Chaper 14

Wanderer Chapter 14

 

Flashback – Ben – Day four, week one of spook school

 

I headed back to the school after a night and unfortunate morning of debauchery with Charlie. It felt like she sucked the life right out of me! I tried to come up with some sort of excuse that Mira would buy so she didn't kill my ass but got an upsetting as hell phone call from Tom. He yelled, "Right now you need to get your ass to the school because Jack and Mira are in deep shit…"

 

I hung up the phone and yelled at the driver, who drove slower than my grandmother, "Step on it, I need to be at my destination yester-fucking-day!"

 

He glanced in the rear view mirror and replied, "Sorry mister, but I don't speed and break the law for anyone."

 

I offered, "It's worth an extra hundred to me."

 

He shook his head, "Sorry, I won't even do it for five hundred dollars."

 

Shit! I had to get the only moral cab driver in the whole fucking city, just when I needed to get my ass to the school to save Jack and Mira. Well, if bribery didn't work, perhaps force would. I slipped my pistol out of my pack, placed it to the back of his head and said, "You know, I've tried to be a nice guy and you wouldn't listen, now move this fucking cab."

 

I saw the fear in his eyes as he floored it and now we were flying. I just hoped I'd be in time!

 

Flashback – Jack – Day four, week one of spook school

 

Man I was up shit creek without a paddle… no without even a fucking boat. The shit was going to hit the fan and Banzai wasn't even here to take part in this shit. I immediately snapped to attention and Mira mirrored my example.

 

He walked up to me and…

 

Flashback – Mira – Day four, week one of spook school

 

Stinky Sgt. Reynolds assumption that he trained me was amazingly annoying. The failure of being informed about this impending disaster by Ira, Kai or my government was an extremely egregious error which should have been avoided. Now I would have to reimburse the flautist and possibly face imprisonment. Someone was going to pay for this mistake!

 

I had just made up my mind to permanently eliminate the three errors in front of me when…

 

Flashback – Ben – Day four, week one of spook school

 

Thanks to Tom's early warning, and the proper application of pistol persuasion, I made it to the school just in time. I ran my fastest towards Jack and Mira who were standing at attention when I noticed Mira's muscles start to tense. Shit! She was going to take the three of them down! I ran up, stood in front of Mira at attention and said, "Excuse me Sir for arriving late!" I let my eyes wander down and his name was M? Just M? Shit! Now that was strange!

 

Major M said, "I recognize you PFC Blaine and I recognize Cpl. Reynolds, but I do not recognize the young female Marine behind you."

 

I understood the not-so-veiled threat of demotion and replied, "Sir! This is my completely fault! Sir! The young lady is here for training and is a member of the Mossad. She arrived without the proper equipment and I thought…"

 

He interrupted me, "Shut the hell up PFC, when were you ordered to think!" I snapped my mouth shut and watched out of the corner of my eye as the commandant and Mr. Smith laughed. Those fuckers are going to pay!

 

Jack replied, "No Sir L.Cpl. Blaine is incorrect! This was my complete fault because I outrank everyone here."

 

Major M just looked at Jack. I was pissed as hell he was trying to take the blame for my mistakes. I started to speak when Mira stepped around me and said, "Excuse me Sir! But it is neither L.Cpl. Blaine's responsibility nor Sgt. Reynolds' responsibility because the blame lies completely upon my shoulders."

 

He glanced at all three of us and replied, "Shit! I should just have all of you thrown in the brig and bring in JAG1 to sort this fucked up mess!"

 

1 JAG – Judge Advocate General Corps - refers to the legal branch or specialty of any of the United States Armed Forces including the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy. Officers serving in the JAG Corps are typically called Judge Advocates.

 

I was happy as hell I would be going back to the Marines since that was my plan all along, even if it was the brig. But I was upset as hell about Jack and Mira getting in trouble for the things I did. I figured I was fucked already so I threw all caution to the wind and interrupted, "Sir, please excuse my interruption Sir, but I would be more than happy to explain everything to you if I am just given the chance!"

 

I could tell my boldness shocked him but I did not expect what happened next…

 

Flashback – Mira – Day four, week one of spook school

 

My wonderful boyfriend charged in just like my white knight to save stinky Sgt. Reynolds and me from the disaster which unfolded in front of us. His timely arrival and bravery greatly excited me! He even tried to take the blame for everything, just like I knew he would. However I could not allow him to do that.

