Episode 1, Sunday February 28, 2016

The Extraordinary Exploits of Mr. T. C. Mapweather IV, (The Delusional Daydreams of a bored Security Guard)

    I’d been at work for two minutes when I realized that I’d forgotten my access badge. A little embarrassing because I work security. This isn't a high security site, our guard dog is a Yorkie. If we ever let her lose your shoe strings are in severe trouble.

Lead Officer Lewis the arrived in the command center sixteen minutes after the hour. Twelve minutes later he noticed the log where I had checked out a temporary access badge. Officer Lewis moved his right knee to the side depressing the scramble alert button.

TC was working deep in his bunker office. He was the only one cleared to view the data he compiled so he always worked alone. When the alarm sounded, the hundred decibel whoops echoed through concrete structure. Red and yellow strobes flashed. TC dove into the secret alcove to don his flight suit, and weapon up.

Moments later he emerged wearing his black flight suit. He had four Heckler and Koch .45 caliber handguns in holsters, two on either side of his belt, and two under each arm. A compact P90 automatic urban combat assault weapon strapped to his back and one slung across his chest.

TC sprinted down the long dark tunnel toward his experimental stealth helicopter. His black VR helmet covered his face completely. He could see where he was going because the camera mount on the top of the helmet projected his surroundings on the screen where the visor should be.

Built on the frame of the frame of the remarkable UH 72 Lakota, built by AirBus, it didn’t resemble the general purpose helicopter at all. This one had an older front cockpit with a rounded bubble canopy. Behind that the fuselage became all flat panels and angles.

The security bunker beneath the completions hangar was almost a hundred yards from the 7B pad. TC entered the underground hangar below at a dead run just as the tunnel opened he leapt and somersaulted into the pilot's seat rotating in the air to enter feet first.

As his ass contacted the seat many different processes began to happen. The automated preflight checklist verified the flight worthiness of the aircraft and the twin Turbomeca Arriel Enhanced 1E2 turboshaft engines begin to spin up. A hundred feet above the aircraft holo-projectors rise out of the ground and project a static image of the airfield and flightline. Behind the screen of holograms pad 7B drops ten feet before splitting and pulling aside into the sides of the shaft.

The broad scimitar rotor blades start to spin. It only takes five seconds for the rotor to reach full speed and the craft begins to lift into the shaft toward the open sky above. By the time it’s risen five feet the skids retract into the belly of the craft. The chopper is completely covered in a flat black soft paint that absorbs radar waves. It will be at an altitude of fifteen hundred feet before it clears the hologram projections.

It tilts forward and soars in a graceful arc toward the west side of the plant. I’m spotted immediately in my high visibility winter coat. Weapons pods extend out of the sides of the helicopter and two hellfire missile launchers deploy rippling off thirty eight missiles in my direction.

I begin to run, in my slow stumbling ineffective gait of an old fat man. Cars parked on either side of me begin to explode and before I can register what’s really going on I hear the helicopter pursuing me. Realizing the futility of my running from this war machine I turn and stare at it.

The black aircraft is unlike any helicopter I’ve ever dreamt of. It’s swooping low as I watch I see the landing skids fold down and the right on extents forward like a javelin. The helicopter suddenly pulls up slowing and  floating on a cushion of air in what’s known as an autorotation.

Then almost without transition if moves toward me again. Transfixed and in shock at the destruction around me I can only stand and watch it approach. It’s far too late when I realize that the extended skid is aiming right for me. It hit’s me low on the right side of my chest and the sharp point impales me. The rod scrapes along the side of my rib cage and exits my back lifting me off the parking lot.

I’m in agony dangling from the skid of a helicopter by the skin, muscle, and fat of my side. I’m lifted over the buildings and the pain is too horrific for me to seek the escape of unconsciousness. A new pain begins to make itself known as the tissues of my side begin to rip and I fall away from the skid toward the flight line below.

The shrill tone of the phone rings and I’m torn from my day dream. I answer with my mantra, “Airbus Security. This is Scott. May I help you?”

“Did you forget your access badge again?” Officer Lewis demands in my ear. I can barely focus on his question, I’m feeling my ribs, and looking out the back windows of the guardhouse. I don’t see the remains of cars violently disassembled and randomly scattered across the parking lot. There aren’t any oxidation byproducts darkening the sky from dozens of burning cars. I turn and look over the buildings in the direction of the flight line and I don’t see an odd looking helicopter. Even though I can remember the terrible ripping sensation, there is no pain now.

“Are you there?” Officer Lewis’ voice demands in my ear. “What are you doing? You’ve been standing there staring out the windows for two minutes now.”

“Yes. Yes sir. I forgot my badge again.”

“Okay.” He’s confused by my stammered answer. But he continues without anymore distraction. “Do you need me to give you security access on that temporary badge?”

“Oh, no sir. I was able to do it. Thank you sir.”

“Okay. There’s a truck waiting at gate five, open it.”

“Yes sir.