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Chapter 58

Home Chapter 58

Copyright 2012 - 2013 Banzai Ben and Amazing Anastasia 


Tatiana (Masha's flight nurse) – in flight


We had inserted an IV in each arm as we tried to provide more blood than Ben was expelling, but it was a losing battle. I looked at the flight surgeon and stated, "We need to do something since his blood pressure is still falling."


He ordered, "Even though we should not attempt it, turn him over in a single motion so we can view his back."


We unstrapped our patient from the backboard, turned him in one motion and it was obvious why we were losing the battle of the blood. There was more blood pooling there than I had ever seen in my life.


The flight surgeon cut the straps on his body armor, peeled it off him and we saw not only bullet holes, we saw many shards of ceramic body armor which had pierced his body. I also noticed many very old scars that I had seen before on victims of caning. I made a mental note to attempt to determine where and when he was caned.


The flight surgeon ordered, "Remove the shards so we can put compression dressings on the wounds. Otherwise we will never slow this bleeding."


I began to remove the shards. They were very sharp, sharper than a scalpel and I cut my fingers frequently, however I would not stop!


My phone rang. I knew from the ring it was Masha but I could not stop to answer…


Flashback – Masha – In Fight


I tried to call Tatiana however she did not answer. Then the flight attendant came up to me and rudely ordered, "You are not to operate cell phones on this aircraft."


I wanted to give her a dose of the syrup I gave Jack but decided it might only accomplish getting Jack in more trouble. I held Jack's hand and questioned, "How do you feel?"


He grinned at me and declared, "I'm all fine, but I'm hungry as hell. Do we get any food on this flight?"


I shook my head and answered, "Jack, if we did get food on this flight, you would be even more sick if you ate it."


He could not stay still in his seat. I debated giving him more of the sleeping syrup but I didn't think I could carry his mass off the airplane by myself. I attempted to comfort him, "Jack my love, we will be there soon and I promise you once we find Ben, I will procure something for you to eat."


Then I wondered how I would keep this promise because the hospital food in Russia was not that much better than airplane food…


Tatiana (Masha's flight nurse) – in flight


We developed a system to treat the wounds. I would remove the shards and the flight surgeon was right behind me and applied compression bandages. Time was of the essence because we needed to turn him onto his back for the bandages to function. We were complete with the upper part of the back had just a few more to go. I took out one shard and OH NO! I caught the flight doctor's eyes and gave him a questioning look, I could tell he saw it too and the look in his eyes told me this was much worse than expected.


But still we would not give up. This brave man sacrificed his body to save almost 50 hostages…


We removed the last of the shards, carefully turned him onto his back and I silently prayed that God would help him because survival was in His hands now…


Flashback – Major M – Undisclosed base


I finished my report and was damn proud of myself. I determined I could let all the blame for this fall on Sgt. Reynolds' shoulders and I would get off Scott free. I closed the report and then… What the fuck! The damn report totally disappeared off my hard drive.


I searched for it and realized my computer hadn't been running correctly since I downloaded that damn fake picture of Britney Spears. That was one sick joke!


When I fired up my computer virus checker, my whole damn screen went blank then I read… What the fuck happened to my computer!!!


Flashback – Jens


There was no way in heck I was going to let Ben's nasty Major blame Bens' second best friend (I was his first but he didn't know it yet!) Jack for something that was obviously his fricken fault. Yes, if he had not sent my Ben there in the first place Ben would not have been hurt.


So I waited like until his report was done and then I simply deleted the file.


Ah, what the heck was he doing now? Oh goodie! He ran his virus checker and that meant his computer would crash and he would see, "MESS WITH THE BEST!!! DIE LIKE THE REST PERVERT!!!!"


Flashback – Major M – Undisclosed base


My pet Sgt. came into my office and stated, "Sir, I think you need to come and see this."


I complained, "God, can things get any worse in Russia?"


He responded, "Sir this isn't about Russia."


I walked into the control room and all the fucking screens said the same damn fucking thing my computer did, "MESS WITH THE BEST!!! DIE LIKE THE REST PERVERT!!!!"


Shit that damn virus followed all the network connections and we were dead in the water at a time when we needed intel the most…


The phone rang in my office. I gave momentary thanks to God that phones still worked until I looked and saw it was the Old Man… Please don't tell me…


Flashback – Masha – Landed


We landed and Jack went crazy. He jumped out of his seat and began to push the people out of his way to get off the plane. But if there's one thing you learn in Russia, it is to patiently stand in line and wait your turn. When he knocked one man down, the man jumped up, swore at him in Russian then made the mistake of trying to punch Jack. Jack ducked the punch then flattened the man. Everyone saw it so they quickly moved out of the way.


We ran to the front of the plane, headed down the steps and at the bottom I saw two men in dark coats waiting for us. I whispered in Jack's ear, "Jack my love those two men are FSB. Be very careful."


We reached the bottom of the stairs, they showed their badges and one ordered, "We need both of you to follow us. We heard you caused a disturbance on the plane."


