Chapter 084B

Home 2 Chapter 084B

Copyright 2014 Banzai Ben and Amazing Anastasia


Flashback - Ben – About another two months later, the end of his Chechen mission and the return to Moscow


I loved it when a mission went mostly right but I wish like hell it would have gone totally right. I killed almost all the fuckers other than the most important 'ringleaders'. As much as I hate to admit it they were smart as hell and once they found out all the other fuckers that helped with Beslan were dead, they headed back to their Godforsaken country and went into hiding. Oh, I could have gone in after them, but I was running low on supplies. Hell, it was my own fault since I knew I should have resupplied when I was in Moscow but I needed to get the hell out of there as fast as possible.


Shit that reminded me. I told you how the mission was going, but I didn't tell you about anything else that happened for the past two months. Let's see, I left off on my trip to Oksana's house. Her fiancé Ivan Gregoravich showed up close to dinner time. He was tall, easily over 6 feet, and looked like a fucking body builder. I discretely remarked about that during our time in the баня (I said discretely because I didn't want him to get the idea I was a homo) and Oksana laughed like crazy and informed me that he looked like a string bean until he started working at the quarry with Sergei. I was concerned at first that Ivan Gregoravich might have been after the annuity I had setup for Oksana, but he ended up being a great guy and really loved Oksana. Hell, he even helped her with the dishes after dinner like I had done on my earlier visit (this is almost unheard of for a Russian male).


She asked me what I thought of him and I told her she had 'С милым рай и в шалаше' (love in a cottage) and not to mess it up. After the баня, Ivan Gregoravich and I took a walk: I put the fear of God (and perhaps even more the fear of Ben) in him about ever hurting Oksana and he assured me he loved her with his whole heart and felt lucky to have her as a fiancée. As I left I felt good about the whole situation — no more than that, I wished someday to have a situation like this of my own.


Ivan Gregoravich took over the still from Oleg and continued to make vodka. He gave me a case of it and while it was good, it wasn't as good as Oleg's.


Let's see what else did I forget? Ah, this one will surprise the hell out of all of you because I know it surprised the hell out of everyone else. Since I was headed the other direction from Moscow, it only made sense for me to make a surprise appearance at Jack and Masha's wedding to be the best man. Yeah, Yuri had the Spetsnaz team sneak me into the church. The look on Tatiana's face was priceless when I walked up beside her in the back of the church to escort her up to the front wearing my dress blues. She cried the whole time and tried to talk to me but I shushed her and told her the wedding was more important. And what a fucking wedding it was, I had never seen better! Jack looked better than I remembered in a very long time. I guess Yuri and the Spetsnaz training was good for him. I found out about the plan that Masha devised to keep me (and Jack) out of trouble with the brass. Major M was there and I made sure to glare at him every time I looked at him. As soon as the wedding finished, the Spetsnaz team ran interference and I hightailed it out of there before I was captured and unfortunately (as I mentioned earlier) didn't resupply because I didn't have time.


I continued to lose weight, even though I ate like a fucking horse. My strength was better than ever, my legs worked fine and I could run, again albeit a little slower than before, but most of the time my back hurt like a son of a bitch.


I killed all the fuckers in the other direction from Moscow, other than the ringleaders who I mentioned earlier. Now it was time to head back to Moscow and see how much trouble I was in. I set up a meeting with Yuri and the Spetsnaz team so Yuri, the team and Jack met me on the outskirts of Moscow in the early morning.


Jack grinned at me (and I knew something was up), gave me a hell of a hug, stepped back and I couldn't believe it when the old fart tried a leg sweep on me. I blocked it and demanded, "Jack, what the hell was that for? And you're still too slow to catch me with my guard down."


Jack continued with the grin and answered, "Banzai, that was for you taking the hell off and not telling me about it. I was trying to kick your ass."


I laughed and taunted, "Jack, you may have trained with the Spetsnaz for the last three months but you're still no match for me. However I'm your Huckleberry if you want to give it another try."


Yuri distracted me when he came up and ordered, "Ben, we need all your uniforms and whatever equipment you have left."


I glared at Yuri and replied, "Yuri, thanks for everything but what the hell did you do to me? Everywhere I went all the people thought I was a fucking hero."


