illiam had briefed the Four on his experience of the last evening, and one of the girls with an exceptional talent of drawing, was taking the description from Sung Wu, the only person to get a visual of Mr. Peterson.

The door of the ready room opened and one of the Generals men stuck his head in the door and stated "there's someone to see you."  William was flabbergasted.  "How could that be?" he thought to himself.  How did he get through security?"

"Show him in Jesse."

"Yes sir."

An old man stepped through the door and stated, "My name is Joe.  My friends call me Old Joe.  I sent a letter of application a while ago to serve.  Now I'm here in person."

William stood up straight from what he was doing and said "excuse me.  If you'll please wait in the hallway, I'll have someone speak with you shortly.  Thank you."  William had a bone to pick with Jesse.

Beau had risen, stepped to the door and showed Joe out.  William called after him, "Beau, have Jesse report front and center immediately."

Beau stepped through the door and within seconds returned with the young soldier, and marched with him to stand in front of William.  "Halt.  Attention!" He barked.

Beau was also at attention and stated "As you ordered Sir."

"At ease Gunny."  The young soldier slumped into the more comfortable position and Beau again barked "Attention soldier!  Did anyone give you permission to stand at ease?"  It was then the young soldier figured out he was in trouble.

"No Sir!" Jesse replied crisply.  He instantly assumed attention.

"I'd like to ask you by whose authority did you bring Joe into the compound?  And why did you break your oath of secrecy about this place?  And how many have you allowed to know about this place?"  William was mad and he was firing off the question in quick succession.

"Permission to speak sir."

"Permission denied!  Gunny, place this man under arrest and show him to the brig." William barked.  He finished up with "perhaps our young soldier friend can come to terms with the grave danger in which he has placed this whole compound.  Maybe he can figure out what is meant by the term 'I swear to keep in utmost secrecy my location, my company, and my duties so help me God."

"Yes sir  Private place your hands behind your back.  You are under arrest.  You will be tried by a tribunal of your peers in short order.  It is there you can state your case.  About face, forward, march!" Beau commanded as soon as the cuffs were secured.

"Hazard, can you see to Joe in the hall.  If you feel he is a threat in any way, throw his carcass in the brig along with his friend." William said.  Then, "Now, where were we?"

In about fifteen minutes, Hazard stepped in the door and waited for William to recognize him.  In short order, William stopped what he was saying and asked Hazard, "you've something of some importance Hazard?"

"Yes sir.  I feel you should give the man audience.  His information is crucial if it can be verified."

"Show him in Hazard."

"Curt will you see that all this is secured?"

"Yes Sir."

Then on second thought he told Hazard, "I'll meet him in the mess hall Hazard over coffee" as he glanced at his watch.

William was taking his first sip of coffee when Joe walked into the mess hall.  He seemed unimpressed by the place, as if he'd seen many in his lifetime.  He spoke to the man and asked if he was hungry, or would like some coffee or other refreshment.

"No, I only wish to get this info to you now Mr. Travis.  I sent a letter a while back volunteering to make a strike for justice.  The man to head the ISIS faction in the US is coming across the open border as we speak.  I am of Mexican ancestry, but I am born and raised in this country, my country, my America.  My wife and family were killed a while back by Muslims, and they were treated sorely."

"I have the skin color and I can speak and understand the language of the ISIS, and I can infiltrate their camp.  They are bringing some deadly explosives.  If I can get something from you with which to place in that vehicle I can blow those explosives up and prevent its use against my fellow Americans.  I am ready to die if I must to carry out this mission."

"Also, I will be able to exact revenge for my family.  I am a man of honor, as I know you are.  I am a brother to App-311c.  After he died attempting to take out a mark, I was able to complete his mission.  That's how I knew about your organization.  I also am an uncle to the man you just threw in the Brig.  We are very close and I pressured him until he gave in."

"He blindfolded me when I got into the truck with him, and was kept blindfolded until I was in the hall just outside the door to the room you were in.  He made many turns and several complete circles in the vehicle bringing me here, and more when we got inside, with which to disorient me.  There is no way I could ever find this place he said."

