Robert played the calls several times for me. There was no doubt they were serious about killing me; they were down to details and had information that only the terrorists would have known. The calls were not a random spur of the moment threat by someone who was upset for the day.
We had ordered supper from the gym refreshment center. Cindy brought it down with an entourage. Ben, Frank and Eric along with a half dozen men from the secret service; they were here to pick up the phone information.
I listened as they were played again. Robert already had all the data and phone recordings on DVD for them.
“Robert, you know what I want as soon as you get caught up on things?” I replied.
“Yes I know; we will start tracking them tomorrow. I hired five friends from the MSP unit we used to work with; Jason and Jenny know them well. They will fit right in. They are all former military; understand things we do, the confidentially we need and know they may have to look the other way at times,” Robert replied.
“MSP is not happy with us taking their best people but they will get over it,” Robert said.
The EIT would have 15 people plus clerks after the new hires. They had been the best of the best and I hoped that more expansion would not interfere with that.
Robert handed me back my smarter than smart phone, it had passed the scan and tests he had run on it. Just as he did, a text from officer Ben-David lit up.
“Given the current situation, there is a special freight delivery from Tel Aviv arriving tomorrow morning at Morton Field. Mechanics say it will only take a day to install. Hardware will be included in a false bottom of shipping containers; handle gently,” he suggested.
I wondered what the hell that was all about.
“OK; you have my interest piqued, will be looking forward to the surprise; thanks, BJ.”
I forwarded the text to Robbie so he would know it was coming, after I took the gibberish off.
As the Secret Service left for Washington Frank, Eric, Ben, Vicky and Ching Lee left for Morton Field to meet the Doc with an escort. Tamerl El-Hassan was going to answer questions for Eric and then join his fellow terrorists. Vicky and Ching Lee took my bag tools I had used on Saif. I wonder if I had created two monsters.
With Marcy, Jenny, Lorrie, Jason, Ed and Bill we planned out tomorrow’s trip to Washington and back. Each day was going to be planned out the night before. We talked for two hours before coming up with a plan we all agreed on.
Later tonight we girls were going to have another talk, the kind most people put off until it was too late; the what-if for the worst case scenarios. We girls already had wills; they all said the same thing. If one died their stock and wealth were divided 7 ways; the other 5 girls and now the 2 boys. Now we needed to plan in case all 6 of us perished at one time; unthinkable before, but now a possibility.
It was 2200 when Vicky and Ching Lee came back. Eric, Frank and Ben had been gone 45 minutes they said. Tamerl El-Hassan was being turned into ashes.
“We put him into the furnace alive so he will know what hell will be like when he gets there,” Vicky said.
“We have a mason jar to add to your collection,” Ching Lee added.
We had the meeting that no one wanted, when we finished Jenny had a page of notes that would be turned into legal documents tomorrow. In the event we were all killed Dad, Jason, Jake and Jeanna De Stone – Marcy’s mother – would assume control of the company. Robert Alderman – our in-house IRS specialist – would work tomorrow with the girls, figuring out how things should be done from a tax prospective.
We were departmentalized and with our system of administrative assistants and clerks, there should be minimal interference in operations. Everybody knew their job and what needed to be done. We had planned it that way from the beginning.
Dad, Jake, Jeanna and Jason would all need to attend the next few meetings to get how we did things in their head. A trip to the armory at Morton to explain the two huge gun safes full of cash; the how, the why and the what-nots of it was in order.
Our private time tonight was more than special, the hugging, the tenderness, the love and the reality of what could happen drew us closer together. Our bond to each other only grew stronger. Make no mistake; if they killed one of us they better make sure they killed all of us. Revenge never leaves a bitter taste in one’s mouth.
At 0600 the four Suburban’s headed west to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Today I was in the second one. Rule number one: do not start a routine in security, change will save your life. Last night I was third in the procession.
As we turned onto the highway two MSP and a Transit authority police cars was waiting.
“They are going to take us all the way to 1600. You cannot see it but the Black Hawk is overhead. Both of the mini Gatling guns were mounted last night with 25000 rounds in the rack. If they try anything, they are in for a world of hurt,” Ed said.
The media was not in front of the White House this morning; as cold as it was, they were camped out at the parking gate. The four Suburban’s drove up to the gate and stopped.
“Ed, I need to get out here and at least make a short statement,” I said.
“Good morning, it’s to damn cold to talk out here, meet me at 0900 in the press room. I will make a statement for you,” I said.
All the men and ladies assumed a barrier around me as we walked to the White House entrance. There 10 Secret Service agents met us. I took off the heavy body armor and helmet and handed it to Ziva Soyfer – the former Mossad officer – who was always at my side now.
Ziva and Abra Lehrer – another one of the former Mossad – seemed to take a special interest in me. When I was around, they were at my side or close by.
Ed handed the keys to my Suburban to one of the agents, “I trust you will park it in a very secure area,” he said.
“You can be sure of that after yesterday’s show of force and snatch, there is a new security protocol this morning. No-one wants an ass chewing like that anymore,” the agent replied.
Greg Archer – the first Secret Service agent I had dealings with on the first day – was looking over the guns many of the team were carrying.
“What the heck is that thing,” he asked.
