Bob Jackson, Mr. Nobles, and John Jenkins were sitting at the fancy meeting table when the general and I walked in. The general was carrying my portable office; that was one thing he was good for.
“Good morning Ambassador,” they all said.
“It’s still BJ to my friends,” I replied.
After the introductions I asked the general to wait out side while I had the meeting with them.
“I guess that you have seen the news it is a six week stint; the question is where do we go from here? There are several ways to go; one is a six week leave of absence. Another would be six week un-paid leave of absence. The final one is for me to resign,” I said.
“Kampala, Uganda of all the places in the world to go to they pick that god-forsaken place to send you,” Bob said.
“Well it is just for six weeks and I have had boosters for all my shots,” I said with a laugh.
“You know with all the people that have worked at the college I don’t think we have ever had an ambassador,” Mr. Nobles replied as if talking to himself.
“Are they going to pay you for the six weeks or are just donating your time for the contract?” Mr. Jenkins asked.
I knew where he was going with that question. If you want to keep money coming in you better keep the day job. I had an answer that was going to blow his socks off.
“The State department is going to double my JBG base salary for those six weeks. My JBG base salary is $25,000 a week,” I replied.
I could have counted fillings in their teeth if I wanted. What I did not say was that all six had of us had the same base salary. It was some kind of tax thing; we paid taxes on it but reinvested it all back into the company. We lived off Jenny’s and my day job salary. At the end of the year we always got big refunds. I did not understand how that worked and did not want to know. We paid tax accountants handsomely to deal with all that.
What I had done was to tell them straight forward I did not need the job if they wanted me to resign.
Bob immediately changed the subject, “we have already gotten calls from the history, world studies class, current affairs class, and they want you to participate in discussion groups with the students next year.”
There was a knock on the door, “I hate to interrupt but I need to confirm a couple things real quick,” The general said.
“Monday 0700 the C17 will be at Morton field. All the things you wanted were approved and will already be loaded. You said you were loading two armored suburbans, 10 pallets of hardware and one Blackhawk. How many seats are you going to need?” He asked.
“40 if we go in the 17. The department hasn’t responded as to how they are removing the current staff there. If they are going to come back on general aviation then we will go with the 17. If they are going to send an empty department plane to Kampala then we should go on it. We would be there when the 17 landed. Either way is fine,” I replied.
“I will get an answer for you Ambassador,” the General replied and left.
“BJ I don’t know but it seems like there is a lot more going with this than you are letting on. Armored SUV’s Blackhawk’s, pallets hardware, replacing the entire staff there” Bob replied.
“That is a very perceptive observation. I cannot confirm or deny that. It is about three levels above classified. The only thing I can say is just watch the world news,” I replied.
“We will approve six weeks of unpaid leave. You will have to pay for the medical for those weeks,” Mr. Nobles said.
“Who would you suggest to fill in for you? Bob asked.
“Patti. She knows the systems, scheduling, payroll and the people,” I replied.
“I think so too. Let’s go tell her. ” Bob replied.
After congratulating Patti we headed home. The general opened the rear door for me to set in the back, “You have some calls to make,” he said as he handed me the list.
A few miles outside of town, “This thing drives like a tank.”
“That’s because it is. It weighed 6000 pounds when it was sent to the up fitters and 12000 when it came back after all the armor was installed. That’s why it is on a ¾ ton chassis, a diesel and cost $175000,” I said.
I was still on the computer on VCATS and working the phone when the SUV stopped at the office. I was not happy Jason, Jenny and Lorrie had gone on a rush flight to Charlotte.
Joni and Paula were working a business flight to Charlotte International today. The group was from an engineering firm in the industrial center. The flight had left early this morning 6 am and the plane and crew was paid stand by to bring them home after their meeting tonight.
They had spent time walking the retail sections of the terminal and spent time in the MAAR rental site killing time.
Paula’s uncle that had taken everything she was entitled to from her parents estate happened to be in the terminal and recognized her. He went ballistic. He tried to force her out of the terminal demanding that she come with him. When that didn’t work he tried to drag her out.
Joni and Paula both put the training they been given to use. The only thing that saved the uncle was airport security arrived to separate and take control. They worked him over badly. Joni and Paula and the uncle were being held at the DHS airport office while the EMT’s worked on him. I could just imagine what was going to happen when Jenny got started. All I could do was wait.
I remembered that I had Eric’s counterpart George Payne still in my phone from the college shooting. I dialed the phone.
“George Payne,” he replied.
“BJ Jones JBG security we worked together at the college shooting,” I said and then Continued “You are holding two of my employees at the Charlotte Airport. I have been rather busy can you give me an update?” I asked.
“Ambassador, Eric said I should be expecting a call from you. Congratulations on your new position; I have three of your officials here also. They are pushing quite hard for charges against Mr. Craft.
Mr. Craft insists that he still has legal control over Paula.”
That is not correct; the state order expired when she turned 18 Paula is now 19,” I replied then I added.
“While you have him you should consider asking him what happened to the 500K life insurance money that Paula was the only beneficiary on that had disappeared; or what happened to the 200K paid up college fund that disappeared or for that matter what happened to the 400K in funds that were from the sale of Paula’s family home that has disappeared while he had control of her finances.”
“If you can get an answer out of him for that I would like to hear it,” I replied.
“Jenny had access to all the legal paper work if you need it. However I don’t think that I need to remind you regardless of the reason that simply interfering with a flight crew is a federal felony as is assaulting a flight crew member and then there is the attempted kidnapping. Jenny will sign any paperwork necessary to file those charges. Our legal teams will follow the process through the court system.” I said.
“Yes ma-am those charges are my thoughts as well. As soon as the medics release him we will be going to the courthouse to file the charges. Your crew will be released as soon as they finish the written statement.” Director Payne replied.
“Thank You, Director; some time when you are in Washington maybe you and Eric can be my dinner guests,” I replied.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.