Chapter 038

Together Chapter 038

Copyright 2014 - 2015 Banzai Ben and Amazing Anastasia


Flashback – Ben and Jack – The trip to hell… on the way to the hospital – the first house


Jack and I had succeeded in transitioning the squad from the beach to the first house, had even taken the first room in that house and now we were looking at clearing the rest of the house. I began to pie the doorway when – son of a bitch, I saw a towel… excuse me insurgent. Thank God he didn't have his weapon ready! I dove out of the way as a short burst of AK fire strafed my previous position.


Jack swore and yelled, "Mother fuckers! Trying to kill my boy!" He then tossed a frag into the room. Four seconds later the whole damn building shook much more than it should have while dust and pieces of the building started to fall around us. What the hell was going on! I looked at Jack, Jack looked at me and yelled, "It's a fucking earthquake, let's get the hell out of here!"


The entire squad ran from the building like our asses were on fire. We returned to our beachhead (we were all at the same one this time), ducked behind cover and watched as the fucking building totally collapsed.


Jack laughed (and I wondered how many pain pills he'd taken) and remarked, "Serves the fuckers right for trying to shoot Banzai." He continued laughing and said, "Now that's the way you clear a building."


The Butterbar looked a little green around the gills and asked, "Does this happen often in Iraq."


Jack grinned at the Butterbar and totally yanked his chain when he sarcastically answered, "Hell yeah, not many days go by in this 'paradise' without having to deal with an earthquake."


I felt mercy on the Butterbar and corrected the information on earthquakes, "Sir, Jack is yanking your chain, the earthquakes are few and far between but as you can see from the results, you don't want to be in any of the buildings when one happens."


Then I praised Jack, "Thanks Jack, for realizing what it was and getting our asses out of there."


The Butterbar actually asked, "What about the insurgents who were in the building???"


I was sure he wanted to try to save them and thank God Jack interrupted before he could finish his thought, "Well, they are on their way to hell."


The Butterbar asked, "Don't you mean their heaven?"


Jack laughed some more and answered, "Sir! If they go to heaven, then I sure as hell don't want to go there."


The dust from the earthquake and collapsed building had settled so I suggested, "Sir, we should use the diversion of the earthquake to move to our target building."


Jack agreed, "Banzai's right, we're wasting time."


I look at the squad and the Butterbar then ordered, "Okay, even though we had a distraction from the earthquake, we still need to be careful as we head to our target building. Once again we will leapfrog from position to position."


I continued with specific directions, "I will take the point while Jack covers me, then the LCpl. and everyone else, and Jack will bring up the rear."


Jack added further cautions, "Be careful around the other fucking buildings as they could be unstable from the earthquake and collapse. And also remember to expect some aftershocks."


I looked at Jack and asked, "You ready?"


He nodded, I jumped up and ran toward an adjacent building. When I got close, the first aftershock hit, the building I was headed for began to sway and looked like it was going to fall on top of me so I quickly changed directions to the middle of the fucking road (the very last place you want to be in Iraq or Afghanistan is in the middle of the road). I looked behind me and waved like crazy. Jack figured it out and the whole fucking squad took off after me.


The aftershock seemed to last forever, which was long enough for me to reach the side of our target building. I spun around, put my back to the building and covered the rest of the squad.


They were having a hell of a time running because the aftershock got stronger. I watched as a couple other buildings went down - thank God they were behind the squad. They finally got to the target building beside me and hugged the wall like me as the aftershock finished.


The Butterbar asked, "So now we begin to clear this building?"


I looked at Jack, Jack looked at me and I said, "I'm not going in this building until we are sure the aftershocks are over."


I scanned the area, saw a good looking, sturdy wall and suggested, "We should take up a position behind that wall, contact base and see if they have any idea when the aftershocks will be over."


Jack stated the obvious, "Banzai, that wall only protects us from this building and we will have no cover from behind."


I answered, "That's right, but the last aftershock took down the buildings behind us, so I figure we can dig some foxholes for protection from behind the wall and position several men to cover our sixes."


The Butterbar agreed, "That sounds like our plan, do we leapfrog to the wall?"


I looked up at our target building and said, "That's affirmative."


