The Device
Chapter 5

Copyright© 2013 by JOHNNY SACHU

David Evans was keeping his mind busy, doing a little soldering, after the loss of Betty. She had simply left him. They had both come to the conclusion, she before him, that they simply weren't on the same intellectual page and that, "They would never be happy together." At least, that's what she had said. If he didn't stay busy, he'd start to cry.

The intellectual part was true enough, but David was more than willing to adjust and had tried to do anything and everything she liked and wanted to do. She was his life. And time, after all, was on his side. He had a key, of sorts, to its secrets and David knew he was the only one on earth who possessed that knowledge. He would and did adjust to her and had grown to love Betty. She had taught him about intimacy and friendship more than anyone he'd ever come across. She had convinced David as to the wisdom of their going their separate ways, and reluctantly, he relented, seeing the logic of her argument. So, Betty left.

But on landing, Betty's plane mysteriously bounced across the field in an extremely rough landing over the Pierre Regional airport, of South Dakotas capitol, killing her and no one else. It was a neck injury, they claimed. The FFA said it had been a wind-shear phenomena that had caused the accident, but David wasn't going for it. She had been sitting next to one man whom David had tried to track down but who had mysteriously disappeared. And David was suspiciously angry about that.

He could only blame one entity. The United States Government. With a flame brewing in his gut, he concluded, "If they want a war, then I'll give them a war. The cowardly bastards!" he swore. David didn't believe for one second, that Betty's death had be accidental. "No freaking way," and wanted his revenge. And when he wanted to do damage, whoever had offended him should have some very real concerns, if indeed they knew him in the least. "I'm going to make them pay," he promised no-one but himself.

Finishing up the left and final hand control on his new project that Betty had suggested he build for fun he studied his work. She having been privy to all his abilities, he was doing this for her.

Turning off the soldering iron, David stared at the item and was satisfied with its quality, taking a sip of his cherry cola. The tool was solid and strong. "Nothing but a high velocity bullet could damaged it," he mumbled, "once sealed; And that would have to be a direct hit."

The item fit over his left wrist and two metal braces connected with a stiffener to both pieces. A control ball would guide and direct him in flight as easily as other designs he'd come up with. A firing button, just next to it, or activator, that would more precisely describe the mechanism, was the other control. It started the rocket pack, or engine, depending on the description and knowledge of the one describing his invention.

The other control, to be worn on his right wrist and hand, between the empty space between thumb and index finger, out of the way of a fist or if he were holding anything, controlled the power and speed of his flight. It also contained the stasis field activator button that would self contain him in a protective field of power, for any speed faster than 200 hundred miles per hour, or slower. It didn't stop time but it did stop effects from outside the field from entering it. It would effectively surround him in something similar to, but not exactly a time field, and leave David, while in flight or on the ground, virtually impregnable. He could fly through an atomic blast without even feeling it, provided he activated the field before he got to it. And he figured 200 miles per hour was about all his body could control without it. He'd gone one hundred and seventy miles an hour on his super bike. At that speed, the wind buffeting bordered on uncontrollability. He figured he could do a little more in his new invention, without the stasis field, but honestly, he figured he'd probably activate the field at closer to one hundred miles per hour or slower. Air could really throw you around and he didn't want to brake an arm or leg, or end up as a bloody pile of strawberry jam tumbling into some hill side or sandbox, somewhere.

All this technology came out of his initial research into his device. The machine he wore around his neck and which never left him, except in the shower. His time machine, which he simply thought of as, "The Device," would make most of his designs unfathomable to most scientists, if they knew anything about them, which they didn't and never would. But it had made this invention possible, just as it had the various other systems incorporated into it.

David's plan was to destroy many of the key areas of Area 51, Groom lake, Fantasy Land, Tonopah, or whatever the hell it's official name was. Killing someone was not what he had in mind, though he would like to find that man that had killed Betty. But he was going to make the government pay a heavy price for taking her life.

