Chapter 084

Together Chapter 084

Copyright 2014 - 2016 Banzai Ben and Amazing Anastasia

 

Flashback – Ben – Back at the formerly captured hospital

 

George joined us on the roof along with the radio operator. We didn't have to wait long. As the first rounds fell, George called in the azimuth changes and ordered, "Fire for effect."

 

My hunch was correct: Towelheads flew out of the building like cockroaches and we shot the fuckers. The other Marines were damn good shots - they were only hindered by the limited range of their M4's. That was a problem I didn't have with my sniper rifle. George came over and remarked, "Damn Banzai, I wish we had some longer range weapons for our shooters."

 

I suggested, "When we get back to the base let me talk to the armorer and see if I can come up with some of the Seal M25s for our better shooters."

 

George asked as I took out another towelhead, "What will that do?"

 

I replied, "It's based on a match grade M-14 so it fires the 7.62x 51round. That should get the better of the shooters out to at least 1000 yards - it's what Jack uses. The only problem is you have to carry the ammo for it and it's heavier than hell."

 

George correctly analyzed, "Well the towelheads seem to understand the range limitations of our M4s so they stay just outside our range and fire at us."

 

I laughed, "A hell of a lot of good it does for them to fire at us from that range since they are just wasting ammo - which is good for us."

 

The final building fell under the onslaught of the artillery and they called and asked for more targets. George responded, "Sorry, but there's nothing more right now."

 

I suggested, "George, we should get a squad and go check the buildings for unexploded ordinance."

 

George thought for a moment and recognized the problem, "Yes, that way the towelheads can't use it to make IEDs." He continued, "Is that something you would lead?"

 

I replied, "No George, I'm better used sitting up here with my sniper rifle and covering them. I would also like to keep my five other men up here because they're above average shots. Whoever leads it needs to stay on the com and bug out if we call them."

 

George said, "I'm going to call in to Colonel Maggie and let her know how the fire mission went. I will also request the M25s and ammo from her. Is there anything else you would like?"

 

I scanned the area and suggested, "See if she can come up with a M107 and a shitload of ammo for it."

 

George asked "That's the fifty caliber Barrett isn't it?'

 

I smiled at him and said, "That's right. If we can get one of those, the fucking towelheads are in for a big surprise. Hell, I can fire right through the walls and kill the bastards."

 

One of the other Marines interrupts, "Child running toward the hospital."

 

I moved to his side of the building, set up my rifle, looked through the scope and saw a girl that couldn't be much older than twelve running toward the building wearing a suicide vest."

 

I swore, "Those fucking bastards, using young girls!"

 

George leaned over and whispered an order, "Banzai, take the shot. She volunteered to be a suicide bomber to escape being almost continually raped. Please put her out of her misery."

 

That made doing what I needed to do easier, however I still didn't like it. I fired, her vest detonated and she was gone.

 

I asked George, "Tell me more about this?"

 

George whispered a reply, "The towelheads captured a large number of Christian people. They tortured all the men and killed them. They feel the Koran gives them the right to take the women and rape them as long as they don't get pregnant. So they rape them all the time then make sure they take birth control pills each day."

 

I had never heard of this so I asked, "Where the hell did you hear this?"

 

He leaned over and whispered, "It was in an officer's briefing."

 

I thought about it and commented, "They didn't tell all of us because they were concerned about how the men would react."

 

George affirmed, "That's correct, so you can't tell anyone.

 

This was something I wasn't sure I could keep hidden from the men, especially the ones who were forced to kill a child suicide bomber.

 

George sent the team out to check for unexploded ordinance, then called Colonel Maggie with the report. Night was coming soon so I made sure to assign watch for the night. To prove I wasn't bullshitting, I took one of the first watches…

 

Flashback – Jack – Office work

 

Colonel Maggie got another phone call. I could tell it was from George the Butterbar so I kibitzed on the conversation. Colonel Maggie noticed me and said, "Hell, I might as well put this on speaker."

 

She put it on the speaker phone and then she ordered, "Lieutenant, Sgt. Reynolds is listening now so please repeat what you just reported."

 

The Lieutenant repeated, "Sir, the fire mission was a total success. All the tall buildings have been decimated and many insurgents killed with rifle fire from the roof as they ran from the buildings. Sir, we found that the M4s lack the range we need so we are requesting four or five M25s with ammo and magazines for them." I made a fist and shoved it into the air.

