Castle Roland


by Eric Aune


Chapter 5

Posted: N/A

At work Brett and Russ continued their work on Alzheimer's. Brett gathered the information on all of families and sent it to Mac so he could work his magic. He also sent another ten thousand dollars to cover Mac's expenses. He figured he could get it back from the others eventually. He wanted to have everything ready, so that they could act on it as soon as they needed to.

He continued with his work concerning the boys. During the week he had them bring the boys in for a checkup. While the boys were there Martin Swift, the chief of security for the complex entered the lab. Brett looked up at the sound of the opening door. He thought it was Kathy bringing their son in for his checkup. When he saw who it was, the smile that had started to form on his face, faltered a little. He tried to hide his reaction and instead let the smile come back on his face as he walked up to greet Martin.

"Hello, Mr. Swift, nice to see you. What brings you down here?"

"Hello, Dr. MacLeod. I hope you don't mind, but I heard that the kids were here today and I hoped to see them. I haven't had a chance yet. I love kids and look forward to the day when I will have one or two myself some day."

"Oh really, that's great. Is there someone that you've got your eye on?"

"No, not yet, but I hope to some day."

"Well, I wish you luck with that."

The door opened again and they both looked over towards the door. It was Kathy carrying their son. He excused himself and greeted her with a kiss. He led her over to where Martin was standing.

"Mr. Swift, this is my wife Kathy and this is our son James."

"It's nice to meet you Mrs. MacLeod."

"Nice to meet you as well, Mr. Swift."

"Marty, please, it sounds so formal with Mr. Swift."

She smiled in answer and Marty looked at the boy. He looked at the boy's face and was caught by his eyes. There was something about them that held his gaze for several moments. He felt something that drew him to the boy.

"Marty? Marty? Are you okay?"

"Huh, what? Sorry, I zoned out for a moment."

"I asked if you wanted to see the other boys?"

"Oh, sorry. You have a beautiful baby Doctor MacLeod."

"Thank you. Come along, I'll introduce you to the others."

Marty nodded and Brett lead him around the room, where he introduced him to each of the other parents that were there and letting each parent or couple, show off their son. As Marty looked at each boy, what he felt from James seemed to be repeated with each of the other boys. He started to get feelings of friendship and happiness. He couldn't place where the feelings had come from but it made him feel good. The feelings were starting to overwhelm him a little and he felt the need to leave. He said his goodbyes and complimented them on their sons.

As he passed one of the babies he paused for a moment before continuing towards the door. At the door he paused again because he felt something and he didn't know where it came from. At first he felt like someone was looking at him. He looked around and didn't see anyone looking at him and he shook his head a bit, thinking he had imagined it. His head was filled with the feeling of being gently hugged. The gentleness and warmth that he felt nearly brought him to tears. It brought up feelings inside him that he had not had in so long, that he had nearly forgotten what it felt like to have that kind of unconditional love. He didn't want to let go of the feelings, but he knew that if he didn't leave, he would soon break down in tears and the tears would be difficult to explain. Marty left the room after one last look back into the lab. His eyes were drawn to where a couple of the babies were sitting in their car seats. Both of them were looking in his direction.

A few days later there was a knock on the door at Brett and Kathy's house. Kathy went to answer it and returned to the den a few moments later with a concerned look on her face, she was followed by Marty Swift. Brett looked up and he barely kept the look of surprise off his face.

"Um, Mr. Swift. What brings you out here?"

"Sorry Doctor MacLeod. I hoped I could talk to you in private. That is if you don't mind, Mrs. MacLeod."

Kathy looked at Brett with a raised eyebrow. Brett gave a small shrug and she gave a slight nod before looking at Marty and smiling.

"Of course. I can go…"

"No honey, we'll go in the study."

He looked at Marty and got a nod. Brett got up and the two of them went into his study. Brett pulled a chair from the side so that it was in front of his desk before he sat down. He gestured for Marty to sit down in the chair.

"So what can I help you with, Mr. Swift?"

