Castle Roland

Changing Connections

by Eric Aune

In Progress

Chapter 7

Published: 8 Apr 14

Changing Connections

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

All Rights Reserved

Changing Connections Logo_{Logan?}_

{Yes Christina, it's me.}

{You're here. So the UNIT is here?}

{No, not everyone, only a few of us. The core command group is here. We've also made contact with a few of the others that somehow were sent here or brought here or whatever, but most of the UNIT is not here. You do know that we're not at home. There is no Starfleet, no Clan Short, no transporting wherever we want and the tech is nowhere near what we had at home. We are mainly on our own.}

There is a short pause before he continued.

{Is this all of you that made it to this universe?}

{No, we lost people today.}

When he next spoke there was a different quality to Logan's mental voice.

{Report Captain.}

For the next few moments Christina gave the report of everything that had happened since leaving the Rapid Response Base on their mission. She included everything she knew about this Doctor MacLeod and his experiments, along with their results. She also told him about the Genesis Team that they had found, led by Adam's counterpoint, Eve. When she was finished, Logan did not reply right away and when he did he began issuing orders. When he finished she and the rest of her team nearly went to attention and snapped a salute. Logan detected that and sent out another mental hug.

{You've done well, Captain. I'm very sorry for your losses. I look forward to meeting with you and the others. Good luck with your mission and as soon as you know where you will be tonight, let us know.}

{Yes, sir. Thank you, sir. I look forward to seeing you again.}

{I promise that it will be soon. Take care of these people, until we meet.}

{Yes, sir.}

With that the contact was dropped and she looked at the faces of her team and saw that they seemed to have a different look. There was a more confident look on their faces, now that they knew that other members of the Unit were here, they didn't feel so alone and abandoned. The one thing that was on their mind was that this tyrant, as Colonel Patterson had named him had better watch his ass, because he had made some powerful enemies when he attacked and killed kids. The Unit had him in their sights and that was never a comfortable position to be in as he would soon find out.

They shared a smile when they broke up and Christina walked over to Brett, who was over near the Genesis team. He saw that she had a different look on her face. It was almost like she was a little relaxed and less angry.

"Brett. I've got some news. I just heard from Major General Logan Hayes, commander of the Intel Division of the Unit."

"How? Did you get a call on your radio?"

She tapped her head and he was puzzled.

"Is he nearby and planning to meet up with us? We could use more people to rescue those kids."

"No, he's not very near. He's probably about 550 miles away, but for him that's close."

"You mean he could talk to you telepathically from over 500 miles away."

"If he wanted to, he could talk to me from the other side of the world and probably farther. I don't know what his range is. I don't even know if he knows what his range is."

"Is he like you? Genetically changed?"

"No, everything he can do is all natural. He was born that way. He didn't need to go through what we did to have his abilities."

"Wow, that's so….amazing."

"Well, I told him what has happened and he confirmed everything we've found out about Ashwood. He intends to be a dictator. He told us that they helped rescue President Bryce when he was attacked by Ashwood's order, and President Bryce is with the command group and is safe. He said that they also went down to Breckenridge and were able to rescue some kids that Federal agents tried to kill during that attack. Right now, Ashwood has declared martial law and everything east of the Mississippi is dark by his orders. The western states are refusing to follow Ashwood's order. He agreed that what we are doing is the correct thing. Drop the prisoners off at the prison and rescue the kids. He would send us help for that, but they've been real busy today with everything that has been going on and he agrees with me that we have to get those kids out of there now; we can't wait for help."

Brett nodded as he listened to what she was saying. It looked like they were on their own for this.

"Oh, and he wants us to let him know where we are when we rest for the night."

"Okay. Do we call him or….."

Christina shook her head and tapped her head. He accepted that and looked around, then in the direction of the sun that was hidden behind the clouds, before bringing his arm up to check his watch and then frowned as he realized it was broken.

"Then we should get going, because we have a lot to do and there is only about two hours of daylight left."

Christina turned to her team and they turned to get things going. She then turned to Eve.

"I know that we don't agree on some things, and we got off on the wrong foot, but we need to work together. We've both lost members of our team, our family. But I need you and your team. I can promise you that you will be treated just like any other members of my family, the Unit. There is no news of any other Genesis Teams here in this universe, except those of us from the Unit who are here. I know that we will search for any other Genesis teams and if you wish to leave us then, no one from the Unit will stop you. We neither demand nor require that you be a part of the Unit, if you don't want to be. Give us a chance and I think you'll find that we are just like you. We can be your family, but if you don't want that, at least work with us until you find a place to be together as a family."

