Chapter 032

Together Chapter 032

Copyright 2014 - 2015 Banzai Ben and Amazing Anastasia


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


Jack and I were in adjacent shower stalls because I wanted to be close to him in case his back acted up again.


The Corporal offered, "Why don't I go requisition some new BDUs and body armor for you two while you're taking a shower?"


Jack stayed his irascible self and insulted, "That's a damn good idea since it will give you something to do instead of sitting on your ass."


I apologized, "Sorry again for Sgt. Reynolds, that's a great idea."


He took off and I bitched, "Jack, why in the hell do you keep giving the Corporal so much shit? He's a great kid and been a great help since we've been here."


Jack swore, "Hell Banzai, we don't need a nurse maid to take care of us."


I corrected his outlook, "Jack, he's more an aide than a nurse maid and you need to start cutting him some slack before you get into trouble."


Jack laughed, "What the hell sort of trouble?"


I was going to remind him of how Colonel Maggie was a 'mother hen' with her troops but it was too late. She walked into the showers and declared, "What's this I hear that Sgt. Reynolds is giving the Corporal I gave you two as an aide a ration of shit?"


Jack complained, "What are you doing in the showers?"


Colonel Maggie corrected him, "Excuse me, you surely wouldn't be talking to me in that manner and that tone of voice would you?"


I laughed as Jack backpedaled, "Sorry Sir! You just surprised me."


Colonel Maggie ordered, "I don't have all day to wait on you two so move your asses and stop giving the Corporal shit."


Jack replied, "Yes Sir!"


I didn't want to look a gift horse I the mouth so I took the opportunity to thank her, "Colonel Maggie, thank you for the real room and for making sure my ammo was in the room."


She answered, "I noticed you put a lock on the door already. While we don't really have a problem with theft by the Marines and Seals, you have to watch out for the terps and other civilians as they will rob you blind."


I asked, "Then how did my ammo survive?"


Colonel Maggie smiled and answered, "You can thank the Corporal for that. He's been standing watch over it day and night."


Jack asked, "Don't tell me he was sleeping on our cots?"


Colonel Maggie replied, "I would assume he did. You know Sgt. Reynolds, if you don't like your room, I can easily find a bunk for you in the open barracks."


Jack apologized, "Sorry Sir! It's just that my back is hurting some."


Colonel Maggie jumped on his complaint in a heartbeat, "Sgt. Reynolds, you told me your back is just strained slightly. But if you're having this many problems with it perhaps we need to get another MRI on it."


Jack backpedaled again, "No Sir! I don't need another MRI, the first one just said I had some strained muscles."


Colonel Maggie ordered, "Well then Sgt. Reynolds, get your head out of your ass because it's embarrassing. Now finish up your showers, grab some chow and get your asses to the C&C."


The Corporal came back with a big bag of what I assumed was our BDUs and other gear. Colonel Maggie saw him and said, "Son, if that crabby old Sgt. Reynolds gives you any more shit, let me know and he will stay on the base and do KP for a week."


The Corporal lied his ass off, "Sir, he hasn't been that bad."


Colonel Maggie advised, "Loyalty is a good trait but you should never lie to an officer. I'm leaving but I will know if he gives you anymore shit. Now get them some chow and then to the C&C."


The Corporal saluted, Colonel Maggie returned it and left the showers...


I grinned at Jack and he apologized, "Damn, I forgot that Colonel Maggie has her spies everywhere. I guess I've been an ass so I need to fix this. Corporal, sorry for being such and ass and my back is no excuse for the way I've treated you."


The Corporal should have kept his mouth shut when he replied with, "That's okay Sgt. I was warned about you."


 Before Jack had a chance to dig his hole deeper I interrupted, "Jack, I'm turning into a prune, let's get the hell out of the showers and grab some chow."


Thank God my distraction worked (I wonder why it worked and decided the pills had finally kicked in).


Jack agreed…


I should have laid into the Corporal again for his comment of 'being warned about me'. But I knew better than to push things with the old bird because if I kept pushing I knew she would put me on KP for a week.


