Joint Task Force #2: America

Joint Task Force #2: America by David E. Meadows

Book: Joint Task Force #2: America by David E. Meadows Read Free Book Online
Authors: David E. Meadows
Tags: Mystery
down the passageway to your right, second door on the left.” He glanced at his watch. “Sir, Admiral Marker will be here shortly.”
    “Quite all right, Captain,” Admiral James said. “We’re a little early.”
    The door opened behind them and in stepped a short brunette. Her brown eyes lit up as she saw James. “Duncan, good to see you.”
    “Grace Marker, late again, I see.”
    She shook his hand. “Seems to me you’re early.” Sheturned to Dick Holman. “And, Dick Holman, what Christly twit convinced you to leave the sight of sea to travel inland to the Pentagon? Must be something really good.”
    “Or something really bad,” Holman answered.
    She turned to Tucker. “You must be Commander Raleigh,” she said, shaking his hand with both of hers.
    “Yes, ma’am, I am.”
    “Admiral James has told me you’ve fully recovered from your wounds and are ready to get back into the fight.”
    “I feel much better.”
    “You should. You couldn’t have felt much worse.”
    Admiral Marker turned to Captain St. Cyr. Her smile broadened. “Captain St. Cyr, welcome to the Pentagon. I have established a traffic drop for you to exchange messages with DGSE, French Intelligence. You have several already there.”
    With a slight accent, he replied, “Thank you, Admiral. You are most kind.” Shaking hands with her, he leaned forward, bowing slightly.
    Admiral Marker jerked her hand back so fast she left the Frenchman’s hand extended in the air. Tucker grinned. She must have thought the Frenchman was going to kiss her hand. That would have been a story Sam would have appreciated.
    “That’s good,” she said, her cheeks turning red with a slight blush. She turned to Admirals James and Holman. Grins spread from ear to ear on their faces. She waved her hand at them. “Don’t say a word, either of you.”
    “Captain Lawford, the briefing ready?”
    Five minutes later, a Senior Chief Intelligence Specialist stood at the front of the room, flipping through the Microsoft PowerPoint slides as Admiral Marker and Captain Lawford took turns exchanging comments on them. During this time, an Intelligence Specialist had delivered a sealed legal-sized envelope to the French Captain, who had been going through the messages inside of it.
    “This is where it gets murky,” she said, nodding at theFrench Navy officer. “And Captain St. Cyr may be able to help a little.”
    St. Cyr pushed the messages back into the envelope.
    She motioned the Senior Chief to go to the next slide. “This is the chart of the small inlet where the unidentified ship departed four days ago. As you can see, it is south of Abidjan, Ivory Coast. French Intelligence arrived on the scene within twenty-four hours of the ship’s departure. What they found were a lot of dead Africans and one barely alive. He passed a warning about loading a rusty steamship—at least that’s what he called it—and that a bunch of Arabs sailed it out to sea after they loaded it. Captain St. Cyr, does French Intelligence know anything more than what they’ve shared so far?”
    The Frenchman straightened in his seat, nodding at the three Admirals before addressing his comments to Admiral James. “Admiral, I have been reviewing the recent reports from DGSE. To summarize and add what little new has been recovered, we received words of an explosion near this inlet called Inlet del Rouge, which translates to Red Inlet. It is seldom used, we thought, because the waters are heavily polluted with human waste. Nothing lives in this small body of water except bacteria. The next day was what we would call a slow day in Africa, so the duty officer decided to send a patrol to the inlet to check the story of the Africans.”
    St. Cyr leaned forward, placing his elbows on the table and interlocking his fingers. “The entrance to this pier was open, and the smoldering shell of a truck was discovered. All around the truck, just inside the front gate, and along the sides of a nearby

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