Chapter 030

Together Chapter 030

Copyright 2014 - 2015 Banzai Ben and Amazing Anastasia

 

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

 

The Corporal took us to our room and I was shocked that we had a real room, not a cot in the barracks! I made a mental note to thank Colonel Maggie when I got the chance. We walked into the room and I saw the cases of ammo I brought for my new rifle. As we stowed our footlockers I asked, "Corporal, where are the showers?"

 

He replied, "Sirs, if you get your towels and change of clothes I will show you where the showers are."

 

Jack must have been feeling better because he complained, "Don't call us Sirs! We work for a living."

 

The Corporal stuttered, "Sorry Sir… Sgts."

 

I blew it off with an insult, "Don't worry about it - my spotter Jack is a little cranky when he doesn't get his nap."

 

Jack swore, "Banzai, you sorry assed young pup. Keep it up and I will kick your ass."

 

The Corporal laughed and I countered, "See what I mean?"

 

Thank God Jack only grumbled under his breath this time.

 

We popped our footlockers, I grabbed a few critical items and asked, "Corporal, will you help me with this?"

 

We went to the door and the Corporal helped me install a huge hasp set on the door and wall. On my way back to the footlocker Jack complained, "It's about time and I sure hope you have more than one key for that fucking padlock."

 

I could tell from Jack's attitude that he was hurting so I looked at the Corporal and asked, "How about coming back in a few minutes to take us to the showers."

 

The Corporal left the room, I glared at Jack and he said…

 

Banzai got rid of the Corporal and as soon as he left I looked at Banzai as he glared at me and I said, "Sorry Banzai, but my back really hurts right now."

 

His glare turned to a smile and he replied, "Well, with the disc damage it's not going to get much better, so what are we going to do about it?"

 

I swore, "The hell if I know!"

 

Banzai suggested, "Okay, how about we get you a pain pill, a hot shower and then I will teach you to do some mild stretches for your back."

 

I glared at Banzai and complained, "Don't tell me you're going to have me doing the same shit that I see you doing all the time. Hell, you look like a dog every time you get up from sitting."

 

I felt a little bad when Banzai didn't even retaliate but smiled and answered, "That's right Jack, I've been fighting you for years to begin to do some stretching and by God you're going to do it now."

 

I defensively argued, "And what if I refuse to listen to you?"

 

Banzai gave me one of his patented shit eating grins and answered, "Then I tell Colonel Maggie what happened in Baghdad with Captain M and the MRI technician and tell her how bad your pain has been. She will send your ass back to Baghdad for another MRI, they will discover the truth this time and you will get a medical discharge."

 

Hell, Banzai had me over a barrel! Then I came up with an idea: I could probably do a half-assed job at the fucking stretches and keep him happy so I relented, "Damn it Banzai, you have me over a barrel and know it so I guess I don't have a choice."

 

Banzai then shot down my plan when he laughed and said, "Jack, that was too fucking easy and I've known you too long. So don't think you're going to get by doing some half-assed job. You're going to either work your ass off on this or you're going back to Baghdad."

 

I decided to play 'my ace in the hole' so I slapped it on the table, "What about the fucking Syrian sniper Mustafa? Don't tell me you'd go up against him with a new spotter?"

 

Banzai laughed and then trumped my 'ace in the hole', "Good try Jack, but your health is more important to me than having to break in a new spotter."

 

He handed me two pills and said, "The smaller of the two is a pain pill and the larger is a muscle relaxant. Take them both and then let's go get a shower. I have about a month of stink to get off of me."

 

I took the pills, swallowed them without water and added a normal for me insult, "Hell, I would say it's more like two months of stink!"

 

The Corporal knocked on the door to let us know he was back. We left the room after Banzai put a big assed lock on the hasp he installed on the door. He handed me a key and said, "I only have the two keys so don't fucking lose this."

 

I sarcastically mimicked, "Don't fucking lose this – when the hell have I lost anything you've given me?"

 

Banzai laughed and replied…

 

Hell, Jack had a bad as hell habit of losing everything! He'd lost countless keys for the rooms we'd had in the past, even more keys for the locks on his footlockers (I was tired of picking the footlocker locks so I now had a spare set of keys for his footlocker). He didn't know it but I had ten extra keys for the room and hoped like hell they'd last until the deployment was over - hell he'd lose his head if it wasn't attached. I didn't want to get into it with Jack because I knew it would only make his pain worse so I simply answered, "Jack, don't get me started on this or we will never get a shower."

 

The Corporal asked, "Sgts., do you mind if I ask you some questions?"

