Castle Roland


by Kyle Aarons


Chapter 8

Posted: N/A

Rex wasted no time in getting to the hovercraft and making a straight line toward the injured kid he had been talking to. A weird glow from behind him caused him to glance back only to see Garret looking at his arms wrapped in some strange brightly glowing energy. "Kind of cool rookie, but what's it do for you?"

Colt gave Rex a bit of a warning glance and shake of his head, "My best guess is it is some kind of Chi sledgehammer, only much worse. It kind of reminds me of Logan's blades, only these are blunt, allowing him to smash things."

Rex's eyebrows rose, not used to Colt being impressed by anything other Augments could do. "Like what?"

Garret continued to turn his arms to look over the new found ability. His voice told both Rex and Colt he was rather amazed by what he had done. "Like flatten snowmobiles and toss them."

"Huh?" Rex shouted.

Colt nodded at Rex while patting Garret on the back, "Garret, those fists have nothing to do with you throwing the snowmobile. You threw it with the hand that was not glowing."

Garret glance up rather startled by Colt's words. The break in his concentration caused the glow around his hands and arms to fade, "Really?"

"Yeah, really. Not only did you unlock an augmentation tonight, you also busted open some empowerments."

Rex returned his focus on driving the hover, "Like what?"

"He has strength and toughness right on par with your level, and some sort of quickened healing." Colt stated with a degree of awe. "After he got shot it was like a dam broke inside and out popped a new and improved Garret."

Rex glanced back again, "You really took a bullet?"

"Uh Huh." Garret nodded, "And it really hurt!"

"They tend to do that." Rex snickered. "So this is what Jade Witch was warning us about. It's a good thing…"

Colt cut him off, "I don't think so."

"What do you mean, you don't think so. He unchains three empowerments and an augmentation all at the same time and you don't think so?"

Colt shook his head as Garret glanced over surprised to hear Colt imply there may be more to come. Colt took a deep breath as he turned to look into Garret's eyes, "Dude, you were a stone throw from really going off. You were pissed and I'm sure Logan felt the same thing I did, a building of power. If he hadn't shouted at you, caused you to back off a bit, turn your attention away from your anger, whoever I dropped with my electrical discharges would be splattered from here to Idaho right now."

"I didn't notice." Garret shrugged. "To be honest I was so mad I thought I threw the snowmobile with the help of the glowing thing on my arm."

"Nope." Colt held firm. "You flung it with your other hand, and hard too. I don't even know where it went, but it whistled by me at well over a hundred miles an hour."

"You have to be at least a Class 4, and if you have a real big bang yet to come, then you're a class five. BEST really screwed up on your rating." Rex shook his head in disbelief. A few seconds later he reduced power and spun so he could get out the side hatch on the opposite side of the hovercraft form the kid he had talked to earlier just in case the kid had changed his mind. As he stood he glanced over at Garret and Colt, "I'm taking a chance here, so watch this kid's every move."

"I still say you should have just left him." Colt stated with a degree of hatred.

Rex frowned deeply, "Out of any of us, you should be the most understanding of Augment Abandonment."

"I am," Colt stated in a hurt voice while looking downward. He took a deep breath and blinked away a tear before it could slide down his cheek. "But until he lets Josh in, there is no way to tell if he is telling the truth. He shot you for God sakes!"

"So it should be me holding the grudge not you." Rex reminded his friend. "Look, part of what being a BEARS cadet is supposed to be about is finding and helping other young Augments. I ain't certain, but I heard his voice, saw the terror in his eyes and even watched the tears streaming down his face. He's hurt, scared shitless, and with the way he talks there is no chance he is from this neck of the woods. I want you to watch him, but I'm asking you to give him a chance, cause I don't think he is one of them. He's close, but I just don't think he should be blindly stuck with the Woodsman and his bunch, at least not yet."

Garret nodded, "OK, Rex, but if he makes a wrong move..." Once again Garret made the weird augmentation appear extremely quickly around both his hands and arms. "I'm going to hit him with this new fist thing I have."

Rex managed a nervous smile and gave a thumbs up as he jumped back out into the cold night.

"You sure have that down." Colt commented while returning his focus back on Garret.

"The sorcery stuff takes concentration; I have to really focus on what I am trying to make. This is easy. If I want to smash something I just think about big fists. There is nothing to making this come up."

