The second garage seemed to have more floor space than the house above it. It held six military security mechs that all checked their identities, a grill-protected armoury wall and eight vehicles. None of the vehicles were actually wheeled, although one of them did look almost old enough for that. The newest model was so recent that Eridah had only seen the ad for it a couple of times. Agent Brame was standing beside a recent four door model that was popular with suburban families. “I thought we’d take this one,” he said cheerfully. “It’s nice and unobtrusive and the armour doesn’t show.”
“Except in the way it brakes and accelerates,” added Agent Tierce. “Mass will do that.”
“Plus,” went on Agent Brame, “there’s plenty of room in the back if you need to get down out of sight.”
Eridah said “I thought Supervising Agent Gurmon said the area around your headquarters had been cleared?”
“If we’re unlucky it won’t stay that way,” replied Agent Tierce heavily. “It doesn’t hurt to be prepared. Brame will drive, I’ll ride shotgun and you’ll take the middle seat in the back.”
“Okay.” Eridah saw nothing to argue about in those arrangements and quietly climbed into the back when Agent Brame held the door open for her. She sat in the middle and had her seatbelt done up before the front doors of the car were closed.
They emerged from the underground garage on the third floor of a private parking garage, having used a tunnel and a lift to get there. On their way down to ground level Eridah noticed a sign that said that everything above the second level was valet parking only. She could only suppose that the Secret Service owned the entire building and that the parking attendants were all agents. It would make for very secure parking and Eridah could only suppose that any would-be car thieves coming into this building would come off much the worse for the experience.
Headquarters turned out to be another thirty minutes away through traffic. It occupied an entire city block, had boom gated underground parking, went up at least thirty floors and was guarded by liberally sprinkled uniformed and publically armed Secret Service agents. On the pavement across the street from the main entrance Eridah saw a sole protester, a purple furred female, waving a placard that exclaimed “Free Morthan Delafrou!”
“Who in the wide world is Morthan Delafrou?” Eridah had never heard of, she suspected, him.
“A Terrani Central Unionist agent. Rather good looking if you like unmodified humans, or so I’m told,” Agent Tierce said easily. “She was his secretary in the cover role he developed while he was working here. She’s been offered counselling but she remains devoted.”
“And stands outside Secret Service Headquarters watching whoever goes in and out,” said Eridah slowly.
“She’s been investigated several times and come up clean every time,” Agent Tierce assured her.
“I…see,” Eridah subsided quietly back into her seat as Agent Brame swung the car into the building’s garage entrance.
There was a manned security booth at the entrance and the guard, a severe expressioned male with yellow fur, briefly checked their identification. They drove around the corner out of sight of the street and there was a second security booth with both guards and security mechs where they and the vehicle were all scanned for identity and weapons. Only the Agents’ issued weapons were found but the mechs checked all the vehicle’s crevices, even up into the lift module’s outlets, to ensure that nothing untoward was being carried into the building.
After the security checks were done, they were allowed to park. The spot Agent Brame chose was close to the lifts which sat, three abreast and individually wide enough to take a vehicle, almost in the middle of the floor. Even Eridah could tell that the security cameras had them ringed – nothing was getting in or out of those lifts without being observed.