Author : Steve Smith, Staff Writer

Geff opened and closed his eyes. The darkness was absolute, so neither state made a difference. He could feel rather than hear the thin air screaming past his projectile encasement, launched as it was from near the edge of the atmosphere at a target halfway around the globe from where he strapped in.

If the engineers had missed one calculation, if the production crew had misaligned one scrap of material.

Now was not the time to think of such things.

Geff gauged the time from the insertion and readied himself for braking and impact, for it was the time to think of those things.

Anyone at the airfield looking at radar would see nothing, his vessel entirely organic. No metal, no electronics, a bernoulli laser guidance system lit the target and optics and thermally activated flaps course corrected on the way down.

It was the highest tech brute force incursion vehicle Geff had ever seen.

As pressure marked a set altitude, explosives deployed flaps and chute panels, slowing the multi mach decent rapidly, Geff feeling the crush of deceleration. Seconds ticked by, then the pressure eased as the panels disintegrated into dust, lost in the late evening cloud cover.

Geff bit into his mouthguard and let his body relax.

The missile struck behind hanger three, puncturing the ground and digging in nearly thirty feet. Inside the vessel, Geff decelerated the length of the capsule itself, the material beneath his feet collapsing into the crumple zone, gradually slowing him to merely a jarring thud as he reached the bottom and stopped.

For a long moment there was silence. Geff flexed. Feeling no broken bones, he relaxed.

“That was the easy part.”

Pushing at the capsule panel in front of him, he set off a series of charges around the outside of the craft, then pushed around until part of the shell broke away, finding himself with a rough access point into a maintenance tunnel. Uncanny precision.

Pulling himself through the opening and finding the tunnel empty he unholstered his Glock and set off along the route he’d been memorizing for weeks.

It took nearly fifteen minutes to reach the fueling tanks buried beneath the hanger floors, by which time he imagined a large contingent of soldiers would have gathered at the hole he created top side. He hoped the hole would have caved in on itself, masking the true nature of the impact.

Up a ladder into a brightly lit hallway. Geff worked his way carefully towards the pilot’s ready rooms without seeing anyone. Inside he secured a helmet and gloves which mated perfectly to his suit. Again, the depth of the intel and the precision of his engineering team was commendable.

Weapon stowed, gloved and helmeted he stepped out onto the hanger floor, walking purposefully towards the shimmering craft that rested on pedestals at its center. He couldn’t tell if he was being observed, as any look away from his target would show uncertainty and invite unwanted attention.

Geff reached the entrance to the craft without any resistance at all.

“This is almost too easy.” The thought troubled him, but he climbed inside, and with a brief struggle deciphering the glyphs and the Cyrillic translations tacked up beside them, he closed the outer door.

Geff moved quickly to the cockpit, studying the control surfaces and the scattered notes of the local engineers. Engrossed as he was he was startled by a voice inside his head.

“You intend to remove me from this place?”

“Yes, I certainly do.”

“Good. I wish to leave. What did you bring to free me?”

Geff stopped fumbling at the controls. This was a warplane he was stealing. Wasn’t it?

“What do you mean, you should be equipped with every weapon we need to blast out of here, that’s kind of the plan.”

Geff could feel a flood of disappointment and resignation in the voice inside his head as it spoke again.

“I suppose that means you’re a prisoner now too.”

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