Castle Roland


by Eric Aune


Chapter 43

Posted: N/A

Gabe and his team arrived at the safe house and greeted everyone. He looked around and noticed that there were a few missing. "Where’s Brett?"

"He, Patrick, Jim, Aldo, Doc and Ethan went to Marty Swift’s house to see if he’ll help them get Josh out? They called him and set up a meet."

"Can he be trusted?"

"Brett seemed to think so, but he’s only going to talk to him if he thinks it’s safe. Aldo and Doc are going to recon the house and the surroundings before they go in to make sure it’s clear before going up to the door. Here’s what they planned."

Jim waved Gabe over and went over the plan with him. At the end, Gabe nodded. "Well that should be good enough. If they’re not going to go in unless they are sure it’s safe, that’ll do. We’ve got some pictures for you and Sean to download."

Gabe and George handed over the cards from their cameras and followed Mac and Sean to their workstations. Several of the others followed as well, including the boys. Once everything was downloaded, Mac started going through the pictures. When they saw the two men in suits, Mac nodded."

"That’s Kelly and Archer. I wonder what that buildings for. We know it wasn’t in the original plans."

They continued looking at the pictures and they saw the guy in the lab coat and the guard.

"That’s Alistair Merrick in the lab coat. He was the one that was spying on us for Archer and Kelly at Hunt Lab."


They looked at Jamie who saw the boy hanging over the guards shoulder.

"What have they done to him?"

"Don’t know. We just saw the guy carrying him out. I thought it might be, but I wasn’t sure. Are you sure Jamie?"

"Yeah, I’m sure."

"Okay, we knew he was there. Now we really know. I guess all we can do for now is wait until Brett gets back and then we can put together a rescue plan. From what we can see there are quite a few guards, plus some guard dogs. We may need some more men. Mac, can you call anyone?"

"No, Jim and Rob are the only ones available from the team from before. The others are not available."

Gabe’s mouth took on a grim look for a few moments before a thought occurred to him.

"I think I might have an idea. I’m going to make a couple of calls. I should know something by the time the others get back."

For the rest of them it was a waiting game now.

The van pulled into the parking lot of Senseny Road Elementary and stopped long enough for Aldo and Patrick to get out before pulling out of the lot and heading down the road a little before pulling over to the side and parking. Now they waited. Twenty minutes later they heard from the other two.

"It looks clear, no one else around. We went all around the houses and those nearby just in case, but it looks normal."

"Okay, stay at the back. We’ll be there in a couple of minutes. We’ll call you if we need help or if it’s safe to come in."


Doc started the van up and did U-turn to go back to the street that led into where Marty’s house was located. They pulled up in front of the house at the end of the cul de sac and waited. A short time later Jim got an all clear signal on the radio. Doc and Jim stayed in the van while Brett and Ethan went up to the house. They could see the buildings and fields of the elementary school through the trees behind the house as they walked up to the front door. Brett rang the doorbell and moments later some footsteps could be heard nearing the door. The door opened and Marty was about to greet them, but he froze with his mouth open when he saw who was at the door. They stood like that for a few moments with Marty trying to say something several times, but unable to make the words come out.

"Honey, who’s at the door?"

That finally seemed to break his inability to speak and he glanced over his shoulder. " old friend....Br...."

"Bryan Carpenter."


He whipped his head back around and lowered his voice as he looked back and forth between the two of them.

"Bret...uh, Bryan. What are you doing here?"

"Aren’t you going to invite me in?"

Marty flushed and nodded while stepping back. He looked outside before closing the door behind them. He then led the way to the family room of the house that looked out on the backyard.

There was a lady in her late thirties and a boy who looked to be about ten, sitting on the floor watching TV. She got up when they entered and the boy looked up. "Hello. I’m Melody Swift."

"Bryan Carpenter and this is my son James."

"Hello James. This is our son Isaac."

Everyone shook hands and Melody waved them to seats in the room.

"Can I get you something?"

