Revolutions Universe: Paradise 2

Operation: Snowball

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All Rights Reserved

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Chapter 3

As Sergeant Douglas followed the road away from the east parking lot, he spotted a large gathering of teenagers not too far away. They had set up something of a makeshift rest area, or at least a stopping place, with army cots placed in a neat row, each containing an unconscious teenager.

It took him a moment searching through so many people milling around, but he was finally able to spot the sandy blond haired boy amongst them.

"Joseph, I need to talk to you." Sergeant Douglas said firmly, interrupting the conversation that was already in progress.

"Privately?" Joseph asked, not seeming to be bothered at all by the interruption.

"No. You're all going to find out soon anyway. There's no reason to try and keep secrets at this stage of things." Sergeant Douglas assured him.

"What did you need, Lee?" Joseph asked conversationally.

Sergeant Douglas was taken aback for a moment at being called by his first name. He realized that being a 'blue' meant that Joseph had the same ability as Zarah and that Joseph probably already knew every detail of his entire life story.

"I've been ordered to gather your leaders and get you loaded on the plane we arrived on as soon as possible so that we can take off." Sergeant Douglas said professionally.

"Well, most of the leaders are here already, so that shouldn't be a problem." Joseph said simply.

"Good. We've also been instructed to evacuate your injured on the first flight. The doctor will be going with us, so she can have a look at them while we're en route."

"Only time will help what's wrong with our injured." Joseph muttered absently as he looked around at his companions.

"Do you need for me to stay behind and watch over things?" The boy in orange, Kenyon, asked Joseph carefully.

"No. I'm just trying to figure out how to do this so our people won't be left floundering without leadership." Joseph said slowly.

"Zarah seems to have a good grasp of things, over at the parking lot." Sergeant Douglas offered carefully.

"Yeah. She'll take good care of the blues." Joseph said confidently, then turned to his companions and asked, "Who should go with us to represent the greens?"

"Tammy, maybe?" A boy in yellow asked the group uncertainly.

"Or Wade." A girl in yellow suggested, then added, "The Greens never really had a leader, they just seem to automatically fall in with whoever was running things in the meeting rooms they were in."

Joseph looked around, then called, "Cory, would you go get Wade and ask him to come here? We need to talk to him."

A younger looking boy in yellow nodded, then took off running.

"What about Tammy?" An older looking boy in yellow asked cautiously. Sergeant Douglas scanned the boy just enough to get the name 'Stone'.

Joseph pointed toward a group of people not far away. Everyone watched as a girl in green looked back at them in response.

Joseph motioned for the girl to join them, then asked the group, "Who wants to represent 'Eden'?"

"One of us needs to stay here." The girl in yellow said simply.

"I'll stay." Stone said easily.

"What about 'The Amazon'?" Joseph asked his companions.

"I'll go ask Valerie. She'll either go herself or send someone to represent them." The girl in yellow said before hurrying away.

"Thanks Alyssa." Joseph called after her.

"What did you need?" Tammy, the girl in green, asked as she drew near.

Joseph looked down the road and saw Wade and Cory approaching.

"Let's wait for Wade." Joseph said simply, then looked to a boy in red and asked, "Are you in?"

"Yeah. Randa can handle things here." The boy said confidently, but his expression fell a little as he hesitantly continued, "But can we bring someone with us if we don't want to take the chance of leaving them behind?"

Rather than answer, Joseph looked to Sergeant Douglas inquiringly.

"Considering the carrying capacity of the C-130 and the number of people we're committed to taking with us, I'm guessing that it shouldn't be a problem."

The boy in red, Korbin, looked around to be sure who was listening, and more importantly at that moment, who wasn't. Once he was sure, he quietly said "Good. Then I'd like for Kyle to go with us."

"You and Kyle?" Joseph asked cautiously.

"No. It's not like that... I mean... Maybe it will be someday. I don't know. Okay? But right now I just need to know that he's safe."

Joseph raised a hand to stop the nervous chatter, then once Korbin had quieted, Joseph carefully said, "I understand. It's cool. Kyle can come with us."

Korbin glanced at the boy in yellow who was oblivious to the entire conversation and smiled with relief..

"What are we talking about?" Wade asked as he approached.

"Scan me, then tell me what you think." Joseph said simply.

Wade looked at Joseph for a long moment, then looked to Tammy and said, "You should go. Mary Nicole is going to be one of the leaders, so you should represent the greens."

