Jack P Rocket-Man continues his narrative about Airport Strangeness in 2003.
Jack P Rocket-Man is NOT REAL. Disclaimer: no warranties expressed or implied.
REM: You were telling your Engineering Partner, Johnstone, the story about that sub-zero night in ’03 at the THT International Airport 40 miles west of here… The black jet on Tuesdays, Mr. Airport Director, the frost-free visitors, the control tower…
JPRM: It sounds like you’re telling it. OK. Let me help you. More coffee…That mystery device, presumably electronic. Like I said, it was very user-friendly. I found it in the pocket of my rent-a-cop security outfit, next to my little brick cellphone, two pens, and a 3×5 notebook. The wind-chill, the fatigue, 12-hour shift you know, being spotted by the Airport Director and his buddies dressed for summer at 04:00 at the south runway…
The device seemed to be hybrid, electronic, and… what? Organic? Sentient? Alive?Somebody else was obviously logged on when I must have picked it up reflexly, trance-like. The mystery device, henceforth the MACHINE, it lit up when I touched it. Since I wasn’t Egyptian, Assyrian, or Martian, I vocalized “QWERTY,” along with a swear word, and the familiar English Keyboard appeared. Like a monkey, I touched the Q…
“Q” must have been my password! The machine was clearly foreign-made, in that U.S.A., Land of the Urban Legend… First thing, it began heating up. It’s a hand-warmer! I should have stashed it in my pants pocket that night! But, it started getting REALLY HOT, I was immediately grateful it wasn’t in my blue polyester security trousers. I got scared… Was immolation the penalty for unwittingly spying on aliens from a black jet airplane?
Well, there were sensors in the machine, and it backed off. My wife Louise tells me I was born with a low pain and heat threshold, and for a man, I’m a bit of a p…. you know. Just when things begin to get happy, the device starts moving in my hands, not exactly writhing, like a cobra snake, but… cellphones don’t grow as if you just watered them and fertilized recently.
I had examined the machine in the sodium-vapor lighting, and dawn was approaching, but not enough illumination for exemplary detail and color rendition. The thing was monolithic, and expanding, and I found out why! That keyboard disappeared, and this beautiful ultra-fine resolution monitor as large as my hand, large, was displaying some sort of meeting… a NetMeeting!
REM: They could see you, Mister Director, and his guests?
JPRM: I was hoping they couldn’t. Things are getting dicey because: (1) I’m not watching the automobile traffic which is what an “Outside Security Guard” does; (2) I’m playing with an “electronic device,” at least I’m guessing it is one partly, while on shift; (3) My buddy and co-worker Patrick, who I’m covering for, is a very sound sleeper, AND it’s 05:00; time for BOTH of us to be working, the customers, the deliveries, the traffic, is growing exponentially.
I’m still a quick thinker, and I haven’t been looked back at, or spoken to by the five of them, the huge man, and the “pygmy aliens,” small about five-eight, like me. That machine is part electronic or alien-equivalent, computer-like, except friendly… It can expand like it’s inflatable and warm my body with the wind chill a Minus-Twenty-Fahrenheit. I don’t see any little camera sensor, it probably emerges as required.
Plus, I haven’t been zapped by a death-ray. I’m going to “spy,” about 90 Seconds, because: (1) Engineers are wickedly, insanely curious; (2) 50-Percent chance exists that I’m already a dead man walking, they’re ALIENS, I told you…
There’s a learning curve with the mystery machine, and I’m onto it. There are numerous sensors, plus it reads body language, that’s it! Ray Kurzweil, the futurist, inventor, maybe he’s one of the visitors? I hope not… He looks really friendly on that WikiPage. The thing has sensors, it can read body language, eye contact likely, so I’m not displaying any fear… I’m a good bluffer. Additionally: I am convinced it’s reading my mind. 90 Seconds and I’m off to fetch Patrick.
I’m extremely preoccupied, stressed. You know what “eidetic” means? It’s a photographic memory: except it can be for sounds and feelings, as well as words and images. Which gets me nowhere on the talent scale, but it’s fun. “Good Vibrations” by the Beach Boys is playing in my head, I’m hypnotized, grooving. Who needs an iPod? The Director dude and his little pals appear to be on Floor Six-Point-Five at the International Airport Control tower, based on the little spy-viewer in my hand.
REM: “Floor Six-Point-Five?”
JPRM: Who are you, my wife Louise, in a monkey outfit? Floor Six-Point-Five is long gone now, it was part of the ruse… Patrick and I used to work “Inside Security,” in fact he’d go in to substitute. Me, I hated it in there. ID’ing all those people, with extremely diverse personal habits… never mind… Anyhow Patrick is some sort of savant when it comes to architecture, and he shows me, explains how the tower merges, connects to the main structure. And…
The Floor Six-Point-Five is partial, and the combination of the thick reflectively glazed window panels, a few of which are not really windows… Six-Point-Five faces south, at Runway B, there’s a lot of noise, maintenance, counter-terrorism observation, little kids disembarking and squealing like the little noisemakers they are, well it’s… chaos and hell out there. Plus, the secret area, it’s gone now… it wasn’t a regular rectangular solid, more like a polyhedron, like a carnival fun-house, all tilted.
Long story short, it was hidden. Thanks to smelly savant Patrick, who went missing… forget I said that… I’m walking and listening to the music concert in my head. And that big Mr. D. and his cohorts are inside there, I’m watching them on the MACHINE, Like I said. Suddenly the lighting changes, automatically, in the secret-tower-room, but “human-quality automation,” glitchy. The sun’s rays from the east corner are entering…
I get a good look at the four visitors. They are black, not as in African People or Russian Blacks; they’re black, MATTE BLACK like that jet airplane that has now vanished from Runway B!
“Security Eighty-One, Security Eighty…” That’s the Shift Supervisor, Mickey, calling on the ancient walkie-talkies we get stuck with.
He’s paging me. “Eighty-One” is my tag on that morning, Wednesday.