He did consider that all of this, if it were true that the government was waging a private war on him, and any one he was affiliated with, was ... in the long term ... his own doing and his fault. He was the one that had first initiated all this fuss by going into Area 51 in the first place, wasn't it? But David rejected the thought. "The government has been misleading the public for decades about it's existence, the bases real function, and feeding stories about aliens and flying saucers being retro-engineered to the wacko's that were stupid enough to believe such bilge. How many lives had they mislead and semi controlled, or out and out wasted and ruined by doing so, all these decades? If they really have no interest in me, or had nothing to do with Betty's death, then I'll exact my revenge on them for the former reasons. The hell with them and their pathetic little toys." He firmly felt it was his turn to throw them a freaking whammy. And he had had enough of worrying whether they were watching him from afar or not. They were going to pay for one thing or the other. There would be no forgiveness. Not this time.

David ran a simple diagnostics check on the soldering connection before sealing the unit. It worked perfectly, testing it ten or eleven times. Putting it carefully onto the die, under the fifty ton press, David activated it, bringing the upper ram down three times, making certain everything was in alignment before putting a mere ten thousand pounds of pressure to the two pieces of exotic metal that effectively sealed the delicately soldered pieces and electronics.

Withdrawing the final product, he turned off the press and leaned back against the lower table, which was three and one half feet in thickness. The press was made up of high carbon steel raised on blocks of railroad-like ties that supported the entire press, which was bolted to the concrete flooring with sixteen one inch bolts. The wood raised the whole unit another eight inches off the cement but was extremely stable. Four stainless steel hydraulic arms supported and drove the upper table surface. It was about four and one-half feet in thickness, but with the machine turned off, it was always in a raised position.

He inspected the item. It was sealed and impregnable. David doubted now, after turning the little piece of silver colored metal over and over, that even a direct hit from an M-16 could not damage that little sucker. It would take at least a sixty caliber to hurt it, but hoped that never happened. He'd probably loose an arm in the process.

David took it back to his work bench and rechecked it, making certain it worked. It was a beautiful piece of machining and construction, like everything he made, and felt proud of his fine, elegant work. David's genius and work ethic were his power but even with those gifts, he forced himself to embrace humility. No one was so good that they couldn't be corrupted by the destructive force of ego, something his college professors hadn't learned. A degree or two under their belts and they believed they were the authority on everything in their fields. Or so they thought.

Unlike the plane project, that David had draped with a silnylon tarp, there, in the back bay, essentially mothballed since Betty had left, David wanted to test and use this new invention immediately. In his Rocketeer outfit, even with all it's advanced technology, his body was still vulnerable to serious accident. Not that he didn't trust his design, he was absolutely certain it would work as imagined and executed into reality, but it was better to be on the safe side.

It was nine twenty-seven at night when he looked at the clock in the shop. David was worn down from his work and his daily two hour exercise routine, earlier in the day, but his excitement was too high to quell his interest to try out the suit.

He got all the pieces together, laying them out on the floor of the shop on top of a heavy sheet of clean canvas and went over them mentally, piece by piece. It was the perfect looking Rocketeer outfit. He had been wearing one, a fake but realistic reproduction of the one from the movie, to comic-cons, fanzines and sci-fi conventions. He had been attired with it when he'd first met her, at that fanzine in Independence, Missouri, last year. It had brought them together, initially but the thought of Betty and her loss and the attendance at her funeral, how it had devastated him, was more than David wanted to remember. He forced himself to concentrate on each item it had taken him eight full months to produce. She would be proud.

The suit itself was easy. Heavy though. It was backed with Kevlar and bullet proof materials, by civilian and police standards, but looked exactly like the Rocketeer's outfit. It was even more uncomfortable and warmer to wear than the fake costume, by far, so it had a self contained heater slash cooling units built into jacket, pants, gloves and boots, as well as the helmet. It also had the capacity to be sealed and pressurized for high altitude flight. He just hoped he wasn't dumb enough to forget to turn on the stasis field past eighteen or so thousand feet or past certain speeds. He'd probably pass out if he didn't.

