Castle Roland

Changing Connections

by Eric Aune

In Progress

Chapter 13

Published: 8 Jan 15

Changing Connections

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

All Rights Reserved

Changing Connections LogoThose left behind in the dining room watched, as Janet and Joe led the adults to Brett's library. Adam went into the study with Eve. Logan and Daileass went with Jamie and his friends upstairs. All the kids that were left looked at each other as if asking, 'what now', and then Pax looked up and sniffed the air. He looked at Gemini and they both began to smile.

"Do you smell that?"


"Yep, Shiny Grandma said she was going to make some."

"Kewl, let's see if they're done."

The two G Cats got up and led the way, Chase was right with them. Behind them came most of the other kids. Khan motioned for Christina to stay behind and follow him to the living room. They sat down and Khan looked at her for a few moments before saying anything.

"Tell me something, Captain. What do you think of this, Doctor MacLeod?"

Christina looked at Khan before saying anything.

"Sir, at first it was a little disconcerting to see the person, or at least the image of the person who had been part of…..what we went through. When I first saw him, I felt the anger, but by that time, I had learned from scanning others of his group, that something wasn't right. The others that I had scanned had given me a different picture of this person, than how I remembered him. Soon enough, when I realized we were no longer in our world, the world that had produced the doctor that I had known, I had to reevaluate my perceptions of him. Once I realized that he was not the same person, I was still confused, and so I kept everything professional between us. As I learned more about him and found that he was well liked and loved by all the people around him, I was able to give him a chance to prove to me that he wasn't like the other doctor. I saw several instances of the way he was with everyone and concluded that perhaps we could work together. As far as my team and I knew, we were the only members of the UNIT that were in this universe and we needed to find somewhere to belong. Eve connected with him easily, because even her view of the same person we had known, was different from ours. So it showed that our doctor could have been a better person, than he was with us. Then you know what that idiot did?"

Khan shook his head, thinking that perhaps the doctor had broken her trust in some way, which is what he expected of the "good" doctor.

"He jumped in front of me and took three bullets for me. Even though I was wearing my armor and he should have known, that I probably wouldn't have gotten hurt by them, because he knew how well the armor protects us. He said that it was instinct and that he was protecting his family. He said he couldn't help it. He would do it for anyone in his family. He nearly died because of it. If it wasn't for Ian, being able to heal him quickly, and my giving him my blood, he probably would not have made it."

Khan nodded as he absorbed that. Inside himself, the image of Brett, still caused his hackles to rise and his claws to extend. He had to make an effort to retract his claws and not shred the arm of the couch he was sitting on. He did, however, leave puncture holes in the fabric of the couch.

When Chase and the others opened the door to the kitchen, the smell of baking cookies was much stronger. Kari looked up from where she was just putting a fresh batch in the oven to bake. She was startled at the three furry faces that were looking at her and they still made her nervous, but she closed the oven door and set the timer before turning around.


"Hi Shiny Grandma. We could smell the cookies. Are they done?"

Kari looked at Chase and then walked over to where Irvin was taking cookies off one of the baking sheets, to check them out. She nodded.

"Some of them are done. They might be a bit warm…"

"Ooh, warm ones are the best ones."

She could see behind the three hybrids, many of the other kids trying to look in the room as well.

"I suppose that they are. Here start on this plate, just one each for now, so that everyone can have one."

She picked up the plate that Irvin was piling cookies onto and placed it on the center counter. They nodded as they came in and each grabbed a cookie and took a bite. Gemini closed his eyes when he bit into it and nearly purred.

"Oh god, the chocolate chips are perfectly gooey."

He looked at her and smiled.

"Thanks Grandma, these are great."

Kari couldn't help but smile back at the G Cat boy as he left the room, so that others could get one of the cookies.

"Thank you Shiny Grandma."

Chase skipped out. All of the UNIT kids and some of the others, called her Grandma as they thanked her as well. In the dining room, everyone got a glass of milk to go with their cookie. Before they finished, Irvin came into the dining room, with another plate full of cookies. This time there was enough for everyone to get two cookies. Pax nudged Chase.

"Is there anything fun to do here, while we wait for the old folks to finish talking?"

"I do not know, but there is the place where we made a nest last night. It is a recreation room or game room or something like that."

"Kewl, let's go there."

All of them trooped out of the dining room and through the living room on the way to the rec room. When they came into the living room, Runt jumped over the back of the couch and landed on Khan's lap. He held some cookies out to him.

"I saved you some. They're fresh from the oven."

Oliver brought some over to Christina as well. Christina saw the group of kids walking by.

"Where are you guys going?"

"To the rec room to see if there's anything to do in there."

"Sounds good."

"Yeah, come on Khan, let's go see what kind of trouble we can get in."

Khan gave a little deep rumble and Runt laughed.

"Not that kind. At least not yet. Maybe later."

