Castle Roland

Changing Connections

by Eric Aune

In Progress

Chapter 19

Posted: 4 Feb 16

Changing Connections

Copyright © 2012 - 2016 by Eric Aune and the Revolutions Universe Partnership.

All Rights Reserved

Changing Connections LogoThe sound of rain hitting the windows began to wake up some of the people who were sleeping in the large unfinished office space on the fourth floor of the Brown production facility. Jamie sat up and rubbed his eyes as he looked around the open room where the Red Dragons and Donnie's team members were sleeping on cots. He looked over at the windows, outside he could see a gray overcast sky and rain coming down. As he looked around the room more people began to stir.

"Damn!" Jamie looked over at Chris who was standing by her cot and looking out the window. She turned around and looked at one of the members of Donnie's team. "Micah, do you think that there is something around here that we can use to tow Dragon into the big room below? One of those airport tractors or something? We need to do some maintenance on him and doing it in the rain is not an option." Micah nodded. "I'll check with Carson and see what they have."

"Carson? Who's Carson?"

"He's the guy running all of this. His family owns this building and pretty much all the land around here." Chris nodded. "Cool, let me know as soon as you can. I want to get working on him after breakfast."

"Chris? How much does it weigh?" Chris turned around and looked at Jamie. "Um, I don't know."

"Give me a moment, I'll ask Dusty to ask Drake." Sean sat cross legged on his cot as he pulled his laptop and headset out of his bag. He booted it up. His computer avatar, Dusty popped up on the screen. "Mornin' Sean. What kin I do fer ya." Sean smiled. "Hey Dusty. Can you ask Drake how much he weighs?" Chris and a few of the others had moved over to stand by Sean. On the screen the avatar seemed to be looking off in the distance for a couple of seconds before turning back to face the screen. "He said he was 26,229 pounds."

Jamie did a quick calculation. "That's a little over 13 tons." He nodded before he looked at Chris. "I can move it."

"I know yo're strong, but 13 tons?" Jamie shrugged. "I've lifted a bulldozer that was 54 tons up off the ground. So this is a lot less. Plus I'm not planning on lifting it, just pushing it, it's got wheels, so it will roll. All you have to do is steer it. That should be fairly easy to do." She looked at him for a few seconds and then nodded. "Okay, we'll give it a try. Get dressed and let's head out there."

Jamie nodded and finished getting dressed. Everyone had slept in their clothes, because it was a little cold in here at night since the building hadn't been finished yet. The top floor of the four story high building that they were in, where offices were going to be, was framed out with the electrical wiring and plumbing in place, but most of the finishing work hadn't been completed yet. Most of the building below them was a large open area with a large roll up door on one side of the building that opened into it.

Once everyone was ready, they headed back down to the large open area on the first floor. Taylor activated the door to the building while the others went outside. The rain seemed to have slowed down and was now a light drizzle. Chris looked at Ethan. "Ethan, you're with me. I'll need you to talk with Jamie." Ethan nodded and followed Chris as she used one of the side door entrances, where one of the .50 caliber mounts were located, to get inside and they made their way to the cockpit.

Outside the others watched as Jamie walked to the rear of the helicopter. Those from Donnie's team who didn't know him, wanted to see how he was going to do this. He stood there for a few moments looking at Dragon.

{We're ready when you are Jamie.}

{Okay Ethan. Let Chris know that she should start moving in just a few moments. Just make sure the brakes are off.}

There was a mental chuckle from Ethan. {Got it.} There was a pause and Ethan's mental voice came back. {Chris wants you to keep pushing until she says stop.}


Jamie held his hands up, palms facing Dragon, his eyes shut, and his face calm. Once he had a feel for the helicopter he leaned forward like he was pushing against something. Nothing happened for a few seconds and then Dragon slowly started rolling forward. Jamie let out the breath he was holding, opened his eyes, and smiled. He started to slowly walk forward, with his arms still out in front of him and Dragon continued to slowly roll forward. Chris steered as they moved to the giant doors.

{Jamie, slow down a little. Chris says she didn't take into account the rotors. She thinks we can fit, but it's going to be tight.}


Dragon's movement slowed a bit and there were several people looking at the sides of the door as Dragon slowly entered the building, his rotors barely cleared the door frame. There was maybe a foot on each side, if that. Once it was all the way inside the building, Jamie continued pushing until he heard Sean again.

{That's good Jamie.}

Jamie stopped and 'grabbed' Dragon. The helo stopped moving. Jamie let his arms drop and took a big breath. He suddenly felt like he had been running a mile. His face was a little flushed and covered with a light sheen of sweat. He bent over and put his hands on his knees as he caught his breath. He felt Josh come up next to him and put his arms around him. He smiled as he stood up and hugged Josh. "How you feeling Bro." Jamie kissed Josh and smiled. "Like I ran a mile, but I'll be okay in a little bit." Just then his stomach growled loudly. "Oh yeah, and I'm hungry, too." They both giggled. Someone clapped Jamie on the back. "Good job, Jamie. I didn't actually think you could do that. You're way stronger than me in TK. I think you're stronger than nearly all of us in the UNIT." Jamie blushed a little at the praise. His stomach growled again. Chris looked down and grinned. "I guess we better feed that before it starts eating its way out. We get that too when we exert ourselves using our gifts." She looked around at those gathered around them. "Well, let's see what kind of MREs we've got for breakfast."

They headed back upstairs where there were MREs waiting for their breakfast. Once everyone had eaten and those who had gotten a little damp from being out in the rain had changed into dry clothes, Chris led them back downstairs to get to work. She split them up into work crews.

Before they could get going, Chase let out an excited yell. "ROBIN!" They watched as the ferret boy scampered over to where another short figure was just coming into the 'hangar' area followed by a young teenage girl. It was another ferret hybrid. The Red Dragons were surprised to see another one. Some groaned quietly because two ferrets could make for some unusual events.

