Chapter 10

Wanderer Chapter 10


Flashback – Mira – Day three and early morning day four, week one of spook school


Yes I was in love, but no I was not completely crazy. I had rational reasons for forcing L.Cpl. Blaine and stinky Sgt. Reynolds to abide in my old room tonight. Certainly it corresponded to the persona of the shy-girl-next-door (which surely acquired L.Cpl. Blaine's attention), but I had received an e-mail from Ira and I knew I had an enormous quantity of work to discharge this evening. I did not want a bumbling Marine (no matter how competent he was - he was still not a spy and would be a hindrance) and his even more incompetent comedic sidekick meddling with my assignment.


Sgt. Reynolds grumbled, "Mira, be reasonable. Just let us sleep in the room tonight because if you don't Banzai is going to be pissed as hell at me. He might even want to sleep in the same bed as you tonight."


I crimsoned and berated Sgt. Reynolds in persona, "Sgt. Reynolds! Just what sort of young lady do you assume me to personify! I would never let any man sleep in the same bed with me until our nuptials are complete, let alone allow two unattached hooligan males to sleep in the same room with me. It is too opprobrious for a young lady of my comportment. Take your and L.Cpl. Blaine's clothes and leave my room posthaste!"


He resembled a dog that had done something improper as he picked up some clothes and averred, "Mira, you are making a big mistake. I don't think Banzai will ever forgive you for this."


For a very brief second I faltered, then regained my persona and commanded, "Sgt. Reynolds vacate my room!" I placed my hand upon my practice katana for emphasis.

He shook his head and finally left. I instantly sprang into action: I sadly wrote a note for my boyfriend banishing him to my old room and taped it to our door (I was certain he would have joyfully trained me tonight but sadly it was not to be); then I slipped on my dark black ninja outfit and prepared my many weapons; finally I lay on the bed, contemplated my misfortune, sadly waited for my boyfriend to find the note and leave in disappointment. Afterwards, I could perform my mission.


Our enemies made an incredibly incompetent error when they did not recognize I had on body armor and now they would pay for that error with their lives. But first they would pay for preventing me from being trained by L.Cpl. Blaine with the unendurable pain I had in mind for them. It would not overly affect them since it would only mollify a miniscule measure of my frustration. They would not be very aware because by now they would in all likelihood be intoxicated from hashish.


Yes, our enemies were Hashshashin1: Religious, drug crazed fanatics ordered to destroy Ira and me because of our successful mission against their Imam. For us, eliminating their Imam was nothing but a duty to destroy a defiled demagogue desiring to incite his followers to act-out atrocious acts. He, like many of his ilk, professed holiness but was nothing but a fraud as he could not wait to train his young and nubile twin servant girls - a 'gift' from a 'friend.'  I had once again 'lost' to Ira and was to go first. He was greatly grotesque in his degenerate desires and I was hugely happy Ira terminated his 'holy heaviness' before I endured anything more than one nauseating kiss.




Unfortunately there was a leak and his fanatic followers discovered our identity. The leak expired in a massively macabre way, but the damage was done and now we were incessantly irritated by the Hashshashin. At first they were exceedingly disciplined, and presented quite an interesting and amusing challenge as they attacked us in pairs using many of their wide-range of techniques. Of course, their endeavors to eliminate us were completely ineffective. We conjectured they sent their best trained agents against us first and by now all that was left were the bungling bumbling buffoons such as those who nearly injured my boyfriend.


The time had come so I surreptitiously sneaked out of our room and into the hallway, locked the door, slipped to the exit and vacated the building. Ira's e-mail informed me of the location of the two enemies who attempted to eliminate me and almost injured L.Cpl. Blaine. It was peculiar performing a mission without my sister because it did not occur regularly and when it did I usually experienced apprehension. But for some non-rational reason I did not have any such problem tonight.


I easily scaled the fence and climbed into the waiting car Ira had ordered. We drove in silence to the location while I steeled myself for the coming combat. The driver stopped the vehicle two blocks away and said, "Good luck!"


