After Juan and Adam were cried out, Janet got everyone’s attention by putting the cake she had been working on, on the table. It looked really good to the boys, double chocolate cake with chocolate frosting although it had been a miracle that it made it that far, considering the determined three boys who had been attempting to gain access to it.
Originally, it said “Congratulations Logan,” but Janet changed it to say “Congratulations Boys" in light of recent events. Everyone was touched by this bringing some fresh tears to some, including two adults as they dug in, and soon all three boys were covered in chocolate.
Joe and Janet just had to laugh at the sight of two thirteen year olds and one nine year old eating cake and they both thought it was arguable as to whether there was more in them or on them. Janet thought Juan looked so adorable with a small blob of icing on the end of his nose, but she would never dare to say it to him as she held back her laughter.
Finally, the feeding frenzy was over, and Janet cleared the table while the boys went off to get cleaned up, which Janet thought, smiling, would take a while.
As they left, Janet called out, "Weren't you suppose to eat that cake, not wear it?" causing Joe to break out in laughter as the boys just turned and gave her 'the look' kids everywhere reserve for parents, causing her to join Joe.
Once everyone was back in the kitchen, Janet, looking up, noticed that Adam was sitting there with a serious look on his face, and had the stack of papers from Dr. Marcus in his hand, frowning at them. Finally he looked up and addressed everyone, “Okay everyone, this is serious. We need to talk.” This got everyone's attention as he watched them walk over and seat themselves at the table. Once everyone was seated, he began. “I think it's time we talked about the other three boys. I know that Juan had no idea there were others, and neither did I, till I was told, so I got their files out, and figured we could all go over them.” That got nods from everyone, as Adam started to go through them.
“Okay, first thing's first. I didn't tell anyone this, because I didn't know how everyone would take it.” Adam said, carefully looking at Joe before shifting a worried glance at Juan. Joe got the hint, and said. “Juan, why don’t you come over and sit with me, son?” Juan got a huge smile on his face at hearing the request and especially that word at the end, as he got up and went over sitting in Joe's lap. He looked ready to start purring as he cuddled into Joe, causing Adam to smile at the sight silently wishing he could do the same at this point.
Taking a deep breath, Adam began "When I first heard about Juan and the others, I had thought they were like me.” But he was interrupted by Juan asking, “What do you mean, like you?” Adam took a deep breath and looked Juan in the eye. “I was kidnapped when I was six, and taken to the lab where I escaped, right before we came and got you.” Adam paused asking, “Okay?” of the younger boy, wanting to make sure that Juan was following what he had been saying. Juan nodded yes and Adam took another deep breath to brace himself, before continuing reluctantly. “As I said, I thought you and the rest were like me, kidnapped when you were younger, but according to Dr. Marcus's papers, all four of you were actually born in the laboratory.”
Janet gasped in shock when she heard this, while Joe just pulled Juan in closer to him. Juan spoke up, clearly not understanding now. “What’d that mean Adam?” Adam looked over, at a loss, to Janet for help and she got up, walked over, and knelt before Juan. Saying as gently as she could, “what he means honey, is he had a mommy and daddy before he went to the lab, and you and the other three didn't. You were born in the laboratory.” Juan still didn't really understand, as was evidenced by his looking around at everyone with a confused expression on his face, which soon cleared as he said with a child's simplicity. “So, I got me a daddy now, what's it matter if I had one before?” Janet had to turn away at that point so Juan wouldn't see her wiping away the tears which had come to her eyes at hearing those words. After a moment, Adam looked around and seeing that everyone else did understand, continued.
“Okay, the first on the list is Chang.” Adam said, while passing around a picture of the boy. “As you can see, Chang is oriental in origin, and eleven years old. It says here, he can speak both Chinese and Japanese and is specially trained to be the Unit's Medical Officer. In addition to that, it seems that he was also trained in the use of the sword, as I was. Most of the comments, made by the doctors that work with him, say that he is learning the Bushido Code.” As he looked around the table, Adam was met with mostly lost looks, so with a sigh he explained. “The Bushido code is the code of the ancient Samurai. It is a way of life and of living. I can get into more detail about it later, if you want, okay?” Everyone nodded their assent, and he continued.
