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"Thanks for coming, guys." I said, as Adam, Mike and Eric came into the conference room. It had been a couple of hours since Linda had woken back up, and I had been hard at work since then. She told me I still had work to do, and I had to get it done… now.
Adam set me up with a nice office, with everything I could want or need, he had even told one of his brothers to assist me with anything I needed. Theodore's a good kid, and a hell of a whiz with computers, and logistics. It's hard to remember that he's only eight. At some point, I am really gonna have to sit down with him, and figure out how it is that he can do something all by himself, that usually took a whole team of personal assistants to do…
"Have a seat, guys." I said, just as Theodore walked in with two pots of coffee, and started to fill up people's mugs. "I've gotten a lot of stuff done over the last few hours, and frankly, a lot of what I have learned is not good. Ashwood is starting to implement Operation Starshine."
"Oh shit…" Mike said, and I nodded.
"What's that?" Adam asked, confused.
"If it's okay with you, Adam, I'll ask my chief intel officer to explain Operation Starshine to you." I answered, with a grin, while hooking a thumb over at Theodore, who was grinning like the Cheshire Cat.
Mike and Eric both looked stunned, while Adam simply laughed. "Hey, what can I say. It's like you always said, Mike.. when you find someone who's good at something, let them do it. I still find it hard to believe he is only eight, but Theodore is one of the best intel minds I have even met."
Mike just laughed while shaking his head. "Okay, kid, let's see what you got."
Theodore put the coffee pot down, and moved to stand behind me. "As far as we can tell, Operation Starshine is Ashwood's 'nuclear option.' It's the plan that has been put together to ensure that he retains power, no matter what happens. After the massive hack attack that happened yesterday, Ashwood has all but officially lost the election. He knows this, but is not willing to give up power."
I knew that Mike and Eric knew all of this already, but Adam didn't.
So Theodore focused on Adam while he spoke. "Basically, the plans are pretty extensive, and probably took months, if not years, to sort out. We don't know anywhere near all of it. But what we do know is awfully scary. First off, over the last three and a half years, Ashwood has been hand picking military leaders, and putting them into positions of power, all along the East coast. With that in mind, within 24 hours of Operation Starshine being implemented, most cities on the east coast will be completely under Ashwood's military control. He wants to control everything up to the Mississippi, or better yet, the Missouri river. Internment camps will have been set up in places like Busch Gardens, Virginia, and worst of all… Disney World, in Orlando will become the major 'Relocations Center for Undesirables'. The ports of Jacksonville Florida, Baltimore Maryland, and Jersey City New Jersey, will be completely under military control. All major interstates will be closed down with armed check points, and the Military will confiscate all commerce on those roads. Marshall Law will be put into effect shortly thereafter, all major airports will be shut down, and some of them turned into concentration camps. They plan on force recruiting able-bodied men to fight for them, using their families as hostages. This is real third world dictator sick shit."
Adam looked shocked. I'm sure my face mirrored Mike and Eric's. No matter how many times we've heard about this, it still turned my stomach. "You know…" I started, "Every time I hear about this, it makes me wish I had pulled the trigger on him when I could."
"What do you mean?" Adam asked, leaning forward.
"Well, We've had a plan in place for several months, that could have eliminated Ashwood and several of his key people." I began, then sighed and sat back. "However, everything I've seen told me there's a lot more going on here than just some dickhead that wouldn't give up power. There's something more going on here, and I didn't want to tip my hand before we could figure it out. Now, though, we probably missed our best opportunity."
Adam sighed heavily. "It may have been better to kill off Ashwood and try and smoke out the others, but there's no real guarantee that would've worked. You probably did the right thing by not doing it."
"We'll see." I said as I leaned forward again, my head was beginning to ache, probably due to the stress of the last few days, not to mention a lack of sleep. "Either way, we're sitting on the brink of a major war within the United States, and it's one I don't plan on losing. I asked you here, Adam, to find out if you are willing to allow me to stay here, and use this as my main base of operations."
"Of course, Mr. President." Adam answered immediately. "We don't have much set up here, yet, but what we do have is completely secure, and at your disposal."
"Thank you." I said sincerely. "But I need to make sure you understand what this means. This base is secret… for now. But it won't be able to stay that way. I am certain this base will be attacked at some point, and you kids will be targets, just by being near me." They had done so much for us already, but I really didn't want to make them targets, at least not without them knowing everything.
"Sir, we are well aware of the risks. I told you last night, that my family and I were created and designed for war. It is what we do, and we are VERY good at it. Those with us that are not part of the U.N.I.T. Will do what they can to help out. In the place we came from, we were in the middle of a civil war. Not in the US, but Russia. I will get into the details later, if you would like, but the point is, we know what war means, better than most. I know what I am getting us into, and so do those that follow me."
I nodded, and once again was blown away by the maturity of this young boy. Now, though, it was time to get into the hard part.
I turned my gaze to Mike, and he shifted uncomfortably. Finally, I spoke. "Mike… I think it's time for you and your family to go to Redding."
"Jack…" Mike started imploringly. "My place is at your side."
"Mike, You've been my closest friend and ally since our days in the military. I couldn't ask for a better running-mate. However, the way the election is going, Ashwood doesn't have a chance. He's gonna be gunning for me, something fierce, now. We can't have you and me together in one place. If something happens to me, I need you to be able to pick up the pieces and stomp that bastard out of existence. You know as well as I do that we can't have all our eggs in one basket. Redding is the most secret and secure location that we have, save for this place. We'll stay in contact everyday, so we can talk things through like always, but I need you and your family as safe as possible."
