Castle Roland

Changing Connections

by Eric Aune

In Progress

Chapter 4

Published: 8 Apr 14

Changing Connections

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

All Rights Reserved

Changing Connections LogoChristina groaned as she slowly woke up. Her head felt like it wanted to explode, and she did the only thing she knew how to do, she brought up the walls that Logan had taught her to make, completely cutting out everything and everyone else. As the pain from her head subsided, the pain in her right arm took center stage. She looked over and cringed at the ruined mess that her arm was. Even now though, she knew that her body was working hard to repair the damaged section. The armor on that arm was misshapen and the cloth like parts of it were ripped and torn, blood was seeping out and dripping onto the ground.

She pushed all that to the side as she slowly got to her feet. She had just started to make sure that she had no other injuries, when she saw Oliver struggling to his feet a short distance away. She raised her left hand to him, signaling that she was all right. He gave her a nod, and started to check himself out for any injuries and make sure his gear had survived whatever the hell had happened. One of the first things they learned was to make sure that your gear was okay before you moved, if you could. In less than three minutes the rest of her team, save for Rio, their scout, had gathered around Christina. No one said anything, except for Connor, the medic, as he saw Christina's arm. ."

As Connor walked up to her, he reached into his pack, and pulled out a hypo spray that she knew was filled with medical pico bots. Almost immediately the pain went away, as the bots first severed the nerves to the injured part, mainly so she wouldn't feel it as they reworked the crushed bones, and torn soft tissue. To get to the arm to examine it, he had to remove and/or cut away part of the armor covering the arm. She knew that even before he had finished wrapping the arm, the arm was already well into the process of healing. She wasn't too worried about the damaged armor, she would get a replacement when they got back to the Rapid Response Base.

Jasmine looked up sharply as her face went white. Before she could say anything, Christina nodded. "Yeah I know. Whatever happened severed the link to the rest of the UNIT. We'll figure that out later through. We're on a mission. Until it's complete, we can't worry about anything else."

Just then they heard a bird call that they all knew was Rio. He was standing at the top of the hill waving them up. Looking around and seeing that the rest of team was all okay, she nodded, and started to jog up the small rise to get to her scout. He was on one knee already, so as soon as she reached him, she knelt down next to him, quickly followed by the other eight members of the team.

"Not sure what the fuck just happened, but it was nasty. There's three guys on the other side of the hill, about half a click down. Looks like one of them had a tree fall on his leg. All three of them are out of it, and none of them have weapons. Looks to me like they were out for a jog. But from their build and looks, I'm sure they are security. They're all wearing dog tags."

Christina nodded at the news. "Okay, let's go take a look. Keep your eyes open people. I want a perimeter secured before we approach the group. Perhaps we can get some intel from them."

They all nodded and headed out. Moving quickly yet quietly, they surrounded the small group, and secured the area. Just as one of the men started to stir, Christina, Oliver, Connor, and Jasmine were standing there. Connor had already looked over the man that was under the tree. While his leg would never be the same without UNIT treatment, the man would survive his injuries.

When the first man opened his eyes, he saw a gun pointed towards him, held by a figure in black armor, and a full face helmet. He froze and slowly moved his hands away from his body.

"What... what happened?"

From behind his helmet Oliver smiled. "One hell of an earthquake it looks like."

The man sighed, started to close his eyes, and then they jerked open, and he tried to sit up. Oliver immediately stepped forward, pushing the man back down with the muzzle of his MP5.

"Stay down." He commanded. Before the man could say anything, a groan from his left made him look over. The man saw that his friend Luke was pinned by a tree that had fallen on his leg and he was starting to wake up, and was groaning in pain.

The first man looked up just in time to see someone else step in front of him, and a female voice spoke.

"I got him, get the tree off the guy so Connor can help him." Christina said as she pointed her pistol at the man. She didn't want to use her MP5 as her right arm was going to be a while in healing and was pretty much useless at the moment while that happened.

Oliver nodded, slung his MP5, and then moved over to the tree. The first man's eyes followed Oliver as he walked over, and after a nod from Connor letting Oliver know that he was ready, he reached down, and with only a little bit of effort, lifted the tree, and pushed it off to the side. The first man's eyes went wide, as the tree was easily larger around than he was. It would have taken three or four men to move what this one guy in black armor just did by himself, and he made it look almost effortless.

"What's your name?" Christina asked the man below her.

