Chapter 106

Together Chapter 106

Copyright 2014 - 2016 Banzai Ben and Amazing Anastasia


Flashback – Masha – Moving day


Because of my special training, I naturally woke up earlier than Louise and Linda. I slipped out of bed, went into the bathroom and did my morning routine, then headed to the kitchen to make breakfast. Breakfast was ready when Louise, carrying Linda, came out of the back and said, "Wow, I didn't even hear you wake up."


I smiled at her and replied, "I wanted to wake up early so I could prepare your breakfast. It's complete so have a seat at the table."


Louise sat down, I brought a plate over and Louise asked, "Masha, this is a huge amount of food?"


I replied, "I know you will be working hard so I made a large breakfast and also packed a lunch for you."


Louise sighed, "Auntie Masha you treat me too well."


I grinned at her and replied, "Louise, I knew if I didn't pack a lunch for you that you and Michael would have probably depended upon fast food."


She laughed, "Yeah Auntie Masha you're right. Michael already told me he looked forward to buying lunch for me."


I glared and confronted her, "And you would have eaten that terrible food?"


Louise giggled and teased me, "I got you Auntie Masha! I would have gone without food rather than eaten any fast food. You have trained me well."


I boldly inquired, "And do you feel any better?"


Louise confessed, "I notice I don't get tired as often and after seeing Tina's behavior I was convinced."


That reminded me so I asked, "Did Brenda give you any problems at work?"


Louise giggled and replied, "No, she couldn't come to work because she didn't have a sitter. But don't feel bad about it because Gwen and I told Michael the entire story about Tina and Michael was nice enough to give her the time off without pay instead of making her take vacation time."


I asked, "Won't Brenda miss the income?"


Louise answered, "No, she always brags about how much money her husband makes."


I thought for a moment and asked, "It seems to me that you, Gwen and Brenda are three very different people. How is it that you all became friends?"


Louise said, "You're right, we're all different. I guess we're friends because we all work at the market. But Gwen and I are much closer than Brenda and I ever dreamed of being. In fact Brenda is a little jealous of… well almost everything: Gwen's and my relationship, me coming to live here with you - you name it and she's jealous of it."


I thought again and replied, "Usually when someone is so jealous it means they are having problems for which they are having difficulty coping."


Louise said, "Boy howdy are you right! Brenda has come to work with bruises from her husband's abuse."


I internally grinned at the American colloquial expression but shook my head and remarked, "No man ever has a right to injure any woman."


Louise said, "That's true Masha and I'm sure going to miss the Krav Maga lessons. I don't ever want to be in a position again where I feel like I can't defend myself."


I blink a couple times and ask, "Louise, when were you ever in that position?"


We heard a truck horn, Louise kissed Linda, grabbed her lunch and said, "Sorry, Masha that's Michael so I need to get going. We will finish this discussion tonight."


I proceed to Louise and Linda's new room, make sure it's spotless and then Linda and I begin to work on her picture book while I wonder when Louise was mistreated by a man.


Flashback – Ben – The Stryker mission continued


Michael and I made it to the hospital without any problems. George met us at the door and said, "Sgt., you might want to head up to the roof and take a look at what's going on."


I pointed to a Private and said, "Sorry Michael, it looks like you're going to be on your own. Take Michael to the prisoner interrogation room." Then I added, "The agents worked him over pretty hard so I'm not sure how much good this will do you."


Michael laughed and said, "I have ways of extracting information they never dreamed of."


I offered, "Unless they removed them, there's a set of Taser probes connected to his genitals."


Michael laughed and said, "Damn that's almost evil!"


I replied, "It sure as hell motivated him to walk when he tried his stubborn donkey act."


I dashed up to the roof, saw George, ran beside him as he pointed and said, "I think there's going to be some problems at the Stryker." He pointed at a truck trying to work its way to the Stryker.


I swore, "You're fucking right there's going to be some problems! Get on the horn and call in an airstrike. If that fucking truck gets close enough to the Stryker it will destroy it."


I couldn't believe the fucking towelheads had mounted a M40 recoilless rifle1 in the back of a truck and were trying to get to the Stryker. I ran over to the sniper manning the Barrett and ordered, "Destroy the fuck out of that truck." He began to fire at it and smoke started to come out of the engine compartment, I further ordered, "Shoot that big fucking gun in the back of the truck."