Chase hugged the other ferret. Robin was motionless for a moment before he raised his arms to return the hug. Chase stepped back to look at him, his hands on Robin's upper arms. "Robin, I did not know that you were here, too. I thought I was the only one who was here. Are there any others? Where are they?" The other ferret, Robin, stood there silently for a moment before he held his hand up to try to get a word in. The teenager behind him looked surprised at Chase's enthusiasm. Chase stopped talking as he looked expectantly to his brother ferret.

"Chase. My brother. I had heard you were also here in this world. I am gratified to see you again."

Chase realized at that point who he was talking to. He remembered their time in training and calmed himself. He dropped his hands and bowed to his equal, which was returned. When he spoke again, it was in his deeper more formal voice that he used when he was serious. "Ani, I am also gratified to see you again. You are well I see." Robin nodded. "I am well. May I present my adopted sister and Gakusei, Belinda." Chase looked at the teenager and bowed. "I am pleased to meet you Belinda." He bowed and she returned the bow, but hers was slightly lower than his as she recognized him as a person on equal with her brother and sensei. "I too greet you as brother to my sensei."

The formalities over, Chase relaxed a little. "Chase, we are the only ones of our brothers who are here. The others are back in our home universe." Chase nodded. "That was my thought. It is good to see you, I hope to spend time with you and perhaps train as we used to do." Robin nodded. "I would welcome that." Chase gave him one of his trademark smiles. "Come let me introduce you to my team." Robin gave him a quick nod and followed Chase as he led him over to the Red Dragons.

Everyone in the group had watched the interaction of the two ferret boys. "Everyone, this is my brother, my Ani, Robin. He and I trained together with Chang, before we were assigned to our teams. This is his Gakusei, his student, and adopted sister Belinda." They all greeted Robin and Belinda. Each shake of his hand was given with a slight bow of the head as well. When they finished Chris looked around.

"Chase, you can spend time with Robin to catch up if you want while we work on Dragon." Chase shook his head. "No, it is my duty, as one of the Red Dragons, to assist with the work. Robin and I will have time later to talk." She looked at Robin and saw him nod in agreement.

"Okay then, let's get to work people. We need Dragon cleaned inside and out. Sean, Eve and Brett, run diagnostics and check all of our computer systems. Ian, Ram and Doc, I'll leave the medical room to you, grab anyone you may need to help. Gabe, can you take charge of the armory and check all the weapons and armor, along with whoever you need to get it done. Jamil, grab a couple of people to help you with the fifties and the Minigun. Apollo will you check the cockpit and weapon systems, coordinate with Sean and the others working on the computer systems. Ollie and I will be up top looking the engines and rotors over. Everyone, while you're doing that, make a list of what we will need to bring Dragon back up to full readiness."

She looked at Donnie's team. "If any of you wish to help, we can use it. Dragon's pretty huge, so there's always plenty to do. Just join one of the teams that you think you can help with." One of the older members, Marshall, nodded and smiled at the rest of his team. "We haven't anything better to do." They agreed and split themselves among their assigned groups and got to work. Micah joined Chris and Ollie on the engines and rotors.

The area around Dragon was a hive of activity. Gabe had all of the weapons and armor removed from the armory and laid out on the floor of the room. He split his group into teams, one for the MP5s, one for the M4 carbines, one for the pistols, one for the armor. Inside the medical treatment room, every drawer was opened and checked along with all of the equipment. Rio led the team that cleaned the main cabin. Apollo and Marshall climbed in and out of the cockpit as they checked everything over. In the Command and Control center, Sean kept up a constant dialog with Dusty and Drake as the computer, communications and radar systems were checked. Drake also ran diagnostic tests on the three mini fusion engines that powered Dragon and his systems. Each crew made a list of what, if anything, was needed for their area.

They had been working for a couple of hours when several screams of pain echoed throughout the large room. Several of the team members looked around in surprise. Throughout the room, inside and outside of the helicopter, several of the UNIT kids were holding their heads as they cried out in pain. That was quickly followed by all of them falling to the ground unconscious. There was a yell from one of those not affected as they saw Micah fall from on top of the center part above the rotors to the hard concrete floor below. There was a sickening crack as he hit the ground on his left side. Those that weren't affected watched as his head bounced off the floor and he lay there unmoving. There were people all over the area inside and outside of the helicopter who were now completely unconscious.

Chris and Ollie were lying on top of the helicopter, draped over the engines. Rio and Chase, along with some of Donnie's team members, were on the floor of the main cabin. Others were lying outside near the armory work crew. Marshall was hanging out a cockpit window where he had been leaning out talking to Apollo, who had been underneath Dragon's nose checking some of the avionics.

Everyone started shouting to each other to find out what was going on. There was some panic until there was a shouted command. "SILENCE!" Gabe stepped up and took control. "CALM THE FUCK DOWN!" When he saw that people were no longer running around in a panic he lowered his voice before continuing. "I don't know what the hell just happened but we have to take care of our people. IAN!" Ian came running to the ramp at his call. "YEAH GABE!" He waved at him and pointed to where Micah was lying. "Ian, we need you out here, one of the guys fell from on top of the helo to the floor. He may be badly hurt." Ian nodded and ran down the ramp until he could see where Gabe was pointing. When he saw the crumpled form, he ran over and dropped to the ground beside Micah. He put his hand on Micah's chest and head to assess his injuries. He detected broken bones in his left arm, shoulder and clavicle. As he looked inside him, he also saw a crack in his skull. He looked up. "Can I get some help here?" Doc ran over to him. "What do you need me to do?" Ian looked up at him. "Help me roll him on his back. We have to be careful because he has broken bones in his left clavicle, shoulder and arm. Everything else is okay except for his head, he has a small crack in his skull and there is some bleeding in his brain. I need to take care of that first. Once that's done, I'll have you help me straighten out the other breaks before I heal them." They slowly rolled him over onto his back. Ian looked up and saw the two people up on top of the helo.

