Chapter 124

Together Chapter 124

Copyright 2014 - 2016 Banzai Ben and Amazing Anastasia

 

Flashback – Masha and Louise – The interview

 

I was very upset at Louise, not only for inviting the television crews to come back, but then she actually let them into our living room. I was surprised they didn't bring in a truck load of equipment and get the living room rug all dirty; instead it was three reporters and three individuals who carried cameras.

 

Even though I did not want this, I was still a proud Russian woman and it behooved me to offer them some tea or something else to drink. I politely inquired, "I am preparing some tea, would you like some or would you possibly prefer something else to drink."

 

I could tell from the looks on their faces they were surprised (I guess this was not a custom in America) and one lady replied, "I would love a cup of tea if it's no bother."

 

I smiled at her and replied, "It is not a bother at all since it is customary to offer guests something to drink when they arrive at your house." I put water in the electric teapot, turned it on and returned to the living room. I then opened the curio cabinet withdrew my Lomonosov tea set and moved it into the kitchen adjacent to the teapot.

 

The reporter who asked for the tea suggested, "Perhaps we should start the interview?"

 

I fought back my instinct to run to my bedroom, but instead placed a fake smile on my face and said, "Now is good, however we will need to stop when the water boils. Where would you like to place me for the interview?"

 

The reporter suggested, "Why don't you sit on the couch and we will bring over the chair if you do not mind."

 

Then something interesting happened as the reporters began to argue about where I should sit and who should begin. I allowed this continue for about two minutes then I interrupted, "Excuse me. This is my home and I do not like all the strife that you are causing. If you do not behave, I will require you to leave without an interview."

 

They stopped, looked at me and apologized, "We're sorry – please don't make us leave without an interview. How would you like us to conduct the interview?"

 

I looked at them and said, "First, we will not do three different interviews, we will only do one interview."

 

They began to complain and argue again so I demanded, "Please leave my house!"

 

They stopped the noise and the reporter who asked for the tea said, "I’m sorry Ms. Reynolds but we're not used to having to deal with such a strong woman as you. Please forgive us and if we are allowed to stay we promise to behave."

 

The teapot was finished, I looked at the three of them and said, "I see that you each carry tablet devices which I assume contain the questions you wish to ask me. Since I am only doing one interview, you will need to combine the lists of questions into one list. Then you may each ask one question at a time and if I approve of the question I will answer it. If I do not approve the question I will not answer it."

 

I moved to the kitchen as they began to work out the list between them. I made the tea in the teapot, brought it on a tray, placed it on the coffee table in front of the couch and asked once again, "I have enough tea for everyone. Are you sure you do not want tea."

 

They all agreed to have tea so I prepared the tea for each of them, handed them the cup on a saucer and remarked, "I don't use sugar however there is sugar in the bowl on the tray, along with spoons."

 

I inwardly smiled as they all added sugar to their tea. One reporter who seemed nicer than the rest remarked, "This is a lovely tea set and the tea is excellent, where did you purchase it?"

 

I replied, "It is from the Lomonosov factory in St. Petersburg Russia."

 

I took a seat on the couch and asked, "Have you compiled your list of questions?"

 

The nicer reporter confirmed, "Yes we did and if you do not mind, I would like to start."

 

I nodded at her, all three cameras were turned on and she began, "Hello viewers, this is Martina Sertis. Today we have the pleasure of interviewing a woman who many have hailed as the hero of our city. She has been instrumental in the destruction of the teenage bus gang and the serial rapist ring, both of which plagued our city. Today's interview will be slightly different because Ms. Reynolds has only consented to give one interview. As a result, we have combined our questions and each of us will take turns asking our questions. Ms. Reynolds, you have a lovely accent, where are you from?"

 

I replied, "Please call me Maria, and I am from Moscow Russia."

 

The next reporter gave her prologue, "Hello you all know me, I'm Georgiana Boroughs. Ms. Reynolds do you mind if I call you Maria?"

 

I smile and replied, "Please all three of you call me Maria. The use of Ms. Reynolds makes me feel old."

 

Georgiana and the other reporters laughed and the Georgiana asked, "Maria, we have heard you are married to a Marine?"

 

I answered, "That is correct, my husband is currently stationed overseas."

