I had asked the cooks for a cookout tonight because the weather was supposed to be nice. I called to check on the food and to make sure that Linda had set all the cameras on the place to record. All those that had been damaged were replaced with newer and better.
The cooks said everything would be ready in 15 minutes or less. Time enough for a beer.
I called Andy to tell him I was bringing guests to the cookout, to put the beer in a cooler and take it outside to the tables. I was not sure if the guests would eat.
“Who are the guests?” Andy asked.
“Anton Pavlenko and his guards make sure everyone stays close lipped about operations and keep all conversations to a social nature,” I said.
“You like playing with fire, is all I can say,” Andy replied.
Anton’s car followed us in the front gate. I could smell and see smoke from the grill when I stepped out of the SUV.
“I get home in time to have a cold beer before supper. I am glad you could join me; we have Budweiser and Coors Lite. Which do you prefer Anton?” I asked.
“I have had Coors before, I will take that one.”
Anton had four bodyguards with him, including the driver. After I handed Anton his beer I handed a Coors to each of them, not allowing Anton to refuse for them.
“Anton, how long have you worked for the Russian government?”
“Twenty eight years.”
“Have all of them been in foreign service?” I asked.
“No, four years in the military academy and then foreign service,” he replied.
“How long have you been working for the government?” he asked. Sort of a tit for tat game, I thought.
“Ten years and six weeks when I finish this stint. Ten in the Marines and the six weeks are here, with a few years in between building a business,” I replied.
“Ah yes, aviation, auto rental and the security that brings you here,” he said.
“You forgot the gym, has my girlish figure gone away that quick?” I asked.
“You still have that and work hard to keep it, I bet. You only have a couple more weeks here according to the press release; where do you go from here?” he asked.
“Back to Maryland; lots of people to train,” I replied.
“Where is the next hot spot that Anton is going?”
“Back to Mother Russia then to Iran and on to Syria,” Anton replied.
“How many were in the house?”
“Twelve that I talked to, but there were more in the back,” he replied.
“Do you do the old buckaroo thing and carve notches on the grip?” he asked.
“Tough to do with synthetic grips and all those notches leave ugly looking marks in your palm after shooting,” I replied.
The bottle of beer was half gone when the cook yelled food was ready.
“Anton my friend, care to join us for supper? Supper is low key cookout foods tonight; a taste of home, hamburgers, hot dogs, mac and cheese, homemade baked beans, potato salad, cucumbers and onions,” I asked.
He hesitated then, “Sure, why not?”
“I see you have repaired the wall.”
“Yes, I want the place back to the way it was when I leave. I don’t want anyone else to have to clean up any mess I made.”
“The other wall will be finished soon, then just a few more things to tidy up,” I replied.
“Are you going to do the security for the Havana embassy when it is reopened?” he asked.
“It is not on any list that I have so far,” I replied.
“That will be good duty for your people if you get it,” Anton said.
“LOL, that right there is one reason we won’t get it,” I replied.
“Have you ever been to Russia?” Anton asked.
“No, there are a lot of countries that I have not been to yet. A year from now that number will be greatly reduced because of contract obligations,” I replied. “Then I will travel looking for more prospects. If I get to Russia will you give me a private tour of the Kremlin?”
“Be a privilege to do that, just let me know a few days in advance,” he replied.
We talked about a lot of general things and lightly getting involved international political arena. Finally, after two more beers and two plates of food, Anton decided it was time to go.
“Hopefully I will see you at the German Embassy Ambassador’s evening Gala on Friday; I would like to try a couple of those dances you do,” Anton said.
“We can do that; it will be fun,” I replied as I walked to the car to see him off.
Back at the table Andy asked, “Did you learn anything?”
“I don’t want to play any card games with him, that’s for sure!” I replied.
“I need the camera footage from all three drones brought to my office; I have to go do several VCATS immediately and I’m sure I will have some questions to answer,” I said to Andy.
I fired up my computers and checked into my JBG emails. I read all the emails marked important and responded as necessary.
There were several large video files there. The longest video was from the Canada trip. Andy walked in and sat down with the drone computers just as I opened it. It was shot with the good commercial video camera.
The girls had filmed the walk-around and walk-through of the two new to us C130s at Toronto. The pilots were like kids at Christmas, looking at the new toys. They were all shining with the new paint and the big JBG decals on the side. There was film of them taking off and the girls giving me the thumbs up.
“More planes,” Andy asked.
“Lorrie has signed three airfreight contracts since we have been gone. She has a daily flight now to Charlotte and Harrisburg starting next month. The contracts and the planes have been in the works for a couple months. We are flying so many hours with the two C130s we have that they need to be out of service for a couple weeks each for major inspections,” I replied.
The other video file was of the choppers being unloaded off trucks. From the video it looked like a lot of them had been delivered in the last day or two.
I downloaded the video from each drone computer and looked at it before I sent it to Frank. I sent the high station video first, waited a few minutes and then sent the video from each device.
Then I called Frank, “Did you see anything interesting happening tonight?”
“Well I see why 515 was a hot spot. What the hell did you use to make it burn that hot? OK, I know a girl has to keep some secrets.”
“Was that Anton coming out of that place before the blast?” Frank asked.
“Yes it was; he being there confirmed my Intelligence.”
“Who was in the building?”
“The planners of the attack and other leaders of the clan; they were trying to make amends with Anton for loosing his people by planning another attack against us. They will make no more plans,” I replied.
“Did you get the feeds from the cookout and our conversations?” I asked.
“Yes, that was interesting! I don’t know who was doing more fishing, him or you. But it was revealing about some of his insights. What was that all about?”
“The enemy of my enemy is my friend or something like that. The chat before the devices fell determined that they were not his friends. Oh, by way, you can expect the skunk works will be hacked again.”
“He picked up that there was no jet or rocket engine noise and the drones were so high that it was almost impossible to see them. I told him that it was something new from the skunk works – super stealthy and quiet to boot – and he fell for it. Let them chase ghosts looking for something that is not there,” I replied.
“That’s some else’s department; I will call them and give them a heads up,” Frank replied.
“I need to run Frank; keep me informed,” I said then I cut the feed.
The next emails were from Robert and Burt, “The link has gone dead; nothing since 6 PM your time?”
I separated the video from the station drone into segments and sent Robert and Burt the segment of the two devices falling and the aftermath, “Do you think this might have something to do with it? 515 and its occupants do not exist anymore.”
I had a brainstorm that might solve my Alice, Ellen and Linda problem. I went back and pulled up the video on the embassy servers of the action from the front office.
Then I sent Ambassador Woodman the video from both of the front office cams. One cam was facing the doors where the two terrorist died and the other was facing the counter and the girls. The video was wide angle and captured the whole front office; it was about a minute long. It started with the two breaking in and ended with them dying at the hands of the three girls.
I figured that if he thought the girls harbored any resentment for his actions, it would be clear they could and would handle it when they went back. It just might cool his desire wanting them back at all.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.