Chapter 34

Walker Chapter 34

Copyright 2011 Banzai Ben and Amazing Anastasia


Present – Stacy – Travel back to the bunker


I have a terrible dream. I don't even want to repeat it and wake up screaming. Ben is right beside me, holds me so gently and comforts me, "Stacy it will be fine, it was just a bad dream."


I reach down, touch all the pads and instantly realize – no, it wasn't just a bad dream that's why the pads are here. It really happened and it's a fracking nightmare!


I look at Ben and declare…


Present – Ben – Travel back to the bunker


Well Stacy's amnesia must have left because she wakes up screaming. I jump off Bo, run back, sit beside her, hold her and try to convince her it was just a bad dream.


She pulls away, looks at me and declares, "Ben, like hell it was! That fat fucking bastard drugged me and raped me! He's not going to get away with that! I want to go find him and kill him!" Then she begins to cry.


I hug her and tell her, "Stacy, if we did that right now, it would be the biggest mistake we would ever make. Believe me that I want to kill him almost as badly as you do. But you need to heal first because right now you're too badly injured to even ride a horse."


She pulls back and agrees, "You're probably right, but I want your promise that as soon as we can we're going after the bastard!"


I promise, "Stacy, when you've healed enough to ride we will head out and look for Guy. I don't let people survive who hurt my friends. Now we need to get you back to the bunker where we can clean you up better. Are you going to be okay riding on the travois by yourself?"


She sniffles and answers, "I would feel better if I had a gun."


I explain to her, "Well the bastard took all your guns so I can either let you use one of my revolvers or the Winchester Centennial '66."


She says, "I don't like revolvers but I do like your shiny rifle."


I jump up and grab it out of the scabbard. Then I sit beside her and demonstrate how it works. She surprises me when she kisses me on the cheek as I get ready to leave and says, "Ben thank you again for rescuing me. Because if you had left me with that bastard I think he would have killed me."


I mount up, look back at her and curse myself again for not killing the bastard when I had the chance!


Present – Stacy – Travel back to the bunker


I swear at myself because my plan to use Guy to get Ben jealous seriously backfired on me! How could I be so stupid! He seemed so nice and charming but ended up being the worst kind of terrible monster. I close my eyes but all I can see is the bastard and what he did to me. Somehow at first he even made me think it felt good but then he turned into a sadist and all he wanted to do was hurt me.


I make a decision and yell, "Ben, please stop."


He stops, jumps off Bo, is right back by me and asks, "Stacy what's wrong."


I give him a determined look and say, "Ben I want to ride back to the bunker."


He argues, "Listen Stacy, you're not thinking straight. If you ride it will hurt like hell and cause you to bleed more."


I glare at him and answer, "I don't give a frack! Sooner or later I'm going to have to face the pain of riding and the sooner I get it over with the sooner we can hunt that bastard down and kill him."


Ben continues, "Stacy you're not being sensible, there's no way in hell I'm letting you ride."


I answer, "Fine, then I will walk!"


So I get off the travois, begin to walk and the gentle, considerate Ben walks beside me. Yeah it hurts like hell but I'm not ever going to let the bastard win and I'm sure not letting him off the hook!


Present – Ben – Travel back to the bunker – SA and SLLS training


I walk beside Stacy, study her actions and realize her SA is higher than I've ever seen before. She's carrying my Winchester in high ready position on her hip and her head is moving like crazy. While I'm proud of her, I'm also concerned so I say, "Stacy, you need to back down a little because you're worked up right now."


She answers, "Ben, I was a fool and let that bastard trick me. That's never going to happen again. Next time someone like Guy shows up I'm going to shoot them."


Yeah, I'm going to need to work on her attitude some because while Guy needed to be shot, not everyone else will. I decide I need to distract her a little so I again start the training, "Stacy, while you're great at seeing things, you are weak at using your other senses."


She answers, "Like hell I am! I can hear much better than you and I can sure smell that you need another shower because you smell like the horses again."


I counter, "Yes, but at least my smell is a natural smell, not like the perfume and deodorant you wear. Those smells give you away when you're on a mission and need to be avoided. But the worst action is when you decide to cook, because the smell of food travels for miles. And yes your hearing is better than mine but you still miss things. For instance did you hear the squirrels in the trees to the right of us?"


We stop walking, Stacy looks to the right and I direct her actions, "Stacy stop looking. Now close your eyes and listen to the normal sounds around us."


She replies, "Okay I'm doing that, now what?"


I tell her, "Once you've memorized the normal sounds, listen for sounds that fall outside of those."


