Elsewhere… Langley, Virginia.
“Sir, this food truck is clean.” The tech hooked his thumb through the beltloop of his jumpsuit, and indicated the vehicle with his other hand.
Agent Paul Carpenter sipped coffee from his navy blue, CIA logo mug, and followed the technician’s finger across the floor of the warehouse. He’d expected that they’d find something on the sweep of the truck, even if it was something as innocuous as an allergy pill, but apparently there was nothing to be discovered.
“What about FDA and State of Virginia regulations for vehicles like this? Anything off spec there?”
“No, sir. This truck conforms to, or exceeds the measures required by law.” He couldn’t keep at least a little respect from creeping into his voice.
Technician Young felt whoever operated a food truck like this one had to be an anal-retentive, safety fetishist. As a professional vehicle inspector for the CIA, it was almost embarrassing (on a professional level) to find nothing. Yet, it was a pleasant change from dismantling shaped-charge explosive devices, and other disturbing additions that had been made to government vehicles.
Carpenter sipped his coffee again, feeling slightly disappointed that the vehicle was so clean. On the other hand, he wasn’t completely surprised. Logan Manleigh’s personal records were also incredibly free of blemishes. The man, himself, had never missed a single tax payment, or received a speeding ticket—there was record of a single parking violation during his first week of business—during his teenage years. His business partners were equally uninteresting, from a security perspective.
“So, Young, in your expert opinion, is there a secure area in that truck where we can place our package without it being discovered?”
Technician Young scratched his head. The truck offered too many choices for this kind of operation. It wasn’t as though they were trying to stuff a nuclear device in a Mini Cooper, and make it invisible to scrutiny. After a few minutes of deliberation, he walked over to the truck, and gestured for Agent Carpenter to approach.
The CIA tech flipped open the external hatch on the truck’s side. The cavity it revealed was so large, packed with tubes, and pipes, that a dismembered human body could be stuffed inside and no one would be aware.
“This is the access hatch for the refrigeration system.” Young explained. “It is about twice the size of a typical food truck’s equipment for the same functions. The object you want to place is about 3 cubic inches in volume. There’s plenty of room in here—I could shove a fifty-megaton nuclear device in there and the coolers would still work.”
Carpenter looked at the young man, and smirked at how much pride there was in his voice. He’d remember Technician Young’s skills and confidence—you never know when you might need someone with a certain set of abilities.
“Good. I will deliver the package tomorrow, and you can make it happen.”
“Excellent! Do you need any EMP shielding, or armor, surrounding the object?”
“Great question, Young. EMP, and Level V armor, or the equivalent, would be good. I appreciate your attention to detail.”
“You’re welcome, sir. I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve my country.”
Paul Carpenter patted the younger man on the arm, and wondered when he’d become jaded about his job… probably when it stopped being about serving the country, and began to be about protecting the status quo.