Marty was just sitting down to dinner when the doorbell rang. He got up to answer it and found Brett at the door along with a few other people. One of them looked familiar and it took him a few moments to place him. He was one of the guys that helped Brett and the others at Hunt Labs. He had them follow him into the house. When they came in sight of the dining room his wife was surprised at the sight of the people coming into the house. She looked back and forth between Marty and Brett, the only one of the group that she knew. She looked a little nervous because of the way they were all dressed. They were all in dark clothing and most of them were carrying or wearing guns, even the two boys. The difference between them was that Brett, Sean and Mac weren’t wearing assault vests and had a computer bag over their shoulders. Brett and Sean had holstered pistols. Mac and Virginia were the only ones unarmed.
"Honey, what’s going on?"
Marty went over to her and put his hands on her shoulders. He glanced at Isaac who was looking scared and starting to react to the worry that he could hear in his mom’s voice. Marty waved for him to come over to him and he put his arm around Isaac and pulled him close.
"Don’t worry. These are friends."
"But why are they here dressed like that and carrying guns. Are they FBI?"
"No, uh, damn."
He looked at Brett.
"Can you give me a few minutes?"
Brett nodded and led them to the living room. Marty took his wife to his study. He wasn’t sure what to do with his son. Sean came to the rescue.
"Hi, I was told that your name is Isaac. Come and sit here with me and let’s see what games I have on my laptop while your mom and dad talk for a couple of minutes. We’re friends."
Isaac looked at his dad and Marty nodded as he gave Sean a silent nod of thanks. Sean smiled and led Isaac over to sit down on the couch and got the laptop going. Marty closed the door behind him. They could hear muffled voices, mostly Marty’s on the other side of the door. Twenty minutes later, the door opened and they rejoined everyone. They could see that Melody’s eyes were a little red and she had a tissue in her hand.
"Mel knows now."
Brett nodded and Melody went up to him. She placed her hand on his arm and looked him in the eyes. "I can’t believe there are people like that who think that they can do whatever they want. I know Marty can take care of himself, but keep him safe. I wish you luck in getting your boy back."
"Th...thank you ma’am. We mean to do just that."
She looked at the others in the room and stopped when she saw Dakota standing next to Sean with his hand on Sean’s shoulder and an MP5 slung on his back.
"You should leave the two boys here to keep them safe."
"Sorry ma’am. I wish I could, but they are important in getting the boy back. We need them, but I assure you, they will be well protected. They only have guns just in case there is a problem and they need to protect themselves. They are well trained, but they are staying out of harm’s way as much as possible. Sean, the red headed boy is our computer genius, we need him and Dakota would shoot me if I tried to keep him from being there to protect Sean."
Dakota looked up and nodded fiercely.
She shook her head. "But they’re just boys."
"Yes, they are, and the missing boy is practically their brother, because of the connection that they share. If I left them behind, they would find some way to follow us. Its better they are with us. Trust me. They will be safe. Don’t worry."
She still didn’t believe, but knew that there was nothing she could do about it. Marty hugged her. The partially eaten dinner was forgotten.
"We should get going. We don’t want to be too late. The others are waiting on us."
Marty nodded and gave his wife a kiss and then went over to his son and gave him a hug and a kiss. Sean packed his laptop away and Melody went to sit beside her son.
"We’ll be back in a little while Mel. I’ll see you then."
She nodded silently and hugged Isaac to her side as they filed out of the house and followed Marty to his Silverado. Mac, Jim, Luke and Doc got in the back, which Marty had made bigger by removing the back seats, while the rest got into the seats. Brett got into the front passenger seat. Marty backed up and they were on their way. Very little was said as they drove to The Facility. When they were about a mile away, Marty pulled over, and using the blankets that were stacked in the back of the Silverado they concealed themselves. Sean and Dakota got down on the floor behind the front seats. Robbie and Virginia were between the next set of seats and Brett went to the back with other men. Marty looked everyone over to see that they were concealed and then got out and checked to see if it was easy to see anything from the outside. When he was satisfied that everything looked good, he got in and continued to the front gate.
He pulled up at the small guard house and stopped. A guard came out. "Hey Marty. Is there a problem?"
"None that I’m aware of. I forgot something that I was supposed to get over to Mister Archer’s office before I left and he seemed to think it was important enough that it needed to be done today. I don’t want him chewing my ass out because I forgot it, so I thought I’d come in for a little bit and make sure it was done and then drop it off at his office before I head home for the night."
"Sounds good. You might be able to give it to him directly. Neither he, nor Mister Kelly, have left yet, at least I haven’t seen their cars leave yet."
"Well I suppose sometimes even the big bosses have to work late. See you Joe."
Behind them his passengers could hear the conversation and Brett perked up when he heard that Marcus and Hank were both still onsite. Maybe they could finish this up tonight. He was afraid that they would have to launch another operation to take care of those two. Brett wanted this to end tonight and never have to worry about anything ever again from those two, or the GRA, or any other acronym that they cared to use to hide their illegal activities.
As Marty drove off he gave a little half salute and a wink as he drove off. Joe returned the half salute and nodded as he went back into the guard shack and sat down. Marty turned to the left and headed to the large house on the south side of the property where the security offices were located. He pulled into the parking spot that had his name on it and stopped the vehicle. The parking spot was parallel to the building and next to a door, so he had parked so that the Silverado’s passenger side was near the building. He looked at the other cars in the area and noted that there weren’t too many.
Well it was time to do this. He turned to the back. "Okay we’re here. No one is in sight out front here. Let me go in and see who is here and I’ll open the door to my office and signal you when the coast is clear."
"Okay Marty, we’ll be waiting."
Marty got out and walked up to the front door. He saw that a couple of the off duty guards were watching a baseball game in the common room. He saw one of other guys coming in from the kitchen area and another coming down the stairs that led to the rooms upstairs. They waved at Marty.
"Hey guys. Forgot to get something done for Mister Archer, so I had to come back and get it done."
"Yeah, I understand. Don’t want to piss off the big boss."
The two joined the others in the common room to watch the game.
"You guys the only ones here?"
One of them absently nodded and answered without turning away from the TV. "Frank and Ted went into town to see a movie with their girlfriends."
"Oh, good for them. Who’s winning?"
Marty nodded and went down the short hall to his office, shutting the door behind him and locking it. He went to the door that lead outside and opened it. He looked around to see if anyone was in sight and walked over to the door of the vehicle and opened it. Those inside moved quickly into the building. Marty closed the door of the vehicle and then the door to the office. It was a little crowded with the ten of them in there, but they made do.
"Okay there are four guys here. Two of the guys are in town on dates, so I don’t think anyone else is here. The four guys are watching a baseball game in the common room. Besides the common room there is a kitchen, dining room, laundry room and large restroom. The top floor has six bedrooms and a large restroom and shower room."
Marty went to a door nearby and opened it. Inside was a gun safe, he worked the combination and opened it. He reached in and pulled a couple of small cases and rifle. He put them on his desk and opened them. Inside were two tranquilizer handguns. The rifle was a tranquilizer rifle.
"Here are some of our tranq guns. I’d like it if we can keep from killing anyone. So I got these out of storage and brought them here."
Jim, Doc and Luke picked the guns up and checked them over.
"The drug in the darts is powerful and fast acting. The GRA developed it years ago and have improved it over the years."
The men nodded.
"So we can get to the security server from this computer on your desk?"
Marty looked at Sean and nodded. Sean grinned and made his way over to the computer. He opened his case and took his laptop out and plugged a cable from his laptop into the computer. Then he took his two MYO and the Emotiv headset and put them on while he was booting up his computer and sat down in Marty’s chair. Brett meanwhile set up his computer and plugged it into another USB port on Marty’s computer and booted his up. He pulled up a chair and sat down. Mac took his laptop out and claimed another corner of the desk. He inserted an air card and connected a headset with mic into his laptop.
"Do you need me to login to my computer?"
Sean looked up and shook his head. Marty watched as Sean began his work and after a short time, he saw his computer login successfully. He looked at Sean and then his computer and then Sean. "Did you do that?"
Again Sean nodded and he and Brett got to work in getting into the security systems. Mac got his going and a window opened up on his screen it was a Skype call.
"Okay, we’re in Terry, let everyone know. I’ll keep you informed. Have you gotten into the 911 system?"
