuse from the head of Destry-McMillan Research. There he meets the company CEO, Dennis McMillan, who knows his real identity. John learns that his own future self has sent Morse code messages back in time which have been intercepted by a research project with Destry-McMillan. The messages state that Skynet still exists in one or more timelines, but if he can prevent it being created by the Nexus point of 2029, its life may be over; also he must locate Jeremiah Porter, as he is vital to the resistance.


Cyberdyne is now being headed by a man named Casse who is actually a T-XA from the future, seeking to ensure Skynet's creation. Casse has hired human hit men to kill all of the Jeremiah Porters he can find and Sarah discovers the trail of victims in her research against Cyberdyne. Another Porter suspect, called Bobby Porter, a young mathematics genius attending school at Caltech, comes to the attention of Casse, and he arranges an interview with him for a potential job at Cyberdyne. Seeing the kid's brilliance, Casse thinks he may be the one he's been looking for and attempts to kill him, but finds that every thrust of his knife-like, liquid metal limbs misses, and Porter finally escapes, with the aid of McMillan's head of security. Casse comes to the conclusion that key figures in the current timeline cannot be killed by someone from another timeline (which may also explain the failure of Skynet's other Terminators against the Connors in the past).


Portis eventually teams with the Connors and McMillan's men and Portis realizes he is the future Bobby Porter. In a confrontation with Casse, Portis kills his own younger self, fearing he would work for Cyberdyne, willingly or not, and hoping to end the cycle of Skynet's creation. But he agonizes over the question, "Did it work?"




Didja Know?


This novel is a follow-up to the New John Connor Chronicles trilogy. This book opens in 2007, three years after the end of the last book in that trilogy.


It seems there are two slightly different covers to this book, or at least the ad campaign promotion of the cover is slightly different.
Hour of the Wolf altered cover Terminator: Hour of the Wolf
Actual book cover of the edition I have. Notice the pipe to the left of the Terminator's head stops short of his head.
Alternate cover or promotional cover image. Notice the pipe to the left of the Terminator's head is attached to his head.


Didja Notice?


On page 2, one of the indigents staying at the abandoned military barracks tells the others he found a couple of cases (probably of liquor) behind a ShopRite. ShopRite is a chain of grocery stores in the northeastern United States, but the characters are in New Mexico!


Page 5 identifies the abandoned military base the old man arrives at as Cannon Air Force Base near Clovis, New Mexico. In the real world, the base, built in 1942, is still open, but in the novel it was closed in 2005 through the Base Re-Alignment and Closure Commission. In fact, Cannon was recommended for closure by the commission in 2004, but plans changed and it was instead re-aligned and remains open.


On page 7, the old man finds an old letter indicating Lee Portis had recently stayed at the Good Hope Shelter in Clovis. This appears to be a fictional shelter.


On page 9, the old man finds a map indicating that Cannon Air Force Base lies 6 miles from Clovis on Highway 60. This is true.


Also on page 9, several other cities in New Mexico and their relation to Clovis on the map are mentioned. All are accurate.


Page 9 also mentions Eastern New Mexico University. This university also houses the Jack Williamson Science Fiction Library, one of the largest collections of science-fiction books, magazines, and author correspondence in the world.


The old man speculates that he arrived through the chronoporting procedure on the eastern boundary of the new Cauchy Horizon. "Cauchy horizon" is an actual term used in space-time physics. On pages 62-63, John explains to Sarah that the Cauchy horizon theory postulates "time travel can't reach into a time where no time machine have to build one first before visitors from the future can come back."


John and Sarah's new branch of their security consultation business in L.A. is said to be on Calder just three blocks from Pico. Pico Boulevard appears in several previous Terminator adventures as well, including The Terminator and Judgment Day, but I'm not aware of a street called Calder in the vicinity.


At the beginning of the book, John and Sarah have moved from New Mexico to California.


On page 16, John reflects that he and his mother are back on terra cognita now, after their time-travelling adventures of recent years. Terra cognita is Latin for "known world".


Page 16 mentions past identities used by the Connors, including Lawes, Cannerly, Soquoro, and Smith. "Lawes" was the name they were using at the beginning of Dark Futures. Currently, they are stated to be using the names Sean and Julia Philicos. On page 21, McMillan reveals that both "Connor" and "Philicos" roughly mean "wolf lover" and "Sean" is derivative of "John". McMillan hints that the "Smith" name used by John in the past may have been "Bill Smith".


