Ultraman Daxium

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scikaiju

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Ken and Davey watched their respective dates as they entered said ladies room. After a moment Ken rested his head in his hand, “So what are the odds she'll want to continue with this date after Rose is done with her?”



“Not great buddy,” Davey answered him, “not great at all.” Ken moved his head so his hand basically covered his face. Of all the times to run into Rose.



***
Rose fixed her make up a bit as she studied her reflection in the mirror. Next to her Jess did the same although she kept glancing over at the woman who dragged her in here. As apparently chatty as she was when she first came up to her and Ken she was surprisingly quiet once they came in. Jess decided to break the silence, “How long have you known Ken?”



“Ever since he started working at the garage,” she answered. “I could never understand why he was single most of the time, he was such a great guy. Is a great guy I mean,” she quickly corrected. “But you knew that already didn't you.”



“I knew it was in there,” Jess told her, “but it took a bit to finally get him to open up and show it. And I was happy that he did.” Rose nodded at this bit of information. Jess silently wondered if she was trying to size her up for some reason. Deciding to test this particular theory Jess cautiously said, “Although I get the feeling I'm not the type of woman you would have tried to set him up with.”



“He told you about some of them I'm guessing,” Rose said with a slight chuckle. “”I'll admit that I am a firm believer in the idea that's there somebody out there for everybody. I was just trying to help him find her. Actually I was starting to think I should start introducing him to some of the guys I know” Jess snorted out a quick laugh at that. “But honestly I don't know you well enough to know either way if I would or not. Hopefully I'll get the chance to know you better after this.”



“I hope we get the chance to as well,” Jess told her. She wanted this to work out with Ken as much as he hopefully did. And as close as he and Rose apparently were she wanted to be on good term with her at least.



“So do I,” Rose told her. Then she turned suddenly to face her. It was so quick Jess was caught off guard, mostly at the serious look on her face compared to the light evpression she wore a moment ago. Resting a hand on the counter she went, “Now I hope you understand that I've known Ken for so long I sort of see him as the brother I never had. So he means a lot to me.”



“I completely understand,” Jess quickly told her, resisting the urge to back up from the look she was giving her.



“Good,” Rose said, “so please don't take any offence when I tell you that if you hurt him in any way,” she leaned in a bit and Jess did give into the urge to lean back a bit, “I will stomp a mud hole in your ass. And walk it dry.” She backed off and went back the way she was before they entered the room. “Good talk. Now I think our men have waited long enough don't you think? We better go join them. Enjoy your date.”



“I.. I will,” Jess stammered a bit as she went back into the diner. She stood there a moment trying to get her legs to work. She had face down several monsters of various sizes but something told her to not get on that woman's bad side. Walking back into the diner herself Jess couldn't help but smile at how relived Ken looked when he realized that she was coming back to their table.



***
Their evening going off without any other surprises, luckily Davey was able to keep Rose at their table and let the two of them eat in peace. And there was no hint of Brooks or a giant monster at all so Ken and Jess could just relax and reconnect. Well more than they have since he joined up with Monster Squad, pretty much against his will but that wasn't a thought he wanted to have tonight. Although Jess was amused by the look on his face when his meatloaf dinner came. He should had ordered the cheese steak. Outside of that,and Rose interjecting herself into it when they got there, dinner went well, at least he thought it did anyway. Both of them agreed that it was time to go and get out of there before Rose made her way back over. Especially before Rose came back over.



Pulling into his usual space in the Castle garage Ken quickly got out and opened the door for her one more time. “You're going to get me use to that,” she informed him as she got out, “and I'm going to get really annoyed when I realize you eventually stopped doing it.”



Ken studied her for a bit as he closed the door, “Now I might be mistaken, but that sounds like you'd might want to do this again sometime. Minus Rose getting involved that is.”



She patted lightly him on the cheek, “See you're picking up the not so subtle hints a little faster now.” He started grinning. “Could you not look like a kid on Christmas morning? It's getting a little creepy.”



“Sorry,” he said fighting to get the smile off his face, and failing as one corner kept curling up. Finally getting it under control he went, “Walk you to your room?”



“Well a proper gentleman would,” she said. Without another word they headed for the elevator that lead to the upper levels. Exiting on the right floor they made their way to her quarters. Ken happened to look down to see her hand wrapped around his. She noticed him looking, “Your hand looked cold.”



“Seriously?,” he went as he looked at her.



“That's the same line you used on me on our very first date Mr. Smooth,” she told him with a slight smirk.
 
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“Well I've gotten a little smoother since then,” he informed her.



“I'll be the judge of that,” she said. Once they got to the busier part of the hallway leading to the living quarters Ken half way expected her to let go of his hand before they came across any one. Much to his surprise she didn't, her hand didn't even feel like they were going to let go. Even greeting a few people while still holding on to him. And apparently not caring all that much as they kept watching them, a couple actually pointing after them.



Looking around he told her, “I gotta admit this is a lot different from the first time we walked together in the building.”



“Yes it is,” she agreed wholeheartedly. “And in a much better way too. You know I was amazed how fast we fell into that old rhythm we use to have back then. I was almost scared what was going to happen since I just happened to be with a person of interest who was considered dangerous enough for me and the others to bring in.”



“It scared me a little too,” Ken admitted. “Like I was opening myself to getting my heart broken all over again. Had to keep reminding myself those days were long gone.”



“Those days may be gone,” Jess said. “But a new one is starting up.” she looked at him with a small smile, that he returned as he got a better grip around her hand.



“What the hell?,” the looked over to see Bill staring at them from a rec room door way. And an embarrassed looking Ryo right behind him. “You're back?” He looked back at something in the room before returning his attention to them, “At a reasonable hour? What the hell is wrong with the two of you?”



Taking Bill by the shoulders Ryo tried to get him away from the door. “Leave them alone Bill they're grown adults finishing a evening together not a peep show.” Both of them turned a little red at his choice of words. Jess still didn't let go of his hand as they continued on their way.



After a few yards Jess went, “Can I ask you something about Rose?” He tensed up a bit, afraid of what she was going to ask. “Did you ever think about asking her out because you too seem really close, even before tonight.”



Taking a moment deciding if he should answer the question he eventually said, “If I'm being honest, before I found out she was married I thought about it. But she's madly in love still with Davey. And I wouldn't do anything to break them up. Now if I could just do something about her unhealthy obsession with my love life.”



“Well she obviously cares about your happiness,” she told him. “I mean why else would she threaten to 'stomp a mud hole' when we were in the ladies room.”



Ken looked up at the ceiling and sighed, “And walk it dry?” When Jess nodded he lowered his head and pinched the bridge of his nose, “Damn it Rose.”



“Hey, I think it's sweet she cares that much about you,” she assured him while pulling him a little closer. “I just wish somebody cared about me that much.”



“Talk to Ryo,” He told her.



“No he didn't,” she said with slight surprise.



“Well nothing as colorful as Rose's little saying was mentioned,” he explained. “But the general agreement was he'd be next in line after you were done kicking my ass.”



She thought about it for a moment, “Sounds about right. So I'd suggest you behave yourself.”



“I was planning on it,” he told her, “because I'm pretty sure Hawk is right behind the two of you if that ever happens.” After a bit he looked up and said, “Here we are.” When she finally let go of his hand he stood on one side of the door and her the other.”Okay now answer a question for me.”



“Shoot,” she told him.



“Do you want me in there tonight?”, and he pointed at her door.



“Now wait a second Ken, I had fun tonight and all but like I told you earlier...”



“I meant to look at the rest of your scrapbook. Why did your mind go south?” Then he started grinning.



Giving his shoulder a quick shove she went, “Quit it.” Then she looked unsure about something, eventually saying, “Even if I was thinking about it, well,” she pointed at his head, “You know.”



Actually he didn't, “What, is my sudden genius level really that intimidating?”



“No,” she quickly told him. Then she started poking him on the forehead, “You know who.”



“He's not even looking right now,” Ken told her, trying to pretend he wasn't hearing the desperation in his own voice. “I made him promise not to and everything.”



“I'm sure you did,” Jess told him. “But just the idea. Sorry Ken.”



“No, no it's alright. I get it.” Still he was frustrated over this particular wrinkle in their new relationship. “Well I guess we should call it a night then.” Neither of them was sure how to proceed from that point after she dropped that particular bombshell. Eventually deciding on a brief hug Ken started to walk away.



Suddenly Jess went, “Screw it.” She grabbed him by the shirt and turned him around. Grabbing him by the head she pulled him close and kissed him. Taken aback by the suddenness of it all he eventually reached out to hold her closer as he kissed back. When she pulled away her face scrunched up a bit as she went “Hmm.”



In disbelief Ken looked at her and went, “Hmm? Why is there a hmm? There should not be a hmm here.”



“You're not a good a kisser as I remember,” she informed him. “Which probably means I have to work on you again.” Leaning against the wall she went on, “And I'm not sure I want to put in the work,” smiling the entire time.



Ken grinned a bit too as he realized what she really meant, “Oh I think you'll find that I'm a willing student.” He leaned in for another kiss as she leaned in as well.



“You two are back already?”, they heard Hawk say as he came around the corner. Which caused them to stop what they were about to do, although neither pulled away from the other right away.



“Talk about deja vu,” Ken muttered to her.



“Tell me about it,” she quickly agreed as the did pull away and faced their commanding officer.



He apparently felt his timing was off, “I wasn't disturbing anything, was I?”



Ken started to speak up but Jess quickly cut him off, “Nothing Captain. Did you need anything?”



“No,” he told them, I just happened to be walking by.” Ken turned his head away as he rolled his eyes a bit. Both of them had heard that from her dad more than once when they were in high school. “I am a bit surprised though, those passes I gave you are still good for a couple of hours. I figured you'd still be out.”



“I don't know what kind of easy date you think I am good sir but I do have standards,” Ken said crossing his arms over his chest. Hawk shock his head. Still Jess jabbed an elbow to his ribs. Good thing that particular spot had long since healed from Dax's last battle, other wise she might have gotten a little more than the small “Ooph,” he uttered as a result.



“Yes well,” Hawk said he placed his hands behind his back. “I let you two get back to what you were doing.” And he walked away from the two of them.



“Yeah, like that's going to happen,” Ken muttered. Looking over at Jess he just knew his feeling was right on the matter. What ever moment that was there had long since been broken with Hawk's arrival. She sighed in disappointment as well. “Well I better get going before the rumor mill kicks up if it hasn't already.”



“Let it,” she told him. “But I would love to do this again sometime. Sometime soon.”



“I'll start checking my calendar for a open day.”



“That's generally every day of the week,” she told him.



“Then we'll have plenty of options then,” he said. Jess gave him as hug an a quick kiss on the cheek.



“Goodnight Ken,” she told him as she opened her door.



“Night Jess,” he said in kind. Only walking away once her door was fully closed. “Hawk coming by was just a coincidence,” he told himself. “In no way is he going to keep ninjaing us like her dad used to.”
 
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Sitting back in his chair Hawk looked over some reports he had been putting off. Mostly because they had been busy dealing with various giant threats and in all honesty these reports weren't really that important, just daily status reports from the various section located in Castle. But mainly because he was trying to cover all the bases when things with Richardson came to a head. And there was no doubt in his mind that there would be a confrontation with him sooner or later, particularly when it came to Ken and the double life had had been secretly leading until recently, As much as he wanted to calm the boy's fear Hawk had a feeling those fears were right on the money. And if he was lucky being listed as a biohazzard would have been the least of his problems. Putting the report down he had to wonder again how he handled this particular load for as long as he had. Fortunately for his sanity at least, although he might not see it that way currently, Jess was able to convince Ken to at least confide in him finally.



Which made him wonder who else around here were putting the pieces together about Ken and Ultraman. Granted Jess explained she figured his secret out just because she knew him for so long. And granted he had his suspicions about things when Ken was first assigned to his unit. Him being or being connected to the giant in some way was the only thing that made any sense when you thought about it. But he had no real proof one way or another so he didn't confront him over it once the thought came in his head, not that it didn't stop him from accusing Ken from sabotaging the Alpha One and the security feeds around the vessel. But there was no way nobody else connected these particular dots. So he tried to find out who else around here might have done it, starting with Reid. While trying not to show his entire hand he asked some question or phrased thing in just a way to see if he even suspected. So far he and others like the Chef didn't even indicate that they knew what he was talking about. Although times like this he was glad Jamira was no longer around, may he rest in peace, because he and his men would have no issue hunting Ken down, mainly because he was sure that Richardson's order about Ultraman didn't extend to Ken. And more than likely that would drag Jess, Ryo and Bill in trying to defend Ken from them. He stared shaking his head at the thought of a UNDF cival war.



Okay that thought might have been a bit much. More than likely he would have lead the others into going under ground to protect Ken. And given the way Jamira used to think he would have had Ken's friends and family put under watch just in case he tried to contact them. And that was if Richardson didn't have them but under quarantine in a bid to get them out of hiding.



He put the report down and started rubbing his face, again wondering the young man dealt with this for so long by himself. While he never talked to Ken about it Hawk could only imagine what scenarios went through his head. They couldn't be as bad as the thoughts he ended up having when considering them. At least he wasn't alone now since himself and the others were finally told the truth. Here he had to smile when he actually started to think about why he finally told them, it all started with Jessica telling Ken she knew. While reluctant at first, the sheer relief he radiated after unloading everything about him and Joe was visible. And as a side note seemed to draw him and Jess closer together. And that just made him happy for some reason. So much so he already had another set of passes ready for them if they wanted them since their outing last night apparently went well, all he needed was a date to put on them.



That idea put him in a better mood for some strange reason so he went back to the reports. This one was from medical, In their estimation barring any sort of situation popping up Timothy was good to be released in a few days. Something that should make Lunden extremely happy. And if nothing else the medical staff was probably counting down the days since they could finally get him out of their hair. Although this made him think about Ken again. Mostly because he kept asking if he could talk to the boy. Hawk had tried to arrange that but Lunden was adamant that he be left alone. And there wasn't much he could say without revealing Ken's secret to the man. And Hawk wasn't sure he could exactly trust the man to keep it quiet. Reid, a most definite yes, the Chef, a yes as well, Lunden... well Ken was just going to have to learn to be disappointed.



His communicator beeping broke him out of his thoughts, “Hawk here.”



“This is the control room Captain,” Bridge told him. He sat a little straighter in his chair, wondering what he had found. Usually he would have assumed it was something monster related. Now well he had to consider Ken's whole deal in any possibility he came up with. “Could you come down here? We detected something you may want to see.”



Hawk was out of his chair before he even finished his request. “On my way Bridge, Hawk out,” he hit his communicator again to end the link as he exited his office. “Control just called me if anyone tries to see me,” he told Janet as he passed her desk. She confirmed what he said as he went through the door. Most people he came across stepped aside and gave him a quick salute as he passed.Then he spotted Ken coming in the other direction. Both of them stopped in front of the door. While he did snap off a quick salute like everyone else he just sort of stood there. “Are you going in?”, Hawk asked after a moment.



Gesturing to the door he said, “Bridge said he has something ro show me.”



“That's what he told me too,” Hawk informed him. To his credit Ken didn't looked too surprised at this.



But he did put a couple of fingers on his communicator, “I guess it's a little too much to hope that it's about this this.”



While it was a small bubble all things considered, still he hated to pop it. “I doubt he would have called the two of us into discuss this a public forum.” The younger man seemed to agree with him, he still looked disappointed though. And anybody who knew the situation wouldn't blame him for looking this way. “Come on son, Let's see what's the fuss is about.”



“After you Captain,” Ken told him. Hawk offered him a slight bow before going into the room. Obviously not something he would have done for anyone else, or with other people watching.But as hard as he was trying to make Ken a more serious member of the team, Hawk was forced to admit that the younger man was rubbing off on him a little as well. Going into the control room.they were greeted by the usual amount of organized chaos as the people stationed here monitored for any sign of trouble that would require their attention. Not seing Bridge at his usual station Hawk scanned the room until he spotted him at a side console that was about as private as you could get considering the circumstances. Pointing Ken in that direction they headed over to him. “Anything interesting Bridge,” he asked when they were close enough.



