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Malfunction

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The machine was alone. He laid back in bed, dazed against the headboard, simulated breath heavy. Error after error crossed his vision. A multitude of readings warned him of the multiple open wounds in his head. One leg hung over the edge of the bed, broken, practically useless. New sensations washed over the machine. He wouldn’t call it pain, per say, more of a nagging feeling that something -- rather, everything was wrong. The cause of which was obvious. The incessant chimes and whirs that filled his ears had become far too much for him, but he hardly had the energy to do anything about them. So there laid the T-800, broken beyond repair, staining the burgundy motel sheets an even darker red.

His head lolled to the side and the motion caused something to crack. His world spun, sensors entirely confused by this point. The Terminator cursed for allowing himself to get to such a state without completing his mission. What he needed to do was simple -- kill Sarah Connor. It was practically child’s play. However, he had gotten distracted. One slight, minuscule mistake cost him all this - the mess, the setback, the failure. His overconfidence in his own abilities gave him a false sense of impunity. Under easily damageable skin was just as easily damageable machinery. Perhaps, he thought, it would be better to be more careful next time -- less gunfire, more patience.

Sitting up, his groan lowered a few octaves, a stuttered, glitching sigh. He looked upon himself. The shirt he wore sported dark patches of color, as did his jeans. The room felt hot. Terminators were designed for survival, but right then, breath coming out in warm puffs, the T-800 couldn’t stand the temperature. Leaning forward, he slipped out of his leather jacket and discarded it with a thud. The item had multiple bullet holes in the back. As he moved, his internals creaked and groaned. Swinging his other leg around, he got out of the bed. He almost fell, stumbled, but managed to stay mostly upright. He caught himself, a trembling hand clutching the nightstand. After gathering himself, the machine shuffled over to the bathroom.

He felt heavy. He braced himself against the doorway and a strangled, rasped sigh exited his throat. He made his way across the tile and finally collapsed against the sink. There was hardly a warning from his system when he heaved. His back arched as he coughed uncontrollably. Red splashed, splattered against the sink’s interior. Weakness crashed over him, and all he could do for a moment was hang his head and endure. Taking in shaking breaths, the Terminator slowly began to calm down. Even so, a few stray coughs sputtered from his still open mouth. It was then that he realized the true extent of his wounds. Another cough interrupted his train of thought. He swallowed back the metallic substance.

As the Terminator rose, he caught sight of his reflection in the mirror. There was another rise in his throat, but he fought back.

The sight of his face stirred something deep within him. What stared back at him was a dull, glowing, red eye. Its gaze seemed to be constantly readjusting, unused to the outside world. The glaring monstrosity hindered whatever effectiveness his disguise had previously. Various cuts and scrapes were scattered across his face as well, all varying in intensity. A particularly large gash in his cheek showed off the inner workings of his jaw. As his eyes trailed down further, a gaping wound in his neck came into view. The glint of his endoskeleton could be seen within. Metallic gray mixed with wet crimson.

The numerous warnings and popups gave the machine no sympathy. Bringing a hand to his neck, he let it rest on the large wound, inspecting it in the mirror. As he brushed his fingers against the metal, and the broken connectors and wires, a jolt caused him to pull away.

Tilting his head, the Terminator pondered the readouts he received upon touching the wound. Alongside the negatives, there was a single positive. He focused on the source of the positive reading -- a lone port with a misplaced wire. Moving his head in such a manner, it became fairly difficult to precisely place his fingers. Still, that hadn’t stopped him from trying. The machine tentatively searched. His touch was lost on the material. Soon, though, he found the spot he had mistakenly touched. Swallowing, he pressed a digit into the open port. Touch focused, the reaction was far more intense this time around. Heat washed over the cyborg, forcing a shaking breath from him.

With a moment of clarity, he shook his head. Realizing he had gotten wildly off track, the T-800 remembered what he stumbled over here for to begin with. Turning on the tap, water cascaded into the sink. Cupping his hands, he began to wash his face, making sure not to further damage his electronics. The water was tinted a light red by the time he was finished. Wetting a portion of a towel, he turned off the tap, and proceeded to clean some of his more intricate areas. It was almost soothing, wiping away whatever remained of his past mistakes. Certainly, it would take some time for the skin to properly heal, but for now, this would have to be good enough.

Leaning a little closer to the mirror, the Terminator began to clean the area around his eye. He was gentler then, being ever so careful as to not damage his eye any further. Movements slow, calculated. Once he was satisfied, he pulled the towel away, folded it to a clean side, and lightly patted the area. What he hadn’t expected was another jolt to course through him -- shocking him to his very core. He cursed. It only took one more press for the cyborg to become weak once again. He kept the pressure there. His functioning eye was screwed tight, and he found himself frustrated.

It seemed as though whatever sense of humanity he had ran more than skin deep. This need was primal, so new and strange to the mechanical. He repeated this pattern: dully pressing the stained towel into his eye, fingertips pressing into the same port on his neck, and nearly falling over, dizzied by the stress he was putting on his sensors. Electric pulses sent waves down his spine. There was a spreading warmth somewhere, it was something he could hardly fathom. Though his system still attempted to warn him of the upcoming dangers, whatever text displayed had long since corrupted. Not that the T-800 was paying attention by that point, anyway.

Finally, he let the towel fall from his grasp. If he wanted this done right, he would need to get his hands -- along with everything else -- dirty.

