Castle Roland

Changing Connections

by Eric Aune

In Progress

Chapter 6

Posted: N/A

Changing Connections

Copyright © 2012 - 2015 by Eric Aune and the Revolutions Universe Partnership.

All Rights Reserved

Changing Connections LogoBrett heard some chuckling and looked over at Christine and Oliver who were trying not to laugh. He looked between Chase and them a couple of times, trying to come up with a coherent thought. Then he looked at Chase, who was still standing there with a friendly expression on his face and smiling.

"Wha….how? Where in the hell, are we? Some science fiction story?"


Brett held his hand up to stop Christina.

"Just call me Brett. It's what I prefer. If you have to repeat Doctor MacLeod, every time you address me. Conversations are going to be long and boring and I may lose interest. So just use Brett."

"Very well, Brett. Chase is a Human-Ferret Hybrid. He, like all of us….."

She waved her hand to include Eve's Genesis Team.

"….are part of what is known as Project Genesis. It was an experiment to take kids and remake them through…."

She glanced at Eve, before swallowing what she was going to say about torture and things like that.

"….various methods into super soldiers. In the case of Chase, he was made into what he is from the ground up and he isn't the only one. I know of Tiger-Human, Gorilla-Human, Panther-Human, and so on. If you can think of an land animal of some kind, particularly predator animals, just add human to it and you will see how far that they went in their experiments. I don't know the science behind it, but I have seen the results. Chase is…How old are you Chase?"


Brett's eyes opened wide at that. He realized that wherever these kids came from cloning of humans and deep genetic reorganization, including cross species genetic grafting had been in use. The possibilities were far reaching. They were obviously very advanced from what we were. Brett shook his head.

"Okay. This is a lot to take in. First though, we need to make plans. Um….I don't know your names. Well other than Chase."

He once again looked at Chase who was still standing nearby. Behind him Jamie had been reaching out, quickly pulled his hand back when he realized what he was doing. Chase turned around and looked at him.

"It is okay. You have my permission to touch me and thank you for asking."

"But I…."

"I heard you."

Jamie gulped a little and then tentatively reached out and stroked Chase's head. Chase smiled and closed his eye slightly, like he was enjoying the feeling of the gentle touch.

"Wow, that is cool. Thank you."

Jamie stopped and pulled his hand back. Brett watched them and wanted do the same, but there were things that needed to be done so he looked at Christina and arched an eyebrow, making it obvious he was waiting.

"Yes, sir. Christina Casey, commander of the Red Dragons. This is my XO, Corporal Oliver Hayes. You already know Rio and Chase."

Brett looked at Eve and waited. She nodded.

"Eve, commander of my Genesis Team. This is Ramachandar; medical, Fiona; demolitions, Jamil; heavy weapons, Apollo; aircraft and Aleksander; special weapons."

"Like Adam."

Eve looked around at Christina.


"The commander of all UNIT forces. General Adam Casey. He was the first to escape with a core group from the Genesis Project and form the UNIT. Adam and Eve, both of you were trained to be commanders. He was given that name when he was forc…..brought into the Genesis Project."

"Okay. Christina…it is okay for me to call you that?"

After a moment, she gave a short nod.

"Very well Christina. The first order of business is to get some answers from the survivors of those people that attacked us and look for the rest of your team and see if we can help them. Then we all need to talk, so we can figure out what our next moves are. For now though, I think we need to get our injured inside where they can be made more comfortable."

He looked at the house and frowned.

"Well at least as comfortable as we can make them."

He looked at the two commanders. They both nodded and began to issue their orders.

"Oliver, go check over there behind that building, I think they called it the bunkhouse and see about our other family members. I will go question the prisoners and look for survivors. Chase, just in case there are any of them left out there that are either not dead or haven't surrendered, go and check the grounds. Use your judgment on the disposition of any that you find."

Brett broke in.

"Chase, if you don't mind. If you find any out there hiding, could you bring them back, they may have information to help us."

Chase looked at Christina and after a moment she nodded.

"Thank you, Christina. I appreciate it."

She nodded with the reluctance to accept what Brett said, more because of the Brett she knew, rather than that he had sort of overruled her. She was still trying to reconcile her vision of Doctor MacLeod with this man. She knew he wasn't like the other one, he was a shiny lover as Chase had said, but when she looked at him, her memories of the other one intruded at times and it was tough to trust him.

"Ram, Jamil, Apollo, go with the Corporal. Fiona and Aleksander, help around here with the wounded and whatever Da…uh, Brett needs your help with. "

They all nodded and went to carry out their orders. The members of the two teams that were heading out on the grounds, donned their helmets and checked their weapons before heading out. They had to be prepared in case some of the attackers were out there and a threat. Chase was soon out of sight in the trees and searching. Oliver and the three with him headed to the far end of the bunkhouse and around to the back.

When the two groups left, Brett looked around to decide what needed to be done. He looked at Eve.

"I know that can't be very comfortable lying on that hunk of metal and I can't see us carrying that into the house."

He looked over at Jamie.

"Son, could you lift Eve up and carry her into the house for me. Lay her on one of the sofas."

Jamie nodded and looked at Eve. She had a dubious look that this smaller kid would be able to carry her. She looked at Brett.

"Uh, sir, um. Maybe you should have one of the me….what the…"

She stopped in mid-sentence as she felt herself rising into the air. She looked around and put her hands out to grab onto something and felt nothing. She looked at Brett with a little bit of worry and he merely smiled and took one of the nearly flailing hands in his and she calmed down as she looked into his friendly face.

"Don't worry, dear Eve. Jamie, won't drop you. You can trust him."

She looked over and saw that Jamie had his hand out and palm up as if he was holding something up. She realized then that it was her. He smiled at her and began to walk along with her floating along beside him. Brett gave her hand a final squeeze and smile before letting go. She returned the smile and brought both of her hands up to rest on her belly as she allowed Jamie to bring her into the house. The others had noticed what was going on as well and Eric was lifting Rio up in his arms. The boy was smiling as he put his arms around Eric's neck and let him carry him into the house.