Yuri laughed and answered, "Ben we gave you the order of Zukov and first class order of St. George the highest and next highest awards in Russia. So tell me, did anyone bother you when they saw the medals?"


I continued to glare at Yuri but had to admit, "Hell no they were all polite. Even the officers I encountered treated me with respect."


Yuri smiled, nodded his head and answered, "Now Comrade, you know why we did that."


I countered, "I should still kick your ass for it."


Jack tried to calm me down by changing the subject, "Banzai, don't you want to know how much trouble you're in?"


I turned my attention back to Jack and stated, "It can't be that bad because you're still here. And I know the gist of the plan but yeah I would like to know how things went."


Jack laughed like crazy, then began to brag on Masha's plan and the effect it was having on Major M...


Flashback – Major M – About another two months later


I was thoroughly fucked! There was a slight reprieve in the Old Man finding out about Sergeant Blaine going AWOL, which was helped by the fact that the bastard showed up at Jack and his bitch's televised wedding. I tried in vain to catch Sergeant Blaine after the wedding but the slippery son of a bitch was helped by the Spetsnaz team. He escaped through doors that went through all the icons in the front of the church. When I tried to follow him, some old as fuck priest with a beard, which made him look like Methuselah, stopped me and yammered at me in Russian. I didn't bring Victoria with me so I couldn't understand what he was saying. I went to grab him and move him aside when the Spetsnaz team came to his aid and stopped me. I complained like hell for them to get their hands off me but they just laughed.


I knew I lived on borrowed time and then some bastard (or bitch because I was sure it was Sergeant Reynolds' wife) sent the Old Man all the information about Sergeant Blaine going AWOL, including the date it happened and included all the fucking psychological tests they did on me. The Old Man placed the blame squarely on my shoulders (in my opinion incorrectly because I was sure it was some evil plot hatched by Sergeant Reynolds' bitch).


Now I was headed back to the States to answer to the Old Man and to undergo more fucking tests. I hated like hell leaving Victoria. Shit, she even cried when I left, but in one way it was good because lately I hadn't been able to 'get it up'. I blamed this latest problem on all the stress the fucking Sergeant Blaine had caused me. Some day and someway I was going to make him pay...


Flashback – Tatiana – About another two months later in Moscow


As Ben would say, “Life for me sucked!” Yes life was worse than ever - it was so bad I even contemplated suicide and for a nurse suicide was easy. Only my Orthodox religion kept me from killing myself because if I did kill myself I would go to hell forever.


First was the biggest surprise ever. Ben showed up to the wedding to be Jack's best man. He looked incredible other than he had lost some weight. I tried to talk to him to ask his forgiveness for being such a сика (bitch), but he shushed me (yes, I couldn't believe that he shushed me) and told me the wedding was more important. I cried during the whole wedding, so much that I ruined my makeup. I knew that Ben was very angry at me and possibly hated me because he wouldn't look at me. When he wasn't looking at Jack and Masha, he was giving the stupid Major the evil eye.


I planned on talking to Ben after the wedding and doing anything and everything to get him to forgive me and take me back as his girlfriend, but I was distracted helping Masha (because I was the maid of honor) with her beautiful wedding gown and when I finished he was gone!


Yes my whole life sucked! Ben was still gone, my job was still terrible and I, unlike Ben, had gained weight, probably from all the ice cream and chocolate I was eating…


Flashback – Masha – About another two months later at Jack and Masha's flat


Life was so very wonderful for me. Married life was so much better than living single and I now understood the happiness of my many married friends. To know that I would never again be alone because now I shared my life with my husband who was loving and caring and so very helpful.


The wedding was like a dream for me. Ben even attended as Jack's best man which I thought was a mistake because I was sure the Major would catch him. I wanted to thank him for the wonderful wedding but when the time came for the reception line, he had already departed and Jack didn't even know when or where he went. The only sad part of the wedding was Tatiana's response to Ben being there: She cried and carried on like a little girl which ruined her makeup. Her makeup was so bad another friend took her into the bathroom (after Ben had left), cleaned her face and helped her apply new makeup for the pictures after the wedding.