"Yep, I’m monitoring. Any call that comes in about your area will be shunted to me."
"Good make sure you let us know if you get one. So far we’re fine. Once Sean and Brett get the security systems under their control, we’ll start the ball rolling. Stand by."
Mac looked up. "Terry is monitoring 911 and any calls to 911 from anywhere near here will be shunted to him first. He’ll either handle the call or he’ll forward it to a regular 911 operator."
Brett nodded. The three men and Dakota made sure their weapons were ready to go and waited for the go signal. Marty looked back and forth at what everyone was doing. Sean looked like he was waving his arms around a bit and occasionally typing something on his laptop. It took about five minutes before anyone said anything.
"Okay, we’ve got the server. Do you know the password to the server?"
Marty shook his head.
"It shouldn’t take long."
Sean worked a little longer and then looked at Brett.
"I’m in, here’s the access info."
He sent a link to Brett’s computer.
"Brett could you work on shutting down the electricity to the fence. I’m going to work on checking access points and security cameras in the lab."
Brett nodded and a few minutes later, "Got it. Fence is off and locked down so that it can’t be turned on. I’ll help with the security cameras."
Sean nodded acknowledgement. He looked at up at Dakota and got a quick kiss before Dakota joined the men.
"Okay, they’re ready."
Jim looked at the other two. "Let’s do this. Dakota, remember you’re back up. Don’t fire unless it is absolutely necessary. By necessary, I mean one of them has a gun and is going to shoot us. Otherwise stay back. Got it?"
Jim nodded and went to the door. The four of them, including Dakota, pulled their balaclavas down and Jim eased the door open and the sound of the baseball game and the voices of the men in the common room carried into the office. Jim motioned for them to follow carefully. Luckily the floor was carpeted, so they made no sound. The way the men were situated in the common room watching the game, none were facing the hall. Jim looked at the layout before turning to Doc and Luke. He pointed at Doc and then pointed at his target, pointed at Luke and pointed at his target and then pointed at himself and his target. They acknowledged his orders and continued their careful move forward. When they got to the end of the hall, they took position and fired. The sound of compressed air was drowned by the sounds of the TV as the three darts hit their targets. The men exchanged their tranq guns for their MP5’s and moved into the room. Their movement forward coincided with the three targets putting their hands up to where they were hit and saying ‘Ow’ as they pulled the dart out and then slumped forward. The one that hadn’t been targeted looked around when he heard his friends and when he did he saw the men come into the room. He started to stand up, but Jim pointed his MP5 at him and motioned for him to sit back down. While Jim covered the one guy, Luke and Doc took out zip ties and began to secure all four, including gags, starting with the conscious guy. Once they were secured, Jim pointed at Dakota and pointed at the conscious guy. Dakota nodded and stepped forward. Meanwhile Jim and the other two reloaded the tranq guns and Robbie and Virginia moved into the room. They were all startled to see a sword in Virginia’s hand. She went with Robbie as he moved to each of the men and put his hands on them. When he got to the conscious man, soon after placing his hands on the man’s head, they saw his eyes flutter a little before closing. The man appeared to be asleep. Keeping his voice low he looked at Jim.
"That should hold them. Dakota should stay with us while you check the rest of the house."
"What did you do, a Vulcan nerve pinch."
Robbie smiled and shook his head. "Nope, just a little trick I learned. They’ll be out for a little while."
Jim nodded and directed Luke and Doc to check upstairs while he checked the main floor. It took them just a few minutes. When they returned they removed their balaclavas and Jim nodded.
"We’re secure. Go back to the office and let ‘em know we’re secure here Dakota. Luke, go to that door from the kitchen and keep watch on the back. Doc, go upstairs and do over watch for us. Keep an eye out from up there. I’ll watch the front."
They all nodded and headed to their positions. Jim looked at Robbie and Virginia, especially the Scottish Broadsword in her hand. "Where in the hell did you have that?"
"A lassie’s gotta have her secrets."
Dakota went to the office. "We’re secure. No one’s hurt."
Mac looked back at the computer. "Give the gate team the go signal and tell the others to standby."
Patrick answered the call and nodded. He looked at Sean.
"Security building is secure, time to go."
Sean nodded and started up the Jeep and headed toward the front gate. He pulled in and stopped. The guard came out as Sean opened the door with a map in his hand. Shayna got out on the passenger side and moved around the car to join her husband.
"Sorry to bother you son, but I think we’re lost."
Sean spread the map out on the hood of the jeep and started pointing to it. Joe moved forward to see what the man was pointing at. He suddenly froze as he felt something sharp and metallic pressing into his neck underneath his chin. He looked down and saw that the older lady had a sword in her hand and it was pressed up against his neck. She was smiling, except for her very serious eyes.
"I have no problem pushing this up into your neck. You’re part of a group hurting young people. I have no sympathy for you."
He swallowed a couple of times. "I....I know. I’m with Marty, uh...Mister Swift. He....he told me he could get us out of here. The...they said they’d kill me and my parents, if I left."
Shayna looked at Sean for a few moments as he looked steadily at the guard. After a few moments he nodded and she removed the point of the saber from his neck, but kept it ready. Patrick moved around the Jeep until he was nearby, his gun covering the guard. Joe just stood there.
"I swear, I’m with Mister Swift. He told me that you could help us get out of here and we won’t ever have to worry about these people ever again. That we’ll be safe."
Sean put a hand on his arm. "I believe you Joe. We’ll do what we can."
Joe looked at Sean with surprise.
"Ho...how’d you know my name?"
Sean smiled and squeezed his arm.
"It’s on you nametag son."
He looked down at his chest with a sheepish grin.
"Oh, uh yeah. Is it okay to call Mister Swift and let him know that everything’s good here."
Sean nodded and they followed Joe into the guard shack. He picked up the phone and pushed a number on the phone.
While Sean and Joe went inside the shack, Patrick sidled up to Shayna and whispered. "Where in the hell did you have that sword?’
She just gave him a smile and a little pat on the cheek. "Don’t you worry about it young man. I never go anywhere without it. It comes in handy when a lady needs her protection."
Behind them Cody giggled. Patrick looked at him and when he looked back at Shayna he saw a bit of a mischievous look on her face as she looked at Cody. When he turned back the sword was nowhere in sight. He looked around her and she just smiled at him.
In Marty’s office the phone rang and startled everyone. They looked at Marty, who had a worried look on his face. They waited to see what he would do. He looked at them and then reached for the phone and picked it up.
Marty hung up the phone and looked at the others.
"You’re people are at the front gate."
"What do you mean?"
"That was Joe, the guard at the front gate. He’s a good friend, you can trust him. He wants out of this too. They threatened him like they threatened me. I told him that you could help us. I’m sorry, but I wanted to save him. He hates it here."
Brett looked at Marty and finally nodded.
Out at the guard shack, Joe and Sean came back outside. "Let’s go on up to the security house. Patrick, would you mind staying here with our friend Joe?"
Patrick gave Joe a smile. It wasn’t an overly friendly smile and caused Joe to take a couple of swallows. "No problem."
Patrick motioned for Joe to go back in the shack. Once inside, Joe opened the gate and Sean, Shayna and Cody drove through, turning in the direction of the Security House. They parked near the front and went inside. Cody went over to his parents while Sean and Shayna went to the office.
"We left Patrick at the gate with Joe. They’ll be fine. Joe’s a good guy."
Brett looked out the window. It was dark enough now. "Okay. Let’s tell the others."
Jim, who had returned to the office after securing the building, nodded and got on their tac radio. "The fence is down, time to move in."
On the north side Tom acknowledged the message and turned to the others. "Time to go."
They moved forward and quickly cut through the links of the fence and pulled it apart. Once they were through they pulled the pieces together as best as they could. With some bailing wire closed they closed the gap so that at a casual glance the fence looked intact, in case a guard came by. Once they were satisfied with their arrangement of the fence, they turned and looked at the office building. It was about fifty yards across open ground to get to the side of the house. On their side of the building was a small parking area and there were two cars parked there.
Jake turned to Trevor. "Can you see anyone nearby?"
Trevor concentrated for a few moments and then started scanning the areas nearby. "There’s a guard with a dog at that corner of the fence over there and they’re coming this way."
