Chapter 049

Home 2 Chapter 049

Copyright 2013 Banzai Ben and Amazing Anastasia


Present – Ben – At the cabin in the bunker


As Destiny and I finish our MRE's she smiles and makes a comment which makes me feel good, "I can see why everyone loves your MREs so much. I thought it would be bland or unappetizing but it might be the best camping meal I've ever had, almost gourmet quality."


With the door open, it was my turn to gather some information on Destiny so I ask, "Do you camp often?"


Her answer is a relative surprise but also reinforces my feeling that she's an unreformed hippy chick, "Ben, I don't have a house, a home or even a place to lay my head and haven't for a very long time so yes, I camp almost all the time."


I look at her waist length blonde hair (and remembered how much I hated growing my hair longer as part of my disguise) and question, "Isn't it a pain in the ass keeping all that long hair clean?"


She answers, "Not really. I guess I'm blessed because I don't have oily hair. And I do like to camp by water if it's available so I can wash it frequently. But that reminds me, I do need to braid it for the night. If I forget to braid it, it's a pain in the ass combing out all the tangles in the morning."


She begins to braid her hair then obviously enters one of her trances, comes out of it and suggests, "Ben, you might want to connect to Jennifer again, she needs you more than ever."


Once again I wonder how the hell she seems to know all the things she knows, and I begin to wonder if she might actually be a Shaman. I reply, "I'm going to turn out the light and then I will connect to her."


I am thankful as hell I had the foresight to turn out the light because once I connect to Jens I can't stop the tears from flooding down my face – I'm fucked because she's dead!!!


Present – Maria – In the equipment room


My Princess Boss has really fucked up this time! Actually, that's not right because Liz and I fucked up and my Princess Boss paid the price for our fucking stupidity. I've stopped the bleeding again and put the chest tube back in but I'm still waiting for the blood and… Son of a bitch! Because of her depleted blood volume, she's going into hypovolemic shock1. Yeah, she has many of the warning signs: She's unconscious, her skin is cool and clammy, her normal rosy cheeks are pale as hell, her respiration is fast and shallow, and her pulse is rapid, weak and thready."


1 Hypovolemic shock - Hypovolemic shock is an emergency condition in which severe blood and fluid loss make the heart unable to pump enough blood to the body. This type of shock can cause many organs to stop working. Losing about 1/5 or more of the normal amount of blood in your body causes hypovolemic shock.

I open her IV wide open and order Liz, "Jens is going into shock! We need to force the fluids into her. Squeeze the hell out of the IV bag and whatever you do don't let it run dry."

I continue, "Bernie, we need that blood like yesterday so move your ass."

I point and order, "Then get me the damn crash cart - it's right over there."


Amazingly, Ivan pushes the cart to me then he says something even crazier than his normal crazy shit…


Present – Jens – In the equipment room


One minute I'm in my body and the next minute – I'm flying above it again like that time in Germany. Somehow Ivan sees me, points right at me and says, "Donaldduckson Lady fly around the room like Angel Princess."


Maria barks at him, "Get the hell out of the way brat and let me do my job!"


I remember how much fun this was in Germany so I just get ready to fly out and see what the hell is going on when I feel Ben trying to connect to my empty body. OMG hell no! Ben thinks I'm dead! I'm shocked at the pain he feels when he tries to connect to me - I didn't think he still loved me!!! I rush back into my body, feel instant relief from Ben and then something ruins everything…


Present – Maria – In the equipment room


I don't know what the hell the fucking Ivan brat is talking about Jens flying around the room like an angel, but I do know her heart has stopped and she's stopped breathing. I grab the defibrillator paddles off the crash cart; flip on the defibrillator, gel the pads, set the charge to 100 and yell, "Everyone clear." And I zap the hell out of her.


I wait but the ECG on the crash cart still doesn't show a pulse so I crank up the level to 200, wait for it to charge and yell, "Clear."


This time my Princess Boss's pulse returns and Liz congratulates, "Great job Maria."


Ivan interrupts the accolades, "Donaldduckson Lady not happy you broke her connection with Unca Ben."