"Uh, I really am sorry for intruding on you at home Doctor MacLeod, but something's been bothering me for a couple of days and I wanted to talk to you about it."

"What? At work?"

"Well, yeah partly I guess, but it has to do with something that happened when I was leaving the lab after you introduced me to the babies and their parents, well at least the ones who don't work at the lab."

"Okay, so what happened?"

"As I was leaving, I felt something. It was a feeling that seemed to come from outside of me. It was a feeling of warmth and friendship, and as I've thought about it for these few days, the feeling was a feeling of love even."

"But what do you mean by……you got this feeling from outside of yourself?"

"It's hard to explain, but this feeling came onto me out of nowhere. There was no reason for me to have that feeling, but as I was leaving the lab, it was just suddenly there."

"If you didn't have this feeling yourself, where do you think it came from?"

Marty was silent and looked down at his hands as he thought about how to answer the question. Brett sat silently as he waited for Marty to continue. The silence between them stretched on and Brett was about to say something when Marty raised his head. Brett closed his mouth and waited.

"I know it sounds crazy, but I think it came from a couple of the babies, I don't know which ones."

Brett had to school his expression, even though he half expected the answer.

"The babies? Why would you say that?"

"Well, I guess you could say it's probably because of me."

"Why because of you? What would make you think that?"

Marty licked his lips nervously before answering.

"Doctor MacLeod. I must beg of you to keep what I say between us. If certain people knew what I am going to tell you, it could be dangerous for me."

Brett met the serious look on Marty face with one of his own, he thought he knew who the "certain people" that Marty was talking about. He thought about whether he should say anything about what he knew, but decided that he should wait Marty out and see if he would tell him those names. So instead of saying anything he just nodded

"Very well, I will keep your confidence, as long as what you tell me does not put my family in any danger."

Marty nodded his acceptance, "What I'm going to tell you is the god's honest truth. I know it will sound crazy, but it's true. Several years ago, when I was a teenager, I was in the foster care system. My parents were druggie's and I started getting in trouble when I was about eleven years old. I was put in the system but it seemed like I kept ending up in crappy foster homes. So I kept running away. They usually caught me and brought me back. When I was about fourteen, I was able run away to New York City. I lived the best I could on the streets. I did things I'm not proud of, but I had to survive. I had one friend, sort of, and we looked out for each other. Both of us were fifteen when we heard about other kids who disappeared from the streets. There were stories of black vans picking these kids up. So we were all on the lookout for the vans. My friend and I were successful in hiding from these vans. My friend and I saw them a couple of times but we were able to get out of sight before they saw us. We even saw them take another homeless kid off the street. Our luck eventually ran out and we were cornered in a dead end alley.

{Marty's Story}

Marty and Isaac had scored. The last purse that they had stolen had about five hundred dollars in it. They had splurged and gotten something from McDonalds. They had each gotten two Big Macs, large fries and large cokes. They were walking down the street drinking their cokes. They were joking with each other about their good fortune. The only notice that they had was the sound of an engine accelerating. They both whipped around and saw one of the black vans nearby speeding towards them. They threw their cokes down and started to run. They were running blindly looking for an alley to duck into.

Isaac yelled out, "Marty, this way."

Isaac led them into an alley. They ran down it looking for another alley that branched off from it. They heard the engine of the van as it moved into the alley's entrance. They were starting to get frantic for a way out, when they realized their mistake. It was a dead end. They turned around and saw that the van was slowly moving down the alley towards them. They had nowhere to go. Isaac pulled a knife out of his back pocket while Marty looked around for anything to use as a club. The van stopped and a couple of large men got out and started walking towards them.

Isaac yelled at them with false bravado, while he brandished his knife, "C'mon. If you get close, I'll stick you. Just let us go."

The men said nothing as they neared the two boys. Instead they calmly reached into their jackets and pulled out tasers. Before either boy could do anything, the men fired. Marty heard Isaac scream just a second before the darts hit him and the electricity shot through his body. He fell to the ground and when the immediate pain stopped he was confused and unable to move much. Then he felt something sharp poke him in the arm and then blackness.

