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I have briefly stopped by the Security Control Center, after a shower but before dinner, when the dispatcher beckons me to look over his shoulder.

As he sits in a wheelchair now, this is easy to do.

One of our long range cameras is zoomed in on two young men changing clothes on a street corner. Unusual before the Firecracker. Very unusual now.

They finish dressing, pick up their bicycles, and start pedaling towards our South Gate.

"Weird," I say, and the dispatcher nods then winces. The doctor has cleared him for only four hours of work at a time. He needed surgery. It wasn't available on site. But he could still think.

The gate called in the contact and we shifted cameras. The outer gate guard called out with his bullhorn and they stopped, both dismounting. One obediently took off his backpack and walked forward. After a short talk, the outer gate guard keyed up his radio.

"Echo 18, we've got Mormons. They are asking for you by name."

I grabbed a mike. "Swap out and hold what we've got."

The countersniper nest above H5 Executive had sights on, I noted from the monitor repeating their dedicated long range camera.

I bicycled to the gate. I had just one question for the gate guard, out of earshot.

"How exactly did they introduce themselves."

"Elder so-and-so of the Church of Latter Day Saints."

"And they gave my name."


"Search 'em and clear them to here."

The solicitors patiently endured the wanding and pat down at gunpoint. They opted to have their backpacks searched instead of being left in the blast pit.

I introduced myself, gave my title and position, and asked what I could do for the LDS today.

They were wearing white shirts with Church nametags and black pants. Clean and neat but only because they had changed. They bore a letter of introduction from the Watsonville Ward.

I offered water, which they accepted, while I read the letter. The letter was a generic 'all assistance' letter with names added in pen and asked for help in gathering names of survivors and dead.

I debriefed them.

No, the ward had no Internet access. Yes, there was amateur radio contact with Utah. No, they were unsure how the Ward President had obtained my name.

I told them that an effort to gather the information they sought was ongoing through Stanford and Red Cross, showed them the site on the gate laptop, and OK'd them to surf it for names.

One thanked me for helping and asked if I knew of other members of the faith.

"No, I am apostate," I said and watched for their reaction.

They blinked. Not many people know what that means, to a Mormon.

Then they appreciated the number and intensity of the armed people quietly watching them.

I knew how they had obtained my name - I'd sent an E-mail requesting biographical data on a murdered survivor. But how it had reached the Watsonville ward worried me. Unencrypted radio? I expressed my concern.

They shook their heads, they said they did not know. I shrugged.

I was not about to have two uncleared persons further enter the site and have the opportunity to survey our situation and defenses, or leave with what they now knew of our defenses and get captured.

So I explained their options as the sun fell in the sky.

They could accept blindfolding, a room for the night, and a partial ride home with the convoy in the morning - or they could go away and not come back, ever.

Elder Matt and Elder Saul - neither over college age - accepted Plan A. I put them up in an interior VIP suite - formerly a storage closet - and had a PA announcement made that any LDS members who cared to talk to visitors could do so and where.

I briefed my boss, Legal 1, and he concurred. We would pump them for intel - of course our VIP suite was bugged - and could afford them for one night.

People were so scared in those days. Any hint of normalcy was desperately clung to. So it did not surprise me in the least that Elders Matt and Saul conducted impromptu services. I assigned one of my sharper guards, Samir, to keep his eyes on them. Samir had steadfastly refused to carry a firearm but in the last breach had given an intruder the full LAPD "We treat you like a King" with his baton. An armed intruder, and shortly thereafter a dead one.

The cafeteria sent them up dinner, which I charged to the Security - Investigations account. Samir showed them how to use the bucket system - two buckets, one with a scoop and shredded sawdust, paper and duff "fines", and the other with a pool noodle around the rim and an oversized wood lid.

I let them have access to another laptop with greater Internet access. I would go through the browser history and keyboard logger tomorrow.

Legal 1 stuck his head in and talked to them for twenty minutes. Then the Site Executive breezed in and out. I was impressed - my schedule and Legal 1's was in 15 minute intervals but his was in 3 minute intervals. He had a secretary, a personal assistant, and a bodyguard - all Company employees and all discreetly but heavily armed.

When the PA chimed for lights out, they got ready for bed. After a brief site check from the control room cameras, I did the same - but in the small office, with a small bedroll from my locker and the furniture folded against the wall. Surprisingly comfortable.

# # #

The next morning was routine, except that when I went out to lead the convoy, the Mormons were there. With their bicycles, dressed once again in their travel clothes.

I had put together a route to give them a good start on getting home. I put them in the truck bed of my vehicle with Brooke driving. I trusted my life to her driving and shooting every day.

One of the Elders was unwise enough to offer to shake hands with her. She turned her head and spat instead. I said nothing until the moment stretched, then said, "Mount up." and did so.

Brooke had no one in the dependent camp. Her wife hadn't made it, and we knew for sure, and why, and how.

My biggest problem with Brooke - and one that I could work with - was that I could never, ever leave her alone with prisoners.

# # #

The route had us punching down the Almaden Valley, via McKean Road, through to Uvas Road and towards Hecker Pass. The Mormons had made it in via Mount Madonna, and that gave them the best odds of getting out the same way - or Hecker if it was open, or half a dozen other routes. I did not ask and they would not have told me.

San Jose PD had a control point at Camden Avenue and Almaden Expressway. They waved us through.

Santa Clara Sheriff had a control point at Almaden and McKean. They halted us. I gave the triple mike click that canceled standing orders to point the technical at the commanding officer of any checkpoint that halted us. That would have been very bloody and somewhat brief.

[To Be Continued]


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