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A Close Call

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Post by Guest Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:00 pm

”Sir, I’m going to have to ask that you come with us.

The words were spoken over Ken’s shoulder as he sat in the terminal waiting for his flight to board. On his lap sat his laptop where he had previously been working on a new algorithm to penetrate security on side by side wireless systems, much like the way the computers here at the airport were set up. The goal had been to cross from one grid to the other by forming a virtual bridge between them and allowing them to communicate freely behind the defenses of their firewalls. Ken slowly closed the lid of his computer and allowed the numbers to continue crunching as he tried to remain respectful to the transit authority officer.

”I appreciate your worry and I understand your concern but I promise I’m allowed to be doing what I am currently doing.”

”Sir, this is not up for discussion. Either come with us peacefully or we will be forced to treat you as hostile.”

It was not surprising to Kenneth that their systems had caught him snooping, it was an international airport fully equipped to handle a smalltime intrusion like the one he had initiated. Of course the new program he was writing would be used on much smaller and more delicate systems than a militarily fortified transit system. Slowly he pushed his laptop into his bag which was promptly snatched up by a second security guard. His eyes narrowed and he turned to face the man who had apprehended his property with some malice despite the silence he maintained. He followed the first while keeping a close eye on the second.

Truthfully he blamed his lack of uniform for this misunderstanding, had he been wearing his military blues these rent-a-cops would not have dared to question his standing or prodding of their systems. They might be following procedures at the moment but it did not comfort the boy who might miss his flight to his assigned station due to an interrogation into how exactly he had prodded the system and put their IT nerds on alert that someone was attempting to access restricted pieces of the Airport’s virtual infrastructure. Kenneth’s musings were cut short as the trio arrived to a door marked clearly as “Staff Only”. Entering behind the first guard, the closing of the door felt like a gulag gate slamming closed. Kenneth visibly flinched from the noise.

”Look, I get it. You caught me, good job. Just look in my bag in the outer pocket on the right. My military ID is-“

”Sir, your belongings are being confiscated to be examined by our experts to figure out exactly what you had done. Do you have any other forms of identification? Someone we can call? Your commanding officer ‘soldier’?”

Kenneth did not find it humorous. Not in the least. The man wanted to throw insults and doubt at his feet for being young and admitted into the Amestrian military machine. Whether this pudgy schmuck thought it the truth or not, Kenneth Melwood was a dog of the military for now and until the day he died. As they walked down the narrow hallway towards what Kenneth assumed was an interrogation room, the guard with his bag attempted to go through a door to their left and separate from the procession. That was the moment Ken was personally waiting for. His from his sleeve he produced a folding tactical knife and listened to the click as it opened. He was far from a combat expert but in situations like this is where he thrived. He slid to the side and pinned the man with his bag against the wall with the knife pressed to the tender flesh of his throat as Kenneth’s empty hand sought out the pistol strapped to the guard’s waist. It was sudden, unexpected, an ambush in the only style of fighting that would ever be suitable for an intelligence agent.

The pistol was pulled free of its holster and he leveled it at the first man who was about to intervene quite physically. With both men pinned, one by knife and one by pistol, Kenneth finally had the moment he needed to explain himself to the pair. Taking a deep breath and thanking fate that these two were not fully capable soldiers, he spoke calmly.

”Sir, please forgive my hostile actions, but my computer is technically military property and has far more restricted information than your pay grade will ever allow. Now please slowly reach into the pocket I spoke of earlier. My identification is in there.”

The man nervous reached into the pocket, pulling out a small bundle of documentations that appeared to be a passport with identification. Flipping it open slowly, both men strained to see the writing on the parcel as Ken released the man he had pressed against the wall and lowered the pistol. After their audible sighs of relief and the boy’s offering up the pistol butt first to be returned to its owner, as he himself noticed he had never undone the safety and could have very well gotten himself killed in the exchange. He scratched the back of his head with his newly emptied left hand while folding the blade to be replaced in his sleeve. Both security guards read over his credentials and checked long and hard to spot it as a forgery. Satisfied, and a little embarrassed to be outdone by a seventeen year old, both saluted and stepped to the side with an apology.

”Sorry Sir, pardon the interruption. It won’t happen again Cadet Captain Melwood”

Sad that they did not recognize that his own rank was far below their own, their eyes probably locking onto the word captain and ignoring the cadet which allowed Ken to seem much more important than he was. His computer had no state secrets or programs on it, nor did the state own it. It was simply his preferred platform and slowly put together from scratch by the boy and he was not eager to share his own personal projects with the likes of two-bit security at an airport.

Cadet Captain Melwood pushed these thoughts to the back of his mind as he jogged to return to his plane gate to catch the flight just in time. He plopped into his seat and settled the courier styled bag into his lap and leaned his head back against the headrest. Closing his eyes, Kenneth thought about his future and the military in general. One thing was for certain, he would not be straying too far without his military blues again for a long time. He adjusted his glasses, thinking it proper to take a nap on his way to what would become his new home for a time.


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