Chapter 075

Home 2 Chapter 075                                        

Copyright 2014 Banzai Ben and Amazing Anastasia

 

Present – Ben – through Leadville on Highway 24

 

I change direction once again, turn from the north to the west and head toward highway twenty-four which will take me through Leadville. I'm glad I left the feeling of being watched behind me, however it doesn't last long because once I hit highway twenty-four and enter Leadville everyone is pointing and looking at me because I'm still wearing the chemical hazard suit. I know what I look like: I look like Dusting Hoffman when he was in the Outbreak movie (less the face mask). I hope I scare the shit out the whole fucking town because they were all bastards to me when I was growing up. I get a morose pleasure by running past my old nemesis Beverly (you remember all the shit she gave me?) and yelling, "Run for your lives, it's a huge infection." She gives me a funny look and then begins to run; it's all I can do to keep from laughing my ass off.

 

Leadville has grown but that doesn't interest me anymore; that part of my life, like the cabin and Jens are behind me. I stay on highway twenty-four, make it through the town to the intersection of highway twenty-four and ninety-one. I veer left, staying on highway twenty-four and start the eight mile climb to the top of Tennessee Pass. I'm running well, mostly because of the week or so I spent at the cabin being chased all over hell by the greenies. They helped me acclimatize to the altitude again. As I run I remember a time running in Leadville that was much more enjoyable…

 

Present – Jens, Maria, Liz, Ivan and Samantha - At the cabin

 

The last fucking thing I want to do is spend more fucking time on my back. I want to get the hell up and join the team Linus is putting together to go find Ben. So I continue to complain about having to go to the fucking medical plane, "Listen, I'm fine and I don't need to go to the medical plane."

 

Maria smiles at me and bargains, "Okay Jens I tell you what, let me examine you and if I like what I see then we won't take you to the medical plane."

 

Then Maria orders…

 

I need to take a look at my Princess Boss's chest wound but I sure as hell can't do it while all these Marines are standing around and gawking at us. So I order, "Okay all you Marines standing around, either find something else to do like start getting your bunks ready in the trailers or face away from Jennifer. I need to uncover her some to inspect her wounds."

 

They take the hint and mutter some unintelligible complaints as they leave toward the trailers. I take the dressing off my Princess Boss's chest wound and - what the hell? There's a big fucking incision instead of the very small surgical incision I made! And I can't really think of any medical reason for them to enlarge the incision. I begin to feel around on the incision… What the hell is that under her skin?  It must tickle her because my Princess Boss begins to laugh then the next thing I know she takes a deep breath, her eyes roll back and she passes out. I freak out and think it's something I've done from palpating the fucking thing in her and yell, "We need to get her to the medical plane immediately, she's passed out."

 

Liz tries to calm and correct me with what I am sure is more of the same bullshit…

 

I recognize what is going on with Jens: Ben has connected to her again. Maria doesn't believe the two of them can connect, hell I didn't at first until I researched it but I am a firm believer now. Maria flies off the handle again so I try to calm her, "Maria, Jens didn't pass out, I recognize this as Ben being connected to her."

 

Maria gives me the 'I don't fucking believe you look' then Ivan adds, "Yes angry lady with dirty mouth who use many bad words. I can feel that Unca Ben and Donaldducksonlady are one in spirit."

 

Maria glares at Ivan, then gives me a serious as hell look and says, "Liz, I don't care about the whole bullshit of Jens and Ben connecting, something else is wrong."

 

I reach down and put my hand over Ivan's mouth so he doesn't piss Maria off more with his complaining about her language and ask, "Maria, please explain what you're talking about?"

 

Maria touches Jens side and says, "Liz, look! This incision where I put her chest tube, it's much larger than the one I put in her chest but that's not the half of it. When I palpate the incision, I feel something under her skin."

 

It is my turn to doubt Maria so I challenge her but catch my language before I offend Ivan, "Maria what in the heee – heck do you mean?"

 

Maria glares at me and rises to my challenge, "Listen if you don't believe me, you touch here and tell me what you feel."

 

Even though it's sort of gross, I touch the incision, then I quickly pull my hand back and ask, "Maria, what is that?"