“Maybe,” he answered. Hawk looked at him. Bridge never contacted him over a maybe, ever. Then he turned around, mainly to face Ken. “I have looked into that little problem,” Keeping his hand close to his body he gestured to his communicator. Ken took in a breath but he nodded in understanding, and tried not to look too hopeful. “I was able to discover the sources of the issue.” Hawk glanced around the room, remembering Bridge's theory on how Richardson was able to set up a link to Ken's communicator. Somebody under him had to had done it, but who? And did they know why? Ken did the same before returning his attention to Bridge. “And I figured out how they did it. But fixing it is going to be an issue.” Ken's face fell a little at that last bit of news.



“Do what can about it Bridge,” Hawk told him. “But why did you call us down here?”



“I think we might have discovered were Brooks could be,” he told the two of them. Ken stepped a little closer to the console Bridge was using, pretty much as focused as he had ever seen him.Hawked stepped aside a little to let him get a better look while keeping the screen in view for himself. “When Brooks first revealed himself internal sensors were able to read his energy signature while he was escaping.”



“You were able to read his energy signature?”, Ken asked, empathizing the word 'his'. Meaning did they have anything on him and Daxium in the system.



“Just his yes.” Hawk happened to notice that Bridge's finger was lightly tapping the delete button on the keyboard in front of him, and nodded in understanding. There was one, more than likely from when Daxium wanted to say hello, but Bridge deleted the reading from the system. “Now we haven't been able to track him by it. He knows our sensor range and set up in the city well enough to avoid getting detected. But we have been able to detect something just out of sensor range that matches his energy signature.” He pulled up the readings he was talking about on the screen in front of him.



“How accurate can this information be,” Hawk asked him, “if it's out of range?”



“Because it was close enough to the net I'm sure we can get a close approximation to his location.” With a few key strokes a map with a flashing dot appeared on the scree. “As of five minutes ago he was located right there.” Hawk first instinct was to tell him to get the entire building ready to launch. A full scale assualt and part of him was stioll concerned that it wouldn't be enough, even with Ken and Daxium backing them up. From the look of him Ken wanted to head to that location right now, even casting him a glance like he was looking for the green light.
 
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If that reading was inside sensor range he might have given it to him.But as it is he still had some doubts. “Bridge exactly where is this reading?”



“About a mile out of range,” he answered. Well it was close enough that logically they could pick up something, but Brooks would really have to be broadcasting himself. Something in the back of his head was saying this was a trap. “Co-ordinates potentially has it on the property of a UNDF member.” Hawk and Ken both looked at each other. Guessing the unasked question they were thinking of he pulled the individual's file up for them.



Bridge was about to announce who it was but Ken looked on stunned as he beat the other man to the punch, “Professor Kyrie?” One of Ken's old teacher from when he was in the academy, and the one who identified his gift to begin with, not to mention his most recent visitor. “Why would Brooks be there? If that bastard did anything to him.”



“Calm down son,” Hawk told him. “We don't know anything for certain yet.” Not to mention if the professor was being held against his will or not. And as strange as it was to think this, for Ken's sake he hoped he was. Because if he wasn't that meant he was working with Brooks in some fashion. And that would affect Ken in some way. But they had to know for sure. “Bridge does Ken have anything major scheduled for today?”



Ken looked at him as Bridge looked the information up, “The chef has him scheduled to work on the Alpha One for a couple of hours, but outside of that his night is free.”



Nodding a bit, Hawk cast a look over at Ken, :”You and Jess didn't have any plans for tonight did you?”



“Not that I'm aware of,” he said looking unsure of where this was going.



Again Hawk nodded at this bit of information. Slowly he asked, “How do you feel about paying you're old professor a visit?” Now understanding Ken looked back at the screen. “Just, you know, to say hello and catch up a bit. He did say he and I would discuss ways to help you live up to that potential of yours. You can tell him about Windam and brainstorm some ideas on that little problem it's having.”



Looking at him Ken narrowed his eyes a bit, “In how official a capacity?” Now Hawk looked at him. He could easily see a time where he wouldn't even think to ask that. Now here he was thinking like he had been wearing that uniform since the academy. Hawk couldn't hide how proud he was at that.



“Semi-official,” Hawk told him. “You can take your own car but wear the uniform jacket. But don't bring a weapon, We don't want to tip Brooks that we're on to him and put the professor in the line of fire.”



“I guess we better hope I fast at using this then,” he patted a part of the jacket that held the Spark Magnifier, as he called it. “I could probably use a little back up when this goes south, at least to get the Professor out of there at least. I swear I'm not trying wrangle a second outing with Jess out of this.”



Snorting Hawk went, “I didn't think you were until you mentioned that last part. Even if I considered it I'm not sure I would choose here to be your back up. No offense son but there's too great a possibility you'd worry too much about her getting hurt than stopping Brooks.”



“Not after I let,' he looked around suddenly remembering they weren't alone, then a bit softer, “our friend out. I have no say in what he does after that.”



“I know that's what you say,” Hawk said ignoring how annoyed Ken was getting, “but I have to consider all the possibilities. Honestly I don't even want to send you into this potential lion's den but you're te only one here who has any sort of relationship with Kyrie. And if there's any one isn't going to raise his suspicions it's going to be you. And just you I'm afraid. Any one may cause him to block you out, especially if Brooks is in there with him.”



Ken looked torn for a moment as he focus returned to the screen. Hawk watched as he got that distant look in his eyes and his head tilted just slightly. Something he quickly learned to identify that Daxium was talking to him.



Finally he stood a bit straighter and said, “Well we did say we'd try to get together and talk. Today's as good a time as any.”



“I think I can arrange something so you can get away for a while,” Hawk told him. “Thank you Ken, I know this is going to be hard for you.”



“As long as I find out the Professor is alright,” he said with a determined look. “If it wasn't for him identifying my little gift you probably wouldn't have given me that big of a chance to begin with when they stuck you with me.”



Nodding Hawk told him, “You would've had to worked harder to earn my trust and respect. Finish your rotation with the Alpha One check up. I'll have directions to Kyrie's place ready for you by then.”



“Rodger,” he said with a quick salute and he left the room leaving Hawk next to Bridge.



Bridge spoke up saying, “Is it wrong that I'm hoping this Kyrie isn't working with Brooks? Just for Ken's sake.”



Still looking at the door out of the room Hawk told him, “Your preaching to the chior Bridge. Get those directions printed and send them to my office ASAP I'll give them to Ken personally.” Bridge said that he would and Hawk left for his office.
 
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Pulling into a drive way of a 'modest' looking house, actually it looked a like a couple steps from being labeled a Mansion, Ken stopped before pulling up all the way. For one he wanted time to see someone coming at him. Mostly because he was sure any place that looked like this should have had a gate surrounding it. At least some guards, UNDF or otherwise, if he was as important as he claimed to be back at the academy. So far nobody was in sight, not even a guard dog who should have been barking up a storm the moment he pulled up. Getting out of his car he looked at the house. Kyrie often invited him to come over to discuss thing. But Ken never did, either because he was too busy with his studies or the head administrator down right refusing to give him leave to do so. Ken often wondered what his life would have been like if he did take him up on those offers. One thing for sure he wouldn't be bonded to Dax right now. More than likely he never would have met Hawk and the others. Never would have reunited with Jess.Yeah his life would have been way different than what it was now.



Closing his door he studied the building for a bit. While he didn't see any one in the windows he did spot some sort of device on the roof. Studying it as best as he could it looked more like it was designed to transmit than receive, but he was too far away to be sure. Kyrie always said he did his bigger experiments at his home, away from prying eyes of officials. That might have been one of them. Getting halfway to the house he started to feel it, that something that would indicate something from that dark universe the monsters and beings Dax and his people were fighting was near. But after everything Brooks did to hide himself after the first time he detected him why would he not to it now? Maybe this was a trap after all, Ken just hoped the Professor was a pawn in it and not an active participant, like he feared. Then Dax spoke up, “Ken wait a moment. Something about this feeling seems off.”



Stopping where he was Ken asked, “In what way?”, because he sure as hell couldn't tell a difference in this feeling compared to the others. But seeing how he felt them through Dax to begin with he was willing to trust his judgement on the matter.



“Like it's coming from Brooks and it's not.” And that did nothing to clear things up.”I understand your frustration Ken, I share it. The only thing I can tell you for sure is that it's coming from above us.” Ken immediately looked up as his hand went for the Spark Magnifier. Again his eyes locked on the device on the roof. Why would the Professor be transmitting an energy signature similar to Brooks? How would he even know what it was to begin with? A little more cautious he started toward the house again with eyes and ears a little more open.



Suddenly the front door opened and Ken stopped in his tracks, ready for anything. Then Professor Kyrie wheeled into view. He happened to note that the Professor didn't seem surprised to see him. “Ken,” he greeted him as he walked up the steps to the door. “It's wonderful to see you again so soon.”



“I had some free time and thought I'd come by and say hi at least,” he told him. It was a half truth any way.



Looking amused he gestured to his uniform Jacket, “You were in a rush to get out of there I see.”



“Well it is mandatory, so I forget I have it on sometimes,” Ken told him. Again it was a half lie, it was mandatory after all.”



“Yes they do love to make you lot dress a like don't they,”he said with a slight chuckle. Backing up his chair a bit he went to the side to let him come in “Come on in. You didn't come all this way to stand outside my door.” Ken walk in and immediately looked around trying to see any sign of a trap. “It's about time you visited my not so humble abode. I invited you enough times.”



“I know Professor,” he told him. “And I really wanted to come to see some of those machines you said you were working on.”



Chuckling again he closed the door and lead Ken further into the house, “I always knew we were a lot alike in some ways. Oh can I get you something to drink?”



“No thank you sir,” Ken said falling into a old habit.from back at the academy.



“Yes, ever since I discovered we had the same gift. I did tell you how I discovered yours didn't I?”



“No,” Ken said, probably getting a little too distracted by the conversation considering Dax was still getting what ever it was he was feeling. “You never did.”



“Really?”, he seemed genuinely surprised at this news. “Well I was probably planning on it before they kicked you out due to your flying problem. But do you remember that complex machine that I had in pieces and told you to put together?” Ken nodded, how could he forget. He was medically disquauified a couple of days right after that. “It generally takes a team of four three hours to put it back together. It took you two, by yourself and you took a good look at the plans once. Yes you went back to double check something once or twice. But I saw it in your eyes. I thought I did before but that time I was sure. You got a complete picture of what the final result was going to be in your mind almost as soon as you looked at the plans.The only person to do it faster was me, and that's only because I designed the damn thing,” he added with a sad grin. “Right at that moment I knew you and I could change the world together Ken, we still might.”



“If you're offering me a position, Captain Hawk is going to fight it,” Ken informed him having heard a similar spiel before.



“Yes, yes I've heard the same from Greenberg,” Kyrie said off handedly, “I guess he told you I've been talking about you for ever since those idiots made that decision. You know, I never told your captain I thought he was right in in his hunch that you'd be running a department by now.”



Rubbing the back of his neck Ken said, “I'm not sure I'd go that far Professor.”



“Now is that your brother talking?”, Kyrie asked. How many times did he have to tell people he wasn't listening to the 'Jeff voice' as Jess put it any more? “Then again I don't think you would have taken that robot Greenberg offered you if you were. What did you name it again, Wind something?”



“Windam,” Ken answered him as they hit the living room. Although he again looked for any sign of a trap. Or if Kyrie was trying to signal him in some way. He was having no luck in either case.



“Oh yes that's right,” Kyrie said as he turned the chair around to face him. “I think he mentioned something about one of your team mates coming up with it though. She at least knew you well enough to go with something with a deep meaning to it based on what he heard.”



“It did,” Ken told him. “Jess came up with a good one.”



Kyrie studied him for a bit, “And you two seem to be close, just judging by your expression of course.”



And here he wondered how much he should actually reveal knowing Brooks might be around somewhere close. “We are. We've been friends for a long time now.” Not to mention he got lucky in that billion to one shot at a second chance considering how things ended the first time around. But Ktrie seemed satisfied with his answer and let it drop. Actually Ken was grateful he was unattached to the base's grapevine because the news about the two of them spread pretty fast. “So what are you up to now?” he asked hoping he might let something slip.



“Something potentially world changing,” Kyrie told him. “I've never been one to worry about my own legacy but this just might cement it.” Pointing to a closed door he said, “It's right in there if you want to take a look. I would really like a second opinion on it. At least one from some one who'll come close to figuring out what it does without me hand holding them.”



Despite himself Ken went over to the door. Grabbing the knob he stopped himself, something was causing the hairs on the back of his neck to stand up. Dax wasn't getting anything outside of what he had been feeling the entire. So what was causing him to hesitate here? Kyrie urged him again to open the door and see. Ken was hoping that the fact he wasn't insisting in a aggressive way was a good thing. Figuring it was just his nerves Ken turned the knob but he stood back when he pushed the door open, just in case. The first thing he saw was some various machines that put his brain into over load as he tried to figure out what they did. Walking into the room he heard Kyrie wheel up behind him but stay back as he looked around. It wasn't long before saw two very large containers that could hold a person. And Brooks was in one of them. Ken's eyes went wide as he turned his head to look at Kyrie. He barely had time to register that he was holding a gun on him and pulled the trigger. Ken recoiled as the stun shot sent him to the floor.
 
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scikaiju

Guest
At Castle Jess and the others sat around in the main cafeteria trying to enjoy a late dinner. All of them trying not to think about the potential danger their absent teammate might be in. None of the were exactly happy when Hawk told them where he was going and why, and none of them wanted to miss out on the action either when it came down to it. They all lost friends to Brooks, particularly Joe. And they didn't want to think about the possibility that Ken might share his fate. Especially now since they all bore witness to how much of the damage Ken took when Daxium was hit. While it was one of the things she first noticed with him after he joined that lead her to realize that he and Ultraman were one and the same the exact amount of damage shook her.



She caught Ryo looking at the time then Bill checking to see if his communicator was still on. Jess was just glad she wasn't alone in wonder what was taking him. It could be something as simple as Ken and his old Professor simply lost track of the time as they talked about various things, more than likely mechanical in nature. And while she didn't know their thoughts Jess hoped that was the case. But it was probably the main reason why Ryo suggested the late dinner. Just something to take their minds off where Ken was, not that the conversation was exactly over flowing at the moment. Well outside of Bill who would lean back in his chair every time a female officer would walk by, like he was doing now, and say in a overly friendly way “Hey Samantha.”



As she passed she gave him a strange look, similar to the one the previous four gave him, he watched her go. Ryo and Jess looked at each other. She beat him to the punch by going, “I asked him the last time he was acting strange. It's your turn.”



He snorted but put his fork down and looked right at Bill. Waiting until he turned back around he asked, “What are you doing exactly?”



“What?”, he asked innocently, “Just being friendly is all, Kathy, how you doing?”



Brow furrowing Ryo asked, “Then why haven't you done this until now?”



“I don't know what you're talking about,” Bill informed then he nodded at a couple of ladies as they walked by. She and Ryo just looked at him. Bill saw it and realized he wasn't going to get out of this one. “Fine it's because of the two of them,” he said pointing toward Jess. She looked down and he better hope he wasn't pointing at what she thought he was pointing at. “I mean their practically a couple now after last night. You saw the two of them.” He was talking about her and Ken, he did not realize how lucky he was that he mentioned that last part.. “I don't want to be the only one in our group not in a relationship.”



Both of them just stared at their team mate. That was what his current behavior was about? While it was a distraction from what was going on with Ken still, what the hell? “Bill there's no rush,” Jess told him.