"No, I just wanted to come by and visit with Marty. It’s been a long time since we last saw each other."

She looked at Marty with curiosity.

"We worked together before we met and we lost track of each other when we went our separate ways."

"Well, it’s very nice that you got reconnected."

"Ma’am, would you mind if Marty and us went and talked somewhere in private?"

"No, not at all."

"Bre...Bryan, why don’t we go to my study."

Brett nodded and he and Ethan got up and followed Marty. The room had some bookshelves and looked out to the front of the house. There was a desk with a computer on it and a couple of chairs in the room. Marty waved to the chairs and sat behind the desk.

"So, Brett, was that you that called?"


"I thought it was that other guy that helped you disappear."

"No, it was me."

"I assume the others are okay as well?"

"Yes, we are all fine for the most part, a couple of the parents of some of the boys have died through accident or disease, but other than that, everyone’s fine."

"I’m guessing this isn’t a social call."

"Not hardly. Archer’s got one of our boys."

Marty sat up in surprise.


"I’m not sure, but somehow they found out about one of them and kidnapped him from his home. They shot his parent and left him for dead when they took the boy."

Brett reached into his coat and drew forth some pictures that he handed to Marty. It was the picture of Josh being carried out by the guard with Merrick. Marty studied them before handing them back.

"That was your guys today?"


"One of my men, I’m head of security at the lab, reported seeing a flash, like from a mirror or something, from the hills behind the lab."

Brett nodded. "Probably, we need to get the boy back. You know what they’ll do to him. We’re not going to allow that to happen."

Brett glanced at Ethan for a minute before continuing. "Do they have some hold over you? I would think that after Hunt Lab fire, you would have left."

Marty frowned and nodded.

"I was going to leave after everything was over, but they kept me busy and I was paid well so I stayed until I could find something else. Then I met Mel and she was awesome. I planned to leave soon, I was going to put in my resignation and Mister Archer put me off, saying he had to go somewhere and we would talk when he got back, it was to Europe or something. While he was gone Mel found out that she was pregnant with Isaac. I couldn’t wait until Archer returned so I could get him to sign off on the resignation. I should have known. He found out about Mel being pregnant and he threatened their lives if I didn’t withdraw the resignation. He said if I just quit, he’d have me hunted down and all of us would disappear. I had no choice."

"So you are in charge of security at the lab?"

"Yeah, plus the DC office, but I don’t go there very much. My office is in one of the buildings on the property."

Brett was silent as he thought about that. He cocked his head a little when he spoke again.

"If I can promise that you can get out of it permanently and never have to deal with them again. Will you help us get our boy back?"

"How can you promise that? I know that you were able to disappear, but Archer is powerful and has many contacts. Look he found you again."

"He didn’t find me. He found one of the boys. The boys are all friends and if Archer knew about them, he would have taken all of them, but he got only one. From what we have found out, the one he took is the only one that he knew about. But we know that he was going to kick the search for the others into high gear. We are prepared to do whatever it takes to make sure that he can’t ever threaten one of our boys. Whatever it takes."

Marty saw the fierce look that Brett was giving him. He glanced at the boy next to Brett. The boy was looking at him as well. Marty’s eyes narrowed as he looked at the boy and back to Brett and then back to the boy. Something seemed wrong.

"He knows Brett."

Brett looked to Ethan at his side.

‘What do you mean?"

"He knows I’m not Jamie."

Brett looked at Marty who now had a surprised look on his face as he looked between the man and boy like he was watching a tennis match. Ethan looked at Marty and giggled a little at the man’s head swiveling back and forth. Brett nodded in acceptance as he looked at Ethan.

"What about everything else we talked about. Can he be trusted?"

Ethan nodded with a smile as he looked at Marty with another giggle at the expression on his face.

"Yes, I think so. He’s worried about his wife and son. Archer did threaten them."

Marty’s jaw dropped. " he...."

"Marty, you should take a deep breath and try to calm down."

Brett waited while Marty closed his mouth and took a couple of breaths, his eyes never leaving Ethan’s smiling face.

