I was early; I was learning to drive more like Jenny in heavy traffic and went straight to Section 12 in the subterranean 4th floor. While driving I used the hands free to call AAGH to check on my men.
There was no change from last night; even those that could be released were going to be held for a couple days. The doctors were worried about all the out of control diseases in central and southern Africa, especially since the skin had been broken, increasing the chance of infection.
Some of my people were already in Section 12 pouring over all the charts and trees that they had put together on Friday. I took the time to stand with them and listen closely at the things they wanted to do as cross checks.
They all asked how my men were, genuinely concerned about their injuries. They had seen the news reports and the live landing of the plane.
Slightly before seven I logged into VCATS and paged Andy. The first topic was to update him on his men. From there we talked about the condition of the embassy, the grounds and the Ambassador’s residence.
The embassy building itself was built much stronger and was in far better shape than the residence. We both opened the picture file and went through them together, pointing out the obvious things and repairs needed.
“There is a small lumberyard not far from here. I am going to send some men to get supplies to fix the roof to keep the water out of the embassy,” Andy said then added.
“If they have any tarps and an extension ladder that they will deliver, I will try to get a tarp over the roof of the residence to keep it dry until decisions are made,” Andy said.
“The G650 is still in Angola; I will get Lorrie to send it to you. I don’t know how many seats are in it but send back that many of the RRS team if you are comfortable doing that. It will help with your overcrowding. How are you on money?” I asked.
“We have been going through it buying food for this many. There are only going to be five that will be able to go back; we need to keep the staffing here at the 40 person requirement,” Andy replied.
“I will have the pilot leave his cash bag with you,” I replied. “You know Marcy.”
“Oh yes, receipts!” he replied.
“Where did the dirt come from to fill the sandbags?” I asked.
“There is a new hole for a pool or pond in the back corner. When we empty the bags it should be filled back up,” Andy replied.
“We used the gun drones to silence the mortars. We found them on a hill in a remote area of a park a mile north of the embassy. It looked like they had been using the site for a while. It was high enough they could do visual spotting and control. We are still watching the site to see if anyone shows up to collect any remains or weapons.”
“We did not have to use any of the drop devices from the drones; the LZ17B worked well. They gave the sharp shooters the ability to be more selective.”
“Have you heard anything from the local authorities?” I asked.
“Supposedly there are a couple of missing men they are looking for. Other than that – nothing – and they had no comment as to why they did not offer any help or protection,” Andy replied.
“Oh, no wonder at that,” I said.
“We are continuing to fill in the holes in the yard and fix the gates today, you are going to need another new Suburban; one of them is beyond repair, the other didn’t get a scratch. The chopper was not bothered at the airport,” Andy said.
“Send that to Vicky and any other things you need so she can work on the logistics. Have the pilots do a complete check on the chopper before they fire it up for sabotage,” I said.
At seven I went up to the Oval Office to update the president on my conversation with Andy and this morning’s report on my men.
The President, Vice President and all the top level staff were there, with the exception of the assistant chief of staff. I gave out reports and passed out damage pictures of the site. I updated the condition of my injured.
A general discussion followed and everyone seemed happy the meeting was over. I was getting ready to return to Section 12 when the assistant chief of staff came in.
“When did you get updates from Namibia?” he demanded almost breathing in my face.
“0700 Saturday, yesterday and today; it is noon time there at that time here; it lets them get the day sorted out. If there is something they need or an emergency, they can call. I have received no such calls. This office has had updates of every call,” I replied.
“I don’t believe that! I think you are a lying whore!”
Those were the wrong words from his mouth, no one calls me that if I am standing and I was. My reaction was immediate.
My right hit him in the mouth, my left in the throat and the right in the middle of the chest, knocking over a fancy leather chair and him with it. I started around the chair only to be grabbed by two Secret Service agents.
“You are lucky; the last man to call me that is dead,” I said.
“Not afraid to kick ass when it is necessary and can do it swiftly. They didn’t lead me astray on that one,” the President commented.
“Troy, you have been told about your mouth. You better apologize to the lady or I just might order the room cleared and let her have 5 minutes alone with you. And for Christ’s sake, stop dripping blood on the carpet,” the President said.
Apologize he did with difficulty – his voice was hurting him – and then left. The President apologized again.
I went back to Section 12, stopping along the way to get an ice pack from the first aid kit in the hall. My right knuckles were bruised and starting to swell.
Five minutes later texts were flying and the whisper campaign had started.
There was also a rush of people from the other departments down here who needed a refill of coffee. They were discreetly casting glances at my hand wrapped in the ice pack.
30 minutes later the swelling was going down and the bruising on my right hand was not going to be that bad. Hitting teeth and bones cause bruises.
Bobbie brought me another ice pack, “A lot of people think the lesson you gave him was past due.”
The rest of the morning was spent with the tech people working on the phone numbers.
A little before noon, Len sent a number of compressed video files. They were video from the Walmart at Coons Rapids. I sent copies to the guys with the high speed facial programs. If they could find them fast, it would narrow down the search time. There were sixty files that captured the time period from all the different cameras.
The group working with phone numbers was making progress as well; so far one hundred and fifty numbers were prepaid burner phones that were no longer active.
There were an additional 100 so far that were active and there were thousands of calls on the 100 phones, each one had to be researched. With every active phone, the numbers kept multiplying.
In my mind the numbers of phones with hundreds of calls on them would be dead ends. They would be just a friend who called and had no knowledge or participation in the events. The phones were slowly coming back to legitimate people with regular jobs. The numbers pulled off them went the same route; legitimate people, places and jobs with complete paper trails.
We ordered out for lunch, none of the men or ladies wanted to quit. Of all the things they could order, they went with pizza and Pepsi.
This morning’s drone report was more of the same; no activity. I wondered if we should just go ahead and raid the place.
I decided to stay with the plan; second guessing will get you every time.
By the end of the day we just had more mystery, the video files from Coon Rapids did indeed answer a few questions and raised many more.
All six were dropped off at the Walmart from the same public transportation bus. Emmit was still on the phone with the Anoka County ride, trying to find out what kind of records and video they kept.
They never went into the store and walked directly to Diya’s SUV.
The two SUVs with the explosives met Diya there. We already knew they were stolen the day before. They had turned into the Walmart from the north; from the direction of the farm where the explosives were packed into the SUVs.
They parked in a way that blocked the cameras. There was enough movement to indicate that the four women were fitted with the suicide vests at that time. Saif’s car was parked with the group and they all left together.
It shouldn’t have taken that long to install the vest. My bet was they were getting the final pep talks; reading from the Koran and prayers for success. So all this for now, led nowhere.
We were getting ready to leave for the day when the assistant chief of staff knocked on the door and walked in; the room got deathly quiet.
His mouth was still swollen, his lip split and his nose was swollen; I had gotten him good with the first punch.
“They said that you had lots of pictures of the embassy this morning. If you have a minute I would like you go through them with me. I promise no more explicit comments,” he said.
We sat at the big table so I would have witnesses if I nailed him again.
We went through the pictures of all the damage and discussed each one. Andy had sent me video from one of the drones of the embassy grounds. I did not have it when I spoke to the President’s team this morning. I played it on the big screen. There were high overviews and close-ups of the grounds showing the damage to the embassy and residence.
“Taken from a drone?” Troy asked.
“Yes, Andy had several at his disposal. JBG has some expensive ones with very expensive equipment to go on them.”
There was one more file in my email from Robert. I decided to look at it at home. It was marked ‘Classified – top secret – for your eyes only’.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.