At 0900 Eastern the first text from Ching Lee hit my phone, ”The attack has started – they are assembling in the parking lot and have started moving towards the court yard entrance. Black hoods, weapons and some look to be wearing a suicide vest,” it said.
It was 0800 in Oklahoma City. The terrorist timed the attack to hit when the courtyard would be full of students heading to class.
I logged into our college cameras on my laptop and selected Oklahoma State. I locked the screen to those in the court yard and those around it and watched.
I sent a text of my own to Jenny, ”Get the G5 ready to fly to Oklahoma as soon as we land – and get through the formalities; I want to take off. All of us need to be there.”
Then I sent a text to Eric and Marty, ”Oklahoma State under terrorist attack. Get your people there to assist Ching Lee and Vicky. The local law is not our friend nor on our side.”
I went to the PA mike and informed the men, ”Attention Attention. A few minutes ago a terrorist attack started at Oklahoma State, a JBG college security site. We expected a retaliatory strike and all JBG sites worldwide were put on high alert yesterday morning. The terrorist cell at Oklahoma was connected with the Paris terrorist cell. The attack is ongoing and as soon as more information is available we will try to get it to you.”
At 0945 Eastern the seat belt light went on. We had been coasting for quite a while from forty thousand feet saving fuel as we descended. A few minutes later the gear went down after a series of turns.
Another text from Ching Lee, ”Attack is over- we won, some injuries in our ranks – nothing life threatening, healing will take a while. Twenty three terrorists dead six injured and alive.”
”Stand your ground with the locals – DHS and FBI are both on the way, so are we,” I sent.
Out the window I could see the bay bridge and the city of Annapolis past it. It was a clear fall morning on the eastern shore.
We landed on the runway from a southerly approach. The 747 was able pull right up on the tarmac near the terminal. We waited while the portable stairs was positioned.
”Men, it has been great, let’s plan to do another one next week. Oklahoma is over! Ching Lee sends that we won the shootout at the OK Corral with only minor injuries to our people and the loss of two innocent students,” I said. I was the last to depart of the Morton group.
The baggage men were already unloading our bags. It only took a few minutes to get 75 bags out of the baggage compartment. It was going to take a lot longer to navigate through the maze of reporters and on lookers and then there was customs to deal with.
I quickly brushed off the reporters’ questions as the pilot put my bags on the G5. Andy was not going, he had other things to deal with that were as important.
The 747 was taxiing to take off as I was speaking to the reporters; its next stop was Fort Dean.
But first I needed to survive the attack of two little boys who could run the thirty yard dash in two seconds flat. I crouched down to meet them with hugs.
”We saw you on TV a lot and mommy was afraid you were going to get hurt. We are glad you didn’t. How do you do all those long speeches? I would forget what I was going to say,” JJ said.
”Oh, I don’t think you would run out of something to say. Either of you. Let’s go see mommy and get on the other plane,” I said.
Two and a half hours later the gear was touching the runway at Oklahoma International. Four cars from the MAAR site were parked outside the general aviation terminal. It took that many with the security that went with us.
We pulled into the college after driving through a maze of congestion. As we walked towards the college courtyard I was glad I had put on my gear. Heated conversations were going on.
We forced our way through the crowd of EMTs and officers to find Ching Lee, Vicky and Paul Drake with a group of uniformed Oklahoma City police and some suits.
”Well the big boss is here. Eric said you were coming. That was some operation you pulled off in France. Three hundred terrorists, all those weapons and explosives, damn.”
”I don’t know if you remember me – I was at the seminar you gave about the new terrorist weapons a couple years ago. I’m Vince Albertson, vice director of DHS here in Oklahoma City.”
”The city police chief has finally agreed to allow DHS and the FBI to take over this investigation. It has been touch and go for a while; they were insistent they were going to run the show. They wanted all the video from all the cameras, and want to interview all the men individually. They want to collect all of our weapons,” Vicky said.
“”It’s normal for them to collect all the weapon, make sure you have Franklin Hammonds record the type and serial number of every one they get and make them sign a receipt. No interviews are to be given without one of our attorneys present so they will have to set times to do the interviews,” Jenny said.
”That’s no problem – we will work with security personnel,” Vincent Albertson said.
”We are waiting on the bomb unit to get here with their robot to move the two we think are wearing un-exploded vests,” Ching Lee said.
”BJ, we lost two students. We tried everything to get everyone clear but we just didn’t make it in time,” Ching Lee said.
”Ching Lee, as bad as it seems, from the number of terrorists and the weapons they had and the potential casualties they could have caused, only two deaths and the other minor injuries is a miracle,” I said.
”BJ, the press is waiting for a statement. Do you want to give it?” Vicky asked.
”No, you two have more facts than I can give. I will stand with you, just don’t give away intelligence information or that we suspected an attack was going to happen. The informant we had in the Paris cell gave us enough information to predict Oklahoma State would be the next likely target. Just say we were on high alert after Paris,” I said.
The news conference lasted an hour with the Oklahoma City PD trying their best to look good at the beginning and the end. Ching Lee, Vicky, Paul Drake and I knew better. Before they were finished the DHS would know; the master file on the Oklahoma State contract had copies of all the correspondence from the Oklahoma City PD – and some of them were real pieces of work.
Ching Lee, Vicky and Paul needed to stay until the interviews and investigations were finished. We stayed long enough for Ching Lee to spend time with Takeo. She gave us all the milk she had pumped in the last few days. Takeo was in good hands and she knew it. We said our good byes and headed back to Morton. I was way past ready to sit somewhere other than on an airplane seat.
Since Ching Lee was busy, Jenny wrote up a statement and posted it on the corporate web site and also sent an email to all employees on the flight back.
We had a money conversation on the flight back. It was inevitable; we were spending money like the proverbial bucket had a hole in it. In our case there was no bottom in the bucket.
We decided that it was time to spend some of the proceeds from the mining operation. It was time the books should show some revenue from that venture. In fact, the accounting division was saying that showing no revenue could jeopardize some of the deductions; startup deductions only went so far.
It was decided we would sell the diamonds. It didn’t make sense to sell the gold when everyone in the world was holding gold as a hedge against an economic collapse. Gold would be a lot easier to sell if that happened than diamonds – cut or uncut. It didn’t make sense for us to keep them unless the diamond price fell dramatically.
I would carry several bags of the diamonds each time I went to the monthly bank directors meetings at Thimble Shoals. The diamond department could make the decision to market them as cut or uncut – whichever market gave them the most value.
Then the funds could be deposited in the Thimble Shoals National Bank and then transferred out to our Midwest account to make the mines show revenue and keep everyone happy.
It would also give me a valid reason to be traveling to and banking on Thimble Shoals.
By the time we were finished and were landing, I was holding Takeo in my lap making baby faces to his expressions.
It was late when the wheels hit the runway sleep came easy with Lorrie as my bed partner. We went to sleep listening to Sara breathe.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.