"Okay, we need to stay low and move fast people. Hopefully it’s dark enough that we won’t stand out too much. We’ll head to the corral fence to the left, skirt along it and then run to the house. We’ll try to use those two cars to block the guard’s line of sight. I know we’re trying to keep casualties down, but we need to be prepared to take out the guard and the dog to keep the alarm from going off."
Tom nodded agreement and they began moving along the fence until they were near the corral. It was just a short distance to the corral fence. Jake and Tom went first and lay down near it pointing their guns in the direction of the guard and his dog. The boys went next two at a time and ran past the two older men before dropping to the ground. They waited to see if they had been spotted when no challenge was made, they began moving along the corral fence, Tom and Jake watched their six until they had the cars between them and the guard. Trevor did a quick check and confirmed that they were in position. The six of them crouching low hurried from the corral fence to the cars and knelt down behind them. They carefully looked through the windows of the cars to where the guard was walking. They all could see him now.
As he walked they saw the dog stop and his ears perked up. The dog started looking around as if he was trying to see something. They saw the guard stop and pull a flashlight out. They could hear the guard say something to the dog, but they were too far away to make it out. The guard swept the flashlight back and forth as they held their breath. After a minute or so, the guard turned off the flashlight and he and the dog continued on their patrol. They six let out a breath, but kept an eye on the guard until they were far enough away. They turned to the house and saw a door on that side of the house. They moved swiftly to the door and while the others kept watch Jake pulled out a lock pick and began to work on the lock. It only took about thirty seconds and the door was unlocked. He held it open as the others went in. He closed it behind them and they found themselves inside what looked like a small, well appointed, kitchen. No one was in there. There was a door across the room and they moved quietly across the room to the door.
Jake looked at Trevor "Anyone on the other side?"
Trevor closed his eyes for a few moments and cocked an ear toward the door. After a minute he opened them and nodded. "Not on the other side of the door. A bit farther away, maybe near the main door."
"Probably a security guard. Okay, quietly, follow me."
Jake pushed through the door and moved forward quietly. Tom held the door open until everyone was through and then closed it behind them. They found themselves in a dining room. They could see toward the front of the house into an entry foyer. There was a desk facing the main door and sitting at the desk was a security guard with his back to them. Jake moved carefully and moved his hand to the back of his neck. There was a little flare of light and then his hand was drawing a katana from what appeared to be thin air. He moved forward slowly without making a sound. Right behind him was Trevor. Jake stepped up behind the guard.
The guard whipped around, his hand going to his gun, but he froze when he felt cold steel against the side of his throat. His eyes looked down and then followed the shining steel to where it ended in Jake’s grip.
Jake smiled. "Evening."
A look crossed the guards face and Jake saw it. He pushed forward a little and the point went into his neck slightly causing him to wince.
"Don’t even think about it. My sword would be out the back of your neck before you could even twitch. Trevor, if you would."
Trevor stepped up behind the guard and placed his hand at the juncture of the guard’s shoulder and neck. The guard wanted to see what he was doing, but the katana was keeping him still. Zach placed his hand on Trevor’s back and Trevor closed his eyes. A few seconds later, the guard’s eyes rolled up into his head and Trevor caught him as he fell and guided him to the floor. They quickly removed his gun and pulled some zip ties out to tie his hands and feet. Tom pulled a strip of cloth from his vest and they gagged him.
"How long until he wakes up?"
"Not too long. I stopped the flow of blood for just long enough to knock him out."
"J and J, you guys stay here. Keep an eye out the front. If anyone comes in I leave it up to you, to take them down or call for help. If there are too many, call for help."
"Let’s make sure the guard is behind the desk where you can keep your eye on him."
"Okay, Trevor and Zach, you guys check downstairs, when you’re done, come back here and help the J’s. Tom and I will check upstairs."
They all nodded and went to check their areas. It took about five minutes for Trevor and Zach to return and join the others. Five minutes after that, Jake and Tom came back downstairs.
"Clear upstairs. There is an office and a living area, like an apartment that takes up most of the top floor. What did you guys find?"
"There’s an office next to a bathroom and then in the other direction is a nice sized conference room with what looks like a secretary’s desk outside of a large office with an attached bathroom. There is also a small room with a bed in it attached to the office. Everything’s clear."
Jake nodded and keyed his tactical radio. "Main this is North."
The radio gave a faint crackle and they could all hear the reply. "Main."
"Okay. Tom, you and the J’s hold here unless we need you. I’ll take Trev and Zach with me and will join up with West."
"Okay Jake, but you need help call right away, we’ll be there."
"I know. Let’s go boys."
Jake went to the front door, opened it slightly, and looked outside. No one was in sight and he waved for the two guys to follow him. They went outside and down the steps and then along the front of the building. They knew from the recon that Gabe had done, that at this time of day, the guards were usually on the perimeter rather than walking around this part of the grounds. At the front corner of the house they paused before running to a line of trees that ran along the road toward the main building. At the last tree near the entrance, the crouched down and waited for the West team.
When they got the notice from the Security team, they moved to the fence, George and Aldo made quick work cutting through the fence and they slipped through it.
Ethan hissed and pointed. "Someone’s coming."
They all crouched down against the fence. Because of the way the fence followed the edge of forest, there was a spur of the forest that pushed into property. They would be hidden from the person until he was right on top of them. Aldo and Eric slipped forward and waited. A few moments later a guard came around the edge of the fence and the two of them jumped him. Eric clamped his hand around the guys mouth and nose, brought a knife up from below and into his heart giving it a little twist. The guard went down and didn’t move. They dragged the body back through the cut fence and hid it in the trees. Gabe nodded as they lightly closed the opening in the fence. Gabe led the way as they did a crouched run from the trees until they were beside a corral fence.
They moved along the corral until they were near the back corner of the lab building. This side of the building had what looked like a horse barn attached to it. They stopped and checked around the area to make sure it was clear and then they began to move along the wall of the building. They came to the front corner and crouched down as Gabe studied the area. As he looked to the north he saw a movement from a line of trees nearby and brought his gun up.
Ethan’s voice stopped him. "It’s some of the North guys."
The shadows that Gabe had seen moving toward him resolved into Jake and two of the young guys.
"Jake, ready to do this?"
Gabe looked back at Ethan and nodded.
Ethan returned the nod and over in the security building Sean got everyone’s attention.
"They’re near the door."
Sean looked at his computer and made some motions with his arms and then stopped. He looked at the others.
"I told Ethan that the door is open. They should be in. I warned him about the guard just inside the door. Also, I’ve looked on the cameras, but I haven’t seen Josh."
Brett nodded. "I haven’t either, but they don’t seem to have cameras in every room, so he should be in one of them."
Sean nodded and turned to watch the monitors on the computer screens.
Out by the building corner, Ethan patted Gabe on the back.
"The door’s open. There’s a guard just inside the door. He’s armed."
Gabe nodded, pointed at George and Eric, and then motioned for them to follow him. He slipped around the corner and hurried to the door. Gabe put his hand on the door and when George was set, he pulled the door open and George rushed through. There was a sound of a scuffle and then silence. Eric had followed George in and looked back out to Gabe and nodded. Gabe looked at the corner and waved the others forward. The rest of them hurried through the open door.
Once everyone was through, Gabe pulled the door open and keyed his mic. "Lock the door. We’re in."
At the security building, Brett sent a command that locked the door to the lab. Gabe looked at his team. George had the desk guard zip tied and gagged. Gabe quickly gave his orders. He asked Jake if he could hold the door. Jake nodded. Gabe took Jamie, Ian and Eric with him. He put George, Aldo, Logan, Dylan and Ethan together to go down the other hallway. Both teams moved out. Gabe and his group took directions from Sean as they made their way through the place in one direction. Brett gave directions to George and his group.
George led his team down the hall. They all had guns out, and they moved quietly. As they came to a door he would have the two boys stand to one side of the door, while he took the other side. He would bring his gun to the ready and one of the boys would pull the door open. As they made their way down the hall, they found a few small labs. Each lab was empty of anyone. They found lab equipment and exam rooms, but no people. After they cleared each room, George would lead them quietly to the next room.