{Jamie, I need your help out here. Chris and Ollie are lying on top of the helicopter. Can you bring them down and lay them here next to me.}

{No problem.}

Ian moved his hands over where Micah's skull was cracked and bent over him. Jamie moved to where he could get a good look at the two motionless forms. He reached his hands up and moved his arms like he was lifting them up and then lowered them to the ground. Once they were on the ground he made sure that they seemed to be okay.

A short time after Jamie got them down to the ground he heard Chris speak from where she was laying. "Man, what the hell hit me." She started to sit up and was rubbing her temples as she looked around. She saw the others that were starting to sit up as well. Gabe knelt down next to her and Ollie. "We don't know what happened. Everyone was fine, and then suddenly a bunch of you held your heads and screamed before passing out. The worst one was Micah there. He fell from on top of the rotors to the floor." They saw Ian crouching over Micah.

Gabe helped her stand. Once she was up, she seemed to be okay although she was still rubbing her temples as she regained her bearings. "The last thing I remember was that I was working on the engine…." She looked up to the top of the helo and pointed, "…there."

"Yeah, Jamie brought you down. The two of you were passed out up there. I think Micah was standing on top of the rotors when he passed out. That's probably why he fell to the floor." She nodded as she looked around. "Okay is everyone up and doing okay." Everyone in sight nodded, even though they were rubbing their heads and wincing from the headaches they had. Most of them stayed on the ground. Some of Micah's teammates had gathered near Ian to watch him work on Micah.

A few minutes later, Ian looked up and smiled. "Okay. That's taken care of. There were several little bleeds where his brain had bounced around inside of his skull when he hit the floor. He'll be okay now. Let's take a look at those other breaks. Doc, do you have a knife so you can cut his shirt off?" He quickly reached to his pocket and pulled out a butterfly knife and with a couple of flicks of his wrist he had the blade out and cut through Micah's shirt. A couple of more flicks and the blade was once again hidden inside the handle. He moved the remnants of the shirt out of the way as Ian put his hand down on the clavicle and pressed down slowly, moving the bone back into place. He then had Doc roll him up to his side a little bit and with his hand over the shoulder blade and shoulder joint, he looked at Doc. "Can you slowly move his arm over his head?" He nodded and carefully moved Micah's arm. He felt the shoulder pop back into the socket. Ian smiled and finished moving everything back into position and sealed the breaks. They rolled Micah on his back again. Ian felt along his forearm until he located the break in both bones. He looked at Doc. "Grab his elbow and his hand and slowly pull on his hand." Doc did as Ian asked. Ian put his hand around the middle of Micah's arm and a short time later he looked up. "Okay that should do it." Ian felt everyone looking his way and smiled at them. "He's going to be alright. I had to fix a couple of things because he hit the floor pretty hard."

Ian got up and started moving among the others to make sure that there were no other injuries that needed his attention. When he was satisfied that they didn't have anything worse than headaches he looked at Chris. "Other than headaches I think everyone will be okay." There was a groan from the ground and Micah blinked his eyes a couple of times and then winced as he brought his hands up to cover his eyes from the lights above them. Ian dropped down next to him and helped him sit up. "Easy there Micah. You kinda made a sudden stop there from on top of the helo. Just sit here for a moment and get your bearings. How does your left arm and shoulder feel?" Micah lifted his arm and rotated it around a bit. "Feels okay." Ian nodded and squeezed him on the shoulder.

Chris nodded and then she stopped and her eyes opened wide as she looked around. "The link's gone. Hey, do any of you feel the link?" There were a lot of stunned people slowly shaking their heads as they realized that something that they had been living with, for what seemed to them forever, was gone. There was a feeling of emptiness inside them. "Something's happened to Logan because the link is gone." She looked at Donnie's team. "We need to let Donnie know, if he doesn't already. We need to find out what's going on. Can one of you contact him?"

Ariana went over to a nearby workbench and picked up one of her team's radios.

"Donnie, this is Ariana."

"This is Donnie. Are you guys okay?"

"Yeah, I guess you guys have a bit of a headache as well."

"Yeah. Our friends over here at the main house freaked out a little because they thought there was an attack when all of us went down, but they're calming down now since we were only down for a couple of minutes. Everyone over there okay?"

"Yep. We're okay. There is another reason I called. Chris asked me to call you and ask if you guys can feel the link."

There was silence on the other end before Donnie came back. "I checked with Courtney and her people who are here and none of us can feel it, thanks for pointing it out. I've been used to it in the back of my head for so long, and with everything going on here, I didn't even notice it was missing. I'm going to see if I can find out what happened."

"Roger, Ariana out." Chris had joined her while she was talking to Donnie. "It's the same for them. The link's gone….what?" The look on Chris' face brought her up short. Chris had a worried look on her face. "I hope those people didn't do anything to them. If they hurt them, I don't care who they are, I'm going to do some major ass kicking." She realized Ariana was standing there while she muttered. "Can I borrow your radio, I need to talk to Donnie." Ariana nodded as she handed the radio to her.

"Donnie, this is Christina."

"Hey Christina. Is there a problem?"

"No. At least I hope not, but I need to talk to you about something, but not over the radio." There was a pause on Donnie's end. "Okay, I'll be over as soon as I can." She thanked him and handed the radio back to Ariana. "Okay, I don't think there is anything that we can do about this for now. Let's get back to work. We'll break for lunch in a little while and get back to it this afternoon. We need to finish this off so that we can move out if we need to." The crews got back to work. Those suffering from headaches noticed that they were slowly fading as they worked.