He walked back into the main room, vision fuzzy. He found the table he had been working at earlier, furthermore, found the small collection of tools he had been using in order to tend to his wounds. What every other tool was hardly mattered to him then, as he only needed one in order to complete his new objective. He picked up a stained scalpel and began the trek back to the bathroom. All the while, the Terminator ignored the now continuous ringing his system insisted on running.

Back in front of the mirror, he gave the tool a quick rinse. The stains washed away with near ease. After drying it off, he leaned in towards the glass, and he inspected himself. Tilting aside, he tried to decide the best way to go about this. He caught one last glimpse of the dull red of his pupil before he began his work. With newfound stability, the cyborg sliced around the circumference of his sclera. Thin and thick wires alike -- nothing would get in the machine’s way. Working the scalpel’s blade, he jammed it in an ringed indent. Using the tool as a lever, the Terminator pushed on the handle, and something deep within his head disconnected. The eye shifted out of place with a click. The red faded and half of his vision glitched and darkened.

By this point, the T-800 had grown to appreciate the design of his endoskeleton. How open everything was made it vastly easier to extract the eye without rendering it useless after the fact. Being careful with the blade, he worked the sensitive device from its socket, and it landed in his free hand. A lightheadedness now plagued the machine. He made sure to place the eye down carefully -- reminding himself that he would be reinstalling it later.

With all that done, the Terminator could finally satiate his curiosities.

He set off back to the main room, eager to get back in bed. At least while laying down, he had less of a chance of falling. Pushing the covers aside, he got comfortable again, back against the headboard. He hardly bothered bringing his legs up, leaving the same damaged one dangling off the bed.

Bringing a curious hand to the new vacancy, he let a finger trail around the rim of the socket. The same electric sensation he felt earlier had returned, but subtle in its approach. As he explored the area, though, it only seemed to intensify. The Terminator found himself in a daze -- there was a tremor in his sigh. Swallowing, he allowed the digit to worm its way inside. The sensation of something pressing itself against the inner wall of his eye socket made him shudder, and his functioning eye rolled back.

It should’ve been painful -- or at the very least, what he was doing shouldn’t have felt good. It was bad enough that he had been mutilated to such a degree before -- numerous bullet wounds, amongst other cuts and bruises -- but the T-800 took is several steps further. Within the numb pain, he found a new sort of pleasure. He couldn’t even begin to understand this -- that, or care. All that mattered now was chasing this feeling.

His movements became more rhythmic, and he had begun to pump his finger in and out of the socket. Minutes passed, and the machine was writhing. He couldn’t take it any longer. Another digit joined the fray. It followed suit, exploring alongside the other. The inside was warm, and had an unusual moistness to it. As he continued to fiddle with the hole, blood began to stream down the cyborg’s cheek.

Even with all this: two fingers deep inside his skull, electric pulses coming in waves, the Terminator still found himself wanting something more. Just then, he remembered his previous discovery.

It took him no time at all to find the faulty port. Another layer of heat washed over him as his fingers brushed up against it again, then pressed into it. His pushes steadily became more rhythmic, and matched the speed at which he was working his eye. A harsh groan tore from his throat. More -- he needed more. Working another digit into the hole in his head wasn’t an easy feat, but it was more than worth the effort.

With his fingers buried to the knuckle, the Terminator found it difficult to keep quiet. He kept working at the hole, forcing his way deeper, pushing harder, faster -- he couldn’t help himself. A thin line of drool streamed down the side of his chin as he panted, unable to cool his systems. His voice would occasionally catch, sounding heavily distorted. The hand on his neck had long since given up with the port, instead opting to rest on his thigh. The reaction he got from his eye socket had been far more intense, anyway.

It wasn’t much longer that the machine felt he was nearly at his peak. Heat began to climb, making his movements that much harder. He whined, whimpered as he drew closer to the release. He dug his nails into the sensitive interior, trying to get just a little further. Blood and other fluids gushed from the socket -- a groan passed his lips as numerous warnings crossed what remained of his vision. The chimes having long since given up their call, came back to life with a new intensity. It was then that he finished himself off, pushed over the edge as his body convulsed, unable to cope with the stress any longer.

There laid the Terminator, panting, bleeding, and on the verge of passing out. Though he still felt the remnants of his mock-climax, what accompanied it was a unfamiliar sense of shame. It was all so ridiculous. To think that he could get off on this alone -- had he truly been that broken? What of his original mission? How was he supposed to complete it now? Especially in the state he was in then. He pulled his fingers from the now useless socket with a pop. He cursed, simulated breath wavering as he did.

The short walk back to the bathroom felt as though it took forever. With a stained, cut up hand, he picked up the just as ruined towel. He pressed the cloth to his face and leaned down to brace himself against the sink. He stayed like that for quite a while -- panting slowly, trying to ignore how good merely holding the towel there felt. Before long, he rose and inspected the wound.

By now, the T-800 dreaded the repairs his desires costed him. The inner walls of the socket were scratched and torn, wires sliced and scraped, and blood contaminating the mechanical sections. These structures would need to be realigned, cleaned, and -- he groaned with annoyance. His face was messier than it had been when he first started.

With his limited tools, fixing his eye socket wouldn’t be an easy feat, but it would be doable. In any case, it was going to be a long night. Sarah Connor would have to wait.