As they neared a corner, George held up his hand and motioned for the boys to move to one side of the corridor and hold still. They heard steps coming toward them. George motioned for the two boys to stay still. They heard footsteps coming from around the corner and saw him crouch down slightly. The boys watched as George swung into action. A guard came around a corner and George leaped straight up and kicked out, catching the guard on the point of the chin, snapping the man’s head back. He followed it with a couple of quick strikes to the guard’s head, snapped it back again and the man went down. George and Aldo dragged the guard into one of the labs and use zip ties that they had with them to secure him. George pulled out a strip of cloth and gagged him as well. George took the guards pistol and extra magazines. Once the guard was secure they resumed the advance through the complex.
As they continued around the corner, they came to the next door, when Ethan opened it and George went through he stopped just inside and looked. The room was lit by a few dim lights and it looked like a dorm room that you would see in a boarding school. There were several beds and they were occupied by little kids who were fast asleep. George had the two boys wait at the door, while he moved through the room. There were seven occupied beds in the room. George moved quietly looked down at each sleeping child. They all looked to be about five years old. He carefully backed out of the room and closed the door.
He motioned for the two boys to follow him as he continued down the hall. The next door opened into what looked like a playroom. There were toys around the room and a big screen TV with a bunch of small chairs and bean bag chairs on a thick carpet at one end of the room. No one was there so they backed out of the room and continued down the hall. Further down the hall was a room that looked something like a classroom. The next room was a small dining room with attached kitchen. There was another door that led from the kitchen. George had the boys watch the inside door while he went to the further door. He was able to look outside a small window in the door and see that it looked out over the back part of the property. He rejoined the two boys and led them back to the front of the building.
Gabe led the way down the hall with Jamie and Ian in the middle and Eric watching their back. As they moved down the hall from the front, they saw several doors down the corridor. They moved to each door, Gabe stood ready, while Eric opened the door and then covered him from outside. For the first few doors they found them to be some offices, with small windows in the door. One of the doors led into a large lab with several testing stations and workbenches. One of them had an MRI machine in it and another had a conference room in it. They backed out and headed farther down the hall.
They came to a door that locked with a keypad lock. Gabe tried the door but it was locked. He keyed his mic. "Main, can you see us?"
"Can you open this door? It has a keypad lock on it."
"Give me a moment?"
Gabe and Eric kept looking down the corridor while they waited. Gabe heard a click from the lock and he slowly pushed the door open. Inside they saw a bed. The sheets were rumpled like someone had just gotten up from it. They left the room and went to the next door down the hall. It was labeled restroom. Gabe slowly opened the door and heard someone inside the room. He looked over his shoulder and held his finger up. Gabe opened the door slowly and looked inside. They all heard a flush from inside a stall. Gabe and Eric pointed their guns at the stall door and waited. The door opened and the man who walked out was obviously a guard. He had his head down as he buckled his belt. Because his head was down he saw Gabe and Eric’s shoes before he saw them and he stopped suddenly to look up, took a step back and froze at the gun that was inches from his nose. He quickly raised his hands. Gabe kept him covered while Eric moved around behind him and took his gun from the guard’s holster.
Gabe smiled at the man. "Where’s the boy?"
"Uhhhh....i don’t know who you’re talking about?"
Eric kicked the man in the side of the knee. There was a crack and the guard went down. Eric holstered his gun and pulled a large knife. He grabbed the guard by the hair, pulling his head back until he was looking up at Eric. He snarled as he laid the tip of the knife at the edge of the guard’s eye. "You don’t get another chance. Where....is....my....nephew!"
The man stared through pain filled eyes at the knife poised to plunge into his eye. "He....he’s in the....special projects building?"
"Which one is that?"
"The...long building....at the back.....of the property."
"Is it locked?"
"Key....key card access."
"Where’s the key card to access it?"
"Mister Archer and Doctor Merrick."
"Where are they?"
"In the special projects building...with...with the kid."
Eric looked at Gabe, and with a quick movement Eric reversed the knife, pushed the guard’s head forward quickly and brought the knife hilt down hard behind the guard’s ear, knocking him out. Using his zip ties, they tied the guard’s hands behind him and his feet together and gagged him with a cloth strip.
"Main. Can you access the building in the back? It is key card access and is called special projects. Josh is there along with Archer and Merrick, probably Kelly as well."
"I’ll see what I can do."
"Okay, we’re going to head in that direction. Let me know when you can open it."
Gabe turned around and they headed back to the front of the lab. He rejoined Jake and his boys at the front, just as George and his group rejoined those at the front.
"Find anything George?"
"Yeah, one guard and a bunch of kids asleep."
"Those must be the ones we saw during the recon."
He described the layout, with the dorm style room, play room, school room, dining room and kitchen. He described the kids as sleeping in the dorm room and the guard tied up in another room. Gabe told them that they found out where Josh was being held, from the guard that they had found. It was the long building in the back of the property.
"The door into the building is key card access and Main is going to try to open it for us. The only people with the key card are Archer and Merrick. We’re going to head over there now and wait for Main to open the door. Don’t know what we’re going to do about the kids, but we’ve gotta get over to that building. Archer and Merrick have him in the building."
They checked that they had everything and started toward the door. Just as they reached it, there was a beep and the door was opened. Everyone froze for a second. The guard who was just about to enter brought his rifle up, Gabe was faster and fired a quick burst of the MP 5 that he was carrying. The guard flew backward to land outside on the ground. In other parts of the property they heard some shouting.
"Shit. C’mon, let’s get over to that building. Jake, can you guys stay here and watch over the guards and kids?"
"We’ll keep ‘em safe."
"Thanks, I’ll leave them in your hands. Eric you’re sweep, watch our six. Boys, you’re between us. If there is any firing, let us do it, you only fire if there is no choice or I say so, not before."
"Good luck Gabe. We’ll be here."
Jake turned to his guys. "Let’s go make sure those kids have a restful sleep."
Jake and his crew headed down the hall. Gabe went to the door and looked outside for a few moments before turning to the others and motioned for them to follow him. Outside the building they headed to the right and along the side of the building, keeping in the shadow of the building the best that that they could as they headed toward the Special Projects building. The men had their MP 5’s in the ready position and the boys had their handguns out, except Jamie. He didn’t carry one because his ability with his talent was enough for him. He carried a pistol in a holster just in case.
As they came to each corner of the building, Gabe would hold his hand up to stop them while he checked to see if it was clear before having them move forward. They saw some smaller sheds near the building. They ran across the road that led to the Special Projects building and crouched down by another corral fence. Gabe led them, moving carefully along the fence until they were close enough to run to the sheds. They got behind the sheds just as a guard ran by. The guard was heading toward main lab building. When he was sure it was clear, Gabe motioned for them to follow him and they ran to the side of the Special Projects building. They got to the door and found that it had a key pad.
"Main, I’m at the Special Projects building. Can you open the door?
"No can do. I can’t find any connection in the security server to the door so that I can open it. The whole building appears to be separated from everything else."
Gabe looked at the doorway and shook his head. "The door looks like its reinforced steel. We can’t break it down. We need to get in there."
"Wait a minute. Marty thinks he may be able to get you in there."
"Okay. What do we do?"
"Wait there, he’ll be there in a minute or two."
They moved around and crouched in the shadows of the corner of the building as they waited.
In the security building Marty checked his pistol and grabbed a radio before going out of the office.
"Wait. I’m going with you." Brett stood up. "I want to talk to Archer."
Marty nodded and waited for Brett to join him before going outside. As they crossed the grounds, one of the other guards came up to him.
"Marty, what are you doing here and who’s this?"
"I had something I needed to get done for Mister Archer that I forgot about and came back after dinner to finish up. He’s from the DC office. Kelly called for him to come out here. What’s going on?"
"I don’t know. I was heading to the Lab. I thought I heard a gunshot."
"Let’s take a look."
The three of them walked to the main building. When they got close, they saw the guard lying on the ground in front of the door. The guard started running toward the body on the ground. He bent down to check him and didn’t find a pulse. He looked up at Marty and found Marty’s gun inches from his face.
"What the fuck?"
"Get up Jerry."
Jerry nodded and slowly got up.
"Turn around slowly."
Jerry carefully turned around. Marty placed his gun at the back of Jerry’s neck and then quickly reached down and took Jerry’s gun out of his holster.
"Okay Jerry, we’re going to take a walk to the Special Projects building. Keep your hands down and go ahead."
Jerry looked at him before turning around and heading toward the building. Marty never took his eyes off of Jerry.