All of them trooped into the rec room. By the time the stragglers got in there, the TV was on, but there was only snow showing on the screen, and a couple of them were looking through the DVD rack to see what kind of movies were in it. Rio was standing there and looked over his shoulder as he was calling out movie titles. They settled on the first Spiderman movie.

Chase meanwhile was exploring the room, something none of them had a chance to do since they arrived, and he found one of the cabinets in the room had a bunch of games in it. He pulled one out as he told everyone else about them. He put the box down, opened it, and looked inside it. It looked like fun.

"Hey everyone this looks like fun. A bunch of us can play. Come on and play Tony."

"What game is it?"

Chase picked the top up and looked at it.

"It is called Twister."

"Sure, that sounds like fun, I'll play."


Tony helped Chase spread the mat out and there was soon a mix of the different groups playing together. Since there were so many that wanted to play, they decided to do a marathon game. Four would play at a time. When someone couldn't make the move and fell, they would come out and a new person would jump in. Khan demurred from playing because he was so much bigger than everyone else, it wouldn't be fair because there was little chance that he would be unable to reach anywhere on the mat, so he contented himself in watching the others play. Fluffy stayed on the sidelines as well, although when one of the kids were out, she would come over to them and give them a gentle head butt. Several of them were scared at first and shied away, but the first time Pax saw it happening he tried to calm the child.

"Don't worry about Fluffy. She would never hurt anyone, well except for someone who would hurt a child, then get out of the way. All she is doing is what she would do for any of her cubs. It's okay, you can trust her.

The child was one of the rescued boys, Andrew. He stopped moving when Pax said that and allowed Fluffy to move closer. She, of course, knew what Pax had said. So she rubbed the top of her head against Andrew's arm. Andrew slowly brought his hand up and rubbed the side of her neck. When she didn't do anything about him touching her, but merely pushed her head against him again. He got bolder and started to pet her. She licked him on the cheek, causing him to giggle and wipe his cheek. From that point forward, the other children allowed her to play with them, when they weren't playing one of the games.

While Twister was being played, some of the others looked through the cabinet and a couple of other games were pulled out and small groups were playing those games as well. However, Twister was where the most laughter was coming from. Even Khan's gruff exterior broke a couple of times and he gave a low rumbling chuckle at the antics of those playing the game, especially when Runt was in a position where he had his butt up in the air facing Khan and he looked between his legs to give Khan a roguish grin and wiggled his butt a little. Once Runt lost, he quickly resumed his seat next to Khan, where Khan's arm enfolded him to his side.

So far, Gemini was the one who had continued to win each round and was the only one left that had started the game at the beginning. Pax had lost because he was just a little shorter than Gemini and he could not quite reach one of the spots when it was his turn and he had fallen, forcing him to drop out of the game. But Pax had been waiting his turn to get back into the game and when he did, he was determined to make sure Gemini got out.

"Right hand, green."

Chase was running the spinner and his squeaky voice was calling out the colors and which foot or hand to place on it. Pax was able to get his hand on the green spot, and was under Gemini at the moment and when Gemini had to reach across Pax to get to the Green. Pax grinned as he reached up quickly and poked Gemini where he knew he would be ticklish. Since Gemini was slightly off balance when his ticklish spot was hit, he collapsed on top of Pax and started giggling, because Pax kept up the assault. This also caused Pax to collapse too and soon everyone in the game turned into a giggling mass of kids, as they squirmed around tickling each other. Then it spread to the others and soon games were forgotten as everyone joined in, wrestling around the room and tickling each other. The level of noise rose to a cacophony of laughter and occasional calls of 'I give' or 'stop, I'm gonna pee'. Some of them broke free long enough to hit the bathroom and when they finished, they jumped back into the melee.

Khan had stayed near the edges of the melee as did Fluffy. A few times he felt the twitch of wanting to get in there, but he knew that because of his greater size and strength he had to be careful and stay in control. Occasionally the twitch caused him and Fluffy to take turns to move in and give a random tickle to one of the kids that were on the edge of the pile and then retreat to the sidelines again, where he could keep watch over all of them.


Khan heard that yell and turned around quickly from where he was standing against the wall. He saw Brett had walked a little ways into the room and the memories of that face after hearing that yell, brought a low growl to his throat, as he bared his teeth and slowly extended his claws. He did not notice the big smile on Brett's face as he yelled. He didn't realize that Brett was actually happy at how everyone in the room was letting their kid side have control. He couldn't tell that Brett actually wished he could join them. All he felt at that moment was of a giant cat protecting his young. None of his other powers, telepathic, telekinetic, empathic, none of them were working. He only felt the instinctual need to attack, so that the young ones were protected.