I replied, "Luck has nothing to do with this. This just requires training and skill." I left the car and headed to their 'not-so-safe' house. I squatted behind a bush across from the house to begin observation. It was pitch black which initiated concern the information we received was incorrect; however there was a vehicle in the driveway which lessened my concern. I scanned the house for an additional fifteen minutes, saw no movement and finally decided they must be incapacitated from their hashish orgy and it was safe to enter the house.


I boldly stood and walked across the street and up to the front door as if I belonged in the neighborhood. I was very surprised upon reaching the front door, because it was ajar and I immediately became concerned I might be walking into a trap. I squatted, drew my pistol, pushed the door open, listened and waited.


A very light breeze blew through the front door. Abruptly a plethora of familiar aromas assailed my anterior naris, (no it was not hashish!) but it was the obvious odor of spent ammunition with an undercurrent of coagulating blood. This was either a very elaborate trap, or my foes were already annihilated.


I carefully crept into the house but still nothing moved. Both aromas were significantly stronger now and emanated from the back hallway. It was time since I was within the house to actuate my night vision goggles. I slipped them over my eyes, actuated them and the whole room meta-morphed into varying shades of green.


I glanced around the corner, down the hallway but did not see anything. So I proceeded, glanced in the first side room and quickly brought up my pistol because there was one of the foes lying on the bed. However, there was no need to fire because the night vision goggles displayed the bed in light green where his blood covered the sheets. He had already expired!


But I must find foe two before I examined the scene more thoroughly. I danced down the hallway to the end room and found foe two in the same state as my first foe, dead on the bed. I carefully examined the scene: He had been shot three times - once in the head, once in the heart and once in the crotch. There was something on the wall but I could not read it. I pulled off the night vision goggles and briefly actuated my LED flashlight to better view the writing on the wall - it read MS-132.




I went back to the first room and discovered the same circumstances, even to the writing on the wall. I did turn on the lights and took many photos of the crime scenes which I would send to Ira for later analysis. Then I searched thoroughly but could not find any ammo cases in either room. On more careful examination of the two corpses I could not even find any bullet fragments in the bodies. This was very puzzling because it was not standard tactics for MS-13. First the shots were too precise - if I were to measure I would say they were less than a centimeter difference between the two bodies on projectile placement. Second, MS-13's weapon of choice was normally a nine millimeter pistol, usually a MAC-103 which had been converted to fully-automatic operation and they usually sprayed the room and target with projectiles. Finally there were no cases, which told me whoever dispatched my foes, did so silently because they did not worry about attracting attention from the sound of gunfire, and could afford the time to recover the cases.


3 The MAC-10 (Military Armament Corporation Model 10, officially the M10) is a highly compact, blowback operated machine pistol developed by Gordon B. Ingram.


This was most troubling for me since I had been terribly thwarted, my foes were already vanquished and someone made a very amateurish attempt to have it resemble a gang murder. I walked back into the night, leaving the front door wide open, and headed back to my vehicle with more questions than answers.


Flashback – Ben – Early morning day four, week one of spook school, the 'not-so-safe' house


We watched Mira enter the bastard's house and Tom whispered in his headset, "Damn Mira is quiet as hell and moves like a cat."


I whispered a reply, "Yeah, she's good but she's too fucking late!" As we waited for her to come back out of the house, I remembered earlier tonight…


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


I read Mira's note throwing me out of our room and was fucking depressed. Even after my talk with Charlie, when she warned me not to get romantically involved with Mira, I had decided, (after her girl-next-door look, which I couldn't resist) I was going to train, shit, I mean bang the hell out of her all night long!


Besides, I wasn't so sure Charlie's motives were pure: I could tell she wasn't used to being turned down and I think Charlie was playing some sort of game to see if she could nail me before Mira did. It would be funny as hell to play them against each other, but Anna's voice kept engaging my morals and I couldn't do it.


Now I was banished to Mira's old room, but something didn't feel or smell right about this. And the more I thought about it, the less sense it made! Mira, the Mira that continuously wanted to sleep with me was throwing me out of the room! What the fuck! I was deep in thought when my mobile phone vibrated, so I pulled it out and asked, "What's going on Tom?"


He answered, "Ben, it was a good thing you had me clone Mira's mobile phone."


I questioned, "Tom, what do you have for me?"


