Chapter 025

Together Chapter 025

Copyright 2014 - 2015 Banzai Ben and Amazing Anastasia


Present – Thom and Inga – wrapping up the campsite


Everyone has left, the rangers were the last group, but Inga still grins at me so I ask, "What the hell is the Cheshire cat impersonation for?"


Inga points and suggests, "It looks like the newlyweds forgot their camping gear and tents, I was just thinking that…"


I nip her crazy idea in the bud, "… Inga, there's no way that's ever going to happen."


Inga's grin turns into a pout and she suggests, "Thom, I have been more than patient with you and yet you foolishly resist all my advances. I'm beginning to wonder if you are gay!"


I get pissed at the insinuation and angrily reply, "Inga, I'm not fucking gay…"


Inga interrupts, "… Oh really? It's the only plausible excuse that I can think of."


I spout, "Well you'd better think again!"


She begins to cry and says, "Thom, I am a woman and I do have needs. I guess if you won't fulfill those needs I will need to find someone else."


Shit! I hate crying women because I don't know what to do so I fall back on my training and command, "We need to catch the last chopper out of here and hightail it back to Leadville."


Inga snidely snaps, "Yes Sir! I will pack up the newlyweds camping gear first. Sir!"


She's still crying as she leaves and begins to tear down the tents. I feel like shit!


Present – Jack, Masha and the children – On the C-130


Being back on a C-130 brings back many fond memories of when I was still in the Corps. I loved the hell out of these birds (well other than the noise and the uncomfortable seats) and this one had been worked over very nicely. Yeah, they beat the hell out of Blackhawks: Those choppers were practically flying death traps. And don't get me going on the MV-22 Osprey - the command loved those fuckers, but they crashed too often for my liking.


I look over at Masha; she smiles at me and says…


I can tell from his quiet disposition and the faraway look in his eyes that my Jack is thinking about his experiences in the Marines. Probably reliving the 'glory' of his past and ignoring the reality of the price which we his family paid. I clear my voice, place my hand on his and ask, "Jack you seem so distant right now?"


He replies, "Sorry Masha, being back on a C-130 reminds of my times in the Marines." He takes a short pause then continues with something that makes me very happy, "Those might have been the 'good old days' but they don't hold a candle to the life we now have together."


I squeeze his hand and affirm, "Yes Jack, life is different than then; now you have a family that loves you while then you only had Ben."


Jack smiles and says, "Yeah, Banzai really took good care of both of us. Remember the time he…"


I interrupt, "… Yes Jack, I remember all the ways that Ben has helped us through the years; we couldn't have a more loyal friend. But I wonder Jack, why do you still persist in calling him 'Banzai'?"


Jack smiles at me and explains, "Masha, I do it as an honor to him. He was the most Banzai like warrior I have ever known and still is. Look at how he kicked the greenie's asses on his property."


Then he waves his hand toward Ivan and says, "It's just a shame he will never know the joy of fatherhood."


Jack had told me of the injuries Ben suffered during his extreme capture ordeal so I didn't need to ask him. I want to leave the conversation on a happy note so I say, "But Jack, he's going to make the best Uncle our children could ever have."


Jack smiles and agrees, "Yes Masha, look at all he's already done for Ivan."


We hear a howling noise so I look at Jack and ask, "Did one of the wolves sneak on the plane with us?"


Jack answers, "I don't think so, especially since that sounded more like a dog."


I look at Ivan and see he's blowing the little silver whistle Destiny gave him. At each whistle Sharik runs up and looks at Ivan while Ivan blows the whistle again. Finally Sharik lies on the deck, howls and covers his ears with his front paws.


I tell Ivan, "I don't think that Sharik likes the whistle."


Jack provides additional information, "Ivan, it's probably hurting his ears because we're inside the airplane. Why were you blowing it anyway?"


Ivan smiles and says, "I am boreding and want Destiny wolf lady to come so I could play."


I smile at Ivan and say, "Ivan, Destiny stayed at the campsite so she couldn't come this time when you blew the whistle. But Sharik is your friend and you like to play with him."


Ivan smiles and asks, "Mommy, can I get up to play with Sharik?"


I look at Jack, he smiles and nods so I answer, "Yes, you may as long as you don't keep blowing the whistle which hurts Sharik's ears."


Ivan unfastens his seatbelt, quickly jumps up, salutes and says, "Thank you General Mommy and Captain Papa." Then he runs down the center aisle of the plane with Sharik chasing him.


I giggle and Jack complains, "Yeah, it's too bad that Banzai can't have any children since I would love to get even for that particular dirty trick."


I yawn and answer, "Well, I'm going to take a little nap, can you take care of Veronika?"


Jack takes his daughter and I partake of a well-deserved rest…


Present – Thom and Inga – wrapping up the campsite


After making Inga cry I feel like shit so I move to help her tear down Ben's campsite. She's still crying as she crawls out of one of the tents where she has changed back into her BDUs. I get close and Inga commands, "Thom, do not bother trying to help me tear down the tents. I have always done all the work in our partnership because we were friends."


I begin to open my mouth but Inga looks at me and orders, "Thom stifle it! I am tired of hearing all your bullshit lies! Now why don't you do something like a typical man of your age should do - go crawl up on a picnic table and take a nap?"


I begin to fight the accusation, open my mouth and Inga begins to loudly sing - so loudly she can't hear me, "The thrill is gone! The thrill is gone away…"


Shit! I guess I've screwed the pooch on this one.