"I have an idea. Do you have contact with your people?"
Brett nodded and pulled out a radio.
Marty brought his radio up.
"Security personnel, this is Swift, report to the security office."
He looked at Brett.
"Tell them to be ready."
Brett nodded and relayed the information. When it was acknowledged, he nodded to Marty.
"They’ll take care of it."
Marty gave Jerry a push with his gun.
Gabe and his team were waiting for Marty, and started to stand up when they saw three people coming their way and were interrupted by a voice behind them.
"Hey! Hold it right there."
All of them froze, except Josh, who turned around and pushed his hands out as if he was pushing the guy. Before he knew what was happening the guard found himself lifted off his feet and he was flying backwards over the fence where he slammed into a tree with a loud crack as the branch he hit fell to the ground along with the guard. They looked at Josh, who had a bit of a shocked look on his face as well.
"Sorry. I had to do something. I didn’t want him to shoot any of us."
Gabe nodded. "Don’t worry about it. George, go take a look."
George ran to the fence and saw that the guard appeared out. There was a gate nearby, so he cut the chain and hurried to the guard’s side. He checked him and found that he was breathing. He took the man’s gun and rejoined the others.
"He’s out. I’ve got his gun."
"Okay, let’s go meet Marty."
They got up and headed to the three men who were walking up to the building. They saw that there was a guard walking in front of Marty and the other person was Brett. They joined the three men.
When they got closer, Jerry looked at them. His eyes opened wide when he saw Eric and boys.
"Hey, what the fuck, you’re dead."
He didn’t get much farther because Eric jumped forward and hit him in the head with the butt of his MP 5, driving him to the ground where he lay groaning.
Eric bent down over him, and pointed the gun in his face. "Son of a bitch. I should kill you now for what you did."
"Eric, no. We have something more important to take care of first."
Eric nodded to Brett and flipped Jerry over onto his stomach while he was still dazed and quickly used some zip ties to bind his hands tightly behind him. He yanked him up from the ground and dragged him over to the door to the building and pushed him against the wall.
Eric put the muzzle of his gun underneath Jerry’s chin. "Is my boy in that building?"
Jerry gave a slight nod."
Marty stepped up. "Who else is in there?"
"Archer, Kelly, and Merrick."
"Who else? I know they’ll have a guard with them. Who is it?"
Eric jammed the muzzle into his chin causing his head to move up.
Marty nodded like he was expecting that. He looked at Gabe. "I thought so. Lloyd is Archer’s go to guy. He probably has a radio, I’ll see if I can raise him."
Eric kept the pressure against Jerry’s neck.
"Not a sound. You say anything and your brains are going to decorate the wall. Nod if you understand."
Jerry nodded slightly, since he couldn’t move his head much because of the pressure of the gun.
Marty nodded and brought the radio up from his belt. "Lloyd, do you read me?"
"Swift? I thought that was you on the radio. What are you doing here?"
"Had something I needed to get done. I was told by Jerry that Mister Archer was in there. I’ve got something to show him. It’s important."
"What’s going on out there?"
"Nothing really, some idiot tried to drive through the gate. He’s probably drunk, and thought he was driving into his own driveway, but it’s being handled."
"Okay. Wait one."
They moved next to the door and waited. A moment later they heard a click and the door opened with Lloyd in the doorway. Marty shoved his way into the room causing Lloyd to stumble back. As he stumbled back Lloyd drew his pistol and fired at Marty, striking him in the stomach and slamming him against the opened door, causing it to open further. Gabe gave Lloyd a burst from his MP 5, putting him down, and the rest of them piled into the room as Marty slowly slid down the opened door.
Gabe looked down at Marty as they entered. "Ian, take care of him."
In the room, they saw Merrick sitting on a high stool behind Archer, who was standing next to where Josh was strapped to a chair wearing a hospital gown with an IV line running from his arm. Over to the side was Marcus, who had a pad of paper in his hand and was writing something down. Josh looked glassy eyed as he looked at them. Before anyone could say anything, Hank and Marcus both reached into their jackets. There was the sound of a gun being fired and Marcus slumped back against the wall and slid down. There was a splatter of blood on the wall behind him that smeared down the wall as he slowly slid down and slumped to the side. The gun that he had pulled from under his jacket clattered to the ground. Marty let the hand holding his gun drop to the ground. Alistair was cowering at the back of the room with his hands over his head.
When Hank pulled his gun out from under his coat, he stepped up behind Josh, grabbed his hair and put the gun to Josh’s head.
"Hold it, or I’ll decorate the wall with the kid’s brains."
Everyone froze. Eric slammed his MP 5 against the back of Jerry’s head and let him drop to the floor. He pointed it at Hank. The smell of gunpowder filled the room.
"Well hello Brett. I was planning on visiting you soon after Josh here told us about everyone. Very clever."
"Hello Hank. You really don’t think you’re going to get away with this?"
"Of course I will. I have a lot of friends in high places. What are you going to do, call the police? I have friends who can control the police. So don’t think you can do anything about it."
"Hank, your best bet right now would be to take that gun and use it on yourself. Once I finish exposing what you’ve been doing for so many years, they’ll put you in the deepest, darkest hole that they can find, that is if they don’t execute you."
"Hah. I’ll be just fine. I know where the bodies are buried." Hank looked around at the others that came in with him.
"Jamie, could you help me." They glanced at Ian who had opened Marty’s shirt and was holding some large gauze pads against Marty’s stomach where he’d been shot.
Jamie glanced at Josh and went to Ian’s side. "Like we did it before."
Jamie nodded and put his hand over the hole as Ian removed the gauze pads. From where he stood with Josh shielding him, Hank watched in fascination as he saw the two boys close their eyes. A minute later, Josh stood back up holding a bullet in his hand that he dropped on the ground. Ian nodded and put his hands over the wound and got to work. No one said anything as they watched Ian. Alistair stood up and took a step forward so he could see what was going on.
A short time later, Marty looked at Ian with shock as Ian sat back and got up. Marty was feeling around and looking at his stomach and then looking at Ian. Ian helped him stand up. "He’ll be okay."
"Impressive Brett. He healed him, very impressive. So what can Josh here do? We hadn’t gotten to that part yet in our little conversation. He did tell us that you were all living in the same town. How coincidental that you all live in the same town. Your doing?"
"Once I found where everyone was living, I tried to get them all together, so yes, partly anyway. Now Hank, let the boy go and you can walk away. At least for a little while...."
"You leave a scratch on him and I promise you that you will regret it for the short amount of time that you have left on this world. Because I will arrange your trip to hell right here, right now."
Hank shook his head. "Mister Barrett. I see that reports of your demise were a mistake. I’ll have to talk to Lloyd about his follow through, oh, I can’t. Well, I’ll find someone and next time, they’ll be more thorough."
"There won’t be a next time. Get your hands off him. Josh! Josh! It’s me Jamie."
Jamie’s cries seemed to reach Josh a little and his eyes seemed to focus a little more. "Jamie?"
Hank looked at Josh and then at Jamie. "Jamie huh. I’m guessing that means your name is James."
He looked back and forth between Brett and Jamie. "That would make him your son. Young James, pleased to meet you."
"Let him go."
"Oh, I will, once I’m out of here. But we’ll talk about that later."
He leaned down, bringing his face close to Josh. "So Joshua, can James do anything?"
"Josh, fight him, fight the drugs that they have in you. Burn the drugs out of your blood. Burn ‘em out."
Jamie could see Josh struggling to push the effect of the drug away and he started to smile a little. "That’s it Josh."
Hank pushed the gun tight against Josh’s head. "Let’s not get any funny ideas. We’re in a negotiation here. I’ll tell you what I want and then you’ll give it to me and everyone will go away happy. Well, I will have to have my little friend here with me. If you give me everything I want, then perhaps I’ll give him back to you in one piece."
Hank pointed his gun at Jamie for a moment before returning it to Josh’s temple. "You, Jamie. Come over here and undo the straps on Josh."
Jamie looked at Brett and he nodded for Jamie to do what Hank said. Jamie started toward Josh.
Hank yanked Josh’s hair. "Slowly now son. You wouldn’t want me to get nervous and have an accident. Jamie stopped and shook his head.
"Good, then undo the straps, very slowly."
