20 Wounded

Wounded

© Copyright 2009

Written by Banzai Ben and Amazing Anastasia

banzaiben@gmail.com

 

Wounded Chapter 20

 

Wednesday 12 December

 

Present – Ben – WRAMC

 

The doctor comes in before the surgery, looks at me and says, "Where's your fiancée?"

 

I fake a smile and answer, "Her mother was wounded at Ramstein so she's left to be with her."

 

He gets a very concerned look on his face and says, "Damn! You two have certainly been through too much together. Do you have any idea what happened to her mother?"

 

I reply, "I don't have any details, just that it's serious."

 

The doctor replies as he starts an injection into my IV, "I've kept you from watching the Ramstein coverage because I didn't want you to have another seizure. But I'm going to tell you it's all over except the clean up. They were able to save the hospital building and kill all the terrorists."

 

I can tell he isn't telling me everything so I comment, "You're hiding something from me."

 

He answers, "Yeah, I didn't want to tell you, and I'm still not sure I should. But you're a Marine and you should know. General Donaldson was seriously wounded when he jumped on a grenade to save his men."

 

My mouth falls open because I can't believe it! Glen's finally became a Marine again. My eyes tear up as I order the doctor, "With what you told me, I can't go through with the surgery right now. I need to fly to Ramstein to be with my fiancée."

 

He smiles at me and says, "Sorry but in about five minutes you're going to be asleep."

 

I feel the anesthesia kicking in and I ask, "At least let me make a phone call."

 

The doctor hands me the phone and I make a call.

 

Present – Liz – Ramstein Air Field Germany

 

My mobile phone rings again, damn it's getting annoying. The Whitehouse has been bugging the hell out me and I'm not going to answer it. I look at the display and it's a different number so I tentatively answer the call, "Liz Morgan speaking."

 

My heart goes pitter-patter when I hear a very sleepy sounding Ben, "Liz, thank God you answered! I just heard about Glen and I want to be with Jens, but they are taking me in for surgery and they won't let me leave."

 

Mira looks at me and smiles, how does she know when Ben calls? Then I realize he said he is going in for surgery. I answer, "Ben, Jens is almost here now. What the hell is this about you going in for surgery?"

 

He replies, sounding even sleepier, "Yes Liz, I didn't tell Jens because she needs to be with Evelyn… oh and now Glen. I'm sorry but they've given me drugs and I'm almost asleep. Please, please take care of her and don't let her know about me."

 

I am upset because he is being such a Marine and needs someone to be with him. I say, "Ben, she is going to be so pissed off about this when she finds out. Even more pissed off than I am right now."

 

He barely gets the next bit out, "Sorry Liz, tell Jens I love her - oh and you too."

 

The phone goes dead and I stomp my foot on the ground. Mira looks at me and says, "Ms. Morgan, why are you so upset?"

 

I yell, "Shit! Ben's going in for surgery and no one is there for him. The damn bastard didn't tell Jens and sent her here to be with her parents."

 

Mira smiles at me and says, "Ms. Morgan would you expect anything else from him? He is showing both you and Ms. Donaldson his love for each of you."

 

I look at her and demand, "What sort of bullshit are you talking about!"

 

She smiles and explains, "He did not tell Ms. Donaldson because he loves her and does not want her to worry. He did tell you because he loves you and knows you will be able to handle it."

 

I can't believe what she says so I ask, "Mira what's this bullshit about Ben loving me?"

 

Mira giggles and says, "Ms. Morgan, I cannot believe you never noticed how he treats you."

 

I reply, "That's just because I'm their good friend."

 

Mira giggles and replies, "And denial is just a river in Egypt."

 

I look at Mira and wonder when she started learning sayings like that one. Then I wonder if she could really be right, could Ben love me too and if he does what does that mean? It's all so confusing. But Jens plane comes to a stop which also puts a stop to my thinking.

 

Present – Jens – Ramstein Air Field Germany

 

I'm waiting for plane to stop and the door to open so I can get right to the hospital. This flight has been hell! I couldn't sleep and couldn't eat. Shit! I couldn't do anything but worry. The worst thing was I couldn't get any information on the flight.

 

Matt says, "Jens, I know you want to get to the hospital as soon as possible, but you need to let me to go first so I can be sure you're safe."

 

I start to bitch at him but then I realize he's right and just doing his job. I answer, "Okay Matt, just don't make me wait any longer than necessary."

 

The plane stops, the door opens and Matt checks the area. He motions to me and says, "Stay behind me on the stairs."

 

We start down the stairs, get about halfway down and Matt yells, "RPG! Run like hell!"

 

We take off like our asses are on fire, hit the bottom of the stairs as the RPG slams into the plane and it erupts throwing us both through the air.

 

Present – Mira – Ramstein Air Field Germany

 

We are watching Matt and Ms. Donaldson come down the stairs. I see the RPG as soon as it is launched, throw Ms. Morgan to the ground and jump on top of her. She yells, "What the fuck is going on?"

 

The RGP hits the wing tank on the plane and it explodes in a huge fireball. We are lucky because the flames pass over us and we do not even get singed.

 

Ms. Morgan is struggling and I command, "You are to stay on the ground and not move."

 

I roll off her, jump up, grab my M4 and survey the area. Ms. Donaldson and her body guard are a short distance away and seem to be extremely shaken, but not badly hurt. Looking back from the direction of the RPG I see a large group of men and vehicles headed this way. I run to the Humvee, pull out my PSG1, and determine they are terrorists attacking the airport. I yell to Ms. Morgan, "Go help Ms. Donaldson and Matt into the Humvee. There is a very large group of terrorists headed this way."

 

I lay the PSG1 across the hood of the Humvee, calm myself, take a few breaths, slow my heart rate and start firing. At this range the PSG1 will not stop their vehicles, but it sure stops them. I take out the drivers of the vehicles to slow them up and yell, "We need to leave soon."

 

Ms. Morgan yells, "We're ready let's go!"

 

I yell at Matt, "Are you able to help?"

 

He yells back, "You bet your ass I can. Those fuckers have me pissed off."

 

I order, "Matt, pop the roof hatch. There is a fifty in the back, Set it up with AP rounds and let me know when you are done."

 

I keep taking out terrorists, but they have figured where we are and are headed this way. Finally Matt fires a burst from the fifty and says, "Let's roll."

 

I jump into the back of the Humvee and open the window. I notice much of the air field is burning and some of the terrorists are attempting to catch some planes trying to escape while others are heading towards us.

 

I yell, "Ms. Morgan, take off but not so fast you lose the terrorists chasing us. I want them to follow us so we can take them out."

 

Ms. Morgan takes off and I feel someone come crawling up beside me, it's Ms. Donaldson and she asks, "You got another fricken rifle I can use?"

 

I reply, "In that case over there."

 

Present – Jens – Ramstein Air Field Germany

 

I'm mad as hell, these fucking bastards have attacked the air field now and they're keeping me from getting to Mom. Mira points where the extra rifle is stored. I start pulling it out while she and Matt are giving them hell! I look at the rifle and see it's another PSG1 just like Mira's. I grab a bunch of mags, slide up beside her and we're both blasting the hell out of the bastards.

 

Mira says, "You shoot well."

 

I take out another terrorist and reply, "Better than you do."

