Big Rig was not happy to say the least with what he had just heard. When he found out that the CIA had managed to put two intelligence people on this spur of the moment mission he fought against it. The brass had to have its way.

Col. Rodgers now had another problem besides this CIA interloper, there were two men out in the field with his best men. From what Diesel had just told him these two men appeared to know next to nothing on the subject of soldiering. This business of not cleaning and taking good care of your weapon for a soldier would be inexcusable and unforgivable for a marine. A marine recruit learns that a properly cleaned and lubricated weapon is the second best weapon system in the field. The first being the good old fashion, mark 1 brain.

The whole trash thing was a sure sign that they knew nothing about how to conceal their presence out in the field. These men were supposed to be rangers. These two men were an unknown factor.

Unknown factor, we will see about that. Thought Big Rig. “Smitty, I need to place a phone call, can you set it up?”

“Yes sir. Where do you want me to connect you to?”

“Well its 1745 hours Tuesday here so it would be 0845 hours Wednesday in Washington, Right?”

“Yes sir.”

“I need to call Colonel Goodspeed at the pentagon, here is his number,” Big Rig said as he handed over a slip of paper.

“This will just take a few seconds sir. Why don’t you take the watch commanders desk to take the call sir.” As Big Rig move to the desk, Smitty did his usual magic with the communication gear. As the call was being relayed to Washington DC the other technicians manning the center started to return from their smoke break. They had the wits about them to ignore Big Rig and anything that they might over hear.

“Colonel Goodspeed’s office Staff Sergeant Wilson speaking.” A female’s voice came from the phone.

“This is Colonel Rodgers may I speak with Colonel William Goodspeed, please?”

“Please hold while I transfer the call sir.”  She transferred the call to the Colonel’s office and informed him as to who was on the line.

“Hello Big Rig, how are you doing?” came the deep baritone voice form Colonel Goodspeed.

“I will be doing better after I solve a few problems.”

“What kind of problems have you got?”

Big Rig gave a quick overview of the situation without giving any information as to the nature of the mission. Col Goodspeed agreed that this was very odd.
“Would this have anything to do with operation taxman?” asked Colonel Goodspeed.

“Yes it would, why do you ask?” asked Big Rig

“My group has been tasked with finding out what has been going on in that area as to who or what has been digging up the place. We have been working with the CIA on this. They have a few leads on this that they are following up on. Who is this CIA rep that is being a royal pain in your ass?” asked Col. Goodspeed.

“Jack Boggs is his name,” replied Big Rig

“Just what in the hell does he think he is doing?” asked Colonel Goodspeed.

“You know this man!”

“Yeah I do, he is a complete prick. Give me the names for the other two guys and if possible their social security numbers and fax me a photo of each if you can.”

“Hang on while I send someone for the flight manifest with their social security numbers, I will email you the information to you when I get it,” said Big Rig. He motioned for Smitty to come over.

“Yes sir,” said Smitty

“I need you to call down to the squadron’s Maintenance control room and ask them to send up the flight manifest for  the aircraft that flow Diesel’s unit in,” said Big Rig.

“Yes sir,” Smitty’s replied

“Someone is on the way to get that info for you now Bill. How are you and Linda doing?” said Big Rig.

“The doctors want Linda to start chemo this week. I thought I was going to lose her two months ago. The doctors put her on a special diet to boost her immune system and to give her some of her strength back,” replied Bill Goodspeed, his voice cracking as he replied to his friend’s question.

Both William Goodspeed and Larry Rodgers had been classmates at Annapolis Naval Academe together. They had both meet their future wives at a social dinner party thrown for those classmates who were to be accepting a commission in the United States Marine Corps.

“Bill, she is a strong woman, hell she is stronger that the two of us. How are the kids holding up?” asked Big Rig.

“Shelly and Jacob are doing okay, they moved back into the house to help out.” Bill replied

“If you guys need anything give Beth a call, help around the house, someone to spell you while you need to run an errand, anything, call her please,” Said Big Rig pleading with his long time friend Bill Goodspeed.

“Will do Larry,” replied Bill sounding happier.

There was a knock at the hatch to the communication center and the young man that had retrieved Big Rig went to answer it. He walked over to the desk that Big Rig was sitting at and handed him the manifest.

“Bill, I got the flight manifest here, let me scan it and send it along with the photos we have,” said Big Rig

“No problem,” was Goodspeed’s reply.

Big Rig scanned the information with his pda and combined that file with the file that he had received from Diesel and sent it off to his friend Bill.

“I just sent you the files to you, you should be getting in a few moments,” said Big Rig.

“I’ll call you back when I have some information for you.

“Give Linda and the kids our love.”




“Will do.” Then he hung up the phone and started to contemplate who to call next as to finding out whom these two mystery men might be while he wait for the e-mail. Colonel Goodspeed thought the first person he should call would be the Army’s liaison officer to the CIA. His computer beeped informing him that he had a new e-mail. He opened it and sent it to the printer next to his desk. If that struck out then he would call the director of army personnel. If that also struck out then he would call the Army’s personnel records and request a copy of the service jacket.

“Staff Sergeant Wilson could you get me the number for the Army’s liaison officer to the CIA please,” he said into the intercom.

“I’ll connect you in just a minute sir.”

She placed that call and transferred it to his office and informed him as to which line the call was on in just under a minute.

“Major Reilly’s office, how can I help you?” said a man answering the phone.

“Yes this is Colonel Goodspeed over at Naval Intelligence at the pentagon and I need to speak with either Lieutenant Wynn or Lieutenant Berkley in Jack Boggs group.”

Major Reilly looked down at his caller id screen and it showed that indeed that the phone call was coming from a Colonel Goodspeed’s office in the pentagon and that it was a secure line.

“Just one minute sir.” After a short pause he continued. “I’m showing that both men are on TAD sir.”

“Can you describe them to me?”

“No sir, I don’t know either man sir.”

Colonel Goodspeed leaned back in his chair and thought as to how he was going to get the service records for both men without going through official channels. Then it came to him, all the military branches were really run by the noncommissioned officers.

“Staff Sergeant Wilson would you please come in here for a minute.”

She walked in and stood at attention in front of his desk.

“At ease Staff Sergeant, take a seat. I need some information on two men and I don’t want to go through official channels and I was wondering if you could help me there.”

“Yes sir, I’ll do my best sir.”

90 minutes later Staff sergeant Wilson returned knocking on his office door.

“Come in,” Colonel Goodspeed said not looking up from his desk. He was engrossed in looking over some aerial photos with an old fashion magnifying glass.

“Sir, I have that information you wanted, and sir you are not going to like it one bit.”

“And why is that staff sergeant?” Colonel Goodspeed asked.

“The photos you gave me don’t match the ones in their official service record jacket,” she stated flatly as she put the folders on the colonel’s desk. Each folder was open to the photos of the men in question.

Bill looked at the photos that his friend, Larry had sent him and compared them to the ones in the record jacket and they did not match. Not even close. ”Staff Sergeant, do the words, Houston, we have a problem mean anything to you?” Colonel Goodspeed asked.

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