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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

at popapostle-dot-com
Terminator: The Future War Terminator
The Future War

Written by S. M. Stirling
July 2003

Page numbers come from the second printing, paperback edition, April 2009


Learn how John Connor fought the war against the machines, from Alaska in 2003 to the time travel chamber in 2029.


Notes from the Terminator chronology


This book opens an undetermined amount of time after Rising Storm, but it seems to still be 2003.


Story Summary


Shortly after the events of Rising Storm, Sarah, John, and Dieter have moved to Alaska to remain hidden from the authorities and agents of Skynet. Meanwhile, Skynet, now sentient in current time, is searching for them and preparing to eradicate humankind. Soon, the U.S. military announces that control of the nation's nuclear missiles is being put under the control of the defense computer program they call Skynet.


Skynet clandestinely arranges to be in control of automated manufacturing plants around the world. Vehicles and equipment produced there are built with a compromised circuit board that allows the sentient computer to communicate with it at will and send new instructions. Skynet begins testing its aptitude for controlling the machines by randomly taking them over and killing their drivers or other nearby human beings. Eventually the tests stop and the Connors realize the real thing is going to happen soon. A few months later it does. First, machines all over the world go crazy and begin killing humans. Then Skynet launches the nuclear missiles at major population centers, wiping them out. The Connors remain relatively safe in Alaska and many of their confidants around the world find shelter as well. Snog leads his tech team to his family's backwoods hunting lodge in Quebec and there they continue their research into technology and back-engineered Skynet tech to help the resistance.


Skynet has been manipulating the Luddites with messages purported to be from the group's (dead) leader, Ron Labane. The Luddites now follow Skynet's orders around the world, rounding up surviving humans under the guise of government shelters set up to protect and care for survivors. But the survivors are gradually being put to death or forced to work for Skynet in labor camps until the computer can build up a force of Terminators, Hunter-Killers, etc. to take over. Luddite scientists work on new technologies for Skynet and some non-Luddite scientists are forced to work as well with torture and threats against their lives or on family members.


A man named Dennis Reese emerges as resistance fighter and leader in Missouri. Eventually he and a nurse named Mary Shea become the parents of Kyle Reese.


Sarah heads to relatively untouched South America on a motorcycle to organize food and supply shipments for the resistance around the world. While there, Sarah recruits a surviving, rogue U.S. nuclear submarine commander and his ship to the resistance.


As the years go by, Skynet gets stronger, but so does the resistance. As Sarah grows old, John arranges to stage her death so she can retire with Dieter to a safe place and continue working for the resistance behind the scenes. Her "martyrdom" makes her even more of a legend to the troops. Mary and Kyle wind up captured and forced to work in a labor camp in Missouri. John eventually leads a force to free the captives of the camp and destroy it. They are successful, but Mary and Dennis are killed by Terminators in the battle after a brief reunion, leaving Kyle orphaned. John assigns his trusted cohort, Jack Brock, to look after the boy as a kind of foster parent.


More years go by and the soldier Kyle Reese is assigned to the Los Angeles arena. After an injury, John gives him a photo of Sarah Connor to inspire him. A few years after that, John leads the resistance to victory over Skynet, but not before the sentient computer sends several Terminators back in time with orders to kill Sarah Connor in 1984 and John Connor in 1995 and to ensure the computer's own existence by manipulation of Cyberdyne and the U.S. Department of Defense. John sends Kyle back to 1984 to protect Sarah and a reprogrammed T-800 to protect his younger self in 1995.


"But we don't know what's coming," John said.
"We only know what's been," his mother agreed.
The Austrian looked from mother to son. "Then what's to come," he said, "is up to us." 


Didja Know?


The series of novels written by S. M. Stirling which are made up of Infiltrator, Rising Storm, and The Future War are collectively referred to as the T2 Trilogy.


   The author gives acknowledgement to the works of Harlan Ellison. Popular writer Harlan Ellison sued Orion Pictures after the 1984 release of the film The Terminator, claiming that it was based on his 1964 Outer Limits episode, "Soldier", about a soldier from the future who travels back in time and ultimately sacrifices his life fighting his future enemy in 1964 (the episode was itself based on Ellison's 1957 short story "Soldier from Tomorrow"). Orion Pictures reached a settlement with Ellison for an undisclosed amount of money and a credit ("Acknowledgement to the works of Harlan Ellison") in future releases of the film.

   The use of the word "works" in the acknowledgement implies multiple sources of inspiration written by Ellison. This may refer just to the Outer Limits episode and the original short story as mentioned above. But some observers have pointed out similarities to other Ellison stories within the film, such as "Demon With a Glass Hand" and "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream".

   James Cameron, writer and director of the first two Terminator films, has denied basing his original script on any of Ellison's works.


Didja Notice?


This book reveals that Sarah keeps a journal. It might be argued that the Sarah Connor voiceovers in Judgment Day are also from her journal.