“Next on the list is Joris,” Adam said, again handing around a picture of another boy this time one of a nine year old. The boy in the picture was sporting short cut blond hair and had the most beautiful emerald green eyes sparkling up from the photograph. “Joris is the demolitions expert. It says here that he has been trained to make bombs out of everyday materials, and he even has knowledge of bomb disposal. He is fluent in both Russian and Czech of languages that he can speak. The highlights from the doctor’s comments say that Joris is very fun loving, and he acts like a normal nine-year-old boy, but it also states that he may have some mental problems.” This caused both Janet and Joe to raise their eyes from the picture to stare at Adam in question, and with some worry evident in their looks. “Ummm... it says here that he may have a form of pyromania. The doctors say that he almost has a need to set off explosives as frequently as he can.” Adam replied and couldn't help but snicker a bit at that, which caused Joe, Logan, and Juan to join in, while Janet didn't look all that amused at the news.
Seeing this, Adam quickly went on, and handed out another picture, this one being of an eleven year old boy, who had short red hair, except for a small pony tail, and blue eyes. He was dressed in a flight suit, wearing sunglasses and standing next to a helicopter with his arm leaning against it. “This is William, and he is trained to be the Unit's pilot. It says here, he can fly just about anything. He also has extensive training in the electrical and mechanical systems of flying machines.” Adam said, pausing and looking up at Janet before continuing with a smile on his face. “Ummm... it says here in the comments section, that William has a habit of trying to make his flight instructors sick." Janet didn't look particularly amused by this revelation either, so Adam tried to keep from snickering, but the others weren't quite as in control which earned reproving glares from Janet before Logan added, "Come on mom, it'll be fun" which made everyone lose it.
A few moments later, Adam finished passing around the information on the boys and waited for everyone to get done reading it before speaking up. “Okay, we need a plan. Logan, I want you, as the newly installed Intel officer, to dig up everything you can find on this place; then we'll figure it out. Juan, I want you to go through all the guns we have, and make sure they're all ready to go, and pack all the clips you can.” Juan nodded, gave Joe a hug, then slid off his lap to go to work, followed by Logan who also went off to do what he had to.
Meanwhile, Adam went, and dressed in something no one had seen him in before. When he came back down the steps, he was wearing a martial arts style gee, with a sword strapped to his side. Joe and Janet paused in their conversation as Adam walked outside.
About twenty minutes later, Joe's curiosity got the best of him. “I wonder what Adam's up to?” Janet just shrugged, and they both got up at the same time, and walked out to the front porch.
Standing about fifty feet in front of the porch, Joe and Janet saw Adam there with his sword out going through some sort of Kata. It was obvious to both of them that Adam was highly trained in the use of the sword, and what he was doing now looked almost like a dance. They both watched in fascination for about twenty minutes, before they went back inside. About forty five minutes later Adam came back in and, without a word, went up and soon they could hear the shower going.
They all sat down again about three hours later, to go over what Logan found out. “Okay, here's what we got.” Logan started. “The facility is located on the outskirts of Salt Lake City Utah. Officially, it's a research facility studying the behavioral patterns of large cats. However, according to the message traffic I got off the military computers, thanks to the program that was installed, we know they moved the boys there three days ago. They are being held in a secure part of the facility, but the good news is, that they don't have much in the way of security there, other than rent a cops, so it should be no problem at all for us to get in there and out again.” The entire time that Logan was speaking, Janet was just staring at him, wide eyed. She had never seen this part of Logan before. It was almost as if the same switch that Adam and Juan had, the one that let them be kids one second, then sound like adults the next, was installed in Logan.
She wasn't sure she liked that, it bothered her for some reason. Maybe just because she felt they shouldn't have to be adults at all. She didn't know quite why, but it still troubled her, as she watched her baby.
Adam took a look at the photos that Logan was passing around and was very happy at the detail that Logan went into. “Good job Logan.” He told him and Logan absolutely beamed with pride at the praise. Adam was happy to make Logan happy, but quickly went back to work and proceeded to study the pictures without saying anything, for about five minutes, before he stood up and said.
