Day 19. The Billionaire, the Colonel and the Inventor
Kyle Johnson touched his Cessna Skycatcher down on runway one left, ailment as instructed. A fleet of assorted vehicles had the plane surrounded before it came to a complete stop. Kyle turned to his passenger, opisthorchiasis Mark and said, “just keep calm. The worst they’ll do is escort us off base.”
For his part, Mark just closed his eyes and began taking deep breaths.
At least a dozen armed marines had the aircraft surrounded. “Step out of the plane!” came the command. Civilians or not, they weren’t going to be taking any chances with them.
Both Kyle and Mark slowly unlatched their doors and stepped out of the plane. Their feet had hardly touched the ground when they were tackled, cuffed and had their heads covered with black bags. They were then carted off into the back of a van. Just like Kyle had said, thought Mark. The van started up and advanced maybe a foot before it came to an abrupt stop. Voices could be heard outside, and then nothing. It was quiet for about a minute or two. Then, without warning, the van doors opened. The black canvas bags over their heads were no match for the bright Nevada sunlight.
“Kyle Johnson?” asked a familiar voice.
“That’s me,” replied Kyle. “Colonel Baines, is that you?”
“Yep,” he turned to the marines and ordered, “get’em out of there and take those bags off their heads.” Within moments they were out of the van, uncuffed and able to see once more.
“Johnson, what the hell are you doing here?”
“Honest to goodness mechanical failure, sir.”
“No kiddin’. Alright, well, I’ll have the ground crew take a look. Don’t know if they’ve got Cessna parts lyin’ around, but I’m sure they can rig something.”
“Much appreciated, Colonel.”
“Listen, Kyle. Since you’re here, and your clearance hasn’t expired, I’ve got something I’d like you to take a look at.”
“Sure thing, sir,” Kyle replied. He then remembered his plus one, “Umm, what about my friend Mark here?”
“He’ll have to stay in the mess with an armed escort, I’m afraid.”
“I understand,” Mark piped up.
“Alright then, you’re with me,” the Colonel said, pointing to Kyle. “And you’re with them,” he told Mark, pointing to two uniformed officers in an adjacent jeep.
“Mind if I ask what you want me to see?” Kyle asked the Colonel as they drove off.
“CIA brought in a kid from Montreal last night. He’s invented some sort of anti-gravity thing that doesn’t require any power. I want you to take a look at it, talk to the kid, then write up an assessment for me.”
Kyle could hardly contain his excitement. All he could manage was a deadpan, “sure thing, sir.”