Chapter 003

Home Chapter 003

Copyright 2013 Banzai Ben and Amazing Anastasia

 

Present – Jens – At the cabin

 

When I wake up Maria and Linus, Maria explains, "Jens, the water was poisoned and we absorbed it through our skin."

 

I answer, "Yeah, I just figured that out."

 

The next thing I know I'm shivering and shaking! I look and both Maria and Linus have started shivering too. I demand to no one in particular, "What the hell is going on with us?"

 

Linus answers, "I don't know, but we need to get to the medical plane as quickly as possible."

 

I begin to stand up but I'm weak as hell and I admit, "I don't know if I can walk."

 

Maria tries to stand and has the same problem; Linus can barely stand but offers, "I'm going to get some help."

 

I look at Maria and she says, "It's almost as if…"

 

Present – Masha and Jack – In the medical plane

 

I am thankful this medical plane is here. I bring Jack into the facilities which are incredible as a doctor comes up and asks, "Did he drink the water?"

 

I reply, "Thankfully no, however he was bitten multiple times by the rats and is exhibiting all the symptoms of rat bite fever."

 

The doctor questions, "Do you know if they were American or Asian rats."

 

Jack says, "I have no fucking idea, I didn't ask to see their passports."

 

The doctor takes us to a gurney, has Jack lie down, takes a look at his bites and says, "Well, you've done a good job keeping the bites clean."

 

He looks at a nurse and orders, "Let's start and IV and begin him on a regimen of penicillin."

 

Jack motions with his head and says, "Look, the bastard is in here. I thought Linus stopped him from drinking the water…

 

Yes, it's most curious that Glen has been affected by the water since he did not drink it…

 

Present – Glen – In the medical plane

 

I wake up from a hell of a nightmare the fucking water gave me and the doctor says, "It looks like about a quarter of the men are down with this."

 

I question, "Do we know exactly what this is?"

 

He shakes his head, "Not until I get a sample to analyze."

 

I begin to shiver and ask, "Doctor, what's going on with me now?"

 

He comes over, begins to examine me and guesses, "It must be something residual from the drug."

 

Todd runs in carrying a water filter looking device and signs…

 

Present – Todd – In the medical plane

 

I run into the medical plane see Glen is awake but is shivering. I sign, "Doctor, this device was hooked into the water supply and is probably responsible for all the men that are down."

 

He answers, "Thanks, I will start analyzing it immediately."

 

I add, "It appears that all the men that have been stricken are now shivering like Glen."

 

Glen swears, "Are they weak as hell too?"

 

I sign, "They seem to be."

 

Then Glen becomes slightly irrational and says, "Doctor, I really need a drink of that water."

 

I speculate and sign, "Doctor, could the water have been laced with the drug the cartel is producing?"

 

He states, "Well it could be, but it looks to me like Glen is suffering from withdrawal symptoms and that shouldn't happen this quickly."

 

I add, "But Jennifer's sworn enemy, Megan, supposedly added compounds to the drugs to make them more effective and addictive."

 

Glen orders, "I don't the hell care about any of this, I just want a glass of water."

 

The doctor orders, "We can't let any of the men have any of this water until I can test it. Please make sure the affected men are restrained to keep them from drinking any more of the tainted water."

 

Then Glen starts acting like he's insane, he froths at the mouth, jumps off the gurney and goes after the doctor who is holding the filtration device…

 

Present – Jens – At the cabin

 

Linus leaves to get help, I look at Maria and she says, "Jens it's almost like we're going into withdrawal."

 

Then it makes sense and I swear, "That bitch Megan! This is her doing! One dose of the drug in the water made us junkies."

 

Maria says, "But I was having such a good dream. Linus and I were on a mission together."

 

I add, "Yeah, I also had a wonderful dream - I dreamed Ben and I had just gotten married."

 

Maria licks her lips and suggests what both of us are thinking, "Perhaps one more taste of water would be enough so we can have those great dreams again."

 

I giggle in agreement, "It surely can't hurt."

 

We crawl over to the faucet, turn it on but nothing comes out. I swear, "Damn, Todd has the pumps turned off."

 

Maria suggests, "Well, can't you turn them back on?"

 

I say, "Help me over to the terminal and I will turn them back on…"

 

Present – Todd – In the medical plane

 

I run up behind Glen, put him in a sleeper hold and wait until he passes out. The doctor says, "Thanks! He was irrational as hell and I bet the others that are affected are doing the same. We have to make sure none of them drink the poisoned water."