Jamie started forward again. He knelt down and undid Josh’s legs. While he did that, he put his hand on Josh’s leg, just above the strap.
< C’mon Josh. Fight it off. I love you. >
< I love you too, Jamie. I’ll try. >
Jamie got up and undid Josh’s arms.
Hank waved him back. "Well Brett, if you want the chance to ever see this young boy back you will back away and let us go. When I’m finished getting all the information that I can out of young Josh here, you can have him back. Maybe I’ll leave you alone and maybe I’ll want to study some more of the boys. I guarantee if you don’t let us go Josh will meet an unfortunate end. I don’t think we want this. In fact, why don’t you come work for me and you can watch over him. Of course, I’ll want all of your research notes. So what do you say? You’ll be well paid. I’m sure I can get all of you a position. We can use you."
Brett just stared at Hank for a few moments. "No deal Hank. Jamie....gun."
Jamie held his hand out and Archer’s gun flew from his hand into Jamie’s. Archer could only look down at his empty hand and then at the boy who now held his gun. His grip on Josh’s hair loosened because of the shock of what had just happened.
Josh jumped up from the chair, pulling free of Hank’s grasp and grabbed his coat in both hands.
"You’re not going to do anything to anyone!"
Josh stared at Archer for a few moments with anger suffusing his face and then suddenly Archer’s jacket caught fire. He stumbled back and tried to rip the jacket off, but his shirt caught fire and he was soon wreathed in fire and was screaming. Everyone scrambled back and backed out of the building. Alistair stumbled after them. Eric dragged the unconscious Jerry as they exited the building. Inside they could hear the screams as Hank Archer was consumed. They backed away, still dragging Jerry. When they were far enough away they stopped and looked back at the building. They could see the fire starting to light up the inside of the building. Brett looked at the others. Alistair was kneeling in front of Marty with Marty’s gun at his head.
"We need to get everything we can and get out of here. That fire will be noticeable soon." Brett went over to Alistair and nudged him with his foot. "As for you Alistair, I think that after I’m done with you, you’ll be lucky to get a job bagging groceries, that is if you ever get out of prison. It will probably federal, so more than likely you’ll get a death sentence for what you have done. So a few years from now, you won’t even be a memory."
He walked over to Gabe. "Gabe, find out if the vans are here and tell everyone to grab every computer that they can. Sean should head over to the Lab and try to get on the main server and pull everything out of it that he can and erase them. We want to get the young kids out of the lab. We can take them in the vans with us. We’ll figure out what to do with them once we have them safe."
Gabe relayed his instructions. When he finished he nodded to Brett.
"The vans should be pulling in soon. Once they’re here, the front gate team will come up with them. They have the rest of the guards in the security building. We’ve still got two guards in the lab building and one in the office building."
"Okay, let’s go."
They split up, George and Aldo with Ian and Logan to the Lab to let Jake know what was going on and to give him a hand. Jamie was holding Josh’s hand while Eric carried him. He was unconscious. The attack on Archer appeared to have wiped him out. They left Alistair on his knees beside the unconscious Jerry. As the group with Brett neared the security building, they saw headlights coming from the direction of the front gate, towards the lab. On the way, they passed Sean and Mac heading to the lab. They went through the main door instead of the side door and found the rest of the security detail under guard in the common room.
Brett looked at them. "Gentleman. I have no beef with you, although in working here, I believe at least some of you may have done things that would be deemed illegal, like so many at this facility, but I don’t want to deal with you. Just so you know, you’re bosses are dead, so no more paydays for you. I will allow you each to leave right now if you wish. I understand from Marty that some of you live here. So I will allow you, one at a time, under guard, to gather a few personal items and leave. For those that don’t live here, you will be escorted to your cars and allowed to leave. Just so you know we will be taking all the computer information from this place with us. If there is anything that you have done that is documented in those computers, I’m sure you will be hearing from the authorities soon. So maybe you should leave the country. Any takers?"
All the guards that were awake, nodded acceptance of the terms. Brett headed to the office to download everything from the security systems, while Gabe oversaw the security guards.
Over at the Lab, Sean and Mac had logged into one of the computers and were downloading everything that they could. Jake and his boys who had been joined by Tom and the other boys from the office building were gently waking the kids in the dorm room. They found that all of them were boys. The vans pulled up in front and Sean, Shayna and Cody got out and went inside to help with the kids. The boys were sleepy so they carried them outside to put them in one of the vans. Because they were all so young, it was easy to fit them all in the one van. Sean, Shayna and Cody volunteered to take care of them and drive them back to the safe house. Brett agreed and they left. George and Aldo went to get the guard that Josh had blasted into the tree and brought him to the security building. They had Ian heal him, so that he could leave. They did the same thing with the guards from inside the lab and the office building and the ones who had been knocked out. Ian soon had all of them awake and they were given the same offer. All of them took it. Eric went back to where Alistair had been kneeling. He was gone, but Jerry was still there and started to come around.
Eric prodded him until he pushed himself up. "Well Jerry, this is your lucky day."
Eric pointed at the burning building. "Your boss is dead and although I would love to take my time, I’ve been told to let you leave. So I’m going to escort you to your car and you’re going to leave. My suggestion is for you to disappear, because I’m sure the authorities will want to talk to you soon. In fact, I’ve heard world travel can be very enjoyable."
Jerry turned around and with Eric escorting him, he went to his car and Eric watched as he drove away. Once he was gone, Eric headed to the security building. By the time the kids were all in the van, they received a call from Terry.
"Hey guys, I just received a 911 call about a fire out there. Is everything alright?"
"Yeah, we’re fine. We should be leaving soon. We’ll let you know when we leave and you can call the fire department. One of the buildings is on fire, so we’ll try to hurry out of here so you can get the fire department. How long do you think it will take for them to get here?"
"About twenty minutes I think."
"Just a minute Terry."
Brett called Sean and Mac. "How’re you guys doing?"
"We should be done in fifteen minutes."
"Good we’re going to leave in twenty. Once you have everything downloaded, delete the files. I want to control what is released. The fire has gotten noticed and we want to be out of here long before they get here."
"We’ll make it. Those servers will be so clean you could eat off them."
"Good. Get over here when you’re done."
He returned to his cell phone.
"Terry. Wait fifteen minutes and then call them. We’ll be gone before they get here."
"Okay, see you when you get here."
Finally, the only people left other than their teams, were Marty and the front gate guard, Joe. Joe was Marty’s friend and had helped them, so they considered him part of the team. Ian and Dakota squeezed in with the young kids, sitting on the floor of the van, to help take care of them. The others squeezed into the other van, the Jeep, Marty’s SUV and Joe’s car. As soon as Sean and Mac rejoined them, Brett called Terry and the fire department was notified. By this time the building was burning well and it was time to be gone. From a window in the apartment of the office building, Alistair Merrick watched the caravan of vehicles leave the property, and then turned to watch the fire from the burning building. He downed the glass of whiskey that he had gotten from Hank’s office and put the glass down, and picked up the gun he had retrieved from his bedroom. He put it under his chin and pulled the trigger. No one heard the gunshot or the sound of the gun and body hitting the floor.
As they drove off toward the main highway, they heard the sirens of the fire trucks heading toward the lab. It took them almost an hour to get to the safe house. At the house, they bundled the kids into the house and with the help of the adults they had them all settled in for the night. The parents hugged their kids, happy to see them all back safe and sound. Ian helped Josh get rid of the rest of the drug that they had pumped into him. Once the little kids were taken care of, Brett gathered everyone together.
"It’s over. Hank and Marcus are dead. They tried to shoot us and we had no choice. I’m pretty sure that by morning there will be police, and maybe feds, looking the place over. They will probably find some bodies or the remains of bodies. I don’t think we left anything other than empty shell casings and maybe some cut zip ties. We’ve downloaded everything we can and we’re going to go through everything in it. Once we have everything we need, we’ll see what we have. Once we have it all together, I plan to send it to a reporter, so that it can’t be hidden from the public. I want to make sure that everyone knows what Archer and Kelly have been doing. Once that is done, we will reclaim our lives."
He looked around and saw a bunch of sleepy boys. "For now, we should get some sleep and discuss plans in the morning."
