Castle Roland

Changing Connections

by Eric Aune

In Progress

Chapter 9

Published: 8 Apr 14

Changing Connections

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

All Rights Reserved

Changing Connections LogoAs she yelled for a medic, Christina bent down and quickly lifted Brett up and began to run up the ramp and into the helicopter. She started to shout as she ran inside.


There were several gasps of surprise from Brett's friends and family as Christina ran by, heading directly to the Medical Suite. Behind her came the 12-year-old Genesis boy Ram.

Ian heard the cry for medic and then saw someone in Unit armor pick an adult up and begin to run into the helicopter. He started running, trying his best to catch up. He saw one of the smaller Genesis kids follow the Unit person into the helicopter. Ian arrived in the Medical Suite just as the unknown adult was laid onto one of the two treatment beds in the suite. Inside the suite, pulling some latex gloves on, were Ian and Dakota's moms as they moved over to the treatment table.

"Ollie, once everyone is on board, get us out of here. We'll figure out later where we're going. For now go north a bit until you are over the desert and circle. Once we get Brett stabilized we'll figure out a destination."

"You got it, Chris. Glad you're back safe. Love you."

She smiled and sent him a mental hug. She and Ram removed their helmets and Ian saw that it was Christina and the kid named Ram. At least he thought that was his name. Christina and Ram moved to the side of the room to place their helmets on the deck and out of the way, while the two doctors started working on the figure on the table.

Now that he had a clear view, Ian saw that it was Brett. Before he removed his helmet he keyed his mic.

"Jamie, come to the medical room. Your dad has been hurt. I may need your help."


"C'mon. I don't know how badly he's hurt yet, but I think he was shot."

"Oh shit. Okay, I'm on my way."

The two doctors had just cut off Brett's shirt They examined the three gunshot wounds. The wounds started in his upper right chest and went at a slight angle toward the left, ending in his abdomen.

"I wish we could see what is going on inside him. We couldn't find a blood pressure cuff or stethoscope or anything like that in here. We need to monitor him."

Christina didn't say anything, but she went over to one of the counter tops and picked up a small handheld device and carried it over to the two doctors.

"This will help."

Christina moved it over Brett's body and information began to scroll onto the small display screen: BP 160/88, P 120, RR 34, SPO2 86%.

"What is that?"

"A medical tricorder."

"How….never mind we can get into that later. We need Ian, oh."

His mom looked up and saw Ian standing there with his helmet under his arm. She smiled at him.

"Good you're here. Brett's going to need your talent. He's badly hurt."

Ian put his helmet down out of the way and removed his gloves and dropped them next to the helmet. At that moment Jamie came running into the room. Right behind him was Josh. Jamie handed his helmet to Josh and ran to his dad's side.

Julia turned to the door where others were standing there and held her hand up.

"Please no one else needs to be in here, we have some work to do. Ian could you close the door? We'll let you all know how it goes as soon as we can."

Ian went to the door and closed it before returning to the table.

"Ian, we need to get those bullets out and start repairing the damage. From what his vitals show, this wound probably has collapsed his lung, he's having a hard time breathing. His respiratory rate is too high and his sats are low. The next bullet hopefully missed the heart but it's close enough to worry about and the abdomen wound may have perforated his bowel, so we'll have to watch for peritonitis and sepsis. It looks like he may have lost a lot of blood, so we have to work quickly, otherwise he will begin to decompensate and the shock could still kill him if we don't fix him fast and get his breathing back to normal."

Ian nodded as he absorbed the information. He moved over next to Jamie who was looking at his unconscious dad. There were tears on his cheeks.

"Jamie, we need to start working. Just like we did for Marty back at that lab. I'll guide you and you remove the bullets and any fragments back along the wound track."

Jamie nodded and removed his gloves and tossed them aside. He wiped his eyes and placed his hand over the wound in the chest, Ian placed one of his hands over Jamie's and another in the middle of Brett's chest. Both of them closed their eyes as they got to work. While the two boys worked on the first wound, the two doctors put pressure on the other wounds to try to stem the flow of blood. While they worked, Christina stood next to Ram.

"Ram? May I do a mental dump to you on how to operate this tricorder. I have to do something to help and I need someone who can use this. I trust you."

Ram nodded and Christina placed her hands on his head for a few moments before stepping back. Ram nodded to let her know he had it and she walked over to the cabinets and began to pull some items out of them and lay them on the counter. Ram stood next to the table and worked the tricorder to continue monitoring Brett's medical status. Once Christina had gathered everything she needed, she began to strip out of her armor and put her guns down and then strip off her uniform jacket, leaving her in a t-shirt with the Unit crest on it and uniform pants. Julia saw what Christina was doing.

"Wouldn't it be better to take all of that out of here, rather than putting it there where it will be in the way? What are you doing anyway?"

Christina looked up at her, glanced at her things on the floor and kicked them into a corner out of the way before answering her.

"You said he's lost a lot of blood."

"You have a supply of blood in here? We didn't find anything."

"Yeah, me. I'm the supply of blood."

"But you can't just do that. We need to type and crossmatch to make sure that you're compatible. I know you want to help, and probably don't understand, but you can't just give your blood to someone because you want to. If you're not compatible, you could kill him just as easily as these bullets could."

Christina stopped what she was doing and looked at Julia seriously.

"Doc. I am a fully trained combat medic. There is very little that I don't know about treating combat trauma. All of my team members are trained to handle injuries. I'm not talking just first aid. We are all equivalent to a highly trained EMT, paramedic and, especially, a combat medic. Ram, over there, can probably perform, at the least, basic surgery as his specialty training is medical. You are currently working under lack of knowledge, so I will pass on giving the lecture of things that I learned when I was first taught how to help injured people. There is something that you don't know. When we were created, we were made to be compatible with everyone. The scientists and military men's premise was that since we were trained to consider ourselves less than a fully human person…"

Julia could see the anger in her eyes when she said that and opened her mouth to say something but Christina continued.

"….We were told that if necessary we could be drained dry to save a fully human person. Part of the genetic manipulation work that was done on us, some of which was done by Brett's counterpart in our universe, made us universally compatible with anyone. So with Ram's help, I'm going to start donating some blood so that you can transfuse him. You might want to get an IV set up, so that you can get my blood in him as soon as I fill each bag."

Christina could see the skepticism on Julia's face, but she ignored it and went back to gathering the supplies that she would need. Julia watched Christina for a moment and without saying anything, she asked Cheryl to take over putting pressure on the wound she had been working on before walking over to where Christina had gathered supplies. Julia got the supplies that she would need for Brett and brought it over to the treatment bed. She saw that there was an IV pole attached to the bed, and she unhooked it and locked it upright into place. She hung the IV bag and quickly got an IV line into Brett's left arm. She hooked the bag up and let the fluid flow in at a fast drip.