"How did you learn my name" William asked.

"By PO address.  I noticed a letter on the floor under a PO box and it had your name on it.  The address matched the PO box listed in the advertisement."

"Fool oversight William said to himself."  He sat studying the situation.  His intelligence had already informed him of the big shot coming across the border.  But his informant was unaware of what was in the ox cart being pulled by a mule.

"What are your intentions Joe?" William asked.

"I need an IED in a long tubular form.  Say about two inches in diameter and about twelve inches long.  I need it to be wireless.  I will infiltrate their camp and when I can get close to the ox cart, I'll detonate the device."

"How will you carry something like that so as not to be noticed?" William asked.

"In my rectum" Joe said quietly.

William studied Joe for a second and said "You are not planning on living through this are you?"

"I have a huge tumor in my stomach that is pinching my life from me.  I have no means of having it removed, and I have no will to live since these pigs have raped my daughters and my wife, and cut the arms off my son eventually beheading him.  All died in the day while I was away completing the job for my brother, App-311c.  His name was Juan Orozco.  His family was killed the same day my family was killed," he finished quietly.

Although a tear ran down his face and dripped onto his shirt his face never contorted to weep.  He just stood there, a willing servant, of highest integrity, in pain to serve his country and see justice served.

The pause was interminable.  Juan stood in silence as the tears slowly dripped off his chin onto his shirt.  Finally he spoke.  "I implore you, please, allow me to do this operation," he pleaded.

"I will recruit you, give you what you ask, but only if you'll give me your word of honor on something." William ventured.

"Anything you desire," Joe said.

"That you will do everything in your power to do this mission without the laying down of your life."  Will waited for his response.

"If I were to live through this, what will I do about my sickness?  How can I go on without my family, my wife, my children.  It is a hard thing you ask" Joe said without giving any kind of a hint that he would accept the deal.

William searched Joes face and realized for Joe Orozoco to accept the terms he would have to sweeten the pot.  "Here's what I have in mind.  You take care of this mission like you said, and come back.  I'll see to it that your medical issues will be attended to.  Then, if you so desire, you can join the Patriot Gentleman's Club.  Through that organization you can do as many of these kinds of missions as you want.  Deal?"

"Joes face lit up as he considered the offer.  He stuck his hand out to William and said "Deal!"

"OK" said William.  "Follow me." and then he lead him back to the ready room and spoke to Beau.  "Major Adams.  I have two orders."

"Yes sir." Beau snapped to William.

"First, release Private Orozco from the brig and have him report to me on the double.  Second, give Joe whatever he needs to accomplish his mission.  He will be leaving in the morning."

"Yesss sir!" Beau beamed.

"Oh and one more thing.  Make sure Joe has accommodations for the evening and takes care of that rumble in his stomach." William said.

"Yeesss Sir!"  Beau said and snapped a salute to William.  Then to Joe, "this way sir," and turned and started toward the door with Joe on his heels.  Joe stopped and spun on his heel to face William, snapped to attention, and saluted him.  He then spun on his heel and slipped through the door which Beau was holding open.

Within two minutes a knock was heard at the door of the ready room.  Upon the command to "come in," it opened and Private Orozco entered, marched briskly to William and stopped in front of him, snapped to, and saluted.  He said "Private Orozco as ordered sir."

"At ease soldier.  I hope you've learned your lesson as to how to bring people into the compound?" William asked.

"Yes sir!  Bring the information back, then when given proper authority after going through proper chanels, allow the proper authorities to bring the visitor in."  Orozco said.

"That will be all Private.  You're going to to be a good soldier,"  William said respectfully.

"Thank you sir.  I only wish to avenge the deaths of my aunt and cousins and my own family sir."

"I understand soldier.  That will be all."

Orozco snapped a salute and spun on his heel exactly as his uncle had done.  Privately, William was proud of him.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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Chapter XXIV