Castle Roland

Changing Connections

by Eric Aune

In Progress

Chapter 10

Published: 8 Apr 14

Changing Connections

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

All Rights Reserved

Changing Connections LogoEveryone was exhausted, so sleep came easily. There were plenty of rooms in the house for everyone. After all of the kids had left the room, Brett told everyone what they were doing. There were some objections, but he told them what Christina told him about how it helped in the past. Logan's mother Stephanie, with her background as a psychologist made the connection that the closeness of all of the kids being together tonight, may help them cope with what they had been through today and over the past few days. It would be similar to a litter of pups or kittens curling up together to get comfort and warmth from each other as they bonded and became closer. The younger ones would get that comfort from the older kids, who were closer to their age, instead of the adults. She believed that it was actually a very good idea and voiced that opinion. This seemed to get the others to accept the idea as well. Brett figured that even if there had continued to be objections, Christina was going to do it anyway, so they may as well just go along with it.

The adults had found that Brett had a good selection of wines and other spirits in the house. They opened a couple of the bottles of wine and sat around to talk for a little while before heading off to bed. As the adults began to drift off to choose a bedroom where they would sleep, Julia told her husband that she would stay with Sean's mom that night. Julia could tell that she was feeling a little lost and probably wouldn't want to be alone that night. So the two of them left to find a bedroom. Dylan and Ethan's dads sat over in a corner and talked, reminiscing about their mutual loss. Once the adults had found where they would be sleeping that night, they returned to the living room to sit together for a little while longer to relax, before going to bed. About an hour later the adults slowly began to leave the room and headed to bed.

Gabe and Brett were sitting together discussing some plans when a couple of the Unit kids went by in full armor and weapons. Gabe looked up at the kids going by and looked at Brett.

"Where are they going?"

"On watch."

"We can't let them do that Brett. Those kids, and they are kids, just fought and some of them died today protecting us. We need to let them rest. My men and I will take watch instead."

Gabe started to get up so that he could put his plan in action, but Brett stopped him with a hand on his arm.


Gabe looked down and Brett shook his head.

"Don't Gabe. Just don't. Christina told me a few things. You already know how remarkable those kids are. One of the things she told me is that they can stay awake and at full combat readiness for a few days before they absolutely have to rest. Because of how they were trained and what they have been through, they don't have much trust in adults to watch over them and protect them. I think they trust us, at least a little, even if we are squishys."


"That's what they call us, squishys. Anyone who is not one of them, or was not one of those that were genetically enhanced and went through the training that they did, is a squishy, because we can be squished a lot easier than they can."

"I don't think I'm particularly squishy."

"I suppose you could challenge one of them. I saw Chase in action, he may be less than four feet tall, but I saw him take down several prisoners and a soldier, and he disarmed Julia and me of the shotguns that we were going to use to help him. He said that we would be more dangerous to him than the attackers. He did that without really trying, and did it all in about a minute or so. I doubt that you can even come close, not even George and he's the closest we've got to having someone trained like Chase. Eric told me that when they met Christina on the trail, she walked over and punched a tree and broke it off, and then followed that up by easily pushing it to the side, so it wouldn't hurt anyone when it fell. Then of course there's Rio. The kids with him were killed by grenades and .50 caliber gunfire and he was seriously wounded, but he still was able to get up and attack those soldiers and prisoners who were trying to flank your men and he killed something like twenty men, nearly all by himself, and nearly dying in the process. Look at him now, he's up and moving around and he's able to fight. I think they have it right. We're squishy. They aren't."

Gabe stood there for a few moments more before he nodded.

"Okay, but my guys are standing watch as well."

Brett nodded.

"She said that they wouldn't mind. I think as long as you stay out of her way, she doesn't mind."

"Well another set of eyes, won't hurt. I'll get it set up. Since there are only a few of us, I'll send one man out to stand watch with the kids."

Brett nodded and Gabe went over to gather his men together to let them know what the plans were. They split themselves up into watches for the night. Gabe went over to the wet bar and poured himself a scotch then rejoined Brett.

"It's a helluva thing for a bunch of kids to out fight you."

"Yeah Gabe, but what a helluva bunch of kids."

They clinked glasses and sat there silently drinking to all of the kids.

George had his M4 in his hand as he moved outside to take his watch. He moved away from the light over the door, so that he could allow his eyes to adjust, so that his night vision was working. He moved forward to a line of trees and crouched down. He had just settled down when he felt something prod him in the back.

"You're breathing too loud, Captain."

George looked around and caught a glimpse of Rio's grin, before the boy put his helmet back on and slipped into the darkness. He had heard nothing and George prided himself on how quiet he could be when he was scouting. He could only shake his head in amazement at what these kids could do. He only wished that they did not have to do this, but he knew that when someone like this Ashwood fellow was in charge, they wouldn't be the first kids who would end up in the fight and those that had fallen today, would probably not be the last to fall. His biggest fear was that it might be one of their kids who might be one of those that could fall, and he included the Unit and Genesis kids as one of their kids. They earned the right to be part of the family and he would stand by those kids, because they were his kids, too. It appeared that there was going to be some fighting and he had a feeling that they would be in the middle of at least some piece of it, small or large it may be, but a piece of it.