 

He interrupted the Major (whom, because of my superior training, I immediately recognized). The Major drew back his arm and I could tell he was going to assault L.Cpl. Blaine for his insolence, so I quickly stepped in front of L.Cpl. Blaine and took the painful blow for him. It was remarkably firm and well applied so I felt myself growing weak kneed. Someone caught me and lowered me to the ground. I wondered if L.Cpl. Blaine's fractiousness had already infected the Major, because he made a very grave mistake. I grinned and said, "You have just assaulted an emissary of Israel and have made a grievous error Major Mike…"

 

Flashback – Major M – Day four, week one of spook school

 

Shit! Ms. Sedankina took the blow I meant for L.Cpl. Blaine on purpose! Yes I knew who the hell and what the hell she was. But I was just shocked to see her in full Marine battle gear - a serious breach of protocol I couldn't ignore. She was invited by our government to train and observe the training methods at this school as a gesture of good will and cooperation; and I had just clocked the hell out of her! Now I was in deep fucking shit because this was an international incident!

 

I was pissed as hell to begin with and hated being in this fucking dump! The Old Man sent me to this 'school' to see what the hell was going on and evaluate the Sgt. and the L.Cpl. The Commandant and Mr. Smith had been whining and bitching like colicky babies that L.Cpl. Blaine, Sgt. Reynolds and Ms. Sedankina were ruining their school and training program. I read their reports and laughed my ass off! This place was a fucking joke if it couldn't handle two Marines and one woman agent! I was also impressed as hell with my Marines, especially L.Cpl. Blaine. When he was properly motivated, and most importantly pointed in the proper direction, he made a hell of an asset.

 

L.Cpl. Blaine caught Ms. Sedankina, lowered her carefully to the ground then jumped up, lunged at me and yelled, "I'm going to kick your ass!" Sgt. Reynolds intercepted him and ordered, "Banzai, don't fucking do it or you'll spend the rest of your young life in prison." It was too bad he stopped L.Cpl. Blaine since I was ready and would have loved to spar with him.

 

L.Cpl. Blaine complained, "Jack let me the hell go! He hit a woman and needs to be taught a lesson."

 

Good the reports were true: He had a great respect for women. I commanded, "Sgt. Reynolds, if L.Cpl. Blaine feels he needs to teach me a lesson for accidentally hitting Ms. Sedankina, then let him try. However L.Cpl. Blaine, it might be better if you and I just take a little walk and have a friendly discussion."

 

Flashback – Ben – Day four, week one of spook school

 

I was mad as hell at fucking Major M because not only did he hit a woman: He hit Mira! Jack grabbed me and stopped me as Major fucking M said, "Sgt. Reynolds, if L.Cpl. Blaine feels he needs to teach me a lesson for accidentally hitting Ms. Sedankina, then let him try. However L.Cpl. Blaine, it might be better if you and I just take a little walk and have a friendly discussion."

 

I struggled and whispered to Jack, "Come on Jack, let me the hell go. He deserves an ass whipping!"

 

Jack replied in a whisper, "Banzai, you're too fucking emotional - if anyone should be pissed at him it should be me! Mira did what she did on purpose and is faking unconsciousness for a reason: Shit she already knows who he is and even knows his name. If you go at it with the Major, we're all going to lose. Take the walk with him and find out what the hell he wants, but be careful!"

 

I didn't understand why Jack should be more pissed about Mira getting hit than me, but I ignored it for now. I glanced down at Mira, and saw Jack was right, the sneaky little bitch was faking it. In fact she had her hand on her katana. I realized if I got into it with Major M, Mira was going to finish it! I took a couple deep breaths, calmed myself and whispered, "Jack, you're right. Thanks for keeping me from making an even bigger mistake. Please take care of Mira while I go and find out what this bastard wants."

 

Flashback – Major M – Day four, week one of spook school

 

I observed with great interest the interaction between L.Cpl. Blaine and Sgt. Reynolds and determined what I read was true. The L.Cpl. had a great respect for Sgt. Reynolds and really listened to what he said. I wish I had thought to have some long range surveillance microphones setup so I could examine the dialog between the two of them later. That's an oversight I won't make again.

 

L.Cpl. Blaine regained control of his emotions and said, "Sir! I would like to take that walk with you." Good, just the right amount of defiance. Now to get on his good side, "Sgt. Reynolds, please attend to Ms. Sedankina while the L.Cpl. and I are away. L.Cpl. Blaine shall we walk?"

 

He fell in beside me and we walked away from prying ears.

 

Flashback – Mira – Day four, week one of spook school

 

Even though stinky Sgt. Reynolds was on my defecation enumeration (shit list), he had just made me frightfully felicitous because he prevented my boyfriend from attacking Major Mike Murphy. L.Cpl. Blaine did not recognize the attack would have engendered an extremely fierce and brutal battle betwixt them. The Major was well-nigh well-known amongst those circles with which I normally associate. To call him a Major was a misnomer because he was more spy than Marine and was an expert at many styles of marital arts and weapons. I was ready to defend my boyfriend if he had been foolish enough to incite physical battle, even if I was mortally wounded by the Major.

