She shook her head and answered John’s question with a lie.
“No, I was mistaken. So much about mortal technology makes no sense to me.”
Luckily, they didn’t seem to remember their momentary syncophantic behavior. She hoped they never would. Things were complicated enough without them developing some kind of fear that she would toy with them like puppets.
“Well, now that you’ve seen the insides that way, do you want me to show you the truck the way we see it?” John asked.
“Yes!” Etty didn’t have to feign her affirmative.
John smiled and proceeded to give her a traditional tour.
Somewhat less than a mile down the road, an oddly shaped black truck was parked in a vacant field. It was almost the same size as the mobile kitchen parked in Logan’s driveway, but that was where the resemblance ended. With armor panels, thick, black windows, and non-pneumatic tires, it was built for very specific purposes… putting customers at ease wasn’t one of them.
Special Agent Clark was observing the feed from the surveillance cameras mounted on (and in) the Manleigh Cheese truck. He listened closely to the audio, too. The conclusion he was rapidly coming to is that these three people were insane, and delusional. Failing that, they were in possession of some sort of heavily psychedelic drugs, and had taken a hit.
“They’re acting like the truck is sentient, sir.” Clark commented to his superior.
“What do you mean, Clark?”
“Turn to channel three and listen.” Clark replied. “It is pretty strange.”
Agent Radcliffe flicked a button and listened intently to the end of the conversation. It was pretty odd, so he hit rewind, and listened to everything from the moment Logan Manleigh and Donna Abrams approached the vehicle.
“I disagree, Clark. They’re talking to someone we can’t see. Give me the footage from camera #4, and #9 on my screen.”
He complied, and his superior reviewed the footage.
Radcliffe watched the footage, grumbled to himself, and typed a few choice commands into the keyboard of his workstation. A satellite, high above the planet, pointed hundreds of millions of dollars worth of stealth-penetrating sensors, and cameras, at Logan Manleigh’s home.
Two minutes later, Radcliffe knew no more than he had learned from the terrestrial surveillance material. John Frost, Logan Manleigh, and Donna Abrams were acting very strangely around their truck. Beyond that, everything was totally normal. The package in the cooling system was not disturbed or discovered.
“Clark, raise Team 2. Have them prep to do a live recon on our signal. As soon as everyone has left or returned to the house, give them the go ahead.”
“I’m going to log the anomalies, and report them in the morning. You take the first shift, and wake me up in three hours. Clear?”
“Yes, Agent Radcliffe.”