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StephenT [userpic]

(Fic) Hair

21st September 2008 (02:07)
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Another Sarah Connor Chronicles ficlet, for the prompt 'hair' in lunabee34's ficathon (as spotted in the su_herald).

273 words, rating G. Cameron's been in the bathroom all night. (She doesn't sleep.)


Each of the keratin filaments on Cameron's head is exactly one hundred microns thick. When she was originally manufactured they were also a uniform 220 millimetres in length, but not any more. With inhuman patience, exquisite precision and a small pair of scissors, she has cut them all to a slightly irregular length. The effect is more natural; it makes her look more human. No actual human would ever consciously notice the difference, of course. But Cameron would know.

It's in her programming, to look more human. It helps her achieve her mission.

She stares at herself in the bathroom mirror. Her hair doesn't grow naturally. It will never need cutting. Given the right raw materials she could synthesise new keratin strands - to repair battle damage, for example. That's a standard function. Styling her hair, worrying about its appearance: these are not standard functions. They're things humans do.

But isn't that in her programming too, to act like a human would?

She studies the small array of glass jars and plastic tubes and foil sachets she has just acquired from the drugstore. She knows the chemical composition of their contents to molecular level, but not what they will actually do to her hair. She doesn't know how humans would do this. She only knows that she wants to do it, deep down in her basic autonomous logic circuits, and she doesn't know why.

It must be her programming. This will help her complete her mission.

As she unscrews the first jar and takes a dollop of the gel onto her fingers, she finds herself hoping that John will appreciate her new look.


Posted by: The Anti-OTP (snowpuppies)
Posted at: 21st September 2008 01:49 (UTC)

Great job. Love the first bit, where she knows the exact diameter and length of her hair.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 21st September 2008 15:33 (UTC)

Thanks! The idea there was to contrast the typical Terminator - measured, precise, robotic, pre-programmed, absolutely predictable - with the idea that Cameron is slowly, and almost without her knowing, turning into something else...

Posted by: Murielle (murielle)
Posted at: 21st September 2008 02:10 (UTC)


I love it! I'm saving it to my memories! Cameron-fic! Yay!

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 21st September 2008 15:33 (UTC)

Glad you liked it. :-)


Posted by: MrTeufel (mrteufel)
Posted at: 21st September 2008 02:40 (UTC)

It's an interesting take, but I really see Cameron more alien than that. I also think that even if a Terminator had a similar internal narrative to humans, that inhuman precision isn't one of their core traits. Immensely goal-oriented, if Cameron did something like this to try and influence John, it would be justified in terms of her goals: protect John and Destroy Skynet.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 21st September 2008 15:38 (UTC)

Thanks! I don't know about "more alien", though; it seems to me that a pre-programmed, absolutely predictable machine that's slowly developing other traits is even more alien. And that's why I repeated the paragraph about her programming three times... as if she's trying to convince herself that her actions fall within her mission parameters and are done to enable her to fulfil her objectives. In a way they are - but I don't think Cameron's goals can any longer be summed up in anything so simple as 'protect John' or 'destroy Skynet'. She's growing beyond that, into uncharted territory. (Which is what makes the whole story so fascinating).

Edited at 2008-09-21 15:39 (UTC)

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