The Craft

    There was a deafening rumble from some place deep beneath their feet, and the ground began to shake. Everyone lept to their feet in a commotion, wondering what tremendous force was awakening beneath the earth. But those who had trust in the situation did not panic, and instead, looked to the Leader with amused suspicion, wondering what terrific surprise he had in store for them all. The Leader walked outside into the night and everyone followed.

    And then, the ground opened up in the field adjacent to the hall. Everyone calmed their motion, but continued to stare with racing minds. Two tremendous flaps folded back, a layer of grassy ground clinging to the shining metal. Then, whatever lay beneath the surface began to rise. Some began to wonder why the Leader hadn't taken it a step further by adding an escape of dramatic smoke, and maybe some flashing lights.

    Soon they recognized it for what it was as it emerged from its hiding place with silent patience. It was a jet. But not just any jet.

    "Introducing...the Venture Craft!" the Leader exclaimed. "It makes use of my personal stealth technology to maneuver its way into any situation. And maneuver it does! It can swivel, dodge, chop, rotate, roll, blast, arc, dive, dip, and swallow!" The people stared. The Leader was hidden in a flurry of waving arms and ecstatic exclamations.

    He calmed himself into a gentle smile and said simply, "And of course, it can Zip." He used the word 'Zip' as if it were highly technical terminology. "This baby can fly two feet off the ground if it wishes. Or it can nearly break the atmosphere."

    A few of the other engineers in the crowd moved forward without thinking, wishing to examine the beauty of the creation.

    The Leader stopped them. "Now, now," he said. "You will get a full demonstration of its 'functions' in due course. But for now, just know of its existence...and be in awe."

    Then he turned to address the people. "Let me say that this is the greatest form of transportation a film crew has ever had and the greatest form of transportation a federal secret service has ever had. You're going to love it."

    There was a pause and then he said, "I believe it is time to load up. A few of my closest will jump on ahead with the Venture Craft and meet you all in Peru." A few eyes were raised. "But the first step in your transport is to board one of the inconspicuous vehicles parked at the rear of the building. You will be driven to the airport. And this," he motioned to a short fellow in a jean jacket and ruffled blond hair. "This is Jan. He is the Second in Command. You will not see me for a few days so follow him as if he were the Leader. I am to join the actors in the scene where we all die. That's in the apartment basement in New York. You'll all catch on to the story line soon enough. But until Peru, good luck and make yourselves useful."

    Then the Leader was gone, striding away towards the Venture Craft, a few men in black suits emerging from the darkness to join him. And in another few minutes, the jet had vanished silently into the night's cloud cover.

The End

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