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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

at popapostle-dot-com
Terminator: Cold War Terminator
Cold War
Chapters 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20-end from the Novel Terminator Salvation: Cold War
Written by Greg Cox

(Page numbers come from the paperback first edition, October 2009.)


A Resistance leader in Alaska, inspired by the radio broadcasts of John Connor, strikes repeatedly at Skynet targets.


Notes from the Terminator chronology


The title of this novel, Cold War, is based on the term used to describe the state of nuclear tension between the Western and Eastern Bloc powers from 1947-1991. Here, it is a play on the cold environment of Alaska where the story takes place.


This story takes place during the future war in 2018, shortly before the events of Salvation. It covers chapters 2, 4. 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, and 20-end of the Terminator Salvation novel Cold War. The remaining chapters of the novel take place in 2003, before, during, and after Judgment Day on July 25, 2003 (though, other sources generally indicate that the Salvation timeline accepts the Judgment Day date of July 25, 2004 from Rise of the Machines, so those chapters should have 2004 headings rather than the 2003, as covered in Peace and War), which is why I have split this novel into two parts in the chronology.


Didja Know?


The epilogue of the novel basically leads into the beginning of Salvation.


Didja Notice?


The teenage girl called Sitka is named after the Alaskan city of that name on Baronof Island and Chichagof Island in the Alexander Archipelago of the state.


Page 20 reveals that a scarlet armband is a symbol worn by Resistance members.


The Skynet Express, the Resistance term for the machines' railroad operations transporting raw materials mined in the Yukon to Valdez, runs along an old track built during the mining days of the Gold Rush. This probably references the Resurrection Creek gold rush of the 1890s, just across the Turnagain Arm waterway from Anchorage. Yukon is the Yukon Territory of Canada, in the northwest portion of the country, bordering Alaska to the west; the major industry of the Yukon is metal mining. Valdez is a city in Alaska.


On page 21, when Sitka sees the Skynet Express emerge from the mountain tunnel, she says, "Wow! Way skookum!" "Skookum" is a word borrowed from jargon of the Native American Chinook language, generally meaning something positive, in this case something like "cool".


Page 22 uses the term VTOL in describing the HKs. VTOL stands for Vertical Take-Off and Landing.


On page 24, Geir remarks that Skynet sure does keep the trains running on time and Molly retorts, "So did Mussolini." Benito Mussolini (1883-1945) was the fascist dictator of Italy 1925-1945. It is a long-held myth of so-called "fascist efficiency" that he made the trains there run on time.


Page 25 is the first mention of a Hydrobot. This is an aquatic type Hunter-Killer unit which is later seen in Salvation.


Page 26 has Molly resentfully musing that old-school Pentagon types like Ashdown hog all the best resources for their own troops. The Pentagon is the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense. General Ashdown previously appeared in Peace and War and later appears in Salvation.


One of the slogans John Connor espouses in his Resistance broadcasts is, "If you're still breathing, you're the Resistance."


Molly's Resistance group sabotages the Trans-Alaska Pipeline in order put a crimp in Skynet's use of it to transport fuel and to steal some fuel for their own use. The Trans-Alaska Pipeline is one of the largest pipeline systems in the world, running from the northern coast of Alaska to the southern coast of the state, from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez. Page 40 describes the pipes as four feet in diameter, zig-zagging across the landscape; this is true of the real world pipeline.


On page 40, Molly considers John Connor to be the voice of the Resistance even though he is not the one in charge (yet).


Page 41 states that the nearest pumping station on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline is 50 miles north at Delta Junction. Delta Junction is a small city in Alaska about 100 miles south of Fairbanks and it does have a pumping station into the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.


Page 42 reveals that one of Geir's sled dogs is a samoyed named Togo. The dog's name is probably derived from that of the lead sled dog of Leonhard Seppala's dog sled team in the 1925 serum run to Nome through Alaska. Samoyeds are a breed of herding and sled dogs, originally bred by natives of Siberia.


Geir pilots a fighter plane called Thunderbird. Page 298 reveals Thunderbird to be a P-51 Mustang, a WWII-era fighter plane that was made by North American Aviation.


On page 43, Geir carries an M4 carbine. The M4 carbine is a type of U.S. military firearm derived from the more common M16 rifle. Many of the Alaska Resistance carry this weapon, including Molly. On page 50, she is described as firing 5.56-mm rounds at a Terminator; these are a standard NATO round.