In the nest, there were occasional quiet cries from some of the kids because of nightmares caused by what they had experienced. Whoever was closest to that child, gravitated to the crying child and comforted them. The youngest boys seemed to be the ones that were least affected and they curled up in their older brothers arms and went right to sleep, usually sandwiched by their older brother and his boyfriend. The two older boys who had lost their little brothers during the attack, moved closer to their boyfriends, so that they could help comfort the younger boys that had just seen too much today. By doing this they were able to draw some comfort themselves as they grieved for their lost little brothers.

Chris and Oliver exchanged smiles above Sara's head where she was nestled in Chris' arms. Sleeping next to Oliver was Tim. Earlier when Sara had gravitated to Chris, Tim had followed, so that he could stay close to his little sister. He saw Sara cuddle up to Chris and he looked at Oliver. He was nervous and Oliver could see that, so he reached his hand up to Tim. Tim looked down at Oliver and a moment later he smiled as Oliver gave his hand a gentle tug. He lay down next to Oliver and started to reach across to let his arm rest on Oliver's stomach, but quickly pulled it back, afraid to go too far. Oliver didn't let his hand go far, before gently taking his hand and pulling Tim closer to him. Tim gave him a grateful smile and scooted up enough so that he could lay his head on Oliver's shoulder and let his arm lay across Oliver. He brought his arms around Tim and held him close. Tim looked at him and then closed his eyes with a little sigh. Oliver felt Tim relax completely as he hooked a leg over Oliver's. Oliver looked over at Chris who was gently stroking Sara's hair as she slept. They smiled at each other and reached out to join hands before closing their eyes.

The only time anyone woke up during the night, was when the guard was changed. The Unit and Genesis kids didn't change watches as often as Gabe's team. Gabe had his men take two hour watches, while the UNIT kids, split the night watch in half. After Rio and Apollo finished, they were replaced, by Chase and Jamil. The guards were there only as a precaution. They didn't expect there to be any problems, but with the UNIT, you always tried to have a plan B, just in case. The night was as quiet as they expected it to be, and only the sounds of the night animals, intruded on the silence.

The next morning the kids probably would have wanted to sleep longer, but nature made its presence known to them and more and more of the kids began to get up to use the bathroom before coming back to the nest to snuggle up close with each other and try to sneak in a little more sleep. Christina got up to help Eve and turned Sara over to Oliver. When they finished in the bathroom, she helped Eve dress and then got dressed herself. Oliver came awake when Chris started moving and handed Sara over to his care. He now had Tim on one side and Sara on the other. The brother and sister unconsciously had clasped hands across Oliver's chest as they slept. Once Chris had helped Eve get ready for the morning, Oliver carefully wiggled out from between the two younger kids and got himself ready for the day. As more and more of them woke up, they began to get up and get dressed as well, ready for what the day might bring.

Once everyone was dressed in the mixture of clothes that they had gotten from Jamie and his brothers, they left the room and the first thing that got their attention was the smell of bacon cooking. That definitely got their attention and they let their noses lead them. In the dining room, they were greeted by the adults. Everyone was hugged, whether the kid being hugged was theirs or not, all of them were treated the same way, as family. The rescued kids were a little nervous about it at first, but they began to relax as they saw all of the other kids getting hugs from the adults. Even the UNIT and Genesis kids were hugged. Chase went around getting and giving hugs from and to everyone. Rio made sure he sought out Eric to get a hug from him. Tim and Sara stuck close to Christina and Oliver. Brett had Christina set Eve down near him so they could talk while they ate. Oliver and Aleksandra took over the watch in the morning, to replace Chase and Jamil. Jim joined them on watch replacing Doc. As everyone began to finish up with their breakfast, Brett stood up to get their attention.

"Good Morning, everyone. I hope all of you had a well-deserved rest. Yesterday was a difficult day for all of us. First we find out that somehow we seemed to have been transported from our worlds or universes or wherever, to this universe."

This got some surprised looks from the rescued kids and their heads were swiveling around looking at everyone at the table. Their faces showed a mixture of surprise, wonder and even a little fear. Brett turned his attention to that as soon as he noticed it and he talked directly to them.

"Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot, you didn't know. Please don't be afraid of us. I swear to you, we are just like you."

"So you're not aliens?"

It was Tim who spoke while looking at Chase particularly. Brett noticed his look and shook his head.

"No we're not. We're just regular people, some of us have some extra abilities, but just like you, we can be hurt and killed. Unfortunately, that became all too apparent yesterday, when several members of our extended family were killed when former President Ashwood, who is sitting in the White House, decided to try to kill us."

"When they took us from our homes, they told us that he was the one who ordered us taken from our parents."

"From what we've found out, you're right. It was probably under his orders. It appears that he does not like anyone who does not believe in the same narrow minded religious dogma that he believes in and one of those beliefs is that being gay is wrong. We don't believe that and neither does Jack Bryce, or rather President Bryce, since he won the election by a landslide."

"So….so that Ashwood guy, told those police guys to k….kill my…our dads?"

Brett saw Tim's face crumple and he went over to him, but Chris was right there and she pulled him to her and put her arms around both Tim and Sara, as both of them began to cry. Brett put his hand on Tim's back and rubbed it as he tried to help comfort the boy. He looked at Chris.