 

Maria shakes her head and answers, "I have no idea. It's not part of any medical device I know of that's used to treat a collapsed lung and I sure as hell don't like it. We need to get her to the medical plane so the doctors can examine her…"

 

Once again I cover Ivan's mouth so he doesn't complain and piss of Maria. I put Ivan down and help Maria push the gurney toward the medical plane and Ivan asks, "I know Mama and Papa in big ugly plane. If I good and nice boy could I see Mama and Papa???"

 

I look at Samantha and ask, "Sam, can you help us out by taking Ivan to the medical plane to see his mother and father?"

 

Sam smiles at me (I'm not sure what it means after all the fights we've recently had) and agrees, "Sure Liz I would love to." She and Ivan head toward the medical plane while Maria and I begin to push the gurney toward the same plane…

 

Mmmm, this is so nice being connected to Ben again. He's remembering when we won the Leadville 100. Wait, it's more than that, he's running in Leadville right now. I need to wake up and tell Linus… But it's so nice we're connected again so I think I can let it wait a little while. Oh shit, he's gone again…

 

Present – Ben – through Leadville on Highway 24

 

Son of a bitch, I forgot about that problem! I begin thinking about when Jens and I won the Leadville 100 and the next thing I know we connect again. At least this time she isn't high as a kite. It was nice again being able to connect with her; I really miss the closeness we had at one time but it just furthers my resolve to someday make fucking Hussein pay for it.

 

I'm part way up the pass when a truck passes me, then stops and I see an old friend step out of the driver's side. He smiles, waves and waits for me. I get closer and he yells, "Shit Ben, you're a sight for sore eyes! What the hell are you doing running in that contraption, you scared the shit out of the whole damn town so badly they flooded the sheriff's office with calls."

 

I reach his truck and answer, "Hell Jim, long time no see, I thought you left this no horse town for the big lights and loud bars of Denver. And how in the hell did you know about all the calls to the sheriff's department?"

 

In reply Jim, my best and only friend from high school opens his coat. I see the star and he laughs and answers, "Probably because I took most of the calls myself seeing as I am now the sheriff. Shit Ben, I got tired of the plastic life in the plastic city trying to keep up with the plastic Jones's and decided to come back home and raise my family."

 

I shake his hand and ask, "Family, how many you got?"

 

Jim answers, "I guess you didn't know because you took off right after graduation, but Laurie and I had to get married right after I graduated. She had a set of twin boys and then a couple years later another set of twins – girls this time."

 

Laurie was a sophomore that Jim had been banging the hell out of when we were seniors. I do some quick math in my head, whistle and say, "Damn that meant she had four kids right around the time she was twenty. Sorry about causing a scare in your town, am I in any trouble for it?"

 

Jim motions to the passenger side of his truck, laughs and says, "Yeah, Laurie and I had a rough go of it and I thought we were going to get divorced but we held it together for the kids. Life was a real bitch until we came back here and since then it couldn't be better. Shit, you should consider moving back to your old man's cabin because it's a hell of a lot different here than when we were in high school. And hell no you're not in trouble, climb in and I will take you where you're going."

 

I take my pack off, put it in the back of the truck, climb in the passenger seat and Jim asks, "Where you headed?"

 

I tell him, "Top of Tennessee Pass to the parking lot across from Ski Cooper."

 

He nods his head and asks, "You headed over to the Continental Divide Trail?"

 

I affirm, "That's right, I always wanted to hike it and the time finally feels right."

 

Jim questions, "What does your wife have to say about this?"

 

I sadly answer, "Jim, I never got married. There was this one woman who was perfect for me but things never worked out."

 

He shakes his head and replies, "Sorry to hear that. I do know from reading the news you had some rough times of your own."

 

I laugh and answer, "Yeah, but not as bad as some of the times we had together in high school."

 

Jim laughs with me and asks, "Remember the time you made the thermite?"

 

I smile and think back to that time… I'm snapped out of my daydream when Jim stops the truck and says, "We're here. That’s an interesting looking rifle I saw in your pack, do you mind if I ask you about it?"

 

Shit I guess Jim is more of a sheriff than I thought he would be. I certainly don't want to talk to him about the rifle because it's not totally legal so I reply, "Jim, I would rather you didn't ask me about it."