1 The M40 recoilless rifle is a lightweight, portable, crew-served 105 mm weapon intended primarily as an anti-tank weapon and manufactured in the United States.


The other snipers fired on the truck and one of them must have hit something because there was a big assed explosion which shook the hospital. It was impressive enough that Michael ran up on the roof and asked, "What the fuck was that?"


I pointed at the slowly disappearing mushroom cloud and replied, "The towelheads had an M40 on a truck, we must have gotten lucky and blew the fuckers to hell."


Michael countered, "Lucky hell, from the size of the explosion and the color of the cloud I would say you have some fucking problems coming if the cloud heads this way."


I asked for clarification, "What the fuck do you mean?"


Michael said, "The explosion was too big for a conventional weapon so it was either a dirty bomb or some sort of gas round that got touched off. Either way, if it heads this way it's bad news."


I looked at George and suggested, "Sir, it might be a good idea to implement MOPP protocols."


George looked at me and ordered, "Do it first Sgt."


I yelled in my command voice, "All Marines, put on your MOPP2 gear!"


2 MOPP (Mission Oriented Protective Posture; pronounced "mop") is protective gear used by U.S. military personnel in a toxic environment, e.g., during a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear strike.


They grumbled as they began to pull out their gear and put it on, I looked at Michael and asked, "Where's your MOPP gear?"


He replied, "My EOD suit is my MOPP which is back at the Stryker."


I smiled at him and said, "Don't worry, I stashed some extras in my UOP pack."


I looked at a Pvt. and ordered, "Find the Marine who has my UOP pack and have him haul ass up here ASAP."


He wisely asked, "Do I find him first or do I get into my MOPP gear."


I looked at the cloud, noted it was drifting away from us but unfortunately toward the disabled Stryker and ordered, "Find the UOP pack first."


Then I turned to George and said, "Sir, the cloud is headed toward the Stryker, you need to call the Stryker and have our Marines get into their MOPP gear."


George hauled ass downstairs to the com room as the Pvt. returned with the Cpl. that had the UOP. I almost laughed because the Cpl. was about half in his MOPP gear. I took the UOP pack, opened it up and thank God the Cpl. didn't fuck with it. I pulled out a set of MOPP gear, handed them to Michael and said, "I think you know what to do with this."


I had recovered my sniper rifle earlier so I pulled up the rifle, looked through the scope and noticed our Marines getting into their MOPP gear. Then I noticed the mercs and agents waving frantically from the back of the disabled Stryker and swore, "Those stupid fuckers didn't bring MOPP gear."


I dashed down to the com room, ran in and told George, "The agents and mercs didn't bring MOPP gear, I need to bring them to the hospital."


George said, "Not without you putting on your MOPP gear first!"


I think I set a record for getting into MOPP gear, then I suggested, "Sir, have the snipers keep the fuckers busy."


George sent a Pvt. up to the roof with the order then the snipers began to fire as I ran down the fucking stairs and wondered why the hell we didn't have the fucking elevators working. I dashed out of the hospital and headed toward the fucked up Stryker as fast as I could…


Flashback – Jack – Getting ready to head to the hospital


It wasn't as hard as I thought to find a doctor who would agree that I was fit for duty. I gave the paperwork to Colonel Maggie's aide and waited. He came back later and said, "Sgt. Reynolds, you and Pvt. Tod are leaving in ten minutes."


We got ready to leave, were actually in the chopper when Colonel Maggie's aide walked up and notified us, "Sgt. Reynolds, all trips to the hospital are currently on hold."


I swore, "What the fuck is wrong?"


He simply said, "They've initiated the MOPP protocol at the hospital. I will inform you when your flight is rescheduled."


I looked at Tod and said, "Well, I guess we sit on our asses until we find out what's going on."


Tod showed he at least knew something about being a Marine when he asked, "Sgt. Reynolds, isn't that for gas or nuclear attacks?"


I replied as I worried about Banzai, "That's right, that's why we're staying here."


