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Chapter 40

Copyright© 2013 by Banzai Ben

Flashback – Ben – Wrong place...

There's nothing like being in the wrong place at the right time! A crazy-assed terrorist charged Jack and Masha and it could only mean one thing: He was another fucking suicide bomber and had them in his sights. Once a suicide bomber gets close enough to you, there is no winning because he will take you out. And he was almost close enough to Jack and Masha! They wisely turned tail and ran while I continued to provide cover fire and wished I had something with a little more punch to it than an AK. Yeah, the fucker must have been wearing some sort of body armor under his vest because my chest shots weren't even slowing him up. I switched tactics, got lucky with this inaccurate piece of shit AK and hit the bastard in the head. He went down right as Jack and Masha stopped to grab me and then...

Flashback – Masha – A new battle

Thank God the suicide bomber detonated his bomb early and was still a sufficient distance away from us that we weren't instantly fragmented. However, he was close enough that the blast flung us through the air like dolls made of rags. I noticed that Jack had grabbed Ben and he was flying through the air with us. I watched in amazement as Ben grabbed Jack and had the sense to twist through the air – it was touching as he was trying to position himself to be a landing cushion for Jack.

Because of my superior training, I started my tuck early, and looked for a location to place my hands that wasn't littered with debris. Then something unfortunate happened...

Flashback – Jack – A new battle

We stopped, I grabbed Ben to get his ass out of here then all hell broke loose. The fucking suicide bomber detonated his vest ... The last thing I remembered was flying through the air then I landed on something soft and heard an audible crack with an accompanying whoosh of air. I looked down and somehow Banzai (the crazy idiot) had gotten under me and softened my landing; however the landing cold-cocked him. I looked over and saw Masha and immediately noticed she was holding her arm in a strange way. I jumped off Banzai, headed to her and asked, "Honey, what's wrong?"

She bravely answered, "Jack I am fine but I just have a dislocated shoulder. You first must take care of Ben."

I seriously suggested, "I think we need to head back to the destroyed BTR 80 and let others know that the Chechens have breached the building. Do you think Ben is well enough to be carried?"

Masha looked at me as if I was crazy and replied, "Jack, we can't leave him here for the Chechens will kill him. Of course you must carry him as carefully as possible back to the BTR 80."

I ran back to pick Banzai up and he suddenly complained (and scared the hell out of me)...

Flashback – Ben – A new hornet's nest

When the old fart landed on top of me, he knocked the wind out of me. I awoke as Jack came over to me, began to pick me up and I demanded, "What the hell are you doing?"

Jack stated, "I'm taking you back to the BTR 80."

Shit! Jack didn't realize what a mistake it would be if we all went back to the BTR 80 - sometimes I wonder if the old fart was getting senile? I pushed him away from me and argued, "Like hell you are! Get your head out of your ass! Someone has to stay here and keep these Chechen fuckers from launching an attack on the rest of you. Now move me behind some cover, leave me all your extra mags and get the hell out of here before I change my mind."

Masha misunderstood and wrongly quipped, "Ben, it would be painful to replace your mind and I am not sure they have yet perfected brain transplants."

What the fuck? We already wasted too much time so there was no way in hell I was going to try to explain this to her. I fired some rounds toward the Chechens to keep them from storming us, looked over at Masha, noticed she held her arm in a peculiar way and asked, "Masha, did you break your collar bone or dislocate your arm?"

I fired another burst then Jack quickly said, "She dislocated her shoulder then he started to explain about the 'change my mind' comment. I was pissed at hell because this was taking much too long so I yelled, "Get the fuck out of here you two and tell Yuri I need some help."

Jack gave me his extra mags, I emptied the remainder of my current mag at the Chechens and even hit one. Jack lovingly helped Masha up and they finally left, I taunted, "Hey you fucking Chechen bastards, it's Sgt. Blaine! You may have found me, but you will never take me alive!"

The result of that comment reminded me of the time I shot a hornet's nest with a shotgun when I was out hunting doves ... It's something that you do once in life, usually when you're a kid and don't know any better ... It took two hours for those hornets to calm down enough that I could sneak away. I vowed to myself to never do that again...

Flashback – Jack – A new battle

I felt bad as hell leaving Banzai but I did need to make sure Masha's injuries were taken care of. As we headed toward what was left of the BTR 80, we heard Banzai foolishly taunt the Chechens. The fuckers began to fire like crazy at Banzai, Masha gave me a concerned and motherly look then ordered, "Jack, I can make it to the BTR 80 myself; you must go back and assist Ben."

Naturally I began to complain but she gave me the 'don't fuck with me' look, put her good hand over my mouth and ordered, "Jack, this is not an option. Your first priority must be to your comrade in arms. As soon as I get back to the BTR 80 I will have Yuri send some more men."