"Eric..." The man answered after a moment. Another thought came to him and almost immediately he stammered as he asked an answering question. "Is…is Josh okay?"

Before she could answer him, the man that was under the tree cried out in pain as Connor straightened out his leg. Christina looked over at the man who just cried out, as Connor was injecting him with a shot of pico bots. She looked back at Eric and smiled behind the helmet.

"He'll be fine once his leg heals."

Eric shook his head, "No, that's Luke. Josh is... was in the house. He's my son."

{Chris! We got an SUV headed your way!} Rio said in her mind and Christina whirled around.

"We got company!"

She said, and immediately the other three members of the team turned, took a knee, and raised their weapons. Eric tried to move, but quickly had Christina's gun pointed in his face.

"Move and die."

Once Doc and Patrick got into the bunkhouse, he went through the drawers and cabinets in the treatment room to remove the items he needed to restock his med pack and piled them on the counter. Once he was satisfied he had what he needed to replenish his supplies, he loaded them into his medical bag and then nodding to Patrick they went back outside and got into one of the SUV's that weren't damaged by falling trees. Doc had Patrick drive. They knew the route that that any of them took when they went on a run. It went up the road that went past the shooting range, past the explosives bunker and headed toward the back of the property, following the fence line at the back of the property and continued around the edge of the property and back to the main house and buildings. The entire run took about five miles total.

As they drove up the road, they saw more evidence of the damage caused by the earthquake. At the shooting range, they saw that part of the awning that was over the shooting positions had collapsed. They had to drive slowly because there were trees and branches across the road. In the case of the trees, they had to work their way around them. In a couple of cases, they had to hook the winch to the tree and pull the tree out far enough, so that they could drive around it, to continue up the road. When they reached the explosives bunker, they saw that it seemed to be intact. They drove about another half mile and saw movement ahead of them. Before they could do anything, black armored figures rose up around them and had MP5's pointed at them. Their doors were wrenched open and strong hands pulled them out and forced them to their knees and made them put their hands on the head, while they were searched.

These people seemed to know what they were doing as the men had been taken with little chance of fighting back. They could tell by the stance of the armored figures who kept them covered, and the way that the ones that searched them kept clear of the line of fire, that anything that could be interpreted as the wrong move would be met with deadly force. As they submitted to the search, they saw one of the armored figures kneeling next to Luke and appeared to be tending to his leg. That at least was good news, if they were helping his friends, then hopefully they weren't going to kill them out of hand. He saw Eric sitting on the ground with one of the armored figures standing over him, with a pistol pointed at his head. George was just starting to stir and push himself up to sitting position. George saw the armored person with the pistol pointed at Eric. He took in the apparently injured arm of the person and only someone who had trained to the level that he was, would notice the tension in his body as he prepared himself. Before he could even attempt anything, the figure did not even look at him as it quickly whipped the pistol from Eric to him and he saw that the figure held it steady and although the figure did not look away from Eric, he felt that this figure would not miss if it decided to shoot him and would then be able to shoot Eric before he could move. The figure said only one word.


George thought for a few moments and then looked around to take stock of the situation. He saw someone tending to Luke's leg. Doc and Patrick were on their knees with their hands on their head near one of their SUVs. The figures around them were all in black armor and they were well armed and seemed very capable at what they are doing. He released the tension and knelt back raising his hands to his head. The figure nodded and brought the gun back to point at Eric.

"Smart decision."

As this was happening Doc noticed that the arm of the person in front of Eric was wrapped up and hanging at her side. Doc decided to take a chance and called out to them. "I'm a medic. I can help you attend to my friend. I have my medical bag with me."

The figure who was bent over Luke, glanced at him and shook his helmeted head, letting Doc know that his help was not needed.

Eric had watched helplessly as the SUV came to a stop, and before anyone in the vehicle could do anything, the doors were being pulled open, and the two men inside were dragged out and forced to their knees and their hands placed on their heads. Everyone waited quietly while the men were patted down for weapons, Doc's medical bag was removed from over his shoulder and searched, before being tossed to the side. Once the figures were satisfied, they were forced over to where the other three were at.

Eric took his eyes away from how the other guys were being treated, and looked up at the person in front of him. The person seemed to have her head cocked to the side, and even though he could not see the face, it felt like whoever was looking back at him was peering deep into his soul. He could almost feel her gaze.