Brett's expression changed from a happy one, to one that showed surprise as he heard the growl and the smile dropped completely as he looked Khan's way. He saw the anger on Khan's face. Khan's tail was twitching and his ears were flattened and his fur bristled, as he crouched down slightly. Brett was starting to back slowly away, towards the door, when Khan sprang at him from 15 feet away with a roar. Brett threw his arms up, as if that would stop the giant G Cat. He waited for the pounce to hit him, but instead he heard something else.


Brett looked up and saw Jamie standing in front of him with a hand out towards where Khan was being held against the wall. Khan was growling and his face was suffused with anger. He was fighting against the force holding him, but Jamie held him fast against the wall. The rest of the room had gone silent.

"If you want to hurt my Dad, you'll have to go through me."

"And me."

Josh spoke up as he stood next to Jamie. There were several more choruses of 'And me', as the other six of Jamie's friends joined him, standing between Khan and Brett. There were some angry sounds from the other side of the room and it was Pax and Gemini, ready to go to the defense of their leader. Jamie looked at them and put his other hand out toward them, he grabbed them as well, to hold them in place. That angered them and they pushed against it, but Jamie was strong enough to hold them.

"Leave him alone, or I'll kick your ass!"

Jamie looked at Runt who had gotten out of the tickle pile, and was facing Jamie with his fists clenched. Runt started to advance, and felt a force holding him and stopping him from moving forward. Fluffy did not move, but she did watch what was happening.


The raised voice of a young teen caught everyone's attention. They saw that Ethan had stepped forward a little bit from the group of boys and was looking at all of them, but focusing mostly on Khan.

"Khan, I know you did not mean to attack Doctor MacLeod and were only acting on your instincts to protect the young, because you were broadcasting that very loudly. But you have to get it into your head, that he…."

Ethan pointed at Brett.

"….is not the same person that you knew. He would no sooner hurt any of these kids, than you would. He only wants what is best for them and cares for them. If it wasn't for him, the eight of us would have been kidnapped when we were babies, our parents probably killed, and we would have been used, the way that you were trained and used. The person, who was going to do that to us, is dead, and by Josh's hand, he set him on fire. Jamie's dad has shown us nothing but caring and love. He gave up a lot to save us and if you were to hurt him that would not only be devastating to us, but especially to Jamie. To keep us safe, he kept away from his only son for years until it was time to reunite. Even though he hated the time away from his son, keeping his distance was what he thought was necessary to keep him and us safe. If you hurt him, this is what it would do to us."

Ethan stared at Khan and sent his thoughts and feelings, and backed up and supported by the other boys, their thoughts and feelings as well. The strongest feelings came from Jamie, as would be expected, but all of the boys had strong positive feelings about Brett. What surprised Khan as well, were the feelings that were being sent his way, from the Red Dragons team members, who would also be hurt by something happening to Brett, as he had shown to them, that he was not the monster that they had known, but a very good person.

It was only moments, but soon they could all see the change come over Khan. In his mind Khan was seeing the first time that the boys and their parents had met Brett. He felt the feelings that Jamie had felt when he found out that the man his mom had always talked about, was alive. He saw Brett through Jamie's eyes and how Jamie's love for his dad had grown as he had gotten to know him again. How Brett had easily taken the news about his son being gay and having a boyfriend, and had not condemned him, but instead had just shown him love and acceptance.

Khan also saw how Brett had acted when they found out that Josh had been taken. He saw how Brett had immediately mustered his friends and headed to Washington, to get Josh back, no matter what. He saw how the other boys felt about Brett and found that he treated all of the boys as if they were his family as well. It was as if they were all related by blood and that included the other adults and boys of the group. From Christina he felt how she had felt, when he jumped in front of her to save her life, even though she didn't need it. She let him feel what she had felt, when she realized how badly hurt he had been when he was shot, and told her that he did it because she was part of his family. The last thing Khan received, was the feelings that all of them sent to him about how they would feel, if anything were to happen to Brett. He was the glue that held them together as a family.

The anger left Khan's face as he absorbed the images and feelings that were being sent his way, and his claws retracted as his ears and tail relaxed and his fur stopped bristling. When Ethan spoke next, it was not just him, but all eight boys at the same time. Their voices were in synch as they spoke. It wasn't robotic or anything, but each distinct voice.

"That is how we would feel, if you hurt or killed him."

There was a moment's pause.

{Let them go Jamie}

Jamie glanced at Ethan and then nodded. He brought his hands down and the G Cats and Runt were no longer held. Runt turned and went over to Khan. He slipped his arms around Khan's waist and hugged him, getting a hug from Khan, and almost disappearing in the hug of the much larger boy. Khan glanced at Brett who was now standing up and looked at him. He looked at Ethan and the boys and nodded his head to convey to them, that he understood.

Janet smiled at the young girl, or rather young lady, in front of her as she and Chang entered the room.

"Hello Eve."

She spoke in her friendliest voice to allay any fear or nervousness.

