13 Kaneohe Bay Hawaii - Wednesday

Captured: Dreaming of home

© Copyright 2008 – 2009

Written by Banzai Ben



Chapter 13 – Sniper School Wednesday 12 September 2007


Khudabah, Pakistan – Evening of day fourteen



Fucking perverted motherfucking towelheads. I’m still nauseated and reeling. I thought that I’d seen everything, but what the rat bastards did today . . . I couldn't believe it. 


They brought in a young boy who looked to be about ten years old, tied him up on the bed, and raped him. I yelled at the perverted motherfuckers and called them names.  I fought so hard against my restraints that my wrists and ankles are raw now and look like hamburger. I yelled so loud and so long that I lost my voice, but they just laughed at me. Once again, I think the whole town showed up. Shit, even some women came.


I’ll never get that boy’s screams out of my mind. The worst of it is that he didn't pass out or go into shock; he's still tied to the bed and whimpering. It will be dark soon, and the rats will come out, with or without the lights, when they smell the blood.


They tie me up to the ceiling and turn out the lights tonight. I steel myself against the cries of pain and terror I know I will hear and hope that the boy’s death comes quickly.


My jaw clenches. I'm going to kill these fucking camel jockeys. Helpless to do anything for the bastards’ latest victim, I try to escape into my mind and block out what’s happening a few feet from me.


Kaneohe Bay Hawaii – Wednesday Day Eleven


It took me awhile to figure out the buzzing that woke me. “Wake up, my fiancée. Your phone’s ringing,” I kissed Jens awake.


“Damn, I need to get that. It's probably Daddy.” She yawned, rolled over, and pulled out her phone. “Hi, Daddy. Sorry it took so long to get to the phone; we were sleeping.”


They talked a bit longer while she was checking the computer, then she motioned me over to sit beside her. She hit a button on the phone and it became a speaker phone.


“Good morning, Son. Can you hear me?” The general asked.


“We can both hear you fine, Daddy,” Jens replied.


The general continued, “I have some intel for both of you, and this doesn't break the rules of engagement. It’s important, so listen closely. First, I chewed Brigadier General Thompson's ass for about two hours last night after we talked. What he did yesterday was reprehensible and came close to dishonoring the Corps. I made him understand that the shit he pulled yesterday would stop and he wouldn't use any non-Marine forces.


“Now, I have some orders for you. First, you two need to call Brigadier General Thompson on the radio and make up. Second, and this is unfortunate, you two are on your own and will not be resupplied, so use your resources wisely. Third, Brigadier General Thompson is going to try his best to beat you two, and he’s sending in everything he can to accomplish his mission. And finally, keep all radio communications professional and without any swear words. This exercise has gotten bigger than anyone expected and has become a major priority for the Corps. I’d tell you more, but I don't want to distract you from your mission.


“You have two hours until Brigadier General Thompson launches his assault. Use the time wisely.  Do you understand my orders?”


We replied together, “Yes, Sir!”


The General finished, “I still expect that you’ll win this exercise. I’m proud of both of you. Don’t let me and the Corps down. Semper Fi, Marines.”


“Orraaahhh!” we replied.


I called the BG on the radio. “Brigadier General Thompson, this is Unit Bravo Juliet checking in and letting you know that we’re ready for today's mission. Thank you for the opportunity to train your troops.”


The BG replied, “I want to thank both of you for this exercise. It’ll be a shame when it is over today.”


That damned cocky bastard. I wanted to say something that would really tweak his nipples, but I had my orders. “Yes, Sir, that would be a shame. We hope to at least give you some challenges.”


Jen was looking at the computer, “Shit, there are so many troops at the entrances I can't even count them.”


“Looks like a 'target rich environment.'”I replied.


She continued, “BG knows about bravo location and has probably guessed where alpha location is, but they have no idea about location charlie. I think we should move all the heavy gear to Charlie, set up a few traps, plan an escape route, and wait for them to find us. One thing we’ll have to be thinking about is other snipers. BG hasn't used them yet, but I bet they’ll be here now.”