The Butterbar said, "I will go first, then Sgt. Blaine will come next."


I knew there was a reason I liked this Butterbar.


Jack volunteered…


Damn this Butterbar might be worth a shit after all so I offered and reminded everyone, "I will come last again - don't forget to run a random zig-zag pattern."


The Butterbar took off and ran a hell of a random zig-zag pattern. He jumped over the wall, slowly popped his head back up over the wall and covered Banzai as he came next.


The whole squad made it without a single shot being fired by the fucking insurgents. It was my turn so I began to run as another aftershock hit. The ground swayed like crazy, parts of the building started to fall around me and I hauled ass. I reached the wall, leapt over it and the squad began to clap and cheer. I looked at them and demanded, "What the hell?"


Banzai laughed and said, "Jack, none of us knew that you could run so fast. Hell, I thought you were a goner."


He pointed to where the building had been and it was now a pile of rubble. I looked at the Butterbar and asked, "What the hell are we supposed to do now?"


I no sooner got the words out of my mouth than we started to take fire from the fucking hospital. Banzai grabbed his sniper rifle and ordered, "Jack, I need you to range me and do the calculations for the slope."


The Butterbar answered, "I need to call the base to see what their orders are with the building being gone. I'm not sure if we can finish this mission."


I swore, "Like hell, we don't need the building to finish this mission. We just need to take care of the fucking insurgents."


I pulled out my spotting scope, set it up and began to give the ranges to Banzai adjusted for the slope. He took his first shot and it blew the fucking insurgents head completely away.


Damn what a hell of a rifle! I continued to feed the ranges to Banzai and he continued to smoke the fucking insurgents. Pretty quickly I couldn't see any more insurgents in the windows which meant they had changed their tactics. I ordered, "Keep an eye on the front door and the side doors, I think we're going to have some company soon."


Banzai moved his sniper rifle down to a hole in the wall, fired and then yelled, "Here the fuckers come!"


He was right! It looked like fucking angry ants swarming out of a disturbed anthill. The squad began to lay down hellacious fire and Banzai yelled, "Sir, get on the horn and call in the choppers before we're overrun."


The Butterbar was on the horn, then yelled back, "The choppers are ten minutes out."


I glanced at my watch and hoped like hell we had ten more minutes…


Flashback – Masha – I can't believe I survived today


After several naps with Linda, I physically felt better but I was still very upset emotionally. Yes, I still had problems forgiving myself for ruining my chance to talk with Jack. Soon Louise would be here so I needed to clean up and make myself more presentable. I took Linda into the bathroom with me, washed my face and her face then I put on some light makeup which practically made me cry again because I remembered how my Jack commented on the other women in Russia who wore too much makeup.


There was a knock on the door so I assumed Louise was here. I took Linda to the front door, looked through the peephole and was surprised when it was a woman I had never seen before. I called through the closed and locked door, "Please state your business."


The woman held up an official looking identification badge, with her name and picture on it and said, "I am Martha Ray from the State Social workers department. I have several questions for you, Ms. Reynolds. So please open the door and let me in."


I was still not convinced she was who she presented herself to be, so I asked, "Is there a number I can phone where I can verify your identity?"


Martha Ray recited the number in a manner which told me she was not lying, so I opened the door and offered, "I am sorry, but one can never be too safe when there are strangers at the door."


Martha Ray commented, "Don't worry about it Ms. Reynolds, it was actually refreshing to see you taking such good precautions - especially since I arrived unannounced."


I knew Louise would arrive soon and I desired Martha to be gone before she arrived so I asked, "Ms. Ray what is the meaning of your arrival at my house today?"


Martha pointed to Linda and said, "Ms. Reynolds, from what I understand she is not your baby."


I replied, "Yes Ms. Ray, you are correct. She is the daughter of a friend of mine and I babysit while my friend works."


Martha Ray took out a folder from her bag, began to write and said, "Ms. Reynolds, do you have a license to run a childcare center in your home?"


I was shocked and answered, "I am very sorry Ms. Ray, but I did not know there was a requirement to have a license to watch a friend of mine's child."


Martha Ray wrote more things in the folder and continued with the questions, "How much money do you make for taking care of your friend's child?"


