Castle Roland

Changing Connections

by Eric Aune

In Progress

Chapter 14

Posted: 15 Jan 15

Changing Connections

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

All Rights Reserved

Changing Connections LogoWhen word that lunch was ready started to spread, people came from various parts of the house and converged on the dining room. It was a simple lunch that was easy to make for a bunch of people, tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. There was one more surprise for Irvin and Kari. They had just finished bringing more food into the dining room, when Fluffy walked in with Tommy beside her.



Those two exclamations got everyone's attention. Heads swiveled as everyone looked around to see why the two older adults had yelled like that. It became clear when they noticed that Fluffy had come in the room. Brett stood up and quickly went over to them.

"Don't worry, she's tame?"

There was a loud growl from behind him and Brett whipped around and saw Fluffy looking at him with her fangs bared and Tommy was even scowling a little. He turned his head partially back to them, while keeping an eye on Fluffy.

"Okay, not tame, but not dangerous to us."

Fluffy closed her mouth and Tommy grinned and nodded.

"You know that you can trust me. Tommy there is standing right there next to her and he's not in danger, so try not to worry about it."

Irvin nodded after a moment and looked over at Kari as he put his arm across her shoulders.

"If you say so, Doc."

Kari was still a bit leery about this giant panther as Tommy looked at the older couple.

"Yeah, she only hurts people, who hurt kids. Do you have any raw meat? It all looks good but Fluffy would probably like something meatier."

"I think I can find a nice big steak in the kitchen."

"Kewl. I'll go with you. Fluffy, I'll be right back."

Fluffy licked Tommy's face, getting a giggle out of him, before she walked away. Tommy looked at the two adults who were still watching Fluffy walk away.

"So, um, we gonna go get something for Fluffy."

"Oh, of course, come along young man. I'm sure we can find something."

The three of them went into the kitchen and Tommy returned moments later with a large steak for Fluffy.

Part way through lunch, Christina went over to Logan and Adam.

"May I ask something, sir…."

Logan looked up and snapped his fingers

"Oh yeah, here."

He reached into the back pocket of his jeans and handed her a small stack of folded papers. She took them with a puzzled look.

"What is this?"

"Just open it."

He took a bite of his sandwich as she looked through the papers.

"What does this mean?"

"Oh, I thought it was clear."

He wiped his hands on a napkin.

"The first papers are yours and Oliver's emancipation papers, the next set are the adoption papers for Tim and Sara."

"How did you know?"

Logan looked at her with his soup spoon halfway to his mouth, with a cocked eyebrow that said "Really?"

"Oh yeah, huh."

He grinned and went back to sipping his soup, while Christina brought the papers over for Oliver to look at. They both smiled and then showed them to Tim and Sara. There was a moment of confusion and they had to explain what it meant. Christina pointed to one part of the papers. It was the part that said their new names. There was disbelief on the two kids' faces for a few moments and then they broke out in wide grins and they jumped into Chris and Ollie's arms. Logan glanced up and smiled. He nudged Adam and gestured to the new family. They shared a grin before continuing to eat.

Once everyone was finishing up, Adam looked across the table to Brett, and then sighed before speaking.


Brett looked up once Adam got the man's attention.

"I'm sorry to cut this short, but, we will have to be leaving soon. We'll be leaving for a rescue mission later tonight."

Brett nodded, but it was Chase that spoke up.

"Who is needing to be rescued, General, sir?"

Chase's voice had lost some of its squeakiness, and was now all business.

"It seems that Ashwood has decided that the Supreme Court, and many of the Legislators that were left in Washington, needed to be placed in protective custody, for their own good, of course."

Brett looked over at Logan when the teen spoke up.

"That bastard!"

They looked over at Eric who had a scowl on his face. He looked at Adam hard for a few moments.

"You and are going in to get them?"

He thought back to what Rio and the others were able to do, then he remembered that these kids here were even more enhanced than even Rio was. They might just be able to do it.

"Yes, Sergeant, we are going in. We are going to rescue them, and we are going to bring them back."

Adam took a deep breath to try and calm himself down a bit.

"The thought of taking the elected and appointed leaders of any of the branches of the government and arresting them, based on the fact that they oppose you, is not the way we do things in this country. Well I know that it happens in some countries, but it should not happen in this country, and frankly, even though this isn't really home for us, it is home while we are here, and may be our permanent home. Those people did nothing other than stand up for what is right, and now they are suffering for it. We can't sit back and do nothing. Besides, this may be our home from now on and we want to live in the kind of country that this should be."

Adam trailed off, but Jory picked up the monologue.

"This is actually going to be one of the toughest missions we've ever had to pull off. Mainly because we don't have all the toys we are used to having with us. But, even knowing that, we have to do it. When we swore our oath to help all those in trouble, all those that are being abused, hurt, and killed simply because of who they are, we never said, as long as it's not too dangerous."

Every Unit member in the room was grimly nodding, especially Chase.

"Wherever the dull ones are trying to destroy the Shininess in people, there we shall be to destroy the Dull Lovers."

