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Chapter 48

Home Chapter 48

Copyright 2012 Banzai Ben and Amazing Anastasia  


Flashback – Ben – Beslan


Sitting in the tree wasn't getting me anywhere. In fact, it was just getting me pissed off! Since the terrorists had smashed the windows, I could hear the turmoil inside. The terrorists had moved all the hostages into the gym and had wired the building with explosives. I was just getting ready to leave the tree, when… What the fuck! I heard two ballistic cracks but NO report from the rifle – somewhere there was a sniper with a suppressed weapon. I listened closely and heard the tinkle of brass hitting the school roof - what a fucking amateur! I pulled the monocular out of my go bag, scanned the hell out of the roof and son-of-a bitch - they had a sniper's hide with a sniper in it on the roof.


Damn! They were fucking ingenious bastards! They removed the guts of a tall heating unit and there inside sat the sniper. Shit! He was so well hidden I hadn't seen him from the ground and if he had not made such an amateur mistake of not using a brass catcher, I wouldn't have been so lucky and located him. I bet none of the Russian forces even knew about him. This was going to be tricky…


It took the rest of the night for me to inch slowly out on the limb of the tree. Every move made the limb groan and creak so I prayed it would hold my weight. It held up until I was just over the edge of the roof when the limb broke and I landed on the roof. I readied the AK and held my breath. But my good luck held as I was behind a heating vent and the sniper didn't come to see what happened. Now to work my way closer to the bastard…


Flashback – Jack – In Moscow


I felt great this morning and put last night's worries behind me. That is until I saw a new e-mail in the inbox waiting to be decrypted. E-mail from an officer was never good and when it was from the Major it was even worse. I loaded the e-mail in the decryption program and walked back toward the bed. Masha smiled at me, then sat up and questioned, "Jack my love what is wrong?"


I tried to hide my concern with a smile and replied, "It's just an e-mail from my Major and it's probably nothing."


Masha jumped out of bed, threw on her robe and declared, "We need to see what is going on in Beslan." She turned on the TV and we both sat on the couch. Things had come to a standstill and I only assumed it was the time for negotiations.


She held my hand and asked, "Jack do you think Ben will be safe without you?"


I squeezed her hand and said, "Well, I taught him all I know so he should be fine if he doesn't go off halfcocked." This prompted a long explanation of what halfcocked meant. When we were finished Masha said something about being fully cocked and one thing lead to another…


Flashback – Major M – Undisclosed base


Damn it's late and things look to be at a standstill in Beslan. I thought it was interesting the terrorists broke out all the windows. I guess they learned about gas attacks from the Dubrovka theater fiasco. I could only imagine how America would react if we flooded a theater with tactical gas which killed more hostages than the terrorists murdered. Heads would roll!


I knew that Sgt. Reynolds would be up soon and would get my e-mail. What a good thought to end my shift!  Now, to go home and get some sleep…


Flashback – Jack – In Moscow


The e-mail was waiting for me when Masha and I were finished. She went to the kitchen to make breakfast while I read it and exclaimed, "That rat bastard!"


Masha looked at me and questioned, "Jack what is wrong?"


I looked at her, gulped and answered, "The Major said that since I didn't get deployed with my team he wants me to come back to America to answer some questions."


I watched Masha. She seemed to be thinking, then she announced, "Jack do not worry, you are about to have a relapse. Now I must clean up, change into some clothes and then leave for a little while."


I started to argue but she came to me, gave me a hug and stated, "Jack, I just found you and I will not let your silly Major take you away. When I am gone have a good breakfast then clean yourself up. After I get back you will need to go to the hospital."


Flashback – Masha – In Moscow


I had the required formula in my purse to inflict the illness upon my love Jack, however I could not let him know that fact. He was an astute man and that would engender too many questions. Besides I needed to check in with my office to see what the Sedankina twins were doing and also to give my superiors a report I had fabricated from vapors.


Things were fine until I reached my office where I had an emergency e-mail from Miranda: Her sister was missing and she assumed their adversaries had captured her. I put the office on alert, quickly sent many reinforcements to help her, then sent her a message telling her I had one thing to do then I would be back to manage the crisis.


I rushed back to our apartment and Jack looked great. I was going to hate myself for what I was going to do to him, but it was the only way we could remain together.


I asked, "Jack my love, please reply to your Major and inform him you are having a relapse of your recent illness."


