Chapter 018

Together Chapter 018

Copyright 2014 - 2015 Banzai Ben and Amazing Anastasia


Flashback – Ben and Jack – preparing to leave for Ramadi


Well, we were between the proverbial rock and a hard place. Captain fucking M pulled a fast one with the MRI technicians to hide the injury to Jack's back (Jack was sure his back was fucked) and if Jack's injury was exposed he would most likely receive a medical discharge which wouldn't give him enough money to provide for himself and Masha.


I unstrapped Jack and began to help him off the gurney as Captain M said, "I'm going to go and arrange for our transportation to Ramadi. You two make sure you're ready when I get back."


I requested, "Captain, permission to get some medical supplies for my combat medical kit."


He glared at me and demanded, "You aren't a fucking medic so what the hell do you need to get?"


I smiled at him and lied, "I wanted to requisition more suture kits because you never know when you're going to get cut."


Jack added a huge amount of bullshit that I wasn't sure the Captain would swallow, "Yeah, Banzai does a damn fine job stitching people up. Hell, he took damn good care of the Spetsnaz troops in Russia when they played mumbley-peg."


I was surprised as hell when the Captain answered, "I think I remember hearing something about that. Yeah, go for it but don't take too long."


The Captain left, Jack looked at me and bragged…


I smiled at Banzai and bragged, "Baffled his ass with bullshit!"


Banzai scolded, "Hell Jack, I didn't think he would go for that lie."


Jack gave me a self-satisfied smile, blew on his fist, wiped it on his chest and stated, "That's because my boy, you didn't know that was one of the stories I told the Marines about our time in Russia. I knew it would get back to the fucking Captain. So what the hell are you really doing?"


Banzai looked at me in wonder and answered, "I'm going to trade my Pappy Van Winkle for some pain pills to take care of your back."


I asked, "Are you sure you can make that trade?"


Banzai grinned at me and said, "Hell yes I am! It's hard as hell to get Pappy Van Winkle in the states so over here it will be like gold to anyone who knows bourbon."


I was sad to see such great bourbon go, but was thankful Banzai was going to use it to help me…


Flashback – Captain M – arranging transportation to Ramadi


I had made it back to the MRI suite just in the nick of time. The MRI technician was about to bump Sgt. Reynolds' MRI up to the radiologist because the old fart had herniated disks in his lower back. If that happened they would have given the old fart medical discharge, the fucking boney bitch would have reported it to the Old Man and I would have been blamed for it and sent back to fucking Thule.


I knew I should have ordered one of the Sgts. to arrange for the travel to Ramadi, but I wanted to get the hell out of the hospital sooner rather than later and I figured either one of the Sgts. would do something to fuck up the travel plans. Yeah, sometimes if you wanted things done right, even if you are an officer, you did it your fucking self.


I walked into the travel office, noticed they were busy as hell but being the only officer in the room, I walked up to the head of the line, looked down at the Sgt. sitting at the desk and ordered, "Is that how you greet an officer? Two Sgts. and I need to get immediate transportation to Ramadi."


He jumped to his feet, stood at attention, saluted and apologized, "Sorry Sir! We don't get many officers in here."


I looked at his name and played my trump card, "Sgt. Thompson, I was talking with Colonel Jones earlier today and I think he might be interested to know how I've been treated."


I could see the beads of sweat begin to form on his forehead while I continued, "However, if you get me transportation in the next few hours, I will be gone and can't have that conversation with him."


Sgt. Thompson requested, "Sir, might I sit down to find you transportation to Ramadi?"


I gave him permission, he sat down and began to search through his schedules like his life depended on it - which it practically did.


He had a pained look on his face when he looked up at me and said, "Sir, because of the action in Ramadi, the only thing we have headed there for the next three days are supply convoys. If I pulled some strings I could get you and the two Sgts. transported in an additional Humvee as a support vehicle."


I couldn't believe they didn't have any choppers headed toward Ramadi so I countered, "Sgt. Thompson are you sure there are no choppers headed to Ramadi?"


He looked exasperated and answered, "Sir, the only choppers coming in and out of Ramadi would be medical evac choppers and unfortunately they are not coordinated through this office. You would need to talk to Colonel Jones to catch a flight on one of them."


I knew I had tapped this REMF for all I could and after my last talk with Colonel Jones I sure as hell didn't want to talk to him again. I smiled at Sgt. Thompson and replied, "The extra Humvee will work as long as it's armored and we have your best driver."


He began to scramble and answered, "Yes Sir! You need to be at the motor pool at 1600. You will have our best driver, do you need a gunner?"


