Chapter 076

Together Chapter 076

Copyright 2014 - 2016 Banzai Ben and Amazing Anastasia


Flashback – Ben and Jack – Back at the base the next day


I was rudely awakened by the sound of snoring in stereo! I recognized Jack's nasty snore but the other was new to me so I sat up in bed and then saw the Corporal sleeping on the floor. Immediately my stomach growled and reminded me I didn't eat last night. I got out of bed, looked at the bed and was disgusted at myself: That sure as hell wasn't a proper way to make a bed. I stripped the bed down (and was glad I did because I found a couple of used condoms on the mattress), I cleaned up the mess from the condoms, then I made a proper Marine bed and tested it by bouncing a quarter on it. The fucking quarter not only bounced on the bed, it jumped clean off the bed and hit the floor.


The noise wakened Jack and he said, "What the hell was that?"


I answered, "Just testing my bed and it passed."


Jack complained, "It's a damn good thing you made that bed better because last night it looked like a fucking train wreck." I retrieved the quarter and determined it was time for me to tweak Jack's nose a little, "Okay, I'm done with my bed, now it's your turn."


Jack grumbled, "Like hell it is! I'm on bed rest so there's no fucking way I need to make this bed."


I jumped because there was a knock on the door. I thought it might be another nurse then I heard, "This is Colonel Maggie, open the door immediately."


I went to the door, opened it and Colonel Maggie walked in. She took one look at the room and announced, "Sgt. Blaine, it looks like you're the only one not goldbricking this morning. Damn nice job on your bed." I handed her the quarter I had retrieved earlier and suggested, "Would you care to test it yourself?"


She handed the quarter back to me and said, "Son, these old eyes can tell just by looking it's a proper Marine bed. She glared at Jack and said, "Sgt. Reynolds what is your ass still doing in bed?"


Jack smiled and answered, "Sorry Colonel Maggie, I'm on bed rest."


Colonel Maggie laughed, "Like hell you are! I just talked to the doctors and you're released for light duty work. I have a crapload of files in my office that need to be put away."


I had to bite my tongue because Jack hated filing almost as much as I did. I decided to help the old fart by offering, "Colonel Maggie Sir! If you haven't had breakfast, I would love to make you an MRE."


The Corporal said, "Colonel, Banzai does things with an MRE that are unbelievable."


Colonel Maggie looked at me and said, "Of course I haven't had breakfast. I refuse to eat the slop that the Marine they gave me as a so-called cook prepares. What choices do I have?"


The Corporal opened up a foot locker full of MREs and offered her a choice with a sweeping gesture. Colonel Maggie began to search through them, found a good one and said, "Okay, let's see what you can do with the Turkey Tetrazzini."


Jack ordered, "Banzai, how about beef pot roast for me?"


The Corporal asked, "Banzai, could I have Cheese Tortellini?"


I smiled at the Corporal and agreed, "I think I'll join you, in your choice."


I cleared off our rifle cleaning table, sanitized it and went to work. The Corporal watched closely and remarked, "I made some MREs for myself and Jack last night but they weren't as good as yours."


I moved to a different footlocker, pulled out a bunch of spices, some butter packets and a bottle of wine. I looked at the 'extra' supplies, pulled a fifty out of my pocket, handed it to the Corporal and said, "It looks like we need to replenish our supplies."


The Corporal answered, "Yes Banzai, as soon as we're finished eating. If you don't mind I'd love to watch what you're doing."


I smiled at him and said, "No problem, I wish I could tell you exactly what I do, but each type of MRE requires different treatment."


I was ready to put them in the heaters, took a look at one heater and swore, "Fucking son of a bitch! I'm glad I noticed this."


Colonel Maggie asked, "What's wrong?"


I walked over to Colonel Maggie, showed her the heater and commented, "Someone has fucked with this heater, if I had added the water it would have exploded."


Then I called the Corporal over, showed him the fucking modifications to the heater and said, "Make sure you check every heater before you use them."