“No offence Jess,” Bill told her, “but that's easy to say when you're already in one. I mean there's you and Ken and Bridge apparently has Emiko over in Japan. Ryo, buddy it's just you and me as the lone single dudes in this particular group. And I'm not going to be the last one.”



Ryo looked at him, “You're forgetting about Captain Hawk.”



“He's married to the job,” Bill quickly replied. Still Ryo kept looking at him. “Beside you remember the gossip when we first joined up, about his wife divorcing him after the UNDF got started. He already had his shot.”



Leaning back in her seat Jess muttered, “I'm telling him you said that.” It was just loud enough for Bill to hear. And he quickly got a panicked look on his face. And he quickly back off that line of thinking. But he did go back to his previous ways as a couple more females walked by. Sighing Jess decided to take a little pity on him. “You know if didn't look so,” what was the word she wanted to use here, she used it with Ken after their date, “creepy when you did that you might have better results.”



“I don't look creepy,” he insisted, looking borderline offended that she would even suggest that.



Right then Samantha came back by and overheard their conversation and said, “You do look creepy.” Jess and Ryo got a good laugh, more out of the timing of it more than the look on his face. Although that was pretty amusing as well.



Bill quickly tried to save face, “Yeah well, at least I'm trying. Ryo here,” Ryo looked up seeing how he was being dragged into this again, “not even trying. At all..And I will have girlfriend before you.”



“I hate to admit Ryo,” Jess told, “but he just determined enough to pull it off.” Bill looked triumphant that she agreed with him. “It probably won't last long,” and he look just as betrayed just as quickly, “but he'll beat you to it.”



Despite the dig Bill still took it as a victory. “Prepare to be the lone single man and enjoy it.”



With as smug as Bill was looking, this was as annoyed as she had ever seen Ryo, even when he was upset with Ken. He muttered, sounding full of frustration, “Told my self I wouldn't do this,” He quickly unzipped his jacket and pulled out his wallet. He flipped it open to show Bill something. Jess moved around to see what he was showing him as Bill's jaw nearly hit the table. It was a picture of a blond haired, blue eye woman. She and Bill looked at each other before turning their attention back to Ryo who was just staring Bill down. Eventually he said, “Her name is Tabitha. We've been seeing each other for about a month now.”



“No way,” Jess said as she took his wallet from him and stared at the photo. “You never told me anything.”



Snatching his wallet back he said, “I don't tell you everything.”



“I told you Ken asked me out,” she shot back as she sat down.



“You let it slip,” Ryo told her. “You had no intention in telling me at first.”



“I would have,” Jess informed him, “eventually. Before the date happened.”



Bill on the ther hand just kept staring at the spot the photo used to be completely stunned, “I'm the... I'm the...”



Looking at him in pity Jess finished the thought for him, “The only single dude in the group.” Bill lowered his head to the table.Waiting a bit to make sure he wasn't going to start crying, Jess turned to Ryo, “You enjoyed that,”



Replacing his wallet back in his uniform he said, “He had it coming.”



Suddenly they were aware of the murmur of the cafeteria died down. Even Bill looked back up to see a serious looking Hawk come in their direction. And he only looked that serious if something was going down. With A few people start to talk to each other or check their communicator in cased they missed an alert. Even the three of them did a little checking just to be sure. He motion for the room to relax as he got to their table. He leaned on the table, with the room taking it to correctly mean it was a private conversation with Monster Squad and went back to what they were doing before he showed up. Considering they knew things the rest of them this didn't calm their nerves any. Nor did what he said next, “Have any of you heard from Ken in the past couple of minutes?”



Trying not to sound to concerned Jess asked, “Why? What happened?”



“About a half hour ago,” Hawk began, only going so loud so only the three of them heard him, “Bridge stopped getting that reading.” They looked at each other as he went on, “And Ken hasn't reported in yet. In fact he's not even responding to any of our hails.”



Ryo immeditely tapped his communicator, “Watanabe to Scott, come in. Ken?”



Bill joined in, “Waters to Scott. Ken are you there? Civilian this isn't funny.”



Trying not to fear the worst Jess hit her communicator as well, “Wade to Scott. Ken are you there?” Trepidation started to creep in as she got nothing in response as well. “Ken if you know what's good for you you'll answer this damn call.” Still nothing.



Hawk communicator beeped, “Bridge to Hawk, I think I discovered the problem. It's still a bit out of range but We've been detecting some sort of interference over the line when I've tried to contact Ken. I think the signal's being jammed somehow.”



All of them looked at each other, worried about what that meant. Jess was holding on to the hope that meant he was still alive since whomever was responsible wouldn't try and disrupt communications from a corpse. Hawk looked at the three of them. “Ryo, Jess. You two take a Scan Track and head to Kyrie's place and scope out the situation.. Bill get the Razor Wings ready. I'll talk to Reid and have him get Beta team ready to launch while I do the same with Alpha. Contact me the moment you see something off.”



“Rodger,” they all said as they stood up and headed to their respective destinations.
 
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scikaiju

Guest
He was groggy as hell when he came too, and Dax was practically screaming at him to wake up. Okay this was metal right under him, now what happened? He vaugely recalled getting shot with a stun shot again. Sucked as much as it did the first time too, and it was by Professor Kyrie this time to top things off. But he was on the floor this time around compared to being in a chair. Slowly he got his limbs under him and stood up holding his head. He was going to have whomever designed the damn thing get shot with it a couple of times and see how much they liked it. He looked around to see where Kyrie was and realized he was in one of those huge containers he saw before the Professor shot him. “How in the hell?”, he asked as he pressed his hands to the glass, which felt warmer than he thought it should.



“Finally you're awake,” Ken turned his head and saw Brooks staring at him. His hand immediately went for the Spark Magnifier. He realized two things right then, one the Magnifier was missing, again, and two Brooks was still in the container he spotted him in earlier. “It was getting boring with you out.”



“Oh I'm so sorry,” he told Brooks, high on the sarcasm. Right now he had a bigger problem if that was possible considering who his neighbor currently was. He started exaining his cell for a way out, but so far it seemed to be a solid piece of glass, he wasn't finding a seam anywhere. So how did he get in here? How was he even breathing for that matter? He looked over at Brooks and saw the device over him on top of it, which made Ken look up and see a similar machine on top of his. Something about it kept his attention.



“There's that quizzical expression I grew so fond of,” Ken looked back down to see Kyrie come back into view. He came to a stop in front of both containers, he reached over to some sort of control panel. Part of the floor by him opened up and a column slowly rose from it. Again Ken found his eyes locking onto something, this time a space like opening that was in the middle as it continued up. But mostly the electronic components thar he could see from his position.



Going back to the Proffessor, who kept looking at him expectantly, Ken demanded, “What's going on? What is he doing here?”



“I've been asking that for the past couple of hours,” Brooks spoke up.



“Shut up,” Ken snapped at him.



“Now, now,” Kyrie said drawing their attention, “I realize both of you are slightly irritated at the moment but there is a reason for why both of you are here.” He wheeled a little close to Ken. “Now I'm sure you're curious to how I got you in there. It'll be my pleasure to show you.” Rolling back he looked behind him and called out, “Rover, Spot would you come here please.” A metallic sounding footstep made Ken Look past the Professor. A pair of humanoid robots came into view and stopped behind the Professor. “Now I'm not sure how advanced these two are compared to Windam, but they do help out when I need it.” Rubbing his legs he added, “Which is something I need more and more of these days.”



Brooks quipped,”A little too helpful if you ask me.” Something about the annoyed way he said that made Ken look at the robots a little closer. Then the why and how he was captured became very clear.



“They tased you,” Ken blurted out. Which drew another annoyed look from Brooks and one of excitement from Kyrie. He motioned for Ken to elaborate, like he use to do back at the academy. He complied out of habit more than anything else, “A forearm is bigger than the other on both of them. Meaning there has to be room for something else inside them.”



“Excellent Ken, just excellent,” Kyrie said looking pleased with his deduction. “I did have something a little extra built in, just for him.”



“Professor what is going on?”,Ken asked again trying not to let his frustration show and failing at the moment.



“To explain what's going on I have to start to what brought all of us here to begin with,” Kyrie told him. “You see shortly afters those giant monsters and Ultraman showed up A colleague of mine studied the remain of some of them. Well the monsters mostly,” he said glancing over at Brooks, who just narrowed his eyes at the older man. “He discovered a unique energy signature, which he naturally attributed to the energy weapons from Ultraman. Then they discovered something extrarodinary, the remains themselves had a signature of their own. But the wavelength was the complete opposite of the previous energy they orriginally detected. But they didn't have the equipment to properly study it, so they brought me in.”



Rolling over to another machine, one that looked damaged for some reason, he looked at it sadly, “So I created this thing here. Through it we discovered something so very interesting.” He looked at Ken and Brooks. “The universe isn't exactly what we thought it was. There were multiple universes out there similar to this one. Oh we were so excited to discover the existence of a multiverse we almost shared it with the world. But then I realized something. Those energy signatures being opposite of each other troubled me so. I was able to convince the others to study it more before revealing the research we have been doing. And because of my curiosity we discovered something else. That there were three universe sharing the same dimensional plan.”



“Yes, yes,” Brooks cut in, “Three universes just out of phase with each other. I've been well aware of this fact. And I'm sure his giant friend has informed Scott of this as well.”



“Of course you were,” Ktrie told him. “But I've been dying to tell this fact to someone.” He looked back at the damaged looking machine and Ken took the moment to look for some sort of defect in his cell. If only that thing over his head was a little lower. “I should have I know,” said after a bit, a inflection in his voice catching Ken's attention one more time. “But we we were all too stubborn for our own good, then we discovered that things in this universe had a similar wavelength to the other two, almost an middle point of sorts. My friend theorized that we were originally supposed to be one universe with the other two but something happened and they split like they did. Then we tried to prove it.” Ken looked at the Professor then at the machine.



Now he understood why it look so damaged, “It blew up,” he said softly. Kyrie just kept looking at it as he nodded. “How many of you survived?”



“Just me,” he said, voice starting to crack a little. “I had it brought here to serve as a reminder, and inspiration.”



“Bull,” Brooks spat. “I was still part of the board when the men I'm sure you're talking about went missing. There was no talk of their demise in any matter.”



“I guess you never heard of the term cover up,” Kyrie shot back. “And it took me a lot to cover it all up let me tell you.”



“If it wasn't for this energy disruptor,” Brooks pointed at the device above him. Ken looked at his again. “I'd show you, could you pay attention while I'm threatening you?”, he stated as he saw Kyrie was watching Ken. “Well this is just humiliating.”



Things about that device started to click in his head after Brooks mentioned the disruptor. He could see exactly how it could disrupt a energy source. But there was something else. “Wait,” he muttered as he took a step back. Kyrie had that expectant look on his face again as he folded his hands in his lap and waited for him to piece it together on his own. “Those are scanners,” he said as he figured out what was bugging him about it. Kyrie clapped his hands together, obviously proud of his former student.



“I knew I was right about you,” Kyrie said.



At the same time Brooks exploded in anger, “What?! I've tried getting out using my abilities. That thing keeps dispercing my attempts!”



“It's both,” Ken told him looking back at Kyrie. “He built it to do both.”



“Quite right,” Kyrie told him.



But Ken wasn't sure it mattered, there was something that seemed more important at that particular moment, “But if you already discovered this universe is sharing a plain with two others why did you build these cells?”
 
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scikaiju

Guest
“Something one of my late colleagues said. About that maybe the universes weren't suppose to originally split. Perhaps they were originally meant to be one universe.”



Both Ken and Brook looked at the damage machine. With a rock forming in his gut Ken said, “You tried it.”



Brooks looked just as stunned, “But you failed.”



“It was something small,” Kyrie told them. “A plant, a small one. And we were able to bring over two similar things from the other universes. All three were there for the briefest of seconds.



“But the other two weren't compatible with this universe,” Ken said in understanding, remembering what Dax once told him about when his people or Brooks' allies tried to go into the others world. What was happening to Dax before he bonded with Ken. “They started to dissipate almost immediately.”



“Correct,” Kyrie said, finally tearing himself away from the machine. “Oh we tried to stop it but it became too much for it and the power surge was quite substantial. To Brooks he said, “I was able to cover that up too in case you were wondering. Even in the UNDF money talks,” he sounded disappointed as he said that.



“Of that I have no doubt,” Brooks commented “But you said you kept it for inspiration. What could that possibly inspire you to... do,” he trailed off as he figured it out, and looking at the Professor like he was a mad man. And at the moment Ken couldn't argue with him as it hit him too. “You're going to try it again? Was the first failure not enough for you.”



“Professor,” Ken spoke up. “The three universe aren't compatible with each other.”



“I think I found away around that problem,” Kyrie said. “Both of you are showing no ill effects. I'm sorry Ken but I sort of lied to you when I visited you before.” Reaching into his coat he pulled out a device that he didn't recognize. “I wanted to prove a hunch I had about you and the giant. I designed this to detect anything emitting either of the energy signatures. Which I picked up from you. And thanks to his rather spectacular escape I knew he had the opposite one. I'm just assuming based on the power display when you brought that creature over it was meant to let it stay in this universe.” He pointed at Ken, “You were the big question. How were you and the giant co-existing being from two different universes, and showing no ill affects at all.



“Then it came to me,” he went one. “You united with the giant some how. It was the only thing that made any sort of sense. Ultraman is surviving because of you.” Waving the device a bit he continued, “This just proved the theory was on the right track. Because why else would the board come up with that whole civilan operator business just to get you on board without going through the proper channels again? So I needed you here. It's why I set up the transmitter on the roof, I was just hoping you would detect it and come investigate. What I didn't expect was it would attract him as well,” he pointed at Brooks. “Fortunately I had Rover and the rest ready when he tried to crash this particular party.” Ten more robots came forward when Kyrie raised a hand. All of them stopped when they surrounded both containers.



“We've met,” Brooks said dryly as he looked around at the scene.



Speaking up Ken announced, “Castle picked up your broadcast.” Kyrie rolled forward a bit, looking interested. “They know I'm here.”



“I sort of figured that was the case,” the Professor told him. “Back at the academy you couldn't wait to get out of the uniform they gave you to wear back then. So you'll understand if I didn't take your word when you said you 'forgot' you still had that jacket on. I've been jamming communications since I had my helpers put you in there. I'm sure they noticed you haven't called in by now and probably already sent people here to investigate.”



Hitting his communicator Ken went, “Scott to Castle.” He looked down at it when he got nothing but static. The worst part was Kyrie was probably right, Hawk may have sent somebody else here to see what happened to him.



“Spot,Rover,” he said to the first two robots. “Take the others and patrol the grounds. We have some uninvited guest coming. Please give them a proper greeting when they arrive.” The bigger forearm on the first two opened a bit as they lead the rest out of the room.



Pounding on the glass Ken yelled, “No!” It didn't budge, the glass didn't even shake. He watched Kyrie head to another machine that looked like it was connected to the chambers the two of them were in and started pressing some controls making the machine hum. “Professor! It won't work. The other two universes are at war with one another. Don't you think they would have tried this by now.”



“Perhaps,” he reluctantly agreed. Giving Ken a slight shread of hope that he was getting through two him. “But they don't have the ingenuity that makes humans so special.” Ken pounded the glass again, more in frustration then an attempt to get out, as Brooks rolled his eyes. “As I said I think I figured it out. And you gave me the way to do it Ken.” He reached under his leg and pulled out the Spark Magnifier. “I saw you reach for this,” he said after examining it a bit, “when you first arrived. “ He squeezed the handle a few time, popping the crystal prongs. Brooks looked at Ken expectantly, eventually getting a disappointed look on his face. “Don't look so down,” Kyrie told him. “I'm sure this only works in his hands any way, But this is the conduit he needs to summon Ultraman. And that makes it exactly what we needed back then to make it work. And what I need now” He went to the column that rose from the floor and placed the Magnifier into the opening in the middle. Going back to the other controls he pressed some buttons before flipping a switch, the opening started to glow as the Magnifier started to hover in the opening as some sort of barrier appeared around it.