Jack and I had a wonderful honeymoon in Sochi at a very exclusive resort. Jack used the rest of the money we didn't spend on buying back 'my car' to pay for it. It seemed that we 'owed' Ben's generosity for much of our happiness. I asked Jack how Ben was able to afford such lavish gifts and Jack mumbled something about how Ben seemed to have more money than Carter had Little Pills; which I understood to mean that Jack didn't know any more than I did.


My team continued the search for Ben without having any success. However it appeared that his mission to kill all the Chechens associated with the Beslan incident was going well. Almost all of them were dead.


With Victoria's excellent help, the Major was no longer a problem. However, I did need to reprimand her slightly for one incident with the Major. Sex with the Major was majorly revolting for her and she reached a point where she could not stand it anymore. She therefore drugged his food and drink with enough estrogen to prevent him from obtaining an erection.


My only continuing concern was Tatiana, she was becoming irrational. She was certain that she was the reason Ben left even after we gave her proof of the Chechens being killed. She would not listen and had stopped taking care of herself. Most days she looked and acted like a zombie, I was concerned she would do something stupid…


Flashback – Jack – About another two months later meeting Ben


I began to tell Banzai how well Masha's plan worked, "Shit Banzai, because of Masha's plan I don't think we will ever have to worry about the Major again."


Banzai shook his head and taunted, "Jack, we all know how you feel Masha is supposedly 'perfect', but you didn't give me any information at all about the Major or her plan. Does she have anyway figured out for me to come back?"


I was offended and slightly bothered by Banzai's attitude toward Masha, but I knew retribution was coming. I glared at him and answered, "She sure as hell does and your return right now is the perfect time. You see the Old Man finally got wind of you going AWOL and recalled the Major…"


Banzai interrupted me, "Great so with Major pain in the ass leaving, if I show back up at the hospital they will assume it's because he was recalled which further reinforces that he was the reason I left."


I continued grinning at Banzai because I knew what was coming (and I also knew he would extremely hate it) and answered, "That's right Sherlock, now we just need to make it look like you lived on the streets for the last three months."


Banzai looked surprised and asked, "What in the hell do you mean?"


Yuri laughed and added, "Ben, we have to give them a plausible excuse of where you've been for the last three months that won't get the team or anyone else in trouble. So we have decided you were homeless and lived on the streets. Now take off your clothes and put on these."


Yuri handed him some nasty scrubs that looked like hell and smelled like shit! Banzai gave him a look that said, are you fucking kidding me and complained, "What the fuck are these and don't I have any say in this?"


Yuri looked at him and ordered, "Sergeant Blaine, do not make me pull rank on you! This is your new uniform until you arrive at the hospital and are examined by the doctors. Now put them on and act like you have been homeless for the past three months."


Banzai began to take off his clothes, I noticed his weight loss and commented, "Well, you sure have the weight loss look of a homeless person nailed to a T. What happened didn't you like the officer rations the team gave you?"


I could tell that Banzai fought retching as he put on the scrubs because he held his breath. He turned his head away from the nasty scrubs, took a deep breath and answered, "Hell no, they were great and I ate almost everything except for the nasty dried fish sticks and gelled pork that seemed to be in most of the officer rations. Something must be wrong with me because I still kept losing weight."


I smiled at Banzai and consoled, "Well don't worry, the weight loss makes it look even more realistic." I glanced at Yuri and asked, "Should we add the finishing touch?"


Yuri and the rest of the team laughed, dumped a couple buckets of swill on Banzai and he swore…


Flashback - Ben - About another two months later, the end of his Chechen mission and the return to Moscow


Son of a fucking bitch! It was bad enough having to wear these nasty assed scrubs, now Yuri and the team covered me in buckets filled with some sort of nasty slop that was some of the worst smelling shit I had ever smelled! I complained, "What the fucking hell did you do that for! The scrubs are bad enough! I'm going to kick your asses."


Then Yuri pulled rank on me, "Sergeant Blaine, you will do no such thing. Now stop complaining like an officer, wait for the ambulance to take you to the hospital and remember your story about being homeless on the streets of Moscow."


The ambulance arrived and I gave them one last barb as the EMTs loaded me, "Laugh all you want now fuckers, but when I come back to training I'm going to kick your asses so hard you'll have to use a dentist for a proctologist."