Inga finishes, loads the camping gear into the final TSIFFTS chopper, we put on our headsets and we leave. I try to take the seat next to her but she moves away from me.


When I begin to say something into my headset, she reaches over and unplugs her headset.


Yeah, I seriously fucked up this time and suddenly get a sense of what I might have lost. I wonder what in the hell I can do to fix it…


Present – Samantha and Stacy – in Leadville.


Stacy is being too much of a mother hen about me wanting to do a report on Evelyn and Megan's bodies so I look at her and ask, "Stacy, you once said that if Liz ever fired me you would start your own network and hire me. Is that offer still valid?"


Stacy smiles at me and immediately answers, "Sam, of course the offer is still valid, even though I have no idea how to create a network. I’m sure if we put our heads together we can pull it off."


Bill the cameraman asks, "Excuse me Ms. Summers, does that offer apply to us?"


Stacy looks at him and answers, "Well, I can't have a network without camera operators so yes I guess it does."


She then pauses and laughs, "But only if you call me Stacy since Ms. Summers was my Grandmamma."


We arrive at Stacy's building in Leadville, her bodyguard Bill escorts us inside and says, "I figure we have about an hour before we have to move the bodies."


Stacy asks…


Bill says something I don't understand so I ask for clarification, "Bill, I thought we were going to leave the bodies here."


Bill answers, "Sorry Ms. Summers, but I have heard from my sources that they already figured out I took the bodies. If we keep them here, they will certainly find them."


I continue to ask, "So what are your plans for the bodies?"


Bill smiles and answers, "Ms. it's better if you don't know because then you have plausible deniability."


Bill opens up one of the cooling units, and says, "This smaller one is the one we believe to be Megan."


He holds up a sheaf of papers and continues, "This is an independent medical examination that details the abuse to the body."


I move over, see the corpse and wished I never had looked! Someone very sick did unmentionable things to the body. Unfortunately, they don't make an eye bleach to remove things which you wished you never had seen from your mind.


Bill cautions, "Ms. you're not looking too well - I would recommend you don't read the report right now."


He leads me to one of the table and helps me to sit down. Then he motions to one of the other men and orders him to bring us some water.


Samantha takes the report, begins to read it then says, "Is the doctor sure about everything contained in this report?"


Bill answers, "Yes Ms. he was very sure, you can even see he signed his name to the bottom of the report and said he would be available as an expert witness if there is a trial."


Bill opens the other cooling unit and says, "We feel from the size, this one is Evelyn Donaldson. We will know better when the DNA and toxicology reports come back."


I question, "Did you feel we needed to have toxicology reports done?"


Bill answers, "No Ms. the doctor insisted. There were needle marks on Evelyn's arms so he was sure that she was on some sort of medication, possibly an illicit drug."


My drunken foolishness earlier today is catching up with me and in addition the smell in this room is wretched! I look at Samantha and say, "Sam, I'm not feeling well so I’m going to go lie down."


Samantha comes over, takes my hand and says, "Stacy, thank you for everything you've done for me. I would love to take care of you, but if we only have an hour to complete our report, we are barely going to have enough time. You go rest and I will be up later after I clean the smell off me."


Bill helps me into our living quarters, tucks me into bed (which reminds me of my Grandmamma) turns out the light and I fall immediately to sleep.


Present – Mira, Ira and Safia – on the hunt


Safia's plan of eliminating Zarika could cause problems with our mission so I caution her, "Safia, I am not sure it is wise to terminate Zarika. To do that would assuredly incur the wrath of my Ben."


Safia laughs and challenges, "Mira, I assumed that you would be pleased to have one fewer of Ben's lovers to contend with."


I counter, "Safia, my Ben informed me he never performed coitus with either of the terrible teenagers."


Safia laughs and causes me intense concern when she speaks with intense sarcasm, "Miranda! Don't tell me you really believe that your Ben traveled alone with both Zarika and Yasmeen and never once had sex with either of them! He is a virile man and they were willing participants. Ira please enlighten your sister."


I look to my sister Ira in hopes that she will counter the terrible accusations but I can tell from her eyes that she also believes the veracity of Safia’s statements.


I wait and Ira finally says…


"My sister Mira, I hate burst your balloon but there is validity in Safia's analysis. I have often wondered how he was able to resist succumbing to the typical male carnal temptations."


Mira slumps to the ground and cries, "No it cannot be! My Ben resisted all my advances…"


I hate to cause my sister further anguish. However, she needs to remove her cranial carapace her alimentary canal so I state, "And my sister Mira, I hate to say this but your Ben is now betrothed to Jennifer Donaldson."


Mira begins to cry in earnest, looks up at me and informs us of her plans, "Then I will terminate all of them."


Safia says…


"Now you're talking! Let's find both of the teenage bitches and make them pay."


Mira looks at me and then says something I can't believe…


Present – Yasmeen and Zarika – on the run


Yasmeen tells me her plan, I look at her and say, "Yasmeen that is pure evil. How do you ever come up with these plans?"


Yasmeen answers, "Zarika, we have both had many evils inflicted on us. I am tired of receiving only and I want payback."


Present – Liz and Bernie – Trip to Leadville


Sometimes being 'out of touch' has its advantages. We turned off our mobile phones for the flight to Leadville and had a great time making plans about our house in Leadville. We land at the airport, I turn on my phone and see I have fifteen missed calls from – I don't fucking believe it…