By the time they broke for lunch, the rain had stopped, although it was still overcast and looked like it might rain some more. They headed upstairs to the living quarters to get some lunch. While they were eating, they saw a group of trucks pull into the facility. They started to get up to find out who they were when they saw Donnie jump out of the lead truck. The trucks stopped and they saw some men and women dressed in military fatigues get out. Donnie spoke to a couple of them and then headed to the building. He quickly joined them on the top floor.

"Hey Chris, so what did you need to talk to me about?" She pulled him over to the side.

"Donnie, on our way here yesterday, Adam contacted me by radio and I totally forgot to fill you in when I saw you." For the next several minutes she told him everything that Adam had told her. Donnie was silent for a few moments digesting the information. "So you think these Skireien people have something to do with what happened?" Chris nodded. "I think so. I hope they're alright, but I'm worried. Adam didn't say anything about anything like this happening."

"And Adam didn't know where this base of theirs is?" Chris shook her head. "No. So even if we wanted to go to them, we have no idea how to get there." Donnie nodded. "Damn. Well it looks like there is nothing that we can do right now." Chris pointed out the window to the truck down below. "What's with the trucks?" Donnie looked over his shoulder. "Oh, that is the first delivery of the UNIT equipment from Bermuda, so that we can start setting up our base here, as your Logan said we needed to do. It was just delivered to the airstrip that the Brown's have nearby, so I helped them get it loaded up and guided them here so they can unload it."

He looked at Brett's group. "Your families are going to move up here as well, but it will probably be tomorrow or maybe the next day, depending on arrangements that can be made, to make sure they get here safely. That way they can be here for Thanksgiving on Thursday." He looked around the floor. "One of the things we need to do is finish this place and turn it into our headquarters. I've put a request through Carson and we'll hopefully find a bunch of construction people to help us finish it. There should be some around here somewhere. With their expertise and our abilities we should be able to finish this place and make it our new headquarters in no time."

"Sounds good. So who is this Carson that I've heard everyone speak of?" Donnie waved his arm around. "He's the one running all of this. I'm sure you'll get a chance to meet him soon enough." Chris nodded and saw that everyone seemed to be done. "Okay, we've still got some work to do downstairs, so let's head back downstairs and finish up." They cleaned up their lunch and went downstairs. Donnie told her he was heading to the main house to see if he could confirm the delivery schedule for the rest of the UNIT equipment and personnel.

When they got back downstairs, they saw the soldiers in coveralls moving boxes and crates. They had made sure not to disturb the weapons and equipment that were laid out for cleaning. Chris and Oliver headed over to Dragon so that they could get back to work on the engines and rotor assembly. They noticed a ladder leaning against the side of the helo and there were a couple of the men on top of the helicopter, looking in the open engine cover. They were talking to each other and pointing at something inside.

"HEY! WHAT ARE YOU DOING ON MY HELICOPTER?" The two men turned around and looked down at Chris. She was standing at the bottom of the ladder. They glanced at each other before climbing down the ladder. When they reached the ground she saw that the older of the two men held the rank of Master Sergeant.

"Master Sergeant…"

"…MacAllister or Mac if you wish." The man supplied. Chris nodded. "Master Sergeant MacAllister. I'm Commander Christina Casey of the UNIT, and this is my helicopter. I don't know what you think you were doing up there, but you need to ask me before you go crawling around my helicopter. It has some very specialized equipment on it that should not be messed with unless you have the necessary knowledge to work on such equipment."

Master Sergeant MacAllister stood there for a few moments looking at this girl who was young enough to be his granddaughter before speaking. "Commander, me and my team have recently reenlisted into the Army after having retired from said organization. We did this so that we could do what we can to help fight against that asshole in DC. When we signed our papers we were tasked with taking care of the UNIT aircraft. Lucky for you we are here. With all due respect Commander, you're a pilot and as I've been told you are the commander of a strike team as well. What you are not is an aircraft mechanic. That is what me and my team are. We take care of aircraft, so you flyboys,….or flygirls have an aircraft to fly."

Chris stepped up to him. "Flygirl? Hold it right there. I designed and oversaw the reengineering and rebuilding of Dragon into what he is today. I think I know a bit more about him than you do. I've been working on him since…" Her eyes opened wide in surprise as the man held a finger up to stop her from continuing. "Doctor Desh…uh, dammit, Doctor D, could you come out here?" From the inside of Dragon, a man in coveralls walked down the ramp. "Dah Comrade Mac, and I told you to call me Viktor." The man spied Christina and the other members of her team standing there. He smiled and walked over to her with his hand out. "It is good to be meeting you. I am Doctor Viktor Deschovic. I have been having nice conversation with your Drake. He is telling me many good things about himself. I am learning many things about him."

"Excuse me. I still don't know what you're doing working on my helicopter without talking to me first."

"Oh I have been learning a lot about your UNIT equipment. You have perhaps seen Black Ghost." Chris frowned trying to place the name. After a few moments she nodded. "Yes, the attack helicopter." Viktor smiled. "Dah, that is the one. I helped design and create it. As I have said I am learning much more from your Drake."

"So you see Commander, we do have someone who knows your specialized equipment. It needs a lot of work, since it's probably got 10,000 more miles on it than it should have. My team has a lot of work to do and we can accomplish more without you folks underfoot. I want to get this helo back in peak condition as soon as possible, since there will be more of your aircraft coming in soon and we will need the room in here to work on them. So the sooner we can get back to work, the faster we can get it done."

By this time Christina's face was turning red and she was about to pick this Mac up and toss him through the open hangar door, when a large hand gently settled onto her shoulder and gave it a slight squeeze. She swallowed what she was about to say as Gabe's voice came from behind her. "Master Sergeant." Mac noticed the Colonel's rank on Gabe's uniform and gave him a quick look before coming to attention. "Yes, Colonel." Gabe smiled and gestured to the guns and equipment on the floor. "Master Sergeant, we have all this equipment that we need to service and get stored back onboard in the armory. It shouldn't take us too much longer to finish with everyone working on them and then we'll be out of your hair."