I agreed with Banzai, "Yeah, let's get the hell out of Dodge and grab some chow."


I looked at the Corporal and asked, "So how's the chow here?"


He made an awful face and answered, "Barely passable, and if it's one of the cook's worst dishes many of us skip it and eat MREs."


I swore, "What the hell! I thought the cooks improved in the Corps."


The Corporal answered, "They have at every place but here. Colonel Maggie has been trying to get a better cook in here but command in Baghdad has them all sewn up."


I laughed and said, "I bet she's a bigger pain in the ass to the cook than she was to me."


The Corporal laughed and said, "She's threatened to send him to Thule."


Banzai and I chuckled and I said, "Damn, she's beginning to take after the Old Man - that is one of his favorite tricks."


The Corporal's eye got big and he asked, "I'd heard rumors that the Old Man liked to do that but I didn't think the stories were real. Do you know of anyone that he's actually sent to Thule?"


I felt bad for being such a pain in the ass to this Corporal and decided I liked him so I replied, "You should ask Colonel Maggie about it."


His face was masked with surprise and he asked, "He sent her to Thule?"


Banzai added more information, "Yes, he did but not because of anything she did - she was teaching a certain Captain some much needed lessons."


We were dry and began to get dressed and Banzai reminded me, "Jack, you might want to do like the Seals and forget the underwear."


I answered, "Thanks Banzai, I almost forgot about that."


The Corporal asked, "I always wondered why the Seals don't wear underwear. I asked one once and he told me that because they were Seals, they got so many women that it was quicker without them."


Banzai laughed and provided the real answer, "Corporal the Seals are the masters of bullshit and that's one of their favorite stories. When you're going to be in the field for a long time and not able to shower, you don't wear underwear because it traps the sweat and moisture against your skin and causes a nasty fungal infection called crotch rot."


We were dressed and I complimented our aide, "Corporal, you did an excellent job on getting the sizes right on our BDUs."


Banzai added, "And thanks for the new plate holder and plates."


The Corporal asked, "Sgt. Blaine, what happened to the old plate holder?"


Banzai answered, "Corporal, it did its job and saved my ass. Now let's go eat."


He Corporal led the way, we entered the mess and unlike most places, it was virtually deserted. Hell there weren't even Marines sitting around and drinking coffee. I looked at the Corporal and asked, "Don't tell me, is today one of the days most people eat MREs."


He answered, "Yes Sgt. Blaine, today is one of his worst meals."


I remarked, "But there aren't even Marines sitting around and drinking coffee."


The Corporal answered, "I forgot to tell you about that; his coffee is always terrible." Then he added, "I can get you some MREs."


Banzai swore…


What sort of so called fucking cook did they have here that the bastard couldn't even make coffee? I took the Corporal up on his offer by announcing as loud as I could, "Jack, I'm not eating this shit because it will probably make us sick! Let's get some MREs."


The Corporal began to leave and I asked, "Corporal, how about you bring back three MREs, one of them being for you. And also if you could find me a couple bottles of wine and some butter packets." I pulled a fifty out of my wad of cash in my pocket, handed it to him and said, "We'll be waiting in our room getting our packs ready."


We headed toward the room as the Corporal took off on his mission. I looked at Jack and remarked, "Jack, it's nice as hell having an aide, don't you feel like a toad for giving him so much shit?"


Jack replied, "Banzai you know I do so don't bother asking me. I could get used to this sort of treatment. Hell, this is better than Russia."


I reminded Jack, "Speaking of Russia, don't you think you should contact Masha before we bug out on our LRP1."


1 Long Range Patrol – an extended mission away from base.


He swore, "Shit Banzai you're right. But I don't have any idea where I can do that."


I said, "Well let's go back to the room, prep our pack and weapons and wait for the Corporal. We will make time for you to call Masha after we eat."


