18 Wounded

Wounded

© Copyright 2009

Written by Banzai Ben and Amazing Anastasia

banzaiben@gmail.com

 

 

Wounded Chapter 18

 

Wednesday 12 December

 

Present – Ben – WRAMC

 

There are times to fight a battle and there are times to regroup – and this is a time to regroup. This doesn't mean I'm sitting here passively, because I never do - not even when I was captured. I need to explore all the details of Evelyn's treachery and then plan an appropriate response taking into account the feelings Jens still has for her. Yes she tries to hide and deny the feelings, but I can sense them in her. Otherwise it would be simple - Evelyn would be dead.

 

Besides, it's funny as hell watching Jens trying to figure me out. For some unknown reason, she's confused and has no idea what I'm doing or thinking. I'm not sure why she can't sense properly right now, but it's fun and I'm glad she’s having this problem. I even let her tie my hand back down and then say, "Jens, thank you for always being here for me. And thank you for taking such good care of me."

 

I watch as tears start down her cheeks, "Ben, I don't know how you could say that to me…"

 

I interrupt and answer, "It was easy, I just opened my mouth and it sort of rolled out."

 

She jumps on top of me and starts kissing the hell out of me! Then she pulls away and says, "You're lucky you're wounded - otherwise I'd screw your brains out."

 

I grin at her and come back with, "And trade your white wedding dress for one in camo?"

 

She gives me a dirty look but says, "What is your fascination with camo wedding dresses? And no, I would still wear white. I know you're not naïve enough to think that all brides who wear white dresses are virgins."

 

I remember back – it seems like a lifetime ago – to a little girl with camo hair. I smile at her and reply, "But my bride will be a virgin. So stop torturing yourself and call the nurse."

 

For a change, Jens senses my thoughts, smiles from ear to ear and says, "You remember my camo hair? I did that just for you." Then she falls on top of me and seriously attacks me.

 

I try to fight back but the restraints keep me from tickling her, but I do find the call button and push it. It doesn't take long for nurse to show up. I hear from the door, "What's going on in here?"

 

Jens tenses, stops, then turns and looks at the nurse, "I thought Ben was having problems so I was practicing mouth to mouth resuscitation."

 

The nurse laughs and says, "Yeah right! This isn't a prison, although some patients think it is, so you don't get conjugal visits. Get off your fiancé so I can make sure he's okay."

 

I watch as she slowly slinks off the bed but I can tell she's not happy.

 

Present – Jens – WRAMC

 

How the hell did the nurse know Ben is awake? I'm upset because I want some serious loving from my Man! Especially after he remembers my camo hair! I didn't think he remembered any of those early meetings when I was a skinny little brat.

 

Ben says to the nurse, "Thank you for coming so quickly after I pressed the call button."

 

The fricken sneaky devil-dog! Now I know how she knew he was awake.

 

She said, "It looks to me like I came just in time. What in the heck was going on?"

 

Ben chuckles, "Jens got excited and you might say I was a captive audience. How about untying my good arm so I can defend myself?"

 

She flirts with him, "I thought every man dreamed of being tied down and molested by beautiful women."

 

I clear my throat, "Hey, did you forget I'm in the room?"

 

The nurse turns and says, "Oh thank you, I did. You need to leave the room while I examine SM Blaine."

 

I reply, "There's no way in hell I'm leaving the room while you're in here. He's my fiancé and I'm staying."

 

She looks at me and says, "Young lady, you don't have a choice in this. If I order you out of the room you either leave or I call security."

 

I stand up and get ready to fight when Ben says, "Nurse, she is my fiancée and I would appreciate it if she could stay. If you need privacy to examine me, have her stand by the doorway and pull the curtain."

 

The nurse looks at Ben and replies, "If you don't have any problems with her staying, then I suppose it will be okay. These young girls are so excitable. Missy, please move over by the doorway. But don't argue with me this time."

 

I get upset and argue, "Excuse me! I am not a young girl and I am not a Missy!"

 

The nurse interrupts me with, "But you are very excitable and in a state of agitation. After the seizure SM Blaine had, he needs to rest and when I came in the room you were giving him way too much stimulation. You will either do what I tell you or I will have you removed."

 

I start to fight with her and Ben says, "Jens, please don't get thrown out of the hospital. I need you."

 

I decide to listen to Ben and reply to the nurse, "Okay, I'll move over by the door, but I don't trust your grubby mitts on my Man!"

 

The nurse laughs at me and I started towards her until I see the pleading look in Ben's eyes. I say, "Ben I'll be right over here by the door just in case nurse battle axe gets inappropriate with you!" Then I turn and storm off by the door.

 

The nurse pulls the curtain and I strain my ears to listen since there's too much laughing and carrying on for my taste. After what seems like an eternity the nurse opens the curtains and motions me over.

 

I go to get in her face and she says, "Young lady, simmer down and relax. SM Blaine has just recovered from a seizure of unknown origin and he needs rest. If you start making out with him again, or keep flying around here like you're the drama queen of the world, I'm going to throw you out of this hospital."

 

I start to blast her and Ben says, "Nurse it really helps me calm down if she lays beside me and cuddles. Would it be okay if she does that?"

 

The nurse looks at Ben and then looks at me and says, "As long as all she does is cuddle and doesn't excite you like I saw before I think it will be fine. But I will be checking on you two so behave yourselves."

 

I notice all the restraints are off Ben and I happily climb into bed with him as fricken nurse battle axe leaves. I stick my tongue out at her, then sigh, cuddle up close to Ben and say, "She's a bitch and a half and I hate her."

 

Ben chuckles and says, "Jens, let me tell you about nurses like her. They are very good nurses and take their jobs seriously. They care so much that they develop a queen syndrome. If you fight a nurse like her you will never win, because they have all the power."

 

I say, "I'll kick her flabby old ass if she flirts with you again."

 

He kisses me on the head and says, "Jens, don't worry about it. Or did you forget I only love you?"

 

"Shit!" I say and start crying because I did forget and slipped back into my old habits and worries. Ben holds me close and it feels so good that I drift off to sleep.

 

Present – Ben – WRAMC

 

I look down at Jens and smile as she falls to sleep. God I've missed holding her and sleeping with her. The problem is I'm not sleepy because I'm still upset about Ramstein. Nurse Claire (Jens never did learn her name) comes in the room and smiles at us. I whisper, "Any chance I can watch TV to see what's going on in Ramstein?"

 

Claire whispers, "Sorry SM Blaine. Doctors orders are no TV for you because of your PTSD."

 

I look at her and say, "Well, I'm going to go crazy if I don't have something to occupy my time."

 

She replies, "I'll go find you a magazine or book. But the doctor's here and will be in soon to see you."

 

I ask, "You're not going to get in trouble for removing the restraints?"

 

Claire replies, "No way! I've got all the doctors afraid of me and if I decided you didn't need restraints then you didn't need them."

 

I whisper, "By the way, thanks for letting Jens stay with me."

 

Claire grins and says, "She's a good kid and will make you a hell of a wife once she simmers down and grows up. Sorry I had to get rough with her. I know what you two have been through but she needs to let you heal."

 

I answer, "I know she will never thank you, but I know she did appreciate getting to stay."

 

Claire says, "Let me go and find you a magazine or book." I watch as Claire leaves the room and think about the words she said. Yes Jens will make me a hell of a wife, but I hope she doesn't simmer down too much because I like her fiery temperament."

 

The doctor shows up before Nurse Claire returns with the book. He takes a look at us and smiles. Then he says, "Looks like you're both resting well to me."

 

I look at Jens and reply, "Yeah, she's exhausted from taking care of me."

 

He says, "You might want to wake her up so she can hear about your surgery later today."

 

I'm surprised about the surgery because I didn't know it had been scheduled, but say, "Nah, I think I'll let her sleep because she really needs it. You'll be back in before they take me down and I'm sure she'll give you the fourth degree then."

 

He smiles and says, "Well, at least let me fill you in on what we're going to do." Then he gives me all the details about the surgery and asks if I have any questions.

 

I reply, "What about the nerve damage?"

 

He doesn't smile when he answers, "SM Blaine, I won't lie to you, it doesn't look good. You are going to lose some use of your hand and probably some use of your arm. The wound is too extensive and too old."

 

I fake a smile, "Thanks doctor for telling me the truth. I know you're the best and you'll do the best job you can."

 

He leaves and I look at my arm while a few tears trickle down my cheeks. Nurse Claire comes in with a book, sees me and whispers, "You'd better stop feeling sorry for yourself! You're one of the very lucky ones. I could take you through the rest of this ward and you'd see men totally missing their arms and legs. Not only do you have all your arms and legs, you have the love of a young lady to help you heal. Many of the men in here don't have anyone."

 

She puts the book and the table and leaves – leaves me to think about her words. I remember the many times I've been in hospitals and the large number of wounded soldiers I've seen. Yes, I do have all my arms and legs, I have both eyes and I can hear reasonably well, yes I am one of the very lucky ones. I look at Jens, she sighs and I realize I'm incredibly lucky – but I still can't get Ramstein out of my mind!

 

Present – Liz – Flight to Ramstein AFB Germany

 

My ears pop and wake me up as the jet starts its descent into Ramstein. I look on one side of me and see Ira smile, then on the other side and see Mira smile. I yawn stretch and realize I don't remember when I've ever slept this well.

 

Mira says, "We noticed you slept very well."

 

"Yes sisters I did, I slept too well and too long and I didn't get to talk with you about how we are going to work together."

 

Ira answers, "Ms. Morgan, we are well aware you have a dangerous job. It is our job to make sure you do not take foolish chances."

 

I ask, "Like Samantha did when she ran into the hospital?"

 

Ira smiles and Mira answers, "Yes Ms. Morgan. We will not let you do something like that. Especially now since you have others working for you who will do those assignments."

 

I turn my head and look at Mira, "Others? All the others I can think of are just Samantha."

 

I hear a sniffle from Ira, I turn and she seems to be crying, "I guess Mira and I will not be good enough to be news reporters like you said."