“Okay, here's what I have in mind. Joe, I think it would be best if you played sniper again.” Which caused Juan to look dejected, and Adam could see that he was about to comment when Adam looked at him, and said. “Juan, I need you with me, in case there's something that happens with the other three. I want you by my side when we meet them.” Joe simply nodded, but upon hearing that Adam wanted Juan with him, Juan got a beautiful look of pride on his face that didn't go unnoticed by anyone there, nor did seeing it leave Adam unmoved. Swallowing a lump in his throat, he continued, “Janet, I want you to drop us off about five blocks away, and wait. You'll have a radio, so you'll know when to come in and get us, alright?” Janet nodded, looking a bit more relieved at this news.
“Juan, you and I get to go in with the equipment bags. I want to bring in a side arm and a rifle for each boy, just in case. Also, Logan, you get to carry in your laptop, and I would suggest figuring out a way to cushion it on the way in. Any Questions?” Asked Adam, as he looked around to see if anyone had any, but all he received were nods, from those assembled, as he got up from the table saying. “Okay, we'll leave at 08:00 hours tomorrow. I suggest getting some rest as we'll need to drive straight through and it will take about twenty hours to get there.” With that, everyone headed off in different directions.
Two days later, they were driving through Salt Lake City, after having driven by the Laboratory twice now, and getting the same impression, there wasn't much security present. That worried Adam somewhat, in case it was a trap, but he figured there was nothing he could do about it, other then hope things went well. It was getting close to 03:00, the time which they had decided upon for their hour of attack, and Janet dropped them off, a few blocks away from the facility. She gave a big hug to all her boys, Joe included, and then the guys took off to, hopefully, effect a rescue of their brothers.
Joe split off from them just before they got to the laboratory, so he could get into position, then the three boys waited in a dark alleyway for Joe to let them know when he was ready. Adam nervously went over his gear, again, and then he started on the other two, for the umpteenth time.
“Awww Jeez Adam, do ya need to go over me again?” Juan asked, with a bit of exasperation.” Adam just shot him a look, then moved over to Logan.
“Get used to it Juan, I think Adam takes the big brother thing a bit seriously.” Logan giggled, as Adam was now examining his gear. Adam gave him a glare, then a kiss, smiling softly.
“Hey, I can't let my boyfriend or my brother forget anything. That wouldn't be seemly.” He tried, in his best British accent, which just got the boys laughing and it helped break the tension somewhat.
Joe decided to break the mood, for better or worse, “Alpha Leader, Eagle Eye in position, reporting clear playground.”
“Received, Eagle Eye, the kids are heading into play, meet you at the sliding board later.” Adam spoke softly into his mic, and looked over to Juan, just in time to see his eyes change to that funky yellow color. He now knew for certain that Juan was ready to go, so he looked over to Logan and got a nod in response.
Adam looked back to Juan, and gave him a nod; motioning him forward with his hand. Juan for his part just grinned, a grin that sent shivers up Adam's spine. That grin was one of pure, evil intent, as Juan took a few steps back, then sprinted across the street, jumped into the air, and sailed easily over the 8 foot fence.
Juan hit the ground rolling, came up in a crouch, and scanned the area, MP5SD at the ready. “Clear,” was all Juan said, and Logan took off at a run following his younger brothers' route of seconds ago. Obviously, he wasn't able to jump over it, but he did scamper over the fence rather quickly, landing on the other side, pausing only a moment before moving to a little ways away from Juan and taking up the same position before calling “Clear.” When Adam heard that, he slung his weapon on his back, took a deep breath, and ran to the fence. Jumping over it, he hit the ground on the other side at a run, and was soon pressed against the side of the building; scanning for any movement. After several moments, when he was sure that he didn't see or hear anything, he motioned for the others to join him.
“Okay Juan, I want a zero body count on this one. Aim for legs and arms unless I tell you different.” Juan looked at Adam, in shock at the order which contradicted all of their training in the use of a firearm, but he knew that this wasn't the time or place for a discussion about it, so he reluctantly nodded in understanding.