Page 17 reveals that Sarah's hair is currently dyed black.


John and Sarah's security consultation business is run in conjunction with Juanita Salceda, daughter of Enrique, who was featured in Judgment Day and all three books of the New John Connor Chronicles trilogy. The company is called PPS Security Investigations, the PPS standing for Philicos, Philicos, Salceda.


John enters into an agreement with Destry-McMillan Research. This is a fictional company. The company's campus is described as lying a mile north of Caltech. "Caltech" is the nickname given to the California Institute of Technology.


On page 19, the Destry-McMillan Research building reminds John of the Cyberdyne building he and his mother had destroyed. This occurred in Judgment Day.


Possibly, the brilliant young physics student named Bobby Porter was named by the author for stuntman Bobby Porter, who performed some of the John Connor stunts in Judgment Day. (PopApostle readers may also know him as Stink in the 1990s version of Land of the Lost.)


On page 25, Bobby tells Deirdre he's working on Visser transforms in his physics equations. As far as I can tell, "Visser transforms" is a fictional term.


On page 26, Bobby says to Deirdre that she may go on to Fermilab, a laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy specializing in particle physics.


On page 28, Deirdre thinks of secrecy and weapons as the "the dogs accompanying the modern-day Mars on his way to war." Mars was the god of war in Roman mythology.


On page 35, Sarah has her daily stack of newspapers to peruse: Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal.


Page 36 describes John and Sarah having finished their time-hopping (as seen in the New John Connor Chronicles) and finding themselves in a reality where Skynet did not exist and deciding to stay and try to make sure it never did. This does not seem quite like an accurate description of the end of Times of Trouble, where the two simply made a conscious decision to return to their own timeline to keep an eye on Cyberdyne and be on the lookout for signs of impending Skynet. Later in our current novel, it is made more clear that they are in their own original timeline.


On page 37, Sarah reads a headline about a death at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Also on page 37, Sarah visits the New York Times website.


On page 43, McMillan tells John that Destry-McMillan was working on pulsed-plasma devices with Cyberdyne. This is clearly intended as research that preluded the phased plasma rifles used in the future war.


On page 46, Dr. Jaspar mentions Morse code. Morse code is a method of communicating via a series of on-off signals such as flashes, tones, or clicks, invented by Samuel Morse (1791-1872).


The mathematical equations Dr. Jaspar shows John on page 46 he identifies as Maxwell's equations. The equations shown on this page are accurate portions of them. These equations about the nature of electrodynamics were published by Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879) around 1862.


On page 47, John and Dr. Jaspar discuss Dirac's theories about the existence of a magnetic monopole for the universe. They are referencing Dr. Paul Dirac (1902-1984), an English theoretical physicist.


Dr. Jaspar mentions General Relativity on page 47. Einstein developed the general theory of relativity which, in part, states that the measurement of time and distance (among other things) changes relative to the viewer of the phenomena.


Also on page 47, Dr. Jaspar describes an experiment by Blas Cabrera designed to detect a magnetic monopole, succeeding in 1982, but none other has ever been detected since. This is true. Cabrera is a research physicist at Stanford University.


On page 48, Dr. Jaspar tells John that using a niobium-titanium alloy at 10° Kelvin is the best environment for attempting to detect a magnetic monopole, due to the cooper pairs being more stable in those conditions. A niobium-titanium alloy is often used in industry for superconducting magnets. "Cooper pairs" are two electrons that have bonded together under the influence of extremely low temperatures.


On page 50, the old man visits the Lighthouse Mission in Clovis.


Page 52 reveals that the old man, obviously a variant on the Specialists seen in the New John Connor Chronicles, has the ability to inject temporary nanocoders into people to make them more agreeable and amiable towards him. Later chapters of the novel reveal that standard nanocoders damage the human brain over time, but the temporary ones will die off within a few days, leaving the infected person back to normal.


On page 55, the old man observes feathery ornaments called dreamcatchers in Norene's office window. A dreamcatcher is a small, webbed, willow-wood hoop decorated with feathers and other sacred items, believed by a number of Native American peoples to trap bad dreams and allow only the good ones to pass to the owner.