The rocket pack, itself, was a fake and yet wasn't. It looked like The Rocketeer's propulsion pack, like in the comic books and movie, but housed the same type of propulsion device as the plane project he'd finished almost a year and a half ago, and had only used it a few times. David had miniaturized the rocket pack, of course, but had little doubt it could propel him to the same escape velocities as the plane could, inside the stasis field. It hid the longish bar-like propulsion unit, miniaturized heater and air conditioning units, both, combined, and about the size of one's fist. But it also contained a few added items, just to make it believable as a rocket pack, when David wanted to be seen or heard.

There were ultrasonics housed in it that worked liked high output speakers, which sounded about two hundred yards away at a cruising speed of eighty or so miles per hour. It would deafen him, otherwise. On take off, it would be very loud. The tech' worked a little like a ventriloquists ability to throw his voice. Another one of his little inventions, and sounded like a noisy F-16 fighter it was so intense, when turned on. Even with the throw-back sound, having bench tested it, it shook the water in his body.

The jet pack also contain a laser-similar light, slash, pulse system that gave the impression of an afterburner trail. It was complete with dots of intermittent heat burn spotting in its afterburner tail, that looked just like the SR-71's flame trail on take off, that was totally convincing. It was convincing because with the pulse feature, it threw air out of its way, giving the impression of an actual rocket blast. Especially with the fake motor noise. The flame and pulse were completely benign, though. It was just for looks. Another little ingenious idea of David's.

Besides that, the rest of the rocket pack was taken up with a small electronics computerized brain center and guidance system as well as pressurized oxygen, for high altitude flight. David calculated he had forty-six to forty-nine minutes of oxygen with him, if needed, depending on his exertions and how stressful the suit would be to use, which was still an unknown factor.

Going over every item like this, with the mental checklist in David's photographic mind, he was quadruple checking everything over and over again in his brilliant mind. He wanted no screw ups on this test flight he was planning.

The helmet was an advanced piece of exotic gear and one of the hardest and most time consuming items he had to create. It housed a face mask for breathing, when needed, two micro phones with quarter second delay on the second speaker system which made his voice sound so cool, he thought. "A lot like Darth Vader's." There were, of course, earphones which David could dial into various military and civilian communication wave systems by visually glancing at some electronic bars, dials and dots. Old tech' the military has had in use for years that followed eye movement. Lit panels inside the helmet made it easy to use the integrated navigation and radar apparatus, too. Kind of like a heads up display. Yet the helmet was, again, exactly like the Rocketeer's in appearance, from the outside. He could actually wear the sucker at a fanzine and no one would know it was for real.

His pistol was the real McCoy, too. A Mouser, C96, just like the fantasy hero, used. But his main weapon, was the one he wore in a shoulder holster, inside the leather jacket of the outfit. It looked like something out of a nineteen thirties Buck Rogers comic strip. It worked somewhat with sound but mostly within the confines of the time and stasis field technology he'd developed. It could be deadly but was adjustable. It could knock a man on his butt, just for kicks, at five or five thousand yards, or totally flatten an Egyptian pyramid with a single pull of the trigger, or anything in between. He'd tested it and gotten used to using it out in the forests of mid latitude Canada. It was about as big as a German Luger but only half as thick. It was made of metal and high impact plastics. It was the tool he planned to use to destroy the aircraft development facility of those lying bastards in Groom Lake and deliver a fervent message to the U.S.A. with.

The brown, knee high boots and black outer leather gloves, both Kevlared and pressurized compatible, completed the perfect replica of the Racketeer's outfit.

