Robin and I got back into her car still a bit amiss of the whole Fu encounter and how to proceed.
We had thought about heading to Shadowlands to see Doc again but Fu had said not to mention anything to anyone and as much as I trusted the doc. We decided against another visit. Obviously when we were going to see him, Fu and his men had managed to stop us.
“Maybe Colleen would like to go out for Chinese food tonight with us?” Robin piped up out all of a sudden, remembering that she had called. “Oh, wasn’t there a third message as well?”
Picking up her phone, I dialed into her voice mail once more.
“Hello Robin?” the male voice boomed over the speaker phone “This is Colonel Kitney, Spec OPS Commander” there was a shot pause “I know I am not at liberty to divulge much information over the phone, but if you could stop by Karl’s office, I need to talk to you; it’s very important”
Robin turned and looked at me. I could see panic and tears in her eyes. I knew where our next stop would be.
The next half hour we drove across town in silence. Robin was actually driving like any normal person which meant she was upset. I knew for a fact that if something really bad had happened, the military OPS would send officers to her door and inform her in person, and I stated to Robin that they would not make her drive to their office to break bad news.
We arrived at a non-descript building marked “Military Surplus Supplies” a block away from the financial district, obviously a cover for the OPS office. Surprisingly only a few outsides actually knew that was a military office. Walking into the retail store “wink, wink” I could see all the military uniforms and army gear on the walls and in the display cases. Karl had once told me that only a small portion of the stuff in here was real and the rest were knock off of the real thing. There were only 2 or three customers wandering around in oversized army jackets and again going by what Karl had told me, chances are one or two of these were undercover guards.
Trailing Robin she walked up the clerk at the front cash; he was unshaven and had almost shoulder length hair – very unmilitary.
She leaned toward the man and said “I am looking for a Ocelot fur coat”.
The man reached under the counter and I assume pressed a button. One of the men browsing the store walked to the back and held open a curtain for Robin and myself to go through. Closing the curtain behind us, he followed us to a closed door locked with a keypad lock. He quickly entered some number and there was a loud click and the door opened. He saluted us as we entered what a normal military office would appear like, or I assume as I have never really been in one before.
An officer greeted us holding a futuristic looking clip board “How may I assist you?”
Robin barely audible said “I am looking for Colonel Kitney, he called me in today”
“and what number did he call you at?” The officer questioned. Robin proceeded to give her number and the office punched it in. “Please follow me Mrs. Klassen, I will take you to Colonel Kitney’s office”
I was about to follow and the officer held out his hand to stop me. “I’m sorry sir, you’re not able to go with her”
“I’m her brother in law and this is about my brother”
“I’m sorry sir, spouses only; if you would like to have a seat over there” he gestured toward a set of 2 chairs with a small end table scattered with magazines between them. I went over grabbed a chair and picked up a copy of a not so recent People Magazine.
Thirty minutes passed and Robin came out. Her eyes were red, I stood and before I could say anything her arms were around me hugging me. Behind her I saw a man dressed in a Colonel uniform. He approached me.
“Please forgive the military ride tape, unfortunately we have to follow procedures. I am Colonel Alan Kitney” He spoke shaking my hand with Robin still around my neck “I knew and served with your brother on a few occasions” I suddenly felt weak kneed. Colonel Kitney looked at me and suddenly realized what I must be thinking. “Oh god sorry ” he blurted out “He hasn’t been killed in action or captured, he and his group are missing. We haven’t had any contact with them for the past week and they are 3 days overdue to report in”
I didn’t know what to say at all I was shocked.
“Unfortunately, as I am assure you’re aware I am not able to disclose any details about they’re operation. But we have sent out a reconnaissance unit. As soon as we know we will contact Mrs. Klassen”.
“Thank you Colonel” I spoke. I still didn’t know what emotion I was feeling; relief, grief?
I led Robin out of the office and through the surplus store to her car. I drove her to her home, made tea for her and left, as she wanted to be alone. I told her I would call her later after my meeting with Fu.