Castle Roland

New Beginnings
Book I

by Roland


Chapter 4

Published: 8 Apr 14

New Beginnings

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

All Rights Reserved

New Beginnings LogoJeremy and Tyler walked into Donnie's office at the Rapid Response base. It was 0930 Thursday morning, Hawaii time, and Jeremy knew it had to be something big to be called in this early, after the night they had. Donnie was sitting behind his desk, with Emily standing behind him a little to his left. Jeremy and Tyler stepped to the front of Donnie's desk, in unison, they both popped a salute. Jeremy crisply spoke for both of them. "Colonel Rose, and Lt. Colonel Morse, reporting as ordered, SIR!" Jeremy had to fight the urge to blush as his voice cracked slightly. Ever since puberty started, shortly after he turned 12, his voice was cracking, at the worst possible moments.

"At ease, gentlemen." Donnie said as he rose form his seat. The two younger boys dropped their salute, and went into the 'at rest' position, eyes forward, waiting to hear what Donnie had called them for. "I know you both are on detached duty, but I need you two to prepare for another mission, one that needs your unique talents."

No response was given, and none was expected. Donnie pointed down to a map on his desk. "This compound is located in Montana, roughly 80 miles north and east of Missoula. Near a town called Essex. The compound holds roughly fifty adults, and nearly three times that many children. It's billed as a religious retreat, however, after a child escaped from there, last night, we've been told it's a LOT more then that." Donnie stopped talking, and looked over to Emily. Both Jeremy and Tyler knew the look that was in her eyes. She was in mama bear mode, and only on one person, did that look better, and that was mama Janet.

She took a step forward, and placed a picture on the table. A picture of a young boy, laid out on a slab in a morgue. "This is ten year old Albert O'Shannasey. He went missing from Dublin Ireland, twenty three days ago. A Passing truck driver found him wondering through the snow and cold, naked, last night. The guy got him into the truck, and hauled ass for the closest hospital, all the while his partner was trying to keep the kid warm. The kid told them about how he was kidnapped and brought there to be used as a sex slave. We've verified the truck drivers' report, using Vulcan mind melds. Everything they have said is just what the kid told them, before he died. The official cause of death is severe hypothermia, however, there are signs of multiple rapes. Penetration both anally and orally."

Donnie took over again when she paused. "The boy told the drivers about a lot of men with guns, and a whole lot of boys and girls, ranging in age from teenagers, to kids younger then he was." Donnie then reached down onto his desk, and pushed another print out to where Jeremy and Tyler could read it. "When we hacked their computer systems, we found out that they charge large sums of money for people to come to their 'retreat' and have 'unlimited contact with anyone they want'. They're starting fee is twenty five thousand dollars for a weekend. They also have the entire county wrapped up somehow. We figure anything from blackmail to out right bribery is keeping things quiet."

Emily placed another picture on the table. "This is the Reverend Jeremiah White. He is the man in charge there, although we haven't been able to find any record of him outside of this 'retreat'. I want him taken alive if at all possible. He may know a lot more then we can think of, right now." Both Jeremy and Tyler nodded, before Donnie took over again.

"Jeremy, you and Tyler are going to be in over all command of Strike Teams 45, 47, 58 and 73. As well as Assault team G-6." Jeremy thought quickly. Those strike teams were made up primarily of Genesis kids, with only a handful of squishes. He knew all four strike team leaders, and knew that they were good, and he wouldn't have any problems from them. A few of the Genesis kids still had an issue with taking orders from a squishy, but he couldn't remember any problems with anyone on those four teams.

The Assault Team was another story. He didn't think he would have any problems with it, but G-6 was an assault team, made up of entirely Cat Hybrids. The Commander, simply went by the name Legion. He was nearly as big as Amur Kahn, and almost as strong. He pushed his team hard, and it showed. G-6 never started out as a strike team, like most of the other assault teams. After the last Genesis Base was rescued, the team came together on it's own, and Legion all but demanded that they be named an assault team. At first, Khan was going to say no, but Logan came up with a suitable 'test' for them. If they wanted to be an assault team, then they had to go up against the core Unit members in a simulated battle situation. They did not have to win, but they had to 'impress' Logan with their abilities.

When the 'test' came, Daileass had broadcast it across the Clan net, and almost every UNIT member watched it live, or shortly after. Even though G-6 out numbered the Core Unit, 10-6, no one thought that they had a chance of standing up against Adam and his brothers. It wasn't until later on, that people found out the battle tactics that G-6 used… tactics that made things VERY close indeed. By the time all G-6 members were 'dead', only Chang and Khan had survived, and that was only barely.

Adam was absolutely livid over the tactics that had been used. However, the use of suicide bombers was very effective, especially with Cheetah hybrids, using their speed. When Adam confronted Legion on the tactics used, Legion simply shrugged and said. "When going up against a known superior enemy, you must use unconventional tactics." Again, Adam almost exploded, but he couldn't deny the cold logic behind that. When asked, the Cheetahs had said they volunteered to do it, and if the time came when they were doing this for real, they would volunteer again. 'The greater good is all that matters.' One of them had said, and Adam was beside himself. Logan, though, he knew what they had meant, and made the decision to give them Assault Team status. No one knows what Logan told Adam, but eventually the boy calmed down and made it official. G-6 was, from that moment forward, a legend within the UNIT.

All this ran through Jeremy's head in a split second, before he nodded to Donnie. "There's one other thing." The General said with a grim smile. "Emily and I are going with."

Jeremy smiled and nodded. He knew that they would, even before Donnie said it. "I've already activated the teams. They will be in the Mission Briefing Theater in one hour. From there, you have one hour to brief them, get a plan of attack ready, and be ready for transport. At exactly 1130 hours, you will be transported. Any questions?"

"None, Sir." Jeremy said crisply.

"Good. Dismissed." Both Jeremy and Tyler snapped a crisp salute, turned on their heals, and exited the room. As soon as the door was shut, they took off at a run towards their room, and where their gear was kept.

Thirty minutes later, both Jeremy and Tyler walked into the briefing room. They had all the gear they needed, and just as they expected, when they got to the computer that was built into the podium at the front of the room, it already had all the information they would need, loaded onto it. They spent the next twenty minutes going over the plan that they had created, and refining it, right up until the Strike Teams started to show up. The first to show was G-6, which wasn't that much of a surprise.

