During dinner Kathy told Jack how well Kelly had done on her first surveillance exercise. Kelly chimed in saying, “The more I think about it, the worse I feel about screwing up.”
Jack said, “Try to keep your thoughts positive. When Kathy says you did okay, you did okay. Think and analyze before and after the action. During the action, don’t think or analyze too much. Just react, you will do better. Fall back on your training. Thinking when in action means you had too little training or you don’t trust your training and instincts. The result is tentative responses that can lead to you or someone on your team getting killed.
“Maybe now is a good time to make sure you know what to do if this house is attacked. I see you are thinking, ‘what’s he saying. Surely I didn’t hear this house might be attacked.’ I hope not but Kathy and I were having dinner at the Ritz Carlton in McLean when my father’s house was attacked. My father was killed along with his house staff. Shadow was seriously wounded. Shadow gave the alarm and my father, his servants and Shadow killed three of the attackers. I really don’t expect the same thing to happen here, but I want to be prepared. You should know that Kathy believes there is a higher likelihood of an attack than do I.”
“You got that right. You didn’t expect a bomb or an attack on us in your Pittsburgh house either. Yet it happened.”
“Yes, you’re right, and that’s why I want to bring Kelly up to speed now that she is living here. Let’s start with the weapon. I believe Kathy gave you one of our SOCOM .45s. That’s good. The weapon will fire nearly the same as the one you fired on the range. After dinner load four magazines, chamber a round and keep it under your pillow. I believe you should make having a loaded weapon handy a rule, as long as there is a real threat. I have, ever since the night my father was killed.
“If an attack happens, your area is to cover the inner hallway outside your room and the windows in your room. Stay away from the windows unless you have to get outside or need to take up a firing position at the window. Don’t hesitate to shoot but know that the two Vietnamese landscaper/guards will be outside with me. I don’t want us all trapped inside the house.
“The attackers don’t want a 911 call response, so they will have to complete their mission in less than five or six minutes. They could plan on using explosives to burn the house with us inside. At the first sign of trouble, Shadow and I’ll be outside. We will all have radios and Kathy will call 911 and be in the laundry room/ops center watching the video coverage from our cameras. The Minhs, armed with shotguns, will have primary responsibility for the front and back doors. If we are overrun, go out the back through the pool area to the woods behind the house. Get into a good shooting position and stay put. Move only if you have no other choice.”
After the sobering dinner conversation, Kelly did as suggested and put her weapon under her pillow. Extra magazines and the radio went into her cosmetic case. She smiled at the thought of exchanging her beloved lotions for three magazines of .45 cartridges and an iPhone-sized radio. She had never been anywhere close to a firefight and wondered what her mother would do if she were here? God, she hoped she had her mother’s warrior genes. After checking out the different routes out of the hallway and the night view from her bedroom windows, she gave in to exhaustion from her day’s activities and, with the sound of gently falling rain, dropped off to sleep.