"Tim. His name is Tim."

Brett nodded.

"Tim. I promise you, that we will do everything we can to help you. Somehow, we'll try to get in touch with President Bryce and let him know what happened. We'll make sure you're taken care of."

He looked at the other rescued kids.

"I hate to ask this, but I really need to know. Do any of the rest of you know anything about what happened to your parents?"

He saw everyone else shaking their heads no.

"Were all of your parents gay?"

This time all of them nodded their heads yes.

"Were you taken from your parents' home?"

"Yeah, they arrested my moms and put me in a different car and drove me away from them. I don't know what happened to them. I haven't seen or heard from them since then."

This seemed to be what the rest of the kids were saying as well.

"Okay, that may be something we can work on. Maybe President Bryce can help us find out about what happened to your parents and we can get you back together with them. I'm sure that he is working with the governor of California and we'll be able to find out where your parents are."

That seemed to bring hopeful looks on the faces of the rescued kids and Brett smiled at them. Unfortunately it would not help Tim and Sara.

"I know you don't know me, but I give you my word, we all will do everything we can to reunite you with your families. It doesn't matter what I need to do to make that happen, I will, make it happen. Now as to the other thing I mentioned earlier. We really are not from here, this Earth. We are from a different version of Earth. I know it's really weird sounding and probably very hard to believe, but since I see no way for us to get back to where we are from, we're going to do what we need to do, to make this our home now. Just remember for the most part, we are just like you guys. You have seen some things that seem really weird, like Chase. Not that you're weird, Chase, but you have to admit, that there are not too many of you around."

"Of course not. I am the only Chase Casey there is."

"Yeah, you're unique and I am really glad that you are here with us, don't ever doubt that."

Chase beamed at his words and came over to give Brett a quick hug. He also patted Tim on the back.

"Do not worry Timmy. We will help you. Chrissy and Ollie are really good. They will take care of you."


There was a tone of warning in her voice.

"Oh, sorry, Christina. I keep forgetting."

Chase smiled at her and then went back to his seat next to Tony. Tim and Sara were beginning to calm down now, but they chose to keep sitting with Chris. Brett stood back up from where he was crouching and he had to put his hand down to steady himself. The others looked at him and he shook his head a little. Jamie got up and went over to his dad.

"Are you okay?"

Brett smiled at his son and tousled his hair.

"Yeah, I guess I still need to take it easy because of yesterday, I just got a little lightheaded when I stood up."

Jamie helped Brett back to the head of the table where he sat down before continuing.

"So, the first thing we need to do is try to get in touch with President Bryce and see if he has someone who can help us find where your parents are. Tim, are there any uncles or grandparents or other family members that we can contact?"

Tim shook his head.

"Our dads were all we had. They adopted us six years ago when I was six and Sara was four."

"Okay. We'll worry about that later, but you don't need to worry about it. That's our job. You will be taken care of no matter what. So we'll try to get in touch with President Bryce today. I figure that Sean can probably find us some way to contact him."

"Brett, I wouldn't worry about that. You should know that we're going to have visitors tomorrow. Those visitors are in contact and working with President Bryce."

"Who are you expecting?"

"It will be Adam and the command team from the UNIT."

{Should we tell them about Khan?}

Christina smiled and looked over at Rio and shook her head.

{Nah, let's give the squishys a surprise.}

Rio giggled which got Brett's attention.


"Nothing, sir."

Brett looked at him, but Rio tried to show an innocent face, but the mischievous look ruined that. He shook his head and looked away.

"Why am I getting an uneasy feeling about another shoe?"

"No reason at all. It must be your imagination, sir."

Brett gave Rio one last look before looking back at Christina. He noticed that she also had a small grin on her face.

"I don't suppose you would like to add anything, young lady?"

Christina furrowed her brow as she looked up, as if thinking about whether there was anything she forgot to add, before shaking her head as she tried to keep a full blown grin off her face.

"No, sir, nothing here either."

"Hmmph. Well then, other than whatever you two are smirking about, do you know when they will be here?"

"No sir, but it will probably be some time tomorrow morning. Logan told me last night that they would see us on Saturday morning. They would have come here today, but they have a lot of things to get done first."

"I'm guessing that they will be flying in?"

She nodded.

"Okay, then we should take care of a few things before our visitors arrive tomorrow. We should probably see about washing clothes, since we don't have very many right now. We'll need to see about buying more food and at some point we'll need to get more clothes for everyone since we only have what was in the suitcases. Don't worry about any costs. In this version of earth, I'm apparently a billionaire, so I have plenty of money and I have enough cash on me, to hold us over until I can figure out what assets that I have under my control. For now, let's get things cleaned up and ready for our guests."

The meeting broke up and the adults moved around starting the cleanup. Christina gathered the kids together near where Eve was sitting, and started handing out assignments.

"Jamil, Rio, can you two look over the heavy weapons in the Dragon and make sure that they are cleaned and reloaded. I believe we have at least enough extra ammo for one complete reload for each gun mount. Fiona and Apollo, would you mind going out to find Oliver and if you would, Fiona, can you take his watch for now. I need him and Apollo to check over Dragon and make sure everything is in order."