Gabe took it upon himself to pick up the two UNIT members who had given their life for the two members of his family and carried them away from the churned up ground that was made by the grenade explosions and carried them over to a part of the yard that was untouched by violence and gently lay them down. He went back for their helmets and placed them above their heads. He then knelt down next to each and bowed his head for a few moments. When he raised it there were unshed tears in his eyes as he made sure the bodies were laid out respectfully, their hands clasped together across their bodies. He smoothed their hair back and made sure Jasmine's longer hair was not all in a tangle everywhere, but straight and as neat as he could make it. He then stood up and went over to the bodies of Eric and Dale. He moved them away from the churned up ground as well and placed them near the two UNIT members. He did the same for them as he had done for the others. When he finished, Sean and Claire thanked him before sitting down next to their family to grieve. Jim made it his job to stand by as an honor guard for the fallen and a guard to watch for any survivors out there that might decide to continue the attack. His leg ached a little but he was mobile once again.

Inside the house, the rest of the family gathered in the living room area, since it was one of the most intact rooms in this part of the house other than office, dining room and the kitchen. Brett looked at the group that was gathered around and nodded to himself. They were battered and bruised but from the looks of the group, they weren't beaten. There were sad and frightened faces among them, because of what had happened, but they were not beaten. The determination to do anything that was needed was there as well in all of those faces. He could tell that they were looking to him to lead them and he would.

"We've been through a lot and luckily we have found some new friends to help us figure out what we need to do going forward for now."

He smiled at Eve who was lying on one couch and at Rio who was propped up against the arm of another couch with his legs resting on Eric's lap. Brett smiled at the sight of Eric unconsciously rubbing Rio's legs. He also noticed the looks that Rio was giving Eric as he did that. Something had happened between them and it looked like something special. That was good.

"For now though, I think we need to do what we can to make our friends comfortable and seeing as how they are young people, I'm sure that they probably wouldn't mind some food."

Several of the parents agreed to get something put together for everyone. A lot of energy had been expended and some of them had not eaten anything, so it was best to get working on getting everyone's energy refreshed. Brett knew that he needed to talk to both Christina and Eve to decide what needed to be done, but he also needed to sit down with everyone to figure out what was going on. Both Eve and Christina knew someone named Brett MacLeod, but they looked at this person differently. Eve obviously had very deep feelings about this other Brett, while Christina also had very deep feelings, but they were the exact opposite. He had to get to the bottom of what had happened to understand more how they could have different experiences with the same person. Eve had mentioned an underground complex and that he was dead down there. Upstairs was someone who looked just like him and that soldier in the kitchen that Chase had taken down, had called him a billionaire who supported Jackson Bryce. So there seemed to be three different Brett's and he needed to learn what he could about the other two. That would probably help him figure out what the next steps were.

While the food was being prepared, Gabe came in and went over to where Dylan and his dad were sitting. He leaned down to them and Will looked at him and nodded. They got up and went over to where the bodies of his wife and young son were. Gabe picked Marion up and Will picked up Michael, and he and Dylan followed him outside. They placed them next to Eric and Dale. Will helped Claire up from the ground and hugged her. Dylan helped Sean and they did the same. Together they went into the house. When Sean came in, he saw Dakota standing near the stairs with the hunting rifle slung over his shoulder and walked over to him to be comforted. Dakota put the rifle down and held Sean as he cried over his lost father and brother.

When Oliver and his group came to the corner of the bunkhouse, they saw some of the carnage of the fight that had happened here between Brett's security team and the UNIT team. There were bodies all around that end of the bunkhouse where they had attempted to flank Brett's people. They checked for any survivors just in case, but they saw that Rio and the security team had been thorough, none were left alive. As they came around the backside of the bunkhouse, they saw the ruin of the small group of storage buildings. As they neared the spot, they could see dropped and emptied MP5 magazines. Oliver thought that they all had been Rio's from what he had picked up from what Eric had said when talking to Rio. The magazines made a trail from the attacker's bodies to the buildings. They got to the buildings and started looking for Oliver's family members. They had to move pieces of buildings and fallen trees out of the way, but they soon found the four bodies. Ram checked each of them, even though they could tell by how still they were that it was probably unnecessary, but they had to make sure. Brett had been right in that, these were members of the family and they would be treated that way. Oliver removed their helmets and looked down on the faces of his family. He let some tears drop as he touched each of their faces. Except for Jamil, who stayed completed armored up and scanned the area to watch for any other attackers, the Genesis team members did the same. After a few moments, Oliver stood up and put his helmet back on.

"Will each of you help me carry my family back to be with their brother and sister?"

The Genesis Team nodded and slipped their helmets on. They placed the helmet of each of the bodies in the lap of the body and then picked them up and carried them back to where Connor and Jasmine were lying. They saw that someone had moved them away from where they had lain. Nearby they saw Jim standing guard, his eyes roaming around the grounds searching for any enemies. He nodded to them as they laid the four bodies down next to their family. Jim let them know that there was food inside and they thanked him and went inside while Jim kept watch.

Christina was about to leave to question the survivors when Ian came up to her because he had just noticed her injured arm.

"Let me look at your arm."

Christina looked at him and wasn't going to let him, but relented and let him take it. He closed his eyes and began to look into her arm. After a few moments, he pulled back and looked at her.

"What the heck are those? There some…things in there….moving around and it looks like they're fixing your arm."

"They're Pico Bots. Miniscule robots that will fix all the damage to my arm."

"I don't want to mess it up by trying to heal with them so I'd rather not try. Sorry. I was hoping that I could help you a little, in thanks for what you have done for us."

"That's okay. Don't worry about it. The Bots will take care of it eventually. I've got some things to do, if you'll excuse me."

Ian nodded and backed off as Christina walked off in the direction of where the prisoners were being held. George went with her and they met up with Patrick who was guarding the prisoners. When she got there, she took off her helmet and looked at the two security men.

"I've come to get some answers. Would you two mind checking for any other survivors while I talk to these gentlemen. It would be nice to have a talk with one of the soldiers. From what I saw, these idiots were not much of a threat, or very intelligent. A solider might know more."

