Mission - Code Name "CyberVette"
by Racer Dan
This all started back in January of this year. General Motors was doing a grand unveiling of the C5 Corvette, and somehow things went wrong in Los Angeles, California. Some would expect this, since California always has something going wrong. The unveiling revealed a missing C5 Corvette, that was later located in a desert area, where a spy photographer had misdirected it somehow through cyberspace...
Once the problem was resolved and the Corvette safely transported to the L.A. unveiling for a large impatient audience, everyone thought that would be the end of it, but it wasn't.
Three weeks after the unveiling, General Motors' Chevy Comm group, responsible for the security of the C5, had decided to investigate further how this could have happened. The real concern was their jobs were again on the line. The group had been very successful until a couple of Corvette enthusiasts that happened to grab an opportunity to expose the new C5 Corvette to the public, via the internet. The one avenue that GM had not anticipated as a real risk all of a sudden became a hot topic at the coffee station in Detroit. And pictures of the C5 Corvette appeared on several web sites, performing at Road Atlanta, as well as the streets of Bowling Green almost two months BEFORE the unveiling.
The first step taken was to retrace the direction of travel that they used to teleport the C5 Corvette to L.A. in the first place. Using the teleporter that they used to send the photographer with a camera mounted on a helmet, they traced and recorded the missing Corvette's trip. What they found was never released to the public. Once they played back the recording of the cameraman's journey, they found a gap in the tape, and in this gap appeared something they couldn't quite make out, so they send the video to a lab.
The lab digitized the tape several times to clear the images, and then returned it to the Chevy Comm group. The tape was played behind closed doors, and it was a good thing. For the tape created more questions than answers. The people in this group agreed that this tape should NEVER reach public hands, and was sent to GM's Class 5 Vault, where their highest security secrets of design and development were stored. It was placed in a box simply labeled "CyberVette."
Several weeks later, the Chief Corvette engineer had a debriefing. In it he was told of this tape, and the problems it will cause if the information leaked out. Then they asked him for his advise. The images on this tape MUST be investigated, but there is no way the company can risk involving current employees, as the risks involved in the obvious trip through cyberspace for a recon mission would jeopardize their image in the community if someone did not return.
They discussed several options, which included involvement from the U.S. Government. The concern for having the U.S. Government involved was that the public would HAVE to be told, especially if they were doing work for a public company and this would really be a problem if everyone knew.
They broke for lunch, and decided that since it was a nice sunny day for January, to stroll down to the cafeteria on the corner two blocks away. On the way, they continued pondering several ideas, and then they came up with a solution. What if they asked for help from the newly formed C5 Fighter Squadron. This covert private operation, receives funding from several secret sources, but they were sure that they had a chance to convince them of the need to help. And they had performed several missions before successfully, and it was clear they had dedicated their efforts for the support of the National Corvette Museum. So surely they would help.
They headed for Atlanta two weeks later, with plans in their briefcases. The trip from Detroit to Atlanta took over 7 hours, due in part to the snow that appeared the night before. It had dumped over 8 inches at the airport in Detroit, but fortunately it only created delayed departures at Detroit's airport. Once they arrived in Atlanta, they rented a car, and the two of them drove south about 20 miles to a town called Hampton. Hampton comes alive two times a year, when the NASCAR track known as Atlanta Motor Speedway holds races for the world's best race car drivers, and many want-a-be's.
The directions led them down two asphalt roads to a dead end. At this dead end stood a brick house, set back into the woods, with a half circle driveway. The mailbox had in small letters C5 and that was it. They drove down the driveway, and parked their car. As they walked up to the door, they noticed two men walking up a walkway along side the house. As they approached the two executives, they took their time looking them over. The executive on the left was younger than the one on the right, and the younger one was kinda tall and slim. The two of them felt a little uncomfortable in the heavy jackets they had brought with them, especially with the 65 degree weather they were now in.