He gulped and asked, "Would it have killed all of us?"


I laughed and answered, "No, but it would have covered us in food."


The MREs were done so I passed them out while mine continued to heat. Colonel Maggie asked, "Aren't you going to eat?"


I smiled and said, "I will after I make dessert."


I finished making the Recon cookies grabbed my MRE and asked, "I haven't heard anything, how do you like your MREs?"


Jack answered, "Awesome as always."


The Corporal added, "This is Nirvana."


I look at Colonel Maggie and she said, "This is the best food I've eaten in a long damn time. Sgt., it's unfortunate that you're needed elsewhere otherwise you would be our new cook."


I smiled at her and responded, "Very fortunate for me because while I like doctoring MREs I don't think I would like to be a full time cook."


I said, "Now for the pièce de résistance!"


I handed everyone a Recon cookie and said, "Enjoy your dessert."


Colonel Maggie remarked, "Perhaps I spoke too soon, I might make you the cook anyway."


I reminded her, "Is it easier to replace a cook or a sniper?"


She laughed, "A cook of course and I do think ours is going to be reassigned. In fact Jack, I want you to start training him with the new recruits."


Jack frowned and said, "When is that happening?"


Colonel Maggie said, "Remember, you're on light office work this week but next week you start to train the new recruits. By the way, if you give him hell, it won't bother me at all."


I asked, "So when can I get the hell out of here?"


Colonel Maggie says, "As soon as possible, because the nurses are still fighting over you."


I smiled and asked, "Should I gear up and am I going back to work with George?"


Colonel Maggie responded, "Yes you need to gear up and you are going back to the work with who you and Jack lovingly called 'the Butterbar'. You're going to be his first Sergeant and continue to teach him the ropes."


My curiosity was piqued so I asked, "What happened to the Captain?"


Colonel Maggie laughed and answered, "By now he's probably freezing his ass off in Thule."


Jack laughed and commented, "It couldn't happen to a better Captain."


I dumped my pack on the floor and began to go through everything while Colonel Maggie ordered, "Sgt. Reynolds, when the fuck are you going to get to work?"


Jack got out of bed and I could tell (only because I've known him so long) that his lower back was hurting. Jack replied, "As soon as I take care of my necessary things."


Colonel Maggie said, "Good, I expect to see you in the office in an hour. Sgt. Blaine a SURV is leaving in thirty minutes, make sure you're on it."


I sassed, "Yes Sir!"


She threatened as she left the room, "Keep it up and you will be our new cook."


I went over to Jack, handed him one of the pain pills and said, "Don't take so many of these this time that it makes you go crazy."


He popped it in his mouth, swallowed it without water and said, "Thanks, I think I have a handle on it now. I need to take them on a schedule, not just when I feel pain."


I affirmed, "That's correct Jack, if you take them on a schedule they will work better and hopefully you won't get addicted to them." I asked, "How is your back?"


Jack said, "It hurts all the fucking time and it's not from the surgery."


I tweaked Jack a little, "Just make sure not to carry too many files and hurt your back more."


He swore, "Son of a bitch, I hate office fucking work!"


I tossed a good handful of salt onto Jack's open complaint, "Don't worry, next week you will be training recruits."


He swore, "Dammit Banzai, don't you need to be leaving or something?"


I finished my pack, made sure the UOP pack was ready, checked my rifles and said, "Well you guys have fun while I'm gone. Corporal, why don't you get another cot in here so you don't have to sleep on the floor?"


I just hoped like hell I could make it to the SURV without being attacked by a nurse…


Flashback – Masha – The next day


I began to make a healthy breakfast: We were having organic steel cut oatmeal with raisins in it, with a lightly fried piece of ham. No more of these huge breakfasts with loads of sugar and butter.


I finished as Louise came to the kitchen table and I said, "Perfect timing." I set the food in front of Louise, she looked at the oatmeal and immediately asked, "Do you have any sugar for this?"


