Copyright © 2012 - 2015 by Roland and the Revolutions Universe Partnership.
All Rights Reserved
Wednesday November 7th 0100 (1:00 am) Mountain Standard Time
Wednesday November 7th 0300 (3:00 am) Eastern Standard Time
Colonel Jeremy Rose… a title that he had almost given up. Jeremy looked around at the town he'd lived in for the last several months, then down at the patch he held in his hand. He was outside, sitting with his back against a tree. Wearing a pair of jeans and pullover sweater, the kind he liked to wear when he was younger. 'Younger…' he laughed to himself. 'I'm only thirteen years old, and I'm talking about when I was younger… what's wrong with this picture?'
But he knew better than most what was wrong with the picture. At thirteen he should be worrying about what sports he wanted to play this year. What school was going to be like, who was dating who, and who he wanted to date. He should be worrying about normal shit like that. But he wasn't.
In his hand he held a patch that meant so much to him. It was a circular patch that he had worn on his shoulder since he had been rescued. It had a skull and crossbones at the main image, with crossed golden arrows under the skull. The arrows are the common image representing the special forces branches of the military.
Above the skull was written the motto of the U.N.I.T. It really was the words that summed up the lives they lived. More than just what they lived, Jeremy thought to himself, but more… who they were. Deep down, every member of the U.N.I.T. took those words to be more than just a rally cry, but a way of life. They had to. Speaking out loud, Jeremy recited the words that meant so much to him, "Mourn the loss of childhood." Under it all were the words that drove the U.N.I.T. "Give 'em hell kid!" Many of the kids he knew in the U.N.I.T. took that almost as a commandment. In a lot of ways it was. It was what they did, what they were.
Now he was in a different position. After the mission that brought them to this world Jeremy found himself trying to fit into the local society. What made it difficult was that the town regarded them all as heroes. When they had first had arrived in Essex, Montana it was supposed to be a simple search and rescue. Go in and break up a forced prostitution ring, but as usual nothing was as simple as it was supposed to be. They busted up the ring and got a lot more than they had expected.
By the time they were done, almost every person in the town that was in any position of power was either arrested, or dead. Most of them dead. Since they didn't have a way to hand out Star Fleet or Clan Short justice, most of the offenders they found here got U.N.I.T. justice. The ones whose crimes did not warrant a death sentence were tried in 'secret' courts, and their 'prison terms' were being handled in the 'cells' that they helped create on the property that now was owned by sheriff Donnie. Most of the town's people were happy to just get rid of everything that had been going on there, and move back to a semi-normal life. They didn't ask many questions, and the UNIT didn't give many answers. It worked well for both groups. Then the inevitable hand of Murphy got into the mix, and things got 'interesting' for everyone.
They were stuck here. Many of the kids here were not used to 'normal' lives. They turned the land they took over into a mini UNIT compound. Most of them were just going to try and live the lives they knew. Rescue who they could, and follow the lead of the UNIT commanders who had rescued them. But the town wouldn't allow it. At least not really. The people here were very insistent on helping the UNIT kids, as payback for the UNIT giving them their lives back.
It had caused a number of arguments with Donnie stuck in the middle. But what had made the difference was that no matter how much the UNIT kids resisted the locals never gave up, or lost their tempers. They were so sincere that even Legion was having trouble opposing them. So after a week of hammering out the details UNIT kids began to attend the local schools. Most of the UNIT kids figured that the town would be sick and tired of them in a matter of weeks and they would go back to the compound.
So it was, that after being there a month, Jeremy and Tyler went back to school for the first time in many years. At least going as just regular kids, not kids with a mission. It was really difficult at first, especially for the Genesis kids, but the town's people were going way out of their way to make them all feel welcome. They slowly grew to learn exactly what they were, and took it in stride.
Most of the UNIT kids were shocked. The locals took the fact that they were genetically enhanced humans, and human-cat hybrids in stride. They never once made them feel like they were anything other than normal.
It was almost impossible for most of the kids to understand at first, but slowly the people of the town made them realize that they were normal. That they could be integrated in with an open-minded society, and that, no matter what they were, the people of Essex were eternally grateful of them. Truth be told, before Ashwood, the country had become very tollerant.
Of course trying to get some of the Genesis kids to go to school was difficult, since every single one of them had very high IQ's, and eidetic memories. It was how they were made. Of course, when you have teachers that are truly interested in teaching rather than just forcing kids to pass a test, things get interesting. The Genesis kids quickly found out that the teachers had a LOT to offer them.
Jeremy had been worried about the local school bullies. Every school had them, and those kids running into any of the UNIT kids would have been very bad… at least for the bully. But that's when they learned a little bit more about how badly this town had been taken over by the bad guys.
The only real bullies left were the kids of the families that were in charge. They were the bullies, and the rest cowered from them. If any of the kids tried to fight back, well things got bad for them. It wasn't unusual for a kid to be taken to the house for a little time there, and when they came back, they never dared say anything against the bullies again. The parents knew they couldn't try and do anything to stop what was going on, since if they did, they may never see their kids again. If they did though, most of them wished they hadn't. The bad guys had a complete hold on the area, and everyone knew it. It turned out that the UNIT kids had to protect the kids that were once the bullies from the backlash on a few occasions. Things went very smoothly in that regard as Donnie had let everyone know that any excessive use of force was one hundred percent forbidden.
Of course, when the sports teams got wind of what the Genesis Kids were, the coaches were salivating. Donnie and Emily shut that down quick. They made it known that no Genesis Augment would join a competitive sports team. However, the coaches showed that they weren't dummies either. They sat down and talked to Donnie and Emily, and came up with an understanding. The Genesis augments could 'join' the team, but only as scrimmage partners. In other words, the normal football team could practice against the Genesis kids, causing them to get better.
Of course, it seemed a problem at first since Donnie and Emily put in the rule that only the youngest of the augments could do it, since the older ones would with a one hundred percent certainty hurt the other kids, unintentionally. It only took the local kids one scrimmage to realize that even the smallest of the genetically enhanced kids could do serious damage to even the biggest local athlete.
On the surface things were going perfectly. The truth of the situation was complicated though. Things were going very well, but there was a feeling of dissatisfaction. The UNIT kids felt comfortable with the people of this town, but they were not really comfortable with the life. Helping those who were in danger was what they did. They really needed to do it. They could not stand to do nothing but the mundane. They knew what the world could throw at people and they wanted to be in a position to help and that was not happening in this town. They loved being able to live openly in the town. Truth be told it was giving them something that they did not have but needed. At the end of the day though, they need more.
Jeremy sighed once again as he looked at the patch in his hand, then looked around the town he was in. It was the middle of the night, and the moon hanging bright in the sky lit the quiet town rather well. It wasn't like he really had a choice. Not really. He had talked mentally with Logan; when Jeremy had asked about Adam, Logan had reluctantly told Jeremy that while Adam really wanted to talk to him, he was afraid that he might sway Jeremy in his decision. 'As Adam put it,' Logan told Jeremy, 'I'm just selfish when it comes to Jeremy. I want him here, I want him to be my brother again. If I talk to him right now, I'm afraid I'll try and convince him to come back, even if that's not what he really wants.' Jeremy just laughed and told Logan to let Adam know that as soon as Jeremy got there, he was gonna kick Adam's ass.
No, Jeremy really didn't have a choice. He had become a member of the UNIT, and it was his family. They were the people that helped him get through everything that had happened in the past. His father getting killed, the time he spent in jail, and then after that in the group home. It was Adam and his family that'd saved more than just his life, but his mind, several times. That family was now Jeremy's family, and he would not turn his back on them.
"Hey! There you are," Tyler, Jeremy's boyfriend, lover, brother, and soul mate, said as he jogged up to the boy who was lost in thought. Jeremy looked up at the boy and couldn't help but smile. Through everything Tyler was there, always in the background. He was the rock that allowed Jeremy to do what he needed to do. "The school is lending us three of their buses. They're gassed and sitting out front. Only ten decided to stay with Donnie and Emily. Everyone else is packed, and loading onto the buses," Tyler said as he stood in front of Jeremy.
Jeremy nodded and smiled up at Tyler. "Then I guess we better get going."
1230 (12:30 pm) Mountain Standard Time
1430 (2:30 pm) Eastern Standard Time
UNIT Base: Utah
Logan was annoyed. Actually he was worse than annoyed, he was fuming. What Jack had done to Theodore was inexcusable. The only saving grace that Jack had, and the only reason Logan did not get more involved than he did, was that Jack had no clue.
In many ways this Jack was just like the Jack they knew from the other universe. However, there are many things that are different. This Jack didn't know them, didn't know what they did, how they did it, and most importantly, WHY they did what they did. Jack had not intended to hurt Theodore, but the problem was he did, and Theodore was a wreck because of it. His younger brother had not left his room since it happened, and Logan wasn't going to push it. Theodore had been very close to Jack, often following him and Dave around. It was almost to the point of hero worship for Theodore.
Then this Jack not only yelled at Theodore, something that crushed Theodore's rather fragile ego, but told the boy that he shouldn't have done something that he did. As if we hadn't thought about it. As if we went off and done something without any proper thought or planning to it. Logan knew why Jack had done it. This Jack was used to protecting kids, kids that were as young as the UNIT members were. Jack just couldn't see them yet as what they really were. That frustrated Logan all the more. "Calm down love…"
Logan shook his head and looked at Adam with a glare. Normally that glare was enough to make most normal people back down, but Adam wasn't 'most normal people'. That's part of why Logan loved him so much. "As soon as you leave, I will have a sit down chat with Jack."
"Okay," Logan said after a few seconds of deep breathing. "There is just so much going on right now. With all the shit here, trying to figure out how to get back home, and not having ANY fucking luck… Then with Haden and Daileass getting kidnapped like that. And now… Haden actually thinking about becoming one of them… well, my temper's not in as good a check as it usually is," he said with a light laugh.
"Well, just take this cake-run and cool down. By the time you get back, I'll straighten Jack out, and we can move forward with the important shit," Adam said as he hugged Logan.
When Adam backed off from the hug, they heard someone clear their throat behind them. They both turned and saw the Russian pilot that was going to go with Logan, standing there in his flight suit. "I am sorry to interrupt…" he said with pretty good English, "but, General Will Casey said they are ready to deploy."
Logan nodded to him, then walked over to the Huey he was going to fly as co-pilot, and started to check the load, again. Juan had called in earlier in the morning, and gave them a list of the supplies he felt that they would need down there. Juan had practically raved about these kids, and how smart they were. He insisted that Logan come down there and talk to them. Not only that, from a conversation that Juan had with one of the adults there, Logan needed to pick that man's mind.
So, they hatched the plan of going down in both a Huey and the Chinook. The Chinook would be loaded with the Russian troops that were going, as well as Khan and Hac, mainly to act as grunt labor. Logan and his Russian pilot were going to be flying in the Huey which was loaded down with all the gear that Juan had requested, plus some things that Logan knew they would need, especially if half of what Juan had told them turned out to be true.
