Chapter 037

Home 2 Chapter 037

Copyright 2013 Banzai Ben and Amazing Anastasia


Present – Jens – In the equipment room


Ivan talking about how Unca Ben taught him to make MREs makes me remember how Ben made our MREs a real dining experience… Those were the good days - the time I spent with Ben, fighting side by side. But the thoughts of those times make me sad as hell.


I cry a little and motion for Liz to come beside me. She walks over and I whisper, "Why don't we let Ivan make the MREs, this should be interesting."


She questions with a whisper, "Are you sure?"


Hell, I'm more sure of that than I've been about anything in a very long time! I answer, "Yeah, I'm sure. Ben did things with MREs that made them a real meal. Will you please handle this for me?"


Liz takes my lead and suggests, "Ivan, would you please do me a favor and make the MREs like Ben made them."


Ivan scowls at us and corrects what he considers a mistake, "He Unca Ben and I make them like he taught me and then make RECON cookies for us, but not Princess Doody Head."


Son of a bitch! I wish he would stop calling me that because it makes me laugh and when I laugh I cough and when I cough it hurts.


Ivan commands, "First, I need some extra things?"


I'm still coughing up pieces of my lung so Liz steps in and asks…


Present – Liz – In the equipment room


I ask, "What sort of extra things?"


Ivan replies in Russian but I don't understand him, "Mасло, вино и секретный ингредиент."


Thank God Jens translates otherwise I would be lost, "Liz, he needs butter, wine and a secret ingredient. Look in the refrigerator beside the blood storage refrigerator."


I'm more than intrigued by this because all the MREs I have eaten tasted like shit warmed over so I invite him, "Come on Ivan." We walk to the refrigerator, I open it, he finds the butter, a bottle of red wine but that's it."


I'm confused and ask him, "What about the secret ingredient?"


He smiles and giggles, "Liz lady, it is secret and I not tell. Please open bottle of wine for us."


Jens offers, "The opener is in the second drawer over."


Ivan says, "Thank you for help Princess Doody Head."


Jens laughs again which makes her cough (it's a nasty wet sounding cough that I don't like). I look at Maria, Maria smiles and nods her head so I decide it's okay that she coughs. I walk over, get the opener, come back and open the bottle.


Ivan is being a hell of a great kid and enjoys the task of making the MREs for us. He begins to remove the entrée pouches from the heater and hums an obviously Russian song.


Jens questions, "Did Unca Ben teach you that song?"


He glares at Jens but answers, "No Princess Doody Head, Mama teach me song. Then he stops humming, sadness covers his face, he sniffles and says, "I hope Mama and Papa are eating as well as we soon."


He begins to hum the song again, Jens joins in and Ivan looks at Jens, stops what he’s doing and comments, "I not know you know Russian song."


Jens replies, "Иван владею русским и знаю эту песню. Unca Бен научил меня."


Ivan I speak Russian and know this song. Unca Ben taught me.


Ivan's eyes get big and he excitedly asks, "Вы русский и принцесса? Вы Анастасия?"


         You Russian and princess? Are you Anastasia?


Jens answers, "К сожалению Иван Я не русский или принцесса. Я выучила русский, когда Unca Бен был в России. Когда ваш папа и мама с концами."


Sorry Ivan, I am not Russian or a Princess. I learned Russian when Unca Ben was in Russia. It was at the time when your Papa and Mama met.


Ivan continues adding ingredients to the MREs and questions, "Then why woman who use many bad words call you princess? Is she trying tricksy?"


Maria glares at Ivan and answers, "Ivan, it's my pet name for her and I normally don't use it around others."


Jens flips Maria the bird and complains, "Like hell you don't! You have everyone calling me a princess."


Ivan sticks his tongue out at Maria while he crosses himself and corrects, "Now tricksy princess lady use bad word."


Jens crosses herself and apologizes, "Sorry Ivan, but sometimes even princesses use bad words."