 

My original shock and anger when I saw him was elicited by the fact that the agent we had keeping abreast of him did not report the Major's proximity to my corporeal self or this 'school'. And now my mission was critically compromised and teetered on the precipice of failure.

 

I opened one eye a slit and watched my boyfriend walk away with Major M. Sgt. Reynolds knelt beside me so I jumped up and said, "Sgt. Reynolds I do not presently require physical assistance. However, follow me because L.Cpl. Blaine might possibly need some help."

 

Jack griped, "You scared the shit out of me!"

 

I laughed and answered, "Sgt. Reynolds, are you trying to tell me you soiled my gift?"

 

He blushed and answered, "I meant figuratively."

 

I grinned knowing I had given him the gift which would keep giving all day long, a painful reminder of his fractiousness this morning. Then I informed him, "Sgt. Reynolds, we must follow Major M and L.Cpl. Blaine because he may be in very grave danger."

 

Sgt. Reynolds laughed and replied, "Yeah the Major might need some help."

 

I corrected him, "I meant L.Cpl. Blaine. The Major is a very worthy opponent and could damage him."

 

Sgt. Reynolds questioned, "Are you telling me Banzai may have met his match?"

 

I was puzzled by the question and responded, "Sgt. Reynolds, are you saying L.Cpl. Blaine has a twin and his twin is the Major? They do not bear any resemblance to each other."

 

He shook his head and replied, "Come on Mira, I will explain what I meant on the way to keep Banzai safe."

 

Flashback – Ben – Day four, week one of spook school

 

I was still pissed as hell at Major Butthead for decking Mira, even though I knew she let it happen on purpose. We walked away from the group and when the distance was far enough so no one else could hear the Major asked, "Do you know why I'm here?"

 

It was my nature to give him a smart assed answer so I replied, "Sir! I was ordered not to think! So I have no idea why you are here. Sir!"

 

He laughed and agreed, "Yes L.Cpl. that is what I ordered. You now have permission to think. So, do you know why I am here?"

 

I answered, "Sir! I think you are here because of my performance at this school."

 

The Major laughed again and replied, "L.Cpl., performance is a wise choice of words, because you have certainly put on one hell of a show. Would you care to tell me just exactly why you think you are here and what you're supposed to do here?"

 

I began to slightly like the Major so I replied, "Sir! To answer those questions I request to be allowed to speak freely."

 

He responded, "You have permission to speak freely L.Cpl."

 

I answered, "Sir! I am here for two reasons. The first is I personally did something which upset General Donaldson so I and my spotter, Sgt. Reynolds, were not so temporarily assigned to Mr. Smith as a punishment. The second is because Mr. Smith has missions for us which require the talents taught at this school…"

 

The Major interrupted with a laugh, "Well the first might be true because I don't know anything about that. But the second is a pretty big load of bullshit, because from what I understand you haven't learned much of anything at this school."

 

I countered, "Oh no Sir! That’s not correct! The classes in the evening are excellent and I have learned a lot. Everything is in a report I am currently writing."

 

Major M asked, "But what about the rest of the school, have you learned anything at all from it?"

 

Shit! I really didn't want to answer that so I replied, "Sir! I am not sure I am qualified to answer that question."

 

The Major pulled a notepad out of his pocket and replied, "L.Cpl. stop trying to feed me bullshit because I'm not going to swallow your crap. If you want to make this hard, that's fine with me.  Do you like being here?"

 

I looked around and said, "Sir! I most certainly do not like being here."

 

He questioned and it felt like I was being lead into a trap, "L.Cpl. why do you not like being here?"

 

I replied, "Sir! Just look at this place, it's a joke. Besides I am a Marine and belong with other Marines."

 

Major M asked, "What about your orders?"

 

I replied, "Sir! I was given no written orders from the Corps to come here for training. It was something that Mr. Smith 'decided' we needed."

 

The Major wrote in his notepad and said, "I will need to check on that, and if you are correct then many things now make sense. Tell me, what did you learn by beating the shit out of the instructors and all the other agents when you first arrived at the school?"

 

I double checked, "Sir! You did say I could speak freely didn’t you?"

 

He replied, "L.Cpl. you know I did so stop stalling and answer my question."

 

I gulped and said, "Sir! I have learned that, if this school, instructors and students represent the current state of the intelligence community in our country, then it is no surprise we're getting our asses kicked everywhere."

 

He answered, "So unless someone can kick your ass, you can't respect them and follow an order?"

 

I replied, "Oh no Sir! I respect many people who cannot kick my ass."

 

He grinned at me, "Tell me L.Cpl. do you think you can kick my ass?"

 

I replied, "Sir! I do not have all the parameters to answer that question."

 

He laughed, "Okay Sherlock, tell me if you would like to kick my ass?"

 

I smiled at him and stated, "Sir! No offense, but I think you need your ass kicked for striking Mira."