 

She doesn't reply right away but yells up front, "Ms. Morgan, we might be the only ones standing between the terrorists and the total destruction of the air field. This Humvee is armored so we should be safe, just keep driving in circles and we will continue to draw the terrorist's fire. If you see any RPGs launched get us out of here."

 

Mira looks at me and grins, "I think you would like to challenge me to a shooting contest."

 

I shoot another terrorist and say, "Sounds like a plan to me. Are we betting anything?"

 

Mira shoots another terrorist and says, "My sister and I usually bet pedicures."

 

I am pretty sure I can whip her butt so I say, "How about a pedicure and a manicure?"

 

She says, "It is a bet."

 

My mouth drops open because I have unleashed a fucking shooting machine. Mira is aiming and firing as fast as she can, making sure to take out the targets I'm aiming at before I get the shot off. She must be shooting two terrorists to each one that I kill.

 

Her plan works great because we have the terrorists pissed off. They are chasing us and leaving the air field and remaining aircraft alone.

 

Mira yells, "Ms. Morgan, take the Humvee down towards the end of this runway."

 

The Humvee straightens up and we book it down the runway. Liz yells, "We're running out of runway soon, what should I do?"

 

Mira replies, "You can stop, it's all over."

 

Liz stops the Humvee right as two jets streak past us and blow the hell out of the remaining terrorists.

 

It was then I notice the tactical radio in Mira's ear, I say, "You knew the jets were coming."

 

She looks at me and then yells, "RUN! We need to get out of this Humvee."

 

I'm not sure what's going on, but my guess is when Mira says run, you run like hell. We're all booking it away from the Humvee when the jets come back for a second pass and blow our Humvee to hell.

 

I hear Mira yell, "Hit the ground. The jets are coming back." We all fall to the ground.

 

She yells to Matt, "Get over here and kneel."

 

He kneels and she repositions him, then she lays the barrel of her rifle on his shoulder and orders, "When I tell you don't move, don't even breathe."

 

I watch her totally amazed, she can't be thinking of taking out the jets with a PSG1. She says, "Don't move." I look up in the sky and see the jets approaching, I hear the gun bark once and then again and see smoke start coming out of both jets. They veer away and leave the area.

 

I walk over to her and say, "That was incredible! I've never seen shooting like that. How did you know you could take out the jets?"

 

She looks at me and says, "I didn't. I have never done that before. However, we still have some terrorists on foot coming after us."

 

I turn and see some of them running toward us - Mira is already firing at them. I drop down, help her and ask, "Do we have anymore ammo?"

 

Mira yells, "Do not tell me you left all your ammo in the Humvee."

 

All of a sudden I feel like a real newb. I grabbed the rifle but no extra ammo. I reply, "At least I brought the rifle."

 

She slides me another mag and says, "I only have four magazines left so do not miss any shots. And that is my sister's rifle, you are very lucky to be using it. She loves it so do not lose it or damage it or she will be very upset."

 

After watching Mira I'm sure I don't want either of them upset at me. From the way she shoots and moves I know they are much more than NSC agents, they are probably NSC assassins. I drop down beside Mira and start helping dispose of the last terrorists.

 

Present – Liz – Ramstein Air Field Germany

 

I'm watching Mira and Jens take out the last of the fucking terrorists. My phone begins to ring, I look at the number and it says Ira, so I answer it.

 

"Ms. Morgan, is everyone okay?"

 

I answer, "We're all a little shaken but we're fine."

 

Ira answers, "That is good I was very worried about all of you since the terrorists have began a new attack on the whole base."

 

I ask, "Ira, are you telling me the fucking terrorists aren't just attacking the air field?"

 

She answers, "Yes Ms. Morgan, the 'fucking terrorists' as you call them appear to have used the hospital siege as a means to sneak more men on the airbase and have been attacking everywhere. You need to try to get back here as soon as possible."

 

I say, "Well Ira that might be a problem because the stupid Air Force blew up our Humvee."

 

There is a short pause and she says, "Ms. Morgan, may I please talk to Mira."

 

I yell to Mira, "Ira's on the phone and wants to talk with you."

 

Mira looks at Jens and says, "Do you think you can finish off the rest of the terrorists?"

 

I know Jens and wait for her to go ballistic about that comment, but Jens just says, "I will finish them off."

 

Mira jumps up leaving her rifle in position, runs over and takes the phone. They begin talking in their own language. I watch Matt move to take Mira's place at the rifle, she stops talking on the phone and tells Matt, "Do not touch my rifle or I will have to hurt you." Then she continues.

 

He turns pale, moves back away from the rifle and comes over by me. I ask him, "Is everything okay?"

 

Matt replies, "Not really. We're in deep shit."

 

I ask, "What do you mean."

 

He says, "Liz look out across the base at all the smoke, it reminds me of Iraq or Afghanistan. I would say the whole base is under attack."

 

I tell him, "That's what Ira told me on the phone."

 

Mira comes over and says, "Yes you are right. The whole base is under serious attack."

 

Jens comes up and says, "Fuck! What about Daddy and Mom?"

 

Mira answers, "Ms. Donaldson, they are in the safest area because General Donaldson called in many Marines before he was wounded."

 

I tried to shake my head, but it was too late. Mira told Jens about Glen. Jens looks at me and says, "Liz, what the hell is she talking about."

 

A couple rounds cracked over our heads, Mira throws me to the ground, jumps on top of me again and orders, "Everyone hit the ground."

 

I look into Mira's eyes and joke, "Mira, if you keep jumping on top of me, we're going to have to get married."

 

She smiles and says, "Sorry Ms. Morgan but you are not my type." Then she rolls over to her PSG1 and starts returning fire.

 

My phone rings, I look and it's the network. I answer the phone and Darrel asks, "Liz, are all of you okay?"

 

I reply, "We're shaken up some but we are all fine. Why do you ask?"

 

He answers, "You sure have a knack for being in the right place at the right time. I think we are witnessing the start of World War Three."

 

I say, "Yes Darrel, I know about Ramstein being attacked."

 

He interrupts, "Liz, you don't understand. It's not just Ramstein, the terrorists are attacking all of Germany."

 

I pause for a moment to absorb what he just said, "Darrel you're shitting me!"

 

He answers, "Like hell I am! There are battles all over Germany right now. And others are even starting in France."

 

I ask, "Is the President sending help?"

 

He said, "NATO is fully mobilized, but because of budget cuts and lack of interest, they are getting their asses kicked. The terrorists are blowing the hell out of everything with car bombs and suicide bombers. Besides the President has problems of his own. After your news report on Ramstein there have been massive protests in the US. It looks like he's going to declare martial law."

 

I order, "Darrel hire as many news crews as you need to cover the situations. Make sure you alert the station security and issue them the rifles in the basement safe. Keep broadcasting as much as you can, but if things get too hot get the hell out of there."

 

He answers, "Liz, I've already taken care of all this. And I'm making sure all the backup generators are fully functional and have brought in extra fuel. We have laid in food and water enough for everyone for two weeks."

 

I have one last question, "Is Walter Reed safe?"

 

He chuckles, "Yes Liz, it's safe. Jon is there covering Ben's surgery and said to tell you Ben's doing fine and his surgery was okay."

 

I relax and begin to think about all I have just discovered. The terrorists must have been planning this for years, slowly moving men, guns and explosives into position while liberal immigration policies gave them the opportunity.  We could be right in the middle of the start of WWIII.

 

My thoughts are interrupted because Mira yells, "You may all get up now."