A shorter, stocky man spoke first. He calmly asked if he could help them. The Chief Corvette Engineer answered him "We are here to see a man named Racer Dan. We have an appointment with him, we are from Detroit." Then he handed them both a business card.
After looking at the card for a few seconds, the stocky man said "follow us", and the four of them walked around the house. They continued down a small path into the woods, and the General Motors executives were getting a little uncomfortable as they stopped in front of a wall of earth. The stocky man said to them that they are going into a secured area, and asked for a photo ID. Both of the men had brought their GM green card passes, which identify them as able to enter any part of the General Motors plants worldwide. Their names and pictures were on them, and as the stocky man watched them, the other man with him inspected them. This man had red hair, and was about 5"11" tall. He was dressed in casual clothes, as was the stocky man. With a nod of approval from the man with red hair, the stocky man reached up and moved a lever, which caused the earthen wall to effortlessly move, exposing the hidden hanger of the C5 Squadron's Headquarters.
As they entered the hanger, the stocky man turned and said to them "I'm Racer Dan, this is JW. Sorry for the cold shoulder, but we have to be careful with our security." Then Racer Dan started chuckling, and turned to JW and smiled. Then he said to JW "I guess they know all about that, after Road Atlanta, huh?"
They then passed through a chamber of sorts. This tunnel had several scanners in it, which created part of the security system. As they reached the end of the chamber, they entered through an air lock. And then they entered the Communications room.
Racer Dan insisted they take off their ties and suit coats, and hung them up with what appeared to be a few flight jackets. There was an emblem on them, and around the emblem, they both noticed the slogan. It said "Protectors of the C5 from Earth through Cyberspace. A globe of the world was inside the slogan.
"I like your patch!" the Chief Corvette engineer said. And they all walked over to a room on the left, and as they entered they noticed the conference table, as well as several men seated already.
Then Racer Dan spoke again and told them "we kinda got a different way of doing business here. All of these men at this table make up the C5 Squadron. We all have equal say in what gets done, and what missions we go on. So if you want us to be involved with your project, you will have to sell us all on it."
They introduced themselves, and one by one the other C5 Squadron members shook hands and introduced themselves as well. Then they opened their briefcases, and one pulled out a tape, while the other pulled out a manila envelope that was sealed. The younger of the two men explained he headed up Chevy Comm. This was the same group that two of the Squadron members had managed to outsmart, which put the C5 Corvette photos out on the internet. The older one was the Chief Corvette engineer. He had obviously spent his career in design work, as they all had noticed he continued to stare at several of the design drawings on the walls of the conference room. Then he asked what they were. JW spoke up, and explained they are the structural drawings of a prototype C5 Fighter Jet.
The conference room had a wealth of souvenirs, of which included some scraps of a Porsche emblem, a few photos from past recon missions, and even a small photo of a purple dinosaur strapped to a bomb. Mission names were below each souvenir.
Finally the Chief Corvette engineer spoke up. " My name is John Heinricy. We have a serious problem, and we need some help from someone outside of our General Motors group. We cannot turn to the public sector for security reasons, and after exhausting all of our resources, we have been able to come to only one solution, and it involves the C5 Squadron."
He continued for several minutes, and as he did the men sat quietly and listened. Finally he motioned to his partner, and the younger man slid a tape into the VCR on a stand in the corner of the room. Then he hit the play button.
As the video played, Heinricy continued by describing what they watched on the big screen that took up almost one whole wall. The digitized images were very clear, and several of the Squadron members looked at each other and then continued to watch with great interest.
John continued: "What we found from transporting this man was what we believe is a link in time, sort of a black hole. As we passed through it, the cameraman had looked from side to side and his helmet camera picked up these images. Although the original copies showed almost nothing but static, once this tape was digitized by a lab, we now know that two images of what he shot were of what appeared to be a vehicle that had the appearance of something that we had just finished drawings on a few days before the unveiling. These drawings were far from anything we had yet seen in the automotive world, and the idea was it might be the C7 or C8 Corvette. As you may know, we plan these automobiles several years in advance. But our main concern here is if it is indeed the vehicle one of our design engineers had drawn up, then this MUST be a door of sorts to the future.
