Chapter 1

This is the second follow-on part of the 'No Strings Attached' story.

The ending of that was:

This entire project had cost billions, and had lasted more than four years. It had required thousands of security checks and special clearances. It had started because of a word of mouth slur campaign when a new Director was being announced for the Agency. If we could look back and see into the past, we'd see that greed, power, control and jealousy back then was the main reason that the AD had gone 'off the reservation' when someone else had been appointed (That and his mistress, who was a young Executive Admin, and wanted all she could get).

Daddy called us all into his office for a meeting when everything was pretty much over.

"I hope you all are done with this little training exercise? You may have a short R&R, and then you'll need to earn your keep. Now git."

Getting a new job from Daddy, makes Bianca and myself nervous. Does Daddy mean everyone, or just Bianca and me?

{{{Note from Author: Read 'Life Can Get Better' on SOL by Angus, for some information on what is needed to be done with a new technology, in order to make special chip sets. (Needed for both the SE (A true Interplanetary colonization series initially based upon recovered items in 1945 and 46) and the SB (a bomber and transport series.}}}

Rob, Li Wu, Mei, Mollie, Heather and the pixie Jody were the 'prime contractors' for the new chips. Manufacturing would be done in China, in an area controlled by Li Wu. Daddy was paying extra for limiting access. Not even all of them knew what many of the chips were to be used for. The unique feature of the chip, was that heat, cold, power fluctuations and space radiation did not affect them, much. The other important part was that they could be programmed to do various things, and used in many different applications.

Our Story Continues...

Remember that 'Test' of the security response teams and the things we all found out that did not work? WELL ... that was only the tip of the iceberg. Daddy was so pissed, that everything had to be redone. Bob was put in charge, and a new plan was developed. Jen, Sandra, Bianca and myself were given our new codes for the house, club, office and even our remotes and cars ... yes, we now had several cars.

Things were now starting to get a might complicated with our personal lives, also. You all know that old story about there being 'no room at the inn, ' or having to share a bed with the farmer's daughter. Well, adding Jen to our harem, now, had a similar effect. We went to bed early and woke up late. With R & R soon to be over, we all were searching the Internet trying to find some country or place where having three wives would be very 'normal'. A Zulu marriage would work, but the price of admission to a couple of those tribes was a price I was not willing to pay, or let my wives pay. The Muslim faith allowed for multiple wives and was a possible choice.

Sandra, Bless her, found several small Islands that were not only Matriarchal societies, but for 'hard cash' only, would be more than willing to add to the Islands population. In fact, they even would add a few 'locals' as wives if they were desired.

Daddy extended our R & R to include a fact finding trip. As the new diplomatic representative of the Island of Tara Bonga, Bianca and her family were 'untouchable' for any overt criticism. The idea of dual-citizenship made our new marriages very compatible with our jobs. We just did not talk about those things very much. Daddy actually blushed when I showed him some videos of the ceremonies, and pointed out several 'volunteers' for the positions of wives four, five and six.

I also started to roll up my sleeve to show him the bruises my three wives had given me when I asked about whether I should accept those offers. All in all, I had three very happy wives, now, who all felt they had a legitimate place in the family, and the legal status, should we decide on children.

Our first assignment when we started work again was to review the new security assignments Bob's people had worked up. Daddy seemed quite proud of them. Bianca and I noticed there were now resolutions to all of the failures and issues we had identified before. We told Sandra about them.

For a school teacher in Elementary school, she was just too worldly. She asked one simple question while we were all at Daddy's having dinner. This was after greeting Maria as 'Mom'. She asked Daddy what was the plan when we were not in Virginia, D.C. or Maryland?

Say Europe, Asia, Africa, The Middle East or South America. Daddy took up a Sat-phone, made a call, then with a disgusted look on his face.

"Sandra ... no, wait your not twenty-three yet. Damn. Do you have any idea how much time and money has been spent to come up with this 'fool proof' plan you just destroyed over dinner?"

"I had such a great assignment lined up for Ryan and Bianca and you just blew it all to hell. Ryan, you and your wives need to make up a plan for at least Asia. Korea should be easy as well as Japan, Thailand, Kuala Lumpur, and China might be a tad more difficult. You have three maybe four months then you both need to go there. I did not say this, but you could hypothetically have your wives help, if no specific details come out.

