Castle Roland

New Beginnings
Book II
Dogs of War

by Roland

In Progress

Chapter 3

Posted: 25 Jun 15

New Beginnings Book II: Dogs of War

Copyright © 2015 by Roland and the Revolutions Universe Partnership.

All Rights Reserved

Monday, Nov. 12th, 08:45
Kettle Falls, WA.
United States

Dog of War LogoFirst Lt. Courtney Hughes looked over at her brother and sighed. "You know he's gonna be in there right?"

"Yeah I do." Trevor said with a small fake grin. "Just remember, he's not the same man."

"I know, but it don't help that much." Sighing again, she squared her shoulders and reached up to knock on the door. "Let's get this over with."

A moment later, the door opened, and a Secret Service agent peaked out. "Yes?"

"We were hoping to be able to speak with the Vice President." She said simply. The man looked her and Trevor up and down, then looked around to make sure no one else was with them, before stepping back and opening the door up fully. "Thank you." Courtney said as she stepped inside, then turned towards the table that was sitting next to the door. Without prompting, she took out her side arm, and carefully dropped the magazine, and locked back the slide.

Then she took out her K-Bar combat knife, her secondary smaller pistols, the expandable baton, throwing knives, and finally, from behind her back the two fighting knives she kept there.

The agent’s eyes were wide as she unarmed, but the man's eyes absolutely bugged out as Trevor was still adding to the weapons piles. By the time they were done the table was covered with different weapons. In his head, the agent was trying to figure out where these kids could have kept all these weapons. After deciding he really didn't want to know, he motioned for them to follow him.

"Courtney! Trevor! What can I do for you?" Mike asked from where he sat at the conference table.

"Thank you for seeing us sir." Courtney said as Mike motioned her and Trevor to sit.

"Not a problem. I am sure you know everyone here?" Mike asked as he motioned to both Eric and General Adams.

"Yes sir, we do, thank you." Courtney said, shifting in her chair uncomfortably.

"Okay, so what can we do for you?" Mike asked sitting back, keeping the easy smile on his face. He knew the relationship these kids had with another Richard Adams. He understood it, but also knew that they had to get past that if they were going to work with this team.

"Sir, we were hoping that we could get you to speak to some of the refugees that just came in an hour ago. They are from the Branson, Missouri area, but more importantly, they are all members of the American Legion. Several of them have skills that could be very useful to our team that's heading to Bermuda."

"What skills are these?" Richard Adams asked softly.

"Mostly helicopter repair, as well as support and logistics. Something we are sorely lacking at the moment." Courtney spoke to Richard, although she had a hard time hiding her discomfort. "They arrived this morning in a beat up school bus. We're rather surprised they made it, but as the de facto leader of the group, a man named Mac said, working on one engine is close enough to be able to cobble together another one."

Trevor picked up right where his twin left off. "Several of the men, and a few of the women expressed a desire to reenlist once they knew their families were safe. We have also spoken to them just to see if we thought they would be able to work with our group. We believe that they will be able to accept working with kids, but we feel it would be best if someone that they knew, gave them the broad details of what they would be doing, so they know we're for real."

"That sounds wise." Mike said while looking at the others in the room. Nodding, his eyes fell on Richard. "Go with Courtney and Trevor, talk to this group. See if they will go to Bermuda. If they will, get a transport for them, and make sure they have whatever supplies, equipment and tools they need. With what I have heard is happening on the East Coast, the UNIT Team will need all the help they can get. Giving them the best tools and equipment is a small thing we can do to pay them back for what they have done for us."

Richard got to his feet smiling. "Of course sir." He then looked at Trevor and Courtney who also had risen to their feet. "Please, lead the way."

Courtney nodded to Mike, then to Eric, then turned and left the room, with Trevor and Richard right behind her. When they got to the door leading out of Mike's rooms, Richard watched with a grin as the two kids took all their weapons back. "Remind me not to piss you guys off." He said with a chuckle.