"There, that’s better. Yes, Marty, he can."


He tore his eyes away from Ethan and brought them back to Brett. "Then your experiment worked."

It was not a question, but a statement of fact. Brett nodded. "Beyond my expectations."

"So, if this isn’t your son, then that’s who they have. Your it?"

"No, my son is safe right now at the place we’re staying. He can’t do what Ethan here can do, so Ethan came along to pretend to be my son while he scanned you to see if you could be trusted and willing to help. He’s satisfied."

He looked at Ethan with a questioning look. Ethan looked at Marty for a few moments before turning to face Brett and nodded.

Brett acknowledged him. "Then I’m satisfied. So the next thing is this, what can you do to help us?"

"I don’t know, it depends on what you need me to do. I didn’t really know about the boy until you showed me the pictures. I thought I heard something about a special delivery and saw Marcus show up, but I hadn’t seen any boy."

"Well, to start with, what is the building that we observed them carrying the boy out of?"

"They call it the Special Projects building. I’ve never been inside. Only Merrick, Archer, and Kelly have security cards to access the building."

"Do you know where they would keep him?"

"Probably in one of the secure rooms in the main lab."

Brett looked at the computer on Marty’s desk and pointed at it. "Can you access the lab from that computer?"

"No. I can get to the DC office, but Archer has the computer system at the lab self contained there is no access from outside the grounds."

Brett looked up as he thought about that, trying to come up with a way to get Sean access to the system.

"You said you have an office there onsite. Do you have a computer in your office that has access to the main servers?"

"No, only to the security servers."

Brett nodded, his hand on his chin as he thought. "That might work, but we won’t know until we try it. Could we get access to the computer in your office?"

"I don’t know. We could very easily be seen. Part of the house was built to house the security guards who are single. Only the married men live off the property. So there are always guards around."

"If you can get a small group past the front gate, we’ll take care of the rest. Do you think that is possible?"

Marty looked at Brett before nodding. "I think so, I could bring the Silverado, maybe if you laid down covered with dark blankets they may not see you. They don’t search my vehicles, only vehicles that are not known to them."

"How unusual would it be for you to go in at night?"

"I don’t make a habit of it, but it probably won’t cause much of a stir."

"Okay. I have an idea or two, but I have to talk it over with the others. I’ll let you know."

Brett stood up and shook hands with Marty. Ethan did as well and Marty looked at him and shook his head.

"I can’t believe it. You made it happen. No problems, no headaches?"

"No, no problems at all with any of them. Well, we’ll get going. Thank you for helping us."

Marty nodded and escorted them out. Brett said goodbye to Melody and they walked out to the van. Marty was startled when they opened the door and the inside light came on. There were two men sitting in the front seats of the van. The sliding door was left open and from the side of the house to other dark shapes came running and got in. He saw a glimpse of two other men and then the door was shut and the light went out. The van started up and drove off. Marty went back inside and went to his study. He thought about what Brett had just told him. Everything he knew about the GRA told him that this was very dangerous and he didn’t want anything to happen to his family. He also thought about everything that he knew that the GRA had done. He knew about the other kids that had been brought there and experimented on like he and his friend Isaac had been many years ago when they were known as the PRI. He remembered what Brett had said about the GRA kidnapping the boy and shooting his parent. He had to do what he thought was the best choice for him and his family. He shook his head and picked up the phone to make a call.

Brett and the others entered the house. Several of them looked up when they entered.

"Where’s Gabe?"

"In the dining room."

Brett nodded his thanks and headed in that direction. When he got there he saw some pizza boxes and drinks on one end of the table and Gabe and couple of the others looking at several pictures and photos on the table. Gabe was making notes as they talked. He looked up when he heard the others walk up.

"So, can he help?"

"Ethan says that he can be trusted. So either he’s able to hide his intentions, and since he does have some abilities similar to Ethan’s, then we can’t completely discount that, but I think he can be trusted. Archer has threatened his wife and son, if he tried to leave the GRA. So I lean more toward trusting him than not. Got anything worked out?"

