Wolfgang sensed the tenseness of Petra and Quip which had not subsided. He noted his grandson Jacob was the calmest of the three. He picked up his coffee, and a wry smile came over his face as he stated, “Otto, I don’t believe we will get everyone’s full attention if we begin with the digital currency topic we need to work. Why don’t we lead with what is chafing at our protégés?”
Otto, somewhat annoyed with the agenda being altered before they even got started, loudly commented, “ICABOD, are you okay with deferring the briefing until we get this new issue on the table? It appears that what is on Quip, Petra, and Jacob’s mind is highly charged emotionally and therefore cannot be addressed as our second agenda item.”
The even-toned software-generated voice of ICABOD offered, “I do sense the urgency of their issue in their voice intonations, so I quite agree, Otto.
“Allow me to state that I captured all their relevant dialogue before you and Wolfgang joined the meeting. I have already begun to sift through the events that has Andy and Su Lin in the hospital in Georgia.”
Both Otto and Wolfgang were somewhat startled by the statement. Otto pressed, “Alright then, let’s get to it! What do we know so far?”
After all the facts had been related to the team, Quip solemnly added, “I’m not quite sure what to do at this point. I mean, EZ needs to know about this situation, but I confess that I don’t want her dashing in there to find the same kind of confrontation Andy and Su Lin experienced.
“If I tell her, she will want to go, and I wouldn’t feel right about not going too. Kind of gives the shop here a vacant look, when we actually have the current Blockchain Project we need to be working on.”
Petra commented, “Let’s face it, Quip, we are not the right people to dispatch to a situation like this. We’re computer geeks, not ex-military combatants. I know Su Lin called Jacob, which kind of puts the onus on him, but that is not a good use of this team’s resources. I have the same reluctance of having him go as you do about EZ. Would it make better sense to loop in someone from Julie’s team? They’re better suited for this level of work with their background and military experiences.”
Jacob added, “I considered that, except Su Lin called me for help. This suggests that a certain knowledge base might be needed. I don’t feel right about hiding here and letting her expectations go unaddressed. I am not certain too what her comment on Major Guano related to. It is uncharacteristic of her to look to her past, isn’t it?
“What if we could get someone from Julie’s team to go with me?”
Somewhat irked by the statement, Petra tersely stated, “This is about sizing up the situation and approaching the problem correctly. I don’t believe for a minute that you are guilty of hiding here, Mr. Jacob Michaels!”
Before the conversation could proceed further, ICABOD interjected, “I took the liberty of contacting Miss Julie. She will be dialing into this meeting shortly to provide her perspective on this matter.”
A few moments later ICABOD routed Julie’s call into the meeting room conference phone.
Julie greeted, “Hi, all. Apologies for not invoking the video portion for the call, but I’m still a little, um…rough looking from my abduction. It will all heal soon, but, well, you know how vain females can be.
“ICABOD provided only sparse details for me, other than it was most urgent that I attend, if at all possible. What is up?”
Otto began, “Julie, this is one of those situations where we don’t know what we don’t know. Andy and Su Lin were apparently wounded during a break-in event at their farm. It sounds as if there is possibly some involvement somewhere from an old adversary, Colonel Guano. No luck yet locating him, though we are checking
all avenues in and out of Georgia.
“Jacob received the call and feels a moral obligation to be on site. Petra has voiced her objection. EZ is unaware of the situation currently but will undoubtedly insist on being there to care for her father once she finds out. Quip will not let her leave without him, but until EZ is told that is an unknown.
“Wolfgang and I are being pulled into a new issue of focus arising from a breach in security at the World Bank, for which Interpol called a short time ago requesting our help. We still need to brief Quip, Petra, and Jacob further on this issue, but Su Lin was the initial topic.
“I hesitate to ask you to go to Georgia yourself, based on your ordeal with those Muslim extremists. Possibly one of your team could be used to insure Andy and Su Lin are safe when they leave the hospital. That’s all I’ve got at this point. I would like your thoughts, realizing this is a lot to digest on such short notice.”
Julie chuckled and responded, “Well, Otto, you certainly netted out THAT situation quickly.”
Jacob then added, “Julie, Su Lin was quite rattled when I spoke with her, which is why she probably started with me. My thinking is that she will want some level of comfort with the person or people we dispatch to see what is going on.
“We all know historically when things go wrong for Su Lin, she seems to always need a fully armed extraction team to get her out. In her life, there are no small troubles.”
Julie sighed and agreed, “Boy, you got that right! I thought we had her stashed after getting her out of that dungeon, but then she …oh, never mind!
“Let me see who I have available. I have to ask, Jacob, since she has a high affinity for you, are you agreeable to partner with someone from my CATS team? Petra, would you be okay with that? We are only talking about a few days it sounds like, and by then the situation should be under control. If it’s nothing, then we all disengage. If it becomes an ongoing problem, then we pull everyone out and enact Plan B. We can make a Plan B, right?”
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