Castle Roland

Falls On Deaf Ears Book 1

by Hammy


Chapter 2

Posted: N/A

"Help!" Jason heard as he sat up in bed. It took him only a second to realize it was Eric's voice. Jason shot out of his bed to his window, where he saw the smoke and flames. In an instant he was out the door and running full speed for Eric's house, not caring that he was in nothing but his underwear.

Jack, who was trying to keep up with Jason, stopped his son's mad dash to Eric's house. Jack noticed the questioning look on his son's face, as he held him back. Jason Struggled for a bit, but gave up, as his father spoke to him, in near rapid speech, "Jason, it's too dangerous! I'm not going to let you just walk in there! There is nothing we can do!"

Jason looked back at his dad then the burning house. His eyes began to swell, as he screamed, "ERIC! NO! DON'T LEAVE ME! NOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

Jason opened his eyes and sat up in his bed sweating and breathing hard. He looked around his room for a few minutes then sighed.

Its only a nightmare, he thought, as he looked outside. The sun was shining, and kids were outside enjoying the warm fall day. Jason glanced at the clock.

Jeez, 12:23pm, I slept in this late? ** Then he sighed. **Eric, I hope you found your peace. Jason rubbed his eyes as he thought back to the day that had changed his life so much. The day he lost a part of himself. He could still feel it, out there somewhere, and as long as he felt it, he would never believe Eric was really dead. He remembered clearly the sights and sounds of that miserable day. The investigators had searched everything. They found the device that had triggered the blaze, even though they didn't know where it came from. They also never found a body. Jason heard one of the investigators tell another that, despite the smoke, flames, and damage, it had been a fairly cool fire, and that if anyone had been inside something should have been left of them. Jason knew that Eric was still alive, but the Distance between them was immeasurable.

Jason's reminiscing was interrupted by a faint noise of kids playing a game of tag outside.

**I better get out of bed or mom will wonder if I turned into a zombie. ** Jason giggled at the thought, then proceeded to take care of his much needed bathroom duties, pee, shower and appear presentable to the world.

After he finished taking a long shower, which had seemed to take an hour, Jason slumped in his chair by the desk and began to open his journal for a new entry.

27, October 2005, 2:32pm PST

_ It has been four years since they told me Eric was dead. I don't believe it anymore today than I did then, and I have no clue how to move on without him. I feel as if I am still attached to him, like there is something holding me back. I just wish there was a way I could investigate this, but my parents have made it clear I need to move on. Oh Eric, I miss you so much and you have missed so much. Your parents really miss you and if I had the power to bring you back, I would, but I cannot._

_ I know you wished I had more friends when we first met. You showed what a nice person I am inside and outside. You helped me get over being shy and now I have a lot of friends who will support me forever, but still, I really don't think I could ever truly move on. Time will tell I suppose._

_ My birthday is tomorrow and I'll be 15. All my friends have been invited. You would be happy for me and I think you would like them as much as they like me. Your parents are going to be there too, which is a surprise to me. They normally don't attend my parties; it tears them up as much as it does me because your not here. I am looking forward to meeting them again._

_ Eric, if you are still alive, I promise to find you, even if it kills me. That is a promise I intend to keep._

With all my heart,


As Jason finished reading, he broke into tears for a few minutes and let it all out. He thought of all the happy times he shared with Eric and of all the time they should have had together that had been stolen from them. Once the tears stopped, he used his arm to wipe off some wetness streaming from his eyes. Closing the journal, he put it in a box, and hid it away under his bed. He stood, walked over to his desk and looked at a picture of Eric and himself the day before the fire. The tears started flowing again, but not as bad. He smiled, planted a kiss on his finger then the finger touched the picture of Eric's face. "I will always love you Eric Shannon" Jason spoke softly, barely managing to make a sound. He sighed then decided to head downstairs to see what his parents were up to, stopping to use the bathroom on his way down to clean up the emotional mess.

As Jason was making his way downstairs, the doorbell rang. "I got it!" Jason yelled as he began to open the door. To his surprise the two guests chorused "Happy Birthday Jason!" then gave him a hug.

When the hugging was done, Jason finally managed to find his voice "Oh my god! I can't believe you guys are standing here! How are you doing Mr. and Mrs. Shannon?"

"Jason honey, you should know better than that. You used to call us Trish and Jerry" Trish corrected him.

"Yeah Jason, no need to be formal around us, you are still part of our family and always will be" Jerry added.

"Sorry about that, it became a habit since my friends told me it would be better calling their parents by their last names out of respect. Welcome to our home! We all missed you so much; it feels like ages since we last saw each other. Com'on in! Betcha mom and dad are itching to see ya again!"

"Sure munchkin, Jerry needs to get something out of the car, he'll be back. It is kind of a surprise, so can you go get your parents?" Trish replied with a hint of excitement in her voice.

As Jason jogged towards the kitchen, he shot back an "OK!" then wondered what could be the surprise. He thought they might have some news about Eric, but that couldn't be the case. As Jason entered the kitchen, Mrs. Ross was busy making the icing for her son's cake and Mr. Ross was in the garage. "Mom, where's dad?" Jason questioned excitedly.