"Yeah, some. We are going to need more people so I made a call and we have reinforcements coming. They’ll be at Dulles tomorrow about mid morning. We’ll pick them up and bring them here."

"Did you leave anyone back at the house?"

"I called someone else that I trust and that I know had done this kind of thing before. They jumped at the chance to help once I told them what was going on and said that they’d get out here as soon as they could."

"If you trust them then okay. I found out....oh wait a minute."

Brett left the room for a moment and came back with Sean and Mac following.

"Now that we’re all here, I found out that the computer system is self contained. There is no access from outside. So the only way to do anything is from the inside of the place. Marty said that he thinks he could sneak a small group in through the front gate and to his office. His computer has access to the security system. My thought is that we get Sean in there and he gets into the security system and perhaps he can get into the rest of the system through the security system. At the very least we can control the security system and maybe see inside the building so that we can direct our rescue of Josh from there."

"Where is his office located?"

"One of the buildings on the property. He called it a house, so it is in one of the houses."

Gabe looked at the pictures of the property. He put his finger on one.

"It’s this one. I saw those that were apparently guards going in and out of this one. The house at the opposite end is where I saw Archer and Kelly go into."

"Marty said that guards who are single live there."

"Then we need a way to take them out of the picture when we go in. I think your small group has to be a bit bigger. We’ve got to have some people who can guard those in the house. Do you have numbers or a layout of the building?"


"Okay, let’s see, we need to get a team that is small enough to get in without being detected, but large enough to control whoever is in the guard barracks. We need a team to take control of the front gate, and I think two teams to come from the west over the back fence and north from the side fence, here, where this line of trees parallels the property line. The computer team will go in thirty minutes before any of the others?"

Gabe looked at Brett, Sean and Mac. The three exchanged looks. Sean was the first to nod.

"Yeah, I think we can have control of the security systems in that time."

"Okay, when you have control of the systems and the house, contact team two. They will go up to the front gate and take it quietly. We want to keep any gunfire down to a minimum. I expect that there may be some, but the longest that we can delay it, the better. When gunfire erupts, there is a good chance that someone from a neighboring farm may call the police."

"I can handle that."

Gabe looked at Terry.

"I should be able to get into the 911 system and stop any calls to police. Besides, I have no training in what most of you can do. I’m just a computer geek."

"Good, then I’ll leave that part to you. We don’t want the police showing up. When we have the security building and the front gate, we’ll give the signal for the other two teams to come through the fence. The north side team will take the office building right there. The west team will take the lab. We know that besides Josh, there are smaller children there, so we’ll have to be careful. We’ll make final team decisions when the reinforcements show up tomorrow. When do we go?"

"Tomorrow night, as soon as it gets full dark. It might be suspicious if Marty showed up at midnight. I’m going to tell him to use the excuse that he forgot something that had to get done and that is why he had to come back to the property. At eight or nine that might not rouse as much suspicion as him showing up at midnight would."

"Okay, there will be more people to contend with probably, but I think we’ll still be able to handle it, depending on how many reinforcements arrive tomorrow morning."

"One other thing is that maybe we’ll catch Archer and Kelly there if it’s not too late."

"Maybe. If not, we’ll hunt them down afterwards. One thing that is important is that those two have to be taken care of. Cut off the head and the snake dies."

The others nodded and the planning session broke up until the morning. The boys joined their friends. Sean and Ethan relayed to them when the rescue was going to happen. Jamie was worried about Josh. Dylan sensed his worry of course and did his best to give him some comfort. Jamie slept with Dylan and Ethan because he didn’t want to sleep alone.

The next morning the boys took their time getting up. They knew that today they were going to retrieve Josh from that place that night. Most of the adults were up earlier than the boys. Gabe was going over the plan to make sure he had everything covered to the best of his ability. About the time that the boys started stirring, Gabe and Jim took the two passenger vans, because they didn’t know how many people were coming to help, and headed off to Dulles.

