I was in my office with Lorrie and Marcy; we were discussing the latest update of the work on the two C130s at Toronto. Every few days Lockheed sent pictures and a report on progress; they clearly understood the deadline was fixed. Jenny and Marcy had insisted there be a daily financial penalty for every day past the deadline in the contract.
Amy sent an email that the budget had been signed and that we should precede with logistics for the new embassies. Everyone would be super busy again with some things on hold until the state department decided what they wanted and where. The email indicated that we would have the final numbers and locations in two weeks.
We did not discuss these things outside our small management group. Our administrators and clerks had signed confidentially forms and were told to never discuss pending contracts, potential contracts or expansion plans, not even with other groups within the company.
When it became necessary for other company groups and divisions to be involved, all teams would be notified. We did this to stop endless hours of rumor, water cooler talk and messaging.
We would begin the hiring and training process again. It would take every day of the five months we had to put it together and then some, unless I depended heavily on their previous military training and experience. I intended to hire as many former military as possible.
Twenty embassies with 30 employees and twenty with 25 employees; damn – 1100 more security employees to hire and train; what a headache this was going to be. That headache did not include all the other pieces I needed to make it work.
Jenny, Marcy, Lorrie, Ching Lee, Vicky and I no longer could devote days at a time to the training process; we were just too busy. We are going to be able to tweak certain parts of the training – we simply had to – but that was going to be it unless there were problems. I was planning on using the expertise of many of our existing employees, including the RRT.
I called Bob’s Construction; the call went to voice mail, “Bob, I need an update on both projects at least twice a week and I need to see you as soon as you can.”
I called General McJames and asked, “Is it still possible to get help wanted posters put onto military bases in the recreation center and clubs or has there been an executive memo to end that as well?”
“Yes, that can still be done. The post has to be approved; send me the post and I will get it to the review committee and they will notify you of any changes needed. Then once approved it will be electronically sent to each base to be put on the bulletin boards,” the general replied.
“How many new employees are you looking for?” McJames asked.
“1100, plus up to 35 pilots,” I replied.
“Wow; a whole battalion,” McJames replied.
“Yeah, to be scattered in 40 different countries,” I said then added, “As soon as HR gets the post drawn up, I will send it to you.” After some small talk, “Thanks General, I need to run.”
I hand wrote a post and added an informational sticky note; it would one of the topics for our meeting tonight. General McJames would have it in an email late Monday.
Frank and Eric were stepping off the elevator as I returned from the coffee pot that was always full with fresh strong coffee.
Seated in my office, Frank began the conversation, “All the Blackhawks left in the Arizona bone yard are on hold. The DOD wants to give all of them to a couple of our allies as part of a military assistance deal. They were requesting Cobras but the powers to be are only going to fund a few through the aid program and give them a few of Blackhawks,” he said.
“Neither one of them really want the Blackhawks, but will likely be forced to take them to get the few Cobras they want. You may be able to deal with one of them to buy a few,” Frank added and then continued.
“There is an intelligence/military meeting with a selected few of our allies in six weeks at the Wye Plantation retreat; both of them will be there. I will see that you get an invite and make the introductions. I will also make it known before hand that you may be interested in buying some if they want to sell,” Frank replied.
“Eric, do dirty vice cops fall under the jurisdiction of DHS if trafficking is involved or will I need to go to the FBI or somewhere else?” I asked.
“Just about everyone will want and get a piece of that action. Where is this at?”
“Cleveland Ohio,” I replied. Then I added, “My investigation is not done yet. But it looks like he is dirty to me. Just too many coincidences, and I know what you guys think about that.”
“Where is the trafficking coming from?” Frank asked.
“Mexico and more, I’m sure,” I replied.
“The agency will be in on it too then,” Frank replied.
Burt’s report was only two dozen pages long; I ran it through the copier and gave each of them a copy to read. When they had finished Eric said, “I have to agree – too many coincidences, they are looking for her. There is no doubt he is dirty and with the Mexican connection, may be a lot more involved.”
Brook Hayward tapped on my door (she was the clerk for Robert and Burt), “I hate to interrupt but Burt said to get this to you ASAP.”
It was another report from Burt. Matt Bentley was the vice cop from Cleveland. I ran two more copies and handed Frank and Eric one to read while I did the same.
The report was his life’s history, bank accounts, property holdings and the department files on him. Then there were all his phone records from his land line, personal cell and department issued cell with all the text messages from both. Burt had different highlights for calls to Mexico and Central America and repeated calls to several cells on his personal cell phone.
Those other calls were during all hours of the day and night. They were listed by several ways; by the number, day and times. The ones to Mexico and Central America were always the same times.
The texts were very informative and incriminating no matter how I read them. I was damn sure glad I did very little by text. I could say more in 15 seconds than I type text in 5 minutes.
The property holdings were impressive for a vice cop. I was willing to bet they were in the slums of Cleveland with a protection racket and money laundering operation going on. I wondered how many girls were chained to beds waiting for the next customer with ten dollars.
I waited on Eric and Frank to finish before I said anything that I was thinking. One thing I was thinking was as thorough as Burt and Robert were, I would bet that in a few days I would have reports on all the most frequently called numbers, tying things together.
“Is this Alica here?” Frank asked.
“Yes! She was one of the four homeless girls I adopted from C-ville. You have already met a couple of them, Paula and Joni,” I replied.
“Paula was homeless? You’re kidding.” Eric replied.
“No, afraid not, she was living in a junk car in the woods by the old mill. The town police were going to carry them to the county line in freezing weather and dump them out,” I replied.
“As soon as Ohio finds out Alica is here, they are going to come get her,” Eric replied. “If this cop and his group don’t find her first,” he added.
“Over my dead body,” I replied.
I slid his picture across my desk, “He is flagged on our facial scanners; if he shows up here he will get some solitary time in the compound to answer questions and then a look at the inside of the wood chipper by the pond. Dad, Jason and the Judge had it stocked with fresh water trout, bass and catfish. Fresh chum does them good from time to time,” I replied.
“You don’t really want to do that! It could have a really bad ending for you,” Eric replied.
“You catch him there and no matter what he has done, some up and coming DA or federal prosecutor will plea bargain all his crimes away for his testimony. They will put him in the witness protection program and his punishment will be time served. Then they will give him a government check for the rest of his life. And don’t tell me they won’t do that because you know they will,” I said.
“If he or any of his buddies show up here after questioning, they are fish food or else they get dropped off in the African desert from 20,000 feet wearing flex cuffs and no chute,’’ I added.
After looking at Frank, Eric replied, “Can we sit in on the questioning before you do that?”
“I can guarantee you that next week a joint task force will be looking at him and his fellow officers with a mission. Can we take anything that does not have Alica’s name on it?” Frank asked.
“Is there anything else we need to discuss before we leave?” Eric asked.
“Yes, I need a rush on a couple of passports,” I replied as I pulled a file from my desk and handed it to Eric. It was a backup plan in case Alica need to be gone for several weeks.
One application was in the name of Jane Alica Jones. Burt had made up a complete new life history for her to go with the name including a birth certificate from the State. It seems Burt still had connections in the state agencies. The other was for Amanda Black with her original information.
“Ah, so you do have a backup plan to make her disappear if need be,” Eric replied.
“Always plan ahead,” I replied.
Edit by Alfmeister