"In the garage and who is at the door honey?" Jason's mom asked.

"It's Jerry and Trish! They want you to meet them up front. They have a surprise!" Jason almost shouted. "I'll go get dad."

Mr. Ross heard most of what Jason said and decided to see what the so-called 'surprise' was all about. Mr. Ross quickly cleaned up the wrapping paper and hid the present he had been wrapping. He then made his way through the foyer, and arrived in the kitchen to meet his wife and son.

As if on cue, he walked in just as Jason was finishing his last statement. "Well boy, you found me, lets go see what they're up to this time", fully remembering how the Shannon's were always up to something at the mention of 'surprise'.

Once the triple J's arrived at the front door, their jaws dropped at the sight of twin toddlers, both boys. Jerry and Trish were sporting mile wide grins when they saw the triple J's mouths drop.

"Hey guys, close your mouths, you're starting to drool all over the place". Trish said breaking the shocked silence.

"Oh my god, this is a surprise Trish, Jer, but I thought..." Trish cut Joyce off before she could say anymore. "Miracles happen, just don't ask how. I know we can never replace Eric, but these two have captured our hearts." Trish knelt down to the blond 3 year olds to begin introductions. "Boys, meet Jason and his parents, Jack and Joyce. They would probably tell you not to call them Mr. and Mrs. Ross." Trish added with a slight smirk followed by a giggle. She looked up to the 3 J's then placed her hand on top of her son, which was right next to her "This is Ryan and to his right is his twin brother Andy. Boys meet Joyce, Jack, and Jason!" As she spoke, she was pointing to emphasize whom she was introducing.

The boys chorused a shy "Hi" after their mother finished introductions. Jason walked up to them and knelt down and put his arms around both boys "Welcome to the family!" The twins looked confused for a moment at Jason's sudden display of affection, exchanged looks as if they were communicating with each other, grinned, and then returned the hugs. The sight was a bit much for the adults and there was not a dry eye as the beautiful scene took place.

Joyce spoke up, "You guys are all probably tired. Our guest room is ready, but I'm afraid we don't have a spare bed for the twins. Their arrival simply caught us off guard!"

"Joyce, don't worry about it, if we would have told you about them, it wouldn't be much of a surprise now would it?" an amused Trish pointed out. "Then again, we thought of letting you know we had two more guests staying over but, since we didn't inform you, we came prepared and brought a portable bed for the twins to sleep on."

Joyce giggled a bit at Trish's idea "I'm glad you did! Jack can you please help Jerry with the beds and take them to the guest room?"

Jack did a mock salute then added, "Yes Dear!"

Joyce just glared at him, but broke into giggles at the goofy looking expression her husband was making.

Jack chuckled then turned to face Jerry. "Hey Jer, ready?"

"Yup, sure am!" Jerry replied as he started walking towards their car. Jack excused himself then followed Jerry.

As the men walked towards the Shannons' car, the women walked inside towards the kitchen, and Jason was left alone with the twins for a bit. The twins just stood there as if they were waiting for someone to tell them to come in, until Andy found some courage to speak "Jayson, wew're sweepy".

"Ok munchkins, lets go find a comfortable spot for you to sleep, come on." Jason replied as he took the twins to the living room, hand in hand.

The adults had a lot of catching up to do and a lot of the questions Jack, Joyce, and Jason had, were answered. The topic of the twins was interesting to say the least.

After everyone had caught up on what had happened in their lives since the last time they had seen each other, Trish decided to check up on the twins. She had just gotten up to look in on them, when instead they found their way to the kitchen.

"Mommy, wewre hungwy", the twins chorused.

"That's funny, I was going to look for you, but instead you found me. Let me see if I have a snack or something, in the cooler for you to eat." Trish was about to go in search of the cooler, but Joyce stopped her with a bemused look on her face.

"Just where do you think your going? You know better than to just feed growing boys something small, I am going to go and order something, how's pizza sound?"

A simultaneous "Yay" could be heard. Trish tried to offer to pay for it but Joyce politely refused, as they were guests in the house.

Hours later after a good filling of dinner, everyone retired to the living room to relax and share a few more stories before heading to bed.

Jerry spoke first, "Trish and I are tired from the long drive so we're going to bed, good night all!"

Trish added, "It was sooo great seeing you all again, I almost feel terrible about moving away from here."

Joyce's heart sank, "Trish, Jerry, please don't think that. I might have done the same, but I am also sure those memories will always be with you, no matter where you go."

Shortly after Trish, Jerry, and the twins went to bed, Jason was showing signs of exhaustion and decided to go to his room and ready himself for bed. {Hammer, there are way to many J names!!!!! Get a baby name book!!!! Rip out the J section!!!! GRINZ - T.W.} [Actually Taron, I even confuse myself at times! But it's too late to change!] (So I am not the only one who noticed? Hammer, consider burning it once you've ripped it out. :-D)

"Mom, dad, I'm going to bed, love ya."

"Night honey", Joyce said.

"Good night son", Jack added.