Over the next few minutes, the other four teams showed up, and sat down. The last to enter the room were Donnie and Emily, both of them in their full battle gear. Both of them simply stood in the back of the room and watched as Jeremy and Tyler gave the teams the briefing of what they have found out so far.

After that was over, Jeremy started to go over the battle plan that they had come up with. He was happy to see that the strike teams generally liked the idea, and only suggested minor tweaks, to which Jeremy happily took. Then it was time to load up. He gave everyone ten minutes to get their gear together, get what they wanted, and meet up outside.

When they all met up, Jeremy had to stifle a mix between a groan and laughter.

G-6 was already there and packed like they were going to a prolonged war. He might have said something about packing too much, but he knew that it was the way they normally did things. Each one of them was strong enough to carry all of it without it overly incumbering them. Not to mention, on more than one occasion, they were better off for having more than normal. However, the Stinger Surface to Air missile on Legions back… well, Jeremy wasn't going to say anything about that.

When the rest of the strike teams got there, Jeremy did a quick head count then got all of their attentions. "Okay, everyone… let's go over this plan one more time. Daileass is set to transport on my order. G-6… you get the front gate… make as much noise as you want, just don't draw so much attention that you get overwhelmed." Legion snorted at that statement, but still nodded.

Jeremy grinned at Legion, then looked to the Commander of Strike Team 45, also called the Black Knights. "Blake, you and the Knights got the south east corner. From the looks of the maps, you should hit the housing units first. That's probably where the bad guys are gonna be sleeping. Arrest as many as you can, but if they threaten you guys in any way, take them down. We are not going to loose anyone on this mission… understood?" Blake nodded seriously, so Jeremy moved onto the next team.

Strike Team 47 was made up of a rather weird group. Most of the Strike Teams took conventional names for their teams, Taylor Hayes, though, he and his group took more of a play on words. Jeremy had to use the name as much as he could, since he loved it so much. "Taylor… 'Bloodbath and Beyond' has the North Western corner. They have a small airstrip there, as well as a couple of hangers. I don't know what they have in them, so check them out and make sure no one gets away. Try not to hurt the birds, if you can. When this is over, perhaps we can gift wrap them and give 'em to Will as an early Christmas present."

"You got it, boss man." The fifteen year old augment said with a big grin.

Strike Team 58 was another unusual group. They named themselves the Amazons, since they were all females. The commander of the group was a special girl named Bethany. Ever since the first time she saw Mike and Sammy and the rest, she's wanted to be like Mike. Rumors have it that she has a massive crush on Mike, but also knows that he was spoken for already. That didn't stop her from patiently waiting, though. When the time came for the Genesis kids to pick names, she choose his last name. Thinking that when they do get married, she wouldn't have to change it.

"Bethany." Jeremy said seriously. "You and the Amazons got the North East corner. I need you to clear a few outbuildings, before going directly to the big building in the middle of the compound. That's probably where they have the kids kept. Every single one of your members took Dr. Phil's class on 'approaching abused kids', so I want you guys in there first. Take out anyone who tries to stop you, but we do want some people left, for the federation to play with."

She nodded, and Jeremy was about to turn to the last group when Emily spoke up. "Bethany, Donnie and I will be joining you, however, you are still in command, and we will take your orders."

Bethany nodded in agreement, and crisply responded with a "Yes, Ma'am."

Emily nodded to Jeremy that he could continue, so the younger boy did. He looked at the last team, commanded by a set of human twins, Courtney, the commander, and Trevor her XO. "Firebirds, you, along with Tyler and myself, will come in from the South West, clearing the few out builds, from that corner, and the moving on the main house. It's a huge mansion which we figure is where we'll find the people in charge. Just like with the Amazons, you guys are in charge, and we'll follow your orders, however, once we take the mansion, if there is still fighting going on, that'll become the operations center."

After he got a nod from the twins, he looked around at all the strike teams. "Okay, any questions?"

After waiting for a full thirty seconds, and no one saying anything, Jeremy nodded. "Okay, let's make this a bit easier on Daileass. Get into position for the assault, no less then ten feet between your team and any other team."

"Oh come on, Jeremy!" Daileass said through Jeremy's com badge. "You make it sound like I'm an inferior AI or something!"

"I would never think anything like that, Daileass, I just wanted to make sure everyone got where they were going with their proper team." Jeremy said with a grin. Few people really know how close Daileass and Jeremy were, but this was normal banter for the two. "Now quit looking at all the shower cams, and teleport us to where we need to be!" The only response before they were teleported was Daileass 'huffing' in mock annoyance.

When they appeared, though, instantly Jeremy knew something was wrong… terribly wrong.

0600 MST – Tuesday November 6th 2012

Unit Base: Utah Mountains

Adam and Logan both went up to the command center, after making sure that Mike and Jack were put in bed. When they got there, they found all three of the Chipmunks working away. Adam and Logan walked up behind them, and watched what they were doing for a few seconds, before Logan started talking quietly to Adam.

"Right now, Alvin is working on getting back doors into every government agency he can think of. The troubling thing is, the US seems to be actively blocking a whole lot of the internet from the people in the US. They have to have teams of hundreds, filtering out content when ever the computers find certain tags. They can't get it all, obviously, but they are actively trying to filter out anything negative about Ashwood, or positive about Jack." Logan ran his hand through his hair as the true scope of what was going on started to sink in. "There's a whole lot of key words and phrases that are being actively filtered. It goes against everything that the internet was supposed to be for. He's even filtering out the international news feeds! Hell, this is a lot worse than what Bartnev was doing in Russia! I.. I just can't believe this is happening in the US of all places!" Logan breathed out in almost horror, then looked back at Adam with a devilish grin.

"Don't worry, love, we'll deal with it. After what we've seen so far, Ashwood is dead, he just doesn't know it. I can't believe someone like that has a serious chance of winning the national elections."

"Yeah, until yesterday it looked like he had a surprisingly good chance," Logan admitted.

"Other than the fact that we arrived, what's so special about yesterday?" Adam asked.

"For starters, it looks like someone did a hell of a hack yesterday, hitting a lot of the government servers, and dumping a whole lot of what Ashwood has REALLY done over the last almost four years. The problem with that is, the government's been able to isolate the east coast from seeing most of this." Logan stated, as his temper once again began to show.

"So, the chipmunks have been busy, eh?" Adam grinned.

Logon shook his head. "They've been busy, but the hack came from somewhere else."