While Jory and Chase were speaking, Brett was meeting the eyes of the adults at the table. He didn't have to ask the kids, he knew what they would want to do. When he got the last reluctant nod, he turned to Adam and gave him a nod.

"We're in... what do you need from us?"

Adam smiled and nodded in answer to Brett's decision.

"Get ready to move. We have to stop by the base, the one that President Bryce is at. When we get there, we'll drop off the non combatants, and then head out on the mission. On the way there, we'll brief you on the plan."

Brett stood up and nodded his agreement.


With that, everyone quickly finished up, and left the table to gather any of the equipment and make sure they had everything packed.

When some of the adults and the kids started to clear the table, Irvin stopped them. No one had noticed when he and Kari had rejoined them in the dining room.

"You guys go get ready to rescue those people. They are important parts of the government. It's obvious that if you want to take over control of the country, those people need to be controlled. We'll take care of this. I just wish I could go with you. Since I can't go with you, I can at least do everything that I can to help you. Go on, get your stuff gathered."

The house and the surrounding grounds were a flurry of activity as clothes were packed. The weapons were stored onboard Dragon and all their other gear and possessions were stowed in the cargo compartments in the helo. When Kari and Irvin finished clearing the table, they went outside to watch the preparations. Brett was carrying his case with the money in it. He had a small bag that he had found in his bedroom here in the house and he stopped next to the older couple.

"Thank you both for how well you took care of us. Here, I want you to have this. I don't know when I'll get a chance to get back down here to visit, but I promise to try not to take too long before I come back."

Brett handed the bag over to them as he looked around the area.

"I like it here. It's a nice place."

He gestured to the bag.

"There's $50,000 in there. Consider it a bonus."

"We can't take this. You might need it where you're going."

"I have plenty more. You take that and do whatever you want with it. I think that there is going to be some hard times ahead for us. You two keep your heads down and stay safe."

He handed them a piece of paper.

"That is the address up in Idaho that we will be going to eventually. If you need something, contact me there and I'll do what I can to help you if at all possible."

They shook hands.

"Thank you, Doctor. You've been very kind. Take care. We look forward to seeing you and your family again when you get back down this way. All of your family."

Brett waved to them and boarded Dragon. The couple watched as each helicopter started up. Their man-made wind, sending dirt and leaves everywhere. The two attack helicopters took off first and took up station watching for any hostile forces. A few moments after they had been in the air, the Chinook and Super Stallion rose into the air. Once they were airborne, they got into formation and turned toward the northeast. The couple watched them as they started to fly away, when suddenly they vanished from view. Both were startled and they jumped back a little.

"My god, how did they do that?"

"I don't know Kari, but I think those are some pretty special people. I'm glad they're working with President Bryce. I think they're going to be a big help in pulling down that rat bastard who's trying to become a dictator."

After another look to see if they could spot the helicopters, they turned back to the main house, to finish cleaning up before they went back to their home.

Because they needed to get back to the base, they took a direct line to the northeast, which required them to climb up to about 10000', so that they could cross over the nearby mountains. Luckily, due to the speed of the helos, they did not have to stay at that altitude for very long, because it only took about 10 minutes to get over the mountains and they could then drop down to a lower altitude, when they got to the eastern side of the Sierras. From there it was only another couple of hour's flight to the UNIT base.

During the flight, Adam and Logan gathered several members of the group into the command suite of Dragon. Inside was Brett as the head of the family, Gabe as leader of his security team, all eight of the boys, since they had stated that they would take part, and of course, Christina and Eve. Once they were airborne Christina left the cockpit. Oliver would pilot Dragon, with Apollo as Co-pilot, so that he could get some practice in flying Dragon. He already was a trained pilot, but she wanted to have Oliver check out his skill. It would be handy to have another pilot on the team.

With everyone in the command suite, it was a bit crowded as they had to find a place among all the equipment, while still allowing everyone to see and hear everything that was discussed. For most of the flight, they discussed what the operation was about and what their duties would be during the operation.

The others out in the main cabin could see into the command suite, but due to it being crowded they couldn't hear what was being discussed. Some had fallen asleep because it almost felt like they could relax a little now. They had been moving pretty constantly since they found themselves here. They had been involved with a couple of battles and their aftermath, had rescued a bunch of kids who needed tending to, had seen and heard some shocking revelations about what was going on and about these kids that called themselves the UNIT. It was nearly overwhelming to some of them and since there really wasn't much to do on the flight, some fell asleep. Chase was entertaining some of the kids by doing acrobatics in the main cabin, but being careful not to disturb anyone that had nodded off. He had stripped off his armor and was wearing just his UNIT fatigues. He allowed them to touch his fur, when one of the younger kids wanted to do so. He thought it would help take their mind off things and it would keep them calm.

The briefing broke up about 30 minutes prior to arriving at the base. A few of them stayed within the command suite, discussing some specifics. Sean was at the console he normally used on Dragon and had his new laptop open and sitting next to him. If anyone looked, he seemed to be involved in a three way conversation between himself, the console and his laptop. Eve sat at her console and since Christina had gone back into the cockpit, Apollo came into the command suite and sat with Eve. Brett went up to the cockpit and sat in one of the jump seats. He watched the land pass below them. Minutes later he could see the Great Salt Lake nearing and as they skirted the north side of the lake he could see Salt Lake City and its surrounding cities to the south.