"Ram, help me get set up and as I fill a bag, bring it over to the docs so they can infuse the blood."

Ram put the tricorder down and went over to assist Christina in getting set up on the other bed so that they could start filling IV bags with her donation. Once Christina was set up and the first bag was being filled, Ram stripped out of his weapons and armor as well. Leaving him wearing the standard grey jumpsuit that all of his family wore. He picked the tricorder back up and went back to his job of monitoring Brett. A moment later Jamie removed his hand from under Ian's and dropped the bullet and a few metal fragments into his other hand. Now that the bullet was out, Ian was able to get to work on knitting the internal structures back to how they were supposed to be. He healed up the damaged arteries and veins to stop the flow of blood into the lungs. As Ian re-inflated the right lung, he directed most of the blood that had collected inside the lung to exit through the bullet hole, the rest he helped Brett's body absorb. As he moved upward, Ian closed all the damaged areas along the bullet track, including a rib that had been nicked as the bullet passed through his rib cage, closing the outside hole last.

Ian pulled his hand away and there was a round pinkish colored scar that was slowly fading. He took a small breath and then nodded to Jamie as they moved to the lower right chest wound. This one was a little easier, in that unlike the upper chest wound, this one had missed the ribs. There was damage to the lower lobe of the lung, and the bullet had not been deflected, so it was easier for Jamie to pull the bullet out. Ian was then able to fix the other internal injuries caused by the bullet. While the two boys worked, Ram brought over the first pint of blood for Julia to hang. She and Cheryl exchanged nervous glances before Julia opened up the connection and allowed the blood to flow. They both watched Brett closely and were ready to step in and stop the transfusion if he showed any sign of an allergic reaction to receiving the blood. Moments later they breathed a sigh of relief when nothing happened.

"Ram, can you give us his vitals?"

Ram picked up the tricorder and scanned Brett. Seconds later he had the reading and turned the tricorder so that the two doctors could read it: BP 130/90, P 100, RR 25, SPO2 86%.

"Pressure, pulse and respiratory rate have come down. Sats are the same, but at least they aren't dropping."

By the time the first bag was almost empty, Jamie removed his hand and dropped the second bullet into the same hand that held the first bullet. Ian finished up his part of the healing and finished re-inflation of the lung. They moved to the final wound and got to work. Ram set up the third bag for Christina, and brought the second bag to Julia who quickly hung it and let the blood flow into Brett. Since it was pretty much all soft tissue damage in the final wound, there was a lot of damage that had to be healed. Jamie pulled his hand from under Ian's just as the second bag was emptied and they hung the third bag. He had the final bullet in his hand. He went over to the counter and searched through the drawers for a few seconds until he found a small basin. He took it out of the drawer, and dropped all three bullets in the basin.

As Ian continued to work, he found that the colon, as well as the liver and the gallbladder, had been perforated by the bullet. Because of the bowel perforation, there was a lot of things in there that could cause Brett problems with infection later if he didn't clean them up. Ian was able to direct white blood cells to attack the bacteria as he healed the other damaged organs. As he had done with the other wounds, the last thing Ian did was to flush most of the excess blood plus some of the infectious material that had been emptied into the abdominal cavity, out of the bullet hole and have Brett's body reabsorb the remaining blood. He directed the white blood cells to take care of the remaining infectious material.

When Ian stepped back, he saw that both his and Jamie's hands were completely covered in blood. Cheryl brought a canister over to them that had cleaning wipes in it and gave them to the two boys to take care of the majority of the blood. Julia waved for Ram to follow her over to where Christina was lying and had him scan her with the tricorder. Christina was looking a little pale now. Julia checked the readings and shook her head.

"Okay, I think that's more than enough. I'll hang this last bag, but I'm fairly sure this will be sufficient. You should stay here and rest. Is there anything to eat in here? You'll need to replenish your blood supply."

"Don't worry about me. Another of the things that they did to us, is that with our higher metabolism, we also replenish our blood supply much faster than a normal human. So I'll be okay, in a little while."

"Well I'm a doctor and you're not, and until I think you're ready, then you stay put."

She looked at Ram.

"Ram is it?"

He nodded.

"Can that thing give me a blood count? She just gave almost half of the blood in her body and in most people you can die from that much blood loss. I'm trusting that what you said is true, young lady, but until I'm sure, you stay put."

Christina wanted to argue, but she could tell that she was a bit tired from the blood loss, and there was no real reason to argue, so she said nothing, for now. She knew that she would be alright soon enough, maybe not 100%, but she could function. So she nodded and lay back while Julia went back to check on Brett.

As soon as everyone was aboard, Jamil stowed the Minigun and raised the ramp. As the ramp closed, Oliver lifted Dragon in the air and headed east. He engaged the stealth system when they were about 300' into the air and maintained that altitude as he flew Dragon north until they were over Death Valley.

"Drake, engage autopilot. Maintain altitude, circle our current position, twenty mile radius."

"Autopilot engaged, altitude set, circling as ordered."

Oliver unstrapped from his seat and made his way into the main cabin. He glanced at Sean who was at his computer console. From where he was standing, Sean appeared to be making gestures and occasionally saying something into the mic attached to his headgear. Oliver could see that Sean was doing something on the computer, but the images were moving across the monitor and changing too quickly for him to make any sense of it. He then stopped by Eve's console.

"Have you heard anything?"

Eve shook her head and Oliver patted her on the shoulder as he continued to the main cabin. He was able to sense that she was worried. In the main cabin, he saw most people were in the seats. This was the first time that he had seen the kids that they had rescued. They were dressed in a variety of clothing, some military, some civilian and all of them were wearing dirty, ragged socks on their feet.

Six were boys, and two were girls. They were all fairly close in age, the oldest was 13 or 14 years old and the youngest looked to be about 10 years old. The oldest looking boy had a haunted look on his face as he stared at the opposite wall. There was another boy about the same age. He was sitting next to a young girl who looked enough like him to be his sister. Oliver noticed that he had a web belt with a holstered pistol attached. He was carrying it with the belt looped over one shoulder. Obviously no one else had a problem with it, so Oliver figured it was a non-issue. The others ranged between those two ages. He saw Chase standing near the door to the armory and walked over.

"Hey Chase."

"Hi Ollie."

"Everything go okay out there?"