He gives Jens a dirty look and states, "No princess ever use bad words, therefore you not princess and woman who use many bad words is now on permanent doody list."


What the hell? I'm confused as to what is a 'doody list'. I look at Jens, she smiles and mouths 'shit list.' It takes all my resolve not to laugh.


Ivan parades around with the MREs while proudly announcing, "I now finish MREs, please eat. Liz lady will you share cheese torts lena with me?" Then he takes one to Maria and one to Bernie.


Maria somehow figures out the correct description and announces, "It's a cheese tortellini."


It smells wonderful so I answer, "Sure I will, bring it here."


He brings it over, sits in my lap, we begin to eat and I remark, "This might be some of the best cheese tortellini I've ever had."


Bernie says, "This chicken chow mien is among the best I've ever had."


Maria adds, "And this pot roast is great. Thank you Ivan."


I remember Ivan took two ingredients out of the refrigerator so I wonder, "Ivan, what is the secret ingredient?"


Jens pipes up, "I know! It's love or любовь."


Ivan says, "That right former princess Doody Head. Now you back to Donaldduckson lady. You do know Unca Ben."


Ivan touches Jens heart with that comment, tears drop down her cheeks as she says, "Yes Ivan, I love him and hope someday to marry him."


Ivan displays amazing understanding for a child and comments, "That be good thing if Papa can find Unca Ben. He is alone and need someone, even woman that sometime use bad words. After eat, I make RECON cookies and because I now like Donaldduckson lady I will give her little taste of mine."


Present – Jack – In prison at the cabin.


I am more pissed than I've ever been! Hells bells, I want to kill Mike and all the greenies! The fuckers bring out shackles with handcuffs connected to them by a long chain and begin to put them on us. One old fart unwisely fights like hell and they shoot the poor bastard five times and then compound the problem by laughing. I realize we have landed between the proverbial rock and a hard place. I hate to do it but I order, "It looks like resistance is futile and will be met with lethal force. I would recommend we submit to the fuckers."


One of the fucking Army grunts insults us, "That's right, if you fight us, we will kill you bunch of old worthless washed up wannabes."


Little does he know that revenge is coming! I mark his face in my mind because the fucker is going to pay for those remarks. When the grunts start putting the shackles on Masha, I vociferously complain, "Come on, go easy because she's a woman."


The same grunt that's already earned a death sentence answers, "And our orders are to make sure hers are very tight and yours even tighter."


A shackled Mabel comes over and declares, "Now I know what slaves felt like."


The bastard grunt digs a deeper grave, "Sit the hell down and shut the hell up!"


They finish shackling everyone and order, "Okay, were taking you into this tent for the night."


They march us into the tent, and one orders, "Sit down and we will bring you some food."


We sit down, they begin to loop a log chain through all the shackles then some fucker walks in, throws MREs at us (the fucker hit most of us in the head with them) and laughs, "Enjoy your fucking dinner."


Linus takes one look at his MRE and complains, "What about the heaters, these things are barely edible cold?"


The grunt continues to laugh, "Sorry, the heaters can be used as a bomb so you're eating them cold tonight and every night from now on."


I look at mine, note that it's roast beef and I know it will be nasty as hell cold. I look at Masha and she got cheese tortellini which is at least edible when served cold.


Mabel demands, "What in the world sort of food is this? This is worse than the shackles!"


I look and explain, "That unfortunately is the hotdog MRE." I hear groans from the others and continue, "Take mine, at least it will be better cold than the garbage you have."


The only MRE worse than hotdog is the discontinued Captain upchucky Chicken and that isn't saying much. I take one of the nasty cold frankenfurters out of the pouch, wipe as much of the congealed sludge off it as I can and force myself to eat it. I know I have to keep up my energy if I'm going to lead us out of this huge Mongolian Cluster Fuck!!!


Present – Masha – In prison at the cabin.