They looked at her and remembered the tree. They weren't worried about her with the prisoners and nodded. They split up to cover as much ground as they could. She waited until they had left before she sat down on the same rock that Patrick had been sitting on when she walked up. She said nothing to any of them. She just calmly looked at each of them. She did not smile, she did not talk, she just looked at each one. She was of course scanning them. There were only ten of them, so it didn't take long for her to finish. She kept her face neutral which unnerved them, making them reveal even more to her as their minds swirled with many thoughts. What had happened, how they had gotten there, what was going to happen to them? She sifted through their thoughts and found out what she needed to know.

All of the men were the scum of the earth. There were murderers, thieves, rapists among them. One of the main things that came to mind besides what their crimes were that they had been removed from a prison nearby to take part in this attack. The leader of the soldiers had told them that if they took part in this attack they would all receive Presidential pardons from someone name President Ashwood. That put Ashwood on her list of people she wanted to eviscerate. Anyone who ordered such people to attack innocents needed to be removed from existence. The thoughts of one of the men did attract her attention and she got up and walked over to him. She looked down at him with a smile that did not reach her eyes.

"I understand you like them young don't you? Boy, girl doesn't matter to you at all, does it?"

The man scowled at her, but didn't answer her. She just looked at him.

"In the place where I come from, the crimes that you are accused of warrants a death penalty and I am authorized to carry such a sentence out. I would dearly love to do that right now."

She reached to her holster and pulled her pistol out and took the safety off when she saw one of the men coming their way. She returned the pistol to the holster and looked down at the inmate. His scowl was now gone, replaced by fear.

"We found one of the soldiers alive. He's injured, but he's alive. He's wearing captain's bars."

"Like I said I would love to carry out the sentence that you so richly deserve, but I have more important things to do. Instead, I'm going to give you a gift and I think this is better. I'm going to let you know something of what that 10 year old girl experienced when you were attacking her. Have fun."

She then glared at him as she dove into his mind and pulled up an old memory of when she was going through her training. She thought of the most brutal of the rapes that she had endured from one of the most sadistic of their trainers and threw in some of the tortures. She pulled out and watched as the man's expression changed as he lived that event as if it had happened to him. As she walked away, the man was struggling against the bindings as he screamed and tried to escape what he thought was really happening to him. He fell back and was writhing on the ground trying to get away from what she had pushed into his brain. The other men were trying to get away from him as she calmly looked at them.

"I'm going to go over here to talk to this captain. Don't you move now? You wouldn't want me to have to impose any other punishments."

She gave them a smile which promised dire consequences if they moved. Patrick looked at the man who was crying and sobbing now and then looked at Christina and led her over to the command Humvee on the other side of the trucks, while George stayed back to watch the prisoners. She could see that it had been hit and rolled onto its side when the Humvee with the Mark 19 had hit it. Patrick led her around the vehicle and there on the ground was the man in question. The Humvee had rolled over onto him and he was pinned underneath. The man looked up when Christina came into view. He saw her armor and remembered the two out in front of the house who had run out and only the combined fire of the fifties and grenade launcher had taken them out. This teenager had a very grim expression on her face as she squatted down nearby.

"Well Captain. I'm guessing you are Captain Blackburn."

She looked at the Humvee pinning him to the ground.

"I'm guessing that you're the one in charge of this little incident and I'm here to get some answers."

Blackburn snarled at her.

"Who do you think you are? You're just a kid. Let me talk to someone in charge. It would be better for you if you cooperate. I'm following the orders of President Ashwood. You have no right to ask me anything. I don't have to answer anything you ask."

Christina nodded and then reached out and pushed on the Humvee before letting it rock back. Blackburn's eyes opened wide and then he screamed when the weight settled back onto him.

"Hurts huh. You're right you don't have to answer me at all. So I'll just take the answers that I want and there's nothing you can do about it."

She then bored into his mind. She saw everything that he knew. She saw what he did to Timmy and the others that were prisoners at the base. She got details about the base. How many men and what they had in the way of defenses. She filed all of that away. While she ripped the information from the good captain's mind, George came running over, drawn by the screams of the Captain as his mind was ripped apart as she took everything of importance from him. When she pulled out, his eyes were wide and staring, but completely empty, catatonic. She stood up and looked at the two men.

"I think I've got some information that your boss needs to hear. Did you find anyone else?"

"No. What did you do?"

She glanced down at the man.

"I mind ripped him. He was an evil bastard. Do you know what he was doing last night and this morning before he arranged this attack? Raping an innocent 12 year old boy and after he finished killing everyone that he found here, he planned to go back to his base and do it again but also rape the boy's younger sister too. They and a few other kids from about age 10 to 14 years old are being kept prisoner on their base as playthings for the officers. That will not last long, I promise you."

She walked away. They walked over to the prisoners and got them to their feet. The one who she had sent those images into his mind was curled into a fetal position and sobbing. The other inmates looked at him and asked the George and Patrick about it.

"What did she do to him?"

"I don't know, but I wouldn't piss her off, if I was you."

They walked the men over to where they could be more easily watched, instead of where they had been held. They were directed to sit down with their backs to the cars. Jim told him that he would watch them. George and Patrick went back and got the sobbing man and dragged him over with the rest of the prisoners. The other prisoners looked at the man who was now just lying on the ground with a wide eyed stare and little whimpers coming out of him.

They went back to where the trucks were parked. A couple of them had been damaged when Jamie had directed the LAAW rocket back at the soldiers. They looked inside the other two to see what if anything they could find. In the truck that had carried the equipment for the attack, they found several boxes of 5.56 ammo and 9mm ammo. They also found three LAAW rockets as well. Since this truck had been undamaged, they decided that making multiple trips to empty it they would instead drive it closer to the house. George called Gabe on the Radio, to tell him what they had found and to let him know they were driving the truck with the stuff in it over to the house. Gabe let everyone know about it, so that they weren't concerned when they heard the truck driving up. Patrick got out of the truck and took over prisoner watch, so that Jim could get something to eat and to rest his leg which was still aching a little. Inside the house George and Jim joined the rest of the group. Brett nodded to them.