Tammy shook her head and said, "I haven't spent any time with the greens. It wouldn't be fair to them..."

"You and Wade are both coming with us. Leah can stay and watch after the greens here. She'll be happiest working alongside Zarah anyway." Joseph interrupted, then continued, "Jude, are you in?"

"Are you sure?" Another boy in red asked cautiously.

"Yeah. One hundred percent."

"Can Tanner come with me?" Jude asked as he glanced across the 'rest area' at a younger looking boy dressed in black coveralls.

"Absolutely."

"Do you want me to ask Lisa?" A boy in black asked the group cautiously.

"Yeah, Ryan. Tell her that she's been drafted." Joseph said with a grin.

"Who do you think will cover 'Area 51' if Lisa's not there?" Kenyon asked cautiously from Joseph's side.

"If no one objects, Ryan can watch out for the blacks and Kenna can take care of the purples." Joseph said, mostly to Ryan and Kenna themselves.

Receiving identical nods of agreement from them, Joseph then looked to the tallest member of their group and asked, "What about you, Jayce? You're going to be representing the purples and grays, aren't you?"

"Yeah. I can leave Autumn in charge of things here." Jason said simply, then thought to ask, "You're going with us, aren't you Kenyon?"

"I'm not a leader..." Kenyon began to explain.

"You're going." Joseph said as a simple statement of fact.

"Who are we missing?" Tammy asked slowly.

"Mary Nicole." Wade said immediately.

"Tammy, will you let her know what's going on? We're going to need to leave right away." Joseph asked hopefully.

With a single nod, Tammy broke away from the group. At her departure, Ryan and Kenna also left, ostensibly to inform Lisa that she had been drafted.

"Who else?" Wade asked cautiously.

"Teddy." Jason said seriously.

"Theodore." The boy in white coveralls immediately corrected.

"Are you okay with being thought of as being the leader of the Whites?" Joseph asked cautiously.

"Yeah. I'm fine with that, but I really think it might be best if you include all the whites. There's not that many of us and the guys can be kinda brilliant sometimes." Theodore carefully explained.

"Okay, but if things come down to a vote, no matter how many people you have at the table, the whites get one vote, just like every other color." Joseph said firmly.

Theodore slowly nodded his agreement as Luke quietly asked, "Does that mean that I get a vote too?"

Everyone looked to Joseph to decide.

"Yes. In fact not only can you represent the Browns, but also the interests of all non-psychic people in our decision making." Joseph said as he looked around for any objection.

"So is everything settled? Can we go now?" Sergeant Douglas asked hopefully.

"I'd like it if we could bring one or two healing teams with us, just to be safe." Joseph said thoughtfully.

"I can see to that." Kenyon immediately volunteered.

"Then I guess that we can leave as soon as Valerie, Lisa and Mary Nicole join us. Until then, Theodore needs to gather the whites and we still need to get our unconscious people on the plane."

"I need to talk to Autumn, I'll be back in a minute." Jason told Joseph quietly.

Joseph nodded, then watched as Jason and Theodore hurried away.

Sergeant Douglas couldn't help but smile at the smitten gaze that Joseph wore as he watched Jason go.

"Joseph! Good, you haven't left yet!" A boy in yellow called as he approached.

"What's up, Denn?" Joseph asked cautiously.

"Food. We need food." Dennis said quickly.

"Yeah. We're all hungry..." Joseph began to say.

Dennis shook his head and said, "When you leave, it will still be a while before the other planes get here. Once we board the other planes, it will be hours before we land. Do you realize how long it's been since any of us has eaten?"

"About a day." Joseph said cautiously.

"Right. And we weren't getting a lot of calories or nutrition to begin with. It's been a really stressful day followed by a long hike, which could also be described as 'fleeing for our lives'. We're all running on empty. Pretty soon people are going to start getting sick and passing out." Dennis said firmly.

"So, what is it that you want me to do?" Joseph asked cautiously.

"Leave us some food! There's plenty of MRE's loaded on your plane, but if I didn't stop you in time, you'd leave and take them all with you." Dennis said frankly.

"Lee, do you think that you can talk your commanding officer into leaving some rations behind for us?" Joseph asked with a smile.

"That shouldn't be a problem. If he had known that you were hungry, I'm sure that he would have broken them out before now." Sergeant Douglas said seriously.

"Denn, why don't you get a couple of people together to help offload the food when we get to the plane?" Joseph asked with a smile.

"Yeah. I'll be right back." Dennis said before dashing away.