David pulled off his running shoes and was unbuttoning his jeans, about to dawn the gear, but thought of his stinky armpits, and went upstairs to take a hot shower. He put on clean briefs, T-shirt, and knee high synthetic socks then trotted back to the shop. It didn't take long to put everything on and when he had completed his assembly of the suit, he walked to the area in back of the shop, where there was plenty of room. But remembering the test run of Iron Man, in the movie, with his propulsion boots, where too much power resulted in a small disaster, David decided to step outside and away from the mansion.

He stopped time so no one could see this. His house was isolated in the middle of the woods and no one would see him, he hoped.

David took a breath, tried to be ready for the reaction of the engine and turned it on. The item gently hummed to life and lifted him from the ground with just a little thrust. As he added power, it amazed him how maneuverable the unit was and how easy it was to control. He set himself back down on the ground and left the engine in what could be described as an idle. David walked around a bit, getting a feel for the thirty-one pounds of extra weight he was carrying and then decided to give the suit a real test, and take it up to altitude. He was either going to have a great ride or die.

Leaving the light and sound off, for stealth reasons, David turned them off by the easily accessible switches on the side of the rocket pack. He powered up and took off, accelerating hard. He could feel the deep pull of the harness built into the trousers as his bodies weight resisted the force of gravity. The rocket pack propelled him amazingly fast and upward into the stars. He rolled the directional control and leveled out, checking radar for other flying vehicles in the area then added additional power. He glanced at the speedometer, if you could call the readout in the helmet that, and saw he was doing a hundred and twenty-one miles an hour. He pushed the stasis button and the wind noise and jerking at his clothing disappeared. It was like he was floating and he took the suit and himself up to several hundred miles per hour. Everything seemed to be working as it should.

"What the heck," David said, feeling exhilarated, and gave the throttle ball a big push forward. David couldn't feel it, the thrust forward inside the stasis field, but the countryside and small town lights below him began to pass by at a phenomenal rate. He saw a few blips on the radar screen. They were at a safe distance, airplanes or helicopters, most likely, but David decided that a higher altitude would be safer. He adjusted the directional control and powered straight up like a fighter jockey, adding more thrust. He soon left the atmosphere behind as he kept dialing more power out of the throttle ball. David could sense the power but still, his feeling of flight and motion was minimal. He looked at the Speedo. Sixteen thousand and change. "Crimony!" he shouted, with a grin. He backed off on the power and leveled his flight out.

From where he was, turning over on his back with a small maneuver, the stars looked beautiful. He hadn't noticed that in the plane, this last year. Not to this degree. The suit was much more interactive and personal. Rotating back towards the earth, David watched the distant lights of the cities far beneath him. It was like a photograph from a satellite, but moving and almost unbelievable in its majestic image.

He glanced at his altitude. One hundred and forty-something thousand. "Unbelievable!" For the hell of it he popped it up another ten and pushed the throttle ball forward some more. He was doing twenty-seven thousand miles an hour within moments. David tried to comprehend the speed and appreciate what was happening but he only laughed after a few weaves and bobs, not feeling any centrifugal force. The stasis field protected him completely. He made a wide turn, wide but quick and if not for the stasis field, he knew he would have passed out in any kind of conventional military plane. David didn't feel a thing. High performance aircraft could not do anything like it, he knew, knowing it impossible for a body to take those kinds of forces.

David was in a world of his own and loved the feel of the suit. He practice turning, diving and climbing but after an hour, he found himself yawning, tired and exhausted, and headed home. He carefully watched his speed and it wasn't until he'd slowed to fifty miles and hour and was only a quarter mile from home that David switched off the stasis field.

When he landed and shut the suit off, he felt the stasis field button needed an adjustment. It was too easy to push on and off. He didn't want to turn into a fireball at several thousand miles an hour or be torn to tiny pieces at several hundred, at speed. He went inside to the shop, removed his helmet, and took a small philips screwdriver off the tool wall and adjusted the push tension on the stasis button. David dawned the helmet again, tested the button and it seemed perfect. It would take some doing to accidentally turn it on or off, now. It was much safer that way.