Everyone agreed as they also noticed all the half asleep boys in the room. The parents started moving among the boys and helped them get out of the bullet proof vests that they had been wearing and divesting them of the guns and holsters, so that they could be comfortable and get some sleep. Marty and Joe said goodbye and headed to Marty’s house. Joe was going to spend the night at his house. Brett said that he would contact them tomorrow and let them know what was going on. With everyone in the house, they were a little cramped even as big as it was, but they made room for everyone and soon, except for a couple of the men who decided to stand watch, even though it didn’t seem necessary, they were all asleep. Gabe thought it was necessary until they were completely sure that they were out of danger from any remnants of the GRA.
The next morning Sean was up early and already looking through the computer data that they had retrieved from the servers. Soon enough the rest of the house started to stir. Sean barely glanced at the others as they began to head to the kitchen and dining room to get something to eat.
Brett and Mac soon joined him carrying cups of coffee. "How long have you been up buddy?"
Sean glanced at Brett for a moment before turning his attention back to his screen. "Two or three hours, I think. I couldn’t sleep, so I thought I’d get to work on all this."
"Can we help?"
Sean turned around and looked at the computer equipment around the area. "If you don’t mind, could you see what you can get off of the computers we took while I continue working on the server info?"
Brett bent down to look at Sean’s computer. "How’s that going?"
"Not bad. I cracked the main server password and I’m just going through the data now and putting it into files."
"Did you find much that we can use to expose the GRA?"
"Yep, lots. There’s dead kids, the failed experiments, buried in the woods behind the lab."
"That son of a bitch. I wish I could bring him to life so I could kill him again."
"You said he tried to shoot you and you had to kill him."
Brett looked around before saying anything. "Josh is the one who killed him. He set his clothes on fire. He was holding a gun to Josh’s head. Jamie took his gun away and Josh set him on fire."
"Oh, man. I wonder how Josh is feeling?"
"I don’t know. They had drugged him, apparently to get information about us from him. He was able to push off the effect long enough to help himself escape from Hank. His uncle had to carry him, because he passed out soon afterward."
"I hope he’ll be okay."
"I think so. We have enough docs around here to take care of him. We’ll all make sure he’s okay. My guess is that Jamie will probably have the biggest impact on helping him."
"Yeah, you’re prolly right."
"Well, I’ve got my coffee, so it’s time to get to work."
Both he and Mac each picked out a computer, hooked it up to a monitor and started working on getting into it. While they worked the others got some breakfast together, because there were a bunch of young kids who were waking up and because it was a strange place, they were scared. All the ladies, lead by Shayna, were doing their best to calm the young boys down. The promise of breakfast along with the TLC given by the ladies soon had them calmed down. What really did it was the fact that they were experiencing something that they had never felt before and that was someone who was giving them some love. They had never experienced having someone care for them and they found that they liked it a lot. All of them were soon basking in the love that they were getting from the ladies of the group.
A little while later a notification popped up on Sean’s computer and he opened it. He read through what he pulled up for a few minutes. He got Brett’s attention.
"Look at this. I wrote a quick search program this morning to look for anything that might concern the lab. I just got a hit. It looks like the Feds have been called in. They found the bodies. The police arrived there with the fire department and found the body of the guard that was shot. Once the fire was out, they found the three bodies of Archer, Kelly and that guard Lloyd in the building that burned. They haven’t identified them yet, but they’re working on it. They also found Alistair Merrick, dead of a self inflicted gunshot wound. Apparently, he shot himself after we left."
"I can’t feel sorry about it. He took part in some very evil things. He took part in killing children to further his experiments. So, no, I think the world is better off without his like in it. He wasn’t very friendly when I worked with him years ago and I doubt that had changed much, since he continued to work with Archer."
"Well, I’ve finished looking through the servers and I’ve put together a file of what they have done over the past few years."
"Well, I’ve found several files that lay out what the agency did when they called themselves the PRI as well. I had Archer’s computer. Once I got into it, I was able to find the files. With these and what you’ve found that concerns what they have been doing more recently. We need to figure out what we’re going to do with all this stuff."
"I’ve been thinking about it and I think we should put everything together and send it to a reporter or two. If we pick the right person, there will be no way that the government will be able to hide it, if they wanted to. Hopefully they will choose to investigate it thoroughly and not hide it."
"That’s a good idea. We just need to keep our names out of it, of course."
"No problem. I’ve already got the recent stuff ready, give me the stuff you found and I’ll put the package together. Just let me know who to get it to."
"Okay, I’ll have it for you in a few."
They got back to work. In another part of the house, Josh slowly opened his eyes and looked around trying to figure out where he was. It didn’t look familiar to him, until he looked to his left and what he saw made him smile. Jamie had his head propped up on his hand and was looking at Josh with a big smile.
"Jamie? Where....where am I?"
"You’re at our safe house. We’ve been using it as our base of operations while we worked on getting you out of that place."
Josh’s face clouded over a little bit as he remembered what had been happening to him over the last few days. That feeling went away when Jamie scooted closer, put his arms around Josh and gave him a kiss. The feeling that he got from Jamie, pushed the bad feelings away.
"We were able to save you and get you out of there. Do you remember anything that happened?"
Josh was silent for a little bit while he thought about it. Jamie continued holding him and trying to help him feel safe.
"A lot of it is kinda foggy. I think they kept me drugged or something. I know they had me at one place and then I was in a van or something and then I was in another place and they kept asking me things, mostly about you guys and stuff. I think I told them some things. They hurt me to try to get me to tell them about you guys. Then they gave me some stuff and I couldn’t help it. Even when I tried to not say anything, it just came out. I’m sorry."
Tears started to fill Josh’s eyes and Jamie held him as he cried. He did what he could to soothe him.
When Josh stopped crying, Jamie pulled back and looked at him as he wiped the tears away. "It doesn’t matter. I don’t think the GRA will be bothering us every again."
Josh nodded as he looked at Jamie. "I know. I remember that I made his clothes catch fire. That was the last thing that I remember until I woke up."
"Don’t worry about it Josh. He was going to take you away from us. Now, because of you, we’re all safe. Why don’t we get up? Not that I don’t mind this, but I have to pee and I’m hungry."
"Yeah, me too."
The two boys got up, took care of their morning business and went back to the bedroom that they had been given and Josh realized he was still wearing the hospital gown.
"I don’t have any clothes."
"You can use some of mine. I brought enough with me."
They got dressed and headed downstairs to join the others. They smelled breakfast before they got to the dining room. When everyone saw Josh, they came over to give him a hug and tell him they that they were happy to have him back. They sat down and both realized how hungry they were.
After everyone had eaten, Brett got them all together, and let them know what was going to happen next. "Good morning everyone. As you know, we got Josh back."
Everyone cheered and his Uncle came over to him and hugged him.
"Also, the GRA is no more as far as we can tell. We have amassed pretty much everything that there is about them and their predecessor, the PRI. What is going to happen is that Sean, Mac and I are going to put everything together and then we’re going to deliver it to several major television news networks and newspapers. Within the next few days the information should be everywhere and there will be no way that anyone in the government will be able to cover anything up. We should be able to leave tomorrow and go back home."
Shayna stood up where she had a few of the young boys around her. "What about the kids we rescued from that place."
Dylan’s mom spoke up. "I think that they need a family. Bill and I have been talking and we want to take one of them in and give Dylan a little brother."
Each of the boy’s families wanted to do the same. Robbie and Virginia also spoke up for one of the boys.
"What can we do to make this happen? We can’t turn them over to the government. There would be too many questions."
"I think I can help with that."
They turned to Sean, not the computer genius, but the older Indian man.
"I have some connections that would gladly help arrange it. If you would give me your information, I will get things going. It will probably take me a week or two, but for now, you should take your new sons home with you tomorrow and I’ll get to work on my end. I don’t anticipate any problems and I will let you folks know when it’s all taken care of."
"Thank you Sean. You think you can do it?"
"Like I said, I have connections and they are very good connections. It won’t take too long."
"Thank you Sean."
He waved his hand to say it was nothing.
Sean came in the room about that time. "Well it’s all done."
Brett turned around "What’s done?"
"I sent the packets to the LA Times, New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe and several other papers around the country. I also sent it to the news agencies of NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, and their affiliates in all the major cities around the country. I’m going to send the information to the FBI once we get home. By that time it should be out there for everyone to see."
"You did what? How did you do that?"
Sean gave him a look that said ‘Seriously?’
