01 Escaped Kaneohe Bay Hawaii - Saturday

Escaped: Fighting my way home

© Copyright 2009

Written by Banzai Ben and Amazing Anastasia

ben@banziben.com

 

 

Chapter 01 – Saturday 22 September 2007

 

Kaneohe Bay Hawaii – Hospital – Saturday, Day Twenty-Three

 

 

"Crazy; I'm crazy for feelin' so lonely,
I'm crazy, crazy for feelin' so blue...”

 

“Ben?”

 

I opened my eyes to see my beloved Jens watching me, her brow wrinkled. One arm was wrapped tightly around me, and she was stroking my brow. "It's about time you woke up. I've been so worried about you. What's all this ‘Crazy’ shit?" Jens said.

 

“Jens!” I lifted my head and smiled. “Heaven; I’m in heaven,” I sang.

 

“Jens, you wouldn’t believe it. I dreamed the strangest dream . . . like an Indian vision or something. I’m afraid, my love,” I said seriously, “That I might be going crazy.”

 

I laid my head on the pillow again and sang, “Crazy; I’m crazy for feeling so lonely . . .” I turned my head to look at Jens again and let out a silly giggle. She looked like a raccoon – a raccoon with a really white face and really black eyes.

"My poor Ben. Are you okay?" Jens asked, her voice laden with concern.

 

"I've never felt better. Meya malinkaya enot1. You're so cute with those eyes." I said and started laughing again.

1 My little raccoon – Russian transliterated.

 

Jens hugged me tighter. "What's wrong with you? You're so silly."

 

"Nothing. I feel great. I feel fantastic." I tried to get up and Jens held me down.

 

"Did you forget that you were shot?" She scolded.

 

"Oh yeah. I guess I was. I'm fine now. I don't feel any pain." I kept trying to get up.

 

"Ben! Stop trying to get up!" Jens ordered. "You passed out from blood loss. I carried you to the entrance, and they brought you to the hospital. They couldn't stitch your wound so they had to cauterize part of it.

 

"Then they wanted to give you a transfusion, and we have the same blood type, so I wouldn’t let them give you anyone else's blood but mine. I wanted to make sure that you wouldn't catch any weird diseases.

 

"So now we're closer than ever because you'll always have a part of me inside of you.” She kissed me and hugged me again.

 

"I would rather have a part of me inside you," I said with a silly laugh, and tried to get up again.

 

Jens held me down. "You're not going anywhere, Mister. You need to stay in this bed."

 

"Well, if I don't go to the bathroom soon, I'm gonna go pee right here." I struggled against her.

 

"Let me help you," Jens said, reaching for the urinal.

 

"Oh, no you don't! You just want to take advantage of me in my current condition," I answered, fighting with her over the urinal and making a hell of a lot of noise.

 

The noise attracted the nurse, affectionately known as “Nurse Battle Axe.”

 

"Young lady! What are you doing out of your bed?" the nurse barked.

 

"He was trying to get up, and I was making sure he didn't," Jens sheepishly replied, and scooted back to her bed.

 

"Hey! Nurse Battle Axe. I need to pee right now," I demanded.

 

The nurse held the urinal for me and waited… and waited… and waited. Finally, I was done and felt much better.

 

Once I was done with my immediate bodily needs, I noticed that the fucking cast was back on my arm, and my other arm had a bunch of tubes coming out of it.

 

"What the shit is this cast doing back on my arm? I thought I got rid of this piece of crap," I exclaimed, and started beating it on the side rail of the hospital bed.

 

Nurse Battle Axe jumped on me, trying to get me to stop. She wasn't doing very well, so next thing I knew, Jens was on top of me trying to help her.

 

I felt like I was being attacked and fought back, pushing the women off me, banging the hell out of the cast, and making a tremendous amount of racket. They kept trying, grabbing at my arms to stop me, but they weren't having much success.

 

Naturally, all the noise attracted attention. General Donaldson and a doctor walked in to the room.

 

I ordered, "Ten-hut! General in the room," and tried to stand up, but Jens and the nurse held me down. Forgetting about the cast, I did swing my right hand up for a salute and whacked myself in the head. Damn. That hurt, and my back had started hurting, too.

 

"What the hell is going on in here? It sounds like a fucking war," the general bellowed.

 

The nurse explained to the general that Jens and I were the worst patients she had ever taken care of and filled him in on all the details.