"Yes, except when Brett jumped in front of Chrissy so she would not get shot."

"So that's what happened. I wondered how he got shot."

"Yeah he did not need to do that, but he's a grownup, and he does not know."

"I know, but he'll learn."

Oliver paused a moment before continuing.

"You know she doesn't like that?"



"Oh yeah, huh. I forgot, but it is just easier to say."

"I know. Chase, you see that one?"

Oliver was pointing to the older boy who was sitting and staring at the wall.

"I think he needs a friend right now."

Chase looked to where he was pointing and nodded. He started to walk over to the boy, but Oliver grabbed his shoulder.

"You should probably take your armor off first."

Chase looked down at himself and then went into the armory. A minute later he came back out dressed in just his unit t-shirt and pants. He grinned at Oliver and headed to the boy in question. The boy with the pistol saw him and put his arm around his sister as if to protect her from this small figure.

"Who….who are you?"

Chase paused and looked at Tim with a smile on his face. He walked over to him and his sister, both of whom leaned back a little.

"I am Chase."

"Are you an alien?"

"If you mean like a Vulcan or a Klingon or something like that, then no, I am not an alien. I am just Chase."

"But you're furry and you look like a…."

"Ferret? That is because, that is what I am. Well partly anyway. I am a human-ferret hybrid. I was made this way. They did genetic manipulation experiments and I am one of the results of that."

"Oh. Um, thanks for rescuing us."

"You are welcome. I am glad that I could save some shiny ones like you from being made dull. If you need anything, please ask anyone here. We will help you. For now, I am going to talk to that boy over there. He does not seem so shiny right now and I want to make him feel shiny again."

"Uh, okay. That's Tony. He's been like that since two nights ago when the soldier took him away. When he was brought back in the morning, he didn't say anything and was kinda like that."

"Well, I will try to help him find his shinyness again. He will be okay."

Chase continued walking over to the boy, the eyes of all the kids who had been rescued were following him as he neared Tony.

While he was walking over to Tony, a couple of the ladies were going among the other children and trying to see if they needed something. Doc was checking to make sure that their feet were okay and they weren't too badly hurt. They were a little afraid of Doc, because of his uniform, but he was so friendly and his deep voice was so filled with gentleness that they could tell that he was differentfrom the other soldiers that had hurt them.

Oliver scanned the others and saw the person he was looking for, standing by one of the windows near the medical suite, looking out at the dark desert below. He walked over to Gabe.


Gabe turned around and saw the older Unit teenager standing there.

"You're Oliver, correct?"

"Yes, sir."

"I know we're circling over the desert. You've been doing a lot of flying since this day began. How far did you fly before you got to Doctor MacLeod's compound?"

Oliver thought for a moment.

"About 550 miles."

"You may need to refuel soon, son. I don't know all the specs on a helicopter like this, but that seems like you must be getting to the end of your range and this circling is just using up fuel right now. Maybe we ought to set down somewhere in the middle of the desert until we know where we're going next."

"We'll be fine for a little while yet, so I wouldn't worry about that."

"How much farther can you fly before you have to refuel?"

"How far would you like to go?"

Gabe noticed the barely concealed grin on Oliver's face and he scowled at him.

"Now see here, son. We've had a pretty shitty day and this is serious."

"Let me say it this way. How many times would you like to circle the earth? And how fast would you like us to go when we do that?"

"Um, circle the earth?"

"Yes. At cruising speed, it would take us about four days. At maximum speed about three days, but that might be a little tough on our Dragon here to be at max speed for that long. We can spend weeks circling the earth if you would like. I think we mentioned that we have made a few modifications to Dragon, and either Chris or myself would run out of fuel before Dragon would."

"How did you do that….wait a minute? If you're here and she's in medical, who's flying the helo?"

"Oh, Drake's got it."

"Drake? Who the hell is Drake? Have we met him yet? Is he another of you kids?"

"Oh, you've met him and he's not exactly one of us. But we like him and he's been working with us for a while now. He's sort of a prototype."

"Oh. When did we meet him? I don't remember meeting anyone named Drake."

Oliver started to giggle a little and that was only making Gabe a bit more upset.

"Now see here."

Oliver stepped back, not because he was afraid of Gabe, he knew he was stronger than him. He spread his arms out to either side.

"This is Drake."

"The helicopter, but I thought the helicopter was called Dragon."

"Technically yes, that is what we named our helicopter, because our team name is Red Dragons, but Drake runs the systems on Dragon."

"So he's what, an autopilot?"

"Something a little more. He's a VI, Virtual Intelligence."


"Yes, he's a really smart computer system. He could probably takeoff, fly to a destination and land with little problem, but it's always better to have the human touch. So we would normally only do that in an emergency, such as Chris or I being out of commission. Chris and I prefer to be the ones doing the flying, but we're pretty sure Drake could do it if he had to."

"Okay, so what kind of fuel do you use that allows you to keep flying like that without refueling."


"Fusion? Like a nuclear reactor."

Oliver paused a bit as he read the meaning of what Gabe meant before replying.

"No, what you are thinking of is nuclear fission. I don't know all the specifics behind it, but I know that what you are thinking about is dirty and leaves all kinds of byproducts that are not good for anyone to be around. Our power plant does not produce any of those byproducts and it gives a whole lot more energy and we pretty much don't run out of it. I think it's based on hydrogen if I remember correctly, but like I said, I don't really know. I just know it works."

"Well I have been shown that you kids have done some pretty remarkable things, so I guess I have to accept this, as well."

"Yep, you'll probably see some more soon enough, so brace yourself."

Gabe was a bit concerned now. Oliver jerked his head at the Medical Suite.

"Any word yet?"

"No, not since they closed the door. But Ian's in there and I've seen him heal someone who was shot, so hopefully they got to him in time."

Tony didn't take any notice of Chase as he walked over to him. He just stared at the opposite wall with his arms crossed over his chest, hugging himself. Chase stopped in front of the boy and touched him gently on the knee. The boy was startled and looked down. His eyes opened wide in surprise for a few moments before he brought his hands up to rub his eyes. When he moved his hands away he looked again.

"You….you're real? What are you?"

"I am just Chase."

"But you….you're not human."

"That is true. I am not entirely human. I am a Human-Ferret hybrid. I was made this way by a bunch of scientists. May I ask you a favor?"

