Monday, June 21, 2010

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

Hogle stood up from his desk, his face turning crimson, as if his blood pressure had suddenly just shot way up.

Slowly, he ground the stub of his cigar in an over-filed ashtray as if he was trying something, anything to contain his about-to-blow temper.

Hogle reached down. Picked up a newspaper on his desk and suddenly he flung it into Pepper’s face surprising him.

“Sir?” Pepper said astounded at the General’s action.

The newspaper bounced off of Pepper’s face and on onto the floor.

“Pick that up. There’s a very interesting article on page seventeen.”

Pepper picked up the paper, which had come apart. It took him almost a full minute to find the correct page.

While he searched for page seventeen he could feel the General's building impatience.

Finally he found the page. Quickly he scanned every article on the page. Nothing seemed to be of any connection to Excalibur.

“Sir? I don’t see anything.” Pepper said confused.

“That’s your problem. You don’t see.” Hogle said making his point by taking a finger and pressing it hard into Pepper’s forehead.

“Look at the photo on the bottom. See anything familiar?”

Pepper’s eyes dropped to the photo at the bottom of the page. Under it was a caption: Local Modeler’s Display Skills.

Pepper read on.

Stanley Dodson, age 15 stands next to Holloman’s Air Force Base Commander’s wife, Louise Brigotti clutching his award winning scratch-built model of a hypothetical stealth aircraft.

The model designed and built by a group of youths known as “Team Manta” won top honors at the HAFB Tri-Annual Junior Modeling Competition, which includes as first prize a ride in a KC-135 aerial refueling tanker, to take place this Saturday. Standing from left to right are Caysi Johnston, Meinrad --

“What the?" Pepper said as he suddenly recognized the winning model was none other than Excalibur, the very secret project he was charged with protecting.

“Kind of jumps out at you doesn’t it? Imagine what I said when I saw that photo while I was downing my coffee this morning. My five year old grandson will never be the same.” Hogle bellowed.

“It’s – it has to be a coincidence!” Pepper said disbelieving.

“Coincidence my foot! Every angle is perfect. Even the cockpit transparency is the proper shade of amber.” the General shouted.



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