12 Kaneohe Bay Hawaii - Tuesday

Captured: Dreaming of home

© Copyright 2008 – 2009

Written by Banzai Ben

ben@banzaiben.com

 

Chapter 12 – Sniper School Tuesday 11 September 2007

 

Khudabah, Pakistan – Morning of day thirteen

 

 

They left the lights on again last night, and no rats came at all. I slept all night and dreamed about Jens and our training at Kaneohe Bay. Damn, that was a good time; so much different than now.

 

Today, the fucking towelheads have taken a totally different approach. They’ve tied me to a chair but left my left arm free. What the hell are they up to, now?

 

The interpreter comes in, sits down at the table in front of me, and pulls out a chessboard.

 

“Perhaps we could play some chess, Mr. Newman.”

 

I’m not surprised to hear my “name,” but I’m a little bit disappointed to know that Zarika told them what I said. It would be nice to have a trustworthy friend.

 

The interpreter continues as he sets up his pieces. “Since we’re becoming such good friends, perhaps I can call you Alfred and you can call me Mustif? If you behave yourself, we will leave your left arm untied all day long.”

 

We play chess and talk until evening. Mustif tries to get information out of me, and I feed him a constant stream of bullshit. I note with malicious satisfaction that he’s eating it up.

 

As dinnertime nears, Zarika comes in. Mustif sees me looking at her and grins, a nasty gleam in his eyes.

 

“Ah yes, Zarika is quite a pretty girl. She is thirteen, a prisoner from Tajikistan and is currently the leader’s favorite. But I am afraid that he is growing tired of her and soon she will be given to the men, and after that the rats will get her.”

 

He calls Zarika over, and when she is standing in front of us, he orders her to take off her dress. She’s embarrassed, but obeys.

 

Mustif continues, “Yes, a very pretty girl. It will be a shame to see her eaten by the rats. Perhaps if you cooperate, I can talk the leader into giving her to you. Would you like that? Think about it, Alfred, and let me know.”

 

Zarika puts her dress back on, cleans me up again, and feeds me some more lamb stew and a bunch of water. She undresses the rat bites on my feet and legs, cleans them thoroughly, and puts ointment and bandages on them.

 

When she is done, I say, “Balshoya spiceba.” (thank you very much)

 

Zarika blinks, looks at me and asks, “Te gavorete paRuski?” (Do you speak Russian?)

 

I reply, “Ya panemayu paRuski, ne ochen horasho e gavoru paRuski, chut chut.” (I understand Russian not badly and speak Russian a little bit.)

 

We hear the guards coming, so that ends our conversation. They tie me up to the ceiling and leave the lights on for the night.

 

Kaneohe Bay Hawaii – Tuesday, Day Ten

 

What the hell? The Addams Family theme?

 

Jens raised up and looked at the computer. “Wow. That was better than I hoped. We already have a hundred and fourteen kills, and got four hours of sleep. Come on, big boy. It’s time for you to get to work. The alarm means we have ghosts within a thousand meters.”

 

That got my attention. I rose and gave Jens a big hug and kiss. “Time for me to do the voodoo I do so well.” I looked at the computer and saw where the ghosts were. I grinned.

 

 “This is going to be...”

 

Jens finished, “Like shooting fish in a barrel.”

 

Jens rolled over to her scopes and I rolled over to the 98 Bravo. We both fired up the NV and I said, “Range me sweetheart.”

 

Jens replied, “You say the nicest things, my love. Multiple ghosts at one thousand and ten meters; elevation, minus twenty; wind, zero.”

 

I did the calculations, set the scope, put the crosshairs on the first target, and tickled the trigger. Five shots later, we had five kills.

 

“Range me again, my love.”

 

Jens replied in her soft, sexy whisper, “Four ghosts at eleven hundred meters, going away from us; elevation, minus fifteen; wind, zero.”

