“Merry Christmas,” to my faithful readers and their families .” Thank you for reading the story.
The first call was from the President, “Merry Christmas to you and your family BJ. I trust you have had a quiet day with no excitement, other than the holiday spirit.”
“Merry Christmas to you and your family as well. Yes, it has been quiet so far,” I replied. The conversation lasted ten minutes.
The calls went on for an hour from Troy, Ben and members of the task force. Then the visitors started showing up; Victor, Joni and Allie with Alica tagging along. Joni was beginning to show; she was three months ahead of Lorrie and Ching Lee.
The four – including Jenny and Marcy and the other ladies – retreated to another room for a more in private conversation about pregnancy and its daily symptoms and cravings, leaving Vicky and me to entertain the men – which was fine.
We were having a candid conversation with Victor when Eric and Frank along with their wives knocked on the door. I knew they were coming before they got to the door; there was a monitor in the living room in the corner. It was one of the things East Coast had done the day of and a day after the threats.
A gate was installed forty feet down our driveway, with a guard shack to keep the person from the RRT who assigned there warm and out of the wind. Everyone who came to our driveway was challenged. From sun up to sun down, two men were in the shack and one at night. Cameras and sensors watched the complete property and everything was monitored in the command center as part of the EIT duty.
After pleasantries, I suggested the wives add their experiences to the conversation in the other room that was loud with laughter at times.
“I know it is a holiday and work is supposed to be off limits, but I have a couple questions that I need answered. Am I out of bounds if I ask them today?” I asked.
“Any questions you have, we ought to listen to,” Frank replied.
I stuck my head in the room, “Vicky, the men and I are going over to the command center for a few minutes.”
“Play the recording you made this morning,” I instructed the duty man who was just getting ready to change shifts.
Vicky and I were part of a very candid conversation between three agency directors.
“My people there have work to do. The Lone Ranger is going to meet Tonto Monday after we find out what files Baines was looking at and printing. That won’t take very long,” Frank said.
“Frank, it’s been going on eighteen months! If your people there haven’t stumbled on to it and reported it, are they in on it? I would send someone from Washington to the embassy and a different team to look at your office there. At least if it was me,” I said.
“I second that opinion,” Eric and Victor chimed in.
“I will give you a week then I am sending a team to handle the housing problem and whatever. BJ said the Secretary of State approved twenty-five more JBG personnel yesterday and they are not hot sheeting bunks,” Vicky said.
The embassy security was in Vicky’s wheelhouse now as was the SOPS team. I had a burst of pride that she was asserting her authority. The successful trip to Mexico and control of the team at New Jersey were definitely confidence builders.
“Lone Ranger and Tonto; really? You have been watching too many British spy movies, that’s right out of the MI-6 handbook,” Frank said as we made our way back to the house.
“I don’t have time to watch any TV Frank; it’s all worthless crap anyhow, as it does not contribute to the big picture or profitability. Besides, I have five mates who crave all the personal attention they can get and I like to supply it,” I replied.
At the elevator Frank stopped abruptly, turned and said, “Don’t tell me you have the MI-6 operations manual.”
“Frank, you know a girl has to have secrets. I will tell you this; there are a couple more volumes to the MI-6 manual than your CIA manual. The Mossad operations manual is the most impressive; takes up a whole row in the book shelf but then there are four volumes on developing and executing successful covert operations that were real interesting and have been useful,” I replied as I stepped into the elevator ahead of them.
“Reading the KBG operations manual was boring and a disappointment,” I said.
“I had the same opinion of the KBG manual and here I thought it was just me,” Vicky added.
They just stood there looking at Vicky and me.
“Latest editions I suppose?” Frank finally asked.
“Yep, revised this year, all of them except yours; it’s out of date and decades behind the times compared to the others,” I replied.
“I have got to pay more attention to the things in your office when I am there,” Frank said.
“How did you get the KBG manual?”
“Never mind; forget I asked that question. I really don’t want to know,” Frank said as the elevator doors opened in the garage.
The girls and the wives were still in the room carrying on and it was going for 1700. I was hungry and we soon needed to pack for the flight tomorrow morning.
We had sub loaves and plenty of all kinds of deli lunch meat that needed to be eaten before we left. It would be bad when we returned. Hot soup and subs were one of our favorite quick meals.
“Wash up men, you are helping fix supper,” I said.
We had just enough sub loaves, tomatoes, lettuce, onions and fixings to make a descent sized sub for everyone. With two different kinds of soup, there was enough for everyone.
It was a wonderful evening with friends, beer, wine coolers and champagne. Everyone had left by 1800 giving us time to pack.
At 0600 we were at Morton packing the things we needed into my G5; the six of us, two boys and four bodyguards. The bodyguards were going to make this interesting in a way. Gordon Decker – my dancing partner from Kampala – was one of them and other three were the chosen partners for Marcy, Vicky and Lorrie when they started the embassy visits.
Three hours later we were transferring everything to two SUVs and two cars from the MAAR site at Naples Airport. Lorrie’s Florida house rental division had houses all up and down the Gulf Shores area. JBG owned a lot and had a lot more by contract.
We had chosen a six bedroom house less than a quarter mile from the cove where we were going to spend four days resting and relaxing on the beach and the warm waters of the gulf. The cove was a private beach that went with one of the properties we owned.
The property deed and sales contract stipulated the cove and beach were to remain open as a nudist beach. The previous owner was an avowed nudist and had plenty of friends who were nudist in the area and were regulars at the beach.
Aileen Comstock, the MAAR site manager, asked if we were going to the cove.
“Yes, of course! That is what we came for,” I replied.
“Be careful, there have been some troublemakers. The police have been called a couple of times on them,” she said.
It was noon by the time we got everything put away and secured. With coolers, towels and swimsuits we drove to the sandy parking area.
Death threats and bodyguards complicate life; I finally had to agree to wear the body armor to and from the beach. One guard was going to stay with the automobiles and serve as a lookout at people coming to the beach. The other three were going to sit in the beach grass in chairs in case they were needed.
Even with the difficulties, we had a good afternoon. Even the boys had a good time running around naked, although they didn’t like the suntan spray that much. There were a lot of people on the beach for a Monday, I thought.
As the sun was starting down, we packed and left. After showers and getting the boys dressed, we went out for supper. I almost had to fight not to wear the heavy body armor, it was eighty degrees and humid. I finally convinced Gordon I would be OK wearing two layers of the light duty armor. I was one step away from making a direct order for the guards to stand down.
We went to a high end restaurant; Jenny had reserved the room in her name. Salad with the steak and seafood combo – with before dinner wine and beer – set the mood for the evening.
By some miracle I escaped without being recognized. Back at the house we turned in early and were up early and had breakfast at one of those pancake houses that old folks ate at that was not far from the beach. We spent all day on the sand, in the sun and water.
Wednesday was a repeat of Tuesday until after lunch, then is when the trouble started.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.