He answered, "First, when they talk it's in some sort of language that no one understands. However, her sister sent an e-mail which was in code so it took a while for me to decipher it. It looks like she was the target today, not you. Her sister also gave us the address of the safe house of where the two fuckers are."


Suddenly Mira throwing us out of the room made sense - this was some sort of fucking elaborate smokescreen to get Jack and me out of the way for tonight. Fuck this shit! I wasn't about to let Mira head off and do whatever the hell she was going to do by herself! I became extremely pissed and ordered, "Tom, I need you to bring me a full black combat rig with stealth shoes and fully suppressed weapons. I'm going to take care of those bastards!"


He questioned, "You want Howard and me along for backup?"


I replied, "Hell no! This is personal!"


Tom argued, "Them shooting at you made it personal for us. So you're getting backup whether you like it or not. Besides one of us needs to drive you to the location."


He was right and I didn't want to waste time arguing so I asked, "When are you guys coming for me?"


Thom laughed, "Get your ass out here, because we're here waiting for you."


Flashback – Ben – Early morning day four, week one of spook school, the 'not-so-safe' house


The lights came on in the first bedroom and Howard whispered in his headset, "What the hell do you suppose Mira's doing now?"


I replied, "I would guess she's doing a thorough examination of the crime scene."


Tom bragged, "I'm sure glad I thought of making it look like the MS-13 did this." I thought about his statement and worried because Mira was sharp as hell, and something just didn't seem right to me about the fake MS-13 crime scenes, but I couldn't place my finger on it.


A few minutes later, we watched the light come on in the second bedroom and knew Mira was being totally thorough and I whispered in my headset, "Get ready guys, because we leave when she leaves."


Howard sassed back, "Damn Ben, you really care for her!"


I thought, yeah I really do and if she hadn’t thrown me out of the room tonight, things would be very different right now. We watched as she left the house and I whispered over the radios, "Let's get the hell out of here. She's safe…


Flashback – Mira – Early morning day four, week one of spook school, the way back to the school


As I walked to the vehicle, I was still very bewildered. Someone, not MS-13, had eliminated my quarry and robbed me of my coup. It made me fantastically frustrated as I poured over the many details of the crime scene in my mind. No, it was most certainly not MS-13 because this was a precision strike carried out by someone with incredible training… Humm, training similar to that undertaken by my boyfriend! But how in the world could he have discovered my plan because he was after all, just a simple Marine!


I entered the vehicle and my driver commented, "That did not take long."


He was much too verbose for me, so I just grunted at him, "Be quiet and take me back to the school." I reached over, picked up my mobile phone, turned it on, waited until it became functional, and it vibrated like crazy!


I glanced at the display, it was multiple text messages which read, "911 CALL ME!"


I knew it was Ira so I immediately placed the call!!!


Flashback – Ben – Early morning day four, week one of spook school, headed back to the school


We laughed our asses off while heading back to the school in and Tom said, "Damn! Mira was totally fooled by my MS-Thirteen trick. The Score: Recons one - spies nothing."


Howard added, "Yeah, I wish I could have seen her face. But dammit Ben, you should have let us handle one of them."


I replied, "Guys, first I wouldn't count on her being fooled. She's one of the smartest damn women I've ever met. And second, the bastard's shot at her and me and it was my honor and most certainly my fucking kills."


I had a very bad feeling when my mobile phone began to vibrate!!!


Flashback – Mira – Early morning day four, week one of spook school, the way back to the school


After my emergency phone call with Ira, I knew I must break protocol and directly contact my boyfriend on his mobile phone! As his girlfriend, there were of course multiple indulgences I must take with his privacy since it was a normal girlfriend responsibility! And as his SPY girlfriend, I must brag, I knew more about my boyfriend than he knew about himself!


I dialed his mobile phone and waited. He finally answered and said, "Hello Mira." His reply concerned me! How in the world did he know it was me?


I replied with utmost crankiness, "Good very late evening L.Cpl. Blaine. I already know you are NOT in my old room with stinky Sgt. Reynolds. Please inform me that you are not spending the night with that broken down, worn out, syphilis infected instructor commonly called Charlie! If you are, then I must inform you, as your girlfriend, I will be forced to damage you in a very extreme manner!"