Kytie started to roll to another part of the room. And onto a square area with a pole at each corner. Brooks stared at him, seething at this point, “You will pay for this.”



“For what,” he asked as he retrieved a remote from another pocket. “For reuniting three universes?”



“Maybe they weren't meant to be one,” Ken called out trying to think of anything to get him to stop this. “Maybe they're split for a reason. Did you stop to think what would happen if you failed in uniting them? You could end everything.”



“That's just fear talking Ken,” Kyrie told him as he adjusted something on the remote.



“You're damn right it's fear talking,” Ken told him, getting his attention. “But it's a possibility, you had to have considered it. Please tell me you considered it.” Kyrie said nothing. He didn't have to, the unsure expression on his face told him everything. The Proffessor never even thought about it. “”Professor, let me out and call off the robots. You trapped Brooks, that will go a long way after this is over.”



“I'm sorry Ken, I truly am,” he told him. “But I invested too much, lost too much to just give up now. I have to see this through..”



He pounded on the glass again as Ktrie pressed something on the remote. “Professor!” The scanner above them activated. Ken felt his skin tingle as the scanner did it's job. In the other chamber Brooks studied his hands as he felt the same. The poles around Kyrie activated as bolts of electricity started to connect them. Before long two shapes started to appear. One was a dark creature, with one eye that seemed to pierce his soul as it set it's gaze on Ken. In the other chamber Brooks stiffened a bit at the sight. Then a being made of light came into exsistence, and while Ken couldn't make out any color scheme there were enough phsyical similarities to identify it as one of Dax's people. “Professor,” he muttered, stunned at the sight.



Overjoyed at the sight Kyrie spoke louder to be heard over the sounds of the machine. “Look! No degradation what so ever! Phase one worked like I expected. And if I'm right in my calculations these two are my counter parts from those universes. So let's begin Phase two shall we.” Pressing another button on the remote the bolts of electricity went from the poles and connected the three of them freezing them in place. Slowly the dark and light being seemed to be pulled apart and into Kyrie. As he screamed from the action Ken started kicking the glass around him, trying to do anything to get out of there and stop this before it was too late. But nothing was budging and he could only watch helpless to stop anything.



Ken and Brook shielded their eyes as there was a bright flash. When it faded Kyrie, and the other beings were gone. In their place was some sort of creature with a grey and black body with some sort of glowing patch over it's heart. It's head turned to face him showing black markings covering indicating eyes and a mouth. Fins like things adorned the top of it's head. Both Ken and Brooks were stunned at what they were looking at. Placing a hand on the glass Ken whispered, “Professor?”



The being looked around the room before looking at itself. It's shoulders started to shake slightly, like it was laughing. Then it yelled right before it started to grow in size, going right through the ceiling and it kept growing. Through the falling rubble Ken saw Brook's cell open and let him out. As he stepped out he looked right at Ken and smirked before he started glowing and flew out of the hole the still growing creature created. He pounded harder on the glass trying to break free as more of the ceiling came down.
 
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scikaiju

Guest
Seeing the drive way they were looking for Ryo stopped their Scan Track behind a line of trees to keep from being seen. Jess checked the Track's sensors real quick and saw nothing so they got out. Both drew their side arm as the made their way to the drive, Ryo kept an eye on his wrist scanner in case something popped up. Jess got there first and announced, “There's his car,” before quickly making her way toward it with Ryo right behind her. When they reached both of them looked inside and saw nothing a miss. She hit her communicator, “Wade to Castle.” Her only response was the static they got earlier. “We're still being jammed.”



“Take it as a good thing,” her usual wingman told her. He looked around and didn't see anythng right away that could be trouble. “Come on, let's try the house.” They started for the building when the front door opened. Jess started to raise her weapon but stopped in case it was Ken. It wasn't, a series of robots came through and took up a defensive line in front of them.



“Again with the robots,” Ryo muttered as he studied they're formation. None of machines said anything as,almost as one, they raised an arm that opened up to reveal another sort of device. Ryo and Jess both opened fired before the robots could do anything, although a few were able to fire off a coil from the device. Jess and Ryo quickly retreated and took cover behind Ken's car. Jess winced a bit as she heard those cables impact the car.



Like he was reading her mind Ryo said, “Maybe Ken won't notice.” She shot him a look before they popped up long enough to fire off a few shots. The shot impact didn't affect the robots like they would a human, but Jess did score a couple of head shots before they retreated back for cover.



Hearing a few more impacts and detecting a slight burning smell she told Ryo, “If he wants a sexual favor for damaging his car you're going to be the one performing it.”



“What?!”, he exclaimed she popped back up and fired off a few more shots. “You got behind here too.” There was a new sound, like something being destroyed that made them look from where they were. Some sort of monster was breaking through the house. The robots that were still standing turned their attention to the new threat as something flew out of the weakage and started launching those cables at it. They creature looked down , bending down to swat the robots away before freeing itself from the building.



From their communicators there was a burst of static before they heard, “...ott to Castle. Can anybody hear me?” She looked over at Ryo who looked as relived as she felt hearing his voice.



“Ken it's Jess,” she responded to him. “Me and Ryo are outside the building right now. Where are you?”



“I'm in a room on the first floor in a glass cage,” Both looked at what was left standing of the building. He was still in there? “I could use a little help getting out of here.”



“Go,” Ryo told her, “I'll contact Castle. Watanabe to Castle a creature has emerged from Kryie's home,” She heard him say as she watched, waiting for the moment so she wasn't spotted by the monster.



“We detected it once the whatever was jamming the signal stopped,” Bridge replied. “Razor Wings have already launched.” She didn't hear the rest as as she saw the monster look away and she sprinted toward the front door. So far the front hall looked stable as she ran in. Now where in the hell was the room he was in?. Some rubble started to fall from the upper floor that made her jump back a bit. Making her way forward found the living room and spotted a closed door by a gaping hole in the wall the monster made. Looking through the hole she saw the remains of some sort of lab and jumped through.



“Ken!” she called out as she made her way through the wreakage.



“Jess!” she heard from behind her. She turned around and saw him in a huge glass container like he said he was. She ran over as he started to look at a similar one that was opened next to his.



“Ken how do I open it?,” she asked.



He pointed to something behind her as he kept looking at the other chamber, “By the destroyed panel over there.” She looked over sand saw something that was crushed. When she look back at him wondering now what he went, “Give me a moment.” He studied the other chamber some more, particularly the top, before saying, “On this side of the cell, on the device above me. Do you see four blue wires?”



Going over to that side she looked up and tried to see what he was talking about. “Four blue wires, I see them.”



“Now are there two red lights behind them?”, he asked holding up two fingers.



“Got 'em,” she told him.



Looking right at her he told her, “Shoot the bottom one!” Not even hesitating she aimed her weapon and fired a single shot at the bottom light. There were a bunch of sparks as a panel in the chamber became partially open. She quickly helped him move it out of the way so he could get out of there. Once he was free she immediately wrapped her arms around his neck.



“Do not do that to me again?”, she told him as he hugged her back. He pulled away and pointed at his communicator with both hands. She got the message, Richardson might be listening in right now. “What happened? Where's Professor Kyrie?”



He pointed at the creature and she didn't realized until then at how close it still was to them. “That's Kyrie.” Then he turned his attention to a cylinder in the middle of the room that was housing the Spark Magnifier inside it. “He did something and turned into that... Kyrieloid or whatever you want to call it.” She knew that expression on his face, there was more he wanted to tell her but couldn't. And she knew why.



“We'll worry about it later,” she told him. “We need to get out of here before he decided to come back this way.” As she made her way back to the opening she looked back and saw that Ken wasn't following her. Instead he was looking over the thing holding the Spark Magnifier. Figuring she better play her part she called out, “Ken, this way!”



Walking around the column he studied it intently as he said, “I'm going to look around here a bit. Maybe I can figure out a way to undo what he did to himself.” The sad part was that thought probably was there in his head.



“Ken this building could collapse at any moment,” she told him right before she heard the familiar sounds of the Razor Wings in the background, a few moments later she heard missiles firing off and exploding against what used to be Kyrie and him yelling out in pain. “Ken come on! Now we got to worry about a stray missile hitting this place.”



“Go,” he told her. “I need to see if I can save him.” Jess, act or not, was going to argue that point with with him, she's stun him herself and drag him out of here if she had to. “I have to try,” he said suddenly. “He was the first one in this entire organization who saw something in me and before they kicked me out and almost made me believe it.” He had to be joking. Now was not the time to get sentimental. “He was the only one at the academy who thought I could go far in the UNDF. Then my problem was too much of a problem for the higher ups. He said he tried to fight for me..” She recognized that look, it was similar to when people were telling him he couldn't get the beat up motorcycle to work, he was determined to do this no mater what any one told him. “I have to at least try.”



Still she muttered under her breath, “I'm going to need to get my head examined for this.” Looking at Ken she told him, “Don't stay too long, because I will not dig you out.” She mouth the words, “Be careful,” at him. He nodded before returning back to to column, testing out that barrier around the cavity with a finger only to quickly pull it back after a zapping sound. She waited a moment before heading out of there. And hoping leaving him there wasn't going to be a mistake.
 
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“That thing was Professor Kyrie?”, Hawk said as he sat behind Bill in Razor Wing One. They and a couple of other Wings flew in a loose formation as they flew up from a strafing run on the creature. From the pilot seat Bill let out a low whistle as he heard Jess' quick report. Hawk started trying to see anything of the older man in what he was seeing.. So far there wasn't a feature he recognized from his brief meeting with the man. Then again he didn't see anything of Jamira when the same thing happened to him.



“That's what Ken said,' Jess told him. “I didn't see anything that would make me doubt him.” Her choice of words confused him slightly. After everything all of then have seen since this started why would she doubt him now. Glancing at his own communicator he thought he began to understood why.



“Ken's problem hasn't spread to anyone else,” he hope he said in a way that she would get it, and nobody else would wonder what the problem was. As it was while checking with Reid he was afraid he set the man down the path of figuring out Ken's secret by accident. “His is still going on though the last I heard.”



“Understood,” she said. “Ken said he's going to try and see if he can reverse what was done to Kyrie. I'm not sure what he can do everything looked pretty messed up to me. He's going to need all the good luck his charm can give him.” Now Hawk nodded, noting the code both of them decided on when describing the Spark Magnifier over a open line. “He need to get a hold of all he can.” His brow creasing a bit he pondered what she said just now. She seemed to empathize the get a hold in that sentence. It was a shot in the dark but maybe the Magnifier was used to turn Kyrie into what he is now.



“Fall back just in case. You and Ryo get in that Scan Track and try to draw it away from what's left of the house.”



“On our way,” she replied.



In front of him Bill called out,” Razor Wings eighteen and twenty five form up on the rest of us and follow. We going to try to draw the creature away from the house a bit.” After both Wings confirmed the order he looked back at him. “I'm just assuming that meant us as well.”



Smiling to himself Hawk said, “We do have a man in there. Let's give him some breathing room.”



***
With the battle going on outside, hell he could see most of it every time he looked up, Ken kept working to see if he could get te Spark Magnifier out of it's holding place. Finding another control panel he experimented with a couple of switches and buttons trying to see if they were connected to anything close to the cylinder on container. If he only had time to crack this thing open, then maybe he could figure out what wire went were. Going to another he thought maybe he got lucky, this one was connected to an interior power source of some kind. It made sense, this lab had to use an incredible amount of power, even as wealthy as he was the bill would have to start hitting him in the wallet sooner or later. Going over the controls he flipped a couple switches and under the chaos going on outside he heard the tell tale whine of a generator wind down to a stop. He quickly looked back at the cylinder, the barrier was still active and the Spark Magnifier was still hovering inside it. Slapping the console in frustration he lowered his head and tried to think. “Of course it would have it's own power source, the casing is one solid piece to keep somebody like me from trying to get into it.”



Tapping his fingers a bit he stopped as he looked back up, “Maintenance hatch,” he said to himself. Rushing over to the cylinder he started looking around the floor trying to find said hatch, it had to be close. “Come on, you got to be somewhere,” he expanded his search to a wider area. “You had to have plan to work on it at some point. You just didn't plant it in the floor and leave it at that.” Looking around he started to figure there was an access in the basement but what where the odds the way to the basement wasn't block or buried when Kyrie grew to Dax's size. Ken looked back out the opening and saw what was his old professor try to catch the Razor Wings flying by him. He looked back the barrier keeping him from the Spark Magnifier. He was running out of time. He tested it a few more times with his finger, get a sharp zap in return each time. Shaking in an attempt to get the pain away he studied harder. The barrier wasn't solid, while there was some push back he was able to penetrate it a little.



Looking around, Ken didn't see anything he could stick in there right away. So that just left him with one option. Sighing he went, “This going to suck.” Steadying himself and taking a few deep breaths Ken thrust his and into the barriers. He got through with no issue but that slight push back was even stronger now that he was using his whole hand and feeling an electrical charge going up his arm he struggled before the barrier won out and he pulled his hand away. Flexing his fingers Ken steadied himself before he tried it again. Gritting his teeth he forced his hand even further before the barrier threw it out again.. Holding his arm Ken stared at the Magnifier. If Kyrie wasn't a monster right now he'd ask how he pulled this barrier off. Breathing hard from the pain the electrical charge was causing him he said to himself, “All right, third time the charm.” This time he jammed his hand in there but again what ever was trying to force him back stopped as he was less than in inch away from grabbing it. There was some sort of impulse that forced his hand out with enough force to spin him to the floor as the barrier gave him a stronger jolt. Getting up he pounded the floor then started clutching his arm.



“Ken!” Daxium called out in his head. “Stop, you're damaging yourself trying to get the Spark Magnifier. You need to leave before this dwelling falls on top of you. You know Jessica was right about that. We can fight another way.”



Not taking his eyes off the Magnifier he said, “You have another way that l can let you out that you've been keeping from me?” His giant friend fell silent. “Yeah, that's what I thought.” Shaking the pain out of his arm he thrust it in one more time, pushing against whatever the force was that was keeping him from grabbing it. Screaming as the current assuauting his arm seemed to increase with each second, finally he felt the Magnifier on his palm he quickly wrapped his fingers around it and pulled it free. Nearly falling back Ken kept his footing and looked at the Magnifier while he wiped the sweat off his brow with his other arm. Looking back up at the opening above him he didn't see Kyrie but he could still hear the battle going on out there. Despite the pain he raised the Spark Magnifier over his head and activated it.



***
The Kyrieloid, as Ken dubbed it, slowly turned around as the column of light faded away, revealing Daxium standing there. They sttod there for a moment before Kyrieloid started toward him in a meanicing way. Instead of getting in a defensive staff like he usually he did he jusy stood there and held out a hand, telling him to stay were it was. It was more for Ken's sake than anything considering how connected he was to the human this used to be. Not to mention one of his own was dragged into this situation, so if there was a way to save both of them he had to at least try. All he needed was for the other being to co-operate and stand down.



The Kyrieloid tilted his head as he looked at Daxium. Then it charged. Both giants stood there and grappled while on the ground Ryo backed the Scan Track out of the way to keep them from being stepped on. In the air Hawk orderd all Razor Wings to fly in a holding pattern until further notice. The two giants struggled before both was pushed back. Daxium came in with a punch that was easily avoided by the other giant. Kyrieloid went for a kick the Daxium blocked. This went on for a bit with each one dodging or blocking the other's attack. Hit by a kick to the gut Daxium stumbled back. Kyrieloid went in grabbing Daxiun in a headlock then lifted him up by the neck as he fell back. Landing with a grunt Daxium barely had to time to realize Kyrieloid quickly straddled him and started raining down hammer like punches at his head.. Covering up as best as he could he waited for any opening in the other's attack.
 
