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Chuck Henry and the Secret Cargo

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Re: Chuck Henry and the Secret Cargo

Postby Boikat » Sat Sep 19, 2009 11:19 pm

[align=center]Chuck Henry and the Secret Cargo[/align]
[align=center]The welcoming committee[/align]

The Colonel started, "You've heard of Roswell, New Mexico...?"

"Yes", said Chuck.

"And the supposed UFO..."

"The weather balloon flap?"

"Well..."

Jimmy interrupted, "Airstrip!"

Chuck turned his attention to where Jimmy was pointing. He could make out a strip in the grass running parallel to the cargo ship. Chuck looked that the Colonel. "You'll have to fill me in on Roswell after we land. Tell everyone to strap in. We're going in."

The Colonel looked puzzled. "Are you sure that's a good idea?"

"Let's put t this way: Ten grand to deliver a crate with a question mark inside, to a destination that appears to still be a question mark on a map in a pitch black room... Need I say more about what is or is not a 'good idea' in my head?"

"Point taken." said the Colonel as he turned and went back into the cargo hold.

"Flaps at thirty.." said Chuck.

"Flaps, Thirty." echoed Jimmy.

"Bringing her around. Throttles to twenty.."

Again, Jimmy echoed Chuck. The huge ship swung back into view and Chuck used the rudder to swing the tail of the Curtis Commando into alignment with the strip, which appeared to be little more than a flattened line in the grass. Chuck could barely make out an arrow laid out in stone, pointing down the strip. Turning, he called back to the cargo section, "Hold on, this might be a little bumpy!"

Turning his attention back to the approach, he cut the throttles and let The Condor settle down. The landing gear bounced a bit on the relatively rough ground, but the aircraft held true, and using the toe brakes, Chuck slowed the aircraft and then let it coast down the strip for a bit, then used the rudders again to turn the aircraft back towards the giant ship.

The Commando was almost amid-ship when a hatch in the side of the ship opened like a drawbridge to a castle, and about a dozen men piled out. One was carrying a pole about ten feet long with a two foot long white arrow fastened to the top. The man planted it so that the arrow was pointing to Chucks right. Clearly, it was meant as a direction he wanted the aircraft to turn. The other men seemed to be carrying a long rolled up carpet, while others carried long poles. Chuck realized he'd seen the same thing before in the Pacific, during World War II. It was camo netting and support poles. Chuck turned right, then pressed down on the toe brakes and brought the aircraft to a stop. Outside, one of the men had dropped his poles and had run in front of the Commando, yet off to the left so Chuck could see him, and was motioning him forward. Chuck let off the brakes and let the aircraft drift forward until the man made a hand gesture that clearly meant "Stop", followed but the universal hand motion across the throat to "kill the engines." Chuck did so without even thinking about it. As soon as the props stopped spinning, the camo-net crew moved quickly and grabbed the netting and started pulling it out, and then using the poles, lifted it up and over the aircraft. Men with poles on the other side snagged the net and pulled it the rest of the way over the aircraft. The whole operation took less than a minute, and The Condor was covered.

Chuck turned back to the Colonel again. "Now what?"

"You're asking me?"

"I figure since we're on the ground, it's you're show. Besides, you're in charge of they guys with the guns, not me."

The Colonel nodded. "Okay." Turning to the Gi's, he said, "Henderson, with me."

One of the GI's stood and slung his shiny new M-16, "Sir!"

"On your toes." said the Colonel as he put his hand on the passenger hatch lever. "But don't put holes in anyone unless they look like they want to put holes in us."

Henderson nodded. The Colonel opened the hatch and jumped to the ground. Henderson followed.

The man with the pole with the arrow was standing nearest, and was standing as if expecting something. The Colonel figured he was the man in charge, and began to walk towards him, Henderson to the left and a few paces behind.

At about ten feet, the Colonel stopped and held up his right hand, palm forward. "Hello there."

The man was an older gentleman, and did likewise. "Hello to you too, sir." Then he nodded towards the Commando, "Fairly old rig you got there. I didn't think there was anything like her still flying."

"It's a long story." said the Colonel. Inside, he was relieved to see that there was no apparent hostility underlying the situation.

"Well, you'll be glad to know that you're the first. The others should be arriving over the next couple of nights. It was pretty risky flying in during the day, but then again, maybe the Goonies weren't expecting it.."

The Colonel almost said, "The 'Goonies'?", but managed not to. Instead, he said, "Yes. It appears we have much to discuss before the rest arrive... We've traveled far, and don't have a very good handle on the situation."

The older man looked at him in an odd manner. "From the boondocks, are ye?"

"You might say." said the Colonel with a carefully controlled smile, as if he ware discussing an inside joke.

"Well, all the better!" said the old man. "That means the word has reached almost everyone. Good thing the Goonies don't understand a lick of human-speak!"

"Goonies" again, thought the Colonel. He was going to have to figure out what that was all about without tipping his hand that he had no idea as to what a "Goonie" was. "Well, as I said, it's been a long trip for me and my crew..." he said, hoping the old man would invite them in, out, or something.