"Be careful when you get angry then." Colt warned, "If it comes up without needing to focus on it then there is a much bigger chance of you accidentally bringing it up and doing some serious damage to…" Colt paused and let out a bit of an uneasy breath. "Um, well, after what you did the snowmobile, I'd say you could pretty much punch through a building and may even be able to put a dent in an armored truck!"

Garret glanced down at his glowing arms, "Awesome!"

"I'd agree, but you best be careful, cause you haven't seen nothing until you bust up something major with an augmentation and have a special training session one on one with A.T. or Jade Witch."

Garret shook his arm causing the glow to fade once again and gulped, "One on one?"

"Yeah." Colt frowned. "Since A.T. and I are so close I had to go live with Jade Witch for two weeks after I took out the power grid for the county. She had me up at like 3:30 every morning and I worked on flight control until school started. Then, after school, I had three more hours of Electrical absorption and release drills before I even got a chance to do homework. I was so glad to get home…"

Conversation stopped as Rex reappeared carrying a boy with long dark hair, green eyes, and olive colored skin. The kid's left leg hung down oddly and he was biting his lip and trembling with pain, fear and cold.

Before Rex could say anything, Colt jumped up and cleared a path so Rex could get the kid into the back where the twin medical gurneys were located. Colt motioned to Garret while pointing at a small cabinet at the front end of the ambulance area of the hovercraft. "Grab some extra blankets and get this kid covered. His teeth are chattering so hard it sounds like he is going to chip them!"

Garret did is instructed, looking at the kid with a great deal of pity and worry. "How do we turn up the heat in here?"

"I'll take care of it!" Colt squeezed by Rex and Garret, making his way back into the cockpit of the vehicle.

Garret pushed himself against the inner wall of the ambulance area so Colt could get by and shook his head, speaking to no one in particular. "How do paramedics work in such a tight space?"

The boy Rex was covering clutched the blankets. "I… think…" His teeth chattered almost uncontrollable cutting off the rest of his response.

Rex shook his head and put another blanket over the kid. "He was complaining, not really asking. I am going to help you lay down. I will brace your leg the best I can, but it's going to hurt. I'm sorry."

The kid grabbed the wool blankets, stuffed them into his mouth and bit down before finally nodding his agreement. His jaw clenched down on the wad of wool as Rex maneuvered the damaged leg up to the gurney. At the same time, the boy's back arced showing just how painful any movement to the leg was. Once the kid's leg was up, it was apparent there were major problems. Both Rex and Garret could clearly see the kid's kneecap was not on the top of the leg, but was instead was pushed all the way around to the outside of his leg and was pushed down further than it should have been.

Garret jumped forward the second the kid was fully laying down and tucked yet another blanket over him. "How did you manage to walk with your leg so messed up?"

"He has at least Heightened Endurance," Rex stated with total certainty. "No matter how strong or tough, the only way anyone is going to be able to go anywhere with his kind of injury is with an endurance empowerment."

The boy kept his fists clenched in an effort to fight off the pain but managed to nod

"I have it too." Rex informed the injured kid, "But just because we can do it doesn't mean we should. You probably did more harm trying to walk."

"I did not want… to get a rock… like Mr. D'Aubigne got… You killed him?" The boy's thick accent made it kind of difficult to understand all the words and even harder to discern what emotions were behind them.

Rex frowned deeply not really thinking about what the huge chunk of stone had done to the guy he had hit with it until this moment. After a few seconds he shrugged then nodded lightly. "Probably."

The boy let his head fall back against the pillow. "Good." He let out a large sigh.

"Good?" Garret looked at the kid with wide eyes and clenched his fist upon hearing someone say something so callous.

"Yes." The boy closed his eyes clearly feeling a bit better as the compartment got warmer and the blankets cut down on the shivering. The fact he had heightened endurance also allowed him to push some of the pain of the leg injury out of his mind. The combination of the two plus the reality of how he was being treated by those who had just captured him allowed him to calm enough to pass on more information. "He and many others come from further north with a large group. One very powerful afxano led them, took over…"

"Afxano?" Garret asked.

"Yes… um…" the boy frowned as he struggled to come up with the proper word, "One of our kind, a… um… une personne avec le pouvoir…"

Rex nodded as he quickly translated the French into English suddenly happy Josh had talked him into taking it as an elective. "A person with power." He paused as in internal light came on inside his brain. "You mean an Augment?"

"Yes." The boy nodded upon hearing the word, "One of those. One of us."

Rex frowned as he realized he was getting valuable information, and needed to ask more questions, but didn't really know what the right questions were. With a bit of frustration, he decided to do what he could to probe for more intelligence. "So this Augment came with others. He took over?"