I saw Mike deflate, and I hated doing this to him, but deep down, he knew I was right. "I take it this is not negotiable?" He said sadly.
I just shook my head, and he sighed. "I'm sorry, Mike, I really am, but we have to do this. You know it as well as I do."
"I know… I just don't want to be sidelined." He said miserably.
"Don't worry." I said with a chuckle. "You won't be. I am still going to need you. I just need you alive as well." That got a laugh out of everyone, which is what I wanted.
"When do we leave?" Eric asked softly.
"As soon as Adam figures out how to get you there. They have much better stealth then we do." I said, thanking Eric's cooler head.
Adam spoke up after a brief moment. "The Chinook will be back within the hour, so will Logan. Will and Billy were going to go pick up another one of your team members, but we can do that later."
Mike stood up, which caused the rest of us to, as well. "Then we better get things packed up." He said, as he walked over to me and gave me a crushing hug. "When this is all over, I'm gonna kick your ass…. Sir."
I couldn't help but laugh through the tears. He was my closest friend, and knew when to back me up and when to tell me I was wrong. "I look forward to getting my ass kicked. For now, though, we got someone else's ass to kick."
Mike just nodded and we broke the hug, then Eric stepped forward and gave me a silent hug. Then the two of them were gone.
"Sir, If you will follow me," Adam said after the briefing was done, "I'll show you to an office I think would be better suited to handle your needs."
"Adam, the one I was working in, is just fine." I said, confused as to why he would want to move me somewhere else, after just getting me set up in the one I was using.
"Yes Sir, it is acceptable. However, there is a large office leading off the Command Center, that would be much better suited for your needs, especially if this turns into a shooting war." He said with a smile. "You may remember it, it's the office that I used when I brought all of you into my mind. I haven't looked at it since we got here, but, like everything else, here, it won't have the upgrades that my office had when we left, but it still has a lot more access to information than any other office in the base."
For a moment, I was disappointed, the office that I remember from the time I spent in his mind was out of this world, literally. Having access to something like that would have been a big boost to what was going to come.
The first thing he did was show me around the Command Center, and I was only mildly surprised to see a few of my guys manning stations there. They looked over at me with a smile, and one of them even called out. "You know, sir, I could REALLY get used to this. I wouldn't have believed kids could build something like this, but damn… I am seriously impressed!"
"Sir…" Another man spoke up, removing one of his headsets. "I have a call here for you. He's Russian, says his name is Dmitry Zolotov, code phrase is Queen to Kings Level 1."
I got a big smile on my face, and walked over towards my agent. "Do we have speaker?" The man just nodded, so I waved him to do it. It took a moment, but then he looked over and nodded to me.
"Comrade Zolotov!" I said in perfect Russian. "It is good to hear your voice!"
"Dah." He said, and I could here the smile in his voice. "It is good to hear yours as well. I was worried that I may never hear it again."
"For a while, there, I was worried about that as well." I said becoming very serious again. "But what made you call, and how did you get this number?"
"I got a call a few hours ago from a very insistent nephew of mine, saying that his Uncle Jack needed my help. After what I have seen over the past few days, I believe he is correct." Dmitry said, and I couldn't help but chuckle. It had to have been Sammy. None of the others would have even thought about doing something like that. "I should keep this brief. I was told to go to Salt Lake City and call you when I get there. I brought my family, and enough 'protection' to make sure that nothing bad happens. I was originally going to be 'camping' in Texas with some family friends, but I think we shall do a 'refuel' stop in Salt Lake City. We shall speak again soon." Before I had a chance to respond, he ended the call. That was Dmitry all right.
I looked over to a grinning Adam and couldn't help but laugh. "We have several more guests coming. That was a very close friend of mine, he is bringing his family and some help."
Adam just nodded as I walked back over to him. "Okay, now, this office…"
Adam smiled and shook his head. "This way sir."
We'd only been in the office for about ten minutes, and I was just blown away. The way Adam had the office set up was perfect. The amount of information I could access was unbelievable, and being just off the Command Center was a blessing. The main desk was huge with three computer monitors plus one built into the desk itself. Everything I could possibly want or need was at my fingertips.
He was explaining how to use the different functions of the desk, when he suddenly stood up straight, looking off into the distance. "Adam?" I asked, clearly concerned, as I saw his face darken, and a look of pure rage come across it. I couldn't help but take a step back, "Adam, are you okay?"
He stood there for several seconds breathing heavily, his hands shaking and his muscles tight enough to snap. Slowly, very slowly, the heavy breathing seemed to allow him to calm some. I don't know how long he was standing there staring off into space, but finally he turned his gaze on me. Even though he had calmed considerably, he was still beyond pissed off at something.
"Do you know someone named Richard Adams?" He asked me slowly.
"Yes…" I nodded slowly. "He was a part of my team when I was in the military. He's a part of my extended family, just like Mike is. Did… did something happen to him?"
"Not yet…" Adam said, as he turned away from me, starring at the wall for several seconds, before he started to talk… "I remember a General Richard Adams. I remember him standing at the window of the lab that I was first brought to. He was there when I woke up. He wanted to see what they had been able to do with me. I was only seven at that point. Kidnapped when I was six, but I turned seven while I was in a medical coma while they… changed me. He wanted to see if I was a success. He ordered one of his soldiers to walk up to me, take his side arm, and put a bullet into my stomach. He said if I survived that, they he would consider the first stage a success."