 

The third report had to do his prologue, "Hello everyone, of course many of you recognize me as John Rowan. Maria, what prompted you to ride the bus on the night when the teenage gang attacked your bus."

 

I replied, "I wanted to see a movie and since I do not have a driver's license, I took the bus."

 

John doesn't wait for Martina and continued, "Some have said that you were extremely brutal in the way you attacked the teenagers, and after your attack today on the police many more believe this to be a fact. How do you answer these allegations?"

 

I wanted to cancel the interviews when the doorbell rang. Louise looked out the window and said, "Masha, it's the lawyer from earlier today."

 

I nodded, Louise opened the door, the lawyer walked in and rescued me by saying, "This interview is now canceled."

 

She turned to me and ordered, "Masha, don't answer any more questions."

 

The reporters began to complain again so I demanded, "Leave my house immediately."

 

The lawyer looked at Louise and ordered, "Please bring in the police who are stationed in front of the house so they can escort these reporters off the premises."

 

Louise left the house, Martina looked at my lawyer and said, "I would love to do a favorable interview with Maria. Please let me know if you agree."

 

She handed the lawyer a business card and left just like the other reporters.

 

I looked at the lawyer and praised her, "Thank you very much for saving me, but I don't even know your name."

 

She held out her hand and said, "Don't worry about it. I know what John Rowan was going to do to you and it needed to be stopped. And my name is Tanya Torres."

 

I shook her hand Louise came back into the house without the policemen and remarked, "The police saw the reporters leave and are making sure they leave your property."

 

Louise looked at Tanya and asked, "Why did you end the interviews?"

 

Tanya replied, "Because John Rowan is on a mission to make Masha look bad and to destroy her reputation."

 

Tanya turned to me and said, "Masha, don't ever agree to an interview again, not unless we screen the questions first and I'm there with you in case they try to pull a fast one on you."

 

I questioned, "I do not understand the term, 'pull a fast one'."

 

Tanya explained, "When they succeed in an act of deception."

 

Louise furthered the explanation, "Like when they try to pretend they are your friend and all the time they are stabbing you in the back."

 

I smiled and said, "Et tu, Brute?1"

 

1 you too, Brutus? Purportedly as the last words of the Roman dictator Julius Caesar to his friend Marcus Brutus at the moment of his assassination.

 

Tanya replied, "Exactly. Here, let me show you some of the reports John Rowan has done on you."

 

She opened up her briefcase, removed a tablet and I was angered as I began to watch his reports. I turned to Tanya and asked, "What can we do to stop him from showing reports like this?"

 

Tanya smiled held up the business card of  Martina Sertis and said, "We fight fire with fire. We give Ms. Sertis an interview after we check her questions."

 

I asked, "Why would John Rowan say such terrible things about me?"

 

Tanya replied, "There is some thought that he might have had some friends on the rape gang that you defeated."

 

Louise said, "Masha you should kick his ass!"

 

Tanya cautioned, "Masha, that's the last thing you want to do. He would press charges and you could be deported."

 

It dawned on me that I could already be in trouble so I asked, "Tanya, could I be deported for anything I have done already?"

 

Tanya smiled and replied, "Not now that you have me on your side."

 

Flashback – Ben – On another mission

 

Even though I didn't want to, I agreed to take the older boy because it made sense. We were on our way out the door and I asked, "I can't keep calling you boy, what's your name."

 

The boy replied, "I am Amir. What name is yours?"

 

I smiled at him and said, "My name is Ben."

 

Amir continued, "Ben, I know the houses which have the most captured children. If you do not mind, I will lead the way."

 

He moved very well, almost as silently as I did so I replied, "That would be great since I want to rescue as many children as possible…"

 

Amir interrupted and confirmed my fears "...That is wise Ben. The Taliban will begin to kill the children when they discover they are being freed."

 

I wanted to ask Amir for more information, but we had almost reached the first building. I touched him on the shoulder to stop him and whispered, "Amir, you need to wait here while I clear the building."

 

He whispered, "Ben, there are probably eight children in this building and five Taliban. Can you take care of all five Taliban?"

 

I whispered a reply, "No problem, just don't come in until I call you."

