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Chapter 7

Copyright© 2013 by Banzai Ben

Present – Glen – Taking care of business

It's good to see the men who were down due to the drugged water are recovering, even if it means they have to change uniforms. I make sure we have a secure perimeter and patrols combing the hills for possible stragglers and then I decide that since I haven't heard from Linus, I head into the tunnels.

I open the first door and surprise Liz and Bernie who are going at it like rabbits. I pull the door almost closed and ask, "Do you know which room Jennifer is in?"

Bernie tells me which room then has some advice, "But I wouldn't go in there if I was you."

I reply, "Why not?" But I don't get any answer so I head to the room...

Present – Linus and Todd – Guarding Jens and Maria

We're guarding Jens and Maria, the door opens and Glen walks in. Todd draws his bow, I level my M-4 at him and he demands, "Linus and Todd, what the hell is going on?"

I explain, "Glen, it's just a safety precaution for right now. We aren't letting anyone see Jens who hasn't been with her from the very start."

He complains, "But, I'm her father."

I explain, "Glen, you've changed a hell of a lot - possibly too much. We can't be sure for right now that you haven't been brainwashed."

Glen yells, "What the fuck are you talking about."

I explain about the 'Manchurian Candidate' theory of Todd's, Glen give us both a dirty look but then says, "Well, at least tell me how she's doing."

Todd relaxes his bow and signs, "I gave them something which will cure them. They will sleep for about one more hour, then will wake up refreshed."

Glen smiles, "Well at least they didn't have to go through the shitty cure we did, right Linus?"

I reply, "Yeah, that cure was almost worse than the drug."

Glen says, "Well I need to check on things. When Jennifer wakes up let her know I was here and I'd like to have that meeting as soon as she is able."

He leaves, I look at Todd and say, "That went better than I expected."

Todd signs, "Yes it went surprisingly well, which concerns me."

I declare, "Todd you are one paranoid bastard."

He explains his concerns to me. When he's finished I can't believe it but I completely agree with him.

I watch Jens and Maria sleeping and I'm thankful as hell Todd had something that cured them. And especially something which spared them from the embarrassment of filling their underwear. I notice they're dressed and I question, "Who dressed the women?"

Todd signs, "I took the liberty to do that, I hope you are not offended."

I shake my head, "Hell, would it make any difference if I was?"

He signs, "Probably not, because what's done is already done."

I answer, "Yeah, you're right."

We hear a noise at the door so I level my M-4 and Todd signs...

Present – Jack and Masha – In the medical plane

Masha is telling me I need to forgive Glen even after all the things the bastard did to Banzai and hell, even to us when we tried to rescue Banzai. Shit, he even let his daughter get locked up instead of us. The fucking bastard doesn't deserve forgiveness.

I plead for help, "Masha, how in the hell do I forgive him?"

She smiles at me and tries to explain, "Remember when Vanya urinated in the coffee?"

I answer, "Hell yeah I remember that! I'm sure glad he got over the phase of needing to piss in and on everything." He was a real terror for about a month and a half until we broke him of that bad habit.

Masha smiles then says, "Jack, you forgive Glen just as you forgave Ivan."

I remind her, "Yeah, but you gave him 'office hours1' for the rest of the day."

1 Office hours – Corps non-judicial punishment

Masha reminds me, "And Jack, Glen has served his 'office hours': He lost his command, his wife and almost alienated his daughter. Much of what Glen did could be attributed to his insane wife's influence. The whole family has gone through Hades and they deserve not only our forgiveness, they deserve our compassion."

I glare at Masha and she threatens, "Jack, don't you dare look at me like that..."

Yes, I might not have played totally fair telling Jack he needs to forgive Glen. I am however doing it for his own personal good. To harbor such hate is not healthy and sometimes my husband tends to act before he thinks. If he were to kill or maim Glen the repercussions would be terminal for our expanding family.

Present – Linus and Todd – Guarding Jens and Maria

Todd signs, "Don't worry, I think it's Jennifer's dog."

He walks to the door, opens it, the damn dog runs in, takes one look at me and begins to growl and snap at me.

Todd signs, "What's his problem with you?"

I shake my head and explain, "I called him a bad name in Afghanistan and he's never forgiven me."

Todd makes some hand gestures toward the damn dog, he calms down, goes over to Jennifer, lays down and puts his head on her.

I question, "What was with all the hand signals to the dog?"

Todd signs, "Most dogs follow the same set of hand signals, if you learn them then dogs will usually obey you."

I ask, "Well, why don't you teach them to me and then Jennifer's dog might not hate me so much..."