Yes I was more upset than I ever had been in my life. Ira informed me with very great joy (had she secretly sensed I love him?), that our other agent at the school informed her L.Cpl. Blaine had never returned to my old room last night. He also revealed that stinky Sgt. Reynolds had fallen to misfortune. I naturally assumed L.Cpl. Blaine had fallen to an almost mortal moral misfortune with the broken down, worn out, syphilis infected, soon to be expired instructor Charlie! And he was spending the night training her and NOT ME! So I made a call to his mobile phone and placed my probing question!


There was very much noise and confusion while I waited for my answer, even some moaning and groaning which greatly added to my despair. Finally my boyfriend said, "Mira, Tom, Howard and I are taking a joyride!"


I ascertained that my boyfriend told me mostly the truth. However I must teach him an extremely large lesson. I simply said, "While you and your friends were acting like fractious fools, your best friend Sgt. Reynolds was abducted!!!"


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


Shit! I waited for Banzai to show up but he never did. I figured he must have finally gotten his head out of his ass and was busy screwing either Mira or Charlie so I gave up, turned out the lights and hit the sack. I was well into a hot as hell dream with Charlie as the nasty teacher, Mira as the naughty school girl and me as the stern principal who caught them in flagrante delicto4. I was just getting ready to punish them with my rod when I woke because the door opened. I grouched, "It's about…" Then all hell broke loose!


4 The Latin term is sometimes used colloquially as a euphemism for a couple being caught in the act of sexual intercourse.


Flashback – Ben – Early morning day four, week one of spook school, headed back to the school


I yelled at the guys to shut the fuck up! Mira (how in the hell did she get my mobile phone number) needed to tell me something important. They found out it was her and started acting like a pack of fucking baboons. Finally they shut up and Mira informed me, "While you and your friends were acting like fractious fools, your best friend Sgt. Reynolds was abducted!!!"


I yelled, "Mira! What the fuck are you taking about?"


I could tell she relished telling me and answered in a sarcastic as hell tone, "Well, L.Cpl. Blaine, it seems while you and your friends decided to take a 'joyride.' My old room was invaded and your very best friend Sgt. Reynolds left the door unblocked, wrongly thinking you would come back to the room. And it appears he has now been kidnapped."


What the hell! The fucking bastard instructors took Jack! I'm going to kill their fucking, nasty, skanky asses! I demanded, "Mira, do you know where they have taken Jack?"


She replied, "I most certainly do L.Cpl. Blaine and if you meet me back at the barracks, we will go and rescue your Sgt."


Son-of-a-fucking-bitch! Someone is going to pay for this shit! I yelled, "Guys the fucking instructors have Jack and we need to rescue him. Tom, kick this piece of shit car in the ass!"


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


At first I thought it was Banzai fucking around when the door opened. Even after the first flashbang, I still thought it was him playing a fucking practical joke. But after three more flashbangs, I knew it wasn't Banzai, this wasn't a joke, and I was under fucking attack! I was smart enough to keep my wits about me and kept my eyes shut. After the noise, I flew out of the bed, Kimber in hand, but the bastards never turned on the lights. One big whack on my arm, and I dropped the Kimber; another one on my head rendered me unconscious.


Now I was awake, confused as hell but not so confused I didn't pretend to still be unconscious. I'd been drugged! I didn't know what fucking drug these bastards gave me, but I felt fucking great, was as high as a fucking kite and certainly felt no pain! The bastards taped me to a chair and were across the room from me.


I carefully watched the two of them, out of the corner of one eye and they seemed confused! First I don't think they were the fucking instructors, otherwise I would have beat the hell out of them, and second, they kept looking at me, shaking their heads and then talking, almost like they didn't expect me to be in the room.


Dammit, perhaps Banzai is right, perhaps I am out of shape and getting too old for this shit. If I couldn't even take care of two fuckers who broke into my room, I was a pretty sorry sack of shit!

Oh fuck! I've got to cough and I can't stop it. Great, now the bastards know I'm awake and are coming over.


Flashback – Mira – Early morning day four, week one of spook school


I reached the stinky school earlier than my errant boyfriend. My first duty was to ensure our other agent was still operational. I ran to his room and tapped on his door, he let me in and I interrogated, "Kai, how are you feeling?"


