Chapter 081

Home 2 Chapter 081

Copyright 2014- 2015 Banzai Ben and Amazing Anastasia

 

Present – Ben – at the Continental Divide Trailhead

 

As I trot along the Continental Divide trail, I let my mind wander from trying to figure out what Jim is doing by making me a deputy sheriff (I can afford to delay this because I don't have any idea why he did it and it's not like I won't have some time to figure this out later) to the more pressing and troubling thought about how damn resourceful Destiny is - I know without a doubt she will find me. I slow down, stop running, and recall how damn fast she can run. As I remembered how she escaped from the greenies I decide she is probably already ahead of me, just waiting for me to show up so she can give me a ration of shit and continue with her annoying as hell statements about being a Shaman. I'm still not sure what the hell she is but I also don't need to make this any easier on her. Since I have already missed the part of the Continental Divide trail that is in New Mexico, (I briefly considered heading back to New Mexico and starting at the beginning but I'm already here and from what I understand the New Mexico part is boring) so I decide it is no big deal if I bypass a bit more of the trail especially if I make it harder for Destiny to find me. I pull out my maps, find an adjacent trail, take a compass reading and head off bushwhacking in a new direction. Yeah, let's see the crunchy granola bitch find me now.

 

With the change of direction and the possibility of delaying Destiny finding me, I have the first chance since I've been back, to really enjoy the mountains. I couldn't do that at the cabin because I was too busy kicking the greenies asses. I'm glad to be away from the cabin (other than for one major reason) but I miss the hell out of the trees. I'm above timberline here and miss the smell of the fresh pine scented mountain air, instead I smell the tundra that grows in the higher elevations of the Rocky Mountains and it's just not the same. But as usual the sun is out, the skies are clear and I'm free from all the chains that held me back last week. No, it’s more than that: I'm free of the chains that had held me down for years. Now that I've changed directions again I kick it into overdrive to make it hard as hell for the crunchy granola bitch to find me. Then I find something which slows me up…

 

Present – Destiny – Looking for Ben

 

Ben hasn't shown up yet and I wonder why. I remind myself that I made a promise to not underestimate him again so I head back toward the Continental Divide trailhead. It feels good to be in my animal form running on the trail and it doesn't take long to find the place where the side trail intersects the Continental Divide trail, however there is still no Ben. This is unusual because by now he should have been here. I decide I need to be more thorough so I take the trail toward highway 24 in hopes that I will find him. It's not a very long trail so in a short period of time I arrive at the parking lot of the trailhead - again without finding Ben. The whole time I still have the sense that something is watching me. It reminds me of the feeling I had when the drone was watching us.

 

Since my attempt to find Ben failed, I need a new strategy. I sit down, reflect on the problem and decide that once again Ben must have changed direction and is somewhere besides the Continental Divide trail. I head back in the opposite direction with the hope to find a clue as to where Ben's gone.

 

I begin to scan the footprints on the trail which isn't bad because no one else is on the trail today. I reach a spot close to the start of the Continental Divide trail and notice something has disturbed the tundra beside the trail. I stop, examine it and scold myself for missing it on the way down here, Ben has left the trail.

 

I begin to slowly and carefully follow his footsteps which is not easy because he has something soft covering his boots. Then I run into an area where I cannot track Ben because of the soft things over his boots and the special suit he is wearing …

 

Present – Ben – taking a detour

 

I realize even with the socks over my boots, I am still leaving enough of a trail that I'm sure Destiny can track me. I’m certain if I can see my trail then she sure as hell can see the trail. Then lady luck smiles on me as the path I've taken toward the side trail becomes a boulder field. The whole valley leading up to the ridgeline is covered with boulders that range in size from skull to desk. The insecure footing forces me to slow up but if I'm careful and don't flip over any of the smaller boulders, Destiny shouldn't be able to track me. The combination of the intense sun and having to pick my way through the boulder field has an added benefit - I've cooled down some. Yeah, I was beginning to sweat in the damn chemical suit and sure as hell didn't want to do much of that because when night comes and if my clothes are sweaty, I could die from hypothermia.

 

The whistle pigs (marmots) sure don't like my scrambling through their homes and interrupting their sunning sessions. They vocalize their complaints with many eerie sounding whistles and grunts as they scurry away.

 

The boulder field steepens which slows me more because I can't afford a mistake now - one wrong step and…

 

Present – Jens and the gang – at the cabin

 

Maria has my pants down and is busy pulling cactus thorns out of my rear when she quickly covers me up with the sheet. Then a couple guys run up who I haven't seen for what seems to be forever. I guess I’m really feeling the effects of the cactus because I use a prickly greeting, "Matt and Jim, where the hell have you guys been?"