As Jason entered his room and sat at his desk, he opened his journal to add a new entry:

27, October 2005, 10:00pm PST

_ It was sure weird seeing Eric's parents again and even weirder seeing their newest sons, TWINS! Eric, I know that, if you were alive, you'd make a great big brother! Seeing Ryan and Andy sort of reminds me of you. I was really surprised when they showed up today; I never expected a surprise like that! Something tells me I'll be seeing them a lot more now. I've got 4 years to try and make up for, now that I know about them. I'm going to try to be a big brother to them, since they don't get to have you. I think I might be able to talk to Trish about you, if she lets me. There is so much I want to say; I'm not sure where to begin._

I still wish you were here, Eric. I just don't understand why I feel you are still alive, yet the investigators say otherwise. I refuse to believe them! There is no way you are dead. It's just that something doesn't make sense.

_Good night, my love, _


Jason took a look over what he wrote one last time before closing the book, turning off the lights and heading to bed.

Sometime during the night Jason was having a weird dream. He tossed and turned in his bed, thrashing his sheets around but not making a sound. He was dreaming of Eric.

It was a dream he had often had. In the last few months, he had been having it more often, and it had gotten stronger. It clearly showed all events of their first encounter from the day they met to their first kiss. As Jason began to fade in his dream, he and Eric were looking at each other. Eric was holding out his hand for Jason, but Jason couldn't reach. The harder he tried, the further away Eric appeared. Suddenly Eric began to slowly fade.

"NO! ERIC! COME BACK!" Jason screamed, "DON'T LEAVE ME AGAIN!"

"AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!" the sound of Jason screaming woke the whole house up. First in Jason's bedroom was Joyce then Jack, followed by Trish and Jerry. The twins walked in rubbing their tired eyes wondering what the scream was all about. Joyce sat on the bed next to a sweating and hard breathing boy then hugged him.

"Oh honey it's ok, we're here," Joyce spoke in a worried, yet concerned tone.

"It felt so... real" Jason managed to speak between sobs.

"Its over now honey, I know you miss him, we do too. He is in a better place now and probably watching over us this moment."

"But mom!" Jason exclaimed, "Somehow I feel he is still alive! I don't know how to explain it, but I don't think the bond between us was broken the night of the fire!"

Joyce had a worried look about her. She had thought he let Eric go and moved on, but she was wrong. "Quit speaking nonsense, Jay!" she said.

Trish had to interrupt in an almost shocked tone "Joyce, he's telling the truth about such a bond. I didn't believe it at first till I actually saw true love between Jerry and myself. Our bond is mental and physical, like we are well aware of each other. I remember one time when Jerry got hurt at work, I somehow felt he did and rushed to the hospital. My suspicions were confirmed once I arrived. Jerry had just walked in the door with his shop foreman holding him up. It wasn't a pretty sight but Jerry is strong and the doctors said he'd make a full recovery. Anyway, our bond is as strong as our love is for each other. It's probably true for both of these boys!"

Joyce looked at Trish in shock but managed to ask, "So you think he may be right? You really think that Eric may be alive? That's amazing! If he's not dead, then where is he? We have to be able to find him!" Question after question raced through her mind, she hadn't had as much time to deal with this new information as the Shannons had, and even though it wasn't her child, she had loved him like one when he was around.

Trish tried to calm everyone down and began to tell them what they knew, "We don't know much yet, but I also never accepted that he was dead. Maybe it was the lack of a body, or just the suspicious nature of the fire, but something wasn't right. Eric knew how to get out of that house a dozen different ways: he should have been fine! So, not to long after the fire, we contacted an investigation agency to look into things for us. We got a call Friday saying they had some news for us. We'll find out what it is on Monday. I know I am excited to learn about this new development as much as Jerry is, but the agency we are in contact with told us they'd have more information by Monday morning. So, for now, let's enjoy the weekend the best we can, not only for Jason, but for all of us." Everyone agreed with her that it was the best course of action.

Trish looked at everyone in the room after she spoke then looked at Jerry and exchanged nods "Jerry and I are going back to bed, come-on little guys, time to go back to sleep", she said as she looked at her twins.

Trish and Jerry bent down and carried the twins back to bed after they pouted. The twins wanted to comfort Jason, but Trish would have none of that.

Joyce watched the Shannons walk out of the room into their guest room then closed the door. She turned her attention to Jason who appeared to be slightly shocked, "I'm sorry honey, I didn't mean to upset you, but I completely forgot all about the bond you shared and how Jack and I still have it. Forgive me?"

"Mom, its ok, I know you are just looking out for me but you might be doing too much. I think I can rest better now, knowing I'm not the only one who thinks he's alive. He's out there somewhere, and come Monday, I'm going to find out where."

Joyce couldn't help but smile and hugged Jason tightly, "I love you son".

"I love you too, mom".

Joyce broke the hug apart then tucked her son in bed and kissed him on his forehead. As she stood back up, Jerry bent down and ruffled his son's hair, "I'm proud of ya kiddo. You never gave up hope."

Jason could only grin, "Good night dad, good night mom."

"Good night Jason" they chorused.

His parents turned the light off then closed the door but not all the way. Jason spent a few minutes thinking about the recent events then grinned as he was thinking, Eric, I am going to find you, I just don't know how yet.