They passed over the cities and towns that ran along I-15 as they moved into the Wasatch Range. Once they were no longer over civilization, he saw the other helicopters they were flying in formation with, begin to descend until they were flying just a couple of hundred feet above the ground. Brett looked around and found it hard to believe that there was a large base in these mountains. It would be a difficult feat at best to build a base here, and keep it hidden as he had been told that it was. How it could be hidden, he had no idea, since anyone flying over the area would easily pick out a large base if they were searching for it. Satellite surveillance should have been able to easily find the base. He saw that the lead helicopter had dropped back and was descending into a canyon, and as they made a turn he saw that it was a box canyon. They were now below the tops of the canyon walls and were flying toward the end of the canyon, he expected them to start to slow down as they neared the end of the canyon, but he didn't see any evidence of that.

He was just about to say something, when he saw the cave at the end of the canyon, only then did the lead helicopter begin to slow down as they landed the helicopters right in front of the cave. Once the helicopters were on the ground, they all waited until rotors stopped before disembarking. Some kids in UNIT uniforms came out of the cave carrying big ropes and attached them to the helicopters and began to haul them into the cave. Brett and his family just stood there in awe as they watched the huge helicopters being easily pulled into cave. They followed the helicopters into the cave. Inside it was dark for a little bit and then they entered a gigantic cavernous space. Looking around in awe as they walked in behind the helicopters, they saw other helicopters and ground vehicles parked in the space. He noted that some of the vehicles were civilian and others were military.

There were also a lot of people moving around in the area. Most of the people moving around were dressed in military fatigues, but there were also a few of the military people who were wearing working uniforms, what Gabe had told him were undress uniforms. He noted that some of the uniforms were different from the uniforms worn by both the US military and the UNIT kids. There was something familiar about these other uniforms, but he couldn't place it. He also noted that there were some others that were in civilian clothes, and he saw that they were armed just like everyone else. He wondered who these people were.

Brett was next to Eve who was being carried by Gabe.

"Well I guess we're here."

"Yes, the Genesis project people tried to find this place many times, but they were unable to. Plus they were being hunted, so it wasn't easy to devote any resources to finding it."

"Eve, listen to me. I want to ask a big favor of you. Please give them a chance to show you what they're like. I know you and they were sort of on opposite sides, but if you think about it, you really weren't. From what I've been hearing, it looked like the people who were in charge of this project did some pretty nasty things to these kids to accomplish what they did. It seems that you were sheltered from that by your Doctor MacLeod. He treated you more like…well let's not say more like. He did treat you like you were his kids, and as you found out at the end, he really did care about you. He probably did what he did for you because he didn't want you to go through what the others did. To me, it looks like he succeeded, because all of you are amazing people and I'm sorry I won't ever get the chance to meet your brothers and sisters who were killed in the earthquake."

A tear slipped down her cheek as she remembered her lost family members. Brett reached up and wiped it away, leaving his hand on her cheek. She brought one of her hands up to hold Brett's hand in place.

"I know it's hard for you right now, but I know that you can see what these people stand for and I know just from the short time that I have known you, that you feel it, too. So be a part of what they are trying to accomplish. I know they need you, even if you don't think so because you are unable to get up and do what you are trained to do. They said that you will be able to walk again, just have patience and when you can, don't leave us and go out on your own, stay with us. I would be very sad if I lost you. I know you're almost an adult, but I never had a daughter. I barely have a son, since I didn't get to spend a lot of time with Jamie as he grew up, and only just reconnected with him less than a month ago. I'm still learning how to be his dad. I missed a lot, but I'll be damned if I miss out on even one moment spending time with him and now you and of course the others. They and you are all part of my family now and don't you ever forget it."

Eve leaned over and threw her arms around Brett. He felt a hand on his shoulder and he glanced at Christina and Oliver who had stopped for a moment. They both nodded and mouthed 'Thank you', before continuing farther into the cave. Eventually she calmed down a little and pushed back a bit from him. He wiped the tears away and helped her get settled comfortably in Gabe's arms. He tried to hide the wince as he stepped back. Eve noticed it and looked at him with concern.

"Are you alright?"

He waved her off.

"Don't worry about it. It's this damn leg, it aches from time to time."

"It was because I was on your lap?"

He was going to deny it, but he saw her look at him and he remembered she was like the other kids.

"Okay, yeah, I suppose. You aren't a little kid, but I don't care, I'll do it any time you need it."

He pointed at his leg.

"This will pass. It doesn't bother me as long as it helps one of my kids."

He smiled as he looked around him to make sure his family was all together. The large group gathered, many of them with their mouths open as they gazed around at the huge cavern. As they stood there looking around, they saw all the work going on around them. Now that he could hear the soldiers talking in a different language, that helped him place the other uniforms. They were Russians. He looked at Adam.