As this book opens, Sarah, John, and Dieter have moved to Alaska, hiding out from potential Skynet forces, but not yet realizing that Skynet is already alive in their own time (as depicted at the end of Rising Storm).


Page 1 reveals that the Connors now have a gelding named Walter. A gelding is a male horse that has been castrated to make it more gentle and manageable.


Page 2 reveals that Skynet has tapped into the "energy flows" of human civilization, particularly money, to manipulate humanity. Later, it is also revealed that Skynet has spread rumors that Ron Labane, the leader of the Luddite movement had not been murdered after all, but taken by government agents until freed by a commando group of his followers; Skynet now poses as Labane in electronic communications to maneuver Luddite followers to do its bidding.


The description of how the Connors and Dieter slaughter their pig on pages 4-5 is a basically accurate representation of how it would be done on a family farm traditionally.


On page 4, a classical radio station plays the 1812 Overture. The 1812 Overture is a musical orchestra piece written by Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) in 1880 in commemoration of Russia's defense against the invading army of Napoleon in 1812. In the U.S., the piece is often played during Fourth of July celebrations.


Page 6 reveals that John has grown a full-faced beard and Sarah is glad that he keeps it trimmed and not ZZ Top-style.  ZZ Top is a three-member blues-rock band active since 1969. Two of the members are known for their long, chest-length beards.


On page 7, the newspaper article Sarah reads has a statement from the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Ho. The Joint Chiefs are senior members of the U.S. Department of Defense who advise the President and Secretary of Defense. The chairman is always the highest ranking officer in the U.S. Armed Forces; in 2003 of the real world, this would have been General Richard B. Myers of the U.S. Air Force.


On page 9, John heads for a bar called the Klondike near his Alaska home. The establishment's name may be a joking reference to a Klondike bar, an ice cream dessert brand named after the Klondike River in Canada's Yukon Territory, east of Alaska.


On page 12, Dieter's old Section friend Tom remarks he'd want to blow Dieter's head off if he hadn't saved his life in Albania. Albania is a small country in southeastern Europe. Tom is probably referring to a Section mission they had together when Albania was part of the communist bloc 1944–1992.


On page 17, John thinks of Ninel having classic Eskimo features. Eskimos (Inuit and Yupik) are the indigenous peoples of the northern circumpolar region of the globe: Siberia, Alaska, Canada, and Greenland.


Page 17 reveals that John is currently using the alias John Grant.


John immediately notices that Ninel's name backwards is Lenin and deduces her parents may be communists, though Ninel says her mother always told people she was named after one of her favorite ballerinas. "Lenin" is a reference to Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924), the communist founder of the Soviet Union in 1922 after the dissolution of the Russian Empire in 1917. The ballerina referenced is probably Ninel Kurgapkina (1929-2009), a prima ballerina for Kirov Ballet.


Ninel tells John she suspects the Bolshoi was more political than the KGB. The Bolshoi Ballet is one of the premiere ballet companies in the world, based in Moscow, Russia. The KGB was the national security agency of the Soviet Union before its fall in November 1991.


The instances of Skynet taking control of computerized vehicles and killing people with them in Chapter 3 may be a bit of homage to such machines-coming-to-life stories as Killdozer (a 1944 Theodore Sturgeon short story and 1974 movie) and Maximum Overdrive (1986 movie based on Stephen King's 1973 short story "Trucks").


On page 24, Mary Fay Skinner, in one of the Skynet-controlled vehicles, is driving along Route 10, Texas. This is probably a reference to the rural Texas State Highway Spur 10, though it may refer to Interstate 10.


On page 25, a tour bus in Austria drives by the famous schloss of Baron Von Trapp. Schloss is German for manor. Baron Von Trapp (1880-1947) was an Austro-Hungarian naval officer renowned for his exploits during WWI and on whose family the stage musical The Sound of Music was based.


On page 26, Sarah recalls some events from The Terminator.


On page 27, Sarah's online research reveals that the vital components of the recently malfunctioning machines were made in automated factories in various countries under minimal human supervision. The beginnings of these automated factories were introduced in Rising Storm.


On page 28, John tells his mother that her continuing paranoia about the birth of Skynet makes it sound like she's been reading Midnight World. I've been unable to determine what this is in reference to. A book? A magazine?


Also on page 28, Sarah remarks on meeting someone at Cyberdyne several years ago and a look-alike John met at Red Seal Base. This is presumably a reference to Serena Burns and her lookalike Clea Bennet, though it's a stretch to say the encounter with Serena took place "several" years ago as it was only a couple years ago, in 2001.


On page 29, Dieter calls Sarah liebling. This is German for "darling".


Sarah and Dieter decide to go to Delta Junction for a night out together. Delta Junction is a small city in Alaska about 100 miles south of Fairbanks.


On page 29, John is looking over some schematics he's been working on with Dieter's gun-geek friend, Ike Chamberlain, regarding the Terminator head he recovered in Infiltrator. It's unknown if Ike may be any relation to Vick Chamberlain, a human who was killed and whose identity was assumed by a T-888 Terminator in The Sarah Connor Chronicles.