I swear and begin to give him chase, "I've had my fill of you, you mouthy little son of a bitch! I'm going to spank the hell out of you until you can't sit down for a week!"


For being a little brat, he's damn fast and small enough he can hide under things. I almost catch him under one of the tables when I hear my Princess Boss order, "Maria, if you spank Ivan you are fired."


I stop chasing the brat for now, head over to see my Princess Boss and she tries to explain things to me, "Maria, Ivan is correct. I was outside my body until Ben connected with me again, then I came back and your damn shocking of me broke the connection. You've been a hell of a girl Friday for me. However, if you and Ivan can't manage to get along with each other, you're going to have to leave."


I console, "Jens, you just worry about getting well and stop pulling out all your tubes."


Jens countermands, "Then no more fighting from any of you, Maria, Liz, Bernie and even Ivan."


Ivan promises, "I be good boy Donalduckson Lady and make you more pictures."


That makes me happy because he will be out of my hair. Bernie brings over the blood and I start the transfusion on my Princess Boss again. I look at Liz and suggest, "We really need to find some clean clothes for Jens and get her cleaned up."


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


I can't remember a time I've been more pissed off! This day has been worse than the time Glen sent me and Colonel Maggie to Thule together and assigned us to the same room. Damn, it's even worse than when I got blamed for Sgt. Blaine's shenanigans and was busted from Major to Captain. Just remembering how that happened reinforces my resolve to catch or kill that fucker and make him pay.


We finally reach the hotel. Two grunts had to carry me out of the Chinook on a stretcher because I busted up my backup wheel chair when I bailed out of the booby trapped Chinook. Things begin to go better as we approach the door because the concierge rushes out and says, "Here's your new wheelchair, Sir."


I snap an order, "Set the stretcher down beside the wheelchair."


The grunts manage to do that while almost tipping me off the stretcher. Then one of them asks, "Do you need some help, Sir?"


My fuse is short tonight so I lay into him, "Hell no I don't need any damn help! I've been doing this for years."


I twist sideways on the stretcher, pull the front of the wheelchair against my back, reach down with my hands and bend both my knees toward my chest. Then I reach as far back as I can and place both my hands on the side seat supports, push down with all my strength and slide into the new wheelchair. Once I position myself correctly, I reach down with my hands and put my feet on the foot plates then I try out the chair by doing a wheelie.


I complain to the concierge, "We will need to get the store that sold you this chair here first thing tomorrow morning to adjust the wheel bearings, and to also straighten the frame since it's slightly bent and doesn't track straight."


He answers, "Yes Sir. However, I'm sure I can get them here tonight if you need them."


The last thing I want is for anyone else to see me or smell me in my current condition so I order, "No, I don't want them here tonight, but do call them and have them bring me another chair like this in the morning. They can set both of them up the same."


He leaves, I look over and the grunts are still standing around so I bark, "What the fuck are you two still doing here? Don't you have something else to be doing?"


One of them answers, "Sorry Sir, the captain wanted us to ask when we should send the chopper for you in the morning."


I order, "Ten hundred and make sure you're not late!" The grunts take off like their asses are on fire and it feels good to be mobile again as I wheel myself into the hotel. Now to get rid of these clothes and take a long hot shower…


Present – Jack – In prison at the cabin.


After hearing Banzai's psychological warfare song, I realize it's time to make some plans so I command, "Everyone, move in closer."


It's hard as hell the way we are all chained together but everyone gets as close as they can, I whisper loudly, "If you can all hear me, raise your hand."


I look around the tent almost all the hands are raised except for a couple really old goats - of course they are also the farthest away from me. I point to the man next to them and continue, "Ask them if they have hearing damage."


He huddles them close to him and I hear him whisper my question, they all nod their heads so I decide, "What's your name?"


He answers, "John, Sir."


I want to fucking complain about the 'Sir' comment but decide I've been made the de facto commanding officer, whether I like it or not, so I order, "Okay John, you need to relay everything I say to them and let me know if they have any questions."


I look at everyone and begin, "Unless anyone else wants it, and I know there are some former officers here who are more than qualified, and since Glen is MIA, I am assuming command."