"You have Russian soldiers here?"

Adam smirked as he nodded to Brett.

"Yep, President Bryce has many friends around the world."

As he stood there a man in civilian clothes came up to Adam and Logan and spoke quietly to them. Adam nodded and turned back to the group.

"I'm sorry to leave you alone, but Logan and I have to meet with the President and his advisors. I'm just waiting for someone to….oh here he is."

One of the younger UNIT boys whom they had met earlier joined them. He gave Adam and Logan a hug. Adam looked at the group.

"You remember our son Ronnie, well he will see to your accommodations and resupply. We only have a few hours until we need to get going so get settled in and Ronnie, make sure they get something to eat. We'll see you folks later."

He and Logan walked over to where the man who had talked to them was waiting. They realized he was probably a Secret Service agent working with President Bryce.

"Hi guys, I'm the UNIT Quartermaster and I'm going to take you to where you'll be staying. There are a few more of you than we thought and we have a lot of people here as you can see, so we may be a little tight, but I think we can make you comfortable enough."

"So President Bryce is here?"

"Oh, yeah, Jack, um, President Bryce is a friend, so we brought him here after we rescued him. So you could sort of call this the Western White House at least for now and until the Dictator in Chief is removed. For now, let's head on down to sub level four where the living quarters are located so you can get your stuff put away."

Ronnie waved for them to follow him and he started off for a bank of elevators. He split the groups up and told them which button to hit before jumping in with the last group. The doors opened on sub level four and Ronnie had them all gather near the elevators while he checked something on the tablet that he was holding. He nodded when he found what he was looking for.

"Okay, follow me and we'll get you taken care of."

Ronnie led them down the corridor past several doors and other people walking through the halls. He finally stopped in front of one of the doors, opened it and stepped inside, motioning for everyone to follow him into the central room.

"Okay because you have so many people we'll be putting you in two pods. Each pod has two levels with five bedrooms on each level. We've made some guesses on how you might want to set it up. The bedrooms have either two double beds or two bunk beds, so they can sleep as little as two and as many as four people in each room. There is a mix of room designs in each pod, so you can decide who is going to stay in which rooms. Some of you may have to double up some to make this work."

There was some discussion and people started splitting up. Gabe set Eve down on one of the couches in the central room and had his men split up, so that some were in each of the pods. He wanted to make sure there were security people in each pod, even though he knew that most of these kids could handle themselves well in a fight, old habits were hard to break. The parents also split up. Jamie and his friends chose rooms with double beds and couples paired up, so that they only took up two of the rooms, each couple sharing a double bed. The adults made sure that all of the rescued kids found a place, many of them decided to room together, the difference was Tim and his sister, they chose to room with Christina and Oliver, their new parents. Once everyone had made their choices, Ronnie made notations on his tablet as he stood at the door. Ram said he'd share a room with Eve, which was okay with her.

"Okay, now that you're all settled in where you're going to stay we have a few more things to take care of."

"But what do we do next?"

"Well, you can relax in here for now. Dinner will be served in the cafeteria in a couple of hours. For those going on the mission, we should go to the armory and get what equipment that you will need. Other than that, Sean you have a map on your computer that tells you where everything is."

He tapped a couple of things on his tablet.

"Sean, I've sent an update to your computer that will let you know areas that you should not go to for security reasons, unless you are asked to go there."

"Like where the President is located?"

"Yep, pretty much. Those locations are guarded anyway, so it should be obvious, but on Sean's computer…."


Ronnie looked at Sean.


"His name is Dusty."

Ronnie nodded after a moment.

"Okay, then Dusty has the map and the secure areas are marked on it, so that you don't go there. It has a location function on it, so that you can tell where you are by checking the map. Other than that, if you need anything, you can use the intercom or Sean can get me with Dusty's help. One last thing, the entrance to each pod can be locked, and only those that need to enter can be allowed in. Since everyone has chosen where they will stay, I can program the palm print scanner, so that it will let you in the pod."

Ronnie got to work on getting everyone's palm print entered for both pods, down to and including the youngest members of the family. The family began to get settled in their rooms. The younger boys loved their bunk beds. Once everyone was settled, Brett called everyone to the central room in the first pod.

"Okay, so I think it's best that those of us that are going on the mission should go to the armory as Ronnie mentioned and pick up anything we may need, although I think we have plenty of equipment already in our armory on Dragon. What do you think Chris, Gabe, Eve?"

Chris nodded.

"Adam or Logan have a good idea what will be needed for the mission, and we probably have pretty much everything we need in Dragon, but there may be some specialized equipment that we can pick up from the armory. We can also turn in some of our damaged equipment for repair and replacement while we're in there, and get more supplies, like ammunition and things like that, so I think the armory is a good choice. Once we get all of that done and get back here, it will probably be time for dinner."

Brett nodded.

"Okay, then that's what we'll do."

"Wait a minute, I think we need to talk about this."

They looked and saw that Stephanie, Logan's mom was standing there with her arms crossed and a determined expression on her face. Ronnie thought about calling one of his dads, but held off to see what was going to happen first.