"I'll help them."

She looked at Dakota and nodded.

"Okay, Ian and Ram, can you check the medical suite to make sure it's cleaned up and inventory the supplies that we have in there, so we know what we need?"

"Bring me everyone's weapons and I'll check them out and get them cleaned up. It's the only thing I can do right now since I can't do much walking."

She looked at Chris.

"You're sure that I will be able to walk again?"

Chris looked at Eve and nodded.

"Yes, but it's going to take some time to rebuild the part of your spinal cord that was missing. When Janet and Chang get here, they can examine you and maybe give you a better idea of how long it will take."

Eve nodded her acceptance.

"Okay, we'll get some cleaning supplies out of the armory and get them to you. Is the table here fine?"

"It should be okay, but we should get a sheet or some towels to cover my workspace."

"Everyone else, help where you can. If everyone pitches in, we'll have everything taken care of in a short amount of time. Make sure the nest is straightened up and get everything at least stacked in one part of the room. We'll probably build it again tonight when we go to sleep if you guys want to do that again."

The kids split up to go and take care of their assignments. Christina went over to Brett.

"You, sir, should probably rest for a little while. You did take three bullets yesterday and I know you healed up, but you did lose a lot of blood."

She then punched him on the shoulder.

"Oww? What'd I do?"

"Don't do that again. You scared me. Remember I don't break so easy and my armor would have protected me."

Brett smiled at her as he rubbed his shoulder.

"Okay, I'll try."

He held his hand up to stop the protest that he could see forming.

"I know, but you have to understand. If even one member of my family is threatened, I will do anything to protect them. Maybe one day, I'll get used to the fact that you kids can handle a lot more than I can, but I can't promise that I won't always feel the need to protect you guys. Even after you're grown up and have kids of your own, I'll still want to protect you."

Chris looked at him for a few moments and grinned.

"That might be sooner than you think, Grandpa."

Brett quickly glanced at Christina's middle before looking back up to her in surprise.

"What? What do you mean, Grandpa?"

"Nothing, sir. You make sure you get some rest or I'll tie you to a bed and make you rest. I've got some things to do."

She turned to see where she could help. Brett was still looking at her with confusion on his face.


He looked at some of the others near him.

"Does anyone know what she was talking about?"

The other adults shook their heads. He looked at Eve.

"Do you know anything young lady?"

She shook her head and shrugged. The adults began to break up as well to get some things done. Some went to help with the breakfast cleanup, some going through the rooms in the house to clean them up. Another group went through all the clothes to see what they could get cleaned. When Brett got up from the table, he leaned down and gave Eve a quick kiss on her head and squeeze of her shoulder. When he stood up this time, he didn't feel any dizziness so he headed off to his study.

"Gabe can you get the metal suitcase from my room and bring it to the study, I want to look through my counterpart's paperwork that I found at the house in Big Bear and get a better idea of what assets I hopefully have access to?"

Gabe nodded and headed upstairs while Brett made his way to the study.

Several of the rescued kids went to the rec room where the nest was still spread around the middle of the room. Jamie and Josh went with them. The room didn't take long to straighten up. At first the rescued kids stood there with their mouths hanging open as they watched Jamie gesturing with his hands as he used his telekinesis to lift one of the mattresses and floated it over to the corner. It looked like he was lifting it with his hands, and carrying it over to the corner himself, but he was standing in place. Their heads followed the parade of other mattresses, pillows, and furniture cushions as they were moved to the corner and out of the way as well.

"You're doing that?"

"Yeah, it's something that I can do."

"Can all of you do that stuff?"

"No, just a few of us."

"Are you sure you're not aliens?"

Jamie laughed.

"Yeah, I'm sure. We're just like you, except that some of us have some special abilities. That's the only difference."

The rescued kids didn't look sure, but they went back to folding sheets and blankets with Josh, while Jamie kept moving things around. The others went to work throughout the house.

When a couple of Gabe's men saw what Eve was doing, they joined her and they soon had a gun cleaning party going on in the dining room. They gathered all of the guns from everyone. Those that were on watch had their guns replaced by extras from Dragon's armory. The table was loaded down with: M4s, M16s, MP5s, hunting rifles, shotguns, the various pistols and revolvers that had been used. The dining room table was covered with several rags that had been found out in the garage of the house and had been turned into an armory as they went through all of the guns to make sure they were cleaned and oiled. They also reloaded all the magazines that they had.

Outside, Oliver joined up with Apollo after Fiona relieved him to check over Dragon. As they walked around Dragon to make sure everything looked good, they found some bullet holes in the side of Dragon, from the attack when Brett had been shot, but overall, the helicopter was in real good shape. He then began to explain everything about Dragon to Apollo,since he was also a trained pilot. Apollo had experience with flying a CH-53, so Oliver only had to orient him to the modifications and introduce him to Drake.

"Good morning Drake."

"Good Morning Corporal Hayes."

"Drake, remember I said to call me Oliver, drop the Corporal part."

"Very well Oliver Hayes."

"No, just call me Oliver."

"Very well, I have logged your requested change Oliver. What can I assist you with?"

