AET is called in to investigate a prison escape.
Occasionally AET doesn't just explore and encounter, but is also called in to investigate other unusual situations as part of cross-team training. One such circumstance was the disappearance of General Pasquali a high profile prisoner.
An agent code named "Hercules" may well have been the strongest man on the planet. At a towering 6'9" and about 300 pounds of lean muscle. Hercules was a dwarf and a black man. The author, also being one of the strongest men on the planet, was just under 6' tall and about 200 pounds of lean muscle and also a dwarf, but Caucasoid. The team of 10 strong people had been assembled at the suggestion of the AET. The team had been assembled as part of a demonstration for General "Hammond". And as part of a strong-man contest. Killing two birds with one stone. The general had wondered if it was possible that an opposing general being held prisoner had managed to escape by forcing his way out of a prison when left unguarded. Given the quality and number of the guards on duty, all excellent soldiers and service men, the general felt it was unlikely that the prisoner had inside help. And yet the prisoner had seemingly vanished without a trace. The prisoner's strange disappearance was forwarded to be investigated by the AET. So the strong man team had been assembled to demonstrate the viability of the prisoner escaping on his own. The jail had been thoroughly examined. There were no tunnels or tooling marks in the cell.
The author was the first to be imprisoned as a test. "Okay now let's see you breakout of this jail soldier." General Hammond ordered.
The author, braced his feet at the bottom of the jail cell, and with two hands pulled at one of the bars the jail was made from. For a moment nothing happened. Then sweat started pouring from the author's forehead. With a muffled yell the author managed to pull one of the jail-cell bars to the side. Then the author took a break for a minute or two, and repeated the procedure with a second bar, pulling it in the opposite direction. With both bars bent apart the author was able to squeeze through the opening between the bars.
"That's just about the max I could do general. It's about 10,000 pounds of force to bend the bars." The author stated.
The author then proceeded to bend the bars back into place for the next contestant.
Hercules was the next person to be placed in the prison. Grabbing a different set of bars, with one bar in each hand, with a muffled yell, he pulled the prison bars apart across his chest.
"He's right general." Hercules remarked. "It's about 10,000 to 12,000 pounds of force to bend the bars." Hercules then stepped aside for the next contestant.
None of the other strong men were able to bend the prison bars enough to be able to escape.
"He would have to be one of the strongest men on the planet, general." Was the author's conclusion. The general didn't think that it was very likely, but perhaps not impossible. The prisoner one 'General Pasquali' was being held for war crimes and had escaped. Pasquali was not a small man, being about 6'2" in height and well built. He had not been noted for unusual strength before.
"So a really, really strong man, desperate to escape might have been able to all on his own." General Hammond was commenting to himself. It didn't sound like he'd convinced himself. "Thank-you gentlemen for the demonstration." The general also now had a better idea why certain team members were difficult to get a hold of for missions.
About a month later, the author's curiosity about the prison escape was sated. Apparently General Hammond, not convinced the prisoner could have broken out all on his own, ordered the re-evaluation of personnel and the prison breakout. It was eventually discovered that the prisoner did in fact have inside help in breaking out. He had managed to bribe one the guards.
The army also sued the manufacturer of the jail for poor construction. The jail bars were supposed to be able to withstand 100,000 pounds of force before bending. They were 10 times weaker than they were supposed to be.