Castle Roland

New Beginnings
Book I

by Roland


Chapter 6

Posted: N/A

New Beginnings

Copyright © 2012 - 2015 by Roland and the Revolutions Universe Partnership.

All Rights Reserved

New Beginnings LogoWhen Juan left Adrian in the command center, he had told the man to come back after he had done what he needed to, and Juan would help him program the suit of armor. The looks he got from the other UNIT members when he walked in with the armor on, made him wonder just what it was that Juan had meant. He was shocked to see that there were only the triplets working there, and one of his guys. Shooting a look to the man, Adrian got a full conversation in just a look. These kids knew what they were doing.

He went in search of his boss, and was informed by one of the UNIT kids, Simon, that Agent Clark had taken over a conference room in the same wing as the President's family, and turned it into a combination office/secret service armory.

It didn't take Adrian long to find the room, and when he got there, they had a rather lengthy discussion about where they were, and who these kids were. Adrian shared what he knew as fact, but stayed away from anything of the personal things he had learned about Juan and the rest. Finally, Tom asked him point blank. "Do you think we can trust these kids?"

Normally Adrian didn't trust many people, and that was well known. Tom was trying to use Adrian's famed instincts of everyone he met, as a gauge, what he got shocked him. "I can't speak for everyone, yet, since I haven't had time to spend with them yet. However, I can tell you about Juan." Adrian paused to gather his thoughts.

"On the surface, he is a cute little ten year old Hispanic kid, but the surface is where it ends. His knowledge of various firearms rivals, if not exceeds my own. Even though I have not seen it yet, I would imagine he is a formidable hand to hand combatant. Juan, at ten, already has the mind set of a trained warrior. Bluntly, Tom, I would not want to have him as an enemy." Adrian said all of this with conviction, but the last part was deadly serious.

Tom sat there for a few moments before he took a deep breath, rocked a little by what Adrian had said. "The question, though, is can we trust them? Can we trust that they will not try and harm Jack or his family?"

"If they had wanted to, they could have done so already. Frankly, I don't think we could stop them if they really wanted to. However, I do not believe they are a danger."

"What made you say that?" Tom asked, clearly shocked that Adrian would make such a declarative statement with only having been with these people for less then 24 hours.

"The simple answer is, Honor." Adrian answered, as he took his seat again, but leaned forward to try and make his point. "These kids have a Code of Honor that I am very familiar with. From what I have been able to see so far, they follow a similar code to that of the ancient Samurai. I know that is a difficult code to understand, so let me come at this another way." Adrian said, and Tom nodded. What Adrian didn't know was that when he was first assigned to Tom's team, Tom had done a lot of research into that Code of Honor, since almost every report that he had on Adrian said that he followed such a code.

"Besides their own honor, I've seen that they value the safety and security of their family with the greatest priority. Unless they had no other choice, they would not put their family in danger. By not only allowing us to keep our weapons, by allowing us access to their weapons vault, shows that they are willing to trust that we will not harm their family. So, honestly, since trust is a two way street, I think they gave the first signal that they want to not only work with us, but to, perhaps, absorb us into their family."

Tom sat their digesting what Adrian had said. So far, Adrian was saying almost the exact same things that had been running through Tom's mind. Coming to a decision, Tom nodded and stood up. "Agent Dorrison, until told otherwise by myself, you are on detached duty. I will cover your protection rotation personally. I want you to learn as much about these people as possible. I want you to get to know them, figure out how they work, and most importantly, why. I agree that they are most likely not a threat to us, but I want to know who they are, what they intend, and most importantly, if we can count on them to help protect the president."

Adrian nodded as he also stood. "Understand, I will not spy on them…"

"I know you won't, and I also trust that you will not share any personal information with me, anything that would invalidate the trust they put into you. I am going to rely on your personal feelings on this one. Okay?"

"Yes sir." Adrian said with a smile. Tom offered his hand, and the two men shook, before Adrian turned and left the room. He was sure to remember the helmet of the body armor that he still wore. The funny thing was that he really didn't feel like he was wearing armor at all. It was rather comfortable, and not at all bulky.

He was heavy in thought as he walked back down to Juan's bedroom. When he got there, he was about to raise his hand to knock, when he saw a hand written sign on the door. "Adrian is allowed to enter, everyone else enters at their own risk!"

He chuckled as he opened the door, only to be assaulted by very loud music. It was a song that brought a smile to his face, and as he walked into the room, he heard Juan sing the opening lines.

'Company…. Always on the run.

'Destiny…. Is the rising sun.

Adrian couldn't help himself. With a big grin on his face, he let his voice join in with Juan's. Without missing a beat, Juan looked over and grinned. Their eyes met, as their voices merged into one, they sang the next lines of the song. Lines that spoke about who they were, and more importantly, what they were.

'I was born… six gun in my hand.

'Behind the gun, I'll make my final stand.

'That's why they call me 'Bad Company'!