 

I remind him, "Well, with the device out of the system there is no way to get any water and I made sure to purge the pipes in the tunnel."

 

We put Glen back on the gurney and strap him down. The doctor says, "Well, someone needs to take charge and I'm going to be too busy trying to figure out what the hell this stuff is."

 

I sign, "I will find Linus, and tell him he's in charge."

 

I head outside of the plane and see pandemonium…

 

Present – Linus – At the cabin

 

I head outside and all hell is breaking loose. It looks like about a fourth of the men are fighting like hell with the rest of the men. I wonder where the hell Glen is then I realize… I got water on both of us when I tackled him so he's down too.

 

All I know is I have a hell of a craving for more of the water… oh shit! Whatever they put in the water is addictive and we're all going through withdrawal.

 

Todd runs up to me and signs, "Linus, Glen is down and you're in charge."

 

I say, "Hell Todd I'm not doing any better than Glen. I just woke up a short time ago and feel like shit."

 

Then I feel intense pain in my head, like my brain and all my nerves are on fire! I clutch my head, fall to my knees and begin to scream…

 

Present – Todd – At the cabin

 

Linus clutches his head, falls to the ground and screams in agony. I look and verify that everyone that was affected is now in the same condition. I can't imagine the hell they are going through but the doctor needs to do something about this.

 

I run back to the medical plane and see that Glen is writhing in agony on the gurney, I sign, "Doctor it looks like everyone has this symptom."

 

He shakes his head and apologizes, "I'm working on this as fast as I can."

 

A Marine walks in and reports, "Sirs, Mabel sent me to inform you she has food ready for everyone."

 

I demand with vigorous signing, "Mabel? Isn't she screaming in pain?"

 

The Marine says, "No Sir! Oh, we were all a little sick but then Mabel gave us some tea."

 

The doctor looks at him and orders, "Take me to this Mabel immediately!"

 

Present – Jens – At the cabin

 

I make it to the terminal on the wall, Maria helps me to stand, I enter my code, it beeps at me and says, 'Unauthorized User.' I complain, "What the fuck! I built this system! Unauthorized User my ass."

 

Maria reminds me, "Jens you gave Todd control of the system…"

 

I interrupt, "That bastard! He locked me out of my own system."

 

The next thing we know it feels like our heads and all our nerves are on fire! I fall to the floor and I'm not sure who is screaming louder, Maria or me…

 

Present – Todd – In the tunnels

 

We follow the Marine into the tunnels to find Mabel after witnessing the hell that's going on outside. The men that had been affected by the drug are in extreme pain, they are lying on the ground, screaming and writhing in pain.

 

We run into the kitchen and see a normal looking Mabel and all of her cooking assistants. The doctor questions, "How do you feel?"

 

Mabel replies, "Well I felt like hell so I made some of my special tea - after that we felt fine."

 

The doctor questioned, "Did you use the contaminated water?"

 

Mable laughed, "Hell no! I used the stored water, I ain't no fool."

 

The doctor asks, "Mabel, how much of that tea can you make because right now we have close to one hundred men in agony from the drug?"

 

Mabel states, "Land sakes I will make a batch right now! It's just a combination of peppermint, comfrey root, ginseng and meadowsweet."

 

The Marine complains, "It really tastes like shit but hell it worked on all of us."

 

Mabel says, "Here's a little I have left from the first batch."

 

The doctor looks at me and proposes a course of action, "Glen first."

 

I nod in agreement and sign, "Then Linus."

 

We take all the tea she has and run toward the medical plane.

 

The doctor says, "Wouldn't you fucking know it! Some sort of home remedy fixes this problem."

 

Little did he know! I put more faith in 'home remedies' and eastern medicine than I did in all of his medicine. Yeah, it was traditional treatments that cost me my voice and almost cost me my life. Thank God that Japanese woman found me on that deserted island and took mercy on me. But that is a different story for another time…

 

We reach the medical plane, Glen is writhing so badly all the veins are standing out on his head, the doctor says, "If this doesn't work, he's going to die."

 

The doctor lies, "Glen, we have some of that special water for you."

 

Glen greedily grabs toward the cup and orders, "Give it to me." He takes a big drink and looks like he's going to spit it out so I close his nose, which forces him to swallow it and he complains, "What sort of bullshit was that, it was vile tasting."