Haden had decided to go down because he had heard from Juan about the kid down there that was a genius with radios. They hadn't had any luck with the radio to see if Klaus was here, so he and Daileass thought about going down to Texas and see if this kid could help.
"Okay.. let's go," Logan said to his pilot. Senior Lieutenant of Aviation (ста́рший лейтена́нт авиа́ции) Venyamin Martin Pavlov (Veny) was a pilot in the special forces branch of the Russian Military. He had moved over to more operational tasks after getting bored with simply flying ferry missions. His family wasn't liked by most of the Russian commanders, so he always got the shit jobs. Dmitry had pulled a lot of strings to get this guy assigned to his command, but by the time he did, the man had given up on flying. The problem was, he was good.
When the UNIT needed another pilot, Dmitry went and personally asked Veny to fly; the man did, but only because it was Dmitry that had asked. Though he would never admit it, he was anxious to see how these things handled. Between what they had seen when President Elect Bryce was rescued, and the 'demonstration' the day before, all the Russians were a buzz about these kids. No one knew the entire story about them, but there were all sorts of rumors going around. The one thing they all agreed on was, these kids were damned good at what they did. Most of the Russians agreed that they needed to be on the top of their game or else they would all be embarrassed again.
Once they were in the air, Logan and Will chatting briefly in their minds. Since this was just a re-supply run, they decided to take things easy, and even allowed the Russians to play with some of the guns on the Chinook. Will had found out that in this world, they had never turned the Chinook into an armed and armored version, so the configuration that the UNIT used was something that no-one had ever heard of before.
Logan was almost regretting the decision to let the chipmunks re-name the helicopters here. Will figured that since these were not the same helicopters that they had in their world, they should not be named the same. Alvin, Simon, and Theodore came up with some names, and Will laughingly accepted them. Because of that Logan and Veny were now flying the UNIT aircraft, Launchpad. Juan and mom had flown down with the other three, Huey, Louie, and Dewey, with Huey coming back later that morning.
Logan allowed Veny to do the flying, while he let his mind wander. Of course he was still paying enough attention to the controls to see if something went wrong, but mostly he was going over in his mind, again, all the failed attempts to figure out a way home.
Even with all the equipment that was brought over, Logan could not even begin to build a micro wormhole generator. It would take them at least twenty years to build up to that point. Not to mention, since Daileass's Micro Worm Hole had been cut off, something that wasn't supposed to happen, Logan wasn't holding much hope that even if they did build another, that would be able to send a message back to the world they knew.
They had no luck in trying to contact anyone from the universe they knew, The Doctor, the Mikyvis, no one. They couldn't even feel the other UNIT members. They were truly cut off, and nothing that anyone could think of helped. He'd even gone so far as asking for ideas from the Chipmunks, Daileass, Haden, Barrett, and everyone else. Nothing seemed to be able to get them any closer to finding a way home than what they had already come up with. Logan wasn't ready to accept defeat yet, but it was starting to look like they might be stuck here.
Then his mind reeled for a moment. His other self, lovingly called 'Big Logan' by the others, had found something very disturbing as he looked in on their home dimension while he worked on ways to get them home. As much as it disturbed him, he was going to have to keep this from everyone. Going home was not what he had thought. In reality he wasn't sure what home really was anymore. This changed everything! He wouldn't stop looking, but now things took on dimensions that he had never even thought of as a possibility. Well that is what you get for thinking you knew something. The Universe would just thumb it's nose at you and let fly with the cosmic boogers.
They were about twenty minutes into the flight when the Chinook dropped close to ground level, and lowered the back ramp. Veny took up position that was far enough back, higher and to the left of the Chinook. That way they could watch what was going on, but still provide cover if they needed to. While the Russians on the Chinook were 'playing,' Veny set the auto pilot then spoke, "Auto pilot engaged."
Logan checked the instrumentation, then nodded. "Confirmed."
Veny then turned slightly in his seat and looked around the helicopter some, before allowing his gaze to land on Logan. "This helicopter is more heavily modified than you have mentioned so far," he said as a statement of fact, and not a question.
Logan simply nodded his agreement. He'd already scanned the man's mind and found that he was a trustworthy person. "I know that it is faster than a normal Huey, as normally they can only go about 120 miles per hour, but we are doing one hundred and eighty now. What is the top speed?"
Logan just smiled at him before he responded, "Do you want the official answer, or the unofficial answer?"
Veny laughed out loud before he said, "Both."
"Okay. Officially the top speed is 320 MPH. However, it can be pushed a bit further than that." Logan was ready for it, and wasn't disappointed at the man's look of astonishment.
"How is that possible?" the man asked shaking his head.
Logan considered for a moment before he started talking. The man was trustworthy yes, but he wasn't sure how trustworthy. Logan started off by telling the man a few of the less important things, to see if he could catch a stray thought about who he would tell. When that never came up, Logan started to get into the more interesting modifications that the Huey had undergone.
They had been in the air for about an hour when suddenly Logan stopped talking, and got a look of intense concentration on his face. After a moment he keyed his mike, "Viper two to Viper Lead…"
"I heard… As soon as the back door is shut we're kicking it up…" Will said, his voice deadly serious.
"Roger that," Logan said as he watched the back ramp start to close on the Chinook.
Veny, to his credit, took control of the helicopter again, and started running a weapons test. He never asked anything as Logan started running his own tests. Finally Logan spoke up, "The team down in Texas is noticing a few very strange things happening near them. We've been ordered to get there ASAP, and assess the situation."
'Adam…' Alvin said into Adam's mind twenty minutes after Logan had left.
'Yes?' Adam had actually been in the gym, just starting up a short workout session.
'Do you remember Sammy's uncle, the one that we were supposed to pick up yesterday, before Will got diverted to go to Redding?'
'Yes….' Adam was starting to get a bit annoyed now, since Alvin wasn't getting to the point.
'Well… we gave him directions on how to get here, and… well… he's here.'
'Okay… did you let Jack know, I'm sure he'd want to greet the man.'
'No, actually, I think you'll want to meet him first.'
When Adam asked why, he almost wished he hadn't. Things were going to get even more involved than they already were.
"So, you ready for this?" Tyler asked Jeremy as they bounced around on the path leading to the front of the U.N.I.T. Base. When they had first arrived here, one of the older kids had taken a drive down here, and only found the cave. No base, no kids living here, nothing. Now though, they were about to re-take their old lives of combat and war.
Almost every kid in the bus was excited. Most of them considered Adam and his family to be living legends. Jeremy had to agree. The things that those boys could do was amazing, but it was the fact that their hearts were as big as their ability to fight that made them so special to Jeremy.
He felt the bus come to a jolting halt and everyone around him stood up. However, since he was the ranking officer, no one moved. That is until he too stood up, and grabbed his gear. He was the first one off the bus, followed by Tyler. He stopped a few feet away from the bus, dropped his gear, and grinned as he looked around. It looked almost exactly like it did on their old home. He turned and looked up into the face of Legion. The huge Tiger hybrid was standing there, alert as always, but he could see a ghost of a smile on the hybrid's face. "Happy to be home, Legion?"
The huge cat boy looked down at Jeremy and nodded. "Yes sir. Hopefully we'll have as much excitement on this world as we had on the last."
"Knowing Adam the way I do, not to mention what's going on with Jack and the country as a whole, I would say it's a safe bet…. even if Juan was taking the bets."
"I would not be so sure about that… sir." Even though Legion was smiling, it still sent a bit of a chill up Jeremy's spine. He was glad that Legion considered him a friend.
"Come on…. let's go see what they got going on in here."
"Lead the way sir," Legion said as he nodded at Jeremy.
Turning around, Jeremy grabbed his bag, rifle, and jacket, then walked into the cave. Parked just inside the cave entrance was a jeep that stirred a memory in Jeremy, but he couldn't place it.
When they got into the main hanger bay, Jeremy was surprised to see a lot of people milling about, mostly adults. Almost immediately though, his eyes fell on the person he was most expecting to see there. The raven-black hair may have been a lot shorter than when he had first met Adam, but there was no mistaking it.
Jeremy walked over towards Adam who was talking to a man. When he got close enough, Jeremy couldn't help himself, "So, is there an actual adult in charge of this place?!"
Adam spun around, but the look on his face was not the one that Jeremy was expecting. Instead of a smile, he saw Adam pale faced with a very worried look. The grin disappeared immediately. "Adam what's wrong?" Jeremy asked, but then felt the air escape his lungs, just as if someone had punched him. The man had turned around. There were no words to describe what he felt at that moment, as the man looked at Jeremy and Jeremy stared at the man. Finally he forced himself to say something.
When Logan had ordered the Huey to 'kick it up', Veny simply nodded and waited. As soon as he saw the Chinook start to speed up, he pushed the throttle forward slowly. When it reached the furthest it could go, he glanced down and his eyes got wide. After some mental calculations, he realized that they were going just in excess of three hundred miles an hour. A speed he had never done before, save for when he was in a fixed wing aircraft. The thing that shocked him was that the Huey was still flying as smooth as ever. He thought that going at this type of speed, the helicopter would be much harder to control. It wasn't any different. In fact, now that he was thinking about it, he realized that this craft was the easiest craft he had ever piloted.
When they were thirty minutes from Breckenridge, Alvin came over the radio, "Okay guys, here's the deal. Federal agents have quarantined the town due to a supposed viral outbreak. They are forcing all the school children to be bused to the high school where they have set up a testing point. However, they have some serious fire power there. So far I can confirm six Apache attack helicopters, as well as 3 Osprey V.T.O.L. Aircraft. On top of over a hundred federal agents. They've brought with them armored attack vehicles and a hell of a lot of fire power. I got no clue what's really going on, but something is up, and it looks bad. They are there to kill someone. I don't know who, but I don't like the picture that's being painted."
Will and Logan both acknowledged Alvin's report. He then turned to Veny and spoke seriously, "I hope you remember what I told you about this thing. In the hands of a good pilot an Apache won't be much of a problem. We're nearly as heavily armed, and just as maneuverable. The computer will stop you from pushing this thing too far past the safety limits, as well as help keep the craft stabilized. Don't fight it, 'cause you won't win. Okay?"
"Also, We're gonna have to drop the Stealth before we start fighting. We can either run the weapons systems or the Stealth, not both. The Stealth interferes with the weapons targeting abilities and causes all the electronics to overheat if both systems are running at the same time. So when we get close, I'll have to turn it off. At that point, you need to remember that we'll be able to be seen. Just a heads up."
Veny simply nodded and got himself comfortable in the seat. This is the kind of shit he had always wanted to do; however, even having seen the rescue footage of President Elect Bryce, in the back of his mind he just kept thinking… 'There is no way a Huey can take on Apaches.'
They were about ten minutes out when Alvin came over the radios again, "Okay guys, things are really heating up. Juan is reporting school buses being chased by someone, we figure federal agents. They got multiple aircraft over the school. Juan is requesting you guys deal with the town, he'll deal with the buses."
"Roger that," Will said. At the same time Logan flipped off the safety on the weapons systems.
"Weapons hot, but locked 'till we disengage the stealth," he said softly.