Jack climbed in the ambulance with me so I asked, "Jack, what the hell are you doing?"


He answered, "I get to be the hero this time for finding you."


The EMTs sure weren't happy about hauling me to the hospital. I noticed they pulled out masks, put some liquid on them and covered their faces. Jack motioned to them, they understood and made a mask for him. Thank God the ride to the hospital didn't take long because it was still early morning. We arrived at the hospital and I had a hell of a surprise…


Flashback – Tatiana – About another two months later in Moscow at the hospital


I was sitting in the hospital during my morning break, playing with some food from the cafeteria on my plate when an ER nurse walked by and taunted me, "I guess you didn't hear, your American boyfriend is back in the hospital."


I had been on the receiving end of taunts like this before so I simply said, "Oh yeah! Prove it to me."


She grinned and answered, "No problem." Then she pulled out her mobile phone, unlocked it and showed me a picture of my Ben in the ER, he looked terrible.


She continued being evil as she said, "With the way he looks and the way you look, you two will make a perfect couple."


I looked down at myself and realized she was correct, I looked terrible today! I didn't shower this morning and my uniform was a huge mess from the patients I had been taking care of.


She laughed as I jumped up from the table, but I thought, some day bitch you will get yours. I dashed to central laundry, acquired some clean scrubs to replace my soiled uniform, ran to the nurse's locker room, took a short but effective shower making sure to wash my hair, put on the scrubs and ran to the emergency room.


I found the room that Ben was in, took a deep breath and silently prayed that he would still love me. I went inside, pushed the other nurses out of the way and stood beside his gurney.


He saw me, gave me his special smile and held out his arms! Even though he smelled terrible I hugged him and gave him my biggest and best kiss. The doctor interrupted, "Nurse restrain yourself, I need to finish taking his medical history and then give him a physical."


I pulled away and impatiently waited for the doctor to finish. Ben motioned with his head, I then noticed Jack in the corner of the room so I moved over beside him and whispered, "So what is the plan."


Jack replied in a whisper, "We are telling everyone that Banzai lived on the streets of Moscow for the past three months."


I nodded in affirmation and commented, "Well he sure looks like the homeless men I've seen as they them bring into the hospital.


Jack laughed, "Yeah, Yuri and the team did a great job. By the way Banzai is madder than a wet hen."


I wasn't familiar with the saying but from Ben's expression and Jack's laugh I figured out Ben was upset. I secretly hoped he would be distracted by his condition and forget about his anger at me.


I continued watching as the doctor finished taking Ben's medical history, then he started an very abbreviated physical (probably because of the smell). I moved back to the side of the gurney, the doctor finished the physical and ordered, "Take him to his room, get him cleaned up and put him into some new scrubs."


I volunteered, "Doctor, I was his personal nurse and would be more than happy to give him a sponge bath."


Ben looked at me and made me sad when he answered, "Sorry, but I can walk now so I would prefer to take a shower."


I asked Ben the question I had been dying to ask him and held my breath as I waited for the answer, "Ben, do you still want me for your personal nurse?"


My heart did flip-flops when Ben smiled at me and answered, "Tatiana I sure as hell wouldn't have it any other way."


I smiled and said, "Ben, let me get you a wheelchair."


He gave me a dirty look and I realized our relationship was going to be very different when he answered, "Tatiana, I can walk and I sure as hell don't need a fucking wheelchair. But I sure would like some new scrubs and some food."


I took his arm, we walked out of the ER together and I said, "First Ben, we will get you to your room and into the shower. While you are showering I will get you some new scrubs and also new blue booties for your feet." Then I questioned, "And are you sure you want hospital food?"


Ben never got to answer because we were interrupted…


Flashback - Ben - About another two months later, the end of his Chechen mission and the return to the Moscow hospital


Tatiana and I needed to have a talk about what she did right before I left. I found out from Jack (if the old fucker was correct) that she blamed her lie to me for me leaving, even after Masha showed her the results of my mission. I needed to set things straight with her and we also needed to deal with the lie that she told me. I also realized she needed to unload on me for leaving the way I did. But first I wanted to get cleaned up. I was almost persuaded not to kick Yuri's ass, but after these scrubs and then throwing the nasty shit on me, I was pissed and he was going to get the ass kicking he deserved.