What the fucking hell was going on at that fucking hospital…


Flashback – Jennifer – At home


I continued reading the book, which was a reverse chronological order of the history of the dead witches in our family and how they died. It seemed that when they were discovered to be witches, they didn't live very long. Most were hanged (at Proctor's Ledge at the bottom of Gallows hill), set on fire or drowned; all deaths were quite gruesome. It gave me concern about mother telling everyone under the sun that Grandmother and I were witches - the only good thing was hardly anyone believed in witches anymore.


And it wasn't like any of my deceased relatives did anything that bad. They mainly healed people when there wasn't any other hope for healing. None of them were evil or in the slightest deserved the deaths they were given.


I put the book away and began to think that it might not be as much fun being a witch as I thought. I decided to skip the part about the relatives for now because it was depressing me. I went back to look at the spells I could cast (okay, I was really looking for a spell to make Ben fall madly in love with me). Of course there wasn't a spell for that - RATS!


Grandmother popped into the room and said, "Jennifer, good witches would never use a spell to make someone fall in love with them. But you won't have to worry about Ben because when the time is correct, you two will fall madly in love with each other."


I asked, "How do you know?"


Grandmother grabbed my face and said, "No man in their right mind could resist my granddaughter. But I caution to you guard your heart against other temptations that will come."


I wanted to ask her what she meant when she disappeared. There was a knock on the door, I hid the book and asked, "Who is it?"


Daniela answered, "Señorita Jennifer, I have some clean clothes for you."


I got off my bed, unlocked the door and Daniela asked, "Señorita Jennifer, why did you lock the door?"


I smiled at Daniela and lied, "So many people walked into my room in the hospital, I just wanted some privacy."


Daniela understood, "Dios Mio, you are correct. But worse than everyone thinking they can walk into your room, is the terrible gown they make you wear."


I giggled and said, "Next time you're in the hospital remember that you can ask for scrubs like the doctors and nurses wear."


Daniela smiled and said, "Thank you Señorita Jennifer I will remember that. It is good that you're back home, I can't wait for Señora Donaldson to come home."


I agreed, "Yes it will be good when mother comes home, however I am concerned we will have a few fights when she does."


Daniela wisely commented, "Yes it will be about the ballet dancing. Señorita Jennifer you cannot let your mother control your life or you will be miserable."


I asked, "Did that happen to you Daniela?"


She answered, "Señorita Jennifer it is not nice to say bad things about the dead, but my mother did stop my one chance for happiness in my life. I met a young boy, we were in love and wanted to get married but my mother wouldn't let me."


Daniela was almost crying so I tried to cheer her up, "Daniela it might not be too late, I remember Jed looked at you in a certain way…"


Daniela interrupted, "…Señorita Jennifer, that would be wishful thinking on my part. Look at me, I am old and have gained weight."


I countered, "It didn't seem to bother him any, and if you worked on it you could lose weight."


Daniela replied, "Señorita Jennifer I have tried diets but I'm always hungry."


I replied, "So don't diet, just make less food and get more exercise."


Daniela smiled and said, "Thank you Señorita Jennifer, you have made me feel better, but I have more work to do today."


Flashback – Alexi – At the laboratory


When we walked into the laboratory, it was shocking! The place was a total disaster. There was blood, broken glass and bodies everywhere.


'Father' said, "Alexi, please go back to the car."


I rebelled and said, "No, I want to see 'mother'." I was concerned that she was dead too. I dashed to her room as 'father' chased me and yelled, "Alexi get back here."


I made it to the room and it was even worse than the rest of the laboratory: 'Mother' was in her bed and around her on the bed were the heads of several orderlies and even the psychologist.


'Father' grabbed my hand and said, "Alexi run!"


We ran down the hallway while 'mother' chased us as she yelled, "Come back you two, I need fix you like I fixed the others."


We made it outside and 'father' swore, "Alexi, we are never coming back here again!"


I began to cry and agreed, "Yes 'father', I never want to come to this evil place again."


Flashback – Ira and Mira – continuing


I came up with an excellent plan for the cannabis, looked at Mira and suggested, "If we traversed back to the previous site of our enemies, we could acquire some of the vodka they left…"


Mira interrupted, "…Sister, you must cease this constant desire to become dipsomaniac."