Mac stepped back and looked at the equipment Gabe was referring to and nodded. "Not a problem Colonel. I'll get my team back to work and leave you to yours." Gabe nodded. "As you were Mac." Mac smiled and gave Gabe a quick salute. "Colonel. Commander." He then turned around and went to talk to his team. Gabe felt Chris tense underneath his hand and leaned down a little. "Let it go Sweetie. You have to understand something about Army Master Sergeants. They are next to God and even God asks them for their opinion. Let's get our equipment taken care of and stowed away. Then we can maybe take a walk around and see the sights, get some air. Relax a bit. Dragon is in good hands. Trust me."

She looked at him and then over to where Mac was talking with Doctor Deschovic and the other members of his team and then back at Gabe and nodded. "If you say so, but if that bast…um, man breaks Dragon or hurts Drake, I don't care how good he is, I'm going to kick his ass up between his shoulder blades." She walked over to where the equipment was and got to work. The rest of the team followed her lead. As they worked, she would occasionally glance over to where Mac was supervising the work on Dragon and scowl at him.

With everyone helping, it took them an hour to finish cleaning everything up and get it stored in the armory. As they turned to leave, Gabe put his arm around Christina's shoulders and gently but firmly guided her out of the hangar. "Let's go for a walk Chris. Get some fresh air. Dragon and Drake will be fine." With one last look over her shoulder she nodded and let Gabe guide her out of the hangar.

Most of the team spent the rest of the afternoon looking around the area. Robin had told Chase that any hybrids needed to stay hidden for now, so since they had no other duties, the two of them, as well as Belinda who had stayed behind, went back upstairs to get caught up on what each of them had been doing since they had last seen each other in their home universe. Chase also got to know Belinda a little as well.

After they had visited for a little while, Robin made a suggestion. "Chase, I have an idea. Would you like to train together and perhaps spar as well? I have several bokken to choose from for training." Chase's smile grew wide and he nodded. "That would be sweet." Robin turned to Belinda. "Sister, would you go to our things and bring the bokken so that my brother may choose which one he will use to train with?" She bowed. "Yes, Sensei." She returned quickly with several of the wooden training katanas, known as bokken.

Robin offered Chase his choice. Chase looked through them and chose two to borrow. He looked at Robin. "Ani, I would welcome the use of these two if it is allowed." Robin bowed to his brother. "Ani, I give them to you as a gift of brotherhood." Chase returned the bow. He looked around the living quarters. "We should go downstairs so that we may have room to properly train." Robin looked at him and a slight smile showed on his face. He nodded and they headed back downstairs. They moved to a corner of the hangar away from where Dragon was being overhauled.

At first all three of them went through half an hour of stretching moves to loosen up. When they finished, Robin asked Belinda to step to the side and picked up a bokken. Chase chose one of the two that he had been given. They bowed and began to spar. It was quite a sight to watch as the two of them went back and forth at each other, sometimes almost a blur. Several times Mac had to yell at some of his team who had stopped working to watch the two ferrets sparring. The furious clacking of the bokken striking each other kept drawing their eyes to the two small figures as they slashed, jumped, ducked and rolled all over their corner of the hangar.

After they had been sparring for a little while, Robin held his hand up to stop and asked Belinda to step forward. With someone of Chase's skill with a sword available, he was able to demonstrate to her the correct application of what he had been teaching her. Chase was more than happy to help with the training. Soon both of them were assisting her in position and movements. Robin would have Chase demonstrate a move that he wanted her to perform. She would practice it next to Chase while Robin made corrections to her form. Once she seemed to have the movement down, he would have her demonstrate it against Chase, who would do the counter to her move. Robin would then teach her the counter and then have Chase make the move so that she could perform the counter. They continued in this fashion for an hour. At the end of that time, he and Chase put all of the moves together so that she could see how they fit together. He then had Belinda show them how attentive she was during the training and she went through all the moves. Chase could see that she took well to the training and absorbed what she was taught

When they finished with working with Belinda, Chase went over to pick up his second bokken and held them up to Robin. Robin nodded and picked up a second one as well. The two bowed to each other and began to spar. Once again the clash of their four bokken striking each other kept drawing eyes their way.

One of the soldiers who were working on Dragon, turned to the guy he was working with. "You know those two look like two furry Yodas jumping around like that and swinging those wooden swords." From behind them a voice growled. "If you don't get your asses back to work, I'll have those furry Yodas jam those wooden swords so far up your ass, you'll be tasting wood." The two glanced at Mac and got back to work. Mac stood there for a couple of minutes watching the two ferrets before turning away and muttering under his breath. "Two furry Yodas."

This time, because Chase had done more training using two swords than Robin had done, those that could see the way they moved, could tell that he was a little better. As they sparred, they jumped off the nearby walls, leaped over each, the entire time they kept fighting each other. Finally Chase performed one move that knocked one of the swords from Robin's hand and Robin stepped back and bowed to Chase.

"Brother, you still have the greater skill with two swords." Chase returned the bow. "But I had to work harder this time. It gives me great pleasure to see that your skill has increased. Come, let us refresh ourselves."

The three of them left the hangar to go back upstairs. One of the men looked at Mac and shook his head. "I wouldn't want to piss even one of them off, let alone two of them. And that's if they were armed just with those wooden swords." Mac nodded. "Someone called them a force of nature during the briefing. I've been told that that one of them has personally killed several of Ashwood's trained soldiers and Marines, secret service agents, and a large number of convicts that he had illegally released from prison, in the couple of weeks that he's been here, all without getting a scratch. He was the only one of them that I knew about, until we got here. Two forces of nature. I almost feel sorry for anyone who pisses them off." The men agreed and returned to their work.