After a moment, he watched as she stood up straight, looked around and called out. "Stand down. Not sure what's going on yet, but these guys are friendlies!"

Eric watched as they all looked at her for a moment or two, before they all followed her orders quickly, lowering their weapons, but not changing their readiness to bring the weapons to bear if given the order. Two of the figures in black armor had been getting ready to bind Doc and Pat's hands, but now they stood up, and helped the men to their feet. That's when it hit Eric. These figures were small, like children or more like teenagers.

His eyes snapped back to the person in front of him who had just taken off her helmet, and holstered her side arm. He gaped in shock, seeing a girl who may have been fifteen or sixteen. She flipped her long blond hair out of the way and then met his gaze with her ice cold blue eyes.

"Yes, we are as young as you think." She said as she nodded over towards the rest of her team.

One by one they each took off their helmets, all but one. The biggest shock, so far, were the two kids that were younger than Eric's own son. One of them looked to only be eleven or twelve.

But then his eyes fell on the one figure that did not remove his helmet. This one was smaller than the rest, Eric figured maybe three to three and a half feet tall. Eric also noticed that while the armor looked to be the same material, it also looked to be much thinner, and lighter. There was also something different about the hands and feet of this person. The figure also had a chain of some kind wrapped around its waist and secured in the back and there were two handles that looked like Japanese sword hilts, sticking up over its shoulders.

"You too Chase. These men are friendly, and I think we will be meeting some very interesting people soon. And yes Chase, I am certain they are Shiny Lovers."

"AWESOMENESS!" The small figure squeaked out, and that's all Eric could describe the voice as, squeaky.

"What the hell?" Eric couldn't help himself as those words escaped his lips as the small figure removed his helmet, and the furry face came into view. He saw a whitish furred face looking back at him and smiling.

"That's a conversation for another time." Christina said with a small smile. She switched her helmet to sit under her injured right arm, before she offered her left hand down to Eric. With only a little hesitation, he grasped her forearm, expecting to have to do most of the work, to bring himself to his feet. He was wrong, as Christina effortlessly brought him up to a standing position. He was about to ask something when she shook her head.

"We can discuss details later, perhaps. But first. We came here after a Doctor Brett MacLeod. Do you know him?"

Eric's wide eyes answered her question before he could speak. He started to say something only to be interrupted.

"If you're going to lie, don't bother saying anything. You're eyes gave you away."

She looked off in the distance for a brief moment before looking back.

"Our intel said that the Doctor had a staff of twelve and a security contingent of almost thirty, handpicked by General Folkerstein. However, I don't think he would have picked you."

She looked around, taking all the men in with her eyes.

"I find it hard to believe he would have picked any of you."

"I have never heard of General Folkerstein. Who is he?" Eric asked, and Christina again looked him in the eyes with her piercing stare. After a moment she spoke. However the hate and venom that dripped off her words was almost enough to make Eric take a step backwards.

"He took over the Genesis Project, after General Adams was killed."

"Genesis Project?" Eric asked in complete confusion.

Unfortunately the pain that the UNIT kids suffered came to the forefront in Christina at that moment. "Yeah. The fucking project that ripped us from our homes, transformed us into soldiers, and then brainwashed us so we would be the perfect soldiers! It's the project that made Chase, a Ferret-Human Hybrid!"

While she didn't raise her voice, much, the intensity was palpable.

"What... what do you mean?" Eric stuttered out.

Christina snarled in rage, spun around, moved about ten feet in the blink of an eye, and slammed her fist into a tree that was about a foot in diameter, causing it to snap where she hit it. As it started to fall, she simply reached up, and pushed it off to the side, so it didn't fall near any of them.

Eric's mouth fell open, as he stumbled back, she was suddenly in front of him again. It took a moment for his mind to realize that she didn't suddenly appear in front of him, but moved quicker than anyone he had ever seen before.

"That's what they did to us!" Christina said venomously, as she caught him before he could fall.

"Doctor Brett Macleod was the lead doctor in my 'conversion'!"

"No!" Eric said in utter disbelief.

"Brett would never do that!" He said with utter conviction. Then watched as the enraged girl seemed to deflate before his very eyes.

"And that is my problem." She said as she shook her head. Eric looked at her in confusion causing her to shake her head again.

"Let's just say when we were created, we were given more than just strength, speed and healing. We're all like a kid you keep thinking of... Ethan."

