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Chapter 42

Copyright© 2013 by Banzai Ben

Flashback – Ben – Back in the battle

Most people realize that when your legs don't work right you are really inhibited from doing your job, like I was right now. Because my legs were still fucked up, I couldn't raise myself enough above the floor to see what the hell was going on. Thank God Jack yelled, "Duck, it's a grenade!"

I guess my stubborn streak forced my tattered body up onto one very wobbly knee to look. Jack wasn't always right, but he was sure as hell right this time. Not only was it a grenade, it was coming right toward me. I had what I hoped would be a great idea and adjusted my position to better prepare my plan. I switched to holding my AK by the barrel end - which burnt the hell out of my hands because the barrel was hotter than hell from all the rounds I'd fired through this piece of shit. But right now I had to ignore the pain and get on with my plan. When the grenade got close enough I smacked the hell out of the grenade with the wooden buttstock which sent it right back where it came from.

Jack was fired up and whooped, "I thought you were a goner! But that was fucking brilliant and great! Another Banzai homerun!"

However, what happened next wasn't so great!"

Flashback – Masha – At the BTR 80

I arrived at the BTR 80 and ran up to Elena while cradling my arm. She quickly glanced at me and stated, "Dislocated shoulder."

My discomfort was nothing compared to the danger my future husband faced so I replied, "Yes, but before I am treated I need to locate Yuri so he can dispatch some troops to assist Ben and Jack. The Chechens have breached the church walls and the two of them are trying to keep them from over - running our position."

Elena yelled (I was impressed at the loud volume produced by such a small woman), "Yuri, the Chechens have breached the church, Jack and Ben need some help!"

Yuri stopped what he was doing, immediately ran over and asked, "Where are they?"

I began to tell him when there was a huge explosion followed by many smaller explosions from where I had left my future husband and Ben! I seriously wondered if I would become a widow before I achieved the status of a bride?

Flashback – Jack – Back in the battle

Banzai smacked the hell out of the grenade with his AK. Hell, it was better than his 'grenade bat'. He sent it right back at the fuckers who threw it at him. I was busy congratulating him when all hell broke loose in our part of the Church! There was a massive explosion and I watched as it tossed the fuckers everywhere! Unfortunately, Banzai and I were both hit with natural shrapnel (pieces of wood and small rocks) on our faces (thank God none of it hit our eyes!). I ducked as the big fucking explosion seemed to trigger a chain reaction of explosions - some small and some large. I looked over at Banzai and he had that crazy-assed grin on his face almost as if he'd planned it.

Finally the explosions stopped but my ears were fucked and I couldn't hear shit. Banzai crawled out from behind his cover and the crazy little shit crawled toward the Chechens. I rose up to provide support, analyzed the situation, but there wasn't anything or anyone left to shoot. Fuck, they were more than dead - they were obliterated!

I moved over beside Banzai, squatted to be close to him and yelled, "What the hell happened?"

He laughed (which I barely heard) and yelled, "I got lucky and dropped the grenade right into the duffle bag of grenades they were using! It set all of them off and the resulting explosion triggered all the fuckers' suicide vests.

Masha frantically ran up, looked at me and like a typical woman complained, "Jack, you're hurt!"

Hell I felt pretty damn good since we'd just kicked the hell out of a buttload of Chechens so I cockily countered, "Like hell I am!"

She gently touched my face (her hand felt great but hurt some too), she pulled her hand back and there was blood on it.

She began to say something when Yuri finally ran up (of course after everything was over) and demanded, "Where are the Chechens who breached the church?"

Banzai rose up on one elbow, pointed to various places and laughed, "There's a piece of one; there's a piece of another; oh, I think that's a foot; and that definitely looks like a hand."

Masha looked amazed (and maybe just a little green) and asked, "What did you do to them?"

Banzai laughed like crazy and said, "Jack and I blew them back to hell where they belong."

I looked at Masha, realized what was still wrong and complained...

Flashback – Jack – The battle is over

I was slightly pissed at Masha! She didn't do what she said she was going to do so I gave her some shit, "Masha, your shoulder is still dislocated. Weren't you going to get that taken care of?"

She gave me a defiant look, shook her finger at me and scolded, "Jack Reynolds! Don't you dare use that tone of voice with me! When we heard the explosions, we thought you and Ben had died."

If she wanted a fight, she was going to get a fight. I got ready to return her shit when Banzai began to laugh. We looked at him and I demanded, "What the hell is so damn funny?"

He smirked at me and I couldn't believe his reply, "I never thought I would see Jack Reynolds wearing the old ball and chain."

I couldn't fucking believe he used that term! Especially since Masha looked at me and innocently asked, "Jack, what is 'wearing the old ball and chain'?"

Damn talk about a rock and a hard place - this certainly qualified. I thought for a moment and came up with what I thought was a hell of a lie, "It's this old ball that's connected with a chain to a handle that you use when you fight – you know, a mace."

I thought I had it made until fucking Banzai snickered, then Masha got in my face, "Jack Reynolds! Don't you dare lie to me?"