As Chris and the rest of the team walked around the area, they saw a lot going on wherever they looked, and everyone that they met were very friendly. They saw some kids driving around on some small utility vehicles. The vehicles appeared to be used for a lot of different tasks, such as hauling cargo or people and sometimes just a person or two going somewhere. They did notice, however, that there seemed to be a purpose to their use, not just a bunch of kids driving them around for fun. When they asked about them, they were told that the vehicles were called Gators and they were indeed used to move people and cargo around the area and to get messages delivered to other areas when needed. They ran into Kyle of the Firebirds Strike Team and asked him about them and whether it would be possible to borrow a few. Kyle told them that it shouldn't be a problem. Kyle made a quick call and they soon had a few of the multi-passenger Gators at their disposal.

Kyle wasn't on any official duty, so he acted as a tour guide for the group as they drove around. Kyle pointed out the main house and explained that Carson was the person behind everything that was being organized. He explained that Carson was the son of the people that pretty much owned most of the land and buildings in the area. They would get a chance to meet him at some other time. He was pretty busy with overseeing everything. Kyle showed them the housing setup and all around the town of Kettle Falls. He pointed out that the next town nearby, Colville, was part of the refugee effort as well. One of the last things he showed them was a place across Lake Roosevelt to where a Scout Camp was located, another part of the refugee effort, though not quite in use yet.

When they finished with the tour, they returned the Gators and made their way back to the new UNIT base. As they neared it, they heard the sound of helicopters coming in and saw two UNIT helos coming in for landing, the Chinook and the Hind. They hurried back and arrived just as the two aircraft were landing.

Once the helos were on the ground and the rotors stopped, Chris and those with her, met with those who came off the the helos and she asked if they had any news of Adam and the command staff, but no one had heard anything. The UNIT members all reported that they had felt the link go down earlier that day just like everyone else. Luckily the pilots flying the helicopters were like Veny, the Russian pilot, who had sort of been adopted as a pilot in the UNIT. If they hadn't they might have lost both helicopters during the flight. It had caused a lot of concern when loss of the link hit them, but it hadn't lasted very long. Still everyone was worried for Adam and his command team, but they hoped they would turn up soon and be okay.

When they entered the hangar, Mac noticed them and walked over. "Colonel, we…." Gabe stopped him. "Master Sergeant, make your report to Commander Casey. She commands this unit and that is her helicopter." Mac stopped and looked between the two of them for a moment before turning to face her. "Commander, we've finished with servicing your aircraft. It's good to go and as soon as we can get an aircraft towing tractor from the airport, we'll move it out of here, so that we can get to work on the other two." Christina nodded and walked over to Dragon to look it over. Mac frowned as she did a walk around and then walked up the ramp and inside the main cabin.

She headed to the cockpit and sat down. "Drake, give me your status." Drake quickly answered back. "I have run diagnostics on all my systems and find that everything is in top condition. I await further orders."

"Very well Drake. Thank you." Chris left the cockpit and made her way back outside to where Mac and Gabe were still standing. She walked over to Mac. She could see and feel that Mac was bit irritated with her. She moved closer to him and quickly gave him a quick peck on the cheek. She smiled when she saw his surprised look. "Thank you Mac. You can work on Dragon anytime." She looked around the area and saw Jamie heading for the door to go upstairs. "JAMIE!" He turned around and she waved him over. When he joined the small group, she looked at Mac. "Mac, you said you needed to get Dragon out of here so you could get to work on the others." He nodded and she pointed Jamie and herself. "We'll get it out of the way for you and we can probably move the next one inside if you'd like. Mac looked at Gabe and then at the two teenagers.

Chris waved for Jamie to follow her but looked back at Mac and smiled. "So which one would you like in here next?" Mac shook his head and stood there with his arms folded. Jamie followed her inside for a few moments and came back out wearing one of their tactical radios. Chris closed the ramp and went up to the cockpit. Jamie walked over to Mac and handed him a tactical radio. "Sir, Chris said to give you this." Mac took it and watched as Jamie walked around to the front of the helo. He nodded to Chris to let her know that he was ready.

She keyed her mic, "Mac, can you read me?" Her voice came faintly from the radio that Mac held in his hands. He quickly put it on. "Yes, I read you."

"Good, I need you to guide me backing out of here. I don't have any side view mirrors, so I need someone to guide me."

"Roger." She looked at Jamie standing by the nose of helo. "Ready when you are, Jamie." He nodded and brought his hands up to his normal pushing position. He gathered himself and then took a short step forward. Dragon began to slowly back up. Everyone in the hangar stepped back as the helo started moving toward the open door. All of them were surprised because they had never seen anything like this before. Mac closed his mouth and quickly took up the duty to guiding Chris. "HOLD!" He yelled into the mic and Chris hit the brakes as Jamie stopped pushing. "What's wrong Mac?"

"Hold there. We need to fold the rotors out of the way." He shouted for a couple of his men to grab a ladder and get up on top. "Just a moment sir." Mac looked at Jamie who had come around the side of Dragon. Jamie looked at the airmen. "Just grab the tools you need." They looked at Mac and he nodded. They grabbed their tools. "Hold on." He pointed at them and the two airmen were lifted up quickly and set down on top of the helo. They looked down at Jamie. "I'll bring you down when you're finished. Just unhitch them or whatever you call it and I'll move them back out of the way." They looked at Jamie for a few moments. "We don't have all day, ladies. Do what the kid says." They got to work and soon had the rotor blades unhitched so that they could be rotated back along the length of the helo. They signaled to Jamie and he lifted them down and out of the way before he moved each of the blades to the back except for one in the front. He left that pointing straight forward. He resumed his position at the front and nodded to Chris. She released the brake and he began pushing Dragon backward, out the hangar door.