Jason drifted off to sleep dreaming up their reunion.

Eric wasn't too far from the cargo hold when he suddenly stopped and gasped, Jason? Is he calling to me? Why am I feeling this now? His train of thought was interrupted by one of the guards who was posted outside of his quarters and had been following him. The guard was assigned to keep a watchful eye on him. Eric hated this and wished for a little more space, but his captors had left him with no freedom, except when he was in his quarters.

"Get a move on kid!" the guard spat.

Eric could only glare at him, and let out a sigh, then he began to walk towards the cargo hold. The Vulture itself was huge. It was 900m long by 700m wide with at least 40 decks. The width was based on its large slightly curved wings, which contained a powerful thalaron radiation weapon, capable of mass extinction of a planet in a matter of seconds. With over 50 disruptor banks and hundreds of torpedoes on board, the ship was designed for war. The cloaking device it had was outdated, but effective. Sid had plans other than war, but The Vulture was custom fitted to his tastes. Sid had completely removed the thalaron radiation weapon, as he had no real use for it. It proved to be the perfect getaway ship from the pursuit of others. As big as The Vulture seemed to be, the corridors seemed to be miles long to a 13 year old

After a bit of walking, Eric had finally arrived at the cargo bay. Inside the bay, stood a regiment of soldiers and mercenaries. Anyone with loose enough morals, who would fight for the right price. They all stood firm and straight. Their combat uniforms were all similar to one another and they each wore a small laser pistol on their weapons belt. The strap that they wore across their chest held a large laser rifle, which hung on their backs. The leg strap contained another smaller laser like weapon and a throwing knife. Their jackets were made of a thin armor consisting of a special alloy that is lightweight, and protects them against minor blasts and small projectile weapons. Several generades were hanging across their chests on the rifle straps. A water canteen was stored in a pocket inside the jacket. Every warrior had a comm device, which rested on their earlobe going partially into their ear. All they had to do was touch their ear and talk if they needed to communicate.

Eric walked over to the middle front of the regiment, turned and faced a tall man whom he knew as Sid, but everyone else referred to him as 'The Boss'.

After glaring at Eric for being late, Sid began, "Now that every one is here, here is your next assignment." Eric growled inwardly and thought of flipping Sid the bird, but against his better judgment, he decided not to.

The lights dimmed and a 3-D hologram appeared in between Eric and Sid. "This is a tech center" Sid began briefing, "On one of the Cast'arian planets. It seems they had a major breakthrough in cloak technology. With the new device in operation, they can fire under cloak without the enemy knowing where it is coming from. The device is somewhere in the center of the tech building. My sources tell me it is heavily armed and to expect resistance once discovered. I expect nothing but the absolute best from all of you, especially you." Sid then looking at Eric as he finished explaining the assignment details. "As usual, Eric will give you the order to move once he has things under control. Eric will be accompanying squad A and I want that cloaking device on my ship within 24 hours.....DISMISSED!"

There were 51 soldiers going on this mission, divided into 5 squadrons of 10 warriors each with the exception of squad A, which had 11. Squad A's team members formed around Eric. Once each squad was ready to depart the room, squad leaders took charge and left the room, squad by squad. The boss was grinning knowing they always got him what he wanted.

Once everyone was out of the cargo bay, Sid began to add a log entry into a hand held device, which he just picked up.

Captains Log - 27, October 2305, 13:00 hours

_ Assignment #156 is well underway. This will be no easy task for the teams, especially Eric. I am damn sure I have Eric right where I need him to be. He has proved his worth to me, time and time again. Performing flawlessly on each and every assignment handed to him. Kidnapping Eric from 300 years ago was well worth the trouble!_

With the touch of a button, the log recording was finished.

Minutes later, the 5 squads entered the large shuttle bay. It looked like it could hold 10 shuttlecrafts, but there were only 7. There was plenty of room for more: however the extra space was committed to storage boxes and large crates. Some power cells were lying on the side of the walls adjacent to the door leading to the ship. The first 5 shuttlecrafts had each had their own lettering for one of the 5 squadrons. They were not your ordinary shuttlecrafts, each had a cloaking device custom fitted and integrated in their systems. The other two shuttles were mostly for Sid. One of them was Sid's personal favorite, due to it being a large shuttle containing enough firepower and shielding to hold its own in a fight. Problem was, that without being cloaked it was no match for much larger ships. That was why he wanted the new cloaking technology. The other was the shuttle that had been used to deliver Eric the day he had been taken. Sid kept it there to remind him how much Eric means to him and his crew, and to remind him that he belonged to Sid. Eric was disgusted every time he walked in and saw that shuttle. Sid believed it made Eric be more alert during his assignments.

Each shuttle was always pre loaded with everything they needed: rations, water, waste storage, and a variety of weapons. Once each squad approached their shuttle, the squad leaders looked over to make sure everyone was accounted for and fully prepared. Once satisfied, they boarded, did pre-flight checks, started the engines, then sealed the door.

As the large bay doors began to open the red alert warning siren went off.