 

I watched as Major M started taking of his rank insignia…

 

Flashback – Major M – Day four, week one of spook school

 

When I questioned L.Cpl. Blaine it was quite frustrating because he was really much more intelligent than any tests had shown and had almost zero tolerance for boredom and bullshit not related to a mission. I questioned if he had really tried on the tests he had been given or if he really figured out a way to fake the answers. I understood perfectly why he hated this school. Shit! I hated this school and I'd only been here three hours because it was a huge, boring waste of time!

 

I also perceived that he did not naturally respect anyone and his respect had to be earned. He certainly respected Sgt. Reynolds and Ms. Sedankina but he had very little respect for me - which I was about to change.

 

I laughed, "Okay Sherlock, tell me if you would like to kick my ass?"

 

He smiled at me and declared, "Sir! No offense, but I think you need your ass kicked for striking Mira."

 

I knew that would be his answer, so I started to remove my rank and said, "Well, you're going to get your wish, a chance to kick my ass."

 

He questioned, "Sir! Are you saying I will not be disciplined if I strike you?"

 

I popped him a good one in the mouth then he dropped back into a defensive position as I said, "That's right Ben, just like I'm not going to be disciplined for striking you."

 

Flashback – Ben – Day four, week one of spook school

 

It took me about two seconds to figure out Major M was much more than just a Major in the Corps. In fact, initially I questioned if the Major was really in the Corps or was an imposter brought in by Mr. Smith as some sort of bullshit psychological weapon to make me cooperate.

 

From his response to my answers, I figured out he was indeed a Marine, plus a hell of a lot more. Also Mira knew him and that told me volumes: He must have something to do with the intelligence community, and was, if there was such a thing, a Marine spy?

 

I could tell he assumed I didn't respect people unless they could kick my ass, but that's not true. And we all know when you assume you make an ass out of u and me. I respected him because it's hard as hell to make it to Major, but I sure as hell didn't respect him like Jack or Mira - now those two were fighters and the Major, well he was just an officer! Shit he was probably just another REMF2 who wanted to become a fucking hero!

 

2 Rear Echelon Mother Fucker: Someone who's never seen combat or action.  

 

He laughed and asked me, "Okay Sherlock would like to kick my ass?"

 

I smiled at him and replied, "Sir! No offense, but I think you need your ass kicked for striking Mira."

 

He started to take of his rank insignia and said, "Well, you're going to get your wish, a chance to kick my ass."

 

I questioned, "Sir! Are you saying I will not be disciplined if I strike you?"

 

He was a sneaky bastard and smacked me a good one in the mouth before I was even ready. He said, "That's right Ben, just like I'm not going to be disciplined for striking you."

 

He's not going to catch me off guard again and he's not going to get any mercy from me. I spat the blood out of my mouth and said, "Well, come on, I'm your Huckleberry."

 

I was quite surprised when he pulled two bastons3 out of his pack and knew this was going to be fun. It had been awhile since I'd fought someone who knew Kombatan4.

 

3 Baston - is a rattan stick which varies in size, but is usually about 28 inches (71 cm) in length.

4 Kombatan - is a Filipino martial arts system. The style is known for its double stick techniques but it features other stick and blade techniques, as well as empty-hand methods.

 

Jack and Mira ran up and Mira questioned, "L.Cpl. Blaine would you like my practice katana?"

 

I grinned at her and replied, "No thanks, Mira, I won't need a stick to whip his ass."

 

Major M said, "L.Cpl. Blaine, I know weapons are your weakness."

 

I grinned at him and replied, "Yes Sir! That's what everyone says."

 

Flashback – Mira – Day four, week one of spook school

 

I was exceedingly worried because my boyfriend was going to spar with Major M and he did not comprehend just how adept Major M was. The Major was an expert at Kombatan and I watched as he pulled out two bastons. I worried about the bruises my boyfriend would be receiving.

 

I offered, "L.Cpl. Blaine would you like my practice katana?"

 

He grinned at me? And replied, "No thanks, Mira, I won't need a stick to whip his ass."

 

Major M said, "Ben, I know weapons are your weakness."

 

My boyfriend now grinned at him? And then he replied, "Yes Sir! That's what everyone says."

 

I wondered about L.Cpl. Blaine's last statement since it was well known that while he was very excellent in Tai Chi, Brazilian capoeira and several other martial arts, he had problems defending himself against weapon attacks. I had even witnessed this myself last night when I gave him some bruises with my practice katana. Now he was facing the Major and didn't seem concerned at all - had L.Cpl. Blaine become mentally unbalanced?