Marty slowly opened his eyes and then closed them quickly because of the bright lights in the ceiling. He felt a little sick to his stomach, but he was able to swallow it down and once again he opened his eyes, but slowly this time until his eyes got used to the light. His mouth was dry as he looked around the room. The room looked pretty bare. Only the bed he was lying in, plus a small dresser. He scooted to the end of the bed and put his feet down, that was when he realized he was naked. He stood up and felt a little woozy as he made his way over to the dresser. He checked the drawers and found some underwear and some pajama like clothes. He put them on. There was also some sock like slippers that had a tread pattern on the bottom of them. Once he was dressed he went to the door and tried to open it. The door was locked. He tried to pull it and push it. He knocked but there was no answer.

He yelled out a bit, but still no answer. So he went and lay down on the bed to wait. He eventually fell asleep, even with the bright lights. He started coming awake when he felt his body being moved.

"Hey, he's waking up. Quick put him back under."

Marty heard the voice and a few moments later he started to feel like he was floating and then he was asleep once again. For a time, Marty felt like he was in a dream, he remembered times of bright lights, muffled voices in the background, some headaches, more sleep, and the sensation of being moved. Eventually he woke up. He carefully opened his eyes to the lighted room. The lights were lowered so that they weren't so bright. He looked around the room he was in.

It looked like the room that he vaguely remembered seeing before whatever happened. He had a dull ache in his head. He put his hand up to his head and pulled it away in shock. He was bald, well not exactly bald as there was stubble on his head. He rubbed his head, feeling everything. He felt a raised area on the side of his head that seemed to be about four inches long. He tried to sit up and fell back because he was pretty weak. He was able to scoot up a little so that his head was raised up a little as he carefully bunched the pillow up behind his head and shoulders. He felt something pulling on his dick and he reached underneath the sheet and felt a tube coming out of it. It was a catheter. He started to take stock of his body. There was an IV in his left arm connected to a bag on a stand next to him. He felt weak, like he had been lying in bed for a long time. He tried to call out, but his voice came out a low croak.

"He….hello? Is….is anyone there?

His voice was not very loud but somehow someone got the message as a door in the far wall opened and a couple of men in hospital scrubs entered the room. One of them was pushing a cart.

"Ah, Martin, you're awake. Good. I'm Doctor Grady. How do you feel?"

Marty tried to speak but nothing came out. The doctor gestured to the other guy and he went to the cart and opened a cabinet door on the cart. He took out a cup and a pitcher. He carried it over to a rolling table that had been out of sight behind him and rolled it up next to Marty. He poured some water from the pitcher into the cup and helped Marty sit up so that he could drink some water. The doctor stood there watching silently until Marty had taken a few swallows.

"How's that feel now?"

Marty carefully answered, his voice was much clearer and not so hoarse.

"Be….better, sir?"

"Good. Let me take a look for a moment and we'll see how you're doing."

The doctor bent down with his stethoscope and put his hand inside Marty's hospital gown and placed it against his chest and listened as he moved it around to different areas on his chest. The doctor stood back up with a satisfied smile before continuing his examination. The other guy stood nearby holding a clipboard and Doctor Grady would turn back to him and murmur something to him. He would nod and write something down. Marty just watched the two men silently, still unsure what exactly was going on.

"Well, let's take a look at your head and see how that is healing up."

Doctor Grady moved closer once again and Marty felt him touch the raised area on the side of his head. When he finished he moved back and patted Marty on the shoulder.

"Everything looks great. Barry here will help you get up and start getting some exercise. Now that you're awake, we'll discontinue the catheter and IV. We'll also see about getting you some real food. Other than that, everything looks good. How does your head feel?"

"I've got a little headache."

"I'll have Barry give you something for that. But other than that, you feel okay?"

Marty nodded. The doctor patted him on the shoulder again and smiled as he turned to leave the room. Marty numbly watched him as he left the room. Marty looked at the closed door and then turned his attention to Barry.