The doorbell rang and I asked to be allowed to answer the door, "Excuse me Ms. Ray that is most likely Louise, Linda's mother."


I carried Linda with me and as I checked the door and it was indeed Louise. I opened the door, Linda saw Louise and began to coo and squirm excitedly in my arms. I passed Linda to Louise, Louise walked into the house, saw Ms. Ray and asked, "Who are you?"


Martha Ray pulled out her identity badge, showed it to Louise who checked it carefully and asked, "Is there a problem here?"


Martha Ray stated, "There could be. Ms. Reynolds doesn't have a license to run a childcare center in her home and the neighbors filed a complaint so I needed to check things out. Now Ms. Reynolds, back to my question, how much money does she pay you for watching her child?"


I answered, "I do not charge Louise anything for taking care of Linda. Since my husband is deployed to Iran, I needed something to occupy my time during the day and taking care of Linda is a joy."


Ms. Ray gave me a strange look and asked for clarification, "Are you telling me you don't charge Louise anything for watching her child?"


Louise concurred, "That's correct, Masha watches Linda for free. I don't even bring her food from the market where I work."


I further strengthened our case when I added, "Yes, I shop at the market for my own food. I can even show you the receipts to prove it."


Ms. Ray asked, "You keep your receipts from the market when you go shopping?"


I replied, "Of course, doesn't everyone?"


Louise laughed and said, "No Masha, many women don't even take the receipts out of the store with them."


Then Louise looked at Ms. Ray and slightly confronted her, "So Martha, are we in some sort of trouble?"


Martha Ray smiled and said, "Because Ms. Reynolds isn't charging you for taking care of Linda, you are both okay. However Ms. Reynolds, you still should apply for a childcare license, just to be safe."


I asked, "Ms. Ray what are the procedures for acquiring a childcare license and will I still be able to care for Linda while the license is pending?"


Martha Ray stated, "Ms. Reynolds, I can start the paperwork today for you. I can also do the in home inspection while I am here. You might want to have a discussion with your neighbors so they don't continue to file complaints."


I smiled and replied, "Ms. Ray thank you for doing this for me, without Linda to watch during the day, my days would seem endless. And I am shocked about my neighbors filing the complaint since I have never even met them."


Louise said, "Masha don't worry, I know exactly how to handle your neighbors. We will have a barbeque for them this Sunday."


Ms. Ray said, "That would be a great idea since they could meet both of you and Linda and the meeting should dispel any concerns. Now let's do your home inspection."


Louise offered, "Martha, I was springing for pizza tonight for dinner, would you please join us?"


Ms. Ray looked at Louise and said, "I really shouldn't but I didn't have time for lunch today…"


Louise interrupted, "Good then it's settled, you're having pizza with us."


Louise ordered the pizza and the three of us did the home inspection. Ms. Ray remarked many times on how clean my house was, which made me very happy. There was only one thing I needed to fix and that was I needed a crib for Linda.


I promised, "Ms. Ray, there is a little shopping area on my way home from the market, I will purchase one tomorrow."


The pizza arrived, we sat around the table, ate the pizza and Ms. Ray confessed, "Masha, I see very few homes that are like yours. Most of the homes I inspect, I wouldn't allow my dog to stay at: They are dirty and trash is strewn everywhere. The need for a good and safe place for children is high in this city so if I were you I would consider taking in more children."


Louise reinforced her statement, "She's right Masha, the other women at work are jealous of me for having you to look after Linda."


Much too soon dinner was over and Ms. Ray said, "I need to get going."


Louise also said, "Yeah, I need to get home and clean my uniform for tomorrow."


They both left, I cleaned up the mess, did the dishes and considered the idea of watching more children…


Flashback – Glen and Jennifer – a big mess


Mother sure didn't make finding her car easy because we searched and never found it. I looked at the rear view mirror, pointed and suggested, "Daddy, perhaps the blue star people could help us find mother's car?"


Daddy answered, "Jennifer my princ…"


I stamped my foot and interrupted with a serious threat, "Daddy, if you start that princess garbage again I'm going to get out of the car and walk home."


He laughed and apologized, "Sorry Jennifer, it's just an old habit of mine. Your idea is great but I'm not sure they will give me the location of Evelyn's car."