 

I slipped up to the door which barely hung on the frame, listened and heard the obvious sounds of children crying. I pulled off my NV gear, kicked in the door, and five shots later all the Taliban were dead. The children were scared and crying so I called, "Amir, I need you."

 

He ran into the room speaking in their language and soon they were quiet. He went up to the most obvious oldest boy and gave him some commands. Then he looked at me, smiled and said, "Ben they understand and will go to the hospital."

 

I verified, "Do they know to keep their robes open?"

 

Amir said, "Yes Sir."

 

I didn't bother to correct him. We made sure the children got out of the house and were headed toward the hospital, I heard a noise outside and said, "Quick blow out all the candles."

 

We blew out all the candles and heard a voice call, "Hassan?"

 

I slipped on my NV gear, worked my way to the destroyed door and waited. Soon the fucker stuck his head inside just enough for my Ka-Bar to find his throat.

 

I waited and then another voice yelled, "Abdul." then some words which I couldn't understand.

 

Amir had worked his way beside me and whispered, "Ben, he asked if Abdul was okay."

 

I finally see the fuckers head bob up over a little wall, I raised the AK and shot the fucker in the head. Then all hell broke loose because the other men began to fire wildly at the house. I could see where they were from their muzzle flashes. They were all adjacent to each other, so I pulled a frag off my tactical vest and blew all of them to hell. Then I whispered to Amir, "We need to get the hell out of here."

 

He slipped out the door with me on his six and whispered, "Ben good job on that house, now we go to house with most children in it. Also have most Taliban so very dangerous. You think you handle ten or fifteen Taliban?"

 

I checked my tactical vest: I had a couple devices I knew I needed and whispered, "Hell yes, let's kill the fuckers."

 

Amir chuckled and repeated, "Yes kill Taliban fuckers."

 

We made it to a large house where Amir stopped and whispered, "This is big boss house and he has harem of children and many guards. You kill this Taliban fucker and will scare most other Taliban."

 

Unlike the other hovel houses, this was a real fucking house that even had real fucking windows with curtains on them. I rose up, pulled off my helmet, put my ear on the window and heard many fuckers talking. Amir was right as I thought I could distinguish at least ten distinct voices.

 

I moved to the real fucking door, pulled two flash bangs off my tactical vest, slipped the door open, chucked one in close to the door and threw the other further back in the room. The flash bangs worked like a charm! When I pushed the door open the guards had dropped their AK's and were holding their ears. They were easy targets as I dodged through the room and drilled them with my AK. I worked my way toward the back of the room when I was surprised when an AK was fired from behind me. I dropped, spun and saw that Amir had taken an AK and killed a guard who had just walked into the room.

 

Amir ran up and said, "They had a patrol guard outside that I know not, so I save you. Big boss should be in back of room."

 

Amir wanted to run to the back of the room but I grabbed him by his robe and said, "Amir, stay behind me."

 

We worked our way to the back of the room and I couldn't believe it: The flash bang I threw into the back of the room landed on the Taliban fucker and had ripped his chest open.

 

Amir shocked me when he opened his robe and pissed on the fucker. Then he explained, "He make sure to take all children first time, he was terrible man. Now I get even for time he took me."

 

We made it to the back of the room and found a prison with the children in it. They saw me and began to scream until Amir talked to them. Amir looked at me and said, "They say key for door is around big boss neck on ribbon."

 

He went back to the big boss, took the key from off his neck, came back and opened the door just as two guards walked through the front door. I had my AK up faster than they did and took them down. I guess Amir explained to them what was going on since he looked at me and said, "Ben, some of the little girls are hurt so bad they no walk. We will need to carry them back to the hospital."

 

I agreed, "Okay Amir but I will still need to cover you."

 

Amir said, "Ben, you not understand. They are six girls of four or five years and I not able carry all of them."

 

When I finally saw them I understood: The bastard had brutalized them and they would never be the same. So I said, "Amir, you stay here with them and tell them not to worry, I'm going to turn off the lights."

 

I pulled up the AK, shot out all the lights, put on my NV gear, went to the door and checked for anymore Taliban fuckers. I expected to find quite a few Taliban soldiers and was surprised when I didn't see any. Just to make sure I tossed a flash bang outside and turned away as it detonated. I turned back but there still weren't any more Taliban.

