We gave our sons and daughters to the war- and what did we ever get in return? We gave up everything. We gave up our livelihoods for them. Our family. And for what? For what? For nothing, in return.
Add in modern fears and more dystopian sci-fi elements, if a government pushed the selection of individuals from a populace to be curated for their own gain- Hawkins Lab has taken Jonathan and Will, and kept them apart from home for too long.
But now, Joyce is getting back her kids.
(possible Stranger Things season 1 spoilers beneath the cut)
In an alternate timeline, certain elected citizens of Hawkins, Indiana took part in a government program. Semi-voluntarily, their children were selected as gifted students, and enrolled into Hawkins Science Labs for military-esque training (and experimentation/testing of peculiar psychic abilities, like Eleven in the series).
Eleven, as well as Will, Mike, Dustin, and Lucas, are stuck in Hawkin’s science facility, as the newest wave of potential candidates for the government’s super-powered human militia. (Eleven has been there for awhile already, like in the series. Mike and the others have not.) All the kids have powers, and in their downtime, the newcomers introduce Eleven to D&D.
The teenagers, as well, have psychic powers and strange abilities, and theirs have developed a little farther along. They’ve also been gone from home longer, and it’s Joyce’s frustrations and shock at having both her boys taken from her that finally drives her to do something about it. The teens, unlike the kids, have been shipped overseas, becoming modern military war soldiers in helicopter deployments. Sharpshooter Nancy, fieldmedic/sniper Jonathan, assault/rifleman Steve. Barb’s absence haunts Nancy, hardens her, but makes her more decisive. The teens have to work together, out on the battlefield, in a terrifying world they feel unprepared to face.
Hopper moved to Hawkins to find peace with Sarah, (and everything regarding her and why Hop left Indy is like it is in the series). Benny sometimes helps out. Joyce and Hopper, connected by Joyce’s drive to set things right, work together. Queerplatonic buddies who sometimes cuddle, maybe.