 

Colonel Maggie said, "It would appear that Sgt. Reynolds agrees with you on the request, I will see what I can do."

 

The Lieutenant continued, "Sgt. Blaine also requested a M107 with, and these are his words, a shitload of ammo."

 

Colonel Maggie said, "One minute Lieutenant."

 

Colonel Maggie looked at me and asked, "Sgt. Reynolds, what is Sgt. Blaine thinking."

 

I thought for a moment and replied, "Banzai must have some hardened targets that he wants to deal with."

 

The Lieutenant confirmed, "That's what Sgt. Blaine said."

 

Colonel Maggie asked, "Anything else?"

 

It took a moment then the Lieutenant added, "Yeah, we need a new helmet for Sgt. Blaine, his was shot by the sniper."

 

Colonel Maggie said, "I will get moving on this ASAP, good job holding the hospital. There is no need to tell you that this is now a major priority. Make sure the roof is clear and we will come in with a Blackhawk and unload on the roof."

 

Colonel Maggie hung up the phone, looked at me and swore, "Sgt. Blaine needs a new helmet because the sniper shot it, what the fuck…"

 

I interrupted, "…Colonel Maggie, I'm almost positive that Banzai used his helmet as a decoy to locate the other sniper so don't worry about it."

 

Colonel Maggie continued to swear, "Someday that Sgt. is going to give me a coronary."

 

Colonel Maggie's aide walked into the office, she handed him the list of supplies the Lieutenant requested and ordered, "I don't care what you have to do, trade or promise to make this happen and get it to the hospital ASAP."

 

He replied, "Sir, Sgt. Reynolds aide is waiting outside."

 

The Colonel ordered, "Send him in."

 

He slouched into the office and I immediately disliked him. Hell, he was fat and didn't look like a fucking Marine! He saluted and said in a mousey fucking voice, "Sir, you requested to see me again. Please don't lecture me on the food again, I will do better."

 

Colonel Maggie smiled at him and said, "The hell you will do better, you have been relieved of your job as cook."

 

He asked, "Then what will the men do for food?"

 

Colonel Maggie answered, "Until our new cook arrives we will all eat MREs."

 

He complained, "But…But…But… then what am I going to do?'

 

Colonel Maggie smiled, pointed at me and ordered, "John, you're new assignment is to be Sgt. Reynolds aide. You will do whatever he orders, then Monday you will start training with the new incoming Marines."

 

John had the audacity to complain, "But Sir!!!"

 

Colonel Maggie nipped it in the bud with a threat, "…John, you either do as ordered or you will be reassigned to Thule."

 

John apologized, "Sorry Ma'am it's just I never fought before and can barely shoot a rifle."

 

I had my fill of John and barked, "John! All Marines including Colonel Maggie and even General Donaldson are first and foremost riflemen. If you are not now a rifleman, you will be soon. Now leave this office so I can talk to the Colonel in private."

 

He made a mistake when he replied, "Yes Sir!"

 

I kicked him in the ass and barked, "Don't you ever call me a Sir! I work for a fucking living."

 

He slouched out of the office and muttered, "I will wait outside Sgt."

 

I looked at Colonel Maggie and asked, "Excuse me Sir, but what the fuck was that?'

 

Colonel Maggie laughed and said, "Sgt., that's your new aide. And I would say you have your work cut out for you."

 

I requested, "Sir, if I'm supposed to make him combat ready, I need to start working on him immediately. Permission to begin some light physical training?"

 

Colonel Maggie smiled and said, "Sgt., permission granted. Know that even if you reinjure yourself, you're still going to train the new recruits."

 

I replied, "I'm not worried about the new recruits but I'm worried as hell about John."

 

Colonel Maggie gave me a challenge, "Jack, if you train him half as well as you trained Sgt. Blaine, I will make it worth your while. How would another stripe on that arm sound?"

 

I thought about how the extra income would help with Masha and replied, "Sir that's a challenge I accept."

 

I was done for the day and walked out of Colonel Maggie's office. John fell in behind me in his slouch so I turned and barked, "Sgt. fix your fucking posture, stand up straight. The next time I see you slouch, you will run laps until you puke."

 

He replied, "Yes Sgt."

 

We walked to my room, I unlocked the door, walked in and said, "I'm going to make an MRE for dinner."