"No Mom, we don't."

She looked at her son and nodded.

"Well, I think we do."

She turned to face Brett.

"I don't know what is being planned, but I'm not comfortable with my son going into something where he could be hurt. I didn't like it when you and the others went after the GRA, but luckily nothing happened to any of the boys, and in the end it worked out well for us. I don't like the idea of my son learning to be a soldier. He's only 14 or if you look at what year it is now, he's technically 13. He's too young, they all are, even these two young ladies and their friends."

"Stephanie, I thought we had settled this. The boys want to do this and they have been accepted as a part of the UNIT. They are not exactly helpless and they have their UNIT armor that was given to them to help protect them. I will be along as well as Gabe and his team. All of the boys have had training from Gabe and the rest of the security team. Their training has been in using various guns and hand to hand combat. Besides, they will not be going into direct combat, that's not part of the plan. They'll be with us up in the helicopter. We won't be landing until the end, so they will be safe."

"Then why are they going along at all?"

"Because we need their talents to assist in this mission, that's what Logan and Adam told us. Our boys are very special, because they have abilities that others in this place do not have. For instance there is no one else who can do what Ian can do and his skills may be needed to help others. Jamie's telekinetic strength is extremely powerful. No one can do what Josh can do, no one. The boys need to go. They are needed."

He glanced over at Christina, who nodded in agreement.

"Remember what Doctor Hayes said about not getting in their way."

"Well, I just don't think it's right."

All of the adults suddenly had looks of surprise on the faces as they heard someone in their heads.

{Missus Badger and everyone, we have to do this. There are kids and others who are already being hurt and we can't, we won't, let that continue. We won't be directly fighting on this mission, we are supporting the others and if by chance we have to help more directly, then we will do what we need to do. We're not helpless, you didn't see everything during our battles that we've had to fight over the last couple of days, but Jamie knocked rockets out of the air and threw a couple of Humvees in the air. Later that day, Jamie and Josh together turned a bunch of cars into rolling and even flying firebombs. We can do this. We want all of you to believe in us and give us your permission because you are our parents, but we know that we have to do this.}

Stephanie was looking at the eight boys trying to figure out who that had been.

"It was me, Missus Badger. Logan Hayes taught me a few things earlier today. I'm much better in what I can do. He actually taught all of us a few things. We are better at using our gifts now than we were before. We have trained hard already with Gabe and his men. We know martial arts, we know how to use guns. We've already trained like soldiers. Maybe not as good as Christina and the others, but we are trained. You have to trust us. We will do everything that we can to make sure we're safe. We promised we would go and we're going to go, but we'd feel better if you agreed."

There was nothing said for several moments and then Ethan decided to do something. He closed his eyes and reached out to his friends and then his friend's parents. They found themselves standing in the living room of Brett's house in Big Bear. The adults had startled looks on their faces as they looked around. It wasn't like they had last seen it a few days ago. When they looked outside it looked like it had looked before they ended up where they were now. Ronnie looked around and saw the change in many of the faces around the central room of the pod. He knew what was going on and he wanted to see what the result would be. So he took a seat on the back of one of the couches to wait.

"What happened? Did another earthquake hit and we're back home?"

Ethan shook his head.

"No, it's called a mental scape. Logan and Daileass showed me how to do it earlier when they were talking with us. You are all in my mind, well at least your minds are."

"This is unbelievable."

"Trust me, it's real. You can't lie in here, so if you think about it, you will know that what I'm saying is true."

Several of the adults had thoughtful looks and they began to nod.

"I really want you to go and fight."

They all looked at Stephanie and everyone realized that she was just testing to see if that was true. They could all tell that she wasn't being truthful.

"Okay, so you can tell when someone is lying. What is the reason for doing this?"

"Because we can discuss this longer than we would out there and only the truth can be said in here. While we're in here, seconds will pass out there. I wanted you to hear from us how we feel about this and know how certain we are about it."

Logan got up and went over to his mom and hugged her, this caused her to relax a little and even get a little misty eyed. He looked up at his mom.

"Mom, I know you're scared for me, well for all of us, but especially me and I don't blame you. I'm a little scared too, but you know what I can do, what my gift is. I can't really explain it, but I get a feeling that we need to do this."

"Did you get one of those visions about it or something like that?"

He shook his head and stepped back, but held one of her hands.

"Not exactly, it's just a feeling, but to me, it just feels right. When they first told us about it back at the ranch and we said we would help, I felt something that came out of nowhere that told me that it was the right decision. We need to go, the eight of us. Like I said it's not like a clear message telling me to go, but just a feeling that if we go, it will be okay, but if we don't, then it might go real bad. It's a bit fuzzy, but that's what I feel. We have to go, otherwise, whatever happens will be at the least a lot harder for everyone involved, and at worst, it could be really bad and a lot of people might be hurt, that wouldn't otherwise get hurt. That's what I feel Mom."