I swore, "Mira! Do not interrupt me again or I will trounce you! If we acquire several bottles of the vodka, we can lace them with the cannabis and return them to the site. When Kostia's men find them they will surely partake generously of them."


Mira smiled and replied, "Sister I apologize for the interruption, your plan is a genius of stroke."


We traversed back to the camping site, found several bottles of vodka and took them back to our cave. We then wrapped a large amount of the cannabis in a piece of cloth and placed it in the first bottle.


Flashback – Todd – On the mission


We were able to get money out of an ATM machine so Maria and Gail didn't have to go into the bank.


From what Roberto said, shopping for the furniture was almost as bad as when he shopped for clothes. I thought we would go to a one-stop furniture store but I guess it was sort of a place that sold furniture which was made by the workers manning the booths. They barked at us to come and see their furniture and how much better it was than the practically identical furniture in the adjacent booth.


I wanted something simple and practical for my master bedroom, but Maria had other plans and from the looks she gave me I was sure it was because she planned on spending most nights in the master bedroom with me.  Gail on the other hand wanted everything to be pink! And not a nice pastel pink but a garish pink that practically hurt my eyes!


We finally settled on the furniture Maria and Gail wanted and then the 'fun' of the negotiation began because in this country you never paid the first price quoted for anything. I looked at Roberto and signed, "I could us a cup of coffee."


Maria translated and Roberto and I left.


Roberto looked up and down the street and swore, "Todd, there's no place here I would trust to serve you coffee. If you drank their coffee you would get sick."


I pulled out my pad and wrote, "Roberto, don't worry. I just wanted to get out of the place, it was driving me crazy."


He laughed and said, "This was only about half as bad as the clothes shopping."


That reminded me so I wrote, "I never did pay you for that."


I began to pull out some money and Roberto said, "Todd, keep your money for now, you might need it for the furniture or the delivery."


I wrote, "How are we going to get the furniture delivered."


Roberto pointed to the many trucks outside of the building and said, "After the price is settled on the furniture, Maria will contract one of the trucks to bring the furniture to your house."


I looked at the drivers and passengers sitting around the trucks and was sure I didn't want them knowing where we lived. So I wrote, "Roberto, if you know someone with a truck that you trust, I would be willing to pay extra to use them."


Roberto replied, "I have some cousins that would be more than happy to help."


I shook my head and wrote, "Just how many cousins do you have."


He laughed and replied, "To be truthful, I've never counted them. But you are wise not to let these men see where you, Maria and Gail live. Let me call them and get them over here, then we will deal with the problems it will cause."


I wrote, "What problems?"


Roberto explained, "These drivers feel this is their area and when my cousins come in, they will try to fight with them. Let me give them a call anyway."


I wrote a suggestion, "Why don't we fix the problem now?"


Roberto asked, "How should we do that?"


I wrote, "Who's the meanest baddest motherfucker here?"


Roberto looked around and pointed him out to me. He was a fat, greasy looking bastard. I smiled at Roberto and motioned for him to follow me. We walked over to him and he grinned at me, waved his bottle of beer and swore, "Another fucking rich gringo!"


I smiled at him, and flipped him the bird. He slide off the hood of his truck and said, "That's going to cost you worthless gringo. Hey Pedro hold my beer while I kick this gringo's ass."


Pedro came over, took his beer and the fucker said, "Now I will whip your skinny gringo ass."


As he walked toward me, I waited until he was close enough. Then I kicked his knee, which snapped his leg with a resounding pop. He went down in a pile then I walked over and punched him as hard as I could in the face which knocked his greasy ass out.


I looked around at his 'so-called' friends and motioned for them to bring it on. They all held up their hands which surprised me until I realized Roberto was behind me with his pistol. If I could have laughed I would have laughed when Pedro finished the beer he was holding for safekeeping despite the threat of violence.


Roberto said, "Some of my cousins are coming here to pick up this man's order and we don't want any trouble when they arrive."


The other drivers all replied in the affirmative. Roberto and I walked back inside and Roberto said, "Todd you broke his leg."


I wrote, "Of course I did - he insulted me."


We found Maria and Gail still busily negotiating…