Castle Roland

New Beginnings
Book II
Dogs of War

by Roland

In Progress

Chapter 10

Published: 20 Oct 16

New Beginnings Book II: Dogs of War

Copyright © 2016 by Roland and the Revolutions Universe Partnership.

All Rights Reserved

USS Ronald Reagan
Off the Coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Dog of War LogoIt took them almost five hours after the UNIT Intelligence team had gotten Adam and Bucky the intel on the train, before they were ready for Operation Sundance. What intel they got wasn't anywhere near as much as they might like, but they didn't have time to wait. As it was, they were going to have to hit the train closer to a populated area than they wanted to, and even more so, closer to the 'front lines' of the war. Unfortunately it couldn't be helped.

As for the intel they did obtain, there were over one hundred people on that train headed to New Orleans, where they would be put on a ship, then sent to Mexico. Of the hundred, they were able to count at least thirty-five children that were destined for the AoG biological base. They needed to stop that train, and stop it now.

Adam ran into the back of the Chinook, along with Bucky, Joe, Adrian, and as many members of the SEALs, as the Chinook could hold. The rest of the SEALs, as well as the Australian Special Forces Team, were riding in two Ospreys that were coming along. Christina and her team, along with Jimmy Horne, were in Dragon, and they all had support from Veny and Will in the Hind, and Runt and Tommy in the Black Ghost. They were ready for a fight, and were sure that the enemy would be happy to oblige.

They were also getting help from Colonel Shelton in Orlando. But the biggest help came from the Texas forces, that were going to be sending fighters and transport planes. All in all, Adam was more than a bit impressed with Bucky's ability to plan a complicated mission in a very short time.

Just after they took off, Adam moved over to where Adrian and Joe were sitting and talking. "Hey Dad." Adam said with a smile, causing the man to smile back at him. "You gonna keep Adrian in line on this one?"

"Doubtful." Adrian said with a grin.

"Yeah. Juan tells me that Adrian is like an older version of him." Joe said with a snicker. "And we all know how much luck we have with keeping Juan in line."

"You know, it scares me to think of the two of you hooking up." Adam said with a smile, that caused Adrian to look a little shocked. Adam just laughed more, as he slapped Adrian on the shoulder, and sat next to him. "Look, we ain't as uptight as some people. Yeah, you're older than him, but honestly, none of us are what you would consider normal kids, so it's not that big a deal… to us."

Adrian shook his head, and sighed. He looked at Joe, who nodded his agreement to what Adam had said which made Adrian sigh again. "Look, don't get me wrong. Juan is… well he's at the same time, down right scary, and extremely attractive. I've never really met anyone like him, and even though I never thought of myself as straight, or gay or in between, I just… well, hell I don't know. If he had grown ten years instead of five, then there wouldn't be any real hesitation. I mean I know he's different, you all are. But I just can't get over the fifteen-year-old looking boy."

"Trust me." Joe said with a sad shake of his head. "I get it. Janet and I still have trouble seeing beyond the age of the kids. Every time we've suited up for combat, a large part of me screams that I'm going into battle with nothing more than kids. Every instinct in me wants me to stop the insanity. Thankfully, I've learned to push that down, since I know these kids are more likely to survive than I am. They're better trained, physically more than I could ever be, but I still see them as kids."

"And you need to get over that." Adam said with a smile, before he turned and looked at Adrian again. "Juan told me that he knew you would say that. You gotta understand, even though he is probably the most… aggressive of us. He's also the most powerful empath, and has an unbelieveable understanding of people. There are times where I'm convinced he knows me better than I know myself. With that said, he really needs to hear from you how you feel. He won't take it poorly…. well maybe at first." Adam said with a chuckle. "But he'll get over it, and then, well it would be hard to find a more loyal friend."

Before Adrian could respond, Bucky broke in. "Hey Adam." Adam looked up and saw the man walking up to him, with another, younger man by his side.

Adam stood as he spoke. "What's up Bucky?"

Bucky nodded to the man next to him. "This is Speedy, one of my new replacements. He hasn't been assigned a team for missions yet. Would you mind pairing up with him?"

Adam looked the man up and down for a moment, then nodded. "Sure."

"That was fast." Bucky said with a grin. "Don't you want to know what his capabilities are?"