We hauled ass to the room, prepped our packs and got our weapons ready. The Corporal showed up with enough MREs to choke a horse, three bottles of wine and a shitload of butter packs and said, "I figured you needed some MREs for your field rations, I hope I brought enough."


I looked at the loot and praised him, "Good thinking Corporal."


Jack smiled and said, "Corporal, you're in for a real treat since no one doctor's up an MRE like Banzai."


I heated the MREs, opened them up, added some wine, butter, salt, pepper and a little bit of the tabasco. Then I passed them to Jack and the Corporal.


Jack took a whiff of his and exclaimed, "One of Banzai's best."


The Corporal dug in and remarked, "Wow, I didn't know an MRE could taste so good! If I knew how to do this I might not ever eat in the mess again."


While we ate I asked, "Corporal, Jack would like to take a few minutes to talk to his wife back home after we eat. Would you help us with this?"


He answered, "Usually there's a big line for the phone, but my buddy is in charge of the calls home so I should be able to slip Sgt. Reynolds in."


Jack looked at the Corporal and said, "Let's finish this now and go make the call."


I practically laughed as Jack and the Corporal wolfed down the MREs. Jack stood up and said, "Banzai, I hate to leave this to you, but make one final gear check while I make the call."


I was going to do this anyway. They took off and I took the time to empty out Jack's pack, packed it correctly and pre adjusted the straps. I looked at my UOP and decided to load up more of the pain pills for Jack.


They came back and Jack looked like hell…


Flashback – Masha – child care and a call from Jack


Louise wasn't able to answer some of my questions about Linda and felt embarrassed. I realized why so I said, "Louise, you don't spend the time with her to know the answers, so do not feel bad about it."


We finished dinner and Louis said, "I should probably get home."


I hopefully asked, "Couldn't you stay a little longer?"


She shook her head and replied, "Sorry Masha, but with the limited time I have off work, I spend most of it working around my apartment."


She picked up Linda, I walked them to the door and waved goodbye. Once again I was alone in this big house. I looked at the opened bottle of wine from dinner and decided to have another glass. It tasted so good, the next thing I knew the bottle was empty.


I was shocked when the phone rang since this had never happened before. I stood up and realized I had more wine tonight than I should have as I staggered to the phone. I answered the phone with a very soft, "Hello"


I was so happy when I heard, "Masha, this is Jack how are you doing?"


My heart did flip-flops, I didn't know what to say, in fact I couldn't do anything, I cried and whined, "Jack, my Jack!"


He frantically asked, "Masha, what's wrong?"


I blubbered into the phone like a little girl, "Jaaaaaack! Please come home!"


Jack answered, "Masha don't be unreasonable - you know I can't do that."


He was correct, I fought back my emotions, prepared to talk to Jack like his loving wife (not the little girl that I had unfortunately become) then Jack said, "Masha, I just wanted to tell you I love you. I wish I had more time to talk, however I need to go and I'm not sure when I can call again."


With that Jack ended the call. I broke down and sobbed into my hands…


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


We finished the song and Daniela said, "I came to tell you I am leaving for the night and will be here tomorrow morning bright and early to make a breakfast for you."


I answered, "Thank you Daniela for the great dinner tonight. Have a good rest of your night."


She replied, "And thank you Miss Jennifer, sleep well."


She left and Daddy asked, "Well my little princess do you feel better now?"


I complained and then said, "Daddy, please don't get started on the princess garbage again, I don't have the energy to fight you right now. Yes Daddy I feel some better, but I'm still a little sad about mother leaving us."


Daddy offered, "Jennifer, we can both go to counseling if you think it would help."


I thought for a few seconds and hoped, "Perhaps the whole family could go together?"


Daddy made me sadder when he answered, "Jennifer, I have called Evelyn many times and she doesn't answer her phone. If she does answer, I will ask if she would like to join us, because I think we need some counseling. Now my prin…"


I interrupted, exasperated, "Daddy, PLEEEEEASE!"


He smiled and said, "Now my lovely daughter, it's time for you to go to bed."


I smiled, "That's much better Daddy. Good night."