Tatiana asked me a question about the hospital food which I prepared to answer but as we walked out into the hallway I was shocked because it looked like all the press in Moscow blocked the hallway and waited to talk to me. They all started shouting questions at once and I quickly looked for an escape route when I saw the stairway wasn't blocked. The last thing I wanted was to speak with the press so I looked at Tatiana and ordered, "Make a run for it."


I hit the door for the stairs with her right behind me. I started running up the stairs and Tatiana yelled, "Ben, you do not know where your room is."


She was right - I didn't know which floor my room was on. I stopped, she ran passed me on the stairs and teased, "See if you can catch me."


I bounded after her, easily caught her, smacked her on the ass and demanded, "I caught you! Now what is my reward?"


She continued to run and answered, "That will have to wait until we get in your room."


But what she didn't know is 'that' was going to wait until we had talked about our problems.


We hit a landing, Tatiana opened the door, I zipped past her into the hallway and stopped as fast as I could to keep from running over a fucking Russian Colonel. Tatiana didn't stop as fast so she ran into me, which knocked me into the Colonel and we all ended up in a tangled mess on the floor. I thought my ass was grass until the Colonel began to laugh and said, "Welcome back to the hospital Sergeant Blaine. I am Colonel Maxim Gorky and I am here to make sure your stay and continued rehabilitation is not interrupted as before."


I jumped up, assisted the Colonel, stood at attention, saluted and apologized, "Forgive me Colonel for knocking you over, I was just... just... just (I couldn't think of an excuse)."


The Colonel surprised me when he interrupted, "Sergeant calm yourself! I am not like your Major. I am here to be your friend and to make sure that everything at the hospital meets your standards."


I couldn't fucking believe it: An officer, a Colonel no less, was concerned about how I was being treated at the hospital! I decided to call his bluff and asked, "Sorry Sir, but I find it hard to believe that an officer, especially a Colonel would be concerned with my impression of the hospital."


He laughed and answered, "Well Sergeant Blaine, the problems you had before you left reflected poorly on this hospital and the entire Soviet medical system. I am here to make sure you do not have any problems with your stay this time. Now if you wouldn't mind, why don't we let Tatiana, your personal nurse, get you cleaned up and fed and then seeing as you avoided the press below I would like you to hold a press conference."


I wasn't exactly sure what was going on, but I figured I'd dodged a hell of a bullet. To run a Colonel over, knock him on his ass and have him laugh about it. Things were strange and I needed to ask Tatiana about it.


I saluted and answered, "Yes Sir! I would be glad to talk to the press however I am not sure I would like to eat the hospital food."


The Colonel gave me a smile and said, "Sergeant Blaine, I am afraid I must insist that you eat only the hospital food."


He turned to Tatiana and ordered, "Tatiana your orders are to make sure that Sergeant Blaine does not receive any outside food from anyone including yourself. I will talk with Sergeant Reynolds and the Spetsnaz team to make sure they do not bring him any outside food."


Tatiana replied, "Yes Colonel."


I became brave and asked, "Excuse me Colonel, permission to speak freely?"


He gave me his affirmation so I continued, "Sir, I am puzzled by the sudden change in how I am being treated. Sir, it doesn't make any sense to me so if possible could you please explain?"


The Colonel smiled at me and explained, "There is a simple answer for this Sergeant Blaine: When you were in the hospital before, it became obvious that we, that is the hospital, let you down. Oh you had the best doctors and your personal nurse Tatiana is one of the best, however there were several areas for which we failed to provide even adequate care. The two areas we identified that were the greatest failures were the quality of the food and adapting the physical therapy programs to your individual needs. We are concerned that our failures in those areas, combined with the arrival of your annoying Major, forced you, a hero of Russia, to abandon the hospital. We want the world to see that our hospitals are on par with any hospitals in the world so I have been tasked with making sure any and all problems you experience in the hospital are rectified."


I nodded my head and continued, "Do I still have permission to speak freely?"


He again gave me his assurance so I continued, "Sir you make it sound as if the motivation behind this publicity?"


