Castle Roland


by Eric Aune


Chapter 8

Published: 8 Apr 14

Mac activated his back door program into the Hunt Labs security system and took over control of the system. In the lab security office Marty was watching the cameras that showed the lab where the make shift nursery was located. While he watched, the screen flickered slightly. He hit a couple of controls and then smiled. It looked like things were starting. He got up from the desk as one of his men returned from a bathroom break. He glanced back at the arms locker where the tranquilizer guns were located. Earlier that day, Marcus had turned the guns over to him and he had locked them up in his arms locker. He had only told his men that he needed them to return that night around ten. He hadn't told them the real reason why they were coming back later or at least the real reason as Marcus had it figured, only that it was a security exercise and they wouldn't be there too late into the night.

Marty made his way to the lobby security desk just as a delivery truck drove through the front gate. He watched as it pulled over to the side of the building at the delivery door. He met them as they got out of the truck. The driver handed Marty a clipboard with the bill of lading. Marty glanced at it and handed it back. Marty walked over to the door and opened it for them. The two men weren't sure what to do. They didn't want to open the truck, because they knew the security officer would see the other men that were in the truck. There would be questions, even though the men were dressed as delivery men as well.

Marty saw the looks on their faces and his gift worked for him. He could hear what they were thinking about. He let a smile come to his face and decided to let them off the hook. "C'mon, get your things unloaded. I'm a friend of Dr. MacLeod's."

The men hesitated a moment as they studied him. The driver then turned to his companion and nodded. They turned to open the back of the truck. A couple of the men had their hands inside the coveralls they were wearing. When they saw that Marty was patiently standing there leaning against the side of the door they relaxed and the group started unloading the crates with the hydraulic lift on the truck. Marty watched as they lowered the crates to the ground, pushed the crates into the building, and down the hall to makeshift nursery.

In the nursery, Brett and the others looked up as the doors opened. They saw the men pushing the large crates into the room. Once in the room, two of the men stripped off their coveralls and handed them to the others. Underneath they were wearing lab jackets, much like what Brett and some of the others were wearing. The crates were quickly unloaded. The bodies, dry ice, and explosives were moved to a side room of the lab. Once the crates were unloaded the women said their goodbyes to their husbands and got into the crates. They made sure that they left their purses behind and anything that would identify them as being in the lab. The delivery men closed them up and wheeled them slowly out of the lab and back to the truck. Marty waited until the men had returned to the truck. The driver said goodbye and shook Marty's hand. Marty locked the door and walked slowly back to the front door as the truck drove off.

Back at the house, Mac's radio crackled.

"The packages have been delivered and our new packages picked up. The ally let us in. No problems encountered."

"Roger." He turned to the others, "It's showtime."

Back at the lab, preparations were underway. The two men went to the side room and prepared the explosives. Once the bombs were ready the men walked up to Brett with a building schematic.

"Doctor MacLeod, my names Greg, we're ready to place the packages. One of us can do it, but I'll need an escort in case I need to get through any locked doors."

"I can do that."

Greg nodded and the two of them looked at the schematic. Greg pointed out various locations on the schematic. Brett nodded and Greg went to the side room and loaded some of the devices in a satchel. He and Brett then left the nursery and went to one of the nearby rooms.

"Sir, if you could keep watch on the door while I get this set up."

Brett nodded and stayed by the door while Greg set up the explosive device. He first looked around the room to judge what was in the room and where the best point would be to place the device for the best effect. Once he decided the best location, he peeled off a film that concealed a sticky substance that allowed it to be attached to the wall, usually behind some piece of equipment. In some cases there was some sort of tank that held oxygen or some other combustible material. When the device was secured, he then extended a small antenna and switched the device on which would then show a red light, he then pressed another button which changed the red light to a green light. Next, he made sure the device was well hidden so as not to be easily seen. Once that was done he stood up and rejoined Brett.

"Okay, let's go to the next location."

They checked the schematic again and they moved to the next location, to repeat the process until all of the devices were in place inside of each area that Greg had designated as the correct location to place them. That left four of the devices in the Nursery. They reentered the lab and the guy who had set the devices nodded to his partner Rob.

Rob went to the bag he had carried with him and pulled out an electronic device of some kind that was about the size of a paperback book. It had two LED lights, one green and one red. There were two toggle switches and a push button. He pushed the first switch and the red light came on, he pushed the second switch and the green light came on. He looked at his partner and nodded. "We're good."

Greg looked at the civilians in the room. "The device that Rob has controls the explosives. It starts the timer on all of the devices. After the first explosion, we have one minute before the next goes off and then the others will be one minute apart. Everyone understand?"

