Episode 3.2, Thursday April 7, 2016

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

I usually the work the first half of the week, but since I’d missed so much time this week I had to go in today, against Doctor’s wishes.

I’m not supposed to, but I still need to get by financially. I don’t have much choice.

It’s going to be difficult with my jaw wired shut. I must look like a worn out crash test dummy. I certainly feel like one. At least working the night shift I won’t have to talk to or interact with a lot of  people. If I’m unlucky I’ll have to interact with two of the people working tonight.

There are still people working. The completions hangar has three or four technicians and a manager. There are a few people in the blade shop, and the bulk assembly building. There are also three flights scheduled, as well as four hours of instruction in the simulators. None of these people should need to interact with the guardhouse unless there is some kind of delivery.

I wrote a note to the night supervisor indicating that it would be best if I spent the night in the guardhouse. The shipping dock was closed so I shouldn’t have much to do. He agreed. I think he just didn’t want to look at me anymore.

The first three hours were quiet with only three vehicles coming through. A little after nine though the nightmare began. I never saw it coming.

One second the road outside the guardhouse was empty and the next the Scout was sitting there with what seemed like a thousand high intensity LEDs directed directly into my face. At the same moment I heard the beat of helicopter rotors and felt the buffeting of the little building.

The Scout was painted a flat black and until the lights came on it looked like little more than a hole in the night. Some high tech paint had been used to make it as invisible as possible. But when the LEDs came on they were meant to overwhelm the eye or the camera. Looking into those lights on observer could really tell much about the Scout.

It was a fifty year old work truck that had been rebuilt into an all terrain vehicle that would make Navy Seals shiver with excitement.

I threw my forearm over my eyes to shield them just as the guardhouse door crashed into the back wall. TC rushed through the door and wrapped a black canvas wrap around me all in one quick movement. Velcro sealed it tightly from chin to ankle. He slapped a Velcro strap to the wrap and bodily spun me around at least five times wrapping up me even tighter.

He picked me up tucking me under one arm and rushed out the door. I weigh in at two fifty and he handled me like an overweight football. He grabbed a cable dangling from the helicopter above us and he snapped it to the wrappings at my waist.

The helicopter rose and flew north, reeling me up and into the cargo compartment as it went. I looked forward and couldn’t see a pilot or anyone else aboard. Just as I began to wonder where this pilot less helicopter was taking me it swung around the rotor going vertical in the maneuver.

I didn’t see how it happened but suddenly I could move again. My arms were free and the wrapping was laying on the decking. I move toward the cockpit but the opening was way too small for my old fat body to squeeze through.

A screen on the control panel lit up and I could see a targeting reticule locked on two men in visitors parking. They were working to open a door on a gray SUV. At the edge of the screen I could see an infrared image of the Scout racing through employee parking toward the men.

Over the roar of the engine I heard a whirring sound and saw mini guns and rocket pods fold out of the decking and extend out the side doors.

Streaks of fire erupted from the Scout and the helicopter, and slugs tore up the parking lot around the two men. Rockets rippled out of the pods and the fence fell before the Scout. It went over the curb and through the landscaping without showing any sign of difficulty jumping the curb.

The men were face down on the ground, hands covering the back of their heads. The helicopter swooped low turning hard again. The light pole flashed in front of the cockpit and the rotor was vertical again. I looked straight down through the open door and saw the tips of the rotors as they danced over the asphalt.

I wondered for a moment, why I wasn’t falling but almost before the fear could form the aircraft righted itself.

Flying over the Scout I see something odd, there aren’t any lights on the old truck but I can see a sticker across the windshield. It reads “JEEP RESCUE VEHICLE”. Then TC is vaulting out of the driver’s seat and somersaulting over the hood to land on the ground in front of the men.

That’s when I hear the radio, “Rover to Control.”

The image I’m seeing resolves from the darkness around me to a view of a security camera on the monitor in the guard shack. Mr Lewis is standing by the security cart talking to two men.

“Go ahead Rover.” Comes the disembodied voice from SCC.

“I’ve got two men trying to get their car open. They locked the keys in it when they got out to check on a flat tire.”

“Copy, do they need assistance?”

“No. They’ve already called AAA.”

“What’s their business on our property?”

“None, the pulled into our lot when they noticed the tire was flat.”

“Ten-four.”

The door to the guardhouse opens and a man steps in and says. “I see you’re back at work.”

“Y... y... y... yes.” I stammer talking around my front teeth, moving only my lips. He had to duck to keep from hitting his head.

I feel cold sweat trickling down my ribs before he speaks again, “I think you should begin to work with me. You already know more about me than you should.”

I nod my head too scared now, to actually speak or refuse.

“I can pay you a decent salary, but you will have to pretend you’re still a security guard.”

“I... I... g... g... guess.” I still can’t talk, I feel that I accomplished a mighty feat just to stammer.

“I installed a switch under the counter there. Press it once to signal me if there is anything that needs my attention. Hold it down for five seconds and you will drop into the Scout for a quick response.”

I nod again.

“I’ve made a deposit in your account for your trouble and pain. I think it’s enough for you to go home until you’re better.”

“I’ll see you tomorrow.”

If my jaw wasn’t wired shut I couldn’t explain how I felt in a thousand years. Hysterically screaming and running for my life might just be my best option right this moment.

All I could actually do is nod my head again.