 

I headed back to Amir and asked, "Amir, why aren't there Taliban troops here to defend the big boss?"

 

Amir replied, "Ben, I think that you scare many of them by attacking big boss. They know you are great warrior if you kill big fucker boss."

 

I help one of the young girls on Amir's back, then I boost one up into each of his arms. Now it was my turn. Amir ordered one of the girls to climb on my back the others I picked up like sacks of flour, one under each arm and we hauled ass out of the building.

 

Amir stopped and said, "Ben, we must burn down the building. You stay here while I go back and burn building."

 

Amir put the girls down and headed back into the building. It seemed like it took forever but finally I saw some flames behind the curtains and Amir ran out. Once again I helped to get the little girls on his back and loaded into each arm. By then the fire was bright enough that we could be seen so I ordered, "Amir we need to run to the hospital."

 

We hauled ass to the hospital…

 

Flashback – Jack – At the hospital

 

I wasn't sure about Banzai taking the civilian on his mission since it seemed risky to me. But if he could talk to the children and explain to them what they needed to do, it was probably worth it.

 

With Banzai being gone, I couldn't sleep so I was standing watch when one of the Marines announced, "Sgt. Reynolds, we have a group of eight children headed this way with their robes opened."

 

I ordered, "Get the doctors and nurses to help with the children."

 

He took off to get them and we all (the doctors, nurses and I) met them at the door. The head doctor swore, "Son of a bitch! Go wake the Lieutenant and ask him when the other medical staff will be here."

 

Now this was something I was going to look forward to so I agreed, "Yes Sir! I will do that immediately."

 

I walked into Lieutenant George's room and in my command voice asked, "Sir! The head doctor has questioned when the other medical staff will be here."

 

He jumped about three feet into the air, landed on his bunk and swore, "Son of bitch! Sgt. Reynolds don't you ever wake me that way again! I practically had a heart attack."

 

I replied, still in my command voice, "Sir the head doctor, who is your superior officer, asked when the additional medical staff will arrive. With the additional eight children Banzai sent here they are having problems providing adequate care."

 

Lieutenant George grumbled, "Tell the doctor I am coming down and I will inform him what Colonel Maggie said."

 

I couldn't resist it so I asked, "Permission to leave Sir!"

 

Lieutenant George swore, "Sgt. Reynolds, get the fuck out of here."

 

I returned to the doctor and reported, "Sir! Lieutenant George said he would be here soon to provide you with the answer."

 

The doctor swore, "What the hell! Sgt. please take me to see this Lieutenant immediately."

 

He followed me to Lieutenant George's room, we walked into the room and as I figured, Lieutenant George had fallen back to sleep. The doctor (who was a Major) yelled, "Lieutenant, what the hell are you doing sleeping?"

 

Once again Lieutenant George jumped about three feet into the air. He came down on the bed and apologized, "Sorry Sir, I didn't mean to fall back to sleep."

 

The Major ripped him a new asshole, "Lieutenant, we are in the midst of a huge medical crisis and you're sleeping! Wake the hell up and tell me when the additional medical staff arriving."

 

Lieutenant George looked a little green when he replied, "Sir they will be here in the morning."

 

The Major said, "Lieutenant, that's not acceptable. Get on the com and get them here immediately! Tell them I said it was a medical emergency."

 

Lieutenant George jumped up and dashed to the com room, a Cpl. came in and said, "Sgt. you need to see what's coming now."

 

I followed the Cpl. to a window and couldn't believe what I saw. The kid and Banzai were hauling three little children each and another six children followed them.

 

I swore, "Hell the doctor is going to hate hearing about this."

 

I found the doctor and reported, "Sir, we have another twelve children coming in."

 

He swore, "Go find that Lieutenant and tell him his ass is grass if he doesn't get me some more medical staff."

 

I found Lieutenant George in the com room, walked in and could tell things weren't going well for him. I caught his attention and repeated, "The Major says your ass is grass if you don't get the medical staff here immediately. Banzai is bringing in another twelve children."

 

Lieutenant George began to plead with the person on the other end of the com system and finally he threw down the mic in disgust and said, "Fuck this shit! You can tell the Major they are not coming until tomorrow."

 

I figured it was time for me to help out some so I asked, "Sir, do you mind if I try?"