"Yeah and the worst part is… we haven't been able to figure out who the hell did it!" Alvin said as he looked over his shoulder.

Adam reached down and ruffled his hair. "Don't worry about it kid… you'll find them." He and Logan then moved over to where Theodore was sitting.

"Theodore is watching all the military feeds, and trying to determine, world wide, who'll back Ashwood, and who'll back Jack. If things go badly, this kinda shit could lead us right into the middle of a civil war." Logan said peacefully.

Without waiting for a response, Logan moved over behind Simon, and started to grin. "Simon, here, is doing what he does best. He's set up several hundred fake bank accounts, and phoney corporations, and is starting to funnel money into them. He's just passed the ten million mark, but wants to get us up to a billion US dollars before he slows down."

Adam couldn't help it, as he reached out and ruffled Simon's hair. "That's our little criminal for ya." Simon took a break and looked over his shoulder at Adam, grinning madly, then got back to work.

Adam looked at Logan, then nodded towards the back of the room, where Adam's office was located. Silently, they both made their way back there, and gently shut the door. As soon as they were behind closed doors, Adam turned and took Logan tightly into his arms. They both needed it right then. Not only the fight they were just in, but also the loss of blood that Adam was feeling, on top of all this new universe stuff, was just starting to be a bit too much for both boys.

They held onto each other for several minutes, before Logan shuddered, and pulled back. "I needed that." He said as he wiped away a few tears.

Adam did the same, and agreed. "Me too." He then looked into Logan's sleepy eyes and spoke. "Look, you need to get some sleep. I'm still good for a day or two, if I need to, but you need to get some sleep."

"Yeah, I know." Logan said as he moved over to Adam's couch. I'm just gonna crash here. I don't know if I could make it back to the room, plus, this way I'll be near by in case anything happens." Adam wanted to argue, but knew the boy had a good point, so he just nodded. He helped Logan get undressed, then pulled the blanket off the back of the couch, and spread it over the boy. Bending down, Adam kissed him on the forehead, before he left the room, turning out the lights on the way out.

Adam walked out into the command center and over to Alvin, who looked up curiously when Adam stopped next to him. "When we got here the first time," Adam began, "There were a whole bunch of two way radios down in the armory. Do you know if they're there this time?"

Alvin nodded in affirmation. "Yeah, Juan said something about them earlier. I just haven't gotten a chance to look at them yet."

"It's okay. I'm gonna go take a look, and then drop some off to Jack's guys. For now, I wanna keep the links unknown, so I'll be issuing one to everyone. If it's not sensitive, I want you guys to use the radios. I'll draw up a list of what channels belong to who, and then hand that out when I hand out the radios." Adam paused for a moment. "Anything you can think of that I'm missing?"

Alvin thought about it for a moment, then nodded. "Actually, yeah there is one thing." When Adam nodded, Alvin continued. "I don't think it'll be a problem, but I wanted to ask to make sure. Is there any issue with some of Jack's security detail being in here and helping us out. I know it'll make them feel better, and as long as we keep them away from the mainframe, we can easily limit what they have access to."

Adam only thought for a moment. He knew the Chipmunks, and knew how paranoid they were. If Alvin thought that he could keep them away from sensitive items, then Adam was okay with it. "If you guys are comfortable with it, then so am I."

Alvin nodded and smiled. The smile grew even bigger when Adam bent down and gave the small boy a big hug. "You guys are doing a great job." Adam said making sure the other two heard it as well. "Keep it up. I know things are gonna be crazy for a while, but I hope things calm down sometime soon."

They all nodded and beamed at his praise. Reminding Adam just how much these boys craved praise from both Logan and himself. He smiled at them one last time before he left the room heading down to the armory. He just got in the elevator, when a thought hit him. Instead of hitting the button that would take him to the floor the armory was on, he hit the button that would take him to where the Secret Service agents were.

He exited the elevator, and walked down to where the presidential suit was at. When he got to the hallway that would take him there, he saw two guys standing just down the hall, both looking at him, and one even had his hand on his hip, just above his strapped on pistol. Adam stopped and held his hands up a little, showing he was not armed… well not that they could tell anyways, and smiled at them. "It's just me, guys."

Adam was actually happy to see that they relaxed, but only slightly. "Look, guys, I know what your job is. It's to make sure that the man in there," he said nodding towards the presidential suite, "stays alive, and unharmed. I respect that, and am glad you guys are here, cause if not, then I would have to pull my guys to do it. But I also know this much. If I were in your position, given all the shit that's happened in the last few hours, I'd be pretty jittery. Especially since you know we got more and better weapons than the ones you guys were able to grab on your retreat." He saw one of them nod, and smiled somewhat. During all this time, though, he'd been 'listening in' on their surface thoughts. He didn't want to try and dig deeper, cause they would know something was happening, and here, it was much more difficult to do than it was, back where they came from.

"So, how about this. Grab who ever's in charge right now, and a few more guys, and I'll take them down to the armory. He, plus who ever else he wants, will have access to it, as well as bringing you guys whatever you want. One thing I will say, though, is this. Everyone here, except the people that we rescued today, will have, at least, a side arm on them at all times. Those are my orders, and they will not be giving them up to anyone, under any circumstances."

"Look, kid." One of the agents sneered. "I don't know how you kids got to play army, but there's only one person who gives us orders, and he ain't you."

Normally that would piss Adam off, but he knew what the man meant, and knew the man's job. It would do no good to argue with him. He is one of those people that only follows orders, and Adam wasn't in his chain of command. "Be that as it may, if you would summon your superior officer, so I can take him down to the armory… unless you prefer to be relegated to using a peashooter instead of a real gun."

The guy sneered at Adam, until the other guy slapped him on the shoulder. "Go get Clark. Let him make the decision."

The guy glared at Adam, but then turned and walked down the hall, entering the room directly across the hall from where Jack and his family were sleeping. The other guy looked at Adam for a moment, then broke down and asked the question he really wanted to know. "Who are you kids anyways?"

Adam smiled at the man, then shook his head. "I doubt you would believe me, even if I told you."

The man laughed and smiled. "Probably not. Not with what I've seen so far."

They didn't have time to talk long, since another man, in a slightly disheveled suit, came walking out of the room that the first man went into. He walked right up to Adam and stuck his hand out. "I'm Special Agent Clark. Agent Dorrison said you wanted to speak to me?"