David removed the helmet and rocket pack in the kitchen and set them on the counter. If he was going to have any agility in this suit, he was going to have to physically train with a similar weight over all his body. It wasn't restrictive, it was just weight, and he had to get used to it.

David opened the refrigerator and got a half eaten pizza box off one shelf, unbuttoning one corner of the leather jacket to let out some heat, and a two quart bottle of apple juice. He walked heavily to the sofa and sat in front of the TV without turning it on. He lifted his pressure boots up onto the glass coffee table and crossed his legs with effort. Stuffing his mouth with a big bite of all meat pizza, David laid his head back on the top edge of the sofa. After the first slow bite, chewing like there was no tomorrow, David felt his hunger. He had missed lunch and supper. He took a long swig of apple juice and sighed at the cold, refreshing taste of it, and burped grossly.

After several more pieces, David felt full and got up, put the box with the one remaining piece back in the fridge, along with the apple juice, and called it a night. He set the alarm system and trudged upstairs to his room, the rocket pack slung over one shoulder, carrying the helmet by the leather strap, thinking about how to train with that kind of weight distributed all over his body, but hadn't come to a solution, yet. He laid the helmet and rocket on the bed.

Having to pee, David took care of business and then saw himself in a huge wall mirror. He turned this way and that and did a fast draw with the Broom Handle, Mauser. It didn't look right so he got the helmet, put it and the rocket pack back on and practiced drawing the heavy, awkward pistol. After ten or twelve pulls, David decided, that was another item he was going to have to practice. As well as getting to the other weapon, he'd made, out of the shoulder holster much faster, too. With practice, he knew how many of the buttons to undo but it would take much more repeats to do it efficiently.

He stripped off the suite and piled it up on the floor, at the foot of the bed and crawled in between the sheets. He clapped twice and the lights went out then slept like a baby.

David made another suit, as a backup for his primary unit. He would train in the Rocketeer's outfit. You couldn't get any better at it than that for actual on the job fitness training. Even though the new one was an exact replica of the first model, the helmet would have to wait. It was too difficult to construct. David didn't use the helmet, yet was still committed to making another as a back up, as well as another engine. He simply used a full face motorcycle helmet, for the moment. For the rocket pack, in training, he simply used a backpack with the appropriate weight in it. He trained with the pistols. He wanted to get comfortable with their movement and location as he moved. The Mauser was almost two pounds of metal, loaded. He practice shooting it as he ran and tumbled, becoming quite proficient with it.

He went for runs in the woods with the new fantasy suit of the Rocketeer, heavy boots and all, as well as doing more specific calisthenics of jumping, tumbling and spinning practices for almost two months until he found himself comfortable with the weight of the actual suit. Weight training was a useful tool, too. And pulling the two weapons he carried was another priority of practice. David fired many rounds from the Mauser and the main gun, on its lowest setting. He was feeling pretty cocky about his ability but knew that the real world was much tougher than he was.

He could do all the exercise and drills he wanted and there would still be others out there that could out perform him any day of the week. Even the worlds best athletes are only the best for a short while. But even though David felt good, he tried to stay humble, though it was so much fun playing with his stronger physical abilities, enjoying the process of his new bodily power, he couldn't help but indulge.

It was following an afternoon run that David decided on a date to attack his old nemesis, Area 51, and through it, the government pukes that had killed and innocent girl. He would not exercise for a couple of days, he concluded, let his body recuperate; he would eat right, and get lots of rest.

David would come in from Arizona, this time, instead of Canada, as he had in the plane, last year. Then if everything went his way, disappear into the mountains of central Mexico and slowly make his way back to the upper Midwest in darkness, just as he had before. He had taken numerous flights in the suit and the rocket pack and all the systems were working perfectly. But there was a possible problem.