"Acknowledged," was all Veny said as he again made sure he was behind the Chinook, slightly higher and to the left. Standard attack pattern.
They were only five minutes out when Logan jerked violently. "JUAN!" he cried out causing Veny to look over in concern. Logan shook his head and looked over at Veny, tears flowing from his eyes. "Juan… my little brother… he's hit, and it's bad…"
Veny nodded seriously then spoke softly, "I know what it's like… to have a comrade hurt. It's more difficult when it's family. But I need you to help me here, or else we're both dead."
Logan nodded, and got his game face on. Normally he would have kept his cool even with Juan being injured, but being honest with himself, with everything that had been going on, Logan was not at the top of his game, and this was bad. However, he had to pull it together.
"Med-i-vac in the air… two minutes out!" Janet's voice came over the radio. That fact that she sounded calm and composed helped to calm Logan down.
"THEY'RE FIRING ON THE SCHOOL! KILL THOSE SONS OF BITCHES!" Alvin's voice shouted over the radio.
"Logan…" Janet's voice came over the secure channel. "I'll take care of Juan. You guys save the town. Meet up with me afterwards."
"Roger that mom." Logan said and took a moment to settle his mind.
"Viper two…" Will's voice came over the radio. "You take the lead. Keep the enemies off us long enough for me to drop the troops. They're all geared up, and ready to go."
Veny pulled up a little higher, and let the Chinook pass underneath him as it slowed down slightly.
"Three of the Apaches are firing on their own guys, trying to protect the civilians!" Alvin's excited voice again came over the radio.
"Stealth off! Let them know we're friendly!" Logan said, a little more forcefully than he would have liked, but in the heat of the moment…
"Roger that, feeding you their FoF (friend or foe) identifiers," Alvin said just as they came into sight of where Juan was at. Just as it also came into sight, Logan saw one of the Hueys landing, while the other one was covering it. Logan sent off a quick prayer that his baby brother would be okay, then got his game face on.
"Coming into weapons range…" he said deep in concentration.
"One of the Apache's got hit!" Alvin cried over the radio. "It just crashed into the school, then exploded!"
Logan looked at his radar screen and saw that one of the Ospreys was firing on the school. He switched it to his heads-up display. "Target first Osprey… FIRING!" he said as he depressed the trigger on his stick. Two, four, six, then eight rockets fired from the pods on either side of the Huey, before he released the trigger. Then he concentrated. He didn't really expect to hit anything from this range, but with a little luck, and some effort on his part…
"Impact!" Alvin cried out. "Scratch one bogie!"
Logan was already sweating from the effort that caused, but he mentally shook it off.
"One friendly Apache hit.. looks like he's gonna try for a hard landing West of the town," Alvin said, trying to keep everyone up to date as to what was going on. Then they were in it.
Veny buzzed one of the Ospreys, firing as he went by, hitting the thing, but not damaging it enough. He couldn't worry about that though, as one of the enemy Apaches decided the Huey would be easy pickings. They were wrong. Veny ducked and weaved, but never left the fighting area. Logan was firing when he could get a shot, but mostly they were just trying to keep the other guys busy.
"Friendly Apache two down!" Alvin said, Logan heard it, and filed it away.
He waited for Veny to line up, then made a quick shot with several rockets. Only one hit its mark, but it was enough. "Enemy Apache two down. Watch your fire Logan, you came close to hitting a civilian building."
Logan didn't reply, but he knew what Alvin meant. There were so many innocent people around, that he had to be very careful or he might hit something he didn't mean to.
"Osprey lining up to fire on the civvies again," Veny said as he yanked the stick hard left, and pushed speed into the engines. "Gonna try and buzz him again." The man was incredibly calm, and Logan took reassurance from that.
"TROOPS OFFLOADED!" Will said over the radio. "We're live!" A moment later, Will's voice called out again. "LAUNCHPAD! Pull up.. they got a lock on you!"
Veny didn't move a muscle. He knew he had to keep the Osprey off the civilians or more would die. Logan's hand flew over, going for the switch that would deploy the chaff. "NO!" Veny's stern voice commanded. Logan hesitated, then a moment later, Veny pulled hard on the stick, pulling them into an almost vertical accent. The missile that was meant for them flew by underneath, and slammed into the Osprey, causing it to erupt into a fireball.
The engines screamed in protest as Veny completed a full loop, something no helicopter should be able to perform. He almost stalled the engines, when the safeties started to kick in, but Logan quickly overrode the safeties, and the engines came roaring back to life fully, and Veny shot out past the only remaining Apache helicopter. Logan was close enough to see the shocked look on the pilots face. Unfortunately for him, he didn't see the Chinook line up, and let loose with its own rockets. The Apache blew apart before the man even knew they were being targeted.
"All air assets neutralized!" Alvin's voice said over the radio. "Russians are meeting heavy resistance near the school, get over there and give them cover. You got five minutes before you need to get the hell out of there. Local and state law enforcement and military are already responding. Closest asset will be there in about eight minutes. Adam says you guys need to be the hell out of there before you're seen!"
"Roger that!" Will said as he pushed the Chinook hard to get to the school. Moments later, he heard the mini guns start up in back. He looked down and saw the Russians were in a heavy fire fight with the federal agents. Khan broke from cover and ran right for the agents. Hac had turned to his full werewolf form, and was right behind him. Logan even thought he could hear their roar all the way up in the Huey and over the engine noise. "Sweet Mary, what is that?" Veny asked in awe.
"He's a friend," was all Logan said, concentrating on making sure that the troops were covered.
Once the helicopters got into the action, the federal agents were quick to try and throw down their weapons, surrendering. Unfortunately for them, the Russians were in full agreement with the UNIT. No mercy for those who were killing innocents.
As soon as the fighting was over, Will landed the helicopter and the troops quickly loaded back up. He gave them a few moments to try their best to find someone who survived. They couldn't stay long before they're cover was blown though.
"Will!" Alvin's voice came over the radio. "You've been ordered to land where Juan got injured. There are a lot of wounded there. You're to off load all healthy troops, and load up with injured. The Russians have set up a basic field hospital to treat the wounded."
"Roger that!" Will said as he started to lift off the ground. Just as he was about to rise up even further, he saw two Russians run towards the helicopter; the lead one had a kid in his arms. Will hovered, just off the ground, until he got word they were aboard, then flipped on the stealth, and flew over to where the buses were at. It didn't take long to off load the Russians and get the injured on board. Moments later they were up and flying again, this time less than fifty feet off the ground, heading to the mansion.
"Come on Juan!' Janet growled out as she cracked the boy's rib cage and spread it apart so she could see just how bad things were. The tricorder gave her a very good idea, but she needed to be in there to fix it. Lying on the table next to Juan was Craig, with a needle in his arm. The tubing that ran from him to Juan was pumping in much needed blood. It wasn't the blood that Juan needed right now, but it would have to work until one of the Genesis kids got there. Already she had been told that Khan would be there as soon as they landed with the other injured. Thankfully Khan had more than enough blood… at least she hoped he did.
"Steven… I need you to hold the aortic artery still while I try and sew up the tear in it."
Steven's eyes shot up as he studied the insides of Juan's body for a couple of moments. He let what he learned in one of the many advanced biology lectures he had been allowed to attend while his mom was in the Cancer Hospital, to take over. He followed the artery to the heart, saw the problem, and used his thumb and index finger to pinch off the vital tube just long enough for the damage to be repaired before letting it go. "Now this is something I could really get into!" he muttered softly as he watched the woman continue to work.
Moments later she had the artery sewn up, and moved onto the collapsed lungs. The left lung was going to need a lot of work, so she simply clamped that off, and went to work on fixing the right one up as much as possible. She knew she was playing a very dangerous game here. Juan could live on one lung for a while, without any issues, but the one lung that he was living on right now wasn't doing everything it needed to. She needed to fix it and fix it fast, or Juan would suffocate, no matter what else she did. Her biggest problem at the moment was trying to keep her incision open. The natural healing ability of a Genesis augment, especially one of the Core Unit boys, made it very difficult to keep the wound open long enough for her to really fix things.
"Ma'am," one of the Russians called out as he stuck his head into the room. Seeing that she was very busy, he just started talking without waiting for acknowledgment, "One of the Medics just took some other guys to get the supplies you asked for, and whatever else they can get. They know they have a time limit and will be back as soon as they can." Janet barely nodded as she watched the right lung inflate, and sighed when she saw that it held.
She was so intent on what she was doing; she was somewhat surprised when she looked up next, and saw that Craig wasn't lying on the bed anymore, but Glenn was sitting there, in his chair, a needle in his arm, and Craig was the one pumping the ball. She met eyes briefly with the chair-bound boy, who was very much looking green around the gills. The boy took one more look at Juan's open chest, then quickly turned away and puked on the far side of his chair.
Craig didn't look great either, but much of his queasiness was from donating almost a pint of blood, maybe over a pint of blood. She nodded her thanks to him, then went right back to work.
Steven's nose turned up as Glenn puked, "Um, open-chest sickness bag and clean up needed in back kitchen!"
Glenn tried to hold back but failed as he puked a second time then muttered, "Screw you Steven!"
This only caused Craig to snicker softly as he pushed on the hand pump again, drawing more blood out of Glenn and into Juan.
She didn't know how much later it was, but it couldn't have been long, when she heard every person in the room gasp. She didn't bother to turn around, as she heard Khan's voice fill the room, "Mother, I am here. Where do you need me?"
Janet looked up at Steven, then to Craig, then back to Khan. "Craig, go get a shaving razor from one of the men. Steven set up another kit. Khan, I need you to sit down next to the bed. We need to do a direct transfusion of your blood directly into Juan. The normal blood has kept him alive, but we need Genesis blood to help kick-start his own healing ability."
Steven glanced up with wide eyes, "Holy crap! They do have talking… um, is that really a werewolf?"
Craig started to stand but wobbled forcing Khan to grab the boy. still he looked up into the being's face and managed a grin, "Now either I lost way too much blood or that is the coolest thing ever!"
Steven glanced over his shoulder, "Ricky! We need a razor and Craig ain't about to get it!"
"I am NOT a werewolf. I'm a Tiger-Human Hybrid. Hac's the puppy." When Khan grinned though, he gave them all a full accounting of his large and very sharp teeth.
"On it!" Ricky shouted as he rushed out of the room only to return a few seconds later with a disposable Bic with a pink handle. The boy took one step into the room and eyed Khan with astonishment, "To heck with Juan's blood. I want that thing's!"
Steven snorted out a snicker and raised an eyebrow even as he pulled off the guard from the pink handled razor and put it to the strange creature's arm.
Ricky just shrugged before looking back at Khan with something akin to total hero worship, "Methinks Mr. Triumph uses this for a girlfriend; there are a few tampons in the bathroom too."
"TMI! TMI!" Craig growled while closing his eyes in hopes that the room would stop spinning from his attempt to stand up quickly.