 

I'm not sure if she's really crying or not, but I do think I've hurt her. I hug her and she winces, "Sorry Ira I forgot about your ribs. And I also forgot I have two more beautiful news reporters. Please forgive me. I've gone from being the only news reporter to having three others to help me and it’s a big adjustment."

 

Ira calms down some and replies, "We forgive you Ms. Morgan. It's just we have both always dreamed of being reporters and we thought you forgot about your promise to us."

 

I answer, "Sisters I will never forget about any of my promises to either of you. But we still need to figure out how to work together."

 

Mira says, "Yes Ms. Morgan, we will figure this out after Ramstein is over but for right now you will listen to us."

 

It is an order and I can tell they are very serious about something. I turn my head and look at Mira, "Mira, you know something you're not telling me. So spill it."

 

Mira says, "Ms. Morgan, what do I need to spill?"

 

I smile, "Mira, spill it means to tell me the information you're keeping from me."

 

Mira starts to look down, I clear my voice, then she stops and looks me in the eyes as she says, "When we picked up our visas we checked at our office. The WMD the terrorists have is enriched with radioactive material."

 

I look at her and say, "Are you telling me they have a dirty bomb?"

 

Ira replies and I turn to face her, "Yes Ms. Morgan, they do. Unless the Marines are very careful the terrorists will use it to kill as many of them as they can. This is why Mira had you practice so much with the gas mask."

 

Mira adds and I turn towards her, "But you are not fast enough yet Ms. Morgan. Ira is still the fastest of the three of us even with her broken rib. So she will be reporting from close to the hospital while we stay a safe distance away."

 

I look at Mira and start to argue but Ira says, "Please Ms. Morgan, do not argue with us on this. You will be very busy taking care of Samantha and directing me."

 

I say, "Ira, I don't want you getting close to the hospital. You could be killed if they detonate the WMD."

 

Ira laughs, "Ms. Morgan, Mira and I will be listening to the terrorists, just like Samantha did. Your cameraman and I will run away if we think they will detonate the bomb."

 

I reply, "And if I refuse to listen to both of you?"

 

I get my answer when Mira's handcuffs click around my wrist. I look at her as she smiles at me because I'm handcuffed to the plane seat. I get very upset, "Mira you had better release me from these handcuffs right now!"

 

Present – Mira and Ira – Flight to Ramstein AFB Germany

 

Ms. Morgan yells and pulls at the handcuffs, "Dammit Mira! I'm going to kick your butt if you don't take these handcuffs off me."

 

I tell Ms. Morgan, "I am sorry but you have broken a promise to us and are not listening to us. I have to keep you safe and if you won't listen to us this is the only way I know of to keep you safe."

 

Ms. Morgan glares at me, yanks on the handcuffs a couple of times and says, "Shit! I hate it when you're right. I did promise to listen to both of you, but…"

 

I interrupt her, "Ms. Morgan, there is no debating here. We are professionals and we are telling you this is more dangerous than you can imagine."

 

She looks at me, "There's more you haven't told me?"

 

Ira answers, "Yes Ms. Morgan. There is more we cannot tell you."

 

Ms. Morgan looks upset, "Dammit! I hate it when you can't tell me everything."

 

I answer, "Ms. Morgan there are some things that would make you a target if we told you," Ira adds with a giggle, "or as you would say - if we told you we would have to kill you." I finish with, "…so we will never be able to tell you everything. We are your sisters and you will have to trust us."

 

She looks at me and I see the resignation on her face as she says, "But as your sister I do expect you to tell me everything you can because the information might save our lives."

 

Ira says, "Ms. Morgan, if you again promise to listen to us, Mira will remove the handcuffs."

 

She looks at Ira and says, "I promise I will listen to both of you at Ramstein. But I agree only if we take the time when this is over to create a set of working rules for our relationship."

 

I say, "We agree because we know you will not break this promise to us again. But you need to follow what we ask you to do today without questions."

 

She says, "I promise."

 

I quickly run to the front, grab our change of clothes and head back to Ira and Ms. Morgan. "We need to get changed before we leave the plane." I hand each of them their clothes. Ira smiles and Ms. Morgan fights with the handcuffs and says, "What's this, I thought we'd wear these nice slinky black outfits."

 

I grin at Ms. Morgan and say, "These are special clothes which we only wear when we are going to fight. We really thought we would get in a fight with the Russian mafia when we left Dushanbe. We do not ever want to wear them when we are on television."

 

I get out of my fighting clothes and slip into a nice camo school girl pleated dress and a long sleeve matching camo top. I pull on a pair of matching camo knee high socks. I wrap a holster around my upper thigh and slide my pistol into it. When I am done I turn and ask Ms. Morgan, "Do you approve of our new uniforms for the Truth Network."

 

She smiles and says, "They are classy, sexy and very functional. I like them." She fights the handcuffs and adds, "…but unless you take these off me I can't change."

 

I unlock the handcuffs, Ms. Morgan grins at me and says, "I bet your boyfriends love those handcuffs and how fast you are with them."

 

I look at her with astonishment and say, "Ms. Morgan, we have never had boyfriends, just assignments." Then I feel a few tears in my eyes…

 

Present – Liz – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

Shit! I keep forgetting my sisters had an even more bizarre childhood than I did. After mentioning boyfriends, both Mira and Ira are upset and tearing up. They are strong as hell about most things, but things from a 'normal' childhood seem to upset them. That Kostia bastard - Fucking them up like he did! I wonder if I need to get counseling for them but they don’t seem to need it. If Sam comes through for me on the one huge secret request and if what I suspect is true, it will go a very long way towards healing their past.

 

I hug them both, "Sorry my sisters. I forget that you two are so special and sometimes I say stupid things. Forgive me?"

 

Mira says, "We are sorry too Ms. Morgan about crying. It's just we have always wondered what it would be like to have a boyfriend. Other than you caring for us, no one else ever has."

 

I smile and say, "When the time is right I will help to find both of you good boyfriends and then I will make sure you know how they should treat you."

 

I smile as they start talking to each other.

 

"Mira, I cannot believe it. She will help us find boyfriends."

 

"Ira, I am a little nervous and worried. I don't know how to treat a man unless they are an assignment. What if I get upset and break my boyfriend's neck or arm?"

 

I hear Ira giggle, "Mira I know what you mean. It will be hard not to hurt them if they get us upset or try to train us."

 

The plane taxies to a stop and it snaps my sisters out of their conversation. Mira says, "Ms. Morgan please stay here with Ira until I am sure things are safe."

 

She takes off towards the front of the plane and picks up a bag on her way.

 

Ira says, "Ms. Morgan please stand in the aisle. I need to get some gear too."

 

I look at Ira and reply, "How are your ribs? With your injury, you're not carrying anything unless I'm sure you won't hurt yourself." Ira surprises me as she grabs me in a big hug and says, "Thank you Ms. Morgan for taking such good care of us!"

 

I hug her back but this time she doesn't wince as I pull away and look at her, "Your ribs must be feeling better."

 

She smiles and says, "No, it's just that sometimes the pain is worth it and I don't care."

 

Mira motions for us to follow here and we head to the front, step off the plane and head down the steps to a waiting Humvee.

 

Present – Cpl. Cohen - Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

Samantha is busy helping the staff and patients coming out of the hospital. I guess she has seen enough and doesn't want to go back into the hospital. I roll up to her cameraman who is still videoing and motion for him to cut the video. He sets the camera on a tripod and we move off to the side to talk. I say, "Before they clear out all the bodies, I think there are things we need to film to show the world just what these bastards did."

 

He replies, "I can't go back in right now because I have to keep taping here. But I have an extra camera I can give you. It won't have a live feed but it's charged and has over an hour of tape available."

 

I reply, "I'd be happy to film as much as I can. But I warn you I plan on going back into the worst areas."

 

He looks at me and says, "I doubt we will ever be able to show any of the video other than to the government and the military. But they've been bugging us for our tapes so this might just keep them off our backs. Here's the camera and here's how to operate it."

 

He gives me some instructions and I roll towards the door with the camera. The same airman sees me from the last time and doesn't even attempt to stop me this time. I roll back into the hospital - back into hell.

 

Present – Samantha - Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

I watch Frank the Tank head back into the hospital with our extra camera and I know where he's headed. He's going to the maternity ward and the children's ward – a hell I don't even want to see. I've helped five people who went in those areas to recover bodies and they all came out crying, babbling, incoherent messes. One nurse even has psychosomatic blindness.

 

I look over at Bernie and decide to do a report. I walk over, take the microphone and he smiles at me, "Hello world! Samantha Stevens, reporting for the Truth Network from the butchery at Ramstein. Thanks for staying with us while I was busy helping the aid workers. From what I understand there are no more survivors and as you have seen, things are slowing down and fewer bodies are being removed from the hospital."

 

"The only areas left with bodies are those areas where the terrorists inflicted the most horrendous crimes upon humanity. Areas like maternity and the children's wards. We don't know if we will ever be able to remove those bodies because the aid workers who have gone into those areas have returned too psychologically disturbed to tell us what they saw."

 

"As you might have noticed, Frank the Tank has bravely gone back into the hospital with one of our cameras. I can only guess he will reenter those areas to document the brutality of the terrorists. I highly doubt we will ever be able to show that tape to the world. I do think our leaders should be forced to watch the video and see what the years of their apathy towards the terrorists have produced."

 

"I have continued to monitor the terrorist's radio communications and here is an update on the situation inside the hospital. Things are at a standoff. The terrorists are massed in the center of the building and are hiding like the cowards they are, huddled around their WMD."

 

I want to mention the Marines but decide the fucking terrorists might be listening so I'd better lie. I continue, "The Marines have the building surrounded and have sealed off all the exits. But they have not gone deeper into the building because they do not want to give the terrorists a reason or a target to detonate the WMD."

 

I look up and see Ms. Morgan and two other women in matching outfits standing beside Bernie. I start to cry in relief and collapse. They all run over towards me. Ms. Morgan hugs me and holds me up as one of the other women takes the microphone.