With the rotors out of the way now, there wasn't much that Mac had to do, since it had been moved almost straight in, so it was a pretty straight forward move to back it out. Once they got the helo outside, she had Jamie turn her so that she could see where she was going and then he pushed from behind and they moved Dragon out of the way. When she was sure she was out of the way, she had him stop pushing. He looked over at Mac who had followed them outside.

"Sir, which one do you want moved in." Mac looked at this young teenager for a few moments and then pointed at the Chinook, he then looked at Jamie. "And don't call me Sir, kid. I work for a living."

"Oh, sorry, sir, um I mean." Jamie got a concerned look, thinking he had insulted the older man. "What do I call you?" Mac tightened his lips to keep from grinning. "Master Sergeant will do, kid." Jamie pointed at the rotors, "Do you want to fold the rotors, Master Sergeant?" Mac looked at the rotors and then at the door and shook his head. "No I don't think so. Their diameter is almost ten feet smaller on each side than your beast. We'll just take it easy and…" Mac stopped as he realized he was talking to this teenager as if he was talking to a tractor driver, who was moving aircraft around for him. He shook his head and looked at the boy. "Just how the hell did you do that, son?" Jamie smiled. "Well they told you about us, at least a little bit right." Mac nodded. "So let's just say it's what I can do. I do hope you're going to get one of those tractor things, because I might not always be here."

Mac smiled. "I've sent one of my people to get one from the airport. So hopefully this is the last time." Mac narrowed his eyes as he looked at Jamie. "That is if you're up to it, kid." Jamie noticed his look. "It does tire me a little, but I can move the other one in. Neither of them are the most that I've moved."

"So what's the most you've moved, kid?" Jamie smiled. "Sorry, that's classified, need to know." He went over to stand behind the Chinook and waited. Chris trotted over from Dragon and climbed into the Chinook cockpit through the side door. She told Jamie when she was ready and he began pushing the Chinook inside the hangar. Jamie glanced over at Mac. "And don't call me kid, Master Sergeant." Mac directed Chris so that they could easily move through the doors with plenty of room on either side. Once the Chinook was completely inside, Mac told her to put on the brakes. As he went by Jamie, he clapped him on the back hard enough to stagger him. "Good job k…son." He immediately started giving orders to his crew to get working.

Chris walked over and handed Jamie a clean shop towel, she'd grabbed from one of the workbenches nearby so he could mop his face. "Good job Jamie. You okay?" He nodded. "Whew, yeah, I'm okay. A little tired, but I'm okay." She nodded, "That's usually how it works. Let's go get something to eat. I know you've got to be hungry too." As soon as she said that his stomach growled and he grinned. "Yeah, I could eat." She put her arm across his shoulder and they headed upstairs.

While they were eating, Brett sat down with Chris and Oliver. "Chris, is there anything pressing tomorrow that we need to do?" She looked at him and shook her head. "Nothing that I know of, why?" Brett placed a folder on the table. "Then would it be okay if we take a short flight to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, tomorrow."

"What's in Coeur d'Alene?" He opened the folder and took out a picture and showed it to her. "This, it's one of the properties that my doppelganger owns." He started taking more papers out of the folder. "I think I talked about this with you soon after we met. The other Brett was, from what little I can glean from the papers that I found at the Big Bear compound, I think he may have been doing brain and genetic related research. Similar to what I was doing in my home universe. The result of my work was Jamie and his 'brothers'. I'd like to take a look at what kind of research he was doing and see how far he got. I do have another reason, and that is the four lab boys that we rescued from the GRA. Doctor Hayes and I have talked a few times about them and she says that unless we can come up with a treatment for them, they will all die and it won't be pleasant. The GRA were not even as far as I was in my research when they tried to create them. The lab that is on this site in Idaho, may have some information and maybe some equipment that can give us a chance to save those boys' lives." Chris nodded. "I'll let Donnie know that we're going to be gone for a little while tomorrow. It will give me a chance to make sure that Mac did a good job on Dragon. I forgot about that and if you think there's a chance that we can help those boys, I'm all for it." Brett put the papers back in the folder. "Thanks Chris." He got up and returned the folder back in the titanium suitcase that he'd carried with him since they left the compound in Big Bear.

The next morning after breakfast Chris gathered all the Red Dragons together. "Guys, Brett wants to take a little trip into Idaho to check out one of the properties he owns. It's not a mission or anything like that so if any of you want to hang out here and relax, I think it would be a good idea. We've been pretty busy for the last couple of weeks and I'm sure we can all use it. It's more like a pleasure trip. So whoever wishes to go along, meet me at Dragon in thirty minutes."

Thirty minutes later those that were going on the trip gathered at Dragon's ramp. Nearly all the members of the team had decided to go along. They were looking at it as a pleasure trip as Chris had called it. The only ones who decided to stay behind were Eve and Apollo to wish them a safe trip. They wanted to spend some time together. It was evident to the others that there was a budding romance between the two of them. Chris thought it was a good idea for them to spend time with each other just being a couple. The rest of the team bade them goodbye and climbed aboard Dragon.

Rio waved goodbye to the two of them as he raised the ramp. Apollo backed Eve's wheelchair up to clear the area as the micro fusion engines started up. They moved around until they could see the cockpit. Chris smiled at the two of them and gave them a quick salute before engaging the rotors. The two of them returned the salute and moved farther back as the rotor speed increased. Dragon slowly rose into the air.

"Drake, change our skin to US Army markings."


Those on the ground saw the Red Dragon paint scheme change to US Army markings and he once again took on the old nickname 'Jolly Green Giant' as he lifted into the sky.

"Drake, systems check."

"All systems are working within normal parameters." Chris smiled at Oliver. "Let's take a little trip. Drake, what is the ETA to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho?"

"At normal cruising speed, 21.81 minutes."

