When I turned into Summers Road three hours later, it looked like a truck convention in the right of way, plus there were several cars and pickups parked by the box with Bob and his electrician.
I had stirred up a hornets nest so I walked over to Bob.
“Here is the big boss, now you can talk to her personally,” Bob remarked.
“Ms. Jones; Harry McAlister I want to apologize for a mix-up in our office, it seems that the application for service was assigned to a person who was off for several weeks and then got lost in the shuffle. Before the crews leave today the job request will be completed.”
“If you have any problems at all, please call me direct before stopping in the Washington office. I can handle any need you have from the Cville service center,” he said.
“I try not to get involved with the day to day matters but the feedback I was getting seemed to say Bob was at a dead end, even after talking to you and Mr. Fox and NOT getting positive results,” I replied.
“Thanks for the immediate action; I am sure it will move things along,” I replied before I turned to Bob.
“End of the week we should be done. I have the estimates you asked for in the truck,” Bob said as he handed me a full inter-office envelope.
Robert stopped me in the hall, “They made another phone call today; almost there. Another 30 seconds would have done it. If the computer makes the connections early enough in the next call we will have locations. We are still tweaking the program; we may be able to have recordings of the conversations. It looks like they are using twice a week communication schedule.”
“That would be great, Robert! I’ll take anything we can get,” I replied.
I went to sit in on part of the afternoon meeting. November 1st had come and gone days ago. The day of the Minneapolis investigation I had called East Coast Security to price on multiple purchases of the scanners and other equipment.
Ching Lee and I decided to put that equipment at KCC as a test program. It had taken a lot of persuading to get the College Board to make decisions allowing major changes to the entrances, parking and access to the college. What swayed their decision was that this would be used to set the bar for national standards.
East Coast Security had been there two weeks, working first with Ching Lee and then including Patti and members of Robert’s group.
The goal was to make KCC the model for student safety and security. All the changes were nearly completed. I wanted it done before the students left for Thanksgiving and it would be, with a few days to spare. I wanted to demo the systems to the anti-terror group.
I learned from Lorrie that the second group of former Air Force pilots was at Dover Air Force Base taking the simulator refresher. The second C5 would be ready to be picked up on the west coast when they were finished.
It was a good thing; the agency was using the C5 we had at least once a week and in the two weeks since we signed the contract, Lorrie had already made one flight for the DOD. The one we had was quickly closing in on the next major inspection, at that rate.
I learned that there was a big dinner planned by the girls for tonight. Mom, Dad, Jason, Lisa, Jake and Mindy were going to be there. I wondered what was going on with that.
The last of the men were released from the hospital today; some rehab would make them as good as new. Jenny and Jason were going to interview them individually; something new that Vicky wanted done. It was to be our own after-action report and to critique the fighting, planning and execution, also to have something in writing if things went to crap later.
Having 20 of the men back from Windhoek would work out great with all the new hires coming in. They would have two or three weeks to recover and then act as trainers again.
I opened the envelope that Bob’s estimate was in and looked through all the pages of the pictures with descriptions of the work. At the end was a materials list.
The final page had material costs and labor. I penciled through those numbers, tripled the labor cost and doubled the materials cost. I added a line for a million dollars in air freight charges with another line for motel rooms and food expenses. There were two world wide hotel chains in Windhoek; Marriott and Hilton.
I figured 36 double occupancy rooms at 300 a day should cover that cost and 100 per day per man for food.
“Cindy, would you make these changes and then run me 4 copies, please?” I asked.
Two round trips with a C5 to carry the men and materials and one 737 flight to bring all the men and their personal hand tools back was what made up those charges.
Bob interrupted the meeting, “The utility was done, the generator is off and being removed as I am speaking. The elevators at both the house and gym are fully functional. All of the doors Marcy wanted are in the basement and will be installed by the end of the week. The building over the concrete box will be finished by then as well.”
“You can go down and look around, just don’t trip over cords and tools.”
It was time to take Robert and Burt to the basement for them to decide if they wanted just the computer equipment down there or their office too.
East Coast had installed a retina scanner so we could control who had access to the basement; for now us six girls and Jason. Any ID card would work the elevator from the gym to the office level. To get to the basement required the eye scan and card or a special override code.