"I'm beginning to see the usefulness of having a precog around." Joseph said to Sergeant Douglas with a grin.

"So, is everything settled for now?" Sergeant Douglas asked cautiously.

"For the moment..." Joseph began to say, then started looking around.

"What is it?" Sergeant Douglas asked cautiously.

"Aaron. Can you do me a favor?" Joseph asked as he stepped away from the group.

"Sure, what?" Aaron asked cautiously.

"I have a feeling that once we're on the plane I'm going to be kept busy. Is there any way you could come along with us and watch over our unconscious people to make sure that they're alright?" Joseph asked hopefully.

"Shouldn't you have an orange or a gray for that?"

"We'll have some with us, but they tend to get lost in what they're doing in the moment."

"So you just want me to watch them?"

"Yes. I just don't want for our people to be forgotten in the shuffle. Everyone else will probably have their own things going on but this will be the one and only thing that I'll be asking of you. If they get jostled around while we're in the air or if one of them wakes up, I'd like for you to be there to see that they get whatever help they need."

"Yeah. If you're sure..."

"Aaron, given your nature, I think that you're uniquely suited to this task. There's no one who I would trust more with a job like this." Joseph assured him.

"Thanks Joseph." Aaron said with a brief, honest smile.

* * * * *

"I think I figured it out." A girl dressed in purple coveralls said as she approached the group.

"What's that?" Joseph asked curiously.

"The purple ability. I think I've got it!" The girl said happily.

"We don't have time for this. We need to get moving." Sergeant Douglas said urgently.

"We need to wait for Valerie..." Joseph started to say.

"There she is!" Cory said quickly.

Sergeant Douglas followed Cory's gaze and saw that not only Valerie, but also everyone else that they had been waiting on were approaching in a group.

"What about the unconscious..." Joseph began to say when Korbin interrupted, "Grab a cot and start hauling or get out of the way."

"Aren't you coming with us?" Kenyon asked playfully as he automatically moved to Joseph's side.

"Is this everyone?" Sergeant Douglas asked cautiously.

After a moment to look over all the people in attendance, Joseph quietly said, "I think so."

"Then you'd better get moving. You can't lead from behind." Sergeant Douglas said, getting into the spirit of things.

"I'm not a telepath. You need to lead the way." Joseph said snippishly.

"Well, come on then!" Sergeant Douglas said as he started leading the group toward the plane.

"Tanner, we need to go. We're being evacuated." Jude called to him.

"Kyle, grab the other end. We've got a job to do." Korbin said firmly as he walked to the nearest cot.

* * * * *

As the group set off, on foot, on the long hike into their unknown future, Sergeant Douglas allowed himself a moment to do a very general scan of the group, trying to get a sense of the relationship dynamics at work.

It seemed as though every single one of the people had brought their best attributes forward. The 'leaders' each had strengths that were worthy of admiration. Whether it be Mary Nicole's subtle, strangely soothing logical presence or Korbin's more volatile, frenetic enthusiasm, all of them were natural leaders, who inspired their people's loyalty and respect.

"Joseph." The girl dressed in purple coveralls said, catching Sergeant Douglas’ attention.

"Oh, right. What have you come up with, Lisa?" Joseph asked as he maintained his pace, walking at Sergeant Douglas' side.

"I think the purples have an ability like the oranges, except that ours is mental." Lisa said enthusiastically.

"All our abilities are mental. That's the psy in psychic." Joseph said slowly.

The sour look on Lisa's face made Sergeant Douglas have to fight to contain his smile.

"I mean that we can heal the mind the same way that the oranges can heal the body." Lisa carefully explained.

"Oh?" Joseph reacted with surprise, then cautiously asked, "How did you figure that out?"

"Observation." Lisa answered simply.

"So you comforted people who were frightened and they felt better because of it?" Joseph guessed.

"Yeah. But it's not that simple. I've watched people who were freaking out and going half out of their minds with fear and depression suddenly become alright. Like I said, it's been observation. The sudden shift in their moods is beyond all reason. No one recovers from being abducted, held captive and sexually violated as easily as I've seen in the past day. We were essentially raped in our sleep. You don't just get over that."

Sergeant Douglas once again cast his mind out to do a very general scan. He wanted to verify for himself that what Lisa was saying was true.

Since he was looking for it, he found ample evidence of all of them being sexually violated in their sleep, both males and females. Likewise, he detected the stress and anger associated with being abducted and being held against their will. But every single mind that he encountered seemed to be accepting the past for what it was while looking with anticipation toward the future.