He complained, "Masha, this won't work unless I am in a hospital."


I smiled at him and explained, "Jack I hate to do this but I am going to give you a special syrup that will make you sick."


He gave me a questioning look, "Sort of like Ipecac? Now this won't kill me will it?"


I shook my head, "Of course it won't kill you. I would never do anything to hurt you. It will just make you ill for a few days and by then this whole Beslan incident will be over and you will be needed here."


What I didn't tell Jack was I also needed him unconscious while I handled the Sedankina crisis. So I mixed up the illness syrup and added a sleeping syrup too. I kissed Jack, handed the fluid to him and said, "Drink this and then we will take you to the hospital."


He drank it and I ordered, "Quick, we need to get you to the hospital!"


He complained, "But I feel fine."


I grabbed his hand, we ran downstairs, caught a taxi and headed toward the hospital. Ten minutes later Jack looked at me and said, "Masha, I don't feel fine any more."


Those were the last words he said as he became unconscious. I berated the taxi driver and encouraged him to proceed more rapidly. We arrived at the emergency entrance, some orderlies exited, placed Jack upon a gurney and we rushed into the hospital. I informed the doctors of his condition and that he was an American soldier. They whisked him away into isolation as I withdrew my mobile phone and called the American Embassy to inform them of Jack's illness…


Now to take care of the Sedankina problem…


Flashback – Mira – in Israel


I searched the whole alley to no avail until I heard the klaxons of approaching law enforcement vehicles. Someone had captured my sister, however I could sense that she was not yet deceased. Whatever son of a female saluki had taken her would regret that heinous action. I sent an e-mail to Masha.


Flashback – Ira – in Israel


I slowly awoke and realized I had made a substantial tactical error. I was so focused on saving my sister that I had not realized an aggressor was behind me. The last thing I remembered was hearing gunshots so I could only hope Mira survived. I struggled against my bonds, heard someone walk across the floor toward as he threatened, "It's about time you awakened. I have many questions for you and then we will participate in some recreational activities"


That voice! I know that voice! It was…


Flashback – Ben – Beslan


Well that was easier than I thought it would be. The would-be sniper's body lay upon the roof and I had control of the sniper's hide. I slipped up on him and slit his throat with my knife while he was distracted looking at the troops stationed around the school. It was only after he was dead I discovered the suicide vest he was wearing - thank God it wasn't hooked to a dead man's switch otherwise…


I glassed the buildings around the school and saw troops stationed in all of them. Not only that but they were carrying RPGs and those damn fucking RPO-A Shmel rockets which were more like a rocket propelled napalm. They were very nasty and should have been outlawed.


The day wore on and the temperature in the sniper's hide became barely tolerable. I longed to know what was going on but during the daytime I didn't dare move or leave the hide. I glassed the troops and they looked as bored as I was. I did see Yuri and felt badly because I knew he was going to catch hell for what I did. I decided to catch a little catnap so I could stay up tonight and change locations…


I woke with a start! How the hell did the sniper get on the roof?  Ah, there must be an access door somewhere to the roof. Now to wait until dark and then find that damn access door…


Flashback – Major M – Undisclosed base


I slept great last night. Not only was I sure Sgt. Blaine was with his team, I was going to get Sgt. Reynolds back here and grill the hell out of him concerning Baskerville. I dressed, headed to my office, logged into my computer and noted I had a reply from Sgt. Reynolds - this should be good. I sent it to decryption then answered my phone messages.


I hit the third message and my whole plan went to hell! It was from the Ambassador to Russia in Moscow. Sgt. Reynolds had a relapse and was unconscious in a local hospital. The doctors had no idea what was wrong with him, theorized it might be something contagious so they had him in isolation.


I dashed off a quick e-mail to the Ambassador and asked him to notify me when Sgt. Reynolds regained consciousness. Something about this didn't feel right to me. I became even more suspicious when the Sgts' e-mail came back and reported he was having a relapse so he was going to the hospital…


The fourth phone message was even worse! It was the Old Man and he wanted a report in two hours on what was going on in Russia. How the hell did I know? I hadn't heard anything from Sgt. Blaine (…which still made me believe he was deployed.). However with Sgt. Reynolds’ illness, Sgt. Blaine might also be incapacitated.


I made up my mind and started to type up a report that said Sgt. Blaine was deployed and Sgt. Reynolds was in the hospital. If I was wrong about this the Old Man would have my head…