 

"Doctor Linus, Check him out," the general ordered.

 

The doctor came over, made me lean forward, and looked at my back.

 

Jens slinked back to her bed.

 

"Shit. He broke open his wound, and he’s bleeding again," Doctor Linus said.

 

"Hey,” I complained. “I don't know what you're doing back there, Doctor Penis. But it hurts like hell."

 

"That's Doctor Linus, jarhead. Hold still while I work on you. Nurse, come here and assist me."

 

He was fucking with my back, and I didn't like it. I fought him and the nurse.

 

The general ordered, "Sergeant Major Bennie Blaine! Quit acting like an ass and let the doctor work on you. If you keep fighting, we will have you tied to the bed."

 

That got my attention. I hate being tied down.

 

"Nurse. Go get some morphine and sedate this… patient," Doctor Linus spat.

 

I started feeling much better when she came back and injected the morphine into my IV, and stopped fighting the doctor. I turned my head and saw Jens with her raccoon eyes and started laughing again. Damn, she looked funny.

 

When the doctor was done, he had me lay back on the bed. He went over and talked with the general. I couldn't hear what they said, but the way I was feeling, it didn't matter.

 

Then they went over and talked to my lovely Jens. I felt so lucky to have such a beautiful fiancée.

 

The nurse made sure that the rails were up on my bed and that I was all tucked in. As soon as they left the room Jens came over and jumped into bed with me.

 

Mmmm, it was so nice and warm and comfortable there with Jens’s head on my chest, and I was so . . . tired . . . and sleepy. If I could just get that damned song out of my head, I could rest.

 

 

Khudabah, Pakistan – Morning of Escape Day One

 

 

Damn, it's late. I've been up for hours and done my bedridden exercises twice. Where the hell are the other guards and Zarika? They've never been this late.

 

I finally hear them coming, and the other guard is waking up. It's about time.

 

Something's different today; it's only Zarika and one other guard. I try to meet eyes with Zarika, but she won't look at me. My gut clenches.

 

Shit. What the hell is going on?

 

At least the routine is the same. March me to my cell and tie me to the chair. Hurry up, motherfuckers. I want to talk to Zarika and find out what's happening.

 

Finally. They’ve backed off. Now I can talk to her. "Zarika, what's going on?"

 

"Shhh, Ben. Don’t talk right now. Let me dress your rat bites," Zarika answers.

 

The changes have me agitated today, and it's hard for me to sit still.

 

"Sit still, Ben. Don't attract the guard's attention." Zarika scolds me.

 

I've heard that tone of voice before. Damn. It reminds me so much of Jens, I can’t help but comply.

 

As she dresses my left leg, I notice something feels different, so I glance down casually, careful not to attract the guard’s attention. I'll be damned – it's my Ka-Bar. She’s wrapping the bottom edge of the dressing around the blade of the knife, leaving the handle and hilt exposed.

 

I get so excited, I start fidgeting again, but I simmer down when she pinches the hell out of my leg.

 

She gets my leg re-dressed and new pants on me. Shit, there's even a cut in pant leg so I can get to the Ka-Bar. That clever little girl has thought of everything.

 

Finally she's done and half-whispers, "Hussein and everyone else are gone on a mission today. They've left only the two guards.The Imam will be here soon. When he sends me for tea, watch, and you will know what to do."

 

I am so impatient that I can barely eat breakfast. "Ben, calm down, or the guard will figure out something's going on," Zarika admonishes.

 

It works, and I’m able to feign boredom despite the fact that inside, I am boiling. I can taste the blood in the back of my throat; the warrior I’ve had to repress for so long is fighting to come out.

 

Waiting is torture of a new kind, but finally the Imam comes, and we start our chess game. Zarika is at her usual position by my feet. I let the Imam win the first game of chess.

 

"Ben, you seem distracted today. Is something wrong?" the Imam questions.

 

It’s time for my best bullshitting. "My stomach is upset,” I groan. “It has been all morning long."

 

"Perhaps some tea would help to calm it. Zarika, go fetch us some tea," the Imam orders.

 

She stands up, looks at me, and winks.

 

The Imam sets up the chess board for a new game.

 

He notices me watching Zarika as she leaves the room. "Ah, my son, I see you watching Zarika. I understand. You miss the comfort of a woman. I will ask Hussein to find you a nice young girl."