I suggested, "With the raisins in it you might find you don't need any sugar. Why don't you try it first?"


I am happily feeding Linda and she obviously loved the oatmeal. I watched as Louise took a bite and commented, "I'm not sure how you and Linda can eat this without extra sugar."


I replied, "Your American taste buds have been indoctrinated to sugar because virtually every item you sell in the store has added sugar in it. At first Linda was the same way, she wanted sweets things all the time. It took about a week but as you can now see, Linda enjoys natural food."


Louise asked warily, "So I'm not getting any extra sugar today?"


I smiled at her and replied, "That's correct, not today and not any day. And I want you to promise me that when you're at work you won't have any soda or juice drinks."


Louise asked, "What about diet drinks?"


I complained, "Those are even worse! Please Louise listen to me and try this for two weeks and see if you don't feel better."


Louise faked a pout and said, "Auntie Masha is being mean to me."


I laughed and threatened, "Keep it up and Auntie Masha will show you how really mean she can be. Now are you ready for yoga and Taebo?"


Louise replied, "Sure. I'm a little sore today though, should I take something for it?"


I gasp and said, "No way! This is just your body's way of adjusting to the new routine."


Louise did better on the yoga today, but worse on the Taebo. I could tell she was sore.


I looked at my watch and said, "Well that's it for today."


Louise said, "Thank God, I didn't know if I could keep going." Louise kissed Linda and left. I knew I had made a small but major victory as I shifted from Taebo into real martial arts training. Major Mike took a major beating today…


Flashback – Jennifer – the military academy next day


I began to answer the fire marshal when a bunch of police cars rolled onto the school property. I replied to the fire marshal, "My father General Donaldson and I locked the school staff in the cell where they held me for the night…"


I had planned to continue when a man in a brilliant white uniform came up and said, "Ms. Donaldson, I am with the JAG (Judge Advocate General), please delay answering any questions until we can talk in private."


The fire marshal complained, "But what about the corpses?"


The JAG smiled at me and said, "If there are corpses involved Ms. Donaldson will not answer any questions until I can interview her. I am not going to let anyone try to railroad this investigation."


A detective ran up and demanded, "What the hell is going on here?"


The JAG lawyer said, "We will know more after I interview my client in private."


The detective asked, "Who the hell is your client?"


I waved at him and the Jag lawyer answered, "Ms. Jennifer Donaldson."


He swore, "Shit, don't tell me this is a military situation?"


The JAG lawyer replied, "It most certainly is. By the way, General Donaldson is also off limits for questioning until I interview him."


With the arrival of the police, the other girls swarmed around the cars, the detective noticed and said, "Well, it looks like I have other girls I can interview." He left and began to talk with them.


The JAG lawyer introduced himself, "I am Colonel Clark. When I heard what was going on, I knew that you and the General would need help. It's a good thing I caught you before you said anything to the fire marshal. By the way, the detective is making a huge mistake interviewing the girls without the parent's permission since most of what he obtains will not be admissible in court."


I leaned over and said, "Sir, I don't think this will ever go to court."


He looked at me and questioned, "Why is that?"


I said, "I think the school staff immolated themselves."


Colonel Clark shook his head and said, "For them to resort to that drastic a measure, they must have really done some terrible things to the students."


I continued, "I couldn't believe what some of the girls told me - many were being groomed to be lesbian lovers."


Colonel Clark palmed his head and said, "Well that would certainly be reason enough for most sane people. Tell me, were you hurt in any manner?"


I said, "I was detained in a cell overnight but am otherwise fine."


Colonel Clark continued, "Did you see the immolated school staff?"


I affirmed, "Yes I did. It was a terrible sight."


Colonel Clark pulled out a legal pad and began his interview…


Flashback – Alexi – Back in his room


The orderly came with my sleeping pill. I took a look at it and told him, "I will take this after I brush my teeth, you know how fast these work."