 

 Present – Ira - Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

I am very nervous as I take the microphone from Samantha. I have practiced many times in front of Mira and the mirror, but now I am in front of a camera.

 

I look at the camera and say, "Hello everybody, this is Irina Morgan, (I use Ms. Morgan's last name because she says we are sisters) Liz Morgan's sister reporting for the Truth Network. We just arrived and as you can see Ms. Morgan is busy taking care of a very traumatized Samantha Stevens. This is my first time reporting and I hope you show me some of the grace you have shown Samantha."

 

I notice Ms. Morgan, Mira and Samantha leave as I continue, "Liz Morgan and my twin sister Miranda are taking Samantha to get her some help. I will update you on Samantha's condition when I have more information.

 

"Miranda and I have years of experience with these terrorists and I will tell you, what you have seen here is what we have seen for all those years. They are no respecter of life and will kill anyone they can to strike fear into the hearts of others.

 

"We have new information concerning the WMD. It is extremely large and was most likely hauled into the hospital in multiple pieces. It has been enhanced with radioactive isotopes – so it is what is normally called a 'dirty bomb' and there is a dead man switch on the bomb. This means one person keeps a button pressed and if he lets go of the button, the bomb detonates.

 

"Knowing these terrorists as I do, I know they are waiting for enough of our brave soldiers to get close to the WMD and then they will detonate the weapon. The terrorist's twisted teaching tells them they will have rewards in their heaven if they are martyrs. If our brave military cannot find a way to stop the bomb's detonation, this hospital will be decimated and many others will lose their lives.

 

"Even though we will be risking some danger, Bernie and I are going to enter the hospital. We will stay in the outer corridors and not attempt to find the terrorists, but we need to further document the cataclysm."

 

We head towards the door and an airman comes up in front of me and says, "Halt, you cannot enter the hospital." I keep walking, he grabs me so I take him down.

 

I turn and smile at the camera, "Remember it is not nice to touch someone without their permission. The airman will soon wake up having learned that lesson and with a big headache." We make it to the door, I look around the corner and see three aid workers lying on their sides in the middle of the hallway - shaking and crying like babies. I turn to the camera, "Unfortunately, there are more casualties of this butchery that I need to help. These are aid workers who have been disabled by the horrors which they have seen. Bernie, please keep the camera out here and wait for me, I will escort them out one at a time."

 

I move into the hospital and check to make sure there are not any terrorists. I have seen them use situations like this as a trap. I walk up to the first aid worker, squat down beside her and stroke her hair, she is shaking like leaves on a tree. I see a gurney so I roll it up beside her. Then I pick her up (ouch, that makes my rib hurt very badly), put her on the gurney and cover her with a sheet. I roll the gurney towards the door and when I get outside more airmen run up acting like they're upset at me so I yell, "Take her to the medical tents, I have two more workers to help."

 

One of them takes her and another notices Bernie with the camera and says, "The hospital is off limits to new crews."

 

I look at him and reply, "This is not a news report, it is now a rescue mission. There are at least two more incapacitated aid workers who need help. Are you going to tell the world you are preventing me from helping those people? I did not think so! Stop bothering me and go get me some help."

 

He takes off and I go after the next victim. This is an older man and he is not as bad as the young woman I helped earlier. I squat beside him, hold his hand and say, "Come on Sir, we need to get you outside in the fresh air and you will feel much better."

 

He says, "They-they-they, did terrible, terrible things."

 

I smile at him and say, "I know because I grew up fighting terrible beasts like this. We need to show them they did not win and they did not beat you! Let us stand up and walk out of here." I help him to his feet and as he puts his arm over my shoulder and slumps on me, a pain like fire shoots through my back. We walk out of the hospital together. The airman did get some help and they take over as soon as we are outside. I look at the camera and say, "Please, be patient with me. I still have one more aid worker to help."

 

This worker is an older lady but she is totally catatonic and is stiff as a board. I try talking to her with no response so I try touching her and get no response. I even pinch her without response. I work my arms under her arms and stand up. An intense pain goes through my body and I almost pass out. I slowly drag her out of the hospital. As I get to the doorway I yell, "Help me please."

 

People run up and take her away from me and I reach around to feel my back. When I bring my hand around it has my blood on it. I realize I did too much and now my rib has punctured my side and I am bleeding.

 

I smile at the camera and say, "As you can see the terrorists are still inflicting casualties even though they are hiding like cowards. I am going to ask Bernie to keep taking video while I consult with Ms. Morgan."

 

I pull out my phone and make a call…

 

Present – Liz – Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

I'm doing all I can to get some help for Samantha, but the medical staff here is overwhelmed and many of them appear to be in shock. Plus it seems like everywhere I turn some airman tries to give me crap - one of them even makes the mistake of grabbing my arm. Mira promptly knocks his ass out. After that they leave me alone.

 

I just get Samantha settled on a cot and resting when my phone rings. I pick it up and it's Darrel from the network and I say, "Hey Darrel, I'm a bit busy here. What can I do for you?"

 

He answers, "Liz, I don't know how you do it, but your sister Irina is even more popular than Samantha. Our market share is skyrocketing."

 

I reply, "That's great Darrel, but I don't have time to talk about it now." I get ready to hang up and he yells, "Liz that's not why I called. Listen, Irina just passed out on camera. Bernie has the camera on a tripod and is trying to figure out what's wrong with her."

 

I hang up the phone, look at Samantha and she's sleeping. I jump up and yell to Mira, "Ira's in big trouble and we need to get to her right now." We take off running towards the hospital.

 

Mira has no problem keeping up with me and I'm running my hardest. I look over and say, "Damn! You're a fast runner."

 

She says, "Yes I am faster than Ira, but we are both faster than you. I am just making sure I do not outrun you."

 

She doesn't seem too worried, "Aren't you worried about Ira and don't you want to get to her as fast as you can?"

 

Mira replies, "Do not worry Ms. Morgan, Ira will be fine. I can feel that her broken rib is causing her some problems."

 

I ask, "You feel her rib?"

 

Mira answers, "Yes Ms. Morgan when either of us is hurt we feel each other's pain. Do not worry because she will be fine when I get to her."

 

We run into a group of security officers trying to keep us away but Mira takes care of them while I keep running. We both make it to Ira at the same time. Mira falls down beside her and starts holding her. Bernie backs off and takes over the camera again.

 

I grab the microphone and get in front of the camera, "Liz Morgan reporting for the Truth Network from the butchery at Ramstein. However the name should be changed to the Fiasco at Ramstein!"

 

"I am shocked and personally disgusted at our government for allowing this to happen in the first place. When this is over I will personally be investigating the total failure of our government, intelligence community and military to prevent this from happening."

 

"Not only did they fail to prevent this fiasco from happening, but they have failed to bring in enough medical and support staff to help with the survivors. I just spent an hour trying to find someone to help me with Samantha but finally I took care of her myself and had to leave her sleeping on a cot by herself. But Samantha is lucky because her only torture was mental – tortured by the images which she saw and described to you. There are survivors from inside the hospital who are still waiting for medical care after surviving the torture from the terrorists. Their cries can be heard all over the medical triage area. I even saw young Georgia sitting all alone on a cot and crying. I was just going to help her when we heard about Irina."

 

"Please do not direct your anger at the medical staff here because they are doing an incredible job but there are just not enough of them. Many of them were also in the hospital and are dealing with their own problems as they help others. Instead we need to put the blame where it belongs."

 

"This is a travesty and I urge – no I demand all of you call the White House right now and demand more help for us in Ramstein! This is Liz Morgan and we're going to take my sister Irina back to the medical triage area where we will take care of her, Samantha, Georgia and anyone else who needs help."

 

I set down the microphone and head back to my sisters. Ira is sitting up but looks very pale. I look at Mira and she states, "Yes Ms. Morgan she is hurting very badly and we need to get her back to the medical tents."

 

As we start heading back to the medical triage area, my phone rings. I see it's the White House number. I put it back in my pocket and think to myself - fuck him! I'm tired of his bullshit!

 

Present – Cpl. Cohen - Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

I've been wheeling around the hallways hoping to find more terrorists, but I guess they are all hiding by the WMD like fucking rats in a rat hole. I decide to keep my promise and make it back to the maternity ward. I take about fifteen minutes of video, shut the camera off and then start crying. I raise my fist and shake it at God, cursing him for letting this happen!

 

I wheel myself over to the children's ward but it's worse than the maternity ward and causes me to throw up. I see room, after room, after room of carnage, mutilation and torture. They even leave two children partially alive after amputating their legs and cauterizing the stumps. They are both in shock but with strong vital signs. I debate for a few moments about shooting them in the head to end their misery, but I can't do it. I can't become an animal like the terrorists.

 

Instead I lift their tiny mangled bodies onto a gurney, tie it to the back of my wheelchair and head towards an exit. The tears in my eyes make it hard to see where I'm going.

 

Present – Samantha - Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

I wake up from a huge nightmare - shaking on a cot in the medical area and wonder where everyone is. The last thing I remember was Liz helping me over here and then trying to find me some help. Shit! I don't need help! I need to be helping others. I look over and see Georgia all by herself and get pissed off! What sort of people would leave her alone?

 

I yell, "Georgia, come over here by me."

 

She looks up and I see the tears in her eyes as notices me and runs right over beside me. She hugs me and says, "Samantha, what are you doing here? Did the bad men hurt you too?"

 

I smile at her and want to tell her the bad men hurt me in a different way, but she needs a hopeful message, "No Georgia, I worked too hard, got too tired and a little sick."

 

We hug each other and she says, "Right after you left, the lady you left me with went to do something else but never came back. I didn't know what to do and was so afraid."

 

I tell her, "Don't worry Georgia, I promise I won't leave you."

 

She hugs me tight and lies on the cot beside me and falls asleep. I hold her and wonder if I will ever be able to sleep again without nightmares.

 

Present – Mira - Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

We get back to Samantha and find her and Georgia on the same cot and Georgia is asleep.

 

Samantha looks at us and says, "Are you two twins or am I seeing double?"

 

I laugh and say, "You are not seeing double we are twins. I am Mira and my sister is Ira."