They went to the General Aviation terminal parking area and waited. Several private business jets came in as might be expected for an airport like Dulles. Gabe got a call around eleven and he and Jim drove the vans to where a Gulfstream IV was just powering down. They parked and got out of the vans to wait. Soon the jet was opened and the stairs were lowered.

The first passenger that exited was a tall man who looked to be in his early forties. He had long light brown hair and his Native heritage was evident. Behind him came four young men in their late teens to early twenties. They also wore their hair long, three had brown hair and one of them had dark blonde, sort of golden, hair. Two of the young men looked to be twins. Behind them another man in his forties followed. The Native American spotted Gabe and broke into a smile as he led the others to meet him. Gabe saw that there were four more people coming down the steps as well.

"Hey Gabe. Great to see you."

"You too, Jake. It’s good to see you as well."

Jake motioned for the others to join them. Gabe saw that a few more people had exited the plane and joined them. There was an older couple, the man Native and the woman was white. Another younger couple was there as well again the man was Native and the red haired young woman beside him was white and with them was a teenager who was also Native. They shook hands with Gabe and Jim as they were introduced.

"Gabe, let me introduce my family. These two are my sons Trevor and Jeremy. The twins are their partners Zach and Jared. You probably remember Tom."

"Yeah Tom, it’s been a few years."

"Nice to see you, Gabe."

"This is my mom and dad, Sean and Shayna. And this is my little brother Robbie and his wife Virginia and their son Cody."

Gabe looked behind them to see if there weren’t any more men coming out of the plane. All he could see were some people removing baggage from the storage area and stacking it nearby. He looked at Jake.

"So, is this it, your family? Any of your men come with you?"

"No, they are on assignment, but we were all free, so here we are. It should be enough. The boys are part of the company and work on protection details with younger clients. The others will be helpful as well. They know what to do."

"If you’re sure, we should get your bags loaded in the vans and get to the house. We’ve got a lot to do before tonight."

Jake nodded and he and the others went to get their bags. Everything was quickly loaded and they were on their way. Before long they were pulling into the driveway of the safe house. Everyone piled out of the vans and Gabe and Jim led them into the house. As they entered the house everyone inside came from where they were in the house to greet them. Gabe led them into the dining room followed by Brett and the others.

"Everyone, this is Jake MacLaren and his family. They’ve come to help us."

Brett walked over to Jake with had hand out. "I remember you. I came to see if you could help me with security."

"Yeah, it’s been a couple of years. I see you’ve got the old Green Beanie here working with you. Obviously you’ve got a problem. We’re here to help. What have you got going on?"

Gabe went over to the dining room table and spread out the papers and photos.

"A few days ago, a team attacked Eric and took his nephew Josh. We tracked them to their offices in DC. We attacked the office, but they had already moved Josh to this place called The Facility. The group is known as the GRA. They have been doing research into ESP and somehow giving this ability to others so that they could be agents for many years. We believe that’s why they took Josh. They hope to use him for their experiments."

"Why him?"

"I can answer that."

Jake and his family looked at Brett. Trevor saw the hesitation on his face and spoke up.

"Brett, you can trust us."

"You knew my name back then too, didn’t you?"


"You have some abilities as well."


Brett nodded acceptance and didn’t continue his line of questioning, although he really wanted to find out more.