Just like that Masha turned and left me. I was struck that she was so hard headed and independent, but she was right in this case. I headed back to Banzai, took his right flank and ducked behind some debris. He looked over at me and yelled, "What the hell are you doing back here?"

I answered, "Masha ordered me to help you."

I watched his hand signals and figured out what he wanted to do...

Flashback – Ben – Back in the battle

I wasn't sure how long I could hold out against these bastards because my taunt had gotten them pissed. So I made up my mind to go out in a blaze of glory by taking a page out of their own fucking book by using the spray and pray technique - then Jack showed up. Shit, with Jack here we could hold out much longer, possibly even until help arrived. I wasn't sure Jack's mind was totally in the game (lately it had been on Masha most of the time) so I sent Jack some hand signals. He figured out what I wanted to do, then I rose up, fired off about 6 shots and ducked behind cover, next Jack rose up and fired at the fuckers. All we needed to do was to keep the time we were exposed random and we should be fine.

Then Jack unfortunately yelled, "I'm out."

Shit! I complained about Jack's mind not being in the game but where they hell was mine right now? Yeah, I'd forgotten he'd given me all his extra mags so I grabbed one of them, slid it across the floor to him and we were back in business...

Flashback – Jens – At the military hospital

After having an okay morning with my stretches and ballet practice, I was back in my bed this afternoon and in extreme pain! Daddy was right when he called PT Pain and Torture, but the worst was when they took off my new camo tights! They had stuck to my burns and I even cried a few times when they removed them. Now I was unfortunately back in one of those stupid hospital gowns with no back on them.

Katie came in my room took one look at me and asked, "How do you feel?"

I fought back the tears and answered, "I think if I hurt any worse I will die!"

She smiled and answered, "I have something that might cheer you up some." Then she placed some interesting looking pink clothes on my bed.

I looked at them and stated, "These are clothes like the doctors wear. Are they for me?"

She answered, "That's right, they're called scrubs and until your burns heal more it's probably better if you practice in these instead of your tights. So yes they are for you."

I forced a smile and tried a joke, "Thank you, but do these come in camo?"

She laughed and asked, "What is it with you and camo? You'd think you were a Marine like your Father. Unfortunately, you get either pink like these or ugly green like the doctors wear."

I decided I liked the pink better then I remembered something, "Thank you, I will keep the pink. Do you know what happened to my camo tights?"

Katie stated, "I have them and will take them home and wash them for you making sure to get out the blood stains."

I once again forced a smile, "Thank you for being so nice to me."

Katie waved her hand answered, "And thanks for listening to my suggestions, that's a rare action for someone of your age. Now let's take a look at those pointe shoes."

I handed her my pointe shoes as she said, "Let's see your feet."

I stuck my feet out of the bed, she looked at my feet and shoes then demanded, "How old are these pointe shoes and what size do you wear?"

I shrugged my shoulders (the pain reminded me of PT) and answered, "I don't know, I guess I've had them a few years and I am a size six."

I gasped when Katie twisted my pointe shoe and snapped the shank! Now the toe dangled at a bad angle and the shoe looked like a broken stick. She said, "Jennifer, these shoes were worn out years ago and should have been replaced. Didn't anyone tell you this?"

I answered, "I asked Evelyn, uh mother, about it a couple of times but she looked at them and told me they were fine. Olga never said anything to me about it. But now that you've broken my shoes what the heck am I supposed to wear."

Katie amazed me as she explained, "Jennifer, when I was with the NYCB we had a shoe allowance and many times replaced our pointe shoes for each performance. The life of a pointe shoe is only twenty hours at the most and the way you dance probably less than that. Now don't worry, I still have some friends in the ballet business so let me make a call and see what we can do for you."

As Katie prepared to leave the room and I asked, "Katie, is there any way I could get something for pain?"

She looked at her watch and explained, "You are too early for your Percocet but let me call the doctor and see what he says. So, hang in there a little bit."

She left, I looked at my broken pointe shoe and was very sad; losing them would be like losing an old friend...

Flashback – Glen

I picked up Evelyn and we headed to the hospital to see Jennifer. For once Evelyn appeared to be sober.

When we walked into Jennifer's room, she was looking at her pointe shoes with a very sad look and Evelyn went ballistic, "Young lady! What did you do to your pointe shoes? If you think breaking your shoes will get you out of dancing in Swan Lake, you are completely wrong."

Anyone with half a brain could see that Jennifer was very upset! Jennifer glared and spat, "Muuuuther! I did not break my pointe shoes, Katie my nurse did! She told me they were worn out."

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