"I'm Doctor Janet Hayes, and this is Chang Casey. If it's okay with you, we'd like to take a look at your back and see if we can do anything to speed up your recovery."


Eve said evenly. Had it not been for all the work that Janet had done with Genesis kids, she would have missed the nervousness and even a bit of defeat in Eve's eyes and posture. As they set up, Janet kept talking to Eve, trying to put the girl at ease.

"From what I was told, you took a bullet to the back, which actually removed part of your spinal cord. Is that correct?"

"Yes, Doctor."

Eve said rather formally, which caused Janet to turn around, and look at her with a smile.

"Please call me Janet. All the kids do."

Eve nodded, but did not say anything, so Janet walked over to her, and squatted down in front of her.

"Very few people, who are not like you, would know what you are going through right now. But I do. Not only do many of the kids call me Mom, but I am to Adam what your Doctor MacLeod was to you."

Eve's eyes bored deep into Janet's, and Janet felt Eve reach out with her mind to touch hers. The blocks that Logan put up would have easily batted away the rather amateur attempt to peer into Janet's mind, but Logan also taught Janet how to lower those walls when she wanted to. In this case, as soon as Janet felt Eve reach out, she dropped the walls, and allowed the girl to see everything that was there.

She did not try to hide anything, one thing she learned about the Genesis kids is that, even if you are not proud of things that have happened, they happened, and you should not hide them. They are what helped make you, who you are. Good or bad, they are a part of you. When dealing with the Genesis kids, it was important to be open and honest, since that's how they are. There is enough animal DNA in them to not really understand the type of deception that one would have to have when they wanted to hide who and what they are.

If Eve was like the other Genesis kids that Janet had dealt with, and there was no reason to think she was not, then Janet needed to be open and honest with her, show that trust to Eve. For several moments Eve was in Janet's mind searching not only for deception, but also for information, mostly about who they were, what they did, and if they were, what she had been told they were.

Finally Eve relaxed and nodded.

"Please proceed."

Once they finished with Eve, they brought her out of the study and into the Rec room with the other kids. Then Janet and Chang with the help of Ram and Ian, since there was no reason that they shouldn't learn more to increase their medical knowledge, checked the rescued kids to make sure that they were okay. As part of this both Ram and Ian got practice in using a tricorder and recognizing the information that it displayed to them for each patient. Ram had already gotten a knowledge dump from Christina on how to use it and Chang did the same for Ian. When he finished the mind dump on how to use the tricorder he stood there for a moment before saying anything.

"Ian, with your permission, I would like to add to your medical knowledge, by giving you the knowledge, much like I did with the knowledge of how to use the tricorder."

Ian nodded his head.

"Anything that can help me be able to save more people, then yeah, I'm all for it."

Chang nodded and resumed the position he had been in, when he gave Ian the tricorder knowledge. A few moments later he stepped back. Ian had his eyes closed as he absorbed the knowledge that had been given to him. Chang watched Ian and saw his eyes moving rapidly as if he was scanning a book or computer screen. When Ian opened his eyes again, he had a huge smile on his face.

"Wow! That is so awesome. Is this what a doctor learns in medical school? It's almost too much to take in, but man this is really cool. Thanks a lot, Chang."

"You are welcome. Actually it is quite a bit more than any doctor ever learned in medical school, because I have given you medical information on how to help Genesis kids as well. I would say, no other doctors in this world, or even in the universe that you came from, have the knowledge that you have now. Now let's help Mom….Doctor Hayes with the kids."

Ian grinned and moved over to help, wanting to use his new knowledge.

"So, let's see how good you are."

After everything that had gone on in the mental scape and rec room and everything, Sean felt the need to get away where it was quiet and where his computer was, so he went into the library to get on his computer. He heard a voice from behind him as he was working on his computer. He was trying to figure out what was going on in this universe. He looked over and saw the blond haired, eleven-year-old boy that came with the rest of the UNIT people standing there.

"Daileass is it?"

Sean asked, making sure he remembered the name right.

"That's me!"

Daileass said with a grin as he walked over to the computer that Brett normally used. He sat down and started to tap on the keys. After a moment he sighed.

"Okay, Windows... I remember this... damn it still sucks."

He then looked over at Sean and grinned.

"Okay, consider this a job interview. Mainly I wanna see if you're good enough to play with the good toys."

"You mean like the computers on the Dragon?"

Sean asked with a grin.

"Those are pretty sweet."

"Actually no. The computers you were using on the Dragon are still binary based... except for the programs that make up Draco. No, what I want to know is can you handle Trinary?"

Daileass had mentioned Trinary, because he really wanted to see what Sean could do. It was hard to impress Christina, but this kid had, hell all of them had.

"Trinary... that doesn't exist yet... I mean no one's figured out how the hell to make it work..."

He looked at Daileass as he paused, slowly, understanding crept across his face.

"… In this universe... or the one we came from."