Adam smiled at Bucky, then looked back at Speedy. "Well, first off, he's a member of your team, so I know he's a first class operator. By the way he wears his gear, I can tell this isn't his first rodeo." Adam paused, then spoke directly to Speedy. "I can tell by the six knives you carry you have no problem getting up close and personal, if needed. The way your rifle and sidearms are arranged say you're naturally right handed, but have trained yourself to be able to fire with either hand. You're loaded down heavy, but not too heavy, which tells me that you're expecting to be in a fight, and want to be prepared for as much as possible, but not over burdened in case we need to bug out. All in all, I'd say you'll be fine…" He paused and grinned. "That is if you can keep up with me."

Bucky burst out laughing, joined a moment later by Speedy. The man thrust his hand out towards Adam who took it easily. "They named me Speedy for a reason."

Adam's grin grew wider. "Sweet." He then turned to Bucky. "Thanks…. I think I'll like this guy."

"Great." Bucky clapped Adam on the shoulder. "Why don't I let you guys get to know each other. We still got a couple hours till we get to the fun."

Adam sat back down, with Speedy sitting right next to him. He was about to introduce Joe and Adrian, but saw them deep in a conversation with another SEAL, so Adam turned so he could face the young man, and looked him over again. He looked to be in his early twenties, short cropped brown hair, with brown eyes. He was probably about the same height as Adam, just over six foot tall, and was fairly well built, without being bulky.

Adam noticed that Speedy was doing the same thing to him, sizing up his new partner, and learning as much as he could before they started to talk. "You know, we've trained for just about everything conceivable. However, assaulting a moving train was not one of them."

Adam laughed with Speedy, and nodded. "Yeah, not something I thought too much about till now, but I know a few people back at our base that are gonna be pissed cause they didn't get to come along."

"I can imagine." Speedy said before his smile disappeared, and he got serious. "Bucky already explained to me that you guys are top secret, and not to ask too much. If I get close to any sensitive topics, just tell me, and I'll drop it."

Adam nodded and smiled. "Don't worry, I'll let you know, and I won't take offense the first time." The man nodded, so Adam got down to business. "So tell me, what made you crazy enough to want to be a SEAL?"

"Okay! Gear up!" Bucky called out. "We're fifteen out!"

Adam shook his head not realizing how much time had passed as he and Speedy got to know each other. The more he learned, the more he liked the man. However, he was pretty sure that Juan would like him even more. The man seemed to know how to use just about anything that fired a bullet, and a lot of things that didn't. Thankfully he wasn't as…. zealous, as Juan could be.

They turned to each other, and for the next ten minutes went over each other's gear, making sure everything was secured, and ready to go. When they were done, they waited for Bucky's next order, which came shortly. "First team, get ready to go!"

With that, Adam and Speedy joined Joe and Adrian, as well as several of the others, at the back ramp. They were the ones that were actually going to make the jump from the helicopter onto the moving train.

Adam secured his helmet, and set his radio to receive all the channels that were being used for the rescue. Just as he did, he heard Christina's voice. "This is Red Dragon Actual... starting our run."

About two miles ahead of them, Dragon swooped down out of the sky, it's stealth up, making them virtually invisible to anyone. They came down to within ten feet of the top of the train, and accelerated forward. When they reached the engine, Khan, Chase, Robin and Rio, jumped out, and got ready to take the car. Dragon then backed off slightly, till they were above the second car, where the rest of the Red Dragons jumped off, and waited.

Just as Dragon was pealing off, the Chinook was coming in. Billy brought them up from the rear, getting ready to drop Adam and the rest off on the last two cars. They already knew that the soldiers were in the comfortable cars in the front and back, while the prisoners were in the 'cattle cars' in the middle.

The back ramp of the Chinook started to descend, and Adam readied himself. The wind buffeting him would have been enough to push him back had he not been holding on. He looked out the back and saw the car slowly moving beneath him. Of course he knew the train was traveling at about sixty miles an hour, but Billy was barely going faster.

"FIRST TEAM! GO!" Bucky shouted, and Adam didn't hesitate. He ran forward, and leaped out into the open air. For less than two seconds, he was falling, before he hit the roof of the train. He took a knee, bringing his rifle up, and scanning the top of the car. In his helmet he heard Chase reporting that they were starting the assault on the train's engine.