"Drake, I need you to log Apollo as a pilot for you and give him all the necessary access for control of all flight and weapons systems."

"Acknowledged. Please state your name for voice print verification."


"Voice print recorded. Please record a login phrase."

Apollo was silent for a moment or two.

"Hau Kola."

"Login phrase recorded. Are these settings correct or would you like to make any changes."

"No changes."

"Acknowledged, user is configured and set up for use. It is good to meet you Apollo, are we taking a flight now?"

"No Drake. We're just making sure everything is in working order."

"Systems check comes back within normal parameters, Oliver. However, GPS system is still not connecting to any satellites. I have run a self-diagnostic program and all systems are normal."

"Thank you Drake."

"You're welcome."

He looked at Apollo.

"Well that is Drake, when you are going to pilot him, you will need to login with your login phrase and you will then have full control of everything you need. Now, let's get you oriented to the rest of the systems."

He continued with his explanation of the UNIT modifications.

In the main part of the helicopter, the other three got to work on the three main weapons. Jamil and Rio showed Dakota everything they could about them. As they explained everything, he ran his hands over the gun with his eyes closed. They looked at him curiously the first time that he did that.

"What are you doing?"

He answered them with his eyes still closed.

"I'm learning the gun, so that I can use it if necessary."

"So that's how your gift works?"

He opened his eyes and nodded to them.

"Yeah, I get a feel for the gun and I can pick up everything there is to know about how to use it and I can absorb the ability of the users. So if someone is real good with a gun and I learn the gun, I can then shoot the gun as well as the person who used it. The more someone has used a gun, the better I can absorb their ability in using that gun."

"So because I've used this gun, you supposedly can now shoot it as good as I can?"

Dakota shrugged.

"That's how it has worked so far."

"That's pretty sweet. Is it just guns or anything else?"

"Guns are the easiest. I can shoot all kinds of bows as well. I've trained with martial arts weapons and learned those, too, but it's harder to do and I have to work a bit harder to learn those weapons. We were starting to see if I could use my gift to drive a vehicle. I think they said that they wanted to try out flying, too. They thought it would work, but we hadn't gotten that far yet."

Rio looked around at Dragon.

"We might have to check that out some time and see if you can fly Dragon. I'll talk to Ollie and Chris about it and see what they say."

"Well, that's all well and good, but we need to get these guns cleaned up and reloaded."

Rio and Dakota nodded and got to work. The three heavy weapons were soon cleaned, and reloaded. Rio said that he would ask Chris about replacing the ammo that we've used.

In the treatment room, Ian and Ram got to work. It needed cleaning up from when Brett had been treated, so that was the first thing that they did, clean everything up. They disposed of the used IV bags and tubing. They went inside to get some cleaning supplies from the house to clean up the blood on the deck and tables. When they went in the house, they went by the dining room and headed to the kitchen because they thought they would find cleaning supplies in there. Doc looked up from where he was helping clean the guns when they entered the dining room.

"Hey guys, what are you looking for?"

"We need some cleaning supplies to clean up the treatment room in Dragon."

"I'll help you look for the stuff and then I'll come out and help you guys."

Doc finished the gun he was working on and then led them toward the laundry room, where they found the cleaning supplies. The three of them headed out to the Dragon to start cleaning up the treatment room. Once they had everything cleaned up, they inventoried the room and made a list of the supplies that would need to be replaced, once they had the chance to do so.

Brett settled into the chair in front of the large wooden desk in the study. Gabe entered the room carrying the suitcase. Looking around, he found that he felt comfortable in here. It was a place similar to what he would have done, if he had set up the room himself.

"Thanks Gabe, just set it down here on this side of the desk."

"I'm going to go see how things are going out there."

"Oh, Gabe. Could you go down to the caretakers house and find out where we could do some shopping nearby. We need to get some things for the kids and us as well and probably some food."

"You want me to bring him back up here to talk to you?"

"No, just get the information and let me know. I'd like to keep him from running into Chase for now, that might raise some questions that we can't easily answer."

"Okay, I'll check with him. How are we going to go shopping, we'll probably need his help with that anyway. Maybe we can borrow his car."

"You can ask him, but I noticed there is a garage attached to the house, see if "I" have any vehicles in it."

Gabe smiled and nodded.

"I'll take care of it."

Brett nodded and unlocked the case as Gabe closed the door behind him. He wanted to get a good look at what assets he now controlled. His duplicate had made more money than he had, but he wondered if he had gone through any of the same schooling. He needed to find out everything that he could about him. He took all the accordion folders out and laid them on the desk.

He first went through the small folder and pulled one of the credit cards out. He looked at the back of it and opened the desk drawer, looking for paper and a pen. He found some in the middle drawer and pulled it out and then signed his name. He checked it against the signature on the card and found it to be very close. He figured it would be close enough to the signature of this world's Brett, to not matter to anyone. Everyone's signature varied slightly when they signed it at different times, so he wasn't going to worry about it. He took the other cards out and checked them as well. There were some variations, but they were all pretty much the same. He took his wallet out and removed the credit cards from his old universe and looking around near the desk, he found what he expected, a good shredder. He shredded those cards. He looked at his driver's license and it looked fine. He took the credit cards out of the folder and put them into his wallet.