He replied, "Thank you Ma'am! I am still very embarrassed for losing Sgt. Reynolds. But I am better physically than when I alerted your sister. The two who took him were as quiet as you and rendered me unconscious before I could initiate an effective defense. I do not even have any idea who they are or for whom they work. I know I have failed you and I await your punishment."


He knelt, bowed his head and waited. This was highly irregular, and for them to sneak up on Kai tremendously concerned me; whoever they were had to be extremely effective. I continued the interrogation, "Kai, were they Hashshashins?"


He instantly responded, "I do not believe so Ma'am…"


He appeared reluctant to continue, so I ordered, "Kai, please finish your conjecture."


He cleared his throat, "Ma'am, this is nothing more than just a feeling I had from the fleeting glance when they subdued me and from a peculiar odor they both carried. I believe them to both be oriental and probably ninja."


I ordered, "Kai, close your eyes, go back in time to that instant and recant the engagement and the distinguishable olfactory perception." This was a component of our conditioning, and my words had placed Kai into a trance so he could recall the minutest detail of his interaction with the foes who rendered him temporarily inoperable.


I observed as his breathing slowed - a sure sign he was in the trance. He recalled, "There were two of them, dressed in… black samurai apparel… they each had on headbands with… yes I see it now, with an orange sun and bonsai tree in the center. They moved like the wind and it was their odor which alerted me to their presence."


I commanded, "Kai, you must accurately describe that olfactory perception."


I stifled a laugh because he moved his head about and sniffed the air, "It was… the nasty smell of fish mixed with sweat…"


I prodded, "Please continue."


He shook his head and responded, "Yes, one last thing, I was subdued by an expert blow from a nunchaku." 


I commanded, "Kai, return!" I observed as he slowly emerged from the trance. I ascertained he experienced grievous embarrassment, since his head hung even lower than before.


I reached out, touched his shoulder and commented, "Kai, thank you! It was dreadful pressuring you to relive your abasement, but the additional data I gleaned was invaluable and will aid in the recovery of Sgt. Reynolds. Your remorse and the contusions they gave you are adequate punishment. Please assure me the tracking devices are still operational."


He looked up at me and said, "Most certainly Ma'am! We have the exact location of both Sgt. Reynolds and your extremely good friend L.Cpl. Blaine."


Ah, now I understood why Ira speculated about my love for L.Cpl. Blaine and why she taunted me so when he did not return to his room. I responded, "Kai, sometimes it is not wise to use such words with others who are not on the same assignment. It may give them incorrect ideas. Please show me their locations."


He jumped up and went to his desk and I followed. He pulled out a tiny computer, turned it on, logged in and began the tracking program. I ordered, "Please give me a map overlay."


Kai clicked on a button and I could see precisely where they both were. I questioned, "You have the exact location of Sgt. Reynolds?"


He quickly responded, "Yes Ma'am!" He handed me an address and continued, "It looks like L.Cpl. Blaine is arriving. Please remember you must make sure they ingest another tracking device today, otherwise we will not be able to track them."


I thanked Kai, took four more tracking devices and prepared to meet my errant boyfriend.


Kai interrupted my departure, "Excuse me Ma'am."


I responded, "Yes Kai?"


He answered, "Ma'am I know this is not a normal request and you have already been more than kind towards me..."


I interrupted and questioned, "You would like to accompany us on this mission?"


He gave me a very determined look, nodded his head and almost shouted, "Dui5! My honor has been taken and I must do something to recover it."


5 Correct in Mandarin


I interrogated, "How will you explain your appearance to L.Cpl. Blaine?"


Kai responded, "I will tell them I came across the two abducting Sgt. Reynolds and failed in an attempt to stop them."


I pondered his request, evaluated his solution and replied, "Yes Kai, this is a very good addition to the mission plan and you may accompany us." I added a few more lines to his cover story and also added a few additional orders…


Flashback – Ben – Early morning day four, week one of spook school


Tom drove like hell getting to the fucking school and scared the shit (not literally) out of me several times. We slid up to the fence, we all bailed out of the car and started climbing the fence to find Mira when we heard from behind us, "L.Cpl. Blaine, Tom and Howard, where are you three going?"