He paused for a moment before he started asking several questions, in rapid fire fashion, one after the other, not even giving Daileass a chance to answer any of them.

"You mean you guys have Trinary systems, and can make them work. How do they work? What are the limitations? Can it really do true artificial intelligence? Does this universe have the components to make a Trinary system? Could you guys show me how to build one? Or help me build one?"

He would have kept going but Daileass was laughing and holding his hand up to stop him, which caused him to snap his mouth shut.

"Before I can tell you anymore, you have to pass your tests... so. Here's how we're gonna play this."

Daileass' fingers started to fly across the keyboard as he spoke.

"I am pulling this computer out of the shared network. You have five minutes to harden your computer against intrusion. Then I am going to start to hack into your computer. Keep me out, and you win. Make it difficult for me, and you win. Hell, keep me out for more than a few minutes, and you'll win. Let's see what you really got."

Sean got that glint in his eye as he half smiled and nodded. Over the next five minutes nothing could be heard in the room except for the rapid fire of keys being punched on both computers. Finally Daileass looked up, and asked.


Sean rolled his shoulders, took a deep breath, and then grinned.

"As the song goes... 'Hit me with your best shot!'"

Daileass chuckled, sat up a bit straighter, and then typed in the command to execute his first attempt. Then it was on. Fingers were flying over keyboards, but after about a minute, Sean stepped back and started using his MYO armbands and Emotiv headset, and then things started to get interesting.

Daileass was pleasantly surprised at how well the kid was doing, more so when he stepped back and stopped using the keyboard. 'This could be fun!' Daileass thought to himself as he too sat back. The difference was, that while Sean was using his equipment, Daileass simply closed his eyes. Something that Sean didn't notice until later on when Daileass finally was able to crack into Sean's computer.

"How the hell?"

Sean exclaimed as he looked over and saw Daileass, seemingly asleep in front of Brett's computer. He watched as Daileass smiled as he opened his eyes.

"You're not bad!"

Daileass said with a grin.

"I actually had to work a bit at it."

Sean just stared at the younger boy completely baffled. Finally Daileass couldn't help but chuckle at him before he spoke.

"When we first came to this universe, I found something interesting on the internet. Tell me, did they have the television show Star Trek, The Next Generation in your universe?"

"Of course!"

He said almost indignantly.

"If I hadn't of seen it, I would have lost my geek card!"

"Okay, so tell me... what did you think of Data?"

"Data? He's cool, I mean being an android and all, but... what does that have to do with..."

Sean said but stopped dead.

"Wait, are you trying to say what I think you're saying?"

Daileass just shrugged as he grinned.

"It depends on what you think I'm saying. However, I'll say this much. Data was behind by SEVERAL updates...."

"You mean... You're an... ANDROID?"

He exclaimed in complete disbelief, his mind going a mile a minute at the implications.

"That is soo KEWL!"

Sean just couldn't keep his excitement under control, but he did notice that Daileass' grin faded slightly.

"Sometimes it can be."

Daileass paused as he brought the smile back fully.

"But anyways, we're not here to talk about me, but rather about you."

Daileass stood up and motioned for Sean to follow him.

"Logan said that if I thought you could handle it, I could give you one of the few laptops that came over with us from the other universe. It can wirelessly connect with any computer system out there, even if that one doesn't have wifi. There is a docking/charging station on the Dragon so you can fully interface with its systems."

Sean was blown away as they were walking outside, and Daileass was going over what the laptops could do. What was really cool was that he was gonna get one for himself. It all sounded almost too good to be true. As they walked out to the Chinook that the UNIT had arrived in, Sean had to dodge a few of the others who were taking stuff from the Chinook and loading it into the Dragon. Daileass had Sean wait outside, while he ran inside. A minute later, Daileass came out carrying what looked like a standard laptop carrying case, as well as a backpack.

Sean was bursting with questions, but he kept his mouth shut till they were back in the house. Once there, Daileass pulled out the laptop and handed it to Sean. The first thing Sean noticed was how light it was. He figured it was less than half the weight that a normal laptop with a 17" screen would weigh.

"Ok, before you open it up. There are a few things you need to know. The shell can be customized to look however you want it. All you have to do is tell it what you want it to look like, once you make it yours."

"How do I do that? Feed it some of my blood?"

Sean only half joked.

"No, but it has some security to it that will make it next to impossible for someone to use it who is not you, or someone that you have not authorized. Now, the other thing about the computer is it is nearly indestructible. You could shoot it, with something less than a .50 cal, and it won't even dent it. So, while I don't recommend it, it can be used almost like armor."

"No shit..."

Sean said, then immediately looked around to see if any of the adults were around. He blushed a bit and grinned.

Daileass chuckled and shook his head.

"Anyways, go ahead and open it up."

Sean did and for a moment, he was disappointed. He wasn't sure what he expected, but a perfectly normal laptop was not it. Daileass sniggered again before he spoke.