"Okay, we have some things to talk about. Mainly what do we do next? We still need to figure out what's going on around here, such as where are we?"

"A different universe. That's where we are."

They all looked at Christina.

"From what I've been able to find out, this is not where we're from."

She pointed to her and Eve.

"Where we both come from, we have had some experience with different universes and a higher level of technology. We have beds that can help heal a person, called Bio Beds. Your Ian there is a walking Bio Bed himself. We can transport from one place to another in seconds. We have Starfleet and travel between the stars. From what I learned from Blackburn there is nothing like what we know here and how we got here, I have no idea."

"Wait, you have space travel? Space ships that travel faster than light? You can actually go to other stars?"


"That's only science fiction stories, movies and television shows where my family comes. Yes we have sent men to the moon and we've sent astronauts into space, but going between stars, that is so far beyond us that it's not funny. I wish I could see some of the technology."

Brett looked out the window, lost in thought of the implications of what he had learned so far about this world that they had come from. Their ability with genetics intrigued him as well. They were so advanced in everything. He came back from his musing and looked around realizing that he had been staring off into space for a few moments.

"Sorry, what you told me seems so far-fetched but the evidence points at that sort of conclusion and it is actually, as strange as it sounds, the best answer to what is going on around here. So far we have found a body double of me upstairs in what is or was my bed. Eve says that there is another double for me in an underground bunker. You two apparently know this underground copy of me, but with different points of view about him and what he was like. So we're looking at three copies of me. When my friends, my family and I went to bed last night. It was near the end of July, 2013. It is now, November, 2012."

"It was 2004 for us."

He glanced at Christina and nodded accepting her statement. If they can go back in, why can't they go forward in time.

"Here is what we've found out so far. Two days ago was the presidential election. The current president, Ashwood, lost by a landslide, to someone named Jackson Bryce. In our world it was President Obama who won that election. He's not even a blip on the radar here."

"Jackson Bryce. We knew a Jack Bryce in our home. He was a friend of the UNIT."

"Okay. Anyway he won the election, but Ashwood will not concede. In fact it appears that he is not going to relinquish the office and in fact is trying to make it a dictatorship with him in charge. He tried to kill Bryce and his family using the military in an attack on the base where Bryce was staying. Also it appeared that he ordered the killing of several hundred school children and their parents in Breckenridge, Texas. They tried to blame it on civilians, but someone, I don't know who, presented proof that it was federal agents, under the administrations orders, who carried out the attack. Cruise missiles with Sarin gas were launched against Austin, Texas by naval ships in the Gulf of Mexico. It appears that Ashwood was the one that gave the order to fire on the city and some of the other naval vessels in the Gulf, fired on those who sent the cruise missiles and in fact tried to destroy as many of those missiles as they could. If they hadn't taken that action, there would have been even more missiles headed to Austin or maybe to another town. Texas has since seceded and declared war on the Ashwood Administration, not on the United States, but on the Administration. Also there was a bomb that was set off in Kansas City, wiping out the center of the city, no one knows for sure what kind of bomb yet, but it was devastating. A dirty bomb was exploded in Oklahoma City and some sort of blister chemical gas was released in Boulder, Colorado. If I was to guess, I would say this Ashwood person is behind that as well. It seems to be something a dictator would do to retain his power and everything points to that as his intention."

The story of the killing of the kids angered the UNIT people and the Genesis kids weren't real happy about it either. Christina stepped up to give her report.

"I found the commander of the people that attacked us and I got information about that attack. It was ordered by President Ashwood. He had sent orders to Captain Blackburn to pick up some inmates from a nearby prison, sending Presidential Pardons for them. They chose the worst felons to do this. He came from a base not too far from here. At that base, right now, are a small group of kids, age 10 to 14 years old, who are there to be used to entertain the officers at the base. He was raping one of the 12 year old boys this morning before he came here to attack us. His orders were to kill the billionaire supporter of Jackson Bryce, Doctor Brett MacLeod. My guess that is the body that is upstairs."

Brett looked a bit surprised about that, but he began to think about it and what that might mean for them. He realized that the first thing to do was to get off the mountain. It is nearly Winter and it was going to be cold at night.

"Well the first thing we need to do, is get out of here. It is going to get cold here at night and with the place in ruins and no electricity, it may not be very comfortable for us. We have the fireplace and if we huddle together in here, although crowded we should be okay, but if another earthquake hits, the rest of the house may come down on us. But where do we go and how do we get there. Since I'm apparently a billionaire or the me who is from here is a billionaire, I should be able to pay for a place for us to stay, at least for tonight. There are plenty of vehicles to use. At least some of the cars and trucks are in good enough shape to drive out of here…."

"I have a better way out of here. Just give Oliver and me fifteen minutes or so and we'll return with our way out of here. It's better than using any of the cars or trucks and safer too. C'mon Oliver, let's go get the Dragon."

Oliver nodded and without waiting for anyone to say anything, he got up and both of them put their helmets on as they left the house. The others stared after the two of them in bewilderment for a few moments at the abruptness of their departure, until Rio spoke up with a hint of amusement in his voice.

"Don't worry, they've just gone to get the Dragon. They'll be back soon."

"What's the "Dragon"?"

"You'll see."

Rio gave Brett an enigmatic smile before he leaned back against the sofa arm and closed his eyes with a slight smile on his face. Brett decided to see if he could find out something on this person that he was supposed to be here in this universe. He excused himself and headed to the computer room which was also his office.

In the room he saw that both his and Sean's workstations were dark as he expected, since they had no electricity. Luckily he had the large windows that let light in. Outside he could see where the sun had burned through the overcast sky a little so it wasn't quite as gray as it had been earlier in the day. He had not looked in any other part of the office except where the workstations were located since all of this had happened. He saw that the books and the decorations that were on shelves or hanging on the walls, were scattered everywhere. He began searching through the desk drawers first to see what he could find. There wasn't much that told him anything that he needed to know. So he got up and began to look on the shelves and in the mess on the floor. He saw something on the floor and a picture caught his eye.