"Oh my God…" I breathed out. "You mean… Richard… is the one that 'made' you guys?" I asked, not being able to believe it… not the Rich I knew.
Adam turned and met my eyes. "That's exactly what I am saying.. sir." Before I could say anything though, Adam seemed to deflate. "I know it's not the same person, but… well you have to understand our complete hatred of this man… And to make matters worse, he's on his way here with Logan."
"Oh boy." Was all I could say.
When I walked into the hangar bay, with Adam at my side, I saw something that truly impressed me. The Chinook was in the hangar, it's back fully opened up, and the kids working hard at unloading it. These kids sure knew how to pack the helicopter. It really looked like they brought in enough stuff to fill a small shopping center. As we started to walk across the hangar bay, I finally got to see, for myself, what I saw in the mind scape last evening. His name was Amur Khan, and honestly, I didn't think he was really that big… I was wrong.
When he spoke, his voice was like rolling thunder, and honestly, I really did not want to ever see this huge tiger like person, angry with me. "Logan is about five minutes out." I could tell he was not happy about something, and I could only guess that it had to do with Rich. "Following his orders, I have disarmed everyone that I could, but… well you know Juan. And taking Chang's weapons actually makes him more dangerous, but I have done as I was ordered."
Adam reached out and clapped the Tiger Hybrid on the upper arm. "Thanks Khan. I know you don't like this… hell, I can't even believe it's actually happening. But it is. We know Logan wouldn't bring anyone here unless he was certain they would not be a threat. We just need to keep reminding ourselves of that. I need you to help me make sure he doesn't get hurt."
Khan looked pissed, and frankly, I think that sight alone made me more frightened than I was before. "You want ME to PROTECT General Adams?" He asked incredulously.
"Yes, I do." Adam stated calmly. "I not only want you to… I am ORDERING you to."
Khan stiffened noticeably. "Yes…. Sir." He said in a very low, soft rumble.
"Look, Khan. You're one of the very people I trust to be able to put your personal feelings aside. Hell, I don't even trust myself to do it with General Adams. I NEED you to help protect him, even if it's from me." Adam said in a very soft voice, and I was absolutely shocked. What the Rich from the universe they came from, must have to done to them… I can't even imagine anything that could put this kind of vitriolic hatred, in someone, the way it was in these kids.
I didn't have much time to think on that. As soon as they got done speaking, I heard the helicopter coming in for a landing. I knew it was Logan flying, and I also knew that both Tom and Rich were in there with him. It took a few moments, all eyes were on the helicopter, sitting outside the small cave entrance, before Logan exited the Huey.
Tom was right behind him, and a few moments later, Rich came out of the helicopter. I knew right away that Rich must have known some of what was going on. The look on his face, as he looked around, let me know he was worried, but also ashamed. However, I wasn't prepared for what happened next.
After looking around for a brief moment, Rich turned back towards the cabin of the helicopter, reached inside, and helped out a young boy. As they walked from the helicopter towards the cave entrance, they met up with Logan and Tom, however, all eyes were on them, on Rich, and the looks he was getting were not nice at all. Rich, though, held his head high the entire time he walked towards us. That was the man I knew.
While they were walking across the hangar bay, I heard Adam's voice in my mind. 'Just so you know, Logan has told Tom, Rich, and Max, the boy, about what happened to us in the other universe, as well as letting everyone here know that Rich is coming, and that they need to not hurt him.'
"Jack, how are you?" Tom asked as they got close to us. "How's Linda and Chris."
"They're alive… and hopefully, Linda will be okay eventually." I said while pulling both Tom, then Rich into a hug. I then looked down at the boy who seemed to be glued to Rich's side. "And who is this young man?" I asked as I squatted down and extended my hand.
"I'm Max…" The boy said softly as he extended his hand, which I shook gently.
"We got him out of a tight spot before Logan met up with us." Rich said with a smile, then laughed. "You always said I'd make a great dad… well, I think we're about to find out."
I couldn't hide the grin on my face. He was right, Rich would make a great dad, and now, this new boy would find out exactly how good of a father Rich would be. Of course, I really wanted to figure out just what happened to bring Max into Rich's care, but, that was a story for some other time.
I was just about to introduce Rich and Tom to Adam, when Mike's loud voice came across the hangar bay. "Hey Dickie! It's about damn time you got here!"
When I looked, I saw Mike, Eric, and all their kids walking towards us. "Well it wasn't till that little brat next to you called me up, and told me where you were at, that I knew you guys were still alive." Rich said as he embraced first, Mike, then Eric, then he made his way down the line of kids, giving each and every one of them a strong long hug. Tom followed right behind him, and soon, all the focus turned towards Max.
I shouldn't have been surprised when Sammy stepped up and took control of the situation. "Hi, I'm Sammy. If you're gonna be around here with Uncle Rich, then we'd better get you caught up on how to handle him. He might look big and mean, but he really isn't anything more then a big teddy bear."
"Why you!" Rich laughed, and then playfully grabbed Sammy in a headlock, and started rubbing his head. I'm not sure who else saw it, but I sure as hell did. As soon as Rich moved towards Sammy, every Unit kid in the place, stiffened, and most reached for a weapon, that wasn't there. It was only a subtle hand motion from Adam that stopped them from doing more. But one thing was clear. There was an intense hatred within the UNIT towards Rich. I knew they all knew that Rich wasn't the man they thought he was, but, well, this was going to be tricky.
I think Sammy knew something was going on as well. As soon as Rich released him, he took a step back, and looked around, frowning. The frown quickly turned into a forced smile as he looked towards Max. "Why don't we let the adults deal with the boring stuff. Let me introduce you to the rest of the family."
Sammy took Max's hand, and dragged him away, the rest of the kids following him. As soon as they were out of the room, I saw Rich sort of deflate, as he looked towards Adam. Adam seemed to stiffen up as Rich took two steps towards him, and this time, more then a few Unit members moved closer to Adam and Rich. I was stunned though when Rich dropped down to his knees in front of Adam and spoke loud enough for everyone to hear.
"General Casey, General Hayes gave me some very disturbing information; Information I did not want to believe until he actually showed me some of what the other Richard Adams had done to you and your family. I wish there was something that I could do to try and ease the pain he put you through. The best I can do, though, is say I'm sorry. I'm sorry everything happened to you guys, and even more sorry it was someone that wears my face." I'd seen Rich cry before, but it always took a lot. The fact that he was openly crying right now, proved just how much he was hurt by what he'd learned that the other General Adams had done.
Adam searched his eyes for several moments before he spoke. "Thank you, Rich. I hope you don't mind, but I can not refer to you by your rank."
"Please feel free to call me Rich." He said gently.
"Thank you." Then Adam did something that shocked everyone in the room, including me. He stepped forward and lifted the man to his feet, he then took Rich into his arms and hugged him. Several of the kids in the room gasped in shock, and I know I felt the same way. This was not what I was expecting.
"I'm glad your not the man that we knew. That man was a… a monster. And that's the best I can call him. Your not that man, I know that." Adam said softly, but still loud enough for others to hear. Then he dropped the bombshell. "However, you can't stay here."
"What?" I heard myself exclaim before I even realized I spoke.
Adam turned towards me, and I could see the pain and conflict in his eyes. "I know it's not fair, I know it's not right. We all know that this man is NOT the General Adams that we knew. But his presence here is going to be a major distraction. A distraction that we simply can't afford. I'm truly sorry, but I can't guarantee his safety if something happens."
"Why not?" Tom asked in surprise. The fact that Rich just stood there told me that he understood something that neither Tom nor I did at that point.
Adam sighed and shook his head. "General Larkin. Where we come from, you were known as Uncle Tom to all of us. You had taken the time to learn who we were, WHAT we were, and why we did what we did. Here, you haven't had the time to learn that yet. However, in the other place, you were the first outsider to really figure something out about us." Adam started to pace, his hands clasped behind his back.
"When they created us, they took our human DNA, and mixed it with DNA from large predatory animals, mostly large cats. Physically, it helped us in a lot of ways, but it also had a few unintended side effects. Humans have little to no instinct. Most of it has been pushed down and away by 'reason'. However, in us, we have very strong instinctual drives. In times of stress, we revert back to those base instincts. It's how we survive so well. We've learned how to listen to our base selves, and how to use that to our advantage. Right now, every single Genesis Augment in this room is fighting back their instinctual NEED to kill this man standing in front of us. It's not just a want, it really is a NEED. If something were to happen to any one of us, and Rich were to come to try and help us, he may very well find himself dead, since our instinct is to kill him to protect ourselves." Adam stopped and looked at Rich, who just nodded in understanding, then moved his eyes over to Tom. "Will that ever change? I hope so, but for now, I can not allow Richard to remain in my base."
"Where the hell do you expect him to go?" Tom asked, somewhat deflated.
Adam turned towards me and sighed. "Mr. President. I feel it would be best if General Adams were to go with Mr. Reynolds, to act as his military advisor. That way Richard is safe, his knowledge and experience can be utilized to its fullest, but most of all, he would be safe." I thought it over for a moment, and while I didn't really like it, I couldn't see much other choice. Finally, I nodded, and Adam let out a deep sigh of relief. He then turned towards Rich, and again took him into a strong hug.
"I'm truly sorry, Rich. But this is the way it has to be. Maybe someday I can welcome you into the base, and not have to worry about wanting to kill you as soon as I see you. But for now, I can not do that." Adam said, and I could tell he really was sorry, but he also knew that this is the way it had to be.
"Thank you, General Casey. I'll look forward to that day, but I think you are right. For now it's probably best that I stick with Mike."
"Hey babe." I said as I walked into the room that Linda was in. She was lying on the bed, but was sitting up, and looking a whole lot better then she should be.
"Hey yourself." She said with a smile, and I couldn't help myself. I walked to the side of the bed, leaned over, and kissed her. For a long time I wasn't sure if I would ever get the chance to do this again, and now that I could, I never wanted to let the moment end. But of course, it needed to.
When we broke the kiss, it was to the giggles of Dr. Janet Hayes as she walked into the room. "You know, I should say something about molesting my patients, but I think she needs that as much as she needs her medicine."
"You're right, I do." Linda said with a small laugh, my heart soared at that sound, and I couldn't help the tears in my eyes.
"Oh knock it off you big softy!" Linda said, making me laugh too. She wanted me to help her sit up more, so I did, then Janet passed me a bowl of soup, which I was more than happy to help her with.
When she was all done eating, she sat back and smiled at me. "So, is it true what Janet said about her kids?"
I sighed and sat on the end of the bed. "It depends on what she told you. I can tell you this much, they are some incredible kids."
For the next half hour, Janet and I explained a lot about the Unit boys, Janet even filled me in on a few things I didn't know. But finally, I put voice to a concern that had been bugging me. "The worst part is…. I know they are soldiers… damned good ones at that, but. Well I just can't get over the fact that their still just kids. Part of me wants to find a way to get them out of the fighting."
I wasn't sure what to expect from my comment, but laughter from Janet was not it. Both Linda and I looked at her till she calmed down. She was actually laughing so hard she had to lean up against the counter. Finally she was able to speak, which was good, because she was starting to annoy me. "I'm sorry, Mr. President, but I don't think you understand the boys at all."
"What do you mean by that." I asked slightly annoyed.
"It means this," She said getting more serious. "It doesn't matter if you don't want them to get involved in the fighting. They will do what they feel is right, now matter what anyone tells them to. My advise to you is simple, accept that they are going to be getting into the thick of the fighting, whether you want them to or not. Further, I think you should try and guide their talents, rather than letting them go out there and do what they think is best. Adam is a very capable commander, but he lacks experience. In the Universe we came from, you were a member of our group. You were the one that Adam looked up to, his mentor so to speak. I would suggest you re-take that role. My kids will do the impossible. Things that no one believes can happen, they will figure out how to do it. What you need to do it reign them in, but not too tightly. Make them your secret weapon, and I will promise you, they will come through for you. But you try to sideline them, and they will go out there and do what they feel they need to anyway."
I sat there staring at her, not sure how to take that, when Linda squeezed my hand. "Dear, she's right. Chang told me that he told you about the conversation that we had when I was in surgery?" I nodded, and let her continue. "My understanding is that when he had to go so deep into my mind to reach me, it opened his mind up entirely to me as well. I promised him I would not reveal sensitive information about him and his family, but I can tell you this much. What Janet just said is true. They will fight; it's what they were made to do, and more so, it is their calling. They really see it that way. To them, it's a whole lot more then just what they were made to do, it's who they are, and they don't shy away from it."
She shifted, and for a second, I was worried about her moving so much, but she seemed fine. "I really can't explain it right now, but it's something Janet and I are talking about. But, well I can sort of feel all of them. All the boys that gave me blood. It's like they're sitting in the back of my mind. Well, hell I don't know, but I do know this. They are going to fight. What you need to decide is this. Are you going to let them be like the fire hose that's going full tilt, with no one guiding it, or are you gonna grab hold of the nozzle and direct them?"
Sometime later, a knock brought me back to the present. I was working in my office off the Command Center, and had drifted off thinking about how to try and avoid the war that was coming, but I wasn't getting anywhere with it. I had actually dozed off for a while, what I could remember about the dreams made me very uncomfortable.
"Come in!" I said loud enough to be heard on the other side of the door, and in walked Adam, with a smile on his face.
"Sir, We just got word that the Russians have landed." He said, his grin spreading. Somehow I knew he had another bombshell to drop on me. "Did your friend Dmitry tell you how many people he was bringing?"
"No… all he said was a few for protection while his family went 'camping'." I said, starting to worry. Dmitry has never been one to do things small, but I have a feeling he outdid himself this time.
"Well, we just got a call from him. It seems he contacted a friend of his, a Major General Robertson, the commanding officer of Hill Air Force Base, outside of Ogden, and set a few things up. So… about 20 minutes ago, a 747-400F Plane, with full UPS markings and transponder landed at the base, taxied to the end of the runway, where there were six M35 2 ½ ton cargo trucks, and two refueling trucks, just sitting there. Dmitry and his _one hundred and fifty _ Spetsnev troops climbed off the UPS plane, loaded all their stuff into the deuce and a halfs, and called for directions!" Adam was laughing the entire time he was talking, and by the end of it, so was I. That was so like Dmitry. "So, instead of Will, Billy and Joe dropping by to pick up the hand full of guys, Will and Billy dropped Joe off, and he is leading them in. They should be here in about an hour."
When we both caught our breath again, Adam dropped the last one on me. "Sarah basically had a heart attack when I told her that many more people would be joining us for dinner."
It was a little over an hour later, when Adam led me out of the cave, and we watched as the six deuce and a halfs drove down the canyon towards us. When they came to a stop, and were shut down, I couldn't help but grin as I saw Dmitry climb out of the lead vehicle, Joe climbing out from the other side. The big Russian General, jumped down, then started to help down his sons. The first one, and the youngest one, was Vladik. A really cute boy with curly blond hair and bright green eyes. Thinking quickly, he had to be almost ten by now, and boy was he growing quick.
The next one that Dmitry helped down was Luka, who should have just turned eleven. His hair had gotten darker since the last time I saw him, but his deep brown eyes were still the same. As soon as he hit the ground, he cried out "UNCLE JACK!" And he and Vladik took off at a run, right for me. Before I knew it, I had two armfuls of boys both very excited to see me. Of course, I was just as happy to see them. It had been almost three years since I had seen them last.
When I was able to look up again, I saw Dmitry's oldest son, Sergei, ambling towards me. He had both legs in braces, and was using a cane to help keep his balance. The thirteen year old was walking as fast as he could, his smile big enough to light up the entire canyon. When he got close enough, I grabbed him up in a hug, pulling the boy off his feet, and swinging him around once, before I set him back on his feet, making sure he had his feet under him enough before I let go of him. "How are my favorite Russian Nephews?" I asked them with a chuckle.
