Minnesota Undercover – Part Six
Tim D. McConnaughy Jr.
Once inside the helicopter, the sound of the rotors were still nearly deafening so I was thankful for the headset I was given. As the helicopter slowly lifted off the ground, I reflected back to my seeing the multiple helicopters circling the skies around the city as we arrived at the hotel. Who could have imagined this? I was now flying in a law enforcement helicopter headed to who knows where during what appeared to be the worst attacks this country had seen since September 11, 2001. I glanced out the right side window to see us now moving away from the Ritz hotel. The parking area below appeared to shrink in size as we continued to gain altitude. The chopper pilot banked the helicopter slightly to the left and then we leveled out momentarily. Suddenly it felt as if we were beginning to tip forward and then we began to speed briskly away from the hotel. What was this all about? I wondered again. Sure, it was exciting riding along as we were in a law enforcement helicopter no less, even though I had no idea where we were headed. Yet whatever it was we were part of, it seemed pretty important to involve special agents and undercover law enforcement.
After we had been airborne for only a short time, Russell told us through our headsets we would be heading to a top-secret facility located in the region. The facility had been set up as a type of central command center for the local region. He said that other states were setting up similar facilities as the current events had warranted.
“We have reason to believe other locations in the local region, in addition to the Ritz, are prime targets for eminent attack.” Russell told us during the flight. “I can confirm that law enforcement agencies throughout the area have been working to evacuate the hotel even as we speak.”
So that was must have been why I had seen the mass exit of people from the hotel. I assumed. I glanced outside the side window of the helicopter and noticed a mysterious foggy mist had appeared to engulf the area below the helicopter. We appeared to be getting lower though because I began to see hazy lights from buildings and streetlights as they begin to emerge and grow brighter in the heavy fog. Then as quickly and as suddenly as I saw them, they disappeared. Now I could see nothing outside except for the helicopter’s own navigation lights illuminating the fog around us. After what felt like mere moments, Russell informed us we were nearing the command-center facility. I tried to make out some type of building structure or any ground lights as the helicopter began to slow in preparation for our descent.
The helicopter slowed some more and then began to hover slightly as the pilot maneuvered the helicopter onto a stationary landing zone marked by green and white lights. Once on the ground I glanced up to see only a pitch black sky. Around the helicopter were some high intensity lights and a few red perimeter beacons marking a boundary area. The whir of the helicopter’s engine and rotor slowed becoming quieter as Russell opened the side door to let us out. We each in turn climbed out of the chopper single file. It seemed colder here wherever “here” was but I was thankful for the flight jacket I was given when we took off.
We all three followed Russell and another agent toward a waiting car a few yards in front of us. The vehicle was solid black but I noticed the words State Law Enforcement in small white letters just below the driver side window. Another man dressed in a dark colored uniform began opening the back passenger side doors of the vehicle.
Jacob, Natalie and I took our cue and slid onto the leather back seat while Russell joined the driver in the front. The car doors were shut and after we had buckled our seat belts we began zooming down a dirt road.
High chain-link fences paralleled both sides of the road as we drove between them. Every so many feet I noticed blue lights mounted to the top of each fence on both sides. It almost felt like we were driving through a large highly protected animal park of some kind. We rounded a bend on the dusty road and then seemed to pass through what looked like a security gate. I noticed a couple of building structures ahead off in the distance surrounded by light posts each casting bright beams of light on the ground.
The area that encompassed the buildings appeared to be paved while the dirt road we had been driving on abruptly changed to concrete. The new road we were now on narrowed and the driver took the car around a curve that went around a small grove of maple and oak trees. We emerged from behind the trees and it appeared that we were now facing toward the back of a building.
This particular building had the look of a large wooden cabin complete with high wooden beams and walls made of logs. Directly in front of us was a long steel walkway that lead toward the back. Lights lined the outside of the enclosed walkway. A narrow panel of darkened glass ran the length of the walkway on both sides. Wherever we were, this place was clearly meant to be hidden.
None of us had said a word on the drive to the command center location. I think we were in a mix of shock and bewilderment at all that was happening. Our car stopped and as if we were three VIP’s, a couple of uniformed men opened both rear passenger doors. I exited the car on the left side while Jacob and Natalie got out on the opposite side. Once Russell got out, we gathered and stood next to him near the front of the car. We waited for a moment and then a few law enforcement agents appeared behind us. Together we began to walk toward the enclosed glass walkway which appeared to be connected to the back of the mysterious looking building.
The trip through the walkway to the rustic building was quicker than I expected. In fact the whole flight from the Ritz hotel seemed to take less than an hour. I checked my phone for the time. I noticed it was 11:51 p.m.
A couple agents opened a door leading from the walkway directly into the heart of the building. Russell informed us we were entering the main command center portion of the building.
“We have a complete facility for housing a couple hundred federal officers, agents and security personnel….and some guests.” he said with a grin. “In addition to the first class accommodations, there is also an interrogation room, strategy center, and an on-site mess hall. But before we get into some pertinent details about why you have been brought here, agent Da Voy will be showing you to your individual sleeping quarters.”
Not knowing what to say, the three of us simply nodded and followed the agent down a long hallway that branched off toward the right side of the building. As odd as it may have been not knowing exactly why we were here or why we had been brought by law enforcement helicopter no less, I did trust Russell. The whole experience was making me feel important even if my pants were still cold and damp.
To Be Continued…..Find out what happens next in Minnesota Undercover – Part Seven
Minnesota Undercover is a work of fiction. With the exception of well-known historical figures and events, all names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents contained in this story are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.