 

I almost puke when he dares to call me, “son”.

 

As Zarika had walked out of the room, she’d looked at the guard, smiled, and beckoned with her finger. And like a dog following a bitch in heat, he’d left the room.

 

It’s the Imam's turn, and he’s taking his time, flapping his gums about how I need a woman. Damn him, I have all the woman I need. Her name is Jens, and I am going to see her again.

 

He finally makes a move, and he’s obviously very proud of it. I’ll bet he expects praise from me.

 

I fake dizziness and lean forward, resting my head against the table. I slide my left hand down the outside of my leg and into the hole in my pant leg. Grabbing the Ka-Bar by the hilt, I slip it out of the bandage.

 

"What's wrong, my son? Are you sick?" The Imam questioned.

 

Making sure I have the right grip on the Ka-Bar, I sit back up. "I'm better now. But I will feel even better after this."

 

I throw the Ka-Bar with all my strength, hitting him right in the throat, piercing his trachea and carotid artery. Blood sprays all over the chess board and across my face and chest. He grabs for his throat, makes a gurgling noise, and slumps forward on the table.

 

I relish the taste of his blood on my lips, and gain energy from his death.

 

Sliding my chair forward, I push him up and pull my knife from his throat. "Fuck with a Marine, and die, you bastard. I hope you like living in hell with your god."

 

I look into his eyes, knowing that he understands my words, and wipe the Ka-Bar on his chest as I watch his life slowly ebb.

 

I cut the rest of my ropes with the Ka-Bar and stand up. I’m almost a free man again. Only two guards stand between me and freedom. I feel a surge of anger as I realize that one of the towelheads is fucking my adopted sister.

 

The warrior instinct is back. I grab my water glass and slip over to the door. I slowly open it and peek out at the empty hallway.

 

Listening closely, I hear a noise from the room across the hall. I move to the door and pour water on the hinges and door knob so they won't squeak when I open it. I wait thirty seconds and open the door without a sound.

 

There the bastard is, humping my little sister. This is going to be a pleasure.

 

I crouch and slip up behind him, and then drive my Ka-Bar into the back of his neck to sever his spine at the atlas vertebra. He lets out a moan as his last breath escapes his lungs.

 

He’s paralyzed now, and will die the slow death of asphyxia. I throw him off of Zarika roll him over, and promise, "See you in hell, you perverted bastard."

 

Zarika covers up and whispers to me, "The other guard is sleeping in the kitchen. Ben, are you okay? You’re covered in blood."

 

My soft laughter surprises us both. "It's the Imam's blood." I lick some off the back of my hand. "And I’ve never tasted sweeter."

 

I grab the dead guard's AK-47, hand the rest of the water to Zarika, and we both sneak over to the door. The hallway is clear.

 

I whisper, "Zarika, stay five steps behind me and don't make a noise. Where's the kitchen?"

 

She points, and we both slip into the hallway. I keep my back against the wall, and Zarika follows my example.

 

We reach a side hallway and I peek around the corner. It’s clear, so I scoot across the opening and wait for Zarika to follow suit.

 

She points ahead to a door and nods – the kitchen.

 

We inch up to the door, and I listen. Not hearing anything, I wet down the hinges and doorknob and wait. The thirty seconds seem to last an eternity.

 

Zarika motions for me to wait off to the side of the door. She opens it up and walks in, leaving the door slightly ajar. The guard wakes up as she goes to the sink and grabs pot for tea.

 

I hear him giving her shit, so I peek around the doorjamb. He’s watching her, and not the door. I slip in behind him as he stands up and starts walking towards her. Without a sound, I grab him by the top of his head, slit his throat, and throw him in a heap on floor. His blood splatters the walls and Zarika.

 

Zarika walks over, kicks him, and tells him in Arabic, "Fuck with a Marine, and die."

She runs and jumps into my arms. "No one will be here for hours. There's a truck in the garage that we can steal. But first, let's get cleaned up.”

 

She’s right, but it’s a shame to wash off all the blood. I feel like I’m removing my warpaint, and as it washes down the drain, so does my adrenaline high.

 

After we’re relatively clean, I order, "Grab all the food that you can and let's load up the truck."

 

She starts moving food to the truck while I reconnoiter the rest of the house. It‘s all clear, and I find a great cache of weapons and explosives in the basement. I start humping some weapons, ammo, and explosives up to the truck.