"Very well, set a course to Coeur d'Alene."

"Turn to 145⁰."

"Thank you Drake." She keyed her mic. "This is Commander Casey for Major, um Senior Commander Williams."

"Roger, wait one." A few moments later Donnie came on the radio. "This is Donnie, Chris."

"Donnie, Doctor MacLeod has requested that we take him to one of his nearby properties, just a little over the border in Idaho. I'm going to use the trip as a checkout flight."

"Very well. Be safe and have a nice trip. While you guys are gone, we're going to work on getting the base operational."

"Okay, see you when we return. Dragon out." Chris turned in the direction Drake gave her. As they flew near the airfield, she saw that the Black Ghost and Black Shark looked like they were getting ready to take off. She knew that they had arrived the day before aboard one of the transport planes and was going to be ferried to the new base that the UNIT was building.

Chris decided to make it a leisurely flight to Brett's property. Within fifteen minutes they could see Spokane ahead and to the right of their flight path. A short time later they could see Lake Coeur d'Alene. She knew the property was supposed to be on a point near Kid Island. Her biggest worry was whether or not there was a place to land. She planned to fly over the property and give it a look before they landed.

In the command center, Sean had one corner of the monitor connected to Drake, showing what the forward looking cameras could see. In that window was also their airspeed, location, direction of travel, etc. The rest of the monitor was being used for picking up local newscasts and gathering other information. Ever since the Brown family had made Kettle Falls into a refugee center, the surrounding areas of Washington had stabilized as well, due to the increased military presence in the area because of the Vice President being there. Not that many knew he was nearby, but the presence of those units loyal to Bryce had assisted in stabilizing the area.

Dakota had decided to keep Sean company during the flight. Usually Sean was too busy during most of their flights, handing communications and helping to direct troops and Dakota was usually manning one of the fifties or getting ready for his part of the mission. However, since this wasn't a mission this time, it gave them a chance to just be together and not have to worry about what the mission was, or what they would have to do or who they would have to fight. They could just be together and there had not been too many of those sort of times for any of them.

"Hey Sean, y'all might wanna look at something on Drake's monitor." Sean looked at Dusty's avatar. "Thanks Dusty." He made a motion with his right hand like he was reaching up and grabbing something, moving it to the center of the monitor and then opening his hand to make the image fill the screen. They could see that they were slowing down and just starting to cross part of a lake. "Hey Drake, zoom your camera at that house right in the lower right quadrant."

"Acknowledged." The image zoomed into a large house overlooking the lake. A short distance from the shore was the island that Brett had mentioned. The image showed a number of figures moving around on the property and some of them seemed to be taking items out of the building and loading them into the back of a truck parked in the driveway. There were also a couple of dark colored SUVs parked next to the larger building. "Okay Dusty, so someone's moving out of their house."

"Look closer Sean. Those aren't members of a moving company. Not unless guns and military style assault fatigues are now part of a moving company's uniform. Look at that truck. That's not a moving truck, that's an M939. It's a military cargo truck and behind the SUVs, that's an M35 truck. It looks like it is configured for personnel transport." Sean made some adjustments and he saw what Dusty had noticed. Something wasn't right. He called into the cockpit. "Chris, look at your monitor. Something is not right."

"Drake, put the image up." Chris looked at her monitor and she saw the same thing that Sean had seen. Those were soldiers of some kind. Must be some Ashwood thing. She knew that she had to check it out, to make sure everything was okay. Drake's voice interrupted her thoughts. "Commander. The activity that you are observing is at our plotted destination. "Damn." She looked at Oliver. "Ollie take over. It looks like this pleasure trip is turning into something else."

She got up and went into the command center. "Sean, Dakota, come with me. Sean, bring your laptop." Sean picked up Dusty as they stood up and followed her into the main cabin. "Can I have everyone's attention please?"

Everyone stopped what they were doing and turned to Chris. She glanced at Sean. "Show them the feed." Sean opened Dusty and turned it to the team. They all crowded in to get a good look at the screen. They saw armed men in black fatigues moving from inside the building on the property and loading the removed items into the back of the truck. She looked at Brett. "Brett, this is happening at your property. The lab is over on the island. Do you think they know about it?" Brett shrugged. "I don't know."

"Drake pull back a little so we can see more of the area." The image zoomed out. Suddenly Sean leaned down because something caught his eye on the screen. "Drake can you focus on the south end of the nearby island?" The camera changed and zoomed in a little. On the screen they could see a boat leaving the island and coming toward the dock near Brett's house. On the boat were some more of those black clad soldiers. In the boat were some crates. "I guess that answers my question."

"Whatever's going on we need to stop it." Chris looked at Gabe and nodded. "Get your gear." Gabe led the way to the armory. They grabbed what they needed and the main cabin was filled with people getting dressed and checking their weapons. Chase was a little worried that Robin didn't have his armor.

"Robin you and Belinda should stay here, where it will be safer." Robin looked at Belinda and nodded. "Belinda will stay, but I will be by my brother's side." He held his hand up when she started to protest. "Sister, I will not take any unnecessary risks, but I will stand with my brother." She nodded. He hugged her. "Do not worry. They do not know what we are capable of."

Once Chris had her armor on, she went to the cockpit to relieve Oliver so that he could get his armor on. Chris flew over the property and then out over the lake, as if they were any other army helicopter going somewhere else. Once she was sure they couldn't be seen by the men at the house, she called on Drake. "Drake, engage stealth."

"Acknowledged. Stealth engaged." If anyone had been looking, the army helicopter disappeared from view. Chris turned back to the house and started looking for somewhere to land Dragon so they could find out what was going on.

On the ground one of the men in charge watched the army helicopter fly to the east until it was out of sight before turning back to his men. "Let's try and hurry this up and get the rest of the equipment loaded and get back to base."

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