"You mean you're all telepathic?" George gasped out.

She turned and grinned, then that grin faded.

"Yeah, which is what has me in a bind, because I started to read your friend Eric's mind here, and everything involving Doctor MacLeod, does not match the doctor that we know." She said in disgust.

"I have no idea what's going on, but our intel has never been this..."

Every UNIT kid's head snapped down the hill towards the house a good three miles away.

"What..." Eric started to say, then he heard it too... gunfire.

It took Eve more than a few minutes to copy everything she wanted from the computer, and then get into her own armor. After strapping on her weapons, she looked her team over and sighed.

"I know things are moving quickly. And we're down by four of us. But we have a mission to accomplish. Before Dad..., er Doctor MacLeod died, he gave me orders. He told us to go to ground, and make our way to one of the other labs. There we will be tested, and allowed to graduate into the elite troops. So that's what we're gonna do. Okay?"

They all nodded. Finally having a task set before them made them all feel better.

"But first we need to get out of here. From what we've seen most of the hallways have collapsed, but... while I was looking over the Doctor's notes, I saw a secret tunnel that was reinforced, and leads a little ways away from here. If it was hardened enough, it should still be intact, and we can find our way out that way. So... I'll take point... Jamil, I want you to cover our six. Everyone else, standard formation."

She saw them nod in acknowledgment of her orders, so she turned, and left the vault. They arrived at the entrance of the reinforced escape tunnel. There was a keypad on the side of the door and she punched in the code that she had gotten from computer system. The reinforced door slid back and they entered the tunnel that would lead them out of the underground complex. It sloped gradually upward and continued toward the surface.

They had had been in the tunnel just a short time, and were walking up the tunnel, when they heard a faint sound from somewhere ahead of them that caused them all to stop and raise their weapons. Gunfire. The sound was faint and once they figured out that it was coming from above them, Eve took off at a jog, the rest of her team following close behind but maintaining their formation.

When Gabe, Aldo and Jim entered the bunkhouse, Gabe led them right to the armory. When they got to the armory, he first handed each of them a radio and the three men donned assault vests and strapped web pistol holsters to their leg and attached to their vest. Gabe handed Aldo a scoped M14 and several loaded magazines that Aldo slipped into the pouches on his vest. He then handed him a Beretta and some magazines which was placed in the holster. When the pouches were full of the rifle magazines, Gabe handed him an ammo box that had more loaded magazines. He inserted a magazine into the rifle and looked at Gabe.

"Okay Aldo, take your rifle up to the roof and keep an eye on the road. Something's bothering me. If anything comes up that road, let us know right away. We'll use Tac 2 for us. We'll use Tac 1 for general communication between us and Brett."

Aldo nodded and hurried out of the room. Near the back of the building inside a storage room, was a ladder that gave access to the roof. He was quickly up the ladder and out on the roof. He made his way along the roof between the air conditioning units, electrical junction boxes and other structures on the roof. He went to the end of the building that faced the road and found a good spot where he was partially shielded by some air ducts and other structures. In the distance he could see smoke rising into the air from the direction of Fawnskin. The earthquake had apparently caused some fires to start. He got settled in place and began his watch.

Down in the armory, Jim armed himself with a M16 along with several magazines and a Beretta and magazines for his holster. Gabe pulled out an M4A1 that had an M203 grenade launcher attached. He filled his pouches with magazines and grabbed two ammo boxes that he put onto the counter. He pulled out a shortened 12 gauge pump shotgun that he loaded quickly, before putting into a scabbard on the back of his vest that held the shotgun securely, but was easy to pull it out if needed. This put the stock within reach just over his left shoulder. He grabbed two bandoliers out of one of the cabinets, one held grenades for the M203 and the other held 00 buck shells for the shotgun. He looped them around his head so that they crossed his chest with the grenade bandolier was on top of the shotgun bandolier. He slipped a 1911 .45 into his holster. Once he and Jim were set, he went over to the racks and pulled four AR15 carbines from the racks and placed them on the counter.

"I don't know what sort of guns Brett has in the main house. I know he has some, but I don't remember what they are. I don't want to alarm him at this moment, so if something happens like Logan thinks it will, then we'll get these over to them and get them armed. Right now, I want you to take the rifles and place them on the chair by the front door. Then station yourself at one of the windows that will allow you to watch outside in front and the entrance to the bunkhouse as well. I'm going to grab the other medical pack and place that with the rifles as well, along with these two ammo cans. They will all be right there where we can grab them when we head to the house. Let me know if you see anything."