 

Samantha looks relieved and says, "That's good because I thought I was really going crazy."

 

I look at Ms. Morgan and say, "It will be embarrassing for us if Bernie takes a video of me fixing Ira. Will you please leave and go document the rest of the medical area?"

 

Ms. Morgan replies, "Like hell I'm going to leave my injured sister. Samantha, do you think you're well enough to go with Bernie and video the medical area?"

 

Samantha says, "I'm a little sleepy but I should be able to do this. I'm worried though because I promised Georgia I wouldn't leave her."

 

Ms. Morgan says, "I promise you we will not leave Georgia alone. Just so you know, I really laid into the administration for all this and for the lack of medical support here at Ramstein. I can tell you're still pissed so go get 'em but watch the f-bombs."

 

Samantha slips away from Georgia and stands up, grins at Liz and says, "Are you telling me I don't have to handle the government with kid gloves?"

 

Ms. Morgan replies, "Samantha the gloves are off and this is a bare knuckle fight which we're going to win. Go out there and draw some blood."

 

Samantha and Bernie take off as I move a new cot over for Ira and begin to take off her Truth Network outfit and body armor. I look at Ms. Morgan and ask, "I need some gauze pads, some betadine and several ace bandages. Oh and the strongest pain pills you can find."

 

Ms. Morgan leaves to go get the supplies and I look at Ira and she says, "Mira you know what you need to do?"

 

"Yes Ira I do. It's the only way to keep this situation from becoming even worse."

 

Ira answers, "I will not be able to back you up on this."

 

"Yes Ira, I know. But I will be very careful."

 

"Mira, what will we tell Ms. Morgan?"

 

"I will handcuff you to her and then tell her most of the truth."

 

"Mira, What about Samantha, do you think she will interfere?"

 

"If she tries to interfere I will take her down."

 

Ms. Morgan comes back with the needed supplies and we give Ira the pain pills with a glass of water. I take her top off and can see the sharp edge of the rib where it has just punctured the skin. I say, "Ira you are lucky the edge punctured your skin and not your lung."

 

Ira replies, "I hope the scar won't be very big."

 

Ms. Morgan laughs and says, "SM Blaine says guys dig chicks with scars?"

 

I look at her and Ira says, "How would men use chickens with scars as shovels to dig with?"

 

Ms. Morgan fights back a laugh and answers, "Sorry, I keep forgetting you don't know all the American colloquialisms. It means that men really like girls with scars."

 

I say, "I am not sure I believe that. I think they might just want to see the scar to try to see other things too."

 

Ms. Morgan laughs and adds, "I think you might be right."

 

I clean up the puncture very good with the betadine and look at Ira and say, "Are you ready my sister?"

 

She smiles and says, "Not really but I know what you need to do."

 

I feel her ribcage while I figure out which way I need to squeeze to pull the rib back inside. I give her a pencil to bite on, smile at her and then squeeze. Ira lets out a squeal and then passes out, but the rib is back in place. I clean things up again and then bandage her with the gauze and ace bandage. Then I lay her back on the cot.

 

Ms. Morgan is watching with huge eyes and says, "Wow! That looks like it really hurt, but you put the rib back in position."

 

I wiped Ira's sympathetic tears of pain out of my eyes and say, "Yes it hurt very badly, she will need to rest now. Will you come over here and help for a minute."

 

As Ms Morgan comes over and sits beside Ira, I reach behind me, pull out my handcuffs and snap them on Ira and Ms. Morgan's wrists. Then I scoot away from them very quickly.

 

Ms. Morgan's mouth drops open then she says, "Mira, what the hell is this for!"

 

I answer, "Ms. Morgan, I am very sorry to do this, but there is something I need to do to end the situation in the hospital."

 

Ms. Morgan is very upset, "Mira, don't tell me you're going into the hospital."

 

I smile at her, "Okay Ms. Morgan I will not tell you that."

 

She starts complaining and I caution her, "Ms. Morgan, you are going to wake up Georgia." Then I walk over to my gear, open up my hard case and take out my weapon. I take off my Truth Network outfit and get back into my fighting outfit. I load up my vest with four twenty round magazines. Then I smile at Ms. Morgan and say, "It is time for me to go hunting and avenge all the deaths here."

 

Ms. Morgan spits at me, "This had better not be a suicide mission."

 

I look at her and laugh, "Ms. Morgan, Ira and I are not suicide girls. I will probably be back." I throw her two gas masks and continue, "Just in case something goes wrong remember your lessons and please make sure to put one on Ira."

 

I start jogging towards the hospital and continue to hear Ms. Morgan complain as I leave.

 

Present – Glen - Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

The demo squad shows up and several of them crawl up front to get a better look at things. I watch as they come back and meet with the sergeant. I want to go up and see what's happening but I realize I broke rank last time and made a fool out of myself - I won't do that again.

 

My waiting pays off as they come back to me.

 

Cpt. Crowley of demo speaks first, "This is a real nasty situation we have here. I don't know how they did it, but the WMD is fucking huge. And it looks like they have enough radioactive material to render a large area inhospitable if it detonates."

 

Sgt. Anderson of Zulu squad adds, "I'm amazed they haven't detonated it yet, it's almost like they are waiting for someone or something."

 

Crowley continues, "It appears the only means of detonation is the DM switch. It's rudimentary and I'm sure it's normally open because they rotate operators so they don't get fatigued. The switch is connected to the WMD by a cable and the operator is inside what appears to be an armored box. I don't see any way we can get to the bomb before the switch gets thrown."

 

I look at both of them and say, "So what are your recommendations?"

 

Crowley says, "We think we pull out and cordon off the area. Let the terrorists take the hospital."

 

I don't like the solution so I say, "I'm not sure I agree on this. I'm going to head out of the building and talk this over with some of my advisors. Keep both teams here and keep the terrorists contained." As I leave I can tell they don't like the order, but fuck them. I want to win this one and I have a feeling somehow we will do just that.

 

Present – CPl. Cohen - Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

I almost have what's left of the kids to an exit and I hear a noise in front of me, I pull up my AK hoping for a battle but instead someone speaks לוחם שלום אש לא (Peace warrior do not fire).

 

I reply, לתנוחת מסדרון שבו אני עשויים לראות אותך (Into the hall where I can see you.)

 

The side door opens the rest of the way and a black figure of a woman steps out into the hallway. I lower the AK, bow my head and say, "If you have come for me I am ready to die."

 

Her voice is filled with surprise as she states, "You know who I am?"

 

I reply, "I have heard the many rumors and my brother in the Mossad told me many more stories around the fire at night. But I never thought I would be so honored to see one of the מלאך המוות (Angels of Death). I have heard no one lives who sees you, is your sister behind me now waiting to take my life?"

 

She laughs, it confuses me but then she replies, "It seems the stories grow more unbelievable with each passing year. I am not here to take your life, but I am here to avenge the death of so many."

 

I ask, "Would it be okay if I raise my eyes and look at you and your sister?"

 

She laughs again and says, "It would be my honor to look into the eyes of a great warrior like you. But these few purveyors of terror did not justify bringing my sister. So you will have to just be content with one of us."

 

I look up her and say, "I am not a great warrior, not with stumps for legs."

 

She says, "I see a great warrior who has shown more courage today than any other man." Then she walks behind me and looks at the little ones on the gurney and I hear her sniffle and say, "Today the beasts that did this will burn in Scheol."

 

She walks back in front of me and squats down so I can see her eyes through her helmet and says, "Tell me brave warrior, how you lost your legs?"

 

I look down and say, "I was at an Israeli restaurant here in Germany when a bomb killed everyone in the restaurant except me. They said I was lucky to survive."

 

She says, "I feel more sadness in this event than you have shared."

 

I fight back the tears and say, "I was with Ziva, my fiancée."

 

She says, "And you have saved these two little one's lives today, so they are now your responsibility." She touches what's left of my legs and continues, "And I can see God's infinite wisdom in letting you live to fight this battle and giving them the perfect parent."

 

She stands up and says, לעבור בשלום (go in peace). I blink my eyes and she's gone. I sit for a moment and think about meeting her and her many words to me. I have faced death twice now, once with the bomb that took my Ziva and my legs and now with the Angel of Death – and both times my life has been given back to me. The first time it was to fight this battle, the last time the Angel of Death has given me a reason to continue living, and they are on the gurney behind me.

 

I roll towards the exit hoping my little ones don't die.

 

Present – Glen - Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

I have felt more alive and more scared today than I have in many years. And even though my men don't agree with me, I don't want to lose this building and I have a feeling. A feeling I haven't had for a very long time.

 

I'm headed to an exit to consult with my advisors and come up with a way to save this building. I round the corner and standing in front of me is a figure dressed in black, I start to raise my AK and her voice says, "Drop your weapon or you'll be dead before your finger touches the trigger."

 

I'm looking down the barrel of a big-assed rifle and I know I'm beat so I let the AK drop to the floor and say, "Just shoot me in the head and make it quick."

 

She laughs and says, "General Donaldson, this is not the first time we have met. And just like the last time I have not come for your life or you would already be dead. Last time we met, I gave you a message and you were wise enough to listen to that message."

 

I sputter and ask, "What, when did we meet before. I've never seen you?"

 

She says, "There are rumors which say those who see me don't live, but today I give you your life back. You have an injured wife to take care of, if she lives, and a family that's in disarray because of her selfish acts. I am one of the Angels of Death and today I have come for retribution. The beasts which have done this will not live and will not destroy this building - this is my promise to you. Go back and call your men out of the building. Do not enter again until I call you on the radio."

 

I blink and like that she's gone. I wonder if I've imagined it until I see my AK on the floor. I head back to the WMD and my men. I get much closer this time before I hear a whisper, "Word of the day?"

 

I whisper back, "Shit I forgot to ask you guys what the word of the day is."

 

Sgt. Anderson walks around the corner and grins at me, "You were much quieter than last time, but I still heard you and knew it was you by your noise."

 

I look at him and say, "Call both squads, we're bugging out ASAP."

 

He looks at me and I add, "And that's an order sergeant!"