Eve listened to her and then looked down as she thought about what Christina was asking and she just shook her head slightly as she realized there was really no choice for them right now. They had to work with these people that her team had been told were traitors to the project. They had turned their backs on being able to serve their commanding officers. Christina noticed the slight shake of Eve's head and she started to snarl in frustration. Then Eve looked up and gave a slight nod.

"For now at least, I see the wisdom in us working together. What you are planning to do, rescue those kids, is the right thing to do and I would not feel right if my team did not assist you. I can't do much, but I will have my team follow your orders….for now."

Eve met Christina's eyes and there was a challenge in them.

"You treat them fairly and we will not have a problem. They are all the family that I have left and I don't want to lose them."

A hand came down gently on her shoulder and she looked up at Brett.

"Don't forget what I said. We want you as part of our family. Both of you and your family. You will always be a part of us. So don't think that you don't have any family."

Eve gave a slight smile as she looked into the face of the person who looked like the person she had grown to secretly call Dad.

"Then we need to go. Here, let me get you into the Dragon. I have a place for you."

Eve agreed and Christina easily picked her up and walked toward the front of the house where the helo was sitting. The rest of the group started moving. Several of them took one last look at the grave and the tribute to each of their honored family members, before they headed to the front of the house.

Christina carried Eve up into the helicopter and to the front where the C3, command, control and communication suite was located. She set her down in front of one of the main consoles on one side of the suite.

"To save time, I can give you everything you need to know about the suite, if you want it, in a mental dump. That is if you'll let me link with you. From here you can keep an eye on us when we go in to get the kids."

Eve agreed and within seconds she had the information and she thanked her. Christina smiled.

"Hello Christina."

"Hello Drake. Start system diagnostics and add Eve into the C3 systems with full access."

A document came up on the computer screen.

"Please read this document for voice print configuration."

Eve read the short document.

"Thank you, Eve. Voice file created. Is that how you wish to be called or is there another name you would prefer."

"No, Eve is fine."

"Very well, Eve."

"Drake, perform system check and prepare us for combat operations to the California Institute of Men in Chino California."

"All systems within normal parameters. Unable to log and get approval for combat operations. I am unable to contact Daileass."

"I have direct orders from General Logan Hayes to proceed. Daileass is offline and we no longer require authorization. I have full authority to authorize combat assignments for us."

"Very well, Christina. Jasmine is not sitting at her station will she be performing her normal duties?"

Christina didn't answer right away because of a sudden lump in her throat that she had to swallow down before speaking.

"No, she….."


Christina and Eve looked at the entrance to the C3 suite and saw Sean standing there with his laptop under his arm and on each arm was some kind of band and he was wearing some sort of headgear. He walked to the main terminal on the other side of the suite and set his laptop down. He was looking at the large flat panel screens that were in front of him, and the equipment that made up the entire workstation. He looked at everything and then turned to Christina.

"This is awesome. It's a lot better than anything I've ever seen or even read about. What kind of system is it?"

Christina walked over to him.

"It's a trinary positronic system."

Sean had a puzzled look on his face.

"I think I remember hearing about something kinda like that, but we don't have any such thing where we're from."

"So you are familiar with computers."

"Familiar, you could say that. That is my talent. Like Jamie uses TK or Ethan can use telepathy. I can do things with computers that nearly any other person cannot do, and I only say nearly, because I just haven't met that person yet."

He held up his arms and pointed to his head.

"With this stuff, my Emotiv and my MYO, the only sites that can stop me, maybe, are the ones that have some person trying to stop me, otherwise, I can get into most every site, at least so far."

"Really….Drake, give Sean full access to the C3 system. Let's see what you can do."

"Hello, Sean, please read this document."

A document was displayed and Sean began to read it.

"Voice print saved. Sean, do you prefer to be called Sean or is there another name that you prefer."

"Um…Sean is fine."

He looked at Christina.

"Who is that?"

"That is Drake. He is our VI, virtual intelligence. He helps us run the Dragon. You only need to talk to him and he will answer your questions to the best of his ability.

"Is that something like Artificial Intelligence?"