I remembered how well Sgt. Blaine did in the ambulance and said, "No, one of the Sgts. is a hell of a gunner, just make sure he has a Ma Deuce and as much ammo as we can carry." Then I remembered and continued, "…don't forget the fucking hearing protectors for him."


Sgt. Thompson practically stumbled over himself and replied, "Yes Sir! I will make sure all of you have hearing protectors."


I thought for a moment about asking Sgt. Thompson why we would all need hearing protectors, but dismissed it and headed back to the two Sgts…


Flashback – Jack and Ben – preparing to leave for Ramadi


Banzai left with the three (that's right three) bottles of Pappy Van Winkle out of his foot locker concealed in a plastic bag. I was pissed as hell about the Captain fucking things up like this. I began to move and grimaced some so the other Marines from the flight who were still waiting for their MRIs asked, "Jack what the hell is wrong with you… you still look like you're in pain… what the fuck are they going to do for you?"


I put on a sorry assed face and answered, "I sure as hell hope none of you experience what I've experienced. Somehow Captain fucking M talked the MRI technician into changing my results. Yeah, my back is seriously fucked up but the MRI technician released me back into full duty."


One of the Marines asked, "Do you want me to kill the fuckers for you?"


I briefly considered it… If Captain fucking M was gone and the MRI technician was gone things would… No, then I would get a medical discharge and Masha and I would be totally fucked.


I said (with just a little deception), "Thanks guys for the support, but remember my Russian wife Masha that I told all of you about? Well, if the old man knew about my back, then he would force me into a medical discharge and if that happened I wouldn't have enough money to support the two and soon to be three of us. No, with Banzai's help I'm going to suck this up because pain is fear leaving the body."


That elicited a chorus of Hoooorahhhsss from the Marines.


Banzai returned and had a hell of a big plastic bag with him…


I was shocked at the trade I made for the three bottles of Pappy Van Winkle! Hell, if I had known what it was worth in this fucking country I would have brought a whole damn suitcase full of Pappy! Jack and I could have walked out of here owning the whole damn country!


Jack saw me and quietly asked, "It looks like you had some luck?"


I smiled at him and said, "Fuck yeah, you aren't going to have to worry about medicine for your back while we're here."


Then I laughed and continued, "Hell Jack, they got in a bidding war for the Pappy."


He laughed and said, "Well how about giving me something now because I feel like shit."


I reached into the bag, pulled out an OxyContin and a muscle relaxer, handed them to him and cautioned, "These might kick your ass."


Jack laughed and said, "I have taken the best and I doubt I will even feel it." He popped the pills into his mouth and swallowed them without water. I began to hide the hell out of the other drugs in our foot lockers. The last thing I needed was for the Captain to find these drugs.


Speak of the fucking devil, he walked up right as I finished…


Flashback – Captain M – heading to the motor pool


When I arrived back at the MRI room, the other Marines who waited for their MRIs glared at me so I figured something had happened while I was gone but I didn't need to deal with their bullshit. What I did need to do was get our shit to the motor pool, get it loaded into the Humvee and then leave with the convoy.


I ordered, "We need to haul our asses to the motor pool. We're taking a Humvee to Ramadi at 1600."


Sgt. Reynolds complained, "What! You couldn't get a chopper?"


I went to get in Sgt. Reynolds face when Sgt. Blaine stepped in between us, shuffled Sgt. Reynolds to the side and apologized, "Sorry Sir for Jack, they gave him some more pain medication and he's not himself."


I observed the other Marines. If looks could kill I'd be dead already so I decided to forgo another physical conflict with Sgt. Blaine. Sgt. Blaine began to stack our footlockers on the gurney, set his rifle case on top and we headed toward the motor pool.


Flashback – Masha – child care


I made sure my house was spotless, not that it wasn't already clean but I wanted a comfortable place to take care of Louise's baby. Because I was not sure of the age of her baby, I also made sure to 'child proof' the house by putting all the cleaners and dangerous things in one of the high cabinets in the kitchen. I awakened extra early, did my exercises and yoga stretches, and had a light breakfast. I then cleaned up and dressed in a nice pants suit for today. Then I began to anxiously wait for Louise.


Slightly before six she drove up to my house in a vehicle which looked worse than many of the vehicles in Russia. It smoked, the doors rattled and it made a terrible noise. I walked to the front door, opened it and waved. Louise waved back, exited the car, went to the back doors, opened them and withdrew the most beautiful baby girl out of a car seat. I walked to the car and said, "She is so beautiful, what is her name?"


Louise smiled and agreed, "Yes she is beautiful and her name is Linda."


I continued, "May I help you with anything?"