She pulled him into a hug again and held him, rocking him gently, while she tried to keep control of her emotions. Her husband came up behind her and hugged them both. No one said anything while the family communed for a little. She finally nodded and released Logan and wiped her eyes. She moved so that she could put her arm around her husband.

"I still hate it, everything I've studied and read tells me that this is the worst decision any of us could make, but I can tell you aren't making this up and I'll accept your decision. Just for god's sakes, please be careful and come back safe."

Logan smiled and nodded.

"We'll do our best."

He looked over to Ethan and nodded. Ethan smiled and closed his eyes and a moment later, they all found themselves back in the Pod. Ethan swayed a little and Dylan who had felt what he was feeling, jumped up and grabbed him and guided him to a seat on the couch. There were a lot of concerned looks and his parents came over to where he was sitting.

"What happened, is he okay?"

Dylan concentrated for a moment and nodded.

"Yes, ma'am. He's just really tired right now. I guess that really wiped him out. I'm going to get him to our room and let him rest for a little bit. I think he'll be okay by dinner time."

"It's the consequence of what he did in the Mental Scape. He pulled several people with no mental powers into the Mental Scape. That takes a whole lot of energy. If he only pulled others with mental powers, like your sons, it would not have been as tiring. Someone with mental powers sort of helps him establish the Mental Scape, whereas if you have no or very little ability, then it is more taxing and he brought fourteen of you into the Mental Scape. The fact alone that he could do it, speaks to the amount of power that he has."

"So he'll be okay?'

"Yes ma'am. He'll be fine in a little while. He just wasn't used to the drain. He'll probably get better at it, the more he does it. But I can assure you he's going to be real hungry at dinner time, so let him eat as much as he wants, it will help him rebuild his energy levels."

Jamie got up from beside Josh and went over to his friends.

"I'll help you with him, bud."

Ethan began to float up into the air and Dylan looked at Jamie and smiled his thanks. He led the way and they were soon on their way to the Pod next door where Jamie and his friends were staying. Jamie returned a minute later.

"Dylan's going to stay with him until dinner is ready."

Brett walked over and put his arm around his son and looked at the others.

"Well I suppose we have a couple of hours until dinner. We need to go to the armory so we can get whatever equipment they want us to have. We should probably stow most, if not all of it, in Dragon's armory."

He looked at Christina and she nodded.

"Yes, sir. That would probably be best. There's no reason to carry anything but personal side arms down here. The bigger stuff should be stored in our armory."

"Okay, let's go."

Christina looked at Sean.

"Sean I know there is an armory on this floor, but I'm not sure where. This is usually one of the civilian levels if I remember correctly. Could you ask Dusty where it is located?"

Sean opened his laptop.

"Dusty, where's the nearest armory."

A young voice with a bit of a Texas twang came out of the speakers.

"Well, y'all jest go out the door and turn to the left, goin' the opposite way from where y'all came in. Ye cain't miss it."

There was some chuckling from everyone when they heard Dusty's voice. It did have the twang, but there was enough difference from a real person's voice to tell it was computer generated. Sean blushed and ducked his head a little.

"I didn't know it would be this twangy when I chose the voice, it just sounded cool, but I kinda like it, so as Dusty would say. Y'all will have to get used to it."

Dakota came over to him and gave him a peck on the cheek, which of course made Sean blush even more, but he had a big smile on his face as they walked out of the pod to find the armory. Ronnie smiled at them.

"You know you could have asked me, but I think the voice is kinda cool, too. Well those needing to get to the armory, follow me."

They followed him in the direction that Dusty had told them and soon found themselves in front of a steel door with two armed soldiers standing in front of it.

"Hey guys. Got some people that need some equipment for a mission."

"Very well, Captain. Go on in, there's no one else in there."

"I told you guys, you can call me Ronnie. If you call me Captain, I'll probably start looking around to see who you're talking to.

The two men had slight smiles and nodded.

"We'll try to remember that….Captain."

"Sheesh, everyone's a comedian."

Ronnie went to the scanner and placed his hand against it, there was a moving light that scanned his palm. A computer voice came out of the speaker.

"Ronnie Tompkins, confirmed. Step forward for retinal scan."

Ronnie stepped up and another light flashed across his eyes.

"Good afternoon Ronnie. Please enter."

There was a click and one of the soldiers grabbed the door and pulled it open for him. The others entered the room behind him. Once everyone was inside, the door was closed behind them. He went to a computer with a scanner beside it.

"I'm going to give any of you that need it, access to the armories. I can get your palm and your retinas scanned here at this computer and into the system. Who needs the access, all of you?"

They talked among themselves for a few moments before Christina spoke up.

"We don't need everyone to do this, so for now, at least, it will be myself, Oliver, Colonel Patterson and Sergeant Barrett. If there is a need to add anyone else later, we'll do that then, until that time, this is enough for now."

Ronnie looked at Brett, as he knew that he was the head of the family and Brett nodded his agreement. He motioned for the four to join him at the computer. It took just a few minutes, but they were soon keyed into the system.

"Okay, that should take care of it. I know what my dads have said would be needed for the mission, so I'll help you find everything you need in here. We'll log it out in the inventory system so that we can keep track of what's been taken out."