"You would be working through Uncle Bob on these, so Jen already has enough clearances to help, there. Damn, damn, damn. Where did these daughters get their 'brains' from?"

There was very little that we needed for the D.C. area cars. As had been done in the office ... food, water, medicine, bandages and a Sat phone needed to be brought in whenever the cars were to be used. Food spoils, batteries discharge and the medicines might need cooling or changing.

The other foreign locations did not fare as well. Outside of the 8th Army sites in South Korea, there was very little that would be secure, or even stable. For those that have tried driving there, for a non-Korean on one trip you need to stop several times for a security checks, conducted by armed and uniformed guards ... especially when crossing bridges or heading into a government site.

Legal issues also exist. Even an accident not your fault could result in a 'fine' (Bribe) or being taken into jail.

In any case, 'no way Jose' was any LEO 'inspecting' any of our cars. One could envision how trying to conduct any clandestine trip could be hampered. If security while in transit was an issue, physical site security was worse. Where we wanted to go, the 8th Army was not there. Japan was only slightly better while traveling, but physical security (outside of Okinawa), was just as difficult. Japan was very security conscious. You had to get off a plane with all your gear, get inspected then return to the plane, even if that same plane was to continue on, outside of Lapa[1]. Gaijin flights usually went through Narita. Those two were the good news, Thailand, China and Kuala Lumpur were almost impossible to secure. There were two or three public sites which one could secure in parts of Bangkok, but the rest of the country was just that, the rest of the country.

KL and China were not even secure for the ruling governments. Bianca looked thoughtful. The old adage of 'if Mohammed would not go to the mountain, then you move the mountain' was considered more and more ... first to herself, then out loud, and then to us directly. It looked like we had a few restrictions to deal with. If we wanted to go, and Daddy had plans for just that, then we only had enough time to devise an interim plan for our trips. China and KL would require several approvals so they were set for last. Korea (Seoul), Japan (Tokyo), and Thailand (Bangkok and by extension, Katmandu) were to be done first. First, that is, if we got some interdepartmental cooperation. A call or two from Bob's people helped with that.

One very large Aircraft Carrier, two Destroyers and two submarines (one hunter/killer, and one boomer) were to be our home for a few weeks. Since we would only need a few staff, the need for a separate Amphibious Carrier was negated by a few assault teams aboard the big ship. Several Sea Kings were replaced by Blackhawks and Apaches. F-15s and Harriers shared below decks, should they be needed. It should be noted that we were not invading anything, but Somalia had taught an important lesson when 'Warlords' ruled parts of a country. The 'be prepared' motto was not a bad thing.

I wont detail how, when or where we got ashore but, it was either below, on or less than fifty feet above the water. Was Bianca like a wet hen? Easy answer: yes. 'Dry suits' are not as 'dry' as you might think. Those crew cuts are short for a reason. Females were not originally considered for the clothing, despite what 'GI Jane' wants to claim.

We had to cut the 'tours' by over fifty percent, even then much of the 'mission' was only to 'hide' our real reasons for going to, meeting, or seeing what we did.

I can't say we reached a single solution on that trip, but we did end up creating several staging areas, offshore. The Navy budget that year or two showed a little increase and a few dozen ships and subs out for rehab.

Our plan took a bit of a turn when the Space Shuttle was grounded. Vandenberg's two were also being stopped. Solid fuel and LOX vehicles were limited and because of the secure nature of our plans, and we did not want to pull rank.

If at first a plan does not come together, use Daddy's alternative: try what will work. In this case our Russian friends would sell us the Kremlin, for hard cash. Getting a few rockets (a few dozen, that is), was like getting twelve for the cost of one from the US Agencies.

We had three flights of two rockets in each Il-76 Candid flown to Vandenberg. the rest could take their time. The Russians never asked why we had two dozen sent to China, another three dozen to Japan and the rest to California. They did get a might concerned though when we asked for two dozen more to be handed over to an Internal Russian Agency. We figured that since they had staged several more MIR'S for our use, that it would be a nice gesture if they needed supplies up there later. Daddy's motto took precedence. Be prepared, today's enemy is tomorrow's friend.