Everyone nodded.

"Doctor MacLeod. We're ready here. We can leave whenever all of you are ready."

At that moment the door opened. Rob switched off the device and slipped it back into the bag as everyone else looked at the opening door. Rob and Greg turned their back to the two men who entered the lab and pretended to be looking at the equipment in front of them. Brett had to school his features as he saw Marty come in with Marcus behind him. Marcus smiled in greeting.

"Good Evening Doctor MacLeod. How is the study going?"

"Well, everything is fine, Mister Kelly. I didn't know you were still here?"

"I had some last minute administration work that I had to get taken care of. I remembered that you were doing this study so I thought I'd drop by and see how things were going."

Marcus looked at the medical cribs where he could see the shapes of the babies in the dim light. He noted the others in the room and nodded. He then stopped and looked around with a puzzled expression.

"I thought your wives were going to be here tonight?"

Brett kept his look impassive. Inside his heart was beating so fast, he was sure that Marcus could hear it. He didn't know what to say. He thought that the plans were screwed up.

"Mister Kelly, I thought I saw them going toward the restrooms."

Marcus glanced at Marty and nodded before turning back to Brett.

"Well, I'll let you go. I'm almost done so I'm off for home soon. Have a nice night. Martin, walk me out?"

As Marcus left, Marty threw a glance over his shoulder just before he closed the door behind them. Several of the guys in the room let out a breath they hadn't realized they had been holding.

"That was close."

Rob brought the device out again and turned it back on, checking to make sure it was communicating with the devices.

Outside, Marcus and Marty were walking back towards the other building.

"When will your team be here?"

"They should be here by ten pm."

"Good. Once you've got all of them subdued let me know and we'll get them all out to the jet."

"Yes, sir."

Marcus continued on his way to his office while Marty headed back into the main lab building. He went straight to the Nursery. When he opened the door and entered the room, everyone looked up quickly. Rob put his hand in the bag where he had a 9mm Glock concealed. Greg subtly shook his head and Rob relaxed a little, but kept his hand on the gun.

"Doctor MacLeod! I need to talk to you."

"What about, Marty?"

He pulled Brett over to the side and kept his voice low when he spoke.

"Doc, if you're going to do something, you need to do it soon. Marcus has given me orders to take you all into custody. He's waiting in his office for my men to get here. They're going to be here around ten. It would be better if you were gone be then. I told them that we were doing a security exercise and that's why they are coming here tonight. Marcus wants us to hit all of the adults with tranq darts."

Marty looked around and noted everyone that was there before he turned back to Brett.

"Where are your wives? I know they came in with the babies. How are you going to get the babies out, if they're not here to help you?"

"Marty, they're gone and safe. Don't worry about the kids, they'll be fine. I do have one question for you, is there anyone besides us in the lab right now?"

Marty shook his head.

"I've only got the man at the front desk in this building. He makes his rounds every hour or so just to check that the doors are still locked. There is another at the front gate and one in the security office in the other building. That's all that are here in the complex."

"Marty, is there some way that you could get the guy that is at the desk to go for a break or something?"

"Sure, that shouldn't be a problem."

Brett looked at his watch, it was about eight thirty. They had about an hour and a half before the other security men got there. He decided that it might be time to put the plan into action. He held up his hand for Marty to stay where he was, while he walked over to Greg.

"Marty told me that the security staff is going to be here around ten. He told them it was a security exercise, but as far as Marcus is concerned it is when he is going to strike. We have about an hour and a half to get out of here."

Greg motioned with his head towards Marty, "What about him?"

Brett looked over his shoulder at Marty and nodded.

"He's ready to help us. Right now, besides us in here and the security guy at the front desk, there is no one else here. He said he'd send the guy at the desk on a break when I asked. So…"

Greg was silent as he looked at Marty. When his eyes came back to Brett, he nodded. "We have less time than that. There is going to be someone or several someone's who will show up early, there always is someone who gets here early. I think we need to do this now. So have your friend change the guard now. We'll get you guys moved to the room nearest the exit that we're going to use. Leave your lab coats here. We'll put them on the bodies. Once we have everything set up here, we'll come get you and trigger the explosives in this room. That should be enough of a diversion for us to get you out of the building. When we get to the fence, we'll set off the others. I would tell your friend that he should keep everyone clear if he doesn't want anyone hurt."

"How soon?"

"I'd say twenty minutes from now."

Brett nodded and walked back over Marty.

"Marty, keep everyone away from the lab. You get out too. You've got about twenty minutes."