Juan couldn't help it. He jumped out of his seat, and started to dance around a bit as he sang along with Paul Rogers. Adrian got wrapped up in it as well, and soon the two were dancing around the room, singing to each other as much as they were singing along with the song.

'Bad company

'And I won't deny

'Bad bad company

'Till the day I die

'Till the day I die

When the song finally ended, Juan looked over at Adrian and grinned wildly. "You know, there are few people who know what that song means to me, I think you might be one of the few that knows what the song means to a true Renegade."

Adrian smiled as he fell into a seat. "I first heard that song when I was a kid, and bluntly… it spoke to me then, just as much as it does now. Doesn't hurt that it's a fun song, too."

"Yeah it is." Juan laughed as he walked over to his computer. "Okay, come on over here." He said. Adrian got up and walked over to where Juan had sat down and started tapping away on the keyboard. "Okay, here's the deal. The suit of armor has a lot of cool things that it can do." He stopped for a second and stared at Adrian. Long enough to where Adrian started to get a bit uncomfortable with those eyes boring into him. Finally, Juan nodded and sat back.

"You are wondering who we really are, and where we came from?" Even though it was asked as a question, Adrian knew it was more of a statement than a question. Still he nodded his agreement.

"Okay…" Juan said as he held out his hand for Adrian's helmet. The man handed it over, and Juan hooked it up to the computer. "One of the things that needs to happen, is we need to get the computer in the helmet to recognize your voice, and your voice only. In order to do that, you and I need to talk while you have the helmet on. Not only that, we'll need to simulate you under different stresses so the computer can 'hear' you when you're out of breath, or under exertion, or any number of other things. Make sense?"

Adrian nodded and watched as Juan was tapping away at the keyboard. Finally he unhooked the helmet at the same time that the printer came to life and started to spit out some papers. Juan handed the helmet back, and waited for the last page to print before he grabbed the sheets of paper off the printer and stood up, fully facing Adrian.

"This is a list of what the suit can do, and the verbal commands that are standard. Right now, I have unlocked the computer system, so you will need to decide if you wanna keep the standard commands, or if you fell like changing them to something else, you simply need to say, 'change command, whatever, to, what ever you want. It will ask you to verify the change, and then if you verify it, it will lock in. With me, so far?"

Adrian nodded as he took the papers and started to look them over. His jaw started to drop as he read everything the suit can do, and the command lines next to each item. "Infrared, thermal imaging, ten times zoom, with a reticule for sniper support, active friend and foe telemetry, enhanced communications suite with sub vocal enhancements." He stopped and looked at Juan with disbelief, before continuing to read. "Maximum of twenty seven minutes of recycled air, in case of underwater activity. Integrated glide suit?" He asked, which Juan simply giggled and told him he would explain it later.

When Adrian was done, the man looked at the boy and asked in shock, "Where did you get this?"

"I helped to design it." Juan said seriously, which caused Adrian to get an even more shocked look on his face. Juan couldn't help but giggle. "Close your mouth before you attract flies." Adrian quickly closed his mouth which caused Juan to giggle even more. Finally, he calmed down, and moved over to a large bag he had made up before hand. "Come on, let's hit the gym, and we'll start getting the suit outfitted for you. Put the helmet on, and it will start to monitor your voice right away. This will give it a good base line. You need to make sure you are speaking normally, and not trying to speak any different then you normally would. If you start to try and speak more clearly or anything like that, it'll screw it up when you are actually in combat. Okay?"

Adrian nodded and put the helmet on. As soon as it was locked in place, Juan took the paper and pointed to a specific command. A moment later, Adrian's voice came across the small external speaker. "Test."

"I hear you." Juan said, then launched into an explanation. "The helmet is completely sound proof, that way, no one can hear you if you talk to someone through the radio. You will need to always turn the external speaker on if you wanna talk to someone who doesn't have a radio." Adrian nodded while Juan took a spare radio, and fitted the ear buds into his ear, and then placed the modified microphone, around his neck. "Now go ahead and shut down the speaker, and then speak normally after activating the radio and turning it to channel 8."

Adrian did as he was told, and a moment later, his voice came across Juan's ear buds. "Testing again."

"Cool. Okay, let's go, and I'll start to explain things on the way." Juan said, as he grabbed the big bag and threw it over his shoulder. As they left the room, Juan stopped and locked the door, before he turned and took the lead down to the gym. "You know.. I was gonna be mean to you. I was going to ask you what questions you had, without giving you any hint as to where to start. That way I could laugh at some of the weird shit you came up with." He laughed, and so did Adrian. "But I honestly think I can blow your mind better with the truth. The only question I have is… do you think you can handle the full truth?"

Adrian was silent for several seconds as they got onto the elevator, and started to go down. Finally, he spoke up. "I honestly can't tell you if I can handle it, until after you tell me. However, I can say that I can handle a lot."