 

L.Cpl. Blaine started to remove his outer garments, which reinforced my concern for his mental state. When his bare feet hit the ground, he shuddered slightly and his persona changed: He became incredibly centered and focused to a degree I had never witnessed. Major M sliced the air with his bastons in an attempt to warm up and intimidate my boyfriend. But L. Cpl. Blaine stood sedately, stretched slightly, and appeared to be a lamb waiting for slaughter.  

 

I whispered to Sgt. Reynolds, "What is L.Cpl. Blaine doing, has he given up? He does not appear to be ready for the coming combat."

 

Sgt. Reynolds replied and his statement caused me greater consternation, "Mira, I hope you have your medical kit with you. I've got a feeling we're going to need it."

 

I was not going to let the Major beat my boyfriend so I raised my practice katana and moved to place myself between them. L.Cpl. Blaine sounded different when he gruffly commanded, "Mira, get the fuck out of the way or you will get hurt!"

 

I moved back, had a great idea and demanded, "I claim the right to be L.Cpl. Blaine's second5!"

 

5 Second – In the rules of dueling, the second is allowed to fight the primary should their primary lose.

 

Major M continued to slice the air and laughed, "I'll accept that because I've been looking forward to teaching you a thing or two just like I'm going to teach Ben to have a little respect!"

 

My boyfriend had taken off all his clothing except for his undergarments and I very much enjoyed looking at his practically naked form. He responded to Major M and then asked, "Sir! You struck a lady once and I am going to teach you to never strike a lady again! Mira, may I please borrow your silk scarf?"

 

I was touched because I assumed he wanted to go into battle wearing my silk scarf like the knights of old (yes, I knew the silk scarf was not regulation for the Marines, but it was regulation for the girl-next-door Mira). I untied the silk scarf, walked between them, handed it to my boyfriend, hugged him and said, "L.Cpl. Blaine, you do not have to defend my honor because his punch did not hurt. Also be very careful, Major M is a very worthy adversary for you."

 

He lightly touched my face and answered, "Mira, even though it was an accident, his punch has bruised your face. He needs to pay for his recklessness."

 

Major M rudely interrupted, "Oh now isn't this cute! Ben has a girlfriend! Well Ben, are you going to let your girlfriend do your fighting or are you going to bore me to death?"

 

Then my boyfriend started one of the things he does the best, he started his insults with, "I heard Major M's men would follow him anywhere – too bad it's just out of curiosity to see what the hell he fucks up next."

 

I obediently moved out of the way. L.Cpl. Blaine stood facing the Major with my silk scarf in both of his hand and the Major said, "After I kick your ass, I'm going to put a collar and a leash on you and make you follow me around this school liked the whipped dog you are."

 

L.Cpl. Blaine replied, "When officers open their mouths, it's only to exchange which foot they currently have in it."

 

I heard laughter and suddenly realized the rest of the school was here.

 

Flashback – Major M – Day four, week one of spook school

 

I noticed the whole school turned out for this; I think they wanted to see the L.Cpl. get his ass beat as retribution for him kicking their asses and I had no problem at all providing that entertainment for them. I had planned on starting earlier, but Ben's actions were puzzling to me and I was trying to figure out what the hell he was doing.

 

He took off his combat armor and the rest of his clothing other than his shorts and that was not a logical move when facing an opponent with swords. Yes, I know they are just rattan sticks, but if this battle was life or death, they would be swords. When his bare feet touched the ground, he visibly shuddered and appeared to gain greater inner strength.

 

I couldn't believe it: He was facing me in his shorts and holding a silk scarf in both hands by the ends. I wondered if he was fucking crazy or just had a death wish.

 

Then the long awaited insults started and I knew our confrontation was imminent.

 

Flashback – Jack – Day four, week one of spook school

 

Well this was going to be a fucking e-ticket ride.5 I and the rest of the school had a front row seat! Banzai had become that mean mother I'd seen before and Major M was in major trouble. Banzai faced the Major in his skivvies with Mira's silk scarf (what the fuck sort of weapon is a silk scarf?) but the scene reminded me of David facing Goliath. I just needed to keep Banzai from killing or seriously injuring the Major.

 

5 E-ticket ride - Since the 1950s, the phrase E Ticket (or E ticket ride) has referred to an unusually interesting, thrilling or expensive experience. It derives from the tickets used at Disneyland and Walt Disney World theme parks until 1982.

 

I prepared Mira, "Mira, we both need to be ready."

 

 Mira grabbed the handle of her real katana and replied, "I will take Major M's head if he permanently damages my boyfriend!"

 

What the fuck! I thought I was her boyfriend. I was distracted, looked at Mira until I heard Banzai yell, "That's one!" and the rest of the school cheered. I turned and the battle was on: Somehow Banzai had already taken away one of the Major's sticks and I missed it. I could tell the Major was majorly upset.

 

I replied to Mira, "You won't need your real katana, what you will need to do is calm Banzai down so he doesn't kill or seriously injury the Major."