Adam, meanwhile, had seen the look and in the end, the disapproval emanating from the younger boy, but as he knew it would, training and compliance with orders took precedence, and Juan acknowledged the order finally, albeit reluctantly.
He knew that breaking through the conditioning that had been drilled into all of them was something that must be done, and this was a first step in that direction. He didn't expect it was going to be easy and knew that there would be a discussion about it, soon after completing this mission, but for now Juan would obey like the good soldier that he was.
Logan, in the meantime, was setting up his laptop and hooking some sort of cable into the keypad by the door. After a few moments of furious typing, he sighed contentedly, and with a smile, looked back to Adam and told him. “We're in.”
Adam nodded, “Eagle Eye, command, the bell's rung, Recess is over” which got a single burst of static in reply as Joe pressed his transmit button once, in acknowledgment.
Adam nodded to Logan who pressed a combination of numbers on the keypad, and with that the doors slid open. Juan was the first one through the door, and they heard a bit of scuffling, but by the time Adam and Logan got through the door, they found that Juan had a security guard on the ground unconscious.
They moved cautiously but rapidly forward through the facility, and only met five other guards that either Juan or Adam took down. Logan meanwhile was fascinated by all this. Sure he'd been trained to do the same thing, but being trained to do something and actually doing it were two vastly different things. Now he was seeing that training put into practical use and he was enthralled by it.
They finally made it to the door that held the secure lab, and Logan went to work. Almost immediately after he hooked up to the keypad Adam heard him quietly swear and moved over to him asking. “What's wrong?” Logan looked up briefly, then back down. “This is a bit harder then I expected. It'll take me at least 2 minutes to break it.” Adam just nodded, and motioned to Juan to take cover at the door and keep watch.
After an agonizingly slow two and a half minutes the door silently popped open as Logan breathed a sigh of relief and began putting his gear away. While Logan was doing that, Adam began an entry, being first through the door to scout the way ahead, before motioning the others silently to join him upon finding the hallway empty.
Unbeknownst to Adam, who was keeping watch, and Logan who was working to gain them entry; Juan, during those minutes, had decided to try something. He concentrated his thoughts on the face of Joris that he had seen in the pictures he had been shown earlier. 'Joris, are you there?' He sent. A few seconds later he heard in his head. 'What? Who's there?' Juan beamed with pride at his accomplishment and thought. 'It's your brother Juan; we're here to get you out.' There was silence from Joris for a few moments, but then he said, 'my brother? Does that mean you're like the rest of us? How many are there? What's going on?' all in a flurry of excited questioning before Juan could stop him, until finally Joris wound down enough for Juan to send.
'Jory, calm down, Adam and I are out here with a friend. Yes, we're like you three, Adam's the leader, and I'm the sniper/heavy gunner. We came to get you out, so get ready, I gotta go, we'll be there soon so hold on.'
To their surprise, they found that there was no security in here, and soon they were at a door marked “Secure Lab, Authorized Personnel only.” Logan started to get out his lap top again, when Adam put a hand on his shoulder, stopping him. Logan looked up at him questioningly as Adam shook his head and motioned him to stand clear.
“Juan give me a hand here. On three, kick with everything you got, okay?” Adam said. Juan just looked up at him with those weird eyes of his, and a quirky grin, as they both got into place, and Adam counted to three before both boys kicked at the same time, causing the door to splinter and break inwards with a loud crash.
They all charged into the room, ready for whatever might confront them inside, but they soon came to a halt as they stared in shock at what faced them. They were in a large holding area, with cages lining the walls. In most of the cages various types of large cats resided, most, but not all. To the boys' horror in three of the smaller ones, sat Adam and Juan's Brothers, caged like the animals were.
All three of them were bound with their hands tied behind their backs, and their feet shackled together. The animals had greater freedom within their captivity the boys thought as Juan gave an enraged, almost feral growl, and ran over to the cage holding Joris. The little nine year old in the cage looked up at Juan, with bright green eyes that were almost hidden by his soft blond hair, but which now contained hope warring with despair. A soft, “Juan?” Came whimpering from Joris's lips, as Juan ran up to him, stopping outside the cage and then looking at the small form that was trapped within.