Juan giggled as he looked up at the man. "I'm sure you can. So… let's see how much I can blow your mind." Juan paused as they went into the locker room and over to a changing room. He put the bag down, and opened it up. On top of a whole lot of hand weapons was a martial arts gee. "You get to fight in the armor… I'm gonna be a lot more comfortable." He giggled out as he started to strip out of his clothes. "Okay… to start with, you need to know that physically, I am about ten years old." He started, fully intent on seeing just how much it would take to send Adrian into an information overload. He kept a close eye on the man's mind waiting to see when the man got close to taking in too much. It was one way that Juan judged how well someone can handle the stresses of combat. In combat, information is coming in from all over the place, and he wanted to see just how much Adrian could handle, before his mind started to shut down.

"But the actual time I have been running around raising hell has only been about six years. But then again, that's not entirely accurate, either, since I spent a lot of time in places where time doesn't matter. Not to mention the Tardis…. God, I miss my Mech!"

The look on Adrian's face was priceless. He tried to say something but nothing would come out for a few moments. However, Juan knew that his mind was not only processing what Juan had said, but also making connections. Juan decided to press his luck, and see just how far he could go. He pulled off his shirt, as he kept talking. "My brothers and I are the result of something called the 'Genesis Project.' It was a genetic engineering project, designed to create super soldiers."

"Wait a minute." Adrian cut in, just as Juan was taking off his pants, he almost lost his train of thought when he saw Juan standing there in bright yellow boxers with a smiley face on the front. The bullet hole and blood trail coming from the forehead almost made him loose it and laugh, but he kept his mind focused. "I've kept up on that sort of thing, just last year, they scrapped the latest program focusing on that, because they said it wasn't possible to do."

"Well, that's probably true on this Earth." Juan said, as he stopped and looked Adrian right in the eyes, "However, we don't come form THIS Earth, we come from a different one."

When Juan looked up at Adrian, he found the man staring at him. What was going through the man's mind though was not what Juan was expecting. "You know, that explains a lot of things." Adrian said softly. Juan was expecting the man to not be able to handle what Juan just said, or at the very least, not believe it. But Adrian did, and was even able to rationalize it immediately, drawing on the things that he had heard and seen, and putting them all together with what Juan was saying, to draw the conclusion that Juan was being 100% honest.

"It does explain a lot of things." Juan said, as he finished getting dressed. He grabbed the bag and started to walk out the room. Adrian followed behind, and while his face gave no indication of what was going on in his mind, Juan knew that his mind was running a mile a minute. The boy almost laughed at some of the thoughts that were going through it, however, a few times, Adrian came up with things that were hitting real close to home. It seems the man knew, right away, that all the training in the world could not create someone like they were, it took a lot of things outside of training, to do it. Adrian had a good sense of what it took to turn someone into a killer, a killer like Juan was.

When they got into the middle of the large gym, Juan put the bag down, opened it up, and pulled out bokken, wooden training swords. He handed one to Adrian and kept one for himself. "Understand one thing. I like you, which is not something I say to many people, especially people that I have just met. However, I am the training officer for the UNIT. Right now, you are in class, and I don't have favorites. I will be the worst instructor you have ever had, because I do not believe in saving people's feelings, or pulling punches more than I need to, to make sure I don't permanently injure you. When I say 'begin', I will push you to what you think your limits are, and then keep pushing, till we actually get to your limits." He paused while he grinned up at the man. "This is the only time I will ask you this. I intend to find out if you have what it takes to become one of us. You would be the first adult to be a member of the UNIT, save for our parents. However, if you would prefer, I can simply train you in the armor. So, the choice is yours."

Adrian thought for almost a full minute before he responded. "What, exactly, would that entail. I already have the oaths I have sworn…"

Juan kept the grin off his face. The man had passed another test. Anyone who would forsake their oaths, simply to join a group that had other things to offer, was not someone he wanted to deal with. "The oaths you have already sworn would not interfere with joining us. At our core, The UNIT is an ideal we stand for. We are a fighting force, a force that has no equal, especially not on this world. Pound for pound, our members are stronger, faster, heal more quickly, and are more bad ass than almost any human. But truly, the combat side, the fighting side, is only a result of the more important side. We do not allow ourselves to sit by and allow others to get hurt, at least not if we can do something to stop it. Since most of us are children, at least physically, and the fact that children are generally more helpless than adults, we tend to focus on children. However, the oath stands to defending the defenseless, helping the helpless, and doing what is right, even if it isn't the easy or even sometimes the prudent thing to do."

"Do I have to answer you right away?" Adrian asked, as he tried to figure out what Juan was truly meaning.

"No, you don't." Juan answered with a small smile. "It would probably be best if you didn't. Take some time, figure out who we are, what we do, and more importantly, WHY we do it, then make your decision. Until then, though, I am going to act as if you have accepted."

"That's fine with me, so… how do we begin?" Adrian asked, to which Juan's grin grew. He never answered; he simply launched into an attack with his bokken. Even though he was caught off guard, Adrian quickly recovered and was able to counter Juan's attack.