"Okay. They started years ago kidnapping runaway teens and trying to somehow give them mental powers. They had a partial success with one person, but destroyed a lot of lives in getting that success. Thirteen years ago, they funded a lab that all of us worked at. The purpose was to find a way to help people with brain disorders. As part of those experiments on the brain, I put together some ideas and began to do some work on the side that led me in a similar direction as the GRA. I didn’t know about them and their work at that time, but with the help of a person, who soon became a close friend, I found out about them and their work. My work continued and I found a substance that I thought could be added to the genetic makeup of a fertilized egg. I was able to enlist the help of my friends at the lab and I went ahead with the program. My thought was that I would be able to increase the intelligence of our kids. We found information that the GRA got some idea of what I was working on and they planned to take our kids and get rid of us when we were no longer useful. We staged the destruction of the lab so that we could disappear. While we were hiding, the GRA apparently continued their work. We don’t know the extent of their experiments, but we do know that they continued the experiments. The GRA has two locations, one in DC and we found out about another place near Winchester. We were successful in staying in hiding for thirteen years until a few days ago when an assault team from the GRA shot Eric and took Josh. We tracked them to the DC office and in that office we found information about this other place. We found the place and Gabe and some of his team did a recon and we found that Josh was there. We’re going to go into the place and get him out."

"Okay, what have we got?"

"One thing we have according to Brett is an inside ally. He’s the same person who helped us at the labs years ago. He’s in charge of security and he’s going to help us get a small team into his office at the security building. From there the team will neutralize the guards in that building and take over the security systems for the entire place. With luck we may be able to get into the main servers as well. We will have a small team take the front gate quietly. There will be one team that will come through the fence here on the north side that will take the office building and one team that will come through the fence on the west side and head to the lab. All we need to do is decide who is on each team."

"For the first team it should be Brett, Sean..."

Dakota interrupted Gabe. "I’m going with Sean."

"And Jim, Luke and Doc."

"I’m going too."

Brett looked at Mac and nodded. Jake looked as his family for a moment.

"Robbie and Virginia will go with you."

Gabe looked at the young couple that Jake had indicated and nodded.

"Okay, then I think, Jim, I’ll switch you to the west team with me. Alright then, for the gate team."

"We’ll do that."

Gabe looked over at the old couple.

"We can act lost with the best of ‘em. I figure we can be a confused older couple who got lost. We’ll take Cody with us, two old Grandparents and their grandson who got lost. We’ll get the gate."

"I want Patrick to go with you as well, just to give you an extra hand."

"Sounds good, just stay out of our way youngster."

Patrick looked at them with amusement.

"We’ll take the office."

Gabe looked at Jake.

"The boys, Tom and I will take the office building. Then we’ll meet you at the lab."

"You sure?"

"We’ll take care of it."

"Okay, then the rest of us will head directly to the lab. We have tac radios for each team, and of course there’s Ethan. He can help keep comms open as well. Rob and Jerry, can you guys drive the vans from where we will drop off the two teams that will be hiking in from the west and bring them around to the front gate?" They both nodded. "By the time you guys get there, we should have control of the place, if not, you guys might be in time to help a bit too."

"When are we going in?"

"Between eight and nine. If we go too late, Marty said it would be harder to sneak us in. The guards would be more suspicious. We’re going to be in Marty’s Silverado lying down on the floor covered with blankets. We’ll contact the other teams once we have control of the system."

"After they give the word, you two go to the gate, the other teams will move to their targets. Any questions?"

"Rules of engagement?"

"Quietly as possible, but getting Josh is the most important thing. If you need to take someone down hard, it’s more important that they go down. I don’t want any of us hurt. We have medical help."

"Trevor can take care of any injuries as well."

"Good, that gives us three medics, one with each of the three main teams. If gunfire starts, we’ll just have to hope we can get out of there before the police show up."

"I’ll be back here at the house and I can handle any calls to the police."

They looked at Terry. He shrugged. "Like I said I’m no commando. As a computer geek I can take care of that part."

"We’ll assist him."

Sean and Dylan’s dad’s spoke up.

"Okay, then I guess we’re as ready as we can be. Now we wait until it’s time to go. Jake, you and your family should get some rest until later, so you’re fresh. I would suggest that everyone try to get some rest as well."

The group broke up. Jake and his family went upstairs to get some rest.

Josh woke up when the door to his room, or rather cell, was opened and the light was turned on. He was groggy as he seemed to be all the time now. He rubbed the sleep from his eyes and saw that it was the mean looking guard.

"Get up."

