Sparks, Nebraska, USA 13 July 2017 0329 Hours CDT I jerked awake as the 4runner rolled to a stop. Frank jumped out of the passenger seat and disappeared into the darkness surrounding us.
A quick glance at my Seiko SKX007 showed that it was half past three in the morning. We sat still for a moment before Michael made a sharp right turn and slowly crept forward.
Peering into the void out our windshield, I spotted a small pair of barely glowing red lights. Our truck passed between them until I heard a gentle thump on our rear hatch.
There was the sound of large doors being pulled shut, and then red lights switched on, revealing a small concrete garage.
Michael and I hopped out of the Toyota and Frank led the way to a door in the back wall.
We stepped through the doorway and Michael closed the door behind us as we started up a steep flight of stairs. Frank stopped at a trapdoor at the top of the staircase and glanced back at us.
Michael tapped my shoulder and handed me a helmet with a PVS-14 night vision monocular mounted to it. I strapped the helmet to my head as Michael did the same with his own helmet.
Turning back, I saw Frank hold up a closed fist before the lights went out and I felt the air shift as the trapdoor eased open.
Frank slithered out the hole and disappeared. If you’ve never seen someone slither, it’s hard to imagine.
Ever seen a ballet dancer glide smoothly and gracefully across a stage? Frank moved like that, but on his belly. Three long minutes passed before a gentle “Tsk, tsk” drifted down to us.
I clambered up and out of the hole and looked for Frank. I saw nothing except the trees and bushes covering the gentle slope of what must have been a hill.
Suddenly, one of the bushes shifted slightly and I realized with a start that Frank was only an arm’s length away. He rose to a knee as Michael joined us.
Michael leaned close and breathed in my ear.
“We’ll approach the barn from the rear. Frank will cover us and we’ll make entry together. Ground floor is open, second floor is a half loft with a couple small rooms.
You get the door, I enter first and go right, you go left.” I nodded in silent reply.
“Oh, and there’s an infrared laser with momentary and constant on switches mounted on the underside of your handguard.”
Frank rose from the ground and vanished in seconds even from my night vision augmented sight like a wraith.
I did a quick press check to ensure that my CZ Scorpion Evo was still loaded, and I noticed Michael follow suit with his short barreled AR-15.
He turned to me, the NVG’s transforming his face into an alien visage. I gave a thumbs up, and we started down the hill.
We stalked from tree to tree, each of us keeping the other in sight as we approached the barn.
We stopped at the tree line, carefully scanning the hundred yards of open space that surrounded the barn.
Michael flashed me an ‘okay’ sign, and after I nodded, held up five fingers which he started to drop one by one. We rose and sprinted for the barn when his index finger dropped.
Michael stacked up on the right side of the door, his carbine shouldered but aimed at the ground. I saw him slip a key into the deadbolt lock and turn it gently before shifting back.
I mirrored his pose on the door’s left side and reached out to gently turn the knob. The door swung open towards me and I pirouetted around the leading edge as Michael flowed into the doorway.
I let the door complete its swing as my left hand seized my carbine’s forend and my finger found the button for the IR laser.
Michael buttonhooked around the doorframe and I dropped the CZ’s muzzle into the space just vacated by his shoulders.
I stepped into the room, clearing the near corner of the barn and sweeping to my right.
The blazing green dot of my IR laser danced across the far walls of the barn and I saw Michael’s laser doing the same.
After clearing the small loft, Michael stepped out of the door and patted the top of his helmet several times before reentering the barn. “Wait here and cover Frank if he needs it.
I’m going to switch on the security system.” He bounded up the stairs as I peered out the door towards the tree line.
Frank materialized out of the darkness a moment later and I locked the door behind him. Michael reappeared at the top of the stairs. “System’s armed and shows all clear.
How do you want to do watch?”
“I’ll take first watch. Two hour shifts?”
Michael nodded in reply. “I’ll take second watch. Claire can take third. Silo?”
Frank returned the nod. “Silo. I’ll set up the belt feds.” Frank headed towards the far end of the barn and Michael gestured for me to join him upstairs.
He led me to one of the small rooms on the right.
“The room is blacked out, so you can turn the bedside light on once the door is shut. There’s a pillow, some blankets and a sleeping bag in the footlocker. I’ll meet you in the silo at eight.”
He handed me a small wind up alarm clock.
I took it and nodded, too weary to tease them about having their own missile silo.
Of course, from what I’d seen of these two, I wouldn’t be that surprised if they did have a missile silo instead of a grain silo.
I dragged the pillow and sleeping bag out of the footlocker and collapsed onto the cot.