 

The doctor explains, "Something that we hope will cure you."

 

Glen begins to convulse and sweat profusely, the doctor complains, "Shit, I think this is killing him."

 

However, I recognize the process as the drug being flushed from his system. Glen then wets himself, defecates and I know it's finished. I sign, "Doctor, you might not understand, this but this is eastern medicine and it worked on Glen. However he needs to be cleaned up before his men see him. I will leave you with that job while I find Linus."

 

I find Linus and sign, “Drink this and you will be well."

 

He agrees, "Any damn thing is better than this." He chugs down the last of the tea and I wait beside him for 'it' to happen. And I remember back to the Chinese island I was stranded on, where master Liu taught me so many things…

 

Present – Linus – At the cabin

 

I literally thought my head was going to explode and thought several times about putting a bullet in it to end the unbearable pain.

 

Todd gives me this tea that tastes like – well ass! It's all I can do to hold it down but the pain gradually reduces. When I piss and shit myself then I quickly feel better. I grab Todd's hand and say, "Maria and Jens, you have to help them!"

 

He signs, "I will heal them."

 

The phrase seems a funny thing to say, I mean sign…

 

Present – Todd – In the tunnels

 

I run toward the room Jennifer and Maria were using and I have a problem: All of Mabel's tea is gone, however I promised Linus I would heal them. I arrive in the room and see they are both in dire straits. Either because they are female or for some other reason their pains seemed magnified. I can actually fell the pain emanating from their bodies - it is very unsettling.

 

I look in my pack and verify I have enough of the herbs from the Chinese island I was stranded on left to take care of their problems. I pull out the herbs, grind them in a small mortar and pestle heat some water pour it over the fragrant herbs, hold it up to Jennifer's lips and force her to drink half of it. I move over to Maria, put it to her lips, hold her nose and she drinks the remaining potion. I look at the pestle, wipe my finger around it to make sure I do not waste a single drop and realize soon (no very soon) I must unfortunately return to acquire more of the medicinal herbs.

 

Unlike Mabel's cure which is brutal, Jennifer and Maria fall into a deep slumber. I know this slumber having been there all too many times. When they awaken they will be better than before. Until then I will stand guard. I acquire my bow and nock an arrow…

 

Present – Zarika – In the medical plane

 

The nice doctor finishes with the surgery and says, "Well, I've done all I can. It's in God's or Allah's hands."

 

I glare at the doctor and state, "Doctor, Yasmeen and I are Orthodox Christians so it is in God's hands."

 

He apologizes, "Sorry about that you, but you two appear to be muslim."

 

I start to explain to him when Yasmeen awakens and asks, "Zarika, am I okay?"

 

I lie, "Yasmeen, you are fine and the nice doctor fixed all your injuries."

 

She complains, "Zarika, the pain is great."

 

I look at the doctor for help, he talks at a nurse and orders, "Give her a PCA pain pump and instruct her how to use it."

 

They connect a machine to Yasmeen and the nurse says, "This machine will give you a little pain medication all the time. If you have severe pain, press the button and it will give you extra medication."

 

Yasmeen immediately presses the button.

 

I question, "How will it keep her from getting too much pain medication."

 

The nurse takes the button, presses it four times and says, "It will only allow her the maximum dose each hour."

 

Yasmeen take the button back, pushes it again and I'm sure she doesn't get any more medication.

 

She looks at me and pleads. "Zarika, tell me the truth about how bad am I wounded?"

 

I think for a moment and again lie, "Yasmeen, you will be fine after a few days…"

 

Present – Alexi, Mira and Ira– At the fertility clinic

 

 My sisters bind the transected doctor in the oriental rug on which he was standing, then they begin to cleanse the room and themselves. Usually their personnel eliminations were not as higgledy-piggledy. I continue my search of the clinic's records and become the proverbial Dipetra on the wall…

 

Ira scolds me in our special language, "Mirinka, the termination of the doctor in such a disorderly manner was ill advised. You must control your emotions."  

 

I reply, "Irinka, you would have performed in a more severe manner had you carried the vile offspring of that demon. Remember the trap he almost plied upon your corporeal self?"

 

I detest the reminiscence of that factoid and complain, "Mirinka, if I live a thousand lifetimes, I would appreciate never being reminded of that foul factoid!"