Speedy slapped him once on the shoulder, and Adam began to move. The plan was for them to start their sweep at the back of the car, while two others started at the front, meeting in the middle. The hope was that the noise of the train would prevent anyone inside from hearing them, until they started firing. So far everything seemed to be going according to plan, which only made everyone even more nervous. Adam peaked over the side, and saw a soldier standing there. The man was smoking a cigarette with his rifle slung over his shoulder. Adam pulled back and motioned for Speedy to grab him by the legs. When Adam was ready, he slid over the lip, hanging upside down. Speedy gently lowered him till Adam could grab the man.

With a grin, Adam reached out and grabbed the man, one hand wrapping around his mouth to prevent him from screaming. With a quick twist, Adam snapped the man's neck, then pushed him off the back of the train. Moments later Adam dropped down, and scanned the inside of the train. Being that it was the middle of the night outside, and the car was well lit, Adam wasn't noticed by the ten or so men that were lounging around.

Speedy dropped in behind Adam, and a moment later, placed his hand on Adam's shoulder. Adam keyed his mic and spoke softly. "Ready."

A moment later, "Go!" came back to him. Adam instantly was on his feet, throwing the door to the side with one hand, and firing with the other. As he was moving, Adam felt the train starting to slow, so he knew the engine team had accomplished their mission. It took them less than fifteen seconds to secure their car. "We're clear." Adam said into his radio, as he continued scanning the room, just to make sure.

"Good job teams. The train's ours." Was Bucky's response. While Adam couldn't see it, he knew that in Texas, three C-130s as well as two full squadrons of fighter jets were streaking towards them, keeping just above the trees, to try and avoid detection for as long as possible.

Adam jumped down from the train just as it came to a full stop, and ran over to where Bucky was already waiting at the doors to the first of the 'cattle cars'. He got there just as the doors were being pulled open, and Bucky was shining a light at the people in the car. "I'm Lieutenant Commander Albert Buchinski, with the United States Navy. We're here to rescue you. Please exit the train in an orderly fashion and we'll make sure you all get somewhere safe."

Surprisingly enough most everyone was relatively calm as they were helped from the train. "We've got a problem." Adam heard over the radio. "There's a lot more than a hundred here."

Before Bucky could reply, he heard another voice. "Romeo team, this is Oracle, be advised, they know you're there. Just got a burst transmission from the Shreveport base. They just went to full alert and are deploying in your direction. Estimate twelve minutes before they engage."

"Shit!" Bucky cursed before he keyed his mic. "Roger that. How long till our birds land?"

"Approximately twenty-six minutes." Was the response.

"Tell them to hurry." Bucky said quickly, then turned to Snoops. "Get them loaded up into the Ospreys, we're gonna have to take multiple trips. As soon as the LZ is secure, bring the other two over as well."

The two Ospreys that Colonel Shelton had sent for the mission had landed about five miles away at a county airport. The Marines on board were securing the airport in advance of the C-130s that were coming in to take the hostages to safety in Texas.

The plan had been to load up the hundred or so hostages, transport them over, and let the C-130s take them to safety. Now though, the Ospreys were going to have to make multiple trips, meaning that those at the train would have to hold off whatever the enemy sent at them while the hostages were evacuated.

"Adam." Bucky said bringing Adam's attention back to the present. "Take Bravo Team and set up a battle line half a click to the south east. You guys'll be the front line. Fall back behind us when you need to."

Adam nodded, turned and raised his voice. "Bravo Team! Let's go!" He then took off at a jog into the woods.

Oracle Command UNIT Base
Kettle Falls, WA

"What the hell is going on?" Juan asked as he walked into the Command Center. He was finally starting to feel better, but hearing that there was a battle going on, and he wasn't a part of it, put him in a foul mood. It was as if the universe were laughing at him. First he was the one to find out, the hard way, that this world hadn't got rid of a simple thing like tetanus, but then, before he was fully recovered, to hear that a mission was happening… Yeah he wasn't in a rosy mood.

"Oh nothing much." Logan said with a grin as he turned from watching the screens in front. "Just Adam and the Red Dragon's assaulting a moving train full of undesirables."

Logan tried hard, he really did, but the look on Juan's face made it impossible to not laugh. "Oh my God Juan!" Daileass said as he was laughing too. "You look like a puppy who'd just been kicked!"

"They're…. they're doing what?" Juan said completely ignoring Daileass as he moved forward to get a better look at the monitors. Eve moved her wheelchair to the side, so Juan could get right up to the monitors.

