Chapter 024

Together Chapter 024

Copyright 2014 - 2015 Banzai Ben and Amazing Anastasia


Flashback – Ben and Jack – The trip to hell… Ramadi


With the way this Humvee jockeyed around, I needed to do something to stabilize Captain M to keep his back from being further damaged (I was already highly concerned about Jack moving him out of the destroyed Humvee). I began to pack Ma Deuce ammo cans around him to keep him from moving when he woke up and asked, "Where the fuck are we and what the hell are you doing?"


I answered, "We're in the back of a different Humvee and I'm packing these ammo cans around you to immobilize you. How do you feel?"


Captain M complained, "I feel like hell - like a ton of shit fell on me."


I cautiously continued, "Can you feel your legs?"


It took a second then he said, "Fuck no I can't feel anything! Why didn't you follow my orders and leave me in our Humvee."


The driver of the new Humvee yelled an answer, "Sir, apparently you don't remember what the fuckers did to the last soldiers they captured in Fallujah. They tortured them to death, then dragged the bodies through the street and finally hung the bodies from one of the overpasses."


I asked the driver, "The Captain needs more medical care than I can provide, how long until we reach Ramadi?"


The driver answered, "If we don't have to stop to deal with anymore injured, about an hour."


I had an idea so I asked, "Is there any chance we could get a medivac for the Captain?"


The driver responded, "Well for that to happen, we would have to stop and it's going to be hell from here to Ramadi so if we stop for a medivac there's a pretty good chance we all die."


I made the Captain as comfortable as I could. I turned, looked at Jack and sure as hell didn't like what I saw…


Banzai had his hands full with the Captain so I didn't want to be a bother. He finally looked at me and asked, "Jack, what the hell is wrong with you?"


I faked a smile and answered, "My back is bothering me a little."


Banzai came over beside me, looked me in the eyes and whispered, "Like hell it's bothering you a little bit! You're diaphoretic (sweating profusely) from the pain, now where are the pain pills I gave you earlier?"


 I pointed to the Captain and whispered an answer, "I gave the bottle to the Captain. He took two of them but didn't return the bottle."


Banzai swore under his breath, "Jack, that bottle didn't have your name on it. If they find it on the Captain…"


I interrupted, "…If they find it on the Captain they will assume they are his."


Banzai smiled and responded, "Jack, that was quick thinking. Now I'm going to get some more pills for you."


I shook my head, "Banzai, there's no way in hell I'm taking anything right now because the last pills I took knocked me for a loop and I need all my wits about me if we're going to survive. Now stop being a fucking mother hen and take care of the Captain. He needs you more than I do."


Banzai left me alone, moved back beside the Captain and I watched as he searched for the bottle of pills…


I began to search for Jack's bottle of pills which he gave to the Captain and finally found it. I tossed it to Jack, he caught it but the old fucker refused to take anything.


The Captain began to moan and complained, "I hurt like hell! Can't you give me something for the pain?"


I grabbed my UOP1, found two of what I was looking for, jabbed one of the doses of morphine into the Captain's leg and then slipped over and nailed Jack with the second dose.


1 Unit One Pack – a basic combat medic's backpack.


Jack swore up a blue storm, "What the fuck did you do that for?"


I smiled at Jack and answered, "You needed that because in the shape you are in you couldn't fight anyway. So, take it easy until you feel better."


Jack continued with his complaints, "I'm going to kick your ass when we get out of here."


I was going to respond, when the gunner fell into the Humvee, bleeding from multiple wounds and looked like death warmed over. I ordered Jack, "Take care of him; try to stop the bleeding with pressure dressings from the UOP. I'm going to take over as the gunner."


Having learned my lesson from our previous trip, I slipped the hearing protectors off the injured gunner and climbed up into the turret. I wished like hell I had time to replace the already damaged layer of my ceramic body armor plates.


The driver was certainly correct: There were more towelheads than the Captain had complaints. I began firing Ma Deuce and then ran into a huge issue. The injured gunner had fired so many rounds through this Ma Deuce that the barrel was shot out. I ducked back into the Humvee and the driver complained, "What the hell are you doing? Get back on the gun before we all die!"


I scrambled toward the back of the Humvee and the Ma Deuce I took from our Humvee and yelled, "This Ma Deuce is toast, the barrel is shot out."


I had to move the dead driver from our Humvee out of the way because he was on top of my Ma Deuce. I grabbed it and scrambled back to the gun station. As I raised up some fucking towelhead got lucky and grazed my helmet so I pulled up my 1911 and emptied it into the fucker.


Then I pulled the pin holding the Ma Deuce to the mount, dropped it inside the Humvee, wrangled my Ma Deuce up and into position when – son of a bitch, it happened again! Another round glanced off my helmet and made my ears ring. I jammed another mag home into my 1911 and fired like crazy to keep the fuckers off me.


With my Ma Deuce finally in place, I racked the action and began to give them hell.


Flashback – Masha – child care


I had a terrible night last night! I foolishly let my emotions get the best of me and became sad, depressed and despondent. This life was not the life I dreamed it would be: It wasn't a dream it was a nightmare. My Jack was deployed to Iraq, headed to the very dangerous Ramadi and I hadn't received a single call from him. I had no friends in America as I had in Russia other than Louise and Michal and I'm not sure I would call them friends. I was as alone as a little lost ship on the sea of despair just trying to find my way to a friendly port.


But soon, Louise and Linda would be here, then I would have something to occupy my time. I needed someone to take care of all day and as Louise had asked yesterday, I would push Linda in her stroller to the market.