 

Jack snapped at the Corporal, "Wasn't that just a question?"

 

I replied, "Again, ignore my spotter. Sure, what are your questions?"

 

The Corporal asked, "Are you two worried about the bounty on your heads?"

 

Surprised, I asked, "What bounty?"

 

Jack interrupted, "Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the towelheads knew we were coming and put a bounty on our heads."

 

The Corporal gave further information, "That's right, it's ten-thousand US dollars for Sgt. Blaine and five-thousand US dollars for Sgt. Reynolds."

 

Jack laughed (which meant the pain pill was starting to work so he felt better) and said, "Well, that shows you how fucking little the stupid towelheads know. My bounty should have been just as high as Banzai's."

 

I ignored Jack's comment and answered, "Hell, it's not the first time this has happened and it sure won't be the last. No Corporal, we're used to it."

 

The Corporal asked as we arrived at the showers, "Would you two mind telling me what sniper school was like?"

 

I replied, "Corporal, to answer that question would take days. So, after we finish our shower, why don't we describe some of it over lunch. Then we can tell you more when we are back at the base."

 

The Corporal provided more greatly appreciated information, "From the scuttlebutt I've heard, you two aren't going to be spending much time at the base."

 

We took off our filthy BDUs, jumped into the showers and they felt great! This was especially true since if the Corporal was correct, they might be the last showers we have for a while…

 

Flashback – Masha – child care

 

The trip to meet Louise at the market took longer than I calculated so I rushed home while I kept looking over my shoulder in fear of encountering the police car. I arrived home and knew I would have to rush to make dinner for Louise and me. Thank God the walk had tired Linda out and she wanted a nap. I took her to her room, laid her on a blanket on the floor and rushed to the kitchen to make our dinner.

 

I whipped up a big pot of borscht for dinner, left it on the stove to simmer while I went to check on Linda. She was still asleep and I wasn't sure what her normal sleep schedule was so I decided to wake her up. When I awakened her, I realized I might have made a mistake since she woke up very cranky and began to immediately cry! I picked her up and began to bounce her in the way she normally liked but it only served to make her crankier.

 

Finally she settled down then I remembered the borscht! I ran into the kitchen, still holding Linda and checked the stove. Thank God the borscht didn't burn. I tasted it, added a little more salt, lemon juice and dill, tasted it again and it was perfect.

 

The doorbell rang so I ran to the front door and was surprised when I saw it was Louise. Then I checked my watch and realized the whole afternoon was gone and Louise's work was over for the day.

 

I opened the door, she walked in and commented, "Wow! Something smells really good, don't tell me you made dinner again?"

 

I smiled at her and replied, "Of course I prepared dinner and it will be better tonight because I cooked homemade borscht."

 

She asked, "What's borscht?"

 

I answered, "It is beet soup and you will either love it or hate it."

 

As she walked into the house Linda reached for her, she took Linda in her arms and I said, "Why don't you get cleaned up for dinner and I will set the table. I do have a few questions to ask over dinner."

 

Louise headed to the bathroom with Linda and I prepared our evening feast.

 

They came out to the table and Louise asked, "Where's Linda's food?"

 

I hopefully replied, "I thought she might like to eat some borscht with us since it's very healthy and nutritious. The only problem is her diapers will be colored red tonight and tomorrow."

 

Louise laughed and said, "Listen to us talking about dirty diapers before eating this wonderful food!"

 

Louise tasted it and swooned, "Wow this is really great! I never knew what people did with beets until now."

 

She gave a little to Linda who refused to eat it and Louise said, "Well I guess Linda doesn't like it."

 

I was a little embarrassed so I rushed to the kitchen and said, "I will warm up some baby food for her."

 

It didn't take long in the microwave until I had a meal prepared for Linda. I came back to the table and was shocked when Louise had Linda eating the borscht. I questioned, "How did you make her change her mind?"

 

Louise simply said, "It was easy: I acted like it was the best food in the world, which it practically is, then she wanted some of it."

 

Babies, who can understand them? I sat down, began to eat my borscht and asked Louise my many questions…

 

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

 

Daddy walked into my room, took one look at me and said, "Jennifer, please tell me you don't blame yourself for Evelyn leaving."

 

I looked down at my bed, a few tears slipped down my cheeks and I answered, "Well Daddy, I do sort of blame myself. If I was…"

 

Daddy interrupted, "… Jennifer get those thoughts out of your mind! You're a great daughter and any parent would be proud of you."

 

The guilt remained as I confessed, "But Daddy, I'm sure it's my fault because I didn't listen to you about the pills. Before I put them back in the toilet tank, I loosened the lids on the bottles and didn't seal the bag tightly."