He laughed and answered, "Sergeant, I would be lying if I said there wasn't some publicity involved. However you being a guest in our hospital has given us a unique opportunity to evaluate our level of care compared to the care you have received in American hospitals. We, that is the Kremlin, feel this is an educational opportunity for us. Now Sergeant, if you have no further questions I would suggest we both get cleaned up."


I noticed for the first time that when I bumped into the Major I got some of the slop that Yuri poured on me on his uniform so I apologized, "Sorry again Sir for getting your uniform dirty."


He laughed and said, "Sergeant, do not worry! You will find that Russian officers operate differently than the American officers to which you've grown accustomed."


I saluted him, he returned the salute then turned and walked away.


When he was out of earshot I asked Tatiana, "Tatiana, what do you know about this?"


She took my arm and answered...


Flashback – Tatiana – About another two months later in Moscow at the hospital


It was so good being with Ben again and thank God he had not noticed my weight gain. He asked me about what the Colonel had said so I took his arm, we walked toward his room and I answered, "Ben, because you left I have not been my normal observant self. Even though I have been working as a floor nurse in multiple rooms I therefore haven't noticed many changes."


Ben gave me a funny look and got ready to say something until we walked into his room. He stopped, looked around, grinned at me and said, "Damn this is nicer than some of the hotel rooms I've stayed in!"


I was also amazed by the changes as Ben continued, "Tatiana, please tell me if this is representative of the rooms you have been working in?"


I continued to observe the room then I realized the truth of the matter, smiled at Ben and answered, "Yes Ben, now that you are back I must say this room is similar to the rooms in which I've been working. I am sorry again that I didn't notice it before."


I took Ben into the bathroom, thought for a few more moments and gave additional information, "I vaguely remember some news reports that inferred you left the hospital because it wasn't as good as the American hospitals you had been in."


I was shocked as Ben began to close the bathroom door before he took off his dirty scrubs and questioned, "Ben, there is no need to close the door because I was looking forward to seeing you again."


Ben smiled at me and apologized, "Sorry Tatiana, but our relationship isn't the same as before I left. In fact we need to have a long talk about the 'meal' you brought me."


I... I... I... was shocked beyond belief! I did not expect our relationship to be the same but I did expect more than this. I bit my lip to keep from crying and replied, "Yes Ben, I understand that you are still angry at me. Please understand I will do anything to ensure you will forgive me. I will leave you alone and get your clean clothes."


I turned and left the room before I broke down in tears in front of Ben...


Flashback – Glen – About another two months later at the home


Jennifer's ordeal with Katie ended and mine had just started. Jennifer took a look at me today and complained, "Daddy! What in the fricken-fracken heck did you do to yourself while I was forced to stay at Katie's?"


I glared at her and lied, "Young lady, I have no idea what you are talking about."


Jennifer got on high horse and raced on with her complaints, "Daddy, I don't know how much weight you gained for the two months I was gone but I bet it's twenty pounds. Your uniforms look terrible on you since they no longer fit."


I looked down and lamely countered, "Jennifer they look fine and I sure as hell don't know what you're complaining about. And now that you're home you need to cut out the bitchy attitude."


Yeah Jennifer was back and unfortunately had picked up some bad habits from staying at the bitch nurse Katie's house.


Jennifer continued, "Daddy I am not bitchy; I just worry about how much weight you gained when I was gone."


I smiled at her and answered with something I knew would piss her off (just to change the subject you understand), "Don't you have ballet today?"


She gave me a dirty look and declared, "Daddy, I thought with mother still being in the hospital I wouldn't have to attend ballet."


I laughed and taunted, "Well Swan Lake is over but you know how watching it affected her."


Jennifer looked down and answered...


Flashback – Jennifer – About another two months later at the home


OMG what a two months I'd had! Let's see when I last talked to all of you, I was still practicing for Swan Lake – now it was over. But not before Ro-fricken-bear had a huge nervous breakdown and ended up in the hospital because he couldn't dance his part correctly. Olga was going to cancel it (yeah!) but then fricken Katie got the principal male ballet dancer from the NYCB to come and dance! The good news was, unlike Ro-fricken-bear, he was gay so I didn't have to worry about his hands. Even better news was that he was a really good dancer and we had a fantastic performance that went on for five nights. Mother was allowed to attend all the performances but had to return to the hospital each night. And mother was different than she'd been before: She praised me like crazy and never voiced even one complaint. The bad news was she had decided, along with fricken Olga and fracken Katie that I should be a ballerina full time. The more I thought about it, the more I knew that I shouldn't have tried to dance my best. I should have just continued with my normal intentional mess ups. However, I just couldn't do it with all those people watching me.