"Uncle Jack! We're your ONLY Russian Nephews!" Vladik whined with a giggle.
"That may be true, but you're still my favorite!" I countered while ruffling his curly hair.
"Jack!" Dmitry said, as he got close, and pulled me into a hug of his own. Of course from this big man, it almost drove the breath from me, but it actually felt good. "It is good to see you, my friend."
He then looked down at Adam who was standing next to me, wearing his fatigues, complete with a sidearm. A fact that did not escape Dmitry. "So, who is this young lad?"
"Colonel Zolotov." I began, being formal, but grinning. This was gonna be fun. "I would like you to meet General Adam Casey. The Commanding officer of the forces that rescued Me, Mike and our families."
Dmitry stopped chuckling as he looked the boy up and down. Adam, for his part never even fidgeted. After a moment, Dmitry huffed. "Well, my eyes tell me things my mind finds hard to believe."
"Trust me, Dmitry… Your eyes do not lie. Adam here is a very capable military officer. Do not let his age or size make you question that fact." I said emphatically. "Just trust me for now, Adam has already cleared you to get the full story, but that is something for later."
Dmitry looked at me, expecting this to be a joke or something, but he cold tell by my eyes, that I was very serious. Finally, he simply nodded and looked at Adam. "If Jack is satisfied that you are what you claim to be, then I will take that as gospel. It is hard to impress him, and I can see that you and your men already have." He reached his hand out towards Adam, who happily took it. "It is a pleasure to meet you, General."
"The pleasure is mine, sir." Adam said with a smile. "If you would like to join us inside, We can start to get your men settled."
Dmitry looked at the cave they were standing in front of and grinned. "While, I did tell the officials that we were coming here to go camping, I had figured that was only a cover story."
"Oh, Don't worry, my friend… I think you will find Adam's base to be… more than adequate for our needs." I said with a grin. This was going to be the fun part. Dmitry turned around and shouted some orders to his men, who were starting to line up a little ways away. They immediately got their gear together and got ready to follow us into the cave.
"If you would please follow me, General." Adam said as he turned, and started to walk into the cave. Me, I wanted to stay next to Dmitry, so I could see his face. When we got far enough into the huge cave, I saw Dmitry's eyes start to go wide. He was now beginning to see the huge hangar bay that lay at the back of the cave. "So this is where those helicopters went to…" He said softly.
When we got inside the well lit bay, I saw that all the UNIT kids were lined up, in full uniform, waiting to greet the new troops. Also, off to the side, were all my security guys, all of them with smiles on their faces. Probably they were happy that they wouldn't be the only ones shocked by these kids.
Adam stopped about ten feet in front of where the kids were lined up, and turned around. Dmitry stopped as well as barked a few orders, and shortly the hundred and fifty Russian troops fell into formation as well. Adam spoke softly to Dmitry at first. "Am I correct in assuming that your troops understand English?"
"They do." Dmitry said with a nod.
"Good evening." Adam said loud enough for all the new Russians to hear. "My name is General Adam Casey. I am in charge of this base. I am sure you are all tired and hungry. We have plenty cooked up, and after I introduce the command staff, we will start to show you all to the mess hall, and then to rooms that you can use during your stay."
He waited for a moment, then turned towards his guys. "First off, my Chief Intelligence Officer, General Logan Hayes. With him are his brothers, Alvin, Simon and Theodore. The three of them run the command and control center."
"You can't be serious." One of the Russians said. "You're just a bunch of kids."
Dmitry started to step forward to say something, but I stopped him. "Let the kids handle it…" I said softly, and he stepped back and nodded.
Meanwhile, Alvin walked towards the one who spoke. "Alvin…" Adam said in a warning tone. Alvin just flashed him his cutest smile.
He stopped in front of the huge man that spoke, looking way up into the eyes of the man who stood easily six and a half feet tall. "My, your a big one…" Alvin said. I almost groaned at the sickly sweet tone he used. "Are you the biggest Russian here?"
"Dah…" The man said, using the Russian word for yes.
"And with as big as your muscles are, I bet you don't normally loose a fight, huh?" Alvin said, his voice taking on a tone of awe. This was going to be interesting.
"I never lose." The man said with a grin. Alvin just nodded with his smile, and turned around. He took one step before it happened. He crouched down and then quickly uncoiled, while spinning around. Even with what I had seen already, seeing a small boy, not even four and a half feet tall, jumping high enough to deliver a round house kick to the side of the head of a man who stood over six and a half feet tall, shocked me.
The man spun twice before Alvin landed back on his feet, when he hit the floor, though, the big Russian man was out for the count. The two men next to the now unconscious man, immediately reached for their side arms. Alvin first went right, and with blinding speed, kicked the man in the back of the knee, causing him to go to a knee, then used his own knee to slam the man in the face, causing him to fall backwards, also out of it. Alvin grabbed the man's gun before it fell, and spun so quickly that he had it cocked, and pointed into the face of the man that was to the left of the first man, before the man even had his gun halfway raised. "Drop it…" Alvin said in a voice that was now deadly serious.
The man looked to Dmitry who nodded. The man then dropped the gun to the ground, raising his hands. Alvin grinned, backed up, and showed the man who dropped his gun, that somewhere in the fight, Alvin had actually ejected the clip out of the pistol, and took the round out of the chamber. In other words, the gun Alvin held was useless. He tossed it on the ground next to the man he took it from, and took a few steps back from the stunned group of soldiers. "Do not let your eyes deceive you." He said loudly. "That is the fastest way to die. Your eyes do not see everything, and most of the time, they show you what you expect to see, not what's really there. I figured you guys would have already been taught that." The boy said before he turned around and walked back to where he started.
