Chapter 62

Walker Chapter 62

Copyright 2012 Banzai Ben and Amazing Anastasia

 

Flashback – Ira and Mira – Undisclosed location

 

We traversed the desert on our motorcycles and arrested forward progress at the edge of a great chasm where Baskerville's tracks terminated. As we removed our cranial carapaces, I digitally illustrated with my hand and remarked, "Mira it appears that Baskerville cleared this chasm with ease."

 

She answered, "Yes Ira but then with its method of locomotion that is not entirely surprising. What is surprising is that Baskerville did not self-terminate upon impact after its flight."

 

I informed Mira of our duty, "We must contact Israel immediately and notify them of this current discovery."

 

Mira argued, "Ira, you may contact our benefactors, however I am pursuing the prisoners. Perhaps the harlequins are still aiding them."

 

I wanted to confront my sister, but in this case she evaluated our situation correctly. I did not wish to report the terrible insult Baskerville delivered us with its escape and had hopes that if we located and terminated the harlequins, things would appear more fortuitous for our team…

 

Flashback – Major M – Command and Control

 

Our satellite followed the two motorcycles to the edge of a canyon where they stopped. My tech said, "Sir, from the track, it appears Baskerville jumped the canyon."

 

I looked at the canyon and didn't immediately believe it so I asked, "Just how far did that damn vehicle jump?"

 

My tech answered, "Sir! The distance they jumped was 79 meters."

 

I did a quick conversion: Shit that was 259 ft! It didn't jump the canyon, it flew over the canyon.

 

My tech announced, "Sir since we can't find Baskerville, would you like us to follow the motorcycles as they're now leaving."

 

I shook my head and dreaded the report I had to give the General. He was going to be more pissed than I was about losing this damn mystery vehicle again. I replied, "Yes let's see what the motorcycles are doing."

 

Flashback – Jack – Undisclosed location

 

I closed my eyes as I was pressed back into the seat again and made every promise I could think of to God. Things became eerily silent and all I heard was the wind whistling by my ears. The next thing I knew, we hit the ground and I was damn near ripped in two by my harness! I opened my eyes and became aware that somehow we had not only jumped the ravine, we had landed safely.

 

I yelled at Banzai, "If you ever do that again I'm going to find some way to kick your ass!"

 

He didn't say anything so I looked over. For the first time ever, his face was white and I actually saw fear written across it.

 

I asked, "Banzai, are you okay?"

 

He didn't answer or move! Shit what was wrong with him now?

 

At least he could still steer this damn Frankenmonster. We continued to roll. As we finally stopped, I reached over, shook Banzai but got no response. Shit it was like he checked out of life or something.

 

I knew we couldn't stay here so I pried his hands off the wheel, pushed him over to my seat, took the driver's seat and hauled ass into the nearest small ravine. I jumped out of the Frankentruck, threw the camo net over it (and noticed four of the eight manpads which Banzai had strapped to the back of this fucking truck had been fired – no wonder we went so fast, we were on a rocket sled). Then I went back to see what the hell was going on with Banzai!

 

Flashback – Catatonic Ben

 

I had survived, high school that is. I took everything the bastards at the school threw at me, all that dad did to me and graduated. I wanted to get the hell out of Leadville as soon as I could, but there was only one problem and he'd been a problem my whole life – dad.

 

Dad was sick as hell and had been for almost a year. Every day when I came home he was a little worse - he was slowly slipping away. The once proud man that beat 'sense' into me and had taught me in his own harsh and peculiar way to be a man had been reduced to a total invalid. The muscles had all wasted away leaving only skin, bones and the evil disposition.

 

Oh yeah the evil disposition survived and even thrived in dad's current physical condition. He couldn't torture me physically so he used every chance he had to verbally abuse me.  It was so bad most nights I went to bed thinking of ways I could kill him – and I worried about how I was changing. What the hell sort of son thinks about ways to kill his dad? I don't know, perhaps I was becoming as bad as my dad. After all they say the nut doesn't fall far from the tree and if there was ever a nutty tree it was dad.

 

I walked into the house after graduation and he started yelling right away, "Hey shithead, did you finally come home? It's about time because I have a surprise waiting for you."

 

Yeah I was still the 'shithead' and I knew what the surprise was: I needed to clean him up and change his bed because once again he'd shit in it. I put my diploma on the table, headed back to his room and this time I was really surprised – dad hadn't shit the bed but somehow he'd found the energy to get up, put on his Army uniform (which hung loosely around his frail body) and was sitting in the chair.

