“Oh, my goodness.”
“Sam, I hate it when you say something like that out loud and then expect me to beg to know what has you upset. Can’t you just go ahead and tell me?” Bill asked.
“I’m sorry. Lee stayed at the hanger rather long. I expected her to head home. She waited to leave until a couple of Red Tree soldiers showed up in full gear. They had duffels and some equipment cases like they aren’t just paying a visit and they appear to be putting cameras and sensors out.”
“You probably precipitated that,” Bill King speculated.
“Then why not right after my visit?” Sam asked.
“Fair point. But maybe they would have been lax without anybody nosing around. The way you described it the aircar was just a shell at that point. You said it was up on stands. I bet it didn’t have the pods mounted yet, did it?”
“No. I can’t say I ever saw them sitting around either,” Sam admitted.
“Well, in any case, now they have a functional vehicle, with whatever is in those pods to make it go,” Bill said. “You may assume the chassis you saw before is nothing special so it wasn’t worth guarding. Be happy you didn’t go snooping around and get caught by Red Tree’s Finest instead of an irate mechanic. I doubt they’d let you go as easily.”
“I can’t argue that. These boys looked hardcore. I’ve been trying to think how we could use this locally instead of reporting it home and everything I come up with is simply too dangerous.”
“Keep thinking that way. And warn me if you suddenly get crazy brave because I don’t want to be anywhere around when you start juggling this time bomb.”
“No, I won’t do anything stupid,” Sam promised. “It’s just frustrating. We’ve been here years and when we finally start getting some important intelligence everything has changed so it’s pretty much useless to us.”