A Preview of Genestealers, Chap. 4

In 1999, the fastest plane in the world was finally mothballed after years of faithful service. Built at an enormous cost for equally enormous aims, the SR-71 was the undefeated man-made ruler of heavenly speed. But its time had come and gone at last. The government, forced by financial circumstance, decided to put their creations away to slumber in boneyards till they were needed again.

And so it came to pass that twenty of these magnificent aircraft were brought to the dry, hard-packed lands of Tucson, Arizona. A small crew made sure that every bolt, screw and panel was accounted for, and as day turned to night, they finished their tasks with mechanical precision. One day, they thought to each other, these planes might be wanted once more to serve the United States in a new role. Of course, none present actually looked forward to a day like that, but no one spoke of such seemingly unpatriotic thoughts.

What they didn't know then was that a week later, a group of soldiers - bearing papers with TOP SECRET emblazoned prominently on them - would take some of these planes with little protest from the boneyard's caretakers. None of the people present could accurately remember those who had carted the things away. The memory was vague in their minds, at best. The thought that they had been stolen never crossed their minds, and a strange apathy seemed to occur whenever the topic was brought up.

As for the jets, they had simply seemed to have vanished off the face of the earth. Until now.