 

I'm shocked when he smiles and says…

 

Present – Jens, Maria and Liz- At the cabin

 

I wake up from my connection with Ben, look at Maria and command, "Listen, I know where Ben is so I'm getting up and there's nothing you can do about it."

 

Maria holds me down and counters, "Jens listen to me, they put something inside you while you were in the fucking Special Forces CSH. The medical plane is here so we need to have them look at you and figure out what the hell it is."

 

I look around then ask, "From the way you're talking, Ivan must not be here. And what the fuck are you talking about?'

 

Liz answers my question, "Jens, I had Samantha take him to the medical plane to see his parents and Maria is right, touch your side."

 

I begin to feel my side and answer, "I don't feel a fucking thing now let me up because Ben is in Leadville right on highway twenty-four."

 

Maria moves my hand to the incision on my side and corrects my faulty impression, "Jens feel again and tell me what you feel."

 

I begin to feel around and son of a bitch they are right! I feel something like a long cylinder with rounded ends and begin to bitch, "What the fuck is this and what did they do to me?"

 

Maria answers, "Jens I have no idea what it is. It could be some sort of tracking device or…"

 

She stops talking, I look at her and question, "Or what?"

 

Maria gulps and I see fear on her face as she says, "Jens, for all we know that crippled bastard might have put a bomb in you."

 

I realize now how serious this is and answer, "Okay, get me to the medical plane as quickly as possible but tell Linus to get the team over to Leadville as soon as possible to get hot on the trail before Ben leaves."

 

I know Mike is a ruthless bastard but could he really have put a bomb inside me? And if he did how could the doctors defuse it. I come up with an idea and ask Maria…

 

Present – Destiny – Searching for Ben

 

Good, my plan on avoiding Ben sensing that I am watching him is working. I make sure to not directly look at him but instead I look past him. However, I do have a problem when he enters the little town of Leadville since I can sense there are many hunters here who, unlike Ben, would gladly shoot me. Since Ben so nicely told me that he's going to hike the Continental Divide Trail, I take a chance and assume that's what he's going to do. I skirt the town leaving a wide berth, find the Continental Divide Trail, run up it about ten miles, crawl under a pine tree and take a much needed nap…

 

Present – Stacy – Going after Ben

 

This satellite GPS unit that's tracking Ben and his 'friend' is really cool and is working great. I guess it figures out the individual's heat signature, differentiates it from other heat signatures and highlights the people you are tracking. It highlights Ben in red and his 'friend' in yellow. Yes this is much better than that stupid drone that chased us the first night we tried to sleep. I watch as Ben goes right through Leadville and his 'friend' bypasses the town. Then a short distance outside of town, it looks like Ben meets someone in a truck and disappears into the truck. I mess around with the piece of shit GPS unit but can't get it to locate Ben again. So I decide to scan for his 'friend' and I'm shocked at how much ground she has covered in a very short time. Hell, she must be on a horse or motorcycle. She finally stops about ten miles up the Continental Divide Trail.

 

We've been taking a leisurely trotting pace through Leadville but with losing Ben and his 'friend' stopping, I nudge Patches with my heels into a canter, and listen to her triple hoof falls. I can tell she doesn't like it but fuck her, I want to find Ben before he gets too far away…

 

Present – Masha - at the Medical Plane with Jack

 

I was thankful that Inga is here to help with the undetonated bomb in the partially destroyed portable toilet. In my condition, I did not want to be exposed to the swill that was strewn all over creation from the portable toilet and her skills are far superior to mine when it comes to bomb disposal.

 

I watch as the doctors are working on my husband and begin to pray. Then Samantha brings Ivan into the medical plane, he looks at the doctors and astutely asks, "Bad man hurt Papa?"

 

I pick him up and hug him and reply, "Yes, the bad man hurt Papa very much."

 

Ivan says, "I will ask wolf that is also a lady to bite bad man very terrible and hard."

 

I know I need to distract my son so I say, "Ivan, I think it would be better if we prayed for Papa."

 

He thinks for a moment and answers, "Yes prayer for Papa would be good." He looks at Samantha and asks, "Ms. Sam join us in prayer for Papa?"

 

She smiles at Ivan and surprises me when she says, "Of course, let's all pray for your father…"

 

Present – Byron - at the half-destroyed port-a-potty

 

I can tell that both Thom and Inga are in trouble. I want to do something to help so I ask, "How about if I come down there and relieve Inga so you two can go figure out how to disable this bomb?"