 

Jens gets up and goes over and gets in Mira's face, "What the fuck did you mean about Daddy getting wounded."

 

My mouth drops open as Mira backhands Jens knocking her to the ground and yells, "Ex-Sergeant Donaldson, when I give you a position to defend you will never leave it again, unless I countermand my order. Your emotional negligence almost cost us."

 

I wait for the fireworks, but there aren't any. Jens gets up, goes over and says, "Mira you are right and I will never do that again. Will you please tell me about Daddy?"

 

Mira looks around, motions me over and says, "I will in a minute. I think Ms. Morgan has some more information for us."

 

Present – Mira – Ramstein Air Field Germany

 

I can tell more is going on than just the attack on Ramstein Air Force Base, because I heard Ms. Morgan's side of the phone conversation with the network. I fear the worst has happened because the NSC has been worried about this for years.

 

I say, "Ms. Morgan, will you please give us any new information you just received."

 

She says, "I just got off the phone with Darrel. He says all of Germany is under attack and it is even starting in France. He called it the start of World War Three. NATO is fully mobilized but they are already taking a beating. In America everyone is upset at the President about Ramstein and there are riots. The President will probably put the country under martial law."

 

I looked at the three of them and determine if we were going to survive this I will have to lead. I say, "Because of the situation I am taking charge of this group. Do I have any complaints?" I look right at Ms. Donaldson as I say it. No one complains.

 

I walk over and I hug Ms. Donaldson, it surprises her but she doesn't pull back. I say, "Ms. Donaldson, what I need to tell you will be very hard for you to hear. But if we are to live and get to your parents you will have to be very strong. There are times to cry and times to fight but this is a time to fight. While you were flying here, you father became one of the heroes of Ramstein. He was instrumental in saving the hospital and many patients and staff. He was wounded when he fell on a grenade to save his men. When we left he was still in surgery."

 

I hug her once more, step back and look at her. She has a fire in her eyes as she says, "Those fucking terrorist bastards! I'm going to kill every one of them."

 

I get in front of her and say, "If you do not control your emotions you will do something stupid and endanger all of us. Can you control your emotions?"

 

She looks at me and at first I think it there is going to be a big fight. Then Ms. Morgan comes over, hugs Jens and whispers something into her ear and then steps back. Ms. Donaldson looks at the ground and says, "I will control my emotions, but I want to get to my parents."

 

I look at her and reply, "And I want to get to my sister. If we all work together we have a very good chance of accomplishing this."

 

Ms. Donaldson looks at Ms. Morgan and asks, "Liz, do you have a reporter covering Daddy?"

 

I say, "Ms. Donaldson, that is a great idea. We need to gear up and then move to a safer area. Then Ms. Morgan can call Samantha and we can find out General Donaldson's condition."

 

I assume command and order, "We are low on ammo. We have no explosive ordinance, food or water. Matt, give Ms. Morgan your weapon. She and Ms. Donaldson will stand watch while we see if we can recover anything from the Humvee."

 

Present – Jens – Ramstein Air Field Germany

 

Not running right out to go to Daddy and Mom is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. I was going to kick the shit out of Mira for stopping me, but Liz told me there was no way in hell I could have beaten her. I'm used to being the alpha female and this is going to take a bit of getting used to. But she sure as hell knows what she's doing.

 

I see some more terrorists headed our way and I yell, "Tangos approaching, permission to fire?"

 

Mira sticks her head out of the wrecked Humvee and says, "We are at war, consider any terrorists as targets. Just make sure you don't miss."

 

I think, don't miss my ass! Someday I'm going to make you kiss my ass right after I kick your ass. I get in prone position, use the mildots on the scope to range them and start taking them out. Things have been so hectic I haven't had the time to really appreciate this rifle, and this is one very fine rifle. I like it being semi-auto as I can fire much faster. I finish with the fucking terrorists and stand up as Mira and Matt come over with a crapload of gear.

 

Mira throws a bag to Liz and a bag to me and says, "Get changed." I watch as she starts stripping off her cool looking camo skirt and top, Liz does the same. Matt blushes a little and turns away, then I see what looks to be body armor underneath both their outfits.

 

I open the bag she threw me and I have the same looking armor. I drop my clothes and start changing. I have never seen body armor like this, I try it on and it fits pretty well. I ask Liz, "This is pretty nice body armor, but is it any good?"

 

Liz grins and says, "It's the best and will even stop some armor piercing rounds if you're far enough away. Mira got this for us."

 

Matt looks over and says, "Hey why am I stuck with this old junky armor."

 

I yell at him, "Hey pervert! What are you looking at! I'm going to tell Molly if you don't stop trying to sneak a peek at us." He blushes and turns away.

 

Liz grins at me and then whistles, "Will you look at those legs on Matt. I think we need to get him a whole Truth Network uniform including the skirt."

 

Mira laughs and says, "I will wax his legs for him so he will look pretty."

 

Matt is putting on his pants, gets his feet all tangled up, falls over and complains, "No way in hell am I wearing a skirt and I don't want that fucking witch close to me with any of that God damn wax shit! I've heard about how painful it is."

 

Liz corrects him, "Matt she's not a witch she's an Angel."

 

The minute she says it I finally realize who Mira and Ira are. I've heard rumors throughout the Middle East about the Angels of Death and all the terrorists they've killed. Shit! Shit! Triple Shit! I'm glad I didn't try to take her, because if the rumors are even half true, I'd have my ass kicked so hard I couldn't sit down for weeks.

 

I move over close to Liz and whisper, "Liz, do you know who these two body guards of yours are?"

 

She smiles and says, "Yeah, I've heard the rumors too and figured it out. And let me tell you they are both better than the rumors."

 

I have to ask, "Are you worried they might try to kill you?"

 

She laughs, walks over and hugs Mira and says, "Jens and Matt, I'd like you to meet Mira one of my sisters."

 

Matt says, "Liz, I thought you were an only child."

 

Mira replies, "We are sisters by choice, not by birth so that makes us even more special."

 

We're done changing and have on very cool and slinky looking black outfits with great tactical pads. Well other than Matt, he still has the same boring black BDUs.

 

Mira orders Matt to stand watch and then starts distributing gear and I'm amazed at what they are able to recover from what looks to be a total wreck. They have one more functional M4, but the optical sight is blown all to hell. I watch as Mira takes out some tools, pulls the sight off and then she asks Liz, "Ms. Morgan can you use open sights?"

 

Liz answers, "I'm good out to about two hundred yards." Mira hands her the M4, gives her five mags and says, "Please use single shot as much as possible." She sets a pack at Liz's feet and says you have one bottle of water and three MREs plus all the medical gear. I am sorry to make you carry a pack my sister, but if I carry much more it will make me too slow."

 

I watch because I know Liz will say something but as she opens her mouth, Mira gives her a look and Liz says, "Thank you my sister."

 

Present – Liz – Ramstein Air Field Germany

 

I am going to give Mira hell for giving me the light pack until I see the look on her face and right away know better. The look is a mixture of concern and don’t fuck with me. So I gladly take the pack since now is not the time to be the squeaky wheel. I'm just praying Jens holds together and doesn't become a squeaky wheel.

 

Mira pulls out four mags for the PSG1, hands them to Jens and says, "We each have four magazines plus what is left in our rifles. How many do you have left?"

