Book 2 Chapter 8
Friday morning after breakfast, we all dressed in black for the funerals. Mindy and Lisa were going to baby sit. They would be busy; there were four little babies for them to watch over and the two boys. I hoped they were up to the task, although I was sure that Ching Lee and Lorrie both would leave as soon as they could.
The media – and there was plenty of it – were camped out on the grass with trucks and reporters. The school board was going to have a fit.
At 1000 all the caskets were in place with the services standing guard. The hundreds of JBG security who had flown in were also standing around the inside of the building.
The families were seated close to the coffins and all the normal things that took place at a funeral, did.
There were several unexpected visitors; the Vice President, Troy, and all the members of the task force, General Ingram and the rest of the Joint Chiefs, along with Ben-David and several ambassadors. They came to pay their respects.
It was a sad and solemn day and I was glad when the last coffin was placed in the ground. This day would haunt me for a long time. It was 1800 when we finally walked through the door to be able to say it was finished.
The more I thought about it, the more it made me mad and I was more determined than ever to kill every terrorist I could find. Not only me but Vicky had a new fire in her eye every time a terrorist or terrorism was mentioned.
The weekend was subdued; it was recovery, rest, and rejuvenation time. But Saturday morning Vicky and I went to Fort Smith to feed the prisoners and to deliver Balthazar’s letter to his father and to help clean them up.
Robert had run it through the translator and Abra had read it to me. I was satisfied that there was nothing damaging in it.
“I see you had funerals for your dead yesterday. A true pity you were not among them; not that we did not try,” he said. There was a TV in the medical building that was locked onto ZNN; they were there broadcasting yesterday.
“You are going to join the dead soon enough, only there will be no marker or grave for you,” I replied.
“You had some very influential people to the funeral. I’m not sure that is a true statement that Colonel Kassis and I are worth nothing,” he said.
“I am worth more alive to you and your partners than dead,” he added.
“Possibly to them but not to me and I am the one that has you, not them; they have no vote in the outcome,” I replied as I was locking up to leave.
Unless something changed by Wednesday, they were going to be fed into the chipper or the Doc’s crematorium alive. I figured if anyone had any more questions they would be answered on Monday night. The Doc was scheduled and easy to cancel if no questions needed to be asked.
Sunday was a family discussion that lasted all day with starts and breaks for boys and babies. It was repeatedly brought to my attention that Vicky and I had been the target of assassins twice in the last week and this was getting a bit much for the girls to handle.
It was Ching Lee that finally put the situation in prospective, “No matter what we do from now on, we are all targets and nothing is going to change that. We just have to be prepared, plan proper responses and stay one step ahead of them.”
Dad, Mom, Lisa and Jason made the rounds after lunch to see all the little ones.
Monday morning started with two hours with Robert going over the weekend’s postings. With the multiple encryptions it took a while but the final print outs were depressing.
General Abdalrahman Kedar must have been given control because the tone and language in the postings had turned aggressive and more radical. The first general broadcast was a change to the bounty on Vicky and me to twenty five million each. He was infuriated that we had walked away from their planned trap. That alone – to me – meant that he was informed of the operation.
The twenty five million was worrisome because that was high enough to bring out the professional assassins or someone who had a terminal illness wanting to provide for their family after their death. They were dying anyhow; they had nothing to lose. The question was, would payment be made? It was very unlikely to educated minds, but desperate people do desperate things.
Of course there would be those who would just roll the dice and try to kill us once the word of the bounty made its’ rounds in the terrorist circles.
In another they acknowledged that General Fayeez Mohammad was missing and a search was underway because no remains had been recovered. They offered increased rewards for information on where he or his body was located.
Further into the post he acknowledged that a rescue team had been dispatched only to run into a fierce firefight, losing many of its fighters before withdrawing after admitting there were no remains at the site and that it had possibly been a trap.
The posts directed to Jaed were demanding and some were outright orders. General Kadar ordered that the message was to be delivered on July fourth with no exceptions. He ordered the big decadent water park at Hershey to be the target. There would be thousands of military and innocents there for the celebrations and fireworks. It ended with further instructions would be coming.
With the printouts in my portable office and ten new people on my escort team I made the trip to Washington. The clock was ticking on Harrisburg and there was no longer time to be timid.
With the unexpected trip there was no media at the gate, but they sure tried to make it there before I got inside.
Inside was as far as I got; Troy met me in the hallway. The media was already in the press room asking for the news conference I had promised them when we had just landed at Morton.
“1300; I will do mine before Harry gives the scheduled 1400 press briefing. Make sure there are donuts and coffee to bribe them with,” I replied.
After conversations with everyone associated with the Oval Office, I finally made it to my new office at the end of Section Twelve.
I should have brought the reports from Portugal and Spain but they were not finished yet. The funerals and injured men had interrupted the normal work flow. Vicky and Cindy were finishing them up today.
I called Dick James and set up the appointment to discuss the findings of my investigation and go over the reports for tomorrow.
One of Vicky’s jobs today was to go through all the embassy official staff; I wanted to know who hired them and how long they had been at the embassies and what their duties were. I was looking for anything that looked out of place. Robert assigned four people to do background checks as Vicky and Cindy put the who, what, when and where together.
After I finished the calls I took the information I had brought from EIT and interrupted Ben’s plans for the day.
I walked in the section twelve meeting room, “Put it all on the table. What have you found and I want to hear all of it right now!”
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.