Courtney did not respond, but led the group out the door, then down the stairs. No words were spoken as they were leaving the house. Courtney got into the driver's seat of the Gator they had borrowed, while Trevor made sure to sit in the back seat, leaving the front passenger seat for Richard. Courtney fired the machine up, but instead of putting it in gear, sighed then looked at Richard. "Sir, part of me wants nothing more than to kill you where you sit. But another part of me, the part that makes me a commander in the UNIT, knows that it was not you that did those horrible things. I feel I need to ask for forgiveness, since I can not seem to separate what I know to be true from my urge to end the life of the person who caused us so much pain."

Richard nodded sadly. "I do understand the problems I am causing. I've had several long talks with both Mike and Eric, putting together the pieces of what we know about you. I've even had a few conversations with President Bryce about you and your group. He learned several things about your past from the time his mind was merged with Chang's. I still have a difficult time accepting the where and how you were made, and my part in it, or I should say my other self’s part in it. But I do know that it happened. The only thing I can do is try to let you all see who I really am, and hope that I can overcome the sins of my other self."

Courtney looked at the man and gave a small smile. "The work you have been doing with Max is a very good start. Yes, we have been watching how he is doing, and I must say the love and understanding that you have shown him has shocked all of us. We have always been a group that looks at someone's actions over what we know of them. For you, it is very difficult to do it, but we will. I just ask for your patience and understanding and will give you ours." She then put the Gator in gear, and they were off towards the Intake Center.

Several minutes later, they were getting close and had to slow down due to how many people were wandering around. Many of them saw Richard's uniform and smiled, waved or both. "When Mac and his group got put into the system, Dizzy alerted us since we had put in a request for those with military background. I then had Trevor come over and chat with them, posing as the kid of a military person, just to get a clearer picture of their backgrounds and what they would be willing to do. Several of them indicated a wish to return to service if something could be found for them to do, and their families could be taken care of. We've already cleared it with Carson to have the families stay here, if they want."

"Okay, assuming they agree, how much do you want me to tell them about you?" Richard asked as the stadium came into view.

"Just let them know that if they agree, they will be joining a top secret group. That you can't say anything else at this point. Most of them should be familiar enough with that sort of thing. If they agree, then we will give them a more complete briefing later." Trevor said from the back. Richard still had to shake his head at how in sync these two were.

"I can do that." Richard said just as they pulled up to the stadium. Richard followed the two teens into the building and through the crowd. Courtney stopped at a desk and picked up a soft sided briefcase. She handed it to General Adams with a smile. "All the paperwork you'll need."

She then led the way to and through a door marked 'authorized personnel only', and into the bowels of the stadium itself. Finally, they came to an unmarked door, and Courtney looked to Richard who nodded. She nodded back, then opened the door.

Those inside stood as the General walked into the room. "Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen. First, I want to thank you for your patience and understanding during these difficult times."

"Of course General." One of the men said. "I can only imagine how busy you are, and I, for one, would like to thank you for taking the time out to talk to us."

"You are most welcome. My name is General Richard Adams." Richard said as he stepped up and offered his hand to the man that spoke.

"General…" The man said with a nod of his head. "I'm Master Sergeant Grant Macallister, US Army Retired, or Mac if you prefer." He then turned towards the other people in the room. "With me are several retired Army and Navy personnel. Fourteen in total, including myself. We all have the same question. If our families are safe here, how can we help?"

General Adams nodded and smiled. "First off, thank you very much for your offer, and we do indeed have something for you all to do if you are interested. However, as I am sure you are all at least somewhat familiar with, what we have in mind is assigning you to a top secret team that will be working against Ashwood’s forces. None of you will be on the front obviously, but the group that will be, needs support. If you are willing, that is where we would like to send you."

"Can you tell us where we will be stationed?" One of the men asked.

"At this time, even the location is classified. I can only ask that you believe that it will not be on the front lines, but you will be supporting those that are going to be doing a lot of the behind enemy lines fighting." Adams said with all seriousness.