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Finally reaching through the fist raining down on him he grabbed Kyrieloid by the back of the neck and pulled down. It was enough to get a leg up between them and flip him off. Quickly rolling over he got to a knee and fired off a flash bolt as soon as his opponent got to his feet and faced him. As he held his Stomach Daxium ran in and tackled Kyrieloid into what was left of the building. He punched and chopped at his fallen opponent as he listened to something Ken suggested, which he never done until now, so he back off and fired off another flashbolt, Kryieloid saw it coming this time and the bolt hit the building as Daxium quickly jumped back. Part of the building blew up in a bigger explosion than those watching would have expected. Kyrieloid looked at the burning remains of the house before turning toward Daxium. With an angry yell he charged the light giant again. Daxium was ready for it as he grabbed an arm reaching for him and twisted a bit as he flipped the combined being over his shoulder.



While he was on the ground Kyrieloid held up a fist that startled Daxium. Then a stream of fire shot out that the light giant barely avoided. Getting to his feet Kyrieloid grabbed Daxium by the waist and flipped him over his head. Grabbing his fallen opponent by the neck he hualed him up in the air and slammed him to the ground. Keeping hold of Daxium's throat he hualed him up again. This time Daxium bashed his forearms together and mode shifted into Power mode. Grabbing Kyrieloid's wrist he slowly removed his hand from his neck. Keeping his grip of Kyrieloid's wrist he pulled him close and lifted him over his heads. Quickly locating an empty lot close by Daxium grunted as he threw the combined creature at it. The ground shook a bit as Daxium put his fist by the jewel on his chest. Before he could draw in any extra energy to pull off the Giga Wave Kyrieloid shot up and fired off another stream of fire. Taking the full hit of the blast Daxium fell back to the ground.



Kyrieloid rushed in and kicked Daxium in the side to flip him over. Then he jumped on his back and wrapped an arm around his neck and started pulling up and squeezing with all he had. Daxium struggled to free himself the jewel started to blink. Eventually he got a foot under him and slowly stood up with Kyrieloid jumping higher on his back to secure his grip and add some more weight to the effort. With a grunt he finally stood up and reached up to grab Kyrieloid and slam him to the ground and pounded on his fallen foe a bit before backing away. In the safe zone he had set up so long ago Ken pleaded with his former mentor as he started to get up, “Come on Professor, just stop this already. We don't have to do this.” At the time Daxium tried to contact the light being that was mixed up in there hoping to convince him to do the same thing.



Finally he told Ken, “I'm not getting anything, not my compatriot, not Kyrie, not even the dark being he dragged into this.”



Ken lowered his head, “I know, I feel it to. Whomever they were before all this, they're not there now.” A tear started to fall down his cheek, “Do what you gotta.”



Nodding in the outside world as he backed up Daxium crossed his arms infront of him and shifted to Hyper Mode.Getting into a running stance he drew in energy and waited for Kyrieloid to finish getting to his feet as he extended the light stream whip from his finger tips. As soon as Kyrieloid was standing and turned toward him Daxium made the barest of flinches then in the next instant he was standing behind Kyrieoid who had a line across it's body. The whip retracted as Kyrieloid fell back and exploded. Daxium stood there with his head lowered for a bit before looking up and flying off into the evening sky, “Shiah!”



***
“I saw the orb over there,” Jess said as she and Ryo ran toward what they thought was Ken's location. They slowed down as they spotted him sitting on a rock. At first she was worried after seeing some of the hits that Daxium had taken during the fight. Then she got a good look at his face then hurried toward him with her wingman right behind her. She watched him, Ken didn't even reacted to either of them, Coming to a stop she followed his gaze to where Daxium had finished off his opponent, smoke was still rising up from the spot. She looked back at Ryo and gestured toward her communicator.



“I already talked to Hawk,” he said. Coming closer he looked at Ken who still didn't respond to either of them being there. “Bridge said the program never started, neither Richardson or his assistant were at Castle, they had a function elsewhere and Dr. Williams was in one of the labs the entire time. He apparently never heard something was going down.”



All she need to here was that it wasn't on, Jess immediately sat next to Ken and wrapped her arms around him, “Ken I'm so sorry about Professor Kyrie.”



Walking over Ryo put a hand on his shoulder, “I am too man, I knew he meant a lot to you.”



“Thank you,” he said softly as he gripped one of her arms and closed his eyes for a moment. He leaned into her embrace for a bit before he opened his eyes, “But he did it to himself, all because he couldn't let an idea go.”



“Some people are like that,” Jess told him as she used her thumb to wipe a tear from his face.. She looked over at the remains of Kyrie's home. “I don't know what Daxium accidently hit when Kyrie moved but I'm pretty sure all he had on that project is destroyed now.”



Ken looked with them for a few moments before getting up. As he did so he said, “That was the idea.”



Jess and Ryo looked at each other when he said that. She got up as Ryo went, “Ken, what do you mean.”



“I mean,” he told them as he turned around to face them, “that it wasn't an accident. I told Dax exactly where to aim that flash bolt. Kyrie tried to do something that wasn't meant to be. And there's probably somebody in this fucking organization stupid enough to try it again once they find out about it.”



Jess looked at Ryo, like she told him before he was defacto second in command of Monster Squad and technically could do something to him for destroying what was technically UNDF property. Slowly he nodded before saying, “Damn shame the creature moved, that was a million to one shot from the look of things.”



“Ryo?”, Jess said in disbelief, “You're letting that go?”



“Accident's happen,” he replied with a shrug. “Besides he's not wrong about somebody trying whatever happened here again. It's probably for the best that bit of info got lost in the battle. I'll tell Hawk privately, but I'm sure he'll agree.”



The three of them left for the vehicles that brought them here. While she was going over with Ryo about her riding back with Ken, just to make sure he was going to be all right of course, he looked on not believing a word she was saying. After a bit she noticed Ken had trailed behind them a little just looking at both the Scan Track and his car. When they got closer he stopped where he was, they stopped and looked back at him. Ken looked past them before asking, “What happened to my car?” Ryo started looking to her for help as he stammered out a answer. Jess just pushed him toward Ken as she backed her way to the Scan Track.
 
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A couple of days later in Castle's medical wing Lunden was hovering around Timothy as he packed his bags. They were finally letting him go today but go where? His abilities were gone, Lunden assured him that it wasn't for good but he knew his face well enough to tell that he was lying to him. His parents practically gave him up when Lunden offered to help him refine his former powers and refine his control. Hell they seemed happy to get rid of him, and more than likely they weren't in a rush to see him again any time soon. And despite what Lunden kept telling him he didn't belonged back at the company either. So where does he go from here? The door opened and Lunden looked over as Captain Hawk came in for a bit, “I'm sorry to disturb you but there's a bit more paperwork for you to sign before they release Timothy. I told them I'd come get you.”



“My hand's going to fall off if I keep signing my name. I'll be back as soon as I can Timothy. I wouldn't put it past the board to sneak some sort of document that says I'm signing over control of my company.”



“All right,” he said solemnly. Lunden put a reassuring hand on his shoulder, at least that was probably his intent. All it did was remind him that he couldn't read people any more.



“I wouldn't say things like that out loud Mr. Lunden,” Hawk said as he held the door open for the man. “Somebody is going to get an idea. Timothy started to turn back to his bag when he caught somebody stop the door from closing out of the corner of his eye. Some red headed woman, who he thought was familiar, held the door open as she watched Lunden and Hawk walk off. Then she waved somebody into the room, Ken, as she finally let the door close.



Confused Timothy looked at Ken and the door, “What?”



All he said as he held up a finger was, “Test run on an idea she had.” He made sure the door wasn't going to open anytime soon before breaking into a small grin as he faced him. “And I wanted to see how you were doing before they freed you. That Lunden guy's worse the the guards at the royal palace. He didn't let in anybody to see you that didn't work for him.”



“I noticed,” Timothy told him. Although part of him was glad Ken at least made the effort to visit. “As to how I'm doing,how do you think?”



“It's gotta be rough,” Ken said.



“Rough?”, Timothy repeated in disbelief. “My abilities are gone, probably for good. I can't hear you or sense Daxium at all. You're as blank to me as that wall behind you.”



“You're not the first high schooler to make that comparison about me,” Deep down Timothy knew he meant it as a joke, an attempt to lighten his mood a bit. All it did was make him angrier.



“Don't you get it?,” he snapped. “My power is gone. I'm,” he did not want to admit this, at all, “I'm normal. Absolutely normal.” He sat on the bed completely dismayed at his fate.



Ken came closer saying, “Normal. I think I remember what that feels like.” Timothy just snorted and waved him off. “It's an adjustment. You'll get use to it.” He looked away not believing him. Ken saw it and tapped him on the head to make him look at him. Pointing at his own head he went, “You know who I got living in here. You think this was easy to get use too when it first happened? Let me tell you it wasn't, especially after I joined up with these guys.” Sighing a bit he added, “And Dax wanted me to tell you that he's sorry you got caught up in all this, but he's glad you're relatively okay. So am I.”



“I'm sorry,” Timothy told him, “I'm just scared.”



“Look Tim,” Ken told him, “I never dealt with you exact situation but trust me, I get it. Like I said it's an adjustment. Anybody will tell you that. But most of them don't understand the size of that adjustment sometimes. Maybe listen to those of us who have an idea about how big it's going to be. He didn't reply since the floor was so interesting so Ken went on, “So what are you going to do now?”



“I don't know,” was his reply. “Mr. Lunden says I still have a place with his company. He said I can't be the only one with these sort of abilities. That I could use my experience to help them cope.”



“Sounds like a plan to me,” Ken sat on the bed next to him. He studied Timothy for a bit, “So why does it look like you don't believe him?” All he could do was shrug. “I'm assuming you been in his head, has he given you any indication that you should doubt his word?”



A small, “No,” was his answer.



“Listen to me Tim, a good mentor can help you reach heights you didn't know you were capable of, I had somebody like that back at the academy that I lost recently,” Ken looked sad for a moment.” I'm lucky I got that now with Captain Hawk. I don't think any one else would have pushed me this hard to be better than what I was when I first got here. Unless it was out of his unit. Just give Lunden a chance. I don't think he would be this over protective if he thought you were just a project for him to get famous. Because a lot of guys would in his position.” Before Timothy could respond Ken put a finger to his ear. Then he pulled back his sleeve a bit revealing some sort of device, and clicked something on it twice. “Test's over. I gotta get out of here before Lunden gets back. Think about what I said okay.” He quickly went to the door. Opening it enough to look out out Ken opened it a bit wider so he could slip out before closing it.



Only then did he respond with, “Okay.”



***
In the hallway Ken lowered his head a bit as he past Lunden who was hurrying back to Timothy's room. So far he hadn't noticed him which suited him just fine. He passed a few more intersections before turning into the one Jess was waiting for him in. “Worked like a charm,” he said with a grin.



With a hand on her head Jess went, “I can't believe we pulled that off. I can't believe Captain Hawk agreed to it.”



Neither can I,” He told her. “But your idea works. We should celebrate some how Do you think Hawk would aprove a couple of passes on this short of notice?”



“I wouldn't press our luck,” she told him as she removed a small microphone and receiver from her ear. It was small enough that she could hid it with helmet or her hair if she had to. And it was connected to an inner ear receiver that was currently in Ken's ear. “But I'm shocked. I thought you'd want to try to beat the simulator again.”



He knew it was a joke. A well deserved one considering how many times he'd tried to beat since he's been here.“This is going to come out wrong but you're more fun than that simulator.”



“You're right, that did came out wrong,” Jess told him with a smirk. She put her hands around his waist while he drew her closer. “But it is nice to know I rate higher than that test.”



“You always rated higher, but I think I should give the test a rest.” Hearing this Jess immediately put a hand on his forehead to see if he was feverish. “I'm serious, I saw what being that obsessive about something did to Kyrie. I can easily see myself going down that road if I'm not careful.”



“Never going to happen,” Jess informed him. “You have one thing he didn't. Someone like me to keep you from falling off that deep end.”



With a slight smirk he held her a little closer as he said, “That sounds a tad long term.”



“If you play your cards right it will be,” she smiled back. “So I suggest you behave yourself.”



“Yes ma'am.” Smirking a bit more he looked around to see if anyone was around, “I do seem to recall saying I'd be a willing student.” Jess just gave him a look but didn't try to get out of his grip. “I'm ready for my next lesson if you are.” He leaned in to kiss her.



“There you two are,” Hawk said as he came around the corner. “It looks like the plan worked.”



Just inches from her lips Ken muttered through his teeth, “It's your dad all over again.”



“It's not that bad,” she said softly then they turned their attention to their commanding officer. “Yes it did, I'm just glad we had the equipment on base. It be a nightmare to explain why we wanted something like this.”



“And Lunden didn't suspect anything?”, Ken asked. He had a hard time believing the man didn't notice was being dragged around.



“Not as thing,” Hawk told him. “It helped that there was some more paperwork that required his signature, otherwise I have no clue on how I would have gotten him out of there. But I think a celebration is in order.” Walking forward he reached into a pocket. He surprised both of them when he produced a couple of passes.



Both of them took the offered passes but Jess still went, “Captain?”



Ken quickly spoke up, “Don't question it he might change his mind. Thank you sir. We appreciate it.”



Hawk chuckled, “After the past couple of days you had I think you deserve it. And a little company probably wouldn't hurt. Now those passes aren't for more than one day, so I expect both of you to be back here before midnight.”



Shooting off a quick salute Ken told him, “Yes sir.”



Stepping a little closer he pointed right at Ken. “You better behave yourself.” With that he walked off to somewhere.



Ken watched him leave and went, “What about her? She's going too.”



“I don't have to worry about her,” he shot back. Before long he was around the corner and out of sight leaving them alone again.



Ken started to go after him to argue the point. Jess stopped him and told him, “Come on we're burning free time. Let's go to the diner again, I'll get you the Philly Cheese steak this time around .” Getting a little closer she added, “And maybe, if I'm over my hang up by then, we can make plans for your birthday in a couple of months, but only if you're good.”



Ken looked at her. “Seriously? Just the hint of some birthday 'fun'?You think that's all it's going to take to get me to go with you?” She gave him a sly smile and nodded once. She took his hand as he put his arm around her shoulders and they they headed down the hall, “Well, you're half right.”



ED – Shinedown – Fly From the Inside
 
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Episode 28



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OP – Mercy Drive – Burn in my Light





In a more mountainous region near an agricurltural farm a giant creature, that looked like a giant green mantis with three eyes that Brooks had dubbed Majaba, cried out as a series of explosions hit it and several Razor Wings flew past over head. In response it started spewing a yellow gas. Any effect it was supposed to have wasn't immediate apparent until it sank to ground level. There a few workers who hadn't cleared out yet started clutching at their throats and coughed as they fell to their knees. Before long some of the crops started to wilt as well. One worker in particular was trying to crawl out of the gas before falling on his face. Soon after a Scan Track came to a stop close by. A UNDF solider jumped out with a breathing device covering the exposed part of her face carrying a spare breathing apparatus sprinted toward the worker. Holding the mask to his face she turned it on before checking for any vitals, grateful that they were still strong. “Get going!,” she told the driver. “There's got to be more in there.”



“Right,” the driver said as he drove off. The worker started to reach for the Scan Track as it drove past.



“Easy big guy,” she told him as he got one of his arms over her head and helped him up. “You almost made it on your own. The edge of the gas is pretty close. We can get there on foot. They need to rescue who they can in the meantime.” He nodded as he clutched the mask to his face as they headed out of the gas. She looked back at the monster as more Razor Wings made another run.



“Has anybody been able to figure out where that gas is coming from?”, Hawk asked from the rear seat of Razor Wing One. “If we can stop it from doing that everyone on the ground can breath easier.” No pun intended he thought to himself.



Reid called in an answer. “I think I see a general location but it won't stand still long enough for us to get a lock on it.”



“Keep trying Commander,” Hawk told him. Ending the communication he looked at the pilot in front of him he went, “I wonder how things are going on the ground Bill.”



