Around the world in Washington DC, the men and women who had been in the situation room in the Pentagon when the XSR-28 had been shot down had just reconvened. They were now getting word that the Marines had saved one of the pilots, retrieved the data disks and destroyed the aircraft. The mood in the room was euphoric. A Navy Admiral, one of the many high ranking officers present for the operation went into an adjacent conference room and picked up the secure phone and dialed Jack Boggs’ number.
Jack was sitting in his Infinity sedan waiting to merge into traffic on the Capital beltway when his cell phone rang. He was on his way back from meeting with another of the Chairman’s contacts in the WashingtonD.C. area. Jack glanced down at his phone as it rang, trying to determine if he should answer the call or allow it to roll into his voice mail. He recognized the number displayed on the caller ID. He reached for his phone and pushed a button to connect the call, answering it with a perfunctory, “This is Jack Boggs.”
“Jack, this is Admiral Austin, have I got some good news for you,” The Admiral said with a smile that could be heard through the phone.
Jack could hear the people in the background, it sounded like they were having a party. “What is the good news, sir?” asked Jack.
“The Marines went in and rescued one of the pilots, retrieved the data disks and destroyed the bird. We are making arrangements to have the data sent to us over a secure channel in an hour or two.”
Damn. Jack thought and spoke with what he hoped sounded like sincerity, “That is great news sir.” Thinking fast about how he could get the data disks into his possession he added, “I can have my team come over and take charge of the data. We can evaluate the contents and give you a full report in the morning.”
“That won’t be necessary. Once we have the data I will make sure all parties will get a copy.” said the admiral
Damn, damn, damn thought Jack as he snapped the pencil he was holding into two. His mind was reeling, what was on the disks he wondered and how incriminating was it to the chairman and the committee? He hoped that there was damage to the disks or that the pilots had been successfully jammed before they were able to take any valuable reconnaissance photos of the area. “I’d like to see the data myself Admiral,” Jack said hoping that the Admiral might give him first shot at viewing the information contained on the disks.
“Come on over,” was the Admiral’s response before he hung up the phone.
Jack put the phone down and was in shock. How could this happen? His mind started racing a thousand miles a minute. He was unsure of his next move. Should I call my contact? No, I can’t. I don’t have the throw-away phone. He finally concluded that he would view the data and then call his contact to tell him how bad the news was to the organization.