Jim grabbed a pair of binoculars as they parted ways and he stationed himself at a window. There was a bookshelf that had fallen over and he positioned it so that it made a barrier at the window. He picked a tall stool up from the floor and with the bookshelf as a rest he was able to sit comfortably while he scanned the area with the binoculars watching for whatever may be headed their way.

The radio at Gabe's belt began to crackle.

"Gabe, this is Brett."

"Yeah, Boss."

"I think you need to come up to the house. Sean and I have found some things that you need to see."

"On my way."

Gabe made quick adjustment to his radio.

"Aldo, Jim, I need to go up to the main house for a few minutes. I'll be right back."

He got an acknowledgment from each of them as he was leaving the bunkhouse. He jogged over to the main house and went inside. Gabe was over there for several minutes before Jim noticed him jogging back to the bunkhouse. Gabe paused in the common area where Jim was keeping watch when he got back.

That feeling of something wrong was only reinforced by what he had just seen. He was going to take Logan's warning at face value right now. There were too many strange and unexplainable things going on to discount the warning. They knew from what they had learned during his training and as times went on and they got to know and work with the boys, that apparently Logan sometimes received a warning of an event that had not happened yet. Their research had found that it was called precognition, but it had always been sketchy. Logan had never been able to call on it at will. Gabe assumed that this warning was because of that sketchy talent, so he was going to act accordingly. It was better to be prepared and not left with their dick in their hand. He went into the common room to talk to Jim for a moment.

"Jim, there is something seriously wrong going on right now. When we get everyone back here, I'll brief you all. For now maintain your position here and keep watch. Something's just not right. The main house just lost power and internet connection, like it was cut off. I'll be in the treatment room for a few minutes. When I finish in there, you and I will take the guns and supplies up to the house."

"Roger, skip."

Jim turned back to keeping watch. Gabe called Aldo as well and let him know about the power going out before he went into the treatment room to finish gathering supplies.

Gabe had been in the treatment room for a short time, when Aldo contacted him on the radio.

"Gabe, I'm seeing some deuce and halfs and Humvees heading this way. They just turned up the road. I thought I'd heard several shots, but it was faint and I wasn't sure. There are four trucks and four Humvees. Wait one……"

There was a pause of several seconds before Aldo came back on the radio.

"Three of the Humvees are armed. Looks like two with fifties and one with….looks like a Mark 19."

Gabe grabbed his M4 from the treatment table, as he started running from the treatment room to the common room.

"Fuck. Understood. We need to watch those Humvees. I don't know for sure whether they are the trouble we expect, but watch them. If they make any aggressive moves, you first target is the gunners on those Humvee mounted weapons. We need them to keep from using them as much as possible, those will tear us up in no time. We don't have anything like that in our arsenal. Wait before you do anything, there is a possibility that they might be friendly. With Logan's warning, I don't think so, but I'd hate to fire on friendly troops. Any idea of what is inside the trucks?"

"Nothing that I can see. The trucks are leading the way now."

Gabe ran over to where Jim was set up watching the entrance road.

"Jim, do you see them?"

"Roger, they're heading this way."

There was silence for a moment before Aldo came back on. Gabe dropped the medical bag with the other supplies while he went to look out another window near Jim.

"I think this is the trouble. The trucks stopped and a whole bunch of guys in orange jumpsuits with assault vests and M16's are jumping out of the trucks. There are some others that look like soldiers who seemed to be giving orders…..Oh shit, the jumpsuits have DOC on them. Department of Corrections. They're fucking prison inmates….with M16s... They are being led by soldiers. These are not friendlies."

"No they're not, pick your targets and take these fuckers out. Remember if you see a gunner on a Humvee take him out."

Gabe put action to words and opened fire at the inmates, who were inserting magazines into their rifles and charging them. There were a huge number of them and any they could put down now, before they could fire back, the better for them and the family at the house. Now he regretted that they let so many of the other guys go. From the looks of this, they were going to need them badly. He and Jim began to whittle their numbers down. They could hear the report of Aldo's M14 as it spoke from above them.

"Oh shit."

Brett ducked back down after he said that. He keyed his radio.

"Gabe, what's going on?"