I watch her face, then there's an ever so slight smile and she says, "Yes I can hear the squirrels now. Can I open my eyes?"


I whisper, "Not yet. Keep your head on a swivel and it will help you identify the exact location of the squirrels. Once you identify the exact location, bring up the rifle and aim it where you think the squirrels are making noise."


She complies as I watch her bring up the rifle and she complains, "Frack! The squirrels ran off."


I laugh and explain, "Yeah, you moved the rifle too fast and the squirrels saw the movement. So which way did they move?"


She aims the rifle and does a damn good job so I say, "Very good you were really close now keep your eyes closed."


I head to my saddlebags and Stacy says, "Hey, where are you going?"


I reply, "Good job of listening but keep your eyes closed."


I pull out a little bottle, silently open it and wait. Stacy wrinkles up her nose and says, "Well something smells really bad."


I question, "What else happened?"


She answers, "Well something has the horses a little upset probably that bad smell."


I reply, "Very good. The smell is red fox urine and smells so bad it will mask almost any other smell."


Stacy adds, "So the horses thought it was a threat that's why they're upset."


Ben says, "Right again! You're on a roll!"


Present – Stacy – Travel back to the bunker – SA and SLLS training


I suddenly realize I've had my eyes closed this whole time and haven't thought about or visualized the fat bastard. Ben's doing an excellent job of distracting me. But frack! Now the distraction is gone because I figured it out.


I open my eyes, look at Ben, touch his arm and say, "Thanks for helping to get my mind off what happened."


He smiles and lies (he's a terrible liar), "I have no idea what you're talking about. I was just using this time for training. Now hop back on the travois so we can get back to the bunker."


I remind him, "Ben I told you I'm not riding in the travois, I'm going to walk. Now let's get moving."


Ben answers, "One more thing, remember how you memorized the normal sounds? That's something you have to continually do, but you need to be careful that you don't count a significant sound as a natural sound."


I question, "And how am I supposed to do that?"


He grins and says, "Just like everything I've taught you, you need to practice it all the time. Now are you sure you don't want to ride on the travois?"


I give him a dirty look and answer, "Since when did you become a nag? No I don't want to ride on the travois. Let's get going."


We take off leading the horses behind us, each step hurts so I fight to ignore the pain…


Ben whispers, "Stacy, when a person is in pain, there's always a danger they will concentrate so much on the pain that they lose their SA."


I answer, "I thought you just told me my SA was too high, now it's not high enough? Make up your mind."


I hear a buzz and simultaneously Ben draws a revolver and fires while the horses damn near yank my arm out of the socket as they bolt and take off running.


I ask, "Ben what the hell was that?"


He smiles and says, "That Stacy is going to be our dinner. You're in for a real treat because I'm going to make my famous rattlesnake chili."


I'm scared as hell (I hate snakes) and about barf as I answer, "No way am I eating a nasty rattlesnake."


Ben smiles and asks, "I thought you were a worldwide traveler. Don't tell me you never ate snake?"


I counter, "No I never had to eat such a vile creature. Don't you think we should get the horses?"


Ben grins and challenges, "I'll tell you what, if I can get the horses here in under one minute, then you will have to at least try my rattlesnake chili."


The way the horses bolted, I'm sure they're miles away so I agree, "You're on! But if you lose then you have to finish cleaning out the stables all by yourself."


I get worried when Ben quickly says, "It's a bet." Then he whistles and I'll be fracked, because Bo comes running back and he has Patches' and Knacker's reins in his mouth."


They come right up beside us, then I almost wet myself laughing…


Present – Ben – Travel back to the bunker – SA and SLLS training


I can't fucking believe it! Bo comes running up with Patches and Knacker then the three of them proceed to stomp the hell out of the meat for our dinner. I start swatting at the horses with my hat and yell, "He you hay burners cut that out, you're ruining dinner!"


Then I hear giggling, look over and see Stacy laughing like a little kid and holding her stomach. It was worth losing the meat for dinner just to hear her laugh again.


I finally get the horses to stop, but the snake is ruined. Stacy grins and says, "Well I guess now I won't have to eat any rattlesnake chili."


I remind her, "No but you still have to clean out the stables…" I go to say more when the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. I've been SLLSing but this cranks my SA up to full.


Stacy notices and immediately asks, "Ben what is it?"


I reply, "I don't know, but I'd swear we are being watched or stalked."


Present – Stacy – Travel back to the bunker – SA and SLLS training


It was funny watching Ben with the horses and at least I won't have to eat any of the vile chili he was going to make. I was just beginning to feel better when Ben says, "I don't know, but I'd swear we are being watched or stalked."