I am so very proud of my Jack, he is my hero again! That is one of me many reasons I love him! He gave up his meal to Mabel for what I could ascertain from the obscene look of it, a very inferior meal.


I ask my love, "Would you like to share my meal? Even cold it is edible."


He bravely says, "Masha, you need your strength for our child, I will be fine with this meal."


I watch as he bravely forces down another frankfurter. I admit they are the worst looking frankfurters I have ever seen! They are covered with a nasty, coagulated clear slime that appears inedible.


I come up with an idea and whisper, "Jack, if I could procure a short amount of computer time I could bring us some assistance."


He amazingly asks, "Don't you think the twins and their brother are thinking the same thing?"


I am more than shocked! Jack has recognized the connection between myself and the twins. I coyly comment, "Jack, I do not know what you are talking about."


He laughs (I love his laugh) and responds, "Masha, you certainly must be aware that I know when you lie. I know that you and the twins have worked together in the past."


I struggle because I do not know if I want Jack to know our involvement (I might have to kill him if I told him everything), and especially since it ended the way it did. I state, "Jack you are being silly, you assume because…"


He laughs again, smiles at me and interrupts, "Masha, it's about time you stopped lying to me, like I said I can recognize your lies just like you can catch all of mine."


I stop and decide that I need to ponder this new development…


Present – Jack – In prison at the cabin.


It was about fucking time I finally called Masha's bluff! Hell, it was obvious to me that she and the twins had some sort of history between them - I just wasn't sure how much. But the way she capitulated made me think it was even greater than I perceived before. Now I wasn't sure that I really wanted to know everything.


I take the last frankenfurter out of the package, look at the nasty piece of shit that resembles a shriveled diseased pecker, wipe off as much congealed shit as I can and choked it down. DAMN! This is one nasty cold meal – and not much better hot!


Then Mabel has the audacity to complain, "Jack, is this supposed to be roast beef?"

I want to puke the frankenfurters back up and force feed them to her! However better judgment prevails as I snap a very annoyed answered, "Hell yes and when it's hot it's damn good! Be thankful you didn't have to eat this damn gut wrenching hotdog meal!"


The rest of the men chorus their complaints which thank God shuts her the hell up - thankfully before I utter something I would regret.


Linus rattles the shackles and asks, "Don't you think it's about time we get out of these shackles?"


With Mike in charge, I knew better and calm him, "Normally I would say hell yes, however after they killed the man today I think we need to bide our time. My guess is they are waiting for us to try to escape and will just kill us. I say we spend tonight here and then consider it for tomorrow night…


Present – Mike (formerly Major and then Captain M) – At the cabin.


I watch with great pleasure (my plans were proceeding perfectly) as the enemy combatants are shackled and led into the prison tent for the night. I knew that some of them would attempt an escape tonight and I had my men waiting for them with orders to 'shoot to kill.'


Hell the fewer potential witnesses I had alive the less I had to deal with. Now I just needed to wait for Ben to show up, capture him and then as far as I was concerned the rest of the men here are collateral damage. And if they died? Oh well, too fucking bad! Yeah, they are just bait for the trap.


However, there are several things I can't ignore. The biggest problems are the Sedankina twins and their brother since I checked and their diplomatic passports are valid. To dispose of them would open a whole new can of worms that I wasn't sure I wanted to open…


Present – Mira – Restrained at the cash


I did not trust the situation here, primarily because Mike was in charge. He had a terrible history of losing men and cavalierly accounting for losses as collateral damage. I extremely carefully observe and ascertain that Ira and Todd receive the proper care they require (otherwise I would have intervened). This is of utmost importance! The staff starts to tend to their wounds, starts IV's with the proper components and begins to extract the multiple rounds from Todd's back.


It is annoying because I am handcuffed to Alexi until, amazingly he sheds the handcuffs in a very deft move. So I warn, "Alexi, they might harm us."


