Tuesday, June 19, 2012
The inside of the farmhouse was just as modern and pristine as the outside was dilapidated and ramshackle. Lane had a hard time processing exactly what he was seeing. It was like he had stepped from one century to another in time. Outside the house looked like what the movies would show in an 1850s era western and the inside resembled an extremely advanced communications center. The three men who had been in the suv with him led him down a brightly lit hall way to a small room with a table and two metal folding chairs in it. Lane noticed almost immediately that the room was windowless and was completely devoid of any artwork or furniture save the table and chairs. This was all really strange and yet somehow resembled almost every spy movie he had ever watched. These were the type of rooms used to interrogate a prisoner, usually through various methods of torture, in order to extract much needed information. But he had no information that anyone might need. He wasn't some high ranking official who might know how to save the world, hell he wasn't totally sure the world was worth saving in the first place. Who were these men,and what could they possibly want with him? "Mr. Rogers," the driver of the suv was speaking to him. " Please have a seat,and everything will be explained to you in a matter of minutes." "What could you guys possibly want from me? If it's money, I already told you I am broke,and if it is information, well, I am not privy to anything you guys might wanna know." "Please,take a seat and someone will be with you shortly." "Do I have a choice?" "Well, I can tase you again,but it won't help your visit here to be over any quicker and it could make your driving tomorrow rather painful." "As if that's not already going to be the case!" Lane was getting angry again,and he knew that if he were going to get out of this situation, he had to get control of that so he could focus on what they wanted from him. "Alright, I'll cooperate. Just hurry up and let me get out of here." "Thank you sir" the tall man replied, " we will expedite this as quickly as possible." Lane didn't have to wait very long before the door swung open and a huge bear of a man stepped into the room. He was so tall and broad that his body nearly filled the door frame and he almost had to stoop a little to keep from hitting his head on the top plate. "Oh great" Lane thought, "here is the one who gets to run bamboo under my fingernails to get me to talk about something I have probably never even heard of." "Hi there fella",the grizzly bear was speaking to him. "I heard your trip over here was a little rough. I'm truly sorry about that." "A little rough is a major understatement! Those goons tried to kill me before they got me here!" "Mr. Rogers, I am sorry they had to tase you,but it was necessary as I am about to explain to you. We have a matter that we believe you can help us with. Your qualifications for this type of problem are outstanding." "And what matter might that be? Who is 'we'? I don't know who you think you have,but I am not the right guy." "I assure you sir that you are most definitely the right guy. By the way,my name is Tony Jackson, I am sorry we haven't been properly introduced. We are part of a task force created back in the 90s by President George Bush, the senior Bush, to help with the fight against terrorist groups throughout the United States." "Mr. Jackson, I know for sure you have the wrong man now. You deal with terrorists, and I am just a trucker from North Alabama. I ain't got any skills,you could possibly use against terrorists." "Mr. Rogers,you have already used those skills for which we have detained you twice against terrorists,without even knowing it sir." "Stop callin me Mr. Rogers! I ain't got no tv show,and I don't wear a sweater. My name is Lane! And when in the world could I have possibly fought terrorists? I have never served in the military or in law enforcement!" "Ok, Lane, I will tell you when you faced off with terrorists. Do you remember last summer when your truck was nearly hi-jacked on its way to the port of Pensacola, Florida?" "Yes I do! There were four men in an suv who followed me for over 300 miles. I noticed them and kept track of their movements and when I called my dispatcher, he put in a call to the Georgia Highway Patrol and we were able to lure them into a rest area near Valdosta. I had a load of Dell computers worth around two million dollars onboard that they were trying to steal. The officers who responded got into a shootout killing three of the men and critically wounding the other man. I suppose he died in the hospital later." "Actually, he did not die. He is a prisoner in Guantanamo Bay even now as we speak. Those men were part of a terror cell known as First Strike. The man who was wounded was interrogated several days after the incident and we learned much useful information from him." "What would terrorists want with computers?" "Well, they would resell them on the black market and use the money to purchase supplies and weapons." "Wow, why didn't my dispatcher ever tell me about this?" "Well, he didn't know. As far as anyone needed to know, it was simply a blocked hi-jacking attempt. We even let it leak to the press that the man had died from his injuries. We did all this because, if First Strike didn't know he was alive, then we could possibly gain some insight into their organization without them knowing we were doing so." "Ok, all of that makes a little sense, but how do I fit in? I don't understand what you want me to do." "It is really simple Lane. You can spot when someone is trying to hi-jack your load and you know how to respond to it. We need that skill,so you can teach our agents how to do what you do." "You have agents who drive trucks?" Lane was almost disbelieving. "Yes, we do. Sometimes,we need to move special cargo around the country, cargo that the general public can not know is being moved. So,we have a special fleet of trucks and three agents dedicated to that task. However, we lost two of our agents this year. They were hi-jacked at gunpoint and later shot and killed. We need someone who can spot these kind of things,before they happen. We believe you to be that man."