“FM-9 conversion mini machine gun; 9mm belt fed with 500 rounds in the bag. It is a street sweeper on steroids. Our tests show that it is the best small weapon to stop the mobile IED if you see it in time. On full auto it shoots fast enough and hits hard enough with no reloading so you stay on target to stop one in its tracks,” I replied.
“OK, looks better than anything we have for the size. We need to try one out, have you got an extra one we can test today?” he asked.
“Get BJ in the building,” Ed replied as the agents walked me inside.
“I’ll get you one and a spare belt; recover the belt clips and you can reuse them several times. It is semi or full auto and has a selector like an M16,” Ed said as he showed Greg how to load, where things were and wrote down the serial number.
Section 12 was full as soon as the coffee smell made its rounds. I was going to start coffee and then head to the Oval Office with a full thermos; I did not get the chance. The President and all his staff came in.
There was a lively conversation that lasted an hour.
I asked Troy if the press room was available to give the folks that had stood outside in the cold this morning the press conference I had promised.
“There are two different press groups; the primary one has the press passes for all the presidential briefings and use of the press room. The secondary groups hover outside to catch a few news stories and alert their counter parts in the press room of VIPs coming into the White House in the front entrance,” he said then added.
“If you bring the outside group in and give them a press conference in the elite’s space you are going to start a turf war,” he said.
“I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing. Run the elites out and bring the outside group in. I try to keep my promises. Have you got an agent that you can send to the Donut Hut down the street for a dozen assorted boxes and 6 gallons of coffee in time?” I said then I added.
“If I going to start war I want it to be a big one,” I said as I was counting out 200 dollars from my pocket clip.
“I don’t need that; they deliver and put it on an expense account. It will be a big war. I’m going to enjoy watching this; call it payback time that I had nothing to do with. I’ll send an aide to move them out at 0815 and have the outside group in by 0845.”
I stood in the wings with Troy watching as the kitchen staff put out the donuts and coffee at 0845 for the outside group who were now inside with their camera people.
The elite group were on the other side of the glass in the overflow room with an agent with a donut and cup of hot java at the door. Of course he went out of his way to demonstrate how good the donut and coffee was. The overflow room had a speaker so that everything said in the press room could be heard.
At 0900 I walked out and poured myself a cup and sat on the platform that the podium was on. No power play image, I was the same level as they were. The elite group was livid and let it be known as the agent shut the door.
“It’s a lot warmer in here. Who wants to go with the first question? I ask that you identify yourself and the network or news organization you work for,” I said..
The inexperience of the outside group was evident. They started outside in the cold rain and snow and if they made the right moves over years, they moved to the inside.
The questions were good. “Jill Smock WWDS channel 44; the death threats against you: what are your thoughts about them?”
“It tells me we have them by the gonads, right where it hurts and they are willing to do anything to take the pressure off their terrorist organization. We are doing the right things; we are hurting them,” I replied.
“Shree Odell WITV Richmond; Ambassador, these threats are serious; are you afraid? I would be scared to death.”
“Afraid no, cautious yes – I have been shot several times. I don’t run; it is not in my nature. We are all going to die someday. You are not going to get out of this world alive and we are not going to get to choose the time or the place. When it does happen, I just want to go quick, no suffering.”
“Becky Griffin Universal News wire; just how serious were the threats? The White House spokesman detailed the locations by where they came from – which were bad – but not the threats themselves.”
“Serious enough that they put a million dollar gold and silver bounty on my head,” I replied. The overflow room went crazy with that tidbit.
That was news that had not been shared publically before. The elites were upset and noisy again; their fancy communication devices and shortcuts to their bosses were in this room, off to the side. The best they could do was cell phone. This group was live.
“Scott Ortel Metropolitan Media; a lot of people have died and a lot have been arrested. Do you have an idea in the big picture where the task force is, say 20%, 50%, 75% done in its work?”
“If I had to pick a number 20%; because of the continuous influx of new terrorists and terrorist sympathizers I don’t think we will ever get to 75%. We really don’t have a handle on how many diehards are here. It is going to take major changes in how the public views immigration, border control and a host of other changes. Until there is a successful mass causality terrorist attack, neither Congress nor the public will have the stomach to make those changes,” I said.
“Carol Bree WDMT channel 14; The equipment that the task force demonstrated at KCC and used at the 6 football games – from all appearances – was successful. Are final recommendations coming soon and is there a time line for installation?”
“It is still going through the evaluation process. You know how Washington works; slower than trying to pour cold molasses in the winter time, and it is cold out there. To be honest, the task force and most agencies have been overwhelmed with stopping the terrorist attacks. It is coming in time,” I replied.
The questions went on for another hour, finally “That’s all folks, help yourself to the coffee and donuts before you leave.”
I filled up my mug and made a few minutes of small talk with reporters, then motioned for the staff to remove all the coffee and donuts as everyone was ushered out.
I walked with Troy in the hall, “What time is the one for the main group?” he asked.
“There is no more, I only promised the one,” I replied.
“Oh, you are so going to get roasted. I love it. I can just hear the complaining to the spokesman at the afternoon briefing,” he replied as he walked towards the Oval Office and I turned towards the elevator for Section 12.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.