I turned and noted Mira and the Aikido kid were standing behind the car. I jumped off the fence, ran to her and said, "Mira and, I'm sorry, I never asked your name?"


He bowed and said, "That is correct L.Cpl. Blaine, my name is Kai."


Mira added, "L.Cpl. Blaine it is because of Kai that we know Sgt. Reynolds location." She handed me an address and added, "He will tell you about it as we drive to the location."


Howard yelled, "Shotgun!" Mira tackled me and threw herself on top of me. Kai fell to the ground beside us and they both drew their weapons."


I laughed and commanded, "Mira get the hell off me! In this case 'shotgun' means Howard gets the passenger seat."


Mira took too long getting off of me so I swatted the hell out of her butt. She let out a big yelp and I teased, "Move it fatty!"


She gave me a hurt look, and then realized I teased her. Tom and Howard laughed and commented, "Damn Ben, you're lucky if she doesn't kill you for saying that!"


She grinned and smartly replied, "I know when he taunts me about matters like this, but it is just a reverse compliment, since a gentleman like L.Cpl. Blaine would never insult me! Come, we must leave and recover Sgt. Reynolds before he is permanently damaged."


She was right! We headed towards the car, Tom and Howard mouthed 'gentleman' and I knew I was going to catch some shit about that comment later.


I was in the back seat by the driver's door, Mira was – well I can't say in the middle because it was more like she was almost in my lap, and Kai had most of the back seat to himself. As I squirmed and tried to get comfortable, Mira scolded me, "L.Cpl. Blaine, sit still."


Tom added from the driver's seat, "Hey when we're done rescuing Jack, I'd be happy to drop you two at a hotel?"


Mira swatted the hell out of Tom's head causing him to swerve. Then she scooted to the middle of the back seat and said, "Tom! Just what kind of young lady do you assume me to personify! I would never let any man sleep in the same bed with me before our nuptials. You are nothing but an uncouth hooligan!"


Well, well, well, the girl-next-door-Mira is back. I guess in all the excitement she forgot about her act. I asked, "Okay Kai, will you give us your report."


Kai recounted, "I was walking back to my room, when I heard the flash grenades down the hallway so I went to investigate. That's when I came across two men…"

I interrupted and asked, "Just two men?"


He said, "Dui! Just two men were carrying Jack out of the room. I tried to render assistance, but they overwhelmed me. I heard one tell the other the location as I became unconscious."


I questioned, "Was it the instructors?"


Kai answered, "I believe so but I could not tell for sure."


Well, something was rotten in Denmark - this story smelled worse than Limburger cheese on a hot summer's day. This cock and bull story didn’t make any sense at all. In the first place, I know Jack, and two fucking school instructors could not take him when they were healthy, let alone beat up the way they now were. Second, I'd fought Kai, knew he was damn good and was better than any three or four instructors.


I said to Tom and Howard, "Well guys sounds like we have our work cut out for us. I guess 'something wicked this way comes'."


Howard jumped and replied, "Damn, I poked my thumb on something in the seat."


Tom laughed, "Just suck your thumb like a baby and it will get better."


Yes the phrase, 'something wicked this way comes'6 and the reply by Howard and Tom were all part of a code we had to let each other know we were being bullshitted and needed to be on guard.


6 The phrase "something wicked this way comes" originates in Act IV scene 1 of William Shakespeare's play Macbeth. The speaker is the second witch, whose full line is, "By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes." The wicked thing is Macbeth himself, by this point in the play a traitor and murderer.


Mira remarked, "L.Cpl. Blaine I did not know you read Macbeth. But I believe this citation to be more apropos, 'screw your courage to the sticking-place, and we'll not fail'7."


7 Macbeth Act I scene 7


Flashback – Mira – Early morning day four, week one of spook school


I was extremely upset at myself because in all the excitement of being with my boyfriend again, I misplaced the persona of the girl-next-door and became the girl-wants-you-right-now Mira. This is my instinctive condition when I am aroused, but only around L.Cpl. Blaine. When Tom made his rude (to the girl-next-door, but not to natural Mira) comment, it reminded me of my misplaced persona, which I quickly returned to, just like changing my stockings. However I was sure L.Cpl. Blaine didn't miss the changes.