 

I blinked my eyes because I couldn't believe it. He shouted, "Ten hut!"

 

I snapped to attention like he'd trained me to do. He looked me up and down and said, "Ben, I know I've been a son of a bitch to you and I've treated you like hell."

 

I started to interrupt and he scolded me, "Did I give you permission to talk?"

 

He continued, "Now where was I – oh yeah, I've been a bastard to you because I knew I wouldn't be around for you and I needed to make sure you would be a strong man. Now tell me, did you graduate?"

 

I answered, "Yes Sir! My diploma is on the kitchen table. Would you like to see it?"

 

He weakly waved his hand and said, "No Ben I raised you to not lie and I know you're not lying now. Ben, I am finished! I made you into the best man I could, made sure you had a high school education and my time is done. So I'm going to give you one last gift."

 

I wondered what the hell he was talking about.

 

He continued, "You're going to help me to my bed, then you're going to hold a pillow over my face until I'm gone."

 

I complained, "Dad, there's no way in hell I'm going to do that."

 

He cackled, "Oh come on now, I know you've wanted to kill me for years. I'm just giving you your wish and you will fulfill the wish of a dying old man. I have made my peace and I am ready."

 

I started to complain but he slipped the Colt revolver from under his Eisenhower jacket and said, "Look, I replaced the damn dum-dum rounds you liked to put in here with real bullets while you were gone. Don't make me shoot your ass you little shithead. Now be the man I've raised you to be and give me the death that I've been longing for."

 

I reluctantly picked him up, lay him on the bed, looked into his eyes and said, "Dad, please don't make me…"

 

He cackled, "Come on you cowardly son of a bitch, get it over with and that's an order."

 

I don't know how long I sat there and held his frail lifeless body. He was finally gone, gone forever. And with him was gone all hope of ever hearing those three words I'd always wanted to hear from him…

 

Banzai wake up!

 

Flashback – Ben – Undisclosed location

 

What the fuck! Those weren't the three words! I opened my eyes and it was Jack. He looked concerned and asked, "What the hell happened to you?"

 

I rose to a sitting position and asked right back, "Jack where the hell are we?"

 

He answered, "We're hiding out after you jumped the Frankenmonster over a big assed canyon. We landed on the other side and other than steering the truck, you couldn't do anything. The only thing you kept doing was saying no, no, no. What the hell happened?"

 

I knew I couldn't tell Jack - shit this sort of thing you couldn't tell anyone! I replied, "I don't know Jack, I guess jumping the canyon freaked me out or something."

 

He answered, "Yeah that's what I thought because when I opened my eyes you looked like you'd seen a ghost, sort of the way you do now. But damn Banzai, that had to be some sort of record jump. I'm damn proud of you!"

 

I smiled at Jack and said, "Thanks Jack is the Frankentruck okay?"

 

He replied, "Yeah it seemed fine when I drove it into this ravine. By the way, there's no way in hell I'm riding in this truck with you again if you don't change the rockets so only one fires at a time, two is too much and I don't know how you could control it."

 

I remembered my outings after dad died in the Cobra. I drove the hell out of that car and that was my training ground. I smiled at Jack and said, "I guess I was just lucky."

 

It was good as hell to hear Jack when he laughed, "Lucky my ass, I'd say you should be a race car driver."

 

I grinned and questioned, "Are you hungry?"

 

His eyes gleamed and he said, "Don't tell me you have more manifold burritos."

 

I said, "Help me up and grab your shemagh."

 

Flashback – Jack – Undisclosed location

 

Well Banzai seemed okay now, but a hell of a lot more went on than I told him about. There was this whole one-sided dialog with his dad (the bastard) and now I understood more about my partner than ever: His fucking dad made him kill him instead of being man enough to take his own life…

 

No kid should ever have to do that! It's a wonder he's not more fucked up than he is…

We walked to the front of the Frankenmonster, Banzai opened the hood, grabbed a foil wrapped burrito and handed it to me. I took a bite and remarked, "Damn this one is perfect for me. How did you get rid of the extra hot sauce?"

 

Banzai laughed (and it was great to hear him laugh), "Jack, the first one I spiced up a little just to get even for the shit you've given me lately."

 

I gave him a shocked, innocent look, "I don't know what you're talking about."

 

He grinned and said, "Exactly…"

 

 

The little bastard! Well two can play these games…

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