On page 61, Lash tells John his men are modifying the phone connections in the new PPS office to run a T4 line. T4 is a type of data carrier, using coaxial cables and phone lines.


John's explanation of a Cauchy horizon on page 63, with the cone of time mirroring itself, sounds similar to descriptions of Minkowski space, the representation of our own 4-dimensional world (three dimensions of space and one of time).

Minkowski space


Investigating the recent deaths of men named Jeremiah Porter, or some variation thereof, Sarah finds, on page 66, that the most recent such death occurred in San Bernardino. San Bernardino is a city about 60 miles east of Los Angeles.


Page 68 reveals that Cyberdyne has branches in countries besides the U.S.


Page 68 states that a number of top researchers at Cyberdyne had left the company in fear of their safety after the incidents in 1997 and 2001. It would seem that "1997" is a misprint for "1994", when the Connors and Miles Dyson blew up Cyberdyne HQ in southern California, as seen in Judgment Day; 2001 refers to the assault to Cyberdyne's Colorado lab in Dark Futures.


On pages 69-70, John remarks that Destry-McMillan thinks that a company called Pioneer Kelvin is giving Cyberdyne access to Destry-McMillan material. Pioneer Kelvin appears to be a fictional company.


On page 84, Patterson recognizes some Fibonacci lattices in Bobby's notes. This is likely a reference to Young–Fibonacci lattices, a graphic method of depicting a rank of numbers, named for mathematicians Alfred Young (1873-1940) and Leonardo Fibonacci (1170-1250).


On page 89, Bobby reflects on how his university counselor, Professor Cojensis, would often go on about "Hindu calculus", "where the solutions certainly appeared, but when one tried to prove the method it fell apart." I am not familiar with the term "Hindu calculus" or it's following description. It may be partly inspired by the 10th-11th Century book Principles of Hindu Reckoning by Kushyar ibn Labban (971–1029), a book about Hindu mathematics.


On page 90, Bobby asks Dr. Cojensis if he's gone over his paper on Thorne's quantum gravity model. Bobby is most likely referring to Dr. Kip Thorne, a theoretical physicist who actually worked at Caltech, where Bobby studies, at the time! Thorne retired from the school in 2009.


On pages 96-97, Portis reflects on the panic-driven atmosphere and collective paranoia in the U.S. a few years earlier. This is probably a reference to the 9/11 terror attacks against the World Trade Center and Pentagon on September 11, 2001.


On page 97, Portis reflects that there have been indications that Skynet has sent its agents back in time possibly as far back as 1982, though 1984 is the first confirmed evidence. Later in the novel, we learn that the T-XA called Casse has been watching events unfold since it was sent back by Skynet to 1982. 1984 is a reference to the arrival of at least one Terminator, as seen in The Terminator (stories in other media depict additional Terminators sent to 1984 in One Shot and later Dark Horse Comics mini-series).


Page 99 describes how Oscar Cruz was charged with a number of crimes in 2001, including violations of SEC regulations. The SEC is the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.


Page 99 also mentions the Social Security Administration and IRS (Internal Revenue Service).


Also on page 99, Portis finds that Franklin Eisner has obtained employment at New Town Municipal Services. This appears to be a fictional business.


On page 100, Portis dials in to an ISP and connects to the database of the University of New Mexico. "ISP" is the abbreviation for Internet Service Provider.


On page 110, Sarah notes that the city of Los Angeles had changed since she had lived there in 1984, what with "another earthquake, urban modification, population shifts." The earthquake reference is probably to the 1994 Northridge earthquake which caused $20 billion of damage to the region.


On page 112, Sarah discovers the body of Jeremi D. Porter in his apartment. Going through his things, she finds an American Express card and a paycheck from Vanderlin Electric, Inc. Vanderlin Electric appears to be a fictional company.


On page 113, John is introduced to Pioneer Kelvin as a new NSA liaison. "NSA" is the abbreviation for the U.S. National Security Agency.


Cyberdyne purchases the closed-down Los Angeles Air Force base in El Segundo. In the real world, the base has remained open.


On page 116, Patterson mentions LAX. LAX is Los Angeles International Airport.


On page 117, Lash argues with Sarah that his people don't do wetwork. "Wetwork" refers to murder or assassination.