Ah Ha! Then my boyfriend tried a very amateur attempt at being sneaky with the quote from Macbeth and the responses from his two compatriots. He is admirably astute for a Marine and I was rather certain he would not totally trust Kai's story. Besides Kai is not an accomplished liar and I even had problems trying to believe his story.


Kai gently nudged my leg to let me know he did comprehend what I meant with my citation. Two can play at these games. As we approached Sgt. Reynolds' location, I suggested, "We should stop three to four blocks away and approach on foot." I was not sure since I was working with Marines if they knew the protocol.


L.Cpl. Blaine replied, "Mira, the three of us are getting out on the front side of the building. Then Tom and Howard will go around to the back. We will all enter at the same time."


I did not like this plan and stated, "This is a good plan if you want to get Sgt. Reynolds killed!"


L.Cpl. Blaine looked at me and sarcastically questioned, "Oh really Mira, but I thought we were dealing with the instructors. They surely wouldn't kill Jack."


Oh my boyfriend was incredibly frustrating, he was much too intelligent for his own good and I should really kick his rear! I thought very fast, smiled and said, "L.Cpl. Blaine, if we surprise the instructors, they might accidentally shoot him."


I carefully watched his face, and could tell by the change in his expression he believed me. He said, "Mira, you might be right. Do you have any suggestions?"


I smiled, "Yes, I think I should sneak into the building to analyze the situation then once we know what we are dealing with then we can formulate a plan."


He replied, "OK that sounds like a great plan to me." I was shocked that he actually listened to me. Of course that wasn't my real plan since I was going to attack first and eliminate the two ninjas that abducted Sgt. Reynolds…


Flashback – Ben – Early morning day four, week one of spook school


Tom stopped the car, we all jumped out and I asked, "Mira and Kai, please wait for us to get our rifles and other gear out of the trunk.


We headed to the back of the car, but naturally Mira and Kai followed us. Mira took one look at our rifles and remarked, "L.Cpl. Blaine those are very interesting rifles. They look like M4s but they have a suppressor on them. Surely you are not firing subsonic five-point-five-six rounds?"


Yeah, I knew Mira was more curious than fifteen cats and would love to see our rifles. I grinned and said, "Mira, you are right, these are M4 lower receivers, but the uppers are three-hundred whisper8."


8 The .300 Whisper was developed in the early 1990s by J.D. Jones of SSK Industries. It was developed as a multi-purpose cartridge, capable of utilizing relatively lightweight bullets at supersonic velocities as well as heavier bullets (200–250 grains) at subsonic velocities.


She asked, "So when you fire that rifle it's virtually silent?"


I replied, "It sure is." Then I asked, "Damn, I left a mag in the trunk, will you get it for me Mira?"


She bent over, and as she looked in the trunk, I grabbed her, threw her in and slammed the trunk closed! She yelled, "L.Cpl. Blaine you are despicable! Let me out of here this instant!" Then she started kicking the hell out of the trunk.


I looked over and saw that Tom and Howard were loading Kai into the back seat of the car. I asked, "What did you two do to him?"


Howard grinned in answer, "I tased the hell out of him. After watching you two fight, I wasn't about to let him get going on us."


Mira still yelled from the trunk - it sounded like a cat in heat that was being given a bath. Then I thought about Kai. I knew when we were done retrieving Jack, there'd be some big hell to pay. I knocked on the trunk so Mira stopped and I said, "Listen Mira, sorry about locking you in the trunk and I owe you for this. But Jack is my spotter and this is my job. There's a radio in the trunk which you can use to listen to our op."


She yelled back, "L.Cpl. Blaine, when I get out of here, and I will get out of here, you will receive a very big punishment. I am going to beat you with my practice katana!"


Tom and Howard came over and Tom said, "Man, are you ever fucked this time!"


I thought, yeah when I let Mira out of the trunk I’m going to catch hell! Perhaps I'll make the guys let her out for me.


I ordered, "Okay guys, let's go get Jack. There are three entrances to this building, Tom, you take the side, Howard take the back and I'll take the front. Let me know on the radio when you're in position. Then we will slowly slip into the building. Listen, these fuckers aren't instructors from the school, they've taken Jack, so let's shoot first and ask questions later."