 

I made the adjustments, lined up the targets, and we had four more kills. I reloaded the rifle. Jens was ecstatic.

 

“That was some damn fine shooting. They deserved it after waking me out of the dream I was having of our wedding. They had just started the wedding march and I was walking down the aisle. I’d just looked up and seen you when the damned alarm went off.”

 

She checked the computer. “It looks like there are no more ghosts close enough to worry about. Let's eat some chow and go hunting.”

 

Jens made us the MREs and somehow made them quite tasty.

 

“Thanks, my dear. I don't know how you did it but you even made this MRE taste good.”

 

“Thanks, big boy,” she replied. “If you heat them right and use some of the seasonings, they aren't too bad.”

 

We finished up, brushed our teeth and did some other morning chores, and then grabbed our packs and guns. Jens tore down the computer and satellite dish and stowed it in her pack.

 

“We're blind now, so we’ll need to be careful. Let’s go reset the traps and take out some patrols.”

 

There was a platoon close, so we hurried to get in front of them. Jens was on one side of the trail and I was on the other. We let them walk into our trap and took them out with our suppressed M4s at 400m. They never knew where we were or what hit them.

 

One of the traps we came upon had been destroyed. “Oh,” Jens said with an evil laugh, “Looks like someone got pissed off.” We rebuilt the trap and moved on.

 

By mid morning, we had finished with most of the traps and had fifty-two kills already, most of them with the suppressed M4s.

 

We found one group of Recons and tailed them, knowing that if we didn't take care of them, they’d be trouble. Jens looked at me.

 

“Why don't you skirt them and get in front of them by about two hundred meters and find a good place to start shooting them. I’ll keep tailing them to let you know what they’re doing. Then, when you’re ready, we’ll hit them from both sides.”

 

It sounded like a good plan to me, so I slipped around the side of the Recon platoon, making sure to give them a very wide berth, and then took off running.

 

Damn. I was almost where I wanted to be when I ran into another patrol. I was just able to drop to the ground before they saw me. “Jens,” I radioed, “I just ran into another patrol. They didn't see me, so I’m going to take them out with the M4. Even suppressed, I’m sure the Recons will hear me. When they start coming after me, you start taking them out from the back.”

 

“I've got your ass – I mean, your back,” Jens said with a chuckle.

 

Damn, I was glad to have the M4 with me; it had been the workhorse of the day. I slipped it off my back, took aim, and let the patrol have it. They started shouting and firing wildly everywhere. The brass was going to be pissed off about this. The Recons did hear the fight and came up on the patrol, the patrol didn't know who they were and started shooting at the Recons, so the Recons started returning fire. I shook my head. This was FUBAR (Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition).

 

I called Jens. “You won't believe it; the patrol and the Recons are fighting each other.”

 

“I wondered what all the shooting was about,” she replied. “I thought you were opening up a can of whoop-ass on them.”

 

“Get in a good position, and let's wait until they stop shooting,” I directed.

 

If they hadn’t been our men, the confusion would have been comical to watch. Finally, they figured out they were both on the same side and stopped shooting each other. The leader of the Recons came up to chew some ass.

 

I called Jens. “Get ready to fire.”

 

Just as the Recon leader got to the patrol leader, I told Jens, “Fire.” And this time we did open up a can of whoop-ass, on both of them. They were completely confused and thought they were shooting at each other again. By the time they figured it out, they were all ”dead.” I was pissed at their ineffectiveness and I knew that the BG would be livid when he got our report on this.

 

“Well, that was too easy,” Jens said. “Let's regroup at location bravo; I’m getting hungry and want to set up our tactical again.”

 

I didn't tell Jens, but I tailed her to bravo just to make sure she didn't run into any problems. After she was safely at bravo, I made a quick circuit of the area to make sure there were no ghosts near it.

 

I called Jens on the radio. “I'm coming in, don't shoot me.”

 

She laughed, “I don't know why you just didn't come on in when you followed me. Things were safe.”