 

I watch as Jens get's embarrassed, looks down at the ground and says, "Sorry Mira, I lost count."

 

Mira says, "That is okay, you have had many shocks to your system and it is understandable. Please count the rounds left after I give you your pack." Then she sets a pack at Jens feet and says, "Here is your pack, it has one bottle of water, three MREs. The rest is filled with hand grenades. You might wish to put some on your tactical vest. Now please make sure it is not too heavy for you."

 

Jens picks up the pack and says, "I have a couple questions." I shudder and worry that Jens is going to cause problems.

 

Mira answers, "Okay what are they."

 

Jens says, "First, isn't the hospital relatively close and if it is, why are we bringing food and water?"

 

Mira replies, "Yes it is close, but we also don't know how long it will take for us to reach the hospital and if we cannot reach it at all we might have to go somewhere else. The food and water are here and it would be a mistake to leave them. That is a good question, what is your second question?"

 

Jens says, "This isn't very heavy, can I take something else?"

 

Mira replies, "No that is all I have for your pack."

 

I am impressed with how nicely Mira handles Jens and how Jens responds to it. I watch as Jens takes the mag out of her rifle and counts the rounds left.

 

Mira calls Matt over, throws him a pack and says, "Okay, we are moving out and we will work our way over to the hospital area. I will take the point, Ms. Morgan you will be second, Ms. Donaldson you will be third and Matt will be last." Then she gives us our hand signals and adds, "Ms. Donaldson, once we reach the buildings over there and secure safe cover we will call Samantha to find out about General Donaldson."

 

Present – Samantha - Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

"Greetings, this is Samantha Stevens reporting for the Truth Network from the vigil for General Donaldson and the newly raging war in Germany. While the General struggles for his life, Germany struggles against the terrorists to keep its way of life. We just received word from the doctors, the General is out of surgery and is resting in the make shift recovery room.

 

Because the General has been in surgery, we have been unable to fall back to the hospital like all the others in the medical triage area. So the Marines have been ferociously defending this position, rightly deserving the name of Devil-Dogs. We just need to hold out long enough for it to be safe for the General to be moved, then we will move back to the hospital with the others."

 

Bernie motions for me to stop the broadcast and pick up my phone. "Sorry viewers, I have been informed I have a very urgent phone call I need to take, please excuse me for a moment."

 

I step away from the camera and answer my phone, "This is Samantha?"

 

I hear, "Samantha, this is Jennifer Donaldson. How are Daddy and Mom doing?"

 

I answer, "Ms. Donaldson, we just received word your father came through the surgery fine and is in the recovery area. We are waiting for him to become stable so we can retreat back into the hospital with everyone else. Your mother is already in the hospital."

 

She asks me, "Are there many terrorists around the hospital."

 

I think for a moment and then ask her, "Are you trying to get to the hospital?"

 

She replies, "Yes! We are by the air field and are working our way there now."

 

I tell her, "Yes there are many terrorists here but the Marines are keeping them away from us."

 

Then I ask her, "Ms. Donaldson, do you have any news on your fiancés surgery." The phone goes dead and I wonder what happened.

 

Present – Jens – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

I drop the phone and fall to the ground. Liz catches me on the way down and says, "Jens, what's wrong?"

 

I look at Liz and say, "Liz, Samantha asked me how Ben's surgery went. I hadn't paid attention until she said that, but now I can sense Ben's pain. Do you know anything about this?"

 

Liz holds me close and answers, "Jens, I found out about it right before you landed. I meant to tell you but I haven't had the time."

 

I start crying and yell, "God I need to be there for Ben! But I need to be here for Daddy and Mom."

 

Mira comes over and tells Liz, "Liz go and stand watch and let me take care of this."

 

Mira sits down, hugs me and says, "Ms. Donaldson, your fiancé made the right decision to not tell you about his surgery. He knows he is safe while your parents are in a greater danger. You may not like the decision but it is his to make."

 

I look at her and she is right but I still say, "But there will be no one there for him when he wakes up."

 

Mira smiles in reply then whispers in my ear.

 

I blink my eyes and look at her, she's right. I pull out my mobile phone and make a call to Washington and talk for a few minutes. Then I smile at Mira and say, "Thank you so much I totally forgot about her."

 

Mira replies, "You are welcome. That is what friends are for. Ms. Donaldson, I hate to tell you this but we really need to keep moving."

 

I look at her and reply, "Sorry Mira, it's just my whole world seems to be falling apart."

 

She answers, "Ms. Donaldson, you are a very good fiancée. You have taken care of SM. Blaine's needs. Now we need to see about taking care of your parents needs." She stands up and helps me to my feet and we head off towards the hospital.

 

Present – Mira – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

I am listening on the Marine's frequency with my tactical radio and hear how fierce the fighting is around the hospital, it seems like the terrorists want to force everyone back into the hospital and it makes me question why.

 

I switch over to the terrorists frequency and all they talk about is forcing everyone they can from the whole base into the hospital. I motion for everyone to stop, I open a door, find an empty building and we all step inside. I look at Ms. Morgan, Ms. Donaldson and Matt. Then I say, "I think, I think, we have made a terrible mistake which might be extremely deadly."

 

They look at me and I continue, "The terrorists are trying to force everyone from the entire Air Force Base into the hospital. They would not do this without a reason or a plan."

 

Ms. Morgan speaks first, "It must be some sort of trap."

 

Jens gasps, "Was the hospital completely checked before they went back in?"

 

I look at them and say, "I do not know and I am not sure there was enough time."

 

Matt says, "Maybe they are planning on hitting it with another truck bomb or airplane?"

 

I remember how even though killing the terrorists was easy, it was almost too easy.

 

I look at Ms. Morgan and ask, "Ms. Morgan. Will you please call the network and see if the terrorists are using the same tactics in other places?"

 

I pace nervously across the floor as she makes the call, she comes back and says, "Yes Mira that's what the terrorists seem to be doing all over Germany and now France. They are herding as many people as they can into large buildings.

 

I want to curse and flagellate myself for not taking the time to check the whole hospital, but that can wait for later. I look at Ms. Morgan and say, "Ms. Morgan, please call the network and tell them to start broadcasting reports telling people the terrorists are trying to trap them in the buildings. They should avoid it at all cost. Then please call the President and inform him of the situation. Perhaps he can contact the leaders of Germany and France and warn them."

 

I say, "I need to make a phone call." And I pull out my mobile phone.

 

Present – Ira – Inside the Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

I help Cpl. Cohen safely evacuate the two children Mira gave him back into the hospital, I watch as he makes sure they are going to be taken care of, and then he tucks them in.

 

Once he finishes I ask, "Cpl. Cohen, will you be my cameraman?"

 

He replies, "Ms. Morgan…"

 

I gasp and correct him, "Please call me Ira."

 

He continues, "Ira I would be glad to be your cameraman."

 

I give him the camera and start reporting, "This is Irina Morgan reporting inside the Ramstein hospital for the Truth Network. I would like to thank one of the heroes of Ramstein, Frank the Tank for being my cameraman. Sorry to be off the air for so long but Cpl. Cohen and I were making sure his two children are safe.

 

"Shortly after we thought things were over in Ramstein, the terrorists attacked the base with a very large contingent of troops. We can only surmise the troops were able to sneak onto the base while everyone was focused on the hospital.