On page 33 John pays a visit to his friend Ray Laber, who lives just outside Richardson. As far as I can tell, there is no place called Richardson in Alaska. Possibly, it's a reference to Fort Richardson, which was a U.S. Army base in Alaska before it merged in 2010 with Elmendorf Air Force Base to form Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, but that's over 300 miles from Delta Junction, which is stated to be over 90 miles from the Connors' home, so it seems a bit unlikely that John is easily dashing about from his house to Fort Richardson to Delta Junction all in an evening as he does in Chapter 3.


On page 38, John finds his mother and Dieter dining at the Longhouse in Delta Junction. The Longhouse appears to be a fictional establishment.


Ninel visits Balewitch at her home near the Mosquito River. The Mosquito River exists in the southwestern portion of Alaska, which makes it seem unlikely that Ninel rode her bike there from the area near where the Connors live in the eastern part of the state! This may have been intended to be Mosquito Creek, which runs through wilderness between Fairbanks and Delta Junction.


On page 43, Ninel tells Balewitch she had attended college in Fairbanks. This may be a reference to University of Alaska Fairbanks.


On page 44, Ninel states knowing somebody named Kyle (presumably not Kyle Reese!).


Balewitch gives Ninel a copy of Ron Labane's latest book, Forbidden Thoughts. Since Labane was murdered in Rising Storm, it is presumed that the real author is Skynet!


On page 53, Skynet executes the program Firefall. This is the beginning of Judgment Day.


On page 55, Snog uses Kleenex tissues.


On page 57, Snog remarks that all the latest trucks have wireless modems and GPS these days. GPS, of course, stands for Global Positioning System, a device that tracks one's location on Earth, or pinpoints another location directionally, from satellite.


On page 58, Yam says that the idea of popping your head from the sewers and storm drains reminds him of a video game he used to have. I'm unsure of what game he's referring to. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?


Page 60 names one of Snog's group as Terri Neal. This was the name of one of the co-founders of the Bunch of Seven, a group of science-fiction and fantasy writers in Toronto, Canada in the 1980s and '90s, of which our book's author was also a founding member.


On page 60, Snog reflects this is no time to try Superman stunts. Superman, of course, is a superhero character appearing in titles published by DC Comics.


On page 61, Snog and his group have raided an Evian machine to carry as many bottles of water with them as possible on their subterranean trek out of the city.


On page 62, Snog must push a manhole cover open from beneath the street and guesses it must weigh at least 70 pounds. Cast iron manhole covers in the U.S. actually often weigh well over 100 pounds.


When Snog tells his group that his family has a hunting cabin in Quebec, he's a bit surprised that no one sneers at him for killing Bambi. Bambi is the young white-tailed deer from the 1923 novel by Felix Salten, Bambi, a Life in the Woods and the Disney animated film that made him world-famous, 1942's Bambi. In Bambi's story, it is actually his mother that is killed by a hunter.


On page 64, a general reports to the Vice President that the President was killed with the loss of Air Force One. Air Force One is the call sign of any U.S. Air Force aircraft carrying the President. At the time this scene takes place in the real world, the President and Vice President would have been George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, respectively.


Also on page 64, the Vice President, now President, upon hearing that he and his support staff at the National Command Center are doomed to suffocate in their underground bunker in about 12 hours, wonders, What kind of a Mickey Mouse setup is this anyway? Mickey Mouse, of course, is a cartoon character and official mascot of the Walt Disney Company. Somehow, Mickey's name has also become a pejorative term in English-speaking countries, meaning amateurish or small-time.


On page 69, Brad says he read an article in Time about the Luddites. Time is a U.S.-based weekly news magazine published around the world.


Also on page 69, Snog has an urge for a Creamsicle after hearing the chimes of an ice cream truck in the distance. Creamsicle is a brand of frozen desert on a stick made by Popsicle. In particular, Creamsicles have a core of ice cream covered with frozen fruit pop.


The Preston family of Tom, Peggy, Jason, and Lisa are introduced in Chapter 6. It's unknown if they are any relation to Daniel and Hope Preston in the Salvation timeline (Timeline S-1) in Trial by Fire.


On page 76, Tom Preston heads for Larton, Iowa to meet up with his family and in-laws. The narrative remarks Larton is a village so small it's not on most maps. This may be true, as there is no mention of the place in Wikipedia or Google Maps, though I found a few miniscule references to a Larton, IA in old newspaper records.


On page 80, Skynet's voice is said to be a perfect imitation of Kurt Viemeister's, which was stated in Infiltrator to be the voice of the Model 101 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) Terminators.


Page 81 introduces Lt. Dennis Reese, working at the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Flood Project in Black River, Missouri. The USACE is known for public works projects around the world, particularly flood control. Black River is a real river running through portions of Missouri and Arkansas. Dennis Reese goes on to become the father of Kyle Reese. (Although in "Father's Day", it is hinted that Kyle's father may have been a man named Jonathan Ellis Reese.)