I agreed.  Location Charlie should be perfect for this. We would be high up on a hill with our backs to the edge of the training area. It was shielded from other hills so the counter-snipers couldn't see us, was surrounded on all sides by a large open field, and one bunch of trees ran to the north for our escape route.


I asked Jens, “Do you think they’ll have IR-blocking ghillie suits like ours?”


“I bet they will,” she answered. “But unless they have tactical radios without built-in GPS, we can track them. Let's get moving and haul all the gear here.”


We headed out, resetting all the traps on the way. I let Jens get the ones nearest, while I took the ones farther out. While I was gone, she started setting the perimeter traps for defenses and the ones to make sure that our escape route was clear.


On my last trip in, I called to Jens. “Jumpin' Jens, this is my last trip in. Please come out and lead me through the traps.”


She replied, “I'll be right out. Hey, when did I become Jumpin' Jens?”


“I figured you needed a nickname too, and you do seem to jump around quite a bit when you’re happy. And it sounds good together: Banzai Ben and Jumpin' Jens.”


She walked up to me, grinning. “Yeah, I do like that. Thanks, my love. After we're married you'll be calling me Jumpin' Jens because I'm going to be jumping your bones all the time.” She gave me big hug and kiss. “I missed you.”


I released her and took stock of our supplies. “That's everything other than some food caches and two ammo caches for the M4s. You do realize that we're going to run out of ammo and have to start taking some normal M4s off the kills?”


“I ran some scenarios and figured that out,” she said. “But the good news is unless we really fuck up, we should be able to survive until Friday and twenty-four hundred. Come on, let's get set up and have some food. It might be a long time before we can take a break and eat again.”


We set up both M107s and 98 Bravos and also a spotting scope for each of us, made sure that all the ammo was out for each rifle, and had our MREs. We then ranged some distinctive spots in the field so we wouldn't have to take time to range when the action started. After we were done, there was nothing to do but wait for the ghosts to find us.


Jens was cuddling with me and said, “You think you could hit a man at twenty-five hundred meters with the M107?”


“I have before when the conditions weren't too bad,” I answered, and she gave me a big kiss.


“I figured that you could. One minute.” She rolled over to the computer, took a look at the display, and typed in some commands. “Well, our guess was right; we have counter-snipers today.” She entered some more commands. “There. I’ve set up the computer to warn us when a sniper is within three thousand meters and when normal troops are within twenty-five hundred meters. It looks like they’ve been to both alpha and bravo locations, and now they’re executing standard search routines. I think we have about twenty more minutes of peace.”


Our plan was really quite simple. We were going to sit at the top of this hill and wait for the targets to show up, shooting them first with the M107s at about 2000m until we ran out of ammo, then with the 98 Bravos at about 1500m until we exhausted their ammo, then the M4s at 500m. When large enough groups got to the 400m mark, we had a whole bunch of claymores waiting for them that could be set off separately or together, and we’d set a second bunch at 300m. We couldn't let the troops get any closer, so when they reached 300m we would make our escape.


I really wasn't nervous; it was a nice day and I was holding Jens. The computer started playing the funeral dirge.


Jens said, “Shit that's a sniper,” and looked at the computer. “I guess they figured like we did that this hill would make a great place to wait for action. Let's take them out.”


I looked at the display and slowly slid over to my M107. Jens moved to her scope. “Range me, my love.”


“Wait a second.” She pushed a button on her radio. “Now they can't transmit. Let's get the sniper first. He’s on the left. Range, twenty-four eighty-nine; elevation, minus twenty-five; wind, oh-one at one eighty-two.”


I tweaked the scope and lined up the shot, and Jens tweaked her scope and lined up hers. “On three,” I said.


“One, two, three.” both M107s barked, and the sniper and spotter were dead. “Is there anyone close to the area?” I asked Jens.


“I’m sure some heard the shots, but they won't be here for at least fifteen minutes.”


“I’m heading down and taking their weapons,” I told her. “We can use all the help that we can get.” I knew this would really piss off the sniper and the spotter, but we were in a “war,” and I would take good care of their rifles.


Ten minutes later, I was back with the rifles and all the ammo. Jens asked, “So, what did you score?”


