THE WAY IT WENT DOWN: WHAT DO YOU DO?
What do you do for a living? It's a boring question, yet it's asked all the time.
There are two answers to this question.
There is the party answer: I am defense consultant for the government.
And then there is actual answer: I sit in an office in Maryland and read books or watch television. Occasionally, there is a wrong number. Otherwise the office is silent. Twice a month a healthy paycheck is dropped in my account.
I have no boss. No one to report to. Nothing. How did I get such a marvelous job? I had the foresight to copy everything when I worked at Sandia labs. I understood what we were working on to a point, and that point was this: it was going to kill a lot of people, someday. That's all I really needed to know. But I saw other things, too.
For example, I saw a small handheld, box shaped object flatten a target radiosonde at four miles with no apparent projectile, like it projected an invisible beam of force ahead of it. There was no power source.
I wasn't supposed to be at the range that day, but I came in to get my jacket and keys and I watched it along with the group. "What are we looking at?" I asked, and my boss looked at me and smiled and laughed and said "that's nothing."
I was always a saver. I was always about contingencies.
When I rolled out the plan to my former boss, he listened, his face and mood darkening. It is to his credit that he said only one thing to my proposal; "we can come to an arrangement."
We did. This is year four of our arrangement. I have not spoken to him since leaving the labs.
I miss it sometimes, here, in my bubble.