On page 81, Dennis hopes the flood project will be complete by the time blackfly season starts. Blackflies are a biting pest in many of the wetter regions of North America, including Missouri. Blackfly "season" is generally during a prolonged warm period in Spring or at the beginning of Summer, when the adults emerge and become pests, biting and sucking blood from animals and humans.


On page 82, Dennis calls 911 to report his fallen colleague, run over by a computer-controlled vehicle. 911 is the emergency phone number throughout most of North America.


On page 83, Dennis calls the Black River Project headquarters and asks for CO. CO is the abbreviation of Commanding Officer.


Taking refuge from the murderous, computer-controlled vehicles on a bluff, Dennis watches as a Jeep tries to climb the slope up to him and the others and he's thankful it's not a Hummer. The Hummer is another name for the military Humvee made by AM General.


At the beginning of Chapter 7, John is teaching a group of children around the base of a Sitka spruce. But the indications of the Connor home being near Delta Junction, Alaska are too far north for Sitka spruce habitation.


On page 96, Dieter says, "There are none so blind as those who will not see." This is a well-known proverb, alleged to date back to the writings of 16th Century English writer John Heywood (1497-1580).


Also on page 96, John wonders how he managed to recruit and lead people against Skynet the first time and Sarah explains to Dieter he means, "When Judgment Day came earlier and we didn't have as much time for preparation, before
the second Terminator..." In this timeline, "the second Terminator" must refer to the T-1000 who hunted John in Judgment Day, and the earlier day of Judgment Day would be the one stated in that movie, August 29, 1997.


On page 97, Sarah says there were probably 17 times fewer missiles for Skynet to take advantage of on Judgment Day of this timeline. Presumably, she is referring to various agreements for reduction of nuclear missiles between NATO and the Warsaw Pact nations (later, the Collective Security Treaty Organization or CSTO).


Page 99 mentions Route 2 in Alaska. This is an actual highway in the state.


The Missouri relocation camp where nurse Mary Shea works is said to be on the fairgrounds of Germantown. While there is a tiny town called Germantown in Missouri, it is nowhere near the Black River as alleged in the novel. The town is also not likely to have its own fairgrounds considering its small size and relative isolation in the state.


On page 96, Jack Gruder drives a Chevy pickup.


On page 107, Orc cruelly jokes at the relocation camp about "the look on the Jews' faces when we offer them a shower." This is, of course, a reference to the extermination of millions of Jews in gas chambers at the concentration camps of Nazi Germany during WWII.


On page 108, referring to the disposition of the internees of the camp, the Luddite overseers tell Lt. Goldberg they are sent to various places, "We just take 'em in, move 'em out." Dog adds, "Roll, rope, and brand 'em," which they all laugh at, except Goldberg, who is confused, and Dog says it's from an old TV show. I've been unable to determine which TV show this refers to.


At the beginning of Chapter 8, Sarah leaves John and Dieter behind in Alaska while she plans a drive down the Pan-American Highway for South America to organize shipments of food and supplies. The Pan-American Highway is a series of roads running from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina.


On page 112, Captain Yanik receives a dispatch (allegedly) from CONUS CentCom. CONUS stands for "contiguous United States" (the 48 lower states of the North American continent, excluding Alaska). CentCom is an abbreviation of Central Command.


In Chapter 8, Mary suspects cholera may have broken out in the camp. Cholera is an infectious disease of the intestine caused by the Vibrio cholerae bacterium, causing extreme diarrhea and vomiting.


On page 117, Mary puts Pampers on a sick baby boy. Pampers is a brand of disposable diaper.


Ninel's musings on nuclear winter on page 121 are accurate.


On page 122, leaflets dropped over Alaskan settlements tell the residents to gather in Delta Junction or Tanacross for transport to U.S. Army relocation shelters that have been established south of the 49th parallel. The 49th parallel is the circle of latitude that divides Canada and the contiguous United States (roughly). Tanacross is a village in Alaska southeast of Fairbanks.


On page 124, one of the female refugees in Alaska remarks that it ain't Narnia. Narnia is the fictional world of the Chronicles of Narnia books by C.S. Lewis (1898-1963).


At the end of Chapter 8, Dieter tells John he needs to meet Vera and Tricker aboard the Love's Thrust in Dilek in ten days. I've been unable to confirm a place in Alaska by the name of Dilek.


On page 134, a couple of the Black River camp's Luddite overseers discuss the success of the cholera epidemic in camp, remarking that nobody would have believed the natural occurrence of the deadlier, more communicable anthrax instead. Anthrax is a disease caused by Bacillus anthracis bacteria.


Dennis' roommate at the Black River camp is Chip Delaney. This may be a reference to noted science-fiction author Samuel R. Delany, who is known as Chip to his friends.


The Black River camp nurse called Ms. Vetrano is thought of as "Virago" Vetrano by Dennis on page 141. "Virago" is a term used to describe a woman who is considered to transgress her gender and act aggressively or like a man.