Louise asked, "That would be great. Could you bring the big bag off the back seat since it's full of baby food and diapers? Oh, and I brought her stroller just in case you would like to take her for a walk."


I took the bag off the back seat which seemed to contain too much for just one day, however I didn't question Louise about it. I asked, "Where is the stroller?"


Louise answered, "I will get it out of the trunk, but let's get Linda into the house first."


We walked into the house and Louise saw the cabinet full of my Russian 'treasures' and remarked, "Wow, you have a great house, are all those plates from Russia?"


I blushed slightly and replied, "Yes, I brought them with me when I moved here."


I showed her the rest of the house, we went into the spare bedroom and I stated, "And this will be Linda's room. I am sorry I do not have a baby bed for her but if she continues to come here I will purchase one for her."


Louise looked at a few things I had scattered around the room and questioned, "Where did you get the dolls and toys?"


I smiled and answered, "A few of them were mine when I was a little girl in Russia, but I found a store on the way home from the Market yesterday and purchased the rest for her to play with."


Louise kissed Linda, handed her to me and said, "Feel free to call me if you have any problems at all."


I walked Louise to the front door, helped Linda wave goodbye to Louise and then I was alone with Linda…


Flashback – Jennifer and Glen – trying to solve a huge problem


Before I went to sleep last night, I searched like crazy for mother's hidden stash of drugs she was using against us but was surprised when I didn't find them in any of her 'normal' hiding places. Rats! She must have come up with some new hiding places.


Early the next morning I was having a great dream about Ben, he was just getting ready to…


My door was thrown open and mother yelled, "Rise and shine sleepyhead, it's time to weigh you."


I jumped about ten feet into the air and complained, "Mother, one of these days I'm going to die of a heart attack when you startle me like that."


Mother replied, "Jennifer I doubt that, now come on and stop stalling."


I climbed out of my nice warm bed, marched into the bathroom with mother following and I complained, "Mooother! I need to use the toilet first."


She stepped outside of the bathroom, I closed the door and did my morning business. The minute I flushed mother came in and demanded, "Okay my ballerina, get on the scale to see how much you weigh today."


I sleepily stepped on the scale, mother shrieked and scared the heck out of me, "Jennifer! Look at all the weight you've gained! We need to put you on a serious diet."


I grumpily answered, "Okay mother, but first I'm going back to sleep."


Mother countered, "Oh no you're not young lady! Here put this on and dance until you lose all the weight you've gained." She handed me one of those crazy plastic workout suits which are supposed to make you sweat.


I asked, "Well, will you at least leave the room while I change?"


Mother laughed, "No I will not. I want to see where my ballerina put on all those extra pounds."


It was embarrassing changing in front of mother but there was no way to convince her differently.


I asked, "May I have some coffee and breakfast first?"


Mother laughed, "Coffee yes, but because of your weight gain, you're only getting a hardboiled egg for breakfast and then only if you've lost the weight you already gained."


I never dreamed how bad things were going to be, but then things got even worse…


Flashback – Alexi – At the laboratory


Chow Mein continued to annoy me and I decided it was time to see what some of the blue pills would do to her. They always gave me the blue pills at night before bedtime. I took two of them, mixed them into her food and served them to her. She gobbled up her food, then went to her litter box and I was shocked when she fell asleep while using the litter box.


The blue pills might be the needed salvation from Chow Mein. With her asleep I could work without her becoming an annoyance…


Flashback – Ira and Mira – back in Kazakhstan


I formulated a superior plan, looked at my sister Mira and elucidated, "Mira, when this pullet conveyance halts, we are going to implement my plan. We will forcibly acquire the conveyance of pullets and use it to render our escape."


Mira questioned, "Ira, how do you propose we forcibly procure the conveyance of pullets?"


I smiled and answered, "The operators are merely males so we will feign interest in them. When they are sufficiently distracted we will terminate both of them."


Mira continued her questions, "And which one of us will operate this conveyance of pullets?"


I answered, "You or me, it matters not. The goal is to vacate the area for a slight passage of time and then return."


Mira blinked and questioned, "Return? For what purpose?"


I menacingly grinned and supplied a one word answer, "Retribution."


Flashback – Todd – On the mission


It was cold as hell at this altitude since this was a HAHO1 jump - that's why I had the oxygen. My chute popped open after a short freefall of 30 seconds, I looked at the GPS unit strapped to my chest and began the long as hell glide toward the landing zone.


1 HAHO – High Altitude High Opening jump used for insertion into countries which have substantial anti-aircraft capability.


As I crossed into hostile territory, the GPS beeped a warning. Now there was no going back…