After the initial shock of the basement, Robert wanted two side by side spaces; one to put all the computer mainframes in and one for all his people. They chose two across from the big meeting room and adjacent to the lunch room and bath rooms and beside my command center.
That added one more job that Bob needed to do and that was to drill two 4 inch holes through the 2 foot concrete wall for all the computer cables the EIT department would need, without going to the cable trough that ran from one end of the basement to the other.
One problem solved, many more to go. With the EIT group going in the basement, two more large spaces would be opened up.
When we stepped off the elevator Rachael was coming out of one of the private rooms we had set up for family members to VCATS to their family.
“Did you have a good conversation?” I asked.
“A great conversation! They will be here January 3 and stay 2 weeks. We are planning so Aric can see everything he wants,” Rachael replied.
“I hope everything works out for you. Come back when you can,” I replied.
“Dad had said a couple times a week. If I can talk him into it, may I use the system three times a week?” Rachael asked. Then she added, “I hope Dad and Mom will get the gym bug while they are waiting.”
“You can use it as often as you like. You can put a bug in their ear that you can get them a big discount on the gym membership,” I replied.
It was time to go over to the house to prepare for the big meal. Mom and Lisa had been cooking all afternoon. We girls tried to help but were run out of the kitchen. “Too many cooks spoil the stew,” Mom said as she was pushing us out of the kitchen.
In the waiting I learned the hunters and Robin had been conniving after all the deer hunting in the scrub. They had formed a hunting club.
Jason, Dad, Robin, Jake, Major Culpepper, Judge Slaughter, Bob Jackson, Curtis Warren, Jenny, Vicky and Robbie had rented hunting rights on four farms, over 5 thousand acres all joined.
A thousand acres of it was along the Wye River and the bay; prime goose and duck hunting and there was another thousand acres of woodlands overrun with deer and had dozens of goose pits. Jason had been dealing with the farmers for over a year; he had planned to lease it just for him, Dad and close friends.
The four farmers had leased the hunting rights the last few years to a commercial hunting guide company. The properties were being terribly over hunted and the hunting parties had no respect for private property. The farmers had winter wheat planted because the geese liked it and the corn the combines left in the field.
Four wheel drive trucks doing donuts – when the hunters were bored – were destroying the crops and rutting up the field. The beer bottles, cans and trash left had pissed off the farmers to no end.
Jason had promised that none of that would be happening and the hunting would be only the members of the group and an occasional guest. There would be no commercial hunting on any of the properties.
When the heck did Jenny and Vicky get the hunting bug? I knew they had been through the sporting clay range a lot lately with Jason and Jake. All of us had since we bought into the gun club.
We called it a great stress reliever and there was great competition among us. It was a heck of a lot more fun than just shooting paper targets.
That explained all the gun and hunting accessories catalogs all around the house and new camo foul-weather gear that had come from the gun club. The cover story – when I asked – was the weather service was predicting a bear of a winter this year.
I knew, with out a doubt, where Jason, Dad and Jake could be found the rest of the winter.
Dinner was fantastic; even though Mom taught Lisa, Jenny and me to cook, we just could not duplicate the flavor. The homemade biscuits were just better and the gravy had just a little bit more flavor, the roast was so tender it melted on the tongue.
After dinner we were ushered in to the living room to wait for dessert.
Dessert was a big cake with congratulations for Mindy, Lorrie, and Ching Lee. Before any words were spoken, we all knew. All three were pregnant; the doctors confirmed that Mindy had retained both of Jenny’s fertilized eggs and was with twins.
Both Ching Lee and Lorrie had caught the first time and were pregnant by artificial insemination with Jake’s semen; the Jones family was going to have a major expansion in 7 months.
Mom and Dad were ecstatic; four more grandchildren to go with Jenny’s twins.
Ching Lee and Lorrie were tickled that they had been able to keep it a secret until today. Mom had overheard the three of them talking this morning and the gig was up. They knew she would never be able to keep the secret.
My mates and I were as ecstatic as Mom and Dad; our family was growing. Our boys would have brothers or sisters. I should have been upset that there had been secrets, but everyone was so happy and so was I.
When I got a chance to get close to Jake to congratulate him, “I told you years ago you were a stud, now you have the proof. Six babies by four different women in a year definitely qualify as a stud,” I said as I gave him a hug.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.