 

I watched the Major fly towards Banzai swishing the stick through the air. Banzai waited until he got close enough, held up the silk scarf, the stick hit the silk scarf, Banzai twisted the silk scarf around the stick and pulled: The stick flew out of the Major's hand! Then Banzai jumped and the Major's leg sweep missed its target. However, Banzai's front kick found its target and the Major flew backwards, landed on his pompous ass and looked like he had the wind knocked out of him.

 

Banzai yelled, "That's two and three!"

 

He calmly walked over, picked up the Major's sticks and threw them to him.

 

Flashback – Mira – Day four, week one of spook school

 

My incredible boyfriend used my silk scarf as a very effective weapon and had already disarmed Major M. But then he threw the bastons back to the Major, hitting him in the head with them, and I doubly doubted his sanity! I asked, "Sgt. Reynolds why did L.Cpl. Blaine give the bastons back to the Major?"

 

He calmly replied, "Mira, Banzai is teaching the Major a lesson."

 

I watched with great interest to learn what this major lesson was. The Major had regained his breath, then regrouped and picked up the bastons. As he stood up, my boyfriend taunted, "How's your ass Major pain in the ass?" The rest of the school again laughed at the comment.

 

I became excited and voiced my support, "Trounce his major derriere my boyfriend!" the whole school laughed!

 

As the Major sliced the air with his bastons, I noticed L.Cpl. Blaine keenly observing his technique. When the Major threatened, "I'm going to be a major pain in your ass, then while you lay on the ground half-conscious I’m going beat your girlfriend's sassy ass."

 

Then something shocking happened!

 

Flashback – Major M – Day four, week one of spook school

 

I had just had my ass handed to me because I realized I was too cocky and someone's ass was going to get kicked! Whoever did the analysis which said the L.Cpl.'s weakness was weapons, screwed up! He used a silk scarf to disarm me - a totally brilliant strategy, then dodged my leg sweep and delivered a thundering front kick to my chest. I was thankful as hell I had on my combat armor otherwise it would have broken my ribs. As it was it knocked me on my ass and it knocked the wind out of me.

 

L.Cpl. Blaine continued the taunts and I responded with what at the time seemed to be appropriate. However it ended up being a huge fucking mistake!

 

Flashback – Jack – Day four, week one of spook school

 

The Major, majorly fucked up when he said, "I'm going to be a major pain in your ass, then while you lay on the ground half-conscious I’m going to beat your girlfriend's sassy ass." I guess he hadn't realized how seriously Banzai would take his threat to beat Mira. I watched as every muscle in Banzai's body tensed: He looked like a rattlesnake getting ready to strike then he flew at the Major and caught him completely off guard.

 

Flashback – Mira – Day four, week one of spook school

 

I watched with great joy and then extreme consternation as my L.Cpl. Blaine went on the offensive! Until now, it had been thought he was primarily a defensive fighter and my superiors would be greatly pleased to see the video of this confrontation. The Major stated he was going to beat me, a grave tactical error which triggered the extremely explosive reaction in L.Cpl. Blaine.

 

He charged the Major like an enraged bull, blew past his bastons, wrapped my silk scarf around the Major's neck, slipped behind him, bent over and pulled the Major off the ground. The Major flailed around like a fish out of water as he was strangled.

 

Sgt. Reynolds yelled, "Mira come and help me save the Major."

 

We ran out to the combatants. Sgt. Reynolds shook L.Cpl. Blaine and ordered, "Banzai, stand down!" But it was like my boyfriend couldn't hear him.

 

Sgt. Reynolds, hit my boyfriend, which angered me and again yelled, "Banzai, stand down! You're fucking killing the Major!"

 

He still didn't listen! Sgt. Reynolds looked at me and ordered, "Mira do something!"

 

And something I did - I pulled my katana and knew I must strike a perfect blow or risk injuring my boyfriend. My katana sliced through the air, expertly sliced my silk scarf and slightly snicked the Majors neck. The Major dropped to the ground, L.Cpl. Blaine stood up, faced me and appeared to be extremely upset as he yelled, "Mira what the fuck…" I ran to him, tackled him, fell on top of him and gave my brave knight a huge kiss! At first he fiercely battled the kiss, but soon he returned the emotion in my kiss.

 

Flashback – Jack – Day four, week one of spook school

 

I sure as hell didn't understand Mira! I thought after last night she and I were an item, but now she was giving Banzai a horizontal lap dance and tongue tonsillectomy - this was fucked up! If I hadn’t needed to take care of the Major, I'd take care of this bullshit, but the Major was a major mess and needed help. There was blood everywhere and at first I thought Mira's katana had seriously wounded the Major, but found it was just a nick on the back of his neck. Da-amn! I believe she was as good with that sword as she was with my sword last night.