He picked it up and saw that it was a picture of him, but he didn't remember taking that picture. He was standing with an older man that looked vaguely familiar, but he couldn't place him. He was looking at it and trying to figure out if he could remember when the picture had been taken. Then it hit him. Instead of looking at the man in the picture, he began to look at the background in the picture to see if he was right and he was. The picture was of the Oval Office. When he looked at it in that context, he realized why the man looked familiar. He had just seen that face that morning. He thought it was Jackson Bryce, if he remembered correctly, the President Elect. From the picture he could tell that they were at least friendly if not friends. But with what he had learned, he thought that they were probably friends and they had worked together in the past.

Brett went back into the room and walked over to Sean, who was sitting with Dakota.

"Sean, can you bring up that picture on your laptop of Bryce?"

Sean got up and grabbed the laptop where it was sitting next the dead TV and opened it up. When it was booted up he quickly skimmed through his files until he found the picture and Brett matched it to the picture he had and he had been correct. It was Bryce. Sean saw what he was looking at.

"It appears that I or this universes version of me, is at least friendly with Bryce. The soldier that Chase took out in the dining room, said that I was a supporter of Bryce and I suppose I'm on some list for elimination because of it. Thanks Sean."

He squeezed Sean's shoulder before he went back to the office. Inside he continued to search for anything that could find to lead them to their next steps. He searched the bookshelves and behind the workstations he saw that one of the bookshelves was sticking out a little bit from the others. Something about it was different. He looked through it and didn't see anything unusual about the books either in the shelf or on the floor nearby. He was bending down to pick up one of the books when he bumped against the shelf. When he did that, it moved easily without making a scraping sound on the ground. He stood up and looked at where it was sticking out a little. He grabbed the side and pulled and the bookshelf pulled away from the wall very easily, opening like hinged door. Behind it was a safe. He looked at the electronic lock and knew that some of the answers he sought was behind that door.

He went back to the desk to search for anything that might give him a clue as to what the code might be. There was nothing that he could find. He sat there for a moment looked out the window, trying to think of what he might use as a code for such a safe. He was hoping that if he and his double thought the same, the two might think of the same code to use. Several ideas came to him, but he worried that if he tried too many times, it might lock out all of the codes and he'd never get inside it, without destroying it, which might destroy what was inside of it. After several minutes of thought, he finally narrowed it down to three choices. He thought that three was safe. Any more than that and if he entered the wrong code, it might possibly trigger a lockout of any codes and he wouldn't be able to get into it at all.

He walked over to the safe and entered the first one he had thought of. The light stayed red. He entered the next one. No difference. He started to enter the third one, but stopped partway through and hit the clear button. Before he entered the number that had come to him, another number came to him, he closed his eyes for a moment and prayed that somehow in some way, he and his double were in synch. He entered '08061999'. The light turned green and he turned the handle and pulled the door open. Somehow there had been some sort of connection, because that number was very important to him. It was Jamie's date of birth and from what he could find so far, this Brett didn't have a son named Jamie. So somehow that date had made its way from his universe to this one and this Brett had used it as the combination for his safe.

He looked inside and saw several accordion files which he pulled out. When he moved them out of the way he uncovered something that was a surprise. There were several stacks of $100 bills bundled as they would be if stored in a bank with the paper band around them. They were neatly stacked in stacks of ten and there were ten stacks. That was one hundred of them. He looked on the band of the bundles and saw that each bundle was $10,000. That meant that there was $1,000,000 in the safe. He gave a low whistle. He continued looking and pulled out a smaller accordion folder. That one he opened up and searched inside. It appeared to hold several credit cards in his name and he noted that they were of the very exclusive variety, Amex Centurion Card, Visa Black Card and Chase Palladium Card. There were also some gas company cards and several store cards as well. He looked at the back of the cards and his signature was identical, so that would work out. There were also some unused checks in it as well. They were from several banks so it looked like they might be okay money wise at least for now. He left the office and went back into the living room to get Jamie.

"Jamie, can you go up to my room and grab one of the medium sized silver looking suitcases and bring it down to the office. Thanks."

He started to turn away, but noticed the look on Jamie's face. He was puzzled for a moment and then it dawned on him.

"Sorry. I'll go get it myself."

There was relief on Jamie's face. He hadn't wanted to go up to that room where the body that looked like his dad was lying. Brett gave him a quick hug before heading for the stairs and up to his room. He gave the body a glance before turning to the closet and looking in there. Luckily his other self, liked the same kind of hard sided suitcase. There was lock on the case but it was presently unlocked. Just in case he searched the dresser and found the key in the top middle drawer. He carried the suitcase down and went into the office. Jamie followed him in and stopped when he saw his dad removing stacks of money and putting it into the case. On top of it the accordion files went. When it was all in there, he closed and locked the case.

"Wow. How much was that?"

"About $1,000,000 and a lot of important papers that will probably help us get ourselves situated wherever we end up."


Right about that time they heard the sounds of a helicopter outside. They rushed out to the living room and they saw that everyone that had a gun was up and making sure they were ready just in case it was another attack. Rio twisted around a bit to see outside and smiled. He pointed at the large helicopter coming in for a landing. It was painted like a Red Dragon.

"That's….The Dragon."

After Rio said that, they started to relax and watched through the broken front windows of the house as the helicopter settled to the ground and the rotors began to slow. Moments later, Christina and Oliver exited the helicopter and walked back into the house. They removed their helmets and Christina was smiling as she gestured at the helicopter in front of the house.

"Here's our way out of here."

Gabe looked at the two teens and then at the helicopter, before saying anything.

"You kids are pilots too?"

She gave him one of those looks that every parent of a teenager has seen, asking him 'How can you be so dumb'. Gabe held his hands up.

"Sorry, by this time, I should not be surprised at what you kids can do. It makes sense that you can fly a CH 53."

