It was Thursday when work started, after hours of sleep and overcoming jet lag. It would take hours to be filled in on everything we had missed.
The C5 had landed this morning. I had the crates unloaded and placed in the secure hanger for the time being.
There were four bays left in the basement next to the tunnel exit that were general storage; basically junk. We took an hour to sort through it and place the good stuff in one bay; the rest went into the dumpster.
Bob’s Construction was going to place a double layer of 3/4 plywood on the floor to protect it in three of the bays today. The plan was the forklift would place a crate in the elevator in the gym and the small electric forklift in the basement would carry the crate into the bay.
Dad’s old farm truck could bring six crates at a time. I still did not know how many the C5 had carried on the return trip.
Then we girls could unload the crate, stacking the bars on the floor. This way, we would be eliminating as many people knowing about the gold as possible. The crates would go back to Polokwane filled with freight for them.
Maybe I was over enthused but I thought the six of us should be able to empty two or three crates a night.
The important things were front and center. All the alphabet feds wanted a meeting with all of us and Curtis Warren in Washington on Monday. I wondered what the hell that was all about.
General Bashir had gone crazy, sending as many as fifty messages a day. I had been right that they were testing different communication methods to see if anyone would bite. Now loaded with false confidence that his systems were secure, he was communicating daily with the terrorist groups.
The Virginia massage parlor and strip joint that sent the threat about me was given new contact info. It was only a stroke of luck that the EIT group had been monitoring the site to catch the change. The code was sent in a one line code and link that was not repeated.
He was even assigning each site their own web address and direct codes on the IRG servers in the intelligence headquarters. His reasoning was if one site got hacked the others would be safe.
General Bashir even went as far as to load a new ‘Tools of Terrorism – How to kill Infidels with lone wolf attacks’; it was an IRG produced training video and guide book to homemade explosives and other usefully deadly things.
As soon as the feds decoded the messages it would give agencies everywhere something new to look for.
Bashir was being assertive and gambling; I needed to be cautious but not overly cautious.
Robert was back from his trip and wanted to hack the system to download everything in the IRG servers.
”I am afraid they will catch it and shut down their systems. I don’t want to lose our access,” I said.
”They have encouraged the sites to use the tools. I will hack one of the strip site computers, dog leg the link and then back hack into the IRG intelligence servers from it,” Robert said.
I nodded OK, ”Use one of the systems that cannot be connected to us,” I said.
Ching Lee and Andy had given Oklahoma State the shakedown, starting with the Chancellor. The sad news; General Bashir had forced the cell leader Sabir Mahmoud to pick a date for the attack. The last week of October was chosen.
The good news was Ching Lee and Andy left a soft opening for the cell to find and to exploit and they did. Sabir was giddy in describing what he had found in the communications with the General.
With Frank Hammonds on board, Andy designed a series of small changes to take place that would result in a pincer to contain their attack when they started, trap them in one area and prevent any retreat.
I was intrigued as Ching Lee and Andy explained it and showed the area on one of the grid maps they had made.
At 1300 a call was sent to my phone from the switchboard.
”Ambassador Jones, my name is Juan Pedro Garcia, I am the President of Mexican Petrol Company. Mexpo is the largest oil producer in Mexico in domestic production and has wells in the Gulf of Mexico.”
”Our President Gabriel Martinez suggested I contact you after talking with your Ambassador, George Marsh,” he said.
”I have met with President Martinez several times – a very nice man. What can I do for you?” I asked.
”Mexpo has two major pipelines; one from Corpus Christi Texas to our refinery in Tampico, the other from Tampico to the Pacific oil terminal of Puerto Vallarta.”
”We are losing twenty thousand US gallons a day to Tappers. There is one ten mile stretch near Reynosa that has been tapped ten thousand times in the last six months. There is another area near Guadalajara. The problem is in all areas of the lines.”
”We send teams to find and plug the taps and there are new ones as soon as the repair crew leave.”
”Now they are getting so brazen that they run off the repair crews and steal their equipment. We know it is the cartel and gangs doing this. They are using expensive equipment. We also know the police are being paid off because they do nothing or harass the repair crews,” he said.
”Can your security division help us in any way?” he asked.
”Since you suspect corrupt police, judges and other officials at the local level, it is going to be difficult to restore lawfulness without the blessing of senior government officials.”
”Before I say yes or no I need to look in to all kinds of things. If we take on the job we will be using everything at our disposal including aircraft, armored vehicles and possibly even heavy weapons.”
”I will also want the blessings not only of President Martinez but of Federal Prosecutor Inez and the High Court commissioners. I will make those calls tomorrow. Today I will have my security team leaders start looking at the logistics necessary for such an operation. Give me a couple days; I’m sure you know it could be expensive,” I said.
”I hear your dedication to the task and quality and effectiveness of your men are worth the cost,” he said. ”I will be waiting for your call.”
I looked at the Google maps of the area and then called Andy.
I explained the request and asked him to assign one of his team to evaluate the logistics and to develop a possible plan. ”Gangs and the Cartels are terrorists with a different language and with different methods and goals in mind,” I said.
It was time to play diplomat and politician again as I started looking through my contact list. First was to President Martinez – the talk lasted an hour and eliminated me making any more calls.
President Martinez scheduled a meeting for Wednesday in Mexico City with all the proper officials. It seems that Mexpo was an important player in Mexican business and Mexican exports. Juan Garcia was a huge contributor and personal friend to the President.
I guess I would find out just how important Mexpo was and just how much a friend to the President.
My next call was to Lorrie, ”Can you call your contact at Air Tractor to find out how long it would take us to get four more ground support 802s with mini guns and rocket mounts on each?” I asked.
Curtis Warren had received the couriered delivery of forms sent from the state department and other agencies first thing this morning and had attorneys working on them. Marcy and Jenny had been answering questions off and on all day for him to be able to fill in the blanks.
Curtis promised that he would have them finished for me to carry to Washington on Monday morning – even if his attorneys had to work on Saturday.
At our meeting – when the topic came up of the Mexico trip – Jenny, Andy and Marcy were going with me along with the security men. Actually the security men part was a solid idea given things in Mexico at the time.
By the time we were finished Dad and Jake had the truck from Morton backed up to the loading dock and the forklift was warming up. With the eight of us working hard, two hours later the six crates were empty and on their way back to Morton. Tomorrow night we would finish up the rest.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.