"Sergeant Douglas? What do you think? Is it a thing? Is there even a psychic ability like that?" Joseph asked cautiously, breaking Lee out of his contemplation.

"Yeah. It's called Mentatis or mind healing. But I can't really tell you much about it." Sergeant Douglas responded.

"But do you think the purples really have it?" Joseph asked curiously.

"I'd probably have to be looking for it while it's being used to be sure, but looking at your group as a whole, I'd say that it's possible. Given your situation, I'd expect everyone to be in a lot worse shape than they are. Some of that can be credited to inspirational leadership, but it wouldn't surprise me to find out that there's a psychic component at play." Sergeant Douglas said thoughtfully.

"Who does that leave?" Lisa asked Joseph curiously.

"The Blacks. I think we have everyone else figured out." Joseph said honestly.

"Do you have any clue what abilities they might have?" Lisa asked slowly.

"No. Ryan's the only black that I've said more than a few words to." Joseph said honestly, then added, "He's a great guy, but I haven't noticed him being anything but normal."

"I might be able to help you out with this one." Sergeant Douglas said as he glanced behind them to be sure that everyone was keeping up.

"Do you know what it is?" Joseph asked with surprise.

"I have an idea. Actually, you have an idea, but your logical mind won't let you consider it. Anyway, it doesn't matter. Just get what's his name... Tanner, and that guy Luke up here and I'll be able to tell you for sure." Sergeant Douglas said confidently.

"Okay, sure." Joseph said, then called behind them and asked, "Would you ask Luke and Tanner to come up here to talk with me? Pass it back."

"I wonder what the message is actually going to say by the time it reaches them." Lisa said with a chuckle.

* * * * *

They walked for a few more minutes before Luke hesitantly made his way to the front to join them.

"How are you doing, Luke?" Joseph asked pleasantly.

"I'm scared. Where are we going?" Luke asked anxiously.

"Wait for Tanner to get here before you answer that." Sergeant Douglas quickly told Joseph.

"Why?" Joseph asked curiously.

"Just wait." Sergeant Douglas said seriously, then added, "Lisa, would you mind hanging back for a minute. If I'm right, you could accidentally interfere with what I'm trying to prove here."

"Sure." Lisa said uncertainly.

As Lisa dropped back, Tanner hurried up from behind and asked, "Did you need me for something?"

"Yes. Tanner, have you met Luke?" Sergeant Douglas asked in what seemed to be a pleasant and casual voice.

"Not really." Tanner said cautiously, then looked at Luke and began to say, "It's nice..."

"Go on." Sergeant Douglas said slowly.

"I can't." Tanner said as he slowed his pace to put more distance between Luke and himself.

"What's wrong?" Joseph asked in confusion at the reaction.

"Tanner, aren't you going to shake Luke's hand?" Sergeant Douglas encouraged.

"No." Tanner said immediately.

"Why not?" Sergeant Douglas asked in a leading tone.

"No. I can't." Tanner said shakily, then asked, "Did you need me up here for something?"

"Yes. I want to team you and Luke up to do a project while we're travelling." Sergeant Douglas said with a smile.

"I don't mind helping, but I can't work with him. Don't ask me to." Tanner said defensively.

"Oh? Okay. Never mind." Sergeant Douglas said easily.

"Is that all?" Tanner asked cautiously.

"Yes. Sorry to bother you." Sergeant Douglas said simply.

Tanner turned and hurried to go back, presumably to rejoin Jude.

"What was that all about?" Joseph asked confusedly.

"Just a minute." Sergeant Douglas said, then called behind them, "Lisa. We're ready for you."

"What did you need for me to do?" Lisa asked as she walked forward.

"Would you talk to Luke for a minute and let him know what's going on? I need to explain something to Joseph."

"Sure." Lisa said uncertainly, then turned her attention to Luke and asked, "You know about the self-destruct, don't you?"

"Yes."

"The people in charge are afraid that the same people who tried to kill us with that self-destruct might come back and try to hurt us again. So they're going to get us out of here and take us to someplace safe. Right now we're walking to get to the plane to take us to that safe place." Lisa said calmly.

"We're going to get to ride on a plane!? I always wanted to do that." Luke said happily.

"Yes. We should be there in just a few minutes." Lisa said assuringly.

"Okay." Luke said with a smile, then quickly explained, "I need to get back. I'm good at carrying things and some of the little kids are having to carry one of the beds while I'm here."