 

I applied pressure to the back of the unconscious Major's neck and hoped to hell he wouldn't be too pissed when he woke up. He's just damn lucky he's going to be waking up! Banzai was fucking crazy and I hoped he hadn't really fucked up this time.

 

Flashback – Major M – Day four, week one of spook school

 

What the hell happened! Last thing I remembered L.Cpl. Blaine charged me. The bastard waited for the perfect time, when my bastons were crossed, and moved so fast I couldn't defend myself. It was a brilliant but unexpected move. My head throbbed, my neck hurt and Sgt. Reynolds was leaning over me, holding a piece of the silk scarf to the back of my neck. I looked at him and tried to say, "What the hell happened?" But instead of my normal voice, it came out as a croak and just speaking caused my throat pain.

 

Sgt. Reynolds replied, "Sir! The back of your neck is nicked and is bleeding some."

 

The cagey old coot! He had been Marine long enough to learn you give an officer the least amount of information you can. Shit he reminded me of me when I was a Sgt.

 

I croaked, "Sgt. you will tell me how I ended up here unconscious on the ground."

 

He grimaced at me and replied, "Sorry Sir! But you took off your rank and until it's back on, you're not a Major to me so I respectfully refuse to answer that question."

 

Damn him! I figured out he was protecting the L.Cpl. and ignored the obvious contradiction in his reply. I struggled, sat up, looked over and Ms. Sedankina had the L.Cpl. pinned to the ground: At first I thought she was fighting him, but realized it was closer to screwing him. It was obvious she had strong emotions towards L.Cpl. Blaine - a very valuable piece of information I could use.

 

I started to yell a command, but it came out a croak, "L.Cpl. Blaine attention!" And I sure as hell didn't receive the response I expected.

 

Flashback – Ben – Day four, week one of spook school

 

I sure as hell didn't remember how the hell Mira got on top of me. In fact I didn't remember anything after the fucking Major threatened to kick Mira's ass. Mmm and what a fine ass she had - my hands massaged the hell out of it while she ground herself against me. I guess I fought a major duel and won, but it sure the hell wasn't as major as the duel Mira's tongue fought with me right now! I was horny as hell and Mira was too so I thought: Why the hell not!

 

Then I heard the Major and he sounded majorly different, "L.Cpl. Blaine attention!"

 

Mira jumped off me and strode towards him with her katana drawn. Shit! She was going to make a major mistake! My raging desire for her wilted as I jumped up and ran after her.

 

She stopped in front of him, slightly raised her katana and threatened, "Major Murphy! You will not attack L.Cpl. Blaine ever again or you will have to answer to me!"

 

I arrived beside her and the Major answered, "Ms. Sedankina, put away your katana. I do not plan on 'attacking' the L.Cpl. However, he is out of uniform and I would like him to get dressed and then for us to finish our talk."

 

I knew I should have kept my mouth shut, but I couldn't resist so I looked at the Major and sassed, "Hey Mike! I'm not the only one out of uniform!"

 

Jack shot me a dirty look, Mira grabbed my hand, looked me in the eyes and said, "Come on boyfriend, I will help to get you cleaned up and dressed." She lead me to my folded uniform, started to clean me up using some wet wipes from her pack and helped to get me dressed. A guy could get used to this sort of treatment.

 

Flashback – Major M – Day four, week one of spook school

 

Sgt. Reynolds brought me my rank, helped me put it on and I thought, what a great piece of luck! Ms. Sedankina had fallen in love with the L.Cpl. - a huge mistake on her part and very much out of character for an agent of her caliber. I filtered this information through my mind and started to determine the best way to capitalize on this situation.

 

Sgt. Reynolds said as he helped me to my feet, "Sir! I hope you don't hold anything that happened against Banz… I mean L.Cpl. Blaine - he was not himself."

 

I still wasn't sure what the hell the L.Cpl. had exactly done, but I was distracted by Ms. Sedankina as she helped the L.Cpl. clean up and get back into his uniform. Yes she was most certainly in love with him.

 

The Commandant and Mr. Smith ran up to me. Mr. Smith said, "Major, we witnessed everything and will testify in the court martial for L.Cpl. Blaine and the arrest and trial of Miranda." Damn slimy backstabbing bastard - I totally understood why the L.Cpl. hated him so much.

 

I knew I'd never get the truth out of Sgt. Reynolds or Ms. Sedankina so I answered, "Mr. Smith, describe to me exactly what you witnessed."

 

He gave a detailed observation. When he finished I realized how close I'd come to death and how lucky I was. I looked at Sgt. Reynolds and his face told me there wasn't much embellishment to Mr. Smith's recount of the almost fatal sparring match. The L.Cpl. would have killed me, just for threatening his girlfriend? I needed to have a serious talk with Sgt. Reynolds about his sniper!