 

He takes off and we all head out of the building, once we exit I pull the Captain and the Sergeant over and say, "These are my orders and I expect them followed or I will personally kick the ass of anyone who disobeys me. First give me your damn radio, second no one goes in the building until I authorize it. Do you both understand?"

 

They look at me and the Cpt. Crowley asks, "Sir, permission to ask a question?"

 

I look at him and say, "Permission granted."

 

He asks, "Sir, what are you going to do and what are we supposed to do?"

 

I get in his face and say, "Captain, that's two questions or have you forgotten how to count?" He looks worried, I back up and say, "And they're both excellent questions, I am going to go find my wife and make sure she's okay and everyone else is going to stand down and wait."

 

He looks at me and says, "Sir what are we waiting for?"

 

I look at him and say, "I think we are waiting for a miracle from an Angel." I glance back at them as I walk away and leave them with their mouths hanging open.

 

Present – Evelyn - Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

I pull the trigger on Private Murphy's pistol and it just goes click. Nurse Kat yanks the gun out of my hand and Private Murphy looks at me and explains, "I'm sort of clumsy and the Sergeant won't let me keep a round in the chamber of my pistol."

 

I scream, "I'm a God damn worthless bitch and don't deserve to live!" Then I sob and cry, "Please, oh God please just let me die."

 

Kat gets in my face and says, "Listen here Evelyn, I've been through hell with you and I'm not going to let you die or let you kill yourself. Just because you can't walk now doesn't mean the doctors won't be able to fix your back."

 

I look at her and say, "You don't understand, it's not about the legs. I don't deserve to live."

 

She yells at me, "Don't be silly. Everyone deserves to live!"

 

I watch as she ties my hands down to the gurney and they roll me towards the medics. As they push me I slowly slip deep, deep, and even deeper into the cesspool of guilt bubbling in my soul.

 

Present – Mira (Angel of Death) - Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

I watch as General Donaldson takes all the Marines out of the hospital and out of my way. Then smile knowing he listened to me again. I wish Ira was with me, but I do not think I will need her this time.

 

I stealthily slip into the center of the hospital and easily see the few terrorists which survive and the WMD. They look very nervous and confused, as if they don't know what to do. I am sure they have lost their leader. I pull up my PSG11 and scope the arena, easily making out the armored box holding the DM switch and the cable stretching from it to the WMD. I glass the rest of the arena and come up with my assault plan.

 

1 Präzisionsscharfschützengewehr, German for "precision sharpshooter rifle" is a semi-automatic rifle designed by the German company Heckler & Koch. It is considered to be one of the most accurate semi-automatic sniper rifles in the world. Its accuracy is sometimes even better than a bolt-action rifle.

 

I slip back down the hallway and look for the mechanical access stairway. I do not have a copy of the blueprints for the hospital so it takes longer than I want. Finally I find it, blow the lock off the door and go into the mechanical room of the hospital. I spend some time tracing out the duct work and finally find the duct I want. I take out my tools, pull the access panel, lock and load my rifle and crawl into the bowels of the air conditioning system of the hospital.

 

Making sure to stay absolutely silent, I move through the ducts to a position directly above the room with the WMD. I carefully pull the grill and have a perfect view of the whole area. I take a minute to slow my breathing and my heart rate preparing for the one perfect shot. I visualize the shot in my mind and I'm ready. I pull up my rifle, take aim, start the count and squeeze the trigger. The PSG1 fires and the bullet severs the cable running from the DM switch to the WMD. My shot and my assumptions are correct because the WMD doesn't detonate.

 

I take aim at the next terrorist and put a round through his head as the rest start running around, screaming and firing randomly. I keep firing until the magazine is empty and put another one in my rifle. I shoot one more, but there are no more targets because they have left the room. No problem since now I get to hunt them down - which is much more fun than crawling through a dirty duct and shooting them in the head. There is no challenge in that.

 

But first I need to make sure the WMD is totally disabled. I pull a climbing rope out of my backpack and tie it to a protrusion in the duct work. I put it through a figure eight and then connect it to my harness and rappel down to the floor of the arena. I walk over to the WMD, take the detonator and put it in my backpack.

 

Now it is time to go hunting…

 

Present – Glen - Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

I hump it over to the medical tents, find Kat and ask, "Where's Evelyn?"

 

She replies, "She's inside the tent, the doctors are looking at her back."

 

I start to go into the tent but Kat grabs my arm, "General Donaldson, you can't go in there yet. Plus there's something else you need to know."

 

I stop and look at her, "What else?"

 

She looks down and answers, "She grabbed Pvt. Murphy's pistol and tried to commit suicide."

 

The news shocks me, I fall back on the bench and stammer, "What – how – I don't understand?"

 

Kat touches my arm, "Yes, she put the pistol up to her head, said she didn't deserve to live and pulled the trigger. I guess the sergeant doesn't let Pvt. Murphy keep a round in his pistol or Evelyn would be dead now."

 

I hang my head and start to cry but Kat continues, "I restrained her arms and then she got a far away look in her eyes and after that she became unresponsive."

 

I look at Kat, "She's unconscious?"

 

She replies, "No I think she's totally conscious, it's just like she isn't here anymore."

 

I sit on the bench thinking about things and wondering what the hell is happening to the woman I love. Then I see Liz Morgan coming towards me and looking like she's on a mission.

 

I stand up to meet her, she walks up and says, "Glen, I don't know what the fuck you're doing here, but open your eyes and look around. The victims here are in serious need of more help."

 

Kat jumps up, gets in her face and says, "Listen blondie! I don't know who the hell you think you are talking to the General this way. But his wife has been shot and is in with the doctors right now - so back off bitch!"

 

Liz Morgan looks at her, then looks at me and says, "Sorry Glen, I didn't know. How bad is it?"

 

I look down and say, "Kat it's okay, Liz is sort of a family friend. Liz, I don't know, she can't move her legs."

 

Liz looks at me and says, "There's more you're not telling me."

 

Kat adds, "She became hysterical and tried to commit suicide. When she failed, I restrained her and then she became unresponsive."

 

Liz touches my shoulder and says, "Glen, we've had our issues in the past and will probably have some issues in the future. But please know I'm sorry for what's happened to Evelyn and if I can help in anyway, just let me know. I know it's a terrible time to ask, but we really could use some more medical help here. I'd love to stay and talk, but I have an injured sister to take care of and a couple more patients I've picked up."

 

Kat asks Liz, "You're a doctor?"

 

Liz smiles at her, "No, I'm Liz Morgan a news reporter for the Truth Network. I'm just trying to help."

 

Kat smiles and says, "Sorry about the blondie and bitch comment. I didn't know you were just trying to help."

 

Liz smiles, and replies, "No problem carrot top!"

 

Kat answers with, "You know I hate that name, but I probably deserve it. General, if you don't mind I should really get to work and make sure Ms. Morgan isn't killing her patients."

 

I look at them and say, "Go ahead, but soon I will need to leave and go back into the hospital."

 

Liz Morgan looks at me and asks, "So Glen, what's really going on inside the hospital?"

 

I look at her and answer, "I'm not really sure right now, but I'm hoping for a miracle from an Angel."

 

I look around and determine Liz is right, they do need more help here. I pick up my phone and call in reinforcements. I watch both of them walk off and wait for the call over the radio, instead my phone rings…

 

Present – Liz - Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

Kat wants to check on my patients to make sure I'm not killing them. Shit! With all I've been through I'm probably a better nurse than she is. We talk on the way back to Ira's cot and work out our differences.

 

Ira smiles when I walk up and says, "Thank you Ms. Morgan for keeping your promise to me and coming back."

 

I sit beside her, "And thank you Ira for trusting me enough to take off Mira's handcuffs."

 

Kat looks at both of us and says, "You two are sisters? I find that hard to believe."

 

Ira answers, "We are sisters by choice not by birth which makes our relationship even more special."

 

I step back and think that's the best answer I've ever heard for that question. Kat continues, "So what are your injuries?"

 

Ira proudly answers, "I shielded Ms. Morgan with my body from two bullets and even though I was wearing body armor one of my ribs was still broken."

 

Kat gives me a quizzical look and says, "Let's see how things look." She unwraps the ace, takes off the gauze and says, "More went on than what you told me."  

 

I add, "She was helping bring disabled aid workers out of the hospital today and reinjured it."

 

Kat replies, "Well whoever took care of you did a very good job. I'm just going to redress this. But you need to take it easy for several weeks." Kat redresses the wound and goes to tend to the other patients we've been taking care of.

 

Ira asks, "Ms. Morgan, did you find out why General Donaldson is here?"

 

I reply, "His wife Evelyn was shot and he's here taking care of her. With Glen here I sure wonder what's going on in the hospital."

 

Ira giggles, grimaces in pain and says, "I know exactly what's going on. By now Mira will have disabled the WMD and is probably killing the rest of the terrorists."

 

I give her and amazed look and ask, "How do you know this?"

 

She smiles, "Because this is the plan we talked about. And if the bomb didn't go off by now then she's completed that part of the plan."

 

I question, "You aren't worried she will be hurt or killed?"

 

Ira looks at me like I am a child and replies, "Ms. Morgan, these are just simple terrorists, the chance of them hurting her is very low. The bomb was the biggest threat."

 

I look at Ira and say, "So that's what Glen meant when he said he was expecting a miracle from an Angel."

 

Ira starts giggling again, and it causes her to gasp in pain. I hold her and say, "Sorry, I don't know what's so funny but you'd better stop giggling."

 

Ira lightly hugs me and reminds me, "Ms. Morgan should you call Ms. Donaldson about her mother being shot?"

 

I say, "Oh shit! You're right." I take out the phone and hit the speed dial for Jens number.

 

Present – Jens – WRAMC

 

Mmm, my damn phone is going off and waking me out of such a nice sleep. I've surely missed sleeping next to my Ben. I fish the phone out of my pocket and look - it's Liz.

 

I answer, "Liz this had better be important."

 

She interrupts, "Jens, it's damn important. Are you sitting down?"