Juan was pleasantly surprised at how well the man fought. He never used any wasted movements. He was fighting to win, right from the start, no need to keep a fight going longer than needed. However, Juan was getting upset, because he could see that Adrian was holding back. He caught a thought about not wanting to hurt a kid. Juan did a backwards flip, landing well out of reach of Adrian and glared at him.

"Don't you dare hold back!" Juan almost screamed. "You don't know what I can do, and don't rely on what your eyes tell you. Finish this fight as quick as you can, just like you were taught." Juan then went right after Adrian. What happened next, though, caught Juan completely off guard.

Juan came after Adrian low, thinking that the man would not be able to protect his feet. Adrian then did something that he had only ever seen Chang do. He lifted his foot, even as quick as Juan was moving, Adrian was still able to step down quick enough to pin Juan's 'sword' to the ground, while coming down with a blow to the back of Juan's head. Juan quickly rolled out of the way, but had to leave his 'sword behind'. When he rolled to his feet, Adrian was standing there looking at him with a grin on his face.

Juan couldn't help but laugh. "I guess I need to take my own advice. I honestly didn't think you could be that good."

Adrian grinned and saluted with his sword. He then rolled his foot under Juan's sword and with a quick flick of his foot, sent the sword flying towards Juan. As soon as Juan had it in his hand, Adrian attacked.

They had been sparring for more than ten minutes, hard and fast, when suddenly Juan called out. "Tell your suit to go dark! Protocol number 513."

Adrian did, with out missing a beat, and suddenly the front panel of the face helmet went completely black. "It's a bit darker, but I can still see fine." Adrian said out of breath.

"Yup, and out here, I can not see anything other then a black plate." Juan said as he jumped back, and raised his bokken in salute, signaling the end of the sparring match. Adrian stepped back, and saluted as well. Juan dropped his salute and smiled. "You're good. Do you need a break, or can we move onto the next bit?"

"I'm good." Adrian said, as he bent at the waist, and tried to catch his breath. He looked up at Juan. "I thought I would be a lot warmer than I am."

"That's part of the suit." Juan said as he walked up, admiring the man more as time passed. "The suit is designed to pull the sweat away from you, and provide circulation throughout the entire suit."

Adrian nodded and then looked Juan right in the eyes. "How did you guys end up here, and what were you doing on your Earth?"

Juan sighed and smiled. "You want the full version, or the brief one?"

"Eventually, I would like to hear it all." Adrian said, then commanded the suit to go back to a clear visor.

"Well that's a long story. So, why don't we take a few laps around the gym, and I'll tell you as much as I can." Juan turned, and together, they started to jog.

It was almost two hours later when Adrian finally called a break. They had gotten the suit almost completely programmed, but Adrian was finally done. Juan was actually very impressed at the stamina of the man. Most squishies would have fallen out over an hour ago, but Adrian was able to dig down deep and keep going. Hell, at this point, Juan was well winded. Not to the point of needing to call a break, but certainly more than he was used to.

Juan helped Adrian take off the armor, knowing this would be the last time the man needed help. When he got the chest plate off, and then the rest of it, Adrian was standing there in his own boxers, these much more traditional than Juan's, and grinned. "They're not as cool as yours, but I do have a few at home that I think you might like."

Juan grinned. "I'd like to see them. And maybe.. just maybe, I'll show you my T-Shirt collection."

"Oh boy, that should be good." Adrian watched as Juan stripped down completely, not seeming to be the least bit shy about being naked with Adrian. Mentally, he shrugged and dropped his own boxers, and together they stepped into the gang showers. They took shower heads next to each other, before Juan turned on the water, he looked at Adrian. "Are you ready for the next surprise?"

Adrian laughed. "Honestly, I'm not sure."

"Good answer." Juan said out loud, before he switched to speaking in the man's head. 'It's rather difficult to talk to one another while in the shower.'

Adrian's mouth dropped open, he was watching Juan and knew that the boy's mouth didn't move. "How…" He asked in shock.

'It's called telepathy. Something that you should be at least a bit familiar with. Just think your responses, and I will hear them.' Juan turned on the water, and stepped under the spray.

Adrian paused for a moment, trying to absorb the latest development, then reached forward and turned the water on. He almost spoke aloud when he remembered Juan's instructions. 'What did you mean I should be familiar with it?' He asked.

'Ahh, you caught that.' Juan said with a bit of a giggle. 'I was wondering if you would catch that little bit while still recovering from the shock of learning that someone was talking to your mind.' Juan paused for a moment then spoke again. 'Have you ever wondered why you are so good at reading people?'

'Not really. I mean… I just get a feeling about people, and have learned to trust it.' Adrian responded while he started to soap up his body.

'Nope… sorry.' Juan giggled. 'You have what is known as empathy. It's very basic, since you were never taught how to control it, but the fact that you have learned to listen to it speaks highly…' Juan trailed off for a moment. Adrian glanced over and saw that the boy had stopped washing himself, and was starring off into space. He was about to ask the boy what was going on, when he hardened significantly.