 

Thom looks at Inga and Inga says, "Byron, I'm not sure that would work."

 

I ask, "Why the hell not? My hands are larger than yours but smaller than Thom's."

 

Inga looks around and answers, "Byron, I'm not sure it's wise however it would let me leave the bomb and create a device to permanently disarm it."

 

I order Thom, "Thom, get your ass out of there because I'm taking both of your places."

 

He begins to move out of the port-a-potty and teases, "Okay, it's your fucking funeral."

 

Once he's outside, I retrieve my shemagh and gum, put a couple pieces of gum in my mouth, cover my face with the shemagh and climb into the port-a-potty.

 

I get close to Inga, lower my head and she explains, "You can see how my hand is trapped between the contacts - that is all that keeps the bomb from detonating."

 

I look closer and comment, "It looks more to me like it's your fingernail that's between the contacts." I think for a moment come up with an idea and say, "I've got an idea. Hey Thom, give me a sheet out of the notepad you always carry." Thom hands me a page out of his notepad, and of course accompanies it with a complaint, "Byron, do you know what the fuck you're doing?"

 

I smile as I take the page out of his hand and answer, "Thom, I am a little older than you and have a bit more experience with things like this."

 

I fold the notepad paper in two, slowly and carefully slip it between the contacts and tell Inga, "Okay slowly take your hand away."

 

She takes her hand away, the contacts close on the paper and… nothing happens. I then order, "Okay Inga, get your ass out of here and figure out some way to make this permanent. I will stay here and make sure the paper doesn't slip out."

 

Inga craws over me, which I have to say is an enjoyable feeling and wonder why the hell Thom has so much trouble liking her. Hell, the old fart is lucky she cares for him. If I had a young thing like Inga interested in me, I would retire to someplace warm, possibly the Caribbean on a sailboat and live out the rest of my life in blissful debauchery.

 

I continue to keep an eye on the piece of notepad paper and then notice something I sure as hell don't like…

 

Present – Inga and Thom – making a solution to the porta-a-potty bomb

 

I climb over Byron to extricate myself from the portable toilet. I notice that Byron gets a little excited by it but determine he's old and the excitement will do him some good. Once I'm outside I remove Thom's shemagh and say, "Thank you for letting me borrow this."

 

He doesn't take it and offers, "Since you're going to be going back in there as soon as we come up with something to permanently disarm the bomb, why don't you keep it? Now what are you planning on using to permanently disarm the bomb?"

 

I look at Thom and reply, "I was thinking of coming up with a piece of non-conductive plastic that is also thick enough to prevent the contacts from closing. However the fire in the cabin seems to have destroyed all the plastic in the area."

 

Thom answers…

 

I think that Inga's idea of using plastic is perfect so I answer, "That's a great idea, one of the trailers is a mobile kitchen and I bet we can find a plastic bowl in there that will work perfectly."

 

We are almost to the mobile kitchen trailer when the ground shakes, we look at each other and Inga says, "Oh no! Byron!"

 

We turn around and run back toward the port-a-potty but…

 

Present – Todd, Ira and Alexi – Heading to the cabin

 

To try to avoid trouble with the law or possible jail by following Alexi's suggestion of borrowing a car, I sign a different solution, "We rent a vehicle using my credit card."

 

Alexi questions, "What is this credit card to which you refer?"

 

I shake my head and sign, "You have never seen a credit card?"

 

Ira also questions, "Neither of us have ever seen an item called a 'credit card'. But if such a device will prevent you from having problems with the constabulary then it would be wise to use it to purchase a vehicle."

 

I cannot believe they have never seen a credit card so I shake my head, open my wallet, pull out a credit card and sign, "This card will allow us to rent a car like a person rents an apartment. We won't be purchasing the car and we will have to return the car, in good condition when we complete our trip to the cabin."

 

Ira smiles at me and states, "I would like to acquire such a magic card, I am quite certain it would be useful."

 

Alexi however is skeptical and complains, "I do not see the advantage of such a piece of plastic when I am perfectly capable of borrowing an automobile for our needs."

