The second story in the second omnibus. It concludes the stories in the first omnibus: Tempest, Secondary objectives, and the Enemy Within.

Script: James Robinson
Art: Jackson Guice
Original publication year: 1999 as a limited series. Terminator Omnibus vol. 2 publication year: 2008
Publisher: Dark Horse

At the end of Enemy Within, Lockhurst got his greedy little paws on a disk full of Terminator data and he’s still determined to make money off it, the future be damned. Detective Sloane is trying to get Lockhurst to see reason, but doesn’t succeed. So, Sloane just shoots him. And just to be sure, Colonel Mary Randall blows up the building where the disk and the Terminator bits are. Then Sloane says that he doesn’t want to see Mary ever again and walks away.

Unfortunately, things aren’t that easy. A couple of months later, Sloane is on the trail of a serial killer called Catfish. He murders young women brutally and the police don’t have a clue. Also, Sloane is seeing a therapist because he’s haunted by what he knows about the future. The therapist doesn’t believe him, of course, but doesn’t say anything to the detective.

Meanwhile Mary is trying to survive in the modern world. It’s pretty hard because she doesn’t have papers or social security number, and apparently don’t have enough money to get fake ones. She’s starting to resent her life. Then, the Terminator/human cyborg Dudley contacts her. She’s been trying to contact him for months and it turns out that Dudley is losing his battle against the Terminator circuitry. However, Dudley knows that another Terminator has arrived from the past because he contacted Dudley’s Terminator half. Apparently, their efforts so far have change the time line but Skynet was able to send one more Terminator to kill Sarah Connor while she’s giving birth. Dudley begs Mary to help Connor. He can’t trust himself anymore. Randall agrees. She contacts Sloane and they head to the Texas hospital where Connor is supposed to be.

This story is again quite violent. The Terminator kills a lot of people first on his way to Texas and then at the hospital. There’s also a secondary storyline with the Catfish and I’m not certain what that’s supposed to do. Perhaps it mirrors human evil (or rather insanity) against computer programming? Or that maybe all humans aren’t worth saving for? It felt very weird and disconnected to me despite the ending.

Both Sloane and Randall are very much human here, with their own doubts and fears but soon enough they are caught in the middle of fighting.

The end is quite interesting. It establishes this story as an alternate time line and also manages to violate pretty much every time travel logic I’ve encountered (disclaimer: if time travel exists for real it doesn’t have to obey any puny human logic ;)).

The story ends appropriately enough with “Never the end”.