 

Alexi displays mirth so I look at Mirinka and question, "Does Alexi understand our private language?"

 

Alexi surprises us when he replies in our special language, "Of course my naïve sisters, I understand your language perfectly. However, I have discovered something which might be of immense interest to my sisters."

 

I am amazed as Irinka's anger focuses on Alexi. She pulls her katana including the saya, prepares to apply a love tap to him, similar to those she had blessed me with on multiple occasions. Alexi spins in his chair, effectively blocks Irinka's tirade and unfortunately taunts, "When did my elderly sister become so slow?"

 

Alexi then receives a practical application of the saying, 'Hades has no old Plymouth automobile (Fury) like a female scorned.'

 

Irinka rains increasingly fast blows on Alexi and taunts with each blow, "Assimilate this one!"

 

Alexi wisely translocates beneath the desk to apply his muscular hydrostat normally residing on the floor of his oral canal to his presently rising welts. Irinka declares, "Now that you have been properly castigated, show us the factoid to which you referred earlier."

 

Alexi refuses, "Not until you place your katana on the desk."

 

Irinka's anger is greatly rekindled and I realize everything is not correct with my sister, so I carefully question, "Irinka, I perceive you are not totally healthy."

 

She turns and I note that she is perspiring profusely for the minimal effort expended. She says, "Mira, I do not…"

 

Then she collapses into my arms, I carefully lower her to the floor and begin a physical examination. Alexi translocates from under the desk and questions, "Did I precipitate this issue?"

 

I reply, "I do not believe you are the cause. I would surmise that she chose to ignore her Rattus bite fever. I will give her another penicillin shot and when she awakens we need to re-hydrate her. Now show me the factoid you uncovered."

 

He reveals his discovery to me and even prints a copy. I smile at him, tousle his hair and praise him, "Brother, this is not just good news, it is outstanding…"

 

Present – Ben – On the road

 

My groupies (now that's unnerving!) swarm Parsimonious Paul's rig. There's a hell of a lot of noise and confusion. I look over at him and question, "Are you sure this will work?"

 

He laughs, "Hell, it might be the only thing that could work."

 

I order, "PP blow the air horns."

 

He lays on the air horns, it scares the shit out of the groupies who back up from the truck. I open the door, step out on the top step and announce, "I have some words to say."

 

Immediately it's as quiet as a graveyard so I look at the groupies and announce, "I realize many of you desire intimate relations with me. However, if I am to remain your 'Trucker's Angel' I have been told (I didn't mention that PP told me this) that I cannot have carnal relations with anyone."

 

The weirdos all start to clap and cheer as the groupies grumble and PP leans over and whispers, "That was masterful, now let's go in and get some free grub."

 

Even with my announcement there are still many problems: It seems the groupies want certain parts of their bodies signed and then a tattoo artist is on hand to immortalize my signature. I see a group of ten men that look even weirder than the others - they are wearing long robes and have hoods over their heads. PP warns me, "Watch out for them."

 

They get closer, I inch my hand toward my pistol then one of them states, "Trucker's Angel, we are your Fedyakin and are here to protect you from the Mossad death squad."

 

It took me a moment to remember that Fedyakin were in the book Dune then I asked, "What the hell are you talking about, what Mossad death squad?"

 

PP explains, "Oh yeah, I guess if you don't watch television you didn't hear the report by Samantha Stevens. Apparently the Mossad group she was traveling with is really a Mossad death squad looking for you." Then he leans over and whispers, "I'd be careful about swearing around these guys."

 

I exclaim, "I have no idea what I ever did to Israel or the Mossad that they would send a death squad after me!"

 

A tall lanky cowboy walks toward my table as the Fedyakin try to block him. He flashes his Texas Range badge and orders, "Get out of my way unless you want to end up in the hoosegow!" After the confrontation, I decide that my Fedyakin are more like 'mall ninjas' than the Fedyakin in Dune and are going to be more of a bother than anything else.

 

He walks up tips his hat in respect and says, "Rex said to give you a big howdy. Now you don't have to worry about them Moo-sad boys, hell after the report from that cute as a bug Samantha about the death squad and her bastard husband being married to someone else, all of Texas is riled up and looking for the bastards. Shit, Rex has formed a posse that's headed out to find them."

