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Chapter 15

Copyright© 2013 by Banzai Ben

Present – Jack – At the cabin

Son of a bitch! I was in the Command and Control tent when something (no something damn big!) blew up. It rattled the hell out of everything and even shook the ground. As I rush out of the tent I spot a huge fucking smoke cloud that looks like a mushroom. Glen comes up beside me and asks, "What the hell was that?"

I answer, "Like hell if I know!" I pull my weapon around and declare, "But I'm sure as hell going to find out what it was!" Then I head toward the mushroom cloud.

Glen orders, "Well, give me a sitrep after you figure out what it was."

I smile and think, like hell I will - after Jennifer talks to you, you can give me a damn sitrep when you figure out what it was.

Present – Todd, Linus and Masha – In the tunnels

We just begin questioning the prisoner when the ground shakes. I look at Masha and sign, "That couldn't have been an earthquake."

She agrees, "Yes, in this area a tremor is not likely."

Linus adds, "I think it was an explosion."

Masha worries, "My husband is outside. I must see if he has been wounded."

Linus adds, "And I need to find Maria."

I sign, "That's fine, I will start the interrogation and let you two know what I discover when you come back."

They leave and I ask our prisoner the first question. I am shocked at his answer and decided I need to deliver this information to Jens' team immediately...

Present – Liz and Bernie – At the cabin

I'm talking to Mira about the fertility clinic when there's a flash, a loud boom and then a huge blast of wind that blows Bernie and me to the ground. I drop the cell phone and lose the call with Mira.

Bernie says, "Liz, that was a hell of an explosion! The bomb had to be huge."

I reply, "No shit Sherlock! But what the hell was it?"

Bernie points, "Well, there's the dust cloud from it, let's go investigate."

We jump up, run toward the blast area and I can't believe what the fuck I see! Please God, don't let it be!

Bernie says, "Look, that's Matt and Jim lying on top of..."

Present – Jens – In a world of hurt

I'm lying on Maria, being crushed by Matt and Jim and swear, "Get the hell off me! What the hell was that?"

Liz runs up and I barely hear, "Jens, are you okay?"

I complain, "Stop whispering and get these two overgrown monkeys off me."

While I'm trying to move, Jack orders, "What the fuck are you Marines standing around for? Form a perimeter and make sure no one else approaches Jennifer Donaldson!"

I struggle beneath Matt and Jim while Jack continues to talk but I can't understand him so I yell, "Stop whispering and speak the hell up!"

Jack orders, "Jennifer, stop moving and be patient. Matt and Jim are unconscious." He yells, "You, head to the medical plane and bring the doctors..."

Present – Jack – At the blast site

As near as I can figure out, something blew up and damn near killed Jennifer. It sure fucked Matt and Jim up. They're unconscious, are bleeding from the ears and have multiple lacerations on their bodies. I sure don't want to move them until we get a doctor here to do a physical assessment.

Linus runs up and questions, "What the hell happened?"

I answer, "I don't know for sure yet, but there was an explosion that almost killed Jennifer."

He questions, "What about Maria?"

I bend down, look at the pile and say, "I think she's under Jennifer."

We hear a voice...

Present – Maria – Under the pile

I hear Linus and yell, "Did the guys get the bastard?"

He yells, "What bastard?"

Jens yells, "Yeah, what bastard?"

I struggle to move so I can breathe and say, "Some bastard ran toward Jens and wouldn't stop, so Matt and Jim fired at him."

I continue, "Now, can you get me out from under this pile?"

Jack orders, "Maria you and Jennifer have to be patient. It looks like Matt and Jim took the brunt of the blast and we're not moving them until the doctors get here."

Then Glen arrives and orders...

Present – Masha – At the blast site

I arrive at the site of the blast, note that Matt, Jim, Jennifer and Maria are in a large heap on the ground. My Jack has taken command. Then Glen arrives and a slight confrontation ensues between him and Jack. I prepare to intervene when I notice someone in the crowd who catches my attention.

I am able to attract Liz's attention so she approaches me and I request, "Ms. Morgan, please take my son back into the tunnels."

She questions, "Masha, is there something I need to know?"

I smile at her and reply, "If I were you, I would also request Bernie's company."

Liz gives me a look which confirms she understands the situation. I hand Ivan to her and instruct him, "Be a good boy and go with Ms. Morgan. Mama is going to be busy."

He hugs Ms. Morgan and says, "Mama be careful, bad men here!"

I am amazed that he deduced the gravity of our situation. Once they are safely away, I advance toward my target...

Present – Glen – At the blast site

One of the men tells me that a suicide bomber tried to kill Jennifer so I high tail it to the blast site. I get there, see a pile of men with Jennifer under the pile and order, "Get those men off my daughter."

Jack says, "Belay that command. I'm in charge here and we're not moving the men until the doctor checks them and okays it."

I bristle, "What the hell do you mean you're in charge!"

Jack stands tall and states, "Jennifer told me I'm in command."

I begin my rant, "The day I take orders..."

Jennifer interrupts, "Daddy, please come close so I can talk to you."