"Uh, yeah. Okay, I think what we need to do is get a lot of things done and get out of here. I want to go talk to Marty and let him know what is going on and warn him that his name may come up in the investigation. I want to let him, and Joe, know that I’ll do everything that I can to help them out."
"Don’t worry about that. I took care of it. I wiped every mention of them from the files I sent. I couldn’t erase everything about them, and I’m sure there will be some records of their employment with the place, but with your help, Brett, they should be able to get out of any legal predicaments since we have all the evidence and they don’t."
"I agree. Hal, would you stay behind and stand by to help them if they need it?"
"Good, I’m going to head over to Marty’s now and let him know what’s going on."
"I think some of the ladies and I are going to go shopping for some clothes for these little guys. All they have is their pajamas. They need something to wear home."
The meeting broke up. Brett headed off to Marty’s with Gabe while Shayna and several of the ladies took off for the nearby towns to find a shopping center to buy some clothes. The others started packing up and cleaning the place up for Mac’s friend. The eight boys played with the seven younger boys while they waited for everyone to get back. Brett and Gabe were the first to return, followed a couple of hours later by the ladies carrying several shopping bags. The young boys were soon dressed in their new clothes and being fussed over by the ladies who would soon be their new mothers.
Around the country, several major reporters found a file on their computer desktops. When they opened it, the first thing that popped open was a cover letter. It looked like a form letter with their name at the top. As they read the letter, eyes popped open and in many parts of the country there were exclamations of ‘Oh Shit!’ and other similar words. Those same reporters called their bosses and soon reporters were heading to Winchester, Virginia, via Washington DC. The DC bureaus of these various news organization dispatched reporters, photographers and video crews to several destinations. At The Facility, local county sheriffs were called in to keep everyone away as FBI agents and their lab teams checked over everything. Those scientists and other workers who had not been on the property the night before were detained when they arrived and taken to Hoover building in DC for questioning. By the end of the day, early reports about the investigation were appearing on the news, but not everything yet. Sean had put a virus in the files that he sent out, that did not release some of the more gruesome activities of the organization. The various agencies were working on cracking the security on the files, but they were having no luck.
Back at the safe house, they decided to leave that evening instead of the next morning. They said goodbye to Mac and his guys at the airport. Mac took care of turning the vans back in. The little boys from the lab were asleep by then and were carried onto the plane that would take them back to California. Jake and his people also said goodbye at the airport as they boarded a different plane that was going to take them to Montana for a couple of weeks before heading home to California. Brett invited them to come up to his estate on the mountain for a visit when they got the chance. The trip home was uneventful, most of them slept through it, even Gabe’s men.
When they arrived at Ontario International Airport Gabe and his men retrieved the SUV’s and drove everyone home. All the kids were soon asleep until they got up to the mountain. Once up there, the ladies determined it was time for another shopping trip to get some more things for the little boys from the lab. Of the eight families only Brett and Eric had not taken in one of the boys, the other boy had of course gone back to Montana with Jake and his group. Robbie was going to have him become part of his family, to give Cody a little brother.
That night, there were special reports being run by several of the networks that preempted several shows that were in reruns due to it being summer. The reports traced the history of the PRI/GRA from how it was formed and what they had learned about it. There were still pictures, videos, and copies of files. They listed names of those involved. They also showed FBI agents going into the homes of the key people, Hank Archer and Marcus Kelly. They also saw that several men who had worked security for the place were taken in for questioning. Some could not be found, probably because of what they were being accused of. So they had probably taken Brett’s advice. The offices below the National Academy of Sciences building was searched as well. The guards who had been taken by the team had been taken blindfolded away from the safe house, by Rob and Jerry. Anyone whose name was found on any of the seized records was questioned. Brett was as good as his word and Hal worked to help Marty and Joe. His was able to arrange total immunity for them against everyone else.
The next day, Sean’s virus released the other files and there was a new flurry of activity as the FBI forensics teams began exhuming the bodies of the kids and teens who had been buried in the woods behind the complex. News helicopters flew over the woods to video the exhumation progress. The locations of the bodies from the first experiment that Marty had been part of were never found, as Hank had not kept any records of their location. They only knew about them from the files that were released to them. The President gave a press conference a few days later. He promised that there would be a full and thorough investigation into the matter and bring all those who had any part in it to justice.
There were some gaps in the files that were released, but their best computer people could not learn anything more from any of the equipment that they seized. They knew someone had been at both places, but there was no evidence linking Brett and the others to the place. Some of the news agencies thought that maybe the hacker group Anonymous was responsible for the files, some even thought it might part of the Wikileaks release of information. They tried to trace down to where the files originated from, but got nowhere. Sean had covered his tracks too well and the trail was soon cold. None of the investigating agencies ever mentioned anything about another group, but Sean’s searching in their official correspondence told him that they knew that someone had attacked the lab.
Back at home, the families started making changes. Many of them quit the jobs that they had been working at and resumed using their original names and started working in their original fields. When they were asked about the name change, they told their new employers in confidentiality that they had been part of a government witness protection program and had needed to be in hiding. They asked that no mention of that could be in their files, by order of the government. To make it seem true, Gabe and some of his men posed as FBI agents whenever an employer questioned it.
A couple of weeks later there was a large celebration up at Brett’s mountain property. It was to celebrate the formal adoption of the young boys by the families. Because of the money that each family had been given, they did not go looking for new jobs right away after they quit, but instead took some time to reconnect with family members throughout the country. So there were many joyous reunions and the families used the excuse that they had been in a witness protection program and the case had been finally resolved. When pressed they said that they were not allowed to talk about it because it involved national security. Jake and his family came for few days visit up to the mountains and Brett and all of the families flew up to Montana to spend time on Sean’s ranch.
There were several employees of the GRA that were indicted and eventually sentenced to prison. The sentences varied, but some were going to be in prison for a very long time. Marty and Joe had immunity, and even then, they would have gotten little jail time. The story went out about how Hank Archer had threatened both of their families and so it was determined that they were held hostage by the agency by this threat. In all around thirty bodies of teens and younger kids were found buried in the forest. The only ones that would have gotten the real long sentences, or more likely the death penalty, Archer, Kelly, Merrick and Lloyd were all dead.
The families and the reconnected boys were finally safe.
I don’t normally do this, but I wanted to for this story. I would like to thank everyone for reading this, my seventh story. While I was finishing, ‘Who is He’, the characters in this story were demanding that I write their story next, so I did. Over the years since my first story ‘Devon’s Choice’ was posted, I have thoroughly enjoyed receiving the emails from y’all. I answer every one that I receive, (nudge, nudge, wink, wink, (Yes, I am a Monty Python fan), hint, hint). I save all of them. Just ask anyone who has written me if I answer them. Oh yeah you can’t, because you don’t know who they are. So I guess you’ll have to trust me when I say that I do answer every email.
I would like to thank those who have helped me. First ACfan for agreeing to post my first story on Corner Cafe and doing the editing chores until he turned that job over to D&B. Thanks to Dave of D&B for all the work that he did for me in my writing, including some superb story suggestions. Also, I would thank him for connecting a couple of my stories to CSU via his story, ‘Jigsaw’. If you dear readers have not read any CSU stories, I have just one question. Why Not?? Anyway, it was AC’s story ‘Memories’ that inspired me to take a stab at writing and I am forever grateful for that, as it has become a very enjoyable pastime for me. Dave, I will miss you as a friend.
Finally I would like to thank Cynaira for approaching me about joining her and the other authors on the Saber Peak Ranch site when it started and taking over the editing chores for my work. I guess, I’m what they call in the Navy, sort of a plank owner for Saber Peak. I got to be there when it started. A Plank Owner is one of the sailors that are part of the first cruise of a newly commissioned Navy ship. Also, to the other admins of Saber Peak who thought that my work was good enough to add to their site, thank you. So thanks Cynaira for being a friend and editor of my work.
Finally I have one last special person to thank. He was the inspiration of one of the characters in the story and no I won’t tell you which one. He knows and that is the only thing that is important. If you ask me which character or try to guess, I will not tell, confirm or deny. "Hey, how about them Dodgers?" (Yes, I am a lifetime Dodger fan). < Close mouth, zip shut, lock and throw away the key > So, to him, I dedicate this story.
Love you buddy.