Book 2 Chapter 38

Everyone had Thursday off except for the critical people needed to run the airport and command center. Even those were working split shifts.

Thursday morning we went out in the boats, Jake’s and Dad’s. We had not bought a boat yet. The cut that came up behind the house had not been dredged yet. It was on the schedule but was a month away. After it was dredged, sheeting would need to be driven in to stop the creek from filling in with topsoil over time. After all that, the dock would get built before we could look for a boat. We cast some lines just to make it look like we were fishing.

We took turns lying on the cabin in the sun – naked – for the natural tan while watching the boys. There is something about extended time in the warm sun over a few seconds in the tanning booth.

Lorrie and Ching Lee both had returned to their pre-pregnancy form. Other than a few slight stretch marks you would never have known they had been pregnant, other than that and the slightly bigger boobs, that is.

At noon – with no fish to clean – we went home to start our cookout. At four our families and close friends were coming. Frank, Ben, Eric and their wives and kids were invited along with Joey. I wondered if they would show after yesterday.

All the normal foods and steamed crabs would be a feast for all of us. We had plenty of mac and cheese and hot dogs for Jacob and little Robert; their favorite foods.

There was no business or political talk for a change, just the normal things; the weather, kids, traffic and family.

After the meal and socializing, we were all going to watch the fireworks from our yard. We were close enough to the big yacht club to see them. They always put on a great show. We would have gone back to the boats and anchored on the viewing area by the narrows. We were afraid the explosions would be too loud for the little ones if we were that close.

I stayed home on Friday with the IRS now in capable hands and with Harrisburg over and now in the hands of the investigators; it eliminated two reasons for me to go.

Congress was soon on summer recess – as if they needed one. They were in the rush of budget bills along with the rush of trying to get all their local projects approved and funded, also appeasing the special interest groups they needed for campaign funds.

As such, I did not need to worry about any subpoenas for a few weeks. There were a few senators rotating in and out of the news cycle making noise to keep the story alive in order to distract the media from what they were really doing behind closed doors.

I hoped I could put off testifying until Andrew and Anne finished the investigation. I planned a blockbuster report with all the whistles and bells. The final report should take the steam out of Congress.

I stopped by Roberts’s office to look in my box and to talk to the duty man. Robert had given his group Friday off; I approved the extra day for them. Many had worked twelve hour days for the last few weeks on the Harrisburg mess.

The duty man had made himself busy deciphering the hackings from Tiam. I was glad to see it was still active, even more to read the orders from the general.

He was furious over Harrisburg, raging about the loss of valuable people and resources with no message to the detractors and no glory for Allah. All because of weakness for the vile temptations of women and drink.

A series of directives and orders were in my unencrypted messages.

In a nutshell he ordered all operatives to abstain from all alcohol, pornography, and the illicit temptations of infidels. He ordered a complete religious cleaning and new commitment to the cause.

I believed that it was a general broadcast to all their operatives. The best thing about it was he wanted acknowledgment that the operatives received the message.

One more sign that it was bad for leaders to micro-manage people in the field to the point of wanting verification of messages.

For us this could be an intelligence bonanza. With enough research Robert should be able to track down just how many active groups the general had planted and were working in the US.

The immediate question was, were the communiqués a plant and would any information gleamed be false? Only time would tell.

The rest of the morning was spent in meetings with the rest of the girls; we had a lot to talk about. The primary thing was who to assign the Pact country security teams to.

The embassy security division reported to Vicky with over seventy five hundred employees. That was a lot of people to be responsible for, even with Cindy and two vice presidents under her to help. Cindy had long ago been promoted to Senior Vice President over the two other vice presidents.

With all the problems and issues with Pact – languages, foreign locations associated with – it fell well within Vicky’s wheelhouse.

Ching Lee did not need any more things to deal with either, with twenty five hundred people in college security and five hundred in other security contracts. Plus at least three more colleges were near to completing contracts for the fall, and to top it off, Public Relations was also hers.

It was certainly out of the scope of Marcy with all the financial things and the MAAR rental sites, utility leases and now the truck dealership.

Lorrie had the aviation division plus the vacation rental, real estate, the truck stop and the Horsey and Crash motels. If the South African mine reports came back favorable, it was going under Lorrie’s real estate arena as an investment. We had already locked it down with a deposit.

Lorrie and Marcy had opened a discussion that if the truck stop was successful, we should be adding more to create a chain of them. Successful meant a very good profit ratio in Marcy’s eyes.

Jenny had Legal and Human Resources; even with help from Jason, HR was still a work load. Everything revolved around contracts and agreements. We were still hiring continuously and continued expansion was the driver.

Our employee turnover was minuscule compared to other businesses – less than .1 percent – while other similar businesses were 3 percent and fast food was at fifteen percent and more.

There was a real question on how to make the Pact fit in. More thought was definitely required.

I asked my security detail if they would like lunch at Morton. Since we were all together today to have lunch – the first in a while on a work day – the girls and I decided to take the boys to the restaurant. We waited until the noon time rush was over before we went.

There was plenty room for us. We girls ordered salad and lemonade, little Jacob and little Robert wanted Mac and cheese with a hot dog. The security guards with us were sitting at various tables so they could watch over us as they ate.

We were finishing up when several reporters from a Delaware station came in to eat. They had been covering Energy Department hearings in Washington on the proposed wind generation off the coast, according to the rowdy conversation they were having. One of the reporters was eyeing us to the point of staring.

We were just getting ready to get up and leave when Hanna and Melinda came in.

“So you two are palling around together on your day off?” I asked.

“I was showing Melinda around today; she worked out with me in the gym. They said you might still be here. We thought we would come join you and get a piece of apple pie a la mode and coffee,” Hanna replied.

I sort of laughed.

“You do know that gym, workout, apple pie and ice cream do not belong in the same sentence,” I said.

“We worked out a little extra hard,” Melinda said.

“OK, but I’m reasonably sure that a little extra may be required for the next couple days,” I said.

“Have you been listening to the news today?” Melinda asked.

“Nope, too many other important things to deal with,” I replied.

“The ACLU and certain congressmen are calling for an investigation into the raid, for all the normal reasons,” Melinda said.

“I ordered my own investigation on the flight back, I’m way ahead of them,” I said.

“To change the subject, there is another delivery in four weeks to the refugee camp in Uganda if either of you two want to go along,” I said.

“None of us are going and lately the deliveries have been unloaded in the warehouse, but if you wanted to go to the camp it could be arranged,” I added.

The Delaware reporters were leaving. The one that had been staring stopped at our table and said, “I hope they put you in jail for Harrisburg.”

“That’s not going to happen,” I replied. “But thanks for your opinion,” I said.

Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.

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