Monday, September 27, 2010

Today's excerpt from "The Interceptors Club & the Secret of the Black Manta.

In Hogle’s tiny windowless office the General tried three times to open his safe, but for some reason it would not open. Taking a card from his wallet, he double checked the combination and tried again.

After three tries it finally opened.

The General reached in the safe and pulled out another official looking envelopes bearing a bold, Top Secret -- Special Access Required stamp across the cover.

After signing yet another non-disclosure agreement, the General opened the file and handed Pepper some glossy photos.

“These were taken a few days ago by Excalibur’s imaging system when it was on final approach here at Holloman. Notice anything unusual?”

Pepper took a pair of reading glasses out of an inside pocket and began scrutinizing the photos one at a time. He caught sight of the runway and a Humvee parked just to the left of the approach apron.

“It’s a Humvee.” Pepper asked.

“That’s the remote control unit. It’s supposed to be there.”

Pepper studied the photos more closely. The images weren’t highly detailed and look muddied.

“Not the best quality to work with. These can’t be high-resolution images.” Pepper said.

Pepper looked down at the photos again studying them closer. Suddenly his eyes caught something in an arroyo crossing just to the right on the runway.

“What are these?” He said as his finger pointed to a series of hot spots in the drainage ditch.”

“My guess - unauthorized persons.” The General replied. “Looks like the heat signatures from five people.”

“And you want me to find out who the five are?”

“Yes. We have to ascertain if the program has been compromised.” the General said in all seriousness. “I can’t impress on you how serious this is Adam. There isn’t a government on earth that wouldn’t kill to know about this project. The technology is a veritable quantum jump beyond anything, and unfortunately at this point in development the project is very vulnerable to penetration.”

“Why is that?” Pepper asked.

“Because the Pentagon has pressing plans for Excalibur and rushing it through flight tests. We are so rushed that our communications are unencrypted and even our remote control frequencies are subject to interception. We haven’t had the time to put in place even normal special access program safeguards and security procedures. Any spy worth half his salt could sweep in and steal everything we’ve done here.”

Pepper but the photos back in the envelope.

“I’ll find out who they are, sir. Then what?”

“Depends on who they are.” Hogle replied.


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