Juan had paused for a moment upon reaching the cage to look at the occupant within, but at the soft inquiry from the boy, Juan wasted no more time as he reached out and took hold of the cage door, ripping it off in one swift motion, and then reached and grabbed Joris helping him to stand in freedom.
Although the children had no way of knowing it, the Military had decided on one last failsafe warning system, as the children were about to discover; as suddenly, an alarm began going off inside the building.
Adam swore as Joe came over the radio with. "Command, Eagle Eye, You've been busted, I would suggest playing hooky before the Principal arrives."
Adam responded over the radio, after he got William and Chang out of their cages, “Received, Eagle Eye, advise if situation changes."
“Acknowledged.” was all that was heard, by way of reply as Adam bent down to see if he could get the bindings off of the other boys. Finally, he decided the only way to get it done was to shoot them off, so he took out his pistol and shot the chains that held the boys' legs together. Then stood up, and was about to shoot off the chains on the boys hands when Logan spoke up.
“Ummmm... Adam, would these help?” Adam looked up, just as Logan tossed him a set of keys. They all chuckled at Adam's reddening face, as Adam proceeded to use the keys to unlock the chains on the other three boys.
“Okay, introductions quickly, and then we gotta get the hell out of here. I'm Adam; the little guy over there is Juan. Both of us are like you guys, and after they decided to terminate me, I got the fuck out, and after finding out about you, I came to get you guys.” William looked on with his bright blue eyes, and said to Adam. “I'm Will, and I agree, let's get the fuck outta here, but, who's that?” He asked, pointing to Logan.”
That's Logan, he's a friend, I'll explain more later.” Will nodded his acceptance to that and was about to speak again when Joe came over the radio.
“Command, we got problems. Three Black Hawk Helicopters inbound, two Troop Transports, and a Gun Ship. Recommend you get the fuck out, NOW!” Adam swore and said.
“Copy, we got the rest, and are moving your way.”
William looked over to Adam saying quickly. “Sir, if I may?” Adam nodded. “I couldn't help but overhear. Perhaps we can get away in a different manner. When they brought me here, they had me fly my Black Hawk over. It's sitting in the hanger on the east end of the facility.”
Adam grinned, “Sounds like a plan to me, and I got another idea too. Guys, start opening these cages, and letting the cats out. That should cause one hell of a disturbance.”
The other boys grinned, and started to open the cages, letting the cats out. They all ran out the door, except for one. He ran to a door at the other end of the room, and started to scratch at it. The Jaguar then looked back over its shoulder and stared at Adam. Their eyes locked, and Adam swore the cat was asking for help.
He swore under his breath, and started to run for the door. “Come on, this way.” As the others quickly fell into step with him, just as Adam crashed through the door. The cat quickly ran ahead of them, and went to another door. Adam crashed through that one as well, and was greeted with another room, although smaller. This one only had one cage in it, bigger than the others, and that held only one occupant, a small boy who looked to be about seven years old. Once Adam was through, the Jag came in after him and ran to the cage.
“Fluffy!” Came the excited cry from the little boy, when he saw the giant cat run up to him. The other boys just stood in shock at what they found and watched as the little kid ran over to the giant cat and started to pet him through the bars.
He looked up at them after a second or two, “Adam? Fluffy here says you can get me outta here. Would ya please?” The little guy begged, while petting the cat, and looking at Adam with pleading eyes.
Adam stood there so confused by this turn of events, he looked at the cat named Fluffy, and the giant cat was looking back at him. Their eyes locked for a second, and Adam almost thought he heard the cat say 'Fluffy, that is so undignified'. Adam shook his head to clear it, and walked over to the cage. He tried to pry the door open without much success but soon Chang came over to help, and between the 2 of them, they opened the door enough for the little tyke to slip out.
He then ran over and gave the cat a huge hug. “Thanks Fluffy, I knew you'd save me.
Logan looked on in utter amazement for a moment, but then shook his head saying. “Adam, we gotta get outta here... like... now.”
Adam nodded, and they took off again. 'Seven boys and one Giant Fucking Cat.