He grins at me and boldly states, "My sister Mira, they will not do anything to us because it will risk an international incident. They have already declared martial law to invoke the homeland security protocols and bypass Posse Comitatis, otherwise they could not have used the Special Forces on American soil. However, thank God for our diplomatic passports we are still shielded from this corruption of justice."


I am still slightly confused because of my previous exsanguination but I question, "My brother, do you have insight as to why Mike has perpetrated this atrocity."


What he describes next makes my remaining sanguine solution simmer and totally wakens me from my stupor, "Mira, he is using this as a trap to capture your Ben Blaine and all of us are the bait for the trap."


I need to affirm his assertion, so I question, "My Ben is headed here?"


Alexi nonchalantly replies, "He most certainly is coming here - if he is not here already."


My heart races at the possible chance of meeting my Ben again and I must make plans to consult with him…


Present – Mike (formerly Major and then Captain M) – At the cabin.


I prepare to leave and inform the Captain, "You are in charge tonight. Make sure if any of the enemy combatants try to escape they are shot multiple times."


He questions, "But Sir, isn't that a drastic measure?"


I am tired of his continued reluctance so I roll up to him and threaten, "Captain, if you are unfit to command as I require, I will have you relieved and declared an enemy combatant."


He backpedals, "No Sir! I understand and will follow your orders. Might I ask one question?"


I relent, "Yes Captain, you may ask one question but I might not answer it."


He asks, "Sir, if I need to contact you, where will you be tonight."


I inform him, "I am taking my chopper to my room for the night. There's no way in hell I am staying here."


He replies (but doesn't really understand), "Yes Sir, I understand."


Yeah, he doesn't understand the real reason, so I roll my way toward my chopper…


Present – Zarika – At Yasmeen's hospital


My goal of removing Yasmeen from the hospital has presented many problems. I am very thankful for my future husband Ben's training otherwise I would have given up. When I remove the syringe from Yasmeen's pain machine it begins to beep loudly. Yasmeen rushes into the bathroom and I hide behind the door while grasping the IV pole. The door opens, a man runs in and I beat him senseless with the IV pole. The beeping finally stops, Yasmeen comes out of the bathroom and questions, "What did you do?"


I answer, "I defeated one of your dragons."


Yasmeen looks at the man and agrees, "Yes, he was one of the worst. Yasmeen do you have a knife?"


I reply, "No, not at this time."


She looks around, grabs the IV pole and breaks the mirror. She then takes a piece of the broken glass and says, "That's okay, this will work fine."


I watch as she removes the man's manhood. I have an evil thought, something I wished I could have done to the men who sexually tortured me, then I suggest, "Perhaps you should place the offending organ in the evil nurse's private place?"


Yasmeen giggles and does what I suggest. I check the hallway and we slowly slip out of her room…


Present – Ben – On the road


Destiny is annoying as hell as she compares herself to Yoda - which can only mean… I complain, "I am sure as hell not Luke!"


She taunts while I want to smash her face, "As you wish young Skywalker."


I control my temper, remembering her threat about her so-called friends. We board the plane, the pilot does a great job taking off, then he says, "Keep it on this heading and we will be in Leadville before you know it. Wake me if you have any problems."


I take over the controls, glad to be flying again, and answer, "That's right, I know where my former home is."


Destiny annoyingly questions, "Ben, what are your plans when you reach Leadville?"


I turn the tables and taunt, "I thought you knew every fucking thing I was going to do."


She blithely comments, "I assume you will handle this like one of your military missions."


I smile since she is correct and I add, "If what you have told me is true this is one of the most important military missions of my life."


Destiny acts like a mother fucking hen and suggests caution, "Ben if you are looking for revenge…"


I interrupt, "I know - dig two fucking graves. This has gone past the point of revenge. That bastard Mike using my friends as bait in a trap using my own cabin is sacrilege to me."


Destiny changes the subject and deftly says, "Yes, your Grandfather was a mighty Shaman. It was a shame your father didn't follow in his footsteps, but sometimes greatness skips a generation."