I waited for what seemed like forever at the front door and finally heard, "Romeo, Foxtrot in position." I waited a bit longer and heard, "Romeo, Uniform in position."


I said, "Okay guys, we're going in fast and we're going in silent."


I opened the door and slipped into a hallway. Shit I wished I knew exactly which fucking room Jack was in because the longer we had to fuck around and try to find him, the more likely something bad will happen. I checked the first room I came to but it was empty, dammit! I moved down the hallway, checked the second room and found another empty! Son of a bitch! I was just moving back into the hallway when Tom called, "Jack's been secured!"


Damn that's the best news I'd heard all night so I radioed back, "Good job Tom! Where are you?"


Tom laughed, "Don't thank me, just get your ass over to the side entrance, we're in the third room on the right."


I ran down the hallway flew into the room and couldn't believe my fucking eyes! Then all hell broke loose on me!!!


Flashback – Mira – Early morning day four, week one of spook school


L.Cpl. Blaine stormed into Jack's room. I stood beside the two disabled ninjas, which I had not mortally dispatched, and waited for him. He needed to learn a lesson about stuffing his girlfriend into a stinky old car trunk, especially when his girlfriend just happened to be a thoroughly upset undercover agent. I had been nice to him and given him many carrots, but now he was going to learn about my practice katana: The Stick. So I went to work on him while Tom, Howard and a staggeringly narcotized Sgt. Reynolds laughed their derrieres off.


He was bedazed as I ran up, walloped him and yelled, "L.Cpl. Blaine did you assume I was just birthed on the previous day and that you could pull an infantile trick ON ME!"


The guys expressed greater mirth as L.Cpl. Blaine ran for cover and said, "Mira, I'm sorry!"


I caught him, whacked him two more times, retreated temporarily and exclaimed, "I recognized when you asked me to explore the trunk for your rifle magazine, precisely what your conniving Marine mind planned. I even pretended to be surprised and didn't struggle much when you stuffed me into the stinky trunk."


He seized a broom, retreated into a defensive pose and pronounced, "Mira, I was just trying to keep you safe!"


Oh Boy! Now this was going to be very pleasurable because I knew my boyfriend, and weapons were his disadvantage. He was one of the few individuals in the world who would have done better without weapons! I danced in struck a few blows which he blocked, and I was amazed because he did very well with his broom.


Sgt. Reynolds shouted, "Kick her ass Banzai like she kicked mine!"


I glanced away at Sgt. Reynolds and my boyfriend opportunistically beat me with the broom. Before I was marginally annoyed, but now I was majorly miffed! I beat the broom out of his hands and started to rain blows upon him. He once again surprised me, when HE tackled me and fell on top of me! At first I was still amazingly angry and struggled like a caged cougar! But then I decided it felt remarkably nice to have him on top of me! So I hugged him to me and said, "L.Cpl. Blaine, it feels heavenly with you on top of me!"


I had disremembered about the other three and they bellowed with laughter concerning my comment, but not for long, because Kai raged into the room and he was more tempestuous than I had previously been. He sped towards Tom and Howard, I yelled, "Kai! Use this," and threw him my practice katana. He caught it and it was now Tom and Howard's turn to retreat to the tune of our shared mirth! They did not share L.Cpl. Blaine's extraordinary marital, excuse me I mean martial arts skills and Kai was giving them a thrashing!


L.Cpl. Blaine started to get off me and like a great girlfriend I hugged him very tight and whispered a reminder in his ear, "You did inform me you owed me! I know what I want for payment!"


Flashback – Ben – Early morning day four, week one of spook school


Fuck! I knew what Mira wanted for payment, and ….. I still just couldn't do that! It wouldn't be fair to her! I wanted to tell her, 'not tonight dear I have a headache,' but I remembered Charlie's admonition so I said, "Mira, if you really want me to, I will train you. But it will feel like you are raping me."


I sure as hell didn't expect Mira to break down in uncontrolled and very real sobs. She yelled at me, "L.Cpl. Blaine, I hate you! Get the hell off of me!"


Everyone, including Kai stopped and watched, because we'd never heard Mira swear!