 

"We also have news that not just the base is under attack, but all of Germany. It was very hard for many people to come back into the hospital, but the halls of torture have successfully been turned back into the halls of refuge and healing.

 

"Samantha Stevens of the Truth Network is currently still with the brave Marines who are protecting General Donaldson. He is out of surgery and doing better, but cannot be moved yet. They are fighting a tremendous battle with the terrorists but so far have been able to stand their ground."

 

My personal phone vibrates, signaling a call coming in from Mira. I say, "Please excuse me a moment while I take a very important phone call."

 

I motion to Cpl. Cohen and he stops the camera, I pull out my phone and answer it, "Greetings my sister are you safe?"

 

Mira answers and right away I know something is wrong, "Ira we are safe for right now, however if you are in the hospital you are not safe."

 

I reply with concern in my voice, "Mira what do you mean?"

 

"Ira, I think the hospital may be a trap. The terrorists are trying to force all the soldiers into the hospital. They are using the same tactic all over Germany and France."

 

"Mira, what do you think their plan is?"

 

"Ira, I think they have another bomb in the basement of the hospital. I am very sorry my sister but I did not check the basement. I have failed you and will flagellate myself later for it. I know you are injured, but you need to go into the basement and see if they have a bomb."

 

"Mira, do not punish yourself for this. I think we will be safe until the General comes into the hospital. I will go check on the basement and do whatever I need to do. See if you can talk to the Marines watching the General and make sure they do not bring him into the hospital."

 

"Ira, please do not die, I cannot live without you!"

 

"Mira, I will be giving you a big hug and kiss soon."

 

I hang up the phone, look at Cpl. Cohen and state, "You are going to see something you really should not see. And I will need to trust you to never tell anyone what you are going to see."

 

He looks at me and says, "Ira, I don't know what you are talking about."

 

I start taking off my Truth Network outfit, Cpl. Cohen starts to turn away and I say, "Please watch, it will not bother me." I pull my fighting suit out of my back pack and start changing, I watch Cpl. Cohen's eyes get very big and he says, "You are one of the מלאך המוות (Angels of Death). Are you the one who gave me my children?"

 

I smile and reply, "That was my twin sister Mira."

 

I turn and he sees my back and says, "You are injured and are bleeding some."

 

I turn back and blush, "Yes, even the Angels of Death are not immortal. I have a very bad broken rib."

 

He asks, "Why are you changing right now?"

 

I look at him and answer, "My sister says the terrorists are trying to force everyone into the hospital. She feels it is a trap and there might be another bomb in the basement."

 

He offers, "I know I don't have any legs, but I would like to help."

 

I look at him and accept, "If you could make it back to the Marines defending General Donaldson and keep them from bringing him inside the hospital it will probably keep the terrorists from detonating the bomb."

 

I pull out my suppressed M4, Ruger MkII and my katana. Then I bend over and kiss him on the cheek, put on my helmet and say, "You are more man than most men I have met. If we both live through this I would like to train you." Then I leave to find the stairs to the lower levels.

 

Present – Cpl. Cohen – Hospital and Triage area – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

I am almost in shock as I roll away. I have met both the מלאך המוות (Angels of Death) and I'm one of the few to know who they actually are and what they look like. I am puzzled though by Ira's last statement about training me. I will ask her what she means, if we both survive.

 

I wheel myself as fast as I can through the hallways almost running over several people. I get to the door and it's blocked by security. I say, "I need to get outside."

 

He looks at me and says, "I can't let you leave the hospital."

 

I pull up the pistol I've been hiding under my blanket and say, "You're either going to let me outside or I'll shoot you and then go outside."

 

He shrugs his shoulders and says, "It's your funeral." Then he stands to the side and I wheel through the door and out into the middle of a battle zone. Once the terrorists see me they start firing at me. I am doing my best not to be hit, but several rounds do hit the lead aprons I still have covering me.

 

I finally make it to the triage area and the Marines defending General Donaldson. I notice the terrorists seem intent on forcing the Marines into the hospital, but they are staying a good distance away from the hospital. Ira's sister, ah yes, Mira must be right about it being a trap.

 

I roll up to a Marine and I ask, "Where is your commanding officer."

 

He points to a tent so I roll over there and enter it. I recognize the officer right away and roll up to him. "Sir, I have a piece of very important information."

 

He looks at me and says, "Who let you in here, you should be in the hospital."

 

I reply, "I am Cpl. Cohen and fought with General Donaldson."

 

He recognizes me and says, "Ah yes, I remember you. You should be back in the hospital but I can't spare any men to take you there right now."

 

I get tired of him and say, "Listen we think the hospital is a trap. The terrorists are trying to force everyone into the hospital and then blow it up."

 

He says, "Who is this we?"

 

I know he will never believe me when I tell him so I change my tactics. "Never mind, can you tell me General Donaldson's condition?"

 

He says, "The doctors say he should be stable enough to move in another thirty minutes."

 

I reply, "Thank you Sir." Then I roll out the door to find General Donaldson.

 

On the way to find General Donaldson I see Samantha doing a news report so I stop and watch her. Then she sees me, calls me over and starts interviewing, "Viewers we have a special treat, Frank the Tank a hero of Ramstein has come back to see us. Would you like to say anything to the viewers?"

 

I was going to tell her on camera about the new terrorist plot, but decide the terrorists might be monitoring the news report and would set off the bomb. I politely say, "I am sorry Samantha, but I have nothing to say on camera right now."

 

I look at her and she understands I have a hidden message so she turns and says to the camera, "Bernie, please keep the video running of the scene. I will be back in a few minutes."

 

She comes over to me and asks, "Okay Frank, what's going on?"

 

I look at her and answer, "We're pretty sure the hospital is a trap and once the terrorists get the General inside they are going to find some way to kill everyone in the building."

 

She looks at me and says, "You're serious and you're here to try to keep them from taking the General inside."

 

I reply, "That's right, I tried talking to the officers but they wouldn't listen to me. They said they were going to move the General in thirty minutes. I need to get in to see General Donaldson."

 

Samantha takes charge, "Let's go and see if the General is awake. If he is I think I know someone who can change his mind about moving into the hospital."

 

When we reach the make shift recovery room, the guards recognize us and we walk right in. I see General Donaldson on a bed and a couple nurses taking care of him. He moves his arm so we know he's awake. Samantha wheels me over to the bed and cheerfully says, "General Donaldson, you have a visitor."

 

I'm amazed because the nurses let us through, the General sees me and says in a very soft, tired sounding voice, "Frank the Tank, it's good to see you. How are things?"

 

I hold his hand and say, "General, I am so proud to have served even the brief time with you and I hate to bother you now. But this is an emergency."

 

He looks at me and says, "Frank, I'm afraid I can't do much right now."

 

I reply, "Sir, we think the terrorists might have another bomb hidden in the hospital. They have been trying to force everyone back into the building and we are concerned they will detonate it when you are moved to the hospital. I tried to tell the commander but he wouldn't listen to me."

 

He looks at me but Samantha interrupts, "General, I have someone on the phone who would like to speak with you."

 

Present – Liz – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

My phone rings, I motion to Mira and we slip into another building, answer it and say, "What's going on Darrel?"

 

He's so upset he's almost yelling into the phone, "Shit! Liz you guys were right. The fucking terrorists just blew up the Maintower in Frankfurt Germany after herding people into it like sheep to a slaughter." He stopped and then yells some more, "Damn, they've started now in the other cities too."

