I WORK LONG and hard for a company, trying to get a critical defense project finished before a customer specified deadline. Laboring mostly alone, I get the project finished, deliver it to management and I’m promptly laid off, as thanks for my efforts.
In order to avoid hitting my ex-supervisor in the face, I just turn and walk out of the building. As I exit the front door, there’s a military officer walking up to the same front door. The guy tells me, “The base Commanding Officer wants to talk to you.”
I think about the matter for a few seconds and I see a maybe job assignment that might yield the paycheck that I need to survive. I tell the guy, “Okay, I’ll just go and talk to the CO.” (The things that I’ll do to earn a paycheck continue to amaze me.)
When I get to the CO’s office, I’m ushered in as if I’m a person of some importance, rather than a just discarded piece of trash. It’s a really nice change and I like it.
It seems that the CO wants to hire me for a very special, very classified project. I’ll have to sign a two-year contract and live in a classified space for the whole term of the contract. It’s two years in solitary, but at a very good pay rate and, since the government will furnish me room and board, I can save almost my whole after tax salary. Right away, I’m interested, however, I have questions.
I can learn nothing about the specifics of the job the CO wants me to do. However, since I have no other job prospects, I take the CO up on his offer. At worst, I build up funds to let me pay my bills, while I search for another job. At best, the classified project might extend into a real job opportunity for me. With no real choice, I agree to sign on and I get the necessary paperwork filled out.
The same officer who fetched me for the CO is waiting to drive me to a building complex in some corner of the base that I have never seen before.
The guy lets me out in front of the building and then he leaves. There are four heavily armed soldiers to check me into the building. They review my paperwork and one of the soldiers then escorts me inside.
The place that I find myself in has previously been some sort of aircraft facility, probably a helicopter storage and/or repair shop, judging from the pictures taped to the walls. There’s a large hanger area, several lab type areas and some living quarters, at the back.
I’m directed to one of the sleeping rooms and told that it’s mine and that my stuff will be transported over from the government furnished room that I have been living in. There will shortly be a whole crew arriving. In the meantime, if I need anything, I’m to phone the soldiers in the front.
I’m then led back out to the hanger facility where a large government truck is just pulling in, escorted by a couple of dozen heavily armed soldiers and the CO. On the truck is a stubby winged little craft that might have been a space re-entry vehicle. The little craft is banged up pretty badly and it’s even possible to see into the craft through a couple of rents in the outer skin.