One of the officers raises his hand and I hope like hell he is going to take command but then he shoots me down when he states, "Jack, you've already done a hell of a job just keeping us from being shot. Plus with Banzai, your former sniper, here raising hell with the greenies I can't think of a better man to command this rag tag group."


Linus (the fucking bastard) kills any further hope of me being able to weasel out of this command, "Besides Jack, Jennifer put you in charge and even this tent is sort of Ben and Jennifer's cabin site."


I look at everyone, see hope in their eyes and I hope like hell I won't let them down. I take a deep breath and begin, "The first thing I'd like to say is I've never seen Banzai fight like this before. Usually we came into a place, killed them all and let God take those he wants. But he's being crafty as hell this time. Somehow he's figured out he needs to fight a guerilla war and tonight's opening salvo is a prime example of that. So we need to figure out ways that we can support his war without getting ourselves shot in the process. I am open for any and all suggestions."


The one officer interjects, "The tenets of guerrilla tactics are based on intelligence, ambush, deception, sabotage, and espionage resulting in the undermining of an authority through long, low-intensity confrontation. Because this is Banzai's property, the greenies are forced to play, as to say, in his backyard – so he already has superior intelligence. Tonight's actions by him have proven that he can mount successful ambushes and attacks. He has successfully avoided the attempts of the greenies to capture him so he is winning at deception. This leaves two parts where we can help, espionage and support of the local population – which in this case is us. However the killing of the Marine who refused to submit today proves that we need to be very wise and careful in how we perform these two functions."


Linus must catch the drift of things because he says…


Present – Linus – In prison at the cabin.


I figure out what the officer is saying so I clarify, "So, you're saying that we need to be passive-aggressive in our resistance?"


The officer agrees, "That's succinctly correct."


One of the men asks, "Speak in English because we need to know just what the hell are you suggesting?"


I gladly explain, "Passive-aggressive means that instead of openly defying a command or order, you find some way other than direct confrontation to achieve your results. There are many ways to do this and here are three of the most common methods: Procrastination, sullenness, and acting stubborn. You know, sort of how we already respond to orders by officers."


That comment gets everyone laughing (except the officers).


Jack raises his hand and interjects, "The biggest danger of being passive-aggressive is letting it go too far and becoming directly aggressive. I think we witnessed today how a directly aggressive conflict will be handled."


Masha raises her hand and suggests, "Many of us here have infirmities. Now would be an excellent time to use those infirmities in a passive-aggressive manner by moving more slowly or acting weaker than we are."


I provide additional things to think about, "We need to look for ways to force the greenies to do the work they want or expect us to do. For example, tonight we policed up the MRE pouches without being asked, why did we do that?"


One of the men interjects, "We did that because we're Marines not greenies."


That comment gets everyone laughing again so I wait until it dies down and finish, "Well, they sure as hell aren't treating you like Marines, so let's make them pay for treating you like this."


That gets a muted, "Hooooorahhhh!!!!" from the Marines


Jack finally says, "These are all good ideas that we can implement tomorrow. Knowing Banzai like I know him, he's going to keep that music going all night long which means two things: One the greenies won't be able to communicate with each other using their commsets, and two they aren't going to be getting much of any sleep tonight."


One of the Marines interrupts, "Well that's just great! Now we're going to have to deal with crankier than normal greenies."


We all start to laugh, Jack raises his hand and finishes, "Yes that's right, they will be on edge so make sure you don't push them over that edge. Now let's get some sleep so we're not cranky too."


One of the young guys adds, "And don't forget to sing or hum the song tomorrow."


Jack agrees, "Yeah, after they've heard it all night the last thing they are going to want is to hear us singing it…"


Present – Todd, Ira, Mira and Alex – At the cash


I waken and hear... a song... not just any song... It's "Bad Things Happen To You" by Wednesday 13. I cough to alert everyone that I’m awake and then sign a comment, "I didn't know you were a fan of Wednesday 13."


Ira obviously (and strangely for her) states, "Todd, you are awake."


I can detect there have been some confrontations between the sisters when Mira taunts, "Ira, why did you vocalize the obvious?"