While Janet was working inside of Juan's chest, she was also explaining to Steven how to shave Khan's arm, sterilize the site, and how to thread the needle into a hybrid's vein. Khan growled a bit as he watched his forearm being shaved, but he didn't say anything. Janet couldn't help but smile as she thought about what might have been going through his mind.
Less than five minutes after Khan was hooked up, Steven gasped out in shock.
"What?" Glenn asked from where he was trying to recover from slight blood loss and puking.
"His bone… I'm actually watching it heal!"
Janet nodded seriously. "That's why I didn't even worry about it. Juan's bones will heal very quickly, and if you look, the suture I used in the Aortic Artery has probably already fallen out."
Glenn started to look over only to have Khan reach up and grab his head, "No puking into Juan's chest puny one!"
Steven couldn't help himself. He reached in and gently lifted the artery up to look at the underside, sure enough the suture was barely hanging there, the artery itself was healing up very quickly.
"Now I KNOW I want to be turned into one of you guys!" Ricky shouted as he jumped up and down with glee. "That is just too cool!"
Janet kept her mouth shut, but she did shoot a glare in Ricky's direction, a glare he completely missed, since he was watching Juan's body try to heal itself.
Logan knew he had a lot of things to deal with, not the least of which was checking in on Juan. Before he dealt with other things though, he found something that he knew was possible, but hadn't even hoped would happen. Joey, a kid from down here, was this universe's Adam. Obviously he hadn't gone through the same things that Adam had, but he was still Adam. He'd have to figure out how to break it to Adam at some point, but not now.
Haden was the first to spot him, and that alerted Logan to what was going on. He quickly ran over there, and saw that, yes, the kid really did look like Adam. Trying to get a handle on this, Logan quickly headed over to where Haden was talking to Fredric and Joey.
When he got there, Haden was the first to see him. "Logan?" Haden asked curiously. "I thought you were inside helping Juan?"
"Nah…. Mom said she didn't need my help; besides, I can do my job better out here." He then glanced over at Fredric, and Joey, who had moved behind Fredric again. He stuck out his hand to the man, and when the man took it, he introduced himself, "Hi, I'm Logan Hayes, one of Juan's older brothers, and General in charge of the Intel Division for the UNIT." Seeing the man's lost look, Logan smiled. "It does stand for something; however, it's a long and involved story. If you would like to hear it, I would be more than happy to explain it." Logan had scanned the man's mind, and frankly, while there are a lot of differences, Fredric reminded him a lot of Joe Casey, which would help to explain why Joey was so devoted to him. There was nothing malevolent within this man. At least nothing that Logan had found yet.
Fredric took the offered hand and found the grip to be tight and the youngster standing in front of him to hold an air of authority about him. He instantly guessed the boy had been brought up in a strict military family. "So, Logan, the more of you guys I meet the more outlandish this seems to become. You talk and act like adults, but you look like kids, and you talk about coming from some kind of unit, and you wear a uniform and side arm as if you were born with it."
"I mean no insult at all, saying you are from your unit's Intel Division and you make reference of it standing for something, but you will have to excuse me, because I have no idea what it's standing for nor do I get how any military prep school, anywhere, can turn boys as young as you all into what I am seeing and dealing with. Your friend, Haden, here says you are not from Russia, but further away, yet you look Anglo, or to be less politically correct white, and there are not many places with whites further away than Russia."
Fredric's voice picked up speed as he continued to talk, "I have eight boys I need to protect with every resource I have and one, next to me, I will protect with even more, so I really need to know what you all are, what military school you come from, and why you are allowed to be some kind of military unit with seemingly real ranks when you are all only kids. My nine boys, and now the…" Fredric glanced around, "countless other kids are now my responsibility and with what is going on, may be for the foreseeable future. I will not risk their lives, cannot, without really understanding what in the h… um, blazes, is going on, who you all are, and where is your… um… adult leaders or… I guess cadre may be the best term."
Logan looked at the man, then to Joey. He glanced around, and saw only Russians nearby. Then Haden spoke up, which actually surprised Logan, but in a good way. It meant that Haden was breaking out of his shell again. "Look at how much trust Joey puts in Fredrick. That type of trust doesn't come lightly from kids. I think we can trust him as well."
Joey slid a bit further back while eyeing Haden, "Without Uncle Triumph, I would be in foster care or dead!"
Logan smiled and looked at the boy that had captured one of his brothers' hearts. "You're entirely correct Haden." He then looked at Fredric and then Joey again. "Joey, could you step up here a little bit. I need to make sure you understand what I am about to say."
Hesitantly, Joey moved up and stood next to Fredric, but the man still had an arm draped protectively over the boy's shoulder, and Joey seemed to be trying to merge with the man. "I assume you both know what 'Top Secret' means?"
Both the boy and the man nodded wordlessly. "Good. What I am about to tell you is even more secret than that." Logan waited for both of them to nod, before he spoke, "When Haden said we came from somewhere much further away then Russia, he was not kidding. Even though we are still desperately trying to figure out how it happened, and how to get back. We actually come from a different Earth, a different universe if you will." Knowing that one or both of them would say something, he raised his hand, silently asking them to hold off questions. "I know it's difficult to understand, let alone accept, but it is true. The Earth that we come from was like this one, but with a lot of differences. One of them was the use of genetic engineering to create super soldiers. The UNIT that we are a part of stands for the Universal Next Generation Infiltration Team."
Before Joey could respond Fredric's' right hand moved around and secured Joey in a protective embrace. "Logan, while your words sound insane, so does the fact your aircraft can up and disappear, so OK, I will accept this. But this leads to dozens of questions, some are most likely irrelevant. However, why are you both eyeing Joey? This young man is under my protection and the protection of EEL, so if there is a problem I need to know. He is my primary concern, above my own health and safety and to be honest, the eight boys who I flew down here are rapidly moving up to be a smidge behind Joey.
While Fredric's tone didn't turn hostile as he continued to speak, it did convey the demand for an explanation. "I get the impression you are both spooked by Joey and Joey is getting the same vibes; I can tell. He doesn't like people looking at him, studying him, like you both are. It brings back memories of some horror and I do not want him to have to relive or reveal what that is until he is ready. So what is going on; what unit from some world with such high tech could possibly want kids to fight?"
Logan nodded seriously before he looked over at Haden. "Do me a favor bro.. take off the armor for a bit. You got a jumpsuit under it right?"
Haden nodded, "Sounds good to me, these things can really get hot." He then started to strip out of the armor.
While he was doing that, Logan turned back to Fredric and Joey. "I will answer your questions in reverse order if you don't mind." Getting a nod from the man, Logan continued, "Just because a world is more advanced technologically, does not mean that it is peaceful. In the world we came from, The Genesis Project was created by the US military to create children super soldiers. Ones that would be able to fight off any threat that they may face. Not all of us are Genesis Kids though. When Adam escaped, and then started to rescue the others, they turned their focus on abused kids, and started rescuing them. Before we arrived here, The UNIT numbered slightly over ten thousand with 85% of them being younger than sixteen."
Fredric simply scowled at Logan. "What adults need kids to fight for them in your world? What in the name of God is wrong with the adults where you all come from?"
The moment the blood splattered armor was off of Haden, Joey's whole demeanor changed. It was almost like someone flipped a switch. The fourteen-year-old slid around, while still staying in Fredric's protective grasp and looked at the strange device on Haden's arm, "What is… I don't even care what it is, how do I get one?"
Logan laughed out loud at Joey's enthusiasm. "Hey Haden. If you don't mind, why don't you take Joey over there and explain what you can about the GEAR?" In Haden's mind, Logan spoke, This way he doesn't need to hear the rest of our conversation.
"Um, it's called a GEAR," Haden replied as he blinked in surprise at Joey's sudden change in character. "It's kinda like an electronic utility knife, it lets me do all kinds of different things, like scan for different types of electromagnetic signatures and stuff… As far as how to get one… this is the only one I have here with us, and from what I can tell, the technology doesn't really exist here to build more. When we get a chance to catch our breath for a bit, I will probably have to start from scratch and build new ones with the tech that we have available."
Joey glanced up to Fredric, "Maybe we could help them figure out how to make more?"
Fredric snickered, "Tell you what, kiddo, why don't you go with Haden, introduce him to Glenn, and talk it over. I think Logan here wants a one on one chat for some strange reason."
Fredric then glanced over to Logan, "Which, I will indulge you on once I get an answer to my question."
Looking back at Fredric after watching the two boys walk off a short ways, Logan sighed. "First let me clear up one assumption you have made. We fight for ourselves. No adult commands us, period." Logan took a deep breath. "Look at it this way. What better way to get close to someone you need to kill, than to look like a defenseless child? Brutal or not, it's a valid tactic. Before you say anything though, most of the people involved with it are already dead. We took care of that shortly after Adam escaped. Also… remember, the actions of a few do not dictate how the rest of the people feel about something. Most of the people on the world we came form were just as appalled about what created us, as you are."
"Young… um, man, I disagree, if there are thousands of you fighting, then there is indeed a problem with the adults in your society." Fredric let out a deep and troubled sigh, "The boys with me… they have fought and, much to my dismay, have tasted combat. But it is something I am going to do my utmost to keep them out of once this whole situation is resolved. These others, those we have… rescued… Um, they will be taken care of, regardless of expense to EEL and they will not taste combat again if I have anything to say about it. Understood?
Logan sighed. He'd seen this before, and it was gonna be a fight to make this man understand. "Sir. With all due respect, I believe you will find that impossible. Welcome to the reality that is war. With what is coming, these kids will be involved, and involved in ways that I am sure you will not like. But one thing I know, and would be willing to bet more money than even you have, is this. These kids, the ones that you have brought here, are involved, and it will take a whole lot more than you to stop them. You need to get behind them, guide them, help them, but ultimately understand that they WILL be involved. The second THEY decided to try and stop something they saw as wrong, is the second they stopped being simply children. Don't get me wrong, they still need adults. They need you to help them understand what they are feeling, and why the things that are happening, are happening. But mostly, they need your support, not you fighting them at every step."
Fredric shook his head, "I am not stupid enough to think I can keep them totally out of this. It's my fault they are in it, after all. Besides I am sure we have some kind of target on our backs or soon will. But you just avoided my question entirely. How can you call a world where kids fight and adults don't and or let the kids fight, be more advance than this world?"
"Such a thing is totally barbaric. Adults should be lining up to take those kids in and give them homes safe from battlefields. They should… you all should be given some love, a place to call home and a parent, preferably two, waiting to get you a hot meal when you come in from playing and taking you to your baseball games or whatever sports you play."
Fredric continued not giving Logan a chance to interrupt, "Just look at Haden, the kid should have a mom and dad to tuck him in at night! He should not have to act like he is in charge of anything at his age!" He glanced into Logan's eyes, "And neither should you."
Logan sighed heavily. "Sir, I know you did not mean to insult with what you just said; however, I feel I need to correct your perceptions on a few things. I said they were more technologically advanced. Nothing else. Secondly, there are thousands of kids in this country that would love to have exactly what you are saying they need. However, are there enough people, even in this world that can and would care for them? No. We have only been here for a few days, and one thing we already know is that the conservative estimate is that there are over one and a half million kids in this country alone that are homeless. That is one out of every forty five children are homeless. There are probably three times that being abused. Where are all the adults of this world who you say are supposed to be lining up to take care of them? You know the real world doesn't work that way. It should, but we both know it doesn't."
