Minding my own business, eating a quiet lunch. Couple of guys in the adjacent booth are swapping stories:
"So, when my security clearance came through and the very first place they sent me was Site R[edacted]. 'It's an interesting place,' my boss said, "you'll like it.'
"We always entered at the [redacted]. That meant a long elevator ride with an armed escort in an elevator car with only two buttons, and he's the only one allowed to push them. I keep thinking we're almost there but it keeps going and going! When it finally does stop, it opens into this anteroom where another soldier is waiting, his gun at the ready. He really is ready to fire. As soon as we step out, he says, 'Halt!' and then, 'Escort, advance.'
"The soldier I'm with starts to walk towards him, so I do, too. The other soldier says, 'Civilian, HALT! Escort, advance,' and his finger is on the trigger. I stopped!
"He waits until the guy who brought me down is next to him, out of his line of fire, then asks him, without ever taking his eyes off me, 'Sergeant, are you under any form of duress?'
"Meanwhile, there I stand, thinking, 'I am one word away from being killed. '
"A month later, we had to go out there again. By then they'd hired another tech to be my assistant and I sent him instead of me. 'You'll like it,' I told him, 'it's an interesting place....'"
Man, the things you hear at lunch.
1 week ago