 

I ordered, "Sgt., walk with me!"

 

Flashback – Jack – Day four, week one of spook school

 

Son-of-a-bitch! That fucking Mr. Smith snitched on Banzai and now Ben was going to be in major trouble. Someday the fucking backstabbing rat-bastard would get his just desserts - I would make sure of that.

 

The Major ordered, "Sgt., walk with me!" and I felt like I was being lead to my and Banzai's inquisition. I kept my mouth shut and waited for the Major to make the first move.

 

Flashback – Ben – Day four, week one of spook school

 

Mira did an excellent job cleaning me up and helping me back into my gear. She tried a couple times to get frisky with me, but my moment of horniness was gone and I avoided the unnecessary contact. I looked around for Jack and asked, "Where did Jack and Major M go?"

 

Mira said, "Honey, Major M and Jack left for a walk about eight minutes ago."

 

The 'Honey' distracted me and I was going to say something about it, when I realized: The Major and Jack took a 'walk'! There's no fucking way I'm going to let Jack take a 'walk' with him. I know what it means when the Major takes a 'walk' with someone. And Jack would get the hell kicked out of his ass because the Major knew his shit about martial arts.

 

I stated, "Thanks Mira, let's go keep Jack safe!" Then we ran after the two of them.

 

The Major heard our approach, turned and ordered, "L.Cpl. Blaine and Ms. Sedankina, this is a private conversation, you both will remain fifteen meters behind us."

 

Damn! This was frustrating and as I looked at Mira, I think she sensed my frustration because she smiled and said, "Sweetie, I do not have to follow his orders."

 

The 'sweetie' shocked me so I shook my head and asked, "Mira, would you…"

 

She interrupted, "Certainly honey! I will do anything for you other than inappropriate things you might ask me to do with other men." She ran up beside Jack and the Major; it looked like the Major wasn't happy but neither was I. Mira's back to using the anything crap with some major modifications. I watched the very animated dialog between the three of them and fumed in frustration. What the hell did I do to the Major? I wished the hell I could remember!

 

Flashback – Major M – Day four, week one of spook school

 

I was pissed off, chewed Sgt. Reynolds' butt and tried to decide if L.Cpl. Blaine was mentally unfit for duty. The fucker tried to kill me and no one gets away with that shit! Yeah I shared part of the blame with my poor choice of insults, and I did take off my rank and was technically a 'civi' to him - but things still escalated to an insane level.

 

I was also pissed because the L.Cpl. should have been shot and at least wounded when he tried to kill me. I sure as hell wasn't foolish enough to stroll into this fucking school and confront these three without some backup. Where the fuck was my aide and why didn't he perform his duty?

 

Sgt. Reynolds staunchly defended his sniper and after a while I'd substantially calmed down. The old coot was right: L.Cpl. Blaine was a hell of an asset and, as long as I wasn't stupid enough to threaten his girlfriend again I think we could get along. There were only two problems: the Old Man was pissed as hell at the L.Cpl. and had basically thrown the two of them to the wolves (a huge waste which I needed to somehow rectify) and the L.Cpl. honestly tried to kill me.

 

I'd just finished getting the real story about why the Old Man was pissed at the L.Cpl. and realized I would need to be a miracle worker to pull off my plan. I even started to feel sorry as hell for L.Cpl. Blaine because it seemed like every time he turned around someone (even the General's underage daughter) fucked with him. He was a good man who happened to be in the wrong place way too many times.

 

However, I still needed to resolve the issue that the L.Cpl. honestly tried to kill me - which couldn't be ignored. We had been walking for about ten minutes when I heard him and Ms. Sedankina run up behind us and ordered them to stay back. Off course Ms. Nosey Butt Sedankina didn't listen to my order - she ran right up beside me just as Jack replied, "Sir! You're the one that initiated contact with L.Cpl. Blaine and you did that before you said, 'That's right Ben, just like I'm not going to be disciplined for striking you.'"

 

She added, "And Major M, you also assaulted me without provocation and I have the bruise on my face to prove it."

 

I replied, "Those facts may be true, but it doesn't diminish the fact that the L.Cpl. made an honest attempt to kill me - what the hell was he thinking?"

 

I knew I had Jack when he looked down, but I didn't count on how fired up Ms. Sedankina would become. Her hand went to her katana and I flinched…

 

I breathed a sigh of relief when she just threatened but did not draw the katana.  She then explained to me, "Major M, as a personal emissary of Israel, invited legally into this country with a diplomatic passport, I am immune from the laws of your country. After your unprovoked assault on my corporeal body, I would be well within my rights to eliminate you."

 

I realized with her, the threat was very real and there was no way in hell I was going to let her get her katana out of its scabbard. I slipped my hand down to my sidearm, and was surprised as hell when…

 

 

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