"They're doing a modern day rendition of the Great Train Robbery." Janet piped up trying and failing to hide her grin.

"And… and they didn't invite me?" Juan almost… no, not almost... he did whine.

"Well…" Janet said snickering as she spoke. "You're on medical restriction." Juan looked at her with wide eyes. "That should teach you to not let a tree limb imbed itself in your leg… maybe next time you should move quicker."

"But… but… they coulda waited!" Juan said, fully pouting now. "Assaulting a moving train! That woulda been so kewl!" He spun and looked at Logan, hope widening his eyes. "Where are they? Can I get there in time?"

Logan burst out laughing again as he shook his head. "Sorry little bro, but they're a bit too far away."

"Sh...shoot." He said trying hard to reign in his swearing, after hearing that it really made the Texas boys uncomfortable. Instead of pouting more, Juan moved off to the side to watch the battle unfold with everyone else, keeping an eye on the screen that showed the camera and read outs from Adam's armor. The new armor that Ryan Brown had made was good. Not as good as what they had, but it was surprisingly well made, and all the electronics seemed to be working well from what Juan could tell. "Kick some ass for me Adam." Juan said softly as he settled back to watch.

"Here they come!" Speedy said, while at the same time, firing off a few rounds from his rifle, causing the lead vehicle to swerve and hit a tree. Behind that one, several others were stopping, while soldiers poured out. Bravo team was trying to drop them as quick as they exited the vehicles, but Adam knew that there were too many.

Above them Runt and Tommy buzzed over top, laying down a line of fiery death with the Black Ghost. Adam knew though that they would get precious little help from the helicopters. As if to prove Adam correct, Runt jinked the Ghost to the left to avoid a rocket from an incoming Apache.

"First group off loaded, we're coming back!" Adam heard over the radio from one of the Osprey's pilots. Between the two Ospreys they were able to ferry about seventy people. Unfortunately, Bucky had to order the other two Ospreys to help try and defend the operation, so they wouldn't be able to help transport. The two ferrying Ospreys were going to have to make three or four trips, with the last one being the soldiers that were trying to hold back the onslaught of enemy soldiers.

"Adam." He heard over his radio, this time it was Logan's voice.

"Go." Adam said as he changed out a mag in his rifle.

"Be advised, we just intercepted a signal reporting that the 'unknown force' is here. We think they mean you, and the helicopters. Orders came back immediately to kill or capture, but be sure to get 'samples'."

"Fuck. Got it. Make sure to let Christina, Will, Billy and Runt know." Adam said as his mind raced. He knew this day would come, but was hoping that it would be a while yet. They knew the AoG knew about them, and also that they wanted badly to capture them or their tech. It seems that they have become a high priority.

Logan didn't reply, knowing that any more might distract Adam. What he did do was continue to monitor the situation. He smiled inwardly when he heard the mission commander order in more forces, as well as asking Colonel Shelton for support. This little fight was turning out to be a bit bigger than anyone thought.

"Fall back!" Adam called into his radio as he saw their lines starting to buckle.

"Adam, it's Adrian. Fall back through our line." Adam heard over his radio. He stood up, threw a grenade, then kept firing while he motioned for Speedy to back up. He did, while also changing out a mag and continued to fire. Even in this intense of a firefight, Adam was happy to see Speedy keep to his shooting discipline. In situations like this, it was easy to forget and just try and put as many bullets down range as possible.

Adam didn't have to back up very far before he passed Snoops, one of Bucky's SEALs, who was laying down cover fire for his retreat. Adam continued back about another thirty feet, then positioned his guys to allow Snoops and his men to fall back through them.

"GRENADE!" Speedy called out as he pulled the pin on one and threw it towards the enemy. Adam ducked down and waited until he heard the explosion, preparing his own. As soon as he heard the explosion he raised up and threw his, just behind where Speedy had thrown his. Moments later he was rewarded with another explosion and the screams of several enemy troops.

It didn't do enough though , Adam realized as enemy troops just poured past their dead and dying comrades, to keep pushing towards the clearing that held the civilian prisoners they were trying to rescue.

Even over the noise Adam heard it coming. "GET DOWN!" He screamed as he dropped to the ground. Somewhere behind him the night exploded as an artillery shell impacted the ground, followed by several secondary explosions. "Snoops! Pull back!" Adam hollered.