On page 143, the medical convoy from the Black River camp is heading towards the Ozarks. The Ozarks is a highland region of Missouri and Arkansas.


On page 146, a Luddite points a Colt Commando carbine at Dennis. This is a variation on the M16 rifle.


On page 147, George tells his Luddite cohorts they're due in New Madrid. This is a city in southeastern Missouri.


The residents near John's Alaska home load onto the buses for the relocation camp at Dot Lake. This is a region southeast of Fairbanks.


Page 159 mentions the Yukon River. This is a river running through British Columbia, the Yukon Territory, and into Alaska, where it empties into the Bering Sea.


On page 161, John reflects that his bush jacket has become smelly with body odor and excuses himself by thinking, So, Lancelot probably smelled, too, with that padding they wore under their armor. Lancelot was one of the Knights of the Round Table in Arthurian legend, and often considered the most heroic and handsome.


On page 162, John uses a brick of Semtex against the Terminator attack. Semtex is a type of plastic explosive.


During the battle against the Terminators on page 164, John takes a jump on his motorcycle and lands hard, wheezing, "Spine compressed like a Slinky."


After the hard landing above, John says to himself, "She'll no take much more, Cap'n." This is an impression of the U.S.S. Enterprise's chief engineer Montgomery Scott on Star Trek.


John takes a weapon from a destroyed Terminator on page 165. It has a trademark on the side, CYBERDYNE SYSTEMS PHASED PLASMA RIFLE, 40 MGWT RANGE. In both The Terminator and the novelization of Judgment Day, a phased plasma rifle is described as being in the 40 watt range, not megawatt as stated here. But 40 watts is a pretty small unit of electrical power, the equivalent of that used by a typical light bulb! This may be why the description is corrected by Stirling here.


On page 178, Mary refers to Brock's underground resistance bunker as the Batcave. The Batcave is the headquarters of Batman in comics published by DC Comics.


On page 179, Sarah is said to be travelling along I-3 past the Judith River and near Hobson. There is no I-3 in the U.S. But the mention of the Judith River and Hobson place her route through Montana on Montana Highway 3.


On page 181, Sarah asks herself, WWSD?, translated as "What Would Skynet Do?" This is a play on WWJD, meaning "What would Jesus do?", a popular slogan among some Christian groups in the United States since the 1990s.


On page 182, Sarah decides against pulling the Bushmaster knife sheathed on her right leg against the motorcycle gang that has approached her. The Bushmaster is a low end survival knife.


As the motorcycle gang becomes more threatening, Sarah laments to herself that she's fallen into a bad biker movie and wonders, Mel Gibson, where are you when we need you? Mel Gibson is an Australian actor, most well-known for the Mad Max series of films set in a post-apocalyptic world of violent gangs and tyrants often riding around the bleak landscape on patched-together motorcycles and jury-rigged armored vehicles.


On page 203, a bucket of water is brought into the room where the Luddite captured by the Missouri resistance is being held. The implication is that dunking or waterboarding would be used to torture the captive for information. Before this happens, Sergeant Juarez suggests that Lt. Dennis Reese take a walk and check on the people. Dennis reflects that "There were times an officer should take a walk—not something that was covered in the formal curriculum at the Point, but it did get passed on by word of mouth from generation to generation." This has long been a truism in military and law enforcement organizations. The "Point" is a reference to West Point, more properly known as the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.


At the beginning of Chapter 13, John muses that once Skynet gets production facilities fully operational, it will probably build more nuclear missiles for wiping out human enclaves.


Page 206 states that John has recently turned 21. This would place this portion of the story in the year 2006 given John's birthdate of 1985.


On page 207, John sardonically notes his Internalized Mom Superego at work within him. He is thinking of the psychiatric concept of the superego as defined by Dr. Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), which states that everyone has an internalized set of cultural rules that helps to guide their behavior, mostly established during childhood by the influence of their parents. Since John's father died before he was born, he has mostly just his mother's guidance as superego.


As John ponders whether Ninel is trustworthy despite her being associated with the Luddites, he reflects that she seems level-headed and nice, but then thinks of a phrase from the past, He was so quiet, so helpful, seemed like such a nice fella. This is a reference to neighbors' and acquaintances' memories of people who turned out to be murderers, rapists, psychopaths, etc. frequently noted in modern society.


John thinks of Ninel as being elflike, like a blond, blue-eyed Björk. Björk is an Icelandic singer-songwriter.


On page 208, John reflects that his impression of Ninel being elflike is misleading, as, "Tolkien aside, mythology didn't paint elves as friendly to the average human—but as chancy and extremely dangerous." This is true of elves generally in mythology. The elves featured in J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings fantasy books are more sympathetic, though threatening at times.


On page 209, John and Ninel eat at a makeshift establishment called the Copper King. Possibly the place is named for the Copper King mine in the Juneau district of Alaska. John unfavorably compares the hospitality of the establishment to Burger King.