We did make a few more friends there. Cash opened so many doors, that we were treated like visiting dignitaries.

We were somewhat successful for Daddy.

The original plan called for four launches of Space Shuttles from military and civilian facilities. The pre-positioning planned to race to a shuttle or returning capsule was now was meant to quickly be in position to recover boosters and any 'fallen' launch vehicles. More importantly what they contained.

With the use of so many launch sites now, payloads were changed. Recovery was now localized to a greater extent. Much of the low tech, non-sensitive stuff was now to be launched from Russia, Japan and China. This had the added benefit of no questions, complaints, or notifications required, since we all were doing it and the parties all had some role to play. No 'instant' recovery was necessary.

In many ways it was faster, easier and less expensive this way. Our 'sister' agencies, as usual were our worst critics. They all wanted a 'piece of the action', even though they did not know what was really going on.

Much of the budget of the J-22 fighter program had been diverted to the new ION powered SS-30 fighter. It was not a true interplanetary vehicle nor was the mission ever intended to need for them to be heavy bombers. Until the SE-40 series and SB-11's would come on line, the only role/mission they needed to be concerned about was to protect the six space stations the Russians had built for us.

The SE-40 series needed the new chips sets that Li Wu and his teams were working on. We already were promised that 100 of the SB-eleven prototypes were to be manufactured, ahead of schedule. There would be a significant delay while a modified SE type was to be developed for transport only from the earth to the staging areas at the MIR'S space station. Like I said, expect the un-expected, adapt, change and move on with what works, even it was not what was planned. Daddy was making all of us believers in his philosophy, now.


Life continued to play it's little game.

This time amidst the blowing sand of a Middle East desert.

To keep a balance, every good thing automatically generates something bad. This time the consequences might be, explosive, to say the least.

When his little sister had been killed, Hassan could only hate. He began to hate everything and everybody that might be to blame. He soon found there were many other people that shared his hatred. One day a girl, no a young woman, walked up to him and asked him if he could, would he try to avenge his sister. It did not take much thinking before Hassan was en-route to the place where the young woman had told him to go. It was a Mosque, nearby, but was strangely with few people around even though the time was close to the call for prayer.

When he was near, the Imam could be seen by the entrance.

"Come pray with me", he said to Hassan. After showing his devotion, as a Muslim, the Imam spoke to him again. "We have heard that you lost your sister in a recent attack. We are all truly sorry for this. Many of the followers of the one, true, faith have had to endure losing loved ones. Allah teaches us that violence is not the way to salvation, but also teaches that an 'eye for an eye' is justice, not violence. If given the chance would you be willing to claim such justice on behalf of your sister?"

Hassan was still in mourning, he had loved his sister very much and because of her murder, he could only hope for such a chance, especially when blessed by an Imam. He nodded his head and said yes.

He was sent to a camp. There he found others, many of whom would die in suicide attacks against the infidels. During the so-called training, Hassan came to the attention of a very important person in the movement. Hassan was not only educated and adept in several languages, but his devotion to seeking revenge was seldom seen in a new recruit.

With merely a word from the leader, Hassan was about to enter a very select group. Not only was his training expanded, but soon he was sent to a new camp.

In this new camp there was a quite different aura. No poor, lame, blind cannon fodder here. Most of those here seemed well educated, many were from other counties, and there were women, un-veiled women, doing much the same as the men.

Since he was new there, much were things he did not know about.

Hatred, violence, senseless killing he knew was wrong. He had never understood what innocent women and children, who often died in an explosion, had to do with the justice in seeking revenge. The life of an innocent, Muslim or Christian, was as protected as any other. People who sought justice, should not equate violence with anything in the name of Allah.

The recent riots in Cairo and the destruction of Aleppo, had shown that Muslim vs. Muslim killed the same as the 'infidels'.

All he knew was his sister was dead, she had been an innocent, and now she was no more. Why? He had asked that question over and over. He never found an answer, but he knew, other sisters and brothers lying in the street would not bring her back. It may give him revenge, though.

Edited By Sagacious and Anonymous

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