 

John asked, "Can I have one too?"

 

I asked, "Did you requisition one?"

 

He replied, "No, I didn't know I needed to."

 

I opened up the footlocker of MREs found a nasty hotdog MRE, tossed it to John and said, "Tomorrow you will requisition more MREs but you can have that one for tonight."

 

I sat on my cot and John asked, "Where am I sleeping tonight?"

 

I pointed to one cot and said, "That's Sgt. Blaine's cot so you can't use it." Then I pointed at the other cot and said, "That was my old aide's cot. You can use it when you can prove to me you know how to make a bed."

 

I ripped the sheets off it and tossed them on the floor. John picked up the sheets and began to make the cot. I watched him and asked, "What in the fuck are you doing?"

 

John answered, "I'm making the bed."

 

I shook my head and asked, "With the sheets I just threw on the floor? Don't you have any honor? John, take those sheets and go requisition new clean sheets."

 

John asked, "Where would I do that?"

 

I was pissed off and ordered, "Grab the fucking sheets and follow me." He grabbed the sheets, and we walked toward the laundry. Some fucking aide I had, I was going to end up doing not only my work, but also his work.

 

We got to the laundry and got the clean sheets but John was slouching again. I looked at him and asked, "What did I say was going to happen if you slouched again?"

 

He immediately fixed his posture but it was too late. He replied, "You said I would run laps until I puked."

 

I smiled and said, "That's right and that's what we're going to do right now."

 

I took his ass to the track and ordered, "Start running and if you slouch while you're running I'm going to kick your ass."

 

He started off at barely a walking pace so I ran up behind him, kicked him in the ass and ordered, "Move it John." He sped up a little, then slowed down so I ran up and kicked his ass again. We kept this game up for an hour until John finally puked on a bush.

 

I walked over and said, "Now it's time to make your bed."

 

John asked, "What about a shower, I smell terrible."

 

He was right, he did smell bad so I said, "First take your clean sheets to our room, then go back to the laundry and requisition a clean uniform, underwear and a towel. Then hit the showers. By the way, you've got fifteen minutes to shower, if you take any longer you won't get your MRE for dinner."

 

John and I hauled ass to my room, he put the sheets down on the cot and left for the laundry. I started my timer because I was sure he wouldn't be done in fifteen minutes. Thirty minutes later he walked into the room. I pointed at the timer and said, "You're fucking late so no dinner for you. Now let me show you how to make a bed, then you will strip the bed and continue to remake it until it's correct."

 

I finished, took a quarter out of my pocket, bounced it on the bed and it bounced nicely. I handed John the quarter and said, "Go try this on Banzai's bed."

 

He tried it on Banzai's bed where it bounced right off the bed and onto the floor. John asked, "How did he get that so tight?"

 

I smiled and said, "That's a lesson for later, now remake your bed until I can bounce a quarter on it."

 

I started to read a book and it took John the rest of the night but he finally got it right. I praised his final attempt, "Good job John, there's only one problem."

 

He asked, "What's that?"

 

I replied, "You're not going to have that much time to make it tomorrow morning. My guess is shortly after Reveille, Colonel Maggie will breeze into our room for an inspection. That reminds me, where's your foot locker?"

 

John replied, "Back at my old bunk."

 

I upbraided him and said, "Haul ass back to your old bunk and hope to hell no one stole it or anything in it because if anything is missing our asses are grass."

 

He took off and came back thirty minutes later with his footlocker. I opened it and almost wished someone had stolen it since this was going to take most of the rest of the night to fix.

 

Flashback – Masha – the next day

 

Louise and I were up early again and did our Taebo and yoga. She went to shower while I made breakfast. Oatmeal again today but this time I added some fresh berries and slivered almonds. I was almost complete when Brenda rang the doorbell. I opened the door and she said, "Here's Tina and her highchair, I wish you luck."

 

I offered, "We're going to have breakfast, you might as well come in and join us."

 

Louise came out of the shower, walked into the kitchen and said, "Hello Brenda how are you?"

 

Brenda was getting Tina in her highchair and replied, "I’m fine. I guess I'm joining you for breakfast."

 

As I set the oatmeal in front of them, Linda started to make num-num noises so Louise started to feed her while Tina looked at the oatmeal and began to cry. I took a spoon, put a berry on it and put it in Tina's mouth, she smiled and began to chew the food.