"And our families?" Mac asked. "They will be able to stay here?"

"Yes, I will personally look after them. Obviously in a relief effort this large, there are many things that need doing. If any of them are interested, we will be able to find them positions, but, they do not need to. They will be our guests here for the duration of the conflict."

Mac looked over to a younger woman who nodded. "Go ahead Dad. Ever since Mom passed away, you haven't had anything to really do. I think this will be good for you, give you a purpose again. You need to do this."

Mac nodded to his daughter then looked back to Adams. "What do I need to do?"

Adams opened the briefcase that Courtney had handed him when they first walked into the stadium, and pulled out a small stack of papers. "These are the reenlistment forms. If you are willing, please fill these out. You will be granted the same rank as you had before you retired, including the pay and benefits that go along with it. Then I would ask that you say goodbye to your families, and one of these youngsters will be happy to show them where they can get assigned housing. Once only those that are willing to go are left, I will finish explaining where you are going, and who you will be supporting.

Tuesday, Nov. 13th, 18:45
USS Ronald Reagan

Logan walked over to Adam right after they got the Dragon unloaded. They had rescued some of the most important documents in United States history, now it was time to figure out what to do from here.

"How you doing?" Logan asked softly.

Adam shook his head and sighed. "Think our lives will ever calm down?"

Logan actually chuckled. "I hope not!" When Adam looked at him hard, Logan just grinned more. "I don't even want to think about you being bored. You would be bad, but just imagine Jory and Juan getting bored!"

Adam tried hard to keep his face stern, but he just couldn't do it. Finally, he let the grin form on his face as he shook his head. "Juan would go out and start a war if he couldn't find one." He sighed deeply then nodded. "Okay, you're right. I guess I just hoped that someday things would be calm for us."

"And it may… but not now." Logan said as he put a hand on Adam's shoulder and squeezed it reassuringly. "Especially since I have a surprise waiting for you."

"Oh hell…" Adam said with a grin. "What did you do this time!"

"Nothing much…" Logan said while a chuckle. "You know I had some free time on the way down here, so I made a few phone calls."

"Do I need to be sitting down?" Adam asked as he looked around the deck of the carrier to find a place to sit. Not seeing one, he just sighed and nodded for Logan to continue.

"Well I just got confirmation that it all came together a few minutes ago, so I didn't say anything till now." Logan started somewhat nervously.

"What did you do Logan?" Adam asked softly, then continued. He didn't like the look on Logan's face. "You know I trust you more than anyone else. I know that whatever you did, you did it for the betterment of the UNIT. So please don't be nervous."

Logan took a deep breath, nodded then smiled as he started to talk. "Well, I told you that I knew we would be staying here. That we would be setting up our base of operations here. The only problem I saw was that we did not have a command staff. Well, actually, command staff is not the right term. What I should say is we do not have the people to run the command center, once we get it built, when we are all out on missions."

Adam nodded. "It's one of the things I have been worried about. We have the fighting forces, but we don't have much in the way of support staff."

"Exactly. So, on the flight from Canada to here, I was working with Bryce's staff to see what we could do." Logan said as he took Adam by the arm, and started to walk. "First off, Bryce sent the acknowledgement of us as a Government in Exile to all the allied countries, France, the British Empire, Russia, and Japan. They have all agreed, and accepted it. So we are now recognized by those countries. On top of that, the British Empire has agreed to not only allow us to use the island that we are on, but to lease it to us for one US dollar per year.

Next, all four of them have agreed to send us personnel to be our support staff. As well as security for the base." Logan knew this was going to be the hard part.

"That means that we will be having a lot of people here, not only knowing about us, but also having access to our tech?" Adam asked slowly, making sure to keep his face and voice neutral.

"Correct." Logan said simply, then went on. "Bryce has agreed to continue with the cover story that we were created by a secret US government project. The tech will all be stuff that we have come up with. Which we will have full control of. He's already issuing written orders that state that the tech being used here is ours, and will remain ours."