 

“I guess old habits die hard,” I replied.

 

“Listen, mister: you had better start letting those old habits die. Remember that you’re too predictable, and we need to change that,” Jens answered.

 

She was right, and I knew it. I went on in and she greeted me with a hug and kiss. “Sorry about being a little bitchy with you earlier–”

 

I interrupted her. “–There's nothing to be sorry about. I screwed up, and you were totally right. Thank you for pushing me and always making me better. I want you to continue to beat me over the head when I fall back into my old habits.” I hugged her again and kissed her, letting her know everything was all right.

 

Jens already had the computer and satellite dish set up, and had even started heating the MREs.

 

“Damn. Are you trying to spoil me?” I asked.

 

“That's the plan,” she replied, and continued studying the computer.

 

I brought her MRE over when it was hot and handed it to her. “Thanks,” she said, still watching the screen. “I’m a little puzzled, because the tactical situation is substantially different from this morning. Earlier the patrols and platoons were so heavy, they were like fleas on a dog. Now most of them are gone. I don't think they’re taking a break for lunch; they should do that in the area.”

 

I looked over her shoulder at the screen. “So what are the stars in the middle of the screen?”

 

“That's the BG and other brass. They’re in here observing the exercises,” she answered.

 

I noticed a good number of troops around the brass and I laughed. “I can't believe that for once I know what’s going on and you don't.”

 

She turned and gave me a questioning look.

 

“Everyone has been sent out of the training area other than the platoon and patrol leaders. They’re gathered around the BG and he’s chewing their asses for doing such a crappy job. Damn, I’m glad that I'm not in their boots.” I laughed.

 

“How far away do you figure they are? And can we see them from here?”

 

Jens smiled and looked at me. “You're right – that's exactly what’s going on. Now that you told me I can plainly see it. That's great analysis!” She gave me a hot kiss and continued, “They’re about twenty-five hundred meters away. We can't see them from here. However, if we move here,” she pointed to a location, “we will be about eighteen hundred meters and should be able to see them clearly . . . Oh, you sneaky devil dog, you want to go and shoot them while they’re getting their asses chewed. That’s a brilliant plan. To hell with lunch. Let’s get going.”

 

We left everything other than the M107 Barrett that I had hidden, the ammo for it, and Jens’s spotting scope at bravo and headed up to the point that Jens had indicated on the map. We quickly set up the Barrett and the scope, and sure enough, the BG was doing some serious ass-chewing, and the men were weathering it standing at attention.

 

I looked over at Jens and smiled. This was going to be fun. “Range me, my love.”

 

Jen answered, “You sneaky devil dog, I love you! Range, eighteen forty-three meters; elevation, minus fifteen; wind, two at three thirty-three.”

 

I made the scope adjustments, tucked the Barrett tight against my shoulder, took a full breath, let it out half way, and gently squeezed the trigger.

 

“Great shot, my love,” Jens said. “Damn, you scared the crap out of the BG.. You should have seen him jump.”

 

The BG was so shaken up he didn't release the men from attention, so I just kept shooting until I emptied the first eight-round mag and slammed in my second. Finally, the BG realized that his men were getting  “killed” because they were still at attention, and he released them.

 

Jens asked with an evil smile on her face, “How many points for “killing” a BG?”

 

“Shit, don't tell me he has a sensor vest.”

 

“All the brass does, and they’re just standing there looking stupid. Let's shoot them all, starting with the BG,” Jens said.

 

“Range me again, my sweetheart.”

 

“Let's show them what war is like. Range to BG, eighteen sixty-two meters; elevation, minus sixteen; wind, two at three thirty-three.”

 

I tweaked the scope and had shot the BG and two bird colonels before they figured out they were targets and started moving. It didn't matter – they could run but they couldn’t hide, and I ended up emptying the rest of that mag and one other.  All the brass were “dead.”