On page 46, some of the Resistance sentries are armed with .50 caliber Barrett rifles. Barrett Firearms Manufacturing is a real world manufacturer of firearms.


Also on page 46, a Resistance member is humming an old Britney Spears tune. Britney Spears is an American pop singer.


Page 48 reveals that John Connor's broadcasts have already warned that female "Terminatrix" versions of Terminators are in development by Skynet. The Terminatrix model was introduced as the T-X in "Heralds of the Rise" and, most prominently, in Rise of the Machines.


The rubber face mask worn by T-600 infiltrators are described as looking like cheap Halloween masks.


Page 48 reveals the T-600s are using wire snowshoes for walking across snow.


Also on page 48, the Alaska Resistance uses an RPG and M82 rifles against attacking Terminators. An RPG is a Rocket Propelled Grenade. The M82 is probably a reference to the Barrett M82 .50 caliber rifle.


Page 51 describes exhaust fumes mixing with the smell of cordite. Cordite is a smokeless propellant sometimes used in place of gunpowder in bullets. 5.56-mm NATO rounds use cordite, as implied here.


On page 54, a snow plow commandeered by Terminators drives under the Alaskan Pipeline. In many sections, the above-ground portions of the pipeline are many feet above the surface to allow wildlife to pass under it unimpeded.


On page 57, a fire is lit from the oil spill from the pipeline, engulfing a number of Terminators, and Molly thinks, That's it, baby. Light my fire. This may be a reference to the Doors song "Light My Fire", the main chorus of which is "Come on baby, light my fire."


On page 58, Molly realizes she and Geir were about to enter Whitman Pass, an avalanche zone. As far as I can tell, this is a fictitious pass in Alaska.


Coming up with a plan to stop the Terminators at Whitman Pass, Molly asks Geir if he's ever seen Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. This is a 1954 musical film. The story includes an intentionally rigged avalanche scene.


On page 61, Molly pulls an M79 grenade launcher from her bag. This is a real world grenade launcher, popularly known as the one used by the protector T-800 in Judgment Day.


On page 64, Geir remarks that he may not be able to see Seven Brides for Seven Brothers since Judgment Day cancelled his NetFlix subscription.


On page 64, Molly glimpses Mount Wrangell in the distance. Mount Wrangell is an active, but relatively mild in modern times, shield volcano in the Wrangell Mountains, part of the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve in southeastern Alaska. The 12,000+ foot height of the mountain on page 339 is true (14,163 feet at the summit).


Page 79 reveals that Molly's Resistance group is based out of an old copper mill that was abandoned back in the 1930s. They had previously had a base camp just outside Fairbanks but had to leave it six months ago.


On page 82, Doc tells Molly and Sitka that he once installed a panic room at the mansion of a Microsoft executive in Tacoma. Microsoft is, of course, a real world software company based in Redmond, WA. The city of Tacoma is about 40 miles south of there.


Also on page 82, Doc mentions good times at Pike Place Market with Pepsi and Dr. Pepper. Pike Place Market is an outdoor public market in Seattle, WA. Doc goes on to start singing an old Dr. Pepper jingle, "I'm a Pepper, you're a Pepper..." This is from the brand's "Be a Pepper" ad campaign of the 1970s-80s.


On page 83, Molly muses on how stories of life pre-Judgment Day must sound like fairy tales to the teenage Sitka, like Oz or Wonderland. These are references to the fantastical worlds of the Oz series of children's books by L. Frank Baum (and others) and Wonderland books by Lewis Carroll.


On page 84 it is stated that the two young Resistance members Roger and Tammi got engaged after surviving a firefight in Glenallen the previous month. Glenallen is an Alaska town about 100 miles north of Valdez.


Page 86 describes the emblem of the Resistance as a spiraling double-helix (as previously established in Machinima). This is representative of DNA, the core component of all organic life on Earth.


Pages 86-87 reveal that religious services/occasions in the Resistance are kept non-denominational to avoid squabbling over the religious differences of individuals. However, all agree that Skynet is the Devil.


On page 87, Ernie begins the wedding ceremony with, "Brothers, sisters, fellow Homo sapiens." Homo sapiens is the scientific name for the human species.


Page 89 states that Ernie's latest wood statue was of a sasquatch standing astride the fractured skull of a T-600. Molly muses, Too bad Bigfoot's not really on our side. "Sasquatch" and "Bigfoot" are two names for a cryptozoological hominid some people believe lives (mostly) in the American northwest.