Masha's demand sent Banzai over the edge and he started laughing so hard he could hardly breathe. We looked at him and then something strange happened: It was like his laughter was contagious. I began to laugh, Yuri started to laugh and even Masha joined with her own belly laugh.

Masha gasped in between fits of laughter, "Jack my love, what are we laughing about?"

I shrugged my shoulders and answered, "I have no idea. Let's get you back to Elena and have her fix your shoulder."

Yuri helpfully offered, "I will move Sgt. Blaine, you take good care of your future bride."

Our good mood and laughter continued until we got back to the BTR 80. Unfortunately our good mood was then totally ruined...

Flashback – Jens – At the military hospital

Daddy was angry when he left my room because I was in pain and I hoped he would have Katie, my nurse, bring me something for pain. I moved a little in the bed but it only made things worse. It was so painful now that if it didn't improve I couldn't practice tomorrow. I carefully and slowly got up to go to the bathroom, came back out and was surprised because my mother was back in the room.

I didn't even get a chance to say anything before she screeched, "You fucking ungrateful little bitch! I am here to teach you a lesson you will never forget!"

She scared the heck out of me so I asked, "Mother, what are you planning on doing?"

She produced a leather belt from behind her back, snapped it several times and threatened, "I'm going to beat you until you respect me. Get used to it because it's called tough love and you are going to get giant helpings of it!"

Evelyn was totally crazy but I hoped to reason with her, "Mother, if you beat me with that I will respect you even less." Then I added a threat, "In fact, I might even hate you!"

The attempt at reasoning and even the threat didn't work as I had hoped. Unfortunately, in my incapacitated state, I couldn't move well enough to fight back! I couldn't believe it when Evelyn began to beat on my arms. I quickly moved them out of her way which unfortunately left my legs vulnerable. She started on my legs and laughed, "I will teach you to call my ass fat!"

I couldn't do anything else so I began to cry and scream until finally...

Flashback – Glen – At the military hospital

I talked to Jennifer's nurse at the nurse's station and calmed down after she informed me that we couldn't risk getting Jennifer addicted to the pain medication so we needed to wait until Jennifer's next dosage was due.

Suddenly we heard screaming and crying from Jennifer's room and we both dashed into the room! My mouth dropped open and I was immobilized when I saw Evelyn was beating the hell out of Jennifer with a belt! This was some sort of fucking nightmare that I never dreamed could happen. Those two had their problems but their conflict had never manifested themselves in physical violence.

Thank God Jennifer's nurse didn't suffer from my reaction and she sprang into action! She ran over to Evelyn, jumped on her back, locked her arms around Evelyn's neck and they began to fight. Hell, it had the effect of stopping Evelyn's onslaught, but she was still pissed and swore at the nurse, "Let me go you little bitch! This is all your damn fault!"

The nurse yelled right back, "What the hell are you doing? This is your own daughter you're beating. I'm going to call the military police and report this child abuse!"

Evelyn laughed and countered, "Like hell it is! My supposed daughter has become an ungrateful little bitch because of you and she needs a good beating to whip her back into shape. Don't you know tough love when you see it?"

The initial shock wore off and when I finally regained my composure I ran into the fray, grabbed Evelyn, shook the hell out of her and ordered, "Evelyn! That's enough!"

Evelyn stopped struggling, her mood uncharacteristically shifted from enraged moonbat to 'normal drunk', then she rudely accused me, "Glen, you're always taking Jennifer's side against me! What have you two been doing behind my back? I bet the ungrateful little bitch is putting out for you and that's why you don't want sex from me anymore."

Jennifer's nurse who was now liberated from the fight caused me great concern when she threatened, "I think I've heard and seen quite enough, I'm calling the MPs."

This was a huge MCF! I glared at Evelyn and declared, "Well Evelyn, you really screwed the pooch this time..."

Flashback – Alexi – In the laboratory

Yes, I devised a new plan. This straitjacket did not fit me well so I wriggled around in it, pulled one arm up and over my head and now I could move my arms. Then I used my teeth to open the buckle on the arms and finally reached behind me and opened the top and bottom restraining buckles. For something that was supposed to restrain a psychotic patient, it did not perform its basic function very well.

I no sooner finished when the psychologist walked in and demanded, "Alexi, what are you doing?"

I continued my ongoing ruse and concocted a great lie, "My suit jacket was too tight and I couldn't move freely enough so I removed it."

He gave me a strange look and questioned, "What suit jacket?"

I held up the straitjacket, smiled and responded to his inquiry, "This new suit you gave me doctor. I believe it needs to return to the tailor for some alterations."

His brow furrowed in displeasure, he looked me straight in the eyes and stated, "Alexi, that is not a suit, that is a straitjacket."

I needed a new idea and devised another great lie so I asked, "Doctor, why would you provide me a smoking jacket? I thought those were exclusively for use by playboys or old men?"

His face reddened as his anger simmered and he repeated again very slowly (as if that was going to help), "Alexi, that is not a smoking jacket, that is a straitjacket."

I gave him the strangest look I could muster and answered, "What?"

He looked confounded and replied with a question, "What?"

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