Racer Dan looked across the table to a couple of the Squadron members that had recently joined the group. They both had a lot of talent, and he was glad they had joined the team. One of them had a blue lightning bolt on his shirt, with the name "Blue Streak" under it. The other had a pair of wings with the name "Big Bird" embroidered in red. Then he looked over at the other team members. Glen, John, Shane, and Ernie were all listening closely to the presentation as well. Then he focused back to the speaker, Mr. Heinricy.
"What we really need here is someone to explore this hole we found. If we ask for the government's help, we jeopardize the possibility that our competition will be able to find out about this hole, and therefore business as we know it will instantly change. We see them copying our new models, removing our marketing edge. Secrets of the corporate world would no longer exist, we believe." Then JW spoke up: "Let me guess- you want US to explore this black hole". Mr. Heinricy responded: "Well, I guess so. See, we know nothing about it, but we cannot risk our own employee's lives to investigate it. The public would go ballistic if they found out we sent men out in cyberspace, and they never returned. And it is going to be hard to keep this thing a secret if it is indeed what we think it might be. So we look to you, gentlemen. We need someone to explore this link. Someone who will protect our interests for years to come. We know you men have had a perfect record on your missions, and we think you are our best bet at this mission, too."
Then he sat down and the younger man hit the eject button on the VCR, waited for the tape to come out of the player, and placed it in an envelope and sealed it. Then he placed it back in his briefcase, and closed and locked it. Many of the members of the Squadron sat speechless, kind of in a daze. Maybe wondering if what they saw was real.
Then Racer Dan stood up, as did JW. They each handed out a pad, with a pen. Without a word spoken, the men each made a mark on the pad, and passed it to Racer Dan, who flipped them over one by one. Each and every one had an "X" on it, nothing else.
As they departed the room, they left through the rear of the building. As they exited the building, the executives had a look of shock on their faces as they stared at what was in front of them. A long runway, and on each side were several warplanes. "You men are the going to see a first. This is the first time all of our Fighter Jets have been assembled at one place." As they walked down between the jets, they commented to each other the features that had made the C5 Squadron so unique. The features that had been copied from the C5 Corvette, right down to the oval tail lights! They were all different colors from blue to silver to red to white, and even a red, white & blue stars & stripes. As they walked by it, they noticed it said "THANKS, ZORA" on it's fuselage.
John Heinricy asked if he could look in the cockpit of one of them, and JW helped him into his yellow Jet. JW explained to him that his Jet was actually a salvaged prototype that had crashed in testing. It had several one off options, and with it occasional glitches, just like his 89 ZR1 at home.
Then they all went out to eat lunch. The group ended up eating Bar-B-Que at a restaurant in a old civil war town called McDonough. After lunch they came back to the runway, and Heinricy got a ride in a red C5 Fighter Jet. Of course it had to be the one with the blue "NOS" tank strapped under each wing. The pilot, who's name is John as well, gave him a few thrills, as the rest of us watched from the ground. The pilot did several straight up climbs until they disappeared. And we noticed several barrel rolls too! After they landed, Heinricy was all smiles. He asked to open the engine cover, and almost fell over when he saw what was powering the Fighters. Then he said: "I'll be damned! It's got two LS1's in there, both with twin turbos!
One of the other pilots, wearing a hat that said "Puppy" on it, said with a smile "That's what is in all of 'em". The two men finally were escorted back to their rental car, and wished well. The pilot with a big X on his shirt handed them a note, and Heinricy opened it up. The note said "We accept your mission, and we will be in touch soon."
The men said thanks, and left. As they drove back to the airport, they discussed their trip, and what they had seen. They flew back to Detroit that night. The tape was returned to the Class 5 Vault for safekeeping. And the two never discussed their trip with anyone, as they had agreed.