[We're needed up in the hangar bay.'

Not waiting for a response, Juan shut off the water and walked out of the showers. Adrian quickly rinsed himself off, and followed Juan. Juan was digging into the bag he brought with him and when Adrian walked into the locker room, he threw the man a pair of jeans and a T-shirt.

Adrian sighed to himself as he thought about how interesting things had just been getting. Well, he would have to put that aside for now. Hopefully, they would be able to get back to this later. He really wanted to get to know Juan and his brothers better. Wordlessly they both hurried to dress, and then were all but running to the hangar bay, their previous discussion all but forgotten.

Adrian was in a bit of an information overload. It had been a few hours since they left the showers, and instead of things slowing down, they got worse. His mind was not only processing everything that Juan had told him, but he had to add on that Richard Adams was the one who created all of them. At least A Richard Adams, the one in the world they came from. Looking back at how the rest of the UNIT boys had reacted to his very presence had been a shock, but after what he had just learned, he couldn't blame them. It was irrational and each and every one of them knew it. But years of hatred are hard to turn away.

Then the Russians showed up, which was a surprise in and of itself, but then to see the smallest of the UNIT boys drop the biggest Russian in one hit was something that surprised even Adrian.

But the biggest shock came after that. The Oriental brother, Chang, was the focus of a demonstration of what the UNIT boys could do. Over one hundred and fifty soldiers armed with modified paint ball rifles, against one twelve year old boy who was unarmed. All he had to do was get from one end of the canyon to the other, and touch Jack. Sounded easy, until you took into account, the troops that were between him and Jack. All they had to do was hit Chang once, no matter where, and he would have lost. Chang though, all he had to do was touch Jack and he would win.

The really interesting part was that Chang never touched Jack, at least not till every single soldier was taken out. Most of them never even knowing where Chang was coming from until they were already 'dead'. In a word, these kids were... scary. Adrian had tried to do what he was best at, sniping. But every time he thought he had the boy dead in his sights, and pulled the trigger, Chang had moved before the round got to him. Something that should not have been possible. At least not possible by a normal person.

He looked over at the armor that they had finally finished customizing to him, and sighed. This group of kids were so much more than he ever expected, and he was sure that he was only scratching the surface. One thing was for sure, though, he was going to have a very interesting time of things in the future.

He heard a knock on the door going into his room, and called out, "Enter." When the door opened, Tom Clark, the agent in charge of the security detail walked in.

Adrian jumped to his feet and spoke quickly. "Hey, Tom, what can I do for you?"

Tom and Adrian shook hands, then Adrian motioned for Tom to sit. When both men were seated, Tom took a deep breath. "I was wondering what you were able to find out about the kids here."

Adrian sat back and sighed deeply. Before he could think of how to respond, Tom quickly added. "I don't want to know anything personal, or anything that you are not comfortable with sharing. I'm just trying to get a better understanding of the situation we're in. After that little demonstration tonight, I feel both better and worse."

Adrian barked out a laugh. "Better cause they are nice to us... right now. Worse, because if they turned on us, we'd be fucked. Is that about what you mean?"

Tom laughed as well. "Well, that's a very blunt way of putting it, but.. well yeah."

"I can guarantee you this much. As long as we do not cross them, they will do whatever they can to protect the president, and in many cases, us as well." Adrian said with such conviction that Tom sat there starring at him for a few moments.

"You truly believe that, don't you?" He asked softly.

"Yes, I do." He replied just as softly.

Tom sat there for a few moments before he slapped his hand on his knees then stood up. "Well, I have the feeling we will find out shorty. From everything I am seeing, life is about to get rather... messy."

"Yeah, I think so, too." Adrian said as he stood up also.

"Well, I guess I should be heading back to the office." Tom said before he stuck out his hand again. "I've already asked Adam if he would allow you to act as the liaison between the security detail and his troops. He's agreed, so it's official. Let me know if you find out anything that you think I should know."

Adrian nodded. "Yes, Sir." Tom then left, leaving Adrian to his thoughts. Thoughts that centered around one incredible and scary boy. There were very few people that he had met that he had instant respect for. Juan was one of them. Adrian could tell that the boy was up front about everything, even if it wasn't what a person wanted to hear. He was unapologetic about his views, and even more so, he would challenge others' views just as much as he challenged his own. He was cocky, but he was also just as good as he said he was. It was a fine line to draw, but Juan seemed to walk it fine. But probably the biggest thing that drew Adrian to the boy was his loyalty.

It was obvious from the first moment that Adrian had seen Juan near Adam, that the boy worshiped the ground his older brother walked on. And later when Juan was explaining what he was rescued from, and what Adam had done to rescue him, it was easy to see that Juan was totally devoted to Adam. But then again, if even half of what Juan had told him about what they had been able to accomplish under Adam's leadership was true, he could see himself devoted to Adam as well. But that was something he would worry about later.