His next task was to take a look at what was in the other folders. He had carried the property folder in the house with him, so he took a look at that first. Inside he found the info on the Big Bear property. It was pretty much the same as he remembered it, from his own property records. He pulled out the rest of the folder on the Johnsondale property and began to look through it. It used to be an old lumber mill town and his counterpart had turned it into a mountain resort property. From the paperwork, it appeared to be working out very well for him. According to the paperwork he owned 750 acres. Most of it was taken up by the mountain resort property. There were about 80 vacation cabins and there were also 150 RV sites. There were youth and adult activity centers and a pool along with hiking trails and horseback riding, archery and a gun range. There was a lot to do at this place. He saw from the reports from the last year, that winter was the slower season, so there should be less people up here at this time. There was a map of the property pointing out where everything was. He figured he should probably have a talk with the manager to get an idea how things were going when he had a chance. Maybe the caretaker could set that up, depending on how long they would be staying here.

He put that to the side and pulled out another folder. It was labeled ‘Coeur d'Alene Property'. He opened it and saw that there was a large property that he owned on the lakeshore of Lake Coeur d'Alene. There appeared to be one big house and some smaller houses on the property. He seemed to own the whole tip of the peninsula around the main house. There were some boat slips on the property as well. Across from the main house was a small island called Kid Island. He owned that as well. As he looked through the packet he found a jump drive in the folder. There was a computer on the desk, so he turned it on. When it booted up, he was confronted with a screen that said ‘Sense Facial Recognition'. There was a video image that showed him sitting at the desk. He saw the small red light from the camera at the top of the monitor. On the screen a light blue outline appeared in the image and circled his face. It was moving around as he moved his head, so he held still and looked at the camera. A moment later the picture disappeared and he saw the computer logging him in with the words: ‘Brett MacLeod, login successful'.

Once the desktop was open he inserted the jump drive and waited for the software to load up. There was a login screen waiting for a password. He wasn't sure, but he thought he would try the code that had worked for the safe in the Big Bear house, ‘08061999'. It worked again and the file opened. He found that it held detailed plans for a lab that was built underneath Kid Island, in Coeur d'Alene. It appeared that his counterpart had also been interested in how genetics affects how a person became who they were. How it came into play to make them stronger, smarter, and more agile. Also if there were ways to change a person's genetic code in some way to give them a boost in any of those areas, or if there was a way to change the genetic code to eradicate or lessen the chance of a major disease such as cancer. It didn't look like this world's Brett had gotten very far in his investigation of what could be done to affect a person's genetic code. His work seemed to be theoretical, with no real experiments. Brett's work at Hunt labs had gotten him much further. He closed the files down and put the jump drive back into the folder.

He would have to keep that place in mind, so he could take a look at this lab and see what other research may be found up there. Further investigation uncovered a house near McLean, Virginia and another in Princeville, Hawaii on the island of Kauai. The rest of the properties in the file were business properties, other buildings, and rental properties, etc. He put the property folder to the side once he replaced everything in it. He pulled out the last folder. Inside was a list of all of his investments. He looked through the folder and found that he had investments in many companies, several of them were medical research companies, including one called Hunt Labs in Long Island. He decided to look deeper into that one later. When he finished, he put all of the folders back into the suitcase and locked it all back up.

There was a knock on the door and the door was opened. It was Gabe.

"Boss, I talked to the caretaker, Irvin is his name. He said that there is a small store here onsite but it's something like a glorified 7-Eleven® and we would need to go down to Kernville, for the bigger stores. They don't have anything like Target or Walmart. For that kind of place, you would have to go into Bakersfield, which is 42 miles as the crow flies. It would probably take at least an hour to get there."

"I wonder how much damage they have in Bakersfield. They're a lot closer to the fault line, than we are here."

"I suppose that's true. Well there is a surplus store in town. We can probably get some clothes there. They won't be anything fancy, but they will be durable."

"That might be the best way to go right now. I'm not sure if I want any of us to go into Bakersfield. Talk to Irvin again about borrowing his car."

"We don't have to. There is a pickup truck and a Suburban in the garage. We can use them."

"Good, talk to the other adults and see if they want to make a food and clothing run."

"Oh, Irvin said that he was heading into town to get some food for lunch. Apparently he and his wife take care of you and your guests when you're visiting. They wanted me to ask if there was anything special that we wanted for dinner and that they would start fixing lunch when they got back from shopping. Apparently ‘you' were planning on coming up here for a visit next week, so they have some food, but he said he's pretty sure we need some more because of how many people we have here right now."

Brett thought for a few moments before nodding.

"Why don't you ask if Irvin and/or his wife, would like to go with any of the adults that go shopping. Take both vehicles. One will go to the surplus store to get clothes for everyone and the other will do the grocery shopping. Oh, wait a minute, here."

Brett opened up the case once again and pulled out a stack of hundreds. He ripped the paper tape holding it together and handed the stack to Gabe. Gabe could see the other stacks in the case and he had a wide eyed look of surprise as he looked in the case.

"How much is in there?"