"Go on." Sergeant Douglas said, then added, "Thank you for helping, Luke. We appreciate it."

* * * * *

"Okay. What just happened?" Joseph asked firmly.

"Luke told you himself, he was scared and uncertain. The thing is that Luke doesn't have the complicated mental mechanisms in place to hide his emotions from himself or others. Everything he feels is laid bare for everyone to see." Sergeant Douglas said simply.

"Okay. I guess I can see that." Joseph cautiously accepted.

"When Tanner came in close proximity to Luke, he was bombarded by Luke's raw emotions and couldn't deal with them hitting him all at once." Sergeant Douglas carefully explained.

"Are you saying that Tanner is an empath?" Lisa slowly asked.

"Yes. In the classical sense. When he's close to someone, he feels their emotions." Sergeant Douglas confirmed.

"I always thought that empaths would be... nicer." Joseph hesitantly admitted.

Sergeant Douglas laughed at the admission, then said, "Once they're aware of their abilities and learn some basic shielding, they usually are. But in Tanner's case, when he encounters raw emotions, he either reacts with fear, like we just saw, or he gets drawn into them, not being able to distinguish other people's emotions from his own."

"So, do you think that all the blacks are empathic?" Lisa asked cautiously.

"Potentially, yes." Sergeant Douglas said thoughtfully, then added, "But empathy is one of the more difficult psionic abilities to identify. A low-level empath might go through their entire life without ever realizing that they had any unique ability at all."

"So, in theory, could we use the blacks to work with the purples in the same way that we use the grays to spot for the oranges?" Joseph slowly asked.

"Once they've received proper training, that would probably work. But until then, the blacks are probably going to either isolate themselves or choose to remain close to the one or two people that they feel comfortable with." Sergeant Douglas confirmed.

"So Tanner's feelings for Jude might just be his natural self-preservation instinct compelling him to seek out a person who will emotionally shield him?" Joseph asked cautiously.

"Theoretically, yes. In practice, who knows? I wouldn't automatically jump to the conclusion that Tanner is using Jude, however unknowingly, as an emotional tampon. There might be a true friendship there. There might even be love. We'll just have to wait and see how things play out."

"When you asked me to talk to Luke, you were testing to see if I really have that Mentatis thing, right?" Lisa asked cautiously.

"Yes. I couldn't say for sure until I saw it in action."

"Well? Do I have it?" Lisa asked hopefully.

"Without a doubt. You took Luke from despondent to joyful in a matter of seconds. Your words were enough to ease his logical mind while your psychic energy calmed his inner turmoil. If you're this effective without any training at all, I can't wait to see what you'll be able to accomplish once you have conscious control of your gift." Sergeant Douglas said with a smile at her.

"We've got a lot of traumatized people. You could be a big help to them." Joseph said frankly.

"There's lots of traumatized people everywhere right now. And we need all the help we can get." Sergeant Douglas said frankly.

"We've been locked away for... I don't know how long. What's the date? I can't believe that I didn't even think about asking before now."

"Today is Friday, December 14th." Sergeant Douglas said slowly.

"Okay. It's about a week later than I estimated, but I wasn't too far off." Joseph said thoughtfully, then asked, "What's happened in the last month and a half? We've been completely cut off from outside events since we arrived."

"That's kind of a lot to explain and we're here." Sergeant Douglas said as he motioned ahead of them to where the plane was waiting with the ramp extended.

"What do you need for us to do?" Joseph asked as they continued to walk.

"Just get everyone on the plane and settled in. If I need you to do something, I'll let you know." Sergeant Douglas said seriously.

"Don't forget that Cory and Denn came with us to get the MRE's."

"Actually, I did forget. But while everyone's getting strapped in, I'll see to it that they have enough food and water for everyone and a cart to haul it back."

* * * * *

"Major Stanley, I've arrived at the plane and we're just starting to load the leaders and their wounded aboard."

"Acknowledged. We're en route to your location. ETA five minutes." Major Stanley promptly responded.

"On the walk here I was notified that none of the captives have eaten since yesterday. I would like permission to provide MRE's for those who will be staying behind, to get them by until they arrive at Fairchild."

"Granted. However, we won't be able to delay our departure for the time it will take to deliver those supplies."

"Yes sir. They brought personnel with them to carry the supplies back to the parking area."

"Good work. Offload the supplies and get them on their way. Be prepared to take off as soon as we've arrived."