"If someone were to get a hold of it, and turn it on, it would turn on, and boot up, and look like a perfectly normal version of a Windows operating system. So it has to look like your typical laptop. Now, one thing to know that is very important. Feel free to let anyone use it, but... if anyone tries to crack the case without an authorized user being logged in, it will self destruct."

Sean's eyes went wide when Daileass said that, but quickly nodded.

"Gotcha. No one cracks the case. Not even me..."

"Yes, Sean, that would be best. Now, go ahead and power it on."

Sean hit the power button, and watched as a normal version of Windows booted. Once it was booted up, he looked at Daileass questioningly. Daileass just grinned, and then spoke.

"Unit Alpha 674. Prepare for New User Recognition."

From the speakers a very clear, very human, voice spoke.

"Authentication string required."

"Authentication String: Daileass, Sierra, Mike, Two, Niner, Four, Charlie."

"Authentication verified: New User Recognition applications active. New User, Please state your full name."

Daileass had to nod to Sean before the boy cleared his throat and spoke clearly.

"Sean Michael Peterson."

A moment later the computer spoke again, as the screen changed to a camera shot of him, and what was around him.

"Please position your full face inside the box."

Sean did that. Once he centered his face in the box on the screen, the computer blinked once, and then spoke again.

"Facial scan... retinal scan confirmed. Please confirm Authorization code."

In Sean's mind, he heard Daileass speak.

{This is for remote access, if the computer is near you, you can turn it on, and control it completely verbally. The code can be anything you want, but normally we start it out with our first name, and then a string of numbers and letters, spoken out. But if you wanted to make it something else you can. Hell I know one of the little kids that had his code be 'Mary had a little lamb'.}

Sean thought for a moment, then grinned and spoke clearly again. "Mellon, Elen Sila Lumenn Omentielvo."

"Authorization Code accepted. Do you wish to enter into configuration mode at this time?"

Speaking verbally this time Daileass said.

"You can do that now, or later. It will allow you to customize it almost completely. I would suggest that you get your gear together, and synch it to the new system. You won't have to write any programs for it, as the computer will do that itself during the configuration process."

Daileass then got a very serious look on his face as he held Sean's eyes.

"One thing you need to know. I will never allow one of these to go fully sentient. It's a smart AI, and will learn what you want it to do quickly, but there is a hard-wired cut off. If it shows the very beginning signs of gaining sentience, it will shut off, and not power back on without Logan or myself. There is only a one in one billion chance that it would happen, but, if it does, we will not allow it to be stuck in a computer. Trust me, I know what that's like. During the configuration process, you will set up its base personality, and it will grow and learn, the more you use it. But if the screen ever goes blank, except for the words 'Alpha Protocol', flashing on the screen, you need to get us, or get it to us as soon as possible. Understand?"

Sean sat there in shock over what Daileass had just said. Was it possible that this computer could obtain full sentience? It seemed incomprehensible, but the way Daileass spoke. Well, he just nodded, he couldn't actually say anything. Finally Daileass nodded as well.

"Good, I don't want to scare you, as there is almost no chance of it happening, but, well with your mental abilities and how much you're gonna push this one, I think out of everyone I've met so far in this world, you may have the best chance of making it happen."

Daileass stepped back, and then smiled.

"Now, get to know you're new toy, and remember to name him something cool!"

Sean nodded as he made sure his gear was in place and ready to go, before he focused his attention on the computer. Daileass watched him for a few moments before he chuckled, and walked away, leaving Sean to explore.

"You know, we've been talking a lot today."

Janet said as she ushered Brett into the library. When they entered the room, they saw that Sean was in there sitting in front of a laptop with his gear on and he seemed to be making gestures and images on the screen pass by too quickly for them to make anything out very clearly. However, he looked up when they came in.

"Oh, hi. Do you need me to leave so you can talk?"

"If you wouldn't mind Sean."

He shook his head.

"No problem. I can play with this anywhere."

Brett patted him on the shoulder as Sean left the room. When it was just the two of them, he gestured for her to have a seat in one of the comfortable chairs near the window. He then took a seat in the other chair next to her.

"To continue, since you are a geneticist as well, I figured I would get into some of the more technical aspects of what a Genesis Augment is, how they operate, and most importantly, how to work on them, if they get injured."

Brett nodded, before interrupting her.

"Would you care for a glass of wine while we discuss this?"

"I would love one."

Janet said with a smile. It has been a long time since she had a glass of fine wine. Moments later, she sighed in satisfaction. Once Brett was seated, she began.

"Okay, first off, while Logan or one of the other boys could probably just dump this information into your mind, I prefer to actually discuss it verbally."

She couldn't help but chuckle at Brett's reaction.