I bend down as Jennifer says, "Daddy, I did put Jack in command because he knows Ben better than any of us. I'm hoping you two can work effectively together."

I'm flabbergasted then Todd runs up...

Present – Todd – At the blast site

I run up to the blast site, take one look at Matt and Jim and realize how lucky they were and then sign, "This is far from being over."

Glens yells, "What the hell are you talking about?"

Jack questions, "Todd what did you find out?"

I sign, "The prisoner told me that there are more suicide bombers and that Jennifer is their main target."

Glen orders, "That does it move those men off my daughter so I can take her out of here."

Jack also orders, "Once again, belay that order, I'm in command here. I don't the fuck care if she is your daughter Glen, we're not moving those men until the doctor clears them."

A man ignores Jack's order and begins to move toward Matt and Jim. I notice something I don't like, run toward him, dive for his legs, knock him to the ground and restrain his arms in a full nelson.

Glen complains, "What the hell did you do that for?"

He's fighting me like hell so I slam his face into the ground multiple times until he's unconscious. Then I roll off him, open up his jacket and we're shocked with what we see...

Present – Jack – At the blast site

Todd takes a man down, renders him unconscious, opens his jacket and son of a bitch! We see four fucking claymore mines strapped to his chest. If he had detonated those, it would have decimated whoever he was aimed toward. Todd restrains the man's arms and begins to disarm the claymore vest.

I look at the crowd gathered around Matt, Jim, Jennifer and Maria, lower my rifle and order, "Everyone move back twenty paces and that includes you Glen. Linus help me cover this crowd. Now, I hope no one gets any strange ideas. If you move toward us we will fire first and ask questions later!"

Linus raises his rifle and everyone steps back. I hear some noise at the edge of the crowd and someone says, "I'm the doctor, let me through."

I order, "Doctor we have possible suicide bombers in our midst; walk in slowly with your coat totally open."

I see his medical bag and state, "And leave your bag where it is until it can be examined."

He complies, slowly approaches and we hear...

Present – Matt and Jim – At the blast site

I swear, "God damn son of a bitch!"

I barely hear Jack, "Are you okay."

I continue, "Fuck no I'm not okay! That fucking fake Marine son of a bitch blew us to hell."

I begin to move but hear, "Don't move until I check you out."

I complain, "I can barely hear you, speak up."

The man says, "I'm a doctor. Now lie still until I can assess your injuries..."

I wake the hell up, begin to sit up and fuck me that hurts like hell. I yell, "Damn son of a bitch!"

I hear Matt, "Jim are you okay?"

I gripe, "Hell no I'm not okay! Did we save Jens?"

I sort of hear a voice below me, "Hell yes you guys saved me! But now you're crushing the hell out of my poor body!"

Another voice adds, "Me too!"

I figure out that we're lying on Jens and Maria and laugh, "Hell Matt, this is the first time I've been on two women at once! Does this qualify as a threesome?"

Matt complains, "Hell, you'd better not mention this to Molly or she will kick my ass."

I tease, "Damn, she's a real ball and chain."

Someone says, "Matt, you're stable and we're going to move you to a stretcher."

Then I hear, "I'm a doctor and I'm going to check you over."

The doctor swears (which is never a good thing), "Dammit, we have some problems."

I begin to question what's going on but then things grow dark...

Present – Masha – At the blast site

I slowly advance upon my intended target, reach into my purse and prepare a syringe. This will be my most dangerous mission and if I make one minor mistake it will cost me and many others our lives.

I carefully observe my target, realize there is one huge problem I will need to solve but I do need to complete this mission. I pull the syringe out of my purse, jam it into the base of his neck and inject the poison deep into his brain stem. Its effects are instantaneous so he begins to crumple to the ground. I wrap my hand around his hand and call, "Jack, I need assistance immediately!"

Present – Jack – At the blast site

Son of a bitch, Masha is here somewhere and needs me but finding here in this crowd is going to be a problem because my hearing isn't what it used to be. I shout a reply, "Masha keep talking so I can locate you."

She states, "Jack I have eliminated another suicide bomber but this man has a deadman switch in his hand."

I swear, when it rains it pours! I begin to work my way toward her voice when I see something that makes my blood run cold...

Present – Alexi, Mira and Ira – At the cabin

We make excellent time in this extremely nice vehicle. We are on the dirt road to the cabin and I question, "My sisters, might it be possible for me to retain this vehicle?"

Mira replies, "Alexi, I do not see any reason why you could not keep this vehicle."

Ira adds with a chuckle, "It is not like the previous owner requires it any longer."

We pull past the gate and see many vehicles. Ira dryly remarks, "I would say that the Marines have arrived."

Mira adds, "Yes, it would appear that we might not be needed all the after."

I correct, "You mean after all." Then I add a question, "What is that large throng of people doing?"

My sisters simultaneously command, "Alexi, halt the vehicle and prepare for battle."

I begin to halt the vehicle but my sisters have already exfiltrated. Once it stops I also exfiltrate and rejoin them. I am shocked at what they both say...

Present – Zarika – In the medical plane

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