Lt. Mitchel looked around at the room, he found himself in.

He was standing just inside a large vault door. Like the kind you'd expect to find in some large bank. Where valuables of extreme value might be stored in safety, against would be thieves. In front of him, was a crescent shaped desk, with three sets of keyboards inset into the desk top, three currently clear monitor sheets, like Plexiglas shields for whoever would be seated in front of those keyboards. Behind the desk, was a large wall of monitors of areas outside and within the facility. There was a couch along the wall to his left, so Lt. Mitchel took a seat and waited as he had been told.

The walls here, were of obviously machine chiseled granite between the inset metal vault door and where this man made area began. There was an obviously chiseled out, short corridor on both sides of the vault door of about four feet on each side, making an effective eight foot thick wall of solid granite at this end of the facility.

Lt. Mitchel didn't have to wait for very long, before Capt. Bradford returned. “There, that should hold that rag head and his cronies for a while.” Capt. Bradford said, as he entered the room. Lt. Mitchel rose, snapped to attention and saluted.

“Relax, Lieutenant, at ease. I assume that you know the ranch set-up and I understand that you know about running a ranch. Is my Intel. correct?” Capt. Bradford asked like a commander, offhandedly tossing off a salute in return, as protocol dictated.

“Yes, Sir. I was raised on a ranch and have worked for and on ranches and farms during my youth, Sir.” Lt. Mitchel answered, formally.

“Good. Now, as for this lock down. You will exit the facility and I will close the door. After the door is closed, and you see the bolts slide into place. You will enter the code L.O.C.K.E.D. This will electronically lock the vault door from your side and send the conformation signal to HQ.”

“From that point, you will be solely responsible for maintaining the working ranch above and keeping this facility from compromise.” Capt. Bradford informed Lt. Mitchel, then handed him a manila envelope and continued. “These are your classified orders, Lt. Mitchel. They are the Worse Case Scenario orders and should only be opened and enacted in the event of an aggressive action to this country or an extreme natural disaster. If you survive, of course.” Capt. Bradford concluded with a smirk.

“Let's hope that doesn't happen, Sir. Just to inform you, Sir. My first action will be to take a physical survey of the property and concentrate on the security of the property in general. I also plan to electrify the fencing that is not already electrified. Cattle rustling is illegal and at one time was punishable by hanging in these parts, Sir.”

“Only the shiftless and lazy, would steal, rather than work, for what we work so hard to provide for them to buy. I can see no sense, in not, making it difficult or at least uncomfortable for them, or to allow them easy access to the fruits of our labor. If it were up to me, our outer fencing would be chain link and lethal, Sir.” Lt. Mitchel said seriously.

Capt. Bradford chuckled and said, “I like the way you think, Lieutenant. That's a good idea, I'll keep it in mind and look into it, once I'm out of here. One last thing, Lieutenant, I have had a hard line installed to this office from the office we left from to get here. I will expect you to check in once a week, on Saturday at thirteen hundred hours.”

“As you wish, Sir.” Lt. Mitchel said, as he shook Capt. Bradford's hand, then saluted and turned to leave.

Lt. Mitchel walked through the vault portal and waited outside as Capt. Bradford activated the door closure mechanism.

The door mechanism was a wonder of mechanical engineering, in that it used no external power to operate any motor. It was all done using a counter-weighted system and mechanical hydraulics to secure the door. And too, it could be disabled from inside the vault, so that the door couldn't be opened from the outside.

Lt. Mitchel wondered if he'd have time to make a circuit of the property, on horseback before sunset, as it was already, after noon. He still had to go out and take stock of the corral and choose an animal he intended to ride on the circuit. He was hoping that a good mount was already trained on vocal and knee guidance often used for the herding of cattle and sheep. Otherwise, he'd have to train one himself, to be a cutting horse.

After the huge vault door had closed with a final sounding thud, eight, large, six inch diameter, chromium steel, bars, slid outward from the door, into the wall. Simultaneously, ten identical bars slid into the door from the wall sides of the opening, between the bars secured into the walls. The door was well and securely closed.

In the center of the door, about five feet from the ground, there was a box with a clear plastic cover. When the door's security bars had slid into place with a solid clank, a light came on behind the key-pad, illuminating the keys there. Lt. Mitchel opened the cover and punched in the code L.O.C.K.E.D., hit the return key and waited for the green light. When the green light came on, he closed the panel and left the entrance of the facility.