 

I slammed another mag home and asked Jens, “Are there any more targets my love?”

 

“Well, it looks like the rest of the leaders have figured out our position and are trying to work their way up here. You want to try for them or move?”

 

“I've had about enough fun with this Barrett for now. I don't know how they did it, but even with the sniper simulation system, it still kicks like a son of a bitch. You want to try some shots, and I will spot you?” I asked.

 

“Oh, goody. You're going to let me play with your gun,” Jens emphasized the double entendre knowing we weren't on the radio.

 

“Only if you're gentle and don't break it,” I said with a laugh.

 

We switched places. Jens said, “Rape me – I mean, range me, my love.”

 

I laughed so hard I moved the scope. Once I got it back on target I replied, “Range to closest target, fourteen twenty-nine meters; elevation, minus ten; wind, three at three thirty.”

 

Jens set the scope, pulled the rifle butt tight against her shoulder, lined up on the first target, and boom, one was “dead.” She emptied the mag, getting seven more kills.

 

“Damn, that kicks like a mule,” she commented. “I think I’ve had enough, too. Let's get out of here.”

 

On the way back to bravo, Jens said to me, almost crying, “Ben, I seriously fucked up and need to apologize to you. We were in such a hurry to get over here that I didn't bring any other weapons with me. Because of that, we couldn't kill the rest of the targets. Not only that, it could have cost us our lives. I promise you I’ll never make this mistake again.”

 

“Shit, it was more my mistake than yours,” I answered. “After all, I’m the packhorse of this unit.”

 

That made her laugh and put her back in a good mood. “If you’re my horse, when do I get to ride you?”

 

“Never,” I said. “Don't you know that you don't ride a pack horse?”

 

She pouted at me. “Well then, it's too bad you aren't a cowboy.”

 

“Why's that?”

 

“Because then I could save the horse and ride the cowboy.” She smacked my butt. “Haw, get moving, horse.”

 

“But I'm an Indian,” I said.

 

“I guess that means I would have to ride you bareback,” Jens laughed.

 

Back at bravo, I hid the Barrett and Jens checked the tactical on the computer. “It looks like the rest of the leaders turned back, so we’re safe here for awhile longer. And the BG and the brass are almost out of the exercise area. It will be interesting to see what the BG says when he gets outside and can talk.”

 

Being “shot,” had turned off his tactical radio, and he had to exit the training area before he could be made live again. I was concerned that the BG was going to chew our asses, but he had been in the training area in a vest, and he knew that made him a target of opportunity.

 

Sure enough, our tactical radios crackled. It was the BG. “Unit Bravo Juliet (our code names), what sort of bullshit is this, shooting me and all the rest of my brass when we were discussing this exercise with my troops?”

 

Yep. He was pissed.

 

I looked at Jens and smiled. “Sir, you were in our training area, and you were wearing combat vests. By the rules of engagement, that made you a target of opportunity.” I continued, egging him on some. “So, how many points do we get for “killing” a Brigadier General with an M107 at eighteen hundred meters?”

 

The BG knew I was right and there wasn't much he could do about it. Besides, I did have the general's daughter with me.  Jens was falling over from laughing so hard.

 

The BG retorted, “What do you mean your training area? This is my damned base, and this is my fucking training area.”

 

I looked at Jens and winked. “Excuse me sir, but you're wrong. We own this training area, and you’re trespassing in it. Don't worry, though; we love sending out the cannon fodder you keep sending in here. Of course, they do all leave in body bags. What is our kill count now?”

 

The BG launched a tirade of swear words that would make a sailor blush.

 

Jens looked at me, concerned. “My love, maybe you pushed him too far.”

 

I shook my head. “No, I didn't push him far enough. He made major military mistakes today and all we did was took advantage of it. He came in here acting all important and playing war. If this was a real war the whole command staff of the base would be dead, and that’s unacceptable. He knows that, and he’s embarrassed and angry at himself and is taking it out on us.”