"Yes, sir." Adam said as he shook the man's hand. "First off, though, I'm General Adam Casey, commanding officer of the forces here."

The man nodded, covering his surprise very well. Being in the position that Adam was in, he didn't feel any compunction about using his telepathy to scan the surface thoughts of this man. If it came to a point where Adam actually trusted them, then he wouldn't scan them, but for now, the lives of his family may be on the line. "I hear you have a supply of weapons that we might be able to use?"

"We do. If you would follow me, I will lead you to the armory. At that point you can choose what you want. Also, I have a supply of radios that can be used, these transceivers are fully encrypted, and there is nothing out there right now that could break them." Adam said as he turned and motioned for the man to follow.

When they got into the elevator, the man turned and looked at Adam with a questioning look. When he was silent for a few moments, Adam reached out and hit the elevator stop button. He then looked at the man and sighed. "Agent Clark, I know you are not used to dealing with a kid my age as being someone in a command position. Believe me, I have gotten used to it. But you'd quickly better get used to it. Your job is to protect the President and his family. My job is to protect my family. Since both families are here, our jobs are very much the same."

The man regarded Adam for a long moment before he nodded. "Okay, I can see that…" He hesitated for a moment too long, and Adam had to jump in.

"You just can't make what your eyes see, fit with what you think your mind knows?" Adam said, trying not to be harsh, but not succeeding.

The man nodded again, not taking offense, mainly because Adam was right. Adam sighed and spoke softly while staring at the wall of the elevator. "What I am about to tell you… well I would appreciate it if you kept it to yourself. Jack and Mike already know it, so you can discuss it with them, if needed."

He looked over and saw the man intently staring at him. "Okay. As long as it will not endanger my men, I will keep your secret."

"What do you know about genetic engineering?" Adam asked softly.

The man's eyes went wide as his thoughts ran a thousand miles a minute. "That.. that's it's not possible." The man finally stumbled out.

Adam looked at him, smirked, then took a step towards the man, quicker then the man could react, Adam had the man up against the wall, one arm holding the man up by his shirt. "And people used to say it was impossible to fly from New York City to London. People also said that the world is flat. One thing I have learned is that ANYTHING in possible. It just may not have been done yet." Adam then slowly lowered the man back down to his feet, and then stepped back.

After Agent Clark got over the shock of what just happened, he ran a shaking hand through his salt and pepper, just longer then regulation, hair, and smiled. "So I guess you guys are like super soldiers or something?"

Adam nodded and re-started the elevator. The man was passing all the tests Adam could throw at him, including Adam's 'shy' nature and embarrassment about what he was. "Something like that. Although, they never really knew just how successful they were, until we decided we didn't like what they were doing to us anymore."

"I just can't believe even someone like Ashwood would do such a thing." Clark said, as the elevator stopped and the doors opened.

Adam led the way out, when he was sure no one else was around, he looked over at Clark and smiled. "If Ashwood had been involved, then things would be a whole lot easier."

"Huh?" The completely confused man stammered.

"Yeah.. if he were involved… he'd be dead already." Adam grinned, as he stopped at a door with a numeric lock. "The entry code to this door is 5-3-9-4." Adam said, as he entered the combination, completely ignoring the man's stunned look. Yes, Adam had a sadistic side that came out, every once in a while.

Once he got inside, Agent Clark saw a large room, set up much like an office. On the far side of the room was a set of large heavily reenforced, double doors. "Usually, I would have someone stationed here, but we're running very understaffed at the moment. When we get more staff, I would like to have at least one person on duty here at all times." They walked up to the desk which had a log book sitting on it, opened up. Adam took the pen that was sitting next to it, and signed his name. "Every person that comes in and out of the room, needs to sign both in and out."

Adam handed the pen to Clark, who signed his name while Adam walked around the desk, and booted up the computer that was sitting on there. "You guys seem to have a pretty nice set up here." Clark said as he looked at the computer, then around the room at everything else there.

"It'll do." Adam said absently, as he logged into the system. "Okay, to get into the vault, you will need both an access code, which will be known only to you, and logged. It will also need to verify with both retinal and hand print scan."

Clark whistled before speaking. "That's pretty tight security."

"Yeah, it is, however, when you see everything we've got in there, you'll understand why." Adam said as he pulled out the scanner. He placed his own palm on it, then after it beeped, he slid it over to Clark. "Please place your hand flat on the scanner, then wait for the beep."

Clark did so, as Adam pulled out another scanner, this one for the eye. Once the palm scanner beeped, Adam held up the retinal scanner. Clark didn't need to be asked, he just leaned forward, and let the scanner do it's thing.

Once it was done, Adam asked Clark for an access code, which the man gave him. Once everything was done, Adam took the man over to the double doors, and had him punch in his code, get his eye scanned, and then his palm. Once that was all done, the door clicked, and Clark opened it up, revealing the very well stocked main armory.

"Oh wow!" Clark said as he entered the room and looked around. He looked back at Adam with a grin. "I guess you were right. Damn."

After looking around for a few moments, and Clark picking up a few things to take back with him, Adam caught his attention. "For now, you are the only one who will have access here. However, if you need other, just find my father Joe, my little brother Juan or myself. Although, honestly, if you need someone to help explain anything down here, I would go with Juan. He's our weapons expert."

"Was he the one that shot down the plane?" Clark asked remembering back to the little boy with the huge Surface to Air missile launcher on his shoulder.

"Yup… that was him." Adam said with a grin

Clark shook his head. "How the hell did he make that shot, it's like he knew where and when the plane would crest the canyon wall."

Adam chuckled. "That's because he did." The question was plain on Clark's face, even without having to verbally ask, Adam knew the man wondered how. So, taking mercy on the man, Adam sniggered, and answered. "Jet engines make a very distinct sound, by taking into account wind speed, and which way it's blowing, you can figure out which way the plane is going, and at what speed. He simply waited till he heard the plane turn back to make another strafing run, and then figured out exactly when it would crest the canyon wall. Now, remember, I said he is an expert in weapons. He knows the exact speed at which the SAM will fly, and how long it will take it to go from where it was launched, to where the plane would crest the rise." Seeing an absolutely stunned look on the secret service agents face, Adam, could barely contain his laughter. "If you were to ask Juan, he would look at you and simply say… 'Basic math.'