Daddy answered, "Good night, sleep tight don't let the bedbugs bite."


As soon as he left my room, I jumped out of bed, turned on my computer, went to our mobile phone provider's website and searched for the location of mother's phone. I was confused when it displayed the location…


Flashback – Alexi – At the laboratory


Before I went to sleep tonight I made a decision: I would ask the psychologist to see my 'mother' tomorrow. My curiosity had been piqued by Chow Mein's attack on her and I desired to see and document the results for the experiments I was conducting on Chow Mein.


Since I successfully avoided all my pills the only medicine I was taking were the continued injections which 'father' administered several times a day. I couldn't devise a way in which to not take the injections.


As I drifted off to sleep my mind continued to work on the geometry problem of trisecting angle.


Flashback – Mira and Ira – back in Kazakhstan


Ira and I labored on the tree branch trap. I created many wooden spikes and transplanted them into the branch while Ira constructed the four figure trigger. We completed our separate tasks at a matching time then I began to strip the clear threads from inside my coat. It required more time than I originally assumed so Ira suggested, "Mira, you continue with this trap while I begin to work on the boulder trap."


Ira left and when I finally obtained enough of the clear threads for the stake trap, I connected the multiple pieces together, strung them across the trail and connected them to Ira's four figure trigger. Then I made a hasty translocation to the boulder trap which Ira had almost completed. God smiled upon us because we completed the boulder trap just as our auditory units detected many voices emanating from the trail.


We waited very impatiently for our adversaries to enter the narrow trail. When finally they arrived, our auditory units detected multiple voices as they remarked, "I can't believe all the team members they have already killed… At least the deaths inside the truck were fast - I would have hated to be one of the poor bastards who burnt to death… We need to make sure we don't commit the same mistakes…"


They did not commit the same mistake, however their new lapses resulted in a similar result. Ira looked at me and ordered…


I had calculated the trajectory of the rock and the approximate velocity of the rock down the hillside. I looked at Mira and ordered, "Now!"


Our lower pedal units were against the boulder as we pushed with all our strength. The boulder created a huge crashing cacophony as it translocated down the hillside. Our adversaries vocalized as young girls but neglected to translocate to avoid their demise while I began to shriek in joy. Mira joined me and we occulated as the boulder decimated more than half our adversaries. The remainder began a run down the trail, triggered our tree branch trap which unfortunately impaled only two of the adversarial troops.


I ordered Mira, "We must acquire their advanced weapons before the remnants regain their sensibilities and terminate us. We sprinted down the hillside, acquired their inferior Kalashnikov weapons then Mira suggested, "Ira, we need to terminate those who survived."


I stated, "Mira, first I must exchange my accoutrements with one of the adversaries. The fecal matter in these accoutrements is infecting my injured nether regions."


I expected Mira to tease me however she agreed, "Yes Ira, they have superior accoutrements which would match our size more closely, especially the protective pedal coverings."


We took the time to exchange our accoutrements with our dead adversaries…


Flashback – Todd – On the mission


Talk about having the piss scared out of you: Confronting a tiger is a sure-fire way to have that happen. As I relieved myself, I considered my surroundings and asked what the hell a tiger was doing here? There shouldn't be any wild tigers in this area! Not only was it too heavily inhabited (there was no way the locals would put up with a tiger - they would have hunted it down and killed it) they were not indigenous to this area. It was like a lightbulb went off in my head: The tiger was here as a deterrent to people like me coming in to execute the bastard and to keep his 'workers' (which were really slaves) from escaping.


Suddenly my mission became that much more dangerous. Not only did I have to watch for troops, I needed to keep my eyes out for dangerous predators. And if he had a tiger on the loose, there was no telling what other animals were lurking in the jungle.


I decided that to continue this mission tonight would not be wise, so I climbed far up into a tree. I found a good spread of branches, wedged myself in well (and even tied a rope around me and the branch) and drifted off to sleep.


And what a sleep it was: I had a great dream of the island with Liu and Lin…