On page 213, Balewitch muses that she can change the innocent Ninel into a tool she could use to seduce and capture John Connor or she'd change her name to Turkey-girl. Possibly, "Turkey-girl" is a reference to the "Poor Turkey Girl" legend of the Zuni Indians of New Mexico, a sort of Cinderella story.


Reflecting on the lack of soap and resulting questionable cleanliness of the people around, John hopes that typhus doesn't get started. Typhus is a disease caused by bacteria carried by biting insects, often with an intermediate vector such as rodents or other humans.


On page 215, Snog jokingly accuses John of being named Legree. This is a reference to Simon Legree, the cruel slave owner of Harriet Beecher Stowe's classic 1852 novel Uncle Tom's Cabin.


On page 218, Ninel has two huskies named Spike and Jonze, telling John, "I like his work." Spike Jonze is an American film director.


On page 222, John muses that military parlance is going to be the lingua franca for the next 30 years or more. A lingua franca is a bridge language which allows individuals or groups of people who don't necessarily speak the same language to communicate via a third language type.


On page 223, John muses that if he can prevent sending his father to his death back in time by allowing himself to cease existence, then, C'est la guerre. C'est la guerre is French for "So is war."


On page 224, Sarah is in Comodoro Rivadavia in the Patagonian province of Chubut in southern Argentina. Comodoro Rivadavia is a real city on the coast of the San Jorge Gulf of the Atlantic Ocean.


Page 225 reveals that the Maricaibo fields of Venezuela had already been hit by Skynet. Maricaibo is a real city in Venezuela.


On page 225, Sarah ponders the statements of Simón Bolívar that his career had been like trying to plow the sea. This is true and Bolívar (1783-1830) is widely considered to be the equivalent of the United States' George Washington in gaining independence for South America from Spain, though he despaired that he and his revolutionaries had accomplished virtually nothing.


Captain Chu's submarine is the USS Roosevelt, an Ohio-class nuclear vessel, once carrying Trident missiles, but since converted to a commando carrier for U.S. Navy SEALS. The Ohio-class is an actual class of U.S. nuclear submarine, but there has never been one by the name of USS Roosevelt. Trident missiles are also real world nuclear ballistic missiles launched by submarines and still in deployment by the U.S. and the British.


On page 227, Captain Chu recalls that the Roosevelt was delayed two weeks in Okinawa for repairs before the bombs dropped on what would have been its destination, San Diego. Okinawa and San Diego are both real cities and naval ports for U.S. vessels.


Page 228 mentions the HMS Dreadnought in comparison to the USS Roosevelt. There have been several ships of the British Royal Navy called HMS Dreadnought throughout history. Presumably, this reference is to the first British nuclear sub by that name which was in service 1963-1980.


On page 231, in the bay at Comodoro Rivadavia, Captain Chu is worried about the possibility of frogmen attaching limpet mines to the Roosevelt. Limpet mines are explosive mines which can be attached to a vessel by magnets by enemy divers and then blown from a distance. The "limpet" name comes from a type of sea snail that tightly clings to hard surfaces such as rock, coral, or even ships.


Sarah arranges to help the Roosevelt and then meet it at Puerto Deseado, down the coast from Comodoro Rivadavia. Puerto Deseado is a real city in Argentina on the southern opening of the San Jorge Gulf.


On page 233, Sarah remembers a quote from a German philosopher Dieter had told her about: "He who fights dragons becomes a dragon." The quote is generally attributed to Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900).


On page 237, Captain Chu recalls a recent attack made on the Roosevelt by a Los Angeles-class sub. The Los Angeles-class is an actual type of U.S. Navy nuclear submarine.


On page 249, Skynet estimates it will take at least another century to exterminate all members of the human pest.


On page 251, Tom Preston has an emergency flashlight stored at the entryway of his family's secret escape tunnel. It requires only to be shaken to charge the battery. This is a type of mechanically powered flashlight that does not require typical stored-energy batteries.


On page 252, Tom laments that, while the escape tunnel is not actually very long, it seemed the length of Route 66. Route 66 is one of the first highways established in the U.S. highway system and runs from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California.


On page 254, John consults a PDA that shows his location, terrain, and the positions of his other attack parties. A PDA is a Personal Digital Assistant.


On page 255, some of John's men operate a TOW antitank missile system. TOW stands for Tube-launched Optically-tracked Wire-guided.


On page 267, John is in Tatilek, Alaska. I assume "Tatilek" is a misprint of "Tatitlek", which is a real village on the coastline of the Gulf of Alaska.


On page 269, John remarks on civilians being rounded up for transportation to relocation camps in Canada since Canada had suffered less than the states in the attack by Skynet. But, earlier in the novel, the leaflet said that Alaskan citizens were being taken to temporary shelters in Canada before being moved to the lower 48 United States.


When provided by John with sunglasses to protect their eyes from the upcoming demonstration of a phased plasma rifle, the sailors of the Roosevelt don them and adopt Joe Cool poses. Joe Cool is one of the aliases of Snoopy in the Peanuts comic strip and animated TV specials. In this alias, Snoopy would don sunglasses and lean against a wall like a cool dude without a care in the world.