David thought about the plane. If by chance he was somehow investigated, again, and the plane was discovered, it would be hard to explain. So David decided to hide it in space. He did some research and found out what the highest altitude, orbiting satellite was and took the ship up into space himself, and parked it several hundred feet in back of the satellite. With the Rocketeer's suit on and pressurized, he flew back to the earth in a mere eleven minutes. It wasn't a pleasant trip, however. His one hand swelled up from a small leak in the right glove, before he could turn on the stasis field. Even for that short duration of time and the very quick velocity he reentered the atmosphere at, it was still very hard on him, physically. He learned space could be a very unwelcoming host. In fact, it was a vicious, dangerous place and David wondered it he would ever recover the sleek craft, wishing he had chosen a closer orbit to hide the plane. He had chosen the high ground simply because he didn't want a spy satellite camera finding it by accident.

Via a slow, low level flight, his hand throbbing, once he got nearer to ground, again, David came in from the eastern seaboard, through Canada, as before, and made his way back home.

When he left the house, several days later, after dark, his hand was fine. He kept the afterburner lights and jet noise off, making his way to the southwest and then straight west to Arizona. By morning, he was resting on the Coconino Plateau in north western Arizona. Sitting under a juniper tree and chewing on some green stalks of fresh grass within arms reach of his reclined position, the rocket pack and helmet were beside him. David was completely alone and the only noise was that of the slow wind flowing through the tree's branches, overhead. He was waiting for the sun to rise high enough for the Nevada desert to be fully lit up.

He gave it plenty of time to climb, after sunrise, even taking a short nap, and slowly eating a granola bar and drinking twenty-ounces of Sam's WalMart water he'd brought with him, just before taking off. He laid the bottle aside, having pushed the granola wrapper inside the bottle and stuffed it in between some rocks, and got to his feet.

David dawned his helmet and rocket pack, breathed in and out a couple of deep breaths, being just a little nervous. In the back of his mind, he questioned whether he should do this thing. Yes he could do it. Remember Betty, he reminded himself. He may be the most powerful man on the planet but he was going to hurt his country's ability to defend and protect its self. But in the end, he threw the thoughts away, just like the bottle, stuffing them into the file they belonged in. After Betty's murder, they murdered her, and thoughts of all the lives that base had ruined, he had no sympathy for the government at this point.

He took off and climbed straight up, turning on the stasis mode, disappearing fast as a baseball disappears into the sun. David leveled off at one-hundred and fifteen thousand feet, having repaired the leak in his glove, then went into a very shallow dive, accelerating like an ICBM and staying at that speed until he crossed over Las Vegas. Way, way over it.

He could see from his navigation system he was approaching Area 51. From altitude, he got a visual of the unmistakable airfield and Groom Lake's long runway. They had rebuilt it after David had destroyed it last year, naturally.

He began slowing fast. David was pretty sure they knew he was coming, thinking he was a missile or some such thing. But when slowed to less than a hundred miles an hour and dropping to a couple of hundred feet, skimming the terrain, he doubted their knowledge of him. "Too small of a target, maybe, huh?"

He was now looking for his first pigeons, one of those four wheel drive guard vehicles. They always had two guards inside them, "Buddy system, probably," David thought. The people in those vehicles that surrounded the fenceless, hidden base and its perimeter were highly trained and mean as hell, from the scuttlebutt on the internet and television.

He spotted one and taking note, landed out of sight on the other side of a hill, several miles away. He took the letter he had been very careful about not getting finger prints on, and what it was typed with, and where he had bought the paper. He filled the envelope with a little sand from the ground he was standing on, to give the thing weight, and pressed the self sealing flap together. He stuffed the letter into an opening of his unbuttoned jacket, where it would be easily and quickly accessible. Then taking a raw egg out of it's special little hard container, he kept the raw egg very carefully in his hand, hoping he didn't break it.

