illiam sat talking to General Randolph about the information he had received from Tracy Peterson.  The General was amazed at what he had discovered, and alarmed at the same time.  Here he was the owner of several multi-million dollar complexes, and he stood to lose it all if they were unable to carry out the stipulations.

He was harboring a healthy dislike of the reason he could lose all of this, and, wondered if moves hadn't already been made to investigate the holdings to which they had connections.  It was a wonder he had not already been the target of murder . . . and then the thought hit him and he shuddered as a chill ran up his back.  Perhaps the Hanoi Hilton attack had been precisely that with torture thrown in to see what all he knew about the inheritance and the connections to it.

The thought hit him hard.  And as he began to retrace the pointed questions in his mind, which made no sense at all at the time, he became sure of it.  He also considered the fact that if he were done away with, the vast holdings would go to someone else.  He mentioned this to William and also mentioned something else.  He had heard a small airplane land and take off several times while he was a guest there.

William remembered his own experience of the airplane and also remembered he had made a note to investigate that fact but never had.  He keyed his little radio and called to Beau and Hazard to put together a reconnaissance team.  They would reconnoiter the Hanoi Hilton once again and see what was there.  Also, they would check the immediate area to see if there was a landing strip somewhere close.

Beau returned the usual "Yes Sir!" and then said "We'll move out immediately."

He turned back to the General and asked if there were any pilots in the crew or in the Four.  The General said "Besides you I think Doc Wilson flew SEL (single engine land), VFR (visual flight rules).  I think that is your rating as well isn't it?"

William responded "Yes, but I think we need something a little bigger for what I have in mind.  I'm trying to figure the fastest way to deploy men into the Washington DC complex.  It might be that we have to open Virginia first.  If we had say like a twin engine cargo plan, perhaps like a Dornier Do228 we could put 19 men at a time in the air for low level drops."

He then continued "If we could find a pilot we could probably have a better chance at locating a plane."

I'll start checking around to see what I can come up with.

A knock on the door and Sharon walked in.  She had been into town such as it was and ran into an old friend of the Gentleman's Club.  William wasn't listening very well and when asked a question, he had to have her ask it again.

"I said, I ran into an old friend of the Patriot Gentleman's Club.  You'll never guess who it was," she repeated.

"Honey, we're kind of busy.  Are you going somewhere with this?" William asked.

"I understand," she said dejectedly.  "I just thought you'd want to know that she is asking again for an assignment."

Now she had the Generals attention.  "Who are you talking about Sharon?" he asked.

"Well, you vouched for her your own self.  None other than Ginger Rodgers."  She responded.

The General slapped the table real hard and said "That's it!  I knew there was someone!" he said excitedly.

William, now quite agitated said "Care to let me in or is this a private conversation between your two?"

"William, Ginger is a pilot of several planes her dad took care of for my own Grandpa John Randolph.  I wonder if they are still intact . . . I need to go into town and see if I can locate her."

"Probably not.  She was taken in a shelter after helping to fend off an attack of one of the castles in the lower quarter.  She was wounded, and both children and husband were captured.  She found the boy and husband later decapitated.  The girl is still missing.  She is roaming the streets loaded to the nines and mad as a old she bear.  I pity the man or group if she finds them.  She will go in with guns blazing" Sharon said.

"I invited her to come stay at our house, but she said she would be on the streets searching until she found her daughter . . . dead or alive."

"I'm going into town.  I have an idea.  Sharon, bring me your three best girls.  I mean at martial arts.  I'm taking them into town to reconnoiter and see if we can locate Ginger and help her.  The girls we'll use as bait for the beast to come after.  They'll find out soon enough if he has her or what he has done with her."

"I'm going with" said Sharon.

"Whoa there.  Hold up.  Don't I have a say in any of this?" William interjected.

About that time a knock on the door and Curt entered.  William, we need your expertise on some details.  Can you come immediately"

"Sure," he answered, glancing around at Sharon, then "I'll be right there."

He turned to Sharon and said "I don't like this ideal.  I think it is too risky."

"The General will be along, and we'll dress ragged.  I'll see if I can talk Sung Wu into going along as my father, and with our collective skills in the arts, we'll be fine.  Plus, we'll all be loaded for bear." Sharon explained.

"I don't like it."

"Go see what the boys need William.  We'll discuss it later" The General said.

As soon as the door closed, the General winked at Sharon then said, "I'll meet you at the dock in ten."

"I'll be there" Sharon quipped.  Then added "can you get us some pistols issued?"

"Sure.  I'll head for the armory first.  Make it twenty for the dock!"

"Deal" said Sharon and scooted out the door.