 

I look at Mira and she sees a few tears in the corner of my eyes, she comes over and holds me. I tell Darrel, "I called the President, he was so upset about the report I did he wouldn't listen to me. Do we know how many people are dead?"

 

I hear noise and confusion in the background and he says, "We don't have any idea, but it's in the thousands, possibly the tens-of-thousands."

 

I say, "Darrel, I'm going to send the station an audio clip of my conversation with the President. If he thinks people are upset at him now, wait until they hear this clip."

 

I put my phone on speaker, "Darrel describe in as much detail as you can what it looks like when the buildings are destroyed."

 

He says, "From what we've seen – Oh Shit! There goes another one in Berlin – there's a big rumble sound, a blast comes out of the bottom of the building, then they just sort of collapse."

 

"Thanks, Darrel, please put my call on the speaker for the whole network building to hear."

 

It's time for me to say something which will calm down my people, "Hello everyone, this is Liz and I want to thank each and every one of you for working with us, you all are a great team and I look forward to having a big company party when I get back so I can personally thank each one of you.

 

"The stories you are reporting may be some of the most important stories ever being shown on television, but they are also some of the most upsetting. Even though they are upsetting we still need to do our best document these atrocities. Not for sensationalism, but as a record of the start of what could possibly be World War Three.

 

"I know many of you are worried about your own families and wonder what will happen to America if the terrorists decide to attack the USA. I am ordering Darrel to allow all of you to bring in all your family members to the station. Darrel, make sure you setup as many private places as you can for families to stay. Get whatever they need and spend whatever you need."

Jens motions for the phone, I hand it to her and she says, "Hello everyone, this is Jennifer Donaldson. As many of you know I am also one of the owners of the network. I want to assure you we will take care of each of you and your families. Darrel, if you have any money issues let me know and I will give you access to Ben’s and my account. Now to insure your safety, I am going to call some ex-military friends when I get off the phone. They will be coming to secure the building. This is not to keep any of you inside, this is to make sure no one can come into the building who is not supposed to be there."

 

I take the phone from her and finish, "Darrel send some of the security guards out to purchase as much food and water and any other supplies as you can. Thanks again for being such a great team."

 

I hear a huge amount of cheering and clapping, Darrel comes on the phone and says, "Thanks Liz and Jens, we really owe you guys."

 

I tell him, "Darrel remember what I've told you. The employees are more important than the network. Take care of them for us." Then I hang up the phone.

 

Mira looks at me and says, "Ms. Morgan, it sounds like they are filling the basements with explosives and then detonating them. But they must also have detailed plans of the buildings so they can figure out where to place their bombs to bring down the buildings."

 

I look at Jens as she's getting ready to make her call, when my phone rings again, it's Samantha and she is with Glen.

 

Present – Jens – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

I just get ready to make a call to Linus and get his ass over to the network building when Liz's phone rings. She answers and says, "Samantha has Glen on the line."

 

I grab the phone out of here hand, put it up to my ear and hear Daddy, "Jens, is it really you?"

 

I cry a little and answer, "Daddy, it's me and I'm here. We are trying to fight our way through the terrorists to get to you."

 

He says, "Jens, I know you'll be here as soon as you can." I watch Liz and Mira motioning to me and I understand.

 

I say, "Daddy this is very important so please listen to me. All over Germany and some places in France, the terrorists are forcing people into large buildings and then destroying the buildings, many thousands have died already. Please, whatever you do, don't let them take you into the hospital because that is what they are trying to do here too."

 

He says, "Jens, I believe you and they will have to kill me to get me into that death trap. But Evelyn's in the hospital and I need to get her out."

 

I say, "Daddy, you can't do this yourself. You need to find someone to do it for you."

 

He pauses and says, "I know someone I can trust with this. Now young lady you be careful. I don't want to have visit you in the hospital."

 

I cry some and say, "Daddy, you just work on getting well. I'll be there as soon as I can."

 

I hang up the phone, smile at Liz, Mira and Matt and say, "Daddy's going to be just fine. He's in a lot of pain and at first he sounded tired, but sounded much stronger by the end."

 

Mira asks, "Ms. Donaldson, what did the General say about the hospital."

 

I smile and answer, "Daddy said they'd have to kill him to get him in there. And he's going to send someone after Mom to take her out of there."

 

Someone starts firing, Mira jumps on top of Liz and yells, "Everyone down."

 

Shit! I've been hit and fall to the floor.

 

Present – Glen – Ramstein - Make Shift Recovery Room

 

There are a few tears in my eyes as I finish talking with Jens. Damn! It was good to hear her voice and to know she's well and coming to see Evelyn and me. And she doesn't call Evelyn 'the bitch' anymore (even though sometimes she is) so that's hopeful. But I have bigger things to take care of.

 

I start pressing the buzzer for the nurses like crazy, one finally comes in and I say, "I need to see whoever is in command ASAP and where the hell is my fucking aide!" She takes off like her ass is on fire.

 

I look at Cpl. Cohen and say, "Cpl. Cohen, I need you to make sure my wife Evelyn gets out of the hospital before the fucking terrorists blow it to hell."

 

He looks at me and says, "Sir I will do that for you but I also need to get my two children out of there. I have been worried about them ever since I left them."

 

I look at him and I say, "Sorry Cpl. I didn't know you had children in the hospital. You take care of them and I will find someone else to get Evelyn for me."

 

Samantha says, "Sir, I would be happy to try to get her for you."

 

I look at Samantha and say, "Samantha, failure is not an option, so go and do it. If anyone gives you shit, have them talk to me and I'll chew their asses."

 

Samantha and Cpl. Cohen leave, I hit the buzzer again and yell, "Where's that fucking commander and my son of a bitch aide!"

 

They both come running in all out of breath. The Captain says, "Cpt. Musgrave reporting Sir!"

 

I wriggle up in bed so I can see him better and say, "Cpt. Musgrave! Did Cpl. Cohen report to you the terrorists are trying to force everyone into the hospital and then destroy it."

 

He looks at me and says, "Yes sir he did."

 

I continue, "And you didn't think you should listen to important information like that?"

 

He starts to look worried and replies, "No Sir! We are having a hell of a time holding off the terrorists."

 

I say, "I just found out from my daughter that the terrorists are using the exact same tactics on the civilians in German and French cities. Now I don't the fuck know about you, but I have no desire to die yet."

 

He answers, "Sir! I don't want to die either."

 

I sit up in bed and order, "Captain! Here is what you will do and failure is not an option. First you will stop fighting these bastards on their terms because we're in a fucking war! You will call MARFOREUR and get them to send over some fucking gunships. I'm tired of all this pansy assed, pussy footing around, I want all these fucking terrorist bastards slaughtered and I don't care if we destroy this whole fucking airbase doing it. Then you will tell them I want the base fully mobilized in less than two hours. And while you are waiting for the gunships to arrive, you need to figure out a way to re-evacuate the hospital without the fucking terrorists figuring it out and blowing the hell out of the place. I would think if you could keep the majority of the terrorists busy in front of the hospital and send Sgt. Anderson's bad-assed Recons out the back with orders to kill anything that moves we might be able to evacuate the fucking hospital death trap. Do you think you can get this done for me? Or do I need to crawl out of this bed, kick your ass, take over and bust you back to Private!"

