We stopped by the cafeteria and the three of us got a loaded salad on a carry plate, from there we went to the big table in Section Twelve. The conversation over lunch was about the elevator meeting.
”You wouldn’t really do that? Would you?” Anne asked.
”Do what?” I asked.
”Dry?” she asked.
”No but don’t tell anyone – it’s not going to happen, I wouldn’t give them the pleasure. I just wanted them to worry a lot, hopefully not getting a good night’s sleep any time soon,” I said.
”Can you document everything you said in there?” Andrew asked.
I opened my portable office and pulled the six folders out, putting the three I had just confronted on the table. The top sheet was the Pirate Bank Logo and had the account number with the copy of the paper index card with all the real information on the account owner. The paper card was one of the only two places that information could be found at the bank.
The next sheet was the request to search the account and authorization. My name and signature was on it in two places. One as the bank officer requesting and as bank director authorizing. The next sheets were the accounting pages on which I had written notes where the deposits had come from.
Anne had Senator Hope Emerson’s account and Andrew had Senator Ruth Gavin’s. Anne picked up on the signatures right away. I could tell by the eye cut she gave me and then by the finger tap on the paper after she nudged Andrew under the table.
Sly girl but not sly enough I thought – you need training or more practice.
They looked while we were eating then swapped papers and I read the Senator Howell file.
”Very profitable business,” Andrew said.
”Yep, if they hadn’t been so greedy they may have gotten away with it for a very long time,” I said.
”Did you notice the dates? There were six accounts started the same day, within minutes of one another,” I said.
”There are more?” Anne asked.
”This one has a committee meeting after lunch. We shall go see her. The other two are having a committee vote on funding for the grants today or tomorrow. I will wait until after the vote. I would hate to influence the outcome. Doing things like that tend to bite you in the ass,” I said.
The others started to return from lunch, I tapped the papers and motioned to return them and then I put them away.
”The real question is – what else are they willing to sell and to who?” I said.
”That’s a good question,” Andrew said.
”What can be done about it?” Anne asked.
”Nothing without a major restructuring and chaos in the Senate and House. I cannot get any more information from the source or allow this to go public without major repercussions. You have no idea the difficulty and expense in getting these,” I said as I put the papers away.
”Oh, I can just imagine! Everyone in the world has been trying to get information from that bank without success,” Andrew said.
”I would like to get their access to classified documents canceled but that would start a fire storm. But on the other hand, none of the deposits so far are – although I am not finished – from any foreign banks. If there were, they would be in jail already,” I said.
”I need thirty days of quiet and then I will hang them,” I said.
”Why don’t you talk to Dick James – as Secretary of State he is the one that has to cancel their security clearances, and Art Cummings as head of NSA – he may be able to have all their systems watched. They do work with you a lot and you are always bailing them out it seems. Also they were instrumental in the Black Bear takeover,” Anne said.
”I could do that in the morning, which would give me time look at the rest of the data I have. They were the ones that encouraged me to investigate everything at Black Bear so maybe they knew or suspected something,” I said.
I decided not to see the other three – unless they gave me more trouble today – until I had more time to review all the data and meet with Art Cummings.
After lunch we went to the House set of committee meetings. Congresswoman Roxy Granger of the House Foreign Affairs committee avoided me at all cost- never looked at me during the whole presentation and made sure she was on the opposite side of the room. She was texting the whole time. There was no doubt she had been warned. The minute the gavel struck she was gone like a bolt of lightning.
The Senate Appropriations committee passed the funding request for the college security bill. Senator Rose Pearlman railed against it and voted against it as did Senator Sherman Ballard.
I wondered if Roxy was running – she was scared. I was willing to bet there was more in her file than was in the others plus the dollar amount was a lot higher than the others, as I glanced through it again. I looked at all the deposits closer and where they came from. I then compared the bank numbers eliminating those from Black Bear, the defense industry and the broker.
I called Robert and read the bank numbers. It only took him fifteen minutes to call back. They were from Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, China and Russia. That was the only motivation I needed.
I placed a conference call to Art Cummings and Eric Roberson, ”Put a tag on Representative Roxy Grainger, travel, phone the works – do it today, she may be trying to run. If she tries to get into any foreign embassies or a flight out, arrest her. It’s important; I will fill you in on the details tomorrow.”
Tomorrow I would have enough answers to decide the fate – or what was left of it – for the others.
The trip home was a beast. We left just as the rush hour was underway. There were big meetings tonight, also Andy was back and putting his people together. Black and Bear were moving into their offices and the employees from McLean were setting up their new offices – they had been there all day. The movers had started this morning bringing the things we owned and not leased over from the western shore.