His thoughts were interrupted by another knock on the door, although this time, the person didn't wait for Adrian to allow them to enter, the door opened, and Juan walked in. The serious look on his face made Adrian wonder what was going on. "Get your shit together... we got a mission."

Adrian was on his feet in a moment. "What's going on?" He walked over and started to get his armor on, stripping out of his regular clothes first.

"It seems some kids and a few adults got into a firefight with a bunch of federal agents in Texas. These kids are supposedly the cause of the Hack attack from yesterday, and friends of the Russian commander. They got injured, so Mom's going down there with some of the Russian troops. Our job, though, is to make sure Mom doesn't get hurt, and to see what we can find out about these kids."

"You expecting trouble?" Adrian asked. When he didn't get a response, he looked over his shoulder and saw the look on Juan's face. It caused him to almost fall over in laughter. "Okay, I guess that was a stupid question."

"Well, duh... I'm not only expecting it, I'm hoping for it. I haven't gotten in a real good fight for a long time." Juan said with a grin.

"Be careful what you wish for." Adrian said, as he finished pulling on the armor, then started to load up weapons. "You just might get more then you bargained for."

"God, I hope so." Juan said with a grin as he turned around. "Meet me up in the hangar bay ASAP." He said before he shut the door. Adrian just shook his head with a smile as he finished getting himself ready, then took the long walk to get to the hangar bay.

When he got there, he saw a bunch of Russian soldiers gathered around two Huey helicopters. He walked up and saw the red headed UNIT boy, Will, if he remembered correctly, talking to the Russians. "Now, I know these look like your normal Bell UH-1H Iroquois Hueys, and from the outside, they are. However, the looks are about the only thing normal about these babies. Billy and I, along with a group of other UNIT members, heavily modified these babies. They are faster, more maneuverable, and have a very much more advanced electronics package than you guys could dream of. I'm here to give you guys a crash course on these things. So, who are my pilots?"

Four men raised their hands and Will looked at them like they were scum. "Are you serious? You guys are gonna try and fly my babies." He shook his head in disgust. "Well, I guess we'll see if you guys are actually good enough." He turned around looked at another boy who was standing near by. "Billy, why don't you show the rest of these guys how to use the weapons, I'll take these four into the other one, and see if they can learn how to fly a real helicopter."

"Okay, guys, let's go over here, and I'll show you the modifications we made to the side door guns." Billy said, as he started to walk over towards one of the two Hueys. Adrian was a trained pilot, and frankly wanted to know what these babies could do, so he wandered over to where Will was, and listened in. He had two of the guys get into the pilots' seats, while the other two watched from the side. Will climbed into the back, and then moved up to be between the pilots. "Okay, the basic controls are the same. Although one thing you will not have to do is deal with the fuel. This thing does not run on liquid fuel, it runs on a micro fusion generator."

"A what?" One of the pilots asked in disbelief.

"A micro fusion generator. Didn't your commander tell you to expect a few things that were a bit unusual?" Will asked, he wanted to be annoyed, but this was just to much fun.

"Well, yes, but..." The pilot stammered his answer.

"Well, good, because if the micro fusion generator is too much for you to handle, then you better just get out now, cause I ain't even scraped the surface of what this little baby can do."

"Wait a minute." One of the other Russians suddenly spoke up. "Are you the pilot of the Hind that took out four F-15 fighter jets, by yourself?"

"Yup, that would be me. Nearly lost my favorite damned helicopter doing it..." Will complained, then went back to his lesson. "This center console, where you would normally have the fuel mixture controls, now houses the electronic warfare suite. When this thing goes into stealth mode, I really mean stealth. If you were standing right under this thing, the only way you would know it is there is by the wind. There is no sound, no radar signature, and it even will reflect satellites trying to get a visual of you. If someone were looking right at you, they would loose sight of you the second you engaged the stealth. THIS is what the mean when they say Stealth."

Will went on to show them exactly how to work everything that had been modified, but Adrian didn't stick around to hear the rest. He saw Juan come out of the elevator along with a woman who looked to be in her mid thirties. She was wearing the standard armor, but hers had a big red cross arm band on it showing that she was a medic. Both of them were carrying several bags, and by the size of the one Juan was carrying, Adrian almost wondered what he had in it.

Juan beamed when he saw Adrian making his way over towards them. When he got close, Juan stopped walking, and so did the woman. "Mom, I'd like you to meet Adrian. He's one of the guys that came with Jack."

Janet put one of the bags down, and extended her hand. "It's nice to meet you. Juan's told me a lot about you."

Adrian took the offered hand and smiled. "I am sure all of it was bad." He said with a grin.

"Well, that depends." Janet said also grinning. "Most people would probably have taken it as bad, but this is Juan we're talking about, so what's normal to other people, doesn't mean anything to him."

"Didn't I tell you she was the best?" Juan gushed. "She says so many nice things about me." Adrian couldn't help but laugh.