"About a million. My counterpart was prepared for any money issues that he might have. Maybe he knew that he would be a target for Ashwood. That's $10,000 in that stack. That should be enough for anything that we would need. Make sure they get warm jackets, since we had packed for summer not winter, before we were brought here and it's almost winter now."

"Okay, I'll get with the others and get it done."

"Thanks Gabe. I'm a little tired, so I think I'm going to relax in the living room for a little while."

"Yeah, getting shot can kinda wear you out."

They exchanged grins as Brett closed and locked the case and followed Gabe out of the study and into the living room, where he lay back against one end of a couch and propped a pillow against the arm. He closed his eyes to take a little nap.

Once Gabe told them of the shopping trip, some of the ladies began going around to the kids to get their sizes. The UNIT and Genesis kids said that they didn't need any clothes, their uniforms were good enough, but it was rightly pointed out that the uniforms were pretty dirty and stained and in some cases, like Rio's they were a bit ragged and blood stained, so they relented and soon the shopping teams were on their way. A couple of Gabe's men went with each group, to do the driving and be security. They were armed but kept the guns hidden. They had Irvin and Kari lead the way to town in their car, since none of them had been in this area before, and didn't want any of them to get lost. It was about a 15 mile drive to Kernville. When they got into the town, Irvin pointed out the surplus store, before leading the others to the general store.

They went inside the surplus store and began roaming the aisles as they looked for clothes. The store was pretty big and they soon found that this place had everything that they needed, from underwear up to jackets, gloves and boots. They filled up four carts twice, with everything that they needed. The owner was real happy to see several thousand dollars worth of merchandise walk out the door and all of it in cash. He was curious as to why they needed so many clothes including kid's sizes, but since because of how much he was getting, he decided the keep his curiosity to himself. When they came outside with the last load, the group that had been grocery shopping were just pulling into the parking lot. The surplus store group let them know that they were done and they all headed back to Johnsondale.

Back at the house, the gun cleaning was done, and all of the guns were either stored back in Dragon's armory or they were put where they could be easily grabbed in case of trouble. Since Irvin and Kari were in the house helping with lunch, Brett called Chase over to him, where he lay on the couch.

"Chase, I have to ask you a big favor."

"Okay Shiny Doctor."

"The two older people who work for me, Irvin and Kari, will be here to make lunch for everyone. You know that there is no one like you in this world and I'd like to keep you a secret for a little while longer, sort of as a secret weapon."


"Well because of that, do you think you can keep out of their sight, so that they don't see you, at least not yet? I'll help with that and try to keep them busy in the kitchen, but in case they come here into the dining room, I don't want them to see you…."

Brett stopped and a smile came to his face.

"I have an idea. Why don't you and the other young kids go into the room you guys were in last night and watch a movie while you eat? I think they are planning on having sandwiches, so lunch is pretty portable. Is that okay?"

Chase thought for a moment before he nodded.

"Yes, I think the other kids will like it."

"You really don't mind that I'm kind of hiding you. You understand, it's not because I'm ashamed of you or anything. You're pretty special, Chase and I just want to make sure no one but the family knows about you yet, because you're real unique in this world."

"It is okay Doctor, I understand."

Brett noticed that Chase's voice changed from its normal more squeaky tone, to a little deeper, I guess you could say more normal, tone of voice when he spoke. Brett was a little startled by that, but Chase gave him one of his patented Chase grins and then he winked. Brett smiled as Chase came over to him and gave him a quick hug before taking off.

Chase did a good job of keeping out of sight, but there was a point where Irvin had just brought some things out of the kitchen and set them on the dining room table, and he caught a glimpse of something that looked out of place. It was a short kid, with some kind of strange white blonde hair, just as the kid was leaving the room. He did a double take because something didn't look right to him about the kid, but the kid was gone before he could look closer. He shrugged and turned back around to go into the kitchen. When lunch was taken care of, the ladies took over the lunch cleanup. They told the two older people that they would take care of dinner. Irvin protested and went to Brett, but he was able to convince them that it would be okay. Brett had to accept that they would be there in the morning to help with breakfast and bade them goodbye for the day.

After lunch all of the new clothes had been washed, so the kids got changed into their new clothes and the clothes that they had been wearing, including the uniforms for the UNIT and Genesis kids were taken to get cleaned. Rio's uniform was a bit ragged and would need to be repaired, the same with Eve's, since both of them had been wounded in the attack.

Since the guns were all cleaned, the next equipment to get the once over, was the UNIT and Genesis armor. The dining room was once again commandeered as the inspection and cleaning room. Those of the UNIT and Genesis kids who weren't doing anything, went into the dining room to help with the cleaning and inspection. Jamie and his brothers took part in the inspection and cleaning, since they had their own sets of the armor and needed to become familiar with it, which included the cleaning and maintenance.

By the early afternoon, all the chores were done and everything was stored where it needed to be. The family spread out through the house. Most of the kids went to the rec room to watch videos. Some of the adults joined them. Most of the parents sat in the living room having coffee or tea and talking, while some of the others were in the kitchen starting preparations for dinner. With 42 people in the house, there was a lot of food to prepare.

That afternoon, Christina and Oliver pulled Tim and Sara off to the side to talk to them.