"Not quite. AI is sentient. VI can't become sentient. Drake helps us run Dragon's systems, keeps track of our sensors and communications. Overall he is a big help to us."

"So I can use this system?"

She nodded.


Sean opened his laptop and once he had logged in, he began to move his arms around and Christina could see that things were happening on the computer screen. A few moments later, Sean's attention was on the monitors of the C3 workstation and the monitors began to flash images on it. Sean turned to her and grinned.

"This is so sweet, thanks."

He turned back to the monitors and began to move his arms around as he began to work, nothing else mattered to him right now. Christina went forward to the cockpit to get ready to take off.

In the main cabin, Oliver and Rio, were making sure everyone was secured in the fold down seats along the bulkheads. The prisoners were strapped into their seats, far away from everyone else and two of Gabe's men sat across from them as guards. The man that Christina had looped the rape memory was slumped in his seat and unconscious. Brett had asked what was wrong with the man, and they told him that Christina had done something to him and he had been like this for a while now. Once everyone was secure, Oliver headed to the cockpit with Brett in tow. He had Apollo take position on the right window .50 cal and Jamil took the left window .50 cal. As he went forward through the C3 suite, he suggested that Eve and Sean secure their seatbelts. Up in the cockpit, there was a jump seat that Oliver pointed out behind the co-pilot seat. Brett nodded his thanks and sat down. Above his head was a set of headphones and Oliver handed them to him to put on. Once Oliver was in his seat, Christina smiled at him and they held hands for a moment.

"Sean, this is your first test, pull up a map of Southern California and point out where our current position is and plot a course to the California Institute of Men, in Chino, that bypasses the most heavily populated areas and project it onto my screen here in the cockpit and to Eve's screen."


"Sean, when we are on an operation. The correct way to answer any radio communication is 'Roger'. That lets me know that you understand."

"Oh, sorry. Roger."

{Eve, will you check his work, to see if he is as good as he thinks he is?}

Eve answered immediately.


Moments later a map appeared on her screen. The course plotted followed west along the mountains for about 40 miles before heading mostly south for about 20 miles. That last 20 miles was over populated areas, that they couldn't help passing over, so she knew that she needed to go higher to mask the sound of the helicopter flying, since they would be in stealth mode. When she got near it, she would disengage the stealth, so that that capability was hidden from anyone who would see them, because she was trying to keep hidden as much as possible. She believed that it would take a little less than 30 minutes to get to the prison.

{How did he do?}

{He did well.}


"Drake, systems check."

"Flight systems: check. Navigation systems: problem with GPS. No signal being received from any satellites, switching to look down radar to use for location calculation, using map overlay program. Weapons systems: check. All systems: within optimal parameters. Flight plan: plotted and logged."

"You have no communication with any GPS satellites, Drake?"

"No, Christina, there are none nearby. I can detect a faint GPS signal but the signal is below the horizon and is not a usable signal."

"Possibly something that Ashwood may have done to shut them off. Thank you, Drake."

"Who is that?"

"That's Drake, our VI."


"Virtual Intelligence."

"Virtual Intelligence?"

She looked over her shoulder at Brett and had to grin at the confused look on his face.

"You know, if you're going to copy everything that I say, it might make conversation a bit difficult."

"Sorry, but VI?"

"We can talk later, for now we have a couple of missions to perform, then we can talk."

She turned back to the front and keyed the microphone. Throughout the helicopter they heard her.

"All stations, check in."

She listened for a few moments until everyone who was hooking into the system answered her, including Sean and Eve in the C3 suite.

"Okay everyone, it's time to go."

Once she had the Dragon at the level of the trees, she gave the order to Drake.

"Drake, engage the stealth system."

"System engaged."

Brett looked around trying to see if he could detect a change, but couldn't.

"What does the stealth do?"

"It makes us invisible to radar and everything."

"Oh, sort of like a stealth fighter."

She skimmed his mind quickly to try to find the reference and nodded to herself.

"Only a little. Our stealth is better."

"Oh, okay."

She circled the estate and then headed west. They followed the mountain range. They could see Lake Arrowhead and then a short time later, Silverwood Lake to the south of them. The ground flew by. In the main cabin, Gabe was looking outside through one of the windows and he saw the ground rushing by at a very high rate of speed for a helicopter this size. He looked over at Rio who was sitting nearby.

"How fast is this thing going?"