He gave me a strange smile and that made me immediately suspicious. I looked at the red sleeping pill and realized it had been tampered with: The blue band that sealed it closed was missing. I pulled out one of the red sleeping pills from my hidden stash of pills, went to my desk, broke the band on the known good sleeping pill and dumped the powder on a sheet of paper. I opened the adulterated pill, dumped the powder out and confirmed that it looked entirely different.


What in heavens were the orderlies trying to do to me? If Chow Mein was still here, I would give her the powder to see what it did, but there's no way I can do that. I considered all my options and came up with a great idea. I slipped out of my room and walked cautiously to the orderly's station after making sure no one was at the station. I slipped into the station's kitchen and dumped all the powder into their coffee pot….


Flashback – Ira and Mira – continuing


Mira awakened and complained, "Ira, remove these restraints before I become physical. We must escape Kostia."


I laughed, "Mira in your sanguine depleted state, you are incapable of physical intervention. Do not worry, I have dragged your corporeal derriere into a cave where we will rest until later tonight."


Mira further complained, "Ira, do we possess any sustenance?"


I replied, "No, however I will attempt to capture a Leporidae Lagomorpha which we can clean and eat."


I stealthily exit the cave and began to hunt…


Flashback – Todd – On the mission


The phone rings for my wakeup call so I answer the phone, grunt into it and I guessed the caller understood. I looked at my clothes from yesterday and realized I made a huge mistake by not putting them out for cleaning before I went to bed, they are a wrinkled mess. Then I remembered they had a clothing store in the lobby. I took a shower, put on my wrinkly clothes and headed to the clothing store. A saleslady approached, "How may I help you."


I pulled out a pad and wrote, "I cannot speak but I would like to get a new wardrobe because – well this one is a mess."


She laughed and said, "No problem, now what sort of wardrobe do you need? Do you need a suit?"


I shook my head and wrote on the pad, "No, something casual but good looking."


She began to show me different shirts and pants and we finally decided on a nice short sleeve button down shirt, a pair of light wool pants and a blazer to go over the top." She suggested, "If you set your current clothes out today, they should be back tomorrow and you will have two nice outfits because the blazer goes well with both of them."


I saw two other items, pointed at them and wrote on my pad, "Add those to my bill and I would like them gift wrapped."


She smiles and commented, "Those will make someone very happy."


She began to total up the bill and I wrote, "All I have are American dollars."


She stated, "As long as they are twenty dollar bills you're fine. However, because of the high incidence of counterfeiting, no one will accept $100 bills."


I smiled, handed her three twenties and she said, "Sir, that's too much."


I smiled and wrote, "Keep the extra for your excellent service."


I left the clothing store, had a quick and excellent breakfast and waited in my room.


Nine o’clock passed and I wondered if I was being stood up but finally my phone rings and Maria apologized, "Sorry, but Gail couldn't decide what to wear today. We're waiting for you in the lobby."


I grabbed my gifts, headed to the lobby and was delighted to see both of them. Maria comments, "That's a nice outfit, did you go clothes shopping last night?"


I signed, "No, I forgot to put my clothes out for cleaning and they were a wrinkled mess. So I went to the shop here and bought this outfit."


Gail signed, "You look great, but what are those packages under your arm?"


I handed one to Gail and one to Maria and signed, "These are gifts for my two favorite girls."


Gail ripped hers open and signed, "OMG it's a for real silk scarf! I've always wanted one of these."  She tied it over her head and began admiring herself in the mirrors.


Maria took her time opening hers, looked at it and complained, "Todd, this is nice of you however it's too much."


I signed, "Don’t be crazy, what do you mean too much?"


She replied, "Todd, if we wore these in our neighborhood, they would be stolen from us and we might even be killed."


I suggested, "Well you and Gail can wear them today and I will figure something out for later."


They took me sightseeing but my mind was busy on how to fix this problem with their neighborhood…