"Yes. Right before snow melt this last… um…. Cheimonas… time before Spring… large group lead by this afxano. Big fight, kill many of adults took all kids and any who gave in. They took Woodsman's officers, made them desmefsi... give devotion or kill more of us."

Colt came back in and felt his eyes go wide upon hearing this. "So the Woodsman is not behind the attack to get the senator's kid?"

The kid shrugged, "Mr. Bouchard, the dark flying one, he shoot at helicopter, but it kept going. He made us… suivre…" The boy looked over to Rex.


"Yes follow. We know only to get a boy from it, but only the adults. We are only to help in case we had to fight… gardes… protectors. They take us kids so we could come to make him a friend. They want us to get locked up with the boy, pretend to be like him, a... captif… prisoner."


The boy shrugged. "I do not know." He then looked up with some worry, "Mr. Bouchard is very mean, evil…"

"The dark flying one isn't a problem anymore." Garret smirked and glanced over to Colt, "Unless the guy can handle twin lightning strikes and a fall from really high."

Colt grinned as the boy looked up with a degree of hope and awe. "I held both bolts on him for several seconds and we were well over 75 feet up. He didn't move at all after he belly flopped into the snow either. Besides, his leg had a nasty gash from Logan and I also think at least part of the snowmobile Garret tossed at him nicked him, since he dropped both pistols as he tried to get away."

"Even if he happed to live," Garret added, "there's no way he is going to bother us again anytime soon." Garret stopped suddenly as he too realized he may have killed people. To get his mind off such a gruesome thought he looked down at the kid, "So what is your name, anyway?"

"Ajax." The boy stated, "Ajax Lekas."

Garret nodded and gave a quick round of introductions.

"Thank you all for your kindness, but we should leave. More were summoned to help search for the boy."

Rex immediately turned and made his way up front. "Guys, I want to two of you to keep him company. I'm getting us out of here." As he made his way past Colt he whispered, "Keep the door shut so I can contact command without him hearing."

Colt simply nodded and grabbed a trio of MRE's from the onboard food stores, tossing one to Garret and offering another to Ajax while ripping open the third for himself. "We all used a lot of energy. Eat up!"

Meanwhile, Rex closed and latched the hatch leading to the cockpit before powering up the lift fans and angling toward the snowmobile Ajax had been a passenger on. As he did so, he dialed in a new frequency and keyed the radio, "A.T. are you on?"

The response was instantaneous, "Rex? You guys OK?"

"Yes sir. Josh has the senator's kid with him. We had to fight to get him away safely, though."

"Are any of you hurt?" Arctic Trooper asked in genuine concern.

"Logan was hit. It didn't sound bad, but I don't know for sure. But Jade Witch was right about Garret. He has some really weird kick-butt new augment and several brand new Empowerments. He took a bullet and other than saying it hurt, it didn't seem to faze him. Both Colt and Logan says the welt was already starting to heal too."

"He got shot?"

"Yes sir. I wasn't there so I don't know how it happened, though."

"We need to work on teamwork…"

"Probably." Rex agreed, but cut Arctic Trooper off, "Sir, can we all get yelled at for letting the rookie take a bullet later please."

"Is there something more important than a fellow squadron member?" Arctic Trooper snarled.

"At the moment, sir, yes." Rex responded forcefully.

Arctic Trooper's voice suddenly changed, not used to Rex sounding so afraid. "Son, what's going down out there?"

Rex quickly filled in Arctic Trooper on the fight and the information he had gotten form Ajax. Once he had passed on everything he took a deep breath, "Sir, is there any way you can find out more about this Ajax kid? He is not one of them…"

"Rex, he shot you!"

Rex couldn't help it, he snickered. "That's exactly what Colt said, sir."

Arctic Trooper let out a long breath of air, "How do the others feel?"

"I can't speak for any of the others but I think Colt and Garret are with me on this after talking to him." Rex clenched his fist, "Sir, after my parents died, you told me if I stuck with the program I could ask you for one big favor if I ever needed one. I'm now asking."

Several seconds of dead air followed before Arctic Trooper's voice came back sounding very cautious. "And if I find this Ajax has other outstanding crimes against him or he doesn't stand up to a read from Josh?"

"Then I just wasted the one thing of value I have left and have been holding onto it for the last three and a half years, sir."

"I have never heard you sound so sure, Rex."