At the same moment in the cargo hold, Sid was looking over several pieces of data to see if he missed anything. The com buzzer went off grabbing his attention instantly, "Bridge to Boss, we have a problem and your needed up here." Sid looked up, walked to the comlink, pushed a button and spoke his orders to the bridge, "Go to red alert and notify the squads to stand by, I'm on my way, Boss out". Sid walked out the door towards the turbolift then entered. Once the doors closed he gave the order to the computer and the lift rushed him to the bridge.

Less than a minute later on the bridge, the doors opened and Sid walked in, "What the hell is so important that I am needed here?"

"Well sir, we wouldn't be calling you if it wasn't important. A Terrain ship has entered this sector, and they appear to be heading here, to this very planet" the bridge officer reported.

Sid grumbled "Damn it, that puts a wedge in my plans". {hehehe he sounds so evil villainy when he says that GRINZ - T.W.} Sid thought for a few minutes then gave the order for launch.

"All squadrons are cleared to engage the planet, exercise caution." Sid ordered.

Once all the checking was done to insure the safety of the shuttles, the order was given for the shuttles to begin their assignment. Before they departed the shuttle bay, they engaged their cloaks and were underway.

The Vulture remained at its current position monitoring the new arrival and observed their actions.

"Looks like the Summoner has arrived" growled Sid.

"Actually it's the Mitoyo, sir."

"Aha, at least I don't have to deal with Bunker. He is probably the only one who can really put up a fight and still win. We will remain at red alert and watch...." Sid's voice trailed off as he watched 2 Cast'ari ships de-cloak right in front of the Mitoyo.

"Now this is an unexpected pleasure at seeing 2 Cast'ari ships." Sid's voice sounded almost as if something sinister took over, "I can't wait till I get my hands on that cloak of theirs! It's completely flawless!" Sid also hated how the Terrains had achieved Peace with the Cast'arians. It only made matters worse and all he could do was watch.

As shuttle A approached the planet, Eric spent a great deal of time reading up on the assignment and studying layouts a few times so he could memorize them. Once he had them memorized, he was ready for his assignment.

Several minutes had passed and the shuttles were beginning to make the final approach to the landing site, a few kilometers outside of the tech center where there was little resistance. As the shuttles landed the hatch hissed opened allowing a few soldiers to exit the shuttle to scan for hostiles. Once satisfied their readings came back negative, they gave their group the 'good to go' signal and the rest poured out of the shuttle setting up a perimeter. Without warning, the bush rustled and a small creature shot out followed by a very hungry larger creature, both were species that the squads didn't recognize due to how dark it was outside.

Eric was the last to exit his shuttle giggling lightly at the sudden tense moment the soldiers had. They all glared at him then continued on in their work. Once Eric's slight excitement died down, he made his way over to the temporary ops they had setup. With a little silent finger pointing to show the squad where to move to, they were off. Squad A was in the lead and the rest fell in till it was time to split. Squad C was in charge of distraction and causing chaos, {Squad C must be comprised of boys from the compound - T.W.}(Yeah, boys who will grow up to be just like a certain author I know :-D) squad D and E were mainly to back up squads A and B from a certain point where they had track of their movements at all times. This was, and had been their flawless plan, except this time was different.

At first, Eric hadn't noticed anything strange. By the time squads A and B had reached the tech building, the sight of a few guards posted outside looked rather odd. Eric wasn't sure how much security was supposed to be present, and he figured that 'heavily armed' probably meant only the guards on the inside, but these guards still didn't look right. After a few moments, one of the soldiers placed his hand on Eric's shoulder. The touch, to Eric, meant for him to scan the guards. A few attempts later, Eric was getting a strange feeling that either the guards were very well trained to resist mind probes from a telepath, or they were just holograms for a trap. A few more attempts at trying to scan, and he decided to try something else, something new which he had sort of been learning on his own, but wasn't sure how long his new technique would last. Sid had always told him to try new things to keep the enemy guessing. Eric began to concentrate for a bit and suddenly the scenery changed. Eric thought up something the guards would like to see and projected it at them, but to the guards, they saw a figure move past the trees. Catching their attention, one guard decided to check it out. As he moved towards the figure hiding behind a tree, the image of the figure became clearer. The guard grinned and shouted something unknown to the other guard, who was also sporting an evil grin. {wow when I saw sporting my mind went somewhere else - T.W.} [Gee Taron, get your mind outta the gutter] (Oh dear, he made me think of it now - Taron, get MY mind out of the gutter :-D)

During all this time two members from squad B jumped the guard at his post, slit his throat silently, and then dragged him away. The other guard, approached the figure, to have a better look at it, the image was a beautiful young woman, who was only wearing boots, and waving bye at him. In a puff of smoke, she vanished. Once she vanished, the guard started to panic, but his attempts at calling for help were futile as he was jumped by 3 of squad A's soldiers and immediately silenced.

Eric let out a sigh then contacted Sid thru telepathy, Sid, something doesn't seem right here, the guards were able to block out my mind scans but they fell for the trap I projected, the thing is, I still don't feel right about this assignment. Something feels different here.

Sid's thoughts echoed back with thunder, Just go through with the damn mission, or do I need to remind you what happened last time you refused?!