 

I asked her, “I know you have your mobile phone with you, will you please give the general a call and fill him in on what is happening?”

 

Jens got out her phone and made the call, and the general took it right away. The BG was still ranting and raving at me. Damn, he could chew ass.

 

Jens hung up the phone, smiled at me and was just getting ready to say something when the BG said, “I order you both to come in right now so that we can continue this in person.” Jens looked at me and shook her head no. I got tired of the BG's tirade and turned off my radio.

 

Jens said, “I told Daddy what happened and what is going on. He gave us an order that no matter what Brigadier General Thompson says, we’re to continue this training exercise. He told me if we really needed him today, he would drop everything, but would prefer if he could wait until tomorrow. He also said as soon as he was done talking to me he was going to call Brigadier General Thompson.”

 

I looked at her and smiled. “Damn, it's nice having the general's daughter as my fiancée.”

 

She smiled. “It does have its benefits. Daddy also said that Brigadier General Thompson will probably simmer down in awhile, but to watch out because he will probably try something tricky.”

 

I turned my radio back on. The BG was done with his yelling. I figured the general had called him. In fact, the whole radio was quiet; too quiet.

 

I looked at Jens and she said while looking at the computer, “This is strange; the whole training area is empty. I wonder what the BG has up his sleeve.” She typed a few commands and told me, “I've just set the computer to warn us if anyone enters the training area. Let's finish our MREs and take a nap. I have a feeling that we will need all the rest we can get.”

 

We finished our MREs – they were nasty cold by that time – held each other close, and went to sleep. Five hours later the computer started playing Addams Family.

 

Jens jumped up and looked at it. “We have two groups of ghosts, fifteen in each group, just entering the training area.” She switched on the tactical radio. “I don't hear any chatter from these guys.” She messed around with her computer some more and their tactical radio chatter started coming through the computer.

 

She looked over at me and said, “Shit! They're using encrypted tactical radios on the same frequency as the Navy Seals. That son of a bitch called in two platoons of Seals. We’re in trouble.” Jens’s phone vibrated in her pocket. She took it out, looked at it and answered it, “Yes, Daddy, I just saw the two platoons of seals. I can't believe that he would do that.” She listened for a bit to her dad and then answered him. “Hell, yes, I’m damned pissed about this. I’m not sure this falls within the rules of engagement.”

 

Again a pause while she listened, “Well, if you’re sure that it doesn't break the rules of engagement, then I trust you. Well, with Ben's luck and my ideas, we just might come out of this alive. Have a safe trip tomorrow. If we're still alive we're not coming out until late Saturday night. Let that bastard send in everyone. We’re going to send them back out in body bags. Good bye, I love you daddy.” She hung up the phone.

 

I loved it when Jens got pissed.

 

Even though we were facing two platoons of some of the best fighting men in America, I had faith that Jens would figure out some way for us to take care of them. She spent a couple of minutes watching the ghosts move on the computer screen.

 

“Shit. These guys are really good; so far they’ve found all the traps. I wonder if the brigadier general gave them a map of the trap locations. Ah, good. One of the new traps killed one of the Seals. Son of a bitch. I think they do have a map.”

 

Not wanting to interrupt her thought process, I started getting the gear ready to move. Finally, she started shutting down the laptop, and I started tearing down the satellite dish.

 

She looked up at me. “Well, the son of a bitch BG gave the Seals the map of all the traps. I can tell; they know how to avoid each trap.” She was pissed. “That’s definitely a breach of the rules of engagement and gives them an advantage.”

 

I knew Jens, she was now going to list all the pros and cons and tell me how we were going to kick some Seal butt.

 

Jens kept thinking out loud. “They don't know about the new traps, and I’m pretty sure they don't know about our tricks with DI Anderson's platoon, so that's one advantage for us. They also don't seem to know the training area as well as we do, so that's another advantage for us, but that will only last for about twelve hours. Remember where you were when you knifed me?” I nodded my head and she kept talking, “Because we know the area better than them, we can beat them to the location. I want to give them a surprise party when they arrive.”