Marty looked at him carefully before nodding. He started to turn away and then turned back and held out his hand.

"Good luck Doc."

They shook hands and Brett nodded. Marty left the room and headed to the front desk. He told the man at the desk to take a break. He reminded him that the rest of the guys were going to be there soon and he might want to get a cup of coffee and relax for a little before they got there. The man thanked him and went over to the security office to do just that. Marty sat at the desk and waited while keeping an eye on what was going on outside to make sure no one entered the building.

Greg and Rob put on tactical radios and contacted their friends. "Doc Run Two, this is One."

"Two, over."


"Roger. We're ready."

Greg put in another call. "OB, fifteen from now."

"Got it."

Greg turned to the rest of them. "Okay, let's get the bodies out here and put your lab coats on them as we get them into position. Besides, those coats will stand out in the dark as we make our way to the fence line."

Everyone got to work on getting everything set up. Lab coats were put on the bodies and they set them up at locations around the room. Some were slumped in chairs in front of computer workstations. Others were put in other places in the room. Greg and Rob put the explosive devices in place next to the tanks of oxygen that were in place in the room. Once they were satisfied, they motioned for the men to follow them. They went out the door and headed towards the back of the building.

When they saw the exit door Greg led them into a room nearby. "Okay, here goes."

He looked over at Rob and nodded. Rob took the control box out of the bag and glanced at everyone before turning it on. He waited a few seconds then hit the second switch, the LED turned to red. He hit the next switch that turned the LED to green, he looked at the group.

"Once I hit this remember, first explosion, then one minute for us to get the hell out of here. You follow Greg and stay low. We're going to be running to the back fence where friends are waiting to get us through the fence and into the truck that will be parked nearby. Everyone cover your ears and open your mouths. Trust me it will help. Brace yourselves now.

Rob made sure everyone was ready and then he hit the final switch and there was a loud blast and the building shook. They waited a moment until the building stopped shaking and then Greg led them out. Brett made sure he was the last as everyone started to file out. The hallway outside was in chaos. There were some hanging light fixtures, some were out, some were sparking, but several were still lit. Smoke was starting to flow into the hall. There was an alarm going off and lights were flashing. From his computer terminal, Mac entered a command and the feed to the security cameras in the building was fried.

Greg led them toward the closed emergency door and slammed it open. The others followed, ducking down low. Rob waited by the door as they filed through. Brett waited at the door of the room to shepherd everyone toward the door. Before he followed them, he looked back down the hall for one last look. As he turned to go, he saw what looked like a figure stumbling around in the smoke out in the hall. He stopped and tried to look down the hall.

"Doctor MacLeod, we have to go, we have about thirty seconds."

Brett looked back towards Rob, who was waving his arm for Brett to come on. Brett turned back and he could now make out that it was….Doctor Hunt.


"Doc….let's GO!"

Brett looked at him and pointed toward the stumbling figure. He then waved at Rob, "GO! I'LL BE RIGHT THERE!"

Rob shook his head and waved his arm again. Brett ignored him and ran towards the figure. Rob looked up as if asking for strength and dropped his arms in resignation. He watched as Brett ran into the hall. He disappeared in the smoke that was starting to fill the hall. Rob watched helplessly for a few moments before he started into the smoke after him.

Brett lost track of the figure. He could see a red glow ahead and he knew the fires were starting. There was just a short amount of time before the next device was going to go off. Brett caught up with Richard.

"Richard! Richard!"

Richard looked around at the voice as Brett caught up with him.

"Brett? I…I was…going to stop by the lab to wish all of you luck…"


Brett and Richard turned to the voice. It was Rob who was about twenty feet away, waving his arm for him to follow him. Then there was an explosion and a flash of red between them and then something slammed Richard into him. They hit head to head and down they went. Rob was thrown backwards down the hall. When he landed, his breath was knocked out of him and it took a couple of moments to catch his breath. When he got up, he saw that there were flames shooting out of the wall that the explosion had come from. It was between him, Brett, and Richard.

Rob got up and tried to see if he could get around the flame. He ducked down trying to look under and around the flame as he tried to see beyond the it. He was finally able to see beyond the flame and what he saw gave him pause. He saw Richard and Brett's unmoving bodies lying under parts of the exploded wall. Neither of them was moving. He could see no life signs, but the fire kept him from getting any closer. Knowing that the next explosion was due, he turned and ran for the exit.

"Rob, where are you guys?"

"I'm on the way!"