"What happened to me?"

Barry shrugged.

"I don't know, you'll have to talk to the doctor."

Barry came over to the side of the bed.

"Let's take care of that catheter and the IV line first before we do anything else. I'm going to leave the IV port in your arm, so that we have an IV access if we need to give you any medications, ok?"

Marty nodded and watched as Barry turned down the blankets and then pulled his hospital gown up. With a syringe he removed the air from the balloon that held the catheter in place and then pulled the catheter out. Marty winced from the slight burning sensation and then sighed once it was removed.

"There, I'm sure that is bit more comfortable. Ok Marty, let's see how you do with standing up."

Barry removed the needle from the IV port that was connected to the IV bag from Marty's arm, and then assisted Marty in moving so that he could sit on the edge of the bed and let his feet drop to the floor. With Barry helping him he slowly put his weight on his feet. It was hard but he was able to stand.

"Good, now let's try a few short steps."

Barry kept a firm arm around Marty's waist and Marty's arm over his shoulder. They took a few halting steps. The more he moved around, the better Marty felt at moving around a bit. He still felt a little stiff, but it felt good to move. After a few steps around the room, Barry helped him back to the bed and assisted him in lying down.

"Well, that was pretty good. A little more practice and you'll be as good as new. For now, just get some more rest and I'll see about getting you something to eat later.

"Do you know how long I've been here?"

Barry shrugged but said nothing.


Barry looked at him with a puzzled expression.

"I didn't say anything."


"Just rest for now, the controller for the TV is right here. I'll be back in a little while with something for your headache."

Barry went to the door and left the room. Marty thought about what he had just heard or had it been his imagination. He was sure that he heard Barry say something, but with Barry's denial he wasn't sure. His head still ached a little so he lay back down, soon his eyes closed and he was asleep again.

When he woke up on his side, he sensed something was different. He turned over and saw a man sitting in a chair. The man was reading something in a folder. When Marty moved, the man closed the folder and smiled at him.

"Hello Martin, so nice to see you doing so well."

"Uh, thanks. Who are you?"

"Hank Archer. How are you feeling son?"

"Okay I guess, my head hurts a little. What happened to me?"

Hank looked at Marty for several moments before answering him. He smiled at Marty, but the smile didn't reach his eyes.

"Well Martin. I am in charge of a…well you could call it an agency. We recruit people to help us, let's say, keep an eye on our enemies."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, I'm sure you've heard of the CIA?"

Marty nodded.

"We're a little like them, only…better. We do things that they don't do."

"But what does that have to do with me and what happened to me?"

"You see Marty, we've come up with the idea of a new special type of…agent. And we're inviting you to be one of them."

"Me, I'm a teenager. How can I be a secret agent?"

"Well, you see, we've done a little enhancement on you that makes you a…better asset."

Marty put his hand on his head and felt the raised area. Archer nodded.

"Yes. We made a little enhancement in your head."

"What do you mean? What did you do to me?"

Marty's voice started rise as he got scared. Archer frowned.

"Quiet! Settle down Martin! Now!"

Archer's tone scared him a little and he quieted down, but his eyes got a little watery as he tried not to cry.

Archer's lips thinned as he kept himself from yelling at the boy again, "Now, Martin, you don't have to worry. Everything has been healing well and soon we'll start your training, so for now, just finish getting well. I'll have someone bring you something to eat. There is a TV over there for you to watch. If there are any movie tapes you would like to see, let Barry know and we'll see what we can do to get them for you. For now, I have other duties to attend to, so I will say goodbye for now."


Archer ignored him as he walked out the door. Once he had left, Marty let the tears fall as he brought his hands up to the scar on his head.

{Back to the present}

"……once I was finished healing, the training started."

"What kind of training?"

"It might sound crazy, but it was…training in telepathy."

Brett's eyes widened.

"You're telepathic?"

"Well, not originally, but after whatever they did to me, yes, at least some of the time anyway."

"What did they do?"