 

I smile at Ben and say, "No, I'm cuddling with Ben and it's wonderful."

 

Liz says, "I don't know how to tell you this. But Evelyn's been shot."

 

That wakes me up and I sit up in bed, "Liz, this had better not be some sort of sick joke."

 

She answers, "Jens, it's not a joke. I don't have all the details yet but Glen is with her right now. But it sounds like it's serious."

 

A few tears trickle down my cheek and Ben holds me tight. I tell Liz, "Thanks, Liz. I'm going to call Daddy and see if he can tell me anything more. I hang up the phone and look at Ben, he asks, "Jens, what's going on?"

 

I look at him a wrestle with my emotions for a few moments and I say, "Ben, the bit…," then I stop and say, "Ben, I need you to control yourself because I don't want you to have another seizure."

 

He looks at me and smiles, "Jens, I promise I won't have another seizure."

 

I don't know if I totally believe him, but I say, "Ben, Mom's been shot at Ramstein and Daddy's with her right now." Then I break down and start crying, Ben holds me tight and comforts me.

 

Nurse battle axe comes in the room from all the noise and says, "Young lady, didn't I tell you not to excite SM Blaine? You need to leave the room right now."

 

Ben says in his command voice, "Nurse Claire, my fiancée has just found out her mother's been shot. You will stand down and let me comfort her."

 

She walks over and touches Jens on the shoulder, "Sorry, I didn't know. Is there anything I can do to help?"

 

Ben looks at her and says, "You can find either Matt or Jim outside the door and please ask them to come in here."

 

She leaves the room, I continue to cry and Ben continues to comfort me.

 

Present – Ben – WRAMC

 

Shit! This is FUBAR! Evelyn's been shot and I can tell Jens is an emotional mess because she's never resolved her feelings towards Evelyn. But I know what I need to do.

 

Matt walks in the room, sees Jens crying and me holding her and says, "Looks like something's going on and you guys need some help."

 

I order, "Matt, Evelyn's been shot at Ramstein and we need to get Jens there as quickly as possible. I want you guys to take care of setting up the trip and one of you needs to go with her."

 

Jens hugs me and cries, "Ben, I'm not leaving you!"

 

I pry her off me and look at her, "Jens, I'm fine here in the hospital and Jim will be here to stand guard over me. You need to be with your dad and your mom right now."

 

She starts to complain, I put my finger on her lips and say, "This is an order!"

 

She says, "I guess you forgot, you don't outrank me anymore."

 

I don't want this to degenerate into a pissing match so I change my tactics, "Jens, I'm asking you nicely. Will you please go and be with your parents and help them through this."

 

She gives me a dirty look and replies, "Dammit! You know I can't refuse when you ask me something in this manner. I will go, but you'd better not do something stupid or Marine while I'm gone."

 

I look at Matt and say, "Get your ass moving now!"

 

He takes off and I hug Jens and say, "You need to go get packed."

 

She hugs me, kisses me on the cheek and says, "I'll be back as soon as I can." Then she grabs her stuff and leaves the room.

 

Nurse Claire comes back in the room and asks, "You didn't tell her about your surgery today?"

 

I look at her and reply, "No, she has enough to worry about."

 

Claire smiles, "That's the right thing to do for her, but she is going to be so pissed off at you when she gets back."

 

I smile and answer, "You don't know the half of it."

 

Claire shakes her head and says, "What men see in younger women I'll never understand." Then she walks out of the room.

 

I wonder how long people will think Jens' age matters to me, because it has no bearing on my feelings towards her. I lay back on the bed, knowing I did the right thing, but dreading the coming surgery.

 

Present – Jens – Flight to Ramstein.

 

I head out of the room and grab a taxi to head over to the apartment to get my things. I call Daddy from the cab, he picks up the phone right away and I cry, "Daddy, I just heard Mom's been shot but I don't have any details."

 

He says, "Jens, it's a long story I'll tell you later. She was shot in the back and has no feelings in her legs."

 

I take a deep breath to fight back my emotions and say, "Daddy, I'm on my way to see you guys right now. I will be there as soon as I possibly can." Then I cry some and whisper in the phone, "If you get a chance to talk to Mom, let her know I still love her."

 

Daddy replies, "Jens, thanks for coming. I know it will help and I'll tell her when I get a chance. I need to go but I will try to call you later."

 

"Thanks Daddy, but if I'm on the plane my phone probably won't work. I'll find you when I get to Ramstein."

 

I hang up the phone and the cab driver says, "It sounds like you have an emergency. I don't normally do this, but I'm going to speed to get you to your apartment."

 

I say, "Thank you and if you could wait for me I won't be long, because I need a ride to the airport."

 

He answers, "I would be happy to wait for you."

 

I look out the window, but don't notice the sights of the city because my thoughts are a continent away in Germany.

 

Present – Mira (Angel of Death) - Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

I walk up to the armored box and determine it is locked from the inside. I beat on the top of it and yell, "Come out you coward and face your death."

 

There's a small slit cut in it for him to look through so he sticks a pistol out of the box and shoots wildly in all directions. Then he yells, "Allah Akbar!"

 

I yell back, "My bullets are dipped in the blood of pigs to kill the swine that have terrorized this hospital. So those I kill with them will not be clean and will not go to heaven." Then I fire into the slit until blood flies out.

 

Normally I would hunt down the other eight terrorists, but I feel a need to get back to Ira and Ms. Morgan. So I call General Donaldson on the radio.

 

He answers, "This is General Donaldson."

 

I state, "The bomb is disarmed and I have taken the detonator. Twenty-one of the terrorists have been dispatched leaving your men nine to deal with. They are located somewhere in the hospital. Normally I would hunt them down and take care of them myself, but I have other priorities right now and I am giving you and your men a gift of the last nine. I hope you do not leave any of them alive."

 

I listen and hear, "I don't know how to thank you."

 

I reply, "Do whatever it takes to fix your family situation."

 

I head towards the nearest exit, hide and wait. In just a few minutes the Marines fly through the door, check the room I'm hiding in and head down the hallway. I drop down from the air duct in the ceiling and slip outside. An airman starts to raise his rifle at me, until I shoot it out of his hands. As I run by, I pull the detonator out of my backpack, throw it to him and say, "Don't drop this, it is the detonator for the bomb." He turns white as I run towards the medical tents.

 

I slip up to the area where I left my sisters and notice a new woman with them. I will need to be careful. Ira notices me and sends me hand signals to go into a portable toilet. I follow her directions and wait. A minute later Ms. Morgan opens the door and hands me my Truth Network uniform. She smiles and asks, "Good hunting?"

 

I smile back and answer, "Very good hunting." I change back into my uniform and slip my fighting clothes into my back pack. Then I grab everything and head over to my sisters.

 

Present – Sgt. Anderson - 1st Battalion 9th Marines – The Walking Dead - Alpha Company, Zulu Squad - Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

General Donaldson comes over to the squad leaders. We're all pissed about sitting on our hands and wasting time.

 

He yells, "Ten hut!" and we all jump to our feet.

 

He addresses us, "Marines, I know you're not happy with my last orders to sit here and wait! But I'm proud as hell all of you followed them. I'm here to tell you your waiting is over. The WMD in the hospital is disarmed. Twenty-one of the thirty terrorists are dead leaving nine of them for my devil-dogs to take care of. Do I have any Marines here who would like to go into the hospital with me and kill these fucking bastards?"

 

We all start yelling and watch as the General takes off for the closest door. He yells over his shoulder, "What the hell are all of you waiting for."

 

I muster my men and we take off after the General.

 

Present – Samantha - Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

"Hello, Samantha Stevens reporting for the Truth Network. We've been busy documenting the problems the survivors have had receiving adequate medical care. This situation is rapidly changing. You will notice behind me many Marine helicopters landing with medical personnel and supplies. They are the direct result of intervention by General Donaldson. He's here in the medical triage area right now because his wife was seriously wounded. I am going to see if he will grant us a short interview where we can thank and acknowledge the care and concern he's shown the survivors."

 

As we head toward General Donaldson, he jumps up and runs toward a squad of Marines. I know something is going to happen so I motion to Bernie and we follow him. He's so loud when he talks to his men we easily hear everything he says.

 

Bernie's been taking video of the General firing up his troops so I move in front of the camera and start, "Samantha Stevens here for the Truth Network. We have breaking news! We have just learned the butchery in Ramstein is very close to being over. General Donaldson has just announced the WMD has been disarmed and twenty-one of the remaining terrorists are dead. We are not sure how this has happened and assume the General had some Marines hidden in the hospital. He is currently leading the Marines in an all out assault on the hospital to secure the WMD and to capture or kill the remaining terrorists."

 

I look at Bernie and make a decision. "I cannot stand idly by while this historic event unfolds so we are going back into the hospital. Truth Network, please standby with alternate pictures in case we see things which shouldn't be shown."

 

We take off behind a group of Marines and head back into the hospital. I keep up a running (literally) commentary. "Thanks to General Donaldson, not only did the survivors receive the care they needed, he has also saved the hospital building and is giving America the retribution they deserve for the heinous acts perpetrated upon the patients and staff of this hospital."

 

We run down a short hallway and fly right into the main area of the hospital the terrorists were holding. No one notices us because they are all busy looking at bodies on the floor and working on the WMD. I motion Bernie to the side of the doorway and continue in a whisper, "Viewers, you are lucky! What you are seeing is the area where the terrorists had the WMD. You can see behind me the Marines working on dismantling the bomb and other Marines searching the terrorist's bodies for identification."

 

There's a dead terrorist on the floor beside us and I look down and notice a single shot to his head. I motion to Bernie to video the body, "I apologize to my viewers if this scene is disturbing to you. This is one of the dead terrorists, killed by a single shot to the head. Their deaths were much more humane than the tortures they inflicted on the patients and staff of this hospital."

 

I become bolder and we move into the room closer to the WMD, "This is the dreaded WMD the terrorists used to temporarily hold the American troops at bay. I look and see a cable on the floor running to a big metal box and motion for Bernie to video the cable, "This must be the cable to the dead man's switch and it appears something has cut the cable. The metal box over there must have contained the man to operate the switch."

 

I look up and realize I have an audience. All the Marines have stopped and are watching me. At first I get worried they will make me leave, but one of them starts clapping and the next thing I know they are all clapping and cheering. One Marine steps forward, shakes my hand and says, "Miss Stevens, I am Captain Crowley and on the behalf of all our troops here I would like to thank you for your bravery and accurate reporting." I start crying and Liz walks up beside me and hugs me - her sister is now running the camera.

 

Present – Liz and Mira - Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

Mira is back and is taking care of Ira, a bunch of Marine helicopters are landing with medics and supplies, I just start to relax when Ira gets all excited and yells to me, "Ms. Morgan, look at the hospital."

 

I turn and see the Marines headed towards the hospital, they look like angry ants attacking an anthill. Then I notice Samantha and Bernie tagging along. I look at Mira and say, "Samantha's doing it again. Grab a camera and follow me." I'm shocked when she doesn't fight me but gets the camera and a rifle.

 

I keep my eyes on the door Samantha went in and we get in just in time to see the Marines cheering and congratulating her. I can tell she's overwhelmed so I walk up beside her and give her a big hug, mostly because I can tell she's going to collapse if I don't.

 

I motion for the Marines to be quiet, it takes awhile and I say, "Thank you all for your service during this time of crisis. We hear some gunfire and I continue, "It sounds like it's still not over. So I will leave Samantha in your care to document the cleanup while my sister and I go and document the rounding up of the few remaining terrorists." I whisper in Samantha's ear, "Get as many interviews as you can with these Marines and document the hell out of this WMD and what happened here."

 

I motion to Mira and we take off down a hallway, Mira stops me and says, "Ms. Morgan. Ira has had her time in front of the camera, now I want mine."

 

I laugh and say, "Wouldn't you know it, demoted to cameraman for my own network." I take the camera and Mira steps in front holding her rifle.

 

"Hello viewers, this is Miranda Morgan twin sister of Irina Morgan of the Truth Network reporting on the cleanup of the butchery in Ramstein. You may have been watching Samantha Stevens reporting from the arena with the WMD, we will be taking you into the hallways of the hospital where the Marines are still engaged in combat with the remaining nine terrorists. This is dangerous, that is why I am carrying this rifle. I hope I will not be require to use it, but if need be I will gladly kill any of the terrorists we find. Please take a moment to thank our camera person, my sister, Ms. Liz Morgan."

 

"Liz, please stay close as we silently move down the hallways." I tail her, amazed by the way she moves. It's like a tiger stalking its prey. We come to a corner and hear, "Word of the day?" Mira instantly replies, "Carbuncle." We walk around the corner and find a group of Marines standing over a body and they are giving Mira the once over. One comes up to her and says, "Miss, how did you know the word of the day and you shouldn't be in here."

 

She smiles and says (I can tell it's a lie), "Sergeant, General Donaldson gave me the word of the day and we have his permission to be here. I am Miranda Morgan reporter from the Truth Network. We are documenting everything for the American public. Was this one of the remaining nine terrorists?"

 

He starts to give her shit and fast as lightening she snaps up her rifle and fires past him down the hallway. The Marines all duck and several rush her. She starts kicking the shit out of them and yells, "While all of you were busy watching me, I just shot a terrorist sneaking up behind you!"

 

They stop fighting, look behind them at the end of the hallway and see another dead terrorist. The Sgt. walks up to her holding his ear, "Damn, I can hardly hear. Thanks for saving our butts, where did you learn to shoot like that?"

 

She smiles, "I spent some time in Israel."

 

He grins and asks, "Mossad?"

 

Mira ignores the question but turns to the camera and says, "Sorry for the short interruption viewers. You can now see at least two of the missing nine terrorists have been accounted for. We need to thank these brave Marines for risking their lives to make sure this refuse is properly disposed of. Ms. Morgan and I are going to continue our quest to document the end of the butchery at Ramstein."

 

The Sgt. tries to stop us but Mira leans over and whispers in his ear. He blushes and lets us continue. I watch Mira and finally figure out what she's really doing! She's not here to report the news, she's here to hunt the fucking terrorists down and finish the job. I kill the camera, call her over and say, "Mira are you comfortable killing the terrorists on international television?"

 

She starts to answer and my phone rings, I look at it and it's the network. I answer and Darrel says, "Liz I don't know what you're doing, but you might want to get the camera back on your sister Miranda. Our station has been flooded with calls since you killed the feed. She's become some sort of hero for shooting the terrorist and saving the Marines."

 

I reply, "So no one's complaining about her killing the terrorist?"

 

He answers, "Hell no, after what they've seen they'd kill the bastards with their bare hands if they could. Shit Liz this whole country is at a standstill everyone is focused on Miranda and Samantha. We're running split signals and have one-hundred percent market share. Get that camera running and tell Miranda to kill the bastards for us."

 

I look at Miranda and say, "Looks like I'm wrong, let's roll."

 

I flip the camera on and she begins her stalk down the hallways. She pauses as we hear a bunch on yelling and men running down a side hallway. Mira yells, "Word of the day."

 

We hear, "Carbunkle, get the **** out of the way. We're coming through with the General."

 

We move back towards the wall and a squad of Marines run by with Glen on a stretcher, he's tore up as hell. I yell to Mira, "We need to follow them and get this story."

 

She yells back, "Keep up with me."

 

"This is Miranda Morgan and we are following a squad of Marines evacuating a wounded General Donaldson." She runs up to the last Marine in the line and asks, "Can you tell me Marine how General Donaldson was wounded."

 

He looks at her and says, "I couldn't be any more proud of being a Marine than right now. The General fell on a grenade one of the terrorist bastards threw at us. He saved all of us."

 

She asks, "Is the General still alive?"

 

The Marine replies, "Yes, but just barely. He is wearing body armor so only a small amount of shrapnel penetrated his vest."

 

Mira asks, "Were you able to get the terrorists that did this."

 

He shouts, "Hell no, all the rest of them are bunched up together in one room. They grenade the hell out of the hallway when they hear anything."

 

Mira pulls up and stops, she motions to me and I kill the camera, then she says, "Ms. Morgan, get Samantha to cover General Donaldson for us. You and I have a mission to finish. You will do exactly what I say or I will knock you out and leave you handcuffed in one of these rooms. This is my fault for not taking out all these beasts."

 

I whip out my phone, call Bernie and relay the message. I turn on the camera and Mira and I go hunting.

 

Present – Samantha - Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

Bernie kills the camera, calls me over and tells me about the General, then warns me to not let the Marines know about this.

 

I ask, "Do we know which hallway they will use?"

 

Bernie answers, "I'm not sure, I think we should get outside and wait because they will have to take him to the triage area."

 

We head outside and Bernie is right, they come running out with him like there asses are on fire. "This is Samantha Stevens we will be covering the evacuation of the wounded hero General Donaldson. Here come the Marines now carrying his stretcher to the medical triage area."

 

We fall in behind them as they head to the tents, I continue, "General Donaldson has played a pivotal role in ending the butchery at Ramstein. He was wounded leading his men against the last stronghold of the terrorists. One of the men said he selfishly fell on a grenade which would have killed or injured the rest of the squad. We can only hope and pray the doctors will be able to save this brave man."

 

We get to the medical tents and they run right in with the stretcher, the other Marines stand guard around the tent. I watch the Marines who are outside and it looks to me like they are bowing their heads in prayer, I walk up and they all start reciting in unison,

 

Almighty Father, whose command is over all and whose love never fails, make me aware of Thy presence and obedient to Thy will.

Keep me true to my best self, guarding me against dishonesty in purpose and deed and helping me to live so that I can face my fellow Marines, my loved ones and Thee without shame or fear.

Protect my family. Give me the will to do the work of a Marine and to accept my share of responsibilities with vigor and enthusiasm.

Grant me the courage to be proficient in my daily performance.

Keep me loyal and faithful to my superiors and to the duties my country and the Marine Corps have entrusted to me.

Make me considerate of those committed to my leadership.

Help me to wear my uniform with dignity, and let it remind me daily of the traditions which I must uphold.
If I am inclined to doubt, steady my faith; if I am tempted, make me strong to resist; if I should miss the mark, give me courage to try again.
Guide me with the light of truth and grant me wisdom by which I may understand the answer to my prayer.

 

One Marine says at the end, "And Almighty Father, please keep and hold our fallen General in Your hands and guide the hands of the surgeons.

 

Amen.

 

They look over and see me, one of them walks over and says, "Don't be surprised at what you heard, that's the Marines prayer. With the things we're asked to do, a little extra help from above never hurts."

 

Present – Mira and Liz - Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

I am very upset at myself for not finishing the job I started. Because I let my feelings get in the way, General Donaldson has been seriously injured. I am going to take care of this problem completely this time.

 

We work our way up the hallways where I hear the sounds of gunfire, then I hear, "Word of the day."

 

I reply "Carbuncle." And walk around the corner where we see a bunch of Marines, several of them are wounded. A Captain comes up to me and spits, "What are you two doing here?"

 

I look at him and reply, "We personally came to tell you the General has made it to triage and is in surgery."

 

I look past him and see Marines firing around the corner occasionally, I ask, "Captain, are these the terrorists who wounded the General?"

 

He gives me a dirty look, "Yes, near as we can tell all the rest of them are in this room."

 

I smile at him and say, "We will not bother you any more Captain. Just so you know we hope you kill all the terrorists."

 

We retreat down the hallway, I motion for Ms. Morgan to kill the camera and we slip into a side room. She looks at me and says, "Mira, I've seen that look before. You're going to do something crazy."

 

I look at Ms. Morgan and say, "I am not going to do something crazy. I am going to finish the job I started." I pulled off my Truth Network uniform, pulled out my fighting outfit from the pack and started putting it on.

 

"Mira, I will not allow you to risk your life." I walk over to Ms. Morgan and put her in a sleeper hold. Once she passes out I gently place her on a gurney and kiss her on the cheek. "Sorry Ms. Morgan, but this is for your own good."