Marcy and Lorrie were excited; this Saturday was the grand opening for the truck stop and the truck dealership after all the months of work. Rows of diesel pumps had to be checked out and operational. There was a lot of them!
Rows of gasoline pumps were ready to go with four lanes for RVs with fresh water, sewage dumps and for pickups pulling big trailers. They were big and long enough with clear access for even the novice driver.
It had two fast food restaurants and a Country Kitchen run by the people who had the excellent restaurant at Morton.
There was a convenience store with everything a traveler and anyone else could want.
The trucker’s section had thousands of accessories for trucks of all kinds. For the drivers there were showers, plenty of bathrooms, a laundry and rooms set up for brokers.
The overnight parking could park over three hundred trucks and had a section away from the trucks for overnight RV parking with electric hookups.
The dealership shop was going to do service and repairs as needed. The parts bins were stocked, oil tanks filled and display areas set up. Forty new trucks were arriving this week for the opening.
Marcy had been pulling the best of the trucks from the utility auction to put on the used truck lot. There were pickups, dumps, bucket trucks and other special equip she thought would sell and draw customers.
There had been dry runs verifying the gas and diesel pumps all worked with credit cards at the pumps. Lorrie said there were over fifty national fleet credit cards that truckers used as well as normal cards. All of them were checked to make sure they worked.
The county finally relented and allowed a big tall electronic sign with prices that we could control from the fuel control terminal.
Lorrie was going to offer a big discount price for both gas and diesel. Fifty cents off local market price – two dollars for gas and two twenty five for diesel – for the grand opening from 1500 Friday until midnight Sunday.
Local businesses could get a gas card backed up by Midwest Bank that offered a twenty cent a gallon discount on fuel if the card was kept current.
The ribbon cutting would be at 1500 Friday by the county commissioners, Marcy and Lorrie. Maggie Hayes and her group had been making ads for TV commercial spots that were going to start running Thursday night. Hanna Page with the channel 34 crew was going to run the cutting live with a short piece on the truck stop. The major Delaware station was going to be here as well. This was to be the largest truck stop in the three state area.
The overpass was not done and would not be done for months. The state allowed JBG to widen the road, add turn lanes from both directions and a stop light, all of which had to be removed when the overpass was completed.
At our meeting the sleeping plan that Lorrie and Andy had been talking about was reveled. Lorrie had bought thirty used sixty five passenger school buses for practically nothing. Once a school bus gets fifteen years old, they cannot be used for public schools in most states. There are plenty of them on the market.
The buses were taken to the Texas Steel site where our mechanics stripped the seats out of them. The Texas Steel fabrication shop was going to line the walls with half inch armor plate bolting it to the sides, front and back and cutting an entrance and an emergency door. They were also going to make a carrier on the front of the bus to mount a ten kW generator on.
Lorrie had found a large RV dealer that was going to supply two roof mount heat pump units and wire up the generators to them with thermostats on each bus.
Texas Steel was also to mount a waste tank in the left rear corner and a gray water tank on the right rear. Also a fresh water tank and pump were at the mid-section. A RV flush – because they used little water – was to be mounted above the waste tank and a sink and mirror over the gray tank. Just three feet at the rear was needed for that. Most people needed a bathroom break in the middle of the night. Those additions would eliminate the need to go outside.
Several portable bath trailers had been rented with real showers and home-style fixtures. All that meant that fresh water trucks and sewage trucks were needed and just added to the logistics nightmare.
Carpenters had been found to build bunks in place, thirty inches wide and three high. When completed each bus could sleep eighteen men if they were close friends and there were no heavy snorers. But at least they would be safe from drive by shooters. Another fear, another problem solved along with others.
Several tractor trailer loads of bottled drinking water were acquired. The food trailers were at the site waiting. Tractor trailers of frozen foods were to arrive the day before M day.
When I went to look at Andy’s office, on the wall was a big map of Mexico with pins on the prospective sites. There was a list of things needed and a check off if and when they were acquired. On another wall was a map of France, Fort Polo, Fort Dean and Oklahoma with the same things.
All of the cubicles in his office had someone in them. Andy had filled half of them with experienced logistics people from the Mclean office. The rest were his trusted people from the OPS team.
Andy had chosen Forest Singer as his second in command. Forest was from the original Special OPS team.
I breathed a sigh of relief, good things were happening and I felt better about everything seeing maps and lists that I could walk over and look at any time.
Marcy passed out the new credit cards to Andy’s team – they needed them. Logistics were expensive and the cards had high limits and a pin number for each transaction. Andy’s limit had been raised again – like the girls and mine, it now had no limit. The bank would automatically text all of us if anything looked suspicious.
But first things first and that was France and Oklahoma.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.