Special Agent in Charge Thomas Clark wandered around the armory for close to thirty minutes, trying to make it all make sense. Adam was always close by, but never in the way, leaving Clark to look around at his own pace, and be lost in the thoughts that ran through his head.

They didn't have enough people. That's what kept running through his head. Five soldiers, and ten secret Service detail, that was nowhere near enough. Not where their protective detail outnumbered them. This was not good. But what exactly was he going to do? Finally, he figured he had nothing really to loose.

He turned from looking over a modified MP5, and met eyes with Adam. "I think we need to discuss some things."

The boy nodded without showing any emotion on his face. "You are finally figuring out that you're in a place that you have no control over, that you have no prior knowledge of, and even worse, you are so horribly understaffed that there is no real way to do the job that you have sworn to do. Does that about sum it up?"

'How the hell…' Clark thought to himself. "Yeah… That about sums it up." He stammered out, totally thrown by this young boy. "How did you know?"

He smiled at the man, which made Tom oddly feel at ease. "It's simple, elementary, actually. That's exactly what I would be thinking, if I were in your position. See, your job is to protect the president and his family. My job is to protect my family. All in all it's the exact same thing. I am also pretty damn sure your training, and experience closely matches my own. So, if that was NOT what you were worried about, I'd be a lot less trusting of you." Adam said with a quirky grin.

'This kid is too damned good.' Tom thought to himself… but the problem was, he was entirely right. 'What the hell could have happened to turn a kid into this?' He again, thought to himself.

"Okay. So, how do we fix this issue?" Tom said trying to see exactly what this kid had in mind.

Adam smiled, then walked over to the table that contained over 200 walkie talkie style radios. He picked up a box of 20, and started to go through them. "First, you pick what you want out of here, and maybe a few things to outfit those guys who are standing guard. The ammo is in the cabinet at your 4 o'clock. Get what you need, while I figure these radios out. Take what you want, up to your guys, as well as a couple radios, and when you come back here, let's go get some coffee and have a sit down talk, commander to commander."

Tom thought about it for a moment, then nodded. "That'll work." He then went, grabbed two M-16 machine guns, four clips for each, grabbed some extra ammo and clips for his personal sig suer 9mm pistol. He thought for a moment, then looked over at Adam. "Would it be possible for us to have some extra weapons in our room?"

The boy looked over his shoulder for a moment and nodded. "If I remember correctly, there should be a weapons locker in each of the rooms you guys are staying in.. in each closet. If you need someone to, they can show you where, and how to access them."

"Thanks…. That'll work out well." Tom smiled with relief as he gathered up what he wanted, stopped next to Adam who handed him a radio.

"Ok… I've got the radio's preset to certain frequencies. These are encrypted, so you don't have to worry about it. Right now, I am just starting to hand them out, but very shortly, channel 1, will be used for the command center, and anyone needing to talk to someone up there. Channel 2 will be used for your guys. If you need more channels, just let me know, but for right now, I don't see you needing more. Channel 3, we'll use for general chat between people, and channel four will be used for operations. Of course, the radios will scan all channels, but you'll have to set a channel to transmit on. Sound good?"

"Yeah, sounds good." Tom said as he took the radio, checked it over quickly, then clipped it to his belt. He took two more of them, and then left the room, saying, "I'll be right back."

Minutes later, he walked up to the two agents covering the entrance to the presidential suite hall. "Dorrison, does this make you feel better?" He asked, as he handed the man one of the M-16s.

"Shit, boss, where'd you get this?" The man asked as he looked over the rifle, made sure it was indeed armed, and a round chambered, then checked to make sure the safety was engaged, before looking up.

"Adam gave me access to the armory, here. We'll be bringing more weapons and supplies up. I guess there's a weapons locker in each of the closets that we can fill up." Tom said, as Dorrison's eyes narrowed.

"What's the angle?" He asked suspiciously.

Tom sighed then glanced at Dorrison's partner. "Kraig, why don't you go round up a few guys to go down with me, so we can bring more supplies up." He then held out a radio to the other man. "We got channel 2 on here, on the back is a list of the other channels that'll be used. I want everyone to have a radio on them at all times."

"Okay." Was all Kraig said as he turned and walked towards the rooms that the security detail used.

Once he was out of hearing range, Tom turned back to Adrian. "Look, I know you're distrustful by nature. It's kept you alive more times then not. But right now, we don't have much of a choice. These kids are better armed, and frankly, from the things I've seen, I wouldn't give us much of a chance if it came down to an out right fight with them." Adrian started to protest, but Tom shut him down quick.

"No, Adrian… There's a lot more to these kids than meets the eye. Trust me, I really think they could take us. But why would they. I mean they risked their asses to save ours. Why would they do that if they wanted to kill us, or do something else?" Again, before Adrian could say anything, Tom, kept going.

"If this needs to be an order, then I'll make it one. But I really think we need to work with these guys. They didn't have to take us in, and rescue us, but they did…. putting themselves in just as much danger as we are."

Adrian looked sourly at Tom for many moments before he sighed. "Fine, but that doesn't mean I have to trust them."

"Of course it doesn't. Hell, I don't trust them, yet. That'll take time, just like it'll take time for them to trust us. But we will work with them." Tom said emphatically.

Further discussion stopped as Kraig came back with four other guys, one of them limping slightly, and another one, obviously having just woken up. "Derricks!" Tom asked, rather sharply. "I thought you were supposed to be off duty till the medics cleared you for duty."

"Sorry, sir, but all the medics aren't fit for duty themselves. Not to mention, I don't need both legs working 100% to stand guard, which is all I'll be doing." The young man said, as he walked over to Dorrison and held out his hand. "Give me that, you go and get what you want from the armory."

Adrian looked at him for a few moments before nodding and handing him the M-16. "Good… Let's go." Tom said as he turned, and led the four men back towards the elevator.

All five men were quiet on the way down, and followed Tom as he led them towards the armory. They were getting close when Adrian held up his hand, fist closed, indicating for everyone to stop. Instinctively they all stopped.

"Adam… What makes you think we can trust them?" They heard a very young boy's voice say.

"Juan…" They heard Adam reply after a long sigh. "We don't have much of a choice. You know as well as I do that we ain't got enough to protect ourselves, should someone come looking for us. At least with them here, and with Jack here, we got a chance to survive."

"But… well, hell, Adam…. giving them free access to the Armory?!?!" They heard Juan whine. "How do we know we can trust them?"