 

Jens reached in her pack, pulled out two new tactical radios, and said, “Put this on and destroy your old radio. Our old radios and their GPS transponders make it too easy to be tracked, and I can't trust that the BG didn't give the Seals our transponder code. This radio has no transponder and is encrypted like the Seals, plus we can listen in on their frequency.” I threw my old radio to the ground and smashed it with a rock, and Jens did the same.

 

“G-up (put on your ghillie suit) and leave it on – these new ghillie suits will block the IR signature that the AWACS and the satellites are using to track us. Also when we’re hunkered down and shooting, make sure you keep this over your rifle. It will block its IR signature, too.” She handed me a ghillie rifle blanket.

 

We dumped everything else out of our packs and loaded up with as much ammo as we could, Jens threw me a big package of Hudson Bay Bread and said, “Take it easy on this; it might be all that we have to eat until Friday night.” She packed her laptop and satellite dish and said, “Well my love–”

 

I knew what she was going to say and joined her. “–Death before dishonor.”

 

We hugged and kissed and she said, “One more thing: we’re doing this as a unit, but if either one of us dies, the other finishes the mission. This is the last hug and kiss for us until the mission is over.”

 

We heard our radio crackle, “Team one, this is the eye in the sky. We have lost all contact with the targets. They were there one minute and the next they were gone.”

 

One of the Seal teams responded, “Roger, please keep trying to locate them and advise if you do. We will proceed to the last known location to investigate.”

 

I heard Jens say, “That rat bastard. Wait till I tell Daddy.” Then she stopped. “Wait. Let’s head back; I have an idea.” It took us about thirty minutes to set up a little surprise for the Seals. I found myself wondering what cooked Seal meat tastes like.

 

Now we were back headed towards the center of the training area where all the trails intersect. As we approached, we heard, “This is team one, we are approaching the last known location of the target.”

 

Jens smiled and held up one finger.

 

We heard the BG reply, “Let us know what you find.” Jens got a really pissed look on her face, mouthed BG, and made a slicing motion across her neck.

 

In a few minutes, team one called back, “The area looks deserted, has a bunch of abandoned equipment.” Jens held up two fingers, and her smile was even bigger.

 

The BG interrupted, “Be careful if you move any of that equipment; she is an expert at booby traps.” 

 

The leader keyed his mic the third time, triggering Jens' trap, detonating the hidden ”claymores” and taking out all but two of the Seal team.

 

The BG called, “Team one, report.”

 

“Sir, this is team one reporting. We have lost thirteen team members to an IED. Since we’re the last two, we’ll be joining the other team.”

 

Jens was grinning. I thought, “Damn. I’m never going to piss her off; she would cheerfully put a bomb in my morning oatmeal.”

 

We strung a bunch of camo netting in the trees over the trail and hid it really well, dug a bunch of punji pits alongside the trail, and hid them. We knew that this bunch of Seals would be very cautious, and doubted any of these traps would kill them; all we wanted to do was slow them up so we could get some shots at them.

 

“Eye in the sky, this is team leader two. Do you have any intel on the position of our targets?”

 

“Negative, team leader two. Still nothing,” The AWACS replied.

 

We hunkered down in the hole that I’d hidden in last time and both set up our 98 Bravos.

 

She looked over at me and whispered, “Hey, it's pretty cozy in here, no wonder I couldn't see you.”

“That was a great job on your first booby trap. I bet they still don't know that they set it off,” I replied.

 

Jens said, “Thanks my love. When the net drops, empty your 98 Bravo into them, slide out the back, and run like hell. I figure we’ll have about five minutes before they can get out of the net. Don't forget about all the other traps. Soon it’ll be night and we'll need to change our tactics.”