I smiled at Daddy and said, "Well, it can't hurt to try."


I pushed the blue star button and there was an almost immediate response, Daddy explained the situation and the blue star lady said, "Sir, normally we wouldn't do this, however I do see that your name is listed as the primary owner of both the vehicle you are in and also the vehicle you refer to as your wife's. Give me a few minutes to get approval from a supervisor and I will be right back."


It seemed like it took forever but she finally came back on and said, "Okay Sir, I have approval from my supervisor and have checked the records. Your wife's car hasn't been moved for two days and is located five rows over close to the entry into the airport. Is there anything else I can help you with?"


Daddy said, "Thank you so much, is there any way you could pay the parking fee?"


She laughed and answered, "Sorry Sir, but that's one thing I can't do."


The blue star lady was gone so we drove to where she said mother's car was located and there it was. Daddy unlocked the car with his extra key, we both began to look inside and Daddy swore, "Son of a bitch, Evelyn must have taken the parking ticket with her."


I asked, "So what does that mean?"


Daddy shook his head and answered, "More trouble for both of us. Stay in Evelyn's car while I park mine. Then we will take the car to the parking booth and see what they can do."


Flashback – Alexi – At the laboratory


I documented the injuries to 'mother' in my private hidden notebook. I remembered the sutures on her face and did my best to sketch them but it took me several tries until I was satisfied. Then I slipped my notebook back into its hiding place.


The psychologist arrived and said, "Alexi, I am sorry you had to witness your mother's insane outburst."


I displayed my very best sad expression and then asked, "Sir, after my 'mother's' disheartening outburst, I wonder if I might visit Chow Mein to assuage my depression?"


The psychologist began to deny my request so I once again squeezed my testicle which produced some tears. He saw the tears and relented, "Alexi, I am not certain of Chow Mein's stability. So you may see her as long as orderlies accompany you into her room."


I enjoyed the game I was playing and manipulating the psychologist was trivial. The orderlies, came and escorted me to Chow Mein's room where I had a surprise. 'Father' was there and said, "Alexi, I feel that it would be better if I escorted you into Chow Mein's room since she knows me and she doesn't know the orderlies."


This was even better since I could now observe Chow Mein's reaction to my 'father'. We entered the room, Chow Mein dashed to the far corner of the room, and hissed at both of us. I bent at my waist, reached out my hand and approached her with one of her favorite treats. I had not gone three steps when Chow Mein growled akin to a tiger and launched herself toward me. I rapidly retreated while 'father' intercepted her. I was shocked at the violence of her attack on 'father': She raked him with her claws and bit his leg with such force he screamed, "Someone help me!"


The orderlies opened the door and charged into the room. Chow Mein saw her chance and darted between their legs and into the hallway toward her freedom.


One of them pressed a button on the wall and a klaxon sounded…


Flashback – Mira and Ira – back in Kazakhstan


The battle with our adversaries waned as they expired under our superior accuracy. I teased my sister, "Ira, an apology is required from your corporeal self since subduing the adversaries here eliminated the requirement of traipsing through this locale in quest of the grail of holy."


Ira terminated the last adversary and asserted…


"Miranda Sedankina, no apology will be emanating from my larynx. The luck of lady leered upon your bumbling blunder to extricate ourselves from the icy digits of fate."


Mira began to complain when I held up my hand and said, "Mira, do your auditory units detect the sound of an approaching helicopter."


Mira affirmed, "Yes my sister, the approaching airborne vehicle can only be Kostia searching for our corporeal selves."


We hastily departed the area making sure to conceal our corporeal selves under the welcoming arbors of nearby trees.


Flashback – Todd – On the mission


Where in the hell did a bull come from in the jungle? It chased one of the so-called soldiers past me and I stifled a laugh as the bull caught the 'soldier', knocked him to the ground and commenced to gore and stomp him. He cried for a couple minutes until he succumbed to the onslaught.


With the bull's 'soldier' terminated, he began to search for other targets. He pawed the ground and bellowed in anticipation. Apparently he detected the smell of the other 'soldiers' and charged back down the trail from which he recently entered the small clearing.


I slowly and carefully followed him and about laughed my ass off when I reached the rest of the 'soldiers'."