Page 91 reveals that Molly's full name is Molly Roxana Kookesh. 


On page 91, Molly reflects on how she met Geir when her Resistance group freed a number of prisoners from a Skynet interrogation facility in 2015 and he was found in solitary confinement there. They'd fought a number of T-70s side-by-side in order to escape. The T-70 series were the first humanoid-form Terminators, designed by Cyberdyne Systems to impress military investors pre-Judgment Day. This model was introduced in T2 3-D: Battle Across Time, the Universal Studios theme park ride. This novel is the only other time they've been mentioned within the Terminator universe. T-70


On page 108, a T-600 spies a Muslela erminea (sic) a short-tailed weasel in the woods and judges it non-threatening. Mustela erminea is found throughout the cooler climates of North America, including Alaska.


On page 109, the T-600 runs into Ursus arctos horribilis, the grizzly bear. Ursus arctos horribilis is the correct scientific name of the grizzly bear.


One of the members of Molly's Resistance group is former logger Tom Jensen. In the 1995 video game Terminator: Future Shock, a character named Thomas Jensen is a prisoner of Skynet along with Kyle Reese when they are rescued and they join the Resistance. Possibly, this is the same Tom Jensen, in two different timelines.


Page 136 mentions the ammonia leeching plant on the grounds of the former copper mining site. Ammonia leeching was once part of the process of extracting copper from ore stones.


Page 138 describes a Tlingit totem pole carved by Ernie Wisetongue, featuring brightly-colored visages of Raven, Beaver, Killer Whale, and Wolf. The Tlinget are a native people of the North American coastline. They (and other tribes of the northwest) were known to carve these animal figures into totem poles.


On page 139, Molly asks Tom for sitrep. "Sitrep" is military shorthand for "situation report".


On page 161, Ernie is said to look like Nanook of the North in his sealskin parka. This refers to the native Inuk named Nanook living in the Canadian Arctic with his family in the silent 1922 documentary/docudrama film Nanook of the North.


Seeing that the T-600 has lost one eye, Molly calls it Popeye. Popeye, of course, is a sailor character missing one eye, who has been around since 1929 in comic strips, and in cartoons since 1933.


Page 165 states that Resistance member Vic Folger was once a high school soccer coach in Wasilla.


On page 169, Molly laments that the tramway at the old copper mining site hasn't worked since the Great Depression. The Great Depression was a worldwide economic downturn through much of the 1930s that resulted in high unemployment and poverty rates.


On page 170, Vic has an Uzi slung over his shoulder. The general Uzi line of weapons was designed by Israeli Captain Uziel Gal in the late 1940s and named after him.


On page 187, Tammi carries an M-16 and wears a Kevlar army helmet. The M-16 rifle is the most widely distributed U.S. military semi- and full-automatic rifle from 1962 to present day. Kevlar is a real world type of bulletproof body armor, developed in 1965 by the DuPont corporation.


On page 190, Molly reflects that she's heard that John Connor's wife is a medic. Kate Connor was a veterinarian's assistant in Rise of the Machines and has graduated, by necessity, to becoming a human medic in various stories set in the years after the film.


On page 196, the T-600's POV informational displays are described as HUD displays. HUD stands for Head-Up Display, any type of transparent informational display that allows the viewer to see the information while still allowing the individual to observe events occurring in front of them.


In Chapter 16, Molly's Resistance cell has regrouped in the forests of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.


Page 225 refers to the Lower 48. The Lower 48 are the 48 lower states of the North American continent, excluding Alaska and Hawaii.


Page 225 reveals that San Francisco is called Skynet Central. It becomes an important location during the events of Salvation.


On page 225, Alaska is referred to as the land of the midnight sun. This is a term occasionally used to describe regions above the Arctic Circle, where the sun is, at times, visible in the sky at midnight.


On page 226, Geir makes a minor faux pas. A faux pas is a verbal misstep that might be seen as inappropriate or embarrassing. The term itself is French.


   Page 228 has Molly contemplating the Raven pendant she wears, with it representing a trickster god in Haida mythology. This is true. Haida are a native people of the Pacific Northwest region of North America.

   Molly calls her plan to strike at the Skynet Express Operation Ravenwing.


On page 256, Doc begins to recite from a poem the lines, "Into the valley of death rode the six hundred. Into the jaws of death, into the mouth of Hell...." He is speaking lines, though not in order, from the 1854 narrative poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson "The Charge of the Light Brigade".


Page 257 introduces Resistance member Lucille Johns of the Alaskan National Guard (should be Alaska National Guard).


Page 284 states that the Resistance is using 512-bit asymmetric-key encryption in their electronic communications. Asymmetric cryptography requires both a private and public key to decrypt.


On page 285, General Losenko wears a peacoat with Cyrillic insignia. Cyrillic refers to the Cyrillic alphabet, a variation of which is used officially by Russia (originally developed in Bulgaria in the 10th century).


Page 285 reveals that English is the lingua franca of the Resistance. 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 286, Losenko's gnarled face reminds Molly of a Siberian spruce; this is a real world spruce tree species native to Siberia.


On page 287, Losenko tells Molly they lost several Warthogs in San Diego the week before. The Warthog is the A-10 Thunderbolt II, a military jet designed for close air support, manufactured by Fairchild Aircraft from 1972-1984 and still in service today. Losenko's remarks here are references to events that took place in From the Ashes.


Also on page 287, Losenko remarks that a Resistance cell in Niger recently disrupted a Skynet uranium mining operation there. This refers to events in the Sand in the Gears mini-series.


On page 289, Molly experiences pain in a phantom toe, amputated due to frostbite earlier in the novel. Medical science records that 60-80% of individuals with removed body parts or organs continue to experience feelings of pain or other sensations from the region.


When Molly abuses a laptop on page 289, Geir warns her, "Don't be too hard on that thing. It's not like we can get another one at Radio Shack."


On page 290, the monitors of the officers' wardroom on the Wilmington flicker like St. Elmo's Fire. St. Elmo's Fire is an electrical weather phenomenon that is known to create a glowing plasma field around a grounded object.


On page 291, General Ashdown remarks that General Olsen's forces in California managed to knock down two enemy radar towers in Pasadena and Riverside, with just one left in Capistrano to cover that territory. This occurred in From the Ashes. The cities mentioned are all southern California cities. General Olsen goes on to appear in Salvation.


Also on page 291, Ashdown refers to Molly as Losenko's Eskimo girlfriend. Eskimos are the indigenous peoples of the northern circumpolar region of the globe, including Alaska.


Page 292 mentions "CPU" and a possible backdoor into Skynet's neural network. CPU stands for Central Processing Unit. A backdoor, in programming jargon, is a means of accessing a system or database while bypassing the normal authentication methods and remaining undetected.


On page 293, Losenko argues to send a Chinook or Blackhawk to aid Molly's plan against Skynet in Alaska. Chinooks and Blackhawks are both helicopters used by the U.S. military.


On page 298, Geir uses a stretch of glacial blue ice as a runway for take-off in his P-51 Mustang, Thunderbird. It is true that the hard surface of glacial blue ice is often used as a runway in occupied areas of land that are frozen over with ice.


Also on page 298, M2 Brownings are described as mounted on the wings of Geir's Mustang. M2 Brownings were actually used on the Mustangs during WWII.


As Geir flies Thunderbird to assist in Molly's attack on the Skynet Express on page 299, he feels like a flying ace from an old war movie, thinking, Watch out, Red Baron. This refers to the famous WWI German flying ace, Baron Manfred Albrecht von Richthofen, nicknamed the Red Baron for the color of his plane.


On page 300, Geir shoots at an Aerostat with a Smith & Wesson pistol.


The Aerostats in this book are described as being simply unarmed scout devices and in Salvation it does not appear they ever fire on anyone. But in Machinima and Faith, they are depicted firing at human targets.


On page 301, Geir muses that Thunderbird is getting too old for the type of barnstorming he was putting her through, silently praying for the throbbing Rolls-Royce engine. Barnstorming is a type of stunt piloting, usually as entertainment for audiences, but sometimes applied to fighter piloting in extreme situations. The P-51 Mustang usually did make use of Rolls-Royce engines historically. The top speed of 437 miles per hour stated on page 338 is about right for a Mustang.


Page 302's description of the properties of an aurora in the sky are roughly accurate.


On page 306, Molly attaches C4 and blasting caps to key points on the railroad bridge structure while her toes are going numb inside her mukluks. C4 is a type of plastic explosive, Composition C-4. Mukluks are a traditional soft boot usually made of reindeer or seal skin worn by Arctic aboriginal people.


At one end of the bridge, the Resistance stuff a heaping load of dynamite into the corpse of a grizzly bear they found, to disguise the explosives from Aerostat scanners. From the description of the bear corpse, it's clear that this is the same bear that was killed by the T-600 called Popeye earlier in the novel!


On page 309, Molly uses a PDA. PDA stands for Personal Digital Assistant.


On page 310, Doc is wearing a Goretex parka. Gore-Tex is a waterproof/breathable fabric.


Doc begins to tell of a rail trip he took from London to Bath, on page 310. These are both cities in southern England and they are, in fact, connected by a railway line.


After the explosion of the bridge on page 312, the smell of nitroglycerine is said to fill the air. Nitroglycerine is the active ingredient in dynamite.


The uranium carried by the Skynet Express is referred to as yellowcake. Yellowcake is a concentrated powder of uranium obtained through bleaching out the metal from ore. The explanation of yellowcake's actual brownish-black color in modern processing on page 336 is correct.


On page 314, Sitka uses a roman candle to signal the waiting Resistance members in the forest. A roman candle is type of firework that emits sparks and burns slowly.


On page 315, the wrecked train begins firing plasma blasts from its gunports and Molly muses, Hah! I knew you were playing possum. "Playing possum" is an idiom in the U.S. for "playing dead", referring to the habit of the North American opossum of playing dead when threatened.


On page 316, Molly uses the term "Scout's honor" while promising Doc he can have all the moonshine he wants after the operation is over. This is an idiom referring to Scout Law in boy and girl scout organizations around the world which demand that the members behave in an honorable manner in all dealings.


Page 320 introduces Terminators designed as snowmobiles. Molly takes to referring to them as Snowminators.


On page 322, Molly uses an M67 fragmentation grenade with a 4.2 second fuse. This is an actual grenade in use by the U.S. military since 1968, with a fuse that detonates 4-5 seconds after the spoon is released.


On page 324, Molly types a special code into her PDA to send an SOS to Losenko. SOS is the international Morse code distress signal; it is not an actual abbreviation for anything.


Inside the railcar of the wrecked Skynet Express, Doc remarks that it's not exactly the Orient Express. The Orient Express was a long distance luxury passenger train that ran from 1883-2009 through Europe, most commonly known for the Paris, France to Istanbul, Turkey route. Page 331 makes reference to Agatha Christie novels; Christie's bestselling 1934 novel Murder on the Orient Express takes place largely on board the Orient Express.


On page 332, Doc grouses that he was a systems designer, not the Sundance Kid. The Sundance Kid (1867-1908) was a train and bank robber in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.


On page 343, Geir plays a CD of Wagner's Die Walkure, releasing his inner Viking as he opens fire with the Gatling gun on Thunderbird against the HK. Die Walkure is an 1870 opera by German composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883), one of the four operas that compose his epic cycle The Ring of the Nibelung based on Norse mythology. Page 344 states "Ride of the Valkyries" hitting its crescendo; this is the most popular composition from the opera. It releases his inner Viking as he is of Nordic ancestry, as stated later on page 369; his name, Geir Svenson, is also Norse. The Gatling gun mentioned must be the M2 Browning machine guns in the planes wings, though the Browning is not technically a Gatling gun, but a true machine gun.


Bailing out of the doomed plane on page 344, Geir shouts "Geronimo!" This is an exclamation made by a person about to make a big jump, originating in the United States.


On page 345, Geir laments the loss of Thunderbird, that unlike the fabled phoenix, Thunderbird would not be reborn from its ashes. The phoenix is a type of bird in Egyptian mythology which could arise anew from it's own ashes.


On pages 351-352, Ivanov fires the Warthog's Avenger anti-tank cannon and Sidewinder missiles at the HK. The Warthog is, in fact, armed with a GAU-8 Avenger rotary cannon in the center and Sidewinder missiles on the wings.


On page 353, Ivanov is thankful for the titanium "bathtub" that protects the cockpit area of the Warthog. This is an actual feature of the warplane.


On page 367, Losenko uncorks a rare battle of Massandra wine with some of the old survivors of the Gorshkov, in order to toast to the heroic sacrifice of Ivanov in Alaska. The Gorshkov was Losenko's submarine command in Peace and War. Massandra is a settlement in Crimea that has become known for its dessert and fortified wines.


On page 369, Molly decides to burn Geir's body to "send him to Valhalla on wings of flame." In Norse mythology, Valhalla is one of the two destinations in the afterlife for dead warriors.


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