|© Copyright 2012 - Jo - Used by permission|
|Storycodes: Solo-F; outdoors; caught; M/f; pit; buried; sand; stuck; cons/nc; X||
|Area 22 Jo Solo-F; outdoors; caught; M/f; pit; buried; sand; stuck; cons/nc; X|
Before there was Area 51, there was Area 22. There are no aliens there, but no one knows exactly what IS there.
Maggie pulled up to the heavy, metal gate. It was clearly locked and radiator piercing tubes projected from it. Not that she planned to ram it. It was festooned with signs: KEEP OUT, NO TRESSPASSING, GOVERNMENT PROPERTY, RESTRICTED AREA, and others.
Maggie retrieved her car registration and insurance card from the glove box. She tucked them into her wallet. In the back seat, she propped the cardboard sign in the rear window: tag stolen BJD 176. Her tag hadn't been stolen. She had seen a green Honda in a parking lot a while back. Same year, make, and model as her car. Same color even. She'd made a note of the tag number. It wasn't the best ruse. They could always trace the VIN, but it was better than nothing. Maggie popped the trunk, peeled back the carpet, lifted the cover to the spare tire well. A minute with a screwdriver and her license plate joined her wallet in the hole. She grabbed her camera, replaced the batteries, checked it, and dropped the lid.
She didn't have to scale the fence. The bars were far enough apart where she could simply step through. But she did climb it, stood for minute, looking, listening. There seemed a buffer of dry, parched grass running along the fence. She stepped over and dropped to the ground. A hundred yards at a trot brought her into the trees.
She was a fit little animal and a champion orienteer. Even without a map and compass, she'd have little chance of getting lost. It was a talent she had. A talent like investigative journalism. A talent that had gotten her some attention from the national papers. A talent that had landed her in jail more than once. Something she wouldn't, couldn't repeat. Not with the three-strikes law on the books. But still, her curiosity drove her into dangerous situations. Like this one for instance.
Maggie jogged through the woods for about an hour, heading southwest toward the canal. It was part of the waterway system and you could sail through it - as long as you didn't stop. She had stopped - once. But a voice came from somewhere warning her off.
She came to a road, a paved road. There were wide swaths of sand in amongst the trees. On a post ahead was a sign: TANK CROSSING. Maggie followed a track that paralleled the road. She didn't hear any tanks. Didn't hear anything, actually. A few hundred yards later she was back in deep woods.
A building appeared. The windows were intact, but were dirty or painted over. A rusty door stood open. Maggie approached, looked inside. Nothing but a few rusted piece of machinery.
This was puzzling. Government property, restricted area, not a soul or sound. Maggie headed back into the woods.
She came to a clearing, dirt roads disappeared into the trees. There was a hole in the clearing and a beat up pickup truck parked under the trees, missing a headlight and a fender, more rust than paint. Maggie waited. It was silent save the sound of water rushing over rocks. She couldn't see the stream, but she figured she was close to the canal since the stream would naturally flow into it. Nothing moved.
Maggie stepped into the clearing. It was dry and dusty and sun parched. She walked over to the hole. It was a cube, about ten feet on a side. The bottom third was a kind of funnel shape. A pipe protruded from one sidewall. Maggie raised her camera.
"This is a restricted area!"
Startled, Maggie whirled.
The man was neither old nor young. Hair a bit of a mess. A week's growth of beard. He wore a ratty, faded green jump suit. The name over the pocket said PIERCE.
"What are you doin' here?"
"Taking pictures on government property ain't nothin'"
"Who are you?"
"I'm the guy who's gonna call the MPs if you don't start answerin' my questions."
"I'm not hurting anything. I saw the sign and was curious. That's all."
He held out his hand.
"Let's see what you've been taking pictures of. Gimme the camera."
Maggie took a step back. He reached for the camera, got his fingers on the strap. Maggie took another step back - into empty space. For a moment she hung on the edge, but gravity took over and she lost her grip on the camera, fell into the hole. She tumbled into the middle of the hole. Her body setting off small avalanches of sandy dirt.
Maggie tried to stand, fell, tried again. The sand offered no resistance. Her hands sank in up to her wrists. But she managed to gain her feet, ankle deep in the stuff.
She tried scrabbling up the sides, but each time slid back into the middle of the hole. One time she almost made it to the wall. She reached out her hand, caught the edge, but the dirt just crumbled in her grip and she tumbled backward again.
She looked up at the man. He looked down at her.
He stepped to the edge. A chunk broke off and he jumped back. Watched it flow down the sides. Watched it bury Maggie to her knees. She tried to move her feet, but it was fruitless. After her struggles she was still shin deep in the stuff.
The man let out a whoop and stomped the edge of the hole. Another avalanche of sand rushed down on Maggie. She was buried knee deep again. The man laughed and took pictures. He trotted around the hole, stomping, jumping back. Sand came down on Maggie from all sides. Soon she was buried to her waist.
"Please! Stop doing that! Please!"
The man ignored her, stomped, jumped back, laughed. The sand came up to Maggie's breasts.
"Damn it! Stop it! This isn't funny! God damnit! Stop!"
Sand flowed up and over her breasts, up her chest, up to her neck, over her chin. Maggie tipped her head back, gasped for breath. Only her arms and face were visible above the sand.
"Please! Please stop. Please get me out of here. Please"
The man stood, hands on hips.
"Oh, I'll get you out. Don't you worry. Just didn't want you runnin' off 'til I got back is all."
"What's your name?"
Maggie didn't answer. The man raised his foot.
"Jennifer! My name is Jennifer. Please don't."
The man laughed.
"The hell it is. It's Margaret. Margaret Spires. Sensor tipped me off you wuz here. Camera caught you messin' with your tag. Whole place is wired. Not that it would have been hard to track you. Even without the 'lectronics, I woulda sensed you wuz here. Have a knack for that. Anyways, I popped your trunk. Look what I found"
He held up Maggie's wallet and laughed.
"Well all right, Maggie. I'll be back in a sec. Don't go nowheres."
Maggie heard the truck start, heard it creak its way out of the clearing. She tried to move, then froze as more sand slid down.
How long she was there, she had no idea. It was baking hot and the hole acted like an oven. Sweat itched as it ran from her face.
Then there was a noise, the sound of an engine. It got louder. A boom appeared. A rope dangled from it, a loop at its end. And there was the man leaning on a lever. The loop dropped slowly toward Maggie's face.
"Put your hands through the loop and grab the rope. I'll haul you out."
Maggie did as she was told. The man pulled the lever and the rope drew taut. The loop cinched tight around Maggie's wrists. He jogged the control until Maggie was now only waist deep in sand. He stopped.
Maggie half buried, half hanging begged, "Please! Please don't stop. It hurts. Please. Get me out."
The man said nothing, just looked down at the straining woman. Like what he saw. She had lost her cap and her long black hair hung nearly to her waist. T-shirt, sweat-soaked and dirty, stretched tight across her tits. Nice tits. Big tits. He could even see her nipples. She wasn't chubby, but she had a round face, made her look younger, more innocent than he figured her to be.
"What's in it for me?"
Maggie blinked up at him.
"I kin cut the rope. Leave you here."
He tapped the radio on his belt.
Maggie looked at it. Where did that come from?
"I kin call the MPs. The base is closed. I'm kind of the caretaker. Take 'em probably two hours, maybe three to get here. Ya know with all this terrorist stuff goin' on. I'm sure they'd be real interested in you."
"NO! Please no. Just get me out. I'll ... I'll do anything."
He gave her a look.
"Please. Anything. I'll do whatever you want."
The man nodded at her.
"You got that right."
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