Bill nodded as he hit his communicator and opened a link to Razor Wing Two, “Ryo have you checked on them yet?” The “them” in question being a particular individual, and the only way any of them thought of to describe him without giving anything away on the chance they were accidentally overheard.



“Doing so now,” he said. He checked one of his scanners and activated a new function that was covertly added to all the Razor Wings just recently. On it was the location of all the ground troops and the status of the area around them. He located one dot in particular, watching as it made it's way to a spot behind the creature, as they recently planned, as it joined in turning green with the others. Mainly to the person behind him he said, “He's in position and the immediate area is clear.”



Nodding Jess reached into her helmet and activated the microphone hidden under it. “Ken it's show time.”



On the ground and away from the gas Ken reached into his sleeve and clicked a button on a device that was on his wrist a couple of times to indicate that he understood. Yet he still looked around despite the all clear, more out of habit after doing this alone for so long than anything, before reaching inside his jacket. “Let's do it Dax,” he said as he took out the Spark Magnifier and held it over his head.



Majaba turned around as a column of light appeared, soon to fad away to reveal the giant hidden withing. He took a quick defensive stance and shouted out his usual, “Shiah!” before charging at the monster. It stood there and took the shot as Daxium nailed it with a solid forearm shot. It's head rocked to the side but it started spewing that gas again. Daxium quickly jumped back to avoid contact with it. Then Majaba leap through the gas cloud and struck the giant with it's claws. Spinning around from the contact Daxium barely reacted in time as the creature tried to swing the claws at him again. Blocking them with his forearms He kicked it back and took a step back himself to fire off a Flashbolt that exploded against it's body.. Crying out in pain the creature jumped high into the air.



Daxium tried to keep an eye on it but it kept going up until he lost it in the sun momentarily. By the time he located the monster again it was already on the wat back down and slashed him with both claws as sparks rained off the giant from the impact. Grunting in pain as he recoiled from the blow he took a couple of steps back and Majaba jumped at him again knocking him to the ground. It leaped up high in the air again and pointed the tip of those claws at him as it came down. Daxium rolled out of the way as those claws impaled themselves into the ground. Getting to his feet the giant spun around with a kick to the head that rocked it again. While it was stunned Daxium quickly grabbed it. After a brief struggle he was able to get a good enough grip to lift the bug monster over his head and slam it to the ground.



It started spewing the gas again forcing Daxium to back away. Ready for it this time he quickly sidestepped out of the way when it tried that surprise jumping attack again. Majabe started jumping around the giant, trying to disorient him enough to attack again. This worked for a bit then Daxium stopped and jumped up himself, Flying straight up into the air and flying off. Majaba soon realized he was gone and stopped jumping and looked around. It turned around as Daxium flew in and slammed into it at full speed. Both of them crashed to the ground causing the dirt under them to rise up in a cloud, obscuring them from view for a moment. As the dust settled Majaba flew out and slammed into side of one of those mountains. Once fully visible Daxium set up and quickly fired the Dimensional Storm Ray, destroying the creature in a massive explosion.



Holding his chest for a moment Daxium looked around, trying to sense if Brooks was anywhere close by, before looking up at the sky and flying off, “Shiah!”



On the ground Reid was giving out orders to those around him. “Keep looking people. Some of the workers are saying people are still in the area because they couldn't get out in time. Anybody who had been in the affected area stay out of it for now. Try and lend aid to those we rescued so far as the rest of us head in and try to locate them. And try to see if you can get the last known location of those we're looking for while you're at it. The more starting points we have the better we can search the area.” The men in front of him quickly saluted and confirmed his orders. Once they were gone he added to himself, “And pray we're not too late.” Whatever that gas was it was pretty deadly. There was already a couple of causalities that they were currently aware of from it. And there were talks of burning the crops in and around the affected area as well.



Personally he couldn't wait for this monster nonsense to be over with already. He looked around and saw Ken come jogging up to him. “You're late Scott,” he said going into full commander mode.



“Sorry Commander,” he said as he removed his helmet. “I was making my way around what's left of that cloud. I didn't grab a rebreather in the rush.”



“That was probably a wise choice,” he admitted looking at the cloud still hanging in the air. “But next time take a quick moment and think about what you might need in these type of situations.” He gave him a light, friendly slap to the chest with the back of his hand. He looked away and didn't see Ken wince from the blow. “Go help with the ones we've gotten to so far. The others will tell you my orders regarding them.”



“Yes sir,” he said with a quick salute. Once he was gone Ken started rubbing his chest, yeah this one was going to hurt for a while all right. To Dax he muttered, “No offence buddy but can you react a little quicker next time. Hiding these injuries is starting to become a pain in the ass.” He looked up to see the Razor Wings were still flying around and tried to pick out a particular knowing he couldn't from this distance. Holding his helmet under his arm he reached into his sleeve again and clicked the device three times. The signal he and Jess agreed on to tell her that he was okay since they knew he was being monitored now. He rubbed his chest again, well relatively okay.
 
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scikaiju

Guest
Later Jess walked into one of the work labs in the garage area. Like she thought Ken was there working on Windam again.While she was glad he had something to keep his brain occupied, at least something that wasn't the engineering final that he was still obsessed with despite what he said after the mess with Kyrie. But he was spending so much time with the robot part of her was wondering if she should be getting jealous of the attention he was giving it. A small, very immature part that she thought she grew out of long ago. But a part of her none the less, and one she wasn't listening to. She never felt that way back in high school when they originally dated and there was no need to start now. Still he noticed her quicker now than he used to back then so there was that. She offered him a small wave and a smile when he did so. He returned the smile but his hand were currently occupied holding what looked like one of Windam's arm. “Hi Jess, he said. “just give me a quick moment.”



“Take your time,” she told him as he started reattaching said arm to Windam. She came closer saying,“Since you're working on a different body part I'm guessing you and Bridge finally figured out that little problem he was having.”



“Well Bridge and Emiko did,” he told as he concentrated on hooking up the proper connectors. “I was right, it was software related. It took them a couple of hours but they found out what it was. One single line of code was the problem, can you believe it?”



“My dad always said the more complicated something was the easier it was to screw it up,” she told him.



He snorted before muttering, “Ain't that the truth.”



Going on she said, “So I can believe it.” Studying the robot a bit she looked over at him, still looking like a kid in a candy store working on it. “I overheard Bridge getting excited about something Emiko was telling him about Windam earlier. Something about an adaptive program, like he can actually learn.”



“Yeah,” Ken said suddenly looking excited himself. He stepped back from the machine going, “Watch this.” Looking at the robot he said, “Windam, be a bud and get me that screwdriver on that table behind you.” She raised an eyebrow as the Machine turned around and made it's way to that very table. Windam looked down at the objets on it then picked up the very thing he asked for. Ken pumped his fist slightly when it did so and turned back toward him. It came forward then held out the screwdriver for him. He took saying, ”Thank you,” then he held out a fist. Jess watched as Windam made a fist as well, then bumped it against his. Them both of them pulled their fists back while opening them up. Grinning like an idiot he looked over at her. He lost some of that grin to confusion as he saw her expression, “What?”



Still in disbelief she went, “You taught him to blow up a fist bump?”



“Yeah,” he went like it was the most obvious thing in the world.



“If Greenberg only knew before he gave him to you,” she told, mainly in a teasing way..



A little too defensively he told her, “I'm just giving him a little more personality. Besides he learned what this was, and some other tools.” Then he used that screwdriver on something in Windam's shoulder joint. “It's not like I got him screwing around or anything.”



“Ken, you know I'm messing with you right?”, she told him. “But let's be honest here, you might not have been the only person to think of it, but you're the only one who would have gone through with it.”



“Somebody else would have done it,” again a little too defensively, then he added, “And had the guts.” His mood changed a bit as he looked at her, “Oh since you're here I can I get you're opinion on something?” Did he he just ask for help? Ken never asks for help. He kept looking at her expectantly so she nodded, not sure what else to do. “Great,” he went on not seeing her confusion, “I've been thinking of adding some weaponry to Windam here considering how messed up he got the last time I used him in a fight.” Which was back in Japan as she recalled. Jess remembered how distraught Ken was when he found Windam right after it was over. “I was thinking about adding some sort of gun.” He took Windam other arm and held it up a bit. “Apparently whomever programmed him originally made him a righty.” She snorted at the thought. Ken actually look insulted, “Don't laugh, you haven't spent as much time with him as me and Bridge have. Ask him to pick up or do something he always does it with his right hand., so it only makes sense to modify his dominant arm.”



“You would have fit in at Tower all right,” she joked, well half joked at any rate. Making a robot right handed sounded like something he might have come up with if his talent was in that area. But he didn't even chuckle, he just gave her a look. “Sorry,” she told him, “please go on.”



“Any way,” he said after a beat, “I was thinking of maybe making this arm replaceable. What do you think would make the gun mount more stable, if I replaced the arm entirely or make it so he could swap his forearm with that gun? I mean they designed him so parts can be easily replaced or upgraded, so he's already modular so there's no extra work there to do. But I'm not sure exactly how stable that connection would be in a fire fight compared to the other way.”



Jess heard all of that, but she was still having a hard time with idea that the request was coming from him, “You are asking for help.”



“Yeah,” he went, looking and sounding confused.



She couldn't help herself, “But you never ask for help. On anything. Oh my God, this is blowing my mind. Did you even ask for help back at the garage you used to work at?”



All the while he had his head down, then he suddenly exploded with, “I'm trying alright!” His outburst caught her completely off guard. She had never seen him this upset about anything. A little more subdued he said, “I remembered how annoyed you use to get back in high school when I tried to do everything on my own. I'm trying.”



She quickly went to him, “Hey, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to make fun. I'm just not use to seeing you looking for help on anything.” She looked over at Windam who was oblivious to all of this, apparently, she hoped. “I can see you're trying not to fall into old habits and I'm proud of you, I really am. Like I told you, since you been here I've seen you turn into the man I knew you could be back when we first dated. But you're asking me about a robot that I can barely comprehend how advance it is. Now if you want to talk weapons I'm your girl.”



“It's why I asked,” he told her. Jess had to smile at that



“Hey come here,” she said pulling him a little closer and wrapping her arms around his waist.. “How about I make it up to you with another lesson.”



Like she thought, that perked him up slightly. “I'm always a willing student,” he said as he started to lean in for that implied kiss. Then he stopped and looked at Windam. “Ah, could you look that way bud.” Again she was a little surprised it turned it's head. “Thank you,” Ken told the robot. Then he returned his attention back to her, “Now where were we?”, he asked as she went for that kiss as well.



“I figured you be in here,” they heard Hawk say as he entered the room.



Jess pulled away mumbling, “It is my dad all over again.” A little louder she went, “Can we help you Captain?”



“No I was looking for Ken,” he said, “I figured you'd be close by. But Bridge wanted me to find you and the others. He said you'd find it interesting.”



Standing next to him she could tell he tensed up slightly. She did so too, Did Bridge finally get it? With Captain Hawk waiting for any sort of response she nudged him slightly to get Ken to do so. “I'll be right there.” He looked at her for a moment, she could see the hope in his eyes before he turned toward Windam.



“Windam, go to your recharge station and top off. I'll be back in a bit.” Hawk was caught off guard by the robot's response as it nodded and headed for that station. Apparently he spent less time down here than she did. Ken started to follow Hawk but he stopped suddenly, “Screw it,” he said right before he turned around. Grabbing her by the back of the head he pulled her in for a kiss. She was caught by surprise, so much so it took a second for her to try and push him back fully aware at how uncomfortable Captain Hawk was getting at the situation. Not to mention on how embarrassed she was getting.



Finally getting him away she hissed at him, “He's standing right there.”



He looked at her and went “Don't care.” Then he started out the door. Jess didn't follow right away. Because if she did she was going to kill him.



He passed Hawk, who coughed into a fist a bit before saying, “With all due respect son, that wasn't exactly necessary.”



Ken barely looked at him, “With all due respect sir, stop interrupting.” And he exited the door. Hawk coughed into his fist again before leaving himself.



Jess still stood there a moment, looking over at Windam she told the robot, “I'm going to strangle him.” Then she left, trying to concentrate more on the fact Bridge wanted to see him about something than what just happened.
 
S

scikaiju

Guest
Hawk had lead them to their usual war room, like they had in the recent past for dealing with Ken's particular issues. He looked back and went straight in. Jess was about to follow but didn't when she realized he he stopped in place right outside the door. Ken stood there and stared at the door. Hoping it was what he thought it was and then again wasn't sure what he would do if it was, And Bridge wouldn't have called them all in if he didn't find anything.He looked back when he felt Jess start to rub his shoulder to help him relax a bit more. He reached up and grabbed her hand and gave it a quick, grateful squeeze. “Breath Ken,” she said softly, “breath. I'm not carrying you in if you pass out.” He grinned at her joke, grateful that she was there to try and calm his nerves a bit. “Come on,” she took his arm, “it's better to get it over with, no matter what it is.”



“You're right,” Ken told her as he took a deep breath.



“You might want to get used to saying that,” she added with another grin as they walked into the room. Hawk, Ryo, Bridge and Bill were standing around the holotable waiting for them. “Sorry, it took a couple of seconds to talk him down.”



“Completely understandable,” Hawk told them as they took a spot at the table. Bridge literally pulled him a little closer to the station he was at. “Well Bridge,” Hawk began, “we're here, what to you have.”



Pressing a few keys he looked at them and said, “Tell me if any of this looks familiar.” After a few seconds the table started to glow as a creature took shape in the digital background. Ken inhaled sharply as he saw it.



“Isn't that the... ?”, Bill began as he pointed at the image, then his mouth dropped.



Ryo finished the thought for him, “The creature we went after the night we had to bring Ken in.” All of them stared in wide eyed wonder as they watched several Razor Wings fly in and attack the creature. This went on for a bit before a Razor Wing got damaged and the pilot and wingman bailed out and someone new with a ponytail ran into frame, toward the action



“There I am,” Ken said scarcely believing it. “Here it comes.” He gripped Jess's hand in anticipation of what was coming next.



Richardson's voice came from off screen, “Mr. Scott.” He gripped her hand a little more, grateful she was gripping his just as tightly as on screen he looked back. “Good luck, to both of you.” Ken could hardly breath as he watched himself turn back around and raise his right hand in the air and let Dax free to fight the monster.



Ken couldn't speak as the video ended, none of them could apparently. After a few moments of silence Bill was the one to break the spell the video had on them, cautiously saying, “So we got him?”



After taking a moment to compose himself a bit Hawk tried not to grin, but couldn't as he said, “If he tries anything, we got him.”



“Yes!” Ken shouted out as he pumped a fist into the air after slapping the table. Letting go of Jess's hand he immediately grabbed Bridge in a bear hug and planted a big kiss right on his cheek.



Unuse to such a show Bridge tried to squirm out of his grip, “Come on now man.”



Ken didn't let go of him, “Bridge, you magnificent computer nerd, you're lucky everybody is in the room, because I would be doing so many things to you right about now.” And that caused Bridge to try even harder to get out of his grasp.



Not even hiding his amusement over the situation Hawk spoke to the others, “Could one of you rescue Bridge from Ken?”



“I'm afraid to try,” Bill said as he studied the situation. Ryo seemed equally reluctant to try even with Bridge giving both of them a pleading look.



Jess was able to get the poor computer expert free from Ken's grasp. But he immediately grabbed her around the waist , lifted her off the ground and spun around, “Yes!” Looking back at Bridge as he put her down he said, “You have no idea how much I owe you man.”



Wiping off his cheek he kept his distance as he told Ken, “Just don't kiss me again and we'll call it even.”



“I make no promises,” Ken told him, “but okay.”



Despite the embarrassment he was feeling over's Ken celebration Bridge still beamed a bit, proud of the fact he was able to get this. “I got lucky,” he told them, “I just happened to check the servers as part of routine maintenance and saw the briefcase was hooked in. I activated the search programs as soon as I saw it.”