"We don't, we have to go on faith, here, but let's look at the facts. They're now in a place that no one knows about. It's gotta be the safest place they can put Jack and his family until things cool down out there."

"I get that, Adam, I really do. But.. well, hell. What stops them from just trying to take over?" Juan asked, and Tom couldn't help but look at Adrian who smiled savagely.

"Look, Juan, we don't, okay. We know Jack's a good man, and I believe that Tom is, as well. We're all in a pretty shitty situation here, but bluntly, we just gotta go on faith. The same thing you had to rely on to get you to last long enough before I got there to rescue you. If it weren't for faith, then none of us would have ever lasted through what those damned doctors did to us." Adrian shot Tom a curious glance, and Tom indicated that he would tell them later.

Even though no one could see it, they could easily hear the edge in the young boy's prepubescent voice as he responded. "I don't care what happens, Adam… I'll never go back there again. Not alive anyways. And I swear on everything holy, if anyone tries to send me back, there's gonna be a whole lot of bodies around before they get a chance."

Adam's voice was so soft they almost didn't hear it. "I know, Juan. No one here is gonna try to do that, and if anyone does, they'll have to deal with me before they get to any of you. I know what it'll mean if we go back… and trust me… no one will get close enough to even try, not while I'm breathing anyways. I know you don't trust these guys, especially since they're government types, but we gotta trust someone, sooner or later, if we're gonna have a chance. I really think these guys are good guys."

Finally after almost a minute of silence, Juan responded softly. "Okay, Adam, I trust you, and if you say we can trust them, then I'll go with it. I just hope you're not making a mistake."

"So do I, little brother… so do I." Adam replied. Tom could almost see the two boys hug briefly then back off. He then heard Adam say. "Come on, let's get the rest of these radios checked out. Tom should be down soon."

After a few moments of silence, Tom waved everyone forward. "Okay, guys, this is the armory, and shortly, there will always be someone here on duty to make sure no one gets in here that isn't authorized." They turned the corner into the small office space, and saw both Adam and the small hispanic boy, Juan, inside the vault working with the radios. They watched as the young boy, Juan, turned his head, and appeared to wipe tears from his eyes. Thankfully, no one mentioned the fact.

"General Adam Casey." Tom started out stopping a few feet from where Adam and Juan were. "I'd like for you to meet some of the others in President Bryce's protective detail. First, I think you have already met Agent Adrian Dorrison. To his right is Agent Kraig Butler. Then there is Corporal Ichiro Fujimoto; Marine Corps," The smallish Japanese man bowed slightly. "Finally, we have Chief Master Sargent Samuel Cohen, also of the US Marine Corps."

Adam went around and shook each man's hand as they were introduced, then turned to Juan. "This is my youngest brother, Major General Juan Casey. He is the UNIT's Weapons and Training Officer."

Tom was the first one to offer his hand to Juan, who took it, then one by one, they all shook hands. Both Adam and Tom were happy that this first step went without incident.

1130 MST – Tuesday November 6th 2012

Unit Base: Utah Mountains

Adam was carefully watching everyone all throughout the meal that Sarah had managed to throw together. It was really good, considering what they had there, but mostly Adam was watching those that had come from the other universe. He knew many of them were trying to hide it, or it hadn't really hit them yet, but soon they would all have to deal with the loved ones they had left behind.

It had already hit Adam, but he'd managed to push it to the background. There was a mission to perform right now. But soon, even he was going to have to face reality, and he wasn't looking forward to it. There were so many people that he'd left behind… mainly his two little brothers, both of which he really hadn't gotten to know anywhere near as well as he would have liked. 'NO!' He thought to himself, as he shook his head. He couldn't get into that right now.

He focused on Will and Ronnie who were animatedly chatting with some of the new people about a shopping trip. One that was very reminiscent of when they first started out. Soon he found himself in a mental discussion with the Chipmunks and Logan.

Once brunch was over, Adam waited till only the UNIT members were left. He figured this would be the best time to let everyone know about the mental discussion that was just had. He stood up, then got up on the chair he was sitting on. Most people saw him and stopped what they were doing. "Could I have everyone's attention!" He called out, and the room was suddenly very quiet.

Once everyone was looking at him, he smiled to everyone, then started talking. "Okay as some of you know, we have a bunch of radios that we are working on getting ready to be handed out. Because we can not be 100% certain that the radios are secure, and can not be listened in on, we're come up with code names for everything that we may need to talk about over the radio. The system we're gonna use is pretty simple, but if anyone transmits over a radio, this is the system they need to use, okay?"

Getting nods and agreement from everyone, he looked towards Alvin who handed him a piece of paper. "Okay first off, this base is known as Viper Nest. When ever you refer to the base, or everyone in general, it'll be as Viper Nest. Okay?"

Again he got node from everyone, so pushed on. "Everyone in the UNIT will have a code name. If you are involved in a mission, the code names will be based on the mission commander. For example, the shopping trip your about to go on. Since Will is in command of the Chinook, and since the Chinook will be the base of the operations, he's the commanding officer. The Chinook and Will, will be refereed to as Viper Lead. His call sign is Viper, so his vehicle is Viper Lead. Easy enough?"

Again everyone nodded so Adam continued. "Each vehicle under Viper command would be referred to as Viper 1, Viper 2, Viper 3 and so on. Any questions?" Adam asked, wanting to make sure everyone followed him.

"Yeah." Juan called out form the back of the room, wearing his normal impish grin.

"What?" Adam asked with a grin, knowing this would be good.

"Well… we know Will's name. What have you cooked up for the rest of us."

Adam laughed. "Just remember. I didn't pick them, so you can all take up any grievances with Logan."

"Oh sure, throw me under the bus!" Logan said laughing.

"Damn straight." Adam replied with a grin. "Okay, here's the list. I'm Commando, Logan is Oracle." Logan nodded with a small smile.

"Chang is Samurai. Jory, you're Boom Boom. Obviously Will is Viper, Billy, you're Ace." Adam paused as he fought back a chuckle. "Juan we got one special just for you. You're 'Bookie'."

That got a laugh out of everyone, including Adam before he continued. "The Chipmunks will be know as the Sages…" Adam paused as he read from the list. When he looked up he looked right at Logan trying not to laugh. "Oh no. I ain't saying it. He'll kill me."

"Oh don't be a pussy!" Logan cried out as Adam looked over at Khan who was standing there with his arms crossed glaring at him.