As Sid reminded Eric what happened 'last time', Eric mind quickly rehashed the last time he had disobeyed Sid.

It was his first mission, a simple pirate raid, not too long after being kidnapped. Sid wanted to test Eric's abilities to see how well the boy could do. The problem was, trying to get a deaf boy to listen was a chore, even for Sid. Eric had already looked into his mind to see what he had in store for him and didn't like what he saw. Eric, for the most part, saw mostly imprisonment, slavery, and worse, extremely disturbing images of Sid undressing Eric to satisfy his own sexual desires.

Eric shuddered at the last part he saw in Sid's mind, yet still refused. Sid was furious, grabbed the small boy, and threw him in a dark room for a week.

Eric was brought back to reality at the slight tap on his shoulder from one of the squad A soldiers. He looked around, sighed, and concentrated on giving Sid an answer.

Fine Eric muttered in his thoughts. Eric shifted his sights to find the co-leader of squad A and walked towards him. "Quincy, I need you to lead this from here on out. I'll follow closely, but I still don't like the feeling I am getting while being here."

Quincy nodded, and with one simple hand movement, squad A was underway to the entrance.

7am Sunday morning, Earth, Ross Residence

The sun was shining thru Jason's bedroom window waking him up. He was hoping to sleep in some since it was his birthday, but he also wanted to wake up early. His morning wood told him he needed to pee. As he sat up from his bed, a wave of bacon hit his nose. {Darn unpredictable bacon waves!!! - T.W.} (Umm, that must be a Jews worst nightmare. Wave after wave of bacon :-D) Mmmm smells good he thought. His thoughts were suddenly shifted back to reality, as he really had to pee. As he started towards the door, then around the corner, he was almost run over by an incoming stampede comprised of Andy and Ryan.

"Whoa, slow down, guys!" Jason giggled.

"We sowrry", the twins shot back as they ran past Jason.

Jason giggled some more then made his way to the bathroom.

As Jason finished his bathroom business and made his way towards the stairs, the sounds of giggling boys grew louder. He began to wonder what they were up to. Not only that, he could also hear his alarm going off.

Oh crap, I forgot to turn off my alarm! Jason thought as he hurried back into his bedroom. (your gunna love this Taron) {Should I edit your notes to me to? I'm so confuzzled. - T.W.} Jason always used his computer as his alarm clock since it could be customized to anything he wanted. As of late, he had it on a great little site his friend had told him about. The animations were great and hilarious to wake up to. All his animations came from __. { Spread the word my brethren spread the word. The badgers shall rule the Earth!!! GRIN - T.W.}(tried it, but was too afraid to smack my computer, or throw it across the room, so I went with the cheap clock again :-D)

As Jason stepped in his room, he about fell on the floor laughing at the sight of the twins giggling, singing the song, and mimicking the jumping jacks, of the creatures on the screen.

This event continued for about two minutes until all of the adults came up to see what the noise was all about. During the entire two minutes all that could be heard throughout the house was the twins chorusing "Badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, ...."

Jason couldn't believe his eyes. He was already laughing at the sight of the twins mimicking the badger dance once the adults arrived. The adults chuckled and exchanged looks at everyone in wonder and amusement, then had a good laugh about it. Joyce was the first to speak.

"Okay, playtime is over kids and breakfast is served!" The mention of food and the growling of the boy's stomachs were enough for the adults to laugh again as Jason and the twins dashed towards the kitchen.

"Never come between boys and food" Trish amusingly spoke.

"You're telling me!" Joyce replied.

Jack and Jerry just chuckled then made their way down.

"Let's go see what the little monsters have done to my kitchen" Joyce spoke in a mockingly worried tone.

"No worries, Joyce, I'm sure they left us something at least".

The sight of the kitchen still being in one piece surprised the adults as they entered. Jason was helping load up the twin's plates with small amounts of food. This surprised Trish and Jerry the most. They were expecting to see their plates covered with food, but the sight of 'not too much' made them exchange looks and smile.

As Jason was finished adding what he thought was enough for the twins, he looked up to see Trish and Jerry smile. His parents were grinning and to say they all were thinking the same thing was causing Jason to blush slightly.

"Aw, don't start with the 'your so good with kids' routine" Jason whined.

"But it's so cute" all four adults chimed in, causing Jason to blush redder.

As the adults stared in awe, Jason just blushed more, if it was even possible, causing the room to heat up with all the extreme redness and heat he was giving off.

"Honey, I think we should get more ice so Jason can cool off. Besides, the food is getting cold just sitting there, lets eat" Jerry spoke up. The rest of the adults agreed and loaded up their plates for breakfast.

The morning went pretty slow as Jason was getting antsy waiting for everyone to show up. Afternoon came and at 1pm, the doorbell finally rang. Joyce answered the door welcoming the first of the guests to arrive. Some parents just dropped off their kids; while others decided to stick around. The party was lively, many games were played, and a water balloon fight ensued between the adults and the kids. The kids won of course: once they got a hold of the garden hose. Jason was having a blast, but inside he still wished Eric was there with him. Trish had sensed his loneliness caused by the absence of his boyfriend. She made a mental note to talk to him later about being alone.