 

Jim answers first, "Hell Jens, after the piece of the carbon fiber handguard was removed from my leg, the docs had to suture the femoral artery and the leg so I just got out of the hospital a few days ago. We heard about all the shit going on up here, came here as fast as we could but it looks like nothing much is going on."

 

Matt adds additional information, "I wasn't too fucked up but I ended up taking care of Jim and some of our other Marines in the hospital so I couldn't make it back."

 

I smile at the guys and answer, "Well, it's good to have you back but you missed all the fun, including me just removing a bomb from inside my chest."

 

Matt asks, "Was that the first or the second explosion we heard?"

 

Inga answers...

 

Two huge men who must work for Jennifer (from the way they talk) run up. One of them asks about the explosions so I inform them, "That was the second explosion and created the crater beside the gurney."

 

The other one asks, "Well what the hell was the first explosion?"

 

I look down, begin to cry and walk away from the group. It should have been me and not Byron who was killed in the first explosion. I hear Maria answer as I leave…

 

I can't believe how we're wasting time again! Matt and Jim are flapping their lips about the explosions, Inga begins to cry and then leaves so I decide it's up to me to tell them and get things back on track. I answer, "The first explosion was a rigged port-a-potty that detonated and killed Byron. Now instead of standing around wasting time you need to find Linus because he's putting a team together to find Ben."

 

Matt and Jim exchange looks and Matt says, "The hell with finding Ben, we need to find the fucker who blew up Byron."

 

They take off as I look at my Princess Boss and say, "Well, since you removed the bomb, how about if we take you to the medical plane and get you taken care of."

 

Jens begins to complain again, "Maria, I'm fine and need to help find Ben."

 

Like hell she's going looking for Ben - in her condition she would just slow them up. I order my Princess Boss, "Jens, listen to me! We were lucky you were able to remove the bomb without killing yourself, but we can't be sure without a total body CAT scan that he didn't plant something else inside of you."

 

Jens gives me a very concerned look and asks...

 

Maria shocks me by saying something that floors me! Something about the bastard Mike putting some other device inside of me so I ask, "Maria, what sort of thing are you concerned about?"

 

Maria motions to Liz and they begin to wheel the gurney toward the medical plane as Maria answers, "Jens, I have been thinking that if Mike planted a bomb inside you, what's to keep him from also putting some sort of tracking device inside you? Besides we need to get the doctors to sew up your side again."

 

I smile at Maria and tease, "Hell, just slap on some petroleum jelly, a bandage and wrap duct tape on it and I will be fine." I can tell Maria sure as hell doesn't appreciate my joke when she…

 

I'm tired of my Princess Boss giving me shit about the hole in her side - even more tired of stitching it up myself. So after she insults me again, I smack her ass (which still has cactus needles in it) causing Jens to about jump off the gurney, holler like crazy and complain, "Maria what in the hell did you spank my ass for?"

 

I laugh and explain, "Well, if you don't want your side fixed, then how about these cactus needles? You sure as hell don't want to leave any of them in your ass to get infected."

 

Jens continues to complain, "Hell, just slap some duct tape on my rear then it will pull all of them out at once instead of the slow fricken torture you were putting me through."

 

I mime an evil laugh and answer, "What fun would that be…"

 

Present – Stacy – Going after Ben

 

I can't fucking believe it, that stupid bear has really caused problems for me yet again. I ordered him to get into the truck but I guess he thought he was human because instead of getting into the back of the truck where I point, he ambles up to the passenger door, hooks his claws into the door, promptly rips it right off the truck, drops it on the ground and then starts to yowl.

 

The sheriff yells, "What the hell! Your bear just destroyed my truck! He's a menace to society! We have a policy for taking care of bears like that."

 

I see the sheriff fumbling for his gun and I yell at Wojtek, "Get the hell out of here - he's going to shoot you!" This time the stupid bear understands me and takes off running into the trees.

 

With the sheriff distracted trying to draw his gun, I have a short phone conversation with Samantha.

 

The sheriff finally gets his gun out of the holster but Wojtek is long gone. I smile at him and tease, "Gee Barney, I guess you must not have to pull your gun very often."

 

He gives me a dirty look and states, "My name's Jim not Barney."

 

I continue with the insults, "Well you sure looked like Barney Fife trying to get your gun out of your holster. Let me show you how it's done." I quickly pull one of the revolvers Ben gave me out of my holster, spin it twice and slip it back into the holster.

 

He glares at me and changes the subject, "Don't worry, the damage to my truck will be added to all of your existing charges and I plan on getting a team together to hunt down that dangerous bear of yours and kill him."

 

He's pissed already so sensing I had nothing to lose, I continue teasing, "I guess you can't take me in because it wouldn't be safe for me to ride in the cab of your truck without a door."