"One of the things that the kids have not figured out is a mind dump is a great thing, but for us older folks, it is actually very disconcerting. It's happened to me quite a few times, but I'm still not used to it."

"Yeah... It was a bit interesting when Christina did one to me."

Brett said, slightly shuddering at the memory.

"Well first thing is, we developed a scale for the Genesis kids. This way we know what they can do."

She paused, and then launched into the description.

"Genesis Augments are rated on a scale of 1 through 10. One being the same as a normal human of their age, although a very healthy person of that age. Ten is ten times that of a normal human. This rates things like strength, speed, not only reaction speed, but also how fast someone can process information and react to it. And then there is the healing factor. It is also based on a 1 to 10 scale, but it is not measured like the others, but more like one would measure an earthquake. Each step being exponentially greater than the one before it. At this time, there is only one person that ranks above a 10 on the healing chart, and that is Adam. Even though I helped to create him into what he is, even I do not know the full extent of his healing ability. I do know that during his testing and training in the lab, he took a point blank shot to his chest, rupturing his aorta, as well as collapsing both lungs. With no treatment, he was up and around in two days, and fully cleared for active duty in four."

Brett sat there completely stunned. Such a thing was simply not possible. Without any medical treatment, someone with those injuries would have been dead in minutes, if that long.

"How... how is that possible?"

"Well, a lot of it has to do with an Augment's blood. It will actively attack any injury or foreign object, much like a normal person's leukocytes would do when they are exposed to a disease process or foreign substance in a person's body, except theirs are hyper aggressive. A cut to them will heal in minutes, hours at the most. The other side of it is the metabolism. It is also hyper, but can actually be sped up or slowed down depending on the needs of the body at that time. When Adam got shot, he lost 15 pounds in those 2 days. To heal the wound his body burned up all the energy in the small amount of fat that he had, and then started burning his muscle mass as well. His body was feeding on itself to power the healing that he needed. One thing you will find is that Augments eat a lot more than a normal person. And now, since in this universe, it appears that Psionics, also rely on the energy within a person, they will eat even more, depending on how much they use their abilities."

He nodded as he had noticed that in the Genesis kids.

"The other thing to know is that Augment blood can be used to heal a normal human."

She started to say more until Brett interrupted her.

"Yes I know. Thursday night when we assaulted the airbase to rescue the kids, I got shot, three times, but thanks to Christina's blood... while I am not fully healed, and I am still a bit sore, I'm up and moving around."

Brett stopped talking when he noticed her face go a bit pale.

"Is that a problem?"

He asked hesitantly.

"Ummm... not really... How much did she give you?"

Janet's voice had a very serious tone to it.

"I don't know exactly how much, but I think someone said four units. She hooked herself up in the helicopter, and just bled into a bag, until it was full, and then they transfused it directly into me."

"Okay, so they were actually double units... that's all we carry. So she replaced more than half of your normal blood supply."

Her words were more considered than worried, which helped to ease Brett's worries. Finally she grinned and looked him in the eyes.

"Let me ask you something. Do you have allergies?"

Confused at how the conversation had suddenly turned, he answered her.

"Well a little in the spring time. Normal things like pollen and the like."

"Not anymore."

Janet said through her grin.

"What... what do you mean."

"When a Genesis Augment gives blood to a normal human, if it's enough, the blood will actually start to change the person.... on the Genetic level. Now, you will not become an augment, at least not with that amount. But I will say that you will not get sick again, you will not tire as quickly, and you may find yourself a little faster, a little stronger, and heal quicker as well. It's different for each person, and we actually found it out by accident. So far there has only been three times before now that it's happened."

Brett was filled with questions, and was trying to organize them when the door opened. They both looked up and saw Logan standing there with a very worried look on his face.

"Mom, we've got a problem."

Logan said this as he and Chang walked into the room. Chang walked up to Janet and handed her a tricorder, while Logan looked at Brett.

"Sir, we decided to get a baseline reading on the younger boys that came with you. As well as check their mental abilities to see if they were coming to the fore yet. As far as I can tell, they will be much like your other boys, where puberty will trigger whatever abilities they have. However, the problem came in when Chang scanned them."

Brett looked at Janet who had gone pale, and he started to worry. Janet looked up when Logan stopped speaking, and her eyes met Brett's.

"The easiest way to explain this, and yes I will give you all the details as soon as I can print them out, is that whoever created these kids missed a vital gene sequence. When puberty starts up for these boys, there is going to be a clashing of hormones that is going to cause catastrophic failures in various organ systems."

"They're gonna die?"

She could see the shock and worry on Brett's face when he asked that question.

"No.... at least not yet."

Janet said with fire in her eyes.

"You're a geneticist, and so am I. All we need to do is figure out how to correct the problem. And if that doesn't work, then we always have the option of blood transfusions from the Genesis kids."

Brett moved around so that he could look at the readings on the tricorder, even though he really wasn't sure he would understand what it would show him.