"Logan was right. This is bad and we're in trouble. There are a large number of people. I don't know how many, but we are badly outnumbered."

They could hear the gunfire through the radio and through the windows in the front of the house.

"Brett how are you fixed for weapons?"

"I had a few rifles, shotguns and handguns. I've handed out what I can."

"Roger. I have some more rifles, and we'll try to get across to you as soon as we can. Right now it looks like we have their attention. We'll do what we can to thin their ranks before we come and join you. Keep your heads down. Out."

Brett looked at the radio for a moment before turning his attention to the others nearby.

"You heard him. We are outnumbered and they are doing their best, but there aren't many of them and we are armed. I hate to ask this of you, especially some of you boys, but we need to help them. Agreed?"

The others nodded. He looked at them for a few moments before saying anything more. "Okay, Dakota, you're the best shot we have here, so take one of the hunting rifles and get up on the second floor. Wyatt do you have a problem with using the other one?"

"No, I'll head upstairs with my son. We'll do what we can. We'll wait until you folks down here fire before we do. C'mon son, let's get to it."

He and Dakota headed for the stairs but Wyatt detoured to the suitcases and pulled a long black hard case out of the pile and carried that with him up the stairs. Brett turned to the others. Will Mason took the Winchester and Eric Peterson took the AR-15.

"I'm going to take the shotgun because I can't move fast with this damn leg, so I'll stay back and help guard the others."

"Me too."

Dakota's mom Julia stepped up and held her hand out for the other shotgun. Brett handed it over. Russ took one of the 9mm, and Patrick took the other one. That left the .357 and the .45. Charles took the .45 and Brett kept the .357 as a back up to the shotgun. Sean kept glancing upstairs where his boyfriend went. He finally turned and headed upstairs. "I gotta be with Dakota, I'll help him watch for anyone trying to sneak around."

His dad made as if to protest, but the look in Sean's eyes told him he was doing it no matter what his dad said. Sean turned and ran upstairs to join Dakota.

"Okay, that debris pile is blocking most of our view to the people attacking us, so do you think you guys can move out there and fire from there? Those piles are pretty good sized and should give you some decent cover. If they start advancing toward you and get too close, pull back to the house and we'll fight from here. Julia and I will stay back here to guard everyone else and give you cover, if they drive you back."

There were grim looks as they nodded. The five men headed toward the front door and outside, they slowly crept up to the debris pile and positioned themselves. Upstairs, Dakota had found that he could lay on one of the beds a little back of the window and he could look over to where the attackers were located. He put a pillow up in front of him as a rest and looked through the scope. At a window nearby, Wyatt put the long hard case down on the ground before he got down low and rested the barrel of the rifle on the windowsill. He sighted down the scope and they waited. A few moments later they heard someone come into the room. It was Sean.

"I came up to help you guys."

"Do what?"

"Whatever you need. I'll help watch what the bad guys are doing, so you can keep your eye on the scope and not have to keep an eye out for anything else."

Dakota nodded and put his eye back to the sight. After a few more moments, Sean saw the other dads moving out to the wood pile. From his vantage point, he could see that the attackers were focusing on the bunkhouse where Gabe and his men were firing at them. He could see bunch of unmoving forms dressed in some kind of orange clothes lying around near the trucks and there were a whole lot more taking cover behind trees, rocks and the trucks as they returned the fire from the bunkhouse. Their attention was on the bunkhouse when the first shots from the makeshift breastworks rang out. It was obviously a surprise to them, as a few of them began to fall.

Now the attackers were being attacked on two sides. As some of them scrambled around to find better cover, the hunting rifles began to fire and more started to fall. Upstairs Sean had his fingers in his ears as he watched the battle. Sean watched as the three Humvees moved up now. As they came around the trucks, Sean saw men standing up into the gun turrets on the top of them and begin firing at the bunkhouse. He saw one man slam back against the back of the gun turret and then drop down out of sight from a shot from the roof of the bunkhouse. The gun that he had tried to use looked sort of stubby compared to the long barreled machine guns on the other two. That Humvee pulled back.

