Red steered the craft to the ocean floor, then into a narrow cave. Ben noticed that the sub handled much like the automobile it resembled, only the wheel could motivate the ride to go up or down below the surf by pushing or pulling up or down, and went left and right conventionally, with a turn. It was a good ten minutes travel with several forks along the way. Despite his bravado, it was clear Red had to concentrate carefully to maintain his cool. If the ship crashed, they would surely be shit out of luck.
Ben stayed silent, wondering what he could possibly encounter next. He thought about a time in the war, when a German soldier has his ass against a wall, dead to rights, and how it was Bud who bailed him out. He figured it was what happened then that lead to what was happening now, why he would be so ready to follow his old friend to beneath the ocean and beyond.
Finally, a light emerged at the end of the tunnel, and the sub surfaced by a dock. Red clicked a button on the console and the roof slid open. “See?” He said, “Safe and sound.”
The four climbed out onto the metal surface, and once there, Ben could see it was round and about 400 square feet. They were in an inclosed cavern, and in the center of the circular space they stood on was a tube leading up through the ceiling.
“Elevator?” Ben asked, to anyone who would answer.
“Right on the first guess, daddio.” Red replied. They stepped inside and rode up and out.
“Won’t we get the bends?” Ben asked.
“Nah, the cabin was pressurized a certain way or some shit. The guy that built it is a genius. He did all this stuff.” Bud said back.
“Huh. Rich, too.” Ben mused.
“You got that right.” Bud chuckled. The elevator dinged and the door slid open. “Here’s where we say so long to our friends. Louise, it is always a pleasure.”
The lady nodded to Bud as she bid adieu. “Next trip we go somewhere tropical.”
“You in a bikini, baby? Bring me along.” Red swaggered off the car like a carhop cocksman, “Check you later, squares. ” Ben liked him already. He looked out upon a round room with unmarked doors all along, unlike anything that he had ever seen before, as Louise disappeared behind one door, Red another.
“Allright Sarge, top floor. Time to get down to brass tacks.” With that, Bud put a secret code into the console, and the two men rode to the top floor. “Right now, only I know that number. In about an hour, only you and I will.” The door opened. They stepped off into an oval office that made the one at the White House look like a neighborhood insurance salesman’s. Shelves and shelves of books lined the wall going all the way around. A simple, huge oak desk stood before them.
Once they left the elevator, the tubular car lowered back down into the floor, leaving a round seal behind. In black and white. It had a large skull in the center and the words GLOBAL HIERARCHY OF SECRET TACTICS.
“That’s us.” Bud pointed proudly, “We’re GHOST.”
It took Ben 5 seconds to realize that he was the only one snickering.