 

Ira and Alexi begin to argue about the merits of credit cards, with neither of them really understanding the concept. The argument is quite comical however I restrain my laughter because I do not want to physically fight with either of them. I do wonder why Alexi is making such a big deal over this since he has previously shown himself to be thoughtful before taking action.

 

We go to the concierge desk, I pull out my credit card and a notepad and write on it that I would like to rent a car. We start to fill out the paperwork and the concierge asks, "Would you like the additional damage insurance on the vehicle?"

 

I remember watching Alexi as he played Grand Theft Auto. I'm not sure that he won't be driving so I nod in affirmation. Alexi and Ira are still arguing as the concierge says, "We will bring the car around to the front for you and load your luggage into the trunk."

 

He begins to take Ira's luggage when Ira stops arguing with Alexi and challenges, "If you try to take back my clothes I will kill you!"

 

It's comical as hell! She scared him so badly he stepped back, tripped over Alexi's luggage and fell on his ass - which of course pissed off Alexi. Damn, what was it with these two and their obsession over the clothes. I knew I needed to intervene or they just might kill the concierge. I walk over, help him to stand and he apologizes, "Sorry Ms. I was just going to put your suitcases into the trunk of your rental car."

 

I quickly sign to Ira and Alexi, "You two need to relax, he's telling the truth."

 

Ira glares at him and says, "You may not handle my luggage. I am not a feeble woman and am perfectly capable of locomotivating it myself."

 

Alexi further confuses the poor concierge by adding, "That goes double for me mister and you better not have broken anything when you fell over my suitcase."

 

That makes me wonder what Alexi has in his suitcase that is breakable. But with the mood the two of them were in now, I sure don't want to ask! To make my point I motion to my bag, the concierge understands what I mean, collects my bag and mentions, "I will be right back with your car sir."

 

Both Ira and Alexi laugh so I sign, "What the hell is so funny?"

 

Alexi starts, "He called you sir…"

 

Ira finishes, "…but we thought you worked for a living!"

 

I palm my forehead and can't believe I fell for one on the oldest sayings in the book - but it did improve Ira and Alexi's mood. The concierge arrives with the car, opens the trunk, I about bust a gut watching Ira and Alexi fight to see which one would be the first to get their suitcase in the trunk first. Alexi amazingly wins when he pulls Ira's hair. Ira throws her suitcase on the top of Alexi's and again he complains, "Ira, if you break anything in my suitcase I will make you pay for it."

 

Ira sticks her tongue out at Alexi, laughs and challenges, "Alexi, the day has not arrived that you can force me to recompense you for anything."

 

Alexi rubs his hands together and gives a perfect impression of a Mad Scientist cackle and replies, "Yes my sister, however I am keeping track of your insults and when the day comes then you will suffer greatly."

 

Before this gets totally out of hand, I sign, "Let's get in the car and see if we can find Mira."

 

We get into the car, I take the driver's seat and Alexi complains, "Todd, I assumed I would drive."

 

I was hoping he would say something like that so I sign, "You know what they say about assuming - it makes an ass out of u and me."

 

Ira begins to giggle and Alexi complains, "Todd I'm serious, I want to drive." Suddenly I understand his desire to 'borrow' a car for our trip.

 

We are away from the hotel, but not far enough away yet so I sign, "Alexi, I couldn't list you as a driver on the rental car agreement because you are too young. However, I will let you drive when we get far enough away from the hotel if you promise not to wreck the car."

 

Ira states, "Alexi, Todd's compromise does not mean you can drive this vehicle as if you illegally borrowed it."

 

Alexi pouts, "What fun is it to drive a car if I cannot drive it as if I stole it."

 

I begin to sign and Ira points and interrupts, "What in hades is that?"

 

I look and damn she's right, what in the hell is going on???

 

Present - Zarika and Yasmeen – In Juvenile detention

 

Once again Ms. Hornyhog does not bother to come and see me. It makes me wonder what she's doing plus I am a little upset that I cannot try my new plan. But it is nice because she doesn't interrupt my physical training and I hope that Yasmeen is also training…

 

Ms. Hornhead does not come to see me today which is fine. I was able to find a piece of a pencil when I was out of solitary confinement so I've been sleeping all day and drawing pictures on the wall. My favorite drawing was one of Ms. Hornhead that has devil horns, a barbed tail and a pitchfork…

 

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