“They were pretty pissed. I had to promise them that we would take good care of their rifles. We got an M40 in .308 with a hundred rounds of ammo, and two standard M4s each with fifteen mags. The M40 will be good to about eight hundred meters. That’s when the .308 goes subsonic. I'm setting it up between us. I'll put the M4s by ours for when we bug out. We might as well use their M4s and leave our suppressed ones for later,” I answered.


“Wow, that's a good haul, and it’s really going to help – especially the M4s. Now we can just take mags off of our other kills,” Jens said with a smile.


The computer played Addams Family. She looked at it. “Well, it looks like our shots attracted some attention. We have three platoons approaching the hill. Let's wait till they get within two thousand meters this time.”


The platoons stopped at the edge of the woods and were glassing the top of the hill. I wasn't worried because I knew they couldn't see us.


I whispered to Jens, “I have a better idea; let's wait until they all come into the clearing. You get on the 98 Bravo and take the close ones. I’ll be on the M107 and take the far ones.”


“Yeah, I like that plan better.” She slid over to her 98 Bravo.


They sent a couple scouts into the field towards the top of the hill, but we held our fire. Finally, when they were about a thousand meters from the top of the hill, the rest of the platoons came out and the two scouts stopped to wait for them. “How stupid can you be?” Jens gaped. “They’re just waiting for us to shoot them.”


I slid over to my 98 Bravo. I didn’t even need the cannon for this one. “When they get within twenty-five meters of the scouts, we start shooting. Go for the back ones first,” I said.


When the platoons got close to the scouts, all hell broke loose. First Jens pushed the button on her radio and jammed their communications. Then we started firing as fast as we could and the platoon members were all “dying.“ There was no cover other than the trees about a thousand meters behind them, and it was easy to pick off the ones running for the trees. They were firing towards us, but a thousand meters is too far for a .223 to reach. It was a pretty intense firefight for about five minutes, and then it was over.


We both slid over to the computer. Jens said, “Well, they didn't get out a radio call, but all the noise attracted more platoons. You have about ten minutes until they reach here. I'll cover you. Go and get us some more gear.”


Seven minutes later, I came running back up the hill carrying a heavy load. “Damn,” Jens said, “You hit the jackpot. You even have a M249 SAW – A machine gun’s gonna come in handy –  and two more M4s and two M1014 shotguns. Oh,” she all but squealed, “and the best of all, a 60mm mortar. What are we going to do with all of this?”


“Plus, my pack is filled with M4 mags and mortar rounds. It must weigh a hundred kilograms,” I said. “I don't really like the idea of indiscriminately spraying the training area with ammo from the SAW and shotguns, but I thought you could put that devious little mind of yours to work and figure out some sort of way to turn this shit into a trap.”


“What, me? Devious?” She batted her violet eyes. Then she was back to business. “First we have a couple more platoons to deal with.”


Two minutes later the platoons showed up. Jens was watching them on the computer. “Well, one platoon isn't coming up the middle; it looks like they want to flank us. I guess that platoon is in for a surprise.”


I grabbed the M40 we took off the sniper and moved it to the side to watch the other platoon. “I think I want to use this. I'll let them get about three hundred meters from us before I start firing.”


Jens jammed the communications and was watching the group in our escape route on the computer. When they were in the right spot, she pressed the detonator and we heard a big boom. It echoed loudly, for a fake.


“Bubye, boys. Have a good trip back to the entrance,” Jens said with a laugh. “It's amazing what you can do with a M1831 satchel charge.” The noise had been so loud that the platoon I was watching stopped and dropped to the ground.


I figured, “What the hell – they're close enough,” and opened up with the M40. With the minimal kick of the .308, I was able to acquire my targets much faster. It wasn’t long before this platoon broke rank and started running down the hill. I kept on reloading and firing until I hit the last one at about 850m.


“Son of a bitch,” I said. “I missed a shot. There goes my perfect record.” I’d known it would happen sooner or later, but I didn't like it.


Jens smiled at me, “Don't worry, you're still perfect for me.”


The computer started playing the funeral dirge. “Shit. Looks like we have some more snipers to deal with,” Jens said, “Two units this time.”