At the same time, Speedy pulled his pack around, and started to dig into it. Just as the last of Snoops' men withdrew past them, Speedy pulled out a claymore mine, and went about setting it up. Adam covered him, burning through another magazine as he did so.

"ADAM!" He heard Snoops call, letting him know that they were ready for Adam to fall back. Just as they got into position behind Snoops' line, Adam heard Speedy's claymore go off, and even more enemy soldiers were killed.

Adam dropped down beside both Adrian and Joe, looked over and just shook his head. Neither man said anything as they just kept firing. Speedy dropped in next to Adam, calling out. "What a shit storm!"

"Yeah!" Adam called back over the din of fire. He was about to raise up to shoot, when he heard a grenade go off very close to their position. He glanced over, and his blood went cold. A good size tree was starting to topple, right on top of their position.

"COVER ME!" Adam screamed as he jumped to his feet, moved with incredible speed, and braced himself just as the tree came down. He grunted in effort as the tree hit his upward stretched hands. With another grunt, he lifted the tree straight up. "So you wanna play with trees huh." He said softly. "Well CATCH!" He screamed out as he bent slightly, then using all the muscles in his legs and arms, he hurled the tree at the enemy.

"MOVE!" he heard Adrian call into the suddenly quieter area. Adam passed Speedy, who was looking at him wide eyed, but got up and moved back.

"How the hell… FUCK!" He heard Speedy cry out, and turned to see him on the ground, holding his left leg. Adam scooted over towards him, keeping an eye out for any enemy nearby.

"Speedy!" Adam said when he was close enough.

"I'm okay." He said as he pulled himself up. "It went right through." Adam helped him up, and the two of them turned and started to fire, as they again fell back through Snoops' line, although with Speedy limping badly.

This time they found themselves at the edge of the clearing. Adam glanced over and gawked as he saw two of the train cars were on their sides, and burning. The artillery shell had hit the ground right behind the cars, throwing two of them into the air towards where the civilians were. Thankfully Adam didn't see anyone near the ruined cars, but knew it could have been bad.

Just as he found cover, he saw the two Ospreys take off with their load of civilians. This freed up Bucky and the rest of the team to join in the fire fight as all the civilians were now gone. All that was left was for the Ospreys to come back and pick them up.

Bucky slid in next to Adam and looked over. "Nice little party huh?"

Adam couldn't help but snicker as he shook his head. "Next time you throw a party, please forget to invite me."

"What? And let you miss out on all this fun?" Bucky quipped back as he raised his rifle and fired off a quick burst, dropping an enemy soldier that was getting too close.

Before Adam could respond though, everyone dropped to the ground, as yet another artillery shell came slamming into the ground behind them. "This is fucking insane!" Adam cried, with a bit of a laugh, as he ejected a spent mag, and slammed a fresh one in, his last. "Juan is gonna be so pissed!" Above them, he saw the Hind make a sweeping pass over their heads, and unloaded a good amount of ordinance into the woods they had just left.

Will quickly had to engage his stealth though as two Apaches came charging after him. "Adam… we can't hold much longer." Will called out, only to be answered by one of the Osprey's pilots.

"Cargo offloaded, coming back for you guys."

"Roger that. It'll be hot!" Bucky called out into the radio, then turned to his troops. "Fall back to the roadway, the ride’s almost here." Bucky fired off the rest of his mag, then slid down more to re-load. Speedy jumped up, threw another grenade, his last, then raised his rifle to lay down more cover fire.

Adam was turning back to help him, when he saw it happen like in slow motion. Speedy was firing when his right knee suddenly blew out backwards, and he crumpled to the ground. With reaction speed that was unmatched by anyone who wasn't augmented, Adam caught Speedy before he could hit the ground, and promptly threw him over his shoulder.

Speedy didn't scream, to his credit, instead he lifted his rifle, and fired, while on Adam's back. He got his revenge as he put a bullet through the head of the guy that shot him.

"GO!" Bucky cried out, just as the Osprey was landing. "I'll cover you!" Adam nodded as Bucky pushed back up to the roadway and kept firing. He was using the bank as cover, but Adam knew he couldn't hold that position for long.

Adam dropped his rifle, put both arms over Speedy's body to steady him, then ran as fast as he could for the waiting Osprey.

The first one was taking off just as Adam was approaching, so he ducked down as the second one was coming in. He pulled his pistol and fired off a few shots as the giant machine landed. When he heard someone shouting from behind him, Adam turned, saw Joe waving for him, and ran the last twenty feet to where the Osprey waited. He dropped Speedy into Joe's arms, then started to turn to see where Bucky was.

As he turned, he heard it, there was no mistaking that sound. He looked up, and saw it. Saw it coming in fast. It took his mind a millisecond to see where it was going to land. "BUCKY!" Adam cried, but knew the man couldn't hear him. Adam never hesitated, as he sprinted away, ignoring the cries of protest from behind him.

He knew there was only one chance to save Bucky, and he knew he had to try. Time slowed to a crawl as he pushed his legs to move faster than he'd ever moved before. He saw Bucky start to rise up to make his run for the Osprey, but knew there was no chance he would make it. To those watching, Adam was just a blur as he ran headlong into Bucky just when the world blew up around both of them.

Oracle Command UNIT Base
Kettle Falls, WA

Logan watched in horror as he saw Adam tackle the man, and then the explosion right where they had been. Instantly the feed from Adam's suit turned to static. His eyes flew to a different armor camera, Bucky's, but also was nothing but static. He turned to another. What he saw made his heart sink. Where Adam had been was nothing but a fiery crater left by the huge 200 plus pound explosive charge.

"Adam!" He heard Alvin call into the radio. "Adam come in!"

"Respond Adam." Daileass demanded, then added. "Please, Adam respond." Daileass's fingers flew over the keyboard, "I got… nothing from Adam's suit." Daileass said in a stunned voice.

"ADAM!" They all heard Khan roar over the channel. Followed by Tommy's call. Neither of them were answered.

"Raptor 4! Get outta there!" Eve called over the radio, knowing the mission was still in danger. "Angels, clear the area of all troops. I don't care if you use up everything you have. Command… how far out are the jets?"

"Five minutes, Oracle, what do you need."

"No…" Logan whispered, as he looked at Eve, but knew what was coming next. Hell, he helped design the standing order. When it became known that the AoG was trying to get a hold of their DNA, it was decided among the command staff that they would not allow the AoG to get any… no matter what the cost.

Eve hesitated as she met his eyes. Hers were full of sympathy, but a hardness that said the mission had to come first. It only took a moment, but Logan finally gave a barely perceptible nod. "I need an airstrike on this location. Full cleansing run." She said into the mic.

"Copy that!" Came the reply. At the same time the desk Juan was sitting at blew apart as he slammed his fists into it.

"NO!" He cried out. "Adam's not dead! He can't be!"

"Angels!" Eve's insistent voice rose over everyone else's. "You gotta clear the troops out! Dragon is thirty seconds out, and I want as much time for the ground troops to search as we can before the airstrikes get here!"

Everyone was silent as they watched the Hind and the Chinook let loose with everything they had. No longer were they trying to save anything for reserve. Dragon swept in adding his guns to the mix a short time later. Tommy, in the Black Ghost, was trying to keep the enemy helicopters at bay, and doing a hell of a job of it.

Logan felt a surge of hope as he watched Dragon rotate, and drop its back ramp, while still hovering above the ground. There was no mistaking the first huge figure that jumped out, even before the ramp was halfway down. Two smaller figures were right behind Khan, as both Chase and Robin jumped to the ground.

Every other augmented member of the Red Dragons jumped out after them, as they started the frantic search. The fires were still raging where the artillery shell had gone off, but the UNIT members didn't care. They went through it as if it weren't there, as they searched trying to find any sign of Adam.

Logan waited, praying, wishing, hoping for anything, any sign of his Adam to be found. His heart leapt with joy as he heard Rio's voice come over the radio. "I found something." Daileass didn't wait to be told, he brought Rio's armor cam to the main screen.

The anguished cry that ripped from Logan's mouth was enough to force Janet to her feet and rush to her son. Logan struggled to his feet, just as she got there. Without saying anything, he simply turned and hobbled from the room.

On the screen was the broken hilt of Adam's sword. Next to it was a large piece of Adam's armor, covered in blood.

"Over here!" Robin's normally high-pitched voice was deeper and full of emotion. Again, Daileass didn't wait, he simply pulled up Robin's armor cam. No sound was heard, just the stunned silence as they all looked at Adam's helmet, covered in blood, and even a piece of ear laying in it.

"YOU GOTTA GO!" Eve's emotion filled voice came over the radio, even as she watched Logan's retreating form leave the room. "DRAGONS! NOW!"

"NO!" Juan ran over to the command station, just as Dragon lifted off. In the distance they could see the jets streaking in.

"Air strike commencing." A calm voice came over the radio. The first three jets fired Hellfire missiles, all of them hitting their target. The next two forced everyone to look away as they dropped their fuel air bombs creating an inferno that destroyed everything in the area.

"Daisy." Daileass ordered, his voice tight with emotion. "I want every angle of the explosion brought up and broken down frame by frame."

"What's happened?!" Chang said as he ran into the room.

Juan turned and looked at his brother, tears running down his face. "Adam." Was all he was able to say before he ran to and out the door.

Chang stood stunned for a moment, then walked up behind Eve. "Report." He said in a steady voice, a lot more steady than he really felt.

Donnie and Emily were both running full tilt towards the command center of the building. All around them, other UNIT members, in various degrees of dress who had come from the other universe were following them, but all of them allowed the two to take the lead. Every single one of them felt the emotional shock coming from the command center, and knew something had gone terribly wrong. Just before they got there, Emily saw Juan running down the hall towards his room. Without hesitation, she turned, telling Donnie to keep going.

When she got to Juan's room, she didn't bother knocking, she just walked right in. At first she didn't see him, but then he came out of the back with his arms full of equipment. He dropped it on his bed, turned, and walked back, without even acknowledging that she was there.

The next time he came out, his arms were loaded down with guns and knives. "Juan." Emily started softly. "What happened?"

He dropped his load on the bed, his back towards her, and just stood there. For several moments he didn't speak, or turn, he just stood there looking down at the bed. "Adam." He finally whispered softly.

"What happened?" She repeated.

He spun on her, his normal deep brown eyes replaced with the terrifying yellow eagle's eyes. This was the first time that she'd seen them since they got here, and it took all of her self control to not back off when he focused that raptor's gaze on her. "They killed him!" His voice was still soft, but cold as ice. "I'm going to kill THEM."

"No you're not." Emily said in a voice just as hard as his. Very few people would have the nerve to challenge Juan when he was like this, but very few people knew Juan as well as Emily did. She was still playing a very dangerous game though, since if he was too far gone, he would walk right through her to get to who he wanted.

Juan glared at her, his shoulders heaving as his breathing came in short gasps. Finally, through clenched teeth, he asked, "Why not?"

"Because I'm going too." She said simply, then saw him getting ready to argue, but cut him off. "Every single member of the UNIT will have the chance to get the vengeance we'll all want. You going off on your own will rob that from the rest of us." She saw her words have some effect, so she moved forward and stood in front of him. Just a few days ago, she would have been looking down, but now, after the aging, they were almost eye to eye. "You will NOT rob me of the vengeance I am due."

Their eyes didn't move as Juan tried to stare her down. Finally his eyes dropped, and he nodded. "Fine." After a few seconds, he looked up, his eyes still blazing yellow. "But we go soon." She only nodded, then backed off, and sat down at his desk.

Spinning herself in his chair, she reached for the phone on his desk, punched in a code, and started to speak. Almost instantly, her words came over the base speakers. "All available UNIT members, assemble in the hangar bay immediately." Hanging up the phone, she turned back to look at Juan. "Let's go." She said as she got to her feet.


"The family needs to know they lost their leader, and they have the right to hear it from one of the Core." Juan was silent and still for several seconds before he closed his eyes, forcing the Eagle's eyes to return to normal. When he opened his eyes again, he looked at Emily, nodded, then led the way out of his room.

Jory woke with a scream. He frantically looked around, realizing he was in his room in the Kettle Falls base, and that he was alone. He couldn't figure out what had pulled him from sleep so forcefully. He took stock of his physical condition, and knew he wasn't hurt any worse than he already was.

He'd been shot before, but never this many times, nor in his back. He was grateful for what the Navy doctor had done, even though it had meant that his recovery time would be longer than if Mom had been able to fix him up. Still the doc had saved him from an even longer recovery if Mom had been forced to cut into already healed tissue to pull out the bullet fragments.

He looked around feeling something strange in his mind. Ever since the link failed, he'd not been able to just check with everyone else to see how things were. Out of all of his brothers, and the Core UNIT members, his telepathy and empathy were the weakest, although his telekinesis was moderate, he didn't use it much.

Thinking back on it though, it did feel like an empathic burst of some sort, but he really wasn't sure why, or even if it really was that. Realizing that he had to go to the bathroom, Jory slowly rose to a sitting position, then gingerly took to his feet, trying hard not to move his back much, or upset the bandages that Mom had put there the night before.

He slowly walked into his bathroom, then sat to do his business. It really was annoying to him that he couldn't move like he normally did, nor did he really like the pain that accompanied his injuries. The only saving grace was he knew that it wouldn't be all that long till he was back to 100%.

Coming out of the bathroom, Jory stopped to look himself over in the mirror. At least he was able to stand up mostly straight, rather than being hunched like he was before he went to bed. He was still surprised at how much he'd grown in the last week. Yes, it was the equivalent of five years. But it was still a lot. He liked the fact that he had actual muscle definition now, and of course, looking lower…

"All available UNIT members, assemble in the hangar bay immediately." He heard Emily's voice over the speakers, and knew the tone.

"Something's happened." He said to himself. He slowly moved to his closet, opening it up, he looked at the uniforms in there, and realized that they would be hell to wear, let alone put on. He pushed them to the side, and pulled out his shower robe. He gingerly put that over his shoulders, and slipped his arms in, before he moved to the door, still tying the front.

It took him a while to slowly walk to the hangar bay, but he got there just in time for the room to quiet down. He stopped at the door, leaning against the frame as Juan jumped up on the top of a table, and looked out at everyone. "For those that have not heard. Adam and the Red Dragons were leading a rescue assault on a train carrying innocent people destined to a very bad time in Mexico. Some of them were kids, going to some sort of lab there." Juan was forced to pause as angry mumbles were heard rippling through the crowd.

He raised his hand, and the room went silent. "Adam didn't make it…" Juan said in a voice that was loud enough to be heard, but still choked with emotion.

"What?!?!" Someone shouted. Followed by several others. Emily climbed up next to Juan and held up her hand, causing the room to fall silent.

"Adam Casey has fallen to the enemy." She said in a steady and strong voice. "We all knew this could happen, and even went so far as to prepare standing orders, just in case…."

She was interrupted as the door on the far side of the room opened up. Logan slowly made his way into the room, followed closely by Janet. He kept his eyes on the floor as he slowly moved to the table that Juan was standing on. He raised his eyes and met Juan's. Juan nodded, and jumped off the table. He saw Caesar was moving up even as he landed, so he simply moved off to the the side.

Caesar, being only slightly smaller than Khan, he easily lifted Logan up, under his armpits, and deposited him on the table. Not a word was said in the entire hangar bay as this happened. Logan nodded slightly, acknowledging Caesar’s help, then looked out at the assembled UNIT members. He slowly started to shake his head as he saw, more and more, the looks in people's eyes, finally, with his blood almost to a boil, he cried out at the top of his lungs, "NO!" The cry lasted for several seconds, then faded, and his shoulders quaked with barely restrained rage. As his cry faded, the room was quiet as the grave itself. "No…" He said again. "I refuse to let you feel sorry for me. I refuse to see sympathy in the eyes of my brothers and sisters. I refuse to see tears in your eyes." He paused as his eyes scanned the room. "If you want to feel sympathy for someone, direct it at the troops who are about to feel the righteous wrath of the UNIT. Direct it at those who followed Ashwood's orders. Direct it at those who are a part of the Army of God. If you truly want to feel sorry for someone, feel sorry for them. They will get no mercy. They will get no quarter. They will get nothing from us, other than death." He paused as he looked around the room. The room was still silent, but he saw the same thing looking back at him that he was sure was in his eyes. Anger, rage, hatred… none of these were strong enough to describe what was going through every single member of the UNIT. "Until there is nothing left of the enemy that took our leader from us… Until every single person who was even remotely associated with those that took Adam from us. There will be no pity, there will be no holding back… and there will be no fucking mercy!" The roar that echoed through the room at that point caused several of the adults to shiver in fear.

As soon as it died, Logan turned his baleful glare to Janet. "Mother… as the ranking command team member, I DEMAND that you prepare for the Change of Leadership."

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