"I'm really not, sir. But I'm telling you, he doesn't belong with the separatists, nor can we ship him back to wherever he is from. I saw it in his eyes! He would rather die than go back home." Rex fought to control his voice from sounding too angry. "Sir, the kid is where Colt would have been without you, but I can feel it in my gut. He isn't one of them yet. He should be one of us!"

"I'll see what I can dig up on the sly, son. But if it turns out he isn't what you think…"

"I'm willing to risk it, sir."

"Very well." Arctic Trooper let out a long sigh. "Get him back to Josh so he can fix the kid up and see if he will submit to a mind scan. If he passes with Josh then I will move heaven and earth for him and for you."

Rex smiled, "Thank you sir!"

"Now stay safe, and if any of you let any of the others take another bullet I am going to kick all your butts when this is over! Do I make myself clear?"

"Yes sir!"

"Good." Arctic Trooper stated firmly. "I'll talk to you all later. Make sure you erase this part of the recording, or better yet, rip out the whole dammed record and monitor unit and see how far you can hit it with a baseball bat or something."

Rex snickered, "I'll let Garret smash it. He seems like he wants to play with his new augmentation and I haven't seen it in use yet."

"Sounds like you all might need to go another round or two." Arctic Trooper warned. "See if you can find out more on this unknown Augment who took over the Woodsman's operation. There aren't many capable of beating down a class four augment, especially with the Woodsman's abilities. I'm going to put in a call and see if I can get you some adult support a bit sooner, even if I have to get permission for a Red Leaf team to come on down."

"We'll take all the help you can give us, sir."

"I'll find you some. In the meantime, I like your idea of keeping the senator's brat at your cabin. No one will find him there. Just keep the hovers away or covered so they can't be spotted and lead whoever this new player is to your doorstep. A.T. out."

Rex rolled his neck and shoulders while pulling up next to the snowmobile Ajax had been a passenger on. He lowered the power on the hover fans, but didn't totally drop the craft to the ground. Once satisfied it was not going anywhere without him behind the controls he jumped up and opened the hatch to the back. "Hey rookie, let's test your strength real quick. I want to see if you can toss the snowmobile up on the roof of this hover so we can have an extra one if we need it.

"What if I can't…"

Colt cut Garret off by pushing him toward the side hatch. "You can. Don't doubt, it's in you; the biggest problem any of us have is realizing how far we can push ourselves and our abilities."

Garret let out a nervous sigh before he pulled the hood up on his BEARS parka and stepped out into the snow. The moment he was outside and out of earshot, Rex fired a humor filled look over to Colt, "You really do spend too much time with A.T. I don't think any of the rest of us could have sounded more like him."

Colt turned a bit red as he grabbed a pillow off the unused gurney and flung it at Rex only to see his friend easily dodge it. "Go help the rookie or something!"

Rex jumped out into the snow laughing.

Ajax glanced over with a bit of a questioning stare, "You are all in the United States program?"

Colt nodded, "Yeah, we are all in the same squadron. Why do you look so surprised?"

"You have fun."

"Of course we do! It's not much different than scouting programs or other kids groups. The only real difference is we are all Augments. We have instructors to push us and make sure we know what we can and can't do, but it's no real different than what a teacher does at school. The best part of being in a squadron is we get teach ourselves and each other to use our empowerments and augments safely. We also get to back each other up and have friends who really understand what it's like to have so many hate us just because we have extra abilities."

Colt frowned as he saw confusion ripple across Ajax's face. "What's wrong?"

Ajax chewed on his lip and shook his head, "This is all wrong. We are told the United States and Canada program kids are brainwashed to be ... rompot… Um robots… you know, to do what you are told and to kill others."

Colt's jaw dropped some as he stared at Ajax. "Is that what the Woodsman and his freaks tell you?"

Ajax held up his hand to show he meant no insult, but conversation was cut off as there was a rather loud thump on the roof of the hovercraft. Ajax noticeably flinched and glanced upward with a great deal of fear.

Colt jumped up and glanced out only to see Rex watching as Garret shoved the snowmobile up toward the roof of the hovercraft, standing on his tiptoes but sinking further into the snow because of the weight of the machine. Finally, after some prodding, Garret jumped, which got him high enough to give another shove and get most of the snowmobile up on the upper cargo rack. Colt grinned as Rex shook his head and pointed for Garret to climb up so he could get it all the way up and strapped down. "It's just Rex working with Garret."

Ajax fell back into the pillow taking so long calming breaths as he closed his eyes. "You are not at all like it is said by others. I wish there was such a group for me back home."