I looked at the computer. “Damn, Lassie is doing a great job.”


“Lassie?” Jens asked.


“Well, I told you that I named everything. I figured that this computer was a hell of a watchdog, keeping us safe just like Lassie used to do for Timmy. I was going to name it Pit Bull, but it seems more like a woman to me, so Lassie is better,” I said with a laugh.


“Why is my computer a woman?” She asked.


I laughed, “Well because you can work miracles with both by gently using your fingers if you only know the proper code.”


Jens started laughing. “That was really funny. You can work miracles on me anytime; I'll be glad to teach you the code.”


By then, the first bunch of snipers were close enough that we needed to pay attention. “They know we're up here,” Jens said. “I don't think they are going to get in range.”


“Well, let’s see if we can persuade them to either leave or get closer. Please range them for me.”


“I don't know what you're going to do; even the M107 can't reach that far. Range, thirty-two fifteen meters; elevation, minus thirty-five; wind, three at one eighty-five.” Jens said.



I crawled out the back of the camo net and started messing with the mortar.


“Shit, I forgot about that,” Jens said. “It looks like they were sent here to make us hold our position until the rest of the troops get here. Hurry up, we only have about five minutes,” she urged.


I’d never screwed with a mortar before, but they’re fricken simple to use. All you do is aim them, adjust the angle, drop a round in the tube, and duck.


Jens said, “Wait a minute, let me figure out what angle you want on that thing.” She switched to a different program on the computer and typed in some commands. “Try a sixty-two degree angle first.”


“Okay, my love. Spot where I hit. Fire in the hole!” I dropped a round down the tube. It hit the bottom and went thunk, flying towards the enemy.


“Wow,” Jens giggled. “You hit behind them and scared the crap out of them. Adjust the angle up to sixty-four and try it again.”


I did. “Fire in the hole.”


This one hit in front of them. They knew what was coming next and took off.


“Damn,” Jens said. “They left before we could get them. Let's see where the others are.”


Well, the other snipers figured out that they were next and they were moving off, too. I would have done the same thing.


“Hey, let's use this on the platoons. We might as well get rid of all the rounds. I don't want to carry that crap when we bug out.” Jens said. “Move it about ten degrees to the left, change the angle to fifty-five, and let it rip.”


I made the adjustments, dropped the round, it went thunk, and Jens almost started jumping. “Damn, you hit them and took out a whole platoon. I guess you are lucky. Let's try again. Move it thirty-six degrees to the right and change the angle to fifty degrees.”


I made the changes. “Fire in the hole.”


“Shit, that was in front of them. Try forty- eight degrees.”


I took out most of another platoon.


We spent the next few hours dropping mortar rounds on anything that was in our area. It was causing huge havoc among the troops. They even set up a mortar and tried to drop some rounds on us, but because we were so far uphill from them, they couldn't get close enough. Jens said they had to get closer than 2000m to be able to hit us, and whenever they tried that we took them out with the M107. But they did have us pinned down on top of the hill, at least that's what they thought. Jens kept a close eye on the escape route and blew the hell out of anyone that came up it with a satchel charge.


I eyed the two mortar rounds that remained. “I think we should save these, just in case.”


When we stopped shelling them, BG's troops became braver and moved in to about 2500m, just a bit too far for the M107.


I looked at Jens and said, “Shit. I already have one miss. I might as well give it a shot. Please range me on the closest target.”


Jens answered, “You make this shot and you earn a month of blow jobs after we are married. Range, twenty-five fourteen; elevation, minus thirty-six; wind, zero zero. . . Wait. Hold your shot until I tell you; you might be able to get two.”


I lined up on the target and waited for what seemed to be half an hour before Jens said, “Fire.”


I let loose, and she reported, “Shit. You took out two with one shot. I guess I now owe you two months of blow jobs.”


I grinned. “With pleasure, but only if I get to return the favor. You did say that sixty-nine was your favorite number.”


Jens blushed. “Someday, I'm going to make you eat your words.”


I looked her over from head to toe. “I would rather eat you.”