"Fine. Khan… Logan decided you should be named 'Kitty!' Adam said as he got ready to run. Instead of coming after adam, Khan simply turned and looked at Logan.

"You came up with that name?" He asked. Logan looked back, completely unconcerned.


"Khan thought for a moment then looked at Adam and nodded. "Kitty it is then."

Adam stood there his jaw on the floor. He looked back and forth between the two of them, Khan's face completely unreadable, Logan's face had a smug grin. Everyone else just burst out laughing.

Finally Adam just shrugged and laughed. "Well… that was… strange. ANYWAYS! Back to the list. Tommy, you're Animal, Ronnie, you got the name Check List. Runt… well.. you're Runt." He said with a laugh

Runt just nodded his head smiling as he snuggled up to Khan. "Yes I am… and don't no one forget it!"

"Okay… for the rest…." Adam said trying to resist his laughter. "Haden, Logan decided you should be named Gyro. Daileass, you got Pico. Barrett, Danus, Hac you got Chopper. Stan… well you got name the Frier, last but not least… Stan, you're Kernel… like a popcorn kernel!"

"Cool!" Forth called out. "Thanks Logan… I like that name!"

"No problem little man." Logan said back grinning.

"Okay." Adam said drawing all attention back to him. "You guys got a trip to get ready for, so if everyone's all set, head on out."

1200 MST – Tuesday November 6th 2012

Unit Base: Utah Mountains

"I thought I would find you here." Adam said as he sat down next to Jack. "I understand Chris woke up for a little bit, and Andy woke the world up trying to get to his brother."

"Yeah." Jack said with a half smile. "He woke up and tried to run out of the room in nothing but his briefs. Thankfully, he made enough noise that it woke Mike, Eric and me up. We made him put some clothes on, then brought him down here. Your brother, Chang was here when we got here, and allowed the brothers a few minutes alone before he shooed Andy out, and insisted Chris get a little bit more sleep. He said if things go well, Chris will be sleeping in the suite tonight with us."

Adam smiled as he put a hand on Jack's shoulder. "That's good news. I'm glad to hear it."

Jack wasn't ashamed of the tears that were falling from his eyes as he looked at Adam. "Yes it is. And it looks like Linda and the baby are doing better. According to Chang, he is 'cautiously optimistic' about her chances." He reached over from the chair he was sitting in, between the two beds, and took her hand. "I.. I just don't know what I would do if I lost her."

Adam knew this was a time to stay silent and just listen. Had it not been for the 'classes' mom had forced him and his brothers into, about dealing with emotions, and social situations, Adam probably would have just got right down to business. However, he knew this was a time where Jack just needed to talk, so Adam sat there and listened.

"You know, it's kinda funny." Jack half laughed. She almost cost me my first re-election."

"How's that?" Adam asked, intrigued now.

"Well, my first wife died trying to give birth. The doctors told her that she shouldn't have children, and when she ended up pregnant, they advised her to abort. But we wouldn't. We were so happy about having a child, and with me having just won the presidency, we knew we'd have the best doctors in the world. The entire country was abuzz by it, and frankly, she had better approval ratings then I did. Even when she was stuck in bed, people came by to see how she was doing. She even did an interview with Oprah, from her bed." Jack had tears rolling down his face as he looked off into the past. However, the smile on his face was radiant, till it fell. "Then it happened. I was away at Camp David, entertaining some foreign diplomats, when I found out she had been rushed to the hospital. I… I didn't get there in time, even though we left right away. By the time I got there, they'd… both of them… had already… passed."

Jack fell into a silence for many moments, before he wiped the tears away, and looked down at Linda. "Linda was only 23 at the time, and I was almost forty. She was a staffer at the white house, and tried to console me. Neither one of us were really looking for a relationship. She was on the fast track to a high end government job, and I was a widower, who threw himself into the job of running the country. But I knew… I knew Nancy would want me to find someone else."

He paused again, lost in his thoughts. "I almost didn't run again, but Linda.. she kept telling me about how much good I was doing for the country, how I was the best man for the job. She kept pushing me to run, and finally, I did. But then, I also found myself doing something I never thought was possible. I was falling in love again."

The night I won the primary, is the first time we made love. It was beautiful… it was… well, it was as if Heaven opened up and sent me another angel. I mean.. men like me don't get a third chance. Not when it comes to love. But… well, hell, you know about Dave. I didn't think a woman could fulfill me like he did, then I met Nancy. When she died, I knew… I mean I knew deep down inside, I would never find anyone to love again. Then Linda fulfilled me like no one else ever had.

When the news broke that we were seeing each other, it almost cost me the election… it was a 'scandal', some said. But she went out there, and told them everything. She told them how we had many nights of talks, how we connected. How she was as surprised as I was that someone so much older then her, could capture her heart the way I had. She said that she knew she could never replace Nancy, but she would do her best to live up to the grace and poise she brought. It was her idea, and she was oh so right about it. If we were going to get married while I was president, then we would have to bring a new meaning to the term 'First Family.' Our lives would be open for everyone to see. We would never be able to be completely private. And if we were willing to do it, then we needed to do it big, and do it right. The day after my second inauguration, I proposed to her. She was young, beautiful and oh so smart."

He paused again, this time gently brushing hair off her forehead, tears falling down on her hand. "She had the country eating out of her hands… but the best thing was… she wasn't playing a game. She never put on a show for the people, she was very much like I am… put it all out there, and if they don't like it, too damned bad."

Jack looked over at Adam who was entranced by the man's tale. He then looked down at Chris who was also gently sleeping, the bandages on his shoulder the only blemish to his perfectly white skin. "Then, early in 2002, she came to me one morning…" He chuckled fondly. "I still remember it like it was yesterday. I was sitting in the oval office, going over some stupid treaty that the UN was trying to shove down our throats, when she walked in. She had this silly little grin on her face, and was holding something behind her back. I put the papers down, and stood up. 'What?' I had asked, and she walked up to me, and handed me this little plastic thing. I didn't know what it was, till I really looked at it… that's when I saw the little plus sign in the middle of it. I.. I dropped it and picked her up in a hug. I remember swinging her around a few times, before I almost dropped her. I was so happy.. then, suddenly, I was so scared. All I could think about was loosing her, too. I started to cry, right there in the middle of the oval office. You know what she did?" Jack asked Adam.