"We would have to let whoever is in command, know fully about our abilities." Adam said in thought. "It wouldn't be proper if the commander didn't know how to best use us, what we can handle, and what we can't."

"Agreed." Was Logan's only response. He waited for a few moments as Adam ran things through his head.

"Do we have any idea how many troops?" Adam finally asked.

"From the last report I got, Bryce doesn't like the idea of foreign troops doing more than needed, as this is a civil war. He's not going to stop them if they offer, but he really wants to try and keep the ground troops to American if he can help it. He knows he can't completely, but… well you know how he is." Logan said, and Adam nodded. "The plan is to bring in the US troops from Germany. The other countries will be providing some equipment, like floating barracks, and the like. They will also be providing logistical support. The commander will be American, as will a good bit of the command staff, but Bryce also sees this as a chance for all of us to work together. With that in mind, there will be other officers from those countries working here."

"What's our Theater of Operations?" Adam asked.

"Right now, the Southeastern US. Of course, we may have to go outside of the area, but that will be the primary area. The commander they send will report to Norris, who will be the Eastern Theater Commander."

Adam nodded, then stopped and looked at Logan. "When will they be getting here?"

"According to the last report I got.... the commander and his staff will be arriving here sometime later today. They will also be bringing with them the equipment needed to outfit a full command and control station. They have already been told that I will be in charge of the equipment, since we will be hooking ours in as well. Both President Bryce, as well as Tom Larkin assured me that the person they have selected to be the commander is a good man who will have no problems with who and what we are."

"Do we know who this person is yet?" Adam asked.

Logan shook his head. "I have his name, but it is no one that I knew from home. Colonel Bryan Shelton. From what research I have been able to do so far, he was a special forces operator, who made a big name for himself during the Mexican American War. He's also one of the youngest to ever reach the rank of Colonel. According to Bryce he's a very unconventional commander, and someone who he thinks would fit perfectly with us."

Adam nodded, then Logan smiled. "There's also another advantage to using Shelton. His wife is a high ranking officer in the Federal Emergency Management Agency, so she will be helping to coordinate the refugee effort. His eldest son is a computer engineer, who works for the government. Finally, his youngest is our age, and supposed to be a very bright young man who wants to follow in his father's footsteps."

"Sounds interesting." Adam said softly, before nodding. "We better get back. We've got a lot of work to do and it sounds like we don't have long."

Tuesday, Nov. 13th, 18:45
US Naval Annex Bermuda (Now the UNIT Base)

Caesar sat in almost the same place that Adam had earlier that morning. Looking out over the water, his tears slowly rolling into the sea in front of him. "I can't believe you're gone Brother." He said softly.

"He isn't." Caesar heard from behind him. Although he wasn't expecting it, he didn't bother to turn around, he knew that voice. "He'll never be gone." Khan said as he sat down next to Caesar. "No matter how much time passes, no matter what happens to you, no matter who else comes along, Legion will always be with you."

Caesar looked over at Khan, then back out to the water, but didn't speak for a while. Finally his breath hitched in his chest as he spoke. "Does it ever get easier?"

Khan slowly shook his head. "Not for a long time. There are times I turn around and still expect to see Kuan Ti looking at me, backing me up, or just ready to laugh at something stupid I did." This time it was Khan's voice that broke as the tears started to fall.

"It's like there's a hole in my soul..." Caesar said in a shuddering voice. He looked over at Khan, staring at the older hybrid with tear filled eyes. "How... how did you go on?"

This time it was Khan who was silent for a while. When he did speak though, his eyes were focused on the rolling waves. "It was hard. You know, people keep saying, 'what do you think he would want you to do?' Frankly, that's bullshit. It never really helped the way they thought it would. No, what kept me going then, and keeps me going even now, is the knowledge that his sacrifice made it so that other people wouldn't have to suffer as much. That his life made a difference, and so did his death. As much as I miss him, I know that because he sacrificed himself, many others lived." Caesar didn't respond, he couldn't. The two of them simply sat there in silence thinking about the brothers they lost, and what that loss meant to others.