Marty shook his head and his hand unconsciously went up to the place on his head where the scar was hidden by his hair. Brett's eyes tracked the movement of his hand.

"I don't know. I only know that they did something to my brain that made me able to hear people's thoughts sometimes."

"So it's not reliable?"

"No. Although I can push it and try to hear someone's thoughts, but if I do, I usually end up with a blinding headache for the next day or two."

"Did they ever tell you what they did?"

"No, and I wasn't really interested in knowing."

"So how many agents does Archer have?"

"One, me, I'm the only success that his agency had."

"Were you the only one…recruited?"

"No, there were a lot, but I was the only one who was at least a partial success."

"What happened to the others?"

Marty didn't answer right away as he let his head drop and looked at his folded hands. Brett waited him out. When he looked up again, his eyes were wet.

"Many didn't survive. I didn't find out everything right away, but later I found out that a lot of them didn't survive the initial surgery. Another bunch of them died of complications after surgery, infections and things like that. Of the ones who made it through that, some of them turned out to not have any abilities. Most of the rest had to be…committed to mental institutions. Tha…that's what happened to Isaac."

"He was your friend from the streets?"

Marty nodded.

"Yeah, at one point during the training, I was tired and angry and I refused to do anything more. Archer had some of his guards grab me and haul me to this other room. There was a guy in a wheelchair sitting in front of a TV that was playing cartoons. They pulled me over until I could see that it was Isaac. He had a vacant look on his face and he was drooling as he stared at the screen. He didn't know me at all. Archer said that if I didn't do what he told me to do he promised that I would end up like Isaac. They left me in the room with him. I tried to read his mind, but all I got was a blank screen. There was nothing of Isaac left inside him. He was dead inside and his body didn't know it yet. That was the last time I saw him. From that point on, I had nowhere else to go, so I did what Archer wanted. Years later I found out that Isaac died before his eighteenth birthday."

"So, Martin, why are you telling me all of this? Won't you be in trouble with Archer?"

"Actually, if he knew what I've told you I would probably disappear…permanently. Archer is ruthless and Marcus isn't much better. I wanted to tell you because when I was in the lab the other day, I heard or felt something from one of the babies. I think I read one of their minds or something because I felt this feeling of…friendship…acceptance…love. It was a feeling of family. Later that night that feeling was all I could think of and it has weighed on my mind for the last couple of days, until I had to come and see you."

"Soooo, where do we go now?

"I want to help protect the kids from Archer. I don't know what he has planned, but I'm sure whatever it is will benefit his plans and he won't care what happens to anyone who gets in his way."

"Do you know anything that he plans?"

"No. He doesn't confide much in me. Marcus is his number two man. He's probably the only one here who knows what Archer has planned. All I know is that Marcus, under Archer's orders I'm sure, keeps asking me to find out more about the results of your experiments with the boys."

"Do you think you could find out anything from Marcus?"

Marty shook his head.

"I don't want to try. If I did try and the headache hit me, Marcus would know that I tried to read him. I have to be near someone to read them and the headache hits quickly, so he'd know right away. If I hear something, I'll let you know, but I'm not going to bring on a headache. Other than that, if I can help you, I will."

Brett sat back and looked up at the ceiling as he pondered what, if anything, to tell him. Marty waited for Brett to say something. Brett turned his attention back to Marty. "Fair enough, I'll let you know."

When Brett stood up, Marty quickly followed. Brett had Marty precede him out of the room and he led him towards the front door. They shook hands.

"Thanks for coming over and talking to me."

Marty nodded and walked out to his car. Brett stood at the door and watched as he got in his truck and drove away. Brett closed the door and went back to the den to join Kathy. She looked up when he came in, "What was that about?"

"I think we have a new ally."

He sat down and told her what Martin had told him. She became concerned as he related what happened to Marty and what the result of that was for him. She was very shocked when she heard about Isaac. Marty's abilities caused her some alarm, but what she heard about Archer, she agreed that Marty might be of some help, but she agreed with him to keep their plans from Marty just in case.

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