Episode 2, Wednesday March 3, 2016

 

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

Four seconds after I posted this picture of this morning’s glorious sunrise, event’s began to occur that would alter how I would remember this day for the rest of my life.

In the bunker below the completions hangar a bank of computers constantly scanning social media detected the photo. Geographic analysis confirmed that it was taken from AirBus property and the computer signaled the alarms.

Mr. T. C. Mapweather IV threw back his covers on his cot and headed toward the alcove. He emerged seconds later heading toward his helicopter at a run. He was tall, six foot nine. His lean athletic frame shamed fat right out of his body. He had neat black hair with a cowlick at the front of the part. When he smiled his white teeth shone like a beacon. And everyone who saw him thought he was Tom Cruise, even though he was more than a foot taller than the actor.

His large lean and trim athletic frame dwarfed he guns draped on his body, making them look more like toys than weapons. This time he carried the black helmet and stopped to climb into the cockpit of the helicopter. He was still groggy from sleep.

Stepping onto the boarding platform he pulled the helmet on while the platform rose. As it leveled off beside the door he stepped in and the starting sequence began. The powerful engines spooled up, and the pad above retracted.

As much as he loved hands on flying this time he allowed the automated systems to control the assent. From the moment it cleared ground level to when it took up a hover over the guardhouse the flight had taken only fourteen seconds.

Tapping icons on the control panel, a grapple snagged the chain link fence at the entrance to the guardhouse and ripped it from the ground. The helicopter flew a lazy circle and dropped the fence onto the shed in front of the dock. Twenty or so sets of rotor blades in the shed were damaged by the falling debris.

When the chopper circled back over the guardhouse TC was ejected in an automatic rappelling  harness that allowed him to worry about the enemy instead of getting to the ground. Landing at the door he kicked it in and stepped in.

I dumbly said, “Mr. Cruise, I thought you left.”

“I’m not Tom Cruise!” The visor of his helmet had pulled back over his head so I could see his face. The famous smile wasn’t there. The actor had flashed that smile every time I’d seen him over the last two weeks. “He just looks like me!”

“You are a lot taller than he was. Can I help you sir?”

“You’re coming with me!”

He leveled a P90 at me, so I said. “Yes sir, but I’m not supposed to leave my post.”

“Where did you get that photo?” I could hear a helicopter circling above the guardhouse and the downdraft was buffeting the little building.

“What photo?”

“The one you just posted on Facebook.”

“I took it. I was sitting right here.” In just a few minutes the rose red of the clouds had changed to a golden orange.

“But my top secret helicopter is in it.”

“Sir?”

“The UFO looking light at the top of the clouds.”

“Isn’t that a reflection from the ceiling lights?”

“We’ll see.” His visor slid forward and into place while he reached for me. He pulled something over my head and I was dragged out of the guardhouse and was swinging in the air before I knew it.

A minute later I was on my feet again in a concrete room. I could stand but my arms were pulled tight to my sides by the harness the tall man had thrown over me.

“What’s your name?”

“You’re here to answer my questions.”

I’d seen the whole flight dangling from the odd helicopter. It was still hovering above us and the actor look alike shoved me into a tunnel looking corridor.

The helicopter settled to a landing where we’d been standing moments before. The door to the helicopter was open and there wasn’t anyone at the controls. “I’m no expert on helicopters, but don’t they need pilots?”

“Shut up.”

He started shoving me down the tunnel, I’d seen where we went and knew the direction he was pushing me would end up under the completions hangar. The tunnel was dark, it had a clean floor.