When Adam and Logan got to the main house, they found most of the kids eating their dinner sitting on the floor. While they may have been able to find some beds, things like a dining room table and chairs, haven't been found yet. Not that it mattered much to them, they'd done worse.

Adam had just grabbed his plate, and started to put some food on it, when Khan looked up then out the window. "Someone's coming."

Adam put his plate down, then walked to the front of the mansion towards the main door. He didn't have to turn around to know that almost everyone had picked up a weapon of some sort. All of them were still on edge after the fight they had been in earlier in the week.

Opening the door, Adam saw an older military style Jeep driving towards the mansion. There were only two people in it, and Adam did not recognize either. 'Two men, one in a US Marine uniform, the other is Navy. Both of them armed with sidearms only, although there is an M4 in the back seat.' Juan said through the link. Adam didn't have to look to know that he was in one of the third story windows, where he had, undoubtedly set up a 'nest'.

'Thanks Juan, let’s see what they want before we do anything else. If they really wanted to start something, they would have brought a whole lot more people than just two.' Adam said as he stepped onto the porch then walked down towards the driveway that the Jeep was driving up. He was followed by Chang, Joe, Logan and Janet. Even though he was confident that nothing bad was going to happen, he did make sure to not get between Juan and the Jeep.

When the Jeep stopped, a few feet away from where the small group was waiting, the Naval Officer in the passenger seat got out, and waved towards Adam. Of course, Adam could smell that the man was nervous, even though he did a good job of hiding it. "General Casey?" The man asked.

"That's me." Adam said as he stepped forward. The officer, and his driver, who had gotten out and now joined him, went to attention and saluted. Adam returned the salute, and then the Naval Officer stepped forward again.

"Sir, I was asked to personally give this to you, it's a letter from Admiral Norris." He handed over a sealed envelope to Adam.

"Thank you Ensign Black." Adam said after sparing a glance at the man's rank insignia. Adam opened the envelope then began to read. After a few moments he looked up nodding his head. "Admiral Norris would like to visit, for a mission briefing." As he spoke he handed the letter to Logan who looked it over. "Am I correct in assuming that you are to let him know if we agree?"

"Yes sir." The Ensign said with a grin. "The admiral wasn't sure if you would be willing to discuss another mission so soon."

Adam looked thoughtful then nodded. "We will do what is needed. Please inform the Admiral that I will meet with him when ever it is convenient for him."

"Thank you very much sir." He said then nodded to the driver who walked back to the Jeep and started speaking on the radio.

"We were just going to have dinner. Would you two care to join us?" Adam asked politely.

The Ensign smiled then nodded. "If you would have us, we would be honored."

Logan was concerned. No, that wasn't a good enough word. He was worried. When Admiral Norris had gotten to the base, he, Adam, and Bucky locked themselves into a small room for the briefing. Within minutes, Logan felt Adam go from curious to furious. Moments later the link slammed shut. Adam was now actively blocking everyone from being able to read his thoughts. Logan knew he would only do that when it was necessary, but the fact that it had been a while since it happened, just made Logan grow even more worried.

To make matters even worse, before Adam went in for the briefing, he had asked Logan to show Sinclair and Myers around. That wouldn't have been too bad if he wasn't told that Colonel Shelton was inbound with his command team to get things ready for the rest of his Airborne Infantry Brigade Command staff. Logan sighed as he thought about Dr. Murphy and why he hated making plans. Sending a message to Joe and Chang, he set off for the landing area, just as the first helicopter came into sight.

"Looks like Colonel Shelton is inbound." Logan said to Sinclair and Myers. "With Adam in the briefing, it's up to me to go greet them. Joe and Chang will meet us there."