Ira sticks out her tongue (I marvel at times like this when they both act like children - albeit very deadly children) and replies, "My sassy sister, I was simply opening a conversation with Todd."


Alexi expresses himself and finally answers my initial question, "Todd, it is good that you are awake as I wish to express my gratitude for rendering aid to my sister Ira. The song you refer to is being transmitted on all the communication channels by Ben Blaine."


That information greatly interests me so I move in bed to become more comfortable and then sign two questions, "So Ben Blaine has arrived and I assume we are being used as hostages to try to trap him. Do you know who the commanding officer is?"


Mira informs, "His name is Mike…"


I rapidly sign an interruption, "Don't tell me that bastard is here! We're all in the worst danger possible!" I begin to move because I want to locate him and kill him. However my body does not cooperate so I moan in pain when Ira surprises me…


Todd, who I know to have saved my life, tries to locomotivate and moans in pain. I move closer to his bed (observing our beds are adjacent to one another), reach over, touch his arm, smile at him and offer, "Todd, if you are in pain my sister Mira can administer a powerful analgesic."


Todd signs in extreme agitation, "Ira, thank you for the offer. However, with Mike here I cannot afford to be incapacitated by pain relievers or by my current injuries. I notice they took my bow, knife and pistol, did they by any chance leave my pack?"


Alexi states, "Todd, they searched your pack however they only took the items they felt were weapons."


Todd with greater agitation signs, "Please bring me my pack immediately!"


Alexi fetches Todd's pack and when Todd opens his pack he signs, "They have totally messed up my pack - it will take me an hour to organize it again."


Then he holds up a container, smiles, sets it down and signs, "Good, they left it."


I pick up the container and upon investigation it looks like it contains herbs so I question, "Todd, why is this so important?"


I enjoy it as he smiles at me and signs, "Ira, this is the most important item in my pack. You will soon see once I have prepared it and we have both taken it. I promise you a most miraculous recovery."


I am slightly miffed and make a terrible face at Mira as she casts doubt at his assertions, "Todd, how can that be? My sister Ira and you are seriously wounded. It will take many weeks until you are fully functional."


Thank God he ignores her and instead he signs a question, "Alexi and Mira, I assume that both of you retained some weapons?"


Mira answers…


I smile and answer, "My sister Ira and I have retained our tessens."


Todd looks amazed and signs, "I was not aware you both know tessenjitsu."


I smile and reply, "There are many things about us, such as the tessens, that are better left concealed."


Alexi informs and interrogates, "Todd, I have retained a tactical pin, some throwing knives and a baton. What has prompted this line of questioning?"


Todd takes the lid off his water pitcher, empties the contents of the container in it, sets it on the bedside table and signs, "Once Ira and I take this medicine, we will become unconscious for a period of time. With Mike here we will be vulnerable so both of you will need to protect us."


I have some serious concerns so I interrogate, "What are the contents of this herbal remedy and will it harm Ira?"


Todd drinks half of the pitcher, hands it to Ira and signs, "I do not know the contents. However I do know that once we wake up our injuries will be either greatly diminished or healed."


I give him a skeptical look, and begin to order, "Ira, I do not think it is wise…"


She shocks me as she takes the pitcher, drinks the rest of the herbal remedy and states, "If it is good enough for Todd, then it is certainly adequate for me."


I snatch the pitcher out of her hands and scold her, "Irina Sedankina, have you lost your mind?" I watch with great concern as first Todd drifts into a stupor, then my sister Ira reaches over, takes Todd's hand and also succumbs to the potion.


I look at the pitcher in my hands and notice there is a slight portion of potion left. My first desire is to taste it. However, with Todd and Ira incapacitated, once again I know my primary duty is to protect. I am concerned if I taste the potion it might render me incapacitated, so I transfer the miniscule amount of potion to a small vial for later analysis.


Alexi questions…


I am very puzzled so I question my sister, "Mira, why has Ira acted so untypically irrational?"


Mira knowingly smiles and advises, "Alexi, unless I am mistaken our sister Ira has fallen in love."


The information is shocking so I unconsciously stutter, "Wha…what…what are you talking about?"


