Ch.1: Broken smiles

The sun had risen in it's place.

High above the sky warming the chilly September morning. A helicopter dispatched from U.Z.Z. had been flying to it's current location for the last half-an hour.

"You actually have this many brothers and a sister?" Kowalski stole the picture from Kent's hands. He was trying his best to snatch it back. "you come from a big family. Why didn't you ever tell me this before?"

Wrestling it from her grips sighed. " 'cause I didn't think you'd be interested," stuffing the faded wallet sized picture back into his pocket.

"That's not true when we get back I'll show you what I looked like as a young-yin." Kowalski thought it was funny teasing him with his country bumpkin dialect.

"Oh, c'mon," Kent grunted leaning into his seat acting as if the mocking tone in her voice didn't annoy him. He went on to say. "I thought you were better than that?"

"Better than who," Kowalski asked with a smile.

"You don't pick on me just 'cause I'm a country boy." Kent said, both brows knitting together. Both of them were seated right next to each other trying to pass the time for the duration of the trip.

"Well, I-" Kowalski wasn't prepared for such a question. Kent was very serious about her answer.

"So," Kent asked impatiently.

She shifted nervously in her seat. Coming up with the most obnoxious excuses a pubescent teenager would think of.

"Just drop it then," Kent said gruffly . It wasn't worth his time or energy to pressure Kowalski into telling him anyway.

Turning his head to Ray began to make conversation it left Kowalski with no other option.

"Hey guys," Kowalski decided to occupy herself with Victor and Anita. Coming in between them like a smart rocket aimed at the proper targets swooped in making a devastating impact.

"Hi, Kowalski," Anita brushed her arm away from her shoulder.

"So, what have you been up to?" Victor asked. As if it wasn't obvious that Kowalski wasn't messing with her fellow co-worker.

"Nothing much," Kowalski replied to the both of them. "except that Kent really needs to be more sociable."

"Yeah, we heard that bit Kent comes has a big family," Professor Professor himself butted in. Now making a quartet among the friends. He Was very eager to continue the conversation.

"Is that really important, Professor Professor?" Victor said as the small scientist began making a place for himself. Sitting in the circle that the agents had formed not so long ago.

"Not really," the tiny scientist said curtly.

"Anyway could you just imagine a house loaded with siblings?" Kowalski's eyes seemed to be loaded with stars. Dazzled by the fact that Kent carried with him. Numerous blood relatives that always have his back.

"It's not that great," Kent shouted his face hot with embarrassment.

"Why not," Anita asked bemused.

"Because," Kent responded with a brother like attitude speaking to his partners as if they were his very kinfolk. "they make you wait for the bathroom. You always have to split a bedroom with them. They don't always turn off the lights when your catching a few winks what else am I missing?"

"Don't forget they tattle," Ray chuckled.

"And sometimes they even leave unfinished masterpieces behind," Professor Professor added with a knowledgeable nod.

"Don't remind me," Victor grimaced thinking upon past events.

"It sounds like you guys had your hands full," Anita giggled lightly.

"Tell me about it," Kent grinned from ear to ear.

"Well, yeah," Victor conceded on the fact. "too bad you don't know the joys of growing up alone." happily declaring that he wasn't alone in being raised as an only child. "too bad you can't join our club."

"Sometimes I wish," Kent said under his breathe.

"Anyway, I couldn't have sibling even if my parents wanted to," Kowalski bitterly replied.

"Why daddy couldn't get it up-" Victor teased before Anita elbowed him in the ribs.

"No," Kowalski eyes appeared desolate, dropping to the floor. She became very sad when it became a subject of importance. "my dad died when I was young it's not like I really knew him or anything. Just that it'd be nice ya know."

"I take that back," Victor said feeling remorse for his earlier remark.

"Don't be," Kowalski raised her head facing Victor. A smirk slowly formed it's way on her mouth.

It eased Victor's tension.

But it did not in any way satiate Professor Professor's quest for information. "how did it happen." asking quite frankly.

Kowalski thoughtfully answered. "I'm not really sure how it happened, but it was at some facility." stopping for a moment in her own disbelief continued. "a freak fire broke out burning it down to the ground you can guess the rest for yourself."

There was a pause that ended quickly.

"Anyway," Victor cleared his throat. "it's not like I don't know how you feel. My dad's probably gonna spend his last days in that forsaken wobbly dimension." he practically had to strain his voice. Overtly showing his resentment that he had to leave his father behind.

Professor Professor broke up the pity party. "enough, enough all of you," shaking his hands wildly in a desperate attempt to disperse the negative atmosphere.

"Besides look," he said pointing out the location that came into their view.

All of them gazing upon the base owned by none other than Doctor Doctor herself. It was a separate entity hidden away from Doctor Doctor's spidery base. So hidden it took UZZ days to trace the origins all the way to where they were about to land.

Nestled in the heart of the rocky hills of Boulder Colorado. Underneath them was a very long stretch of land between them and the helicopter.

"Very interesting, yes?" Professor Professor eagerly rubbed his hands together.

Todd the one operating the chopper said. "sorry guys I can't land anywhere near the entrance. You guys are just gonna have to go by foot."

"Right," Ray confirmed. Throwing down a rope ladder for everyone to evacuate onto the craggy terrain.

Before Ray climbed to the ground he beat the metallic floor calling over to Todd. "will make it back in one piece." he joked.

"You better," Todd yelled wryly.

"See ya in a few," Ray waved joining the others.

The helicopter suddenly flew off into the opposite direction. Heading downward towards the peaks to find sufficient landing.

Todd being a worry wart murmured to himself. " take care,"