Sinclair and Myers both nodded then started to follow Logan. They hadn't gone too far when Myers turned around and motioned to the two Marine drivers that came with them. "Come with us. You'll have to carry the Colonel's bags."

Both men nodded and jogged over, making sure to stay well back until they were needed. Logan looked at Myers for a moment, then smiled and nodded. "Thanks, we're still trying to learn your protocols."

"Not a problem… You guys are doing great, now it's just the little things." Myers said with a reassuring smile.

Their small group got to the landing area about the same time that Chang and Joe got there. They only had to wait for a minute before the lead Blackhawk touched down. Behind it, three Chinook's were coming in for a landing also. Logan knew that those would be full of equipment needed for the command staff. He couldn't help but smile when he thought about the command staff getting to play with their computers.

The group watched as the Blackhawk's door opened and a small group exited. It was easy to tell which one was Colonel Shelton as the rest of the group waited for him to lead the group away from the helicopter.

When the Colonel's group got to them, Joe stepped forward and saluted. Colonel Shelton and his group all stopped and saluted as well. Then the Colonel stepped forward and Joe extended his hand to the man. "Colonel Shelton. I'm Master Commander Joe Casey, Base Commander. Welcome to Bermuda sir."

"Thank you very much Master Commander Casey." The Colonel said somewhat formally.

Joe stepped to the side, and motioned to Logan and Chang. "Colonel Shelton, please allow me to introduce Master Commander Logan Hayes, and Chang Casey, the Deputy Commanders of the UNIT forces." Colonel Shelton shook hands with both boys, and then Joe spoke again. "Also from, Admiral Norris's staff, we have Lieutenant Commander Jessica Myers, and Major Dixon Sinclair." Both of the junior officers saluted the Colonel before another round of handshakes, then the rest of the introductions were made, including the Colonel's family and staff.

After handshakes were exchanged, Logan led the group back towards the mansion. "Just to bring you up to speed. We have our equipment moving in. So far, other than the command staff, the rest of us are setting up in the barracks over there." Logan said pointing to the right hand side. "The left side one is being reserved for other troops that should be coming in later today or tomorrow. The mansion is where we are housing the command staff as well as the first floor being used as the command center. At the moment we have all of our command equipment put in there, but we have not had time to hook it all up yet. I know you brought a lot of your own equipment, but I really think you will like some of the stuff we have."

He stopped, and paused as he looked at Colonel Shelton. "Can I assume that you have had a briefing about us?"

"Yes sir, I have. President Bryce and General Larkin, both made sure to brief me, and also to make sure it would not be an issue. I will admit to being skeptical about some of what I have heard, but I am open minded enough to wait and see." Logan smiled and nodded then continued to walk. Before he could say anything else, the group caught sight of Admiral Norris standing next to the mansion. They all stopped a few feet away from the Admiral, went to attention and saluted.

"Colonel Bryan Shelton, reporting to take Command of the new Bermuda Brigade Combat Team, sir!"

Norris returned the salute and walked over to the Colonel and extended his hand. "Welcome to Bermuda Colonel."

"Thank you Sir and may I say it's an honor to serve under your command, Admiral Norris, Sir."

"Thank you Colonel." Shelton introduced his staff and Norris caught Myers making notes on everyone. They stopped at a beautiful young woman. "Admiral sir, may I present my wife, Sandy, my two sons, Bryan Jr. and Gavin."

"Mrs. Shelton, I must say it's an honor and a privilege to meet you. When someone once said Bermuda could not get any more beautiful, they were wrong. "

Mrs. Shelton blushed. "Admiral, you are very kind sir."

Norris smiled his most charming smile. "Please call me Aggy. I hear you will be working with the refugees."

"That’s correct sir."

"Myers after tonight’s briefing, let’s get the Colonel and his wife up to the Reagan for dinner and get Dr. Harlow as well." Norris looked back at Mrs. Shelton. "Dr. Harlow is the regional Refugee Director, he needs all the help he can get. Oh, and of course, please bring your sons along as well. I am sure young Gavin would love a tour of an aircraft carrier."