Adam was standing there shaking his head, and by the look he had on his face, I knew something was wrong. I saw him meet eyes with Logan, and neither boy moved for almost thirty seconds, before Logan nodded, turned, and left the room, followed closely by Will, Jory and Juan. Adam then turned to me and Dmitry and sighed. "This is not going to work."
"What do you mean?" I asked confused.
"Sir, we are used to having to prove ourselves time and again, it's simply part of the price we have to pay for being what we are. But right now, we ain't got the time to do it the way we have always done it, simply letting people come to it on their own. We're on the brink of a major war, we've got you counting on us to keep you alive, and I've got my family here. People trying to stop us, or trying to do things in my base without me knowing about it, simply will not work. It'll cause more problems then we can deal with, and frankly, I ain't gonna allow it." He paused and I glanced over at Dmitry who looked rather concerned.
"Okay…." I said slowly. "So…"
"So…" He said in a somewhat annoyed voice. "We're gonna have to prove it to everyone, and we're gonna have to do it now, and we're gonna have to do it big…" I didn't like the sound of that.
"So what is your plan then." Dmitry asked gently.
"I think it's time to really show everyone here what we can do." Was Adam's reply, as he walked away from us. He walked over in front of the Russian troops and started pacing in front of them, his hands clasped behind his back. "Even with the demonstration you just saw by one of my youngest brothers, most of you still don't think that kids as young as we are can be soldiers. I won't go into the details of how we became what we are, because most of you won't believe it. If we had enough time, we could do this differently, but we don't. With that in mind, I apologize ahead of time for what is going to happen."
Adam stopped pacing, and looked at all the Russians lined up, then over to where the Secret Service and other military that cam with Jack. "The soldiers in this room as some of the best of the best of both the Russian and the United States military. You guys are good, and you know it. You deserve that title. But we're better. We were MADE for war, and we're about to show you exactly what that means."
Adam turned and looked around until he spotted someone. "Chang… Front and Center!"
Chang immediately jogged over and stood by Adam. "Chang is the second in command of the forces that call themselves The U.N.I.T. The Universal Next Generation Infiltration Team. That's me and my brothers. He is only twelve, but is the single best warrior that I have ever seen. So, here's the deal. If all of you big bad men are willing to risk getting beat by a single twelve year old boy, I have a 'game' in mind."
Many of the adults were heard grumbling, and it made Adam smile. "I'll take that as a yes." He turned to Chang and simply said. "Take off ALL of your weapons."
Chang simply nodded, then first pulled a sword from it's sheath that was attached to his back, then two pistols form under his shirt, two knives from his boots, an expandable baton from the back of his waist, pulled up his shirt sleeves, and pulled out three throwing spikes from a holder, and then three throwing stars from the left holder. When he was all done, he looked at Adam and nodded.
"Thank you." He said to Chang, then pointed randomly to one of the Russians. "Would you be so kind as to pat him down and make sure he is not armed at all."
The Russian looked over at Dmitry who simply shrugged and nodded. The man came up and did a very good and thorough check of Chang's body. He stepped back and nodded to Adam. "If he has any weapons on him, they are hidden in places that no one should hold a weapon."
"Thank you." Adam said as he started to pace once again. "Here is what we are going to do." He walked over and stopped in front of Dmitry and me, and pointed towards us. "Your jobs are to protect these to men, correct?"
Most of the Russians and the secret service nodded or said yes. "Okay. Chang, I want you to go to the other end of the Canyon, and wait. When I fire off a flare, that means you may start. Your job is easy. You are to make it all the way into the cave and into this hanger. Jack and Dmitry will be standing exactly where they are now. All you have to do is touch both of them, signifying that you just killed them. However, every single soldier here will be trying to stop you. One hundred and seventy of the best of the best of the military are going to be between you and your targets." A loud noise came from the back of the room, and all eyes turned to watch as Logan, Jory, Juan and Will were pushing pallet jacks, each with a pallet on them. "Perfect timing." Adam said as he walked over to the first pallet and opened up one of the crates. He pulled out a rifle that looked just like a normal MP5 submachine gun. He grabbed a clip and then walked back over to where everyone was waiting. "I am sure you all know what this is." He said as he rammed the clip into the but of the gun. "This is a specially modified MP5 submachine gun." He pulled back the lever, priming the gun, then turned towards the wall and squeezed the trigger. Instead of bullets hitting the wall, splatters of paint appeared. "These are designed to shoot paint rounds. We've brought up two hundred of them, so each of you can have one. There is also enough ammunition for each of you to have 200 rounds. All you have to do to stop Chang is for one of you, only one, to hit him with a paint ball round."
Adam stopped and looked at everyone. "One hundred and seventy of you… one of him. It should not be THAT difficult…. right?"
There were mutters of disbelief form everyone there, except the UNIT boys, and frankly, I knew they were good, but no one could do what Adam wanted Chang to do.
Adam turned to Chang. "So my brother, are you up to the challenge?"
"Are you sure you wish me to destroy their fragile egos that badly?" The boy asked with a grin, and the shocked mutters turned to anger and outrage.
"All that matters is that you complete the mission. How you do it, I don't care." Adam said seriously ignoring the mutters and curses of the others.