"In our world, a group of kids came together and told the world that that was not acceptable. They had the backing of some very powerful people, and it was the kids that stepped up and started to help out other kids. Sometimes it took fighting to save the kids, and that's where we came in. We then offered the kids to either be placed somewhere with someone that would care for them the way you are saying, or they could join us, get trained, and help rescue other kids in situations like they were in.
"But something else you need to keep in mind is this. Many of us are genetically engineered to be stronger, faster, and heal quicker, than your average human. We don't fit into your typical suburban life style. Ain't a single one of us a Wally or Beaver Clever, thank God."
"And, just for the record, I DO have a mother and father that love me dearly. But they also know when to step in and help me, and when to get out of my way and let me do what it is that I was born to be. In other words they love me enough to NOT try and change me, just because it doesn't fit their preconceived notion of what a child should be."
"Finally, I act like I am in charge because I AM. I have worked my ass off for many years fighting against the forces that would like to cause others harm, people that have a level of evil that would make you shiver. I have EARNED my rank, and am very proud of it."
Fredric looked at Logan with total exasperation. "Look, you're competent, bred for killing, and quite frankly far better at your age than I would ever be in a combat situation. I shot a couple of times yesterday, but I highly doubt I hit anything. If air wasn't around me, I'd miss it too. But you have to understand, when I hear you say you have done this for years my mind sees a thirteen to fourteen year old kid, so the whole years things just doesn't mesh with me. Sorry."
"No apology needed, and for the record I am not genetically engineered. So don't appologize since there are many things about where we come from that you don't know. I know it doesn't add up, but I can assure you that it is accurate. At some point in the future I would not mind sitting down and sharing with you several stories that will make your mind go wild," Logan said with a grin. "Now, if you don't mind, I would really like to tell you about Joey, and why he presents an issue for us."
"Joey? Joey is harmless, loving and deeply troubled in ways I have not been able to fully understand. How could he be a problem to you all?" Fredric asked concerned.
Logan sighed and spoke softly, "The leader of the UNIT, my boyfriend, is named Adam. That's not the name he was given at birth, but the name they gave him, as in Adam and Eve. Adam is the first, and the pinnacle of the Genesis Project. Adam was born as a normal boy, his father was in the military, he got deployed when Adam was only six. Due to some very bad people getting involved in the life of Adam and his mother, Adam was left on the streets to care for himself. That's where he was picked up by the military, and turned into what he is now. Here is the problem. His birth name was Joseph… Joseph Casey Jr."
Fredric took a step back as if he had been punched, "Joey's last name before adoption was Casey… his dad was in the military and was KIA when Joey was six… His mom hit the bottle hard and somehow, details of which I still don't know fully, Joey was in and out of foster care in California by the time he was seven… He ran away because his mom kept getting custody back… Then he made his way to Austin and… they are the same? As in the same kid in two different… um, multi-verses? Is such a thing really possible?"
"Yes… yes it is. We've already confirmed that several of the people that we knew are here as well. Obviously not the same person, but they share the same name and face. Another problem will come up at some point I am sure. The man I call father, since my own father died, is Joe Casey Sr. Currently he is at our base."
Fredric's hands ran down his face and he shook his head to clear it, totally unsuccessfully. "Um, is it… no… is he your Joseph Casey or Joey's Joseph Casey? Um, I mean the reason I ask is… I know Joseph Casey worked under President Bryce… Plus, um… I did lots of checking and while the government lists him as KIA and paid the death benefits… um, there is no actual record of his death, just an after-action report saying he was KIA and the paperwork signed by someone in the Pentagon to pay the benefit."
Logan's eyes went distant for a moment, before they returned to Fredric's. "Joe, my father, was brought here with us. As far as Joey's father goes, I don't have any information, yet. But I will promise you now, I will find out for sure."
"Good luck." Fredric shook his head as if saying it wasn't going to happen. "I dug as deep as me and my people knew how. To be honest I would be more interested in finding out if this man could break Joey out of his shell so we could find out why he locks the door to his room every night, refuses to let anyone sleep in the same room with him other than me, and carries a ball point pen with him everywhere including the bathroom and shower."
"Honestly sir, the person who could break him out of his shell is you," Logan said sadly. "However, if I don't miss my guess, he is trying to protect you from having to know what he went through."
Fredric studied Logan for several seconds, "Maybe you are right, at least partially, but something keeps him scared, and I have no idea what. All I know is he really wanted me to be the one who adopted him, but I didn't want him to be without a mom and dad, so I found a couple of EEL employees to take him in as their own. still, he shows me more trust than he does them, but he is starting to really love them and I think him having a mom and dad he loves and love him back is what is best and over the long run what will do him the most good."
"Sir, please do not think that I am questioning your actions; however, I have learned, from many placements that we have done, that a single parent can be just as effective as two parents, but the MOST important thing is what the child wants. You could have placed Joey with the best parents in the world, and it still may not have amounted to very much, because he'd already chosen his father. The point is, a good adoption needs to be agreed on by all the parties involved, not just what the adults think is best. THAT is where most of the problems come in. Now I am not saying that you did that, I am just saying that Joey looks to you as his father, not someone else. At least as far as I have seen."
"Uncle at best. There is no way I am dad material. I am too soft on some things…" He snickered slightly. "Anyway, what, exactly, do you want or need? Anything?"
"Nope… I did what I needed to do, and that was to inform you about Joey. Other than that, the question really, is what can we do for you? I mean, you do realize that the shit is gonna hit the fan soon, and changes are better than none, within a few days this country is going to erupt into a civil war. So, with that in mind, what can we do to help you guys prepare, and hopefully survive?"
Fredric glanced around, "I am hoping we can still avoid a full scale shooting war by showing the world just how corrupt and awful the Ashwood Administration actually is. But, as much as I hate to admit it, you are probably right.
"Because of this probable outcome, is there any way you can get the kids we rescued from the God-forsaken thing they know as the 'Temple' some professional help and get any of these kids from Breckenridge who we can't quickly find family for to a small island in the Bahamas? Then, as soon as the eight I brought down here see the Governor and do the photo ops, do the same for them?"
"One second…" Logan said as he stared off into space. Fredric didn't have any way of knowing this, of course, but Logan was chatting with Adam, Will, and Dmitry about this issue. Finally, Logan re-focused on Fredric.
"Here's what we can do. First off, the kids rescued from the temple will be taken care of. Unfortunately we had to deal with a situation that was slightly worse than the Temple kids, so we have a good idea how to deal with them, it will be a long and hard process for them, but we should be able to de-program most if not all of them.
"Now as far as getting you places, the best we can do is loan you the two helicopters that brought down the Russians last night. They will be able to provide you with a lot of fire power, and protection, should you need it. However, transporting a lot of people will be up to you to figure out. However, I would suggest NOT going commercial. I would also suggest that you stock up on all the supplies you can get your hands on, especially food. When things start to go south, they will go quickly and hard. Also we can't leave them with you. I would also suggest that you arm yourselves as completely as you can no matter where you go."
Fredric let out a long sigh, "Well, the supply side is going to be fully covered. I have just the person to make it happen. My main concern is getting the kids out before things get too bad. Do the choppers have the range to get to Freeport Texas where my 'never before used' yacht is docked?"
Logan grinned like a Cheshire cat. "Oh yeah. There is no real range on those helicopters, only how long the pilot can fly them. They don't use normal fuel, and they can go a lot faster. Just to tweak your geek side… those things are powered by a micro fusion generator about the size of a four foot by four foot box."
Fredric's jaw dropped, "Fusion, real fusion? No… I have like twenty of the highest paid physicists in the world working non-stop on cold fusion… It is cold, not plasma hot, right?"
"Of course…" Logan said with a grin… this was the inner child coming out to play in Fredric now… or should it be called the inner Geek. "The largest one we've created is about the size of a fifty five gallon drum. We figured it should be able to power all of New York City for about five years… roughly."
Fredric clutched both sides of his head and leaned forward, almost like he was going to get sick, but he glanced up, "If this is not a joke, then just give me the basic mathematical principle so I can figure it out. I am not even asking for how, just the math behind it!"
"If I do… will you be able to concentrate on ANYTHING else… like getting your kids to safety?" Logan asked, semi seriously.
Fredric shook his head as if trying to clear it. "Do I really look like the kind of person capable of figuring out how to keep these kids safe? I have people who can, though, and they will not let me totally zone out… much to my displeasure on occasion… Like, um, the math behind cold fusion…" Fredric managed a grin which looked more like a ten-year-old who was given his first model rocket.
"Well…. let me be blunt with you here sir. I am a geek, just like you and the rest of the kids here. My brothers are as well. But we won't have the time to re-create the tech we are used to, simply because we were a good many years ahead of the current tech here. So to re-create what we had, we would have to build the tech to build the tech to make what we want. So.. how about we strike a deal? We'll do what we can to keep you guys safe, as well as give you the tools to do so, all the while, funnel certain things your way to see if you can re-create some of what we had? How does that sound to you?"
Fredric looked into Logan's eyes with stunned silence for many seconds before he nodded. A few seconds later he fell face first toward Logan as he passed out from lack of oxygen. Quite simply he forgot to breathe until he passed out. Logan couldn't help but burst out laughing, as he caught the man and gently lowered him to the ground.
As he walked away from the unconscious man, he heard Adam speak into his mind. "You're evil…"
"Thank you," Logan said with a bit of a skip in his step. Now it was off to find this so-called computer geek, and see just how good the kid really was.
When Logan found Ricky, the boy was sitting at the dining room table with two laptops open in front of him, and a hard drive sitting between them. "There is no pattern here!" he muttered to himself. "Binary Encryption algorithms have systematic patterns. Well unless the NSA helped come up with this insanity. Ashwood is such an angel my butt, mom… Man, how did you ever get taken in by such a creep."
Logan watched for several seconds shaking his head. The kid was good, he just needed better equipment. "Hey there," Logan said out loud, making Ricky jump a little and spin around.
"Who are you?" Ricky asked quickly while his hand moved down to the small .38 in a shoulder holster. The fear in the boy's eyes was unmistakable.
"I'm Logan… one of Juan's brothers," he said with a smile. He didn't miss the movement towards the gun, but frankly he wasn't really worried; if Ricky tried to draw it, he would have found out that it wouldn't have moved.
"Juan has an older brother?" Ricky asked with a shake of his head as he moved his hand slightly off the revolver. "Do you cuss as much as he does?" The way the last comment was spoken, it was clear the youngster hoped not. "He's kind of a jerk, but I hope he'll be OK."
"Yeah, he'll be fine. He's tougher than he looks," Logan said with a small laugh. "Speaking of Juan, did he ever give you the laptop I sent down?"
"No…" the boy said shaking his head.