"Can you tell me or show me what you found? What sequences are damaged or missed?"

Janet looked at him and showed him the readings.

"As you can see here on Chromosome 6, which controls some of the building and destruction of cells, and Chromosomes 14 and 18, both of which have an effect on brain development. I've seen this sort of thing before, but unfortunately it was post mortem."

"Post mortem?"

"Yeah, in the Genesis program, there were a lot of subjects as they called them, who didn't make it, as they ran their experiments that led eventually to those that survived, like Adam and the others. These particular readings were found during the autopsies. It was one of the surprises that they didn't expect to have happen, when they were running the project. There was a group of kids, who at about the time they reached puberty, something just went wrong. Their brain cells suddenly started to fail and go into some sort of self-destruct mode. I saw the reports later. They tried but they couldn't stop it when it happened. It was one group of kids early on in the project, who had this happen to them. After that, the scientists made changes and it didn't happen anymore, but it caused them a lot of trouble. Of course General Adams and the others, who were overseeing the project, didn't care about the kids and once they realized that the kids were a lost cause, they let them go. They didn't even try to make their last moments comfortable. They were in a lot of pain toward the end, according to the reports. The leaders of the project even used their death as a subject to study. I wasn't part of the project then, but I read some of the reports later and I think it was your counterpart who was the one who found the cause and came up with the fix so that the others later in the project didn't have to worry about it. The only problem is that it was 100% fatal once it set in."

"So you're saying that it hasn't set in yet?"

Janet nodded her head and pointed at the readings once again.

"We found it early and have maybe four years to find a solution before the problem will start. Perhaps between the two of us, we can find a solution to the problem before it hits. Of course as I said earlier, we can always use the blood transfusion from the Genesis kids as a backup if we can't find a solution, which should deal with the problem."

Brett was quiet as he thought about the four boys dying a painful death and not being able to do anything about it.

"Do you have any of the research from the project that you can give to me, so that I'm not starting from scratch?"

Logan spoke up.

"Daileass told me that Sean passed the test, so he gave him one of the laptops. We can send the info to him and he can give it to you."

Brett's interest was piqued when Logan mentioned the laptop, like it was something special.


Logan chuckled as he recognized Brett's geek interest.

"Yeah, we have a few laptops that translocated with us to this universe and for someone who is not a member of the UNIT to get one, they have to pass a test. Sean passed and he was given one."

"Any chance I could get one."

Logan looked at him for a few moments before shaking his head.

"I don't think you could get to first base with Daileass."

"First base, with an old guy, ewwwwww. You gotta be kidding!"

They turned around at the voice and saw that Daileass had just entered the room and had a look on his face that looked like he smelled something bad, but they could see that his eyes twinkled a little. Logan and the others grinned at him.

"Hey Dally. Brett here was asking about getting one of the laptops."

Daileass looked at Brett and you could see he had to control himself so that he didn't start giggling.

"Um, no offense, but let me ask you something. You've seen Sean in action and you know what he can do with a computer?"

Brett nodded.

"Do you think that you could keep him out of a system, that you had only five minutes to protect?"

Brett didn't answer right away. He knew he was pretty good, but Sean was so far ahead of him, so far ahead of any other hacker that he had ever worked with, that there was no chance that he could stop Sean with only five minutes to protect his system. He wasn't sure if he could even protect a system from Sean, no matter how long he had to protect it. He shook his head.

"I don't think that I, personally, could keep him out of any system. I'm not sure that I know anyone that could stop Sean from getting into a system if he was determined to do so.

Daileass nodded.

"I thought so. That is what his test was. He had five minutes to harden his laptop against my intrusion. I actually had to work a little bit to get into his system. He's good and he's only going to get better."

"Okay then, I'll live vicariously through him."

He turned his attention back to Janet.

"Okay, so we have a way to stay in contact so that we can solve this problem. I think this solidifies my decision to move everyone up to Coeur d'Alene. My counterpart here had a lab built on some property that he owns near the lake."

Logan and Janet both nodded.

"That sounds like a good idea. You'll be closer to the others that we are working with up in Kettle Falls, Washington."

"You have some more of your guys up in Kettle Falls?"

"Not exactly, but there is a large group of very smart people who have come together to assist those who have gotten on Ashwood's shit list. They support Jack, er, President Bryce, as much as we do."

"Good, I look forward to meeting them."

Irvin entered the room.

"Doc, it's getting close to lunch, should we prepare enough for everyone."

"Oh, of course."

He looked at Janet and the others. Logan nodded.

"Good, then the wife and I will start getting things going."

"Do you have enough food for everyone?"

Irvin shook his head with a smile.

"With the shopping trip yesterday, I'm sure we have enough for everyone."

"I'm sure a couple of my friends will help you prepare everything."

"Thanks that will be a great help."

They left the room to take care of what they needed to do.

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