Jens turned really red, started watching the computer, and said, “It looks like they are moving out to about three thousand meters. I wonder what their plans are.”


A few minutes later, she remarked, “I'll be damned; he didn't learn.” I slid over beside her and there was the star on the screen coming towards us. She continued, “I'm glad we saved a couple of mortar rounds. Shall we send that rat bastard back to the entrance? Come on, you bastard; just a little bit closer . . . He's right where you dropped the last round. what a fricken idiot.”


I was already at the mortar and dropped a round. “Fire in the hole.”


The computer started playing the wedding march, and I knew that we had hit him. “Woo Hoo! Good shot, my love,” Jens said, “I wish that I could jump up and down.” She did give me a big hug and kiss when I went back down beside her.” Look, my fiancé – the troops are moving further out again,” Jens said.


We were in a real Mexican standoff for the time being; we couldn't shoot them, and they couldn't shoot us. We still had plenty of ammo and the high ground. If they wanted us, they were going to have to come and get us and chase us off this hill, and it was going to cost them when they did. Jens figured that would happen sometime tonight. I kept watch on the computer and fired at anyone that got too close while Jens was fiddling around with the M249 SAW, a bunch of wood and other crap, and some duct tape.


God, I love a woman who uses duct tape.


“Why, thank you, my dear. I love you too,” Jen said, reading my feelings again, and kept messing with the SAW. After about thirty minutes, she said, “Cool. That should work.”


I slid over and looked at it. “What sort of Rube Goldberg device has my devious witch come up with now?”


“Well, if I did this right, when I hit this remote, the SAW will fire, and the recoil will cause it to move left and right, making it look like someone is here and firing it. How many cans of ammo did you bring for it?” She asked.


“I brought three.”


“Do you think that we can hook all three cans together?” she wondered.


“You bet. I've seen it done before. You take sentry duty and I’ll take care of it,” I answered as I started on the chore.


I had just finished when Jens said, “Get ready; it looks like we’re going to have some action.”


I slid over to my M107, spanking her on the butt as I passed her. “Hey, just one spanking? I want more,” She laughed. “It looks like they’re going to try sending three platoons at once. My guess is, they will all run as fast as they can, hoping to overrun us. I think they’ll also try to sneak another platoon up our escape route, so I’ve set it on automatic. Such foolish tactics. This reminds me of, 'Half a league, half a league . . .'”


She never did get to finish the poem, because they attacked. We both started with the M107s for the range. I had eight hits. Jens missed one and was really bitching about it.


“Hey, I love you, but shut up and keep firing,” I admonished.


Then, we moved to the 98 Bravos. I fired all ten rounds and moved to the M40. Jens popped another mag in hers and kept firing. Just as we ”killed” the last of the charge up the middle, two satchel charges went off on the escape route. Jens rolled over to the computer and checked it.


“Damn. They sent two platoons up the escape route. The three that came up the middle were just cannon fodder to distract us. Five platoons. What sort of bumbling idiot loses five platoons?”


I rolled over and gave her a big hug and kiss, “You did a great job. If you hadn’t been here with me, we would have been overrun.”


“Shit, shit, shit,” She said. “I missed that one shot. I am not used to the M107. I need more practice. And what's this shit telling me to shut up? You owe me two kisses for that,” Jens said, feigning anger.


Now that was a punishment I could handle. I gave her two smoking-hot kisses.


The enemies pulled back to regroup, and I checked all the weapons and ammo. “Well, we're getting low on fifty cal rounds for the M107s – we each have two more mags. I would like to save at least one mag each so that we can keep these bastards out past two thousand meters.


“We have plenty of .338, .308 and .338 whisper ammo for a couple more charges. I think we should save the whispers for when they chase us out of here and we have to fight mobile. Next time they charge, we will use the .338's, and then you can switch to the .308. We have a shitload of .223 for the normal M4s and one mortar round left.”


Jens checked the other equipment. “We still have five more satchel charges on the escape route, so I think we’re fine there. We also have the surprises waiting for them here when they do make it to the top. Lassie is in watchdog mode, and I don't think they'll try that again. Let's grab some chow; a good firefight makes me hungry.”