 

I sure as hell didn't like it when he takes my gun belt, puts the handcuff on me and orders, "Don't worry about your safety, you're riding in the back of the truck. Now get your ass in there."

 

I begin to try to get into the back of the truck when something even worse happens…

 

Present – Samantha – in search of news

 

My phone rings, I answer it and figure out that Stacy is being arrested by someone. Then I hear a heck of a noise, like someone is being killed and yell into my phone, "Stacy are you okay?"

 

Stacy softly answers, "Sam it's good to hear from you, I'm not okay and I might need your help."

 

I question, "Stacy what's going on?"

 

Stacy tells me all that's happened so I know she's in serious trouble and I hope that I can help. My next question is, "Where are you located."

 

Stacy tells me, "Sam, I'm part way up highway 24 headed out of town."

 

I reply, "Let me find someone to drive me to where your location."

 

Stacy says, "I will leave my phone on until you arrive because I want someone as a witness."

 

I continue monitoring the call and hear what sounds like a big fight is happening. I hurry and begin talking to the Marines in the camp and finally find one that will take me to Stacy's location…

                                                                        

Present – Jack, Masha and Ivan - at the Medical Plane

 

The doctor tells us the bad fucking news about Byron being killed in the same damn port-a-potty that I worked on while Masha begins to cry, shakes her head and falls to the floor. I fight the hell out of the nurses and say, "I'm fine but something has happened to my wife."

 

One of them turns around, sees her on the floor, rushes over to her, checks her and says, "I think she fainted, is anything wrong with her?"

 

I continue to struggle, trying to get off the damn gurney and answer, "She's pregnant."

 

The doctor orders, "If you continue to try to get off the gurney, we will restrain you." He continues with orders to the nurses, "…find another gurney for his wife, take her to another room so I can examine her and verify that she and the baby are okay."

 

I demand, "Who the hell is going to take care of my son Ivan?"

 

The nurse asks, "What son? No one else is here?"

 

I quickly glance around and fuck it! They are right, Ivan isn't here. Shit! Then I figure it out: With Masha fainting he must have become confused and thinking these were more of the bad men so he took off to hide like I had trained him. I finally swing my feet over the side of the gurney, stand up and…

 

Present – Thom – at the cabin

 

Something strange wakes me up: It's the voice of a young child giggling and saying, "Nice goggie. Nice goggie."

 

I open my eyes and find the same scruffy looking dog which came over to me and put its head on my lap while I fell asleep is leading a small boy toward me. I smile because my initial feelings about the dog were correct, he's a nice as hell dog. I don't know of many dogs that would lead a boy by letting the kid hold onto his tail.

 

He brings the boy close to me, the boy sees me and says, "Mister man have nice goggie that bring me here because I lost. What Mister man doing?"

 

I can't believe someone was so careless they let this great kid wander off. I smile at the boy and answer, "He isn't my dog but I'm glad if you're lost that he brought you to me. Tell me where are your mother and father are so we can find them?" Not only do I want to find them, I want to give them the fucking hell they deserve for letting this cute boy out of their sight.

 

He looks a little scared, starts to cry and answers, "Bad men take Mama and Papa, I run away like Papa teach me so they not take me too."

 

Hells fucking Bells! That bastard Mike took this kids parents and left him here alone! That combined with the anger of him killing Byron gets my blood boiling. If it's the last thing I do in the world I will find that bastard and introduce him to some of the torture techniques I learned when I was a POW!

 

I lie to him so he stops crying, "Don't cry, I will help you find these bad men that took your parents and I will make them pay."

 

Thank God he stops crying then says something I only partially understand, "You puff and huff and blow the bad men down, like wolf that is also a lady and Unca Ben?"

 

This is news, the kid knows Ben. But I sure as hell don't know what this wolf lady shit is about. I reply with a question of my own, "You know Unca Ben? What is your name and who are your parents?"

 

He smiles at me and answers, "Yes, I know Unca Ben good and well. I live with him and wolf that is also a lady when first bad men take Mama and Papa. He teach me many tricksy things like socks over boots so we no leave prints in dirt."

 

He only answers part of my question so I reiterate, "What is your name and who are your parents."

 

He giggles and says, "Mister man you not know my face? I am Ivan and know you."

 

Shit it hits me right as someone runs up…

 

Present – Inga – at the cabin

 

I leave the group of people because I need to be alone so I can cry in peace about losing my good friend Byron. As I wander away from the group, I am surprised when I see Thom and Masha's boy, Ivan, up ahead of me.

 

I run up to Thom and question, "What is Ivan doing here with you?"