"Tim, Sara. Ollie and I have been talking. In case you didn't realize it, we're together. We love each other. Where we came from…"

Tim interrupted her.

"Can I ask you something?"

Chris nodded.

"Of course, anything you wish."

"This morning that one guy…."

"Doctor MacLeod."

"Yeah him. He said that all of you came from somewhere else and said that you weren't aliens, but how did you get here."

"Honestly, I don't know."

Both of the younger kids were still confused as to why they wouldn't know how they got here. Chris could read their confusion, so she explained why they didn't know what happened. She told them about everything that had happened to them and how somehow the earthquake had something to do with them finding themselves in a different place. She continued the explanation by telling them everything that had happened to them the day before. She explained how they found out about the kids who were being held at the base, and what was going on there, which was why they had come to rescue the kids. She also told them what she knew about everyone that was there. When she finished, she could tell that the explanation helped and the thought of some kind of magical transportation of some kind, was not something that seemed too farfetched for them.

"So as I was saying, where we come from, people our age and sometimes even younger, are considered adults when they have done adult things, like fighting against those evil kind of people who would hurt kids. When they find younger kids like yourself, who have no parents or other relatives to take care of them, they will step up and take the place of the missing parents and take care of the younger ones."

"Like parents?"

Chris smiled at Tim as she nodded.

"Yes, exactly like parents, but only if the boys or girls want them to be their parents. There are a lot of other adults here who I'm sure would be great as parents, but Ollie and I have come to care for you two and we would like you to consider us. We would love to be your parents, if you want us, but it is all up to you. If there are others here who you would rather have, I will help you talk to them and ask them if you want."

"So you want to be our Mom and Dad?"

Chris nodded. Tim and Sara looked at Oliver and he took Chris' hand in his and added his nod to Chris', to let them know that he was onboard with this as well. The two younger kids looked at each other and Tim could see how Sara felt about it. He knew that he felt comfortable with the older teens. Last night had been one of the best night's sleep that he had had in several days, ever since they had seen their dads shot down by the agents when they were taken, because they had resisted the agents taking them away. The agents didn't even try to arrest their dads, one of the agents just pulled his gun and shot them both. Once they were on the ground, two other agents pulled Tim and Sara out of the house. Tim looked back once and saw that same agent shoot both of their dads in the head while they lay on the ground. Tim's eyes filled with tears as he remembered what he had seen and he felt himself pulled into strong arms. He looked up through blurry eyes and saw that it was Oliver that held him, he melted into the older boy's hug and cried into his chest. Sara was in Chris' arms. She was crying as well because she saw her brother crying. When they were calmer, the teens loosened their hold a little, but kept their arms around them. Tim looked back and forth between the two teens and then looked at his sister.

"I think I know what you want Sara, but I just want to check."

"Yes, I want them as our mom and dad."

Tim nodded and once again looked at each of the teens before nodding to them.

"Yes, I think we would like it if you can be our parents."

This got them another hug from the person holding them and then they were switched and got another hug from the other teen.

"Now, remember I said that in my world we were considered adults and as far as I'm concerned we are adults here, too. When Adam and Logan come here tomorrow, I'm going to ask them about what we need to do to make sure that legally, you are now our kids."

"Can someone take us away from you?"

They looked at Sara and shook their heads.

"Not a chance. I wish that Ashwood would try. I'd love him to try it or to send any of his agents to try. I swear that they will soon find themselves where they belong, in hell and we will arrange for that to happen. So don't you guys worry. There is no chance that will happen. We will fight anyone who tries to take you from us. Now something you need to know, sometimes we may have to go somewhere to help save some other kids and you may not be able to come with us, but we will make sure that you are safe and protected until we return."

"What if I want to go with you?"

"Tim, you don't have the training that we have, so it wouldn't be safe for you."

"Then can you train me on how to help other kids?"

Chris noted the determined look on his face and remembered that it took a little bit of persuasion to get him to give up the pistol the night before. He had wanted to take the pistol into the nest with them, but Christina had shown him that no one else had brought their guns into the nest and had finally convinced him to give it up, for now. She said she would take care of it for him and he trusted her. So she nodded in answer to his question.

"Yes, when we get a chance to relax for a little while, we will make sure that you are trained on how to use your gun and what you need to know, so that you can help us rescue kids. It will take a little time to do it, but I promise that I will take the time to make sure you know what you need to know, so that you can help. But you have to remember that you must follow my orders when I'm training you, no matter whether you like it or not. I will have to be tough, so that I can make sure you are trained properly. Do you agree?"

Tim nodded.

"Good, then I'll take care of it."

The new family talked for a little while longer so that Christina and Oliver could get to know the two younger kids better, before they heard that it was time for dinner.

By dinnertime, Brett was feeling quite a bit better and felt fairly rested after taking it easy most of the day. That night the kids once again made their nest. They went to bed a little earlier than the night before, since they had been up late the night before and had worked hard during the day. Everyone was a little more comfortable about getting undressed in front of the others and joining them in the nest that night. Once they were settled into the nest, it wasn't long before quiet settled over the room, except the sounds of children sleeping. As they did the night before, those who had guard duty, quietly got up and ready for their watch. Gabe's men also took watch as well. It was a quiet and more restful night for everyone.

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