 

Daddy laughed and answered, "Jennifer, Evelyn never looked at the pills in the guest bathroom before she left. I came home with Daniela, told Evelyn what I was doing, then the three of us got into a huge fight and Evelyn gave me an ultimatum: 'Either Daniela leaves or she was leaving.' And you know how much I like ultimatums."

 

I sarcastically answered by singing the last part, "I thought they were a 'few of your favorite things'."

 

Daddy gave me a dirty look and demanded, "Jennifer have you been watching The Sound of Music again?"

 

I laughed and answered, "No Daddy, but I was thinking of the song today and it became an earworm."

 

Daddy gave me a puzzled look and asked, "What the hell is an earworm?"

 

I laughed and provided the definition, "Earworms are songs that get stuck in your head, you know like the problem you have with the Tick Tock song from the animated Peter Pan movie."

 

Daddy complained, "Oh great! Now I have that song stuck in my head. How do you get an earworm out of your head?"

 

I was in a much better mood so I laughed and said, "I have no idea other than to replace it with another."

 

Daddy looked at me and asked, "How about we sing your earworm song?"

 

Daddy had a great voice but we almost never sang together so I smiled and started, then Daddy joined in. The next thing we knew Daniela showed up and sang the song with us - in Spanish…

 

Flashback – Alexi – At the laboratory

 

When 'father' took me back to the laboratory he said, "Alexi, I need to go and check on your mother. Chow Mein really bit her hard today and the doctors thought she might even require some stitches to close some of the bites. I will stop back by your new room right before I leave."

 

'Father' left and I remembered the few times Chow Mein bit me when we all lived at home. They weren't that bad other than the infection I got from one of them. I decided that my experiments on Chow Mein were having the desired effect and soon she would no longer be the constant annoyance that she had become.

 

Did I feel some remorse about what happened to my 'mother'? Yes, I felt some slight remorse but as my 'parents' always told me: The experiments must continue no matter the cost.

 

Flashback – Mira and Ira – back in Kazakhstan

 

We discovered a flawless ambush location. It was a narrow trail, surrounded by steep hills on both sides and represented the perfect place to construct a death funnel. We placed our boots on our lower pedal units in the correct direction and began to construct many expedient field traps.

 

I looked at Ira, occulated one of the steep hills and suggested, "Ira, do you feel that we could make that large boulder unstable?"

 

Ira smiled at me and concluded, "Yes Mira, that is entirely possible and when triggered would decimate many of our pursuers. The only problem is developing a trigger for the trap."

 

I explained, "Ira, I do believe the brief respite your posterior enjoyed in the tributary froze your brain. We will stand behind the boulder and trigger the downward translocation manually."

 

Ira pointed at the trees and stated…

 

I saw some more traps which we could easily construct so I pointed and stated, "Mira, those low tree branches could be equipped with sharpened spikes as an excellent trap for any who avoided your boulder snare."

 

It was Mira's turn to question, "Ira, I repeat your question, how would we trigger it?"

 

I point at our boots and respond, "We will use our boot laces across the trail with a four figure trigger.

 

Mira supplied a superior suggestion, "Ira, the boot laces are too large and would be noticed. However, there are some clear threads inside this jacket which are currently frayed. They would be more appropriate to harvest for the construction of a trigger."

 

I agreed, "Yes Mira, that would be superior tactic and once our pursuers are terminated we can acquire better accoutrements."

 

Mira teased, "Yes Ira, I image your nether regions dislike the feces in your lower accoutrements."

 

I displayed to Mira an inappropriate digit and commented, "Daylight is aflame. Let us make haste while the sun is still shining."

 

Flashback – Todd – On the mission

 

Something disturbed the jungle and the normal sound signature disappeared. I strained my eyes to see the perpetrator without any success. However, I could certainly smell the perpetrator: I smelled the sickly sweet smell of meat and blood and realized that my pursuer wasn't human. I slipped my pistol out of its sheath and waited - still trying to discover the direction of my opponent's approach.

 

A monkey barked to my right and alerted me. I turned toward the monkey's sound just as a tiger charged me. I trained my pistol on the beasts head and began to squeeze off shots. Thank God I had a suppressor on the pistol or the shots would have scared the jungle animals and their noise would have alerted everyone to my location. I counted each shot and hoped that I had enough rounds in this magazine to stop the tiger. I kept a count in my mind as the tiger came closer, ten, eleven, twelve … Finally the tiger slumped to the ground.

 

It was over and I realized I really needed to take a piss…

 

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