She fixed us a couple of MREs and spiced them up just the way I liked them. She even used the little bottle of Tabasco sauce.


“Once again, you totally amaze me,” I told her, “You take something that is barely edible and you make it taste almost as good as your home cooking. Thank you again for taking such good care of me.”


“So, you like camping with a girl, and you would do it again,” she teased, probably because she knew I’d never been camping with anyone but guys.


“No, I wouldn't camp with a girl again, but I would camp with you in a New York–fricken- minute,” I said. “Well, that was such a fine dinner, how about an after dinner drink?”


“I would love one, but I don't know where we could find one,” She answered.


“I do.” I went to my pack, pulled out my pocket flask, and handed it to her.


She passed it underneath her nose. “I should have known. Do you drink anything besides Knob Creek?”


“Shouldn't you know? After all, you are a witch, and you claim to know everything about me,” I jibed.


She took a swig, handed it to me, and proceeded to tell me all about the drinks that I like and when I like to drink them. She even told me what I had to drink when I got drunk and puked all over Jugs's car. I’m sure that my mouth dropped open again.


I finally took a swig myself and shook my head. “I should know better.”


“Yes, you should by now. Is there anything else you want to know about yourself? How about when you lost your virginity?” she taunted, a wicked gleam in her eyes.


Lassie announced the approach of more snipers with the funeral dirge and saved me. Wouldn't they ever learn? Jens rolled over and started petting Lassie, and I moved to my M107. A couple seconds later, we heard, splat, crack.


“Damn, that was too close,” I said. “If they can get that close, let me know where they are; I can nail them.”


Jens moved to her spotting scope, and I found the targets. “Please range me, my baby doll,” I asked.


“Mmmm, keep talking like that, and I might be your inflatable doll. Range, nineteen forty-five; elevation, minus nineteen; wind, nada.”


We heard another shot from the sniper as I made the adjustments. .I lined up on him, and boom, he was dead. His spotter jumped up and tried to run, and I got him, too. I did a tactical reload on the M107.


“My love,” I asked innocently, “please explain to me, what is an inflatable doll?”


Jens blushed.


I grinned. “You look so cute when you blush.” Of course she turned even redder. It was nice winning an occasional battle with her, but I knew better than to expect that I would win the war. I wasn’t sure I wanted to. Capitulation could be pleasant, in the end.


We cleaned up from our MRE meals and brushed our teeth, and both took a leak. Jens offered to let me watch her if she could watch me. I turned beet red.


“See, I always win,” Jens said.


We cuddled a bit more, and Jens told me, “They’re going to do one more charge right at twilight. I’m sure this one will be even worse than the last. They’ll probably overrun this position, because they’ll send them in waves.


“We’ll only need to hold them off until the satchel charges go off on the escape route. I’ll be watching Lassie, and when the escape route clears we need to take off and get out of here. When we leave, I’ll activate the claymore's motion sensors and the SAW and the final surprise for when they’re up here. I think we’re going to make it out of here, but there's a twenty percent chance that we won't. Don't be angry at me if we die.”


I held her tightly. “How could I ever be angry at the most beautiful woman in the world? You’ve done your best, and you’ve already saved us many times today. I love you!” I punctuated it with a kiss.


She looked at Lassie and asked me, “We still have one more mortar round?”


“Just one,” I answered.


“You think that you can get four thousand meters out of it?”


“I don't know; you’re the expert,” I said.


She smiled. “The BG is back, probably to take command when they overrun us. Get to the mortar, move the direction thirteen degrees to the left, and put the angle at . . . let's try forty.”


I dropped our last mortar round and yelled, “Fire in the hole!”


We waited for what seemed like an eternity before Lassie started barking the wedding march, “Woo Hoo! Killed that cheating rat bastard again,” Jens whooped. “Now he won't be here for his victory.”


We got into position, and Jens looked at Lassie. “Be ready, any time now.”


I flipped on the NV on the M107 and the two 98 Bravos. I was ready. While I was setting up, I noticed some movement within range.


I whispered to Jens, “I already have some targets in range. I’m going to start firing.”


She said, “I have some in range too. Shall we start this attack?”