"That would be fantastic Admiral." The young boy beamed.

"Excellent we will make a Naval Officer out of you yet son."

"Oh no sir, I am Army all the way, just like my Dad."

Everyone chuckled. Norris looked at the Sheltons. "Mrs. Shelton, may I have a moment of your husband's time please."

"Of course Admiral."

"Walk with me please Colonel." He turn to walk out towards the parade field but stopped and held his hand up for the rest of the staff, his and the Colonel's, to wait there.

Logan watched the Colonel and Admiral as they walked away, then looked around and noticed Adam sitting on the steps leading up to the mansion. "Excuse me for a moment." Logan said, and walked over to his lover.

When Adam looked up at Logan's approach, Logan saw fury in his eyes. 'Oh shit...' Logan thought to himself.

"Gather everyone. I don't care what they are doing. Unless Mom says they cannot attend a briefing, I expect them here in five minutes." Adam didn't wait for Logan's reply, he just turned his head and continued to stare off into space.

Within a minute people came running. When they got there, they just stopped and waited. No one daring to interrupt Adam in his thinking, so they waited quietly, but certainly not patiently. They all knew by the look on Adam's face that something was going on.

When everyone was there, Adam started to speak, but he did not get off the steps where he was sitting, he just started to speak. "One of the things that has always made our group so tight is that we are family. We hold each other up when someone is down. We'd attack Hell itself if one of our own was in danger. It's who we are, and it's what makes us a force of nature.

He paused for a few moments. Other than the sounds around them, it was absolutely quiet. That was until Adam started to speak again. "I found out today that the military here is much like we are. The term 'brothers in arms' is not just fancy words here. It truly is how many of them feel. The blood they have shed together makes them as tight as we are. It truly is remarkable to see it... it's almost like the family we had at home. They don't know us, but because we fight on the same side, we are family. And it's more than just words... it's... it's comforting."

Adam jumped to his feet and started to pace. His voice hard as steel and rising as he spoke. "We have all seen some of what President Ashwood and his ilk will do. Well I have seen more, and frankly, even with everything that I have seen in my days, I do not think I have ever been more disgusted." He paused as he tried to find words.

"Last Sunday, while we were at Camp David, the United States, of this universe, celebrated a holiday called Veterans Day. As you can guess it's a holiday to celebrate the sacrifices that veterans have made, and are making every day. Here, it is a celebration of the freedom this country has because of those sacrifices. On that day, several veterans went to the nation's capitol to honor their fallen brothers and sisters. Including one man and his family. This man had just turned one hundred years old. He was part of what is called the D-Day invasion. One of the most bloody battles in the history of the world. He was there, and survived.

He was there with his son, who was also a veteran. His grandson, who was a veteran. And his great grandson, who was a cadet at West Point. Instead of honoring the veterans, like they should have done, the agents loyal to Ashwood cut them down." Almost everyone either gasped in shock or muttered angrily.

"Imagine if we went to the place where we buried members of our own family after the attack in Montana, and while there, our own people opened fire on us. He paused before speaking loudly. "YOU CAN'T! BECAUSE NO ONE FROM OUR UNIVERSE WOULD EVER THINK OF THAT! Yet, it happened here. So many of our BROTHERS have lost their lives because of Ashwood's hatred, his greed, and his lust for power."

Adam paused, taking a deep breath to try and calm himself. "You have all heard about the mission that we will be on soon to rescue the people in Orlando. Well what I just found out is that the West Point Cadet, the one pushing his great grandfather's wheelchair, survived. Not only did he survive, but he was taken to Orlando. I am sure you can all imagine what is going to happen to him there. When we take Orlando, he is our top priority. He is our Brother, and we will bring him home. We will do whatever it takes to make sure that he does not have to live through the hell that Ashwood has in store for him. He is family, and we WILL bring him home!"