Present – Zarika and Yasmeen – In the medical plane

I worry when I tell Yasmeen the truth, that she might not ever be able to have Ben's babies. She shocks me when she smiles and says, "Zarika, that might be the best thing I have ever heard!"

I ask with disbelief, "You are not upset?"

She says, "No, I watched as my mother gave birth to my brother and after seeing that I was scared of having babies."

Suddenly I wondered about having Ben's babies so I continued, "What was so terrible about it?"

Yasmeen informs me, "The pain my mother suffered was great, she cried and rolled around on the bed and then there was all the blood."

I begin to feel a little sick so I change the subject, "You did an excellent job in the tunnels."

She presses the button on her pain machine and says, "I was angry that we lost the cabin and there was no way I was going to let them take the tunnels."

Yasmeen yawns and says, "I think I will take a nap."

The doctor comes over to me and questions, "It looks like it's time to have that cast replaced?"

I smile at him and agree, "Yes it has become very dirty and now smells bad."

He says, "Follow me." I follow him to a different part of the plane...

Present – Mira, Alexi and Ira– At the fertility clinic

My brother foolishly asks to use Ira's katana and I educate him, "Alexi, a samurai's spirit lives within their katana, so to use her katana would be to soil it."

I watch as recognition comes over his face and he states, "That is why you were so concerned about your katana."

I smile, "It is one of the reasons. The other is Ben gave that katana to me and it has a value beyond price."

Alexi questions, "So it has sentimental value."

I clarify, "Alexi, I meant monetary value as both katanas are unique examples of a masters art and cannot be replaced. He was also kind enough to provide your sister Irinka with her sword. Mine is the tiger sword and hers is the dragon sword."

Alexi states, "The tiger fits you perfectly and the dragon fits my sister Ira – Ben was very astute in his gift to you and Ira. I question when I might obtain a sword of my own and which animal will grace its blade."

I chide, "Probably a Puma Concolor. Now we need to complete our mission."

Alexi grimaces at the intellectual punishment and questions, "What exactly is our mission?"

I enumerate the mission, acquire two short swords for each of us and we begin...

Present – Ben – On the road

I barely get to sleep when Gus stops the truck. I snap to attention and ask, "What's wrong?"

Gus answers, "There's a damn funny looking bear in the middle of the highway."

I look and see ... Hell yes! I declare, "Gus, that's not your ordinary bear, that's Wojtek and a hell of a good friend of mine."

I open the door to step out, Wojtek lopes toward me and gives me a hell of a bear hug. I scratch his head and comment, "Damn, you almost smell good - someone must have given you a bath."

H shakes his head, puts his paw to his head and I see a good sized gash that's just healing. A quick anger takes over, "Damn, did someone try to shoot you?"

He begins to yowl so I look at Gus and ask, "Hey, you mind if he rides in the back of the truck?"

Gus states, "It's fine with me, but if he makes a mess you're cleaning it up."

I put down the tailgate, Wojtek climbs in, moves up behind the cab and promptly falls asleep.

I hop back into the passenger seat and Gus questions, "So, just where the hell did you meet him."

So I tell Gus the whole story and how much help he was at Bob's country Bunker. When I finish Gus whistles, "Hell, I sure didn't know you, Stacy and that bear were the ones responsible for saving the Bunker. Rex needs to tell some of the other Rangers about this."

I yawn and state, "Hell, don't tell me you're going to turn all weird on me like the truckers."

Gus laughs, "Nah, that ain't going to happen but things make a hell of a lot more sense to me now. The whole Russian man and woman story was a hard one to swallow."

I recline the seat and comment, "Well I'm going to get some shut eye."

Gus says, "Go for it. When we get close to the Ranger HQ we'll stop and pick up some supplies for you."

Present – Stacy and Samantha – On the road

Bill follows me back into the gynecologist's office just in time to hear the receptionist saying, "Hell yes it's Samantha Stevens and Stacy Summers in the flesh ... No, I don't know what they are here for but when I find out I will let you know."

Bill walks over, yanks the phone out of her hand, she screams, "What did you do that for?"

The doctor comes out of an examination room and demands, "What is going on?"

I look at the doctor and ask, "Tell me doctor, is HIPAA still enforced in this country?"

He answers, "Of course it is."

I inform him of the risky situation he may find himself in, "Well, you might want to inform your receptionist of the ramifications for your practice as she was just revealing that Samantha and I are here."

He glares at her and yells, "I've had my fill of you, you're fired!"

She sasses, "That's okay. With the money I will get from the media for this story I don't need your old job."

I nod my head at Bill and he says, "Ms., you're not doing anything of the sort."

She threatens, "You just try and stop me!" Then she reaches into her purse but by the time she brings out the pistol, Bill has tased the hell out of her.

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