"I'm being rude, i suppose. Of course we can talk inside the 'Olympic Venture'. Please, call your men. We have ample supplies of food and drink. Besides, the next ship in should be ol' Chuck Henry. He's usually got he latest poop on the Goonies, anyway."

The hairs on the back of the Colonels neck stood at attention, and it must have shown.

"You've heard of ol' Chuck? In the Boonies? That's going to inflate his ego even further than it already is, not that he doesn't deserve some ego, beings as he's the closest thing to a military commander we got..." said the old man.

The Colonel nodded, "I've heard rumors.. But that's not important. Let me fetch my men.."

The old man nodded, "I'll wait."

The Colonel turned and motioned to Henderson to follow.

As soon as they were far enough away, Henderson whispered. "What was that about Mr. Henry?"

The Colonel said, "I'm not sure..."

When they got to the Condor, the Colonel climbed in and went directly to the cockpit, "Mr. Henry, if anyone asks, your name is Raymond Smith!"

"Huh?"

"Trust me. Raymond Smith. Got it?" said the Colonel in a stern voice.

"Okay. If you say so."

"Okay, we've been invited in. Apparently there's going to be some sort of gathering of local... I don't know, 'warlords', or something. Also, if anyone asks, we're from "the boonies". Take that to mean exactly what it sounds like."

"This is getting more interesting by the minute. I don't suppose you bothered to ask where we are?" asked Chuck.

"It would not have been prudent. The old man seemed to think we came here in answer to some general summons, of some sort. Apparently, there is some enemy of some sort called "The Goonies". I have no idea who, or what, that means. Be tight lipped, don't ask too many questions. Clear?

"Okay, but remember, I'm not in the Army Air Corps any more..." said Chuck, perhaps implying that his following orders was a matter of convenience.

The Colonel regarded him for a split second, "Mouth shut, ears open."

The Colonel left the cockpit and let Chuck and Jimmy finish their post-flight and securing of the aircraft. back in the cargo section, he said, "Henderson, get your guys up and ready. Leave two here to guard the aircraft and cargo. We're stumbling in the dark here, and something extremely strange is going on."

"How strange?" asked one of the other soldiers.

"You've seen that TV show, 'The Twilight Zone'?" asked Henderson.

"I caught a few episodes..."

"Well, you're in an episode." said the Colonel. "Same as I told Mr. Henry and Jimmy. Don't ask too many questions, and keep your ears open for intel. Move out."

The soldiers shouldered their packs and weapons. Henderson said, "Not so fast. Barker and Williams, you two stay here with the cargo. I'll send replacements at sundown."

Two of the men nodded and dropped their packs. "No problem, Sarge." said one.

The other nodded, "Aye."

The rest filed out of the hatch, followed by the Colonel and the Lieutenant. The Captain called out, "I'm going to check on the cargo."

The Colonel turned, "Sounds good. See if you can figure out what happened. The storm had something to do with it, obviously."

The Captain nodded, then moved to the crate as Chuck and Jimmy came out of the cockpit.

"If that storm had anything to do with whatever happened, if I see so much as a wisp of clouds, I'm coming back here so fast you're heads going to spin."

"At this point, that would be a good idea.." mumbled the Captain.
"I reject your reality, and substitute my own!" Adam Savage, Mythbusters
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Re: Chuck Henry and the Secret Cargo

Postby Curtisrj » Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:16 pm

Crisp interaction between characters really moves things along, nice sense of humor and you seem quite knowledgable. Fun read, what happens next? Ray
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Re: Chuck Henry and the Secret Cargo

Postby Boikat » Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:55 pm

"What happens next?" I notice someone complimented the story and asked "what happens next?"

Thanks for the compliment, and I was about to get back on the story, real soon. :P
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Re: Chuck Henry and the Secret Cargo

Postby The Master » Fri Jun 18, 2010 4:21 pm

I was just wondering, what happens next? :)
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Re: Chuck Henry and the Secret Cargo

Postby Ariel » Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:24 pm

Yeah, what happens next? Ariel pulls over a big comfy chair and waits.
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Re: Chuck Henry and the Secret Cargo

Postby Boikat » Sat Jun 19, 2010 12:10 pm

For the time being, boikat has a few errands to run, then retrieve a loaned out lawn mower. I might be able to write tomorrow, after I mow my lawn in the morning. 8)
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Re: Chuck Henry and the Secret Cargo

Postby Alex F » Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:05 pm

I echo sentiments of others, boikat and I shout along with that famous Monty Python army: "get on with it!" :D

Love the characterisation in this story and despite its weirdness it still remains light and witty when appropriate. Its well placed in its time to, the time period made clear by historical and cultural references but not too laboured to make the point, the balance is just right.

Look forward to more...
"Just a minute... QUIET OUT THERE!!!... Blasted goldfish..." -ITMA's Colonel Chinstrap, guest staring on The Goon Show.
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