"Why doesn't that surprise me," Logan said with a grin. "He'll show you every gun he brought down, but forgot one simple little thing that I asked him to do. I am so gonna have to have a talk with him when he wakes up. Anyways.. I'll be right back, then I'll show you how to crack the security on that easily."
As Logan started to turn he felt a strange cold burst. As he turned to glance back he noticed the soda in Ricky's hand was coated in a light icy glaze. The ring of condensation left by the can was also frozen solid. Logan couldn't help but giggle. "Juan told me about that. Neat trick. If you want any help learning more control, just let me know."
"It would be neater if I didn't freeze the can solid again…" Ricky let the can fall out of his hand and hit the table with a loud 'clunk' sound. "I just want to make it cold, not solid and I froze the water close to me again!"
Logan walked over, grabbed the can, then sat down next to him. He held the can up, and he thawed it out. "It's not a game of power but precision. It's like hacking. You have your brute force attacks, and they are good for some things, but when you get to the really cool stuff, you have to use a 'less is more' approach and finesse. It's all about the finesse. You're going too fast and too hard. Slow it down a bit, and gently, slowly cool it down."
"But once Juan showed me, or talked me though it… well it is just so easy, and it really doesn't tire me out. I just see the molecular formula in my brain and have all atomic motion stop. It happens so fast there is no in between, just warm to ice. He touched the can again and it instantly bulged outward as its content returned to ice.
"That's because all you're trying to do is stop everything, not slow it down. At first it might be harder to slow than to stop, but it'll come to you. What Juan showed you was just one way of doing it, you need to figure out what works best for you, and run with it from there." He warmed the can back up, slowly this time, then handed it back to Ricky. "Try it again while I go get the laptop. Go slowly this time." Logan then got back up and headed from the room.
Ricky glanced at the can and shook his head in annoyance, "Oh, right, slow down the molecular formula, not stop it. Sometimes I wonder why people think I am so smart." With a deep breath he picked up the can again and started to visualize the molecules slowing down. "Maybe if I make the air around it cold too it'll work better…"
By the time Logan got back in the room, the temperature of the whole room was under forty degrees and dropping while Ricky continued to study the can with deep focus.
"Hey, Ricky!" Logan said forcefully making the kid jump a little, and immediately the room started to warm up again. "Your over thinking it man… stop trying to go for over kill, just do the small things first, okay?"
Ricky glanced around, clearly not noticing just how cold it was getting in the room. It wasn't until he looked down and noted fog had started to form at the floor did his eyes go wide. "Oh, man, what is wrong with me! This is so stupid! Fine!" With some frustration he tapped the can half a dozen times and poured the slushy contents into a glass, "There!"
He took a drink and glanced over at Logan. "So, is the computer like the armor I made a fool of myself trying to get used to?"
"First off, mental abilities take time and practice. How long did it take you to learn to hack a really sophisticated system? Not even you're good enough to have been able to do that the first day you learned to hack, so cut yourself some slack. I got a few ways to help train your mind, I'll explain later. Now this laptop. This isn't like anything you have used before."
"Neither was your vanishing helicopters or your armor, so I have to wonder if you are all just wearing masks making it look like you are human when you are really aliens or something. You did have werewolf thingy with you after all," Ricky said as he looked at Logan.
"First off, Khan is NOT a werewolf thingy," Logan said with a chuckle. "He's a Human-Tiger Hybrid. Second, we actually are aliens. Technically, since we don't come from THIS earth, we fit the definition of an alien."
"Right, I get the multi-verse principles, and somehow you all crossed over, but this world sucks big time and it sounds like yours was awesome, so why did you come here?"
Logan sighed. "As I told Fredric, just because we have higher tech, doesn't mean the world was any better. We had a military of ten thousand troops, most of them kids. Ninety nine percent of them were rescued from some sort of abuse before we got them, fixed them up, and trained them to fight. We were right in the middle of a civil war in Russia, where we found out that several of us were cloned, because of our increased healing factors. They cloned us, and sold the clones to a bastard of a man that wanted them so he could hurt them and they wouldn't die from what he did. He trained them to be sex slaves, and trust me, what happened to the Temple kids, while bad, is nowhere near what those clones went through. So yeah, higher tech doesn't mean nicer people. It just means they have more toys to play with."
This caused Ricky to shake his head in disgust. "OK, so you picked one pile of poo for another. If there really is a multi-verse, why didn't you all go somewhere nice?"
"Well…. I can tell you honestly… we didn't choose to come here. Actually we have no idea how we got here, and if we were sent here, why. All I know is that we're here and everything we have figured out to try and get back home doesn't work," Logan said with a sad shake of his head.
Ricky rubbed his chin for a second, "So… you didn't do anything special? You just appeared here?"
Seeing Logan nod, Ricky cocked his head to the side. "So any kind of transport through any kind of wormhole should leave a residual trace of energy. Back in 2001 NASA found a black hole that was releasing energy. This black hole spins and pumps energy out through cable-like magnetic field lines." Ricky stood up and moved to a drawer where an electric can opener was stashed. On the top was a magnet to grab older steel lids.
He moved closer and put the magnet close to Logan. It suddenly moved away. "Magnetic after effects of going through a wormhole to this universe. Any chance we can do a magnetic spectrograph of a few of you to see how it is even possible you were transported without getting ripped apart by the gravity well?"
Logan sat there thinking hard. He was surprised Ricky had thought of something like that, it was basic and simple. "Sure, if you guys want to. Do you have anything around here that could do the trick?"
"To the lab!" Ricky shouted with eager anticipation, "Glenn is going to love this!"
"Ricky… I think I better get you set up on the computer first. I think you're gonna like the Trinary system we set up for you, although I hope you aren't too attached to Windows…" Logan said with a chuckle.
"Trinary! How awesome can you get, but come on! Let's get an EM scan it will only take a few minutes then we can let Glenn to ponder the mysteries of the multi-verse. Maybe it will stop him from making me look so stupid when he is around for a while. Besides, I finally had an Idea before he did!"
Logan sighed as he stood up. "Okay, but we do not have much time, and I still need to deal with the kids you rescued from the Temple. There is no one here that is equipped to deal with them, which means Juan or I will have to do it."
After Logan got done with Glenn, Joey, and Ricky, he made his way to the main medical tent. Not that he had any injury, but he knew there was someone there he wanted to talk to. Not to mention, he really needed to get something to eat and drink. All the nifty things he's been doing lately, had really drained him. However, before he got there, he went and picked up something he needed out of the Huey.
He walked into the tent, grabbed some juice and food, then moved over to where they had some tables set up. He smiled to himself when he saw Craig sitting there drinking some juice. The black-haired thirteen-year-old was the one kid here that was most like the UNIT members. He was built a lot like Chang, being muscular, but not bulky. His slender arms and legs were rippling with muscles. He could now see why Juan was afraid that Craig could have done some real harm to the David boy.
"Hey there Craig," Logan said as he sat down across the table from him, and placed the case on the ground.
Craig glanced up from his massive glass of orange juice and rolled his eyes, "You know what the problem with all you mental dudes is? It's you introduce the person you are talking to before you introduce yourselves. Do you have any idea how aggravating it is to have someone who knows your name when you have never met the person before?"
Logan laughed as he reached his hand over the table. "Hi… My name is Logan Hayes. I'm one of Juan's big brothers, and second in command of the UNIT forces. Juan told me some about you, mostly about your little scuffle with him. I gotta say, you impressed him, which isn't very easy to do."
Craig took the offered hand and gave it a good hard squeeze, not trying to hurt, but to show he was not intimidated while showing off he was a bit stronger than his outward appearance looked. "Yeah, well, if I could get some of your genetic enhancements, I'd sure like to go another round with him."
Craig let out a long breath, "So, I am a bit loopy after giving blood, so if I seem kind of out of it, sorry. You said your name was Logan, as in the old Logan's Run movie?"
Logan smiled as he sat back down and took a drink of his juice. "Not familiar with that movie, may not have had it in our world. Also, just so you know, I am not actually genetically enhanced. So you don't have to show me how strong you are." He laughed the last part, showing he wasn't insulted or anything.
Craig's lips scrunched up as he eyed Logan, "So no genetic enhancement but mind reading stuff, must be nice. How do I unlock those abilities in myself?"
Logan nodded. "Well you have to understand, in the world we came from, mental abilities are a lot more common than here. Now, while I am not genetically enhanced, the mental abilities I have are rather a bit more advanced than you could normally find, but that's more due to who my parents are. However, I doubt you care about any of that. I brought it up because you need to know that, for what I am about to tell you. There is a chance, and I do mean a chance that I could unlock some mental abilities in you. I have not looked into your mind yet to know if it is possible, and if it is possible what those abilities might be. That's up to you, if you want me to look."
Craig's head tilted to the left as he studied Logan for several seconds, "OK, you know what? I'm game. Just don't groan or laugh too hard when you realize how much of a social idiot I am."
Logan smiled gently. "I doubt you could be any worse than what I was like, or what some of the kids I know are like. Don't worry about it." Logan concentrated for a few moments then smiled at Craig. "Okay, I got good news, and not so good news, which would you like first?"
"Well, the bad news is, you had to look into my mind and see I am a complete moron when it comes to making friends and understanding what it takes. I already know, trust me. So since there is some good news, I am gathering you found something, right?"
"Dude, what is up with you guys?" Logan asked while shaking his head. "It's obvious you guys haven't done a whole lot of socializing, but don't you guys understand that this shit is just like anything else. You have to learn how to do it. Just because you haven't learned yet, doesn't mean you're horrible people, it's just like all the other geeky stuff you guys do, you have to learn it. Now, yes I found something; with some work on your part, I think you might be able to be a bit telepathic, and a bit more telekinetic. There's also something else in there that I have not seen yet. Not really sure what it is, but I have a feeling you'll figure it out on your own when the time is right. You ready for me to unlock it? It might feel a bit weird when I do it."
"What is with me, is I don't get it. Heck, I don't even get it fully with you and you can read my mind and junk." He paused and stared into Logan's eyes. "I have something you don't know? What kind of thing is it? Any clue, and well… You know what, if you can unlock this stuff just do it. Hit me with everything you got and let's do this. No pain, no gain, push it 'till it hurts and all those good sayings along those lines."
Logan laughed a bit. "It's not like that. There's no real pain in this, just a stretching feeling as your mind is unlocked. Also, understand, I can't do this for everyone; not everyone has these abilities in them already, and frankly, if they don't then I can't do anything." Logan closed his eyes for a moment. After a few seconds, Craig started to feel the 'stretching' sensation in his mind, until it finally 'snapped' back into place. Then Logan gave him a basic mind dump on how to use the abilities. "There, that should get you started. Experience as always, is the best teacher. I would suggest getting with Levi and Keith for your telepathy, and the telekinesis, well, just play with it a bit. The other thing, as I said, I am not really sure what it is, but things like that tend to come out on their own when they're needed, so, just keep an eye on it."