Chang nodded and then took off out of the hangar at a jog. Once he was gone, one of the soldiers looked to Dmitry and spoke. "Are you going to allow this to happen?"
Dmitry took a few steps forward and shook his head. "Any of you can feel free to back out of this at any time. Personally, I wanna see what these kids can do. They seem pretty confident that one of them can best one hundred and fifty of my personally selected troops. I am sure President Bryce feels the same way. This is their house, and we're guests here. Personally, I really wanna see what they got."
It was like a switch had been flipped. All the soldiers started to nod, laugh and joke with each other as they tore into the pallets grabbing rifles and clips. Adam moved over to Dmitry and me, and started to talk in a hushed tone. "Thank you for allowing this. If it came down to all of us having to work together, you all not knowing or believing what we can do would be deadly."
"Do you really think one of you guys can take on all of them, and win?" I asked unbelievingly.
"Had I used myself or any of my other brothers I would say probably. But using Chang, I have very little doubt. Now, obviously, someone could get in a very lucky shot, but well we have a few advantages that not even you know about yet." He turned and looked at Dmitry and spoke even more softly.
"You need to know a few things about us, and I am trusting to your discretion to not let this become common knowledge." When Dmitry nodded, Adam continued. "My brothers and I are genetically engineered to be super soldiers. We are faster, stronger, heal quicker, and have a few other abilities that are not common. In a hand to hand fight, I would put ANY of my brothers against ten or more of your soldiers. If it's one of the older boys, I would even go up to twenty of your guys. We were born, bred, and trained since birth to kill, it is not just what we do, it's who we are."
Dmitry looked shocked, and looked at me questioningly. When I nodded in agreement, he got even more shocked. "You mean the US government…" He started, but Adam quickly cut him off.
"No, the government here had nothing to do with it. Trust me… if Jack or any of his people had anything to do with our creation, they would be dead." The intensity in Adam's eyes was enough to make Dmitry cringe and slowly nod.
Logan took that opportunity to walk over and stand next to Adam. "The soldiers have started to take up positions in the canyon. I told them they had twenty minutes to get themselves set before you fired off the flare."
Adam nodded to Logan then turned back to us. "The other thing that you need to know, Colonel Zolotov, is this. One of the things that President Bryce can verify is that we have other abilities as well. I am sure you have heard of things like telepathy?"
Dmitry looked at me, shocked, and I couldn't help but nod with a small smile. "It's true. I wouldn't have believed it if they didn't show me, but yes… these kids have some very interesting mental abilities."
"I have never in my life had reason to doubt what my friend tells me, but this time, I can not help but find it very difficult to believe what you say." Dmitry said cautiously.
'I understand how difficult it is to believe something without proof, so here is your proof.' Adam said to both Dmitry and me, however, his mouth never moved, and his voice seemed to come from the middle of my mind. Dmitry looked ready to fall over as he stared in shook at Adam.
"The reason I brought that up is simply this." Adam began, after waiting for a moment for Dmitry to gather his wits. "I am sure you two are familiar with what the kids these days call a 'first person shooter' game?"
"Yeah, my boys love them." I said with a smile.
Dmitry laughed and shook his head. "As do mine."
"Good, then if you will both allow, I would like to make it so that you 'see' what is going on out there, through Chang's eyes." Adam said carefully.
I looked over at Dmitry who seemed to struggle with the idea for a few moments before he looked at me. When I nodded my head, he sighed deeply. "Somehow I knew that this was going to be a very interesting time. I just did not think it would be THIS interesting." He turned to Adam and nodded again. "If you feel it will help us better understand what you and your family can do, then so be it. I shall place my trust in you."
"Thank you, General." Adam said softly, then turned towards Logan and nodded. Jory and Juan shortly appeared with a few folding chairs, and set them up in a circle, placing two of them facing the open hanger bay door. "If you two would like to take a seat, it will be much easier for you when you start seeing things that are not in the room. It may take a bit of getting used to, however, I assure you there is no danger."
We both sat down, and watched as Juan handed Adam a flare gun. Then he checked his watch. "We still have fifteen minutes before everyone will be ready. What else would you like to know? Understand there are still things that I will not discuss about how we came to be what we are, but I will not hide much else." Adam said, and for the next fifteen minutes, Dmitry and I peppered Adam with questions, and got surprisingly honest and detailed answers.
For those of you who are not familiar with the U.N.I.T. You might find some of the abilities that these people have to be somewhat unbelievable. Well, believe it.
This story is, for all practical purposes, Jack's story. As the title suggests, a revolution is taking place. Our country does not usually have to deal with revolution within our borders. There have been such things in the past, but most of them took place a very long time ago.
Our soldiers have fought in quite a few revolutions, mostly overseas, and mostly to protect our allies.
In the RU, things are a bit different. As things stand now, Ashwood, is not willing to relinquish the power he currently holds, and will not hesitate to use deadly force, to accomplish his intended mission.
I don't think he has any idea of the kind of people he is going to have to face.
I believe that with the help of many people who did not originate in this universe,
Jack Brice will be able to take up the office of President of the United States, and Ashwood will eventually be utterly defeated. Having said that, the fact still remains that contrary to Ashwood's belief, he is not and never has been in charge. There are other forces at work, behind the scenes, who are really in control of Ashwood's forces.
If I told you any more information, I would have to kill you, and I doubt that you would want me to do that, so just know this, there's a lot of interesting stuff going on.
Let's just wait and see what happens next.
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher