Chapter 18

Wanderer Chapter 18


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


She was dressed in a skin tight black dress and white pearls. She looked both familiar and awesome.  I almost shit my pants when she said (with a heavy Russian accent), "Hello dollink Malodorous Moose, is Squirrel also ready for dinner."


Banzai walked over and I laughed, "Yes Ms. Fatale we are both ready for dinner."


Banzai gave me a baffled look as we headed out into the hallway and locked the door; I leaned over and whispered to him, "She's become Natasha Fatale."


It was like a light bulb went on over his head as he smiled and asked, "Excuse me Ms. Fatale, might I take your hand?"


Flashback – Mira (Natasha Fatale) – Late Day four, week one of spook school


Yes, tonight I was not the girl-next-door Mira, I was Ms. Natasha Fatale, the femme fatale from the famous old American cartoon, Rocky and Bullwinkle. I was overjoyed because my new appearance certainly had my L.Cpl. Blaine's interest, especially when he asked, "Excuse me Ms. Fatale, might I take your hand?" I terribly wanted to take his hand, but restrained myself, stayed in character and said, "No, is my hand dollink, you have your own."


I was still distraught knowing that my boyfriend had defiled himself with some trollop last night and possibly this morning. And while he may think he had successfully avoided the issue, there would still be a price which he must pay: But later, not now.


Flashback – Ben (Rocky) – Late Day four, week one of spook school


It was like I stepped into Mr. Peabody's WABAC1 machine and was transported to my very early youth. So Mira was Natasha Fatale (I had always had the hots for her and she was playing the part perfectly, even down to the heavy Russian accent), Jack was Bullwinkle J. Moose and I was Rocket J. Squirrel. This should prove to be a very entertaining and interesting evening. I wracked my brain trying to remember some of the better lines which Rocky used.


 1 WABAC Machine - Pronounced "way-back", a special time machine Mr. Peabody used to examine historical events.  WABAC was partially a play on names of early computers such as UNIVAC and ENIAC.


We walked to the mess hall. Mira was in front and was certainly putting on quite a show in her skin tight dress. I asked, "Excuse me Miss Fatale, where is Boris Badenov tonight?"


She replied, "Silly Squirrel, if I knew I not tell you. But you must be sure he is up to no-goodnik."


Jack chimed in, "Gee Rocky, perhaps you should go look for him?" The old fart wanted Natasha all to himself and I sure as hell wasn't going to let that happen. I was still pissed that he might have nailed her.


I replied, "Hokey Smoke Bullwinkle, isn't that your job?"


Natasha answered, "Malodorous Moose and Squirrel, if you talk more about Boris tonight I not eat with you."


Jack just smiled at me - shit the old fart was having even more fun than I was.


Flashback – Jack (Bullwinkle) – Late Day four, week one of spook school


Mira was a hell-of-a-woman! Shit most men would have been happy to just have the normal Mira. In fact I still wondered if I had hit her, but I knew better than to bring up that subject again as she was touchy as a pregnant pit bull about it. Then there was the hotter than a firecracker girl-next-door-Mira; now the sexy and sultry femme-fatale-Mira; daaaammmn could she ever play dress up! I was going to have visions to fill my wet dreams for the rest of my life.


Major M gave Banzai orders to behave himself around her, but he forgot about such an order for me. I figure I had a chance, even if it was slim, to hit her one more time!


Even with as much fun as it was walking behind her, I needed to make my move so I slipped up beside her, she looked over and me a said, "What Malodorous Moose doing walking beside me?"


I heard from her other side, "Excuse me Ms. Fatale did you forget me?" Shit Rocky, I mean Banzai had followed my lead.


She gave a throaty laugh and replied, "Do not be silly, I not forget either of you."


We fought over opening the door for her and Rocky won, she said, "Thank you dollink Squirrel for door. Malodorous Moose will get chair for me."


We walked into the mess hall and it went instantly silent.


Flashback – Mira (Natasha Fatale) – Late Day four, week one of spook school


So far my secret plan performed flawlessly, I had captured the total attention of my boyfriend and unfortunately the stinky Sgt. Reynolds. At least he stopped talking about training me - that was very bothersome. Tonight was such a brilliant success I could hardly wait for tomorrow night.


We walked into the mess hall and it went soundless: This time it was for me, not my Marine escorts. I reveled in having control of the situation once again. As we headed towards our table the students already occupying it grabbed their plates and scattered. Sgt. Reynolds held my chair for me as I sat and said, "Thank you dollink Malodorous Moose. Dollink Squirrel, be so kind as to get Natasha drink of water." I nearly expressed mirth when he practically fell getting up from the table.


Malodorous Moose said after Squirrel left, "Natasha, might I make your MRE for you?"


I bathed in the attention but responded, "Dollink Malodorous Moose try to poison Natasha with nasty Country Captain Chicken MRE? I upset and think I not eat with you!"


The expression on his face was as comical as the real Bullwinkle, especially when my boyfriend showed up and said, "Hokey Smoke Bullwinkle, give me that MRE. Natasha can have my Meat Loaf MRE."


I smiled and thanked him, "Thank you Squirrel, it good to see one of you know how to treat a lady."


I wanted some time alone with my boyfriend so I asked, "Malodorous Moose please be kind enough to fetch real utensils and napkins for table."


Malodorous Moose said, "Certainly Natasha." and scurried away from our table. I looked at L.Cpl. Blaine and asked, "So dollink, you enjoy little show Natasha give tonight?"


He grinned at me and fell out of character when he replied, "Yes Mira, I'm having great fun! Are you having fun too?"


I scolded, "Silly Squirrel, call Natasha by another woman's name. He not learn from earlier mistake?"


It was great fun to watch my boyfriend crimson at the gentle reminder of his earlier transgressions, but now I needed to address something else, "Tell me Squirrel why you smell so different earlier today?"


Flashback – Ben (Rocky) – Late Day four, week one of spook school


Shit! I thought Mira was going to let things slide about last night - I should have known better. She was much too smart and sharp to let me off the hook. I couldn't stop the blush when Mira asked me about last night and this morning. I'd been so distracted by her, I hadn't figured out a plausible lie and Jack was long gone so there was no hope of an interruption.


I looked down at the table and said, "Mira… Natasha, I'm ashamed to admit it. But I don't remember what I did last night because I was so upset after you left me, I got drunk." I hoped that the mostly truth and little lie would work and waited to see her reaction.


Flashback – Mira (Natasha Fatale) – Late Day four, week one of spook school


I never comprehended why men tried to lie to women! Even a blonde with a vacuous cranium was astute enough to uncover their feeble attempts. My boyfriend had just told me a partial lie, and I should be upset about it. However, I recognized the little lie was an attempt to try to make me feel better but also to keep me from damaging him.


However I did comprehend that something happened to him last night and he really did not remember. I smiled and replied, "That okay Squirrel, perhaps you go little nutty from eat too many nuts?"


Stinky Sgt. Reynolds walked up and added, "Yes that's a problem with Rocky, he likes his nuts too much and goes batty. In fact he should be a bat not a Squirrel."


Squirrel replied, "Hey Bullwinkle, pull this out of your hat." And then showed Sgt. Reynolds the inappropriate digit, I fought back extreme mirth!


Malodorous Moose responded, "Hey Rocky why don't you learn what moose shit tastes like because you can kiss my ass!"


Yes I was once again in control and had men fighting over me! Unfortunately it was counterproductive so I reprimanded, "Malodorous Moose and Squirrel were warned about acting improperly. Now ruin Natasha's dinner and must be banished to different table. Leave Natasha's table!"


They both looked shocked, but did not move so I picked up my items, looked at them and announced, "Fine, Malodorous Moose and Squirrel not leave, then I leave." I walked to a different table and knew every eye in the dining hall was following my actions.


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


As we watched Mira leave the table, I looked at Jack and bellyached, "Thanks a lot for driving Mira away!"


He laughed and said, "Come on Banzai, can't you see that it's all part of her plan? She left the table as a way of exerting her control over us and frankly I'm glad she's gone. While she's a hell of a little actress and I love the hell out of her dress up costumes, I'm getting pretty damn tired of all of her mind games."


I blinked at Jack, thought about what he said and realized he was right. I grinned and replied, "Shit Jack, you're right."


He interrupted, "Right as rain! So what the hell really happened to you last night?"


I looked at the cagey old bastard and said, "I could ask you the same question!"


He admitted, "I guess it's better if we let sleeping devil dogs lie."


Then he held out his fist, I bumped his fist with mine and we chorused, "Semper Fi until we die!"


Jack changed the subject, "By the way, thanks for the help with Major M today. For a bit I thought my tit was in a ringer."


I grinned, "And thanks for keeping me from killing the bastard. When he threatened Mira I don't know what came over me. So what's your take on him?"


Jack got a faraway look in his eyes and replied, "I've been in the Corps most of my life and have heard enough bullshit to drown all the politicians in DC several times over. When I was in Nam, there were stories about a special branch of the Marines which did 'things' extremely outside the norm for the Corps – lots of covert missions with high body counts. Of course we all just blew it off as feel-good BS. The same stories arose again in Grenada and again I dismissed them. Then I've heard rumors about 'special' mercenary missions throughout the world – but much too professionally done to be done by mercs and it's made me wonder about the rumors. And after meeting Major Fucking M, I'm pretty sure those rumors are true."


I thought about what Jack said. Seeing it was in line with what I believed I added, "Well, I had a feeling that M was more spook than Marine. The honor is there, but he's not totally clean."


Jack nodded his head and complimented my thinking, "Damn Banzai, you're getting smarter all the time."


I smiled, "That's because I've got the best teacher in the world."


He got a serious look on his face and said, "Well Major M told me I was riding on your coat tails and holding you back with my attitude. He said if I don't shape up, he's putting me behind a desk."


That pissed me off and I spit, "That son-of-a-bitch! I'll kill the bastard if he tries to do that. We're a team and always will be."


I held out my fist, he bumped me with his fist, we both yelled, "Oorrrahhh!" and rattled the whole mess hall!


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


Well, the plan where I left my boyfriend's table didn't work out quite as I planned. He was supposed to cast forlorn glances in my direction and eventually, figuratively crawl over to my table and beg me to come back and sit with them.


Once again stinky Sgt. Reynolds thwarted my plan. He and my L.Cpl. engaged in a huge discourse. When they both yelled and shook the dining room it even made me jump.


I was not happy eating alone and was extremely pleased when someone came and sat at my table, even if it was HER!


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


Damn! It's been good to have some time to really talk to Banzai with no one else around. There were some things we needed to work out and with Mira around we couldn't. I wondered if she realized the mistake she made when she left the table.


Well, this should make for an interesting situation. I said to Banzai, "Look who's headed to Mira's table."


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


I turned slightly and watched with huge concern as Charlie sat down at Mira's table. What the hell was going on? I started to jump up and go save everything when Major M walked up to our table. Jack and I snapped to attention.


He ordered, "Let's sit and talk."


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


I'd been observing tonight's 'show' with extreme interest. Ms. Sedankina hadn't stopped 'playing' with my Marines and I wasn't sure what the hell she was doing right now. She was certainly disappointed when she left the table and they ignored her. In fact it was satisfying to see the Sgt. and L.Cpl. immediately act like Marines as soon as she left.


Long before my Marines saw her, I watched Ms. Charlotte Blackwood head towards Ms. Sedankina's table. Someone certainly had a twisted sense of humor when they named Ms. Blackwood Charlotte: They must have been a Tom fucking Cruise fan to name her after the character Kelly McGillis played in "Top Gun." Now that was one fucked up movie! Not only was it bogus, I heard that Cruise was a huge asshole during the filming and demanded that real pilots salute him - a fucking civilian. It's a good fucking thing I wasn't there because I would have thrown his ass off the deck of the carrier.


The L.Cpl. started to get up to head to Ms. Sedankina's table but I wanted to see what was going to happen so I intervened and the three of us sat at their table. The Sgt. was mildly amused by the two women, but L.Cpl. Blaine was extremely agitated. I questioned him, "L.Cpl. you seem highly concerned that Ms. Blackwood just sat at Ms. Sedankina's table. Would you care to enlighten me as to why?"


He looked at me and answered, "Sir! It's just that Mira and Charlie don't get along with each other." He blinked too much and his voice was a bit too high when he replied, it wasn't totally the truth.


I continued, "L.Cpl. do you make it a habit to lie to officers?"


He replied, "No Sir! That was not a lie."


I countered, "It also wasn't the whole truth. Would you like to amend your original answer?"


I watched him think and he finally said, "Sir! Yes I would, but the other part is personal."


I looked at Sgt. Reynolds who was grinning from ear to ear. He certainly had trained the L.Cpl. well. Yes I could demand that he tell me his 'personal' reason, but it would do more damage than good. And I still needed to get both these Marines on my side. So I said, "L.Cpl. for now I will respect your privacy."


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


I tensed as Charlie walked up to my table and asked, "Is this seat taken?"


Initially I wanted to tell her to go train herself, but curiosity and superior manners overwhelmed me so I replied, "No it is not."


She slipped into the chair and our eyes engaged in unblinking combat. I won when she blinked first and said, "Miranda, I came here tonight to bury the hatchet."


I shocked myself when my mouth automatically opened and said, "Give me the hatchet and I will bury it in your blonde vacuous cranium!"


She laughed and replied, "Miranda, 'bury the hatchet' is an American euphemism for removing the problems between two people. I know I offended you when I flirted with the L.Cpl. but I wanted to tell you I have no interest in him."


I gazed deep into her eyes, checked her other autonomic cues and determined her words were more truth than fallacy. I answered, "Charlie, I ascertain your words are mostly true and I accept your hatchet job offer."


I was puzzled when she giggled, but understood once she explained, "Miranda, you really are captivating. A 'hatchet job' is a cruel or ruthless effort usually ending in destruction. Now, I'm not saying we should be friends, but what I am offering is to not be enemies. Besides you could be useful to me."


She piqued my curiosity so I asked, "Charlie, please expound on your statement."


She smiled and offered, "Miranda, it's obvious to everyone you've been taught well and know practically everything I could teach you. Because of this you're a bored student and bored students are trouble. So I was wondering if you would like to help teach my class."


I instantly had a vision of my boyfriend being a bad student with me making him stand in the corner and then keep him after class for thorough training! I smiled, held out my hand and replied, "I accept your gracious offer."


She shook my hand and queried, "Miranda, at first I thought you were Holly Golighty from "Breakfast at Tiffany's" but I can tell now you're not. So who exactly are you?"


I smiled, "Dollink, I am Natasha Fatale."


We both laughed, she excused herself and once again I was alone. However I was still slightly distressed by her and must ascertain the cause. I looked over and Moose and Squirrel had been joined by Captain Peachfuzz. But at least they were once again paying attention to me.


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


I was as nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof while Charlie was at Mira's table. I was glad the Major was equally interested in the situation and didn't interrupt. At first I was sure we would witness World War Three, but it looked like they came to some sort of agreement about something.


I audibly exhaled when Charlie left Mira's table alive and figured I had at least 50/50 chance of living. The Major became a major pain when he asked, "Okay you two, I want an analysis of the interaction between Ms. Sedankina and Ms. Blackwood."


Without thinking I blurted out, "Sir! I'm a Lance Corporal and not allowed to think."


The Major commanded, "Okay Lance Corporal, drop and give me fifty."


I replied, "Yes Sir!" hit the floor and did an easy fifty.


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


While I was interested in the interaction between the two women, I was also highly interested in the agitation displayed by the L.Cpl. When he audibly exhaled when Ms. Blackwood left, I knew something very personal went on between the two of them.


I asked them to give me an analysis of the situation and got a smart mouthed answer from L.Cpl. Blaine so gave him an attitude adjustment, which didn't turn out to be much of an attitude adjustment. He sat back at the table and I once again requested, "This will be the last time I ask because I hate repeating myself. Give me an analysis of the interaction between the two women."


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


With Banzai's agitation it was obvious to me, the Major and the whole mess hall other than Mira (because she was distracted by Charlie) that he'd nailed Charlie. And it was a very good thing Mira was distracted, otherwise I'd have to find a new sniper because she would have killed him.


Charlie left the table, Banzai relaxed, but then smart mouthed the Major so the Major doled out an attitude measure. When Banzai finished and the Major once again asked his question, I needed to intercept any problems so I answered, "Sir! Initially both women were very tense. This is probably due to the fact that Charlie flirted with L.Cpl. Blaine the first night they met."


The Major looked at Banzai and asked, "Is that correct L.Cpl.?"


I couldn't believe how Banzai answered the Major's question…


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


I just listened with interest to the analysis by the Sgt. and wanted to know what L.Cpl. Blaine thought so I asked, "Is that correct L.Cpl.?"


I never imagined he would respond with, "No shit Sherlock!"


I guess the L.Cpl. needed a bit more of an attitude adjustment so I ordered, "L.Cpl. Blaine and Sgt. Reynolds. Drop and give me a hundred."


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


It looked like Captain Peter Wrongway Peachfuzz had captured and was torturing my Squirrel and the Malodorous Moose so I needed to rescue them. I stood up and shuffled to their table as quickly as I possibly could in this annoyingly tight dress. When I reached the table, Captain Peachfuzz stood and held the chair for me as I sat and asked, "Dollink Captain Peachfuzz, please tell me why you torture Malodorous Moose and Squirrel?"


Malodorous Moose laughed so hard he fell. Captain Peachfuzz ordered, "Sgt. Reynolds I don't know what the hell you think is so funny, but since you stopped, you can start your hundred all over again. And will someone please tell me what this 'Captain Peachfuzz' crap is?"


My Squirrel did not even slow up as he replied, "Sir! Meet Ms. Natasha Fatale."


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


I seriously wondered if these three had gone crazy! Ms. Sedankina called me 'Captain Peachfuzz' and called the Sgt. and L.Cpl. 'malodorous moose' and 'squirrel'. L.Cpl. Blaine called Ms. Sedankina 'Natasha Fatale' so I asked again, "L.Cpl. Blaine who the hell is Natasha Fatale?"


He didn't even miss a count when he replied, "Sir! This is a little game that Mira plays. Last night she was the girl-next-door and tonight she is Natasha Fatale from the Bullwinkle and Rocky show."


Ms. Sedankina pointed to the L.Cpl. and said, "And he is Squirrel." Then pointed to the Sgt. and said, "And he is Malodorous Moose." Then pointed at me and laughed, "And you are Captain Peter Wrongway Peachfuzz."


I replied, "Hey isn't he the incompetent Captain that has no clue what he's doing and travels in circles?"


The Sgt. and L.Cpl. laughed so hard they both fell, I looked at Ms. Sedankina and she grinned at me. Shit! This was a fucking three ring circus and somehow I'd become the clown. I also glanced around the room and this circus had the attention of the whole mess hall. It was time to put a fucking end to this. I ordered, "Marines back to the table now!"


They busted a hump sitting back down, and as I looked at the three of them they were grinning like fucking hyenas. I simply smiled and stated, "Okay you three, you've had your little fun at my expense and now it's time to pay the piper." I grinned at Ms. Sedankina and threatened, "Ms. Sedankina, we both know there isn't much I can do to you because of your diplomatic status, however I will hold the L.Cpl. directly responsible for your actions. With his actions today he's already earned a week of 'office time' and if you continue to provoke the situation I will have my Marines reassigned."


Flashback – Mira (Natasha Fatale) – Late Day four, week one of spook school


Mike was annoyed and became even more annoying. My government had a Brobdingnagian file on him and while I had canvassed it loosely, I was not completely cognizant of enough of the particulars to manage him correctly. However I was mindful that he was a very life-threatening adversary, both physically and mentally.


I could not let him sanction my boyfriend anymore for my activities, so I decided I would endeavor to rectify the situation. I looked him in the eyes and reacted, "Mike, you are not known for making mistakes, but reassigning my L.Cpl. Blaine would be a monumental mistake which would be a personal affront to me and I would have to deal with that affront in a most severe manner." And our 'whoever blinks first' war commenced.


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


Shit! The Major threatened Mira, but she didn't blink an eye and responded immediately with a threat of her own. Banzai was like a fucking squirrel caught between two venomous vipers and they were ready to duel to the death over him.


I watched them staring at each other, glanced at Banzai and the poor fool didn't have any idea what was going on. He seemed… very distracted.


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


Mira and the Major finally decided to have it out over me. I knew it was coming and had been waiting for it. They both considered me their fucking property! This was a huge mistake because I was my own man. I followed orders when they benefited the Marines and me. Yes the Marines were first - they were always first in my mind. The problem was not all the orders I received, even from the Old Man, were in my opinion the best for the Corps. I heard threats from both of them, watched them as they stared at each other and decided this was a bunch of fucking bullshit and they both needed to be taught a big fucking lesson: The lesson that neither of them owned me!


I became very quiet and contemplative as I tried to figure out the best way to handle this. Finally it came to me so I asked…


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


What a fine can of sardines I had opened up. I knew that Ms. Sedankina was attracted to L.Cpl. Blaine, but I sure as hell did expect the response I received from her when I threatened to hold the L.Cpl. responsible for her actions. It was almost a maternal response, greatly out of character for her.


Now I was locked in a battle with her that even if I won, I was sure I would somehow lose. We were at an impasse and I sure as hell couldn't see any way out. We were both handed a reprieve when L.Cpl. Blaine asked, "Sir! I would like to be excused from the table."


I looked at him and answered, "Permission granted." Then I returned my stare to Ms. Sedankina who simply stated, "Excuse me dollink Squirrel, please wait and I will accompany you to class. Perhaps if you are good and lucky Squirrel I might be your teacher tonight, I would much love to train you." The L.Cpl. blushed as he headed to take the MRE wrappers to the trash. She waited until the L.Cpl. was out of earshot and continued, "Mike, this has not changed what I voiced earlier." Then she turned and tried to catch the L.Cpl.


I looked at Sgt. Reynolds and asked, "What was that all about?"


He played dumb and responded, "Sir! I don't know what you're talking about."


I glared at him and expounded, "Listen Sgt. if I have my way, we are going to be working together for a very long time. So it's time to cut the shit and answer my questions honestly and truthfully. Now tell me, what was going on with the L.Cpl. because he appeared to be extremely distracted?"


He stared at me and finally said, "Sir, I don't know what's going on with him this time. He became distracted while you and Mira were fighting over him and then asked to leave the table. He really enjoys the class and might be headed there early to study."


His answer seemed plausible, so I said, "Well, let's head to class."


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


My L.Cpl. was extremely distracted and didn't even wait for me, even though I shuffled after him as fast as I could in this annoyingly tight dress. I breeched the doorway and he had vanished like a wraith at dawn. I shuffled to the class room assuming he would be there.


Charlie smiled at me and asked, "You look like you're looking for someone?"


I responded, "Yes, I thought L.Cpl. Blaine came here.


With an even bigger smile she answered, "Sorry Miranda, but I haven't seen him since the mess hall."


I was incredibly incensed: Once again my boyfriend was missing. If he decided to meet whoever she was again tonight, I would kill him. I answered, "Charlie, I came to inform you I will not be attending class tonight."


She gave me a puzzled look and answered, "Okay Miranda, just remember our agreement. I would still like it if you could help me teach this class."


I waved good-bye, exited the room, pulled a knife out of my clutch, slit my dress so I could run and ran to my room to change. My boyfriend was somewhere and I needed to find him!


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


I wasn't sure about this shit! Major M had taken a liking to us, well more Banzai, and now wanted us to work for him. I could only imagine what sort of shitty jobs we'd be doing and I wasn't looking forward to it.


I policed the rest of the table and we headed to the classroom. Major M asked, "Did you three really do everything I read about in Mr. Smith's and the Commandant's reports?"