I knew I needed to do something quickly so I stated, "This man is American and is the partner of the American that was wounded at Beslan."


The other agent questioned, "The one that saved many hostages?"


I replied, "Yes, this man is part of that team but he was sick in Moscow or he would have been here too."


The conferred for a minute while Jack fidgeted. Finally the first one looked at us and stated, "We will take you to the hospital where this other American is located. We know he died several times on the flight but was resuscitated. They give him less than a ten percent chance to live."


We dashed toward their waiting Volga1


1 Make of Russian automobiles that were traditionally used as taxi cabs and police interceptors.


Flashback – Ben – Junior High School


I hated school! Once again the other kids conspired against me to get me in trouble and once again I got my butt whipped. The principal never would listen to my side of the story since he automatically assumed that every time I entered his office I was guilty. This was America? Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?


I lay on my bed that night and started to think - there had to be something I could do to get back at the school. It had to be something big that would close the school for weeks if not forever… I couldn't come up with anything.


I got up the next morning, was eating breakfast and dad cackled at me, "Hey shitheadrella (sort of like Cinderella) go burn the fucking trash. And I don't want you blowing anything up this time." Yeah this was back when we still burnt trash and I loved to burn the trash. I jumped up from the table to run outside and he cackled again, "Shitheadrella don't forget our dishes."


I put the dishes in the sink and said, "I will wash them after I finish burning the trash."


I grabbed the matches, ran outside with to the trashcan, struck a match and threw it in the fire until it was going good. Then I ran and got all the old aerosol cans I'd been saving, threw them in the fire and moved away… It wasn't long until they blew the hell up, throwing trash and metal everywhere. Dad ran out on the porch with his gun and yelled, "Where's the fucking war."


I lied, "Sorry, I guess I missed some of the aerosol cans again."


He cussed me up one side and down the other but it was worth it - even though I knew I'd get beat for it. Hey this gave me an great idea!!!


Flashback – Major M – Undisclosed base


I picked up the phone and the Old Man yelled, "What the hell is wrong with all the damn computers."


I answered, "Sir! It appears we were compromised by a targeted attack."


He swore, "Dammit I want them fixed yesterday. Get the FBI, NSA and whichever else damn three letter branch of the government working on this yesterday!"


I replied, "Yes Sir! I will make sure we are up again as fast as possible and we will coordinate with whomever to make sure the perpetrator of this heinous act is caught."


He slammed the phone down and I heaved a sigh of relief. The one good thing about this attack was the Old Man's thoughts weren't on Russia…


Flashback – Masha – In hospital


We made it to the hospital in record time. The FSB agents took us to the waiting room outside surgery where I was surprised to see Tatiana. I noticed her hands looked like a mummy's hands they were covered with so many bandages.


I told Jack, "This is my friend Tatiana who was on the flight with Ben, wait here and I will determine his condition."


Jack complained, "Like hell I'll wait! I may not speak Russian but I do read people pretty damn well so I want to be with you when you talk to her."


Luckily he said it loud enough Tatiana heard, then I caught her eyes and knew she understood. We walked over and I questioned, "Tatiana, what happened to your hands?"


Jack watched us like a hawk as she told me how the body armor had shattered and cut Ben's back in hundreds of places and how she damaged her hands removing the shards."


I verified the information the FSB gave us even though I was sure it was correct. She did add some facts to which the FSB was not privy. Very troubling facts…


So far we had deceived Jack but the time was coming that we had to pay the flautist… I was not looking forward to my next conversation with Jack.


I pulled him to the side, while I noticed that Tatiana was more upset than I expected about this…


Flashback – Jack – In Hospital


Masha pulled me to the side and asked, "Jack please come sit beside me."


I didn't like the sound of her voice but I sat beside her and replied, "Look Masha, tell me what the fuck is going on."


The more she told me the sicker I felt! Shit! I should have been there for Banzai and I really let him down.


I looked at her and asked, "Is he going to make it?"


She hugged me and answered, "Jack they are only giving him a ten percent chance to live."


I pulled away, looked closely at her eyes and asked the next question, "Masha I can tell you're not telling me everything so spill it."


I watched her face as tears slowly came out of the corners of each eye and she told me everything and I was fucking floored!!!


I was still figuring out what to do when there was a hell of a hullabaloo in the waiting room and some doctors ran through. I looked at Masha and asked, "Don't tell me Banzai's gone."


Flashback – Ira and Mira – in Israel


The lights extinguished in the building and when the lights departed the rats exited their shelter to run amok. I quickly checked and determined there were no lights in the entire area. This was unendurable. I arose and ordered, "Mira, apply your equipment - we are departing."


There are two situations which we do not tolerate: Darkness we cannot control and the presence of rats. It is probably a learned response because Kostia detained us in many dark, rat infested rooms.


I agreed with Ira, "Yes we must depart now. Safia, now you must use your best street skills to help us locate a safer domicile."

As we began to leave, my e-mail chimed, I checked it and declared, "Sister we have the coordinates of a new house of safety."


I recited the coordinates to Safia and we slowly slipped into the darkened night.