So I begin to SLLS like crazy but I don't see, hear or smell anything unusual. I secretly hope the bastard came back because I'd love to get my hands on him and make him pay for everything he did to me.


Ben finally says, "Well I sure as hell don't see anything."


I add, "I don't hear or smell anything."


Ben says, "Well, if someone is watching us, we'd be safer in the bunker. Now I know you're not going to like this, but we can move much faster if you're on the travois."


Yes it does make sense, besides I was just getting more sore by walking. So I agree, "Ben I think you're right." I climb back on the travois and we take off at a trot…


Present – Ben – Travel back to the bunker – SA and SLLS training


I can't shake the feeling that we're being watched or stalked. It doesn't help that the hair on the back of my neck is still standing up. But I've done my best to see who it is and if we are being watched or stalked, then they have to be damn good! At least I'm sure it's not the fat-fuck-dope-head Guy because he was never this good. I've felt this way before and I've never been wrong…


What bothers me most is it doesn't go away while we're moving. So whoever it is they have to be following us. I SLLS like hell and even flip around in the saddle but don't see anyone. I think back and remember one time this happened, it was a very long time ago on the first mission for Major M – OH SHIT!


I yank the .300 win mag out of the scabbard, jump off Bo and keep him moving because moving targets are harder to hit. I pull out my go pack, make sure I have all the normal supplies including ammo. Then I grab a roll off the back of Bo and tell Bo, "Make sure you get Stacy and the other horses back to the bunker. And whatever you do don't stop for anyone or anything."


He nickers and nods his head then noses me. I say, "Yeah I'll be careful, but you be careful too."


 I head towards Stacy…


Present – Stacy – Travel back to the bunker – SA and SLLS training


I hear Ben running toward me and I'm surprised since we're still moving. He gets close and seems to be using Patches to hide behind. I question him, "Ben what the hell is going on?"


He explains, "Stacy, I'm sure we're being stalked. Don't worry because it's not Guy. Whoever it is, is so damn good I can't see them. I'm going to leave you with Bo and the horses and do some recon work because it might be a sniper. I'm not worried about you, because if it is a sniper then they are after me."


I watch as he's getting into his camouflage suit and ask, "Do you think I will be safe?"


Ben answers, "I told Bo to get you to the bunker." He hands me his keys and says, "Here are the keys to get in, I would go in through the stable just in case Guy used your keys to access the bunker. If he's in there Bo will kill him."


I state, "Not if I get to him first. Will I see you before we get to the bunker?"


Ben answers, "Possibly but don't count on it. If you see anyone or anything, shoot first and ask questions later. I know you don't like revolvers, but since you're better with a handgun, here's one of the revolvers and a box of ammo. And here's a box of ammo for the rifle. "


I question, "What's the challenge response in case you come back?"


He thinks for a moment and says, "Mine is walking and yours is dead."


He's in his camouflage suit and says, "Just so you know, I'm not totally leaving you. I will do my best to shadow you and the horses. But I'm going to be close to two kilometers back so remember if you see anything, shoot first and I will come running."


Then I'm amazed as he disappears into the brush beside the trail and I can't even see him.


But I sure don't like being alone. We continue to move and I SLLS like crazy…


Present – Ben – Travel back to the bunker – Counter Sniper


Dammit all! This is not what we needed right now. When you've done the work that I've done in the past, you make many enemies - enemies who like to issue fatwas and put prices on your head. And when that price gets high enough, even the mercenaries become interested. But with the war still going on down here, there's no telling who it might be that's after me. But whoever it is they're not an amateur and when two snipers square off against each other, it's serious business.


They won't be fooled by me leaving the horses and Stacy since they will guess exactly what I am doing. I wish like hell Stacy wasn't thrown into this because then it would be much easier. I could find the right defensible location and wait for the sniper to come to me. But there's always a chance the sniper might wound Stacy in hopes of bringing me out into the open to rescue her. So I have to shadow Stacy and the horses and also try to find this bastard.


I move calmly and carefully up the hill to find a better location and hope I can see this bastard before he sees me…


Present – Stacy – Travel back to the bunker – SA and SLLS training


I'm SLLSing like crazy! I sure don't like it that Ben left me and I feel very exposed. Nothing happens for about an hour so I get a little sleepy, then the horses make a ruckus. I turn around, look forward and I can't believe what I see run across the road! Perhaps I was asleep and dream what I just saw. If not what the hell is one of those doing in Texas?


Well, it wasn't a dream because it spooked the hell out of the horses and they take off running and I'm holding on to the travois for dear life!!!