Craig winced as he got the mental download, "Man, something is tingling all the way down my spine. It's almost like I can feel my brain sending signals to all parts of my body… Is this what normally happens?" Even as he was telling Logan this, Logan realized he was looking at Craig, yet strangely could see the Russian medic working on the fingers of a boy directly behind Craig. It was distorted, like looking though a fisheye lens, but he could see what was going on behind Craig's back. At the same time without blinking a few times, he could only make out a weird outline of where Craig was.
"Boy.. it seems your mind and body are as impatient as you are… looks like you can somehow bend light around you. It's kinda cool. Although I would suggest playing with it a LOT more, so you get some control over it."
Craig glanced down and shook his head ending the effect and causing his head to spin. "OK, give me a sec… I think…" He puked off to the side. "Yup, I was going to get sick. Sorry… Um, too much info and my body is still making more connections I can feel it…. Wow…"
Logan nodded in understanding. "Very few people have any real clue just how powerful the human mind really is." He waited for a few moments while Craig got himself back together. "Now, why don't we go practice with your new found abilities. The reason I came here to talk to you is about someone named David Teller. Juan told me that this boy was a 'special case' that I may want to deal with personally."
The medic behind Craig tuned and looked at the puke, "Told you, you gave too much blood for a kid your age. Take it easy. I'll get someone to clean it up. Maybe some fresh air would help."
The medic glanced over to Logan. "Get him some easily digestible food and more juice. No soda. He needs to build his strength back up."
Craig shot the medic a tight smile and a nod. "Food would be good, Logan." His mood then darkened, "If you want me to go pound on who I think you are talking about you'll have to give me a few things to eat and drink to get some energy back. Whatever you did is still going on and my whole body feels a bit… um drained… or tingly…"
Logan smiled as he picked up the case that was still sitting next to him, then he helped Craig leave the tent. Once they were outside, he started them towards the cabin. They got about half way there when Logan spotted a picnic table, and moved to it. He helped Craig sit down, then placed the case in front of him. "Here. Before we go any further, Juan asked me to bring this down for you."
Craig eyed the case for a moment before popping it open. Drool actually rolled down his chin as he reached in and hefted up the SR-25 rifle. "Oh baby, come to daddy!" He all but blanked out everything around him as he pulled out one of the six magazines and slapped it into place then eyed the add-ons also tucked into the case. He quickly unloaded the rifle again, set it down and ran his fingers down the barrel of the M203 before smiling. He extracted the 12 gauge Master key out of the pre cut hard foam made to hold it in the case and attached it. Satisfied he had done it correctly, he loaded the shotgun and the rifle again before hefting the now fifteen pound weapon back up again. "Juan gets a hug, and after hearing him talk, a kiss if he wants one!"
"I ain't done yet…" Logan said with a grin.
"You may not be, but the next time Paulson is in my sights, he will be," Craig said as he still caressed the rifle.
"Are you interested in what else I have for you?" Logan asked.
Craig's hand slowly moved down the barrel of the new rifle for a few moments before he glanced back up, "Huh? What were you saying?"
Logan laughed. "You know, you and Juan will get along great." He reached over and closed the case. Then he opened a smaller lip on top of the case, where there were five spare magazines, as well as several boxes of bullets. The boxes and the mags were identified, either with no markings, a single red strip, or double yellow strips. Logan picked up the unmarked magazine and tapped the unmarked box of rounds with it. "These are standard rounds. Nothing special about them." He put that one down, and picked up the one with a single red strip. "These ones…" he said as he tapped the corresponding box of ammo. "Are explosive rounds… be very careful with them."
He put that one down and picked up the last mag, with two yellow strips. "This last one is full of armor piercing rounds. Juan's tested it, and it will go through almost anything. Up to and including most modern armored tanks. Save for the M1A1 Abrams… but he has other rounds that will punch through even that armor."
Craig eyed the ammo then glanced back at the case. "So I have only fired a two-oh-three once and it almost dislocated my shoulder. A couple of the others had to get seen by a doctor, so they stopped before the others even got a single shot. One thing I did learn is most of the rounds are indirect, so the wind really can take them. I also noticed there are all HE rounds. Do you have chalk rounds for practice, and how about the other types, like HEDP, Star Parachute, White Star Cluster, Ground Marker, CS tactical, and Buckshot? Also, is there a way to tell the types of 7.62 ammo by touch in case I need to find it in the pitch black?"
"Well, first, we do not have the other types of ammo; not really sure why, but I know we don't. Second, this does have the kick back suppressor, so I doubt you'll have many problems with it." Logan was impressed again with these kids. 'Boy Juan, you may have met your match here. I wonder how well he can shoot,' he thought to himself. "Finally, if you want to add something to the clips and boxes, feel free to."
Craig nodded and scratched his chin, "Sure, I'll figure something out." He then stared down at the grenades again, "So when you all get back and talk to the next president, would you mind telling him the Junior Marine who helped get the word out on what Ashwood was doing, would like a few cases of the other types of two-oh-three rounds? I mean, he seems like a nice enough guy, but my Dad didn't vote for either one of them, so in my book the jury is still out. However, a few cases of other types of ammo for this baby, may just turn me into a diehard Brycian."
"I'll let him know." Logan laughed out, then turned more serious. "One thing you really need to do now though is build your strength up when it comes to the mental powers. It's just like any other muscle… you have to build it up. Second, you also have to start getting used to using your mind more than your muscles. Now you have to learn that even more. Ninety nine percent of the time your mind will be a better weapon than your fists." He giggled as he saw the look Craig gave him. "Now as far as David goes. I do NOT mean hurting him physically any more than needed. That teaches very little, and only re-enforces the negative feelings he has… that and it's way too easy. No, what I want to know from you is simple, then we'll decide how to deal with him. How much do you want to be involved with his.. punishment?"
"Do you know what the bastard did to his brother, his mom? He turned them in, turned them over to Paulson! Do you know who Paulson is, what he is? David needs to be locked in a room and… and have it slowly fill with water until he is almost drowned and then do it over and over again!"
Logan looked at Craig completely shocked. "That's… that's so UNCOUTH! And… well… with the mental abilities you now have, and what I have, it's so… I don't know… basic. We can do so much better, PLUS make it so that when we're finished, he not only realizes the mistakes he's made, why he made them, and how to be a better person. And if he can't then he'll be no more than a vegetable, so.."
"Hey, if you want to try to train a rock, who am I to stop you."
Logan grinned as he watched Craig put the rifle back into the case, then lovingly pick it up, and together they got up and walked into the Cabin, mostly silent 'till they came to the entryway of the living room. "Have you ever heard of Pavlov?"
"Yeah, the guy who was mean to dogs and figured out how much they salivated depending on the conditioning they were given. They got to the point they would salivate just by ringing a bell or chime or something along those lines. He was an idiot. I could have told him you could train dogs and teach them to act nuts just be crunching an empty potato chip bag.
"But David is dumber than most dogs and way less useful."
"We'll see," Logan said as he let Craig stand on his own. "You ready for this?"
When Craig nodded, Logan softly said, "Try to concentrate not only what he says, but what he's thinking, you may become surprised to see how someone's mind works." Getting another nod, Logan stood up straight, took a few deep breaths, then put on his most disgusted face he could as he squared his shoulders, and walked into the room.
Craig could feel the 'presence' that was emanating from Logan as he walked in the room. Everyone stopped and looked at him; Craig could not help but tell that Logan was screwing with everyone's emotions to make them afraid of him. The Russians knew who he was, and were told, moments before, what he would be doing. The temple slaves, well he would deal with them in a bit. But it was his target that he was putting this show on for. Judging by the look in the boy's eyes, Logan's little show was having the desired effect. "Who… who are you?" the boy asked as Logan drew close to him.
"I'm your worst fucking nightmare!" Logan exploded at the boy. "After the shit you've pulled, and what I am going to do to you for it, you might want to consider begging Craig there to just beat the shit out of you "till you pass out, and then beg him to do it again and again every time you wake up. Cause what I have planned for you is MUCH worse."
Craig snorted and slammed his left fist into his right hand. "When can I get started?"
"Not yet…. I haven't had my fun yet." Logan looked at David who was shifting between fear and hatred. "So… David… would you like to see what you've gotten yourself into?" Without waiting for an answer, Logan slowly raised David off the ground with nothing but his mind.
"What the fuck?!" David cried out as he tried to shift around. Logan concentrated harder and the hand-cuffs on both his wrists and ankles suddenly released and fell away. Logan put David on his feet, then stepped forward close enough to be almost nose to nose with the boy. When he spoke, his voice was ice cold, "The life you thought you had before is over. The sins you've committed will be paid for, in full, and with interest before I allow you the peace of death. You broke the bonds of family, bonds that mean more than anything else in this world. You are mine, and will do as I say, until such time as I release you. Is that understood?"
"FUCK YOU!" David screamed, then immediately fell to the floor howling in agony, even though Logan had never touched him.
Logan shook his head. "That was not the answer I was looking for." He turned and looked at Craig all the while David was writhing on the floor, still screaming hoarsely.
"Impressive, but nowhere near as humiliating as I would like to see done, You want him, fine, but I want him humiliated in a way so disturbing so unsettling, and so disquieting he will never recover… never."
Logan nodded as David stopped screaming. He could only lie on the floor whimpering a bit. Logan though made sure he was paying attention to what was being said. "You have to do things carefully. If I wanted another slave kid, I could easily do that, but then he wouldn't really remember anything, or know why he was being punished. Breaking someone's mind is rather easy. The difficult, and what I consider to be the fun part, is bringing them to the cusp of breaking, and holding them there. Perhaps, someday, if he proves himself, I may allow him to be a normal person again, but I can guarantee that, IF that happens, he won't be the same person he is now."
"Then do what you want, but if I ever see him again, I am going to have Ricky find me the biggest nest of perverts in this world and hand him over to them just like he did his own brother!"
"Oh… you will see him again, I am sure, but until I release him, he is my property, so I would rather you not hurt him. However, I may give him to you to play with a bit if you want, as long as you don't permanently harm him," Logan said as he turned back to David who was looking up at him with pure hatred. "Oh come on now David. You're not that stupid are you?" Logan asked in a completely condescending tone. "Do I need to prove to you again, that I own you now?" Not waiting for an answer, Logan lightly kicked at him. "Get up. You're dirty, and you smell, I want you cleaned up before I take you back to your new home."
When David didn't move, Logan reached out with his mind, and dragged David to his feet by his hair. The boy screamed in pain as Logan held him, about six inches off the ground, by his hair. He then ripped all of the boy's clothing off, again using nothing but his telekinesis, which hurt like hell as the clothing ripped around David. Once David was completely naked, Logan looked at Craig. "Where a bathroom, this piece of shit needs to be cleaned up some."
"Toss him in the lake with a bar of soap. He doesn't deserve to take a bath like a human." Craig spit into David's face. "When I find your brother, and I will find your brother, I can guarantee you, he will have a home with me and my dad or someone better. You… good luck." He started to turn away, but just couldn't help himself; he spun and slammed his fist into David's stomach knocking the wind out of him. "OK, now I am done with him."