She nodded in acknowledging his apology. She saw one of the Genesis Team slowly walking to the window to get closer look, it was Apollo. She remembered that when Eve had introduced him to Brett, she had said that his specialty was Aircraft. So another pilot. That could be handy, depending on how things go, as they moved forward. She wondered how good he was. Gabe had also moved closer to get a better look at it. After a few moments he turned around and looked at the two UNIT members.

"There seems to be a few extra items on this thing. Things I have never seen before. And it looks bigger than others I've seen or flown on."

"Well, my team and I, with the help of Juan and Jory, have made a few modifications to it. It's probably not like any other such helicopter that you may have seen. This is our way out of here. We don't have to worry about driving on roads and it's faster as well."

Brett had joined the two of them as they were talking.

"Before we leave however, we have to make some plans as to where to go."

Christina interrupted him.

"As we were flying Dragon back here, I was thinking. We have three choices for those prisoners out there. We can execute them, because of what they did today and for the crimes that they were convicted of."

"I'm not comfortable with that. If they had died while attacking us, then I wouldn't care about them, because they attacked my family and took part in killing some of them, but they surrendered and I do not want us to lower ourselves to their level and be cold blooded killers."

"Very well. Then the next would be to leave them tied up here."

"No, that would be essentially the same thing, just slower. Since it is November and in the mountains, they will die of the cold, probably by morning."

"The final idea is to redeliver them to the prison that they were taken from. When I got the information out of Blackburn, I saw that the warden of the prison was killed when he refused to honor the Presidential Pardons that had been presented to him. He said that they weren't valid because they could only be used for federal prisoners and those at the prison were state prisoners."

Brett nodded as he digested that suggestion.

"I think that is the best choice. Do you plan to land in the prison yard?"

"That might be a good idea. I was thinking of landing in front of the prison, but the prison yard is better. We can land there, push them out the back and get out of there quickly."

"Okay after that, where do we go? We are fairly certain that we are in another universe, different than our own. You say it isn't the same as where you're from either and it's not the same world we were in, when we went to sleep last night."

"After that, we go to the base where the soldier came from. We need to rescue those kids from what is being done from him. That is what we do. If anyone in the Unit hears of anything like what is being done to kids, we have sworn to save the kids, even if it could mean our lives. There is no debate on that. We will rescue those kids."

"But you're talking about attacking a military base. There's got to be thousands of soldiers on there."

"No, the base had only recently begun to have soldiers stationed on it. There are plans for more, but it hasn't happened yet. According to what I got from Blackburn, there is only a company stationed there at the moment. George Air Force Base was closed down about twenty years and six months ago, Ashwood officially reopened it and had repairs done to the buildings and enough of the infrastructure to make it livable. The infantry company that is stationed there has only been there a month. They are waiting for more repairs to be completed, before bringing in more soldiers, vehicles and aircraft, especially helicopters. If we go in now, we can rescue those kids. As far as I could get from him, the soldiers have their personal weapons and some support weapons, tripod and vehicle mounted such as we saw with the weapons on the Humvees. They are expecting delivery of some armored vehicles to be delivered soon when more soldiers arrive at the base, but they have not arrived yet."

Brett nodded and then looked over at Gabe.

"Gabe, what do you think? You were a colonel in the Green Berets. Can we rescue those kids?"

Gabe looked at Christina and he could see by her face that she wasn't real happy about her idea being questioned, but she was enough of a soldier to wait to hear what he had to say before she started arguing for her idea. Besides he had been a Colonel in the military, so she let it lay, since although he wasn't Unit, he had held a higher rank than she presently did.

"From what I can tell, if they have a company, depending on the size, it could be up to 250 men….."

"They don't have that many, with the soldiers that attacked us, they had 100 men. With the losses here, they have about 75 left."

Gabe looked at her for a few moments without saying anything before he continued. He frowned a bit because he was not used to someone interrupting him like that.

"That is still a lot of soldiers to fight. They're going to see us coming from a long distance away in that big helicopter, and the way it is painted, they will easily be able to see us and with that paint job, they are probably going to figure out that it is not one of theirs. They will be able to prepare a hot welcome for us and that could be bad news for us. I agree that we need to rescue those kids, but we need to make sure we can do it, without putting ourselves in a worse situation."


Gabe stopped and looked at Christina before nodding to her.

"They won't know we're coming until it will be too late, I can guarantee that. I told you that The Dragon has some modifications. As I said before, our world was more technically advanced than this one, some of those advancements have been incorporated into The Dragon. It is not a stock helicopter, by any means."

"What type of modifications? I can see from the outside that it is more heavily armed than any other CH 53 that I have ever seen. Is that what you mean?"

"No, there are other modifications as well and I would rather wait until we are on the way to the base before I discuss it further."

"Okay, I'll take you at your word. From what I've seen and heard so far, I would not discount what you say about your capabilities out of hand. Do you know where the kids are kept on the base?"

"Yes. It is in a room in the building used by the officers. They′re kept locked up and when one of the officers wants one of them, they are brought to his quarters. The kids have only been there for a couple of days. From what I could get from Blackburn, they are the kids of political opponents of Ashwood."

"If your modifications can allow us to get in close, then perhaps we can get in and out of there, before they can muster their force to stop us. All of my men are former Special Forces, so we've had some experience in getting into places that the bad guys didn't want us to get into. It appears from what we've seen that you can do that as well. With my five men and you kids that gives us fifteen…."

"Don't forget about us."

Gabe looked at Jamie who had spoken up.

"You've been training us for the last few months, sir and we can fight, plus with our abilities we can use them as well to help rescue those kids."

"We can outfit them with some of our armor. We have some extras stored onboard that should work for them. It will keep them safe. We can fit the armor to them while we are on our way to the target. If you have trained them to fight, then they should be allowed to fight if they want to."

You could see that there were some among the parents who were not happy at what was being suggested about their sons fighting, but they also knew that the boys had gone into the GRA facility to help rescue Josh when he had been kidnapped a few months ago. They also knew that the boys had been training with Gabe and his men and with some of their abilities, they could surprise anyone who didn't know what they could do. There was a lot of discussion about whether they should allow their boys to take part. It was Jamie that stopped most of that.