Joe Cool


Mary Shea marries Dennis Reese and they conceive a child, Kyle Reese. Kyle is named after Mary's grandfather.


Page 284 reveals that Skynet has left a number of nuclear missiles unused for a later strike against human population centers in the future.


On page 285, Dieter uses a Stinger light antiaircraft missile. This refers to the FIM-92 Stinger portable homing surface-to-air missile developed by the U.S. in 1981 and still produced today.


On page 288, John has learned that his father has been born. This would be at least 8 months after Mary's pregnancy when she was married to Dennis. This likely makes the current year 2007. Then, at the beginning of Chapter 17, it is "seven years later", making it approximately 2014.


As Mary begins her mule trip of medical and supply rounds to the nearby resistance camps, she reflects that at least she doesn't have to deal with HMOs. HMO stands for "health maintenance organization", a company that offers managed health care through an employer-sponsored medical insurance plan in the U.S.


On page 295, Mary threatens young Kyle with a dinner of nothing but hardtack if he doesn't stop making rude diarrhea noises. Hardtack is a simple hard cracker or biscuit food usually made from flour, water, and salt.


On page 296, Kyle tells his mother he wants to live in the Big Apple, having heard the term from one of the soldiers who was born in New York City before Judgment Day. Kyle thinks it's something like James and the Giant Peach. His mother's explanation of why New York City was referred to as the Big Apple is one of many explanations that have been given for the uncertain origin of the nickname. James and the Giant Peach is a 1961 children's novel by Roald Dahl.


The lyrics sung by Mary and Gerri on page 297 are from the song "New York, New York" from the 1944 musical play On the Town.


On page 303, 7-year-old Kyle is cut on the chin by the Luddites who've captured him and his mom. This is presumably meant to be the cause of the scar seen on his chin in The Terminator. However, the teenage Kyle(s) seen in Salvation and the "Born to Run" episode of The Sarah Connor Chronicles do not yet have this scar.


Page 309 implies that even Skynet's HKs speak with Viemeister's (Schwarzenegger's) voice ("Austrian accent").


Chapter 18 opens 3 years later, in Coruna, Mexico. This would make the year approximately 2017. Coruna is presumably the neighborhood of Mexico City called La Coruna.


Chapter 18 reveals that Skynet uses small mechanical devices called spring boxes on multiple legs which pop up from hiding places and attempt to inject encroaching humans with hydrochloric acid from a needle to the heart or brain to cause death.


On page 320, John gives Sarah a codeine pill to numb the pain from the injuries she's suffered. Codeine is an opiate drug used as an analgesic.


On page 321, John recommends that they fake Sarah's death soon, because she is getting too old for battlefield combat and to help make her the martyred legend she is alleged to be in Kyle's description of her in The Terminator. Later pages of the novel indicate that this plan was, indeed, put into effect, and Sarah retired from active duty to be with the also-retired, due to injury, Dieter (possibly in the state of Washington). If this is still 2017, John would be about 32 years old at this time; in the novelization of Judgment Day, it is stated that Sarah was one of John's high-placed officers and was killed leading a convoy when John was in his mid-twenties, placing her death in approximately 2010. (Of course, in the Rise of the Machines timeline, Sarah died before the war, of leukemia.)


The beginning of Chapter 19 indicates that kids during the future war are fond of playing noisy rounds of People and Terminators, similar to "Cops and Robbers" or "Cowboys and Indians" children's make-believe of the past.


Chapter 19 indicates that Skynet has been "hopping countries" in its attacks on the human resistance, concentrating its attacks in certain nations for a time and then changing to another nation to keep the resistance off balance.


On page 339, John remarks that Skynet was foolish to design new, high-tech weapons like the phased plasma rifles for killing humans since the humans have since stolen large numbers of these which are extremely effective in destroying Terminators, whereas Skynet could kill humans with standard bullets or other simple weapons to which the Terminators are essentially impervious.


Page 340 reveals that Skynet has planted so-called fail-safe devices in its more important installations to blow a nuclear bomb at its command if it becomes overrun by the resistance.


Page 341 reveals that Skynet has begun to "retire" most of its Luddite allies since humans are so unpredictable in their behavior.


On page 341, a poem intrudes into Skynet's electronic brain as it watches the human resistance soldiers enter its factory with the line, " 'Come into my parlor,' said the spider to the fly." This is from the 1829 poem "The Spider and the Fly" by Mary Howitt (1799-1888).


Page 345 describes the resistance's night-vision goggles as operating on the UV level. UV, of course, is short for "ultraviolet".


On page 347, John rescues young Kyle and others from the Skynet prison camp, saying, "Come with me if you want to live." Kyle says these same words to Sarah when they first meet in The Terminator. It's possible this is where he learned the line in the first place...from his own adult son!


At the beginning of Chapter 20, John uses a Coleman lantern to read by. Coleman is a manufacturer of camping accessories.