 

I was glad he mentioned Rex because I had my fill of bullshit in Texas! Hell, everyone I'd met that had been in the Navy was a Seal and everyone in the Army were Greenies and more than half the cowboys were Rangers and even had fake badges.

 

I question, "What's your name and where are you headed?"

 

He replies, "I'm Gus and was headed west from here. You need a little break from this craziness?"

 

I jump at the offer, "Hell yes! Can we leave now?"

 

He states, "Sure, but just so you know I ain't pulling your leg give Rex a call and ask him about me."

 

He dials a number and hands me the phone - it was good as hell to hear Rex. It was even better when he tells me…

 

Present – Stacy and Samantha – Austin

 

Bill finds a gynecologist for Samantha then we are loaded up and head to the doc's office. On the way I look at Samantha and suggest, "You might consider disguising yourself."

 

She naively questions, "Why's that?"

 

I laugh, "Hell you're a reporter and can't figure that out."

 

She thinks and then says, "Stacy, I don't really care if the whole world knows about this. Besides doctors have to keep patient records confidential."

 

I think, 'yeah you wait. This is going to come back and bite you in the butt…'

 

Stacy has been exceptionally good to me, but I need to do my job so I question, "Stacy when can we start interviewing you?"

 

She smiles and says, "Samantha, we're going to get you to the doctor first then we are headed west out of Austin. Bill will drop us and the horses off and you can interview me in the evenings after we ride."

 

I remember my first day in the saddle and question, "Is there anything that will make my butt less sore?"

 

Stacy laughs, "Yeah, more time in the saddle."

 

I continue being a reporter, "Why do you want me to interview you in the evenings after we ride."

 

Stacy smiles and explains, "Because I'm going to let you see exactly what it was like being with Ben, that way your reports will be…"

 

I interrupt, "…They will be even better!"

 

Present – Liz and Bernie – At the cabin

 

After the phone call with Samantha I look at Bernie and question, "Well, this is just great! What the hell are we supposed to do now?"

 

Bernie wisely suggests, "Liz, Sam is a hell of a reporter, America loves her and we can't afford to lose her."

 

I add, "But, what the hell am I going to tell Jens? She's going to go ballistic when I tell her."

 

Bernie gives me some good ideas and we head off to find Jens.

 

We open a door to one of the sleeping quarters, Todd is there with his bow ready, I look past him and see Jens and Maria on the floor and demand, "What happened?"

 

He signs to me and tells me Jens and Maria should wake up in a few hours, until then he is standing guard over them.

 

I ask, "Do you really think it's necessary to guard her with all these Marines here?"

 

What he signs next surprises the hell out of me! I look at Bernie and declare, "I'm staying here to stand guard with Todd. Please find Jack and Glen and fill them in on what Todd just told us."

 

Bernie says, "Hell yeah, Linus needs to know this too!"

 

He takes off and once again I'm thankful as hell Todd is here and wished like hell the twins were here. In fact where the hell are they? I take out my phone, try to call and receive the message, 'the number you are trying to reach is temporarily out of service…'

 

Present – Byron, Inga and Thom– It's raining hell on the drug lord

 

We reach the rendezvous location, I stop the van and Thom questions, "Well, where the hell are they?"

 

I laugh and tease, "Thom, they're Recon and you won't see them unless they want you to see them."

 

I open the door, step out of the van and wait…

 

Finally I hear from behind me, "Byron, we thought you were a better Marine than that."

 

I laugh and say, "Shit, I saw you when I drove up - I thought you were supposed to be Recon."

 

They taunted, "Like hell you did."

 

I replied, "Yes, like hell I did!" And then I called out all their positions. What they didn't know was I didn't really see them but I had a damn good idea where they would hide.

 

They laughed, all came out of their hiding places and one of them says, "We need a sitrep."

 

I tell them about shooting the hell out of the drug lord's compound multiple times and could tell they are impressed (and Recons aren't easily impressed).

 

Thom and Inga join me and one questions, "Are you telling me that Greenie and the woman helped you?"

 

Thom answers, "Hell yes I did! I was firing rifles while you were still sucking on your mama's teat."

 

Inga adds her two bits, "While Byron and Thom went after the buildings, I was insulted by some of the drug lord's men and I evened the score."

 

I added, "Yeah, she shot the hell out of about seventy thugs."

 

We jump into the van to find a place that's less open and on the way one of the Recons tells me something very troubling…

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