 

He is as white as a sheet and says, "Sir! I can do this for you!" Then he turns and leaves like his ass is on fire.

 

I look at my aide and say, "Well, what the fuck are you standing around for. Get your ass moving and make sure the fucking Captain doesn't drop the ball."

 

He takes off after the captain like his ass is on fire. I laugh, which is a big mistake because it causes a huge coughing fit. I fall back on the bed and even though I fight it, I drift into unconsciousness.

 

Present – Cpl. Cohen - Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

Samantha's pushing my wheelchair as fast as she can back towards the hospital and I notice something very different. Coming out of the hospital they were firing at me or in front of me, now they are just firing behind us, I'm almost sure they're not even trying to hit us. The firing stops when they see we're going inside the hospital.

 

Once we're inside Samantha says, "Wow! That was intense. I thought I was going to be shot."

 

I wheel my chair around, look at her and reply, "They weren't trying to hit us, they were purposely firing behind us to drive us into the hospital."

 

She frowns, "Being herded in here like sheep to a slaughter. So how did you find out about all this?"

 

I hadn't planned on this question and I blurted out, "An Angel told me about it."

 

Samantha gives me a strange look and answers, "If I didn't have to take care of Mrs. Donaldson, I'd grill you till I got to the bottom of the whole Angel part to this story."

 

I reach under my covers, hand her a pistol and start to ask her if she knows how to use it, but didn't have too. I watch as she drops the mag to make sure it's loaded, then pops the mag back in and tucks it into the back of her pants.

 

She says, "Thanks, I might need this. Take care of yourself and we'll talk about all this Angel crap later." She bends over and gives me a hell of a kiss right on my lips. It startles me! I watch as she walks away and notice a bunch of activity. A squad of Marines is gearing up, I roll over and listen.

 

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

 

It's about fucking time! Captain Musgrave's had us sitting on our ass in this fucking hospital playing fucking patty cake with each other while he is doing a piss poor job protecting the General. I've been upstairs watching it all with binoculars through the windows, wondering the whole time why he just doesn't let us go and kill the fucking terrorists.

 

We just receive orders, right from the mouth of the old man himself. I hear he chewed Musgrave's ass up one side and down the other until nothing was left. God Damn! It's good to know General Donaldson's well enough to chew some ass.

 

I muster my men and announce, "We have orders right from the mouth of General Donaldson, so open your fucking ears and listen but we need to keep this on the QT. The whole fucking time we've been sitting on our asses in this hospital we've been in the middle of a fucking terrorist death trap. They have another bomb hidden, probably in the basement and are just waiting to blow us all to hell. He's not sending us on a mission to find the bomb, he's sending us out the back of the hospital with orders to kill any fucking thing that moves! We are doing this so the rest of the hospital can be evacuated out the back without the fucking terrorists seeing it and detonating the bomb. In the General's own words, 'Failure is not an option.' So gear up and lock and load because we have a war to fight!"

 

I can tell my men are excited as hell, but they don't say a word, they just do as ordered. Five minutes later we are ready to rock and roll.

 

I look at Murphy and say, "Don't fuck up!"

 

He replies, "Yes Sergeant!"

 

I tell Schwartz my counter-sniper, "They probably have eyes in the taller building behind us and possibly some snipers. They're now your problem and I want them dead ricky-tick."

 

He answers, "Yes Sergeant."

 

I look at the rest of my men and say, "This isn't going to be a walk in the fucking park! But I know all of you and I know you will all exceed my expectations. We've walked the same roads, eaten the same dirt and slept in the same foxholes together. And I know we are ready for this mission and I know we will not fail! So let's go and make the General, who almost gave his life for his men, fucking proud of us."

 

We fly to the back door, I see Frank the Tank saluting us as we run by and burst outside!

 

Present – Samantha – Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

I head to find Mrs. Donaldson and notice Bernie is behind me and realize he's been taking video, possibly for the whole time. Shit! Now I have two jobs to do and I need to hide the evacuation of Evelyn from the world because the terrorists might be watching and – well, I don't want to even think about ‘and’.

 

I start my commentary, "Hello Viewers, I didn't realize I was still on the air and I hope I didn't say anything offensive. I'm sorry we had to leave the coverage of General Donaldson, but he is out of danger and asked if I would find his wife and see how she is doing."

 

I keep running through the halls and I see the red-haired nurse who was taking care of her. I yell, "Nurse, excuse me please."

 

She stops and sees me, I run up to her and motion for Bernie to kill the camera and she says, "You're the young reporter from the Truth Network. I am very busy so why are you bothering me?"

 

I consider briefly why nurses always have a bitchy attitude. I reply, "Listen, this is important and from General Donaldson so you'd better lose your attitude right now!"

 

She replies, "Sorry, but you wouldn't believe how bad this day has been and how long it's been since I've had any sleep."

 

I step close to her and say, "I'm sorry but I'm about ready to make your day even worse. And this information needs to stay just between us."

 

She looks at me and almost starts crying, "Damn! I don't know if I can take much more."

 

I slap her across the face and say, "Listen! I've been through as much as you have so cut the crap. The General is sure the hospital is a huge trap and the terrorists have another bomb in the basement. He sent me to get his wife to safety. So tell me where she is."

 

She looks like she's in shock, points to a room and says, "She's still unresponsive and in that room. I have to tell everyone and get them out of the hospital."

 

She goes to leave, I grab her arm and say, "You can't tell anyone or it will cause a panic."

 

She pulls away and says, "I have to tell everyone and get them out of the hospital."

 

Shit! She's in shock and not listening. I check and no one is watching us so I double up my fist and hit her as hard as I can and she slumps to the floor unconscious. I start to yell, "Help me! Please help me!"

 

Some nurses run out of the room, see her on the floor and ask, "What happened to Kat."

 

I put on a game face and lie, "She started talking all crazy and then fell to the floor."

 

The run over and carry her into another room. As they leave I emphasize, "She was talking about really crazy things."

 

I run into the room Kat pointed to and see Mrs. Donaldson on a gurney and she looks so peaceful. I yell at Bernie because we need to get her out of here and to one of the back doors.

 

Present – CW4 Sam Smith – MARFOREUR

 

We've been watching all hell breaking loose in Germany and France on the television. The whole base is on alert and we're in the ready room next to the flight line when the call comes in.

 

I pick up the phone "CW four Smith speaking."

 

It's the BCO, "Smith, The terrorists are ripping Ramstein a new asshole and General Donaldson has requested gunship support. Get you asses over there now."

 

I ask, "Sir, what are the rules of engagement?"

 

The BCO replies, "The General said, and this is a direct quote, 'I want all these fucking terrorist bastards slaughtered and I don't care if we destroy this whole fucking airbase doing it.'

 

I reply, "Mission understood sir."

 

I was ready to hang up the phone and he stopped me, "One more thing, the General also said failure is not an option."

 

I answer, "Thank you Sir! We will not let the General down."

 

I hang up the phone, jump up and yell to my CPG (Co-Pilot Gunner), my wing and his CPG, "Get your asses moving, we're going to save General Donaldson."

 

We ran out to our birds. We'd already done a full flight check when we'd landed, so we did an abbreviated pre-flight check, climb into our seats, put on our harnesses and helmets and I press the start button. It is so nice having the digital starters on the SuperCobras, because it takes almost all the hazards out of starting the turbines on a bird.

 

CPG Jones punches up the computers and asks, "Sir, what are the rules of engagement?"