Rob slammed his way out the emergency exit and ran hunched over as fast as he could towards the back fence. When he got there, Greg was waiting. Greg looked behind him and grabbed his arm.

"Where's the doc?'

Rob shook his head.

"He got caught in one of the explosions. He and another guy, they're gone. I couldn't get to them, because of the explosion, but from what I could see, they weren't moving at all and parts of a wall were lying on top of them."

Greg got a grim look on his face and patted him on the arm. Rob headed toward the truck. Greg took one last look back toward the building as another explosion rocked it. He could hear sirens in the distance so he reluctantly headed towards the truck. He jumped up into the back and faced all the men.

"I'm sorry, Rob saw Doctor MacLeod get caught in an explosion. He's dead. Police and fire are going to be crawling all over this place so we have to go."


"No buts. We can't stay or all of this is for nothing and we'll all be headed to prison for arson and…murder."

All of them were shocked at the news but said nothing more when Greg told them that. Greg nodded and he jumped up into the back of the truck and the door was pulled close and latched.

"Everyone sit down, because this is going to be bumpy."

Everyone sat down. No one said anything. It was a very silent drive to the house in Oyster Bay. Almost forty five minutes later the truck pulled up into the drive and by the time the back door of the truck was rolled up, the wives were outside waiting for them. It didn't register right away that the men were very subdued. Until Kathy came out to greet Brett and there was no Brett to greet.

"Where's Brett?"

Greg walked over to her and told her. Her face crumpled as she started to cry. Greg helped her into the house, followed by the others. In the living room of the house, they saw images of a burning building from a few different angles on a couple of large monitors that were set up on a temporary table. Mac turned around in his chair as Greg led everyone into the house. When he saw him helping Kathy, he realized something bad had happened.

"What happened? Where's Doctor MacLeod?"

Greg left Kathy in the care of a couple of the other ladies as he walked over to Mac.

"He was caught in one of the explosions trying to help someone who was where they shouldn't have been. We were told everyone was out, but apparently someone was still inside and was caught in an explosion. Rob said he was unmoving and he and the other person were buried under a wall. There was fire cutting him off from getting to the two bodies, but he said there was nothing he could do for them."

Mac nodded before turning back to the monitors. The others in the room, talked quietly. Sometimes they would glance at the monitors that showed the burning building. He was still able to watch what was happening back at the lab, because the camera server was in the older building. Of course, he had no views of the inside of the building, only the outside. At this point the lab was fully engulfed and some of the outside walls had been blown outward. He could see where walls of the lab had been blown far enough to take out some of the back fence. There were several fire trucks trying to put out the fire. Mac was able to see Marcus standing outside the building just beyond the fire trucks with Marty standing by him. Marcus seemed to be talking on a cell phone and gesturing wildly. He seemed to be very agitated. He closed the images down before turning to the others.

"First, I'd like to say I'm sorry about what happened to Doctor MacLeod. He was the force behind all of this. He found out what was going on and what they GRA planned. He found the people he needed to help him accomplish what he thought was needed to keep all of you safe. For now, I think the best thing to do, is for everyone to get some rest. It's been a very long, stressful day and now it's time to rest. Tomorrow you start your new lives."

The couples nodded numbly at his words and they started to head to the bedrooms. Christine told Derrick that she would be in their room in a little while. She went with Kathy to her and Brett's room. Soon, all that were left was Mac, Terry, Jim and Greg. Once the couples had left,

Mac opened up the cameras and they watched. After a few more moments to see how involved the building was, Mac entered some commands and the camera feeds went out and Mac turned to the three others. "Okay, let's get some rest as well. We need to get these people out of here tomorrow and off on their new lives."

They all nodded. Greg said goodbye as he left to meet with his team at the warehouse so they could clear out their part of the operation and make sure there was nothing to tie any of them to the operation.

The next morning people starting making their way downstairs as the smell of breakfast made its way through the house. They had their boys with them. Mac, Terry and Jim were cooking breakfast for everyone. They brought the food out to the large dining room table and there was plenty to eat for everyone. When everyone was finished eating Mac gathered them in the living room.

He had all of the packages that held their identities piled on the table behind him.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, it's time. Sadly, for all of you, it is a parting of the ways. For your safety, you must not try to contact each other. You know what will happen if you are discovered. I know that you are friends and this will be very hard. You will also not be able to contact any of your family for the same reason. As far as the world knows, you and your children died in that fire. One of my guys checked out the sight early this morning. The building is completely destroyed. There is little left standing."

He picked up the morning paper and showed them the title of one of the articles.