Adam took a few deep breaths to calm himself down. Then spoke again. "Logan. I don't care what it takes, I don't care what you have to do. FIND HIM! We know he was taken to Orlando, but we don't know where."

"Yes Sir!" Logan said. It only took a look before he, Daileass and the Chipmunks took off into the house, to the command center.

Adam looked around at everyone else. "Get yourselves ready. I do not know when the mission is going to happen, but it will be soon. And when we go, we're going in hot. Earlier, we got bloodied because we underestimated our opponents. We got bloodied because we underestimated the evil that is Ashwood. We will not do that again. Get yourselves ready, ‘cause we're about to bring hell on earth to the people that fuck with our family!"

Off to the side, Colonel Shelton felt a shiver go up his spine. If these kids were half of what he thought they were, he actually almost felt sorry for Ashwood's troops… almost...

Tuesday, Nov. 13th, 20:45
Bermuda UNIT Base

Chang and Joe walked up to Colonel Shelton and his staff, after Adam left with Admiral Norris. "Colonel Shelton, if you, your family, and your staff would be so kind as to follow me, we have set up a small room where you can have a meal while getting a fuller briefing on who and what we actually are." Chang said formally.

"Thank you, sir." Shelton said with a nod, then followed the boy inside, while Joe brought up the rear. Once they were inside, Shelton's team took in the preparations that were being made all over the downstairs of the mansion to make it into the command center that they would be using.

Finally, Chang stopped and motioned them into what was probably a formal sitting room. Now though it was set up as a small conference room, although all it had in it so far were tables and chairs.

Once everyone found a seat, Chang began. "I know much of what you have heard about us so far is hard to believe. But I wish to assure you that it is true."

"We have seen the reports from the recent rescue at Fort Detrick, as well as the taking of Camp David. Rest assured, those of us that were skeptical were not after that." Colonel Shelton said with a smile.

"Very well, that will make this much easier. However, there is one more item that you need to be made aware of." Chang said with a smile. He then walked over to the other door and opened it. There were more than a few gasps, and one excited cry of 'KEWL' when Khan, Caesar, and Chase walked into the room.

"Hello Shiney Officers!" Chase said as he moved to stand next to Chang. He noted with some satisfaction that, other than the gasps, none of the people in the room freaked out like he had been expecting.

"I see that you all had at least some warning of the hybrids, which is what I had expected. However, I am also aware that being told about something, and seeing them are two different things." Chang said to which many of the officers nodded.

"Now, if it would be acceptable to you, Logan has asked that I share our strengths, weaknesses, as well as an overview of the technology that we have access to. That way when you are in command, you’ll know exactly what we are capable of doing." That started a round of questions and answers, that Chang, Joe, Kahn, Caesar and Chase were all part of answering.

Colonel Shelton stayed quiet during the question and answer session, letting his staff ask the questions while he focused on those that were answering. Obviously he had problems with what appeared to just be kids doing what these kids were doing. Hell, this boy standing in front of him was younger than his youngest son, yet he was second in command of combat forces. He'd even been told the story of what he did to President Bryce's Secret Service contingent in a mock exercise. The military man inside of him was almost giddy with excitement at having troops like this at his disposal. The man inside of him though, seethed at the knowledge that someone would turn children into this.

His thoughts were broken when he saw all of the kids, as one, stiffen in rage. Less than a second later a voice sounded throughout the mansion. "Alert Level Alpha!" The very young voice said. "All strike teams report to the landing pad. Medical units, stand by for incoming casualties. Dr. Hayes, please report to the landing field immediately. This is not a drill."

Shelton was on his feet and following the UNIT members out of the room. "What happened?" He asked.

Another voice came over the speakers. "ITF Neptune, this is USS Ronald Reagan. General Quarters, General Quarters, all hands man your battle stations, Set condition one alpha. General quarters, General Quarters, all hands man your battle stations, set condition one alpha. This is not a drill."

"Oh fuck…" Chang said as he ran from the room. Those that knew him knew just how out of character it was for Chang to say something like that.

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