Ryo spoke up, “And neither Richardson or his assistant never noticed?”



“Like I told you I designed the security protocol for that briefcase,” he reminded him. “And like I said there's hundreds of copies of this file in that hard drive because it backs up everything daily. I just picked a random one in the middle of the group to make a copy of, they shouldn't notice it any time soon.”



“Guys we have to celebrate,” Bill told the group. “Bridge pulled off the damn near impossible here and took a huge target off of Ken's back.”



“I never thought I'd say this,” Ken spoke up almost giddy, as he finally let go of Jess, “but I agree with Bill. We need to party.” Bridge flinched away a bit as He wrapped a arm around his shoulders, “And the man of the hour is right here.”



“I don't want to put a damper on the situation,” Hawk told them, “But how do we celebrate without giving away what we did?”



“Well think of something,” Ken quickly responded. To Ryo and Bill he said, “Do either of you have a major birthday or event coming up? No? We'll make something up.”



“What are going to do with the video?”, Ryo asked. “I mean we can't just leave it this computer. Somebody else might discover that.”



“You have this on a drive already,” Jess spoke up, “don't you Bridge?



Tapping something on the control in front of him he answered with, “Right here, seemed like a better idea to put it on this than just loading it to our servers. Here Ken, I'm pretty sure this belongs to you.” Unconnecting it from the holotable he handed it to her when she held out her hand. Jess studied the drive for a bit before handing it to Ken who took it with a shaky hand.



“Now we just have to figure out where to keep it in case we need it,” she told him. He barely heard her, his eyes were transfixed on the drive in his hand. After all this time, with this damn video hanging over his head. Now the threat from Richardson was still there, but now he had something to fight back with. Ken had never felt so free in his life.



“Civilian,” Bill spoke up, “Whatever you do, do not lose that.”



“Like I'm going to let that happen,” Jess told him, “Where do you think we should put it? It has to be a place Richardson, Stanberry or Dr. Williams wouldn't even think to look.”



“I...,” Ken began just staring at the drive, almost if he was afraid it would simply vanish if he took his eyes off of it for even a second, “ I don't know. I got to think it over.”



While they were talking Hawk looked thoughtful, finally saying, “Ken.” He and the others looked at him. “how much do you actually trust me?”



Caught off guard it took Ken a moment to respond, “I trust you completely Captain.”



“Do you trust me enough to hold on to that for you?”. Ken looked between him and the drive several times, finding himself growing paranoid all of the sudden. Hawk seemed to sense his apprehension and trued not to force the issue by holding out a hand. But Ken was fully aware that everyone was watching him intently, just waiting to see what he'll do..



And why was he hesitating? Hawk was the first one here to try and make him feel like he belonged in the unit despite the rocky start. Ken had no reason not to trust him. But he had this video hanging over him for so long he didn't want to risk letting it go. Wrapping his fingers around it he brought his hand to his head and closed his eyes. “I trust you Captain,” he said as he opened them back up. Still he was reluctant to hand it over as he finally placed it in Hawk's hand.



“I'll try not to break that trust son,” Hawk told him as he pocketed the drive. “I know that was hard for you Ken. And I wouldn't say anything if you didn't give it to me.”



“I would have,” Bill told him. Ryo quickly elbowed him in the ribs.



“Why don't you all go and grab a late lunch,” Hawk told the group.Turning toward Bridge he went, “Unless there's anything else you would like to share with the rest of us that is.” Again Ken got hopeful, yes he got the video, but there was the whole deal with his communicator that they ust found out about too. A simple shake of his head was all it took to shoot that hope down.He looked over at Jess grateful that she started rubbing his arm. Hawk looked at all of them and said, “Alright then, dismissed.”
 
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scikaiju

Guest
Another day another cavern. Another defeated monster. Brooks sat on a stone, tossing a ball of dark energy from hand to hand, waiting for his masters to contact him. While he did so he silently sat there stewing about the defeat of Majaba. That one was one of his, much like the creature from the other dimension that snuck through when Bemular was sent over that he “boosted” to a more massive size. And much like that one he took it's defeat a little more personally than the others that were lost to Scott and the giant. It didn't matter that the mantis was the first, and still the only so far, creature that he had spotted when those same master once again gave him 'permission' to experiment with his powers once again.



And that more than likely meant they expected his creation to fail, just to buy themselves a little extra time to finalize whatever they were planning. One one hand the logical part of his mind under stood why, or at least a reason he told himself repeatedly. To try and tire the giant out. After so many battles something would have to give with either the giant or Scott. Something that might have happened sooner if Scott didn't reveal his secret to the others. He remember the attitude some of the troops had toward Ultraman when he first appeared, how some of them wanted a chance to take the giant down if given the chance, he doubted that had diminished in the time he was gone. But he was no fool, Scott revealed his secret right in front of Captain Hawk. He would most definitely be on Scott's side if the others discovered the truth, and the rest of the so called Monster Squad would be right there beside him, as would others. They were so lucky they lived at Castle, and therefore extremely protected. Otherwise he would have shown Scott the folly of changing the rules of their little game on him.



Of course there was another reason for the permissions he had been given that occurred to him.One that irked him just as much as loosing one of his 'babies'. It was an attempt to humble him. To make him remember his place as it were. And if that was the reason then they still didn't understand humans, himself in particular, at all. It just made the desire to defeart Scoot and the giant, and show them up in the process even stronger. He looked at the dark energy swirling between his hands. It made an image of the so called Ultraman. Snarling in disgust he clapped his hands together, smashing the image he subconscioulsy created into oblivion. “One day,” he muttered to himself, “one day Scott. That will be you then the last laugh will be mine.”



Sensing something he looked to the side to see the familiar sight of the vortex his masters used to communicate with him from. Getting off the stone he stood where he usually did as he waited for the shape of one of them appear inside it. When it did a voice said, “Avatar.”



“My masters,” he said with a slight bow, careful to hold back any sign of sarcasm as these Zettons did not appreciate it as much as other humans. “Am I correct in assuming the next creature is ready to send over.” He gave a quick glance of the space he was in. It wouldn't fit a full size creature, more than likely it was one that had to grow here as it happened once or twice in the past.



He was caught slightly off guard by the response, “Almost Avatar, Just a little more time is needed. And we highly appreciate you contributions to the process.”



Cocking an eyebrow at that particular statement he wasn't expecting that, much less announcing their appreciation? He had to have fallen into another universe at some point, perhaps during that whole mess with Kyrie and Scott not that long ago. “I am grateful for your kind words masters, but exactly what contribution did I have part in.?”



“For adding to the data we have been collecting on the giant.” Again he was confused. “Ever since his first appearance we have been studying him just in case a moment like this one came to pass. We feel we now have enough usable data in order to finally defeat him and take over your world.”



Now he understood, they were playing the long game here. An extremely long game from the sound of things, and he a mere pawn in said game. “From the beginning?”, he ended up asking. “Since he fought Bemular?”



“No,” was the answer. “From the one right after that one.” From the Gazoto they had him boost to a larger size. Still even without that initial battle, and perhaps including the one against King Joe since that was a creation of scientist on this side of things, maybe even the one against whatever Kyrie and Jamira became since those where rather sudden. Still it was a rather impressive catalogs of Ultraman battles to have at their disposal. “We are programming them into our latest creation as we speak.”



“And how soon will this one be ready?”



“Soon,” came the reply. “But first we have an experiment we wish to preform.” Brooks took a step back as the vortex grew in size. For a brief moment he feared this experiment was going to involve him. But instead of being attack he watched as the figure stepped forward through the portal. Brooks held up his hands as he prepared to stabilized the beings as he had to so many creatures before. But as it took the shape and appearance of the Zettons it held up a hand to stop him. Brooks watched as it studied it's other hand for a moment. It was here when he noticed the blinking light on it's shoulder as the Zetton slowly stepped away from the vortex that returned to it's original size. It looked around the cavern before returning it's attention back to the vortex, “It seems to be a success so far.”



A new voice spoke out, “Excellent. We will keep this portal open for future reports. Monitor you're situation until then.”



Brook took an unsteady step toward he Zetton, studying it intently. “You can survive in this dimension now?” Considering they needed him to stabilize their creations when they sent them over this was a bit of a shock to him.



Not even looking at him the Zetton said, “It is a new development. One we quickly advanced after your reports of one who was forcibly taken from us. If that human could pull such a feat than it should be a simple matter for us.”



If it was so simple why didn't you do so before now, but Brooks kept that thought to himself. Especially with that Vortex was still open. “A marvelous feat of science if I do say so myself.” He studied the Zetton with some apprehension, why did they feel this necessary to begin with? “But,” he thought fast to figure out what he wanted to say without incurring it's wrath, “seeing it in practice is a bit unsettling to see in person.”



“It is part of a new strategy,” came the answer. “We will show ourselves to the ones that ally themselves with the giant. In an attack right before we unleash our newest creation.” He looked back at the vortex when the Zetton did. He wasn't sure, but Brooks could have sworn he heard some sort of sound and a deep voice growl out a single word.



“Zetton.”
 
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scikaiju

Guest
After having that drive in his possession for the past day Hawk had put it at least four different places in his office so far. Finally letting it rest in the drawer in his desk, but not the one he kept locked. The way he was figuring things he was going to need quick access to it when it came time. He always told those under him that seconds count in a battle situation. And in his mind this was no different, the field might not be something he was used to but it would have been a battle none the less, Hawk had every intention of using this particular “bomb” when the time came because Richardson wouldn't hesitate to use any advantage he had in the same situation.



The chime at his door going off made him glance at that drawer, something he was going to have to try to not get in the habit of. The last thing he needed was to give it's location away by accident. Considering he didn't even know who was behind the door at the moment since he finally had that issue that allowed him to hear what was going in the other room fixed after Janet became his secretary, it would be a even bigger issue if the person decided to get curious at what he was hiding. A worry for another time, he told himself. Since Janet hadn't told him somebody wanted to see him it couldn't be that important. “Enter,” he called out. Unsurprisingly Reid was the one on the other side. He stood as the Commander walked in, “Jason,” he greeted his Beta team counterpart, “what can I do for you?”



“Just came by to drop off a report that got on my desk,” he handed it over to Hawk who raised an eyebrow when he did so. Taking the folder he looked it over for a second before chuckling a bit. “I thought you might find it amusing.”



As he glanced over the report, and he did find it mildly amusing, and slightly familiar at the same time, “I see the good Doctor Williams didn't want you to feel left out in the super vehicle department finally.”



“Apparently,” Reid said as he took the file back. “I know I haven't talked to him about it. So either it was all his own idea, one of my men put the bug in his ear.”



“Trust me, Dr. Williams doesn't need anyone putting anything in those ears of his. After all the times I ordered my guys not to mention some sort of tank or drill like vehicle over an open line in case he overheard it some how.” Considering how he was one of the three listening to Ken when he was in the field that was already a lost cause. “Hell I'm surprised it took him this long to bring it up. He came to me with some prototype plans for the Alpha One almost as soon as the board finally gave it the green light.”



“I haven't heard of anything about it before now,” he said as he took the offered seat. Hawk took the one next to him instead of going around to behind his desk. As causal as this was there was no need to be so formal at the moment. He pulled a disk Hawk had seen out of the folder, “Speaking of plans, he says this as the initial plans for that vehicle. He wanted me and my team's input on it.” Hawk just nodded, Williams made a similar request when it came to the Alpha One. “Which brings me to the main reason why I brought this to your attention.”



Again Hawk just nodded getting a feeling he knew Reid was going, “You want Ken to take a look at it.”



“If it's no trouble that is.”



“Not for him,” Hawk said. “I'm sure he'd be more than happy to help you out.” Here Hawk paused trying to figure out the best way to say this.



“It'll just be me and him,” Reid said, reading his mind. “And maybe one or two others I know for sure don't have a problem with him since he's been here.Admittedly that's a pretty short list,” he added with a slight grin. A small joke seeing how much most of the people here treated him like a pariah when he first arrived. Fortunately it was a lot better lately now that he'd proven himself time and time again.. And in ways only a select few knew about.



“Like I said Jason,” Hawk said. “he'd be happy to help you. I'll ask him if you want, he won't say no to me that fast.”



“No need for that Gabe,” Reid assured him. “I'm only worried I'm going to catch him at the wrong moment, if the rumor mill is to be believed. Although between the two of us,” he leaned in a little, So Hawk did as well. “I'm a little surprised how this budding relationship with Wade has affected him. I mean for a while there I was worried he was going to go crazy from this place. Now he looks like he has a new bounce in his step.”



Rubbing his chin Hawk responded with, “New love will do that in the right circumstances. And I'm sure getting Windam to finally work right had a bit to do with that bounce too.” Not to mention getting a couple of big secrets off of his chest probably worked wonders too, not that he could share that last bit with Ried no matter how much he trusted him. “But I'm happy for them, either way.”



“So am I,” Reid quickly said. “although to be a little honest, I'm a bit surprised you're letting it happen with both of them in your main unit and all. I've overheard a couple of people say it creates a conflict of interest.”



“I think I heard those same people,” Hawk told him with a sigh, “when they thought I wasn't around of course. But I've always told my men that as long as nothing they do has a negative effect on the unit I'll stay out of their affairs. Besides if I broke them up then I might as well go after the other couples in Castle. And that is a can of worms I have no interest in getting into.”



“I don't blame you there,” Reid told him. “Most of the push back against the one talking about Ken and Wade are those same couples. Personally I think it's how touchy feely they been since they been together, almost like they were a couple of teenagers if you listen to the scuttlebutt and all that.”



“From my understanding,” Hawk began leaning back a bit, “They use to date, back in high school I believe. It could be they just feel into old habits Or it could be the new love thing like I said. Give them time I'm sure they'll mellow out eventually.”



“Or a combination of both,” Reid added. “But as you said as long as it doesn't affect the team it's not really our business.” He then looked thoughtful about something. “But I did want to talk to you about something else we talked about briefly. About the possibility of Ultraman being one of us.” Hawk tried not to show his trepidation. Because he was afraid he might have accidentally lead him right to Ken. And he wasn't exactly comfortable with the number who knew now as it was. “Was it because he keeps showing up where we are?”



He really choose his words carefully now. “Ever since he showed up in Japan.” And those were probably the wrong words considering the limited amount of Castle personal who went on that particular trip. Too late to back out now. “If he's not one of us then he's connected to somebody some how.”



“Yeah,” Reid nodded, “I highly doubt he's sitting in the sky somewhere just watching what we're doing and waiting for a monster to pop up.” Looking at him Hawk wondered exactly which parts of his brain were trying to connect the pieces in front of him. “I'm sure you got a couple of suspects in mind already since you brought it up to me.”



“One or two,” he told Reid. “But I don't have any proof one way or another. I made the mistake of accusing Ken of sabotaging the Alpha One with out any concrete proof once. I don't want to make the same mistake with the one actually helping us out against those things.”



“Completely understandable,” he told him. “And considering a good chunk of Beta still wants to take a shot at him I can see why.”



“I have a few in Alpha waiting for Richardson to rescind that particular order as well.”



Shaking his head Reid went, “It's a damn shame. He does so much to help us fight those monsters and this is the reception he gets. I don't blame the guy, whomever it is, for keeping quiet for so long.”



“Neither do I,” Hawk said, hoping that meant he hadn't put two and two together yet about Ken and Ultraman.



“Wish I could tell him I had his back.”



“I'm sure he would appreciate it Jason.” After a bit more small talk Reid took his leave. Once he was gone Hawk visibly relaxed. He came that close to blowing Ken's secret. He had faith in him and he didn't want to tarnish it any by accident. But again how did he manage to keep that a secret for so long by himself?
 