 

Thom looks and points to a mangy looking dog and says, "Ask the dog. I was sleeping soundly under the tree when this dog brought Ivan to me. What I don't understand is how Jack and Masha lost track of him."

 

Ivan spins around in circles and interrupts, "Mama and Papa not lose my track. New bad men take Papa, then Mama get sick and they take her too. So I do what Papa teach me and run away and hide. But hide too well and good and not know where am. Then Mister Man's nice goggie bring me to him."

 

I thought all the Special Forces left… then it occurs to me, Ivan might be confused so I further question, "Where are the new bad men and what happened to your Mother?"

 

Thom interrupts, "Yeah when he tells me where they are I'm going to take care of them for what they did to Ivan and Byron."

 

Ivan begins to climb on the dog (I hope he doesn't catch something – possibly fleas from the filthy animal). I am amazed the dog doesn't bite him and he answers, "They in big airplane that smells bad."

 

Yes, it is as I assumed: Ivan is confused. I look at Thom and say, "Thom, I wish there were bad men for both of us to take care of however…"

 

Ivan interrupts, "Yes, you too like Unca Ben and wolf that is also a lady - you huff and puff and blow new bad men down…"

 

I continue, "… Ivan is confused and thinks the men on the medical plane are the 'new bad men.' Something must have precipitated that feeling."

 

Ivan is now sitting on the back of the incredibly tolerant but nasty smelling dog and is pulling on the dog's ears similar to a horse's reins. I sit beside the dog, look Ivan in the eyes and ask, "Ivan please tell us what the bad men did to your Mama and Papa?"

 

When he scratches his face I shudder because it leaves dirt marks from the dirty dog's hair. Then we get his answer, "First new bad men tie Papa to big table of metal with wheels and not let Papa up even when he want to help Mama."

 

When he talks about Masha my concern grows as when Ivan touches his hair I swear I can see fleas jump from his hand into his fair blond hair. I ignore it and question, "Why did Papa want to help your Mama?"

 

By now Ivan is as filthy as the dog but he smiles at me and says, "Papa want to help Mama because she falls to floor and does not move."

 

I don't care how dirty or smelly Ivan is, I grab him off the dog and tell Thom, "We need to get to the medical plane as soon as possible to see what's wrong with Masha."

 

Ivan giggles and orders, "Mister Man do not forget your goggie."

 

I wish we could forget the nasty smelly dog, but he runs alongside the three of us barking as we head toward the medical plane…

 

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

 

My sisters are once again fighting in the back of the nice car which Todd rented. My concern is the damage their conflict is causing. I maneuver the car to the shoulder of the road and suggest to Todd, "We should physically remove them from the vehicle."

 

He nods his head in affirmation, we both open the posterior doors, reach in and extricate my sisters. I have restrained my sister Mira and she complains, "Alexi, release me instantly so I might continue to educate my imprudent sister!" Then she attempts to forcefully extricate herself from my grasp however I was prepared for her actions. I observe that Todd is having an equally difficult time with my sister Ira (and I question while watching her if she truly loves him)…

 

It is a calculated risk to restrain the twins but they are in the process of destroying the back seat of the rental car and I sure as hell don't want to pay for the damages. Alexi is more familiar with Mira's fighting techniques and is doing a much better job of restraining her. I'm doing my best to restrain Ira but it's like trying to wrestle a fucking python! I almost have her in a sleeper hold, when she amazes me by doing a backflip and the next thing I know I'm trying to escape from her, she taunts, "Todd, you might have greater strength than I but I am slyer."

 

We all stop fighting after three police cruisers pull up, the officers exit weapons free and one of them orders, "Get on the ground immediately."

 

I begin to comply when Mira continues her string of ill-advised actions…

 

Present – Yasmeen – In Juvenile detention

 

I find the business card the man at the 7 to 11 gave me and I hope he can help me. Now all I have to do is find a way to make a phone call. The guard comes to take me out for my 30 minutes of free time. I know she carries her mobile phone with her because she spends the entire time I am enjoying the sunshine writing something on it.

 

Once again she is distracted playing with her phone so I walk over close to her. As she looks up at me and I punch her as hard as I can in the face. She falls to the ground, drops the phone then I pick it up and make a call to the man.

 

He answers and I tell him, "This is Yasmeen, the girl that you wanted to make a video of music for."

 

He answers, "Oh yeah, I remember you. Are you finally ready for me to produce your video?"

 

I quickly inform him of our troubles, and he asks, "Can you describe the place they are holding you?"

 

I do my best and he says, "Damn I know that place, it's a real shithole! What can I do for you?"

 

I just finish telling him about Mira having diplomatic passports for us, how she lives at a cabin in Leadville, when the other guards come in, catches me with the phone, then they shoot me with something that has wires coming out of it…

 

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