The call came in just before 2200 hours. Wendy had just been dressing for bed when Captain Talassy buzzed her. She got her fatigues and her personal weapon as requested in almost record time, even for her.
Now she stood next to the other men from the meeting room. All dressed for combat and armed. They were standing at attention before Captain Talassy on the northeast runway, in front of Hanger #4. All the running and illumination lights were turned off and they stood there with only the light of the sliver of moon to see by as it hung in the sky like a sickle blade.
Captain Talassy lifted his hand to indicate they should ignore the sound of the click of shoes on concrete as it approached them and the man in black from the meeting room joined them. He didn't say a word, as he stood there, wearing his glasses even in the blackness of the night. And yet, he appeared to be holding a clipboard, reading it over and over, as well as checking his watch.
The rumbling was the first sound. Distant and low. It quickly became recognizable. A heavy diesel engine. The semi approached with its headlights off, pulling the trailer behind it. It was easily twenty minutes between the first hint of the sound and the sight of the truck pulling up alongside the runway.
It idled for a minute before the man in black stepped up to the driver's door, climbed up and spoke to the man through the window. The driver nodded and pulled around and into the hanger, just far enough that the back of the trailer was lined up with the double doors. Wendy noticed the truck had no license plates, no markings, no identification of any kind.
The driver stayed in the cab while the man in black came around and opened the back of the trailer. Something shifted inside as he stepped up and vanished into the darkness of the container. She couldn't help wondering how he could see wearing those glasses. She could only make our some of the largest details in the thin moonlight.
He came back out, again consulting his clipboard, then his watch. He strode back over to Captain Talassy. They spoke for a few minutes before the man in black walked out onto the runway, disappearing again into the darkness as the Captain came over to address the rest of the group.
"The equipment is here on time and ready for delivery. We're going to spread out from the door to the hanger to the edge of the runway. You're going to stand at attention at five foot intervals. Our job is to make sure the delivery doesn't have any complications or problems. The people picking up the equipment is going to be responsible for carrying it from the hanger, to their aircraft. They should be arriving within the next five minutes. Transfer of equipment is expected to take about ten minutes. After their craft leaves, you will be dismissed. You've been informed of the penalties if there is any lack of discretion about this operation. Is everybody clear?"
They spread out as described. Wendy found herself standing with Captain Talassy five feet to her right and another man, a Sergeant First Class who identified himself as Reginald Barclay five feet to her left. They stood in a line, forming a weak wall that the equipment would be traveled along.
The man in black walked past, still going over his clipboard. She detected a very slight scoff as he passed her. Obviously, he had a problem with women serving. She knew better than to make anything of it though. It wasn't anything new to her after all. Still, she couldn't help wondering who the hell he thought he was.
She waited, her ears poised, listening for the sound of a jet, or maybe a helicopter. Minutes passed, but the only sounds she heard were the man in black's shoes on the pavement as he paced. Then he rushed past her out towards the runway. Wendy remained at attention, but tried to make him out in the darkness from the corner of her eye.
Then night became day with an illumination that forced her to raise her hand to cover her eyes and she could hear the men around her gasp at their sudden blindness.
Click here for Part 3.
Click here for Part 3.