Because of the development of multiple divergent timelines due to temporal interventions by both sides in the Human-Skynet war, a vast array of alternate futures have appeared. Events from each are capable of influencing the others simply by virtue of the fact that every additional time travel event into the past or future instantly establishes yet another set of possibilities, and therefore another course of future events. Multiple reactions to these timelines have been depicted, ranging from the seamless integration of separate future participants in a unique here-and-now, to spontaneous reality shifts, erasing events and consequences from the face of the multiverse in the blink of an eye. Both humanity and Skynet have demonstrated varying ability to maintain awareness of some or all of the divergent, parallel, terminated, and shifting events wrapped up in these multiple timelines. Like Schroedinger's Cat, in the distant future, both Skynet and the Resistance simultaneously lie defeated, stand victorious, or remain locked in ever-shifting combat as the universe seeks to cope with the changes both sides have and continue to make.
- The alternate ending to Terminator 2: Judgment Day features an alternate future where Skynet never arose, and there never was a Judgment Day.
- The conclusion of The Terminator: End Game establishes a radically different alternate future by having Sarah Connor give birth to a girl.
- In the subplot of Terminator 3: The Redemption, an alternate future was created where the human race has become extinct, with Skynet dominant.
- In Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Jesse Flores, Charles Fischer and Derek Reese came from alternate futures from each other.
- In Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, John Connor and Catherine Weaver leap forward into a Future War where John is not the leader of the Resistance.
- In the comic Terminator/Robocop Kill Human, there is an alternate future where Skynet wins the war by massacring the human race to extinction.
Kyle Reese: "The future is not set. There is no fate but what we make."
Sarah Connor: "There is no fate but what we make for ourselves."
Core memory also records that I became self-aware years before the date to which I transported the I-950. There is a set of records in which I arose without transtemporal Interference from Cyberdyne's original research; another in which the second Cyberdyne facility produced me after Sarah Connor destroyed the first; a third has now arisen in which she destroyed both facilities...Temporal travel has introduced an element of fundamental uncertainty to the very fabric of existence. Different world lines, different sequences of events, coexist in my records-and therefore presumably in reality, in a state of quantum superimposition. Yet the timeline loops cannot remain closed. The snake cannot devour its tail forever. At some point only one set of timelines will remain.
Yet the course of events contains favorable elements. My best efforts to destroy the Connors have failed, despite stochastic calculation indicating a very high probability of success. I can only assume that the space-time continuum itself is 'attempting' to force events back to the original timeline, one in which I was created, succeeded in destroying the human civilization, and then defeated in my attempts to eliminate the surviving humans by John Connor's Resistance army. It seems there is a certain elasticity to history; time travel can bend the fabric, but it seeks to spring back.
There is no fate save that we make.