I looked down and replied to Daddy, "Daddy, I know it made her really happy to see how well I did, and I know her doctor told both of us we shouldn’t do anything to stress her..."


Daddy interrupted, "So Jennifer tell me what will happen if you don't go to ballet school?"


I shook my head and dejectedly answered, "Fricken Olga and fracken Katie will tell Mother and then Mother will ask me why I didn't go. I will be forced to lie to her which will then add to her stress. So I guess I am forced again to go to ballet school."


Then I came up with an idea, smiled and continued, "But I also know that Mother will be stressed when she sees the weight you've gained so if I have to go to ballet school, you need to go on a diet and start an exercise program."


Flashback – Alexi – About another two months later at the laboratory


I had settled into a routine at the laboratory that was very enjoyable because I received much more love and attention from the staff than I did from my 'parents'. Both 'mother' and 'father' still stopped by daily to visit and of course they still performed their tests on me, but I had no interest in going back to their house. I call it their house because it certainly had never been a home for me. We had started 'family' counseling sessions with the psychologist, which I despised - but endured.


My newest game was to test the limits of the psychologist's patience. It produced a battle of wills that I found most exhilarating.


Flashback – Safia – About another two months later in Japan


What an intense two months I had endured! We made it safely to Japan but then all heck broke loose. The twins began to look for a Sensei to train us and were rejected by so many of them they began to take it personally. We went to a new dojo and they entered and obeyed all the crazy customs. The Sensei walked toward them, approached closer than I would have dared and hurled an insult, "What are you geishas doing in my dojo?" He turned to his class and announced, "I think they are here to service us."


Ira kept her head bowed as she answered, "Excuse my corporeal self Sensei, but you are mistaken. We have come to study under your leadership."


I knew Ira had chosen the incorrect words after she said them since the Sensei laughed and replied, "The only studying fitting for you to do under me is to spread your legs and feel my manhood inside you!"


Ira looked at him and questioned, "Excuse me Sensei, did you just insult me?"


He laughed and answered, "No! You three street whores have insulted me by defiling my dojo with your entrance."


Ira slapped him across the face and the fight was on! When it was all over, once again we had won the battle and lost the war.


We walked outside of the dojo and Mira lamented, "It is a conundrum of the highest priority since we cannot find a dojo to accept us."


Ira added, "Yes, this culture appears to be most backward in their treatment of women. I am at a loss for a method to ensure our training at a suitable dojo."


Then I noticed a sign, pointed and answered, "Girls, it is simple. We disguise ourselves as men, enter the tournament and when we win it we will have our choice of dojos."


Mira and Ira discussed the merits of my idea and finally decided they liked my plan...


Flashback – Todd – About another two months later on the island


I knew that Liu must have had a way to contact people off the island. I determined this because the ships came for the women after we rescued them and they had to be notified. Finally my perseverance paid off and I was able to follow Liu to a cave I had never seen. Perched above the cave hidden in the tall trees I saw an antenna, this had to be the place. I planned on contacting my people, telling them I was alive and having them come and rescue all of us from this Godforsaken island. I waited patiently until Liu left, then I waited an additional hour in case she looped back to try to catch me. Finally I slowly and carefully slipped down to the cave making sure to avoid the many traps which Liu had placed around the cave for protection.


Yeah, since I had been on my own I had really honed all my skills, not just in discovering Liu's many traps which covered most of the island, but also with the bow, katana and woodcraft. Shit, I had to get better otherwise I would have spent my whole time tangled in one of Liu's traps.


I made it to the cave, slowly slipped inside and found the radio and a bank of batteries. It was an old as hell radio, the top was off and then I realized that it wouldn't work since more than half the tubes (hey I did say it was an old radio) were missing. Yeah, once again Liu had outfoxed me, however I still had another plan.