 

Brenda remarked, "That's amazing."

 

I countered, "Not really, I knew that Tina would only eat fruit so I added the berries to the oatmeal today. Most mornings we don't have them."

 

Louise said, "I really like the oatmeal with the berries in it…"

 

I interrupted, "…No Louise, we can't have berries every morning so forget it."

 

Brenda questioned, "What's going on with the two of you?"

 

Louise said, "My mean auntie Masha says we eat too much sugar so she's cut us off."

 

Brenda asked, "But didn't I see you drink a soda yesterday?"

 

I gave Louise a sad look and started, "Louise, you promised me…"

 

Louise interrupted, "…Sorry Masha, it was the middle of the afternoon, I was tired, and needed something to wake me up. I promise I won't do it today."

 

I looked at Brenda and asked, "Brenda, will you make sure Louise keeps her promise today?"

 

Brenda said, "You bet."

 

I finished feeding Tina the last bite of oatmeal and Brenda remarked, "Masha you're a miracle worker, she ate all her food and it wasn't fruit."

 

I replied, "No, but I did cheat with the berries in it. Lunch and dinner will be the real test."

 

Louise looked at her watch and said, "Well Brenda we'd better leave if we're going to get to work on time."

 

They kissed their girls and left. I took the girls out of their highchairs cleaned them up, took them to the garage and put them in their rolling walkers while I did a longer workout.

 

Things went well until lunchtime…

 

Flashback – Jennifer – the hospital

 

I woke up from my terrible dream - Ben had married another woman! I sat up in bed, which was a mistake and yelled in pain. They nurse came in and scolded me, "Jennifer, you weren't supposed to raise your head yet."

 

I honestly confessed, "I had a terrible dream which scared me so I naturally sat up. Now I have a throbbing headache."

 

The nurse suggested, "I will bring you a pill for the pain."

 

She left as I tossed and turned on my pillow in pain. She finally returned, I took the pain pill, and asked, "How long will it take to work?"

 

The nurse replied, "It will take about thirty minutes to work so you need to be patient until then."

 

She stayed and held my hand which made me feel better until finally the pain pill worked and I said, "I'm sleepy again."

 

She suggested, "Sleep will help to fix your problems so if you are sleepy, go to sleep."

 

I rolled over in my bed, it hurt my head some but I fell right to sleep.

 

I woke up and was surprised: Grandmother was here and was holding my hand.

 

I asked, "Grandmother, what are you doing here?"

 

She smiled at me and replied, "When I heard my favorite granddaughter was hurt, I needed to come and make sure the doctors were taking good care of you."

 

I giggled and said, "But grandmother, I'm you're only granddaughter. And you better not let mother see you or she will be upset." (Mother and grandmother didn't get along and fought whenever they were together)

 

She smiled and said, "All the better reason to come and see you but don't worry since Glen has taken Evelyn home for the night."

 

As grandmother held my hand, a warmth and peace spread through my entire body. She had done this before and I loved it when she did it. Grandmother remarked, "Gracious my girl, what in the world did they do to your head." Her hands gently cradled my head and I felt relief as all the pain left my head and my thoughts cleared. Grandmother remarked, "There my child you're all well now."

 

I asked, "You fixed the hole in my head?"

 

She smiled and replied, "Not only that, I made your hair grow back."

 

I wondered, "Grandmother, why can't mother do this?"

 

Grandmother smiled and sadly replied, "Jennifer, sometimes it skips a generation or in your mother's case, folks turn away from it. When the time is right, you will be able to do the same type of healing. Now my granddaughter, I must leave before the hospital staff finds me since it's after visiting hours."

 

I wondered if I was dreaming as Grandmother left until I reached back, touched the back of my head and could tell she was correct. The bandages were gone and my hair was its normal length. The doctors will be confused tomorrow, however mother will certainly know what happened and she will be angry about it…

 

Flashback – Alexi – Back in his room

 

Pure pandemonium continued in the hallway as I glanced out the door. As the psychologist still chased the orderlies, they ran from him with shrieks of fear. While he swore, "I'm going to beat all of you fuckers until you're half-dead. That will teach you for getting into the medicine cabinet."

