Word Count: ~36,000
Childhood by Pallas-Athena
I'll admit, I'm not a big fan of James Cameron or his movies, but for some bizarre reason I cannot tear myself away from the television if one of his movies comes on. It's one of those mysteries of life. What is not a mystery of life? My big giant crush on Michael Biehn and just about any character he's ever played, including Kyle Reese from the first Terminator movie. (It's all Chris Larabee's fault, btw.)
Despite my general dislike of apocafic type settings, I've secretly been hoping someone would write a story on Kyle Reese's younger years, and more importantly on what his relationship would be like with John Connor, his hero, and unbeknownst to him, his future/past son. Which is just time paradoxy enough to make my head hurt, so we won't stare at that event horizon too long.
It's a fascinating concept, and one Pallas-Athena explores very well. This story was written before Terminator: Salvation, so you can safely read this story if you haven't wanted to spend your money on the high priced theater concessions yet. The basic concept is what would happen if John Connor met Kyle Reese much earlier than expected, and exactly how well (or how spectacularly bad, depending on your perspective) of a job he does at trying to keep his distance from the father that he never knew, or from a lonely boy in need of guidance and a parental figure.
The setting in the story is absolutely fantastic in its desolation, and the detail on day-to-day life in this kind of world is especially amazing. The original characters are enjoyable and believable, and the story delivers a nice twist on the traditional family roles. It's probably a little long for a quick read, but a good tale to get absorbed in. (I had a very hard time putting it down to go to sleep, despite being exhausted.) The ending is at once hopeful, and yet a little bittersweet, which is all too fitting considering the Connor family's bizarre temporal wanderings.
Such a well-written fic gives me a yearning for more of this kind of tale, but sadly I've already tapped out the reservoir of this sort of story at the Pit. I may have to bite the bullet and pick up the Sarah Connor Chronicles to get the rest of my Kyle fix.