 

I finish putting on my gear, crawl back into the duct work of the hospital and head over to the room holding the last seven terrorists. I find the electrical distribution box for the room, place a small thermite charge on the box and set the timer for two minutes. Then I crawl to the edge of the ceiling grill and pull my sword knowing that I cannot replace the blade until it is purified in blood of my adversaries. I close my eyes and think – Ira I wish you were here right now because while I am the rifle master, you are the sword master. I promise you my sister I will make you proud of me.

 

The charge goes off and I open my eyes to darkness. I drop through the grill and into the pitch black room, but darkness is my friend because the shouts of the terrorists are my eyes. Without even thinking my blade slashes - seven times, each one precisely ten point six centimeters below the noise from each terrorist's mouth - one slash for each head which hits the floor. I wipe the purified blade and drop the paper on the floor, climb back through the grill and head back towards the room where I left Ms. Morgan.

 

The emergency lights have come on by the time I drop back into the side room. I go to the sink and wash the filthy terrorists blood off as well as I can. I take off my fighting clothes and carefully repack them and my sword into my backpack and redress in my Truth Network uniform. I go over and carefully wake Ms. Morgan with a hug.

 

She says, "Dammit Mira, I have a hell of a headache from whatever you did to me."

 

"I am sorry Ms. Morgan, but it was necessary. Everything is over. Would you like to do a report on this?"

 

She looks at me and says, "Mira, what did you do?"

 

I answer, "I did what I should have done in the first place. But I am not sure America will want to see the results."

 

She stands up and asks, "So I'm the reporter now?"

 

I smile and say, "Yes and you can report the end of the butchery at Ramstein."

 

Present – Liz and Mira - Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

My head hurts like hell from whatever Mira did to me, but not so much that I won't take advantage of a great news story.

 

I stand, look at Mira and say, "Let's go and see what happened to the terrorists."

 

We walk out in the hallway and I start my report, "Liz Morgan here reporting for the Truth Network on what we believe to be the end but not the final resolution of the butchery at Ramstein. We are in a hallway adjacent to the room where we believe the final seven terrorists have been killed. This is a warning to our viewers and the station - many of the images might be very graphic."

 

We head towards the corner and hear, "Word of the day."

 

I reply, "Carbuncle."

 

We walk around the corner, the door to the room is open and blood is running out the doorway. The Captain walks up and I say, "Captain, Liz Morgan here with the Truth Network. Are we to understand all the terrorists are finally accounted for?"

 

He looks at me and the camera and says, "Yes Ms. Morgan all the terrorists are dead."

 

I continue, "When we were here earlier it seemed like it was a stand-off how were you able to resolve the situation so quickly?"

 

He shakes his head and replies, "I've never seen anything like this before and we still don't know what happened. The lights went off and we heard the terrorists yelling and screaming. When the lights came back up everything was deathly quiet. Then we noticed blood coming from under the doorway. We sent in a team and all the terrorists had been beheaded."

 

I ask, "Captain, are you saying your men didn't do this?"

 

He looks in the camera and replies, "Ms. Morgan I wish I could tell you my men took care of things. But it wasn't us."

 

"Thank you Captain, for the interview." I turn to the camera and say, "While the butchery at Ramstein is ending the mystery in Ramstein is just beginning. Who or what beheaded the last seven terrorists. The world may never know, but I'm betting it was God who sent an Avenging Angel to deal with the situation."

 

I hear Mira chuckle just a little bit and continue, "Thank you all for watching our reports. I want to let you know we are not finished here. While Samantha, Irina and Miranda continue the reports about the on-going clean-up mission. I am going to start an investigation into any role or negligence concerning our government, intelligence community or military that allowed this travesty to happen.

 

 "We will also provide reports on the condition of General Donaldson, who frankly surprised this reporter by his quick and decisive acts which saved many lives. If there is a hero in all this it's General Donaldson.

 

"For now this is Liz Morgan of the Truth Network signing off."

 

Mira and I head out to check on Ira and Georgia. When we're far enough away I ask, "Just what sort of work did you two do for the NSC?"

 

Mira just smiles at me and says, "We did things."

 

Present – Samantha - Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

We've stayed outside the medical tent where General Donaldson is having surgery and interviewed as many men as we can. Each one expressing how proud they are because their General would risk his life for them.

 

Somehow the survivors from the hospital heard of General Donaldson's injuries. They keep coming by and dropping off mementoes outside of the tent, now there is a huge shrine. Many come over to ask me if I will let them tell the world how thankful they are for General Donaldson.

 

I look over and I see a familiar face - it's Frank the Tank. I stand up, go over to him and give him a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. Bernie is running the camera and I say, "This is Samantha Stevens reporting from the continuing vigil for General Donaldson. It has now been two hours and we have had no news. But we are blessed with a visit from one another one of the heroes from the butchery at Ramstein. Frank the Tank has come to check up on General Donaldson. Cpl. Cohen, would you care to say a few words to the world?"

 

I put the microphone in front of his face and he starts, with a few tears in his eyes, "When the terrorists took this hospital at first I hid in a room like a coward because I didn't think a person in my condition could make a difference. General Donaldson came into the room I was in and motivated us, changing us from quivering bowls of jello into fighting men and women."

 

He stops and I ask, "Cpl. Cohen, what did he do for you?"

 

He replies, "He gave me a way and means to fight back." He choked a bit and continued, "He gave me back my manhood. I will admit, at first I hoped to die killing the terrorists – to die and be in heaven with my fiancée Ziva."

 

I ask, "Was it General Donaldson who changed your death wish?"

 

He looked at me and then the camera and said, "No, it wasn't him. While I was taking video in the children's ward I came face to face with death and she gave me back my life. And then she gave me the gift of two lovely children who…"

 

He starts to cry and I patiently wait. He finishes and continues, "Children who the terrorists tortured by cutting off their legs. She told me God gave them to me because I can be their perfect parent."

 

I question him, "You talk about death like he is an actual person."

 

He replies, "It's she and she is an actual person. This is too emotional for me and I need to get back to my children. I just wanted to thank the General for giving me back my manhood."

 

I look over and see Liz and one of the twins she is mouthing a word to me and I understand, "Strong words of praise for General Donaldson from Cpl. Cohen who we affectionately call Frank the Tank. Please stay with us for continued coverage of the cleanup and Ramstein, the vigil for General Donaldson and the ever growing mystery of Ramstein."

 

Bernie starts taking video of the shrine and I walk over to Liz and give her a big hug, "Liz, thank you for giving me this job and thank you for coming to help me when I needed it.

 

Present – Liz, Mira and Samantha - Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

I return Samantha's hug and say, "It sure beats blowing a reporter to get a job."

 

She smiles and says, "I would have used my teeth anyway and been fired."

 

I look at her and reply, "Kid, you did a hell of a job but I'm afraid we think too much alike."

 

She laughs and I remember, "Samantha, I'd like you to meet my sister Miranda. She and her sister Irina are my girl Fridays."

 

Mira looks at me and asks, "Ms. Morgan, I do not understand. Why am I only your girl on Friday?"

 

Samantha doesn't laugh and says, "Miranda, that means you and your sister are the ones that take care of and do everything for Liz."

 

Mira smiles, and says, "I like that term and will remember it. But please call me Mira when we are not on camera."

 

Samantha asks, "Mira, where is your sister?"

 

Mira replies, "She is over in the medical area resting. She has a broken rib."

 

I say, "Samantha, go grab some food and coffee and then keep up the good work. If Ira is well enough I am going to have her handle some reports too."

 

Samantha asks, "Liz, something funny happened here. The Marines in the area by the WMD said someone shot through the cable for the dead man switch and then shot all the terrorists from above and stole the detonator for the WMD. They also said it wasn't Marines that did it because the General ordered everyone out of the building. And now Frank the Tank is talking about a personal meeting with death. Do you want me to see if I can dig up what really happened in the hospital?"

 

I look at her and say, "Samantha when you've done this job as long as I have you learn not to look to closely when a miracle happens. I think we leave this story the way it is."

 

Samantha says, "You're the boss, but I sure think something strange went on. So what are your plans Liz?"

 

I look at Mira and say, "First we check on my other sister and Georgia. Then I need to go and meet Jennifer Donaldson's jet."

 

Samantha asks, "Do you think she knows about her father?"

 

"Shit! I bet she doesn't. Mira we need to get moving."

 

We run up to Ira and see she is holding Georgia's head in her lap and stroking her hair. I ask, "How are you my sister?"

 

She smiles and replies, "My rib is sore but I will heal. I hear all the terrorists are dead."

 

I reply, "It seems something happened and they were all beheaded."

 

Ira grins really big and answers, "I guess the Marines had some help. I would have liked to see that."

 

I ask, "Ira I need to go to the airport to meet Jennifer Donaldson's plane. I'm sure she doesn't know yet about her father. Do you feel well enough to handle some reports?"

 

She answers, "Certainly Ms. Morgan. You will be taking Mira with you."

 

I grin, "Yes Ira, I know an order when I hear one, I will be taking Mira."

 

She replies, "What about a cameraman for me?"

 

"Shit! I didn't think of that." Mira leans over and whispers in my ear, I grin and say, "Ira why don't you see if Frank the Tank can take some time away from his children and run the camera for you."

 

She smiles and blushes just a bit and says, "I'd really like that. If he can't do it I will find someone else."

 

Georgia says, "Can I come and watch, I don't want to be left alone."

 

Ira says, "Yes you may, but you need to be very quiet when I'm on the camera."

 

My phone rings, I look at it and it's Jens. I answer the phone, "Greetings sister are you here yet?"

 

Jens replies, "We should be on the ground in fifteen minutes."

 

I answer, "Great sis that gives us just enough time to drive over and pick you up."

 

Present – Jens – Flight to Ramstein AFB Germany

 

I hang up the phone and a few tears fall out of my eyes, Matt looks at me and says, "Jens, what's wrong?"

 

I answer, "Matt, the phone call with Liz wasn't right. Something is seriously wrong… I think-think-think mom's dead."

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