<><><><><><><><><><>

William was covered up with three things all at the same time.  The issues Curt was having with the plans, and Beau and Hazard had returned and needed to be debriefed.  Curt was saying "there's something familiar about this set of plans, but I don't recognize it.  It is another underground facility I think, but the coordinates are incorrect."

William scrutinized the plans which were quite deteriorated and faint. He looked at one page and then another, then back to the other.  He said "I don't recognize it either.  Hazard, does this seem familiar to you?"

Hazard came over to the table and began looking the plans over.  A huge grin spread over his face and he motioned for Beau to come over.  Beau looked at the page then started laughing.  "You don't know what this is?  Surely you jest!"

"Mind letting the rest of us in on your joke?"  William was tired, overworked, was afraid for the safety of Sharon, and his patience was wearing thin.  He said "I've only got one nerve left, and you're stepping on it.  Spit it out soldier!  NOW!"

"Yes sir.  This is the Hanoi Hilton."  Hazard said quietly.

Bells and whistles and alerts and alarms started sounding in Williams head.  A whole bunch of things were coming together very quickly and he was hanging onto that roller coaster ride with everything he had.  "Is there a set of prints for this complex?" he asked.

Curt said "come to think of it, I think there are actually two sets."  He started looking through the plans and picked a set, and pulled them from the stack.  He started rifling through the stack again and found the other set.  He couldn't figure out why there were so many sheets.   He handed one to William and one to Hazard.  Hazard scanned briefly through the first five pages and then said "Bingo!"

Hazard said "here's a set of plans that that have another set attached to them.  The extra set is for the Hanoi Hilton.  There is a tunnel that leads between here and there."

"OK.  Stop right there" then turned to address Beau.  "Before we go any further, Beau what did you find in this mornings mission?" William asked.

"Well, my team searched the entire southern area of a radius of about a half mile.  We found nothing but a few burned out vehicles where there didn't seem to be a road, been there a while.  We investigated a little and found the place where the tunnel exited the mountain behind some well placed bushes.  No evidence of trespassers."

"There are some squatters sheltering in the corner of one of the lower rooms of the basement.  They'd pulled some tin over and had it laying across the tops of the concrete walls.  They looked harmless enough.  Had a couple of young girls with them.  We assumed the guy was the husband of the woman, but did not look like the father of the two girls.  The man had a rifle and a pistol on his side.  Looked like Police issue."

"We made sure not to disturb them and I doubt they even knew we were there.  Want us to go talk to them?"  He finished.

William said "yes, I do want you to talk to them.  But wait til it's dark and halloo the camp prior to becoming visual.  Ready your team Beau."

"Yes sir.  Mind if I take Jesse Orozco along.  He is continually asking to go out with me."

"Permission granted."  William responded.  "Hazard, report."

Hazard had been leaning up against the wall listening Beaus' report.  He was in deep thought and wistfully began.  "Boss, there is something awfully weird about this whole setup.  Beau just reported finding a tunnel in the hill south of the Hanoi Hilton.  The plans are either drawn upside down, or, we've missed a whole section of the Hanoi Hilton."

He looked around the room waiting till he had every ones' attention.  "And my group found a tunnel on the north side. But we did not reconnoiter into it for more than a hundred feet or so, but it went much deeper.  And the floor was hard.  There was a layer of dust on it, but there was no vegetation in it at all.  But it had what looked to be a dirt strip which led past it and ended about another hundred or so feet."

"If these plans are correct, there is another portion of the Hanoi Hilton equally as large as the one we've raided twice.  I say we go back and take the plans and look around some more.  And then, there's the question of the tunnel that ends abruptly heading to the north.  This compound is to the east of the Hanoi Hilton.  But still, I'm wondering if there is a tunnel that runs between the Hanoi Hilton and here."

"If you remember, we found a half dozen gasoline powered mules which we made use of  But they wouldn't fit the tracks that were in the same room.  I really believe we're missing something very important here.  The last issue I want to mention is this.  Why did not Tracy Peterson alert any of the cameras or motion detectors when he accessed this place?  The same thing with the Lugers Of Freedom.  How did they get in here?"

"True, we held a tribunal and found them innocent of war crimes, and we set them free.  That was two days ago.  But, obviously they know a way into this facility we don't know about.  I think it's high time we figure this out before that same route is exploited against us, only next time, we might not be so fortunate."

"Anything else to add Hazard?"

"No sir."

William was wistful and he looked at the pensive and blank look of the men deep in question.  He was worried about Sharon.  "OK men.  Curt, choose you six men to search out the cave of which Hazard spoke by the landing strip.  Hazard, take a set of plans with you and check out every wall, every crevice, every crook and cranny.  See what you come up with.  Gaylon, you take six men with you, a set of prints of this complex and you find that way in here utilized by the Lugers.  Move out!"

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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Chapter XXV