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She was almost becoming a regular in the garage level. Almost as soon as she walked in holding a couple of cups of coffee the few that saw her pretty much all pointed to the lab Windam was in. Jess was taken back a bit but she nodded in thanks real quick since her hands were full as she headed for that door. Granted she already guessed Ken was going to be in there already but she was grateful for the assistance. Then she realized the door was closed, and there was no place to set one of the coffees that she could currently see.



One of the workers saw her dilemma and quickly got the door for her, “There you go.”



“Thanks Phil,” she said. Being here so often looking for Ken she did quickly learn the names of the ones he was friendly with. And to be fair Ken tried to do the same with the people on base she was friendly with as well. Fortunately these current friends liked him better than some of her old ones back in high school. She looked back after Phil closed the door behind her. Then she looked over to see Ken wiping something down on Windam. “Was something wrong with him?”, she asked when he spotted her.



Taking one of the offered coffees he told her, “Thanks,” and gave her a quick peck on the cheek. “No nothing was wrong, just polishing him up a bit. Windam's has to look his best you know.” She rolled her eyes, yeah that was Ken in a heartbeat when it came to machines.



“I hate to burst your bubble Ken but he's still considered a battle bot,” she said sitting on a free stool.



“Doesn't mean he still can't look his best. You don't want to be all dingy looking facing down a bad guy, do you buddy?” Windam shook his head once in answer. Ken just beamed with pride as he looked at her, “See.”



“You taught him that,” she shot back.



He quickly held a hand up, “Get a stack of bibles, that was all him. Now I'm not a software guy like Bridge is, but that adaptive program they put in him is freakin' amazing. You gotta see this, I was going to show you the other day but Hawk came in. Windam where's your favorite toy?



“He has a favorite toy?”, Jess asked as Windam started looking around before moving in one direction. Then he went to a wall, bent over and picked something up. Walking back over he handed Ken a small figurine of some sort. Jess just stared, “I don't believe it.”



Taking the offered figure he showed it to her, “His favorite toy.” He handed it back to the robot. “I swear he damn near has a personality already. Hell, I thought I was going to have to leave Bridge alone for a few minutes when I showed this off to him. I can't believe they were just going to put him in a display case and leave him there,” he added as he seemingly spotted another smudge or something to wipe down.



She just shook her head at the display she just witnessed, “Okay, all serious here, but maybe you should have been at Tower all this time. Not that I'm exactly sure how much actual work you would have gotten done geeking out over everything.”



“Maybe,” he conceded although still a bit annoyed she brought it up again, “but then I never would have gotten back together with you.” With a slight grin he added, “Sounds like a good trade off to me.”



She got up and wrapped her arms around his waist, “I cannot disagree with your logic there.” He put an arm around her and gave her a quick squeeze. Windam turned his head which amused Ken greatly. She pointed at the robot, “Did he just think we were going to kiss or something?”



“Apparently,” he told her not even hiding how happy he was over the situation. Then he gave her a quick one which caught her off guard a little then looked around the room. He turned back to her smiling, “No sign of Hawk anywhere.”



“Well in that case,” Jess said as she pulled him in for a longer one. She pulled away going, “Been wanting to do that longer than I originally thought.”



“Tell me about it,” he said. “I was almost afraid we're going to be late for homeroom for a moment,” he added as a joke. She was about the say something when the dorr was pushed open with a bang. Instinct made her go for the weapon that wasn't there. Ken got ready for a fight as well but she stopped his head from reaching into his Jacket right away. Then Windam moved and stood in front of them and the person who forcibly entered the room. They both looked as Stanberry, Richardson's assistant stared at them. She felt Ken tense up as he snapped, “You ever heard of knocking?!”
 
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“I believe I just did,” she told as she glanced at the door as she walked in. “I'm here to inform you this particular relationship is now officially over.”



“You don't have the authority,” Jess told her, “There's no regulation that says nobody in the UNDF can see each other.



“But Scott isn't part of the UNDF, not officially any way. Mr, Richardson has decided that his status as a civilian operative means...”



“Bullshit!”, Ken suddenly exploded and stormed toward her. Stanberry stepped back in surprise, and if she had to be honest a bit of fear crossed her face a little. Jess was a little afraid herself if she had to be honest, She had never seen Ken so angry before. And if he did he never showed it before now. “I don't give a **** what Richardson thinks. My personal life is not his fucking concern,”



“We both beg to differ Mr,”



She didn't even get a chance to finish. “You tell Richardson he can take his opinion and stick it straight up his ass. Sideways. You too.” Then Stanberry looked over at her with a particular look. She was expecting it, Ken having told her about the silent threat when he almost told her and Hawk everything after Brooks escaped. If she was expecting Ken to back down again she was deeply mistaken as Ken took a step closer. Jess couldn't see his face but she was surprised by the near venomous like tone of his voice as he told her, “Test me *****.”



Stanberry took another step back, definitely in surprise this time. “What the hell is going on in here?”, the Chief demanded as he stormed in. Although once he saw Ken he quickly got between the two of them. “You want to help me back him off?”, he asked Jess after a bit. That snapped her out of the stupor she was in as she grabbed his arm and dragged him away from Stanberry. “Now what the hell happened in here?”



“He was going to attack me,” she quickly said, “for no reason.” Which was a bold face lie but how were they going to explain their side of things.



Apparently they didn't have too as the Chief crossed his arms. “Really now, no reason you say? Funny, because I have at least five people who flagged me over who told me you barged in here uninvited and said something that royally pissed him off. And considering the short time I've known him he's been really even tempered so that's really saying something.”



“And this doesn't concern you,” Stanberry informed him realizing he wasn't going to believe her, basically dismissing him. “Go back to what little task you were doing before now.”



“Now she did it.” Ken muttered. Jess looked at him before looking back at the chief. The change in his demeanor was evident to everyone but Stanberry apparently.



“Little task?,” he said evenly enough but something about him finally tipped off Stanberry as she started looking less and less smug by the second. “She call running this entire division a little task. I will not have some over glorified secretary come barging into my section and start throwing her weight around. Now I'd suggest you walk out of here under your own two feet or I'll have the boys and girls under me physically throw you out.” She looked back and a couple of the 'boys and girls' as he called them were at the door. Most of them looking like they were just waiting for the word to be given.



“Mr. Richardson will not tolerate this treatment,” Stanberry quickly got out.



“Well then he can come down here and express his displeasure personally,” the chief told here. “And I'll tell him the same thing. Now get out of here. Phil, Connie,” Stanberry didn't even look back as the two that were called entered the room. She just got this look on her face as she smartly turned around and left, making sure nobody touched her. Finally back at the two of them, “You don't make small enemies do you kid?” Ken just shrugged his shoulders. The Chief just shook his head and left the room himself. Stopping just long enough to examine the door and uttering a small curse before leaving them alone.



Ken's only reaction to the situation was, “That felt way better than it probably should have.”



“Ken,” Jess began, “you know I have your back where Richardson is concerned. But maybe it wasn't the best idea to fire the opening salvo in this situation.”



“She looked at you,” was all he said.



“I know, I saw it.”



“I got sick of that threat,” he went on. “Even if we didn't have the video I still would have done that.” He reached over and took her hand. She gave his a quick squeeze. “I'm not going to have a pompous son of a ***** tell me who I can't be with right after we got back together.” Jess appreciated the sentiment, she really did. It was something she wanted to see since the days his brothers pushed him to get what he wanted. But she was fully aware of the **** storm this particular incident could cause. Then he got a look on his face as he looked at the ceiling as he said, “This is not going to be a fun conversation.” Then he hit his communicator, “Scott to Hawk.” Jess nodded, he was right it wasn't going to be fun but it was a necessary one all things considered. “I just did something sort of not good.”



“I've been getting some reports from the Chief and the garage crew,” he said. Ken just winced. Jess joined in as well. “You want to tell me what's going on before I get upset.”



“I,” he began slowly, then he just got it out, “kinda got into it a bit with Stanberry.”



“God dammit,” was the exasperated reply. Jess could picture the expression on his face just by the tone. “Stay were you are. I'm going to talk to you and any one who witnessed this personally about what just happened.”



“Yes sir, Scott out.” He looked at her and went, “So how screwed am I?”



She really didn't know what to tell him, “I not sure, hopefully calling in and telling him upfront instead of trying to hide things will help. But I wouldn't bet on it.” Ken lowered his head. Hopefully Hawk would believe the two of them and any of those who witnessed what happened
 
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Hawk had to reluctantly give Ken credit for one thing, he didn't do anything small. And getting into a verbal confrontation with Stanberry was the very definition of a big one. And now he had to be the one to deal with some of the fall out. Right now Ken was in his office waiting for this particular meeting to be over with. And if he was smart he'd stay there until he got back. Normally Hawk would have dragged him along, or at least Jessica, to get both parties involved in fixing the situation. But considering the nature of the situation, and the fact he noticed Jessica's hand hover around the general area her gun was in the field, Hawk felt it was best to leave the two of them out of this. And if what they and the others in the hanger told him was true then more level heads were going to be needed.



Still he wasn't going to walk into this particular lion's den by himself. He didn't even have to make the request, Reid sought him out after having heard what happened., Hawk wouldn't have been surprised if half of Castle heard it by now. And he halfway expected the other half to hear it within the next five minutes or so. But he was grateful Reid volunteered to join him in the meeting. As it was he rather face down one of those giant creatures alone with a half loaded six shooter at this point. And the rather rough patch they had right after Joe's death and the run around with Ken in the beginning was still fresh in his mind as well. He tried not to think about how he treated Ken this entire time, because if he did he would've head right back to his office and grab that drive.



Reid, while not fully aware of the exact details, seemed to sense the inner turmoil he was feeling. “At least there's one good thing,” he said as they reached the door. “things probably won't go as bad as when we confronted Brooks.”



Hawk offered a weak smile, “Never assume anything.” Because the fall out could be much, much worse but he didn't share that thought with him. Opening the door without any preamble they walked right in. Like he suspected Stanberry wasn't in sight. More than likely she was in the other room with Richardson. “Once more into the breach,” Hawk said as he headed for the door that lead to Richardson's main office. Not even knocking he opened the door and walked inside seeing Richardson sitting behind his desk with Stanberry by his side. Reid came in right after and stood next to him as each side studied the other. Breaking the silence Hawk calmly said, “Mr. Richardson, I assume you're aware of the reason I'm here.”



“Yes,” he said leaning back a bit, “a little incident that's been blown out of proportions. Or one aggravated by Scott if you want to get more specific.”



“Funny,” Hawk went taking a couple steps forward. “The way I hear it Stanberry was the aggressor in this situation according to the witnesses I've talked too, including the Chief . And if what they all claiming is true than I'm not sure I can't fully fault Ken for aggravating, as you say, the situation. Now I've already reprimanded Ken for his actions for this situations.”



“I hope you'd do morer than reprimaned him,” Richardson interrupted. “Telling Mrs Stanberry her to fight him him of all thing. What kind of man would say that to a woman.”



“Even if said woman is your bodyguard?”, Reid chimed in. Richardson shot him a look. To his credit Reid held his ground. Hawk hadn't seen a whole lot of people do that for even a second.



“Actually according to Ken,” Hawk quickly cut in before Richardson could respond to him verbally, “His exact words were 'test me' and a particular word generally used to describe a female dog.”



Reid spoke up again, “Since the word going around is that she barged in and told Ken and Wade that their relationship was over per your orders I'd be pretty pissed off as well.”



“I highly doubt she barged in,” Richardson told them.



“Hawk to Bridge,” he said hitting his communicator, “Would you please transmit the footage you found to Richardson's office.” Maybe it wasn't the footage he used to blackmail Ken, but if it would wipe the look of Richardson's face it would be just as good. Not even asking permission he reached over and hit a few switches that activated a hidden view screen in the wall. He stepped back as the footage from the lab started to play. Hawk eyed Richardson the entire time. Naturally he did look away when Stanberry shoved the door in. He turned to Reid. “What did that look like to you?”



“Looked like somebody barging in to me,” Reid told him. Stanberry started to reach for the controls, “No don't stop it yet, here comes the part everybody's talking about.” They watched as Ken walked straight up to Stanberry. Then she looked over at Jess. Here Reid stopped the footage himself. “Now I don't know exactly what's going on here, but that look she's giving Wade here has threat written all over it.”



“In your opinion Commander,” Richardson snapped at him.



“Apparently Ken's as well,” Hawk spoke back up, “since that's when he said what he did. And if I'm being honest I'm seeing a threat in that look as well.”



“So she went a little over board,” was all Richardson could respond with.



“That's more than a little over board,” Hawk told him. “And I don't even know were to begin with this apparent ruling you made over their relationship.”



“It's not you concern Captain, and I'm only using that term for the moment,”



Hawk didn't even blink at the thinly veil threat “And I don't take kindly to the offices interfering with the people under me. They are my concern not yours.”



“Commander,” he said addressing Reid, “perhaps if you were in total command...”



Reid quickly cut off that line of thinking, “You don't want to know the fight I'd be putting up.” Hawk fought hard to keep the smirk off his face as Richardson started sputtering.



“The way I see it,” Hawk told him, “that particular decree had no legs to begin with, because you're either targeting one man. Which would bring you a whole mess of legal problems no matter how hard you tried to spin it. Or you're telling everybody involved with somebody not part of the UNDF that they can't be with that person.”



“That is preposterous Captain.”



“I don't think so. Bridge found that particulat addition you're getting ready to propose to the board to add to the charter. I've read it over several times before I came here, that's exactly how it reads. And the fact you're assistant here tried to enforce it before it was even ratified would add to those legal woes.”



“And we didn't even bring up those who are married to those outside the organization,” Reid added. “While I won't speak for Captain Hawk, I personally would be directing people to send all those lawyers fees from the divorces directly toward you and the board. And seeing how our legal team has spouses outside the UNDF I'm sort of doubting they would be all that willing to help you mediate those matters.”



“Oh I'm sure one or two would do their job,” Hawk joined in. At his desk Richardson's face was getting redder and redder by the second. “Likely not very well but they would do the job.”


“What do the two of you want?!”, Richardson exploded as he stood from his chair. Hawk put his hands on the desk and leaned in so he looked him right in the eyes. Showing him he wasn't impressed at this display of anger at all. After he learned the truth about what happened to Joe, why Ken was really part of his team, no he was going to have to do a lot more than this to get Hawk's attention like he used to.



Calmly he replied with, “What we want if for the higher ups to stop messing with the men under us.”



“Scott isn't under you,” he sneered. Hawk slapping his hand on the desk caught Richardson by surprise as he sat back down at the look he was getting.



“The hell he's not,” Hawk told him. “You said the Civilian Operative program was a second chance. I remember that like it was yesterday. An opportunity for someone who originally fell through the cracks. Ken has more than lived up to that opportunity. Me, Reid, the Chief everybody on base thinks so. You are the first one I know of to say otherwise.”



“I think he's the only person in Castle who thinks that,” Reid said. He didn't wither either as Richardson turn his glare toward him. Like Hawk he didn't looked exactly impressed with the display directed toward him. Reid looked over at Stanberry, “Before I forget,” he reached into a pocket and put a slip of paper on the table and slid it toward her, “It's from the Chief. The bill to fix the door. I believe his exact word were 'She broke it she can damn well pay for it.'”



“Only seems fair,” Hawk said with a shrug when she looked at him. “So what's it going to be? Are you going to back off Ken or do I tell Bridge to go ahead and scratch a particular itch he's been having since Brooks got away? Because he sure there's some secrets still to be discovered.”



His face damn near purple Richardson angrily said, “Fine, I'll forget about that new addendum to the charter, and I'll leave Scott alone. But I will be there when this blows up in your face Captain.”



“I'm sure you think it will,” Hawk told him. “Good day sir.” not even waiting for a response he turned around and lead Reid out of the room. Once out of the hallway he stopped and looked back at the door. “Is it wrong that felt good?”



Reid started shaking his head, “Gabe I knew you had a set but damn that was something else. What if he called your bluff about Bridge?”
 

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