"No, sir… what did she do?" Adam asked so enthralled by the man's story telling, it was almost like he was living it. He had to check a few times to make sure he wasn't pulling the thoughts of the man into his own head by accident.

"She slapped me…" He said with a chuckle, while rubbing his own check, remembering the sting it left. "She slapped me hard. Then she looked me right in the eyes and told me to get over the past. Nancy was a great woman, someone she would always respect. What happened to her was horrible, she said. But we can't allow the past to blind us to the future."

Jack then looked directly in Adam's eyes, boring into them as if trying to bore into the boy's soul. "That was the vow she made me take, when she agreed to let me run for the presidency again. That no matter what happens, no matter how bad things get, we can not let it stop us from doing what we need to do for the future of our family, of our country. I can see that in your eyes, Adam. That same fire and love of life that she has. Don't ever let anyone take that from you. No matter what happens, no matter how bad it gets… pick yourself up by your bootstraps if needed. By push on.. always push on."

Adam couldn't help but see the old Jack… the Jack he knew, staring back at him then. That was something Jack told him once, right after they last so many people at Mike's place. Jack made him push on, at a time when he wanted to throw it all away.

Adam stood up, walked the few steps it took to be in front of Jack, and took the man in his arms. They both cried on each other's shoulders for several minutes. Both lost in their own pains of the past.

It took them several minutes before they were able to separate and speak. "Thank you, sir." Adam said as he broke away and sat back down.

"No, son." Jack said as he wiped tears out of his eyes. "Thank you, and everything your family has done for me. I know that things could get bad for us, but I honestly never expected them…" He said nodding to Linda, then Chris, "to have to pay the price."

"That's the burden of leadership." Adam said, and knew he didn't have to explain. Just looking in the man's eyes, he knew that Jack knew exactly what he meant. The burden of leadership was often having to lose those you care about. Those that looked up to you are often the ones that pay the ultimate price.

Jack took Linda's hand once again, and started talking. "This whole race has been fucked up from the beginning. Ashwood has done things that no one, not even someone like me, who's been around politics for a long damned time, could even imagine." Jack faded out, lost in the memories of only a few short months ago. Adam was about to say something, when Jack started to talk, although Adam knew Jack wasn't 'there' with him.

"June 11th…. Ashwood announces a major press conference from the oval office. All the networks were there. He was signing executive orders, since the congress refused to act. He gave this long drawn out speech about how, since congress refused to act quick enough to save this country, he would have to do it through his own powers. The first one he signed, saying that he needed to 'save the soul of this nation', revoked all the rights that gays had gained. They could no longer adopt, foster, work around, or even have any contact with a child, since they were 'perverting our youth'. He ordered all CPS agencies around the country to immediately remove any child that had been placed with a gay person or couple. Any gay person who didn't immediately stop any and all contact with a minor was to be arrested and investigated." Jack laughed, even though Adam was horrified.

"I almost felt sorry for Ashwood." Jack said with a grin. "He was slammed by everyone, and their mother. The supreme court came out the very next day, saying that the executive orders were not only illegal… they were immoral. Not to mention, forty three states came right out and said, no.. we're not enforcing that."

"The other order he signed that day, he said it was in response to the 'over abundance of gun violence that has been plaguing our streets.' He ordered that all private citizens who owned or possessed a fire arm, has 30 days to turn them in, or they would be committing a felony, punishable by a large fine and up to ten years in prison. He said there was no reason for a private citizen to have a fire arm, unless it was to commit some act of violence. And even if the owner themselves weren't planning on committing a violent act with it, the fire arm could be taken by someone who was. It would be better for everyone, especially the children, to not have to worry about guns."

Jack looked over at Adam with a sad shake of his head. "You know, some people even bought into it. Not many, but some did. Thankfully, the people in power told the president to go shove it. In Texas's case, they said it literally. They also said that any federal agent caught trying to enforce either of those laws would be arrested. Ashwood almost had a stroke, he was so pissed."

"Then in September, Ashwood crossed the line big time." Jack paused as he took Linda's hand in his own again. "We hadn't been doing much campaigning… I mean there really wasn't any reason to, but…. well you know how it is. The people like to see the candidates. Anyways, we were at a fund raiser in New York City, all of us, Me, Linda, Mike, Eric, all the kids, everyone. When the event ended, and we were getting ready to leave, a whole bunch of federal agents showed up. They said they were there to take the kids away, and to arrest Eric and Mike, for not following the law of no gays having contact with Children, and Linda and I for harboring felons, and over 100 counts of endangering the welfare of a child."

Jack actually shivered as he thought back to that night. "It turned into a Mexican Stand off. We were standing outside of the hotel, the kids behind us… Our agents with guns drawn on the other agents. If anyone had pulled the trigger, it would have been a blood bath. It was actually the local police that ended up saving our asses. They showed up, surrounded the federal agents, and made it very clear that if they pursued their corse, the locals would open fire on them."

Jack looked over and Adam saw the haunted look in his eyes. "They let us go, but the next day… the Chief of police got 'killed in an apparent random mugging."

Adam just shook his head sadly. "If that's not bad enough, as soon as we left the hotel and got back on our plane, we found out that our house and offices, everything we had, had been gone through. The feds had ransacked our houses. The next day, Ashwood came out saying that they found 'evidence of child sexual exploitation', in both my house, and in Mike's. He also said that they had found evidence that linked me to terrorists in Russia that 'would like to do us righteous US citizens, grievous harm'.

"Of course, when pressed to release the information, all he could release was pictures of the boys playing around in their underwear. The rest he claimed were still being investigated, and could he not release them due to executive privilege."

"From then on, we had to be in hiding. It's been real rough on the kids. They didn't have many friends outside of the family, but the ones they did have, at school and such, were gone. They haven't been anywhere outside of a military base since then. They…" Jack broke up a little as he spoke, "they've given up so much… all because of my wanting to try and fix this country. To try and fix what Ashwood has done. And now…" he really broke down now. "Now… Chris and Linda…. My God, I could have lost them…"

Adam was about to reply, but before he could say anything, another voice broke in. "Stop your whining…"

Editor's Notes:

First of all, let me say that this story has stolen my heart, as has Dark Star's story.

Each new chapter takes us deeper into the new situation the guys find themselves in.

With that being said, all I can think to say right now is, I hope it won't be long before I get some more new chapters to read and edit.

Thank you Roland for another wonderful chapter.

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher

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