"Yeah, I think that about sums up what I've learned about you, so far." He said with a grin and couldn't help but notice the sub machine gun slung across Janet's back. "So, you got everything you want?" He asked, nodding towards the large bag.

"Not yet." Juan answered seriously. "Khan's on his way up with the rest."

"Is he one of the people I haven't met yet?" Adrian asked curiously.

"Yeah.. and trust me, had you met him before, you would remember." Juan said with a giggle while he turned Adrian around so his back was towards the elevator. Janet, however, turned and playfully glared at the young boy.

"You mean you didn't warn him?" She asked indignantly.

"Of course not. Where would the fun be in that?" He exclaimed in joy. Just then the elevator opened and Khan cam out pulling a pallet jack with a bunch of crates on them. In his normal deep rumbling voice, Khan spoke out. "Where do you want these?"

Adrian slowly turned around and the first thing he saw was someone's fatigue covered chest. He started to look up, something he hadn't had to do often, since he was just over six feet tall. "My God, your huge!" He said as he was looking up, and then his eyes finally fell on Khans face.

A voice from behind Khan spoke up with a giggle. "HEY! That's my line." Of course, Adrian was too much in a state of shock to really let Runt's comment sink in, nor realize the sexual innuendo that it was intended as.

"Yes, Adrian, he is a tiger human hybrid." Juan said with a giggle.

"Dammit, Juan." Janet said as she started to reach into her bag. "I was hoping I wouldn't have to use the Valium yet!"

Juan's giggles made Adrian look down at him, the color still drained form his face. Khan for his part was just standing there, completely used to this sort of reaction. Finally, Adrian shook his head and looked at Janet. "I'm fine, ma'am." She looked at him skeptically, but nodded her head. Adrian looked at Juan and half smiled. "So, do you have any more BIG surprises?"

"Surprises, of course, as big as Khan, nah... he's the biggest." Of course, Juan's giggles were punctuating every word he said.

"You do realize that I'll have to pay you back for this one." Adrian said, as he turned and looked up at Khan again. "It's a pleasure to meet you, and I do apologize for my reaction, but some little shit decided not to warn me." He stuck his hand out, and Khan smiled a toothy grin as he took the man's very small hand in his huge paw like one.

"It's okay, I'm used to the reaction, although, if you would like some help coming up with ideas on how to get back at Juan, I would be happy to help out." Khan rumbled.

"I may just have to take you up on that." Adrian said with a grin.

"HEY!" Juan said. "No fair ganging up on me!"

"When it comes to you, EVERYTHING is fair!" Runt giggled out as he climbed off the pallet and stood next to Khan. He looked Adrian up and down then smiled. "And you, sir. I see how your looking at Khan. Just remember..." Runt said with a small growl, as he took Khan's huge paw in his hand. "He's mine."

Adrian looked first, down at Runt, then up at Khan, then back again. He was trying desperately to make the words he heard the small boy say fit with what his eyes were telling him. It just wouldn't work. Finally Juan leaned over and stage whispered. "Don't try to figure out how it works, just know that Khan and Runt are boyfriends, and leave it at that."

"Right..." Adrian said as he shook his head.

Khan decided to be nice to the man, so he looked over at Juan. "So, where do you want me to put these?"

"Just throw them in the third Huey. We got too much stuff for everything to fit on two, with all the soldiers, so this one is gonna be flown down, unloaded, and come right back." Juan said with another giggle.

"I don't think you want Khan to 'throw' them." Runt giggled out. "I don't think ten shoulder mounted surface to air missile launchers will take kindly to being thrown around, and I certainly know that the .50 cal machine guns won't. And I really don't think the..."

Juan interrupted Runt. "That's enough. You don't need to tell everyone all the toys I'm taking down."

Adrian's jaw was on the floor again as he watched Khan pull the pallet jack across the floor, then easily lift two of the crates at a time, onto the back of the helicopter. Of course, it seems that Will and Billy had warned the Russians, since they were starring at Khan, but not in the same way the Adrian had been, a moment ago. He finally turned his playful glare to Juan. "I will get you back for this."

"Sure you will..." Juan said as he turned to walk towards the helicopters. On his way by, he goosed Adrian, causing the man to jump, and look shocked, first at Juan, then at Janet. As Juan walked away, Adrian heard him start to sing... "Oh Lord it's hard to be humble... When I'm perfect in every wayyyy!"

The serious look on her face made him sober up real quick. They held eyes for a moment before she sighed and picked up the bag she had set down when she got the Valium injection out. When she stood up straight again she met his eyes again, this time, her eyes were boring into Adrian's soul. After a moment, she nodded as she turned to follow Juan, as she passed Adrian she spoke very softly. "No matter what it looks like, deep down, Juan is a very vulnerable little boy. You hurt him, I'll cut your nuts off... and that's just the beginning."

Before Adrian had a chance to reply, Janet had walked off. 'What the hell am I getting into?' Adrian asked himself as he picked up his own bag, and followed them to the helicopter. He got there just as Will jumped down out of the Huey and looked at the pilots. "Just remember, unless you want people to know you are there, anything above a hundred feet, you need to be running full Stealth." He then looked over to Khan, and nodded. "Okay, big guy, let's get the birds outside."