Rio shrugged.

"I don't think we're at top speed right now, but I'd say we are flying at over 200mph."

"200? That's faster than an attack helicopter and this is a transport helicopter. A really big transport helicopter."

"Yup. But this is a Unit helicopter. You should see 'our' attack helicopters. Ours can fight jet aircraft and win. In fact we did. When Jack Bryce was attacked and was being chased by jets, ordered by Ashwood to shoot him down, one of our helicopters fought off and shot down several of them, after Jack's fighter escort had been shot down. Only one of their jets survived and he decided to bug out rather than face off against our helicopter by himself. I think we've mentioned that we've made a few modifications to it."

Gabe let out a low whistle.

"Um, yeah, you did mention that. I'd really like to learn some more about these modifications."

"You'll have to talk to the Captain or the Corporal. They can answer your questions."

"Thank you, I will."

In the cockpit, Brett was watching everything from the jump seat. He looked over the control panel and he could tell there were some differences to it, even though he'd never been in a helicopter, he had seen pictures of them and this one, looked cleaner. He thought that it had to do with the higher tech that they said was available in their world. Out the windows he could see that the ground was rushing by very fast. He didn't know helicopters very well, but it seemed like they were flying very fast. He began to look around the instrument panel, looking for something that would tell him the speed. As he scanned the panel, he began to pick out intriguing labels on many of the instruments. He found one that looked like some kind of speedometer. It read, 230mph. That was pretty fast he thought. He could see a radar display, that seemed to show no other aircraft nearby. There was another monitor that showed the ground moving along below them. There was also the map that showed their course as they moved along, but he had thought that the GPS was not working.

"As you heard Drake say, there's something wrong with the GPS. It's not picking up any satellite info, probably because it's not calibrated for the satellites in this world."

"Huh? How did you know…..oh."

She gave a little laugh.

"Do you always read people's minds?"

She glanced back at him and shook her head.

"No, we don't normally and in your case. I didn't, not really. You're just projecting so loud that I can't help overhearing. That map that you're seeing is a graphic map overlay program that Drake is using to show our plotted route. Normally it would be a GPS program, but this is a program that Drake has as a backup for the GPS system. He has maps of the world loaded into his system that we constantly update to keep the info current and he can use our look down radar to plot our locations based on what he can see from the radar and match it to what is on his map program. It's almost as good as the GPS system. The difference is probably that it takes him a few milliseconds longer to plot where we are using the map program. The GPS is faster."


She shared a smile with Oliver while Brett continued to study the panel. One monitor caught his eye and they opened wide before he looked at Christina. He could see her smile a little.

"Is that correct? You have a fusion reactor on this thing?"

"If you look again you will see that there are three, actually, and they're micro fusion reactors. One is the main, one is the backup and the other is for shore power. We can use the shore power reactor to run power to something on the ground, like a house or something."

"What amazing things that you have in your world. I wish I could have been there to learn."

"Compared to this world and your world, I can see your point, but people are the same everywhere. Even with all of this stuff that you see as amazing, the most important things in life were still neglected. We were rescuing kids from bad situations all the time. Except for those of us who had been part of the Genesis Project, the rest of our forces were regular kids who stood up and said no more. They did what the adults weren't doing. They began to help other kids who needed it when the adults wouldn't. Most of us would have been happy to just be a kid, but it wasn't to be."

"And here you are doing it once again. I'm sorry, you haven't had the chance to be a kid. I will do what I can to make that happen."

"No time for that now, the way things are going, but maybe someday."

Christina nodded but didn't say anything else, as she continued to their destination. She was soon turning south and now that they were seeing more built up areas, the effects of the earthquake became more evident. They could see flattened buildings everywhere. They could also see where there had been fires in the rubble and they could see smoke hanging a bit low in the air. The remnants of earlier and current fires. As they neared the location of the prison, she began to slow down. As the prison came into view, she spoke.

"Drake, disengage stealth. All stations prepare for landing. Watch for any aggressive moves by any of the….inhabitants. Eve and Sean, monitor all radio traffic. Jamil, ready the minigun when the ramp is lowered. Colonel Patterson, if you could have the prisoners ready for transfer."

She flipped a switch and her voice could now be heard in the main cabin.

"We are at our first stop so that we can return the prisoners to where they truly belong. Don't worry, we are expected. Red Dragons and that includes the Genesis team, suit up and prepare a perimeter once we land. Window gunners, hold your positions."

She began to slow the helicopter down and lose altitude as they neared the prison. As they got nearer, they saw that some of the buildings had collapsed or were partially collapsed and there were guards patrolling the prison yard. They could also see that there were multiple covered bodies laid out in the prison yard. As she headed the Dragon to a big enough open area in the prison yard to land, the others prepared to move out once they landed.

Looking out the front windows, Christina could see men in guard uniforms that had been patrolling the prison yard stop and watch the helicopter come in for a landing.

"Captain, receiving radio communication to someone named Captain Vanek from one of the guards."


Inside the cabin, the teams were ready. All the kids were in their armor with their helmets in place. Gabe's men had the prisoners standing up, except for the one that Christina had done a mind loop on who was still sitting in the seat, unresponsive. They left him strapped in for the moment. Wyatt was tasked to keep an eye on him for now. As soon as the ramp started lowering, Jamil started preparing the minigun for deployment. By the time the ramp was down, the minigun was in place and Jamil was watching outside for any threats. The armored kids went out first and spread out to establish a perimeter. When these armored figures came out of the helo, the prison guards tensed up and some backed up. Behind the kids came Gabe and his men escorting the prisoners. Once they were outside and away from the helo, Gabe ordered the prisoners to sit on the ground.

Behind the guards, walking quickly towards them with two M16 armed guards behind him, came a man in a guard's uniform with Captain's bars on his uniform. He headed toward Gabe.

"Are you the Special Forces commander of this group?'

"No. I'm Colonel Patterson."

"I was told that there would be a Special Forces unit that would be coming in with this helicopter."

"That would be me."

The two men looked over to the figure that had just walked down the ramp and was coming toward them. Christina had put her helmet on as she made her way out of the Dragon so the captain could not see her face, but the voice of a younger female was unmistakable. The Guard Captain looked between Gabe and Christina trying to figure if this man who obviously had an air of command about him, was messing with him or not. As Christina neared them, she removed the helmet and held it under her arm.

"Captain Vanek. I'm Captain Casey."

The Captain was now even more certain that a joke was being played on him now that he could see that this so called captain was a teenage girl. He looked at Gabe and there was some obvious anger in his voice.

"Now look Colonel. I have no time for this sort of bullshit. I know you military pukes may think that we're just jumped up rent-a-cops, but I was told that I was to expect the captain of a Special Forces unit. I don't have time to fuck around!"

"Captain Vanek. I am the captain in charge of this unit, and you will direct your questions to me, not to Colonel Patterson."

Vanek looked at Gabe, who just returned his gaze.

"This is her command, not mine. If I were you, I'd do as she says."

The Captain turned and looked down at her. Subconsciously he was using his bigger size to try and intimidate her because he still felt that he was being fucked with. She just rolled her eyes at him which of course started to piss him off even more.

"Look, Captain. I'm not here to see who has the bigger dick. I'm here on the orders of my commander to deliver these prisoners to you. This is where they belong, not out there, where they can cause problems for the decent people who live around here. I know they were taken from here this morning under illegal orders from the wannabe dictator, Ashwood. So now I return them to you. My commander also informed me that you had asked for some better weapons to hold your facility. We have confiscated from those soldiers and prisoners that attacked us earlier today, a large number of weapons that we will turn over to you."

He looked over at the prisoners sitting on the ground. He saw two of Gabe's men helping the tenth prisoner to where the others were sitting.

"What's wrong with him?"

She glanced at the man.

"Oh the rapist. I let him get an understanding of what it meant to the little girl that he raped, what it felt like."


She looked and saw Brett limping toward her. She turned to him as he neared her. He beckoned her over to him. She walked over, but didn't seem too pleased with the request. When she was near enough, he began to speak in a low voice. He gestured to the prisoner.

"What did you do to him?"

"I let him know what it is like to be helpless while being raped. He is in here for raping a 10 year old girl and he would do it again if he had the chance. So I gave him a memory and looped it, much like you would do with a video recording."

Brett looked at the man who was a complete wreck.

"Can you remove it?"

"Yes, but why. In my universe he would have been executed for his crime."

"As you pointed out, we are not in your universe, nor in mine, and I'm sure torture is not really looked upon as something that decent people do. I know that you don't have to do what I say, but I ask you to please release the man. He is now back where he belongs and maybe what you've done will be enough to deter the man."

Christina looked at Brett with a neutral look. After a few moments, she nodded.

"We don't care for torture, either. I'll remove the loop."

"Thank you. I know you're a good and loving person under that uniform you wear. All I have to do is watch how you are with your family. I'm proud of you."

Brett smiled at her and clapped her on the shoulder before heading over to stand with Gabe. She looked at him as he walked away from her and felt strangely good about what he had said. She turned to the prisoners and walked over to where the man was curled up on the ground. As she neared them, the other prisoners were trying to move away from her a little. She squatted down next to the man and placed her hand on the man's head. She pushed her mind into the man's and removed the loop. What she did do though, was set a trigger that would bring that memory loop to the forefront, if he ever attempted to do anything like that again, to any child, ever again. That is, if he ever got out of prison. She looked at the other men and gave them a little smile. In their eyes there was something sinister in that smile.

"Now boys. You don't want me to come back here. You saw what I did to him. I can do the same to you. If I have to come back here, I promise you I will not release you, as I just did for him. Think about that."

She stood back up and walked over to rejoin the other men. As she walked away, the man she had released, sat up, but he had a haunted look in his eyes, and he was no longer staring into the distance as he had been before.

"So Captain. Do you wish to have us supply you with the weapons and ammo that you requested?"

Vanek looked at the prisoners. He had noticed how they had shied away from her as she got nearer and he knew what kind of people they were. He didn't know what the girl had done, but it appeared that these hardened felons were afraid of her. He turned back to look at her and saw she was looking at him calmly waiting for his answer.

"Yes, we would be glad to get the supplies from you. What about the other prisoners who were taken from here by that army unit."

"They found out the error of their ways when they tried to kill innocent men, women and children. They will never cause anyone a problem and are hopefully roasting their nuts off in hell where they deserve to be. Unfortunately, we did not have time to dispose of their bodies at Doctor MacLeod's compound up in the mountains before we had to leave for our next mission."

"Captain Blackburn?"

"Yes. He's wormfood now as well, along with the rest of his command."

"Good, that bastard shot the Warden when he wouldn't release the prisoners with those illegal pardons."

He turned to some of his men.

"Rivera, take custody of these prisoners and escort them to their quarters."

The guard he gave orders to, turned to a few of the men and waved for them to join him as they moved over to take control of the prisoners and marched them off to one of the buildings. When the captain saw that they were under control he turned back to Christina. She glanced at Gabe.

"Colonel, could you detail some of your men to retrieve those extra M16's that we confiscated from the soldiers and a few of the boxes of ammo?"


He turned away and gestured to a couple of the men to follow him back into the helo. They returned a short time later with a couple of rifles each and two boxes of ammo in their hands. They handed them over to the guards and stepped back.

"There you are, Captain. We have somewhere else to go tonight, so good luck."

"Thank you."

Christina turned and headed back to the helo with Brett walking along beside her. Gabe gave Captain Vanek a little smile as he turned and led his men aboard the helo. Once they were done, the perimeter guard went on board with the precision that you would expect from a well-oiled military assault team. John Vanek noticed that all of the figures who were equipped with what looked like some kind of ballistic armor and helmet, looked to be smaller than adults as they went back up the ramp. He wondered if they were kids like the girl in charge. It was the last one of the figures that caused him the most surprise. The armored figure had been on the far side of the helo and looked like a midget as it went up the ramp. At the top, the figure turned and waved at him, before continuing inside as the ramp closed behind him. Vanek dropped the hand that had started to give an answering wave to the figure. He watched as the rotors began to turn faster and they had to turn away as the man made windstorm caused by the swiftly turning rotors blew dirt and debris at them. Soon the huge helicopter was ascending and then turning to the north. They watched as it flew away and then all of them couldn't help but gasp, when it abruptly disappeared from sight.

"What the hell?"

"Cap? Who were those people?"

"I have no fucking idea, but for some reason, I'm glad I'm not on their bad side. If what they said was true, those few people took down around a hundred hardened criminals and soldiers."

"Did you see how those inmates tried to distance themselves from the girl when she walked over to them?"

"Yes. I think we need to have a little talk with our returned guests, especially that one that she went over and talked to. Once they're cleaned up, let's have a talk with them."

The guards had by now armed themselves with the M16s and the remaining equipment was taken inside to the guard offices. Captain Vanek, couldn't wait to hear what the prisoners had to say.

Once they were on course to the base, Christina turned control of Dragon over to Oliver. She gave him a quick kiss before heading into the main cabin. She glanced at Eve and Sean as they sat in front of their computer screens. She could see Sean moving his arms as he looked at the screen and she could see that images were changing as he did whatever he was doing. When she got to the main cabin, she looked around at the people sitting in the seats.

"We're on our way to the base now to rescue the kids who are being held there. Those of you who are going to help, should get suited up in our armor. Sorry, we only have kids sized suits, so you guys will need to keep your butts down, so they don't get shot off."

She spoke into her radio.

"Rio, will you come to the main cabin and help me get the guys that are going in with us, get suited up with our spare armor."

A few moments later Rio appeared from his window gunner position. The two of them took the boys into the armory where they opened up some of the cases that were stored in there and took out the armor that was stored inside and fitted each of the boys with the armor and helmet. Jamie, Josh, Dakota, Ian, Ethan and Dylan were the six that were going in with the others, Logan and Sean were staying back. They fitted Logan out with armor as well, since he would be staying back to protect the others. Once everyone was fitted with the armor, she did a quick briefing with them about it, so that they knew what the suit was capable of doing. They were each given one of the MP5's and enough ammo to fill the pouches in the armor. Gabe's men had taken M4 carbines and replenished their ammo pouches as well. Gabe found grenades to refill his bandolier.

About the time everyone was equipped, Christina got a call from Oliver.

"Chris, we're coming up on the base."

"Roger, stay on stealth and circle the base. I'm going to go to C3 and take a look at what the look down radar and cameras can show us. Then we'll be able to make plans for the rescue."

She turned to those in the cabin and let them know what was going on before she headed into the C3 suite. She went to Sean's station first.

"Sean, can you connect to the cameras in the suits?"

Sean made a few gestures and hit a couple of keys on the keyboard and his display lit up with the cameras of all of those using Unit armor. His display had each of the cameras from the Unit armor around the edges of a large central viewing area that he could use either for one of the Unit cameras or he could be looking at something else entirely.

"Done. This is an awesome computer. I've never seen anything like this."

"As I may have mentioned we came from a world more advanced than yours."

"Oh yeah. You've said that. Anyway, I've been able to pick up a few news broadcasts and there aren't casualty figures yet from the earthquake, but it's going to be huge. There is speculation that it could be in the tens of thousands at the least and probably more."

"Keep searching and if you can get any information about Ashwood or anything that he is doing, put it together so that we can keep an eye on what he is doing."

Sean nodded and went back to work, while she went over to Eve's station.

"Can you put that up on the big screen?"

Eve hit a key and it was displayed on the main monitor. Oliver was flying them around the base and the layout of the base was being recorded so that they could put a plan together, using the recon pictures, plus what she was able to pick up from Blackburn. Even though it was nearly dark, the pictures were clear and enhanced by the computer systems on board. Once they had recorded everything, she brought Brett, Gabe, and Eric into the C3 suite to talk to them about the attack. They were gathered around Eve's station since her people would be part of this and her input would be needed. Christina was standing next to the main monitor so that she can point out the points of interest on it so that everyone knew what they needed to do.

"From what I found out from Blackburn, six months ago Ashwood reopened George Air Force Base as a military base and over the last five months, all of the civilian companies that had moved in since it was decommissioned as a military base and became the Southern California Logistics Airport have been kicked off the base. Once they had the civilians out, they started the process to move military units in. Blackburn was the commander of one of the two companies that were deployed there to survey and report on the conditions of the base. They are the first two companies of a five company battalion that is planned for eventual deployment to this base. Blackburn is the senior of the two captains stationed here, so he was the nominal base commander until all of the other companies join them, at which point the battalion commander and his staff will join them. There is also supposed to be a helicopter squadron assigned to the base as well."

"So what does that mean for us? How many men are we going to be facing when we try to rescue those kids."

"There are 100 men in each company. Blackburn brought 25 soldiers, enough in his mind, to control a bunch of untrained prisoners. The plan was to use the released inmates as cannon fodder and then release them into the community to cause problems. That means that there are about 175 men left at the base. Also, there are other heavily armed Humvees on the base. All the vehicles are stored here at their motor pool as they have designated it. This building right here that looks like an X is the headquarters for this battalion. East of that building where this group of buildings are located, is where the companies are billeted. This building here to the north of them, is the officers' quarters. This is where the kids are being kept."

"So we're going to go in, grab the kids and get out?"

"That's the main plan. However, as Von Moltke wrote 'No battle plan survives…."

"….survives contact with the enemy."

She grinned at Gabe.

"Yeah, pretty much. So we have to plan for contingencies. Eve, you said that Fiona was an explosives expert."

"Yes, Aleks is as well, she and Fiona have worked together in the past."

"You said something about special weapons when you introduced Aleks."

"She is a specialist in NBC warfare."


Gabe looked at Brett.

"Nuclear, Biological and Chemical warfare."


"Because of this, she also knows demolitions, which is why she and Fiona have worked together."

"Good, then this is what I propose. Chase is going to infiltrate the officer's quarters and try to get to the kids. Colonel, I would like you to detail a couple of your men to go with some of your boys there as well. I would suggest sending Ian with them, in case any of the captives need medical help. Chase will find them and hold off any of the soldiers who try to hurt the kids. Your group will go there and will have to get to them from the outside. Eve, we have some C4 here in the armory and I would like Fiona and Aleks to use that to destroy as many of the vehicles as they can in the motor pool; they will need some people with them as well."

"Apollo can go with them."

"I'll send a one of my men with them as well."

"Make sure that they can be quiet, we don't want the soldiers to know anything until stuff starts blowing up."

Gabe nodded.

"That shouldn't be a problem."

"Good, then the rest will go with me to the buildings where the soldiers are billeted and keep them busy while we extract the kids. I believe that all they have are their personal arms. The heavier weapons are stored at the motor pool. Let's put together our assault teams."

They talked for a few more minutes before ending the briefing.

"Okay, so here are the teams. Helicopter defense: Oliver, Rio, Jamil, Sean, Eve plus any of the other adults. Officer's quarters: Chase, Sergeant Barrett, Ian, Dylan, Logan and Ethan. Motor Pool: Fiona, Aleks, Apollo, and Captain Nim. Barracks: myself, Colonel Patterson, Sergeant Peterson, Lieutenant Jamison, Sergeant McGee, Jamie, Josh, Dakota and Ram."

"And me."

She looked at Brett and shook her head.

"We can't risk it, Doctor. Frankly, you'd slow us down with your leg. We're going to have to be able to move and move quick, and I know that you can't do that. I can't jeopardize the rest of the team."

Brett was unhappy but he saw the wisdom of what she said and nodded his acceptance.

"We'll drop the motor pool team here and then move to this group of abandoned housing where we will land. This is where we will exfil once we have the kids. Eve, will you send the coordinates of our two landing points to Ollie. Any questions?"

They ended it and went out to the main cabin to assemble the teams. While they were forming the teams, Wyatt stood up.

"I'll go with the motor pool team."

Christina looked at him. He was in good shape and compared to the other adults except for Gabe's team, he was probably able to do it, but he had no military training.

"I'm sorry, sir, I can't ask you to do that. You don't have the training."

"You mentioned something about that team having to be able to be silent when they approached it. I learned how to sneak when I was a boy on the rez. I did a lot of hunting and my father taught me a lot about how to be quiet in the woods. Besides, I've got this."

He walked over to where their cargo was stored and he pulled out his large black case. He opened it and pulled out a compound bow.

"They won't hear a thing and this kills just as well as a bullet."

"Okay, but how good are you with it."

"My dad can shoot his bow almost as good as I can and I can shoot it better than anyone else that I've met."

She thought about it before nodding.

"Okay, but you need to take a gun as well. It shoots faster than that bow will, if you need it."

She looked at the other men.

"I know that some of you may be thinking about wanting to join as well, but we do need you here, and unless you have a similar background to Mister Blackhawk, then I would prefer that you stay with the helicopter. I know most of you are either medical doctors or PhD's, so one thing you can do is make sure the medical suite is ready in case we have any wounded or any of the kids are hurt. We will need you to make sure that everything is secure here. They should not be able to find it unless we have to start firing any of the guns, at that point we will have to turn off the stealth or we may burn out some wiring and circuits. Any questions?"

There were none, so she called Oliver on the radio.

"Ollie, head to the first LZ, so we can get this op started and rescue those kids."

"Roger, on the way."

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