Book 2 Chapter 160

Back at the White House we had a good evening with late night snack of cake and ice cream from the kitchen. It hit the spot and was a welcome change, even if it was fattening.
We were in bed by 2400; the boys had gone to bed at 2300. After a little touch and feel intimacy, sleep came easy and breakfast too soon.
I speed read the updates after breakfast; there were no changes other than little fires everywhere that either needed fuel or water poured on them.
I read the Russia and China updates with interest – none of it was good for either. I wondered if there was a way to make China lose interest in trying to take Russian territory – I would have to think hard about that one.
On my desk was an envelope from the CIA stamped ‘Top Secret’ and sealed. I opened it and read the names then copied the papers. I had a special mission for Jenny to do on Monday with the names.
After a fun morning with my family and a lunch of hamburgers, hot dogs and baked beans, they flew home in two 406s. In an hour Vice-President Harrison and I were taking a motorcade to Andrews to meet Russian President Orbatch and his party.
The motorcade had only been stopped a few minutes when an officer approached the Beast to deliver the message that President Orbatch’s plane was fifteen minutes out.
I finished the time by reading the last of the information on Orbatch that could be found through our systems.
Nicholas Orbatch was forty eight and had been to the Russian version of West Point Military Academy, then served four years in the Siberian missile post. He had transferred out of the Russian Army to the political spectrum. He was well liked and hitched onto the coattails of up and coming politicians.
One of those was a military aide to Putin, Fahim Petrov. Intelligence provided that Petrov was married to the daughter of Putin’s mistress. Petrov was not liked outside the leadership circles; he was arrogant because of his connection to Putin. But in Russian politics, voicing your dislike could get you assignment in Siberia or something worse.
Orbatch maneuvered his way through the political triangle by making friends and not enemies.
When Putin passed, a blood bath ensued among the political rivals for the Russian presidency. The gulags filled quickly with those that displeased the KBG.
Petrov was in the first group of bodies found. The Mayor of Moscow and many of lower level officials were in the next group of bodies found.
Orbatch emerged unscathed but his power base was shaky. He tried to unite and hold the federation together but the drought and locusts were wreaking havoc on the people.
Nicholas Orbatch had been married to Alyona Sokolova for twenty five years; she was five years younger than Nicholas. By all standards Alyona was a beautiful lady, they had two children – both boys.
I closed the folder, placed in the briefcase and closed the lock.
The Russian plane had come to a stop on the tarmac and the stairs were coming down. I waited until the stairs were completely down and the advance teams had met with the Russian team. Those teams either rejected or accepted the security proposals before the VIPs departed the plane.
The security proposals were accepted and I exited the Beast to greet President Orbatch at the bottom of the stairs when he came down.
Anton Pavlenko was standing at the bottom of the stairs waiting on President Orbatch to come down so I walked that way.
The Washington media group was out in full force. They were in the normal roped off area. I had the distance increased for two reasons; I wanted to make it harder for them to yell questions and also to listen in on any conversations. Actually I just wanted to make their life a little more difficult. But still, they had boom microphones.
”Anton my old friend, it’s great to see you again. Welcome to the United States,” I said as he reached out to shake my hand.
I shook it, ”We can do better than that,” I said as I gave him a hug.
When Russians meet someone the first time the greeting is usually with a firm handshake. When meeting old friends, the handshake is usually followed by a hug.
”Ah, I feel you are still carrying your hardware as you call it,” he said.
”Your friends still are trying to kill me, I like to be able to fight back,” I said.
”We have tried to get them to try a different approach to their problems but you know how some people are,” he said.
”Yes unfortunately. We have much to talk about privately,” I said.
”Hopefully some of the talk will be over hamburgers and that beer you like so much. We made so much progress in that relaxed meeting,” he said.
”I’m sure I can arrange that. Would tomorrow evening for supper suit? Tonight is the state dinner for President Orbatch,” I said.
Tonight I was holding a state dinner for the group and selected guest top level members from my staff with several selected Senators and state department people.
President Orbatch descended the stairs. At the bottom Anton made the introductions and I gave Orbatch the firmest hand shake I had ever given anybody and he responded in kind.
Other introductions followed, Vice President Harrison and State Department Secretary Dean. Alyona Orbatch descended the stairs unescorted. I saw her out the corner of my eye while talking with Nicholas.
When she was at the bottom of the stairs, ”I believe your lovely wife has arrived,” I said then I turned and introduced myself.
”Hello, I’m Roberta Jones – my friends call me BJ,” I said.
”Madam President, this is my wife Alyona,” Nicholas said.
We had a general conversation before I invited President Orbatch, Alyona, Anton and his wife Svetlana to join me in the Beast for the trip to Blair House where they were going to stay and rest to freshen up before tonight’s state dinner.
President Orbatch’s aides and advisors were packing suitcases into Suburbans while we had been talking. Secret Service agents were going to do the driving to get them to Blair House. Russian embassy personnel would do the driving anytime they wanted travel around DC.
We had a lively but guarded conversation on the drive to Blair House.
”I know your days start a lot earlier than ours because of the time zone changes. What time do you want to start tomorrow?” I asked.
”Early by your time – I will try to make the adjustment – it would mean I would get to sleep in a couple extra hours. Let’s say 0500 your time,” he said.
”Sounds good,” I said. “We will have the state dinner in a couple hours and turn in early,” I added. We stopped in front of Blair House. The butler and aides began taking their things in.
”I will let you get settled in and see you in the White House in a couple of is hours,” I said.
At the Oval Office I read the findings from the CIA to several questions I had. By tomorrow afternoon I expected to have a lot more answers after Jenny, Marcy and Vicky completed the task I asked them to do.
A text from Andy said they were closing in on another group of Boko-Haram not far from the village of Gusau and moving in that direction.
”Do what you need to do,” I said.
The hour went fast; I spent the time reading more reports. I went to the living quarters, showered and chose one of the best evening gowns I had and a modest heel to match the gown. Then I went to the makeup lady and the hairdresser; between them they had me looking like a has-been movie star.
I gave the opening toast followed by a dozen others. The appetizers were gone and the plates removed. The waiters served the salad while the White House and Russian photographers were given a second chance to take pictures.
The meal was steak and lobster with all the fixings. The gym and I were going to have to spend more time together; there was no doubt about that.
The state dinner for Orbatch was full of pomp and fluff. It was hosted by the White House but the State Department handled all the particulars. The format and the guest list was driven by an unwritten set of rules. Great care was taken not to offend, invite the wrong people, opinionated or ones that over indulged in the free alcohol.
The dinner went surprisingly well. Everyone seemed happy as they left. With a few parting words I wished President Orbatch good night and would see him at 0500 in my office.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.

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