Eric did not need to tell me any more. The mall attack was not an isolated attack; it was only one of many more to come. Strategically planned from a central location or by a close nit group of planners – the one I had stopped in Annapolis was most likely the first one.
They were pissed off that their big event was ended before it started and they did not get the type of headlines they wanted. Their first instinct was revenge.
Then cooler heads prevailed; getting revenge ran the risk of another mistake and possible exposure. Every operation left more forensic evidence and sooner or later the police always got the big break. Instead plan another much bigger one that would make up for the first.
That was why the phone went dead. The next time it would be used was as a trigger for a remote bomb. It could be against me or one of the girls or as a trap. Just turn it on, make a random call or two so the number showed up in the system and when the feds showed up, and use it to set off the bomb.
I knew I was daydreaming about the possible scenarios, but to me they made sense. This had been the first attack of this type in the area, the first in the US that I knew of and at Washington’s back door. What a way to make a statement.
The FBI and Homeland did at least have an edge to go on. The three explosive vests should give them plenty of clues, plus there were the guns they were carrying and even the clothes they were wearing. By having complete bodies and undamaged clothing to work with it was just a mater of time until all the pieces came together. Forensics should have a folder full of information.
After I had these conversations in my mind I felt a little better. I knew the agencies were making progress even if they could not tell me anything. We needed to be extra careful, make no mistakes and let the Feds do their thing.
With that thought I started an in depth review of today’s enrollments at the sites, starting with Rochester. It was taking 30 minutes per student to enroll them – that led to today’s backlog. I wondered why it took so long.
We had plenty of people working long hours with 10 of my people and 10 from the agency working the office doing the actual computer work.
Kelly and one other person were delivering a presentation to groups of students. Those student groups were being sent to security to cause the backup. There was nothing that security could really do unless student resources reduced the size of the groups, which was unlikely.
If the hour wait times during this rush caused minimal complaints we would just have to put up with it. With 4000 students, to them this was a time effective way to handle the four day enrollment rush.
Jenny and Marcy wanted to put together the list of foods we were going to have for our Labor Day party on Sunday. Some of the things needed to be pre-ordered like the steamed crabs.
Some of the other supplies we were going to order from the wholesale supplier for the gym refreshment center. Any leftovers the center could use next week.
Hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, chips relish, ketchup, mustard, salad mix, rolls, tomatoes, cold slaw, and soda could all come from that supplier and be kept in the big walk-in cooler in the gym.
Then there were the homemade things that needed to be made a day ahead of time to allow the ingredients to age to perfection. Home made baked beans was one of those. Dry beans cooked in water with brown sugar, some molasses with bacon, finely chopped onions, and a dab of ketchup and cinnamon and then allowed to simmer in a slow cooker for several hours.
Another homemade favorite was cucumbers and onions. Sliced thin and left in a mix of vinegar and some sugar that was brought to a boil and allowed to be nearly cool before the cucumbers and onions were added. They needed to sit in the mixture overnight to soften up and gain flavor.
They were a family favorite and we needed enough to make several large bowels full. Leftovers would keep several days in the fridge and more cucumbers and onions could be added at least once to the broth.
This year we were going to add moose burgers to the cookout. Jason had brought back 20 pounds from Maine when he and Joey went to look and sign up for the guided moose hunt. Flying back in the private jet allowed you to bring all kinds of thing back with you.
Lisa had gone with them and bought several antiques that barely fit through the plane door. She was proud of a revolutionary war period chest she had found. She never did tell Jason what she had paid for it that I knew of. She said it was her mad money.
After planning and ordering everything for the cookout, we spent two hours working out in the gym before heading to the house.
Before we left the gym I spent a few minutes looking at the security tapes of the house and the exterior of the gym, even though both had been under the watchful eyes of the agency and the state police.
Crash had been gone all day and just returned home as we did. He had gone with one of the Bombardier flights to New Orleans to drop off a group from the industrial center who were spending the holiday there partying.
The pilots had taken him for a ride along Bourbon Street. We were almost rolling in the floor at the descriptions of the things he saw. It was even better when he described how the pilots tried to set him up with two hookers and he almost fell for it.
We called it an evening and all four of us still slept in the same super king size bed. For some reason we just felt safer that way.
Edit by Alfmeister