One of the others opened up on the roof of the bunkhouse to keep Aldo's head down, while the other began to shoot at the breastworks, causing the men behind them to duck down. Dakota lined up a shot and the man firing at the breastworks flew backwards as he was hit in the head by the powerful hunting round, so that he lay half out of the gun turret. That Humvee pulled back as well and you could see the man being pulled back into the Humvee from below. Suddenly, from near the back of one of the trucks, there was a loud whoosh followed by a second one and the fire slackened off, as nearly everyone watched two rockets fly to the roof of the bunkhouse and they impacted right where Aldo was firing. Sean could see something that looked like a person or maybe part of a person go flying back from the location. Wyatt saw one of the soldiers who was kneeling down with a LAW rocket at his shoulder and fired, knocking him back and causing the empty launch tube to go flying backward over his head. The firing started again.

Sean saw the door of the bunkhouse fly open and Gabe and Jim came running out of the building, dodging behind some of the family's vehicles as they tried to make their way to the main house. They seemed to be carrying several rifles and an ammo can each, while firing their rifles one handed at the attacking force. At the house and the breastworks they tried to give the two men cover as they tried to make their way to the house, using the other vehicles as cover as much as possible. Then the sound of a vehicle caught the attention of Blackburn's force and the SUV that Doc and Patrick had taken to find the runners came into view.

The SUV suddenly swerved as several bullets struck the windshield and when it swerved, it struck one of the other parked vehicles. The missing members of the security team boiled out of the SUV and hit the ground. Another member pointed a pistol out from between the door and the inside of the SUV and fired a couple of times before falling out of the door and onto the ground. Sean could easily see that it was Luke and the front of his shirt was a spreading stain of red. He didn't move.

Christina paused barely a moment before she started giving orders.

"Okay people gear up and be ready to move out."

She turned to the men.

"You guys need to get in the vehicle."

"What about guns? We can't run into the middle of the firefight empty handed. Do you have any extras that we can use?"

Christina looked at him for a few moments before she looked down at her injured arm. It was healing, but it wasn't far enough along for her to comfortably use the MP5. She slipped it off and handed it to Eric, along with three extra magazines. He quickly checked it and slipped the sling over his shoulder and took the three magazines. She motioned for some of the nearby team to join her.

"Hand these guys your pistols and extra mags. Connor, help get….Luke into the SUV."

The team members handed their pistols to the men. They checked them before taking the magazines. Patrick got in the driver's seat, Eric in the front passenger seat. Doc and Connor got Luke in the back seat. George jumped into the back of the SUV. Once they had the SUV turned around, Eric looked at Christina.

"What about you guys, we can probably squeeze some of you in here?"

He couldn't see it, but she was smiling at him behind her helmet. "Don't worry about us. Just get going, we'll keep up."

Eric remembered her speed and nodded. As they started down the road, Christina gave her orders.

"Rio, Chase, you know what to do."

The two nodded and Rio seemed to disappear into the woods. Eric watched as the one called Chase practically ran up a tree and was soon out of sight. Now that he saw the back of the smaller hybrid he could see that the handles that he had seen were two cross Japanese short swords and the chain had some sort of curved something with a handle and a roundish something that was attached to the back of the armor, between the swords. He shook his head in amazement. Around the vehicle ran the rest of the team. Not that they were driving very fast but these kids and that is what they were, kids seemed to be out for a little jog in the park, not moving to the sounds of the guns as they were. Patrick slowed down in preparation of having to take it easy going around a tree that they had previously used the winch on the truck to move out of the way when they saw the girl in charge hold her hand up to stop them, so Patrick halted.

They watched as the girl pointed to two of the other black armored kids. The two of them slung their MP5s and trotted over to the tree. The men watched with amazement as the two figures bent down and then lifted the tree out of the way and dropped it to the side of the road. They started to resume their positions but they stopped and looked at the girl in charge. The two then nodded to her and headed off the down the road, while the rest of the team took up positions around the SUV, readjusting to cover the empty spots left by their missing team members. The girl waved Patrick forward and he started moving. He was still taking it easy because he knew the state that the road was in. The girl finally held her hand up to call a halt and she trotted over to Patrick's side of the vehicle and opened the door.

"Okay, did you get your license from Granny's School of Driving? I thought you were some sort of soldier."

"There are trees in the road, we….."

Christina held her hand up to stop him from continuing. When she spoke they could hear that she was a bit exasperated.

"In case you didn't notice, two of members of my team just lifted a tree out of the way and both of them were 'girls'."

Christina even made the air quotes, or rather air quote, her injured arm was still working on healing and was still messed up, even though she knew it would be back to full use soon enough, so she could only make the quote with one hand. Patrick looked at the featureless helmet. She looked up as if saying, "Why me?"

