I spent Monday and Tuesday in my office working with the girls and time with Jacob and Robert. They went with me to Fort Smith Tuesday afternoon to watch the training of the new men who had arrived on Monday.
What was left of the special operations team and the training group were putting them through the paces. I only hoped that the rush in the training wouldn’t come back to haunt me.
The boys looked at the Fort as a new playground with all the buildings; each had something new that needed investigating. They went home with pockets filled with empty shell casings. Yes they had pockets now, diapers had given way to training pants and then to normal underwear so they were in little boy jeans and camo. They just had to show Mommy all the different kinds they had found.
If I could just convince them to pick all of them up and put them in buckets. There were companies that bought empties to reload. In fact we could have bought the mass production equipment to do that ourselves but I didn’t think it was worth the hassle to save a few pennies a round.
I listened as they told the rest of the girls where they had found them and all the things they seen at the fort. They never missed a thing, not even a minor thing.
Then the questions started. “When can we go back and look for more? What were all those wrecked cars, how did they get wrecked? Why are there bullet holes in them? What were all those big bangs we heard?
“What were all those men doing back there? What were those rooms with the pipes for walls? Why did you have to use your ID card to get the big gate to open? Will my card open the gate?”
Yes they each had their own JBG ID card. We insisted that to be big boys they needed to carry it all the time. We wanted carrying the card to become a habit; the card had the normal tracking chip in it.
“Can Pop-Pop take us back there tomorrow? Maybe Aunt Vicky can go with us, she is good at finding things. You do want to go back don’t you JJ?” little Robert asked.
They had settled the name thing themselves after listening to us talk trying to be secretive. When discussing things about them or what needed to be done for them we abbreviated their names to RJ for little Robert Jones and JJ for Jacob Jones; they soon put two and two together. Secrets only last so long. They were smart and caught on quickly.
Now when we talked about them and we did not want them to know we used one of the languages we spoke. But that would only going to last so long before they caught on to that. We were still doing a language a week around the house so we would stay fluent in each. Being inquisitive they were picking up things quickly.
It was Tuesday afternoon that I had another ‘Oh crap’ call come into the office. The call was forwarded to my office where I answered it. It was the lead investigator for one of the major TV news networks investigative shows. He called into the office and tried to schedule an on camera interview. Then he had the audacity to ask if they could follow me around for a couple of days to develop program material.
“I’m sorry but I don’t do interviews unless directed by the White House for official government purposes. At JBG we have a public relations department that handles whatever press releases that are necessary.
“We are a privately held company and that limits what needs to be said publicly. We have no need to inform or impress any stockholders about any decisions or actions that we as management do,” I said.
“As far as following me around, I handle so many things all day long that are classified and cannot be overheard or reported that it would be simply pointless.”
“Another thing is I value my family’s fleeting moments of private time immensely and certainly don’t want to share them with the world. I will talk to them but I know the answer almost before I ask,” I said.
“The show’s director, programmer and media research team have made the decision that one prime time investigative evening info program is going to be about you.”
“Doing an interview will allow you to answer questions and respond with your vision of events to statements by others that may or may not be factual. The show is planned as the lead-in show for next season,” the caller said.
“So you really don’t have a show outline to work with and want me to give you a place to start looking. For the time being the answer is no to any interview. Do your program and I will review the final product, then possibly do an interview at the end,” I said as I hung up.
I knew they would never go for that, to make their show they had to have the gotcha moment; the more the merrier and early in the show. Then they would expand them and turn the whole show into a hit piece. I had no intention of supplying it for them.
Wednesday morning after an hour with Robert evaluating Tiam’s daily broadcast, I went Washington to get an update in the Harrisburg investigation.
Anne had scheduled the meeting for 10:00. I was there in plenty of time. While I was waiting I read through the stack of interviews that had been completed.
I already had several ideas on what caused and contributed to the fiasco. Reading through the interviews did not change my mind but it would take in depth reading and assessment of all of them to create a final report.
Anne and her team were nearly done with the interviews; another two weeks would finish them up then two more weeks before the three of us would sit down and write the final report.
Anne, Andrew and I went through the progress reports of the interviews. In the process Anne started an outline for the final report.
I explained what I wanted to see and how I thought it should be on paper. I had no trouble convincing them that I wanted a report that answered as many potential questions as possible.
I did not want to be spending days testifying before Congress under oath to answer questions when the report should do most of that up front.
Thursday and Friday were planning days for the next two weeks. Part of the arrangements had been made last week. Hotel rooms had been reserved in each of the Pact countries.
All of us were going for the first part of the trip in two separate planes. We were leaving Monday and spending the first two days in Portugal to inspect the Loure’s command and training center. We wanted to look ourselves to see if we wanted any changes while all the contractors were there.
Marcy was getting so many invoices and bids on the cleanup and renovation that she had assigned a clerk full time to keeping it organized in put into the accounting system.
There was SAP (Standard Accounting Practices) and MAP (Marcy’s Accounting Practices). SAP didn’t hold a candle to it. Marcy could hit a few search keys and tell in a few seconds if I had bought a piece of bubble gum on the company card a year ago.
The second day we were meeting with Prime Minister Cordeiro and his cabinet. It was to be an evaluation of how the first few weeks had worked out and to discuss any changes.
Then there would be discussions about the Pact. I was hoping I could manipulate those involved to come to Portugal for a joint meeting but it was not to be.
Each of the countries wanted us to visit for a state dinner. It was the politics as usual thing. The need for politicians to be seen in a positive light in the local media was critical for survival worldwide it seemed. We were in for seven state dinners, official visits and media events.
All the girls had been shopping they were prepared. We were prepared.
I spent more time researching the letter I was going to use in France, not that I needed to do much research. I finished the research and started writing the letter.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.