 

I reply, "The General said, I want all these fucking terrorist bastards slaughtered and I don't care if we destroy this whole fucking airbase doing it."

 

He shouts, "It's about time we get to really rock and roll! I'm tired watching these terrorist bastards kill people and I think we need to show them what happens when you piss off America. Sir, permission to go weapons free."

 

I reply, "At least wait until we get off the base. I don't want your itchy trigger finger taking out anything on the base."

 

I call my wing, "Foxtrot two are you ready."

 

He replies, "Affirmative foxtrot one."

 

I call the tower, "Tower, this is foxtrot requesting permission to take off."

 

The tower replies, "Foxtrot this is the tower, you have permission. Give 'em hell!"

 

I bring up the throttle and we launch into the air. I notice the flight engineers clapping and cheering as we pitch forward and over and head towards Ramstein. We fly over the rest of the base and I say, "It looks like the base is being fully mobilized."

 

I call the tower, "Notify Ramstein we're on our way!"

 

Then I say, "You may now go weapons free. Just remember our main task is to provide support for Ramstein. Any other targets of opportunity need to be called back to the base."

 

I nudge the nose down a bit more, bringing us closer to the tree tops.

 

About five klicks out from the base Jones says, "Sam, looks like we have a convoy headed towards the base."

 

I reply, "Roger. Foxtrot two stay on my wing, we're ducking behind the hill over here."

 

Then call the tower, "Tower this is foxtrot be advised we have sighted a large convoy headed towards MARFOREUR, are you guys expecting anyone."

 

Tower replies, "Foxtrot hold and we will check."

 

A couple minutes later they come back, "No convoy is expected. We now have AWACs in the air and have checked with them, they have positively IDed the convoy as terrorists."

 

I need to control Jones so I order, "Jones, I know you'd like to blast all of them. But we have an important date at Ramstein. Blow the hell out of the first truck, which will slow them up so the base can go get them. I'm going to popup and you take care of the first truck."

 

I uncover and Jones ranges the target, then I rock back, bring the nose above the target and he fires a Hydra 701. We watch as the rocket streaks towards the target, it reaches the preset range and the rocket deploys its bomblets. The front truck and second truck are blown to hell. Jones yells, "Damn! That was fun."

 

1 Hydra 70 – a 70mm rocket launched from a M260 or M261 launcher and have multiple uses.

 

I reply, "Good shooting, just think how much more fun it will be at Ramstein."

 

Then I call, "Tower this is foxtrot, be advised the convoy has been detained. You should have enough time to send up some more gunships and take care of them. We are now proceeding to Ramstein."

 

I turn and we head towards Ramstein.

 

Present – Ira – Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

I find the stairs and start down towards the basement, part way down the second flight I see a trip wire and I know Mira must be right. I reach the basement door and can see it's been tampered with, my guess is a bomb on the other side of the door.

 

I know there is no way to get into the basement from here, so I head back up the stairs and back to the ground floor and decide to see what happens if I send the elevator to the basement. I punch the button and wait for the elevator, the door opens, I press the button for the basement and step out. I listen at the door as the elevator opens, hear one shot and a bunch of cursing. The elevator comes back up to the ground floor, the door opens and I notice a bullet hole in the back of the car.

 

I need a new plan to get into the basement. I push the button for the basement, step out of the elevator again and let it go. Once it leaves I pull a pry bar out of my pack and open the external doors for the elevator shaft. I take a look inside and I see what I need to do. I drop down the elevator shaft on top of the elevator car making very little noise. I quickly step across the top of the car, to the back wall of the elevator shaft, pull my pack off and put it by my feet and press tightly against the wall. I finish just as the elevator starts back up and just had enough room for the elevator car to slide past me.

 

Once it's gone I pull out a light and check the bottom of the elevator shaft. It is clear and relatively flat. I slowly climb down, to the bottom of the shaft and the basement door of the elevator shaft comes up to the center of my chest.

 

I slip out my snake camera and slip it under the door and I cannot believe what I see. First there are two terrorists guarding the elevator. Then there are bundles after bundles of sticks of explosive all wired together wrapped around the support beams for the hospital. This is very troubling, I maneuver the snake camera around and I do not see many terrorists, but I also cannot see the main trigger for what appears to be a professional demolition setup.

 

Now I need a way to get into the basement without being seen. I hear the elevator start and see it's headed down and possibly for the basement. I start scrambling around looking for some place that will be safe.

 

 

Present – Ben – WRAMC – After surgery

 

As I wake from the anesthesia, my mind slowly clears. Also I gradually remember things: Ramstein being attacked, Evelyn and Glen being injured, Jens going to be with them. But someone is holding my hand and gently touching my face. I feel her lips gently touch my face and hear her voice, "Come on wake up my hero."

 

I wonder, did I dream all this or am I dreaming now. But something isn't right. I feel her lips press against mine and I smell her perfume, it's all wrong, the kiss is wrong, the perfume is wrong – it's not Jens! I hear a bunch of annoying giggles in the room.  I open my eyes and see a face, where have I seen this face before? Ah yes, now I remember as I barely croak out, "Hello Frankie."

 

She hugs me and replies, "It's about time you woke up my hero. But you have other friends here."

 

She points and my eyes follow her hand so I see the other four girls from the mall and a young man in a wheelchair.

 

I look at them, clear my voice and say, "Hello Michelle, Rachel, Sara, Miranda and Cpl. Armstrong."

 

They all start smiling and talking at me at once, I try to raise my arm to shush them and I realize I'm restrained. I look at Frankie and say, "Please ask them to be a little quieter. I have a headache."

 

She says, "Girls, you're bothering Ben so try to be quieter."

 

Miranda comes over with Cpl. Armstrong, raises up her right hand, shows off a diamond ring and says, "I hope you and Jens can come to our wedding. If it wasn't for you two I wouldn't have meet my Marine. I know you're tired so we will leave." She leans over and kisses my cheek.

 

Cpl. Armstrong says, "SM. Blaine, I want to thank you and Jens for everything you've done for us. It's good to have you back and we are hoping you will both come to our wedding. Come on honey, we need to leave."

 

I watch as they leave the room. Next Rachel walks up and says, "I want to thank you and Jens for all you've done for me. I haven't found my man yet, but someday I will." She kisses my cheek and turns and leaves.

 

Michelle and Sara come up on each side of my bed. One of them says, "It's so good to have you back home safe." They both kiss me and leave.

 

I look at Frankie, she smiles at me and says, "I hope you liked my surprise. Jens called me and told me she couldn't be here so I forced Dad to bring all of us over."

 

I look at her and say, "Thank you for the great homecoming, but what were you doing kissing me?"

 

She blushes and says, "I thought it would be my only chance to ever get a real kiss from you."

 

The nurse comes in and says, "It's good to see you're finally awake. You sure had a large bunch of very nice young ladies keeping you company. I wish more soldiers could have treatment like this for when they wake up."

 

She starts putting a patch on my arm and I ask, "Hey, what are these patches you keep putting on my arm?"

 

She looks at me and answers, "I think you need to ask your doctor about these and why he prescribed them for you. I can tell you they help you to get well."

 

The nurse leaves and Frankie keeps holding my hand and looking at me. I look at her, open my mouth to say something and then I sense pain from Jens. I start fighting my restraints and say, "Something's happened to Jens and I need to get up…"

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