"I sent those two ahead of us to clear the road, so we need to move. If that was my family being shot at, I would be going faster than I should be on a road like this just to get to them, unless you don't care?"

"What about you guys?"

Her voice held amusement now. "Hell, the only reason we're still near you is to protect you. Don't worry about us, just move your ass."

She slammed the door and got back into place as Patrick started down the road, much faster now. The team that surrounded them was easily able to keep pace. A short time later they saw the two armored figures that had gone ahead to clear the road, jogged back up and effortlessly took their place around the SUV as the group moved forward.

A short time later, they could see the tops of buildings, before they got to main compound area a figure appeared in the road and Christina called a halt. Chase came scampering down a tree to join the figure on the road. Christina waved for Eric to join her as she headed to the two figures. The rest of the team spread out with a couple of them moving forward to scan for any threats. Christina and the two boys, Rio and Chase, removed their helmets as they conferred so that Eric could hear instead of using the internal radios

"There is a large group attacking the house and another building and piles of rubble in front of the large house on the property. Most of the attackers are wearing orange prison jumpsuits under assault vests and carrying M16s. They are not soldiers, but look like how they are dressed, prison inmates. They are backed by a platoon of soldiers, they are the bigger threat as they have three Humvees that they have control of, two with .50 cals, one with a Mark 19. They are starting to press hard against the small force that is fighting from the smaller building."

Christina looked at Eric.

"Where would your son and his friends be?"

"Probably at the main house. There are three other members of the security team who are probably the ones fighting from the bunkhouse."

"Good. Rio, lead Natalie, Thomas, Christopher, and Mikey around behind the bunkhouse. Oliver, Connor, Jasmine, you're with me, we'll head to the main house. Chase, do what you do best."

"Stop the dull lovers from hurting the shiny ones."

Christina smiled at him. Eric found it hard to take his eyes off of Chase as the boy looked at him for a moment and gave him a grin. Their heads all whipped around towards the sound of the battle as they heard two explosions and saw smoke rising above the trees. They all looked at one another and with grim looks Christina and the two boys quickly put their helmets on and the team moved out. Eric jumped into the SUV and told Patrick to gun it. By the time they got moving, the armored figures were already disappearing from sight as they ran through the trees toward the battle.

As the SUV came into view, they were shot at by several of the prisoners and those inside ducked as the windshield was peppered with bullet holes. Patrick swerved into another vehicle and the men jumped out of the SUV and went to ground before getting to cover behind some of the other vehicles nearby. They could see a fire burning from the top of the bunkhouse and saw Gabe and Jim running from the bunkhouse to cover near the other vehicles. They were carrying some rifles on their back, ammo cans in one hand and firing their rifles with their other.

Inside the house only those on the second floor and those behind the breastworks could see this. Inside the house they heard the explosion of the rockets and then a short time later the sound of a car crashing into another. Not being able to see was frustrating to Brett and the others. All of the women and the younger boys were back in the kitchen and dining room area as Brett had told them to stay back from the front part of the house for their safety. Since many of the women were doctors, they had gathered any medical supplies that they could find and were prepared to help anyone who was injured. In the front part of the house, they heard a crash followed by a scream and a gunshot.

Brett and Julia jumped up. He handed the .357 to Jamie, looked at the boys who had started to get up and held his hand out.

"Stay here and keep down. We'll see what's going on."

He and Julia moved forward with the shotguns at the ready. They came around the corner of the dining room and were stopped by a voice.

"Drop the shotguns and come in slowly or I'll pepper the wall with this little brats brains."

Brett looked in the direction of the voice and saw a soldier holding one of the younger boys, Damian, by his hair and held a gun to his head. Brett's face fell as he and Julia dropped the shotguns to the ground and raised their hands. As they came into view, they could see that with the soldier were six other men in orange jumpsuits and wearing assault vests, holding M16s spread around the room, keeping the boys and women covered. The soldier smiled as he saw who it was. They had all been briefed on what their target looked like and here he was.

"Well Doctor Brett MacLeod. The billionaire supporter of the international terrorist Jackson Bryce. I'm pleased to meet you. My Captain will be very happy when I tell him I got to meet you. Sorry we can't sit and chat but we have things to do and people to see. It was nice to meet you, but…..goodbye."

The soldier raised his pistol and pointed it at Brett and with a final sneer, fired.

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