Two more of my men were to be discharged from the hospital today; that made me feel a little better.
I had a 0800 meeting with Andy and Ed; Andy wanted to start the process of replacing the men on Monday to get the OPS and Rapid Response teams to full strength. He was right in his argument that we may need them in a hurry. I agreed with Andy’s assessment and the quest would begin with HR reviewing all the applications already on file.
The funerals were on Friday; HR was checking and double checking everything. There had been an issue with the school board about parking. We were sure that there was going to be a shortage. Jason wanted a section of fencing removed and over-flow parking on the soccer field close to the auditorium. Only after agreeing to pay and repair any grass or fence damage did they agree.
I met with Robert; some of the web sites he had been watching had been going crazy. One site the Iranians had moved to the general internet to be a forum for hunting for their general. They were having no real luck, although there had been an item that he may have survived the attack.
There were only a handful of people in Israel that knew he was alive. The Mossad had seen to that and whisked him away to a Mossad controlled section of the hospital.
The traffic on the other web sites had doubled and almost tripled on the sex trade one.
The traffic between Jaed and Tiam had substantially increased and there was a new player in the US. All leads were pointing to Oklahoma City, although there was not enough evidence to confirm it yet.
The thing that set off alarms was that Jaed indicated that the prospective target list was down to two locations and the decision would be made in a day or two.
Tiam’s response was that the explosives had been secured and after the place and date was decided arrangements would be made to get them to him.
I needed to go to Washington; I wanted a face to face with the task force. I went back to Fort Smith and the jail; I asked the General if he had finished the letter.
“I’m sure you will read it to make sure I followed your instructions and I have no problem with that,” he replied as he handed me the letter. I placed it in an envelope with a couple of blank sheets.
I read what the General had written as best I could; I was a long way from being able to put all the scratches and symbols together and make sense out of them.
Back at the office I first had Robert scan it then run it through the translator for an English version. Andy was waiting as I donned the heavy vest. Ziva and Abra were in the SUV with me. I asked her to read the General’s letter to me. I then read the translated version. Both were very close; the General had followed directions. It was a simple letter from someone who knew he was dying.
“Goodbye; I am dying. Tell the family to stay strong and together. I shall greet them with Allah,” was the essence of the letter. It took three pages of ramblings with notes to all his children and wife.
Andy was carrying me to the South Hill Federal Penitentiary where Balthazar was being held. I called the warden and told him to have Balthazar in a visitor room in one hour.
An hour and ten minutes later I was sitting across the table looking at Balthazar; he did not look as good as when I saw him last time. I wondered if he was on a hunger strike.
I passed the envelope over to him. He read quietly then reread the three pages again.
“You have father?” he asked.
“I have communicated with people that have him; he is not well and will not be with the world much longer. I understand it was very difficult for him to write,” I replied.
I placed the blank sheets of paper in front of him and placed a pen on them.
“If you write him I will try to get it to him before he passes,” I said.
What I was wanting was to use the letters as leverage. I knew it had worked on Balthazar; I saw it in his eyes and expression. The thing now was to see if it had the same effect on the General.
Thirty minutes later I was in Section Twelve and causing grief and heartburn to everyone in there. They still could not tell me anything about Harrisburg. I was beginning to think Ben was the wrong person for the job. Troy started in the door but made a u-turn and left without saying anything.
The problem was that I could not say anything about it for fear I would be drawn back into the daily routine again. I had far too much going on for that.
So much was going on that JR VP Cindy Shaw and one of her administrators – either Stacy James or Renay Reese – were going to be moved further into the security division and given more authority.
Cindy had been involved in the general day to day decisions and scheduling of the embassy security division. It was now time to bring her into the more secret and classified decision making. She was an excellent analyst with facts and good with data and sometimes read my thoughts like they were a book. Better yet, she never had let any information slip – even to her coworkers, that we knew of – related to operations. She took the VP job seriously.
Another conversation that needed to be had when the funerals were over was with Robert and Burt. The EIT department had grown to over fifty since I went to Washington. Now with the new government contracts, did it need to grow more and did Robert need to start looking for qualified people immediately? I did not want people burnout or fatigue to get in the way of quality work.
There were so many things to do and there were a couple projects I wanted to discuss with the girls if the damn county would ever get the planning and zoning update completed. I wondered if they were foot dragging until the election was over before moving on it.
Marcy wanted diversity in the income flow; I would give her something to think about. The billions from the Crown Prince were still locked up in the basement and after talking to Robert Alderman and Lexi Morgan – our senior tax people – we had come up with a way to carefully use some of the money.
Next Tuesday was the county business meeting. Marcy wanted me to go to in her place and finally I was going. The county administrator was an obnoxious asshole in her words and still hung up on the court judgment on the old airport. The county still had several more years to make payments.
I had told her to give him both barrels but she insisted that she needed to lady-like in the public forum. I had no need to be ladylike in any forum and everybody knew it.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.