Mira directs my gaze to Todd and Ira's intertwined hands and states, "I have never known Ira to interdigitate with any man."


I am still in shock! My sister Ira in love with Todd? How can it be? Mira then interrogates, "In which manner were you able to conceal throwing knives on your corporeal self?"


I smile and brag, "They did not bother to check the soles of my boots where they are concealed."


I make a decision, "Mira, I will take the first watch and let you take the second watch."


Mira smiles but reminds me, "Alexi, Mike is an adversary not to be trifled with."


I assure her, "Mira, after Todd's reaction to Mike, I will comply with all the warnings I have received…"


I stand, walk to the doorway and begin my watch…


Present – Stacy and Samantha – On the way back to the camp


Samantha foolishly remarks, "It will be good to curl up on the cot and go right to sleep."


With the possible threat from Mira and Ira, I have decided to take a page out of Ben's teachings. I inform her, "Samantha, we will not be sleeping in our cots tonight or even staying in our tents."


Samantha annoyingly whines, "Stacy, why the hell not? I thought that's why we had them."


I humor her and don't give her shit (like Ben would have) about the whining. Instead I patiently educate her, "Samantha, Ben taught me when you are in possible danger that you never stay where people assume you will be. Now whether you believe it or not, we are both in very real danger from Mira and Ira. They are trained assassins with a large but mostly unknown number of kills between them. You heard Bill, if they decide to kill us no one can stop them. So therefore, we will never be in a place we are expected to be."


Samantha questions, "Then where are we going to sleep?"


As we reach our compound, the sentry interrogates, "Word of the day?"


I simple reply, "Stick rifle."


We pass the sentry, Samantha begins to say something, I squeeze the hell out of her hand and hope she gets the idea…


As I get ready to ask Stacy where we're going to sleep tonight, she grabs my hand, squeezes the hell out of it and I figure out I'm supposed to keep my mouth shut. I'm not happy at all about this change in plans since I wanted to clean myself up and study some on the files Stacy gave me. Now I'm not sure what we're doing.


When we get further from the sentry, Stacy leans over and whispers in my ear, "Samantha we need to go into our tents, pretend like we are going to sleep, then slip out the other exit with our sleeping bags. You have ten minutes to complete this task and don't whine this time."


I seriously think Stacy is over reacting about the twins. I mean they are Liz's body guards and Liz certainly wouldn't let them be her body guards if they were trained assassins. But Stacy has done a hell of a lot for me and is my BFF, so I will humor her for now. But I can't wait for her to see how wrong she is.


I go into my tent, put some pillows under the blankets on the cot, clean up as quickly as I can, grab my sleeping bag and slip out the other entrance to my nice wonderful and warm tent. Goodnight tent…


Present – Zarika and Yasmeen – Escape


We are in a confrontation with angry Nubian males who are upset about my driving.


Yasmeen has confronted them and amazingly is acting just like one of them. Perhaps this might be the only time all the time she spent watching music TV might be a good thing. It sounds like one of the Nubian males has challenged her to rap, at least I think that is what he said.


Yasmeen listens to the beat of their music, starts to sway, gyrate and move her hands (which to me look like gang signs) then she begins:


What's up, Big mouth, Big talk, Big game
Teacher's pet, takin' aim, pop the Tech, takin' aim
Plenty range, plenty shot
Plenty change, plenty glock
Pack the heat and I'ma keep em' hot
And I'ma take my stress right off the top
Cuz I'm not, nothing like
Anyone, once on the mic
Wish you might, show ya right
Have ya'll thinking I'm Barry White
In the night, pack em' tight, call a fight, T.K.O.
We got mo', you ain't know, numero uno,
I made the beat, you beat your meat, yeah punk you touch yourself
It be Yasmeen H, represent until my death
And anyone else, that want us, you can trust, it aint no fear
You can talk that in my ear, but it aint shit, 'til you come down here."


Everyone in the parking lot has stopped and is listening to her. She finishes, crosses her arms across her chest and then they all begin to clap and cheer.


The Nubian male come over and says, " Damn girl ya' gots some righteous moves. Where dun did ya' learn t'rap likes dat?"


Yasmeen keeps her tough attitude and answers, " Dat's fo' me t'know, now leave us alone. What it is, Mama!"


She points at me and continues, " Come on cribgirl we need t'get direcshuns."


We walk into the 7 and 11 and I question, "Can you give us directions to Leadville?"


The storekeeper is much nicer than the marijuana store keeper and says, "If you give me a few minutes I will write them down for you, it's not hard to find…"


Present – Ben – At the cabin in the bunker


When I connect to Jens, at first she wasn't there - it was like she was dead because her spirit was missing. The next thing I knew she was there and then something happened that broke our connection. The feeling of her being dead scared the hell out of me! In fact I can't remember a time in my life I've been more scared. As much as I hate to admit it, I still deeply love her and I wish like hell we could be together. But without being able to give her the children she told me she wanted so many times, that's just so much wishful thinking.


After I know she's alive and our connection is terminated, I heave a huge sigh of relief then Destiny asks, "Ben, is everything okay?"


I angrily snap, "You of all people know better than to ask me that. Why didn't you warn me?"


Destiny very logically counters, "Because you wouldn't have believed me. You would have argued with me and then it would have been too late."


I think for a few moments and work up the courage to continue, "So then when I first connected to Jens, she was really dead."


Destiny laughs her peculiar laugh (the one that sounds like leaves on a tree rustling) and replies, "No Ben, she wasn't dead…"


I interrupt, "But her spirit wasn't there, it was…"


Destiny interrupts, "Ben, for being so close to death for so many years, you have a very poor understanding of death. Jennifer was 'only mostly dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead'."


I recognize the quote and chortle, "Okay 'Miracle Max', next you're going to tell me that 'with all dead, well, with all dead there's usually only one thing you can do. Go through her clothes and look for loose change'."


Destiny laughs and answers, "I see you know your Princess Bride quotes but there's much more truth to that statement than you would believe. Just think of all the stories you've heard of people having near death experiences. Jennifer had her second near death experience. Her spirit was outside of her body when you tried to connect to it, she sensed you trying to connect and returned to her body."


I'm shocked and stutter, "Her…Her…Her second near death experience?"


Destiny yawns and confirms, "Yes, her second near death experience. Now the sun is up and we need to get some sleep for tonight's missions. We can discuss this more later."


I check my watch and verify that she's right, dawn should have just happened. I drift off to sleep and have a hell of a dream about The Princess Bride. And yes Jens is Buttercup and I'm Wesley…


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


We encounter fire from more of the drug lord's minions as we reach the beginning of the wharf. I signal Thom to provide cover fire for me - I assume Byron must have also seen my hand signals because between Thom and Byron my ass is very much covered.


I slip into the water and begin to work my way closer to the minions…


Well this alone makes having Inga along worthwhile. I sure as hell didn't want to get in the water because it's not the cleanest water I've ever seen and I still sometimes have nightmares about leech encounters from Nam.


I begin covering her so she doesn't get hurt - the last thing I want to do is have to dive in and save her. Byron must have figured things out because he's giving the drug lord's men hell too…


I almost laugh and wonder how Thom talked Inga into taking the water route instead of him. Yeah, he hates getting in the water! Hell the only time he gets it the water when were together is when he takes a shower, at least he does those daily. I help Thom provide cover for Inga. I'm firing at one of the boats when all hell breaks loose! The boat explodes in a massive fireball which triggers the other two boats on the dock to explode. The good news is it takes out the rest of the drug lord's men but the bad news is I don't see Inga anywhere.


Thom comms me, "Shit Byron what the hell did you do?"


I answer, "Hell I was just shooting the boats! They must have all been rigged to self-destruct. You now have a bigger problem - do you see Inga?"


Thom begins to scan the water and swears thorough the comm, "Hell no, I don't see her." Then continues, "Shit, this means I have to get in the water to try to find her."


I worry about Inga and console Thom, "Well, she did come back for you when you foolishly stepped on the land mine."


I secretly smile as I watch Thom drop his gear and dive into the water where we last saw Inga…