She piques my curiosity by mentioning grandfather so I ask, "Just what the fuck is that supposed to mean?"


She laughs and her laughter touches something deep within my soul, "Ben, do you not know what your Grandfather was teaching you to become?"


I am busy flying and don't have time right now for this bullshit so I complain and give her a traditional answer, "Fuck all this spiritual mumbo jumbo! When I get there I am going to kill them all and let God take those who are His."


Destiny makes me think when she counters, "Is that how wars are won when a small indigenous force faces a larger more powerful force? Because to me that sounds like suicide."


I flippantly declare my mantra, "Today is a good day to die."


She doesn't let me off the hook and presents an alternative, "But it's a better day to live, learn some new tactics and defeat this enemy!"


Hell, defeating Mike seriously interests me! I think for a moment and answer, "So you propose that I use guerilla tactics against the Special Forces?"


She enjoins, "No, I suggest we use guerilla tactics against the Special Forces."


This has to be a joke so I laugh, "You? What the hell can you do?"


Destiny lets go with a laugh that frightens me to the core, "You might be surprised!"


I suddenly remember and dredge up a response, "There was only one woman I know that was worth a fuck in a fight."


She gives me a knowing smile and answers, "Yes, your fiancée Jennifer. It was touching how you saved her when she had appendicitis."


How the hell did she know about that! Hell, I was ready to die for Jens. I uncomfortably change the subject, "I stand by my previous comment: You won't last a day without being captured."


Destiny continues to agitate and taunts, "And I am willing to place a wager that I will never be caught by the Special Forces. Last time you said no; how about now?"


I decide either way it won't be too bad so I agree, "Okay, you're on. When you get caught you will get out of my life forever and leave me the hell alone."


The deal is struck and we shake on it, "Okay, and when I don't get caught, you and I will spend some time together talking about things."


I'm concerned and ask for clarification, "How much time and what things?"


She answers with a statement as clear as mud, "You will know when you lose."


Once again I have a feeling that a sneaky woman has out played me.


Thank God it's time to wake up the pilot so I say, "We're about thirty mikes out from the Leadville airport."


He yawns, looks at the control panel, the GPS and says, "Thanks. That was a hell of a job flying. Too bad you can't land this crate."


I half way offer to do just that, "Well, I can if I have to, but you probably wouldn't like the results."


He takes the controls and states, "Okay, it's good you know your limitations, let me contact the tower and set us down."


He contacts the tower, sets the Cessna down perfectly and taxis to the hangers. Then he asks, "Do you need me to hang around for the flight back."


Destiny boldly answers, "No, we don't need to fly out of here. We're going on a hike."


We exit the plane, grab our packs and Destiny asks, "How are we getting to your cabin?"


I grin and answer, hoping to break this bitch, "How do you feel about running?"


She laughs and accepts, "I don't have any problems with that."


We take off at an easy pace and it reminds me of the time that Jens and I ran and won the Leadville 100 together…


Present – Liz – In the equipment room


Jens sighs, her eyes roll back in her head and she seems to pass out. Maria runs over to her and asks, "What the he—heck is wrong?"


I look at Jens face, notice the blissful look and answer, "I've seen this before; she and Ben are connected."


Maria shakes her head and demands with profound disbelief, "What? Like some sort of bogus Star Trek Vulcan mind meld?"


I try to explain to the best of my ability and answer, "No, and to be truthful I don't really understand it. But Jens swears that she and Ben can share thoughts."


Jens comes out of the trance and says…


Present – Jens – In the equipment room


I lose my connection with Ben (dammit, it's been forever since we were connected), wake up and inform them, "Ben is on his way here."


Maria looks at me like I'm crazy and demands, "How the hell do you know that?"


I also try to explain, "He remembered the time we ran and won the Leadville 100 and for a moment I could see him and someone else running toward the cabin. I knew he would come."


