The SUV stopped at a house like the old style Victorian homes with their porch and fenced garden included. Colonel Neal off the vehicle, inviting Peter and Mary Rose to follow him, transfer the gate of the fence up to the porch and knocked on the door. Then a young girl with Eurasian features opened the door. She stopped in the doorway, looking closely at the three people waiting on the other side of the door, and finally said.
-Good morning Colonel Neal, what brings you here?
‘Good morning Miss Wagner, these people who are with me are Mr. Peter Laurent and intelligence officer Mrs. Rose Mary Lush. They would be interested in being able to ask some questions to her grandfather Colonel Wagner – responded with martial Colonel Neal.
‘Pleased to meet you, please come. I guess I have had a long journey to get here. Do you want a drink? – Miss Wagner said reaching out inviting them to enter the house.
Miss Wagner-No thanks, we had a very comfortable journey truth, we do not need anything right now – politely answered Peter-We would like, if possible, to speak with your grandfather immediately.
-Let rise to warn of their arrival. He was resting right now, so please take a seat in the lounge and wait-Miss Wagner replied as they indicated the entrance to the hall.
And once he saw that his guests were accommodated, climbed the stairs to the first floor.
– No longer in active Colonel Wagner, Colonel Neal? – Ask Peter missed.
– No, Colonel Wagner already a couple of years was honorably discharged from active duty – Colonel Neal replied.
– It’s strange that he continue living at the base, his son is part of the base quota? – Peter asked.
– No. The colonel’s son never served in the military. He was a university professor in the UK. He and his wife have been dead for more than 10 years in one of the many suicide attacks suffered by the UK – said Colonel Neal.
– He was a great guy, and his daughter here has acquired the best qualities of his father, -said Colonel Wagner as he descended the stairs slowly accompanied by his granddaughter.
All rose at the time, Colonel Peter Wagner carefully observed. A man whose face showed his great experience in the field, expressionless eyes that had to endure the sight of thousands of atrocities. He had an athletic body, still keeping fit the old colonel, but age did not go in vain and it showed that his joints were resenting so much physical effort.
– Colonel sorry for your loss, – said Peter – all more or less lost loved ones in this senseless war.
– Senseless!? – Said Colonel Wagner with angry tone -son this war has been anything but absurd. This war was fought to defend the ideals of freedom and democracy that so difficult for us to raise our civilization.
“Ideals on the other hand proved to be false” thought Peter unwittingly further discuss this issue with the colonel not to create unnecessary friction.
– Excuse my stupidity Colonel -Peter said trying to apologize- did not mean to belittle the efforts of people like you to defend us all.
– Well? my granddaughter say to me you came from New York to talk to me and ask me some questions. What they want to know? – Asked as he sat Colonel Wagner.
– Colonel Wagner, I have understood that you have been earmarked for this foundation since its inception- Peter began to explain- then I suppose I will not be wrong to think that you are the person with more information about what happened during the war in this region, is not it?
Colonel Wagner nodded his head slightly as the only response to Peter while looking at him even for a moment, waiting to hear what these two people would want to know of an elderly retired military.
– I have been assigned the task of collecting information from around the world about the events over the past 20 years. My first stop is this, China, I guess I want to understand the importance of data collection in this area since, technically, the outbreak of war was started here- Peter continued with his presentation- so if you do not mind, being as specific I love to hear and remember the times you lived here at the base, and events, in his view, important that befell here.
Colonel Wagner got up from his seat and without losing sight for a moment Peter said.
– Mr Laurent, if you want to know what’s happened in China and on this basis during my years of service, do not need any that I mentioned it.
And saying something imperceptible to the ear to his granddaughter, were dismissed lightly by hand and went back up the stairs.
Miss Wagner shot toward the office of his grandfather. He returned a few minutes with a box.
Peter could not help showing his disappointment and was about to leave the house when he saw Miss Wagner.
-Excuse the bluntness of my grandfather Mr. Laurent, what I meant is that you can know everything you need about the time with this.
And Peter tank approaching a box in his hands as she stared with a friendly smile on his face, the very opposite of his grandfather, Peter thought.
– What is this? – Ask intrigued Peter, meanwhile he opened the lid of the box.
-This Mr. Laurent – began to explain Miss Wagner – is the life of my grandfather, all you want to know about this in the contents of this box up what he already has forgotten his age.
My grandfather always liked to put down on paper for everything were important moments in your life. Apart also keep copies of all reports made during his military career and the messages that have been declassified so far.
Even Peter was astonished not to see and weigh the amount of information stored in hundreds of memory cards in front of him. Then a question came to mind.
-Miss Wagner. This is impressive, but I think it would be better to ask directly to his grandfather, and to immerse myself in all this information to find out what happened at a specific time would take me a lot in the little time I have.
‘Mr Laurent- answer Miss Wagner- for that I’m here. Do not hesitate to come to me to ask me anything contained in these memory cards. I’m the one who has transcribed all that information to digital media, as my grandfather has always been more than handwriting. It is all there is to know about the life of my grandfather. Apart guess I needed from my old computer to read these units as I think you will not have anything as old in his possession of the ship.
-You are absolutely right- said Peter- that would be another of my reasons for asking again speak to his grandfather, but I see that what I had expected. Well, if there is no choice but do me a favor and tell me how to find what happened to his grandfather during the days before and during the impact of the bombs on the Chinese territory.