David took off, causiously, the lights and jet noise blaring and landed briskly, directly in front of the hood of the four wheel drive Jeep. There were two tough looking dudes inside the car and his sudden appearance shocked the 'hello' out of them. David quickly withdrew the letter and held it up, clearly showing it, and threw it over his shoulder, in back of him. And as fast as he could, just as the two began to open their doors to get out, drawing their hand weapons, David threw the egg hard, directly into the center of their windshield. The two of them flinched and hesitated, giving David a little bit of bonus time to escape, even though he was in no danger. The stasis was on. He took off at a wicked pace, almost as if he were never even there, leaving the two guards in a dusty swirl, looking up and scrambling for the envelope.

He tried imagining what they were going to report. "Uh, sir. The Rocketeer just landed in front of us and threw an egg at our windshield. Yes sir, the comic book hero. What should we do?"

"Duh!"

From some distance away, he saw they had exited their Jeep and were retrieving the letter. He made a fast arcing turn, coming down from altitude and accelerating hard, the rocket noise blaring, the fake afterburner looking wicked. The intensely bright light was visible even in daylight. He withdrew his main weapon. It was preset to do a little damage, if the two of them were safely away from the vehicle. They were, he noticed, coming in fast and raised the weapon to aim.

David knew from testing, he could safely fire the weapon he had made from inside the stasis field. The field was designed to keep things out, but anything fired from within was completely safe to do.

The Rocketeer that he truly was, lined up the sights as he came in smoothly but very fast. He fired once and hit the Jeep square on the side. The two men were twenty feet away, reading the note and the concussion blast must have frightened the hell out of them but they were in no danger. It was a narrow beam with low power. It simply caved the car's near side half way in and flipped the vehicle over a dozen times or so as he flew past and upward in a graceful arc.

Going towards the main buildings of the base without landing, David holstered the weapon and reached beneath his collar. He stopped time as he flew. It would make him invisible. There were several large fuel/water tanks up on a hillside and David landed in the shadow side of one and stood there in the shade, and waited. He turned time back on but staid in stasis.

The letter he delivered said:

To base authority,

Evacuate all buildings and

head for the main runway. I

intend to flatten the base.

I will give one demonstration

to prove my resolve and ability.

You have twenty minutes to comply.

The Rocketeer

David thought that pretty threatening. He only hoped those two guards out on the perimeter had their hand held radios with them, so they could call the message in. The Jeeps radio might be ruined.

He waited a few seconds in the shade to catch his breath and think. He realized, he'd better get rid of the bases power, pretty soon, but not before communications had passed the word.

He flew down into the main hanger, rockets and lights blaring away. He wanted to be seen.

It was a huge place filled with planes and people. It would take too long to remove them all and David knew a little demonstration was in order. He had checked the outside of the building, making sure no one was out there. Removing his main weapon from its interior holster and adjusting the beam, he landed. He blew half the roof off the building and several sections of those eighty foot hanger doors. After the quarter sized and smaller debris had settled and everything had quieted down, he said in his loud Darth Vader speaker voice, "Evacuate this building immediately. I'm going to destroy it. Head for the far end of the airfield," he said, pointing. They could hear him, but he couldn't hear them, while the stasis field was on.

After that, he shot more of the hanger doors away and people started running. The doors buckled outward and flew across the taxis way in fragmented pieces, without explosive force. The weapon simply pushed things, encountering resistance, then tore it up. But at higher settings, it would disassemble anything into fine cellular dust and smaller micro particles.

He looked around, not hearing anything, being essentially deaf inside the stasis field, but sensed something. Seeing two men with M-16's coming at him, David adjusted his weapon to the lowest setting. They were firing their rifles at him, which had no effect. He lazily pointed his gun and fired, knocking them on their butts, their weapons went skittering across the hanger floor. It merely knocked the wind out of them. "Leave the hanger," he voiced, sounding angry and pivoting.