Ivan surprises the hell out of us when he adds, "Unca Ben coming here? Good! He will fix this big problem. He is big problem fixer upper."


I agree, "Yes Ivan, Ben is the best at solving big problems…"


Present – Stacy and Samantha – At the cabin


Samantha pushes around some dirt with her foot and asks, "Stacy, could we have the helicopter pilot pick up a two pairs of high end videographic glasses - one that's dark and one with plain lenses?"


It's good she doesn't take me for granted yet so I question, "You're planning on finding a way to document what's going on without being controlled by Mike and the captain."


She looks at me, smiles and replies, "That's right. I've had my fill of men telling me what I can and cannot do. Now I want the ones with a Bluetooth interface that can connect to external storage devices. Can I call the pilots of our choppers?"


I think for a moment and suggest, "Not with your phone you can't; my guess is they are monitoring all the communications in this whole area. Here use this…"


Stacy hands me what looks to be a satellite phone and ask, "Can't they monitor this."


She laughs and replies, "Oh, they will know that a signal was transmitted but they will never decrypt it."


I call up the helicopter pilots, place my order then Stacy motions for the phone and she says, "Make the order for two of everything - I want to be able to wear a pair too."


She hangs up the phone and surprises me when she says, "Samantha, even though we will be able to document everything, we won't be able to release it until we are away from here."


I am confused and question, "Why is that?"


She informs me of something I hadn't considered, "Mike is really good and will figure out it was us and then he will use the homeland defense laws against us. So we will do our reports on the tunnel recovery operations and save all the others to release after we are gone…"


Bill walks up to us; I can tell he has a new report, "Ms. Summers, I have two bits of information to report. First, there was an unscheduled landing at the Leadville airport, no flight plan had been filed."


My heart races as I declare, "That has to be Ben!"


Bill confirms my guess and causes me some concern, "I agree it is most likely him and if we know about it then we can assume the Special Forces also know. Second, the earthmoving equipment is here from Denver and we are ready to start the recovery operation."


I question even though I am sure I don't need to, "Were you able to obtain plans of the tunnels?"


Bill affirms, "Yes, and we need to discuss them with their engineer as to the best location to start the recovery. He's waiting for us."


I grab Samantha's hand and order, "Lead the way Bill and one more question for you: Why in the hell are the Special Forces treating all the Marines like enemy combatants?"


Bill confirms my unshared assumptions, "Ms. Summers, you should know most of them hate what they are doing; they are being used as puppets by Mike in the wheelchair."


I hadn't seen the bastard for some time so I question, "Where is Mike right now?"


Bill says in disgust, "He took his helicopter back to Denver."


We meet with the engineer, he looks over the plans for the tunnels, walks the area, observes the current damage and suggests…


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


We're at the edge of the compound and I order, "Okay Inga, thanks for getting me this far but now it's my job to finish this bastard. I have always been a 'lone wolf' and I don't need you now." Yeah, the last thing I need is some woman tagging along.


Inga becomes irate and makes a hell of an argument, "Thom, even lone wolves take mates and with all the traps and the minefield how do you know there aren't more traps still waiting for us in the compound."


Damn I hate smart women, especially when they make good sense. However, I do need to correct one thing, "Inga, this lone wolf isn't interested in taking any mates."


Inga shocks me when she asks next, "Then what do you call the liaisons with the truck stop waitresses?"


I try to obfuscate and wonder how the hell she heard about my women, "I don't know what you're talking about."


She begins to recite names and places, so I stop her before I'm totally embarrassed, "Well a man does have needs…"


She smiles at me licks her lips and informs me, "And so do women. Shall we save this talk for after the mission?"


I hope and pray, "I would prefer that we never talked about this again."


Inga dashes my hopes, "Oh Thom, do not be so silly. We will talk about this more intimately after the mission. Since I am better at locating traps, shall I take the lead as you watch my six?"


I complain again, sounding like a broken record, "Get it fucking right! That's cover your six! And yes, please continue..."