Time seems to fly when you are having fun. It seemed only moments had passed, since the doorbell rang, to allow his first guests in, when it was ringing again. This time, it was the parents returning, to pick up their sons and daughters. Joyce prepared some Tea and Coffee, so that the adults could chat for a little. Before the parents began leaving, they thanked Jerry and Joyce for minding them, as well as wishing Jason a happy birthday.

When the last of Jason's friends left, Jason was exhausted and slumped into the couch for a nap. During Jason's nap, he dreamt of Eric being there with him. The thoughts of Eric were so strong, that he was taken in another dream to a place which he didn't recognize. His dream guided him through a series of battles. Somewhere in the midst of the battle he saw a familiar face. Jason became confused and decided to go in for a closer look. As he approached the blond figure that appeared to be a boy of 13, his confused expression suddenly changed to a shocked and surprised look. He tried to call out Eric's name, but he didn't hear him. Eric was in the middle of a hand-to-hand combat battle with strange looking creatures that Jason had never seen before. Eric expertly fought his way using all types of techniques with such speed and grace. Jason was sure it was Eric, but still surprised at how he fought. Suddenly the battle got intense and more reinforcements had arrived. The first wave coming through was charging for Eric and Jason saw this and screamed loud enough in his thoughts that he was voicing it in his sleep, "ERIC! LOOK OUT BEHIND YOU!" As if Eric actually heard - read his lips clearly, his eyes widened and he swiftly turned around in time to see 3 strange warriors coming at him like bats out of hell...

"Jason! Jason! JASON!" Jason suddenly shot up awake to his mom calling his name and shaking him.

"Nooooooooo! Why did you wake me up! I was watching Eric in a fight and I won't know how it ends!" Jason screamed then broke into sobs.

All the adults saw this especially Trish, who was very curious. She knew Eric wouldn't be the fighting type let alone associate himself with anyone else, unless...What am I thinking? Trish scrunched her face wondering what happened to her son. There's no way Eric is a killer. Jerry noticed the expression on his wife asking her, "Dear, something is wrong here, do you think there is a connection between how these two boys think?" as he interrupted Trish's thoughts. "I get the feeling Jason has an ability that we don't know about that actually connects him and Eric in a way that they can somehow see each others' thinking".

"You know, I kinda agree with you."

Joyce managed to speak "I was afraid that having an Empath in the family ended with me, but it seemed to skip a generation."

Jason, wiping tears from his eyes, looked up confused, "Are you saying that I am an Empath?"

"Yes honey, it appears that you are, and obviously it skipped a generation." Joyce replied calmly then sighed. "It is late and you need to rest up. We have a big day tomorrow, and from what Trish told me earlier, we have some important people to meet."

Jason sighed and stood up "O.K., mom", then hugged her tightly.

When Jason let go of the hug, he walked to his dad to give him a hug then proceeded to head for the stairs when Trish stopped him.

"Young man, where's my hug? Don't I deserve one too?" Trish questioned with a serious expression, but she couldn't hold it and broke into a smile as Jason walked over for a hug. Jerry joined making it three-way {kinky - T.W.} [gee Taron, you spend way too much time around Hal and DarkShadow] "You might not be our son, but you are the closest thing to Eric we have and we love you as if you are our own."

There wasn't a dry eye after that. Once the close comfort of the Shannon's hug was over, Jason smiled as he shot back "Thank you and good night all, I love you so much."

Once Jason was gone from the living room, Trish sighed wishing she could do more to help.

High-tech Cast'ari Development and Technological Research planet, Cast'arr

Eric watched Quincy from behind and followed as the duo moved closer to the entrance. As Eric touched the door, a small vision appeared telling him of danger ahead.

"Quincy, there's a group of 3 to 4 warriors ahead of you, be careful." Eric spoke with a hint of concern.

"Roger" nodded Quincy. He punched a few codes in his comm device for silent communication to Squad C.

Squad C's plan came to life as an explosion set off the alarms outside of the perimeter. This caused the three warriors to move from their location to the explosion. Squad B moved in first to take out the lone warrior and squad A moved past with stealth. Eric kept thinking this was too easy as tech centers normally have more guards than this. As they got closer to the center after negotiating a series of turns in the labyrinth, they finally arrived at their destination. To their surprise, there were no guards, till Eric realized something was there protecting the minds of the Cast'ari warriors, keeping them from revealing their plan to him. They had expected this type of raid to happen and were fully prepared. Members of squad A and B's eyes widened when a voice over the speakers spoke up causing a few of the squad members to jump.

"Lower your weapons and put your hands above your head where we can see them and no one will be hurt." Spoke the commanding voice. "We have you surrounded and the telepathic link to your commander has been severed".

At the mention of the link, Eric's eyes widened.

Slowly, Cast'ari warriors appeared out of all corners they were hiding in, trapping both squads in the room.