On page 119, John reflects that all his life he had seen his mother sometimes "go off", such as her attempt to blow up a computer factory which wound up with her thrown into a psychiatric facility or her attempt to kill Miles Dyson, and her fight with Lash now about her expecting his team to do wetwork.


Page 122 states that Skynet was built inside Thunder Mountain. This is a 12,000 foot peak in the Never Summer Range, northwest of Rocky Mountain National Park. (In Timeline TT-7, a different Thunder Mountain in Nevada is the home of Skynet in The Burning Earth.)


On page 123, Reed tells the Connors that the abuse of authority under the previous presidential administration has led to a lot of difficulties. It's hard to know if this refers to a real word administration or not; in the Terminator universe, it could be a fictional administration. If it were referring to a real world administration, it must be a reference to either the Bill Clinton or George W. Bush administrations. The story takes place in 2007, but was published in 2004 and probably written mostly in 2003, when George Bush was in his first term and the author would not have known whether Bush would be reelected in 2004. So, if we assume Bush was the president in the Terminator universe from 2001-2004, but not reelected, Reed is referring to Bush; if he was reelected, Reed is referring to Clinton. I suppose readers would argue one over the other as most abusive, depending on their political persuasion!


Also on page 123, Reed argues that he can't keep watching Cyberdyne as closely as necessary from his tenuous position of power in the Pentagon, he needs someone he can trust "outside the Beltway". The Beltway is a reference to Washington D.C., and the Capital Beltway (Interstate 495) that rings it.


On page 137, Portis pulls onto Highway 70 north and makes turns on a number of Clovis streets trying to lose a dark green Chrysler that follows him. You can pretty much follow the course described on Google Maps (though the author uses a few cheats, such as a non-existent alley off Hinkle Street and a non-existent southbound portion of Thornton Street at the train yard).


On page 141, Bobby thinks of Deirdre as a rich girl from Bel Air. Bel Air is an affluent neighborhood of Los Angeles.


On page 143, Bobby is driven through L.A. by Casse's driver and he sees a street sign for El Segundo and knows he must be somewhere near Compton. El Segundo Boulevard is an actual road running through Compton (and other parts of L.A.).


On page 146, Casse and Bobby discuss a number of mathematical equations and theories by various researchers. These are real world people and theories.


On page 149, Cruz pulls a 9mm Glock from his desk drawer. This is a popular plastic gun made by Glock Ges.m.b.H.


On page 162, Bobby tells Deirdre that Casse really knew his stuff, like Hawking or something. This is a reference to Stephen Hawking (1942-2018), a world-renowned theoretical physicist and author.


On page 163, Bobby reflects that Feynman had shown that there was no mathematical reason that time could not flow both ways. Richard Feynman (1918-1988) was a real world theoretical physicist and he did actually develop a diagram of time reversibility.


Sarah notices wall art by Escher in Bobby's apartment. M. C. Escher (1898-1972) was a Dutch graphic artist known for his finely detailed printed works of impossible architecture and shapes.


Portis reflects on page 181 that many of his actions in the past time he has arrived in are accompanied by deja vu or presque vu. Deja vu, of course, is the sensation of having experienced a current event previously. Presque vu is the experience of having a word on the tip of your tongue, but you can't quite bring it to mind.


We never learn what year Portis came from, but page 187 does reveal that the world is starting to rebuild the ruined cities after the war to prevent Skynet and many people are actually leaving Earth to start over in colonies on the Moon, Mars, and the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. This tends to suggest a fairly advanced technological society. Portis also mentions, on page 188, using time travel to try to lessen the damage of the decades since the Nexus, which is said to be 2029. In Portis' timeline, Skynet never came into existence, but its possible creation was known, and there was a war between forces trying to prevent/create Skynet.


Portis explains that 2029 is the Nexus point because that is when Skynet began experimenting with time travel. It is a point at which time diverges and timelines become probabilistic. Portis goes on to say that his people's research suggests there are three "most probable" timelines due to the Nexus, but there are many others with less probability. This may explain the various timelines seen throughout the Terminator stories by different licensors.


Page 192 states that before the employee domiciles at the newly-purchased Los Angeles Air Force Base had been completed, Cyberdyne employees had stayed at a nearby Ramada. This is probably the Ramada hotel at 5250 W. El Segundo Blvd, Hawthorne, CA, less than a mile from LAFB.