 

Now that the adrenaline is gone, I'm fucking weak. Damn those bastards. They stole my health.

 

I check the truck and load all but one gas can of diesel into the back. I also use some maps I’ve found to try figuring out our route. We’re almost ready to go. I only need to do one more thing.

 

"Zarika. Go to the kitchen and bring the hotplate to the basement."

 

I take the diesel to the basement, open up a bunch of gun powder and fertilizer, and mix them together on the floor, making sure they cover the remaining weapons. Zarika comes in with the hotplate and hands it to me.

 

"Thanks Zarika. Go start the truck and get ready to leave," I order.

 

After she leaves, I plug in the hot plate and set it on medium. Now I need tinder. Scanning the room, I find a folded newspaper. Perfect – it’s the New York-fucking-Crimes – I place it on top of the hotplate and run like hell.

 

In the garage, I jump into the truck, throwing the AK to Zarika. I gun the engine, slam it into gear, crash through the garage door, and speed off down the street.

 

We don't see anyone. It’s eerie, as if the whole town is deserted. I shift gears and gas the truck. We need to get away from the building before…

 

. . . Holy shit! Even in the truck, I feel the ground shake. I see in the rearview mirror that the whole building has disappeared in a dust cloud. Fuck. Rocks are raining down around the truck.

 

Now people are swarming out of the buildings, staring at the cloud and rubble where our prison used to be. At least they’re distracted and haven’t noticed our truck.

 

I shift into a higher gear and step on it, honking the horn at the idiots in the street. They scatter as we drive through.

 

Finally, someone figures out that our truck is their truck and we aren’t them, and start shooting at us. Zarika sticks the AK out the window and pulls the trigger, emptying a full mag. She doesn't hit anyone, but it sure scares the hell out of them and has them diving for cover.

 

I glance over at her. "Can you drive?"

 

She shakes her head, so I have her slap another mag in the AK. I roll down my window, take the AK in my left arm, and stuck it out the window, spraying anyone who even looks at the truck. I take a deep breath. I love the smell of cordite when I’m behind it.

 

I tell her to jump into the back and get another AK. She comes back in a couple minutes with two, and a bunch of mags. I empty one AK, and she hands me a reloaded one.

 

I almost miss a turn, but Zarika catches it. "Turn here."

 

It is a relief to be out of the maze of small roads and on a bigger street. Unfortunately, there are more towelheads around.

 

Zarika loads up the extra AK's and jumps in the back. She’s gone for quite awhile, and comes up with more mags and some hand grenades. She reloads the AK's, and we both start shooting again. This time she’s not afraid of the weapon, so she does better.

 

I notice that we’ve finally picked up a couple of pursuers in crappy cars, so I start dropping grenades out the window to discourage them. The first few have no effect, but once I figure out the timing, I take out the lead car in a ball of flame, and the following car crashes into it.

 

Zarika gets in on the fun, throwing grenades at the buildings and towelheads as we pass.

 

As we near the city limits, the towelheads are thinning out and getting smarter – they’re staying hidden. They pop up as we pass and take a couple of quick shots as we zoom by.

 

"Take an AK and jump in the back. As we pass them, shoot at them," I order Zarika.

 

She makes sure my two AKs are loaded and hops into the back. Fifteen seconds later, I hear firing and more grenades. Damn. She's almost as dangerous as my Jens.

 

Oh crap! We've got company again. This time it's serious. Another truck is following us, and this one has a machine gun on it. I start juking the truck from side to side. So far, they’re missing us.

 

Zarika is dropping grenades all over the place. Finally, one hits the truck and it explodes in flames and crashes into a group of towel heads. We are out of this bumfuck city and away from danger for now.

 

We’ve headed east out of town to make the towelheads think we were headed to Afghanistan, but this area of Afghanistan is controlled by the Taliban and isn't safe. Once we get far enough out of town, we’ll head north, to Zarika's home in Tajikistan. It’s the safest place in this part of the world.

 

Unfortunately, this is not like driving in America. There are no interstates. In fact, there are very few real roads, and those roads are fraught with their own danger. This trip will be very long and circuitous, taking us through countries unfriendly to Tajiks and less friendly to Americans.

 

But we are free, and our destinies belong to us.

 

I can't help feeling that someday I'll return. Hussein isn't dead yet.