 

Just as twilight fell, team two started creeping into the area, moving slowly and being careful. They knew where the old traps were; they had the map. They had no idea Jens’s new trap was radio–operated, or what was about to happen to them. Jens was so excited that it was hard for her to stay still, but she knew if she moved, we were dead. Finally, they were all under the net. Jens pushed the button, the net fell over all of them, and we started shooting. We each scored five hits before the seals started getting out of the net. Then we crawled out the back of the bush and took off running.

 

Over the tactical radio, we heard, “This is team two. We have been ambushed and lost twelve men; ten to sniper fire and two were killed in punji pits. Requesting additional troops to continue our mission. Please advise.”

 

Brigadier General Thompson laid into them, which was a mistake, because the Admiral was listening in. The Admiral called the Seal team.

“Team one and team two, this is Admiral Rowe. The training mission is now scrubbed. Report back to the base for debriefing.”

 

 Jens and I stopped running, and she let out a big war whoop and started dancing. “Damn! We beat the Seals. We beat the Seals.” She was so excited she keyed her mic and said, “Aww, that's too bad, the poor little Seals have to go home and can't play anymore. I guess you now know what it's like to be pussy-whipped.”

 

Oh my god, could those Seals swear. I just hoped that we never meet them because I was sure it would be a big fight.

 

I wanted to get in on the fun, too, so I keyed my mic, “Brigadier General Thompson, sir. We told you to keep your men out of our training area or we would send them back to you in body bags. Tell me, Sir, how many points do we get for a Seal?”

 

Brigadier General Thompson unloaded on us. It was a good thing he couldn't hear us laughing. Damn him anyway, he wanted us to train his men and that's what we were doing. Then he got pissed at us because we also trained him.

 

Jens’s phone vibrated. It was General Donaldson. “Hello, Daddy. . . . Oh, you were listening in. Yes, I am sorry, Sir. I shouldn't have insulted the Seals, but Daddy, they were cheating, and we still beat them . . .Yes, Ben is here. . . You want to talk to him? Okay.” And she handed me the phone. I took it and gulped.

 

The general said, “Son, you have made me a bunch of money today. The admiral called me and said his Seals would have no problems taking out, and this is in his words, 'A couple of Recon Jarheads.' I told him put up or shut up, and he put up ten thousand dollars that I’m going to give to you and Jens. I’m giving you a direct order to continue the fight, no matter what Brigadier General Thompson says or does. I’ll be there tomorrow afternoon to deal with him. One more thing: this is all over MILNET. Everyone is mesmerized watching you two, and we can't get anyone to do any work in the Army, Navy, Marines and even the Air Force.”

 

I answered, “Thank you very much, Sir. We will do as you have ordered. Might I make one request of you, Sir? Will you please take that ten thousand dollars, add another forty thousand dollars of my money, and bet it on us living and not coming out of the training area until Friday at twenty-four hundred?”

 

The general replied, “Damn, son. You have some real grit. I'm proud that you're going to be my son-in-law. Now let me talk to my daughter. Semper Fi, Marine.”

 

“Orraaahhh, Sir,” I replied, and handed the phone to Jens.

 

Jens talked awhile longer and then said goodbye. It was nice hearing her talk to the General just like he was a real person; for so many years I’d thought that he was a cranky old bastard.

 

Jens stared at me. “Did I understand right that you just bet fifty thousand dollars on us, or am I going crazy?”

 

I answered, “It's money in the bank. There's no way in hell that they're getting us out of our training area. Shit, they can send in the whole Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force. We will leave our training area when we damn well feel like it.”

 

“I love it when you get that fire in your eyes,” Jens replied. “Come here, my big, strong Marine, and give me some lovin.' I've wanted you all afternoon.” We embraced in the middle of the training area, in the middle of our “war.”

 

Ten minutes later, we broke it off and headed back to alpha base for the night. Jens fired up our computer guard dog, and we were asleep as soon as we lay down.