Colt edged closer and patted Ajax on his shoulder, feeling an immediate flinch. "Dude, we're not going to hurt you. I just can't believe the Woodsman actually says we are trained to be killers though!"

Ajax glanced over with sadness, "He is better than most. He wants to get you out of the program so you can join him, make a home for just those of us with… um…"


"Yes augments. I do not know why I have such a problem with the word. I wish my American was better."

Colt grinned, "Your English is very good."

Ajax shook his head, "No, the new guy who took over had some English people with him. I do not speak English well at all. I do Speak American somewhat better."

"It's the same…."

"No." Ajax shook his head. "Very close, but not the same. Maybe it is close enough to let you communicate with the English with little to no problems, but for me who knew no American when I first visited your land, English is not the same."

Colt tossed up his hands in surrender, "OK, I will have to take your word on it since I have never been there nor have I ever met someone from England." He smiled as he started to see what Rex had. Ajax was not at all what he expected from a separatist kid. I wouldn't take much for Colt to see the boy as a friend. "So the Woodsman does not say we are brainwashed robots?"

"Not like others do, but he still says the program is bad. The Woodsman says we have to fight you, but he does not like it. He says it would be better if you would just join him. Elsewhere it is much different, what is said about kids in the United States and Canada program is very bad and scary. Even worse things are said about those in Israel."

"Israel is an odd place." Colt agreed. "They actively seek Jewish augments and even rescue non-Jew augments in hopes they will join their military. More than one kid from this squadron has taken Israeli offers to come to their county to serve in their military in exchange for citizenship since Augments in Israel are look on as gifts from God."

"The same is true where I come from, but the Israelis often send in rescue teams to save… um… Oh crud… our types."

Colt grinned, "Augments."

"Yes." Ajax rolled his eyes clearly annoyed at not being able to remember the proper word. "On my home isle everyone says horrible things about… Augments… over here. Those owned by the United States are the… adespotos… not wanted… um… apoblitos… Do you know French?"

Rex jumped back in and glanced over having heard the last question. "I am decent in French."

"I have noticed." Ajax managed a slight smile. "The American word for 'proscrit'."

"You mean like someone who is not wanted, an outcast?"

"Yes, outcast. Where I grow up, everyone says those owned buy the United States are your outcasts."

Garret climbed in smiling at his success in single handedly loading the snowmobile on the cargo rack, but the grin faded as he heard Ajax's statement. "No one owns us… well I guess our parents do in a way, but not like for sale or anything. What are you talking about?"

Colt hit the control button to secure the side hatch, "He was telling me how people where he comes from talk about those of us in the BEST program. He seems a bit surprised that we have fun."

"More than a bit." Ajax admitted with some astonishment. "You mean you live with your real parents?"

Colt took a deep breath, "Most of us do, I live with my mom only because my dad hates Augments and disowned me. He's such an ass!"

"And I live with my Uncle," Rex added with total sadness in his voice, "But only because my folks were killed when our car was sideswiped on an icy road and sent us down a steep drop-off."

Ajax shook his head, "I am sorry I did not wish to bring up bad thoughts."

Rex wiped his eyes before any tears could spill out then managed a shrug. "It is not your fault. Besides at least I have my uncle. It does not sound like you have anyone."

"I do not; the woman who cared for me and three others, at the camp made by Woodsman, was killed by those who came with the newcomer. She tried to fight for us, not wanting us to go into war so young. Woodsman says no one below the age of 15 should fight and he gave us a home. It is no more though. All us in the camp made to fight for this new leader, even those younger than me."

Garret, who found himself feeling quite guilty at the moment since he had both parents and they truly loved him, yet couldn't' help but probe a bit deeper. "What about your mom and dad?"

Ajax frowned deeply and his voice took on a nasty edge. "They left me here in the United States to die for all they cared."

Garret took a step back as if he had been punched. "For God sakes, why?"

Colt glanced over, "Because, rookie, they are like many others all over this world. The idea of having an Augment for a son…"

"Makes them an abomination as well." Ajax completed the sentence for Colt. "My isle of Crete has turned into a very bad place. The criminals are the ones really in charge while the government is a… façade…" he glanced over to Rex.

"We use the same word." Rex managed to nod with a slight grin. "It basically means fake or something covering what is really behind it."

"Good, yes the government of Crete is a façade for the criminals. One powerful group take all of us… Grrr… one of these days I will remember the word for our type in American…"

Colt motioned for Rex to head up front so they could clear the area. "Your American is fine Ajax, don't worry about it. So there is a group that takes Augments?"