"I know some of you are worried about us, but they need our help and we know what we're doing."

He looked at his friends before he continued.

"Not all of our abilities can be easily used to fight with, like my telekinesis or Josh's pyrokinesis, or Dakota's ability with any weapon, but all of us together can help these guys. So, we know you're worried about us, but we are going to help in any way that we can. If you were our age and you had a chance to save a bunch of kids who were prisoners like that, I know that you would do it too. So we're helping."

Christina smiled at Jamie and gave him a little salute. Brett stepped forward again.

"It's getting later in the day and we have one more thing that we must do before we leave. We must bury and honor our dead. We can't leave them lying out there and I don't think that it is prudent to carry them with us at this time."

Christina nodded in agreement. Brett continued.

"Then that is the first order of business. Instead of digging a bunch of graves, one of my men will use the backhoe and we'll bury them together. We don't have time for anything else if we want to get rid of the prisoners and save those kids. When we finish with that, we need to load our things on the helicopter and then get out of here. If my double was on some hit list, we don't want to be here in case more soldiers are on the way."

The others nodded and they split up to take care of what was needed. Gabe and the men went to the bunkhouse to get some of their clothes and the rest of the weapons and ammunition out of the armory. The families were told to take one suitcase each, so they went through their luggage and packed one suitcase each. Brett assured them if anyone needed anything, he would make sure that they had whatever they needed once they got to a safe place. While they were doing this, Chase returned to report that there were no soldiers left alive anywhere. The weapons, ammunition and luggage were piled near the helicopter ramp.

Once they had their belongings ready for the trip, the ladies started preparing those that had died in the attack for burial. As they ladies worked they received a strange to them request. Gabe asked for them to remove the shoes from the family members. Rio looked at him for a few moments wondering why he would request that, but then he smiled and understood. He and Chase began to do the same for their family members, while they were getting them out of their armor. The ladies took care of wrapping the bodies in bed sheets that had been removed from house. Rio was up and moving at least. He was a bit slow and there was still some pain, but Ian's healing and the Pico Bots were doing their part to bring him back to full strength. The body of this universe's Brett was also brought downstairs and lay with the other members of Brett's family. Gabe had his men get the bodies of Aldo Muldoon off of the roof of the bunkhouse and Luke Provo from where he had fallen near the cars, so that they could be buried with the others. Rio and Chase stored the armor removed from their dead team members, into the armory aboard Dragon.

Now that they were nearer to the helicopter, Gabe could see the changes on the helicopter more easily. This one was more heavily armed than any other CH 53 that he had ever seen. One of the biggest apparent changes was the twin 30mm M230 chain guns in nose turrets. Those were only usually found on attack helicopters like the Apache or the Cobra and this was supposed to be a transport helicopter, armed yes, but this heavily armed, not that he'd ever seen or heard of. He could also see that it looked larger than normal as well, both longer and wider. He saw that wear the wheel assemblies were on the helicopter, they had a hard point added to each and attached to those hard points were Hydra 70 rocket pods. Gabe just shook his head in amazement once again at these kids. His worry now is that with all the extra additions to it, he hoped that they had upgraded the engines to make them more powerful, otherwise it would fly slower and that might be a problem for them. He didn't want to be a sitting duck.

Once everything was ready, Oliver supervised the loading of the helicopter. Inside they could saw even more differences. As they entered the cabin, they could see that there was what looked like rooms toward the front of the interior of the helicopter. When they walked up the ramp, they could see stowed to the side a ramp mounted minigun. Rio led them over to the right side and keyed a code into an electronic lock that was on a door. Inside was an armory. Most of the racks were already taken up with MP5s and M4 Carbines, many of them with M203 grenade launchers. There were other cabinets in the room where the security men were able to store the extra weapons and ammo that they had brought from their armory. They had also gathered equipment out of the truck that the soldiers had brought with them. There had been some assault vests, M16's, three LAAW rockets and ammunition. Rio was able to find enough storage space for all of it in the armory. There was also a cargo area where they were able to store everyone's luggage.

Gabe asked about the other rooms and was shown that the one opposite the armory was a medical treatment room and in front of both rooms right behind the cockpit access, was set up like a downsized AWACS control room with four stations on each side of a center aisle. The aisle ran between the internal rooms, that led to a short ladder that allowed access up to the cockpit and the left and right window mounted .50 caliber machineguns. The rest of the interior could be configured for cargo or troops. On either side of the interior were fold down seats for troop transport. When not needed they were easily folded up and out of the way. He could see that it could carry 50 or so troops. This helicopter was awesome. He thought about some of the missions that he had been on that a helicopter like this would have been a huge asset.

While they were getting everything stowed in The Dragon, Patrick went down to the garage and got the backhoe out and drove it up to the house to start digging the common grave behind the house and near the tree line. Jim took over as the guard for the prisoners during the burial.

As soon as they were ready, each one of the 18 that had died either in the earthquake or the attack was laid into the grave. Nearby was a pile of M16's and helmets along with the shoes or boots of the dead. The surviving members of the Genesis team, Unit team and the families gathered together at the graveside to pay their last respects. A chair was brought out from the house for Eve to sit on, so that she could be there. There was no question of anyone missing it, new family and old family. Brett stepped forward.

"If any of you would like to say anything, please do so if you wish. No one has to say anything as the deeds of the members of our family speak for themselves."

He stepped back and Christina was the first to step up.