Hunt Labs Tragedy

Tragic fire strikes Hunt Labs

He looked at them before he read some of it:

"Many were shocked by the tragic fire at Hunt labs last night. Several researchers died in the unfortunate fire. There is no official tally of the loss of life but unconfirmed sources say that evidence suggests that several of the researchers were trapped in the building when it burned. Dr. Hunt is thought to be one of those who lost his life. No other information is forthcoming at this time. Mister Marcus Kelly, administrator of the lab did not comment other than to say it was a tragic accident."

Mac stopped reading and put the paper down.

"My people and I have made inquiries and from what we can find out, all of you are listed as having perished in the fire. Your families are going to probably get a settlement from the lab's insurance policy along with whatever else they can get from the proceeds of your estates."

He paused a moment before continuing, he picked up the packet on the top of the stack.

"Now, to the main matter that we are here for, early this morning, plain used cars were delivered by my guys for each family to leave here for their new life. The way that Brett wanted me to do this, if something prevented him from being here, is that I will give each family their new identities without letting the others know their new names and I will see you out. I know that you have seen all the information previously, but unless you took notes, you may not remember too much about each other's identities. So let's get this started, I'll start with Derrick and Christine Stuart. If you three will come with me, I will see you off."

Derrick and Christine stood up. Everyone said goodbye and good luck. There were tears of course, because this group had become good friends and they knew that this would be the last time that they would see each other. Mac walked them out the front door. In the large driveway were eight used four door sedans. All of them were about the same type although there was some variety in the make and model. They all appeared to be in excellent shape for used cars. Mac reached into the packet and pulled out a set of keys as he led them over to one of the cars.

"Mister and Missus Stuart, here is your car and your documents. There is already a bank account set up with the majority of the money that you removed from your other bank. Inside is also one thousand dollars cash. Also enclosed is the destination of your new home town in Illinois. Take some time getting there. Think of it as a vacation. There are several openings in your new fields in the area, so you should have no problem securing a new position. There is also some information about homes for sale in the area. I wish you and your family the best of luck."

They all shook hands.

"Thank you Mac, for everything you've done. Will we ever see you again or hear from you?"

Mac shook his head and they exchanged handshakes.

"I shouldn't think so. I haven't kept any information about your new identities, so unless we run into each other sometime in the future, I expect that we won't see each other again."

"Well then, goodbye and once again, thanks."

"Good luck to you folks. Take care of your son and have a good life."

They got in the car and Mac waited until they had driven off before he reentered the house. Inside he waited for a few minutes until he received a nod from Jim. Mac and Jim had set some of the other guys after they had delivered the cars to watching for the cars as they left. Jim was wearing an earpiece that was connected to the other guys and when he received the confirmation that the Stuarts were on their way from one of the other guys, he let Mac know.

"They're on their way Mac."

Mac nodded before he chose the next family's packet. He followed the same procedure with each family, wishing them good luck and waiting until Jim received confirmation that they were on their way before moving onto the next family and so on until only Kathy and her son were left. He picked up her packet and sat down next to her on the couch.

"Kathy, I'm very sorry everything happened this way. Brett was a good man and he thought only of you and the boy's safety."

"I know. Are you sure that he died in the fire?"

"According to what we've been able to find out, all of you are listed as having died in the fire. They found evidence of the bodies that we left behind. The fire was very hot as we had planned and there was little left of any of the bodies. They found evidence of burned bodies near where Rob saw Doctor Hunt and Brett fall, so the evidence points to that conclusion. They also found some of the ID's that were left behind in the lab. From that evidence they have concluded that all of you, including your sons, perished in the fire."

"How come none of the names are mentioned in the paper?"

"Marcus Kelly is keeping it quiet to official sources about the boys. They don't want any sensational headlines. From some emails that I've been able to intercept between him and Hank Archer, the GRA is going to contact your families and give them an insurance settlement and tell them that you were all there for a sleep study with the boys when the fire broke out and that none survived. The settlements will probably be substantial and they will ask for a non disclosure statement that they are not to discuss anything about the settlement with anybody."

Kathy nodded, "It's good to know that our families will be taken care of. Thank you Mac, for everything. I won't forget you and how you helped us."

She stood up and started gathering everything together with Mac's help. He carried her bags and her packet with the new papers in it out to the remaining car. He loaded the bags in the trunk while she put Jamie into the car seat in the back. Once everything was loaded, she gave Mac a hug and thanked him once again before getting in the car and heading off into her new life. Mac watched her until she was no longer in sight. He then went inside the house and with Jim and Terry's help they started cleaning up the house before they packed everything up so that they could leave the next day.

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