Logan smiled as he looked back at the boy who was now coughing and crying as he hung naked off the ground. Logan shook his head and let the boy drop to the ground. He stood over the boy for almost two solid minutes before David looked up at him. The tear-filled eyes looked pitiful, and with genuine confusion. "Are you willing to go wash yourself, or do I have to force you?" David dropped his head, then slowly stood himself up, trying to cover his privates as much as possible. He knew where the bathroom was so he slowly walked towards it.
Once inside he tried to shut the door, but Logan was right there. Logan pushed David further into the bathroom, then shut the door. "Are… are you gonna rape me or something?" David asked, trying to cover up his fear with anger.
Logan laughed hard. "Rape? You? No thank you, I have much better taste, and a boyfriend at home who you aren't even good enough to be near. Not to mention I wouldn't do to you what you condemned your own brother to."
David sneered. "He's just a fucking faggot, he's probably enjoying it!"
Logan moved as fast as an uncoiling cobra as he launched himself at David, grabbed him by the neck, and lifted him off his feet. "You wanna know what it's like to be raped?" Logan screamed in the boy's face. Without waiting for an answer, Logan locked David into living every rape that Juan and a few others had had to deal with. David was forced to live those events in his mind, as Logan forced his body into the shower, and made David wash himself "till he was clean. It was all done mechanically since his mind wasn't really there, but, by the time the shower was over, David was clean, wrapped in a towel. Logan then led the boy out of the bathroom, and sat him down on a chair. still though, in his mind, David was reliving those events over and over again, and would be untill Logan allowed it to stop. Logan had no plans to let it stop till his brother was rescued. He would keep the boy's mind from breaking completely. That wasn't his goal here.
[Hey Lover. Don't you think you're going a bit overboard here.]
[Not a bit. He sold out his family just so he could have all the money for himself. That was his only thought about the whole thing. If there is anything left to save inside him I'm going to have to break him down before he can be built back up again. I can tell he is not a psychopath. He feels, but he has totally suppressed any feelings where his family is concerned.]
[Well you know best usually. I want you to understand something though. I am not alright with this.]
[Save it Logan. I know you have your reasons and that you are doing this with the idea of helping this kid to learn and become a better person. But right now I feel that my lover is a rapist. I know you aren't doing the physical act, but that makes no difference to this kid. He feels just as if he had been raped.]
[Adam. I love you.]
Suddenly Adam was gone. His mind was there but he couldn't feel his thoughts any more. For the first time since they had found each other Logan felt truly alone.
After dropping David off in his chair, so the boy could relive the events, the thoughts, emotions, and feelings of what it was like to be raped, Logan turned his attention to the temple slaves. While he was no longer projecting fear around the room, these kids didn't seem to need it. It made him remember the conversation he'd had with Juan as soon as he had arrived.
"So how bad is it?" Juan asked, after Logan had pulled him into his mind. It was difficult for Juan since he was unconscious, but still easily done by Logan.
"Bad enough that you're gonna be getting a talking to from Mom when you wake up." Logan pulled his youngest brother into a tight mental hug and held him for several seconds.
"Don't do that again," Logan said softly after he pushed Juan back and held him at arm's length.
"You know I will," Juan said seriously, and Logan could only nod. Very few people actually understood Juan. Logan was one of them. It wasn't like Juan had a death wish or anything like that, but truly, Juan wasn't afraid to die. He knew, deep down, that every time he took a step, it could be his last. That's why he fought so hard… that deep understanding of what it meant to be a warrior, and to know that death is only a few steps behind you at all times, really made Juan the person he was. He lived every moment like it was his last, because he truly knew that it might be.
"Yeah I do," Logan said with a nod. "Now, what did you want?"
Juan sighed, and then started to pace. "You heard a little about the Temple kids right?"
"Yeah…" Logan knew where this was going, but he wanted, no he needed Juan to be the one to say it.
"I spent most of the night keeping them from having nightmares. Making it so they could have the first decent night of sleep for… hell… a long fucking time." Juan was starting to get worked up, and Logan knew better than to try and siphon it off of Juan… that would only send the boy into a greater rage. "I sifted through their minds, saw what was done to them, saw what they went through, the 'training' they had to endure. I saw the first time each and every one of them got raped… watched as they were forced to rape each other. And that DAMNED 'Holy Wood'! I swear to you Logan… I swear on my fucking Honor, I am going to find each and every person that knew about it, that had a hand in it, and I am going to make them beg me to kill them… And I won't. Not for a VERY long time."
Juan turned on Logan and the yellow eyes bored hard into him. "I am demanding the Rite of Retribution."
Logan's demeanor never changed, he was as cold and emotionless as he could be. "You know what that entails correct." Logan may not have been Adam, but he was known, within the family, as the true leader. The one who could make decisions, and not even Adam would question them. Logan had been fighting against this sort of evil longer than any of them.
"Yes I know exactly what I am saying. I thought about this all night long, and I am willing to do what is needed." Juan was not backing down at all. This wasn't exactly where Logan thought this would go, but he wasn't completely surprised either. He knew that Juan would probably be the first to enact this ancient rite.
"Are you sure you know what will be demanded of you, have you truly thought this all the way through?"
Juan gave Logan a look that said 'duh'. "When have you even known me not to think something through before I commit?"
Had Juan asked that of almost anyone else they would have laughed at him. Juan was one of the most unconventional members of the UNIT, but Logan knew… Juan thought everything through before he acted. That's why Juan was very rarely wrong in what he did. He might go about it differently than most, but that was also what made Juan so damned good at his job; most people couldn't figure out what he was doing, 'till it was already done.
"Okay Juan, I will grant the Rite. However, as was discussed when we decided to allow the Rite to be enacted, I must go through with you exactly what will be expected of you. Are you ready?" Logan had gone from emotionless to a more authoritarian tone. One that few outside of the UNIT have ever heard. This was Logan, the power behind the UNIT.
"I am prepared," Juan said after straightening himself up.
"Are you willing to do whatever it takes to destroy that which Tainted the honor of those you are taking into your family?"
"Are you willing to look after those children who have been tainted, deal with everything that the taint has done to them, and to do everything in your power to heal the wounds left by those who tainted them, no matter how long it might take."
"I am," Juan responded immediately.
"Lastly, are you willing to commit to those children being members of your family for as long as you and they still live?"
"I am, and once they have recovered, I will formally ask if they wish to become part of my family."
Logan nodded solemnly. "With those terms being agreed upon, sworn on your honor, I grant you the Rite of Retribution." Logan's stern face fell away to a feral grin. "You better let me help you though."
"Don't worry… I'm sure there will be enough to go around," Juan said with his own, matching, feral grin.
Logan shook his head slightly to get rid of the memory of what had just happened, so he could focus on the fourteen children. Ten boys, and four girls. He had already scanned all of them, and had to take a few minutes afterwards to really calm down, then to prepare himself for what he was about to do.
When he was ready, he walked towards them, all fourteen sets of fearful eyes on him. He kept his face stern as he looked around at the kids. He was quiet for several seconds, simply to make them more nervous. When he did speak, though, it was in a harsh voice, "My name is Logan, and that is the name you will call me. Not brother, not master, nothing other than Logan. Is that understood?"
Several seconds passed as the kids looked terrified back and forth, then to the people who were in the room. All of the adults that were there had seen what Juan had done earlier, and had a pretty good idea that Logan would know as much, if not more about how to deal with kids like this, so they all stayed quiet.
"Is that understood?!" Logan forcefully asked the kids. Several of them tried to back away from him, and even one of them, probably the youngest, actually wet himself. Many of them nodded, and one of them managed to squeak out a quiet, "Yes… Logan."
He spoke much quieter next, "Good. I do not like to raise my voice, so I suggest you not make me do so." He paused for a second, and got immediate nods from all of them. "Now, I am sure you are all worried about Juan, but let me assure you, he will be fine, and I am sure by this time tomorrow, he will be up and running around. Until then, though, he has asked that I look out for you. He made it very clear that you were all to obey me, as if you were obeying him. He told me to tell you that if you do not do as you are told, what he did to the man, Ethan, will look tame compared to what he will do to any of you who disobey him. Is that clear?"
Immediately this time, he got nods, and more than one of them answered verbally. "Good. Now, I know you have all eaten very little lately, so I have asked the men to make some food up for you. While that is cooking, it is time to get you out of those robes." He saw several of them look shocked at him, before they quickly hid their faces.
He sighed heavily and steadied his voice. There were very few things that Logan liked less than being harsh with someone, at least being harsh to those that didn't deserve it. But right now, these kids could only respond to that, so that's what he had to do. "Do you remember when you first arrived at the Temple, and you were told that your old life was over, and your new life is beginning? Well, it's happening again. The life you lived in the Temple is over, and it's time to start your new life. You have new masters now, because we TOOK you from your old ones. We killed them, and took you as prizes. You will learn to do as we want, or you will be made to suffer the consequences, and trust me, what we can do will make the Holy Wood look like a walk in the park. Is that understood?"
They all nodded while shaking in fear. "Good. Now, let's get you out of the robes, and into more proper clothing. Follow me." Logan turned and started to walk from the room. He didn't turn around to see if they were following him, he knew they would be. They didn't dare not to.
Logan led the group outside, and into the out building that housed all the stuff that was brought down, Logan turned towards the kids, "Strip. I'm pretty sure we have stuff that will fit you all, but I just gotta find it." Without waiting to see if his order was followed, Logan turned back to the equipment cases, and started to look through some things. Unfortunately the only thing that they had brought down a lot of was military fatigues. When Logan started to haul out the clothing, he couldn't help but take a moment to look at the naked kids. Most of them were pre-pubescent, or had just hit puberty. They were all good-looking, and had well toned muscles, obvious since most of them had been trained to dance.
Over the next half hour, he got all of them dressed. Mostly it was just pants and a T-shirt along with socks and combat boots, but it was better than those damned robes. "Okay, bring the robes with you please." He then led the entire group down to the beach. When he got there, they were standing in front of a small pile of wood. He looked at all the kids and spoke, "The robes you are all holding. They represent your old lives. Lives filled with pain and fear. Lives that were not a choice, but something forced upon you. I want each and every one of you to know this. The lives you are used to, the lives full of pain and fear, are over. It will take you all time to know, to really know and believe what I am saying. But your lives are beginning anew now."
With that statement he turned towards the wood, then back to all the kids who had their eyes on him. With a grin he held up his hand, and put a lot of concentration and energy into doing what Jimmy had taught him. A smallish ball of fire appeared above his hand, and sat there spinning for a brief moment before it moved quickly towards the wood. When it hit, all the kids jumped back as it burst into a large bonfire.
Logan forced himself to hide how much effort that took. His strength was the same as it always had been, but it took much longer to recharge, especially from the flashy stuff. He still had so much to learn about the mechanics of this reality.
"Throw your robes in the fire, and watch as your old lives are erased by the fire. Feel your old lives burn away, and your new lives just beginning." Logan almost didn't have the energy to do what he was doing, but he forced himself. Feeling, as he pushed his mental powers, his body actually starting to feed on itself as he tried to come up with enough energy to force the kids' minds to accept what he was saying.