Josh slowly pushed his way up and hung onto the IV pole. The guard waved his hand impatiently and Josh went past him until he was in the corridor again. The guard gave him a push until they were once again at the restroom. The guard stood inside the door while Josh took care of his morning business. After washing his hands, he ran his tongue across his teeth and they felt grungy. He wasn’t sure how long since he had brushed his teeth. He looked over at the guard.

"Can I get a toothbrush to brush my teeth?"

The guard stared at him dispassionately. Josh turned away and got his finger wet and scrubbed it against his teeth. Better than nothing he thought. When he was finished he used a paper towel to wipe his face and then allowed the guard to bring him back to his cell. There was breakfast on a tray in the room. He sat on the bed and ate under the guard’s watchful eye. When he was finished the guard took the cart and tray and left the room, locking it behind him.

Josh was left alone. There was nothing to do but sit up against the headboard of the bed. He checked the spots on his body where they had shocked him. The spots were a little red and they stung a bit. He pulled his knees up to his chest and wrapped his arms around them as he lowered his head to rest on his knees. He wondered where he was. Where was Jamie? He remembered what they said about his uncle and hoped he was okay. He remembered what Jamie’s dad had said about these people and he thought he knew why they wanted him. He was glad that he hadn’t told them anything about the others yet.

After yesterday, he was worried about what else they would do. He hoped they quit asking him about his friends. He wished he didn’t feel so goofy. He tried to puzzle out why that was. He found it really hard to concentrate. He felt a pull on his arm and it made him focus on the IV line that was in his arm. He looked down at it and then followed the line up to the bag hanging from the pole. He had had an IV line in his arm the whole time he was under their control. He reached down and carefully pulled the tape lose. It hurt a little because of the tape pulling on the hair of his arm. Once he had the tape off his arm, he pulled on the IV and dropped the IV catheter. Then he freaked a little as blood started running out of his arm. He frantically looked around and then took a corner of the hospital gown he was wearing and pressed it against the hole in his arm. He checked over and over until his arm stopped bleeding. Then he looked down and saw that there was now a puddle of liquid on the floor. He looked up and down the IV line until he found a little clamp thing that he could close and the liquid quit running out of the IV tube and onto the floor.

He moved around the little room and quickly found nothing. It really just had a bed in it and the only other thing in the room was a light switch. He went back to the bed and sat down against the headboard. He couldn’t believe that this had happened to him. He wondered, no, he knew that they were looking for him, Jamie would make sure of it. Then another thought came to him. Did the GRA find them? What if they have Jamie and the others somewhere in this place and were doing the same things to them. But if that was true, then why did they keep asking him about any others. Maybe the others were still free and if they were he knew they were looking for him. He had no idea where here was, but hopefully it wasn’t too far from home. Outside looked different and it didn’t look like home or feel like home. There were a lot more trees around here and the land didn’t look like California. At least he was probably still in the US somewhere, he just didn’t know where. He could only hope that Jamie would find him. He shuddered as he thought about the shocks that they gave him yesterday. It was hard not to say anything, but somehow he was able to keep that secret, even as much as they hurt him.

As he sat there besides getting terminally bored, he began to feel a bit less fuzzy and light headed. He went over to try the door and of course it was locked. He wished he had Jamie’s ability. He knew that Jamie had been practicing on trying to use his TK to pick locks. Josh looked around the room and unless he wanted to suffocate himself by causing a fire his gift was useless. He looked at the door and knew he couldn’t get it hot enough to melt anything yet, he was still working with softer metals, but steel was a lot harder and the lock was steel. He went back to the bed because he was still a bit fuzzy headed. He tried to center as they had been taught, but he found it very difficult to do. His concentration kept slipping. He gave up after a little while. He eventually dozed off due to sheer boredom.

It was the click of the door that woke him up. He found that he felt even less fuzzy than he had previously. He looked over and saw someone pushing the cart in with his lunch, behind him was Lloyd, his usual guard. The guy pushing the cart was a guard as well. As he neared the bed, he walked through the puddle of water and slipped.