He left the interior, flying up and around the corner of the huge hanger, and stopped time again, once out of sight. David landed on what was left of the roof. They would be in a state of disbelief and confusion for some time, maybe even fear, but they would also be wondering who and what the heck he was, he knew, after he restarted time.

Seeing the control tower in the distance, he figured it would have minimal staff during the latter part of the morning. But it would create a lot of trouble if he destroyed it, when the fighter jets and attack helicopters started getting airborne and trying to find him. They wouldn't have communication with the ground control facility. Though he was certain they had other ways of coordinating things. These were the best of men and machines and redundant systems were probably very real. But this, destroying the main tower of the airfield, would create havoc and fear, just the same, and that's what he was trying to achieve.

In stopped time, David flew to the airfields tower and went inside the one ground level entrance door, turning on his air conditioning for the suit. It was hot as hell inside the suit, there in the desert. With stair climbing, it was going to get a lot warmer.

He found three people in the tall airfield control center, on the top window level. In stopped time, people and objects weigh practically nothing but he had to turn off the stasis field to grab them. He did just that but afterwards, turned it back on. He pulled them all down out of the place as if they were helium balloons. He carefully took them to an area about two miles away, on the south end of the airfield itself, making certain at least one of them had a hand held communications radio, but leaving them a couple of feet off the ground. He wanted them shook up, a little. Then flew back to the tower.

There were no cars or trucks nearby with people in them and feeling cautious, not wanting to hurt anyone, seriously, David went back inside. There was one door that was locked and David shot the lock away with his Mauser. It was an electronics room. No one else was in the building. David flew a fair distance away, set his main weapon to a serious power level, and released time and aimed. The building turned to dust and pebbles with a muffled explosive noise. The particles spread out in a long dusty "V" shape across two taxis ways, then quit moving, bouncing over the airfield to a messy stop. The dust of the concrete dissipated on the wind.

He looked up at the hillside. The several large fuel storage tanks would make an interesting impression. He flew to them and rechecked for personnel. There was no one around or nearby. He blasted them. They went up in silent particles and flames, but stopped halfway into their explosion, as David stopped time.

He went to a distant building and landed on the roof to watch, and turned time back on, removing himself from stasis, too. He wanted a breath of fresh air. It was a mistake, however, to have landed there. Even with his air conditioning unit on, the roof was like an oven, literally. David flew from there to the ground side of another building, a small hanger, that still had shade on one side, forgetting to stop time or turn the stasis field back on. The Nevada desert was brutal.

The explosions brought people running out of the buildings and the small hanger David was leaning against. They shook with the concussion forces of the fuel tank blasts.

Unnoticed by David, down the wall of the building he was standing near, was a door. A guard of some kind, maybe just some military man, thrust through it and saw him.

"Hey you," he yelled. "Freeze!" David heard him and realized he was still out of stasis and his protection. He put his thumb over the activation switch and as he began to turn around, the man shot him. The bullet hit him in the chest at an angle of about forty-five or fifty degrees, he discovered later. It hurt like hell and flattened David to the ground, but the Kevlar saved him. He was mindful enough to push the stasis button as the shooter approached him, both hands on his 9mm pistol, pointing it center mass at David's chest.

"Stay down," yelled the military man. David could read that much from his lips. But he ignored him and several more shots were fired. He could see the recoil shock of the man's weapon on the camouflaged clothing and his arms but the bullets had no effect on David, inside the stasis field. The merely bounced off. And he avoided rubbing his chest. He didn't want to give the guy the satisfaction of knowing he'd hurt him. David fired up the engine and ran the guy over like a two-hundred and fifty pound line-backer at full speed. It must have knocked him out.

David paused in mid air and looked back. The guy was as flat as a pancake and other people were streaming out of the same doorway, a couple going towards the soldier on the ground. David turned and sped off, being observed. When he flew low over the top of another large building he switched time off and found a small remote building far from the main hangers and other complex of buildings.

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