As the Cast'ari appeared from their hiding spots, Eric shuddered at the sight of their appearance. Almost every Cast'ari appeared the same; they had a deep brown complexion about them. Their face appeared to have two large square bumps on the side of their head, dark brown eyes, and no ears. Their spiky black hair stood at least 7cm high. Several warriors had a color code band on their left arm indicating which rank they held. Their tight uniforms gave away how well toned their muscles were. They also wore an extremely light and thin armor across their torso, but it was barely visible. Eric had noted to himself about the yellow armbands and several green. As one of the Cast'ari approached both squads, he wore a red armband, which Eric assumed was their pack leader. After observing their features for the first time, Eric diverted his attention to the dagger each was holding. The thin dagger was no longer than a foot and no wider than 5cm. They were very fast and strong warriors who believed using advanced weapons, such as lasers and laser rifles, for hand-to-hand combat did not measure a person's skill.

Eric whispered to Quincy "We gotta get out of here somehow and the only way is to fight our way out."

Quincy wanted to avoid a fight at all costs, but knowing how Sid was, giving up was not an option. Sid would have fought his way to victory by any means necessary. He pushed all thoughts of Sid punishing him for his cowardice to the deepest parts of his mind, and groaned inwardly. He drew his twin blasters from his belt and shouted "Weapons forward, get Eric out of here at all costs!"

As the order was given, both squadrons drew weapons and fired the first volley on the warriors, which caught them by surprise. They all fell; but more started pouring in with battle cries, charging towards both squads in the center. The squads were fully prepared to do hand to hand combat if their blasters were rendered useless. The squads let out a second volley of blasts, some missed. One of the charging Cast'ari was able to make his way to one of the members from squad B, hitting him with full force, holding a dagger in his hand, and driving it into the B member's chest killing him instantly. More and more support arrived, pushing both squads to work harder. Even Eric had to push his limits as he was forced to defend himself.

Eric was very fast with his movements using hand-to-hand combat; he was trained directly by Sid since Sid told him if he wanted to survive, he had to learn how to defend himself. Eric was well into his 5th kill when he felt a strange sensation of a familiar presence and a slight boost in strength. Eric ignored it for a few moments, suddenly time started to move almost in slow motion, Eric was looking around watching his squad members fall one by one, then had a vision of what was about to happen. Eric's visions came and went as they pleased and always slowed him down. He couldn't do two things at once and hated it when it happened.

Suddenly another image appeared in front of him shouting his name, Eric could barely tell what it was, but somehow it felt familiar. Eric's eyes widened, as he was able to read the image's lips so well, swiftly spun around, and screamed, "I won't die here!"

Meanwhile on The Vulture, Sid paced back and fourth across the bridge, monitoring the situation. He began to become suspicions when all communication had stopped, as if there was some sort of communication jam taking place. No one on the ship noticed.

Sid turned to look at the viewer in time to watch the two Cast'ari ships break orbit and take off at warp speed, leaving the lone Terrain ship by herself.

Sid was about to give the order to de-cloak and attack The Mitoyo, but The Mitoyo made a 180 course to return in the direction it came, and then went to warp speed.

Sid kept thinking that things were too easy. The next moment the communications officer shouted to Sid saying, "All squads reported heavy fire and are taking heavy losses."

"Shit" Sid bellowed, "Prepare my shuttlecraft at once and have the elite squad join me ASAP!"

Sid turned to the turbo lift and sped towards the shuttle bay.

Arriving at the shuttle bay at the same time as Sid was the 'elite squad', Sid's personal squad he led on certain assignments when things got too hot with the other squads.

As Sid approached his shuttle, one of the crewmen walked out "Sir, the shuttle is warming up and will be ready in a few seconds, good luck".

Sid just smirked slightly as the two walked by each other. The rest of the elite squad followed and the shuttle door came to a close.

Once they had clearance, Sid brought the shuttle to life and maneuvered it towards the open doors hoping to rescue who ever he could.

As the shuttle swiftly made its way towards the tech center, Sid had a worried look about him, but didn't show it. ** That little shit had better make it out in one piece, I had just trained him the way I want him!** he thought.

..........To be continued........

Author's Notes:

Well, there you have it, chapter 2! I had a few starts and stops here, but finally made it through. I can pretty much see Taron and Hal rolling laughing at some parts and I will not be held responsible for any excessive "badgerbadgerbadger" type posts on the fort board. Things certainly have gotten interesting, but why is Jason exhibiting a new ability now? Will Eric survive the oncoming assault? What does Monday mean for Jason, his parents and the Shannon's? Also, what was the mysterious feeling of a temporal shift Eric felt back in chapter 1? Stick around to find out! See you next chapter!

Editor number 1's notes:

That's right dibs your number 2 giggles juvenilely Well at long last it's edited, I apologize to everyone for how long it took me to get it done, but I stand by the fact that it's hammers fault. Great chapter hammy, keep it up. You write the combat scenes really well. Can't wait to see what happens next time, It's all yours Dibs have fun crosses his arms, blinks and disappears.

Editor Number 2's notes:

After finally editing all the mistakes editor Duh (I think it is French for 1) made, I can now tell you how great the story is going. It is obvious that if you think these two chapters were interesting, wait until you read the rest. Great Job Hammer, you really did a great chapter, without badgering it up. crosses his arms, blinks, and nothing happens (No fair, why can't I do that?)

Previous ChapterNext Chapter