Khan nodded and walked over to the first one, he picked up a large rope that was attached the to front wheel, threw the rope over his shoulder, and started to literally pull the helicopter outside. Adrian watched that, stunned, for a few seconds, before he looked over at the other helicopter, only to see Juan and Will doing the same thing with that one. "Jesus.. Mary.. and Joseph." He over heard one of the Russians say under their breath. Frankly, he couldn't help but agree with it. These kids were amazing. He really didn't doubt anything anymore. He shook his head to try and focus on the mission at hand.

He forced himself to listen as Dimitry gave the mission briefing, of course, Juan and Adrian were really only there to help Janet, and make sure she stayed safe. That was where he learned another little tidbit about Juan. Along with everything else Juan did, he was also their lead medic, behind the brother who was a doctor. It seems Juan was quite the dichotomy. He was trained almost equally in killing people, and saving them. It was a rather interesting mix that Adrian found surprisingly appropriate.

They had been in flight for a little over an hour of the three hours it was going to take to get to their destination. For the most part, all the soldiers were sleeping, or trying to, in the very crowded helicopter. Adrian had caught a few minutes of sleep, but really wanted to use the time to sort out everything he had learned over the last 24 hours. His life had changed so much, and honestly, he didn't even know where to start to figure out everything that had changed.

Less than a day ago, Adrian had been a single man with nothing going on in his life, other than his job as a secret service agent. Yeah, things had been a bit crazy since Jack had gone into hiding, but nothing like the last 24 hours had been like. The weirdest part was, Adrian wouldn't change anything that had happened, anything that he had learned, no matter what. It truly felt like he was alive again, something that he hadn't felt since he'd been pulled from active duty because his cover had been compromised. He would never be able to prove it, but he was positive he was burned by one of Ashwood's lackeys, mainly because he refused to report things that they wanted reported. Adrian reported the truth and nothing else.

He really loved 'wet work'. Work where he could see that he was making a difference. Ever since he was the little geeky kid in school, getting his head flushed in the toilets by the local bullies, he'd wanted to make a difference. He went into the military with that mind set, and the drive to never give up, and he sky rocketed through the ranks. Then he got recruited into the CIA, as an operative, a kind word for spy. He fell into a job that he loved. Using his brain to figure things out, his skills to get him in and out of places, and his wits to keep him alive. There was nothing else like it in the world.

At least not until now. Some of the things that he learned about these kids. Yeah they were just as 'in your face' as any group of special forces, but these kids also excelled at deep cover work. He had never really thought about changing teams, till now.

He was rocked out of his thoughts by a really weird sensation, it felt like someone was 'knocking' on a door, except the door was in his head. He looked around and saw Juan staring at him with a smile. He then heard the boy's voice in his mind. 'You know, with as loud as you're thinking, I wouldn't be surprised if some of my brothers are hearing you.'

He almost responded verbally until Juan tapped the side of his head. 'Sorry?' He asked, and Juan couldn't help but laugh in his mind.

'You wanna start to learn about your gifts, and how to use them?' Juan asked, suddenly serious.

'I guess...' Adrian said a little skittishly. He really had no clue what it was that Juan was going to teach him, but he knew it was probably going to be interesting.

'Cool. Okay, first thing I want you to do is relax and close your eyes, the first time someone does this, it can be kinda funky.' Adrian did as Juan told him, and the next thing he knew, he was feeling himself 'pulled' somewhere. When he opened his eyes, he was looking around a large open field, with a firing range directly to his left. The smell of gunpowder was thick in the air, and all around them were rifles leaning up against the posts of the range. Juan was standing a few feet away, leaning up against the command building, and just grinning.

"Where... where are we?" Adrian asked as he looked around.

"We are actually, inside my mind. This is what is called the mental scape. Every persons is different, and it usually will reflect on the personality of the person, although they can make it look like whatever they want to." Juan said as he walked over towards the man.

"Holy shit..." Adrian breathed out as he looked around. "This is so real."

"That's because as far as your mind is concerned, it is real. If you were to somehow get hurt here, your body would try to make the injury real. It's really kinda funky, but it's cool for things like this, since almost no time will pass in the real world. Well unless we stay in here for days." Juan said with a laugh as the man was still looking around, in shock. Juan let him look for a few minutes, then took him by the hand and led him to one of the chairs that he had made. He sat the man down and smiled at him, while he took his own seat. "Let's see. Why don't we start by getting you to connect to your empathy, and go from there."

Editor's Notes:

Well, I think Juan and Adrian are getting along splendidly. He didn't even have trouble believing what the U.N.I.T. guys can do.

It looks as if things are getting a bit exciting, and perhaps a bit dangerous, as well.

We are going to have to wait for the next chapter, before we find out what is going to happen. I can hardly wait.

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher

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