As he fell forward he pushed the cart and since he did not have a firm grip on the handle the cart left his grasp and slammed into the wall where it fell over and the food went everywhere. Lloyd looked down, saw the IV catheter lying on the floor in the middle of the puddle and rushed over to Josh. Before Josh knew what was happening Lloyd grabbed him and flipped him onto his stomach and sat on top of him as he drew his arms behind him. Josh felt cold metal on his wrists and Lloyd got off of him. He then flipped Josh over and backhanded him. Josh could taste blood in his mouth and he was dazed. The other guard joined him and they flipped Josh on his stomach again. Lloyd held him while the guard who had fallen in the water undid one cuff and Josh was flipped back onto his back and his arm was pulled over his head and there was a click as it was attached to a ring on the bed. The other guard pulled another pair of handcuffs out and did the same with Josh’s other wrist. Josh was now handcuffed to the bed with his arms over his head. The struggle had bunched up the gown so it was around his neck and he was completely exposed. The guards got off him and then he felt intense pain between his legs and he screamed. The guard who had fallen had just grabbed his balls and squeezed them. The pressure was released and Josh was sobbing with pain. He jerked on his arms as he went to grab for his crotch. He couldn’t move, but he did try to curl up a bit to protect his parts.

"That’ll teach you, you little shit."

"Go get Doctor Merrick. He needs to get the IV back in."

The guard returned a short time later with Doctor Merrick in tow. Josh was yelling and tried to struggle, but Lloyd and the other guard held him tight and Merrick soon had the IV started. Josh looked through tear filled eyes as he saw Merrick inject part of what was in the syringe into the IV bag and what was left he injected into a port on the IV line. Almost immediately things started going fuzzy for Josh once again. He tried to fight against it, but it was too strong and the blackness claimed him.

Josh slowly woke feeling very groggy when he felt someone doing something around his wrists. He was a little stiff from not being able to move while he slept. He opened his eyes and saw that Lloyd had unlocked the handcuffs that held him in place. He was then roughly grabbed and pulled up. His legs didn’t seem to work right and his balls ached from when the other guard had squeezed them. Lloyd tried to make him walk, but his legs gave out and if he hadn’t been held, he would have fallen. He heard the disgust in the voice that spoke.

"Shit. Just carry him, Lloyd."

Josh was picked up and slung over Lloyd’s shoulder and that’s how he left the building. Outside he saw that the sun was going down, so he figured he must have been out for several hours. He was dumped in the back of the cart and Lloyd got in back with him holding the IV bag. They drove to the small building and he was once again lifted up like a sack of potatoes and carried into the building. They were back in the same room and he was deposited in the chair with the straps. Lloyd strapped him down again. Even through his fogged brain, he remembered what happened the last time he was strapped down and he began to get scared. What if they killed him this time? Once he was secure, Lloyd stepped back. He looked around and saw that the same people were in the room. The Doctor guy, Merrick, was drawing some medicine from a bottle into a syringe. Archer and Kelly were standing nearby talked quietly and the guard was just watching him with no expression on his face. Josh was nothing to him. Merrick finished what he was doing and flicked the syringe a couple of times and squirted out some of the liquid before walking over to Josh. He bent over and injected the substance into Josh’s IV line.

"How long will it take Alistair?"

"Just a few minutes and he should be receptive to your questions."

Josh watched as Hank smiled and nodded his head. Hank looked at Josh with that predatory smile. "Well Josh, in just a few minutes, you’re going to tell me everything that I want to know and there is nothing you can do to stop that."

He chuckled a little and then turned his back on Josh to speak with Marcus some more. Josh was starting to feel weird and the room started tilting and moving around. He shook his head to try to clear it, but that didn’t seem to work. A few minutes later, Merrick nodded to Hank.

"He should be ready."


Hank found a stool and pulled it over next to Josh. He again gave Josh that predatory grin.

"Let’s talk, shall we Joshua?"

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