I honestly replied, "Sir! I have no idea what was contained in their reports."


He pulled a notepad out of his pocket and listed off all our transgressions at the school, plus a bunch of made up bullshit. Then he ordered, "Now you know what was in their reports. So answer my question."


I hesitated and he added, "Sgt. you're not going to get in trouble for any of this. However, if the L.Cpl. or you did destroy government property, you will have to pay for it."


I felt better and told him most of the truth. He looked at me and laughed, "This place really is a joke and I need to get you two out of here."


I replied, "Sir! While I would agree with the joke part, I don't think you would be able to get L.Cpl. Blaine to leave early."


The Major looked puzzled and asked, "Why is that Sgt.?"


I answered, "He's really into these classes. It's almost all he talks about when we're together and he was sore as hell when Mira and I got us thrown out of the first class. I thought he was going to kick our asses."


We walked into the classroom and Banzai was missing so the Major said, "So much for him liking the classes."


I asked Charlie, "Have you seen Banzai?"


She responded, "Not since the mess hall. Mira was looking for him too?"


The Major said, "Well, let's wait here until they both show up."


I had a funny feeling that we wouldn't be seeing Banzai tonight for class, but kept my feelings to myself.


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


My boyfriend was very adept at concealment and normally it would be a big challenge to follow him. However, I had planted some new tracking devices in his, stinky Sgt. Reynolds and even Mike's food tonight and watched with delight as they were ingested. Now I would, at least for a few days, be able to ascertain their locations.


I changed into my dark ninja outfit, threw on my gear pack including my katana, grabbed the locator and headed towards the door of my room. I was puzzled when I actuated the locator since I could plainly visualize the location of stinky Sgt. Reynolds and Mike. However my boyfriend appeared to be in my room, right behind me. As I figured out what this meant, all hades exploded…


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


Well, the L.Cpl. never bothered to show up for class tonight. Perhaps the Sgt. didn't know him as well as he thought. But I do agree, even though I knew everything already, the class was very enjoyable, punctuated by the teacher, Ms. Blackwood. She was a hell of a looker for an older woman and I bet had enough experience to really rock a guy's world. I questioned if her and the L.Cpl. had really been intimate with each other; if so he was one lucky SOB.


Class was finished as I looked at the Sgt. and stated, "Well, perhaps L.Cpl. Blaine doesn't like the class as much as you assumed he did."


The Sgt. shook his head and replied, "Sir! This isn't like Banzai. He wouldn't miss this class unless something more important came up."


I bid goodnight to the Sgt. headed to my car, opened the door and then all hell broke loose…


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


Shit! Where the hell was Banzai and what the hell was he doing? He made me look like a fool in front of the Major and I needed to have a major talk with him. I headed back to our room, opened the door and…


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


I looked over at Howard and Tom and whispered, "Well, it looks like our jobs are done for the night."


Tom laughed, "Yeah! That was too much fun!"


Howard asked, "Aren't you worried they're going to be pissed at you?"


I laughed, "First they have to prove it was me, and second who the fuck cares. I'm tired of being treated like a fucking piece of meat being fought over by a pack of dogs."


They both laughed, and Tom said, "You know they aren't going to understand what happened."


I grinned and whispered, "Not initially, but Mira will figure it out soon, then Jack and last Major pain in the ass. By the way Tom, thanks for figuring out the whole tracking device shit that Mira was using."


They laughed and Tom stated, "Yeah, she's one sneaky little spy and I was lucky. Well, it looks like your ride's coming. Try to get some sleep tonight and see you in the morning."


As Tom left I thought: Lucky hell, he was damn good and I was sure happy he was on my team. I watched as Charlie walked up to her car door, paused and looked around. As I stepped out of the shadows, she smiled and said, "I wondered where you were. How did things go tonight?"


I laughed, "Things went perfect, thanks for the ideas and thanks for asking."


She replied, "Well, get the hell in my car before someone sees you and let's head back to my place."


I climbed into the passenger seat and thought, what the perfect end for a great night…