I was anxiously waiting for Louise's arrival and today she even arrived earlier than before. I opened the door, smiled a real smile and waved. Louise returned the wave as I worked my way toward her car, which sounded worse than it did yesterday.


Louise complained, "This piece of junk car already died three times today! I almost didn't make it here this morning."


My throat tightened with the possible fear that one day Louise's car would not make it to the house and would strand her and Linda somewhere beside the road. I had to do something so I suggested, "Louise, we have a car that you could borrow."


Louise answered, "Masha, you are already doing so much for me, I wouldn't feel right borrowing your car."


I firmly insisted, "Louise, do not be stubborn. I cannot drive here because I do not yet have a driver's license so the car is just sitting in the garage. If your car broke down it could strand you and Linda beside the road."


Louise thinks for a few moments then agrees, "Masha, I didn't think about that but you are correct. Are you sure it wouldn't bother you or your husband."


I was confronted by one of my main problems. I should really ask Jack about it first, however he wasn't here and I had no way to contact him.


I made up my mind, "Louise, I am sure it will be fine. Let's get Linda into the house and then you can move your car by the curb because we will need the driveway to remove our car from the garage."


We brought Linda into the house, I made her comfortable in her room on a blanket while Louise moved her car (which again barely started). I retrieved the keys for Jack's car, opened the garage, handed the keys to Louise and she said, "Thank you so much again Masha. I will take very good care of your car."


I watched as she left then since I had responsibilities, I went in the house and played with Linda...


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


I decided that I sure as heck didn't want to be home tonight when Daddy brought home the new maid. Even though I wasn't really old enough yet to qualify as anything except a wiseass, I was still smart enough to understand that there would be some drama. The problem became where would I go? Then I came up with a great idea that mother and Daddy couldn't complain about. I wrote them a note, left it on the kitchen counter and packed my backpack with the items I would need (and some food just in case). I went to the bathroom one more time, hopped on my bike and headed out.


It was a short ride to the ballet school - yes that right, I decided the ballet school would be better than putting up with all the drama which was going to occur at home. I got to the school, brought my bike inside and put the chain lock on it. Olga saw me and asked, "Jennifer, what are you doing here since today is not your lesson day?"


I answered, "Olga, mother is concerned that I'm gaining weight and I wanted you to assess my conditioning."


Olga said, "Yes, your mother can sometimes be a problem. Why don't you get into your tights and we will weigh you and I will perform an evaluation."


I thought to myself mother’s problem creation capability is not just sometimes, it's usually all the time. And today I was sure it would start World War III.


I got changed, came out to the dance floor where Olga weighed me and said, "Jennifer, your weight is fine. You are still growing so it is normal to gain some weight. You have no stomach, your legs are very shapely and your arms are firm. I will write a note for your mother."


She began to write the note, the door to the ballet school opened and I was shocked...


Flashback – Alexi – At the laboratory


I was in my new room, it was late at night and I was reading a book with my flashlight when they returned Chow Mein. I had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing because in addition to how they shaved my head, they shaved all the hair off her. The psychologist apologized, "Sorry Alexi about having to shave Chow Mein, but the veterinarian felt that her hair might harbor something potentially infectious."


He sat her on the floor but she immediately jumped onto my new bed, crawled beside me and shivered because she was cold. I shined my flashlight at her but she saw the light move across the bed and began to chase it. I moved it off the bed and to the floor but she didn't see it move because I moved it too quickly. So I moved it back on the bed, slowly back to the floor and she gladly chased it.


The psychologist commented, "It looks like you have a new game to play with Chow Mein."


I smiled at him and answered, "Yes, I think this game will be very much fun and good exercise for Chow Mein." However, I knew I had discovered yet one more way to torment Chow Mein and this method was with the blessing of the psychologist.


I tried running the beam of light up the wall and Chow Mein jumped up in the air and tried to catch it. I turned off the flashlight and Chow Mein looked around the room and yowled because she couldn't find her adversary. Now I needed to come up with some way of automating the flashlight so Chow Mein would be busy and I would be able to read and do other things.


I looked up to the ceiling and conceived a great idea: I would hook a string to my ceiling fan, tie the flashlight to it and turn the fan on a slow speed.


I found an old shoelace which I saved, moved my chair under the ceiling fan, tied the string to the end of the fan, tied the flashlight to the string and turned on the flashlight. I moved my chair back to my desk, turned the fan to low and laughed as Chow Mein began to run in circles and chase the flashlight beam.


Flashback – Ira and Mira – back in Kazakhstan


With the approach of another conveyance, time was of the essence. I shouted to Mira, "Search for any expedient field weapons - haste of post."


Mira quickly replied, "The pullet passenger had two knifes, one in each boot. I will provide you with one."


I found something of use and added, "Here is an iron of tire."


Mira came up with a long metal rod and said, "This also should do nicely."


Then she stated, "Ira, the other conveyance has terminated its movement, therefore we must depart."


I decided to perform one more act: Petrol was pouring out of the damaged pullet conveyance so I soaked a piece of cloth in the petrol, moved it up to the cigarette lighter, placed it under the lighter socket and pressed it in to activate the heating coil.


I looked at Mira and announced, "We must vacate this area haste of post."


We headed down the slope, toward a small stream…


Flashback – Todd – On the mission


I worked my way closer to the enemy soldiers and heard them complain that I was late. This confirmed that the leak was from the Company and was severe. It also served to thoroughly piss me off! Someone inside the Company had sent me here and assumed I would be killed. But I wasn't the one dying tonight.


I nocked my bow, waited for a cigarette to expose a face and silently put an arrow between his eyes. I nocked my bow and prepared for the second one. After they discovered the second sudden death I pulled up my rifle and began firing at the locations I had memorized…