"Yes sir." Sergeant Douglas said smartly.

"Stanley out."

* * * * *

"Can a few of you guys help me offload these crates? We're going to take off as soon as Major Stanley gets here." Sergeant Douglas called into the plane.

"We're on it. Wade told us that you got permission and the loadmaster is telling us which boxes to take." Joseph said as he was helping to unload boxes from a pallet.

Although Sergeant Douglas had been expecting to help, he found that they had an efficient production line already established and anything that he could do would just impede their progress.

"Can you help us figure out how to secure the wounded? It looks like we're going to have to move them off their cots and we're not sure about how's the best way to transport them." One of the girls dressed in white asked hopefully from deeper in the plane.

"To do this the right way, we'll need the loadmaster. I'll get him and be right there." Sergeant Douglas answered immediately, happy to know that there was actually something he could help with.

* * * * *

After working for a few minutes, getting the unconscious teenagers secured for flight, Sergeant Douglas heard some new voices approaching.

"Good. It looks like you've thought this through." Captain Stewart said as she spotted the open area that had been left for her 'brown' patients.

"I left room for six. I hope that's enough." Sergeant Douglas said cautiously.

"We'll only need five. One didn't survive the hike." Captain Stewart said gravely.

"I think we're just about done here. Let us know what you need and we'll help you get your patients secured." Sergeant Douglas offered respectfully.

"We recruited a few of the children to help and the loadmaster has said that he'll be right up to help us secure them properly. I believe that we have matters well in hand." Captain Stewart assured him.

"Yes ma'am." Sergeant Douglas said simply before moving away toward the back of the plane.

* * * * *

As Sergeant Douglas stepped off the ramp, he was just able to catch sight of a group of teenagers walking away, pushing the dollies that had been reconfigured to function as carts.

"Are all your people aboard?" Major Stanley asked as he stepped onto the ramp.

"Yes sir. And all our casualties have been secured." Sergeant Douglas assured him.

"Colonel Hayes has asked that we interview the children while in flight and provide a synopsis of their story for him upon arrival. Since you seem to speak their language, I thought that I'd leave that task to you." Major Stanley said diplomatically.

"Yes sir." Sergeant Douglas automatically agreed, then thought to add, "But if you're able to attend, I think your presence might help to keep the interview on track. Being the same age as them doesn't necessarily work to my advantage in all situations."

"I need to go forward and make arrangements for a cleanup detail to be dispatched to deal with all those bodies. Once we're in the air, I'll join you."

"Yes sir." Sergeant Douglas said just as he heard the engines starting up.

* * * * *

"What's wrong?" Sergeant Douglas asked as he walked into the main cabin and found Luke sobbing into Lisa's shoulder.

"He saw the browns being loaded in." Joseph said regretfully, then added, "I should have thought to prepare him for that."

"Between you and Zarah, you've spared him a lot of pain. I know that you're sorry that you can't spare him all of it, but things just work out that way sometimes no matter how hard you try."

"He asked about his brother..." Joseph said as a tear slid down his cheek.

"Did you tell him?" Sergeant Douglas asked quietly.

"Yeah." Joseph choked out.

"Joseph. You do your best and sometimes shit happens. You didn't cause this. It's not your fault." Sergeant Douglas urged him to understand.

"Then whose fault is it?" Joseph asked as he looked Sergeant Douglas in the eyes.

"I've scanned the minds of all the surviving Browns and I haven't found those answers." Sergeant Douglas said simply, then carefully said, "Maybe if you told me about what you've been able to figure out for yourselves, I could turn that over to my superiors and they could put the pieces together."

"Lee, don't pretend like you haven't already read my mind and found all of that out for yourself." Joseph said bitterly.

"I've only looked at the surface of your mind, more as a way of understanding your motivation, than gathering any real information about you." Sergeant Douglas said frankly, then thought to add, "But Zarah gave her permission for me to do a deep scan of her, so I do know pretty much anything that you've told her."

All conversation stopped as the engines throttled up and they all felt the sensation of movement.

Editor's Notes:

Ok, I don't think I want to add anything to this chapter either.

I can't imagine that MM is going to leave us hanging for very long before we can find out what will happen next.

Anything I say could be some kind of spoiler, or even worse.

To be honest, I can't remember a lot of the details of the original story.

Things do pop into my head, now and then, but it has been quite some time since I read the original chapters.

I think I will go back and read the earlier chapters, and get myself caught up.

As always, I hope there will be follow up chapters soon.

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher