Created by Skynet, The T-1000 is one in a series of Terminator Robots designed to eliminate humans in the alternate c.2015 machine-dominated future.

The T-1000 is comprised of an odd liquid-metal substance that can adopt the properties of a myriad of substances. It scans and samples molecular data by touch, and stores them for future shape-taking. In this way it becomes quite adept at stealth measures, for it retains the molecular properties of the mimicked item, rendering it completly invisible to scans, visual or otherwise.

Another intresting feature of the T-1000 is the ability to lose a piece of itself, only to have said piece revert to it's natural 'at rest' liquid metal state, and seek out the main body of the assassin droid. This ability, coupled with the ability to roll with the blows (or bullets, as it were) and absorb kinetic energy from projectile weapons by temporarily disforming, makes the T-1000 nigh unstoppable.

The T-1000 was a prototype Terminator at the time of Skynet's demise, being sent back in time in the last moments of Skynet's reign to prevent the fall of Skynet in it's native time. The Time Travel in this continuum only allows biological material (and non-biological material completly enveloped in meat) through, so the T-1000 adopted flesh, and went back. It's mission: Destroy the young John Connor, who in Skynet's final days lead the successful human resistance movement against it.

The T-1000 sought out the young boy immediatly, but Conner was found by another future-borne traveller, this one a reprogrammed T-800 sent to protect him by his own future self. The T-800 secreted him away for safekeeping, driving the T-1000 to find his mother, Sarah Connor, who was at the time imprisoned in an Asylum*

John and the older Terminator figure out that the T-1000 would logically go for Sarah Connor after losing John's trail, and so, make haste towards the Asylum themselves. They make it in time, but only just, as they encounter the T-1000 on premises and make a narrow escape with John's mother.

The T-1000 is thrown off their track fully, and does not find them again until the threesome, plus one Miles Dyson, start attacking the main Cyberdyne Systems laboratory. This lab is basically the mother of Skynet, and so becomes an intresting reversal, as destroying one's mother before she begat something adversarial was Skynet's original Modus Operandi.

The laboratorial infiltrators manage to wreck everything as needed, but not before a legion of policemen (accompanied by the T-1000 incognito as one of their number). In an attempt to stop the saboteurs, the police manage to wound Dyson, who then stays back while the others escape to become a literal Dead-man's switch to the manifold barrels of explosives that Conner and company have left in the lab's records department.

The police evacuate in time, the Connors and T-800 escape to saftey as well, and everything else goes boom really loudly with a rather large ball of fire. As the Connors make a getaway, the T-1000 follows them, and they all end up in a metal refinery after an automotive chase.

The T-1000's liquid nature turns against him for a short while at the refinery, as a truckload of Liquid Nitrogen spills onto him, causing his fluid, morphing self to become rather static and brittle, shattering into thousands of pieces. However, this only delays the mutating beast, for the heat of the steelworks soon melts out the frozen pieces, and it begins to reassemble itself in the fashion mentioned much earlier, reassimilating lost pieces of itself.

The T-1000, after reassembling and then making quite a formidable showing of trickery, unfortunatly was destroyed by the protagonists, whom manage to push the T-1000 into a vat of molten steel. Evidently, being smelted into a mostly-steel alloy doesn't agree with killer robots from the future.



* And not the political kind.

"Why doesn't it just form a bomb or something to get me?!" - young John Connor, asking the T-800 why it isn't easier for the T-1000 to kill him.

Well... why doesn't it?

While the above writeup on our favorite cinematic metallic blob was fairly thorough, there are a few crucial pieces of information that were not mentioned about the T1K:

  • As the Arnie Terminator explained to John, the T-1000 cannot form bombs - "It doesn't wuhk that way." They are too complex and have moving parts. The only weapons that T1K can form are knives, swords, and a wide spectrum of other stabbing weapons.
  • He also cannot create a gun for the same reason. This point is driven home by a very nicely done turn of a scene (kudos to James Cameron there) in the asylum where Mr. 1000 is walking through a barred gate but he gets caught on the gun he is carrying which initially does not make it between the bars.
  • Although technically it doesn't have to (it formed Sarah Connor without killing her) the T-1000 is programmed to terminate whatever person he imitates.
  • At the refinery, after the T-1000 forms back together after his frozen parts thaw, it is not smooth sailing after that. The book version of the film talks at length about it, and even though less-detailed than the book the extended version of the movie makes it more apparent, the T-1000 suffered significant damage after that misadventure. He encountered numerous malfunctions while changing shape after that. The only indication in the theatrical version of the film is after he becomes Robert Patrick again after reforming there's a small linear "wave" that washes over him, starting in the lower part of his body and moving up and over his face. This damage was crucial to the Terminating Trio being able to defeat him, as it caused him to take too long to recover from the grenade blast from his belly, which lead to him falling into the drink.

So as you can see, has has more limitations and it was not quite as hard to defeat him as the above writeup suggests. It's still pretty damn hard, but not as impossible as it might seem.

Also, the above writeup states that "The Time Travel in this continuum only allows biological material (and non-biological material completely enveloped in meat) through, so the T-1000 adopted flesh, and went back." I don't think that's accurate. I may be wrong, but I didn't think that the T-1000 ever actually became flesh (he never bled when wounded), just imitated it. And the mechanism by which they traveled through time would be able to distinguish between imitated flesh and real flesh; if it's liquid metal, it's liquid metal. Plus, if it's only biological (or metal surrounded by biological tissue) that makes it through, shouldn't they have been able to travel with clothing made entirely of natural fibers instead of arriving in the buff? Even though dead, wouldn't natural plant fibers be considered biological in that context? This is probably a question for another node.

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