"A short time ago members of the Unit, my family, willingly gave their lives to save some friends who were under attack by some very evil, hateful people. There was no reason except for the one in the twisted minds. Some of those that died were as young as 8 or 9 years old, but they put themselves at risk, knowing that they may die, to save others. They never hesitated but did what they had to do to protect their friends. We of the Unit have made it our duty and honor to fight for those who can't fight for themselves. We have sworn that wherever any child and those who truly care for children need us, we will have their back and put our lives on the line to protect them and save them if at all possible. We were made by some evil people into what we are now. We're kids who didn't have a childhood, or had that childhood taken away from us so that we can be made into what we are now. Warriors. My team is my family. The love of my life, Oliver will stand beside me and watch my back until we die. Each member of my family is important to me, even if they can no longer stand beside me. Today for the first time, I have to reluctantly say goodbye to six members of my family. Thomas, Jasmine, Connor, Christopher, Natalie and Mikey. Because of you, good people were saved and the evil in this world was lessened a little more. You were the brothers and sisters that I never had and I'm richer for having had your love and respect. You are not the first of my family that have given their lives for others but I hope you are the last. But no matter what happens or what dangers are involved, you know that we will continue to fight until such evil is eradicated."

Eve spoke next.

"I know what others may think about you sir, but I know that you cared for us. One day I will come back and see that you and the family members that I have lost today, will be taken from where you entombed and buried out here. Please take care of my…no, your family, until it is my time to join you. Thank you for the last thing that you said to me, I will always remember and honor you for it. Goodbye."

Gabe was the next to speak.

"I have fought beside many soldiers in my time in the army before I retired. As in any part of life, some were good, some not so good and some were among the best. Today, I truly saw some of the best soldiers that I have had the honor to fight alongside with. They fought with everything they had to defend their loved ones and I saw these same soldiers fight for someone that they never met before today. When they heard the sound of the guns, they didn't shy away, they didn't hide, instead they ran to the sound of the guns. As many soldiers who came before them have run to the guns, to fight for those they didn't know. As Lincoln said in his Gettysburg Address, they gave the last full measure of devotion. It didn't matter what their age was, they knew only that they were needed to protect the innocent from the depredations of evil. Now their family prepares to do this once again and I'm proud to stand with them when they fight the evil that appears to be infesting this land. A land that used to be known as the land of the free, now appears to be led by a dictator who wishes to take away everyone's liberty and only give it to a select, misguided few who hope to profit from it. Thomas Jefferson once wrote to John Adams and in that letter, he stated that "The Tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of tyrants and patriots." It appears that one of those times is before us now and we will not shirk from it, though it is our blood that may refresh it. You young soldiers who have allowed your blood to soak the roots of the Tree of Liberty will one day see that the tree is not dead nor sick and will be strong enough to withstand the winds of war that are being forced upon it when we refresh it with the blood of the tyrants. De Opresso Liber."

Brett waited for a few moments before stepping forward once again.

"We have all lost loved ones today. Members of our family that we will never get to touch or spend time with or talk to again. We've lost wives and mothers, husbands and fathers, brothers and sisters, and dearest friends. No matter what they were too you personally, they were family to all of us, because family always does everything that it can to protect the members of their family. Today they showed the meaning of family and I will not let that meaning die. Though we are tired and would like nothing more than to lay down our burdens for the day, we have much more to do before we rest this day. There are more out there that need our help and we will do our damnedest to give that help. They do not know that that help is coming, but help will always be given to those who truly need at or ask for it. I have heard a little of what this group known as the Unit stands for, as this young lady has explained it and if there had been more people with that frame of mind here, we would not need to do what we must to save more innocents. Watch over our family God, as we go do what must be done, no matter the cost."

Christina walked over to Gabe and whispered something to him. He nodded as she walked over to Eve next. She leaned down and whispered to her and Eve nodded. Eve and Christina each looked at their teams for a few moments. Gabe walked over to George and Patrick and said something to them. They nodded and then put their rifles to port arms and marched slowly over to where Oliver and Rio stood at attention facing the graves. Jamil, Apollo and Aleksander did the same as the two men from Gabe's team and marched at port arms until they were standing next to the two Unit team members. When the seven were lined up, Gabe marched over until he was separated from the seven of them by several feet and then came to attention.

"Honor guard, A-ten-hut!"

"Honor guard, ready!"

The honor guard turned in a 45 degree angle and brought their rifles up, pointing into the air and over the grave.


The seven fired.


Again the sound of the gunshots came.


The third round was fired and the honor guard came back to port arms and then faced forward and brought their rifles to present arms. Gabe slowly brought his hand up to the salute and then stood there for a few moments. He was just about to give the command 'Two!', when a young voice began to sing.

"Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, from the hill,
From the sky.
All is well, safely rest.
God is nigh."

A moment later Gabe gave the final command.


The others looked at Ethan who had sung the words to Taps. When he finished there were tears falling down his cheeks. Dylan went over to him and held him close. Dylan and Ethan had each lost their mom in the earthquake and in the attack. As it ever was, whenever that tune is heard, especially to those who have served their country, there were no dry eyes among those assembled as they stood there unmoving for a few more moments, before they began to exchange hugs. The Genesis team was a bit apart from the others as they did not really know any of them yet and they had been told over and over that the Unit were traitors to the Genesis Project. Brett saw this and walked over to Eve and the others. He knelt down and rested his hand on her arm and looked at her. He could see her sadness and as he looked around, he saw that it was mirrored on the face of the others of her team.

"Eve, I know I'm not him, even if I do look like him, but I want you to understand and know this. You, all of you, are part of my family now. You've earned that. We are you're family now as well. We may not always agree, as it is with every family. But we are one family. We have important things to do and we can't do it without you."

He then stood back up and hugged her and then hugged each of the others. They were a little hesitant as hugs were not something that they were accustomed to. It felt a little awkward, but they found that they didn't mind it too much. Brett then walked over to Gabe and told him to cover the grave up. Before any of them could move, the dug up dirt began to move from the pile behind it to cover the grave by itself. They looked around and Jamie was standing there with his hands out wide and slowly moving them together. As he did, the dirt filled in. After it was covered the security men began to take M16s from the pile nearby and push them barrel down into the ground. On either side of the barrel was placed a pair of shoes or boots and on top was placed a helmet that had been taken off of the soldiers that had attacked them. Too many of those shoes or boots were small and should not have been there. But they would be accorded all the honors that they had deserved in protecting their family.

The Unit team was all together in a group hug when another presence was felt. The presence felt like it was hugging each of them. Christina's head shot up and she looked around.


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