Tony looked at Chase for a few moments, still surprised at this talking ferret person. He remembered the short guy in the black armor and helmet who had rescued all of them. The guy in front of him, at least he thought it was a guy, it was hard to tell since he wasn't wearing his armor. He looked at the…person before him and all he could see was a smiling fur covered face. He could see gentleness in that face and he nodded. Chase's grin got bigger and he quickly climbed up onto Tony's lap. Chase was not heavy at all. It was like having a younger child on his lap. He didn't mean to but for some reason he wanted to put his arms around Chase and hold him. Chase leaned into him and reached up to place his hand on Tony's cheek.

"It will be okay now Tony. You are safe now. They cannot hurt you again. We will not allow it. You will not have anything like that done to you ever again."

"But they…..he hur…..hurt me. He made me…."

"That is correct. He made you do something you did not want to do. He hurt you. You did nothing wrong. Everything the man did was wrong. You are safe from him. He will never hurt you again. He will never hurt anyone again. I made sure of that."

Tony tightened his grip on Chase and lowered his head as he began to cry. Chase put his arms around Tony's neck and rubbed his cheek against Tony's.

"That is good, let it all out. I am here for you. You will be shiny again. I promise."

The two of them held each other for several minutes until Tony began to calm down. When Tony loosened his grip, Chase sat back a little and reached up to wipe the tears from Tony's cheeks. Chase smiled at him.

"You are better now?"

Tony sniffled and gave a little nod.

"A little."

"That is good. You will be better still."

"Do you know what happened to my dads?"

"No. What do you know?"

"We were at home and some guys in suits came to our house and showed my dads their badges. They said that they had broken the law and that it was wrong for people like them to have children around them. Then they arrested them and put me in a car and drove me away. The last that I saw of them was when they were being put into the back of an SUV. They took me to a place and kept me locked in a room, until a couple of soldiers came and took me with them in their truck. Then they brought me to that place and one of the soldiers made me take my clothes off and give them to him. Later that night another soldier took me to a room where a man was waiting. That man made me…go to bed with him."

A few more tears dripped down Tony's face as he remembered that first night he was at the base.

"I know, Tony. Remember that man cannot hurt you or anyone else ever again. I made sure of that."

"You did?"

"Yes, I made sure that he did not have anything left to hurt people with. I cut it off."


Tony hugged Chase again.

"Thank you."

"You are welcome."

Chase cuddled up with Tony.

In the main cabin, the boys had raided their suitcases once everyone got settled, then they helped the kids get warmer clothes and shoes on, since it was a bit cool in the cabin. They didn't disturb Tony and Chase, but set some clothes next to them, so that when Tony was ready he could get into warmer clothes.

Inside the Medical Suite, Jamie watched as his dad's eyes began to blink a couple of times before he opened them.


It took Brett a moment to focus, but then he smiled when he saw his son's face. He reached up and rubbed the back of his hand on Jamie's cheek. Jamie reached up and took his dad's hand in his.

"Are you okay, Dad?"

Brett moved around a little and nodded.

"I think so. I feel a little tired, but other than that, I think I'm okay. What happened?"

"You mean after you got in the way of someone shooting at me."

He looked to the other side and saw Christina standing there. Next to her were Julia and Cheryl. He saw that one of the other young kids who had been with Eve's group, was standing there and next to him was Ian. He smiled at all of them.


"You can thank me by not doing something so stupid again. Our suits protect us."

"Sorry, I'll try to remember, but I can't promise that, I won't fail to do something, when someone threatens my family members."

His disarming smile pulled a little smile from her. Julia called the younger boy Ram nearer. In his hand was some sort of device that he held over Brett and did something on it. Julia and Cheryl looked at it and nodded.

"Well, your vitals look pretty good, but I think we'll keep you here until we get to where we're going. With Ian's and Jamie's help, we were able to heal all of the damage and now it looks like you'll be just fine."

She turned around and pointed at Christina.

"And you, young lady, get back in the bed."

"By the way, Doc. Where are we going? We've been circling over the desert for a while now. We need to find a place for the night."

"Jamie, go to my case. You know which one, and bring me the large accordion folder that has 'Property' written on the outside flap, and bring it here."

Jamie nodded and hugged his dad before leaving the room. Julia pointed at the empty bed and Christina got back in it after she raised the head up a little. Outside everyone looked at him as Jamie left the room.

"How is your dad?"

"He's going to be okay. Scuse me, I gotta get something for him."

They let him through, clapping him on the shoulder as he went by. Jamie located his dad's case and rummaged through it until he found the folder he wanted. He hurried back to Brett's side and handed it to him. While he was gone, Jamie saw that they had raised the head of the bed up, so Brett was a little more comfortable, instead of flat on his back. Brett thanked him and opened it up. He searched through the files until he found what he was looking for. He pulled out a folder and held the paper up.

"Here. We're going to go here. Apparently I own an old lumber mill town. My counterpart apparently bought it when it was for sale and turned it into a mountain vacation resort. He kept several acres separate for himself and had a large house built on the property, separate from the resort."

Christina got up from the bed, ignoring the look that she got from Julia and looked at the paper. It showed a map of the surrounding area. She gave it back and contacted Oliver.

{Hey Ollie.}

{Hey Love.}

{Got a destination for you. Johnsondale, California.}

{Good. Love you.}

{You, too.}

Outside, Oliver looked at Gabe. Gabe had noticed his eyes seemed to unfocus for a few moments.

"Well, it looks like we finally have a destination. You can join me in the cockpit if you like, Colonel."

"Thank you."

The two of them made their way to the cockpit and Oliver sat down in the pilot's seat, while Gabe took the Co-pilot seat.

"Drake. Lay in a new course to Johnsondale, California."

"Scanning. Location found. Plotting course."

"Drake, how long will it take to get to Johnsondale?"

"20 minutes from our present location."

"Very good. Once the course is laid in, return control to me and I will fly us to our new home."

"Acknowledged….course plotted…..controls are transferred."

"Well Colonel, time to head to our home for the night."

Oliver kept them at their present altitude of 300'. Within minutes they could see headlights from the cars on a north-south highway. Ahead of them loomed a mountain range that was over 7000' and Oliver slowed down.

"Drake. Plot new course to keep as low as possible without creating any downdraft to give our position away and make it over those mountains."

"New course plotted. Turn south to Walker Pass; maintain 200' altitude above the ground. Follow Highway 178 through the pass and to Lake Isabella. Turn north and follow the Kern River to Johnsondale."

"Got it, Drake."

Oliver turned south along the highway and by following the course laid out on the map program on the cockpit console, he found the pass and followed the road up to and through the pass. It only took a few minutes and he was at Lake Isabella. A few minutes later, the map program showed that they had arrived. Oliver looked at the monitor and out the windscreen he could see a few lights around some of the buildings below. One of the buildings he noticed was a pretty large house with several smaller buildings around it, that was situated at the south end of the resort. He figured that it was the main house in the area and was probably the place they were looking for. Now the important thing to do was find a big enough space to land, that wasn't too far from the house. He considered a couple of places, but wasn't sure.

"Drake, evaluate these two locations for suitability as an LZ."

He pointed to the touch screen as he pointed out the two locations he had thought would work best to keep them near the house.

"The triangular area between the paved road to the house and the dirt road heading south is the more suitable site."


He keyed the mic.

"Attention everyone. We have arrived, I am setting down near the largest house around. Prepare for landing."

When she heard that announcement, Christina got up from the bed, ignoring the look Julia gave her and went into the main cabin.

{Ollie, hold position while the teams get ready. Ask the Colonel to join me in the main cabin.}

{I await your order, Love.}

She sent him a mental hug before she made her way over to Eve's console, and sat down nearby so that they could talk together.

"What's the situation out there? Anything that we have to worry about?"

"I've been monitoring for any communication devices, especially for anything that sounds like military communications. There is nothing like that around. I have checked the surrounding area using infrared and low light. Nothing out of the ordinary. The large house is empty. There is a smaller house nearby, with two people inside. They appear to be asleep. No apparent combatants in the vicinity."

"Thanks, Eve."

She paused for a moment.

"Look, Eve. I know we didn't get off on the right foot. We were both part of the same experiment. We knew the same people although we didn't have the same experience. You saw a side of our Doctor MacLeod that I didn't see. I will admit that he was not the worst of those that experimented on us, but he did cause my family and me to be hurt in the name of their experiments."

She saw Eve start to bristle as her eyes narrowed. Christina held her hands up.

"I'm sorry. I know he showed a different side to you, but didn't anything that he did to make you what you are cause you any pain or hurt?"

Eve didn't say anything for a few moments as she thought of some of the training that they had gone through.

"They told us it was necessary to make us strong enough to protect the country. That it would save many lives, once we had passed all the tests and joined the elite forces. That is what we were trained to do. We were getting ready to show what we could do, so that we could become the elite force that Da….Doctor MacLeod wanted us to be."

"I know. They told us the same thing and that is not what I am asking. I'm asking if you were ever hurt during your training in some way that seemed unfair, or random or for no reason at all?"

Again Eve said nothing. She remembered the collars that all had to wear that could deliver a powerful shock and could even kill. Eventually she gave a slight nod.

"The collars."


"All of us had to wear collars that could be used to keep us from going out of control. There was one of us that went wild once and killed several of the project members before he was killed. Soon after that, they fitted us with the collars. They demonstrated what they could do to us with them. It hurt a lot, but they told us, it was necessary and used the example of the one who had killed several people as to why we needed to wear them. If one of us went crazy like he did, they needed to be able to stop him before he killed others. We were ordered to wear them and we are soldiers. We follow orders. Before Doctor MacLeod died he gave me the codes I needed to release us from the collars, so that we could be free. At the end, he told me that he….loved me."

"I get that from how you have reacted to anything negative about him. I can't bring myself to agree with your view of the one that we both knew, but seeing this version of him that is here with us, I can see the possibility that he could have been that way in different circumstances. You said you did this and took the pain and hurt, because you wanted to help others. That is what the Unit stands for. Helping others. We don't want what happened to those kids we rescued from the base, to happen to any other innocents. That is what we do. All of us that are in the Unit, those like us and those who are not, work together to keep others safe. All of us would willingly give our lives to save these innocent kids and some of us have, as you well know. From what I've seen, you were trained the same way. I know I can't convince you of everything I'm saying, but please talk to Adam and Logan. Even if they can't convince you, I want you to think of something else. Both of us have lost close family members. I want to ask if you and your family will join with mine. I think we make a good team and we complement each other. Besides, we are strangers in a strange land."

"I will think on what you have said, Captain…."

"Christina or Chris. If we're going to be family, I'd rather that you call me the same as the others in my family."

"Very well…Chris. I will think of what you said and I will talk to Adam and Logan before I make a final decision."

Christina touched her on the arm and smiled.

"Thanks, and until you do make your decision, will you continue to oversee command and control for us. Your training makes you invaluable for that, at least until you can get back on your feet."

Eve's face darkened a little at the mention of her current disability, but she let it go and nodded.

"I will and my family members will work with you and accept your command until we make a final decision, because although I am the team leader, I will not make this decision without talking to my family first."

"That's all I ask. I want you to join us, but I want it to be because you want to. You can't force someone to be a family. They have to want to be a family. I'm going to go get the troops moving. It's late, it's been a very long day and I'm sure some of these squishys might be starting to feel a little worn by now."

Chris got up and headed for the main cabin. She stopped at the entrance and looked back at Eve.

"Thanks, Eve. You are good at what you do. I hope that you will join my family. We need you guys."

Christina turned away and entered into the main cabin while Eve silently stared at the computer display in front of her. She was startled from her reverie by a voice in her headset.

"You know she's right. We all need you and your family."

The monitor in front of her suddenly changed and she saw Sean's face on the screen.

"How did you do that?"

"Oh, I've been working with Drake and he showed me everything there is to know about Dragon. This was simple. Anyway, I hope you will choose to join the family. Ollie, Rio and Chase are my brothers and Chris is my sister and we can always use some more brothers and sisters. Especially ones that can kick ass like you guys. I would be proud to call you family."

Eve was quiet for a moment before she growled at him to hide what she was feeling.

"Sean, get off my computer and get back to work. I have work to do and I'm sure you can find something to do."

Sean grinned; then he winked out and her display was restored. She glanced over her shoulder to where Sean was sitting and she could see him making gestures as his display changed and he continued doing what he had been doing.

As Christina entered the main cabin, she issued her orders.

"Colonel, could you have one of your men man the left side .50 cal. Rio, will continue to man the right side .50 cal. Jamil, get the Minigun set up and ready. Apollo, Fiona, Aleks, when the ramp is down, form a security perimeter and await orders to move out and secure the site. Colonel, please have the rest of your men back them up. Eve will continue in the C3 position until we have secured the site. Chase, scout ahead and make sure there is nothing out there we have to worry about. Eve says there's nothing out there to worry about, but I just want to get some boots on the ground to make sure."

She looked at Josh and his brothers; Jamie was still in the Medical Suite with his dad.

"I need you guys to stay here and protect everyone."

No one questioned her; they just carried out the orders. Weapons were checked and they formed up, ready to move out. Chase gave Tony one last hug and then went to get his equipment. Once he was back and ready to go, she contacted Oliver.

{Okay Ollie, bring us in.}


Oliver centered Dragon above the area that he had selected and landed with a gentle bump. Jamil turned the bright interior lights off and turned the red lights on before he hit the ramp control as soon as they touched down. As the ramp was lowering, he immediately started getting the Minigun into position and ready for action. The .50 cals on either side were manned and ready. The Genesis kids and Brett's security team went down the ramp and fanned out to establish a security perimeter. Chase moved out and disappeared into the darkness to scout out the area. Christina came over to crouch beside Jamil at the Minigun, scanning the darkness around the helicopter as they waited for Chase to return.

As the rotors slowed down and came to a stop, the sounds of the surrounding wilderness slowly began to return. It seemed like a long time, but it was only a few minutes later that Chase was back and he went to Christina to give his report.

"Nothing out there, Chris….tina. Um, Captain."

Christina knew what he had been about to say and gave him a look. Chase gave her an apologetic smile.


"Thank you, Chase."

She stood up and moved back into the main cabin and into the Medical Suite. Brett was sitting up with Ram, Ian and Jamie next to him. Julia and Cheryl were looking at the readings from the tricorder that Ram held.

"Okay, it looks like we're safe. Do you have a key to the house, Doc?"

"No, but there should be some caretakers living on the property. They should have the keys to the main house."

"Okay, I'll send the Colonel over to the house to get the keys and we can start getting everyone comfortable. One other thing, I hope that this place is stocked, there is going to be a lot of hungry people. We've found that using our mental abilities uses up a lot of energy and they're going to need to replenish that energy by eating."

"I've noticed the loss of energy and the boys have gotten tired when they've done it, but I haven't noticed them being hungrier than normal."

He looked at Jamie and Ian.

"Did you notice anything different?"

"Well I am hungry, but I don't know if it's because of what she's talking about or if it's just because it's been a long time since we ate anything."

"It probably would be a good idea to get you guys fed before you go to sleep. We wouldn't want anyone to go to bed with an empty stomach."

He turned his attention back to Christina.

"I don't know if the house is stocked. Hopefully it is. Otherwise, we'll need to send someone to the nearest town for supplies."

"Well if worst comes to worst, we have MRE's on the helicopter, but I think we would prefer to have some real food if at all possible."

She left the room.

"I'll carry you to the house, Dad."

"No, I think I can make it with…."

He had started to get up, but Cheryl put her hand on his shoulder and shook her head.

"No you won't. I think letting Jamie carry you is the best idea. I can't stop Christina from getting up and frankly she does look okay, but you aren't like her. Jamie will carry you up, Doctor's orders."

Brett nodded when he saw the look on her face. Jamie lifted him up and floated him out of the room. Inside the main cabin there was activity as everyone got ready to depart. Oliver had told Drake to maintain the stealth once they all left, so that no one could see Dragon unless they entered the bubble. All of Brett's friends were happy to see him. Ram and Cheryl stayed by Brett's side as he was moved. Christina had been joined by Oliver, now, and he had Eve floating alongside of him. She smiled a little when she saw Brett.

"I'm glad you're okay, Doctor."

"Thank you, Eve. Are you feeling okay?"

"Yes, there is no pain, just a strange feeling in my lower back, but I still can't move my legs."

"Just have patience, Eve. You'll be better soon enough according to what Christina has told us. With the pico bots and all."

Eve didn't say anything, she just nodded.

"Let's move out, people. Chase, lead the way. Apollo, Fiona, Aleks, Jamil, and Rio. You are the first line. Colonel, your men form the second line. Everyone else follow along behind. For now, let's get to the house, it's pretty cold outside right now and we don't want to be out here any longer than we have to. Colonel, could you get the house keys from the caretakers and meet us at the main house. Once we are out of Dragon, button it up Drake."

"Acknowledged, Christina."

There were no questions, so they got moving. There wasn't a lot of light from the moon so they had to move carefully. There were a couple of outside lights near the buildings that gave a little bit of surrounding light, so it wasn't quite pitch black. Gabe trotted off to the caretakers' home while everyone else continued up to the main house.

Gabe had to knock twice on the door before he heard movement inside. The light came on and a man who looked to be around Gabe's age came to the door. The man looked Gabe up and down, noticing his dirty and stained clothes. He also noticed the gun over Gabe's shoulder and his eyes widened and he tried to shut the door, but Gabe put his foot in the way.

"Kari, call the sheriff, there's some crazy mountain man out here with a gun. Probably one of those survivalist people, what with all the craziness going on around here today."

"Sir, you don't need to do that. I'm here with Doctor MacLeod. He sent me over here to get the house keys."

The man quit trying to keep the door closed and stepped back to let Gabe in.

"You're with Doctor MacLeod?"

"Yes, he's up at the main house and needs the keys."

"Kari, forget about calling the sheriff, he's with Doctor MacLeod. Okay, just a minute and I'll get them and come up to the house with you. I'll be right back."

"If you could just give them to me and we'll let ourselves in."

"It's no bother. It's my job, after all."

The man went back further into the house and Gabe had to stand there tapping his toes. The man came back to the front room. He had thrown on his pants, boots and a jacket. He had a ring of keys in his hands and gestured for Gabe to precede him.

"I'll be back in a few minutes, Kari, you can head back to bed."

"Okay Irvin. Say hello to Doctor MacLeod for me and tell him I'll see him in the morning."


Irvin closed the door and started towards the house, fumbling with the key ring searching for the correct keys. He looked at Gabe again, noting the clothes and the gun.

"Doctor MacLeod is a bit early, but I guess with everything that's going on, I shouldn't be surprised. Did you guys run into some trouble?"

Gabe nodded.

"Yeah, some. The earthquake caused a lot of damage at the Big Bear house, so he thought it would be better to be here. Did you folks get much damage here?"

"Not too much. There was some rocking and rolling and things fell down, but not too bad. We checked the house earlier and we straightened everything up and cleaned up some of the broken things, but we're okay out here. No one reported any major damage in any of the cabins."


"You know the vacation cabins. We don't have too many people here right now, but a few of the cabins have people staying in them."

Gabe filed that information away for later discussion. As the front of the house came into view, Gabe realized Irvin was no longer standing next to him. He stopped and looked behind him. Irvin was standing there with a shocked expression on his face. Gabe wondered what he was looking at and realized what the man was seeing. There were men and kids armed with military weapons, some of the kids were in military uniforms and everyone's guns were up and at the ready. Behind them, closer to the front door was the large number of civilians. Pretty much everyone in the group was in dirty and stained clothes and looked like they had been working on a farm or construction site all day. Gabe looked at Irvin again and walked over to him. He placed his hand on Irvin's elbow.

"C'mon Irvin, we need to get everyone inside."

"But, but, who are all these people and what the hell happened."

Gabe thought about what to say, because he didn't know where Irvin's sympathy's lay, but he figured that if he worked for this universe's version of Brett, then he probably was safe, so he decided to tell him at least some of the truth.

"These are our family members Irvin, Brett's family, and apparently President Ashwood doesn't like your boss very much, since he tried to have him and our entire family killed earlier today. He sent a group of soldiers and convicts after us. We were luckily able to escape and come up here. But it's been a real long day and we really need to get everyone inside."

When Gabe had mentioned Ashwood, he saw the disgust on Irvin's face and that is why he felt safe to tell him about the attempt to kill Brett. Irvin nodded.

"That son of a bitch."

Irvin looked at everyone and saw the younger kids, some of whom were rubbing their arms as they tried to warm up a little in the cold night air.

"Of course, let's get you folks inside where it's warmer. It's a bit too cold for these kids to be outside."

He put action to his words and made his way through the group. He did eye all the weapons that were being carried, especially those carried by the kids in the group, but he didn't say anything about them. Jamie had set his dad down so that he was standing, although he was using his gift to support his dad. Brett had a blanket wrapped around his shoulders, since his shirt had been cut off of him. Christina was holding Eve in her arms, but kept hidden behind some of the others so that there would be less questions. Irvin smiled when he got to the front door and saw Brett.

"Hey, Doc. Just give me a second and I'll get you in the house. We've made sure the propane tank is filled up and everything is ready. Unfortunately a few small things, lamps, picture frame glass, some dishes and such, were broken in the earthquake, but luckily nothing major. Kari and I cleaned it up earlier. We put everything, but the dishes and the glassware that broke, in the dining room so you can decide what you want to do with it. You know, get it repaired or whatever. I'd planned on going down to Kernville tomorrow to see if I can get some of the glass replaced in those frames that were broken."

"Thanks. I'm sure that will be fine."

Irvin smiled as he unlocked and opened the door. He led the way in and the others filed in.

"It's a little chilly because we didn't know you would be here today, so we didn't turn the heat on, but I'll go take care of that right now. Before you know it, you'll be warm and toasty."

"Um, thanks a lot…."

Gabe whispered something in Brett's ear.

"Thanks Irvin. You've been very kind."

Irvin gave Brett a grin and a little salute.

"No problem Doc. All part of the job. I'll just go turn the heater on for you while you folks get settled."

Irvin turned away and once he was out of sight, Jamie lifted his dad up and floated him over to a chair, while Christina did the same for Eve. The others entered the house and began to go into the large living room nearby. They heard Irvin coming back to the room. He walked over to the wall and made an adjustment on the thermostat before turning to face Brett.

"Well, that should do it. It should start to get warmer in here in just a little bit. Since we were expecting you early next week, we have the kitchen stocked, although we are a little short on things like milk and that kind of thing. We got some yesterday so that you had something to start with, when you came up here this weekend. I can make a trip down to Kernville and get some more if you'd like. I think we'll be okay for a short time, but we didn't plan for this many people, so we'll probably need to make a trip to town to get more food. I'll let the staff know that you are here in the morning, so you should have some more help tomorrow."

"Thanks again for getting everything ready, Irvin. Why don't you head back home, I'm sorry if we got you out of bed. I think we can take it from here. You can give the keys to Gabe. He'll see you out."

"Okay. Well I'm glad you're alright Doc. It's good to see you again."

Irvin handed the keys to Gabe and the two of them walked to the door. They exchanged handshakes and Gabe shut the door behind him. Once he was gone, several of them couldn't help but smile.

"Well I was told that some of you may be a bit hungry."

"A bit? More like a lot? Using our gifts makes us very hungry and those of us that got kinda percolated, need a bit more, cuz our bodies have been working hard to heal up a bit. So what do you got in this dump?"

"Well Rio, I don't know, since I've never been here before. Maybe if you ask real nice, someone might go into the kitchen and check."

Rio got up from where he was sitting on the floor and walked over to Eric and then used the most dangerous weapon any child, boy or girl can use against most adults, the dreaded puppy-dog eyes.

"Sir? Do you think, maybe, that, there might be some small scrap or morsel of food, that might be had, for a small starving child, sir?"

Eric looked down at Rio and tried to maintain a stern look, but somehow Rio increased the power on his puppy-dog eyes and Eric busted out laughing. He reached down and quickly picked the 13 year-old up and held him tight.

"Ow, ow. Hey, did you forget that I've been shot, don't squeeze so hard."

Eric was concerned and started to put him back down, but he saw the look on Rio's face. There was a mischievous glint in his eyes, now that the puppy- dog eyes weren't being used against him.

"Faker. You're not hurt."

"Well not exactly. You know I did get shot."

"Yeah, I know. I was there."

"Can we go check for that morsel of food?"

Eric hugged him again, only this time a little more gently and then set him down before heading to the kitchen. Rio reached over and took Eric's hand as they started searching for the kitchen. Eric felt someone take his other hand and looked to his other side where Josh was smiling at him. Behind them came several other adults and some of the kids as well. Once they found the kitchen, the adults shooed the kids out of the way, so that they could get some food put together.

Once the adults got the kids out of the kitchen, they started looking everywhere and found pasta, Italian sausage, ground beef, tomatoes, garlic, bread, etc. It was all the necessary ingredients needed to make enough spaghetti to feed this small army. They got to work and within minutes there was a big pot of sauce going on the stove. While the spaghetti was cooking, they found some chips and drinks that should keep the kids occupied until dinner was ready.

While the meal was cooking, Brett told everyone else to take a look around the place and find out where they could clean up and sleep. It was going to be about an hour before they could eat, so the thought of being able to be clean brought some smiles to most of them. One of the first things that they needed though was their things from the helicopter, so with Oliver leading them, they went out to get the suitcases. Oliver contacted Drake and told him to lower the ramp and there was soon a line of adults and kids going in and then leaving with suitcases and bags in hand.

In the house, it was decided that the kids could get cleaned up first. Nearly all of them decided to save water by showering together, once they saw how big the showers were. They were all big enough for three or four of the kids to clean up together, with multiple showerheads. By the time dinner was ready, the kids were cleaned up. Christina assisted Eve, Jamie and his brothers, shared their extra clothes with the others, what they could, so that everyone had clean clothes. The adults shared some of their clothes so that the older teens had clean clothes as well. The dirty clothes were gathered together and brought to the laundry room. The washer and dryer in there were large industrial ones, so they could wash a large amount of clothes at a time.

Dinner was served. Jamie and the others who had used their gifts found out that Rio was right, as soon as they started eating; they realized how hungry they really were. Luckily for them, plenty of food had been made and there were plenty of bloated bellies when dinner was over.

While the adults cleaned up, the kids explored a little more and Chase was the one that found what they were looking for. There was a large recreation room in one part of the house. He reported what he found to Christina. She went into the living room where the adults and several of the kids were relaxing after their showers and went over to Brett.

"Brett. We're going to take all of the kids with us and make a nest."

"A nest."

"Yeah, it's kind of a Unit tradition. Whenever we rescue kids, we've found that if we all sleep together, most of the time it gives comfort to the rescued kids and it does the same for the rest of us. I think that after what happened today, there are going to be some kids that will need comforting."

"Where do you make this nest?"

"If you don't mind, I can explain it quicker than telling you, if you'll let me do it mind to mind."

Brett was hesitant but he trusted her, so he nodded. Christina placed her hands on his head and gave him a quick glimpse of what a nest is.

He was shocked for a moment.

"You really do that just like that and everyone's okay with it?"

"Pretty much. Some are a little nervous at first, but you'll find that most of them find it very comforting to be like that with a bunch of other kids."

"Well, if you say it will help them, then I say go for it. Is there anything you need from us?"

"Yeah, don't come into the room until tomorrow morning. We'll take care of the rest. We're going to close the door once we're in the room and since the room has a bathroom attached to it, we won't be out until the morning, except for those on watch."

"On watch?"

"Yes. We are apparently safe here, but you thought you were safe where you were and the tyrant Ashwood still attacked you. I would prefer to have a watch."

"I'm sure Gabe will be glad to have some of his men keep watch. You kids have done enough for today. You should get some rest, especially you."

"Don't take this wrong, but they're squishys, like the rest of you."


"That's what we call you guys. Those of you that aren't one of us, Genesis kids. Because, you're squishy and we aren't. We're stronger, our reflexes are faster and we can actually stay awake for a few days. So we'll keep watch. The rest of you should rest. We'll sound the alarm if someone comes."

Brett nodded and Christina got her people together and told them what the plans were for the watches. Then they made sure they knew where the adults were going to sleep before they started raiding bedrooms for extra mattresses and blankets. They raided couch and seat cushions as well, and the linen closets for sheets and blankets. Once she and the other Unit and Genesis kids had everything ready, they gathered all of the kids together, sometimes having to carry some of the youngest ones, because they were falling asleep, and brought them into the rec room. Christina carried Eve into the room. The floor was covered in mattresses, cushions, sheets and blankets and the furniture was moved to the sides of the room. She looked at them.

"This is a tradition in the Unit. Whenever we've rescued other kids and a lot of times, because we want to, we sleep together in what we call a nest. There is one other thing about this. The nest is clothing optional. That means you can wear as little including nothing at all, to as much as you want. The important thing is to be together and get comfort from each other. If any of you don't want to do this, we understand, but please trust me, you are all important to me and I think you'll find you will get some comfort from this."

"You mean, everyone's going to be naked?"

"That's up to each person. Sometimes the first time for some people, they keep their underwear or shorts on. But usually by the morning, very few are still wearing anything. But we're not forcing you and telling you that you have to. I'm just asking you to try it."

The four 8 year-olds didn't say anything, they just started taking their clothes off until they were naked. Christina just smiled at them and went over to the wall, where the lights were on a dimmer switch and she lowered the lights until there was only a very low light. She and the rest of her team soon had their clothes off. Jamie and his brothers were hesitant, but after looking at each other for a moment, they joined in. The most hesitant were the rescued kids. Chase noticed that and went over to Tony. He had already shed his clothing and everyone could see that he was covered in fur. He took Tony's hand and gave him a friendly smile.

"I will stay with you. You are safe here."

" one will do….anything to me?"

"No, they will not. It is just us and we would never do that to anyone."

Tony looked at Chase, who smiled at him and he gave him an answering smile and began to take his clothes off as well. This seemed to be the signal to the other rescued kids and soon everyone was slipping under the blankets and sheets and cuddling up together. The younger ones gravitated to the older kids, wanting the comfort of a brother or sister. The rescued kids cuddled up with some of their rescuers and the older kids held them close and those that were empathic pushed feelings of love and caring to them. Most of them released everything that they had been holding in and cried in the arms of their rescuers. The events of the last few hours overwhelmed them and they were soon asleep. Christina was laying there with one of the rescued kids, it was Sara, the sister of Tim, in her arms. The young girl was asleep and it looked like she would be okay now.

{Logan, can you hear me?}

{Hi Chris. Is everything okay?}

{Yeah. We're safe now.}

{Good. Where are you, now?}

{This universe's Brett appears to have owned some properties and we're in a mountain vacation resort that he owns that used to be an old lumber town. Johnsondale, California.}

{Wait one…..Got it.}

{We're in the big house, west of the large pond.}

{Okay. Any injuries?}

{Yeah, Brett, Doctor MacLeod, jumped in front of some bullets meant for me. He forgot that they wouldn't get through my armor and hurt me.}

{How is he?}

{He'll be okay. One of their kids, Ian took care of it. He's pretty amazing. I saw him at work. He brought Brett from the brink of death. Brett took three in the chest and abdomen. I thought he might not make it, but he did. I had to give him some of my blood.}

{Have you told him what it will do to him?}

{No, not yet.}

{Okay, and the kids you rescued?}

{I think they'll be okay. All of them except a boy named Tim and his sister Sara may be able to be reunited with their parents. Tim and Sara's parents were killed in front of them, so they know that they have no parents left. Maybe some grandparents nearby or other relatives.}

{I'll see what we can find out about the others parents. We'll figure out something for Tim and Sara. Good job Captain. We'll see you on Saturday.}

{So you guys are coming?}

{Yeah, the core team will be there, except for Juan. He's still a bit laid up. A .50 cal bullet did a number on him and he's still recuperating. We have some other things that need to be taken care of first, otherwise we'd be there tomorrow.}

{Cool, see you Saturday then..}


Christina felt Logan end the connection. She found that it was harder than she remembered to hold a long distance communication link open like that. Luckily it was with Logan or she may not have been able to do it. Well nothing to worry about now. Time to get some sleep. The first watch got their armor and helmets on, made sure they were locked and loaded and headed out to stand their post.

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