They nodded and began to follow Ronnie around the armory. Sean set Dusty down next to the armory computer and was using Dusty to help input everything that was being taken out of the room. This worked out better because Sean could talk to Dusty and Dusty could talk to the computer, instead of having to type everything into the computer himself. Soon enough they had the equipment that Ronnie had suggested plus a few extra items. They also took plenty of ammunition for all the weapons. Once everything was chosen, they made their way up to the hangar level and stowed everything aboard Dragon. They took out the damaged armor that was in the helicopter and brought it to the main armory. At the main armory, they also got some UNIT helmets for the adults. The armor wasn't big enough, but they could get them all the web gear and standard military flak vests to give them at least some protection. With the helmets, they could more easily stay in contact with the others on the teams, because of the UNIT's subspace communications ability. This should prevent Ashwood's forces from hearing them.

While they were in the armory, they also arranged for more reloads for the weapons mounted in Dragon. The final thing that Ronnie did was to take them to the stores area, where they got UNIT fatigues for everyone that wanted or needed them. They even got a set for the younger boys, since he knew they would probably like them. He pointed out the other things, like toiletries and stuff that they could get from there if they needed them. While they were looking through the stores, Ronnie made a call and a few minutes later another UNIT kid joined them, pushing a wheelchair.

"I thought that Eve might like to use this, instead of being carried everywhere."

Brett clapped him on the back.

"Thanks Ronnie, that was very thoughtful of you."

"Well I figured that she might be embarrassed about always having to be carried everywhere, so I thought that with this she could at least be more mobile until she is back on her feet."

Before he left them another uniformed soldier delivered a package to Ronnie. He opened it and looked inside before handing the package over to Brett. Brett looked inside and pulled out one of the items that were in the package. It was a metal chain with two oblong metal discs attached to it.

"Since you are part of the UNIT, we thought you would like these for everyone, they're your UNIT dog tags."

The others started to crowd around Brett to see them. They looked like most dog tags except that they had the UNIT crest on them along with each person's name, birth date and blood type.

"Well I think that's about it. I'll leave you for now. You can get back to your pods alright?"

Several of them nodded.

"Good, then I'll talk to you guys later. I have some things I need to take care of before we leave. Remember dinner will be in a little while in the cafeteria. See ya."

Ronnie turned and quickly walked away, looking down at his tablet as he walked and making notations on it. They picked up all of the clothes, an assortment of toiletries, some of which were loaded into the wheelchair, and headed back down to the fourth level and to their pods. As they walked through the halls, they saw that what Ronnie had told them was correct. The base was crowded. There were a lot of people but not many of them were civilians. They saw different military uniforms from most of the branches of the US military, along with the Russian soldiers in their uniforms.

When they got to the pods they brought all of the packages into the first pod and the younger adopted brothers of Jamie's friends eagerly went to change into their smaller uniforms. They came back out to model for everyone. The others left for their rooms and went to take showers and clean up a little before putting on their new uniforms. Eve was happy to have the wheelchair so she could now move herself around without having to wait for someone to carry her.

Those that were going on the mission were in UNIT uniforms now, even the members of Brett's security team were now dressed in UNIT fatigues. The rest, which included most of the kids who had been rescued from George AFB were in the clothes that Brett had purchased back in Kernville, except for Tim and Sara who were dressed like their new parents in UNIT fatigues. Oliver had found a shoulder holster that Tim wore now. In the holster was the pistol that he had picked up earlier during the rescue.

They checked the time and found that it was about the time that Ronnie had told them was when dinner would be served. Sean opened up his case and asked Dusty the location of the cafeteria. They found that it was on their level, so they trooped out of the pod and made their way into the cafeteria. When they entered, they saw that it was huge. They now saw a few other people dressed in civilian clothes, including some other kids who didn't look like they were UNIT kids, because they weren't in uniform. As they looked around they saw more of the hybrids that looked like Khan, Gemini and Pax moving around the area, along with other kids who were probably UNIT kids because they looked and moved like Christina and her team. Eve was happily pushing herself along, having refused any assistance, now that she could move herself.

They really didn't know many people, so they found some tables together. Chris and her team sat near them, but they did talk to some of the other UNIT kids and were relating how they had appeared in this version of Earth and what they had been doing since they arrived. One thing that confused several of Brett's family, were some of the groans that they heard from other UNIT kids when they saw Chase.

Most of the questions that they heard were about someone called High Priest Dave and whether there were other ferrets here. Most of the UNIT kids told Chase that they had taken the Shiny Pledge. Chase merely answered their questions with laughter and smiles. He was his usual cheerful self and gave hugs to many of the others that he recognized. Occasionally they noticed that the person, who Chase had hugged, would sometimes start looking through their pockets and inside their shirts where they would pull out their dog tags, like they were making sure that they were still there. The food wasn't five star cuisine but it was good tasting and filling. Better than you would find in your normal military mess hall. There was enough variety so that the younger kids found things that they liked to eat.