When Dennis and Mary Reese are killed by Terminators during the prison breakout, John rescues Kyle and places him in the foster care of Jack Brock.


When Sarah tells John that the last time she visited Snog he put his hand on her thigh, John wonders if Snog has a version of the Oedipus complex. Oedipus complex is a psychiatric term developed by Dr. Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) that is applied to a child's sexual desire for the parent of the opposite sex (boys for mother, girls for father). I'm not sure why John would use this term though since Snog is not Sarah's son, nor is it implied anywhere else in the book that she is a mother figure for him. I suppose Sarah might be considered a mother figure of the resistance, almost the Virgin Mary mother of the savior, John Connor. Or maybe John just thinks that Snog has a MILF complex!


On page 357, John asks Shad Cho to tell him about the chameleon fabric. This is the only mention of the fabric and the story cuts away from the scene without explaining it. From the name "chameleon fabric" it may be some type of cloth developed by the tech group that is able to change color or blend in with its surroundings. Such a fabric has not been evident in any other Terminator story.


Also on page 357, John hopes that he's rooted the whifties out of the resistance's Quebec technology development site. "Whifties" are pot smokers.


Again on page 357, Cho refers to Snog as Gandalf the Geek. "Gandalf" is the name of the main wizard in J. R. R. Tolkien's epic fantasy novels The Hobbit (1937) and The Lord of the Rings (1954).


On page 358, the story jumps to 7 years later and page 359 states that Kyle is 17 years old. Both of these facts point to the current year being about 2024.


Page 361 jumps ahead another two years, to about 2026.


On page 361, a resistance operation is taking place in the ruins of Burbank. Burbank is a city in Los Angeles County.


Pages 361-362 refer to some kind of Hunter-Killer war machine as a Grolo. I have no idea what this is. Maybe it stands for "ground locomotive"?


On page 363, John gives Kyle the photo of Sarah that the young man will later carry back with him to 1984 in The Terminator.


Page 364 jumps ahead another 4 years. This would make the current year 2030, but it's obviously supposed to be the final battle against Skynet and the moment of time travel of various Terminators and Kyle Reese to the past, making it 2029. I guess my year approximations earlier were just slightly off somewhere! On the other hand, John reflects that he's 42 years old on page 367, which can only be the year 2027!


As Snog wakes John up to tell him that a hangar full of aircraft in perfect condition has been found, he is described as "imitating the happy-talk excitement of a ginsu knife salesman." This is a reference to the infamous Ginsu knife TV commercials that aired in the U.S. in the 1970s and '80s.


Building up to the revelation that they've discovered a hangar full of aircraft, Snog tells John, "I have the treasure of the Sierra Madre, King Solomon's lost mines, Atlantis, the missing link!" These are all legendary (and mostly mythical) lost or unknown prizes.


The aircraft found by the resistance are B-2s. The U.S. Air Force's B-2 is better known as the Stealth Bomber.


Pages 367 and 368 confirm that Sarah's death was faked and she took on a new identity at some point in the past, but doesn't reveal the name.


On page 367, John looks at a Mercator projection of the world showing Skynet- and human-held zones. A Mercator map is one of the round Earth on a flat surface, named for its inventor, Flemish cartographer Gerardus Mercator (1512-1594).


Page 368 reveals that the decisive battle against Skynet where the resistance captured its headquarters at Cheyenne Mountain and the time travel witnessed in The Terminator and Judgment Day began what was called Operation Chrono.


On page 369, Snog activates the "Uncle Bob" Terminator seen in Judgment Day.


On page 370, John witnesses the first T-800 go back in time (the one who arrives in The Terminator), the T-1000 go back in time (the one who arrives in Judgment Day), and a beautiful young woman go back in time (the Infiltrator called Serena Burns in Infiltrator). Of course, "One Shot" reveals a female Terminator was also sent back to 1984 to back up the original Model 101 in The Terminator. And other timelines have many other variations of time travellers going back in time to aid Skynet.


Page 370 reveals that Luddite scientists sent the Terminators back in time for Skynet. It's possible they also invented the technology as well.


On page 372, the transition moments of Kyle preparing for the chronoportation are different than those seen in some earlier versions of the same moment in the novelizations of The Terminator and Judgment Day and in "All My Futures Past" Part 2 and "Father's Day".


Unanswered Questions


Is Captain Thaddeus Chu any relation to Leanne Chu, the professor of chemistry who is part of Snog's resistance group?


How did Skynet happen to choose Dieter as the human model for Model 101 Terminators? Isn't it more than a bit of a coincidence that in 2002 Sarah and John just happen to bump into the man who will become that model? Possibly, Dieter has always been an integral part of the Skynet timelines, so the universe somehow always finds a way to drag him into the relevant events, in the same way that Skynet is always born and Sarah and John are always fighting it, no matter how the timeline is altered. Of course, the bonus features on the Rise of the Machines DVD suggests the body model of the 101s was U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sergeant William Candy. 


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