 

Yes, this was much better than using Chow Mein for my tests since I could get instant feedback on the results of the experiments. I went to my stash of pills, took out four of the green pills and opened them up. I put the powder in an empty water bottle, filled it up and tossed it into the hallway. On the next lap past my room, one of the orderlies grabbed the bottle, took a big drink and then shared it with the others. Oh boy! This should prove interesting when the drug began to take effect.

 

With the orderlies and the psychologist gone, I slipped out of my room, went to the orderly's station, found the unlocked drug cabinet and took as many of the drugs as I could carry, especially the 'dangerous' ones. They ran past the orderly's station one more time as I slipped out, ran back to my room and made sure to carefully hide all the new drugs.

 

There was more yelling in the hallway so I cracked the door and heard the orderlies make a stand, "We're not running from you anymore."

 

The psychologist swore, "Good, I was getting tired of running and now I can kick your asses."

 

A huge fight broke out. I closed the door, bolted it and wondered what sort of monsters I had created…

 

Flashback – Mira and Ira – continued

 

I awoke and asked, "Was the cauterization procedure successful?"

 

Ira replied, "Judge for yourself."

 

I looked and Ira had done a remarkable job with the limited medical instruments she possessed.

 

Ira said…

 

I said, "Mira, we need to bind your wound and depart."

 

Mira concurred, "Yes, we should bind my injury since I do not want any disability to hinder our search for Kostia."

 

I included, "…Or his many men."

 

I bound Mira's wound and she said, "I cannot wait until all his men are terminated since then he will be forced to come after us in person."

 

I smiled at my sister and said, "Then we will feast on the desserts of just."

 

Flashback – Todd – On the mission

 

I was sleeping well until a knock on my door awakened me. I ignored it thinking it was Gail until I heard a whisper, "Todd, this is Maria and I need to talk to you."

 

I made sure I was decent, got up, unlocked the door and Maria came into my room. I signed, "What's wrong?"

 

Maria confessed, "Todd, I am worried about tomorrow when we go back to our apartment to pick up our things. There could be some trouble."

 

I signed, "Trouble of a physical nature?"

 

Maria nodded and signed, "That's correct. If they know we are moving out, they might demand a payment from us."

 

I was fully awake now so I hugged Maria and signed, "Maria, do they require a monthly payment from you for living there?"

 

Maria replied, "Yes, they call it a protection fee but it has never made either of us feel safe. I always felt they were waiting for Gail to get older, then they were going to rape her."

 

I asked, "Do you feel safe here?"

 

Maria confessed, "Yes, I feel very safe here. But I worry that Gail might try to bring some of her old friends here – you know to show off to them."

 

We heard a noise at the door and upon looking found Gail as she signed, "Are you crazy? Once we leave that neighborhood, I never want anyone knowing we live here. Didn't you hear what happened to the people who owned this house before us? If they know we live here they will come here and kill us. But Maria is right, we will have problems picking up our things from the apartment."

 

I smiled at the both of them and said, "What if we get the realtor's body guard and me to go to the apartment with you?"

 

Maria worried, "But Todd, they have guns and might kill you."

 

I smiled and signed, "Don't worry, I have a few guns of my own."

 

Gail signed, "Well I'm going back to my room, don't make too much noise and keep me awake."

 

Maria swore, "Dios Mio, someday that girl is going to go too far."

 

But Maria didn't leave, instead she got up, shut the door and locked it. Then she came to me and I signed, "Maria I do not have protection."

 

Maria smiled and said, "Todd do not worry, if I have a child this time, I will be in a safe place where she will not be injured like Gail was."

 

I signed, "I wondered if you were going to tell me she was your daughter."

 

Maria gasped, "How did you know?"

 

I signed, "It was easy for me to tell since many of your features are similar. You must have been very young when it happened."

 

Maria confessed, "Yes I was twelve when a group of boys in my neighborhood took me into a building and raped me so many times I lost count. I woke up and it was over. Then when my father found out I was pregnant, he blamed me and punched me in the abdomen."

 

I signed, "So he caused Gail's problems?"

 

She cried a little and said, "Yes, because my father beat me, Gail will never hear."

 

I wanted retribution so I signed, "Where is your father now?"

 

Maria said, "He drank himself to death after Gail was born."

 

I signed, "And those men that still bother you? Were they the ones who raped you?"

 

Maria said, "Yes it was them. They are waiting to do the same to Gail."

 

I made up my mind that those men were going to die.

 

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