"Yes. They take us and we are never seen again unless it is as a criminal. I know Israel sends in Mossad agents all the time to Crete to rescue our kind, and they often break out into real wars on the streets. I heard one time that this criminal group performs some sort of ceremony to the old gods of Greece, sacrificing some of those of our type who they take. Only if they live do they become one of this group.

"I know not if this is true, just what I heard. I do know many parents of our type are also taken, especially if they do not free give us up. Many others are killed by others because they have a child like us. It is better in Greece, but only because the government actually enforces laws so we cannot be killed. Still the streets of Greece have many of our type who have to beg to live.

"I have even heard rumors that under the streets of Athens there are… archaios... old…. Um… diadromos … tunnels… where many of us now live and where gangs of us now rule. There are even whispers of selling and buying of us from one group to the other if our… abilities… are needed by one group more than another or the money is good enough. Italy is even worse; as I saw it all firsthand shortly before my family came to New York for a tour. All in all, it is a bad thing to be an…um… Augment… in Europe and even worse to be one on the isle of Crete!"

Garret let out a long breath, "At the moment, I'm not so sure it is a good thing to be an Augment in the Northern Rockies of the U.S."

"For either side." Ajax sighed. "At least you guys won this time."

Garret glanced out the window, watching the snow fall. "Maybe they won't find us and…"

Ajax interrupted, "The new guy and his people want the boy, and what he wants he gets. I saw many fall because they spoke against him. His people are more… tromagmenos… um, effrayé… you know, ah, troubled… not really the right word, but it is best I know in American. They are more troubled about the leader than dying out here. "

Colt nodded and pointed at Ajax while nodding his head, "In simple terms, all we did by getting the kid is piss off those pulling the strings in the Woodsman's group."

"Yes, Colt, your words fit very well."

Garret gulped, "So this isn't over?"

Ajax shook his head, "One of your more common American expressions comes to mind."

"Which one?" Garret asked.

Ajax frowned "I think I say it properly by saying…" He paused to make sure he got the words just right. When he spoke his voice, even with the heavy accent, was clearly full of dread. "This is not over, not by a long shot."

Just as Ajax finished his statement the hovercraft lifted up off the snow and turned to head back to the BEARS 97 meeting hall. Rex turned to glance back, "Radar shows no new contacts, but we are still way out in the sticks here. It'll be a good hour before we can get someone to look at your leg without screwing up our rescue mission some. I can get you some help much faster if you really need it though."

"No, get the other boy to safety and hide him from these people. They would prefer him dead than in your hands. I will live for an hour or more with no more attention." Ajax spoke firmly before managing a tight pain filled grin, "It only hurts if I move it, so I will not do so."

"Alright, but if things change or you get worse let me know, I will contact Josh."

Once again Ajax shook his head, "Just get us away and hidden. I do not want to go back to the madman or those he controls who took over Woodsman's southern camp."

"What can you tell us about this guy?" Garret asked as he watched the snow continue to pelt the hovercraft though the port side window wondering if it was ever going to stop.

"It is very odd, I never saw him do anything. He stood back and told others what to do. But the adults in the camp became very afraid once they saw him. Several stopped fighting back and many fled. One of the camp bosses even wet his pants and ran away once he saw this man. He was brought down by one of the guy's men. The same dark flyer who was with us, Mr. Bouchard.

"He is not one you will have to worry about." Colt reminded Ajax.

"This is good. But the new leader will not let this end here. He is terrible. I heard no name given this man, but once the camp had been over run, his people took over. The last time I saw him, he went with a few of the others and the most powerful of the kids they took from the camp and went southwest."

"Didn't Arctic Trooper go west?" Garret asked with a great deal of concern.

"Yes." Colt snarled as he grabbed his radio off his belt. "I'm going to warn him about this. Rex, it sure sounds like we need to get the hell out of here!"

"As soon as I erase most of Josh's tracks, we'll be out of here. In the mean time I have the radar up. So far so good. What about the others we took out though. There are still some out here who may be alive."

Ajax shook his head. "Go, please! We must leave before the new leader comes to find out what happened."

Rex let out an annoyed sigh, "Fine, I'll let command know of our exact location in case they find a way to get a team or something out here." A few minutes later Rex kicked the fans into high gear as he flowed the swath Josh had taken out of the area, happy to see that even in the short amount of time since the other two hovercraft had left the area, there was almost no sign of their passage as the blizzard was erasing any marks almost as quickly as they could be made.

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