On page 192, Casse reflects that Skynet's repeated failures to kill the Connors had resulted in paradoxes that caused many difficulties, with timelines "split, mingled, and separated into a mélange of possibilities." Page 193 describes it as "Quantum indeterminacy at the macro level."


On page 193, Casse reflects on his helplessness in trying to kill Bobby Porter, theorizing that he is unable to kill him because Casse himself is from a future that promised only probable existence; only someone from the same timeline could kill Porter. Casse goes on to speculate that he would have to survive past the Nexus in order to regain the potential to alter the future himself.


Page 198 reveals that Cruz developed a dysfunction while in prison that resembled Tourette's. This is a reference to Tourette syndrome, often characterized by a vocal tic of repeating words or phrases uncontrollably.


On page 199, Cruz seems to recognize the similarity of the initials John Connor and Jesus Christ and even thinks, Who knows?, seeming to suggest he's considering the possibility that John is the return of the Messiah!


Page 199 reveals that Cruz had built the infrastructure of Cyberdyne throughout the 1990s.


On page 211, Bobby jokingly asks McMillan who he thinks will win the World Cup this year. There are many "World Cups" associated with athletics, but he is most likely referring to the FIFA World Cup for soccer (or football as it is known in most of the world outside the U.S.).


Page 218 discusses how Jack Reed had previously been on Cyberdyne's side as chief liaison to the State Department.


On page 219, Casse laments that he and Skynet no longer have the Soviet Union to attack and trigger a nuclear exchange. The Soviet Union fell in 1991 and is now known as the Russian Federation. Also mentioned is the fall of the Eastern Bloc, the Eastern European nations that sanctioned an imposed communist government overseen by the Soviet Union from the end of WWII to the late 1980s through 1991, when the Bloc collapsed and largely embraced Western values and government.


Also on page 219, Casse reflects that the Connors seem to be inextricably linked to Skynet's existence or nonexistence.


On page 226, when Portis tells Sarah he doesn't know his way around the current time, she jokingly asks, "You don't have detailed files?" The phrase "detailed files" is repeated in numerous Terminator stories, first spoken in Judgment Day.


On page 235, Casse tells Cruz he is no longer able to detect Gant's carrier wave. This carrier wave may be what allows Terminators to communicate wirelessly and soundlessly with each other, as depicted in the various Dark Horse mini-series such as Tempest.


Page 237 reveals that 20 sarcophagi containing inactivated Terminators are held at LAFB, sent back from the future for use after Armageddon. They had been scattered around the world and Casse was having them all brought to LAFB for use as needed.


Page 238 reveals that T-800s have a jack in the back of their head for plugging in a cable to receive persona templates and other instructions from its master.


On page 240, two restaurant style Bunn coffeemakers are mentioned.


On page 247, Patterson tells Sarah that a cover story for her car's flipping over (due to an assault by the Terminator Gant) of a failure of the CV joints has been given to the police. A CV joint is a constant-velocity joint, which allows a vehicle drive shaft to deliver constant velocity with little friction.


On page 248, Portis uses nanos to change Sarah's eye color to brown temporarily, to help disguise her. Sarah normally has blue eyes.


Casse observes a black Lincoln leaving Destry-McMillan on page 251.


On page 253, Portis explains to John that this time war is complicated, "spheres within spheres within hypercubes." A hypercube is an n-dimensional version of a 3-dimensional cube. In 4 dimensions, a hypercube is called a tessaract.


On page 256, Reed states that the U.S. used to build some of its smart bombs and missiles at Los Angeles Air Force Base. I've been unable to determine if this true.


On page 262, Reed describes his plan to invade the Cyberdyne complex on the former LAFB, describing some of the environs of LAX and LAFB. His descriptions of streets and areas of the base are accurate.


On page 274, John sees the lights of Lawndale south of LAFB. Lawndale is a city in southern L.A. County. 


Unanswered Questions


What happened to Casse? He seemingly escaped the confrontation with Portis and Sarah in Chapter 24.
What happens after this? The novel ends somewhat indecisively, with the T-XA Casse at large and Portis having killed his own younger self and left wondering why he hasn't vanished from the continuum due to his action and if he has actually brought about a change in the future because of it. Possibly the novel was left open for future follow-ups, but no continuations of this particular Terminator sub-series have appeared in the 10+ years since.


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