 

Lieutenant George said, "Knock yourself out Sgt. But if an officer can't do this, I don't know what you expect to do."

 

I smiled at Lieutenant George and said, "Watch and learn."

 

I picked up the mic and asked to speak to John (the cook) it took a little while but finally he came on and asked, "Jack my good friend what can I do for you?"

 

I replied, "John, we're having some problems here. Banzai has been bringing in a shitload of children that the Taliban have been raping. Hell, he's hauling in another twelve as we're speaking. We don't have the medical staff to take care of all these children…"

 

John interrupted, "…Jack, don't worry about it. Let me talk to some people and we will get the doctors and nurses to you as soon as possible."

 

I asked, "Do you think it will be tonight?"

 

John replied, "Jack, I will make sure it's tonight."

 

I smiled at Lieutenant George and replied, "Thanks John, how's the food holding out?"

 

He replied, "Jack I think we're going to need to make another midnight requisition soon."

 

I said, "Just let me know a couple days ahead of time and I will come back and give you a hand."

 

I set down the mic, Lieutenant George looked at me and asked, "Who the hell is John?"

 

I smiled at him and said, "Sir, if you want something done in the Marines, the rank isn't as important as the position. John is the cook."

 

Lieutenant George scoffed, "So the cook, who I thought everyone hated because his food was so bad, is going to get us the medical staff when I couldn't?"

 

I explained, "Sir, John's food was bad because HQ sent the food in unrefrigerated trucks and by the time it arrived it had spoiled. Once we got him good food, he proved that he was a hell of a cook, I've never eaten better. And yes Sir, he will make sure that we get our medical staff tonight or I figure that no one will eat tomorrow. In fact, I'd bet you a bottle of bourbon on it."

 

Lieutenant George shook his head and said, "Sgt. Reynolds, don't just stand around here, go give the Major the good news."

 

Lieutenant George really didn't understand how things worked in the Marines even though I tried to educate him. I further insulted his green-ness, "Permission to leave Sir?"

 

He yelled, "Sgt., get the fuck out of here!"

 

I left, made it to the door as Banzai and the boy arrived with the twelve children. I practically puked when I saw the bloody mess of the little girls they carried. I hoped like hell Banzai tortured the bastard who did this to them.

 

I told the Major, "Sir, I was able to secure additional medical staff for you, they will arrive as soon as possible."

 

The Major looked at me and said, "You secured the additional medical staff, not the Lieutenant?"

 

I smiled and replied, "Yes Sir, that's correct and sometime I will tell you all about it."

 

Banzai volunteered, "Sir, I would be happy to help with the boys, however I would not feel comfortable taking care of the girls."

 

The Major said, "Right now, until more help arrives, we could really use you. Get cleaned up and into some scrubs."

 

Banzai left as the doctors and nurses began to take the children into their triage room…

 

Flashback – Jennifer – At home

 

The pizza looked and smelled great. The doorbell rang and Daniela asked, "Señorita Jennifer how are my looks?"

 

I smiled at Daniela and replied, "You look great, now take off your apron and go answer the door."

 

Daniela took off the apron and headed to the door. She was so nervous it was funny but I knew better than to laugh. She walked into the kitchen with Jed and Jed remarked, "Something smells really good."

 

I lied a little, "Daniela made pizza from scratch for dinner tonight."

 

Jed smiled and asked, "I hope one of them has ham and pineapple on it."

 

Daniela informed him, "Yes Jed one pizza has jamon and piña, but I had help from Señorita Jennifer making the pizza."

 

Daddy came into the kitchen, greeted Jed and asked, "Would you like a beer?"

 

Jed replied, "Sure thing."

 

Daddy went to the fridge, pulled out a beer and handed it to Jed.

 

Jed asked, "Aren't you having one?"

 

I was proud when Daddy said, "No, I promised Jennifer I would stop drinking because of the problems we've been having with Evelyn. So you can help me out tonight if you finish off all the beer."

 

Daddy and Jed began to discuss mother's problems and I went and checked on the pizza. I came back and announced, "The pizza will be ready in ten more minutes."

 

Jed remarked, "Good I'm so hungry I could eat a horse."

 

Before Daniela said anything I explained the phrase to her then Daniela commanded, "Both of you need to wash before dinner."

