07 Home 2
Chapter 46

Copyright© 2013 by Banzai Ben

Flashback – Ben – Back at the BTR 80

When I'd tried to lie to Elena about how I felt (I wonder why it didn't work?) she confronted me about lying and I was forced to begin with the truth, "Since you've convinced me to be truthful with you I must admit I feel like shit and not just mentally but also physically."

Elena's face wrinkled with concern as she queried, "Ben what do you mean?"

I shook my head and replied, "If I'm not mistaken, I have a couple broken ribs in addition to my previous injuries." Then I pointed to the offending ribs as best I could while I grimaced in pain.

She swore, "Tвойу мат! Ben how did that happen?" She then became the professional nurse and assessed my rib injuries.

I began to explain when...

Flashback – Jack – In the room with the many dead Chechens

Hells bells, and I thought Major Mike was a pain in the ass - this Captain made him look like a saint. Of course he was pissed about losing the BTR 80 but he sure as hell didn't need to take it out on everyone else. Hell, it was his damn fault for not stopping them from firing at us! Oh yeah, I forgot that he's an officer and I guess even in Russia they primarily train officers to 'pass the buck'.

We went into the side room the Chechen's had breached - where Banzai got lucky when he blew all the fucking Chechens back to whichever hell they came from - and the Captain barked an order in Russian, "Сержанты собирать мне несколько кусков этого материала."

I stood there (and felt like an idiot for not understanding Russian) until Yuri translated, "Jack he ordered us to collect some pieces of the material like Ben found under the wheels of the BTR 80."

I was in a serious bad mood and grumbled under my breath, "Then why didn't he order it in fucking English, the fucking moron!"

Unfortunately the Captain must have heard me because he got in my face and began a long tirade in Russian (even though I couldn't understand it, I wasn't so stupid that I couldn't understand I was being 'dressed-down') which was interrupted when we heard small arms fire.

Yuri interrupted the crabby Captain, "Isn't that shooting coming from where we left Ben."

I ignored the Captain's callousness and affirmed, "Hell yes it is!" I pushed the Captain the hell out of the way as we dashed back to the church sanctuary. Then we heard something which surprised us..."

Flashback – Ben – Back at the BTR 80

Thank God (and excellent training) that I didn't let anyone take my rifle from me, because the fucking Chechens were back again taking pot-shots at me from behind the church. I was in more danger from a ricochet than by a direct hit because they were shooting from an ineffectively long range. I ordered, "Elena take cover." I then began to return equally ineffective fire. Then I heard something that was music to my ears.

Elena questioned, "Ben, what's that noise?"

I smiled and answered, "That Elena is a Krokodil that's here to save our asses."

She looked puzzled and threw up her hands until I explained, "Krokodil is the slang name for an M-24 HIND helicopter. Finally someone called in the Air Cav."

Elena continued with the incessant reporter questions (something I needed to fix in the near future), "Ben what is the Air Cav?"

I smiled as I heard the chopper fire its 12.7 mm Gatling gun and explained, "Air Cav is short for Air Cavalry. It's the rapid deployment of troops and supplies by using helicopters or other vertical takeoff and landing vehicles."

The firing stopped and it became eerily quiet. Unfortunately the silence didn't last long enough...

Flashback – Jack – Back at the BTR 80

We arrived at the church sanctuary just as another team of Spetsnaz stormed the church through the big fucking hole in the wall made by the BTR 80. For a moment I worried I was going to be shot, then one of them ordered, "Put your weapons on the ground."

The Captain counter barked, "Who the hell are you to command me?"

It was all I could do to keep from laughing my ass off when a General walked up, pointed an AK at the Captain and ordered, "Captain, you are relieved of duty." The Captain saluted like crazy and tried to explain, "Sir, I was..."

The General waved him off, walked over to Banzai, knelt down to be on his level (unlike the Captain) and questioned, "Sgt. Blaine, have you been further wounded?"

Banzai smiled and answered...

Flashback – Ben – Back at the BTR 80

A general bothered to kneel so he could look me in the eyes, I was impressed and answered his question, "Sir, I have a couple of broken ribs on top of my other injuries but it's really nothing."

I motioned to Jack and Yuri then requested, "Guys, please help me stand in front of the General."

The General waved them off and laughed, "Sgt. Blaine, do not worry. You are a hero of Russia and I apologize that the former Captain didn't treat you with the respect you deserve. Your continued presence here poses a problem for this village so I am here to return you to Moscow."

I became bold and questioned, "Sir, what about my Spetsnaz team, Jack, my girlfriend and my nurse."

Jack interrupted, " ... and my fiancée? I don't want to leave her!"

The General replied, "Sgt. Blaine, do not worry because we are returning everyone back to Moscow. However, your team will temporarily remain here until their new commander arrives."

I clarified, "What about the Chechens who are still here?"

He laughed, "Do not worry, we will eliminate them as we would any other vermin. Now, we need to get you and your nurse on the helicopter."

Jack and Yuri assisted me to the helicopter and I was glad to finally be leaving this hell hole. But, to the bottom of my soul, I felt my mission wasn't complete because the fucking Chechens were still alive. I was joined on the Krokodil by Jack, Masha and Elena.

The General came to the door and questioned, "Sgt. Blaine, where is your girlfriend?"

I stammered, "Sir ... Sir ... Sir, I have no idea."

Then Masha started an answer...

Flashback – Masha – On the HIND 24

Ben didn't know about Tatiana and I hesitated to tell him. However, he needed to know at least a portion of the truth so I informed him, "Ben, Tatiana is being treated at the hospital."

He gave me a very concerned look and questioned, "Treated for what?"

I masked my face with a subtle smile and lied, "I think she was slightly injured trying to stop the BTR 80 from firing at you."

Ben swore, "I should kill that fucking son of a bitch Captain!"

The General attempted to calm him, "Sgt. Blaine, do not foolishly try your own retribution. We have developed 'ways' of handling situations such as this in Russia."

Ben questioned, "Sir, might we stop off at the hospital so we can bring Tatiana back to Moscow with us."

The General affirmed, "Yes Sgt., I will instruct the pilot to make a detour to the hospital." The General closed the door, went up to the pilot's door and talked with him.

Then a comment from Elena contributed to the overall level of concern...

Flashback – Ben – On the HIND 24

I was concerned for Tatiana, hell I didn't know she had been injured (which made me feel even worse). I was angry as hell and wanted to wring the fucking Captain's neck but the General did calm me down. However, if the Captain's punishment wasn't severe enough, I would make sure to take care of the issue permanently - no one injured my girlfriend and got away with it.

Elena made me feel better when she stated, "Ben, do not worry, when we arrive at the hospital I will find out what happened to Tatiana."

I noticed a peculiar look cross Masha's face and confronted her, "Masha, do you know more about this than you have told me?"

Masha gave me what looked to be a practiced smile and stated, "Ben, I have told you all I know."

I countered, "Masha, what you just said does not agree with your body language."

Then Jack complained...

Flashback – Jack – On the HIND 24

I was shocked at how fast the HIND 24 took off: This was certainly not an overloaded American helicopter. I enjoyed the view from the flight and then Banzai said something that pissed me off. I complained, "Banzai, what the hell! Don't you dare accuse my fiancée Masha of lying?"

Banzai explained, "Jack, when she smiled the corners of her eyes did not go up which is an obvious indicator of deception."

His explanation further inflamed me and I swore, "Banzai, when in the fucking hell did you become and expert at spotting lies?"

I was ready to throttle him when he sassed, "My skill comes from being lied to all the fucking time by you."

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