At the end of the meal, they saw movement near the entrance of the cafeteria and watched as Adam climbed up on a table so that everyone could see him. They recognized some of the other UNIT members that they had met. Over the speakers in the room came his voice.

"May I have your attention, please?"

It took a little while for everyone to settle down and be quiet. He looked around a moment before speaking.

"I just wanted to let everyone know that we are wheels up in about an hour. So Strike and Assault Team leaders gather your teams, check your equipment and get ready to leave by then. I will see you all in the hangar at that time. Good luck everyone."

Adam got down off the table and he left the room. Conversations started up once again. Soon enough those who would be leaving started to clear the room to get their teams ready. Once they were sure everyone was finished, they headed back to their pod to gather their equipment. They were soon on their way to the hangar. Once on that level, they saw all the preparations taking place as crews moved around the aircraft that would be leaving. They were doing preflight checks and making sure everything was ready to go. Inside Dragon, the armory, command suite and medical suite was checked to make sure everything was properly stowed and stocked. Oliver was going over the controls of Dragon with Apollo again so that he knew all the extra things that it could do, since he would be flying it as Oliver and Christina had other assignments. Once everything was checked out, they reported to Christina, who then reported their readiness to Adam.

At this time, Will and Daileass joined them, followed by two groups of Green Berets that would be going with them, along with another group of UNIT kids. The patches on their uniforms said 'Black Knights'. The men and kids filed onboard carrying all of their equipment and found places to settle in for the flight. Outside, the parents hugged each of their boys before they went up the ramp. They were all dressed in their UNIT armor, carrying the helmets that went with the armor in their hands. There were quite a few misty eyes on both sides as they said goodbye to their sons and reluctantly let them go off to god knows what. Their little brothers tried to copy what they saw other people in uniform were doing and saluted their brothers.

The ones who were having the hardest time saying goodbye were Tim and Sara. Christina and Oliver knelt down next to them.

"But why can't I go?"

"Tim, you're not ready yet. First, there isn't any room for passengers. And second, the only people going are those who have had training. You haven't had that yet, but I promise Ollie and I will make sure you get training and depending on how hard you work, will determine whether you can go with us the next time. To me the worst thing to happen would be losing you or Sara. You're stuck with us from this point forward and if you went along, other people could get hurt because they would have to be trying to protect you, along with doing their job. When someone is distracted in that way, others could be hurt that wouldn't have gotten hurt. So you have to stay here until we get back, once we're back, then we'll make sure you learn everything that we can teach you. Until then we are relying on you to take care of your little sister, just like you've been doing all along. Do you understand?"

Tim looked down and mumbled. Chris reached over and lifted his chin.

"I didn't hear you."

Tim let out a sigh.

"I understand."

She smiled at him and pulled him into a hug. He was a little stubborn at first, but he quickly wrapped his arms around her neck. He let go and hugged Oliver, while Sara hugged Chris and then Oliver. Tim took his sister's hand and stepped back, both of them had tears in their eyes. Chris nodded and gave them a smile.

"You promise you'll come back?"

"Of course, you have my word. We'll be back and then we'll teach you everything that we can."

Wyatt came over and gently laid his hand on Tim's shoulder.

"Don't worry, we'll take care of them until you guys get back here."

"Thank you, sir. Remember, Tim, watch over your sister, we'll see you when we get back."

"I promise."

They waved and went up the ramp. Those left behind waved back as the ramp closed and then they were ushered back behind the barrier, as the helicopters began to start their engines.

As they stood there watching the helicopters take off, there was a sea of worried looks as they lifted off and headed outside into the night sky. As they stood there, they heard something behind them and looked around to see a lady sitting in a wheelchair holding a baby, behind her were four boys. The one pushing her, was a twin to the other who had his arm in a sling and a large bandage that was visible under his shirt, the other two boys were younger than the twins. It took them a moment to figure out why they looked familiar to them. Then it dawned on them and they made way for her as she joined them.

"Shouldn't you be resting, ma'am?"

"I'm getting tired of being in bed and I wanted to be out here to wish them good luck. How are you all doing?"

"We're okay, ma'am."

"Please no more ma'ams. I'm younger than most of you."

"But you're the First Lady?"

"Technically, yes, I suppose that is true, but I'd prefer for you to call me Linda."

They smiled and agreed to do so.

"Good. I wanted to come over here and see how you are doing and tell you how grateful I am that you have come here to help us with what is going on. Jack has told me a little about your boys and although in all truth, I hate what is going on. We can't let that bastard win. My husband and I appreciate what you and they are doing and the danger that your sons are in. I wanted you to know, that I am here for you and we will do everything that we can to help and support you. Your boys are in good hands and I'm sure they will return soon."

"Thank you Ma…Linda. That is very kind of you to say."

Linda smiled and then turned her attention to the last of the helicopters as they flew out of sight. The others followed her gaze, watching until they could no longer see the helicopters.

Webmaster's Note: Changing Connections continues with a special nine Chapter mini-series, And Justice For All, which celebrates the second anniversary of the Revolutions Universe. Click on the link to read Chapter One.

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