 

Daddy showed Jed the guest bathroom, he went in and washed. When he was finished Daddy washed his hands. I checked and announced, the pizza is ready!

 

Daniela helped me pull the pizza out of the ovens. We set the pans on the countertop, sliced the pizza and loaded up the plates with two large slices.

 

Daniela took her and Jed's plate while I took mine and Daddy's plates. We set them down and Daniela insisted, "We must thank El Señor for this food."

 

We bowed our head and prayed then we dug in. Daddy remarked, "Jennifer this is one of your better pizzas."

 

I praised my help, "That's because Daniela helped so much with it."

 

Jed added his comments, "Daniela, this might be the best pizza I have ever tasted. How did you make it?"

 

I smiled as Daniela told Jed all about making the crust and sauce. But what made me smile even more were the looks the two of them exchanged.

 

The two slices didn't last long so I offered, "I will bring more pizza."

 

I brought the pan in from the kitchen and loaded up the plates again, making sure to give Jed the ham and pineapples slices that were left. I took pepperoni for myself and gave Daddy slices of the ham pizza.

 

Daniela noticed, "Jed you are finished with your beer let me bring you another."

 

I jumped up and said, "Don't worry about it Daniela I will bring it."

 

I brought Jed another beer, handed it to him, he opened it and said, "You know, life doesn't get much better than this: Homemade pizza, beer and a lovely women sitting at the table with me."

 

Daniela blushed and I fought back a giggle.

 

Dinner was done so I offered, "Daniela, I will take care of the dishes, why don't you and Jed take a little walk."

 

She began to argue until Daddy said, "I will help you Jennifer - now go take a walk you two."

 

They left as Daddy and I cleaned the plates, loaded the dishwasher and turned it on. Daddy said, "Jennifer it was great of you planning this for Daniela and Jed."

 

I smiled and agreed, "Yes, those two are so cute together."

 

Flashback – Alexi – At home

 

While we were eating I stated, "'Father' if I attend the university, I will be one of the youngest students and I am certain it will cause some issues."

 

'Father' cautiously replied, "What issues Alexi?"

 

I said, "The older students will be upset when they discover my age and I am concerned they will physically confront me."

 

'Father' thought for a moment and asked, "Then what do you propose we do?"

 

I smiled at 'father' and said, "You have done an excellent job on my education, the proof is in the tests I completed. So couldn't I continue to work at home on a curriculum you create for me?"

 

He thought for a moment and replied, "That would solve the issue of me needing to take you to school. But how would I know you would continue to work each day?"

 

I said, "'Father' I am motivated to study on my own, plus you will administer tests weekly and can gauge my progress."

 

He thought some more and then said, "Alexi, perhaps the university has a program that we can incorporate into the curriculum. I will check with them tomorrow."

 

I liked this idea much better than attending the university…

 

Flashback – Ira and Mira – continuing

 

My sister Mira had become too silent. This alerted me to the probability she planned a reprisal to my previous trouncing encounter. I made sure my senses were on higher alert which served me well. The origin of my disquiet was not the result of my sister Mira, but because I detected the sounds of Kostia's approaching troops! This time I ordered Mira, "Do not attack Kostia's troops until we are both coordinated and prepared."

 

They discovered the previously slain troops and began to examine he locale. They were distracted by their ruminations so the time was apropos. I signaled Mira and we attacked simultaneously.

 

Flashback – Todd – On the mission

 

Maria finally calmed down and said, "Todd, I am hungry."

 

I smiled at her and signed, "Don't worry, I will warm some of the leftover food in the refrigerator."

 

Maria added, "Todd, please make sure you prepare enough food for Gail."

 

I smiled and signed, "Maria, I am not sure there is enough food in the whole house for Gail."

 

I could tell Maria was fine when she giggled at my comment. I pulled out all the food we had and began to heat it in the new microwave.

 

Gail slinked into the kitchen and apologized, "My sister, I am sorry I kept saying that you smelled bad, it was just a joke."

 

Maria frowned and added, "No it was a terrible joke. Please do not ever do that to me again."

 

They hugged and harmony was returned to the house.

 

The microwave dinged, I pulled out the food and we had a leftover' feast…

 

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