At 0800 we were in the cafeteria eating breakfast with the few men who were finishing up. Breakfast was two groups – those that were getting ready to start the day and those who were ending their day. For the first ones, breakfast was at 0500 to 0600; they had to be at their duty post at 0700, giving them a few minutes for the last cup of coffee and to hit the head. Loures was being run like a military base with BJ and JBG modifications.
Since there were three shifts of security guards and operations, breakfast was basically served all day long. The 0500 was buffet style. It only took a few minutes for the cook to make up pancakes, waffles, eggs, bacon, scrapple and such for the other shifts which were much smaller.
Like me, most men wanted the first meal of the day to be breakfast no matter what time of day that was. I just couldn’t seem to enjoy having a full steak dinner as breakfast – because of the time – then hitting an aggressive day or field routine face on. I know it was odd but I had ideas about a lot of things.
After breakfast we went to the command center and began our day. The five hour difference meant that we could hold video conversations with the embassy security teams in Europe, Asia and Africa. Vicky and I did that while Marcy looked over the office data from home and made financial decisions.
At noon I received a 911 text from Tom.
”Today’s broadcast has drastically changed, they are including several sets of numbers and very little else, also the broadcast is sent every hour,” he said.
“They are getting ready to change the posting web sites, possibly the codes as well. Have they requested that the cells acknowledge? ” I replied.
”No,” Tom said.
In our questioning of General Fayeez Mohammad under the Doc’s guidance and before I killed him, he gave up all the backup sites and codes that all the cells had. Those lists were in my office safe – four thousand miles away.
”Ching Lee will down in a minute,” I replied. I hung up on Tom and called Ching Lee.
”Ching Lee, open my safe. In there on the center shelf is the folder with answers from the interrogation of General Mohammed. Near the back of the folder is the list of the emergency backup web sites and access codes he gave us – I think you were there. Carry that sheet down to Tom. We think they are changing the things today,” I said.
I called Tom back with more instructions, ”Tom – Ching Lee is on her way down with some things that may help. Don’t share any of this with the Washington group. Tell them we are working on it but have no answers at the time, if they call.”
We spent a few hours on VCATS communicating with Raymond Underhill. Things were moving. The generators were being delivered today and put in place.
The fuel tanks had been delivered Friday and with the help of the security men, were set in place. The fuel company had connected them together with valves, hoses and pipe, checked for leaks and then filled them with fuel.
Tomorrow the generator people were to meet with our private utility people to hook up the generators and adjust them. Then they were going to cut the South Africa Utilities wire feeding Polokwane and install switch gear with locks in case things changed and we needed to hook up again.
The old generator had been running more than fifty percent of the time since we bought the property. It had started burning five gallons of oil a day; its life was at an end. The new ones were going into service just in the nick of time.
Marcy, Jenny and I finished the day out in the small gym and recreation area. It was 2000 hours when Tom called back with updates on the intelligence problem.
“The website we had been eavesdropping on went dead at 1400. You were right; one of the numbers they were repeating was in your papers and led us to the one they are now using. They are transmitting lots of new information and orders,” Tom said.
”Washington has called; they are at a loss. I have done and will continue to do as you instructed. As we finish up today I will send it to you in an encrypted file with everything they have broadcast on the new sites. How do you want it, little or big black book?” he asked.
”Be safe and send it big book,” I replied.
Marcy, Jenny and I spent two hours on the computer with the big black book codes, unraveling the flood of messages that Tiam had sent out.
All cells had been required to acknowledge they had received instructions on the new site. More micro management from the IRG; some agencies never learn. The more messages sent the more likely someone will find them – like me. Several new sites that were previously unknown also made the acknowledgment.
After Tom put it through the programs, the IP addresses were found to be from the strip joints near the military bases where the ISIS / Iranian spies were sent. All the joints had assumed cell status.
They were going active on the new sites and ordered to send routine activity reports and gathered intelligence weekly. Until now there had been few broadcasts from those sites, usually just acknowledgments to Tiam when requested.
A major escalation in intelligence gathering was afoot from the Iranian Republican Guard intelligence unit and the remains of ISIS that had gone in hiding for the next Caliphate attempt.
We were up early and had breakfast with the 0500 group. We were bombarded with questions. One of the first was could there be some arrangement made to get good old fashioned American foods from time to time.
The normal Portuguese breakfast foods available locally left a lot to be desired when one was used to ham and eggs scrapple and sausage with pancakes. Especially if one was going to train hard and needed two to three thousand calories a day.
“There is a solution. Put together a primary list of foods you cannot get here and based on space available, we will add those things to the freight flights coming in this direction,” I said.
”Biff can add a couple more large walk-in freezers to handle the extra,” I added.
On Tuesday the meeting started at 0900 and was a blender from the introductions – Prime Ministers and top security chiefs. It took an hour before cool heads prevailed. None of the crap was about anything productive, all of was power playing ‘mine needs to be bigger than yours’ – just because.
It was 1000 before we actually got down to talking about glitches and solutions. One of the glitches was the number of agents coming to Fort Smith and the cost of getting them there.
I was glad I Marcy had came along. While all the discussions were going on she was working in her laptop and emailing Lorrie. They were working on a plan.
The next question was how soon better cooperation between the Pact countries could be implemented.
“The JBG command center for the agreement is up and running as we speak at our Loures site. The remote sites have been completed in four countries. The other five are in various stages of construction and testing. I expect they will be done by the end of the month.”
”JBG is in the process of assigning the agreed upon manpower to each of those sites and completing the necessary training. I am returning to the Loures command center to make an important video call to our Maryland office and have lunch there. If any of you would like a tour of the center and site, you are welcome to join me there for lunch or after,” I said.
There was no such thing as a short order cook in France; to call them anything but a chef was an insult that may get you a lap full of food or no food at all. In reality ours was a short order; the meals were buffet style with the menu changing some every day.
With the number of people there and the numbers coming. anything else would be an impossibility. It would be mass stupidity to expect them to hit the local restaurants for food three times a day. Plus, there was no way for security to deal with dozens of food deliveries at meal times.
We ironed out more issues until the meeting broke for lunch. Marcy, Jenny, Mary Ann and I had lunch with the nine leaders and their heads of security.
I had been intending on eating lunch at Loures and wanted to find out what posts had been made this morning. Instead we lunched with the group who were going to Loures after the fancy catered lunch.
It was during the lunch break that I gave Louis Boucher a note. “Sometime before you leave to go back to France I need to have a top secret meeting at Loures with you and President Bisset if he wants to join in – if you trust him with your life and career,” I had written.
Louis looked at the note and nodded.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.
Food for thought for the last sentence? 🤔Curiosity is a foot😏.