We started firing, taking out troops until we ran out of ammo on the M107s. Finally, the platoons started up the hill towards us. We were firing as fast as we could, and it was a slaughter, but the platoons kept coming.


“I'm out on the .338,” Jens yelled, moving to the .308 and continuing the fire.


“I'm out, too,” I replied, thinking that the satchel charges better blow soon or we were going to be in deep shit. I grabbed an M4 and started shooting. The range was too far, but I was hitting some shots. My fight-or-flight instincts were sounding like crazy – emphasis on flight – when the satchel charges finally went off.


Jens rolled over and looked at the computer. “It worked. Let’s beat feet before they figure this out.”


We slipped out of the back of the camo net, Jens threw the laptop and dish in her pack and threw it on, and I did the same. We grabbed our rifles; and Jens looked down the hill and pressed a couple of remotes. The SAW cranked up and starting spitting lead down the hill. Shit, it was even hitting some of the troops. Then the claymores started going off at four hundred meters.


“It's a shame we can't stay and watch this,” Jens said. “There’s going to be mass carnage. Let's move.”


As we ran down the escape route, Jens triggered one more remote. She was in the lead and I had her back. Our M4s were ready, but we didn't run into anyone. After we got past the satchel charges, she hit the final remote and yelled something, but I couldn’t hear her over the noise.


There was so much havoc from the SAW and all the claymores going off that no one noticed when we joined the back of a platoon heading away from the area and regrouping. They didn't even notice that we were picking them off one by one until they were all dead.


Jens taunted as she passed them, “Thanks for the escort, boys. Don’t get lost heading for the entrance.”


We ran for over an hour before we figured it was safe enough for us to stop for a breather. We found a nice place under some bushes, crawled in, and snuggled up to each other. We were both breathing so hard that we couldn't talk. Then the whole sky at the top of the hill lit up with a huge boom.


Jens was barely able to whisper, “I guess they found our surprise.”


After we caught our breath, Jens said, “Well, that was fun, but we need to get to our next location.”


I reached in my pack and pulled out a pair of custom bionic ears. “Now you get to see one of my secrets – these let me hear a mouse fart at five hundred meters. No matter how quiet the others are, I’ll hear them; this is how I was able to hear you the other day when you were sneaking up on my decoy ghillie suit.”


“Why, you sneaky devil dog, I was wondering how you knew. But won't you go deaf if you fire a weapon with those in?” she asked.


I shook my head. “It's better with these in because they automatically limit high noise levels.”


“Then why the hell don't you wear them all the time? With as much shooting as you do, you're going to be deaf soon. No more shooting without those in, and I want a pair for me ASAP,” Jens ordered.


“Yes, my love. The problem is that I can't make these work with the radio,” I explained.


Jen said, “Have you ever heard of duct tape? Why don't you just duct tape the radio ear piece to the side of the bionic ear piece?”


Shit. I had never thought of that. She pulled out some duct tape and taped the radio ear piece to the bionic ear piece, tested it, and it worked great.


“Next time you need to figure out how to fix something, make sure to ask me. You’d be amazed what I can do with duct tape.” She grinned.


“Honey, you amaze me with everything that you do.” I replied and kissed her.


“So how sensitive are those? And I don't want the mouse fart answer.”


I pulled the one out of my ear that didn't have the radio taped to it. “Try it yourself. It won't fit right in your ear canal, but you can get a good idea.”


She fit it into her ear, and her eyes widened. “Wow, this is amazing. I can even hear you breathing,” she whispered. “No wonder you could hear me sneaking up on you the other day. I can't wait to get a pair of these.” She took it out of her ear and handed it me.


I put it back into my ear. “I have heard other snipers just from the rustling of their ghillie suits. Your suit doesn't rustle, or we would have fixed it, but you need to work on how quiet you can move; in fact, we will work on this together starting right now.”


We pulled out our night vision gear and put it on, then slowly slipped out of our hiding place. I listened and told Jens any time I could hear her. She was getting better, but it was going to be a long night.




 1 (The M183 contains twenty pounds of C-4 plastic explosive in each satchel. We had remote detonators for them)