Joe's gonna fuckin love this' was all he could think.
They finally made it to the hanger, and Adam was impressed by what he saw. There in the middle of a large hanger, was a Black Hawk helicopter. It was obvious that this one was not a Gun Ship, but it did have two 50 cal. machine guns mounted on the doors. William ran over to it, and pulled out a big box. “Short sit rep for you guys, this is a modified UH 60L Black Hawk. As you can see, it's painted flat black, with a radar absorbing coating on the outside. It's modified to hold an Apache style 30 mm “Rail” Gun. Loaded in those containers on the bird, are the detachable wings, which can hold two canisters of hell fire, anti-armor missiles, eight on each side. Unfortunately, it would take too long to load those right now. Those wings can also be used to hold external fuel tanks, which will increase the range, to roughly a thousand miles.” William said, as he then started shouting out orders to the others while shrugging into his flight suit. “Adam, help me get the turret loaded. Juan, in those cases is the ammo for the 50 cal's, load them up. They're belt fed, so teach someone how to reload 'em.”
Once they had everything loaded, they realized that they could now clearly hear the three helicopters outside and they were close; this was confirmed as. Joe came over the radio telling them, “Two teams fast roping down, gun ship is providing cover. There are fourteen on the ground, repeat, fourteen heavily armed troops on the ground. Where the hell are you guys?”
Adam keyed his mic, “Eagle Eye, this is command, new ex filtration plan. We'll be flying the friendly skies from the east side and when we come out, we'll cover you, as you haul ass for the bird.”
“Understood just don't count on the skies being very friendly tonight,” was all Joe said, as the boys readied the helicopter for take off.
Once everything was loaded, William got in the pilot's seat, and started to strap in. “You guys better buckle up back there, this is gonna be a bumpy flight.” he yelled to the back.
Adam moved over to the side where the door controls were, while shouting orders. “Juan and Chang, hook up to the 50's, Jory and Logan will be feeding for you guys. Logan, get the kid strapped in, and figure out a way to get the cat secure.”
Logan looked from Adam to the cat, who was disconcertingly looking right back at him as if he understood what had been said, when Adam noticed the incredulous look on his face and snapped "Just do it," and Logan could have sworn that the cat was smiling at him.
After that, conversation was not possible, as the rotors on the Black hawk came to life. With a nod from William, Adam pushed the button to open the hanger doors, and then he ran back to the black hawk. He took up position next to Juan, with his MP5, to help target the soldiers. “Remember, don't kill if you don't need to, understand?” Everyone gave a nod that they did.
William gave the bird some juice, and was soon a few inches off the ground, and moving out of the hanger. As soon as they cleared the hanger, Chang and Juan opened up with the 50's, making sure to go easy on the ammo so as not to melt the barrels down. There was one Black Hawk that had already landed on the pad, and another that was about to touch down. The third one; the Gun Ship, was circling over head, providing cover for the others. Juan gave a few short bursts at the one in the air, and it quickly moved away. He knew that they would never fire at a bird that was hovering just a few feet above the ground with friendlies all around.
William had opened up with the turret, and all sound was drowned out by the sound of the Gatling Gun firing. William was targeting the Black hawk that was on the ground, which the military troops were using for cover. Soon, the black hawk that was on the ground exploded in a huge fireball and William stopped firing the turret.
As soon as anyone could hear anything again, Jory whined. “Dammit Will, I wanted to blow it up.” William simply chuckled and pivoted the helicopter.
Adam soon shouted, “Cover him!” And was firing off his MP5 as Joe came running across the field towards them, shooting and ducking fire as he went. Juan was keeping the 50 cal. going as much as he could without risking the barrel, and Logan was having a hard time keeping up with him. William moved the helicopter down to pick up Joe, and used the helicopter to cover Joe as much as possible.
Adam had just taken aim, and fired, when he heard Juan scream, “DADDY!!!!” Adam looked over and felt his heart seize in his chest, as he saw Joe fall and then Juan opened up fully with the 50 cal machine gun, while tears streamed down both their cheeks, and Adam took aim once again.